Andrew: Hey, everyone. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses.
And unlike other podcasts that are featuring entrepreneurs and entrepreneur stories that do it kind of like for mind candy, this is really an interview program that I do for real entrepreneurs, people who want to build real companies, which is I why I ask specific questions, which is why I want to understand specifically how they did what they did because I know my audience isn’t looking for entertainment, they’re not just looking for the fun part of it. They want to understand how they can do it too.
Great evidence of that is today’s guest. He doesn’t even remember this, but when he was a student at Arizona State University a few years ago, he emailed me as a fan with advice and suggestions for what he would like from the interviews. I happened to be looking through my inbox for his Skype contact information and saw an old message that he sent me.
Well, he’s done a lot since he was a student. He started a consulting company and he’ll talk about why, where he did work for clients. Then he found a product that he wanted to build and a lot of services companies that try to build products fail, but he succeeded. He actually made it work. This product is so good that before I even knew he was involved with it, before I had any idea of how it came about, I just kept hearing all the results of it.
Check it out. Here’s what it does. First of all, his name is Jeremy Ellens. He is the founder of LeadQuizzes. It helps you generate leads and sales using quizzes. But here’s what it does. Imagine you go to a website and they bring up a modal pop up that says, “Enter your email address and I’ll send you a guide.” That will get good email addresses and good conversions. But it turns out if you ask people a question like, “Hey, what’s your role at the company?” and you make it easy for them to select and say, “How big is your email list, how big is your company?”
You ask them for a few questions that are relevant to why you want their email address before asking for their email address, a little bit of a quiz, that little bit of interaction increases conversions, which is counterintuitive. You’d think adding more steps would reduce your conversions. It turns out adding the right number of steps increases conversions and that’s what I heard from marketers that I knew before I knew about this company behind that conversion process.
All right. So, we’re going to find out how he built up this business and how he got here and we’ll learn a little bit about conversions along the way. This whole interview is sponsored by two companies you’ve heard me talk about a lot because they get such great freaking results from Mixergy. The first will host your website right. It is called HostGator. The second will help you hire your next phenomenal developer and maybe you could also build a software company the way that Jeremy has. That company is called Toptal, where you can get great developers. I’ll tell you more about them later. First, Jeremy, welcome.
Jeremy: Thanks, Andrew. I’m so excited to be here. For me, this isn’t just another interview, as you mentioned. This was one of the first resources I followed when I was thinking about becoming an entrepreneur. I didn’t have a business yet. You really inspired me to become an entrepreneur. I went through a couple businesses before getting to LeadQuizzes. I want to thank you and I’m super excited. Hopefully I can share and inspire some people like you did.
Andrew: I’m psyched to have you here. I’m wondering—you were listening to this in school. How was this part of your life listening to Mixergy?
Jeremy: So, back in school, I think maybe sophomore, junior year in college, I started thinking about becoming an entrepreneur and coming up with ideas. I just started listening to some resources. I love how you went in depth with some of these people. Some of the people you started interviewing, I was like, “I can do this. It sounds really exciting to me.” So, it kind of inspired me to start trying out some ideas while I was in school.
Andrew: Yeah. The email address you used was an ASU.edu email address, which is how I knew you were a student at the time. Revenue right now from LeadQuizzes is where?
Jeremy: Yeah. We’re over $1 million now.
Andrew: Are you willing to say specifically how much?
Jeremy: Yeah. We’re doing about like $100,000 a month right now.
Andrew: Phenomenal. Any outside funding?
Andrew: Okay. When did you launch the company?
Jeremy: So we launched our digital marketing agency as you mentioned back in 2012. So just when I was like six months before I graduated, we did that probably three or four years or so. I’m happy to go into the specifics around why we shifted. We launched LeadQuizzes to the public last January.
Andrew: It took you a year and a half to get to $100,000 in sales just from LeadQuizzes?
Andrew: Wow. All right. You told our producer the reason you started a services business is you said, “I can’t find a job. I don’t want to find a job.” Talk to me a little bit about that feeling and then how you started your business.
Jeremy: I had another business. I built an app and we got recognized on Entrepreneur.com and a bunch of different places. It was making a little bit of money. My team was scattered. So honestly, selfishly I started thinking, “How can I get some developers to help build this for free?” because I was scrappy and I was poor at the time. So I put together a group of top developers and was kind of in that phase six months to graduation, like can I make enough money. I never actually applied for any jobs, but I wanted to make enough money in that time.
So out of that group of the top developers and programmers and business people I put together at ASU, I met up with my business partner, Domubari Vizor, and we kind of had the same passion and drive and needed to make money quickly. So that was the goal, make money within six months where that can be the full-time thing. We did it. We weren’t like rich. I remember living on an air mattress that was broken. It was like bowed up in the middle. So it wasn’t anything like glamorous in the beginning, but we were able to make it.
Andrew: I see. You said, “I need money in order to build out this app. What’s the best way for me to make money if I have no money to invest in the business? Well, it’s services.” So you brought together a bunch of great developers and you found work for them and that’s how you were going to make your money.
Jeremy: Yeah. So we found like our first couple projects, I think it was like $500 and like $2,000 and they were like, “We worked our asses off for this.” Remember, the $500, the $1,000 site we had was like a mobile version for a franchise. It was literally like 30 websites we built. We were working like crazy, but we were just doing it to build our case studies and reputation and kind of cash flow the business in the beginning. Andrew, we only put like $200 into our business just to open the bank account, that was it.
Andrew: I can imagine. It really doesn’t take that much to start a services business, a digital agency is basically your time, right? That’s what your biggest investment and maybe your cellphone. So what were you going to focus on?
Jeremy: As an agency?
Jeremy: Our agency, we started focusing on web development. We did that for a while. We started getting some referrals and building it up. Like I said, we started out charging $500 for sites and eventually started getting up to $10,000, $20,000 for sites. We started finding out that people would be like, “You launched a site for me. Why am I not getting more sales?”
And it’s like we didn’t design out a plan to get you more traffic or more leads or whatever. We figured there was a need in the market to focus on the marketing side and we also saw it as a better business model where we could charge recurring revenue and set up some retainers instead of chasing—we’d have a ton of sales in January and then February no sales and it’s just kind of hard to build a business that way.
Andrew: The company was called—is it Yazamo?
Jeremy: Yeah, Yazamo.
Andrew: What’s Yazamo?
Jeremy: So Yazamo, we just made it up.
Andrew: You just needed something you could get the dotcom for.
Jeremy: Yeah. It sounded cool. It was available. We didn’t have too much competition. There was a birth control called Yaz at the time that was going out right at the time, so that was perfect timing, no confusion there.
Andrew: How’d you get your first customers?
Jeremy: So our first customers were people that we knew and just hustling, like going to networking events, asking for help.
Andrew: Like the Chamber of Commerce type events?
Jeremy: No. We actually got a student to buy our first one, and then we had another friend that already had a successful company. He just threw us a bone and made some introductions for us.
Andrew: Okay. You’re going in. You’re building websites for them. Do you remember the first one that you needed to build out—I think I know it. It’s Dr. Tami, isn’t it?
Jeremy: That was our first quiz campaign.
Andrew: You did something for her. You just built it for her, the quiz. What was she coming to you for? Let’s break this down since this was the aha moment.
Jeremy: Yeah. Fast forward a little bit. We had worked on a campaign with a guy named Peter Diamandis. We helped him sell over 18,000 books when we were working in marketing.
Andrew: I know him. He’s the guy that does the X Prize?
Jeremy: The X Price, Singularity University.
Andrew: What were you doing for him?
Jeremy: Yeah. We helped him relaunch his book, “Abundance.” So we helped him sell 18,000 copies of that. He did close to half a million in sales, and then I think we grew his email list by 40,000 or something like that.
Andrew: So you weren’t just building his website. At this point, you’d already gotten into marketing services.
Andrew: You were doing both. What worked best for you for marketing his book?
Jeremy: For him, he drove a lot of affiliate traffic and then we just set up a sales funnel. So the book was a free plus shipping offer and then there was like an upsell. There were like three upsells after that.
Andrew: What were his upsells?
Jeremy: There was one like an information like an audio product. Abundance was all about like exponential technologies and the world is getting better and brighter and what are the opportunities. The audio was going deeper into that. Then he had a video course that he created, if I’m remembering this correctly where he did a conference, which now is like Abundance 360 Conference, which he charges like over $10,000 a ticket for. So he recorded the first one and created the video product out of that. Then the last upsell was like tickets to Singularity to University, which is like the in-person kind of academy thing.
Andrew: Which he cofounded.
Andrew: I think of him has such as cerebral guy. I don’t think of him as the kind of guy who would want marketing funnels and affiliates. Who was his affiliate?
Jeremy: He had a lot of people. I think some of the top affiliates were like Dean Graziosi, Tony Robbins got it and mailed for him, a lot of people through a guy named Joe Polish and his network.
Andrew: Wow. I imagine they weren’t doing it for money. There’s not that much revenue in that kind of a funnel. How many people are going to end up coming to his event, am I right?
Jeremy: I think largely he was able to leverage who he is and people wanted to be closer to him and do some favors for him because I think a lot of times the launch, you don’t make a lot of money, same with conferences and a lot of things, you’ve got to figure out the model. I think out of that, he learned the conference was what he wanted to focus on, the big thing. So he’s kind of evolved and that’s his main focus as far as that part of his business.
Andrew: I see. I can understand why—I don’t think Tony Robbins is going to make that much money by being an affiliate of his. Peter Diamandis is a really good guy to be connected with because he’s the thinker that people in Silicon Valley turn to for a sense of the future. His X Prize got people to think about how civilians could get somebody into outer space and inspired a lot of other related projects. Singularity University is highly respected here too. How’d you get him as a client?
Jeremy: We got him through our relationship with a guy named Joe Polish. Joe would create a relationship with him and we were one of Joe’s top referral partners.
Andrew: Why? Why did Joe Polish send you people?
Jeremy: So I met him back in college. I cold reached out to him and just started saying here’s some stuff that we started implementing that he was teaching, like a remember he was teaching guys like the 12-step guide of things you can do, mistakes that you’re making. So we created one of these around the 12 steps of hiring a website developer and we’re like, “All right, Joe, we implemented this, we made $10,000 from it.” So we kind of started building a relationship and building some of his sites and his marketing and that kind of stuff.
Andrew: I see. That’s impressive. His following really, they follow his work really closely, they want to do what he does, they trust him. So he’s a really good referrer. Did he get any commission anytime he referred someone to you?
Jeremy: Yeah. We paid him commissions.
Andrew: What kind of commissions were you guys paying him?
Jeremy: I don’t remember there’s like—I don’t remember exact percentage, but we would pay him commissions on it and we’d swap work for attending some of his conferences as well.
Andrew: I’m kind of surprised that guys like him would even take a commission because how much money could he make from this kind of referral, not that much, right? It’s much better to just send you work, do it for the goodwill and be able to say to everyone that he’s referring to you that he doesn’t even get a commission because it’s not that much money, but sometimes I wonder.
I read this book that was very critical of Donald Trump, and one of the stories in there was about this magazine that would send really rich people checks for like $10 to see who would cash it. Then they sent them $4 to see who would cash it. They just kept going down, and they were surprised by how many really rich people cashed just a few bucks. As they went down to a few pennies, most of them dropped out, stopped depositing these checks. Donald Trump deposited right down to the last pennies that they sent out.
I know that they were kind of using that example as a way of showing how greedy he was, but I’ve been thinking about it and I wonder if what it shows is a care about money that is expressed down to that detail and also up to like the million-dollar deals and things that are more important. Like maybe it’s not so much like Joe Polish needs a few thousand bucks from referring people to you. It’s just that he needs the mentality of, “I care about money and you should care about money and this is a business relationship. That’s more important and the way we express it is by reinforcing that we keep charging and keep collecting payment.” You’re nodding at that.
Jeremy: Sure. I’m thinking of that quote, I can’t think of exactly what it says, but those people that watch the pennies and cents are the people that aren’t going to have to worry about money, you know?
Andrew: Yeah. That’s something that I’ve lost. When I didn’t have much money in my life, I was caring about every single penny. My dad would watch me rolling up pennies in those little roles because I was watching TV anyway, why not role it up. You get a stack of them, you make $0.50 and it’s a deal. And now I don’t care that much and I think that it’s a bad habit I’m developing. I think if I don’t care about the pennies, it also means that if I’m negotiating with someone for $100,000, I don’t worry about every little detail of it and I should. I should pay a little more attention.
All right. So, I see how Joe Polish is sending you referrals. How did you get into digital marketing when you were starting out building websites?
Jeremy: Yeah. We started following people like Neil Patel. We followed that. We went to marketing conferences. We learned a lot from Joe and following his I Love Marketing podcast. Then in services, a lot of times you’re getting the practice. So, if you make a good deal, people will let you practice on them and so like we learned a lot by doing as well.
Andrew: But why? If you’re someone who can actually build a website, if you’re someone who can actually code or you’ve got a team of people who can, isn’t that more impressive and more unique ability than the ability to go by more ads on Facebook, which seems a little more common. Why shift? The business sense for shifting was what?
Jeremy: I felt like one of the things I mentioned was a better business model as far as it was recurring revenue for us. We could switch into that mode versus websites. What are we charging, like maintenance or something like that? We were working with small businesses. I think there was that aspect to it. The other thing I brought up was people, what they wanted was more leads and sales. That was a focus. The other thing that we kind of got annoyed with that I think a lot of agencies deal with is just this objectiveness of that work.
Andrew: I get why you chipped away from services to software. What I’m wondering is why shift from one kind of service to another. I think I understand it, actually. Building websites becomes a commodity thing, at some point. You guys never leveled up even though you could build apps. You never leveled up to the super expensive apps. You weren’t building apps for guys like Lyft and other businesses.
So you said, “Look, if we’re not going to go higher in there, let’s look for continuous revenue, something where we have more control of how much money we make.” That’s where you get into digital marketing and when you do digital marketing, you have ongoing relationships with people, you get to often make a share of how much you spend for them. Am I right on this?
Andrew: Okay. And then you were starting to say, “Hey, look, this is still better,” but there’s a problem of feast or famine. You get a bunch of customers in January and then March comes around and they just don’t want to buy anymore ads or the summer comes around and they don’t want to buy ads or they shift to someone else and you’re kind of stuck and you can only take on so many customers before you grow your business to a level that’s hard to manage.
All right. So the thing that led you to create your first piece of software is this relationship with Dr. Tami. I’m going to talk about my sponsor and then we’re going to come back and talk about what Dr. Tami did that helped you get there.
The sponsor is a company called HostGator. You know what? We had this business where we’re teaching people how to build chat bots, letting them buy chat bots for their businesses and we needed a hosting company to host our website. There are tons of people out there.
When I thought about who we should go with, I said I want someone who’s dependable and I want someone who can keep up with a large number hitting my site all at once because I know when it comes with doing live webinars, which is what I wanted to do so I could get feedback, so I could sell, etc., I know that hundreds of people could show up at the same time and the website needs to hold them and not crash at that moment, which is too painful. I knew that we were going to do a big sale over a period of a couple of days. I wanted the site to hold up. So, I said I’m going to go to HostGator.
Now, with HostGator, they have a couple of different packages. They have the cheaper package, which I really urge anyone who’s getting started to start off with. We’re talking about understand $10 a month, you end up with a really good website, one that gives you unmetered disk space, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited email addresses, tech support, the whole thing.
But I wanted their even better package. So, we started out with their cheap plan but we moved very fast to their dedicated server, where I knew that I would get the best of the best hosting. The day came and I meant to look to see how well our site held up to test HostGator, but I totally forgot about it. I think that’s a good thing. I just got on to my webinar. I knew that my email was going to go out at the right time. People started showing up and I completely forgot to check to see how the site is doing because the site just kind of held up.
To me, that is the ideal—a web hosting company that you don’t even have to think about, that just works. That’s what I love about HostGator. So, if you’re looking to get started, they’ve got what they call the hatchling plan and the baby plan. You can get started with that. If you hate your hosting company and you want one that’s inexpensive, you can get started with those.
But whenever you’re ready to move up and get this kind of bulletproof hosting company that can actually scale up as you have big sales, as you do big webinars, as your site grows, then you can do what we do, just keep growing with HostGator. They have lots of packages that you can go beyond the basics.
But here’s the URL where you can get started with them right now. If you hate your hosting company or they’re charging you too much or you’re starting with a new business, I urge you to check out this special URL. It is HostGator.com/Mixergy. When you go there, you’re going to get 50% off their already low prices. Actually, thanks to one Mixergy person who found that they offer their business plan at 55% off or something somewhere else, the business plan is at 60% off. So someone complained and said, “Hey, Andrew, that’s not a big enough discount.” I took it to HostGator and they said, “All right, here’s a bigger discount.”
If you go to HostGator.com/Mixergy, most plans will give you 50% off, one of them will give you 60% off. But don’t do it because of that, the little distinction in prices. It’s not about saving a few pennies. It’s about getting really good hosting. That’s what HostGator does, HostGator.com/Mixergy.
Andrew: All right. Dr. Tami—by the way, I’m really enjoying the way that I’m doing these ads lately.
Jeremy: That was entertaining.
Andrew: Sometimes it sucks. You know what I don’t want to do? Some of the people whose podcasts I listen to will just freaking repeat the same ads. The podcast starts with the same four minutes and 30 seconds of advertising, the exact same things over and over again for like MyUnderwear or whatever it is and it’s the same thing and I’m bored out of my mind. I want the element of danger. I want the fact that sometimes my advertisers are freaking pissed because I didn’t read it right because I think that makes for a much more interesting read and I want the personal story in there.
I want to try and I like also becoming a good sales person. My heroes have always been really good salespeople. I mean like business people, but also even like performers. Howard Stern was a damn good salesperson. He would go on and do commercials for Jewish singles week. There are Nazis who wished they were Jewish so they could go to Jewish singles week just because Howard Stern said they could have such fun and get laid there. That’s a good salesman.
All right. On to Dr. Tami—how did you start working with Dr. Tami?
Jeremy: Yeah. She was a referral to us because she just signed a book deal. She was like six months out or so and wanted to hit the bestseller with it. It was a book called “The Hormone Secret.” So we went up—at the time our model was we’d do an in-person consultation. So, we flew out to Seattle to see her. She was a hormone doctor, had her local clinics, all local patients but wanted to sell this book, wanted to start having an impact on people all over the world and selling some information products, supplements, that kind of thing.
So what we did with her is we did this consultation. We looked at everything she had and we saw she only had maybe a couple hundred people on her email list and we were like with this Diamandis campaign, it took a lot of traffic. I think it took 120,000 visits to drive the results that we got for Peter. So we looked at what she had and we’re like, “We need to focus on her email list. She’s got six months. If we can build her email list, she can build a relationship to it and then she can launch this book to her email list, amongst some other things like affiliates, but at least she has a base of people to launch to.”
We looked at all that. We said, “How about a hormone quiz? We can advertise it on Facebook.” We kind of did that. We set that up for her. We started advertising on Facebook. I remember there was like three of us at the time all crowded around a computer. We’re looking at the results. We’re like, “Are we reading this correctly?” We’re like, “Yeah, okay, we’re reading it correctly. She’s getting really cheap leads.” We’re like, “Is this a tiny audience? Can we continue to advertise to it?” It was like an audience of like millions. So we could definitely scale it.
So, after the course of about six months, we helped her generate just under 35,000 leads and it only cost $0.19 a lead. So, normally in our space, Andrew, it would be like $1.00 to $3.00. So it was pretty ridiculous results. That was kind of like the start and the inspiration of like, “We should do more of these. We should use more quizzes.”
Andrew: Why did you know a quiz was worth banking on? As I said at the top of the interview, it’s counterintuitive.
Jeremy: Yeah. So, as far as doing it, I don’t know, I think we kind of stumbled into it a little bit. Some of my team came up with that idea. I think she had some questions she could have used. We knew we needed to focus on the email list because we worked with a lot of clients at the time and a lot of them that struggled, they didn’t have a consistent source of traffic they could tap into. If they wanted to launch a new campaign, they had to go to Facebook or paid traffic and that’s always very expensive to test. You don’t have patience. Whereas if you have an email list and you’ve built up a following, you can launch it to them and it’s a lot easier.
Andrew: So I get that. I guess you were kind of experimenting with a quiz to see if that worked better. Most people would do a lead magnet, right? They would just say, “Here’s the first chapter of the book or here’s a checklist,” and offer that and that works pretty well and that’s what gets you $3. Where’d you come up with the idea for a quiz? Who’d you copy it from?
Jeremy: I don’t know if we have a great idea. She had some questions in a quiz and we thought, “Let’s try this out.” So I think we stumbled into it by chance. I don’t think it was something that was highly used at the time.
Even today, I don’t think a lot of people sue quizzes, although there are some businesses that have built their whole business around it. If you look at “The 5 Love Languages” book, that’s based around you take a quiz and figure out what your love language is or like the Cosmo magazines, they’ve been doing quizzes in magazines for years. So, to answer your question, I think we just kind of stumbled into it and we were lucky, but I think all entrepreneurs have a little bit of luck along the way.”
Andrew: I see. And the important thing is you saw that and you said, “Hey, you know what? This could be the thing we productize. This could be the thing we start selling as software.” So once you did it once, did you create it from scratch for yourselves?
Jeremy: Yeah. So we didn’t see any quiz software that we liked that was flexible, so we hand coded the whole thing. We designed it. We developed it. It took a couple weeks to get it created.
Andrew: Once you have that, how long does it take you to turn it into a product that you can sell to other people?
Jeremy: Until we turn it into a software?
Jeremy: Our evolution is we did Dr. Tami’s quiz and then when we finally decided, “All right, let’s focus on this,” there were some problems with our service model we were finding.” We were like, “Let’s focus on the quizzes.” So we went out and got some referrals and got people lined up. It was taking like two weeks to hand code and duplicate it. We build a first version of our software where you could knock it out in two hours, but I remember the first time like going through it it’s like if you made any mistakes, you had start over. It was a pretty rough version one.
Andrew: That was my audio. You mean if a user—it’s my audio because I hit mute whenever I need to sniffle, I have endless sniffles, so I hit mute while you’re answering. But what I started to say was it took you two hours to code it up and then if a user went through this quiz and said, “You know what? I don’t like what I answered a moment ago and hit the back button, they’d have to start from scratch with their quiz.
Jeremy: No. I’m talking about like they could get through a quiz in a couple minutes, but as far as the development side, at first it was taking us two weeks to code and design everything. Once we built the first version of our software, you could create a whole quiz in less than two hours. What I was saying is as you’re putting in the questions and that kind of stuff, like if you have to go backwards in the process, it pretty much scrapped the whole thing.
Andrew: I see.
Jeremy: It was a pretty rough MVP, but it definitely worked for us to test it out.
Andrew: Was it for you guys to build quizzes for your other clients? It was. It wasn’t yet making it available to the world.
Andrew: Okay. You started using it with your other clients. Did they start seeing results that were the same, $0.19 per lead?
Jeremy: Yeah. So, we started working with a lot of other people and they were generating up to 10,000 leads a month, some of them, like smaller businesses, maybe they were only generating a couple thousands leads, but a lot of times those clients didn’t even have a couple thousand leads. So, we were seeing a lot of repeatable results from reusing the quiz.
Andrew: Okay. So you said at that point this could be a product we make available to the world, is that right?
Jeremy: I think when we built the first version of the software, we kind of saw this was a good business model, it’s something a lot of people need. So, after we got the first version up, it sped things up a lot and made our services more profitable. That’s when we decided let’s make a version of this we can launch to the public.
Andrew: Okay. How long did that take you?
Jeremy: I don’t remember exactly how long, but it probably took longer than it should have, probably like three or four months or something. We were bootstrapping this, Andrew. We had like a freelancer building out their first version, probably negotiated rates on the project, so he was getting tired, feeling over-strapped with the amount of work. It probably took a lot longer than if we were well-funded and could have just built it with a good team right off the bat.
Andrew: Yeah. I can imagine. But in many ways I think that’s better because once you have the idea—I don’t know that you needed that much money to build it, though. How much money did it cost you?
Jeremy: I don’t remember the exact numbers. Maybe the very first version cost like $5,000 for development and we already had design in hour and project management. You could add all that stuff in.
Andrew: We’re talking about like $25,000 all in, even if you include everything that you did to build it for your clients.
Jeremy: That’s probably a good estimate.
Andrew: And the first version, I don’t think it had WordPress plugin, right?
Jeremy: No. We didn’t even have like embed codes. It was a pretty rough first version. It was just kind of like a link to a hosted quiz that they could use.
Andrew: I see. So you guys were hosting the thing. Got it. Okay. Did people actually like that, to have it hosted on your site?
Jeremy: Yeah. People still use it. You look at sites like Leadpages, a lot of people will still leave their site on Leadpages or their landing page on Leadpages. We didn’t really see a big drop off.
Andrew: I was surprised by that. We worked with a marketer who helped us. He didn’t even bother masking the URL. To me it bothers me all the time because I look at URLs all the time, but maybe the average person doesn’t give a rat’s ass.
Jeremy: I think it’s a bit of vanity. I think when you compare them side by side, there isn’t a huge difference in people dropping off or exiting.
Andrew: You created that, you got some customers. Customers didn’t care that much about that. How did you get your first customers?
Jeremy: So we did like a launch and tried to pick up 200 customers at $97 a month. So we went out to our list. We went out to referrals. We started running some paid traffic. Kind of with all of that, we were able to get those first 200 customers and then close it off for a bit as we cleaned up some stuff based on feedback.
Andrew: So you did like an info marketing launch.
Andrew: How much were you selling it per month?
Jeremy: $97 a month at the time.
Andrew: I see. So, you roughly were banking $20,000 a month?
Andrew: That’s phenomenal. Did people actually stick around for more than two months?
Jeremy: Yeah, definitely. It’s been a year and a half since we launched. We still have early adopters on board. We definitely are still making money from them. Not all of them stuck on. I think as you get in to software, you’re definitely focused on your customer churn and how many customers are you losing and reducing that as much as possible. So, that’s always a focus. We definitely lost customers in the beginning, but I think we had some grace with them where they were the early adopters, early movers and willing to really work with us as we developed stuff out.
Andrew: How did you understand what to add, what to change? I know that for me, the first thing that I looked at when I looked at your site was is there a WordPress plugin. I didn’t want to mess with embed codes. Frankly, I don’t mess with embed codes anyway. We have a developer. But still, there’s something about the plugin that’s reassuring. It makes it simple. How did you know what features to prioritize, what to listen to your audience for?
Jeremy: Yeah. I think it’s evolved over time. Now we’re more data-driven, where we have a lot more users. We have a free plan that people can jump on. So there’s a lot of people we can look at and how are they using the app and make hypotheses and test stuff out. So I think that’s kind of how we’re doing it now, but originally we just only had $200 people, so we just had to listen to feedback and at the time, we also had like an agency site still, like that’s how we bootstrapped it was selling these managed clients, either doing quiz setups or running their traffic as well.
So we got the experience from ourselves of like what would we like to improve about the software as well as like the feedback from the customers around like what they wanted or what they were [inaudible 00:31:18].
Andrew: Because you’re doing it for your clients, you’re getting to see what they really want. That makes sense.
Andrew: I was talking about Chatfuel recently. They create chat bots or let their users create chat bots. They still do a lot of consulting services. In the beginning, they would refer it out to other people. Now they take on much of it themselves, but all of that gives them feedback into what features people are actually using, why they’re using it, what they wish that had. I get the power of that.
You also had some issues with your existing clients, right? Now you’re starting to shift towards software, but you have clients counting on you to do this other stuff for them and that became a bit of a problem. Tell me about that.
Jeremy: Yeah. I think the biggest problem was probably just internally, there was a lot of stress. There was a lot of work. When we went out and got our first quiz, like managed clients, where we were setting up the quiz and running a forum, I think our idea was we’ll set up the quiz for you for free and we want you to pay the first month of management, which is $1,000 a month. So that’s how we boostrapped the software. But as you can imagine—
Andrew: Wait, you’d call up people—I want to underline that—you’d call up someone, like you didn’t call me—why didn’t you call me, by the way?
Jeremy: I should have.
Andrew: You should have. You would email someone like me and say, “Hey, Andrew, we’re looking for case studies, we have this tool that helps you grow your subscribers by using quizzes. We’ll give it to you for free. All we want you to do is,” what?
Jeremy: We want you to pay $1,000 for your first month of management. So, that’s what we did first.
Andrew: Just $1,000?
Jeremy: Just $1,000.
Andrew: What do you mean by management?
Jeremy: So our management would be like we’d set up the quiz and then we’d run Facebook ads for them. So we’d run Facebook ads and also optimize the quiz and coach them on the sales of their quiz.
Andrew: I see. I’m paying for your services, which is your ad services and in return, I need to use your software.
Andrew: I get the value of that. When you give someone software for free, there’s very little incentive for them to install it. They have so much going on in their lives. Even if they install it, they don’t know how to get people to subscribe. They’re resistant to spending money to grow it. You’re committing them to spending money to grow it.
Jeremy: Yeah. At the time, Andrew, they didn’t have a login to the software. This was an earlier version. Most people didn’t even know they were on LeadQuizzes, probably. They just knew we were getting them results.
Andrew: So, basically you were selling the service, which is marketing that happens to use quizzes.
Andrew: Okay. And then what’s the next thing you did?
Jeremy: Yeah. You mentioned the problems. So what that created for us is we made a compelling offer. We got a lot of clients on that and we started getting a lot of results and building case studies from it, which was really helpful and really important, but I think from our team aspect, as you know, if we’re doing it for free, we’re just charging $1,000 and at the time, we didn’t have a limitation on how long it took between starting that ad campaign—so, we had people stretch it out like three, four months until we put like, “This needs to be done in 30 days.”
So we got stretched thin. That was tough on the team. I think we kept up the services still. You have some natural loss. We stopped chasing it and started turning more people away that weren’t a good fit until eventually we got 100% of our sales from our software or from like LeadQuizzes.
Andrew: Okay. You ended up bringing in salespeople, right? We’ll talk about that in a bit. Also, you did this thing that you told our producer that I don’t fully understand but I want to understand it. Here’s what my producer wrote in the notes, “After we exhausted our network, we had to start using outbound Facebook Messenger, we saw our clients were signing up for these online summits where they might speak as experts. So we figured they’re doing that to build their list and as a result, we started scraping lists of people who were signing up for summits.” What do you mean by that? People who were actually signing up to listen to summits.
Jeremy: Yeah. So, for anyone that’s not familiar with it, let’s say like I’m going to host a summit on lead generation. So I’m going to interview people, like let’s say I’m going to interview you, Andrew. I’m going to interview a bunch of experts. Everybody’s going to email their email list saying, “I’m on the summit, come and check it out.” There’s some ways they monetize it. That’s basically what it is.
We saw with our case studies, we were having a lot of success in the health space. So we went and targeted these health summits where people are getting interviewed, so they’re all experts in their space and they’re kind of like in the online space, which was good for us and they were interested in growing their list as well.
So we basically found a bunch of summits. We just started finding who were the people on the summits. We would go and find their Facebook profiles and then we would message them. So this was at the time when Facebook would let a lot of messages through. So probably what you’re seeing with your Facebook message bots is like we had a very high response rate. So, our response rate was probably 30%. So 30% of people were seeing this and I think we eventually closed probably 10% of the people that we messaged into a service campaign to fund the development of our software.
Andrew: So I see Neil Patel, for example, has got a summit coming up called the Advanced Content Marketing Summit. Are you figuring out who’s coming to the summit and messaging them, or are you messaging the people who speak at this—
Jeremy: The speakers.
Andrew: So go to their Facebook profile. So let me see if they have a list of speakers yet. I think I’m speaking at this thing. Pat Flynn, I think, is one of the speakers too. You would go to Pat Flynn on Facebook. You sent him a message, and you’d pitch him on this thing because you know he cares about marketing. You know he cares about content. He might want to put the two together in a quiz. That’s what you’re doing.
Andrew: I see. Okay. And that kind of outbound sales got you customers enough to help you fund the business.
Jeremy: Yeah. That was scalable. We pushed that as long as we could until one day Facebook changed up their algorithms and literally no one was opening those messages anymore if we weren’t friends with them.
Andrew: Then you hired a virtual assistant to do this before you got shut down by Facebook?
Jeremy: Yeah. When we first started, I was the one building lists and messaging people and then we figured out we were closing people and alright, let’s scale this up. So we found a VA where they were able to send hundreds of messages a day. So my calendar was booked full of probably 15 calls a day or something.
Andrew: Your VA was using your Facebook account to send all these messages out?
Andrew: I see. So you’ve got to know that you could find their email addresses fairly easily and message them via email. Did you try that?
Jeremy: Yeah, we did. After the Facebook thing, we did. The response rate was way, way less. It was probably four percent or three percent or something.
Andrew: That’s good to know, actually, the difference. That kind of makes me think that if you can put someone into a group, then Facebook will put your emails in their main inbox, I think, I forget. But it makes me think how do I figure out more ways to do that. Bots, chatbots do that, right? You get a chatbot, you go into their inbox. All right. You’re going to say something and then I want to talk about my second sponsor.
Jeremy: I was just going to say as far as an outbound strategy, I think it’s really good for predictable leads, but what we found was we hit Facebook at a time where there was an advantage, where we could get a very high response and open rate, where it made sense to sell a lower ticket thing. I think for people listening, outbound is probably a good strategy if you’re selling something that’s higher ticket and it’s worth lower response rates and chasing more people. That’s kind of my feedback. We switched from there into paid traffic next.
Andrew: All right. Let’s talk about paid traffic in a moment, but first I want to tell everyone about a company called Toptal. Imagine if you were Jeremy about two years ago and you had this idea for quizzes and instead of trying to figure out, “How do I get my guys to do this on the side? How do I find someone online to do a half-ass job?” Instead of doing all that, you say, “I want someone who can actually think about this like an owner, someone could think like a CTO-level thinker and help bring this product to life. The reason they could do it is because they brought other products to life. And I don’t have to tell them specifically every step of the process.
Well, what you could do is go online, start putting ads and start hoping that you’re going to find the right people and do all these tests to see if the people you found actually know their stuff and you go through this whole process or you could do what so many people in the Mixergy audience have done at this point.
You go to Toptal, top as in top of your head, tal as in talent. They have done all the screening already. They make sure the people in their network don’t ask the stupid questions or don’t follow anally exactly what you’re saying without understanding the bigger concept that you’re trying to pursue and have done enough work that they can actually bring some of the best things they’ve learned in past experiences to bear when they’re working with you. That’s the whole idea behind Toptal. If you’re looking for the best of the best developers, I’ve got a URL where you can go and hire a developer.
By the way, I keep talking about developers, but I should tell you that many people have hired Toptal because they wanted to figure out their pricing. So, Jeremy today might say, “I wonder if we’re actually charging the right price. Maybe we should be doing something about our pricing. How do I figure that out?”
Well, if you had an MBA on staff, someone who is an expert in pricing, you could figure it out. You can just say, “Hey, guy, go figure this out,” or have a guy who’s on the staff who’s like a data scientist like one my past interviewees and say, “Go do cohort analysis. Figure out what price level earns us the most money over time or gets us the most loyalty or whatever.”
Or you can say, “I don’t have a data scientist on hand. I want the best developer from Toptal but I can also get the best data scientist, the best MBA from Toptal and let them figure it out.” Toptal is now expanding way beyond developers. So, if you’re looking for someone who’s the best of the best beyond developers, you can get them there too.
I had an entrepreneur tell me that he needed to raise money, couldn’t put together all the data, all the spreadsheets he needed to, couldn’t figure out how to answer the tough questions investors were asking him. He said, “I’m going to get someone from Toptal, an MBA from Toptal who’s been through this and they will help me think through my pitch.” As a result, they got much better response when they went out to VCs.
All right. So I usually talk about the developers. I want to also broaden it and let you guys know they go beyond developers to MBAs, to designers, to the best of the best talent. Regardless, your starting point should not be Toptal.com. That’s for everyone else. That’s for the mainstream people. You are exceptional if you’re listening to Mixergy, so they want to woo you. As a result, they’re giving you 80 hours of Toptal developer credit—let me emphasize that because everyone tells me, “Andrew, you didn’t make that clear enough,” after they sign up, they can’t believe they get this.
Let me emphasize it—80 hours of Toptal developer credit when you pay for your first 80 hours and that’s in addition to a no-risk trial period of up to two weeks. They want you to be 100% satisfied. They know they can get you there because they’ve got such great developers. All you have to do is go to Toptal.com/Mixergy. That’s top as in top of your head, tal as in talent, Toptal.com/Mixergy.
All right. You then you decide you’re going to start buying Facebook ads. I’m wondering why, as a guy buying ads for other people, why you didn’t buy ads before. Why didn’t you start off buying ads, doing the thing you’re doing already?
Jeremy: That’s a good question. I think probably we were being super scrappy. We were trying to put all our money into our development and then do as much as we could without paying for advertisement beforehand. I think if I went back, I’d probably start advertising a lot sooner, but we also found this Facebook message thing. It worked like gangbusters for us. We were going to tap that as much as we could.
Andrew: I see. The first ads, how did they perform for you?
Jeremy: So the first month and a half or so, we weren’t getting people signing up profitably. So, we started doing is we started calling leads. That’s where we had a big switch and we could start scaling up our ad spend a lot. We’d get on a call with them and sell them into a higher ticket service. For us, it didn’t really make—
Andrew: Wait, this is important. I want to get into the details of this. You hired a coach who helped you work through this.
Andrew: The thing that the coaching led you to was saying, “We don’t just want a website that closes sales for us, which is the dream of most people, build a great landing page, great sales page, collect email addresses collect payments.” You said the coach helped you realize that you need to make calls to people. Did you change your offer? What was it that you were offering when it was just a do it yourself service versus a salesman involved service?
Jeremy: Yeah. So the do it yourself was the people signing up for a software package on their own. At the time, I think it was $97 and then we rolled out a few plans where it was like probably $12 to $250 a month. With those plans, we found it’s not worth the effort of you’ve got to go through some sales calls. You’re not going to close 100%. So it didn’t make sense on our time to try to sell those packages. We started creating some stuff, like we created $1,000 subscription for six months. We had a quiz set up that we sold and we had some ad management we sold of the quiz as well.
Andrew: $1,000 a month or $1,000 for six months?
Jeremy: Yeah. So $1,000 for six months of the software. That came with some training and some different bonuses. We just tested some different compelling offers for that one.
Andrew: That’s the one that you paired up with calls from salespeople.
Jeremy: Yeah. That as well as our quiz setup for our ad management.
Andrew: Let me see what the bigger takeaway from this is. The bigger takeaway seems to be charge more, include more services and for that, you need a salesperson to talk to the potential customer.
Jeremy: Yeah. So that helped us. When we work with clients, for example, when they’re just starting out and they’re trying to do everything where it’s just converting through their funnels and they’re only making a couple thousand dollars a month and it’s hard to make things work, what we found is if we sold a package for $1,000 or $2,5000, that pays back a lot of ad spend very, very quickly.
I think that’s a lot of a similar model to what a lot of people use for their advertisement. Whether you can see a higher ticket thing through a webinar or you can do it through a sales call, it’s hugely beneficial, so you can increase how much you’re spending to acquire new leads and new customers.
Andrew: I’m still not following it. Let’s take an example away from you. So one of the people I interviewed recently is a founder of a software called RecurPost. What they do is take your content and post it on an ongoing basis to social media, mostly Twitter. They charge I don’t know, $100 a month. How would they implement this?
Jeremy: For them, they could do exactly what they did. They could have a managed service where they’re doing it for people. I don’t know their product super well, but something like that or maybe there’s more hands on support done for you or they can package up a service, where you’re going to get six months of our software or a year of our software.
We try to pick the price point of about $1,000 because we thought that we easy for people to spend. We bonused in training. We bonused in other things that would make it easier for us. We bonused in a training, an auto-responder, copy that people could put into their email campaigns like Infusionsoft or MailChimp.
Andrew: And then when someone comes to the landing page, do they see that this costs $1,000 and are asked, “Do you want to talk to a salesperson? What’s the offer they see when they come to the page?”
Jeremy: Yeah. We were pushing people directly into the software or we had some stuff where actually we captured their lead, we were pushing them to a webinar where we’d sell it on the webinar, but as far as what we were doing over the sales call, were just dialing leads. So we try to get people scheduled where they would schedule on a call with us. We also would just call the leads. So we were capturing name, email and phone number and we were just calling every lead that came in.
Andrew: So, if someone came, registered for the webinar, they would also get a call from a salesperson.
Jeremy: Every lead that came in.
Andrew: Every single person who registered for the webinar would get a salesperson calling them.
Andrew: Interesting. And a salesperson will call them up and offer the whole thing. If they went to the webinar, they would also be offered the $1,000 package?
Jeremy: Yeah. We might offer something different on the sales call, but what we did is we positioned it as a success called and we legitimately helped people. We would brainstorm through what are their problems, what are their goals. We’d help them come up with a great quiz idea. We’d help them come up with a compelling offer to convert their leads into customers and then we’d say if you want extra help, here’s how we can help you.
Andrew: Okay. So they come into the webinar. They may or may not show up, but they still get a success call. The success call is with a salesperson who helps them think through how they can use quizzes. Even if they don’t buy your quiz. They can still create a quiz using some other software. So it’s not like it’s a promotion. But if they want, for $1,000, your salesperson will set them up with six months of your software and some consulting service would be on. Got it. I see. I can see how that makes sense.
I have a couple of detail questions. Like I said at the top of the interview, this is for real entrepreneurs. Frankly, I should probably be using this too. Nobody answers their phone. So you can’t just randomly call them. Are you scheduling calls with people or trying to call them?
Jeremy: We try to get people to schedule as much as possible. You can do that by making that on a thank you page like step one, schedule your success call, step two, log into your account or whatever it is.
Andrew: That’s if they have an account. What if they come to the website and they just sign up for a webinar or they don’t sign up for anything.
Jeremy: It’s anything. Let’s say someone even takes a quiz with us. They answer some questions. They opt in. They get the results and then our main call to action. It could be like schedule a success call. You kind of have to incentivize it where it sounds interesting, like why do they want to jump on a call with it. For us we found that was really good after someone signed up for an account because they were very engaged at that point.
Andrew: This is a big win for me from this conversation right here. Okay. This makes sense.
Jeremy: We also dialed through, Andrew. We would take a dialer, which basically puts all your phone numbers and your contacts in a list and it goes through one by one.
Andrew: What software do you use for that?
Jeremy: We use a software that’s connected with Salesforce. So probably if it’s smaller businesses, I wouldn’t recommend it, but there’s a software called Base, which I think includes a dialer. So, you can check that out.
Andrew: I’ve seen some other software that does it that’s a little more basic than that. So, if someone schedules a webinar with you, within the webinar registration, they might also be advised to schedule not a sales call, but like success call.
Andrew: How do you freaking find the salespeople who can actually be good on consulting?
Jeremy: So it’s tough. You definitely have to train them in hiring. I started actually a sales group here in Phoenix so I get better at stuff like that, like hiring people.
Andrew: What did you do? You started with a company that does this?
Jeremy: No. I started a sales meetup group out here, like a group with entrepreneur organizations. I’m talking with people that have hundreds of sales people or people just starting out. So, I’m meeting once a month on that. That’s one way I’ve learned. Another way, if you are trying to find a salesperson, like this test is a great place to test people, look for people with a high D and a high I, which means their friendly and they also can take control. They look at what are the different motivators, are they money motivated. So, those are some of the ways you can kind of screen out good salespeople.
Andrew: What do you do to train them on coming up with ideas for quizzes?
Jeremy: So we do a lot of cross-training. They get some experience running ads. They get some experience going through courses. I have them read a ton of sales books. We do a lot of role playing. So, I think there’s a lot that goes into that training.
Andrew: You keep training them how to close sales but also understand how to use quizzes in their businesses.
Jeremy: Yeah. I think after you get going with quizzes, it’s kind of like coming up with a good headline. If you can come up with a good concept, like that’s what you’ve got to get across. Once you get some good practice, maybe that takes 30 days to get good at it, it’s pretty easy.
Andrew: Now, the $1,000, that’s not a big high-ticket item that you’re going to have salespeople, right? I forget what the rule of thumb is, but it’s more than $1,000 before it makes sense for you to have calls go out.
Jeremy: Yeah. So we focus on higher ticket stuff. So one of the things that we did really well was like, “All right, we’re going to help people write a quiz. So we’ve gotten really good at that. We’ve written hundreds of these. So we would sell that for $2,500. Plus we would bonus that in with like six months of our software, which would be like $1,500. So they got a lot of value from something like that.
So a lot of what’s been successful for us has really been focusing on compelling offers. You heard in the beginning I talked about, “Hey, we’ll do this free thing for you if you put $1,000 for your ad management.” Even one of your sponsors you talked about, they give you 80 hours for free if you pay for your first 80 hours. The best companies, they come up with really compelling offers and you test the really compelling offer and that’s going to be one of the things that turns someone that’s interested into someone that’s actually a customer.
Andrew: What does it cost you to close a sale with real live salespeople?
Jeremy: You mean like what are we paying commissions? What do you mean?
Andrew: Total commissions and everything else that’s involved. It feels like it would cost a lot of money to have salespeople do all this.
Jeremy: I think it depends. We’re up to like 50,000 visitors to our site now. Some of that we’re not tracking as much. I’m willing to pay more for our salespeople right now because I know we’re in an early stage. I want someone like doing success calls with a lot of our customers because I think that’s going to help in having a higher touch point.
There’s a company called Moz, which you’re probably familiar with and one of the things they talked about was they had a big regret in their business where they tried to do a lot of stuff that’s hands off. They wish they had done more in person or over the calls. Even though I’m paying them as a salesperson and paying them commission to close sales, they’re also representing our company and helping do customer support as well.
Andrew: But you’re paying more than $1,000 for the salespeople, right? The commission and all the other expenses that go into managing them, right?
Jeremy: Yeah. We paid like a base salary as well as commissions for it.
Andrew: Can you break it down on a per sale basis somehow? If I wanted to do it for myself, what would it cost, what’s the cost per sale roughly?
Jeremy: Yeah. If we sold you a $2,500 quiz setup—
Andrew: I mean if I sold a product for $2,000. Let’s say I’m selling chat bots, $2,000, I know what it’s going to cost me Facebook ads per customer. I know what it’s going to cost me in servicing the customer per sale. What is it going to cost me if I hire a salesperson per customer? How do you figure that out? Do you know what it is for you? It feels like it doesn’t make sense to do it for $1,000 or $2,000 sale. It’s not until you get to the $5,000 to $10,000 that it makes sense.
Jeremy: Yeah. I think it does make sense. We’ll pay between 10% to 15% commission on it plus like a base salary between like $30,000 to $40,000. So our salespeople should be able to earn like $75,000 to $100,000 a year, but they’re bringing in like higher tickets. So we need more volume for that to make sense, as well as if we’re selling something at a higher ticket where it’s recurring. If we bring someone in where we’re going to do a setup and management from them, you know we’re going to earn $8,000 or more from that client over the course of that—
Andrew: Because of the ongoing thing. That’s the other thing for you. For you it’s not a one-time sale. They’re buying this service and they’re buying this software on an ongoing basis. Got it. There’s a book that I don’t like because it’s so cynical. It’s called “Disrupted,” Dan Lyons’ book about working at HubSpot. I feel like he kept looking for everything to complain about and pick on.
There’s some nuggets in there that I thought were pretty interesting, like about HubSpot’s sales team and how they work and why that makes financial sense. Mostly software like HubSpot’s, which basically at the time it was like website software with a little marketing automation on it. Most people wouldn’t have had salespeople, right? Squarespace doesn’t have salespeople. Why did HubSpot have it? How did that help them get where they were? I thought that aspect of the book was really interesting.
Jeremy: Was that by Dan Roberge?
Andrew: What is it?
Jeremy: Was it by Dan Roberge?
Andrew: Dan Lyons. Dan Lyons is one of these guys who’s been around a long time online. He was a former Newsweek writer who then became fake Steve Jobs on a blog that he created. He’s really good at being snarky and cynical and making fun of people and that’s his thing. Sometimes I think it’s just there’s no substance to it. I like making fun of people if there’s something interesting there, if there’s some substance to it. Anyway, I liked the inside information about HubSpot in the book.
All right. What else did I miss here? I’m looking through my notes. Let’s talk about this coach. How did you find this coach and what’s the way you work with the coach?
Jeremy: We were in this program called Accelerator. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Entrepreneur Organization.
Andrew: EO. Yeah.
Jeremy: I think there’s like 16,000 members around the world. You have to be over $1 million in sales. So, before we hit that mark, we were in a program that was like a feeder program of that that they built called Accelerator. It’s between like $250,000 to $1 million in sales. We were in that program.
This mentor, his name was Loren Howard, the way we met him was he came and spoke to our group and he was a member of EO at the time. My business partner tracked him down and said, “Hey, I want you to coach me on this stuff.” We kind of twisted his arm. We worked with him for probably like a year, 18 months or something and he helped us a lot as we transitioned into LeadQuizzes.
Andrew: I’ve heard of EO. I’ve known about them for years. I had the founder on Mixergy to talk to him years ago. I still had no idea they had an EO Accelerator for companies that still hadn’t made it to that $1 million a year level. What do you do at EO Accelerator?
Jeremy: Yeah. I think it’s a little newer. It might be like eight years old or something. It’s similar to Entrepreneur Organization. You meet once a month with a group. You probably have eight people. There’s an EO member, someone over $1 million that’s coaching you. Additionally, you have quarterly learning days. So, one focuses on money, one focuses on people and hiring. I think sales and then strategy and then you have some different events, social events.
They’ll have speakers come in, you get to go to some of the EO events as well. I thought it was a really great organization and program. I would highly recommend it. It was like pretty cheap too. I think it was like $1,500 or something for the full year.
Andrew: That’s not bad at all. EO is a phenomenal organization. I’m on their page right now and EO was started by Verne Harnish and on the site there’s a link or a reference to his company, Gazelles International Coaches. Is that part of the program you were using, by the way?
Jeremy: Yeah. So, during the quarterly days, they use a lot of his content to guide those.
Andrew: One of the things I remember about my interview with him was first of all how eager he was, which was really satisfying to know that he didn’t do it like as a favor to me, “Now, get on with it, Andrew.” He was really eager for the interview. That’s number one. Number two is I called him up before the interview and said, “Gazelles International.” I know what the word Gazelle is. I know how to pronounce it. But they said, “Gazelles International.”
So when I introduced him, I asked him about Gazelles and he goes, “It’s actually pronounced Gazelles. It immediately hit me he’s using a phone answering service. For some reason, it just bothers me. For the rest of my life, it will bother me. I’ll be on my deathbed going, “How did I do that?” It’s fine. It’s never fine. I can’t let go of stuff. I need a coach to help me let go of some things. I get a little bit worked up.
I think I’ve got everything from this interview. How does it feel? By the way, let me come back and say that before the interview started, I said to you, “Am I pronouncing the name Jeremy, right? Jeremy Ellens? LeadQuizzes?” I always make sure, partially because of that. How does it feel now? As a guy who’s heard me do these interviews, what do you think on the inside?
Jeremy: I think it’s awesome.
Andrew: I feel like you’re a little nervous.
Jeremy: No. I’m kind of an even keel guy. I don’t go up or down too much, which has its strengths and also has its weaknesses. I’m really excited to share. I hope some people listening got some inspiration like I did when I was first started seven or eight years ago. It seems so long.
Andrew: I’m sure they did. I think we covered a lot of things that are really interesting here. First, the transition from services to product. I’ve seen this happen a lot. The transition works best when it’s a product that you build internally because you need it. You use it for your customers that proves the product is valuable and they’re basically paying you to create this product for them. So when you take it out in the world, you’ve got some proof that it works and you also have had some help in paying for it. That’s a big thing I learned from this.
The other one is more and more about sales. I’m hearing more and more people actually will have salespeople pick up the phone and call up their clients. It’s not talked about. It’s not one of these sexy things. Neil Patel does it. I went on his website. I’m sure he talked about. I’m not pretending that he’s hiding, but he has a sales team, people who are really going to call up their customers and sell them.
Andrew: It’s not just all the landing pages. It’s not just all the buttons. It’s not just the model pop ups. So, I’ve learned a lot about that. What else? We covered other things, but to me, those are the things that really stood out.
Jeremy: I think those are good. And I think sales is something intimidating to get into. I was intimidated by it, but it’s definitely a learned skill. I encourage the audience that if you don’t feel comfortable with it, go out and read books, go out and practice it, you’ve got to start doing it.
Andrew: What’s a good book to read as a first starting point?
Jeremy: There’s a ton. I think a good training, it’s a paid training, but Jordan Belfort, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” I think his Straight Line Selling program is really good.
Andrew: What is it called, Straight Line Selling?
Jeremy: It goes through creating a sales script and I think that’s really important. I haven’t seen a lot of books that go really well into that.
Andrew: Is this a book or a course?
Jeremy: It’s a video course. I’ve gone through it. I’ve had all of our salespeople go through. I think it’s a really good start.
Andrew: As seen in the blockbuster movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street.” There is warning, let me see what the warning is, “Warning, hands down these persuasion tactics could be used to manipulate your customers and the people in your life. Warning, this is so powerful you’re going to make more money than you know what to do with.” It’s not very expensive, one payment, $2,000 gets you Jordan Belfort’s program. This is what you have your salespeople go through.
Jeremy: Yeah. I think that’s really good. I think there’s other books like “The Challenger Sale.” I like Jack Daly’s stuff a lot. Just go on Amazon. What I did was I found ten books on sales. I read through a lot of them. There’s some stuff I didn’t like, some stuff I did. Then you just practice. Getting a wide view of it allows you to hone in on what’s your style.
Andrew: Did you do the sales yourself?
Andrew: Then you brought on someone.
Andrew: Got it. For anyone who didn’t hear up until this point or wants to check out the software we’ve been talking about, it’s LeadQuizzes.com and they actually do have a WordPress plugin and they interact with everything, right? You guys now have an Infusionsoft connection. My mind just went to the two things that I have, WordPress and Infusionsoft. I hate Infusionsoft. I like WordPress. I love WordPress, hate Infusionsoft. So my excitement level went up for both of those. There’s a get demo button at the top, which I’m guessing feeds conversation. There it is.
Jeremy: We got our free plan, Andrew. So everybody can use it for free, no credit card required.
Andrew: All right. Cool. Good to know. Thanks so much for being on here. The two sponsors are the company that will host your website right. It’s called HostGator, HostGator.com/Mixergy and the company who has a really good sales offer, as Jeremy pointed out, Toptal.com/Mixergy if you want to see that sentence that Jeremy was highlighting earlier. Thank you, Jeremy for listening, for being on here. This is the circle of Mixergy, you listen in interviews, you become a fan and then come back on here and tell your story. Thanks for doing it and thank you to everyone out there who will soon be on Mixergy. Bye everyone.