Bots for Business (and my big announcement)

This interview is completely different from any other interview on Mixergy. Here’s why–A couple years ago, I invested in a company called Assist that went through a bunch of different iterations, but eventually, it became one of the first Facebook Messenger chatbot makers.

I loved the whole idea of chatbots as a platform, but I felt that a lot of people didn’t get it.

Well, Scott Oldford and Katya Sarmiento are here to tell you how they started a business called Bots for Business. And I’ve got a big announcement you’ll hear about in this interview.

Scott and Katya

Scott and Katya

Bots for Business

Scott Oldford and Katya Sarmiento are the founders of Bots for Business, which helps customers generate more leads and sales using Messenger bots.

Katya also runs Reach and Make Millions where she helps 6-figure entrepreneurs scale up to 7-figures.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey, everyone. This interview is completely different from any other interview that I had ever done on Mixergy. And here’s why. A couple years ago, I invested in a company called Assist that went through a bunch of different iterations, but eventually, it became one of the first Facebook Messenger chatbot makers. In fact, when Mark Zuckerberg announced that chatbots were coming to Facebook Messenger, he said, “Well, here’s one that I really like.” And one that he liked was created by Assist. It was a chatbot for 800-Flowers. I loved immediately, loved, this whole idea of chatbots as a platform, but I felt that a lot of people didn’t get it. And so I first started teaching it to people one-on-one.

Then we started doing it as a Mixergy course. Then it started becoming this big thing that became its own site. And I thought we were miles ahead of everyone. And then I remember talking to this guy, Chris Winfield, and saying, “Hey, can I show you how a chatbot works?” And he said, “No need, dude. This guy, Scott Oldford, showed it to me.” I go, “I know Scott.” He goes, “Do you want an intro?” I go, “No, I think I know Scott.”

And then I remember Catherine, who was a Mixergy interviewee from Best Self, she posted a photo of what she was doing in chatbots with this big graph. And she thanked Scott and this woman Katya, who I don’t think I knew at the time. I said, “What the hell’s going in here?”

And then there was a Facebook group that we created because we wanted to be the place where anyone who wanted to learn about chatbots could come. And we were doing great. We were getting thousands of people on, but every time we’d get like 5,000 people, there would be this group from Scott and Katya that would do like 100 people more than we were. And they just kept going and going and going. And not that we weren’t doing well. We were doing really damn well, but damn it, they were everywhere.

And then I went to this conference. And I met a couple of people who said, “Hey, you know, Scott’s just doing something completely different now.” I go, “What do you mean?” “It’s completely different.” “What do you mean?” “I think he’s in south California hanging out.” And I go, “What the hell?”

So I called Scott. And I go, “Dude, what the hell’s going on? You’re doing killer. What happened?” He starts telling me about how he’s hanging out. And I’ll let him tell you about drug use, not heavy drug use, but like mild drug use, which is like, “What the hell is mild drug use?” Apparently, it’s a thing in the start-up community and the entrepreneurship community that I’m too much of a square to know about. And he just kept taking a distance.

And then finally out of the blue, he calls me up and says, “Hey, I’ve got to talk to you about something.” And I go, “What”? And he goes, “What do you think about maybe you guys running this business, Bots for Business, that we created?” And I go, “Yeah, but dude, you’re doing great. Why don’t you run it?” He goes, “I think I have this other vision for my life.” And I, as a guy who comes into the office, I’m in the office every . . . I’ve got a [inaudible 00:02:52] in the fricking office.

I’m talking to him. He’s in some southern part of California hanging out with sunglasses on. That doesn’t process for me. I said, “Please think about it. Run this business.” And he comes back to me. And he says, “You know what? I think I’m not running this business. Screw you and your whole office lifestyle. That’s not for me. Katya and I are thinking about selling it.” And I go, “Tell me more.” And so, he told me more.

And Scott Oldford and Katya Sarmiento are here to tell you a little bit about what they told me about how they started this business and talk about bearing the lead, the big announcement that we have is our business, Bots for Business, which teaches people how to create chatbots and allows anyone on the internet to hire our graduates to build a chatbot for them, has bought their business with a similar name called Bots for Business. And now we’re running their company. And this is a big announcement.

And I invited them here to talk about how they built this business, whether they knew they were getting under my skin the whole time, what the hell could possess someone who’s got a successful business to then just say, “I want to go hang out.”

And this whole thing is brought to us by two great sponsors. The first will do your books right. It’s called Bench. It will do your finances is what I mean by books, not your books that you get from Amazon. It’s called Bench. And the second will help you do marketing automation right. It’s called ActiveCampaign. I’ll tell you more about them later.

Guys, I saw you smiling as I was telling this. Did you guys sense any of this was going on for me on my side as you were building your business?

Scott: One hundred percent. And that’s why I knew you’d buy it.

Katya: No, but I was also telling one of your team members how we had Trello cards, funnel hack Bot Academy.

Andrew: What does that mean, funnel hack Bot Academy?

Katya: I think we had Rachel, who was like a big part in growing Bots for Business with us. She would like go through all of your launches of Bot Academy, look at your sales pages, watch your webinars, go through your bots to see like what you were doing. And then noticed you like . . . We were doing bots, but kind of different, but we were still like, “Okay. We need to keep an eye on Andrew because he is keeping an eye on us.” So it’s like . . .

Scott: So you know what? This is what I love about Katya. I also tried to work with Katya after the sale. She was like too expensive or too difficult to work with because Katya is so fricking systemized. I would just like from time to time look at your business. You would have someone on your team, Rachel, watch my webinars, take notes, watch our emails. And then what would you do to keep this organized and actually useful?

Katya: We had it on the Trello board. We had like a Bot Academy Trello card.

Andrew: It was just a list of things that you observed that we were doing. Was there anything that stood out for you?

Katya: Basically, the difference between Bots for Business and Bot Academy was that you guys like are more of like, “Okay. So we’ll help you like build an agency to build bots,” while we were showing entrepreneurs how to build their own bots. So we were like, “Okay. Like we need to make that very clear to people.” So we started actually referring those people that wanted to build agencies to you guys and then telling people, “Hey, we do something different.” So that’s kind of like what we took that as.

Andrew: Scott, do you feel comfortable saying what your revenue was? I didn’t even ask you this when we were buying the company out.

Scott: So when the revenue for Bots for Business?

Andrew: Yeah.

Scott: It was really like . . . I mean, here’s the thing. It was really sporadic because of the fact that we did the launch. I mean, I don’t really like the launch model, but we ended up going through the launch model a couple of times. So there was like months where we would have like $40,000, $50,000, $60,000 I think was probably the maximum. And then the lower months that were $15,000 or $20,000 on a monthly basis. And so, you know, we were really . . . I mean, here’s really what ended up happening. You know, everything kind of started right from the beginning, you know, first the validation and that sort of thing. You know, Katya really got the training done, systemized, [inaudible 00:06:40].

Andrew: You know, let me go through it slowly because I do want to get the whole thing. And I’ve got an hour to dig into this. It’s funny that I didn’t ask you guys what the revenue was before. All right. The two of you guys, Scott, you were on Mixergy before. So people can go back and listen to your story. It’s a great story because you were so open about so much that I remember listening to it later on while cleaning out my garage going, “This is so touching. I almost want to cry. I’ve got to reach out to him,” but since that interview . . .

Scott: I have not listened to it.

Andrew: You went on to create a . . . Sorry?

Scott: I’ve never listened to it, never.

Andrew: Yeah, I think you’d be proud of it. I know I am, but since that interview, you ended up doing what? You were doing training for what?

Scott: So we were helping entrepreneurs. He had a program that was called Leadcraft. It was about $1,000, $2,000. And we were helping entrepreneurs really use online marketing, use a specific methodology of online lead generation. That really I found and realized that’s one of the best ways to be able to generate leads and in a profitable way online. So, you know, we were helping everyone from the person that was under six figures to, you know, doing $200,000, being able to help them with online marketing. So that was my main [inaudible 00:07:48].

Andrew: Teaching them [inaudible 00:07:48], Facebook ads, YouTube ads. What kind of revenue were you doing there?

Scott: So we were doing anywhere from $200,000 to $350,000 on a monthly basis at that business, up until I blew it up back in September.

Andrew: I want to know about this blowing it up, because see, I’m such a conservative person. I do the same thing and build and build and build and build and build. I don’t get these people who blow things up and go start from scratch all the time, but I want to understand that in a moment. And in the past, I would have dismissed that attitude because it doesn’t jive with my way of thinking about business.

Now, I’ve learned there’s a lot I should take from that. And I need to learn to also like at times blow things up that I wouldn’t otherwise, but let’s continue with the story. Katya, did you know that he had this whole business when he reached out to you on Facebook?

Katya: Well, okay. Here’s what actually happened. I was tagged in for like some summit interview to talk about systems because that’s just what I’ve always done is systems and operations.

Andrew: What was your business model at the time before you met him?

Katya: I was doing a done-for-you agency. So people would need help scaling, managing launches, project managing, setting up systems and operations, hiring team members. And I would do it all for them. And so obviously, I was kind of tapped out with my one-on-one clients. I could only like take a certain amount of people. And that’s kind of like what I was doing.

And then I reached out to do that interview. And somebody was like, “Oh, I already have somebody talking about funnels.” And I’m like, “I bet you the person that you have talking about funnels is talking about the marketing side of funnels and not the actual systems and launching part of funnels, which always gets delayed and procrastinated.”

And then so I’m like, “So who is this person?” They’re like, “Oh, it’s Scott Oldford.” So I type in Scott Oldford on my Facebook news feed. And then I see his cover photo. It’s like, “lead generation and Facebook ads.” I’m like, “You see? Like I knew it.” So then I’m like, “Well, you know what? Let me just add this guy because like, you know, we probably like will jive on the same thing about funnels and evergreen and launches and all this stuff. And then he adds me back. And we just kind of started talking. And that’s kind of how everything started because it was an avalanche from there.

Andrew: Okay. And at first, it was just about that. You guys became friends. And not very long after that, Scott, you guys met up in person. Were you living in the same city?

Scott: No. I was actually in Toronto. And she was in Atlanta.

Katya: Yeah, I flew up to Toronto from Atlanta.

Andrew: Just to meet him.

Katya: And we met up. Yeah. We hung out for like a weekend.

Andrew: Why? Why would you just go and fly out to meet someone for a weekend?

Katya: We really connected. Like we had similar interests obviously like entrepreneurship and marketing. We also had like bots in AI and technology. Like just from the couple of weeks that we were actually talking on Facebook, I personally have never jived with somebody that well before. And so it just kind of made sense because he was inviting me to his mastermind, but I couldn’t really make it. And we wanted to do something. We wanted to hang out and get to know each other. So it was like, “You know what? Let me just fly up to Toronto and see what the fuck happens because . . .” Sorry.

Andrew: That’s ballsy. I like it.

Katya: I don’t know if I can curse.

Andrew: I like people who do that. Don’t worry about cursing here. It’s okay. Apple is never featuring me anyway. So I might as well not give a rat’s ass about their cursing policy. So Scott, you heard about chatbots before Katya. How did you hear about them? By the way, for anyone who doesn’t know what they are, they’re basically software that interacts with people via chat applications. So the 800-Flowers chatbot that blew my mind when I first saw it.

When it says [inaudible 00:11:06], it allows me to go into 800-Flowers on Facebook Messenger. Say my wife’s having a birthday. They say, “Tell me a little bit about your wife.” I tell them a little bit about my wife. And then they give me 10 bouquets of flowers that I can tap and get more information on. If there’s one that I like, I tap it. I say, “I want to buy it.” I give them my address. I add a note. I add my credit card. And then via chat, the whole thing happens. And then my wife gets flowers at her doorstep. So how did you find out about this?

Scott: So, I mean, you know, I’d been in the marketing world. I’ve always been like, you know, looking two years ahead in order to see sort of what happened to . . . you know, I’ve seen the chatbots. And, I mean, here’s the other side of it though is that I kind of had to ignore the majority of the things that come out because if not, I’d really just be, you know, spending my time, you know, doing nothing all day. So I looked at it a couple of times. I mean, you know, I had a ManyChat account probably right at the beginning of ManyChat [inaudible 00:11:56].

Katya: We both did actually, but we just never actually did anything with it because it’s like it’s bots, whatever.

Andrew: ManyChat’s the software that we use to create chatbots. By the way, I ended up investing in that company too. And you’re just constantly like testing things because people send it over to you. And it’s not that hard to set up an account to create a chat box. Okay. And you just used it because there wasn’t anything there. What finally got you to say, “There’s a dare here?”

Scott: Well, I think at the end of the day maybe it’s not the fact that there wasn’t anything there. I think that I was just perhaps preoccupied with other things. And then, you know, I started seeing this more chatter about it. And I’m like, “All right. Well, you’re getting a higher open rate than email. You’re getting a really good click-through rate, a really good engagement rate.” And the chances are chatbots are going to replace websites within the next three or four years. I’m like, “That’s interesting.”

And keep in mind, I was in the website boom back in 2000. Like I’ve been in the online space since 2003, 2004. So I had saw the last website boom. I saw the Facebook boom. And I was like, “There’s another one going along here.” And that’s really where it’s still today. I think it’s still at the infancy, very much at the infancy.

And I was like, “All right. Well, you know what? I have, you know, a . . .” first, again, I dismissed it because I was like, “You know what? I don’t have time to build another business. You know, I’m doing my thing, building my business, so on and so forth.”

Then I meet Katya and then it’s like, “Oh, well, you could run it. And, I mean, I can just direct the marketing. And we’ll see what happens,” because, you know, I already had an audience. I already had people that trusted me. It would be very easy to plug and play. And that’s really kind of the start of it.

Andrew: And so right there in your weekend meet-up, you guys decide, “Let’s send out an experiment and see what happens.” And so, Scott, you sit down. You write an email, and then you send it out to your audience. Is that how it worked?

Scott: Yeah. So this is about a couple weeks after we met.

Katya: Yeah, because we were like kind of talking like maybe done-for-you funnels because he does the marketing of funnels. I do the done-for-you funnels. So we were talking about that. Like it took us a couple of weeks to figure out like, “Oh, bots is the thing we can do together.” And at that point he had come to Atlanta.

Andrew: Part of the reason why you wanted to do something together, Katya, he did not like your business model. What did Scott not like about your business model?

Katya: That was actually the first phone call we ever had. And I think that was the deciding factor of me flying up to Toronto was I was telling him everything going on. And he’s like, “This isn’t a sustainable business model.” And what sucks is like I can systemize and scale other people, but when it’s like your own stuff, I’m just like, “Why is this so hard for me?” And so just having Scott give me that like wake-up call and like, “Dude, all right.”

And I already knew. I was already like not happy with my business model. So I had already like started letting go of clients, but after that point, I’m like, “All right. I’m done. Like I don’t know what I’m going to do next month, but it’s going to be completely different.” And then that’s how we came up with the bots.

Andrew: The problem with your model is it doesn’t scale. You keep going in and you set people up with systems. And it’s still you doing the system work.

Katya: Doing it, yeah.

Andrew: Showing them how to do it. And then you move on. And then you have to get another customer.

Katya: Now it’s completely different. Now I do more done with you than do it yourself, but before I was so like . . . I was attached to the done-for- you and the one-on-one because I love that work so much, but I know that it’s not sustainable and scalable obviously. So I had to let go of that part.

Andrew: Okay. And so you guys are brainstorming. And then at what point do you say . . . Actually, how did you decide that done for you would be the first entry into this market? Done for you meaning anyone who wants to could pay you guys money and you’ll build a chatbot for them. How did you decide that was the first chatbot business you’d create?

Scott: Money is momentum and momentum is money, right? I mean, it’s why I always recommend people go higher intimacy, higher touch. You know, if you can create a transformation easier, someone is going to pay you more money. And at the end of the day, the more money we had, the more we could be omnipresent, which means that we could compete with people like you very easily because we had the cash flow to be able to do it.

And in that way also, I didn’t need to take personal money or my money . . . I mean, we basically went into this with literally zero dollar investment from both of us, outside of my audience to basically to kickstart it. And we built the entire business on that.

Andrew: Okay. And so you say, “I can get money fast without having to create a core, so doing anything else, if people pay me to build a bot for them. If I charge a higher price point, then I get more money faster.” You sat down. You wrote an email. You sent it out to your list. And the offer was what?

Scott: So the offer was, “Guys, hey, listen. I see these chatbots. I think they’re really, really cool. Like I just had some initial results. I think this is going to be hot. I’m going to take 12 people, $1,000 each. You’ve got 48 hours. Basically, here’s the PayPal link. Push the PayPal link. Buy it. If we don’t get 12, we’re not going to do it. I’ll just refund your money. If we do, we’ll all do it together. And we’ll see what happens.” And then within 36 hours, it was sold. And it was, “Oh, okay. Well, we might have a business model here.” And it sort of got started from that. That was I guess late to February, early March of [inaudible 00:16:56].

Katya: Yeah, I think actually that was March. Like what we considered, we started Bots for Business was when we actually took those payments and started the service.

Andrew: So Katya, I talked to you about this.

Scott: Actually, it was [inaudible 00:17:06] mid-March.

Andrew: In private, I talked to Katya about that. She said you’re a guy who just goes out there and sells, not even thinking about how are we going to create it? How do we organize this? How do we make sense of it? You just go, “I’m going to go out and sell.” And she said that’s your super power. Your weakness is you’re not thinking every step afterwards. Her strength then was, “I can take this thing and even though Scott wants me to go and find a way to build it, I’m going to create a process for building it.”

And so you sat down, and you created the process for building it. And I think that is your super power, Katya. How did you think about the idea of taking 12 people whose businesses are different, whose desires are different, whose level of understanding of chat is probably all over the place, and create a process that addresses all of their needs and not like one off for each 12?

Katya: Yeah. So there was definitely a lot of education involved in the client on-boarding, especially because Scott promoted it as an SSF method bot. And not everyone knew what that was. So I basically set up forms so that we can get the information, but inside the form, it also educated people on like, “Okay. This is what the SSF funnel is.”

Andrew: What’s an SSF funnel?

Katya: Scott, want to explain?

Scott: For sure. So basically, it’s about, you know, most of the marketing is based on just hammering people with the same message, right? So I believe that we need to be at the right time at the right place. So SSF stands for sidewalk slow lane and fast lane, kind of taking inspiration from MJ DeMarco, which I’m sure you’ve had on this show at some point. And his book changed my life. And so basically, think about the fact that on the sidewalk are people that don’t know that they have a problem, or they don’t really know their pain. The slow lane are leads that know their pain or problem. They need to understand the methodology. They need to know, like, and trust you. And then the fast lane is when they’re looking for the solution and looking for case studies and looking for, “Hey, how does this work for me?”

So our marketing can change based on where we are too, so we can be ultra-relevant. And where we’re ultra-relevant, we’re able to kind of create a waterfall of leads instead of like, “You know what? Are you relevant?” No. Okay. See you later. And so what it really creates is a much more sustainable lead generation flow inside of your business versus just trying to target the person that’s ready to buy today, which is really only 2 to 3% of leads versus 100%. So that’s really [inaudible 00:19:27].

Andrew: And you were going to take that methodology that your readers are already familiar with. I’m looking here at a couple of different websites that you’ve written about this. And actually, you don’t write as much on these sites as you do videos explaining it. It’s you in your I guess apartment teaching it on . . .

Scott: You know, it will definitely change this year on that, but yeah, a lot of video on that.

Andrew: Okay. So your audience knew this stuff. And you said, “I will . . .” no, it will really be Katya and her system, “Will build a bot for you that sells using this methodology.” Got it. All right. And so Katya, now you said, “This is our methodology that we’re giving our customers. I have to educate them on what a chatbot is and collect data from them and maybe even tell them about what this SSF approach is all in a form.” And so you didn’t do what I would do and go put it on our site. You did what?

Katya: So I set up a lot of different integration. So first, it was like we created a little like membership area that people can sign in. They have like the instructions step by step. They have the form step by step. And we told them, “Once you finish these five forms, we will receive that notification. And we’ll have all that information. And we will start your bot at that point.” And so we had it connected to our email service provider and our Trello board, as well, so that we could have everything all in one place.

Once somebody submits all five forms, it’s just simply looking at all the forms and plugging it into a chatbot template that I made specifically for the SSF method. And then running that on our client’s accounts, tweaking it obviously for voice messaging, like other custom things that people wanted, but it was all in the forms. So we just had to plug and play it. So I only did the first couple of bots. And then we hired Rachel. And she took it on pretty easily. Like she learned how to make her first ever bot for one of our clients in an hour from the training and the process that I had set up. So that was pretty cool.

Andrew: That’s one of the things that I’m obsessive about here at Mixergy, teaching people about systems. And it’s the only thing that I ever get any blowback on from my team, my own team. All right. Let me take a moment here to talk about my first sponsor. And then I’m going to come back and just make sure that we deeply understand this process because it took someone who never knew about chatbots before and got them building profitable chatbots for you guys fast.

The first sponsor is a company called Bench. Did you guys ever hear of Bench or am I about to teach you about Bench too?

Katya: You’re about to teach.

Scott: No, I’ve never heard about it. Yeah, I never heard of it.

Andrew: Great. Here’s what Bench does. Bench said, “Hey, you know what? Software for doing your books online kind of sucks. People who you can go and hire as individuals to do your books are undependable, right?” Did you ever hear the story about how Mark Cuban had money stolen from him by someone who was in charge of doing his finances? And as a result, he was basically starting from square one? It was really painful.

Not only that. Most people are honest, but the truth is most people like me, they get sick, but unlike me who shows up at the office anyway, their bookkeeper’s sick, they might be out for a week. Maybe their kid is sick. Maybe there’s someone else that’s sick. They’re out for a week or two. And if you hire an individual bookkeeper to do your books, you’re also SOL. So what do you do?

Bench said, “We’re going to create better software and have a team of people who do the books for our clients using the software.” And that marriage is a beautiful thing because they have system. They have software that sucks in data from whatever software you are using to collect your information. And then they organize it for you. And they give it to you. And you know exactly where your books are. Do you guys have an individual doing your books? I kind of sense that maybe you do, based on your reaction to my telling you this.

Katya: I do, but I had a really bad previous experience with a company, actually a group of individuals.

Andrew: How did you find your person? I’m not going to be upset that you’re not using my sponsor.

Katya: It was actually the first VA I ever hired in my business five years ago. She was actually better at bookkeeping than VA stuff. So she kind of helped me during that crisis with that other individual, helped redo all of my taxes and books, and she’s just been doing it since, so yeah.

Andrew: Okay. Scott, what do you do? You’ve got a lot that’s coming in now.

Katya: But I hate like what we use.

Scott: Yeah. So, I mean, we use a service that’s Canadian-based that’s very similar to exactly what you’re saying. I don’t even know their name. Like my COO takes care of it. I just sign the document. So I have no idea what it is, but I know that it’s [inaudible 00:23:34] that way because of that exact reason because we went through like a couple of different bookkeepers. And we were just like, “You know what? Like I need this [inaudible 00:23:41] today. And if not, like screw you.”

Andrew: One of the things that I like about having a team do it for me and I’m like you, Scott, and I do it. And Katya, maybe this will turn you onto using a team in the future is they work with so many other companies just like ours that they come back, and they say, “You know what everyone else is doing is . . . ” and then they tell me.

I go, “I had no idea other people were doing that.” It’s almost like if somebody was looking inside of your company and inside of my company when we were working together and coming back and giving me . . . well, they would never talk to a competitor and give you competitive secrets, but, “Here’s how they systemize. Here’s how they do things. Here’s how they pay their 1099 people. Here’s how they make sure that they collect payments properly.” I like getting all that back.

So that is why I like having a team. I like working with a company that understands that I use stripe. How many times do I go to my bank? I fricking work with Chase. They want my business. I tell them, “I’m with Stripe. Can you beat them?” And they say, “Yeah, show me the numbers.”

I go, “Not just the numbers, can you beat them in the way that the software works?” And they’ll go, “How does the software work?” And I have to educate them about it. They have no clue. If I’m working with a bank, I’d like them to have a clue. If I’m working with a bookkeeper, I insist that they know about the software that I use so that they could suck in all that data, categorize it automatically, perfectly, and then have human beings to go over what the software has done to make sure it works well.

If you’re out there and you’re listening to me and you’re not doing your books right, don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t feel like, maybe this is for other people. This is for you. It can be organized really fast. All you have to do is go to bench.co/mixergy. They’re going to give you a great price when you go to that link. They’re going to give you a free trial. Think about that, a free trial. When it comes to books, that’s the hardest thing for us to have gotten from them as a team.

Sachit Gupta is an expert at talking to sponsors. He said, “Hey, you’ve got to give them something.” And no matter what they do on the rest of their site, they’re giving us right now, limited time basis, a free trial, meaning they’re going to let you do the books for you for free, if you go to bench.co/mixergy. Dot com is not cool any more, bench.co/mixergy. All right. You guys had thoughts for dot business, didn’t you?

Scott: Just a fun little story there in terms of doing your books and making sure they’re done right, I almost had to go bankrupt three years ago because my books weren’t done right. And I owed $140,000 in taxes that I didn’t know that I owed. And at the time, three years ago, I definitely did not have $140,000 just lying around. And so yeah, so the taxation, you know, the government base really made me almost go bankrupt. And it was all done very . . . At the end of the day, I just did not take control of finances. So there’s no better day than today, if that’s not the case right now for you, if you’re listening to this.

Andrew: And you know what? On the upside, they could actually end up showing you how you can tweak the way that you’re collecting payment or making payment and as a result, bring in more money or not have to pay as much in taxes. I’ve had so many examples like that. In fact, I insist, I insist that if they do my books that they show me how I can make more money than I’m spending on them. It doesn’t happen immediately, but it does happen over time.

All right. Katya, I want to hear this system because not that people are going to go and copy this system, but it shows the way you think, and it trains other people to think this way. You have a form. It’s type form. This is what drove me nuts about you guys. You would have an ad that went to a click funnel’s landing page. It’s totally fine that you’re using click funnels, but you don’t even like mask the URL. You guys just . . . it’s just like moving so fast. There’s this click funnel in your fricking URL. And I always thought, “Maybe this is something that we should be doing more,” because we move slow, deliberately, as a team. You know, like we want to go in, in a certain way, but you guys move faster.

Scott: No, not my part of it.

Andrew: I think there are advantages to both ways.

Katya: Oh, no. Yeah, absolutely. Well, because I am a very deliberate person, but I’m okay moving fast, as long as one, our clients are getting amazing results and being taken care of and two, we’re adding massive value. If this means that we get to add more value now rather than later, than yeah, I’ll go fast. And we can set up these right systems. Like nobody’s really going to care about like a masked URL or not. Like we didn’t have a website like the first couple months that we were running it. And nobody cared.

Andrew: I noticed that too.

Katya: But what people cared about . . .

Scott: We didn’t have a website until June. I mean, like [inaudible 00:27:58], plus we were running, I don’t know, lots of ads with no website whatsoever. I mean, here is the thing though. I mean, people think you need a website. You really shouldn’t put a website together until you made like $250,000. Like you don’t have a business model until you’ve made $250,000.

Andrew: Why not even a landing page, a [inaudible 00:28:14] page? Why are you saying, “No website at all?”

Scott: I mean, you [inaudible 00:27:18]. You can do a landing page, but, I mean, if someone needs to go and search you on Google in order to do business with you, then you’ve done a really shitty job with just, you know, building trust and all that type of stuff. I mean, that’s just my personal opinion.

Andrew: Yeah. You know, we had somebody who went through the Bot Academy training. He had no idea how to create a chatbot. He built a chatbot himself. Then he started getting clients to build a chatbot. I said, “What’s the one thing that you wish you’d learned? I want to take it back to other people who are going through our program.” And he said, “I spent way too much time creating a web page, a website, before I even started.”

Katya: That’s a good procrastination method. It really is. It’s like creating business cards and stuff.

Andrew: It feels like the right thing to do too.

Katya: I know, yeah.

Andrew: I use Zoom. And I recorded him as he said that because, you know, I said, “I’m going to use Zoom, so you have a recording of this conversation for later.” I’m saving that clip, so I can show it to other people who insist on creating websites. Okay. So you didn’t have a website. You did have a type form. Type form goes through Zapier to take all that data. You did then take that data from Zapier. You put it on a card in Trello, right? Trello’s the project management software that divides every part of your process into a different column. And then column one is someone filled out the form. What’s column number two?

Katya: So one thing about ManyChat is that you need to click on the admin link to be added to their account. So we actually had one column for the first form, which is where people gave us the admin link. We had to click that link within 24 hours. Anybody on the team had to click on it. That was the first column.

Andrew: Right, or else you lose access to the bot that they just shared with you, right?

Katya: Yeah.

Andrew: That’s really important.

Katya: Another column we had was kind of like information and training, just in case somebody new comes in. All of our training and process for this bot creation is on that first column, as well. And then we have the rest of the form. So we order them alphabetical. And then the next one is okay, so these are all the forms that are unfinished. So maybe forms one through four for one client, one to two for the other client. Once somebody fills out all five forms, they’re moved to the second column where they’re like, “Okay. They’re in the queue. We’re ready to do this bot.” And we were only working on one bot at a time, so we could really focus our time and attention on this person’s bot, give them unlimited . . . like we did unlimited revisions for like a week during their bot creation.

So we focused on one at a time, but there was also a webpage that we updated that said, “Hey, you’re number two on the queue, now that you finished your forms. So you can see who we’re working on, who’s under review, and who’s next.” So everyone, all of our clients . . . Because that’s something a lot of entrepreneurs lack is client communication. Like what’s going on now? When are you going to do this for me? What’s happening? So we had all of that client communication on the front end for clients. And we had it in the back end on Trello for us.

Andrew: Okay. And so all of this was organized. Then you get to work. You hire Rachel to manage this and to create the chatbots. Now you have a business. Why, at that point, did you not continue the agency model, and did you shift at that point to teaching?

Katya: So we continued the agency model. We definitely kept getting clients, but then there were a lot of people telling us like, “Hey, we want to do the bot ourselves. We don’t want you to do it.” So we were like, “All right. We have to create a course.” So that was kind of another thing that we moved fast on. It’s like, “People told us they want it. All right. Let’s get it to them like a couple weeks later.”

Andrew: And Scott, you’re the one who created the first course?

Scott: Yeah, but so keep in mind, we also validated this is in a pretty like ninja way.

Katya: Yes, you did.

Andrew: Validated what?

Scott: So we validated if people wanted the course because like I don’t give a crap if someone says they want something. Like they either pay me or like they don’t want it. You know what I mean? Like it’s great for someone to say, “Oh, yeah, that’s great and wonderful. Oh, yeah, sign me up,” but until they paid me money, like it’s bullshit. So I was like, “All right. Let’s see if we can get the 25 people.” I think it was 20 or 25 people. I don’t have the best memory. Katya has a way better memory than I do. And so [inaudible 00:32:03].

Katya: It’s not memory. I just write everything down. This is all written down in one of our documents.

Scott: Yeah, I write nothing down. So I just, I don’t know, [inaudible 00:32:12] do my thing. So I think it was like 20, 25 people we sent it. And messenger bot would like message the broadcast and then one Facebook group, yeah, one Facebook message, and then one email. And I think we stole 20 to 25 copies of the program. It didn’t even have a . . . it literally was a PayPal link. And like there wasn’t even, “Hey, here’s what you’re going to get.” It was just like, “Hey, we’re going to do a training course. We don’t even know when it’s going to come out, but if you want to buy it, here you go.” And boom.

Andrew: What did you sell it for?

Scott: And we sent it on like a [inaudible 00:32:46]. Like maybe $300, $400.

Andrew: Three hundred bucks? And it was the email describing it. And people would go to a form and pay, to PayPal, pay you on PayPal, and then at that point you’d figure out what happened next.

Scott: Yeah, we’d put them through like a Facebook group. And we just, you know, gave them high five’s. And, you know, they waited.

Andrew: Okay. And wow. That’s really quick. How many people on your mailing list that you could do that?

Scott: It wasn’t that big at that point. I mean, I think our bot list was probably only like 500 or 600 people, maybe 1,000.

Katya: Our email list grew more with the course launches than it did when we were like saying done-for-you stuff.

Andrew: But you didn’t send this to the bigger Scott Oldford list. You had a different list that was [inaudible 00:33:28], right?

Scott: No, no, no, no. Keep in mind like nobody knew it. Like no, no, no, no. Nobody knew about this until we actually properly launched I think in April.

Andrew: So then how did you get that list of 400 to 1,000 people?

Scott: Well, I had two lists. I had my personal very small list like 5,000 people. And then I had my big, like 100,000, person list of like everybody. So I have control to the little list. And then my company doesn’t allow me control to the big one. Everything has to go through the writer. And I don’t even know how to log into that one. And so they don’t let me do things because, of course, I’d end up creating businesses in a weekend like I did here. And, of course, my entire . . . my COO is just like, “WTF, like what the fuck? Like when did you start another business? Like what the fuck?” And so that’s why they cut off control of me in most parts of my business.

Andrew: Okay. So this is starting out with your own personal collection of email addresses.

Scott: Yeah, if someone really likes me, they’re on this email list.

Andrew: Because they added themselves by going to a landing page or because they just [inaudible 00:34:28]?

Scott: Yeah, I mean, like there’s no value proposition. I mean, like if they’re on that email list, like, you know, they find some value from me because literally, I write emails randomly. Like it could be a week I don’t write an email and then I write three in a day. You know what I mean?

Andrew: Okay. So now you’ve got this email list. You’ve sent out this test. You’re getting dozens of people who are paying you for it. So money equals momentum. Momentum equals money. You decide that you’re going to create the course. How fast do you create the course? What do you do to create the first version of the course? Katya, you’re smiling. Why are you smiling as I ask that question?

Katya: Because we launched and created the course like within the same week or two. And that was like the most chaotic couple of weeks for me ever because I was creating content, also having a ton of tech issues because I created a bunch of videos. And then they just magically got deleted off my computer. And I don’t know why. And I couldn’t find it in my backup or anything. We launched and created a course within maybe like a couple of weeks.

Andrew: Okay. Was it ScreenFlow, someone explaining, that kind of thing?

Katya: It was Camtasia, yeah.

Andrew: Camtasia.

Katya: So what I did was I created a bunch of bot flow templates of like, “Okay. So if you want to run a challenge, here’s the template for this. If you want to maybe do like a webinar promo into your chatbot, here’s the template for this. If you want to do a sales message, here’s the template for this.” And then I created example bots for each of these and walked through them, how they work. And I had like my phone and my screen with Camtasia.

And then I explained. I taught them step by step how to create these chatbots. And then Scott added more information about like, you know, Facebook ads and like how to like use natural language sequencing in bots so that it actually sounds like a conversation. It’s personal. It’s customized. Like it’s relevant to people versus just kind of feeling robotic. And we just kind of like created that based off of all of the questions that we had been getting from our clients and from our group audience, our email list. Like people were constantly asking us questions. So we just built the course off of that.

Andrew: Okay. And then you start to sell it more professionally.

Scott: Yeah, I think we did like a webinar. I don’t even remember what we did. Like what did we do, Katya?

Katya: My God, I think like we did a webinar where we just sat there for two hours talking. I was like, “How are we selling on this webinar?” I just didn’t understand it because we were just cracking jokes, talking about bots the whole time. Like Andrew, your webinar compared to ours is really good. Like ours sucks.

Scott: It’s not even in the same ball park, but, I mean, like I was on the webinar. Like I was on our webinar when we did it together. And I was just like, “I mean, I probably would have made like $1 million in one webinar, if I had this webinar.”

Andrew: I think it’s just different approaches that we each have because you guys are very spontaneous. And I don’t like the spontaneity of it because if it’s magic, I don’t know how to reproduce it. I’m much more systemized. And I know that you guys weren’t working that way. I would create it. I actually went through David Siteman Garland’s course on doing webinars.

I sat down at the Crepe House here on Valencia in San Francisco. I took his whole outline. I filled it in. And then I showed it to David and I said, “Help me improve it.” And he did. And then I showed it to a bunch of other people. And I said, “Help me improve it.” And they each did. Then I went to John Lee Dumas. I said, “You do webinars every fricking month. Who do I hire who can show me how to get closer to the good guys that you’re working with?” And he told me about this guy, Greg Hickman. So I hired Greg.

Katya: Oh, I love Greg.

Andrew: I paid him to watch my webinars.

Scott: Greg’s great.

Katya: He’s awesome.

Andrew: The first webinar he said, “Andrew, I got so bored I started clicking away. And then I realized you were paying me. So I had to pay attention to you. I think you should . . .” and then he started giving me ideas. And we kept improving.

Katya: Well, here’s the thing. Like we cannot systemize Scott. So we had to go with the spontaneity of it. I systemized as much as I could on my end, but yeah, [inaudible 00:38:13].

Andrew: And the webinar would go to people on your main mailing list? Who was getting this?

Scott: We developed a guide. We were bringing people to it. I mean, basically, our marketing funnel was this. We had a guide. The guide would bring them in. It would get them to sign up to this Facebook group. I’d be in there posting being my Scott self at the end of the day. You know, I’m a content machine anyways and just naturally really. And then we basically did a webinar. I think we had 1,200 or 1,300 registrants. We ran some Facebook ads. We got our Facebook account banned.

Andrew: Why?

Scott: I really honestly don’t know.

Andrew: You have a hint at it though. You know this base well enough because you’ve been in it for so long. You have a hint. What do you think it would have been?

Scott: I mean, I think it was some of the wording, some of the language.

Katya: I think you put a curse word too.

Scott: Yeah, I might have put a curse word and been done with it, which I’m like, on my [inaudible 00:39:09] account I can get away with because I spend so much money and it’s old and everything else, but this was a brand new account. So yeah, that was probably my bad, but [inaudible 00:39:17].

Andrew: From what I remember, it was an ad where you were doing a screencast of what’s in your guide. And you said, “If anyone wants this, go to this landing page.” The landing page was on Click Funnels. They had entered their email address. And then they were told after they entered their email address to go to your Facebook group.

Scott: You got it.

Andrew: And it was a bunch of sometimes just the two of you riffing with each other saying, “Hey, what are we going to do today?”

Scott: Yeah. I mean, we basically came up with a webinar the day before. I mean, that’s pretty much how I do all my webinars.

Katya: Like I saw the slides five minutes before. And then I just watched this webinar that like I didn’t know what he was going to talk about next. Like we were just really riffing.

Andrew: As an organized person, how do you deal with the fact that Scott’s giving it to you last minute and you’re just kind of going with it?

Katya: Well, there were plenty of times . . .

Scott: She does pretty good.

Katya: Well, but here’s the thing. I’m used to a lot of clients not being systemized and organized. So first off, I was already used to it. And then there were many times where I’m like, “Okay, Scott. Like we have to get down to business and actually do this thing.” And that’s when Scott would show up and be like, “All right. Here’s the thing. Now is good.” But as long as like my priority is things are getting shipped. It’s not like we were just like, you know, like having people on a crappy webinar for two hours. Like we were teaching stuff. People were getting value out of it. Like we were getting sales out of it.

So as long as things were working and at least the important systems were working like client delivery, actually getting the content out there, having the team comfortable in like knowing what’s going on, then I was pretty much good to go. And I tried to systemize what I could. Obviously, like there were things I had to customize. For example, I had to create the Scott Slack channel because Scott didn’t want to look at any other Slack channels because he would get overwhelmed. And then I would have that Slack channel, any message from there, text them to his phone using Zapier.

Andrew: Oh, because he didn’t even want to be in the Scott Slack channel, yeah.

Katya: Well, he would just not check Slack. So we would text it to him.

Scott: Yeah, a long time ago . . . well, not a long time ago, a while ago, about a year ago I realized that a lot of the time when you’re the type of entrepreneur, and I know a lot of people resonate, because you two are the same kind of organized I feel in many ways. I’m not at all. So I get stressed out and just like I’m just like, “Fuck it. Like I don’t care.” You know what I mean?

Like I can’t put myself into a structure. I don’t even have a structure around me. You know what I mean? So people need to build structures around me. And it felt like I’m just like, “You know what? I just don’t fucking care.” You know what I mean? I was just like, “I’m good.” You know what I mean?

Andrew: You know, I have to accept that. I’m somewhere in between the two of you. I have to accept that I shouldn’t . . . If I’m not in our project management software and I’m not getting enough done, it’s not my fault. I’ve got all this group of people. They need to work with me. And they want to work with me. And I feel a sense of guilt doing that. I would feel guilty saying to someone, “Create an Andrew Slack channel,” and then saying to them, “It’s your responsibility to figure it out how to get it to me, and maybe it’s text messages.”

Scott: Maybe I’m an arrogant bastard, but whatever.

Andrew: It’s not the way you’re doing it is I’ve been listening to Ray Dalio’s book based on a recommendation that I had from a past interviewee. He explicitly says, “This is not your weakness to be embarrassed by. This is your weakness to be aware of. And it’s your obligation to find people around you who will deal with the way that you work.”

And this, by the way, considering what he’s talking about, this is a tiny quirk, but if your quirk is, “I prefer text messages only occasionally. Let someone else do it,” you have to accept that this is how you work and go into the world that way and have the guts to tell the world, “This is what I need. Otherwise, I can’t function.” So you’re at this place. I’m wondering why did you guys create the Facebook group? You can’t target ads of people who are in your Facebook people. It’s another management level to take care of the Facebook group. Why do that?

Oh, you know what? Go back. Hold that answer. I’ve got to talk about my second sponsor. I’m very aware of the time and how I can go long sometimes. All right. My second sponsor is a company called ActiveCampaign. You guys did not use ActiveCampaign. You used a competitor.

Scott: I do.

Andrew: You do? Okay.

Scott: I do.

Andrew: Why do you use ActiveCampaign?

Scott: Well, I should say like my personal email list is ActiveCampaign, my team went to ONTRAPORT because we got, I don’t know, all kinds of stuff. And, of course, I didn’t want to learn it. So I just haven’t logged in ever, but ActiveCampaign, I love ActiveCampaign.

Andrew: Let me, by the way, not brush over that. Even though this is an ActiveCampaign commercial, if anyone wants to go and compare them to ONTRAPORT, I’m not going to put down ONTRAPORT. You can go and take a look at ONTRAPORT and see if it’s right for you. What many people have told me that they have found is ONTRAPORT is more complicated than ActiveCampaign.

Scott: It’s a beast. It’s a beast.

Andrew: It’s a beast.

Scott: Yeah. I mean, listen, at the end of the day, the reason we have ONTRAPORT, we’re a multi-million business. I’m not dealing with operations. We need payments, affiliates, all of that different type of stuff. If you’re doing less than $2 million, use ActiveCampaign. It’s way easier. It’s nice. It’s sexy. It’s wonderful. It [inaudible 00:44:08].

Andrew: And it scales up. I’ve interviewed people who are at the millions of dollars. So what do you like about ActiveCampaign? I’ll tell you what I like about it. What do you like about it?

Scott: It’s simple. The automations are easy. I mean, listen. We have processed a lot of emails on ActiveCampaign. It’s just quite literally we had so many different systems that my COO was like, “Hey, listen, Scott.” Well, he didn’t really give me a choice. He was like, “Hey, I went and researched everything. We’re going to ONTRAPORT now.” But, of course, I keep my ActiveCampaign because I like to have, you know, some level of control. And so yeah, I mean, like I think the automations are awesome. It’s so simple to use. And it’s pretty cheap, especially when you’re starting out. Well, once you scale, it can get expensive, but everything gets expensive, once you scale.

Andrew: Let me take a look at pricing as you get it up there because what I found is that their pricing still is on the cheaper end. Even at enterprise, we’re looking at way less money than paying for some of the competitors that I’ve talked about. How many email addresses is in enterprise? Unlimited sending, custom mail server, free social, unlimited user. Anyway, the price is at enterprise, we’re talking about $229 a month, but you really have to send a ton of email addresses for that to be an issue for you.

Scott: Oh, yeah. I mean, like, you know, if I wasn’t getting ONTRAPORT for free, [inaudible 00:45:28], then, I mean, it would be costing me like $4,000 a month versus $200.

Andrew: Here’s what I like about ActiveCampaign. I feel like we’re talking a lot about their competitor. And I’ll tell you guys honestly, if that is who you want to go with, go to their website, try them out. If you’re shopping, compare both. Here’s why I like ActiveCampaign and why I feel really happy with it when anyone goes to try it out because my reputation will be intact with you.

ActiveCampaign will allow you to do things like monitor what people are interested in, not just in your email. You know, a lot of times you do surveys. Are you interested in buying this? Click yes. And then if you are, then I’ll follow up with a sequence of messages. No, you don’t have to do that. You can just kind of watch what people are clicking on. Are they clicking on the sales emails? If you’re selling shirts and pants, are they clicking constantly on the shirts?

So then ActiveCampaign is smart enough to know, “I’m going to start sending them emails just about shirts because this is what the person’s interested in.” Beyond that, it also watches what people are doing on your website. So you can start customizing the emails you send to them, based on what part of your site they’re interested in. So if you’re selling shoes and someone keeps going into the high-performance running sneakers section of your site, you might want to send them emails about that.

And maybe if they still hadn’t bought and they don’t have the purchase tag, you say to them, “I’m going to give you a 10% discount good for the next five days.” And you know now you’re targeting the right person who has been on the fence, hasn’t bought, and only they get the discount, but you’re not blanketing everyone with that discount.

If you’re interested at all in ActiveCampaign, I urge you guys go try it out for free. Try it out right now by going to activecampaign.com/mixergy. If you’re happy with the trial, in fact, even if you don’t like them, by the end of the trial you’re going to understand how marketing automation can work for your business. You’re going to start to think in the shower of all the different things that you could automate in the way that you reach people so that it’s smarter and not just sending the same newsletter to everyone. Newsletters suck via email. But if you’re happy with it, your second months’ going to be free. You’re going to get two one-on-one strategy sessions with a platform expert.

So in the first session, you tell them, “Here’s what I’d like to do. Andrew told me all this was possible. I don’t know. I feel overwhelmed.” They’re going to walk you through what you should do and how you can do it. And then the second session, you come back and say, “Here’s what I did that worked. Here’s what’s not working. Tell me what to do next.” And so you get two free one-on-one sessions. And if you’re with one of these other cheapo not very good competitors, go to their free migration. And you’re going to get that if you go to activecampaign.com/mixergy.

My voice is dying. Hang on. Oh, man. I’ve had this illness for so long. I can’t shake this cold.

Katya: I know. Everyone’s gotten sick. I was sick for like two weeks. So was my boyfriend. So was my mom. Like everyone’s been sick.

Andrew: And you know what? And I’m not good at just resting because frankly, I found that with this, resting does not help. All right. Activecampaign.com/mixergy. I have not gotten a single, single, single person who emailed me and said, “I regret doing it. I’m not happy with it,” or anything negative. But frankly you guys, if you ever are upset, email me, andrew@mixergy.com. I only want to talk about sponsors that my guests and my audience are happy with.

Okay. Let’s go back to where we were just before this. You guys were at a place where you were starting to do the Facebook group. I’m wondering why. Why create a Facebook group and add an extra level of work? And I’m going to go cough off mike while you answer that.

Scott: I mean, I think the Facebook group, at the end of the day, I’ve had a lot of experience with Facebook groups. They work incredibly well at being able to create intimacy. And I have this kind of concept that I talk about most recently called ROI, relevance, omnipresence, and intimacy. And so in a world that lacks intimacy, the more time . . . basically, at the end of the day, if you have the right at person at the right time, that’s great. Now, we need to be omnipresent to them, which means that we need to own the inbox, own the news feed, own the messenger. And then on top of that, we need to be intimate because at the end of the day, everyone’s into [inaudible 00:49:13] and the bots.

And, you know, I called Verizon the other day. You know how you push zero like 17 times and it goes to a person? I couldn’t do that shit any more. It’s gotten smarter. And so, you know, in the world of lack of intimacy, intimacy is a human need, not a human want, right? So inside of business, if we’re relevant at the right time at the right place to the right person of the right mindset, we’re omnipresent, meaning we’re in front of them consistently. Thus, a lot of it has to be top of mind. And if we’re intimate with that person, well, we’re going to attract their attention. And wherever anyone’s attention is, their wallet follows very shortly thereafter. So that’s why we did Facebook.

Andrew: I’ve found that people will not hit Like on a Facebook page much because there’s not much value in doing it.

Scott: [Inaudible 00:49:57].

Andrew: We all join a group, especially if it feels a little exclusive and it’s directly targeted at them. And then they’ll add content to it, if Facebook helps promote it more. But the systemizing of the Facebook group is something, and we created one too, really hard.

Scott: Oh, you can’t [inaudible 00:50:09].

Andrew: Katya, did you come up with a plan for how to do that?

Katya: So we had an analytics tool. We watched like what was going on, how our group was growing, but more so, we actually hired somebody to go through the group and write down the top questions, mainly for our content creation and for the course to make sure that we were answering all of the bot questions that we were getting.

So what we really got out of the group was first off, like getting to know our community, building this bot community, and then also knowing like okay, what are people wanting? Like what do people want to learn? What are they asking because there was so many people on there talking about bots, asking questions? It like grew really fast. So we had to document that. We listed all the questions and how many times it was asked. And we would just keep adding tallies whenever that happened, whenever somebody else new would ask.

Andrew: Who did that?

Katya: We hired a VA to do that like part-time. And she would do like the smaller tech work. She would do some of the data entry and stuff like that for us. And Rachel oversaw the whole process.

Andrew: I think we need to do that too, to have somebody go in and just write out all the questions that keep coming up over and over.

Katya: It was so valuable. It was really, really easy.

Andrew: You know what we wish we could do better in the Facebook group is be aware of who had a question answered right in there and how long it took. I really don’t like Facebook group’s model for that. I really wish that stack exchange model of question and answer, voting on answers, that would be much more useful. Anyone gets to ask a question. Anyone gets to answer it. The question with the most votes gets to be right under the question so that it’s always there, and then good search, but they’re not into that.

Katya: Yeah. Yeah, I agree with you.

Andrew: Okay. So what worked best for getting customers into the course?

Katya: Wait. I’m sorry. I didn’t hear the question.

Andrew: Of all the different marketing techniques that you took, what worked best for getting customers?

Scott: I mean, you know, here’s the thing. I think if I had my time back, we probably would have focused more on the done-for-you, to be honest.

Andrew: You would have? I feel like that’s a challenge for us. The course is going really well. The done-for-you is a challenge.

Scott: The profit margin. I mean, listen, at the end of the day, the info product space, it’s expensive. You know what I mean? I had a YouTube video just go up recently. I talked about the fact that, you know, unless you have a lot of brand power, selling information on the internet, unless you have . . . basically, at the end of the day, unless you have brand power, you know, both of us at the end of the day have some level of brand power that we can go through an audience, they already know us. So we have that on our side.

But we do not have the geographic on our side. And the fact is like, you know, cost per clicks on any paid advertising is just increasing and increasing and increasing. So trying to sell something on $497 to $997 is kind of difficult.

Andrew: But the done-for-you service, wasn’t it $1,000?

Scott: No. So our done-for-you service was $1,500 to $2,000, but the thing was it was way cheaper to get someone on the phone or, sorry, it was way cheaper to get someone to do an application than it was to get someone to buy the damn $997 training a lot of the time. Now, here’s the thing. We did sell a lot of the training, but our profit margin was up because our cost of delivering the bot was like ridiculously low, right? So the done-for-you had a lot of potential. And I think we ignored it. And I think we ignored it because we followed the dragon of automation.

Katya: Yeah. And we got lazy too because we kind of already had a sales person getting on the phone. Like we had applications. We had people buying the done-for-you every month. They were like, “Okay. Cool.” Like we didn’t really expand on that.

Scott: Yeah. Yeah, we really screwed up that opportunity. I mean, I think we could have added, you know, a ton to the bottom line, if we went down that path. And, you know, I think at the end of the day, online training is good. Online e-training is great and everything else, but if you look at the space for consulting and coaching and all of those, you know, and done-for-you, number one, it has far more value. It has far more potential lifetime value. And number three, it also is, as a space, it’s growing faster than e-learning. So we had a couple things against us on that. And I think we could have went deeper on the done-for-you and charged far more money for like customized bots and like all these [inaudible 00:54:41].

Katya: We always talked about it. We just never did it because we were launching the course.

Andrew: And you know what? And this is a model that we’re also going after. Brian Castle is the guy who opened me up to this, the idea of productized.

Katya: Productized, yeah.

Andrew: It’s the same look. There’s a service that needs to be done, which is creating a chatbot in this case. We need to turn it into a product so that the people who are doing it aren’t going crazy trying to one-off every single customer.

Katya: So that’s the model I followed.

Andrew: That’s the model.

Katya: Yes.

Andrew: Oh, Brian Castle?

Katya: Yes, he’s amazing. Yes.

Andrew: Yeah, he is. His only problem is he is not loud and charismatic like Scott, right? Scott’s louder. Scott will be wearing a fur coat and doing like . . . we could hopefully talk about the car that he crashed right?

Katya: [inaudible 00:55:19]

Andrew: And so Brian is quieter. Even when he does something like travel the country in an RV and work remotely, it feels like the nice, smart thing to do and the, “What the fuck is this guy going now? Go show your friend.”

Scott: Yeah. I mean, like I say, at the end of the day there’s definitely like, you know, the way I just ended up, you know, three years ago or so. Almost three years ago to the day, I decided to live my life a little bit differently. And for whatever reason, I think there’s an element of like, you know, once I got over the fear of failure, life became a lot much easier for me because it’s like, “You know what?”

Andrew: So for anyone who’s out there, do not work. I mean, not do not work. Just because Brian Castle is a quieter person, don’t underestimate what he’s talking about. I think too many people are underestimating it. That guy better wear a fucking fur coat soon and start to do things like take the family car and trash it in a lake like you did apparently with your car, but let’s go on then to you.

You then, Scott, I started to hear rumors at a conference that you were leaving the space. And I couldn’t understand why. You started telling me a little bit about it when I got on a call with you. Tell everyone. Now that this thing is growing, and you actually started to get some headway, why did you step back?

Scott: I mean, like if we really get down to it, it’s the fact that, you know, four or five years ago, I was $375,000 in debt. I went into business out of necessity, not out of choice. And you’ll do basically anything when it’s out of necessity versus choice, right? So, you know, 2015, May 2015, I started Leadwhite. It ended up being Leadcraft. We did incredibly well. We did millions by millions of dollars of revenue. Did really well.

I mean, we grew an amazing audience. I mean, I literally came out of like nothing and, you know, really kind of creating a lot of influence and a lot of authority and a lot of brand awareness. And, you know, it was also the fact that I’d been doing this for a really long time. I got to a point where it was a couple things. All right. The first one, number one, is I don’t like to sell training. I like to sell content, information. Are you still there? I can’t hear you. You’re on mute.

Andrew: Let me bring Katya back. I think we just lost her.

Katya: I’m here.

Andrew: Oh, there we go. Bring your radio back up. There we go. Okay. So you were starting to say you don’t like to sell training.

Scott: Yeah. So number one, I was like, “You know what? I don’t want to sell training any more. We’re in this amazing world where anybody can learn, right, anybody that has the ability to get knowledge. And I just don’t like this idea of decentralized knowledge. And so that anyone can learn.” And so that was number one.

Number two, I was just miserable. Like I couldn’t get up in the morning any more. I’m just like, “I’ve gotten everything I really kind of want out of this business. I’ve gotten out of debt. I’ve gotten good cash flow. I’ve been able to, you know, create something,” but it wasn’t what I wanted to do, right? And I didn’t feel good about the business model.

I’m a big psychedelic fan. So like anything, you know, whenever I have like a problem, I was just like, “All right. I’m going to go the mountains of Utah [inaudible 00:58:27] entrepreneurs, do some MDMAs and psychedelic drugs and go out and see what happens. So my team knew that. And they’re like, “Shit. Like we might come back and not have jobs next week,” because my team knows me. And so this was like September. And, you know, business is just fine. Business is just great. Growing, you know, doing the whole nine yards.

I fucking couldn’t wake up until like 11:00 a.m. because I was like literally 7:00 p.m., I would smoke weed. Totally suppress myself. Eat like a thing of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, fucking eat a pizza, and, you know, call it a night. I’d play video games until like, you know, 2:00 in the morning. And so, which, you know, sounds ridiculous, but it was what it was.

And then I was like, “You know what? I’ve got to get my shit fixed because like I’ve got a problem.” And I knew I had a problem. Like my girlfriend was just like, “Yeah, you’ve got a problem. You know what I mean? Like I’ve been with you when you were literally $375,000 in debt living in a 450-square-foot [inaudible 00:59:22] apartment. Look where we’re living.” You know, it was like, “Life is much better. Like what the heck?”

So I just kind of went away. And like after having some group discussions with other entrepreneurs, I realized pretty much every entrepreneur goes through this at some point in their life where they like get what they thought they wanted. And so I came back. And I was like, “You know, fuck it.” Like I’m just like, “Kill the company. Kill the product. Kill everything.” I let the majority of my team, probably a little bit more than half of my team go. The next day I called my COO on a Sunday. And I was like, “So I’m going to let half the team go tomorrow. And I don’t want our product any more. And I have no idea what the fuck we’re going to do, but I’m just letting you know.”

Andrew: This isn’t Leadcraft. I’m on Leadcraft.co right now. The site is gone. This isn’t Leadcraft.

Scott: It doesn’t even exist anymore?

Andrew: No.

Scott: Does it even exist anymore?

Andrew: No.

Scott: Oh, good. No, I mean, the only way you can literally get that program is if you go on a pirate website at this point. You know, so if you want to go and search, you can buy it for $47 from some dude over in Russia.

Andrew: That’s it. You do psychedelics, weed, Ben and Jerry’s and you decide, “I don’t love this anymore. This is what I thought I wanted, but I don’t.” And you decided, “I’m out of here.”

Scott: Well, the weed and the Ben and Jerry’s is not the good part. The psychedelics is the good part. Psychedelics are always a great time, but no, not so much the weed and the Ben and Jerry’s. I mean, I do a lot of Ben and Jerry’s but, you know, there’s the . . . I shouldn’t be having it every night.

But yeah, I mean, I was just like, “You know what? I don’t want to do this anymore.” It was much more like, “You know what? I have the choice to choose. And I can’t keep going having the what if?” And I had three options, kill the business, pivot the business, or just continue to be miserable. And I was just like, ‘You know what?” I mean, I went home. I went nomadic, killed my business.

I’m in Nicaragua right now. I just arrived two days ago. I went to California for three months. I lived in Malibu when I was there. And I was just like, “You know what? I’m going to live . . .” My three words for this year is relax, relationships, profit. And then I basically built a brand new business model, pivoted it, and actually, get this, I profited more in the last three months than I did the entire beginning of 2017.

Andrew: How much money did you have in your bank account the day that you came back and said, “I got to close everything down?”

Scott: I wouldn’t even be able to tell you, but it was more than enough to like [inaudible 01:01:37].

Andrew: Are we talking about more than $200,000?

Scott: Yeah.

Andrew: Okay. All right. And so one of the things that you did was you went to Katya. And you said, “Katya, I’m not going to be in this Bots for Business thing any more. I’m going to give it to you.” Is that what you said?

Scott: Basically, yeah. I mean, I remember actually I called my COO and then I think texted. I mean, I don’t know if I called you. I can’t remember. Maybe I did. I can’t remember, but, you know, yeah, I did call you. I was in the hotel room. And I was basically like, “Hey, listen. I don’t know like if I can do this.”

And, you know, here’s the thing. I mean, in full transparency, I was fucking checked out like two months prior. I mean, like honestly, like at the end of the day, Katya is a fucking rock star. And I was checked out of everything. You know what I mean? Like my team knew that I was checked out of the business. Katya knew I was checked out of the business.

She was like coming with me like with like, “What the fuck? We need marketing,” because, of course, she’s an operations person, not a marketer. And, of course, you know, if we don’t have marketing, we have no sales. And, of course, I’m just there being like, “If I have to do another webinar, I’m going to jump off a cliff.”

Katya: Yeah, pretty much.

Scott: Yeah. So all these things kind of came. And then I was like, “All right. Well, you know what? At the end of the day, my belief is, you know, we have a great business here. We have a great business model.” And I also have a belief and the [inaudible 01:02:52] in my life is that I always want to make sure that someone’s better off than when I met them. And I didn’t want to, you know, just leave Katya with like a business with like . . . you know, she’s an operator, not a marketer. And at the same time, I was like, we have of all these clients. We have all of these customers. I don’t want to like just, you know, let them go. I mean, that’s not me.

And so I was like, “All right. You know what? Let me call Andrew because I think that he might, you know, be able to do with a deal with us.” And then, you know, I called you or I texted you, then I called you, saw that there was something there. And then, you know, over the next like 10 days, just so we did a deal. And, I mean, I think it’s going to be amazing because the thing is I think bots are still in its infancy. It’s just quite literally I know the fact that what I’m focused on. I have a three-year plan. I’m executing on that three-year plan. I’m excited about this three-year plan for the first time since I was literally 18 years old, the last time I fucked up. We’ll see if I don’t fuck this one up. And that’s pretty much where we [inaudible 01:03:46].

Andrew: Let me take a moment to ask Katya a question about that time before we continue with where you are and what happened recently. Katya, you could have continued to run it. You told me you didn’t. Why not?

Katya: Oh, it was basically like what Scott said. It’s like I went into this as a partnership. And we had very clearly outlined what each of us was going to do. And like Scott said, he checked out for like two or three months before we actually had that conversation. I think like in the back of my mind, I was waiting for that conversation. I just didn’t know how to start it or like so how to be like, “Hey, Scott. It’s obvious you don’t want to do this. And I don’t want to do this without you,” because I really enjoy the systems and operations.

And that in my head, it’s like I was treating Scott and Bots for Business as a client. I was setting up systems and operations. I was setting up SOPs. I was setting up charcoal boards and project management emails, hiring people. That’s what I was doing for my clients before. That’s what I’m doing for my clients now. So without the client, there’s nothing for me to do, kind of like mindset is where I was coming from. Like I thrive off of other people’s creativity and vision. And without Scott there, I was like, “This isn’t going to be enjoyable or fulfilling for me. So that’s just not going to work.”
Andrew: You’re not going to love winging it on the webinar or doing the Facebook live and driving people . . . no, I could see it in your face. All right. And so then you guys called me. I said, “Sure. Let’s do it.” And then I went to my team. And they said, “Dude, you just told us that you don’t want any more chaos. Now you’re adding one more thing.” I said, “Yeah, but this is a great opportunity.” I had to actually convince them. And in retrospect, I shouldn’t have been so dismissive of what they were doing. So I think it was okay for them to have given me more warning and told me what to be prepared for because I just thought, “I can do anything. And then let’s figure it out.”

The other thing that I wish I’d done was Justin Hartzman, the founder of Needls, who is a good friend of mine now, he has this company that he’s run forever that buys and sells businesses. I came to him five seconds before we agreed to sign the contract. And so I didn’t want to take any of his feedback at that point. I should have gone to him before and said, “How do we transition this right? What should we be doing?” I should have been thinking a little bit more about that.

But in reality what I said was, “You know what? We’re doing really well. Here’s how long it takes us to acquire a new email address. This is what we’re paying per email address. I think we can make this work. And in my gut I feel that this is the right decision. And let’s go with it.” And I think it was the right decision. I do think that I should have just said, “In my gut.” I should have said, “Here’s how I’m thinking about it. And we as a team now will get trained on how we think about future acquisitions like this.”

All right. As a result, we acquired you guys. Katya was the point person. We introduced her to our base camp. This woman was a beast. Every item was in the checklist. You out-organized us. And then, I mean, you like send us thinking like, “What the hell are you guys doing? Why aren’t we organized even better?” We are always going to keep getting organized better. And we’re always going to be disorganized to some degree. I have to accept that. And as a result, we’re doing well with the transfer.

It is now official. I thought initially we would just take all of your business and acquire it into ours and mix it all up and have one big. No, I like what you guys have so much I think we have to keep it as separate companies. I thought the overlap in our email list would be big. It’s not. Not only is the overlap maybe 20%, which means that we’re reaching 80% of your list completely fresh, and we never would have reached them before, but the way you communicated with your audience is different. The products that you offered is different. And so we’re going to keep them separate and try to figure out how to run both as separate properties, both focused on chatbots.

We will be teaching people how to create chatbots. If you’re out there and you’re looking to learn how to create a chatbot, go to botacademy.com and learn it. If you want one built for you, go to botacademy.com and select hire. We’ll introduce you to one of our graduates. And you guys can have a chatbot built for you. I want to close this out through, not with that, but by asking you, Scott and Katya, what are you doing now?

Scott, why don’t we start with you? Now, I kept referencing this car going in water. Where are you? And what the hell happened with this car. I think we have to tell that story.

Scott: Yeah, well, I mean, you know, I’m like 14 out of 10 on a quick start. So it pretty much shows up in every part of my life. Sometimes it’s great. Sometimes it’s terrible. So I came down to Nicaragua. I’m here for a month. And I rented a car. And I maybe over-estimated how high the car was. I may have under-estimated how deep the river was. So I went through the river, got to the other side, but, I mean, I basically ruined the engine and absolutely everything.

Of course, one thing that insurance doesn’t cover over here in Nicaragua was water damage because they know that there’s idiots like me that’s going to go through a river. So anyways, I’ve got to replace the Hyundai Tungsten or whatever the heck it’s called now, but in saying that, I am literally going to pick up a new 4×4 like right after this. So I got a new vehicle. And, you know, it is what it is, but to me it was a fun experience.

It was a scary as fuck experience though because I don’t know any Spanish. And I’m trying to like talk to these people. I finally got a map. I’ve got like $5,000 cash on me. My passports, like everything else, I’m in a foreign country. I don’t know everyone’s so nice. And maybe they weren’t, but anyways, I got here. And I was really scared because, you know, at the end of the day, I just don’t know any Spanish.

Andrew: Yeah, the last time I talked to you, you were escaping fire in southern California. And now you’ve got a water-damaged car.

Scott: I mean, it’s really funny, but the cool thing is like everything that happens to me is this amazing story and amazing reflection and amazing like [inaudible 01:09:12].

Andrew: So what’s the business that you’re doing while you’re having all these adventures. What does your business look like right now?

Scott: So yeah. So, I mean, there’s kind of three parts of it. The first part of it’s the Relevancy Engine. So we help people that are doing $25,000 a month scale past seven figures. The second one, I’m working with people one-on-one that are already at $1 million or $2 million and helping them scale up. And then the third one is kind of I’m doing some investment and investing in a group of companies [inaudible 01:09:35]. So that’s what I’m doing.

Andrew: The two companies that you’re doing, or excuse me, the two aspects of your business where you’re working is entrepreneurs is done with you where you’re helping them scale up their ads, scale up their . . . is that right?

Scott: Yeah. You could say that. Basically, at the end of the day Relevancy Engine’s about insuring that you’re the most relevant choice in your marketplace, that you’re omnipresent to your right customer, and that you can be intimate in front of them because at the end of the day, that’s really what it takes to scale to seven figures. Then when we get to seven figures, it’s all about marketing sales, financials, operations, delivery, and mindset.

So the Relevancy Engine is where I help people scale to seven figures. That’s a leverage model. My team helps them. And then once they get to seven figures, I can help them in a semi-one-on-one fashion scale to seven figures. And I actually had a 100% success rate last year on helping people scale at a 2X from $1 million up past that.

Andrew: And where do people go find you for that? Is it scottolford.com?

Scott: Yeah. [Inaudible 01:10:35].

Andrew: Great. And then Katya?

Scott: And whoever’s listening, if I’m talking to YouTube subscribers, so please subscribe, for God’s sakes.

Andrew: Let me see your YouTube subscribers.

Scott: I’ve made a million dollars easier than getting on YouTube. Okay? Made $1 million way easier. Okay. Sorry.

Andrew: I’m on your site right now. You’ve got 1,000 subscribers.

Scott: Yeah, it’s brutal. I mean, I launched it like three weeks ago, but, you know, it is what it is.

Andrew: Set a car on fire in a pool in southern California. Apparently, that works for some people.

Scott: Oh, yeah. There you go.

Andrew: No, I think it’s one of those things that takes some time to build up. And I see what you’re doing there. I like the thumbnails on it.

All right. Katya, I wanted to work with you. You said, “No, I’m not doing this right now.” What are you doing now instead?

Katya: So I’m actually doing more done-with-you and do-it-yourself when it comes to systems and operations because there’s a lot of people that are really good like Scott at getting leads and getting sales and growing their income, but then when it comes to the operations, hiring team, setting up processes, setting up the operations they need a little bit more help.

So I have been going in and auditing people’s businesses and then giving them basically the action plan of, “Okay. Here’s what we need to. Here’s what you need to hire. Here’s the structure of your business. Here’s the SOPs that you need. Go and do it.” And I will be there and support them in that, like answer their questions, coach them along, help them like start thinking in the CEO mindset, rather than like, “Oh, I’m just going to do everything myself because I can.” You know?

So I’m actually starting a group now because I’m booked out with done-with-you clients for almost like half the year like through April, but I still have like three people booked for April, May, and June. So now I’m starting a group because people are like, “I really need to like learn systems.” So that’s going to be more of the do-it-yourself of like how I think of systems, how I set up systems for different types of businesses because not everyone’s business is the same. So not all systems are going to be the same.

And just being louder actually because that was one of the things I learned with Scott is like, I’m too quiet, but I’ve helped so many people deeply in their business with their systems and operations that it was like, “I’ve got to be louder about this. Like I need to teach this stuff more.” So I’ve been more focused on content creation and just getting that message out there.

Andrew: So where do we find out about you? Is it your Facebook page?

Katya: Yeah, so reachandmakemillions.com. And then you can find all of my social media. I’m usually posting on my Facebook.

Andrew: Give that domain again.

Katya: Reachandmakemillions.com.

Andrew: Got it. All right. And that’s where we can hire you the second half of the year or learn from you right now.

Katya: Yes.

Andrew: All right. Well, guys, thank you so much. And congratulations. You took an idea that two people who just weeks before met each other and came up with. You built it into this thing where it was an agency and then also this educational platform, and then this movement with your Facebook group. And I am proud that now it’s part of the Mixergy family. We have botacademy.com and also botsfor.business, the company that you guys started.

It’s impressive how fast you guys can get things off the ground and how much you can build, especially with the infrastructure that was behind the scenes and I think most people will never see, but we are very excited about. Thanks, Scott. Thanks, Katya.

Katya: Thank you.

Scott: Thank you.

Andrew: All right. And finally, I’ll close this out by saying to everyone, please go check out my two sponsors. If your books aren’t right, if you don’t know how much money you’re making week to week, month to month, it’s not your fault. You need to hire someone who is really good at it. And I know someone who’s got great software who can get you organized right. Start 2018 well by going to bench.co. Remember, .com apparently is no longer cool. Bench.co/mixergy.

And if you want to do marketing automation right, I’m telling you you’ve got to go try it. Just try it for free at activecampaign.com/mixergy. I’m really proud of those two sponsors.

And as always, keep giving me feedback. If you’re not 100% excited about my sponsor, I want to know about it, andrew@mixergy.com, or 201 Mission Street. I’ve got someone who’s been listening for a long time who’s going to be here in a few hours right in the heart of San Francisco. And I’d love to see everyone who’s listening. Thanks, Scott. Thanks, Katya.

Scott: Thank you.

Katya: Thanks.


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