Is WFA legit? Learn more about Jamil Velji, one of our head coach’s who has a background and depth of experience in the digital marketing industry unmatched by almost anyone else, hear about flying to Thailand on less than a week’s notice and how Jamil is scaling a six figure side hustle using Funnel Cloning.
Hey, it’s Christian Martin from digital nomad.com and they work from anywhere, podcasts and today we have a very special guest, a man who I’ve been wanting to interview for quite a while and I think a lot of our audience is going to be interested to hear what he has to say today as well. Jamil Belge is here from Canada and he is one of the head coaches in the work from anywhere accelerator.
He also runs a six figure agency while fulfilling the role of head coach and doing about a dozen other things as far as I’m aware of, but I’m sure there’s more so really curious to hear how Jamil does it all and also go back to the beginning, see how he got his start and how one man has so much breadth of knowledge in this industry because he just seems to be everywhere. So to me all, thanks for being with us today.
Definitely, definitely appreciate you, uh, taking the time, having a chat.
Yeah, I’m super excited to get into your story and I don’t know the beginning of your journey in this industry, so I think I’m just going to take it way back and let’s just start at the beginning. What, where did you grow up?
Yeah, for sure. Uh, so grew up actually, uh, like two minutes up the road from where I live right now. Circle a circle right back on that. Uh, but in I run the Lake and um, my background for longest time was just in tech and computers and I mean like being like a tech support type person.
So somehow or another, at one point, uh, I decided to join an agency as like an intern type program because it sounded really cool and it sounded like a lot of what I’d seen online. Cause even, even at that time, this was, uh, a good like 15 years ago, um, you’d still see like make money online ads all over the place. And it was always like, uh, you know, I’d love to do that. Maybe that works. So maybe that doesn’t. Um, and this sounded like a good starting point with basically just how they laid it off.
Um, little did I know what it basically just ended up being managing folks Facebook pages. That’s, that was the starting point. But um, that kinda grew into an obsessive knowledge and obsessed obsessive need to just learn more about social media. Cause I was looking at it and saying like, people are paying this much money to have someone just like write a post on Facebook.
Like, I mean, four times a week you’re still talking about two or three minutes of time and meanwhile they’re exchanging it for 500,000 and $2,000 a month sometimes. Um, that was just crazy to me and I, I thought it was just, I thought for the longest time in the first couple of weeks I was there, I was like, this is such a big scam. It’s, you guys are going to get shut down.
And then, uh, as they started introducing me to more companies that they were working with, realize that they were actually a tiny fish in this massive pool where people, in some cases we’re charging hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for social media strategy. And really what that strategy was was just saying, here’s this template, this little PDF of the same thing we tell everybody and pay a hundred grand for this 10 page document.
Yeah. That’s, that’s what’s kind of crazy about this industry is so many people that are new to it, they come in and they’d say like, this can’t be real. This isn’t real. And it’s like, yeah, dude, there’s billions of dollars flowing through this industry every single year. Like it’s real, believe it or not, it’s happening. It’s not all five are game eggs. It’s not all $5 500 fiber gigs. Yeah. But when we jump into that, I want to bring it back before we get too far ahead of ourselves. So like you graduated from high school in your hometown and then like what happened next?
Yeah. So I actually went to school to be a doctor. Um, and for the life of me, I hated it with a passion. Uh, I thought it was gonna be all of the, I thought, you know, you get to university and you have this idea, you want to be a doctor or whatever and you dive right in to learning that. And it’s like, no, no, no. Everybody goes through the same like two, three, four years of school beforehand and it’s all garbage. I mean it’s all stuff you’re never going to use in life.
Even when my brother’s a doctor now, he doesn’t use half that stuff. Uh, you don’t, don’t need no like quadrilateral rules to be a doctor. Um, maybe if you’re a pharmacist or something, who knows. But, um, all of that stuff, I just, I got really fed up to it cause I was like, I don’t want to read this.
Like this is interesting. Um, and I, I thought for the longest time, honestly, I had a thought that I was just like really stupid cause I was like, how are all these other people just sitting in front of a textbook and just learning and getting good grades and stuff. And I’d look at it, I’d be like, this is dry, this is crap. Like why do I need to learn this?
And I, I couldn’t consume any of it. Maybe just like too slow for you even now is quick enough. Yeah. It’s, I mean I think it’s just, it’s pure interest and I kind of realized that a lot more now when I look back at how I consumed marketing content and you know, stuff that’s basically if interest and I just went crazy on just hours and hours and hours in front of a computer reading. Cause I was like, this is amazing.
This is awesome. I want to learn more. Um, obviously that wasn’t the right fit. So after a year, uh, then I was like, I gotta do something else. Um, and so my background, very heavy in tech and using Peters and building computers and things. And I was like, I’ll go into it. Like, why not? That’s close enough. They make decent money. And at that point, that’s what I was just like, I was just trying to figure out, you know, how do I make some form of income because none of this stuff is interesting to me.
Let’s just figure out the money, the money side. And that’s what I went to it. It was a good intro, but again, very generic, like everything was generalized because none of it was for a specific path and things. It was like you go in and then there’s a thousand different jobs that you can get, but until you’re like three years in, you don’t specialize.
So this has in university again, you’re getting a general education in it. Exactly, yeah. So I mean they went through, you know, basics of programming a little bit. Then a little bit about like building computers. And uh, I honestly after like two years, it got really, really bored. Um, and I just coasted by as much as I could on like 2% above passing. Just got to the point of, uh, of graduating there.
While, honestly just wasting time when I look back at it. But uh, that was what they, they had a co op program cause it is it it’s hands on. Um, you gotta learn by actually doing and at that point I was looking at what they had and that’s when I came across the, the first agency I joined as, as the intern. I came across their posts. Um, they were just looking for someone and I came across it in the computer section cause they were, they thought it was like a technical position.
Um, but I came across it and I was like, this sounds more interesting. Do you remember what year this was? I want to say it was like 2011, 2012. Yeah. Um, like by that point in all the wasted time that I had at university, I definitely mess with some stuff online. Um, I bought some like $5 eBooks on how to, how to sell eBooks and you know, all of that type of stuff. Um, and looking at that compared to like the it side, when that post came up for some reason I was just like, this sounds good, this sounds like a fit.
Um, and that’s why I joined that and that’s honestly where I, where I probably learned that good foundation of like everything in the online space can be learned and it just takes a little bit of time, a little bit of effort because when I came in there like I knew nothing.
Like I understood Facebook cause I had Facebook, but I mean managing people’s pages and copywriting and understanding like a psychographics of the customer, which they love to use that word. I don’t think anybody at the company knew what that word meant. But understanding like that, that’s an element of all that I learned while I was just there. It is just, I was just like great helping them with managing these clients.
But then when I’m done for the day, what do I do? Right? Like, yeah, everybody thinks you finished work and you go play video games or whatever. And I was like, I finished work. And I’d be like, well, I don’t want to do any of that stuff. Like this is really interesting. Let me learn more. Um, and I, I at that point, I don’t even know, I was probably spending upwards of like a a hundred hours a week between them and then just research.
Yeah. Just really come to peek. You, you sounds like you became very curious. What do you think it is about, well one, did you know what marketing was at all going into that position or you’re more just kinda thought it was going to be tech stuff and two, like if marketing is what made you so curious? Like what is it about marketing that made you just dive in and devour that stuff? Yeah, I mean at that point I dove into like those cheap eBooks, all of which were about building websites.
So at that point, that’s what I thought marketing was. I was like websites, like newspapers, TV ads. I understood that I didn’t understand a lot of the new ads nuances of online. Um, but at that point it was really just, it seemed interesting, but it also was like, I can either sit in front of a computer and stare at a console screen all day and you make decent money.
But then when I looked at what they were doing and I was like, okay, you manage 10 clients the way they were charging, that’s like 12 grand a month. That’s, that’s like a lot of money for a couple hours of work. Like that was, that was insane to me. And I was like, great, I understand they have overhead and employees and all, but they’re still making a killing on that. Um, and it really was like, once I understood their business model more, that’s what I think really sparked my curiosity.
I was like, wait a minute, why did I not hear about any of this when I was talking to like, you know, like college recruiters and all that type of stuff. Like why did nobody telling me this was a thing? Um, and obviously, I mean, obviously now, I mean, you and I both know just how far behind colleges, universities and things are. Um, but it really wasn’t until years down the road. I was like, that’s why no one told me cause no one knew about it until then, other than the folks on the ground working day to day and they’re like, you know, there’s this whole world.
Yeah. The, I mean, the strangest thing to me is that copywriting, direct response copywriting has been around like for decades. And I took a marketing class in college. They never, I’d never heard the word copywriting until I got into the internet business. And it’s like a core component of marketing. It’s like what makes marketing work? Even if you’re going to do brand marketing, if you can understand the direct response approach to that, you’re going to be so much better off. And so it blew my mind that they don’t even mention that in university. And that’s what makes marketing work.
Yeah. The thing that, uh, was really, really funny. So I, I, I wanna say I really hate admitting this. I didn’t know what copywriting really meant until I’d say like maybe six years ago, five years ago when I got out of agencies and that and that, like they used the word copywriting all the time. They’re like, copywriting is this. And for the longest time I was like, okay. It’s just, it’s just content. Cause that’s how they describe it. And there’s no like thought or purpose behind a lot of it. Cause I mean, they, it’s a buzzword for them, but when you really understand what it is, you’re like, Holy crap. Like, yeah, like that’s what makes everything work. That’s the foundation of so much so, so much in that space.
Um, and I, I re like now I’m really wishing, I was like, I spent all that time learning about social media, but social media and I mean at that time it was like Twitter and everything. Twitter was a trend. But if you learn the foundation behind that, which was copywriting, understanding how to influence consumer behavior, all those things, those are, what are the foundational skills that, I mean, it took me a long time to figure out those were the foundational skills. Yeah. But those are what I should have started with. And that would have, I don’t even know how, how much further ahead certain things could have been, but I mean, again, hindsight is 20, 20, right?
Yeah, totally. I know it blows me away what big agencies can get away with. And that’s why I’m a proponent of the small agency because some small agencies have to live and die by results and the big agencies can just get away with just being big. And so the big companies will work with them. So,
yeah. So I mean, the agency that I, the first agency that I joined and then afterschool, I joined, joined them right out, right again and I was like, great, I want to work with you guys. Um, they, they were a small agency that turned into one of those agencies and not entirely, but they gay. They garnered this partnership with a newspaper and as I’m sure you know, newspaper ads, I mean it’s a dying thing.
Certain folks, it does work 100%, but 80% of it, I mean, people aren’t going to go and buy a 60 inch flat screen because they saw it on a newspaper. They’re going to buy it because they want it. Um, the newspaper is just a tool means to an end. And they had that type of selling approach of well, let’s just put buzzwords in front of them and back it up with a service that’s half ass.
Yeah. Um, and then if they, thinking back to it as, you know, we were all against it, but they’d sold it and it’s like, okay, they sold that. They got, they got the cash for it. We can’t say no now. And you know, they back into the end of that quarter a little bit. But that’s the thing with the smaller agencies, especially when we went head to head their sales team versus a small agency that was already with the company.
I mean last night, nine times out of 10 because that small agency was results driven, better analytics, they knew exactly what they wanted to do. Um, and because of this partnership we had this like layer barrier that stopped us from being able to pitch in that same way. We were like, well we do the attribution, we do the tracking. Um, they just, you know, they were like, Oh it’s things customer won’t understand. Yeah. Sometimes it is, but it’s, it’s things that, you know, you feel good about it because you know, you’re doing what you can in the best way for them.
Yeah. But yeah, some of those big companies that have such a big budget to advertise, they’ll just throw money at it and not really care about the tracking because they can just allocate a certain percentage to marketing.
Oh yeah. There was a, there’s a few, a few companies that we had at that point. Um, cause we did like Google ads and Google ads, SEO and social media and I kept pushing for other things. I kept pushing for like Facebook ads and things. So that time, um, and they, we had a lot of folks that were like that where it was just, okay, my competitor advertises, I want to be advertising. Yeah. Okay. Are about like how many clicks you got, how many impressions you got. All they cared about every time was every get calls about this all the time was, Hey, I Googled my name, why don’t I show up?
Yeah. Yeah. That was the best. And we like, in some cases,
that’s all they wanted and they’d tell us that explicitly to be like, I just want to show up when someone searches my name. So we’d literally just bid on their brand name and they’d pay us a good, like couple grand a month just to do that.
Yeah. So they’d show up and paid search just for their brand keywords. Exactly. Yeah, exactly. And they expect it always number one, doesn’t matter where the number two or three converts better always has to be number one. Yeah, yeah. Interesting. So they’re evaluating it from an, from sort of an uninformed viewpoint. This is why the game has changed even since then so much. I think because analytics have gotten better, tracking has gotten better. I think direct response has made a comeback with how much we can track now. And it’s really interesting to see the convergence of brand marketing and directors.
Yeah. I mean the biggest thing with a lot of these folks is um, I mean they, they before couldn’t track any of the stuff like calls or anything like that. And now I mean calls with Google’s, it’s baked in. Yeah. Like they can know how many calls actually came in, they can see what comes out of it. But it’s also just a, I want to say it’s just an evolution of competition almost because at that point, I mean I still remember the days of like 10 or 15 cent Google clicks.
Like that was still a thing where you could bid on, like if there was one that we had, it was a cash for gold and Ontario, a few different cities. We were spending maybe 10 bucks a day per city and the guy was like, I can’t handle the phone calls almost every other day. It’d be like you got to shut it down for a couple of more days, like you gotta catch up. Um, and it was just, yeah, it was just cause you got so much traffic for 10 bucks a day, some real,
I know if we get just get in a time machine with what we know now and go back, we’d be rich and we can retire in a couple months. Yeah. Insane. Yeah. It’d be like those are those affiliate ads, the guy with like the $600,000 check. Yeah, 24 hours. Exactly. The only one he’s doing it and it’s like he figured it out first. So. So you, did you go and then graduate from college with an it degree or did you drop out?
Yup. Yup. Yup. I graduated with the most expensive piece of paper. Well, I mean I guess when you buy a house you also get a piece of paper. But what are the most expensive and useless pieces of paper that you can get by far and away, unless, unless you go for a MBA or something, I’m mashing. Um, yeah, I went for it.
Um, and uh, hor horrible wasting time and money, but at this point, uh, it was great just in the sake of like, now, you know, right. You’ve gone through that experience now, you know. Um, and I think that’s a little bit what drove me when I, when I was working at that agency cause I, I gave them a good, like two years straight of just heavy, heavy, heavy, um, like, like basically I tried to engrain myself as much as possible as if I owned the company and all the money being spent was my own.
Um, so, you know, I put in the 120 hour weeks, I put in like basically nothing but eat, sleep, eat, sleep and living, working for them. Um, and part of it was just the learning curve, right? For me, it was jumping into something brand new. I want to do it right. But I also want to learn as much as I can because at that, even at that point I was looking back and I was like, why did I waste those years? This is really interesting to me.
Like this has potential. Um, cause I saw them, they were just two guys and they scaled it up to a 10 person company. Um, just from the time when I first joined him as an intern, it was only a four person company. It’s a 10 person company. When I joined, um, not even a year and a half later.
And I was like, there’s something here, like if this can scale like this, this is the way that you can make money. Um, and it was, it happened to be interesting. So it was really interesting, is really good for me. But, um, I wouldn’t have you had it for two years. Just learning everything I could. Um, and the biggest kind of shift I think really came when I started diving into more things like copywriting and I was like, wait a minute, there’s a lot more behind these bugs were as you’re just using a cell.
Um, there’s a lot more behind it. And then after a certain period of time, I realized there’s a lot bigger players in the, in the little fish pool. Um, for, for me, I thought, okay, great. Like there’s like 10 agencies I know of in Toronto it’s a small little pool and then you know, you start going to bigger players, bigger companies, and now you’re actually competing with like 500 person agencies out of the UK.
For business, small agencies you can win. Sometimes it’s a matter of convenience, but unless you really know what you’re doing, which I kind of realized through that trial and error, these guys, they knew, but they weren’t at that level. That’s when I realized, okay, if I wanna take that next step, it’s either going to be here if I can make drastic changes or it has to be somewhere else.
And at that point I actually had that conversation with them. I kind of sat him down and I was like, Hey, like I need to do something bigger. So there’s like, like at that point I got really obsessed with tech companies because tech companies were on the growth at that point and they were always talking about how they went from zero to hundreds of millions of dollars and things. And I was like, I want to try my hand at something like this.
Do you think we can dedicate time to building out new stuff? Either whether it’s a new service, whether it’s a new way of prospecting, but like how can we grow it? And they were like, well, here’s what we do. He, you know, here’s what we’ve done for ages. That’s what we’re going to do. Um, and at that point I was like, great, I’ll be gone in two days. Um, at that point I literally got, I actually got an offer before I had that conversation to go and join a tech company in Thailand of all places.
Okay. Uh, to work on a tech company that didn’t seem super interesting at the time, but it was, it was a play at tech, which was what I was after. Um, any, the, it was basically an offer of complete autonomy. It was like, here’s the text, here’s the tech company, here’s what we want to do.
You’re just going to come in and do what you need to do. So where you brought on as kind of like head of growth kind of. It was a, it was a weird structure. It was like an overly corporate structure for, uh, like 12% tech company. Um, but it was just the, the owner’s background was in bigger corporate companies. So I think my official title was like marketing manager, but I mean there’s no one else in marketing.
So manager of what we’re doing, it was this a Thai company or they are just located in Taiwan? It was a UK company, I believe it was located in Thailand. Um, out of like the only corporate office and post similarly like it tech center there. And um, they were like, I mean, they were legitimately aiming for like big, big scale, but it was as close to what I’d call a, like a growth hacking type position.
And that’s like, you know, that’s like the whole, you know, tech company way of saying just you gotta grow with very, very little money or no money at all of like marketing without a budget. Yeah. It’s, it’s like we pay your salary. Everything else got to come for free. Um, that was like the closest to that and what they wanted to do because it was a really big, uh, B to C freemium type play if they were basically aiming to be like a YouTube but with a different form of monetization.
So you know, you think of YouTube video, easy to share, real easy to do, go and do that. Um, but it was just, it was a really interesting company just cause he was basically like, great, here’s what we want to do. Here’s some goals. Go and do whatever you need to do. Um, and it was cool just because it was very tech heavy.
So when when you have like a tech heavy company, you realize how much stuff is actually possible where otherwise you’re thinking like it’s technically impossible, but it’s like, no, it’s, it’s totally possible. Yeah. That stuff is possible. You have in your mind that you think like, Hey, this would be cool. Um, it’s just, you know, sometimes there’s dev resources or otherwise, or you just don’t know that that’s a reality. You can do that.
And that was like the biggest, I think eye opener, what I was thinking through, like, you know, what makes a tech company grow? You got this, this, this and this and everything. I kept coming down to as a paid thing and then it was like, well, no, what if we just like take all this stuff that I could do is, is like manual work and just automate it some way.
And it really just is total different lifestyle in Thailand. But it was literally just one night we were all hanging out drinking beer. Um, and I was just talking about like, you know, dude, all this, like they were asking what my day to day was like and I was like, I’m doing this, this, this, this, and this. And they’re like, like, why? Like, why don’t you just have, have a bot do that? And I was like, yeah, yeah, let’s, let’s do that.
Um, so that was, that was really interesting getting that first fusion of like marketing and technology. Yeah. How well it can work together when you have a focus on like a core objective. Right. So like, yup. Let’s go back a little bit. First of all, you just got an offer to move to Thailand. Have you ever been out of the country before? Have you traveled internationally?
No, I literally, I talked to them on the phone. He was like, this is a good fit. Here’s the issue. Uh, I guess it was like a sister cousin or something. Um, was the one helping them with a lot of the marketing and he’s like, she’s leaving by the end of this week, uh, or sorry, by the end of next week. So I need you on the ground before she leaves to get caught up. Hello. And how, how, how did you meet this guy and then, yeah.
What was going through your mind when you’re considering? Yeah, it was, uh, it was LinkedIn. Um, I’d actually applied for it like two months before. Uh, cause I was like at that, at that point, that’s when I started having the conversations with them about like what else can you do in the cap? Like stonewalling me. So I was like, great, like let’s see what’s out there, like what tech companies are doing.
Um, I came across it on LinkedIn and then like two months later he reached out. He’s like, you know, sorry we had like all these delays, let’s have a call. It’s your backgrounds. He was really interesting and we had this like six hour Skype conversation, like legitimately like supposed to be 30 minutes and we just dove into it. At the end of that call he was like, great, I’m going to make you an offer. Like do you think you can be here on the ground by this state? This time? I was like, send me the offer.
Let me think about it. Cause it’s a big decision. And it was like basically I had to buy my ticket and everything and be on the ground within like five days. Yeah. That’s to be crazy. Especially if you’ve never done that before. Yeah. It was also like four months earlier that I just bought my condo, so I had planned to settle down and everything in Toronto.
Um, but I mean, it’s an opportunity where we were both really on the same page during that entire call. We were just talking about all the different things. We could do, everything that he wanted it to be. And it just felt really right when he was just like, every time I throw out an idea is just validating and like, yeah, like, yeah, let’s try that. Um, like he’s just, you know, complete opposite to what I’d seen in the agency setting.
Um, and so yeah, after that final conversation where they’re like, no, we can’t do it, then I was like, great, um, you know, I’m happy to support you guys for like the month or two months or whatever you need, but I’m going to be in Thailand. Um, I was just like, they gotta gotta be out there like [inaudible] three days. Um, so I literally, I think I, I think I, yeah, I think I spent maybe like two days packing and then head to the airport and then flew out.
And so that’s crazy. So one of the big motivators for you was the autonomy you get to go, you’re going to get to head, head of marketing, do whatever you want. Was there at this point, were you trying, were you concerned about like equity, I’m making a lot of money or you’re more concerned with learning what were just kind of your focus and did they give you an equity dealer? Yeah, so they were kind of an interesting one.
And I mean the, it was the exact same amount I was making at the agency. But the way he put it, and he, I guess I’ll have the email somewhere. It was like the greatest evil, I think red. He was like, so we’re going to offer you this cause that’s what you’re making now, but you’re going to be in Thailand. So what that really means is they listed all these things.
He’s like, that means in a typical day you can do this, this, this, this, this. And it was like, you can have your maid wake you up in the morning and cook you breakfast and like, take a chauffeur to the office and you know, go and have like lunch delivered to you. And then he’s like, you know, the, you know, goes after work. He’s like, you can go to get a massage and go have a drink, uh, on like the w and like he listened all that.
He’s like, and that’s going to cost you like 25 bucks for the day. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s crazy. I just got back from six months in Bali and I haven’t spent more than maybe $3 and 50 cents a meal. Yeah. And I went out to dinner with my friend the other day and the entree was like $46. It’s just like a mid range hipster restaurant.
We’re like, what is this? So yeah, it’s like a totally different lifestyle. Yeah. It like scarred me for life when I came back. Yeah. Um, but uh, yeah. So have you met, he made that offer and he’s like, you know, as it [inaudible] Rose you can have the option for equity. But he was like, as it grows, like it’s going to be cash generators so we’re probably not going to give you [inaudible] we’ll just give you cash.
And I was like, okay, that makes sense. It’s basically if I can perform well and make it work, you know there’s monetary reward at the end of it. Um, but the change of change of pace change changes, senior change of lifestyle was the thing that really drove it home. Cool. Where it’s like, you know, there’s autonomy but at the same time, um, I didn’t realize that at that point but I definitely realize it now is what I was there, those like 20 hour days and things, they were easy like what are you doing something that you’d like, but also in an environment where you’re just like everybody is going towards the exact same goal and everybody’s on that same page.
Like it’s easy to go in. And I had literally my date cause I was super excited. I was like, this is new country, this is crazy to do everything. Work with a bunch of like Russian dudes and stuff, like no one that’s uh, that’s come from Canada or the U S other than me and one to everybody else’s from like all over the place places I’ve never been. Um, so I was super excited. Like every day I’d show up at like six in the morning, like before the cleaning crew had even started their turn around.
I’d just be sitting there at the air conditioning hadn’t turned on because the air conditioning turns on at like 8:00 AM or something in the building. Um, and I just, yeah, I’d be there and then until like six o’clock at night, seven o’clock at night, and then we’d all end up heading out to either go dinner, go to a bar or whatever.
But I mean, we’d still keep talking about work. Yeah. And it was totally fine. Like there was no mental stress about it or anything because it was like, we all wanted this to work. Yeah. We all wanted to figure out ways to support each other. So real start startup mentality where it’s like, exactly, everybody’s on the same mission and you’re going to make it happen. Whatever it takes. Yeah.
And I, you know, at that point, again, somebody I didn’t necessarily realize, but it was there is like that that culture of everybody being on the same page is what made it work and what made it like unbelievably easy for everybody to come in and do what they had to do every day. Whereas like, you know, if we had one person thrown in there that just, you know, it was like hating life or whatever, it would have been totally different.
So everybody was a true believer. Exactly. And that was a, that was a fun experience. Also just looking at like, here’s all these things we could do. All of them take money. What do we do if we don’t have any money? Um, and it really gets you thinking outside the box. Um, I mean it was fun. Like the first month I think we did something like 40 or 50,000 new users. Um, and it was purely just like purely distribution.
Just exploiting the hell out of Reddit. Yeah. Um, Reddit was an awesome driver. But, uh, at that point I’d also started learning more about like national SEO because I was looking at everything we were doing and I was like, we just have so much content and so many different videos, you know, why are we getting so much traffic and all these really weird niche videos.
And it was because for some reason or another at that point, you know, I kind of knew, but I didn’t know entirely they were ranking because I mean, at that point Google was nowhere near as competitive as it is, you know, fast forward. But, uh, there were ranking because we just had this massive video platform with ridiculous amount of people that linked to it, ridiculous amount of people that shared videos on it.
And as a result, like if, if some creator was on YouTube and uploaded a video on YouTube and uploaded a video on our platform, you know, we’d show up like position two or three. It’s, we get all this awesome traffic for it. And over time, that definitely snowballed. Uh, it’s snowball a lot. But, um, you know, I’ll, I’ll fun things come to an end at some point or another. Um, yeah, wasn’t kind of what happens.
Yeah. That one came to a weird end because one night, uh, myself and uh, and one of the dudes who is who is, uh, in when an officer position and then one of the devs you’re hanging out at our local haunt and talking video games. And at that point it had kind of more become like the dude spent a lot of money on it, on it. He didn’t monetize in the right way. So at that point he was getting really stressed out about the financing aspect of it. Um, and as a result, like inevitably that stress deteriorates, the company deteriorates, the culture, everything like that.
So one night we were hanging out and we were just talking about gaming and we were like, wouldn’t it be cool if we just like if there is a social network for game or like Facebook for gamers and you know, we talked about it for ages and we were like, we couldn’t, like none of us could name something off the top of her head.
That was just like a gamer community. And then we were talking about yeah, you were talking about like, yeah, like playing Xbox live and everything and how hard is the fine folks to play with. And like a week later, um, the deaf guy came back. He’s like, yeah. So I built the baseline of a social network for gamers and uh, that kinda sparked into what’s now player.me. Um, Oh, a little bit ago they got acquired by XSplit.
Um, and that was like the, that was probably like the very first intro that I had to what is like real growth hacking because I mean, Hey, it was something I was super passionate about, but B, it was just something that we had the grow as quickly as humanly possible because otherwise you can’t get funding. I mean the tech spaces was rampant with competition, social networks everywhere. Um, almost weeks, weeks, if not months after we launched other social networks for gamers started popping up like crazy.
So did you, did you, did the other company dissolves itself or what happened? How did you make the transition between the two? Yeah, they, um, I actually don’t know what happened to them entirely, but they kind of just like disappeared. I mean, did you walk into work one day and they were like, we’re shutting down shop? Oh, no, no. I was like, I basically just had a conversation with the guy.
I was like, you know, like the culture is getting kind of bad. Like devs are coming in and they’re complaining all the time and uh, you know, stuff’s getting done. But a lot of stuff is in the backlog and it’s not getting done because folks are not to do it. Um, and I was kinda like, you know, I can keep working on it, but I don’t think it’s going to, do you any service, keep paying me for it if nothing’s happening.
Yeah. Um, cause that point we hit a lot of like tech bugs when they were trying to launch something and it just, it didn’t launch quite right. Um, and so we just stacked up all this tech debt of like, you know, the site wouldn’t load for like 15 seconds, like stuff that was Detrick like completely detrimental. Um, and at that point I was like, you know, obviously we’re seeing declining signup rates and stuff because the low times high videos aren’t loading sometimes.
Takes like, it took in some cases, like a couple of days for videos to getting coated. Like yeah, it was, it was all things that kill a platform. Yeah. Um, so I had that conversation with him. He was like, yeah, you know, stay on for however long and then, and then transition. And I was like, okay, we’ll do, okay. So you just told them you’re going to leave.
Yeah. I was just like, you know, w I’ll, I’ll, you know, if you want me to go like this week, cause obviously it’s not working. I don’t want to keep paying me. Yeah, I can leave. And he’s like, well no, like let’s do proper transition and get your stuff together, you know, make sure everything’s easy to transition off. And then yeah. So did you stay in Thailand for this new company? Yeah, so we launched it like four or five days before I left.
Um, picked up tech crunch news and all the fun stuff that you want when you launch tech company. Um, but almost immediately after action of joining another tech company in Bangkok. Um, cause that’s time, obviously it’s not making any money. We were throwing money into it. Running a tech company. It does take a good bit of a server, a server hosting costs.
Um, so I majority to this a tech company in, in Bangkok, which was, um, uh, like a task management project management type company. And it was a company that actually planned on monetizing and everything. So for me, I was like, that’s cool. Like that’s an experience I want. Not worked in a freemium type tech companies, just all about acquiring users. player.me was all about acquiring users.
Let’s see how it is when there’s actual a monetization piece in it and it’s selling to B2B and it’s bigger companies. Um, and that’s mainly why I joined them, but also they had a team, they just didn’t have any like heading for their team. They just had a bunch of like folks that were like writing copy, writing content, stuff like that. But they had no one directing them. Um, so it was cool because at that point I got to work with a team but also work with a company where it’s purely B2B.
I mean the biggest thing was going in and trying to get accounts like Amex division’s like a marketing division from Amex of like 10 people who would come in and spend, uh, you know, at that point it still wasn’t monetized when I left it, even though that was the plan. Now it is, but you know, a team like that would come in and be worth, you know, five, 10, $15,000 a year. Yeah. Continually. Um, yeah, I mean during that time was just running player.me. We grew it as quickly as we could.
Um, we had some really cool like pitch pitch meetings and stuff. Um, and uh, in the end we, we, they didn’t go for financing. It was when we didn’t end up going for a round of financing instead we, you know, decided to keep it back and keep growing it. Yeah. That was when I more switched to focusing full time on the other company cause I was like, okay, it’s been like six months.
We have tons and tons of users. Like we’ve got to find some way to monetize or something because we can’t bootstrap it on like $0 million. Yeah. Where are you getting paid at all during this time? Or were you I will, I moved to the other company, so I was still getting paid from them, but it was a good haircut from where I was at because I just wanted to stay in Thailand with that and I wanted to make sure that we could stick around there all be relatively close, like they were still in post me. I was in Bangkok, it’s a 45 minute flight away.
Um, but after like the six months of it that I was like, okay guys, like, you know, I’m happy to support you guys whatever way, shape or form, but if we’re not going to monetize in any way, shape or form, there’s, I mean there’s going to be issues like, yeah, here we’ve got server cost back and up and everything like that.
Um, and it did take him a good like six or eight months in order to get it sold, uh, or like do the acquisition afterwards. And I mean now it’s a, that’s a pretty decent sized company, but it’s definitely pivoted from what we originally created in that time. So during this time, you’re kind of working on a couple of different projects. You must have liked the culture in Thailand if you stuck around this long, right?
Oh yeah. Yeah, it was, it was even in Bangkok, it was super fun. Um, you know, there’s always stuff going on. Super convenient and yeah, I mean even in Bangkok, like, yes, it’s not a beach, but exact same style of like life. Um, like it’s never really tiring. And I mean, at that point, like I was on, there was like BTS, the railways, like during morning commute’s getting packed in and I was like, this isn’t actually so bad.
I mean, it’s like a 10 minute air conditioned ride. No one’s that close because in Thailand you don’t just like bundle up and touch each other. Um, so, and everybody, you know, nobody likes to sit, like stand around the foreigner. So it worked out. It worked out. Yeah. So for the people listening who maybe have never done one of these trips before, what was the biggest culture shock for you coming from Canada? Yeah.
Um, he was a really big one, but I wanna say for costly, it was like road safety. Yeah. Uh, there is no road safety there. They, they care very little about road safety. Um, especially when you’re on a motorbike, when you’re on a motorbike basically you either have to be like crazy aggressive and I mean basically they’ll think you’re insane so they leave you alone or you have to be like super defensive because you’ll have a massive truck like tailgates you and tailgating there is like there’s an inch between them and you, it’s not a couple feet.
Um, they’ll tailgate you to get you out of the way and get around you and then of course they’ll honk and like move right back in before they can, they finish passing you and all that. And that’s normal. That’s like, like you, you should expect that is basically how it was related to me. Yeah.
I remember, I flew in to coast Savoy in October, this past October, and I had been to Thailand before, but it had been a couple of years and it seemed to be like on the way home from the airport to the Airbnb, we almost killed like three or four different people in the van that Allison and I was like, Oh, it’s good to be back in Tyler’s the world we’re living in. Yeah. It’s just, it’s insane there. It does have, I think second highest traffic deaths per capita in the entire world. The anything is more than half.
That is pedestrians getting hit, not car accidents really, which is crazy. Um, but I know that’s a heavy, heavy wanted Bangkok because in Bangkok we used to take the motorcycle taxis everywhere. Yeah. Like if, if you have no care for your life, that’s what you do. Looking back on it, I was like, I don’t know how we lived. Um, but a few times there, the boys from player.me came over and you know, sometimes we’d need to get somewhere quick. Um, so there’s a few times. It definitely, most of the time during the night we ended up paying the dude to just, you know, haul ass on the sidewalk, going like 80 kilometers an hour, barely missing people. Uh, and it just, you see your flat, your life flash before your eyes. But I mean, it’s better than being in the Grove with cars where they can slam India.
Yeah. That’s what’s so crazy. Like in Vietnam, there’s, there’s a so many scooters more than in Thailand. Um, and it’s not really a car culture, so it’s just all scooters in Vietnam and in Thailand at scooters, but then also tons of cars. And so I think that’s why it’s a bad thing.
Yeah. Yeah. There was a, it was funny. The, what was it? It was like the fifth day before, we’re like the, the five days before we were going to leave a Bangkok and come back and we actually just, me and my wife planned on coming and visiting and then the coup happened and we ended up staying. But, um, five days before we were going to leave was the first time I got into a motorcycle accident in Bangkok.
Literally from our condo to the BTS station, not even 600 meters. We decided to take a motorcycle taxi cause we were both running late. The guy comes T taxis trying to like pull in to stop in front of the BTS station, smack some rate in the front. Luckily it was like, not very much, but I mean you can tell like the bike was pretty much total.
Um, but luckily like no injuries or anything, but it was just, it was so weird. Like okay this is like the week before I leave. I think that’s a sign. Like let’s just stick to the cars now. Did you guys go down in that accident or, no, funnily enough the guy was able, was managed and keep them, keep the steady cool. Um, and then he obviously freaked out at the dealer, the taxi. Um, it was super awkward trying to walk away cause I was late for work. I was like, let me let me pay you cause I got to go. Yeah, you deal with that. Um, but
how was that was interesting. So the listeners can probably tell there’s a certain amount of chaos in Southeast Asia doesn’t necessarily exist over here. And I kind of, I kind of liked the chaos. There’s like a rawness to it, like a realness. Like you, you feel like you’re alive, but what did you think of the, how chaotic it can be there.
I think it, it keeps you going. Like, you know why I’m here and I, when I came back we went back to Toronto. Everybody is so tired all the time and it’s very low key. Like yes, there’s chaos but nobody’s energetic about it. Yeah. But in Thailand like people are always go, go, go, go, go. And everybody is so friendly about it too. I mean relatively friendly unless there’s like lots of traffic or something that everybody gets upset and annoyed.
But it keeps you going and it just, it’s like a surge of energy every time you walk out. Like every time I got I went from the subway station to, uh, where the office was like small walk and like not even 200 meters. You have all the street vendors like that jolts your right back up when you have like hundreds of people going back and forth. There’s like food stalls over here. There’s like a dude trying to like repair shoes over here. There’s so much going on and your mind just like has to go blank for a little bit to take it all in.
Yeah. Was like your MLS and sounds and all sorts of stuff happening. Yeah.
Yeah. I don’t know. I found it, I found it really cool, like really energetic. It just like boosted you back up every single time. Yeah. And so you met your wife there too, right? Yeah. Yeah. That was a, that was interesting and random but a, it just a, I mean it happened to work out cause I was there for a good like year and a little bit, a little over a year and a half or a little under a year and a half.
Yeah. And so did you have to then, did she have to decide to come back to Canada with you?
So that’s where, that’s where it was kind of weird. Like we planned on only coming back. Um, I think it was basically for like my brother’s birthday or graduation or something. Uh, yeah. For my brother’s graduation and, um, for her to meet my parents, but then I want to say like three or four days after we got there, that’s when the like, I don’t even know, sixth coup or something happen. Oh, really? Um, and so obviously like, you know, middle of Bangkok’s kinda, I mean, it’s not as bad as they make it up to be on TV all over at least. Yeah. But, uh, you know, middle of Bangkok at least even where her work was, is like blocked off with like fires going in the street and everything like that. Um, and so we were like, okay, like we could go back and we could wait it out and waiting it out turned into like a good year, two years.
And now that it was like, okay, well let’s at least start the process for like citizenship and stuff, because then you can travel whenever you want and it becomes a lot easier. Um, and you know, now it’s been a good while. Yeah. How many years has it been? No, I want to say like four years now. Four or five years now. Um, and we, we’ve been back a couple times now, but never for like whenever, for longer than like a month at a time. Um, part of it’s also just, I want to say it like if, if I wanted to go back and work in Thailand, I think the visa situation is a lot tighter than it was previously.
So even if I wanted to go back and work with like, uh, with our own agency and everything, cause just a lot tighter visa situations, we have to do a lot more visa runs and things. Yeah. Um, and even if I wanted to like set up a mini corporation in Thailand just to get by with it, it’s definitely more expensive than it used to be. But you still would be like one or 2000 bucks a month and you can get away with enough people to sustain yourself a visa.
So you guys came and kind of decided to stay in Canada. When did you first, I mean you, you mentioned before like you saw kind of how much money people were making the agency world and like kind of we’re kind of indoctrinated like, yeah, grow up, get a good education, get a good job, work really hard. But the upper limit on that is not very high at all compared to owning your own business. Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
Um, it’s a good good. Uh, it’s like a good like contract or two when I came back to realize that, um, because at that point I was like, okay, I’ve been in a couple of tech companies, I have some good stats behind, you know, the performance of had like, let’s see what a tech company looks like here and what I joined one. That’s when I started really understanding like once you get to a certain point, especially when they have like VC funding and all, you know, all their, all their uh, funding rounds, they have a really well structured limit of how much you can make and there’s nothing above that.
Yeah. And that limit is like, it’s not very far from, I think on the end is like 150 to 175,000 Canadian, which is like 120 to 130 U S um, which isn’t bad, you know, by any means, but it’s not like, it doesn’t really give you a sense of financial freedom or time freedom when you’re talking about like at that point it was, uh, well, luckily we still have, the condo didn’t have to go crazy, but it was still an hour and a half commute each way.
So three hours total. Yeah. On a subway. So no internet connection or anything anyways, so there’s not much you can do. Oh wow. Um, and obviously like during the rush hours, like those get packed. Um, so that, that’s, I mean, it, it was fun to start cause I was like, Oh, I’m back. And then after like three months, I was like, this is miserable. Like, what am I doing with my life? Yeah. Uh, it was right back to it. Um, and that was around the time I came across the foundation. Oh, okay. Yeah. And people listening. Can you just give a brief overview with the foundation? Yeah.
Yes. The foundation, um, was basically a program where you’d learn how to build a tech company or a software and run it as a company. So build your own software business without an idea, without any marketing background, without it. I think it was literally like without any idea of what, like any idea of what you’re doing that was like their, that was their line. Um, and I mean, honestly, I still look at it and I’m like, it was so much more than that, but it’s,
it was so much more than that, but it also wasn’t really that, it wasn’t really all focused around software companies. That’s what I was going to say is looking back, the foundation was a program about customer development. It was how do you go into a market and figuring out what problems people have in that market and then like provide a solution. And so it was about like customer development and copywriting that was like the,
yeah. I mean for me, I always kept looking at it and I was like, okay, like even now I look at it as like, that’s where I learned what an entrepreneur really was, where like you’re in the tech space, everybody calls themselves an entrepreneur, none of them are. They’re basically dudes who thought up something that has, that’s tangible enough to basically build themselves a job. Yeah. And get someone else to finance it for them.
That’s kind of what most of these tech companies are. But it was, there was, there was that resonance for me. I was like, I like tech companies, I just don’t like working in a tech company. Um, so I was like, I can build my own. Um, and that, that evolved to so much more for me where it was, you know, that full foundation of mindset was, I think the biggest thing.
It’s obviously the biggest thing where most folks struggle. For me it was the biggest thing where I, in realizing that there’s better uses for the skills that I built up or like better ways to monetize them. Um, and I mean like there’s always different reasons for that. But the biggest thing that they really like hammered into you was it’s always you that’s responsible for where you’re at.
They didn’t say it in as many words, which I mean now like the mentors I have now say it in that many words, it’s only you, that’s the reason why you are where you are. Um, but that’s what they kind of, that’s what they grinded into you with all the different exercises and things that they had. But um, that, that was, I mean that was definitely where I learned the proper foundation for copywriting, um, where I learned the proper foundation for like adjusting my mindset.
Um, and I mean even that time I tried for this ass room. I didn’t even know how much, uh, how many folks I reached out to and everything to try and go after it. But, um, at that point when I realize like, Hey, you can apply this to other things, that’s when I first dove into like consulting and coaching and running an agency. Cause I was like, well I can just, I mean I can just do it these days.
These guys did the first guys I worked with, but I can just make way more money because I mean like I actually know what I’m doing. Yeah. So I was like, why don’t I just charge more? And that’s, that’s literally how I use the foundation. I was like, great. So if I want to just sell my skillset but I want to work with a specific set of folks, so tech companies, how do I do that?
And that’s what I pulled out of the foundation and how to do is just get in front of tech companies. I’d be like, Hey, I’ve run companies and run tech companies, I’ve managed teams, let me come in and get yourself organized for growth. And that was the very first consultancy that I built up was approaching tech companies and being like, Hey, let me come in as like a contracted or consultant CEO or COO and get your marketing team in order. Cool.
Do you remember the very first deal? Like, do you remember when you landed your first deal is kind of like an independent business delivery? It’s funny. I don’t remember the very first company. I remember the first few deals, but I can’t remember which one was first. Um, but I definitely remember the first deals being like, I mean, I think the very first one, which one was the, I think the very first one was an education technology company.
I think they were the first and it was like, like I freaked out after I hopped off the phone with them because they basically were ready to write a check for like 12 grand or like three months to three months of consulting. And I was like, Holy shit. Like, that is better than most of these tech companies are offering for full time work. Um, but also like the amount of time I had laid out for them was like 45 minutes a week.
Yeah. So I was like, in what I’d spend in one week working with the tech company. I mean I’ve made 10 times that with these D’s in one sale. And I was like, I was ecstatic at that point. I mean, it was all cold email and stuff to use. I was like, there’s no costs behind this. Like this is unreal. Just all profit.
Yeah. And it’s, um, I mean it’s still bald pretty well from there. It was just like great, like take the same thing and just do it again, do it again, do it again. Um, but you know, with, with that, when you’re new to it all, you lose sight of what drove that. And obviously you get into like, well, I could do this, or what if I tried this to get clients? What am I doing this to get clients? Um, and that’s what that, that was, that was probably the first real thing that I started after the foundation, after everything where like I achieved a level of success.
And then because of my own shiny object syndrome, I let it fail so miserably. Uh, and I mean, I say that really, I just, I just didn’t close any more sales. It’s not like, not like I went bankrupt. It’s not like I spent more money than I made. It’s not anything like that. I just, I let it die cause I didn’t focus on what was working in know. Yeah. There’s a stream
thing. I think it happens to all of us where you go and you do something that works and as soon as it’s working, then all you want to do is try new things instead of just like repeating what just works. Like you have the proof right in front of you and it’s just like, all right, what else can we do? What else can we do? And it’s like, just do the same thing over and over again.
It’s exactly that 100%.
I also want to ask it, landing your first client, working for a tech company and being good at marketing and having that role, it’s still a totally different thing than you going out there and you eat what you kill and all of a sudden somebody is paying you money directly. There’s no hiding under a company name or anything like that. Did you feel like a increased sense of responsibility or pressure when you got it?
Oh, 100%. 100%. You feel this like really weird nervousness. And I spent, I mean at that point is consulting and coaching, right. So it’s all on zoom type calls. At that point we were using Skype because zoom wasn’t a thing. Um, but it’s all calls on Skype and I mean they only know you as much as whatever that whatever you do, that 45 minute call. Yeah. So like that puts a lot of pressure on it.
I think every time with that first client, I must’ve spent upwards of like three hours preparing for each call. Yeah. Um, and then I like, I always, I kept thinking through like, am I giving them enough value? So I kept adding things to it. I was like, well great. I mean if you need me to review this, send it over. I’ll get it done beforehand. And I, I definitely like mess myself up on time and everything with those.
But um, that was like, it was, it was surreal. The first one, once I got to like the third or fourth one, I was like, I was like, okay, I’m more confident with this. I get what value they’re getting out of it. Yeah. And uh, like I know I can do it with this, but it wasn’t until that fourth one where I was like six months into doing it and I was like, okay, yes, I can deliver. I know that this is exactly what they want. Yeah.
I remember when I first took coaching clients, I would just be like, what if we have nothing to talk about? Like what if I get on there and five minutes in where it’s complete silence and I don’t know what to say.
After awhile I was just like, okay, I get on the call. There’s always things to talk about and there’s always things that I can help with.
Um, and it, and I realized like, Oh, okay, I know enough. I’m like, yeah, of my competence now. Like I know enough to help. Yeah. I mean, I kind of put myself in that like scared scenario just because I, I decided at that point to form my consulting offer based on the Frank Kern, which was the giant sales letter of, you know, if you don’t get value out of this, I’ll refund your money and write you a check. Oh no. And I was like, I’m going to do that cause I think I can do it. Yeah. And then I honestly scared the hell out of myself. Um, cause every call I was like, I gotta make sure I deliver value. Otherwise the user, you’re gonna ask for a reply. Yeah. Um, but it was, yeah, I mean it was a, he was a huge learning curve, huge learning experience and just actually jumping in and doing it.
But, uh, it, I mean you just gotta you realize, and I realized, especially like a few months into that, that was when I started investing more into information products and courses and things. Cause I was like, okay, I need to move faster. This may be moved really fast if I just add more to it. And instead of adding fuel to the fire with new courses and things. Um, and that was when I started learning things like, you know, most of the successful guys out there had done 20, 30, 40 different things before one hit and yeah, yeah, yeah.
And uh, that, you know, a lot of folks like it’s trial and error. It’s the action of doing that gets you comfortable as the action of doing that makes it easy. Um, and I, that was also when I started doing a lot more like self reflection and understanding. Like, you know, the only reason why at that point I was comfortable on the phone was because when I worked in that agency, they made me do a lot of the sales calls. Oh yeah. And because of them putting me in that position, you know, after like a a hundred sales calls, like yeah, I mean I could, I could basically talk out of my ass, but any day, you know what I’m saying? I’m doing easy.
After all you’ve done up until this point, what do you think was your strongest skill set you had developed?
Um, for a time there, I thought it was copywriting, what I really focused in on it and I let that lacks way too much. Um, I think at this point, the biggest one by far and away is, uh, a strong mindset and being comfortable in, in like ambiguity because like, I, I never went so crazy that like, you know, I probably can, but I wouldn’t want to pick up the phone and make like a hundred sales calls.
Yeah. Like a hundred cold calls. Like I don’t want to do that anymore. I probably still could and do pretty decent at it. But it like, that’s just accumulation of being more comfortable with like what you gotta do, what you gotta deliver, the service you’re offering, things like that. Um, and I think honestly, the biggest thing that I had holding you back that entire time until I ended up going through the foundation and going out and actually doing it all myself was mindset by far and away.
I was like a massive introvert. I still, I still kind of hate going out and doing things. Um, I just, I, I just, I like meeting new people but only when they’re connected to me in some way, shape or form through like Facebook or [inaudible] or something like that. Structure behind it. Exactly. But like going out and like beating someone cold like that, that’s still not something I like at all.
Um, like if I force myself to do it and I think through it enough, I’ll do it. And if I challenge myself enough to do it, I’ll do it. But that’s, that’s how I’ve kind of developed it to be able to be done is like, okay, you know, do, and I literally had this happen at one point was um, a seven day like new client challenge and I just started like cold dialing a list of sass CEOs.
Yeah. And I was like, the only reason why I would ever do that is because I challenged myself that I have to do this within a certain amount of days and that was the best way I can think of how otherwise, like if that was in any other situation, I’d make up a billion things to put in front of doing that one task. Yeah, totally. Sure.
Cold calling is hard. It works though. I did the same thing as you. I had at one point I was cold calling you every day and I, it took so much to work myself up to actually get there. Um, but it did work. I wouldn’t do it these days. I still, I still would have what I’ve started doing on the weekends now because I think comfort on the phone is a big thing. It’s one of the hardest skills to develop and if you let it sick and get rusty, it becomes really hard to get back to it.
And I notice it now. I mean we have a call with someone and if it is something cold, I feel the nervousness even in just like listening to myself talk. Yeah. And that’s only because I’m not into it all day, every day. So, uh, starting this past week and actually I started grabbing lists of folks and I cold call them now, like deal flow. Yeah. Well not a lot, like, like 50, 60 people a weekend, but enough that it’s like pushing myself to do it. Yeah.
They just want to get back into that like, okay, if I pick up the phone, it’s not a reason to get nervous or anything. Yeah. I know what I want to say. You know, if something comes up and it’s a totally different question, that’s fine. There’s a way to deal with it. Yeah. Um, and you kind of have to psych yourself up every time before that to you. You’re just like, okay, it’s okay. You know, it’s all, it’s all going to be good. Worst comes worst. It just hang up the phone and say it was a wrong number.
Yeah. Wow. So I want to get into your habits. You have so many, so many habits that I think cultivate growth and are getting like over the longterm provide such amazing results. But I want to go back to in time to like foundation era. Yeah, fair. I like maybe senior around online, maybe in the foundation, I’m not sure. But at one point when you Googled sales funnel, I think your site came up first as from sales funnel.
Yeah. That was a something my coach at the time totally advised me against. Um, meanwhile, I mean, you know, shout out for that and now I’m selling the site for like 60 grand. So I’m, it was a worthy investment of time. Um, why did they advise you against, he was, he always said there’s better, your time is better spent prospecting than it is doing anything else.
Okay. So if you’d spend two hours a week working on a website over the course of a year, you could have potentially closed. And he was great with numbers and as the only reason why I developed some way, shape or form being able to work with numbers on a call. But he was basically like over that time, you’d be able to close something like 20 or 30 clients. Yeah. You can always go back and be like, so just 200 grand sound better than a website selling in to generate you two clients a year.
Yeah. I was like, well, yeah, of course. Like, yeah, great. Thanks for that. Um, but that had his back here, just like the side. Anyways, I was on weekends. I was like, I got some time, like I got to get this stuff out of my head. Let’s just, let’s just do it. Um, but that was like, that was very soon after the foundation, after I had started doing the consulting stuff. And I was like, okay, tech companies is fun.
Everything’s different though. Like every new companies and new challenge and a very, like, very quickly, what I was noticing was a lot of them didn’t want the coaching, but they had other needs and they’d always asked if I’d be able to help in some other way. Um, at that point I just hadn’t developed anything. So I actually ended up, um, I don’t remember how I got in touch with them.
I have a feeling it was through one of the videos in the foundation was about like selling and I was like, sales is always a big thing. Like I’m not great at it, but I’m comfortable enough with it. Let’s see if there’s a way like, and leverage that. And um, that’s, that’s where I met, uh, the great John Logar. Um, the consulting genius, um, his background still like baffles my mind. But, uh, basically the whole idea of his coaching was get better at sales, make more sales. Yeah. That’s it.
When it like the very first call I got on with him, he’s like, service doesn’t matter. Product doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter who you want to serve. All you need to know is what you want to sell, how you’re going to get in front of them. And I used to be how you’re going to sell them because sales takes care of every other problem, right?
If you exacting making sales, then you can, you have the cashflow to deal with every other problem in the business. Yeah. I mean that was, that was always his model. That still is an awesome model is if you can sell your clients or any market, you can find someone to fulfill on that. Yeah. And even if they own, I mean, at that point he said it a few times where he’s like, even if they just half acid, like that’s fine because when they’re a big enough company that half asking, it’s still going to be better with than what their internal person can do.
And I was like, yeah, I mean like really? I’ve been in those companies. Yeah, you’re right. Yeah. And uh, that was the biggest thing. It was just every time he has hammering was, okay, how about like, what market are you in?
How many prospects have you reached out to you? How many offers have you made? Yeah. If you hadn’t made any offers, that’s why every time you’d circle back to you, that’s why you’re not closing deals. If you’re not making offers, no one has the opportunity to buy. They don’t have the opportunity to pay you money. Um, but that was when I got into sale at the sales funnel agency.
Cause that first call I was like, like, I’ve been doing this, it’s working, but it’s obviously not scaling. Tell me what to do. And I was like, I literally put it on him. I was like, tell me what to do, what market to go and what service offer and I’ll do it. And he’s like, great. So sales funnels is a good thing. This is a good thing. And once you said sales funnels, I was like, that sounds new.
I’ve never heard of that. Let’s do that. Yeah. Um, and it just so happened it was like early, early days of Russell Brunson. Like this was when.com secrets was a thing. But it was like, even that was new at the time. It’s hard to remember this because he came out of nowhere. Well, apparently he was already famous in the industry, but I had been in the industry and I’d never heard of him in his space right now.
He’d been in this small space. And I, I honestly thought like when I, when I started reading his book, I was like, the first couple chapters I was like, okay, this, yes. Like, okay, supplements. Yeah, great. Like I’ve seen those dudes before. Those are the dudes that I see on warrior forum all the time with the $5 eBooks. And then like you get into it and that journey is like, shoot, like after a while you’re like, okay, like I resonate with that.
Yeah. That’s kind of the same journey I went through. Um, but it’s like sales funnels at the time were so early on, it was amazing compared to, even now, it’s only been five, six years, something like that. It really hasn’t been very long. It’s crazy how much it’s changed. Um, but at that time he was basically like, great. I was like, great sales funnels.
I want to learn about it. What do I do? And he’s like, great, read these three books. And I still remember, he was like, he was like, here’s this one book, like dotcom secrets, this book. And then he’s like, get the book from the product launch formula. The dude read the first 15 pages and then throw it out. You don’t need the rest of it. Yeah. He said literally do that. If you don’t throw it out, you’re going to go down a rabbit hole.
You don’t need to get to. And then I read through it and I went down that road because the product launch formula, it was, it was the theory. Yeah. The first few pages was about the theory behind why a sales funnel is a valuable tool. Once you get beyond that, it goes right into what product launch formula is and why. I mean basically the rest of the book sells you on why it’s the right and like, you know, the only methodology.
Yeah. That’s why he didn’t want me to keep reading it cause he was like if you get indoctrinated into that, you’re not going to serve your clients well. You need to look at it objectively as here’s the theory now can you sell what that theory for sure. If I can explain what a sales funnel is, I can sell it. Um, that’s all he wanted me to get into.
Dotcom secrets was the mean to an end because he goes through, I think in the book he was like five or six different sales funnels. Like he actually shows you the objective, the objective view of it. Right. Um, and so yeah, at that time that was, that was why cause I was trying to sell sales funnels to everybody. Like almost every, every couple of weeks we’d go through markets and I was like, okay, great. We tried office furniture. Like they didn’t like my emails. They didn’t like my client VSLs. They thought I was an idiot. Like yeah. They were like, yes, it’d be awesome if we could get two or four more office sales, but how the hell are you going to do it? I had no idea.
And then we just landed on this idea of, well what if I just sell the service? Who cares about the market? Um, he didn’t like that at all to, to start. He didn’t like that. But when I started closing deals, he was like, okay, maybe that works. Yeah. Um, but that was, that was when we ranked for sales funnel agency cause I was like, if like it’d be great to just say where the sales one should be for X, but there’s no other salesmen agencies. Why not just take over the entire space? Yeah.
You’re the only one that was like stage one of the market. Yeah. And I mean it led to a lot of really awesome things like that. That agency I think had the best legs that grow and keep growing. But the project base of it was, and I think this is exactly why he was saying the niche down rather than just on service is because a sales one was so big of a project.
Yeah. When you deal with everybody and it took like, I don’t even know how many sales funnels we had built at that point. Like hundreds upon hundreds for clients. And we were then like, like this is crazy. Yeah. And every new client you would just do a custom from scratch, which means you have to like research the market, figure out the customer avatar, like figure out what messaging works, what kind of funnels work, every single thing.
And the thing was at that point, like we still didn’t really have a designer, so, and that was the thing that, that really irked a lot of the business owners that were in the bigger space, like the bigger businesses, they were like, well, it has to look like our brand. Yeah. And I was like, well, if you have the copy and you have everything else right, it won’t matter.
But they just, they couldn’t digest that. Yeah. Um, and so that’s, that’s where we started having more issues where it was like, great, let’s get a designer in. But now we have a whole another leg of the project that takes way longer to get through. Um, and that’s where it started to, like, it started getting iffy for me. I was like, the amount of time I’m spending on like project management yeah. Was way outweighed everything else, just because it’s really hard to hire for project management, especially when it was new enough and it wasn’t as well taught enough as it is now that it’s really hard to get someone ramped up on it. Yeah.
Um, and so like that was the biggest, the biggest pain was like great. We’re first mover, we got a lot of opportunity because of it now, because we’re first mover, we either have this massive barrier of bringing folks on board or we just let other people jump into the space.
Yeah. So you built this to a pretty big agency though, right? Yeah. I mean like some of the folks who worked with, I can’t, I can’t really talk with them cause the MDA selective. Yeah. But, um, I mean we partnered at one point with Scott Oldford, um, you know, guy behind the SSF method. Um, we were working on, on like clients that wanted his method as a sales funnel, like built out well.
Um, and that was like, that was a good amount of project flow. But, uh, we even were working on like, you know what we would call tiny projects, but they’re still big. Yeah. Which was quiz bottles. People loved quiz funnels for like, like two years ago people were loving quiz funnels and they, they weren’t the cheapest. Like you would sell them at like a $2,500 package. Like not cheap at all. But I mean we, we’d be selling like four or five a week.
Yeah. Like so many would come through and the problem is again, like it’s not like it’s that much less work to do a quiz funnel when you’re actually targeting the cold traffic on the front end then like a VSL or a webinar funnel because you still have to know how to categorize them, what to that offer them on the back end of that. Um, it became this whole thing and I mean basically we kind of just sold off some of the assets at that point.
We were like, we have some clients, we have some clients on like retainer management for the funnels. We called it like a maintenance package. It was basically ongoing funnel maintenance. But because we didn’t have a whole lot of folks on those packages, it wasn’t as like scalable as I know. I know there’s some like a funnel Butler or something like that.
There’s a few of those like monthly management services, like WordPress fixes on demand that is a monthly subscription. Where are you going to selling traffic or just for fun at that point. Okay. Um, we tried for a little bit but because of how big the projects got, we had to focus in on either traffic or funnels. We couldn’t do both. Yeah.
And it was at that point that we were like, great, this is becoming way too many like projects. Let’s just sell off the folks we have on may on maintenance packages and get them, you know, better situated by whoever wants to take them on and let’s refocus on how we can actually scale this. Cause at that point it was still the same thing of like lots and lots of hours, lots of time. And I liked it. But once we got into all these projects, like the, Hey, the hate of doing all that every year came right back.
Like an endless grind. Exactly. Exactly. Well, cause it’s, and what I realized very soon after was when you have so much writing on the client’s mind to decide, like when you’re at their mercy of things, that’s when like you’re never happy. Yeah. Um, and so it did, I mean it took a good while to get to the point where we’re at now using like a clone funnel, every single same funnel every single time.
Um, but I mean even at that point, that wasn’t really the thing. It was like everybody wants this type of funnel, that type of funnel out to the funnel. But people didn’t quite realize like they’re all just tools to an end. Yeah. Right. I mean at that point you could still use a quiz funnel for a high ticket sale. It was just a means to an end. So when did the switch come?
I mean for people listening, this is what we teach and WFA is like niche down, simplify the process and find one thing that works and repeat it over and over again. And you’re alluding to like, this is kind of where you got to is like I can use the same funnel from what? For one client. How did this happen where you were, you understood how to simplify things. Yeah. So in between a, in between the sales funnel agency where we’re at now, uh, we did three other agencies.
Um, we did one that was again, kind of like, it was basically like Facebook ads is a service. So we were like, okay. I was basically thinking again like let’s niche down on service. Yeah. And Facebook ads a little bit easier. We were working with like coaches and consultants and things. Yeah. And that was like the worst niche choice ever because they’re all totally different again.
Yeah. Um, so after, after a bit of that, you know, again, we kind of transitioned out of it. And then, uh, that was when we did the first like properly vertical scaled agency where we were looking at real estate nice. And it was okay, great. Like there’s three or four funnels that work for real estate. Real estate agents are the focus, the same funnels every single time. How do we scale this?
Um, and it just happened to kind of be at a time where Facebook ads were new enough that some agents were paying for it, but they didn’t want to pay a lot even still. Um, so I didn’t know as much about the market as I really should have when I jumped into it. So when we were trying to sell it, we were trying to sell them on this hybrid package from everything we’d done, which was like, Hey, we’ll build you out the funnel.
We’ll build you out the automation on the back end that lasts for like two years. We’ll build you out like the short term followup automation and we’ll bring you in buyers and sellers through all of that and basically have this massive pipeline created for you. Like we basically created like the real estate business in a box if you were, and it was kind of stupid. We were like, if you were a newer realtor like this would get you to pipeline the size of a dude that’s been in the industry for 10 years.
Meanwhile, new realtors don’t have the cash flow for that stuff. We did do the market research as well as we should have. Um, but we ended up target targeting a lot of mid-market folks at the end of the day. And I mean we sold some, I mean I say we sold some, we still sold like 30, 40 grand worth in like a couple months once we realized and we kind of realized through, through sheer force, once we realized that the price point was too high for a lot of these folks in a timeline to see the return was too high for a lot of these folks.
And we saw that that forced through charge backs like crazy. Oh yeah. Um, we went from charging out like 40, 50 grand to having 20 grand and charge backs like the week later. Um, that was when we realized like, okay, this isn’t for everybody, but I also like after that I was like, I don’t like this market. Let’s cut this. There’s another market. The model works, the market’s not a fit. Yeah. And I speak so much to client selections like that you could do the exact same thing and depending on what kind of client you have, you could be wildly successful or completely failed.
100% that was, that was when we first also started working with some mortgage folks. Okay. That was unreal. Um, it was like night and day, even though it’s like a shoulder niche. It’s like right beside realtors. Yeah. Not realtors where we were finding like a lot of these guys, we’re totally open to spending two, three, four grand a month. And they also got like the tiny most share of that deal, but they were still willing to pay that even though like their timeline may not be as long as a realtors, the clothes, but you’re still talking about sometimes 30, 60, 90 days until they got their commissions out of them. Yeah. And they understood that. They treated it more like a business I think then. Then most of the realtors we were talking to.
Yeah I was trying not to put words in your mouth cause I wanted to hear your perspective. But that’s, that’s the thing that’s coming to mind is like there’s no barrier to entry for real estate agents. And most of them, the bad clients out there are people that do not treat their business like a business. They treat it like yeah, like a job or a paycheck or something which are two totally different things.
Hundred percent and, and I don’t know what it is about mortgage cause I don’t know that much about the space. Maybe it’s the licensing requirements, uh, barrier to entry. Something else. But it seems like there’s professionals, they’re professionals in the mortgage industry. It’s, it’s maybe the way that like the mortgage companies treat them.
They treat them more like they’re like they are set up as their own business. Cause I have a feeling, I’m not entirely sure on the business structure, but I think they have to set up their own business structure and everything in order to get their commissions and all that. So they just, for some reason or other, they treat it more like a business. And once we made that little shift, like that served making a huge difference.
Um, and that was kind of where things started evolving. Like we started looking at, okay, great, now that we’ve found the market, we found something to scale in. How do we serve them in the best way? Cause at that point we were still just generating leads for them. We weren’t doing anything added onto it. And, um, that was when we started looking at like, OK, great. Like, yes, we want to add some things and we want to make it a higher value offer or have something that ingrained into their business more, but it can’t be different every time.
Yeah. Um, and we went through a lot of variations of the things we could add on and tried testing things we get to add on. Um, and that’s where we kind of came to basically like what we offer now, which is, you know, one funnel depending on the market. Every market has their one or two funnels that we use. Same copy, same creative for every single one. So any new learning always has that exponential effect across every single person that we work with in that market.
But then we’re like, what’s the biggest thing that they have issues with, which is sales. It’s getting in touch with the lead or having someone respond. Those are usually the biggest first barriers. And then the S sometimes the barrier after that is getting them booked in for an appointment or a sales meeting or whatever the case. Yeah.
And I was thinking through like, yeah, we can, we can add a salesperson in there or something. And then again, I was like, I have to create a sales script for every single market that’s not scalable. That, I mean, it scales to a certain extent, but not everybody’s going to use it. And obviously there’s nuances and otherwise, um, so we added was the automation and it was lead comes in, what do we need them to do?
We’ll we don’t need you to do anything other than respond. We can get them to respond to take the lack of the next logical step. Only that one little step that makes all the difference. And that was, that’s basically all we added. But it had like a massive impact on just like how many folks respond, how many go to appointment, how many actually get on the phone. Um, because that’s the only call to action. They’re not getting like, Hey, you subscribed for this coupon.
You know, you should come in the door and buy these other six things. It’s like, no, no, no, no. When’s a good time for you to come in to use a coupon? That’s it message 16 times over in different ways. Wow. So you, this is the email followup or text follow up email, SMS and voicemail. Okay, cool. Every channel we can use without breaking any laws. Yeah.
And so you simplify it basically down to one niche and then you just looked at their business and their problems holistically and said, how do we solve all the problems we can for these people to get to get one complete results? Exactly. And it was, again, it came back to market research, which everything does. I think, um, the more you know the market, the better it is. Uh, in terms of like what solution you can deliver to them. And for mortgage, the biggest thing we found was all day long, I could get them folks’ interests like quote unquote interested in purchasing a house and I could get them for like 50 cents, 30 cents.
In some cases we were running this one campaign that was like 19 cents continuously or purchase leads. Well, but just because they’re interested in purchasing doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy a home or their financing works or, you know, like one of a million different things that needs to go right for them to be able to buy a house and have the intent for it.
Um, and so that through that market research is where we realize there’s, you know, within the U S there’s different mortgage types that have different varying values and different varying values to the mortgage person, the loan officer versus the mortgage company who’s the one employing them. [inaudible]. But then in addition to that, there’s also different timelines and like levels of seriousness based on those people. And so like doing that level of market research, which I mean really just took talking to a handful of them, like yeah, the proper conversation for a good like hour or two. And it really just letting them vent on everything. Yeah.
That’s what got us that point of understanding like, okay, great purchase is one thing. But if they’re a veteran or they live in a particular area covered by the federal housing administration, there’s a lot less barrier to get that loan. Yeah. And because there’s less barrier, they’re more willing to take advantage if they qualify and take advantage like in the short term, like in the next couple of months.
Um, and then because of that as well, they have set loan sizes where they can’t go below a certain amount. The can’t go above a certain amount. So it’s relatively easy to predict like what size of home and everything they’re going to buy. Yeah. Um, and so based on all of that, like that becomes really easy to target in for it, but also really easy to get like the followup and everything going.
Cause at that point you can say like, great, you know, they’re gonna come in, their loan size is gonna be this commission average is going to be this. So how many need to come in in order to make our loan officer really happy and make a profit? Yeah. Like that math becomes a lot easier.
Cool. So it took some figuring out though. You had to go out there, you worked with a bunch of different niches, you’ve got some progress in some, but then you would quit and go into something else. But it was by like really dialing in and getting to know your niche that you are able to be like the best at what you do. What do you like? How can people who aren’t used to having to go through that trial and error, how can they adjust their mindset when they get frustrated? When something, for example, it doesn’t work the first day and the first hour that they try it.
Yeah. One important thing to specify there is like we pivoted and adjusted, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t generate cashflow. Yeah. In many of those cases we generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash flow before we were like, okay, this doesn’t quite work, so we were never like, you know, okay, we threw something against the wall and nothing came out of it for like six months straight and then we shifted like that doesn’t work as a business, but we were like, okay, this doesn’t scale for what I’ve won or is, it was always something along those lines. But I think the biggest thing is just, it’s, it’s, it’s always asks yourself, are you going deep enough? Are you really solving a pain or providing a solution that has a value? Yeah. That’s the biggest, because when we were doing sales funnels, we were solving almost like a vanity pain.
And I really hate saying it cause we did so many funnels for people. Um, but for some people it was a vanity pain. They were like, I wanna run Facebook ads so I need a funnel. But that’s not necessarily true. They might have been just as fine running a lead ad or you know, whatever at that time. Um, but they may not have needed to go and spend two, $3,000 on a sales funnel. It probably could have got away with the landing page. Yeah. And it’s, you know, looking back at it, I’d say it was still probably like 80 20, 80% got a good value, 20%. They just wanted it, but wasn’t like nothing in their business was going to move until they’d gone through getting that thing, that shiny object for themselves. But thinking through now, it’s always, you know, is what I’m doing right now delivering a value.
Is that value big enough that someone’s really going to pay for it? And, I mean that’s not a question I asked myself. That’s what I asked someone in the market. Yeah. You know, literally, I mean cold calling, cold emailing, sending message on Facebook, whatever it is. LinkedIn, I mean LinkedIn people love to answer on LinkedIn, especially if you, you say you’ll give them five minutes to let them a pitch, whatever they want. Yeah. We’ll give you the five minutes to ask a question.
Um, but they’re just asking like, Hey, we were to do this, this, this and this. Here’s what this looks like. Is that actually valuable and will it be like, is it something you’d pull out your credit card for or is there something missing or is that just totally off Mark?
Yeah. And so you, you’ve really gotten down to like, what is this business about? It’s not about like a sales funnel or ads or anything. It’s about the specific pain and the specific result. It’s, it’s funny, it all circles back to the, some of the foundation customer development stuff. It’s,
are we delivering a value worth paying for? To the extent, and this was something I always tried to harp on, but you know, sometimes you just, it just gets lost in the weeds is it to the extent that they’re paying that whatever I’m delivering to them pays for itself and then zone. Yeah. And I always like to see like if they can pay me whatever amount and they can double that within a 30 or 60 day period, uh, even 90 days depending on the market or you know, whatever the case, that’s a really solid return. Like that’s a scalable business in just about any industry.
Yeah. And so that is like pure value that you’re driving, but if you’re not able to like decipher that or it’s really unclear like that there’s something missing, there’s something that’s not quite at the right value level, which is probably why they’re not paying.
Yeah, totally. How do you know, cause you might talk to, you might talk to 10 people and if you’re new and you’re not that great at sales and you’re not great at communicating what you do or the value to the business, you might get rejected by all 10. How do you know when to give up and when to keep going?
Yeah. Um, I, I like to set it as a numbers game very often. So I say, and I, I only have this number because it’s also the same number that a, a lot of folks in tech use at, used to talk about when it came to like getting VC funding for an idea. A lot of VCs, you would use the ask, have you talked to a thousand people in your market? Really? Yeah. And if you hadn’t done a customer development call with a thousand people, even if that was only a five minute call fast questions.
Yeah, they wouldn’t give me any funding. Wow. The idea sounded amazing and the numbers looked amazing and they had cash flow running. They were like, if you haven’t done that, you haven’t hit product market fit or you haven’t at least identified the starting point of product market fit. And I, I mean I don’t know if you need to do a thousand these days, but even when we’re looking at a new market and looking at, you know, is what we’re offering them really the right value. I mean I still want to talk to a hundred people in that market. Even just high level feedback. Them saying like, yes, this video you sent me makes sense. Totally it.
Yeah. When you have those data points and you can see the trends across people, it’s kind of like it just emerges from the woodwork and all of a sudden you see, see the matrix. It’s like, Oh okay, talk to a hundred people. I understand what’s going on in this market now.
Exactly. And I mean it’s, it becomes really an, it’s really unclear if you don’t do that. Like, you know, great example, we’re starting on running some home security ads. We’re working with one client right now that’s running in a bunch of different, a bunch of different cities.
So there’s they’re scaling or we’re not getting enough feedback on whether like the quality is there or the cost per lead is good based on what they need or you know, they’re all we know is right now what they’ve said, which is they’re happy, it’s profitable, but we have no idea other than that what the data. Um, and so like, yes, we can request that of them and we do, we basically said like, Hey, if we can’t get more data points out of you, like we’re going to have to shut it down because I don’t know whether it’s scalable or not.
Um, and like they’ll probably give us that. But otherwise, what I would do now, what I’m probably going to do is reach out to every single person from home security companies to affiliate networks that offer home security as one of their like offers to people who buy home security leads and just ask like, Hey, if I send you over some leads and some calls, can you give me a direct feedback on sales numbers? Like, you know, whether it makes sense or not and you know what the sales rate and everything typically it looks like in the industry. So basically like, Hey, if I give you some free calls, can you give me market research? Yeah. Cool.
So you’re just providing value up front and you ask for a little something in return and that’s gonna move the business forward.
The answer you’re talking about some more niches. One thing that I’m curious about is, like I said, you’re one of the head coaches in WFA, so you work really hands on with everybody there and then you run our coaching program, the lab and it’s awesome for the students cause you have experience with so many niches and it’s just like you know everything. How do you have time to do it all though? Because your agency right now as far as know, it’s doing multiple six figures and then all the work that you do on WFA and all the work we do together, how do you balance all of that?
Yeah. And so this comes back entirely to building something that scales, which, which I think is the main reason why we’ve, we’ve basically built out like five agencies, six agencies now, and ended up scrapping a few of them is simply for the reason that it didn’t scale without me or it didn’t scale with a ton of time spent.
And that’s probably the biggest cool thing that I’ve learned with working in tech companies working with developers is like most things that humans can do can be automated and brought to like 80, 90% there. Yeah. And so things like client prospecting, like, uh, optimizing ads, tracking, you know, tracking numbers. A lot of that can be systematized, but when you get to a certain point, I mean, it’s a little bit dependent on what you need to live, everything like that. But when you get to a certain point to grow your agency, you have to give up some control and give up some of that cash flow to buy back time.
Absolutely. And that’s probably the biggest thing which makes it all work is, you know, yes, we’re doing, I don’t know, I think we’re like 26,000 a month or something. Right now I’m in white label and then a little bit more in some of the roofing stuff we’re doing now, but not all of that is like cash in my bank. Yeah. Right. It’s like a good chunk of that goes towards a VA that handles a lot of the client communications, goes towards someone who handles and manages and looks at all the ad data all the time.
Um, I mean, yeah, I’m sure on the high end between the two, they probably only spend like eight or nine hours a week, but I still pay them a good amount as if it was full time. Um, but it’s because like, I mean it really awesome what they do and they can scale. Yeah. And they allow me to only have to spend on the high end, maybe a couple hours a week on everything. Yeah. I believe that’s only a, things are like going really not so great. So I have to keep moving. I have to keep asking me questions. Otherwise it just scales.
Yeah. So, so investing in the business to free up your time and then also focus on things that will grow the business moving forward. Exactly. But along those lines, a lot of people are just scared to invest.
A lot of people are so focused on short term cashflow, right? They’re just like, they only care about profit. They only care about what money is the bank right now. But you in the agencies, you have a longer term outlook like okay, how do we grow this without me being required everyday. But I’ve also noticed you place a really
high value on mentorship and you know, info products and also like hands on mentoring and coaching. Can you speak to like how that’s influenced your career a little bit in your philosophy on that? For sure. Um, and I mean it’s, it’s a longterm outlook but it’s also, it doesn’t take that long to generate your first few thousand and sales at which point, you know, depending on where you live, maybe you live in like Switzerland or something.
It’s really expensive. But otherwise in certain areas, I mean two or three clients in, yeah. You have your personal, everything paid for at which point, I mean a handful of clients. If your model is good, that’s not more than a few hours a week. Yeah. So the rest of it scales and becomes really easy to scale. But I mean a lot of that I didn’t learn until I invested in like a mentor or a coach or an info product or I mean really whatever it was to help me get past that.
Like from one to two. Yeah. And you know, that might’ve been at one point it was um, how to, how to like white label apps or sales. That was a big one. That was a big one for me. I was like, I have to be the one selling, I know the product, you know, they gotta have that technical background.
Yeah. First time I’ve hardened with the sales guy, his close rate was like double mine and I was like, great. I’m apparently not as useful as I thought it was. Um, you know, it scales without me. I was at for like a week there. I was like kind of depressed. I was like, shit, like nobody.
Um, but then I also, I, you know, I got questions from him that were like, I thought were like really like obvious, obvious answers and stuff. And I was like, okay, that’s fine. Now I get it. He knows sales better than I do because I kind of focused on learning the general, but I mean, that’s just so I can connect the dots. That’s what it was.
Um, and that, you know, that was huge for me. Like the foundation was what lifted up my mindset enough to be able to be like, okay, yes, I can run something by myself and I don’t have to fall back on. I mean, I come from a family of doctors. If you didn’t go to school and you don’t have a job, and I mean, even as a doctor, technically your job is working for the government. Um, you know, you’re, you’re kind of seen as the outcast.
Um, and, uh, like mindset was huge to break pass for me because that’s, I mean, that’s what you get grounded you every single day. Um, so mindset was a huge one. Still always something I invest in. Uh, even now I, I’m in a mastermind where all we talk about is, uh, they like to call it one of the calls free performance. It’s just about like how to break past that mindset. Like what’s holding you back, what’s holding the business back, what’s holding your actions.
Um, so even now I invested that, um, skill acquisition is always a big one. I used to take a lower, like I talked about like a 120 hour a week, hundred hour weeks. Um, that was because I was consuming uncurated information. And that’s a big differentiation that I realized now is when you’re just reading a blog, like you’re just reading whatever that person decides to put up at the time.
But also the biggest thing I realized from investing in all these masterminds is you’re consuming stuff that’s been done like years ago that they now decided to make public. Yeah. Um, and I noticed that a lot more. So when, uh, when I first bought some, I’m going to kind of call them out on it. I bought recordings of traffic and conversions in 2017 cause I was like, I gotta go to this event.
I wasn’t able to make it, let’s try buying recordings and see what Matt, like magic is behind the scenes. And they were talking about chatbots and I was like, like I used to work with Scott all for it. I know him. He was talking about chatbots two years ago. What is new? Like this is like over and done, like we’re done with chatbots now and moved on to the next thing. Um, and uh, like that was a massive eye-opener because, uh, I think so when we both though came, came back from, I’m not going to call it his name cause I, he was so excited it came back Goggin version, these like so excited.
He’s like, man, chatbots, all these cool things. You guys testing this. I was like, man, I’ve been in for two years now. What are you talking about? Yeah, yeah. Um, but I didn’t learn any of that as a result of like just reading blogs. Like I learned that because I invested in a partnership that then got me investing in an info product about chatbots, about how to use them, the theory behind them, why they’re a psychological tool, not a new channel, right?
It’s not the same thing as like Facebook versus Twitter. It’s Facebook is a way to get in front of people. Chatbots is another form other than a landing page to go to an end after information, teach them something, whatever the case and those like understandings and those skillsets, those all came from either like mentorships or info products. Um, or even like we haven’t quite finished but or right now I’m in the middle of a mastermind that meets at the lovely time of three in the morning, four in the morning.
I have to wake up at three make for it with a person who I personally think is like phenomenal marketer. Probably one of the best growth hackers in the were not probably, he is the best growth hack in the world. Bar none. Um, despite all the tech folks saying it’s other people, he’s, he’s the dude who exploits like the big guy, like the Googles and Facebooks of the world. Um, and I only invested in that because I wanted to understand what mindset goes into looking at a platform and being like, how can we best utilize this for whatever purpose?
So a lot of people will look at Facebook and say, well, you can’t target fortune 500 companies. Well, why not? You know, the, the directors and managers and interns at fortune 500 companies or all people on Facebook, why can’t you figure out some way to target them? Or, you know, use exactly what you do on LinkedIn or whatever, just on Facebook where it costs you less, slightly harder to do. But if you can figure it out, you’ve shaved potentially thousands off the cost it’ll take to acquire someone.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s a really good point you make is like, okay, here’s this thing that you don’t really think is possible, but then you’ve invested in yourself and in this mastermind and it’s kind of showing you like, no, it is possible. And here’s how you do it. And there’s all these people out there who think like, Oh, everything is free on YouTube or like all information is free.
Why would you ever pay for information? And it’s like you’re only ever going to seek out and consume information about things that you already know and you’re never like your friends that you don’t know are possible. You’re not going to go looking for those things cause you don’t know about them.
100%. I mean, I’ll say so one of the channels that I love, we’re still working on getting working is Snapchat. Now. I didn’t know Snapchat was an ad channel until uh, the, the late great DeMita Lee connected me to it and said like, Hey, we’re running stuff on this. This is like the frontier that Facebook was six years ago. Yeah. You get so cheap CPMs and you’ll click costs and everything that you can just stumble into money.
Always how it was described, you can stumble into money. Um, and I didn’t know about it until, until he introduced me to it. But I also didn’t understand how to use it until I saw him walk through a campaign set up. And then I also ended up buying, um, I, I think it was a guy’s name is James or something. Um, he created a course specifically on Snapchat advertising.
And I invested in that because I was like, I looked on, I looked on YouTube, I did exactly what most folks do cause I was like, I think it’s new. I don’t know what else, what is, what’s out there on YouTube. I looked on blogs, no one walked through the setup properly. No one walked through what creative work, no one walked through. Like how you have to think about Snapchat as a platform versus Facebook. Like how people interact with it differently, how you got to talk to people differently, how you got to call them out differently. Um, but that course and, and um, and he did in his mastermind. Yeah.
That put me like weeks ahead where, um, where I was actually working with a, with someone on a personal loan campaign and Facebook lovely as it is happening to shut us down for uh, for personal loans. They didn’t like it at least in Australia. Yeah. And so we were able to be like instantly, great, let’s move this over to Snapchat notes actually what to do to set it up set point. I mean we were trying to spend two, $3,000 a day. Like you can’t do that very quick unless you’re really confident in your style knowing the platform.
Yeah. It’s like buying experience and you avoid all the mistakes that would otherwise costs you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of your life and you can go spend like a thousand bucks or a couple thousand bucks with a mentor and avoid all of that. And in my mind, it’s one of the greatest things you could ever invest in. It’s better than the stock market. It’s better than real estate.
Hundred percent. I love my, uh, one of the mentors that I absolutely love right now and I really wish I had learned about him earlier, but he, he always says it does. It’s like he’s been saying it for decades. This is like now is the time to make money. And he talks about it and say it’s a finance cause he’s like, this is the lowest interest rate it’s ever been in the history of the world. You look at the history of the world, like history and like the finance sector didn’t exist back here.
Yes, the interest rate has been going up, but it’s always at the, you know, relative to the history of the world, the lowest it’s ever been basically saying, you know, in different way. Now’s the time to take action. There’s never a better time than now. Totally at. It’s always, it’s, it’s always awesome to hear.
I mean, he’s like 75 or something, dude, 75 still, you know, wakes up at like five in the morning and does his thing and all. And it’s, it’s always crazy to see that level of action. But all of that just comes from learning experiences. Yeah. It’s taking the shortcut to take, you know, hundreds of years of learning over here and you know, what consumer behavior is, what does copywriting, things like that and condensing it down into, I mean realistically what can take you like less than 30 days to get at least two, maybe not a master level but enough of a level where you’re in the top 10% totally. Maybe six months out you’re in the top two to 3%. Yeah. Huge.
Easier than it’s ever been in the history of the world. Like saying more opportunity than there’s ever been an easier to get started and like the path is laid out. And you mentioned mindset a lot too. That’s the other thing I think about a lot is like there are like hundreds of thousands of examples of successful business models out there and they’re well-documented. So the tactics of business aren’t that hard. It’s really like the mindset and the beliefs and thinking appropriately and like getting guidance and seeing your blind spots. So like having somebody who’s had experiencing like no, you’re missing point here. Like
focus here and not there 100%. I mean, I see, I see this all the time in a lot of like programs people put out there where they’re like, I’m going to give you my business model that you can swipe. And I mean, most of them are dead at this point. They’ve exploited it to hell, especially in the affiliate space. Um, but I saw that with the one guy I learned Snapchat advertising from. He’s like, I’m going to give you the swipe of my $20,000 a day campaign for auto loans. Meanwhile, like Snapchat doesn’t even allow that language anymore. It’s a dead campaign. Yeah.
But I mean it’s never been easier to have someone like hand you the keys. Yeah. Pain where they used to spend $20,000 a day. Yeah. It was folks salary every two days. Yeah. And I mean, they scaled it like crazy. I’m like, that was unthinkable. Not even like maybe five years ago, five years ago that didn’t exist. Yeah. It’s like that stuff in the like P people would, would go crazy talking about how they spend $100 a day. Yeah. Five years ago. Yeah.
So we’re pushing on two hours. This has been awesome. Loved hearing your story. I want to get before we shut it down,
Advice for those just starting out and then maybe like where do you see the real quick, where do you see the future of digital marketing going?
Yeah, those a loaded question for the rear, the last little bit. Um, honestly, biggest advice. It’s take shortcuts. I mean I if I, if I was, you know, where I was in university now, so you know, fast forward five years and there was all these courses online, I would’ve got to this point like five years later and I mean I would have been like kicking myself if I hadn’t invested the money that I did spend to this point or more in short-cutting time and effort and everything.
I mean I is, it’s one of those things you always think back about my mentor. He says, don’t live in regret. It’s a waste of waste of time and effort and everything. But I always have that little moment, like every so often for I go to sleep thinking back like what if, what if in those hours I’d wasted university.
I studied copywriting. Yeah. What if I’d studied direct response like Russell Brunson did or something like that. Like who knows what could have come. But I mean, even now I just look at where I came from when I started. Like the foundation, very first program I invested in that was significant. Yeah. More than learning one little method to make $10 a day. That was a significant investment.
I mean, I think when I invested like 12, $15,000, it wasn’t cheap by any. Um, it was more than like, it was a tuition cost and I was like, this can change my life. Let’s try it. Uh, super happy. I did take that job because when I look at where I’ve gone from there to like now, like yes, it’s been four or five years, but four or five years, a short amount of time to go from over here.
Where I mean like, bluntly, like it was hard to find a job in a tech company. I would pay six figures, like it would have taken me years. Um, whereas like two years after the foundation, um, I actually did get an offer from IBM to go and work as a growth hacker at IBM ever. Um, and that was a nice, like almost 200 grand a year offer.
Um, like that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t taken that leap and actually like developing performance underneath myself, caring about what I deliver for folks, but for all the way over here where I couldn’t, I couldn’t even get like a six figure salary to now. Like, I mean a six figure agency is just like, it’s our side hustle. Yeah. Let’s be honest. That’s kind of how I look at it. Um, that’s mind blowing. Yeah. Like every time.
I think back then like imagine if I’d shortcut it another year or half a year here. Um, and all it just came from investing in getting me from a to B. It was foundation was pure mindset. I mean, they taught me a lot of other things, but found the mindset was the biggest thing I needed at that point.
That mindset got me to take the action and be like, great, let’s learn sales learning sales took me to, okay great copywriting is a big foundation there. Let’s circle back to go back to the foundation and relearn the stuff that I skipped over. Um, but from there it’s just been mentors and programs that have brought me a little bit closer to like that tweak and optimization, right? Like great real estate agency.
The model works, the market has. And at that point I, I, you know, even even at that point I invested in another program that got me from zero to one on mortgage and that was the first big step that we took and being like, now we have a perfect market, now we have a perfect offer, use the two. Um, and it’s just so it’s, it’s funny that it just so happens like when when we obviously started working together, I jumped in the program and like 10 minutes in I was like, why did I waste all this time and like real estate and the mortgage stuff when like literally what I went through like three agencies for is like right in the program.
I was like, I was like hitting myself over the head. I was like, Oh, I thought I found this thing that was so unique. And then like yet like I went through the webinar and I was like, wait a minute, this sounds really, really familiar with how much had ever did we go through to get there and, and that, I mean that yeah, that’s really what it is. It’s every, every step, every course, every, you know, couple thousand dollars program. I mean I bought this small $10 10 10 $50 ones and I bought the really expensive ones and there’s varying degrees of usefulness in each.
Definitely the more expensive ones are strategy that go long term. Smaller ones are tactics that work for a few days to maybe a year. Every one of those brought me a little bit closer to either doing things faster, doing things better, or um, just knowing more about something where I can make use of it in the future. And I say that definitely with respect to the mastermind, I wake up four in the morning. I don’t have the best use case right now, but I know that any one of those skillsets and the way that I’m looking at things now are gonna allow me to do something much bigger in the next like six to 12 months. Yeah. I haven’t yet uncovered
when it arises though. You’ll be ready. Yeah. Ready to go. Yeah. It’s, get each one gives you a little bit more of an edge in the cumulation of all of them. Gives you a massive
hundred percent to just destroy everybody else. Yeah. I mean it really, I mean, just like anybody else, I mean, I started with the five, 10, $20 eBooks. Yeah. Foundation was a big jump from those and it was kind of weird that I took that big leap. But now it is like there is a range that I know where typically the price point in that range is what gets me the duration and quality I need to. Yeah. Yeah. And if I really like kind of like snapshot, if it’s some, some source that not many people are using it, I really need to know about it and there’s no program or mentor in that space that I know I can fall back to like a $20 program, 20 $20 ebook or something. Get the gist of it.
Yeah. Yeah. Get an overview. Anything to just shortcut it and not have to figure it all out yourself. It’s like we, we were already spending, I don’t know, tens of thousands of dollars on YouTube ads in WFA and we wanted to get better at it and we went out and we bought like four or five different programs. It’s like one is not even enough. It’s like I want to see across five different programs what the patterns are and what’s working. So I don’t waste my time.
Hundred percent. It’s exactly, I mean, yeah, for Snapchat I basically bought everybody whose program was available and all the books in word cause I was like what small tips and tricks or somebody who’s got doing. Um, but it’s just, I mean that’s how I, that’s how you learn if you really want to invest in it. Yeah.
It’s one thing. One little thing could make a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s like a hundred praise. That’s true. 100%.
So future of digital marketing, Facebook out, you know the media is always talking about, Oh man, like a year ago Facebook’s stock was tanking. It was like the biggest job ever. And I was like, man, I should just load up on Facebook right now cause there’s no way that their revenues are going to drop after this. They’re just going to keep going up. And they absolutely did. I didn’t invest but we spent a lot of money with them.
Oh like stocks. Yeah. But there’s doom and gloom scenario. Things are changing with, with Ditchmara, with privacy laws and all. And tracking and things like that. Future of digital marketing, is it still a good time to get into digital marketing and do you see things changing? Any specific?
It’s always same answer. It’s, there’s never been a better time than now. Yeah. And the only better time than now is like 10 minutes from now when you’ve had some time to think about it. Yeah. That’s, that’s really what it always is. Um, I mean like, yes, channels will change and the AME, there’ve been folks saying this for like good four or five years there. They’re always like, Oh, channels will change. And they will, like, Twitter’s not as much of a thing as it was.
You know, Facebook and Pinterest are much bigger than they were at that point. YouTube and Snapchat are massively bigger than they were at this point. Take talk is a thing. I know I don’t understand at all, but I mean, it’s a thing now there’s ads on there. Um, and I mean those will always change and adjust. But the underlying skill sets always the same.
You know, if they, I mean, we kind of see it. We saw that with Snapchat and otherwise, I mean if we take the base foundations of what we’re doing here and move it over to here, yes, there’s things that have to change slightly, but generally if we know the market we’re targeting, we understand how to get in touch with them or how to get their attention. Yeah. The rest of it is small technical ramp ups. Yeah. It’s just getting more used to Snapchat’s management page and then Facebook just takes a little bit of getting used to a couple of hours of getting used to and you’re back up and running.
Totally. Yeah. The fundamentals are everything and they’re, they’re transferable and if you can get those right, everything else will take care of itself.
Hundred percent and I mean it really is as well. If you look at, if you look at some folks in the space that are running big, big offers like ads on Facebook that generate tens of thousands of dollars a day in revenue, they don’t, they don’t ditch the foundations. All of them are using the foundations of direct response copywriting. They’re all using, I guess the, yeah, it really is just all basics of direct response copywriting, which is knowing your market, having some form of call to action.
The attention grabber, which now is just with images and videos rather than just pure text. And they make sure that that front end thing, which is the add qualifies the next step and it’s called the next logical step. The ad is used to get them to take action on page one. Page one is used to get them to take action on page two and so on and so on and so on. And as long as they follow those principles, yeah, they’re all the same. Totally.
It’s not that complicated. It’s just market to message match. And if you guys like nail that then yeah, everything else is pretty easy. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Cool. So this has been awesome to hear your story. It’s unbelievable how much you’ve participated in. I don’t even think people are going to get a real idea cause we didn’t even talk about a lot of the stuff that you’re working on now.
We skipped a lot of, uh, a lot of things in between and a lot of things. Yeah.
And a lot of things for the future that you have in the works. So, but I hope this was useful to everyone and you kind of see what, what a journey looks like from a high level. And also, um, if you want to take advantage of Jameel’s expertise and experience other than having to go through it yourself, come join us at WFA and if you want to work hands on every single week and get live help with your campaigns, come check out the lab if it’s still open. Uh, any parting words that you want to leave people with or can they learn more about you in any specific place that you’d like to go take a look?
Yeah. Um, I mean honestly if you just, if you just want to pick my brain and ask questions, I mean come and join the lab and just, just, just grab a one on one call with me and hang out and let’s, let’s talk. But, um, I mean, I guess biggest parting words is, is really, you know, look at, look at the time and effort and energy and money and everything. You invest in yourself as an investment. It’s, it’s never a wasted dollar.
Whether you get a great success with it off the bat or you don’t, you’ll always circle back to leveraging that at some, at some point in your life. I never thought I was getting too crazy with sales and I hated sales and everything, but going through that consulting, coaching sales process just made it really easy for me to jump on calls like this, where before I was terrified. Yeah. I would have made every excuse in the book to not jump on a call like this with one person to talk. Yeah. I would’ve said I would’ve gone, gone ahead and like broken my foot or something to get out of it.
But that’s, I mean, that’s just, it’s a skill set. It’s an investment I made to be like, okay, let’s, let’s get myself out of this so I can take action on the next step. Um, and that’s honestly the biggest thing. And that, and you know, there’s never a better time than right now.
Yeah, absolutely. Awesome. Wise words from a wise man. So, uh, yeah, we’ll wrap it up since we’re at time, but let’s do a followup interview in the future. Thanks so much for taking the time Jamil, and yeah, we’ll see you all inside WFA in the lab.