Can automated personalization really work?

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Joining me is someone whose software you’ve probably interacted with. Maybe you were frustrated by it. Maybe you admired it. Maybe it was a combination of both. I’m about to take you behind the scenes of the business behind it.

Guillaume Moubeche is the co-founder of lemlist which allows you to personalize cold emails and automate follow-ups.

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Guillaume Moubeche

Guillaume Moubeche

lemlist

Guillaume Moubeche is the co-founder of lemlist which allows you to personalize cold emails and automate follow-ups.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses. Joining me is someone whose software you’ve probably interacted with. Maybe you were frustrated by it. Maybe you admire it. It maybe it’s a combination of both. I’m about to take you behind the scenes, to the business behind it.

And I can’t promise how you’ll feel, but I’m telling you I’m in incredible admiration of the business that they built up. All right, Dom  is the founder of Len list. What they do is let you send personalized cold automated emails, and these are the types of things that I get all the time. Hey Andrew, can I be on your podcast?

Hey Andrew, can we buy an ad? But there’s an ulterior motive often. Hey Andrew, can we put a content together? It frustrates me. And at the same time, I have to appreciate how effective it is. And I want to talk about all that and how he built up this business. And we could do it. Thanks to two phenomenal sponsors the first year, probably hearing me talk about it all the time.

And if you’re not on host Gator, then what’s wrong with you. I’m talking about it because it worked for everyone else. Go get on it. I’m going to tell you later why you should go to hostgator.com/mixergy and the second brand who sponsored. I’m very excited to have to have them on because I’ve needed to hire salespeople before and just, you know, quick sales projects that you have, where you want your customers to talk to human beings before they buy.

That’s where the sponsor comes in. It’s called overpass. They’ll let you hire salespeople inexpensively quickly, effectively, and also manage them using their software. I’ll talk to you later, why you should go to overpass.com/mixergy. First good tab here.

Guillaume: Thanks a lot for having me, Andrew. I paid to be here.

Andrew: So I’m going to call you G throughout the interview. That’s what everyone calls you. Huh?

Guillaume: Yeah. That’s easier.

Andrew: So, and ask you a revenue, but let’s get into this. First of all, aren’t these emails frustrating and out of control by now, I’m telling you, I sit down every morning to go through my inbox and even my best spam filters, can’t stop them.

And it’s messages that are customized, kind of to me, with an automated follow-up bubbling this to the top of your inbox. Why aren’t you responding? And I know that it’s just unwanted male

Guillaume: I, I think to be entirely honest, um, we from day one foot spam, so everyone, you know, like doing full automation, just getting a list of tens of thousands of people and blasting an email is not someone we want to have using your, our software. So from day one, our full focus was on education. Because what I find really beautiful about like, uh, email outreach is that you can reach out to people you don’t know at the other side of the globe and start building a relationship, but to do so, you need to spend time on each person you’re researching and you want to reach out to, and make sure that whenever you’re reaching out, you start with something genuine.

And to me, it’s something we’ve been really, really pushing for many reason. First, if you do that, you get much better results, meaning that you’re going to meet much more people. Your reply rate is going to be higher. And on the second, like part of it.

which I think you mentioned is like, People are getting frustrated because automation is something that is more and more common.

And we see a lot of people automating, like spanning messages, but in the end, it’s not also good for the business you’re building or for the company you’re working with because you’re kind of running the brand. People are working so hard to build. So, we’ve been really pushing on the contents of, you know, like how exactly do you build a relationship?

How do you find the right people to reach out to? So to me, I think it’s amazing when done right.

Andrew: So, what you’re saying is the idea of taking a bunch of email addresses and then adding them to a list and blasting out a message to all of them doesn’t work. It’s true. But that approach hasn’t worked for years. And there was a period there where it was so aggressive that I had to tell MailChimp to take my domain off their list because everyone would add me to their list and suddenly I’d get a bunch of messages.

Now it’s more of these messages that are a little customized, sometimes even sent out from our, from the salesperson’s Gmail account that are just. They’re overwhelming, hard to stop, and they’re not very personalized. You told me before we got started Andrew. That’s how I appeared here on your podcast.

But you know what? I’ve got the email where you came, where w uh, where we were introduced. It came from, uh, Lem, pyre.co, which I’m going to talk about that doco in a moment. And it says, hi, Michael, let me first say that. I really enjoy listening to your podcast dot, dot dot for real, but Michael, isn’t it.

Michael is just the person who’s, uh, our domain contact with, uh, our hosting company. And that’s what it is.

Guillaume: Yeah. So first of all, you shouldn’t have replied to that email. Uh, I, um, yeah. That’s so to me to be entirely honest, like your, your email was sent by, uh, by someone from my team and essentially like, uh, they really, in their research, if you read what’s next, I think there is.

like a real intro line where it states a podcast episode that I listened to and that I liked, and the reason why it would make sense for us to meet.

And essentially, like, I, think again, you know, like, There is always human mistakes. And what you, what you just see. And I think, and stated is a, is, is human mistakes. And this can happen, but to be entirely honest for me, it’s when Don writes it works because you know, like getting in touch with people where you can bring value to.

And if you are like a hundred percent, that’s whatever you’re doing or selling, it’s going to bring value to the person you reach out to, you should do it. And, uh, and it’s important, but I think people randomly to your lists and sending newsletter, it doesn’t work or doing the same thing with, even if you’re sending from your existing email address, it’s exactly the same for me.

It doesn’t work. However, if you add personalization and even if sometimes the name is wrong, which I think can happen, but this is like a probably honest mistake. Uh, I think it’s, it still works, you know?

Andrew: I, no, I definitely know that it works because it’s because it’s coming through because if you reach the right people often enough, even if it’s awkward and clumsy, There, there could be a relationship there. So frankly, that was awkward and clumsy, but the message about you was right for us. Um, and so I invited you on to tell the story because I thought the story was interesting so that I get that it works.

I do find that it’s a little bit, um, uncomfortable at times too. Here’s the other thing. It comes from Lem, par.co my hunches, because whatever messages you send it out from there likely to get a lot of spam alerts to Gmail, and then you don’t want to burn your main domain, right?

Guillaume: um, yeah, no, that’s not really the reason why it’s just, uh, our company. Like we have many companies, so we have lemons.com, but our company is land pirate.co, where. We have several projects. Uh, we exited one company, grew another one and it’s all in there. They’ll empire dot go. Yeah.

Andrew: Oh, okay. All right. The business behind it is fascinating. Revenue is where.

Guillaume: uh, right now we’re at, uh, we crossed 8 million

Andrew: 8 million

Guillaume: in ARR. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’re basically like, yeah. Yeah. We’re basically like our monthly, a bit higher, uh, than our spendings. So we’re profiting every single month, more than $300,000.

Andrew: Yeah.

Guillaume: Zero funding fully bootstrapped.

Andrew: Killer. And the whole thing started with an agency.

Guillaume: Uh, yeah, so basically like, yeah, I had an agency back in the day where I was using, like, I was running outreach campaigns for clients worldwide. So essentially, like I was helping them book meetings with potential prospects. And because I was kind of frustrated with the tools out there, I just thought, okay.

Maybe like, uh, I could start a SAS company and build a tool. So I met my two co-founders in 2017 and

Andrew: before we get to the SAS part of it,

Guillaume: Sorry.

Andrew: the key idea here was, you said. There are salespeople who need to get on calls with clients. They shouldn’t be sending out email. They shouldn’t be going back and forth. They shouldn’t be scheduling it. You’re going to do it for them. Basically a sales development rep is what that, that job is called.

And you are an outsource sales development rep, right?

Guillaume: Yeah, the, the agency was, uh, it was a role of our agency was exactly that. Yeah.

Andrew: It was called lead girl.

Guillaume: Yeah.

Andrew: Oh, this is a great business idea. You are using software to follow up. Was it just you

Guillaume: Uh, we were like, uh, three co-founders and two. And then, uh, we had like a, we hired a lot of freelancers

Andrew: okay. Take me through how you got customers for that business and then how you got those customers on calls with, uh, with potential.

Guillaume: so essentially like, uh, we were doing a lot of sales prospecting ourselves, so reaching out to people we didn’t know. So we’re trying to figure out companies who had like a high lifetime value for what they were selling, because usually for them, the ROI of having like five to 10 meetings per month is huge because if they close, like even one deal every month and it’s like, uh, Tens of case, uh, per months, uh, ARPA then in that case for them, you know, it’s like, uh, it makes sense at zero, is there, so we’re like target things, this company do their outreach.

And then, um, the, The way we worked was there were a first step where we were studying their ICP. So what is their ideal customer profile, who are their existing customers? So we were kind of like digging into the data, trying to find common traits to their customers based on that we would find relevant prospect for them, have them validate the prospect.

We wanted to reach out to then do the entire copywriting of everything, sending out the emails, and then eventually from the replies, we would get, uh, send them directly to them so they can set up a meeting and appointments.

Andrew: The outsource people were partially to go and hunt down the contacts to get their email addresses. You would write the message. You’d send it out. Do you remember what software you’re using at the time?

Guillaume: uh, Yeah.

we were using pretty much all our competitors from right now, which are like SalesLoft outreach, uh, replay.io with baker, et cetera, et cetera.

Andrew: A bunch of tools that did it. I think this business model makes a ton of sense. Do you think that it still makes sense today? Can somebody go and create a similar business on Len list?

Guillaume: Yeah, definitely. We actually have like a tens of agencies. We’re partners with what we’re doing and It’s great because I know like what worked, what didn’t work. So I can also advise them from time to time.

Andrew: It’s because really for our business that wants to get clients, they don’t want to sit down and figure out where the, who their clients are or who their prospects are. Get their email addresses, start sending up those messages. It makes a ton of sense. You built that up. How much revenue did you get to with that?

Guillaume: to be honest, it was very small. Cause I was doing that, uh, on top of my studies. So it was, uh, basically in total, uh, it, we, we generated a lot of money for our clients, which pushed me actually to, to go to the SAS world. But, uh, for us, I think, uh, within one year it was, uh, around like a seven figure or something like that.

But, uh, yeah. So hundreds of thousands, no, sorry. six six figures, Sorry. So a hundred. Yeah, yeah, yeah. hundreds of thousands. Yeah,

Andrew: you were still in school.

Guillaume: yeah. But yeah, we had to, we add more expenses because we had like a, you know, like that’s our researcher freelancers to find the list, et cetera, et cetera. So yeah, the cost structure is different than the SAS, but it was still a good business.

Andrew: for finding, uh, email addresses?

Guillaume: There is no one best tool. So that’s, that’s kind of the issue. But at the time we were using a lot, um, you know, like lead IQ or like hunter or this type of tools, but the, the, if you want to do the Right.

thing, you need to combine them and, uh, yeah.

Andrew: different, um, tools and then look for common email addresses and then use those.

Guillaume: exactly. Yeah.

Andrew: Um, I, I use that tool even for personal reasons. We use it for work. So if there’s someone I want to interview, I use those tools to go and find their email address. But, um, I just ordered something from a Shopify store and I, the delivery stinks because FedEx is not delivering very well right now.

They can’t handle the pressure. And so I started contacting customer support. None of it worked. I said, you know what? I got all these tools. I went online and I found the name of the founder. And then I went on to, I think it was head reach or hunter IO. I don’t know. And then I got, I got her email address.

I messaged her after a month of not even hearing back from customer service. Boom. I got my money back. It was all resolved.

Tweeted out that I love buying from Shopify, but I have a challenge with their delivery. It takes forever. And then Toby instantly tweeted back. We’re working on that. I wonder what he’s going to end up doing. All right. So you’re building this whole thing up. You’re in school. And then you say, I think I need to get into SAS.

I know the business rationale of getting into software as a service because you create software. It scales much better, right? It works without, without you in a better way. But what was missing? You already named a few different vendors who already created software to do this.

Guillaume: I think, I think for me, like they, they were several things first. I think the education parts of outreach was missing?

Meaning that the person, you know, we’ll build this software where. Using taglines, such as, uh, put yourselves on autopilot and all these types of things like you’re going to be able to automate everything and the truth from a day to day sales rep using like tools like this is that if you want to have really good reply rates and you know, like, um, get a lot of meetings with your prospects, you need to personalize, you need to build relationships.

And I felt like all these tools were really focusing on kind of like the blasting. So sending emails as a batch, and you really like automated all of that. And I wanted to showcase that we could make email outreach, more human, and that we could use ways to personalize even more your like outreach in order for you to get much better results.

So that was our solely focus. And we decided as a differentiator to start adding like dynamic images and videos to make the outreach more human.

Andrew: What you want to do is say, I guess the way that all the other software worked was you upload a bunch of email addresses. You create a template for the first message, the second message that goes out, et cetera, you hit a button, the emails go out to all the people, anyone who doesn’t respond gets another followup message that you’ve pre-written.

And it could go. As long as I think Yesmail found that even up to seven messages, a followup messages are still effective and worth doing. And so that’s the way that most systems work. You said what if, instead of sending the exact same message to everyone, we could personalize it by adding another field.

But I think that the other companies already added other fields. Didn’t they? You could, you could add a field for the first sentence and then just insert that into every message.

Guillaume: you could do that in your CSV, but you didn’t have really a way to review each message. Like the interface was not great. And you were not able to add things like videos or personalized images. And the way people were sending emails. So what really matters whenever you’re sending emails is a deliverability meaning whether or not your emails ended up in spam or in the inbox.

And we really I’ve worked along the years on very complex algorithm to make sure that your emails are actually in the inbox. So what we wanted to really help showcase on the interface, that personalization is super important. So instead of just uploading your list and blasting, once you’ve done your templates, you have like a specific like page where you have to review each message.

So you can see, for example, if I’m sending a message to Andrew, I’m going to see like how it looks like for Andrew. And I can add an edits to extra, to add even more personalization to build relationships. So everything we did within the software was to push the personalization and help people get better at that sending cold

Andrew: Uh, where the others were proud that you could just hit a button and go, and that was their focus. You were proud of adding the extra step of check your message before going out. All right. And you did also start to mention, I didn’t get to it yet that you even had image personalization. This idea that I could have a cup of coffee in my hand with my name on it, a cup of coffee that I’m holding towards the camera with like a blank spot and then Lem LIS would add the, the recipient’s name onto it,

Guillaume: absolutely.

Andrew: onto it.

That’s the thing that you had from the very beginning

Guillaume: yeah, Yeah.

That was one of like our first, it was our first differentiator because actually like, um, something’s missing a lot in cold emails that You don’t really see the person that’s reaching out. So if I reach out with a video or if I reach out with, you know in my second or third email with a photo of me doing like he’s or holding a cup of coffee or something, it’s, it goes from really cold to, okay.

I look at the person with reaching out to me and, you know, it’s, it’s better for building relationships.

Andrew: You know what I always admired? How was it? It was a growth hacker.tv. They created basically a Mixergy for growth hackers, and then they added a community. And one of the things that I admired was that when somebody signed up to their service, they had an intern create a personal video for them, welcoming them into the community.

And what you’re saying is that personal video didn’t have to be different for each person. They weren’t spending that much time. What’s important is that it felt like not another generic message so that people open it up. And that’s what you had from the beginning. How did you do personalization for video?

Guillaume: so for, for video is essentially like, um, the personalization would happen on a dynamic landing page. So the video can be played on the email. So when people would click. So the image, the thumbnail would be personalized, but whenever people would click, it would go to a personal landing page. So by just having, you know, on the lending page, like, hello, first name with the first name replaced people would actually hear the person saying their name in the video, even though if they were saying Hey or whatever, because we’re like running tests and people were saying like, how exactly did you personalize each video for everyone?

And then we’ll say, no, we did not. And we realized that because at first, what we wanted to do is insert like dynamic screenshots inside the video or dynamic names and tags. We did that, but we didn’t see any really like, um, differences in term of reply rate and meeting books versus a standardized video.

So we went, uh, we move away from it.

Andrew: okay. And so you S you did that, and then you had to, um, you had to build this who built it.

Guillaume: so my, my two co-founders, uh  they are Like a, be told her, uh, started coding when they were six years old. So like really like tech, geniuses, uh, we met, uh, I think it was like, uh, back in 2017 and in 2018 we decided to, to start working on the project.

Andrew: Like 15 years older than you, right?

Guillaume: Uh, yeah, exactly. So I’m like near 30 and they are like 45.

Andrew: How did they end up or why did they end up partnering up with you on this.

Guillaume: I don’t know. I’m just kidding. No, I’m guessing like for them, it was a very like, um, difficult time because they had built software their entire life. Then they went to a very famous startups to do in France called Ethan founder is that’s created like eriko France, uh, and fueled bunch of unicorns.

And after that, like they started their own project again. And it failed after like two and a half years. So with my agency, I actually helped them doing like some customer acquisition, uh, but for free, because we were working in the same incubator. Uh, and afterwards, you know, like they, they were seeing me like putting the work, doing all the things that they couldn’t really do.

So we started discussing about starting a business together and in 2018 we just said, okay, let’s go. Let’s do this.

Andrew: because they saw you doing the work. This was back when you were doing lead guru.

Guillaume: Yeah, absolutely.

Andrew: Got it. And I’m wondering about why you were doing that work, but let me take a moment to talk about my first sponsor and then come back into it. My first sponsor, uh, it’s. HostGator. I’m going to say, say what we said before G right.

Anyone who wants to start a business right now, who doesn’t know what they want to start? I think that the whole lead guru idea would still absolutely work and it could work not just for generic sales, but maybe in small niches. I’ve frankly seen people do this for podcasting, right? They say that they’re basically becoming the lead guru for podcasters.

They’ll say, uh, Andrew, do you want to be booked on a lot of podcasts? Great. We can do it. And what they use is either Lem list or software, like Lenley’s to customize messages, to podcasters to say, Hey, can you have my client on? And then they book the client and then they get paid. What are some interesting spaces that you’ve seen the lead guru model applied to where somebody will do this as an agency?

Guillaume: So, as you mentioned, like, I think podcasts or like PR works really well. We, we seize it in SEO also. So people trying to be a link. So for example, like, Hey, I’ve seen these great article. Like, do you want to exchange links or do these things in sales? Obviously? Like it, uh, it works really, really well. Um, then I think that’s, that’s pretty much like the, the three main verticals and also like a, I would say HR, we often, like, don’t really think about HR, but HR in sales, it’s exactly the same thing because you’re reaching out to people you don’t know, and you want to build a relationship with them.

So eventually, like they offer job, offer, like they accept a job offer or they accept to become a customer. So, yeah. Recruitment.

Andrew: in real estate, like bring your office, bring your, your remote people to our office space. Um, all right. Whether it’s that idea or anything else that you’ve got when you’re ready to start your business and you need a website go to hostgator.com/mixergy. When you go to HostGator the holster site, right?

I’ve done it within five minutes. You can get your site up and running. Frankly, I use WordPress because it’s a fairly easy, very robust, and it’s popular enough that I know it’s going to keep getting updated properly. And with HostGator, you can do that or many other different platforms and get up and running within minutes.

And if you use my URL, I’ll get credit. So thank you. And you’re going to get the lowest price that they have available. It’s available right now at hostgator.com/mixergy. Alright, not to play armchair psychiatrist, but I wonder how much of this was this hard work that you put into lead guru was because of the t-shirt business.

Can you talk a little bit about that t-shirt business that you built.

Guillaume: Yeah, sure. So basically like, um, my first business was with my dad, um, and essentially like, uh, we, we wanted to start a business together. Um, initially like my parents, you know, like, uh, They didn’t study, didn’t get any degree. And, um, for them it was important for me to get a degree, get a good job, et cetera.

So they wanted me to become an engineer. So I became an engineer. And then after that I started like, uh, studying business because this is what I always liked, you know, like meeting people, building things, creating value, et cetera. And once I joined like the best business school in France, I decided to start a business with my dad.

And at that time, you know, like my dad knew how to print on fabrics. So it would handle like printing on t-shirts and I would handle like the business side of things. Um, I got a lot of, like, I was putting a lot of pressure on my dad because I was a hundred percent sure. You know, that when we put the website live, we would get hundreds of orders.

You know, it’s it’s internet. If it’s live, we’re going to get orders. Yeah.

Andrew: I think that if you put it up on the site, that people were instantly going to come and buy.

Guillaume: Yes.

Andrew: You really honestly thought that. Okay. All

Guillaume: Good. Thanks for letting me know that I was stupid at the time.

Andrew: And what happened then? You should have listened to Mixergy at the time. What happened then? Instead

Guillaume: Yeah. I didn’t know mixer at the time. So that’s why I didn’t know that, but not to be honest, it’s just like, I had built a strong community around Paris and the brand was linked to Paris. So I saw that whenever we would launch a website on our community, everyone would buy it. So that’s why I thought we would get a lot of orders.

But when we launched, we actually received like six orders. So it was like, a total failure and all my plan, which was, we do a lounge. We have like, let’s say hundreds of orders. And then after that people started talking about it and the business, boom. It didn’t work. So I was like so disappointed with, with all of that.

And I kind of felt like the. After launch kind of like, um, you know, like failure and the failure. I was kind of like reflecting it on my dad because, you know, I was like all the things that I was unhappy about what, I did, I was kind of like putting it on himself. So

Andrew: what did you, what did you blame him for?

Guillaume: like being too cheap, for example, like we never really had money.

So for?

example, like whenever you do like B2C ads, it’s something that’s usually like working well, but for us, it’s like, yeah, we can’t do ads. We don’t have money. So I was like, okay, we’re not ambitious enough. Like, we, we should have started this business with more money, but you know, like, and then it’s, it was stupid.

Andrew: It means you

Guillaume: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: money in the business, if you would have invested more money in the business, we would have done better. You’re not putting enough into it. You don’t believe enough in me. Is that what it is? You don’t believe enough in anything you don’t take?

Guillaume: So it was more on me actually. So, so the thing was like, cause we invested the same amount of money and it was more like me not willing to spend more money on this. Me not willing to be like more ambitious in testing, like risky things. And yeah, of course I was, I was blaming myself, but I realized that much later because usually, you know, like when, when you dislike something about someone it’s usually a part of you that you dislike.

Andrew: you were saying, dad, you weren’t putting enough into this business, but internally you felt you weren’t putting enough into the business. You wouldn’t invest, you didn’t work hard enough. And so then when that business closed down, you decided, you know what, I’m going to spend much more time, much more energy on the lead guru business.

Guillaume: Yeah. So, so basically at that time, cause I was still at school and uh, a friend of mine saw like the business kind of like failing. And he was telling me like, Hey, I’m building this B2B lead generation agency, which is something I didn’t know about, but he’s Like telling me basically we’re helping customers find clients.

So I knew like, it was definitely like a real pain point because I had felt it. And I knew that, you know, like I had to learn how to acquire customers and that person was actually like, uh, like newer lots and could teach me a lot. So I decided like, it was quite a tough time because I kind of like stopped talking to my, with my dad for a bit of time because you know, like, yeah, things can get harsh and family business.

And, uh, and afterwards, like I was like, okay, fully focused on leading guru with a will not to fail this time. So I invested a lot to bring value to people we were working with.

Andrew: Like what, what’s one thing that you did where you push yourself beyond your otherwise limits.

Guillaume: I think it’s just like, not counting hours, you know, it’s like, uh, for example, be extremely like, uh, available, uh, taking calls and meetings at any time, like replying to customers within like half an hour, no matter like which day, weekends, et cetera. Uh, always doing the extra mile, always saying yes, which is definitely a mistake, but you know, like taking clients that are not part of your own ICP and just like saying yes, you know, so to challenge yourself even more and help them like solve issues, that is not really your job to do in the end, but yeah.

Yeah,

Andrew: okay. And so then you S you push yourself. It seems like that paid off. It seems like, except for saying yes to every client that kind of hustle, that kind of work ethic actually helped you, right?

Guillaume: yeah. Definitely. Because to be honest, it is, I guess it’s a time where I learned the most in very little time.

Andrew: Yeah. What’d you do with the extra t-shirts that your dad printed up and that you couldn’t sell.

Guillaume: So we, we sold them out to a four-star hotel in Paris because the quality was really good. And, uh, I, yeah, we, we found someone I, so,

Andrew: shirts that they wanted us? I guess they were French and power. A Parisian t-shirts. Am I right? It was,

Guillaume: yeah, so it was like a printed in Paris. And then, uh, the cotton we were using was trustable. So it. was like a bio cotton, organic cotton, et cetera. So yeah,

Andrew: Did you lose money on it?

Guillaume: India, no are a bit because I think maybe like 500 bucks because, uh, it was a cost to basically like close the company, but overall it was not.

Andrew: That’s fantastic. All right. The first version of Lemlem’s coming back then to this business, what did it look like? How was it?

Guillaume: Was not as good as right now, but to be honest, it’s, uh, it was, it was quite tough because we were in a very competitive industry. Um, my co-founders were older and they were kind of like telling me, okay, we build this in three weeks. Now it’s your time to sell it. Even though we are in a super competitive space and people have really high expectations because they’ve been using similar like tools.

And, uh, so yeah, very basic features. Um, it worked but very like, uh, basically interface was not great at all, but, uh, but yeah, we, we just like kept grinding, kept meeting people, kept selling on, on the vision and on the, on the ROI that the product could bring. And I think it’s aerated a lot.

Andrew: you were using your own software to get customers, right? You’re

Guillaume: Yeah, absolutely.

Andrew: be ideal agencies or, or individuals. What was the target?

Guillaume: I was, uh, I was targeting like, um, more, I would say like CEOs of very small, like companies were probably doing the outreach by themselves, uh, or not, but we’re looking for ways to grow and agencies at the same time. So I gen C’s because I had done it in the past. So I kind of like knew what was their pain and for, uh, individuals like CEOs, uh, at small companies.

Um, I know like a lot of people didn’t know how to do outreach. So for me, it was an easy selling point because if you, if you book a meeting with someone and you ask them like, okay, what’s what acquisition strategy I’ve used. Have you tried? And they don’t mention cold email. And then you’re like, okay, what do you think about cold email?

And then they say, well, I don’t know. I’ve never really done it. And I don’t think it works. Then you can tell them, well, you know, like we’re having this meeting because of a cold email, so, you know, and, and then it’s the selling point that works really well. And I knew that I could kind of like convince them on trying.

And at first what I was doing is I was doing kind of the same thing I was doing with my agency. Meaning that every time I was onboarding them, because I knew the product was like, really like not ready at the time. Yeah. Shit. Okay. Product question at the time, uh, I was basically like helping them rewrite their template, explain like teaching them, helping them, you know, like send her for sales campaign.

Yeah.

Andrew: can help improve the software in the moment, you could at least help write the copy for them. And you’re saying, this is you going back to saying yes to everything, just to get the client. All right. But that makes sense. In the beginning,

Guillaume: Yeah.

Andrew: and you were selling to people who didn’t know about the competition.

It’s not like they were trying this for a long time and looking for better software you’re you were competing with nothing. Got it. And so you were starting to get customers, your co-founders were improving. What’s the first big improvement that they made.

Guillaume: um, I think, I think it’s just like their, their quickness in iterating and developing new features all the time, whether it’s on the interface or new things, or like really like the fast delivery was amazing because everyone, I was onboarded one week later, they would see like changes in the app. So everything I was actually like selling during the call, setting the vision setting that we want to build the best tool ever created, they would see, you know, like, I, I love when it’s, uh, I love the sentence of like lead with example.

I think it works with pretty much everything, but if you showcase to people, you know, that you’re actually doing the work and that things are moving fast, then the trust relationship is there. And yeah.

Andrew: yeah. So you’re saying you can keep coming back to clients and say, here’s another thing we didn’t have before. Or you mentioned this. We’ve got that feature. Yeah, I get that. All right. And so you’re improving, let’s take kind of a detour because the business took a detour. What was Len pod?

Guillaume: Yeah. So, so lamp pod, it was in 2019. Um, essentially, you know, like when you were a small team, um, and you post on LinkedIn, you’re going to ask your team like, Hey guys, and girls, like, can you engage on my posts? Like put a light, cause it’s going to boost your reach. And then eventually I was like, this is stupid. You know, like to ask two people to engage when this is definitely something that can be automated. So I, I started talking with Jen and Francois. We went on a, on a team building together and then we were like, okay, would we be able to build that? So they built like a net Chrome extension in like two days at a conference.

That was helping like people to automate this. So I started talking to a few of my friends in marketing growth, et cetera. And they kind of loved it. So after like five days, we had already like 150 users, people like using the tool and after like three weeks, it was like a thousand. So I was like, okay, like, this is, yeah, this was huge.

And people were getting like amazing results because essentially people were putting themselves into groups and they would be in groups. And then like whenever they are in the group, whenever they post everyone from the group would go like their contents. But the truth is like, at the time, my idea was like, okay, you’re going to do it with your team or people you do know.

And really like, actually have interaction with, but. The product turned out to be like something really like a, that I’m not so proud of. Uh, I mean, we made a lot of money with it, but it’s, it’s just like, it became the biggest marketplace in the world of pods, meaning like, uh, groups of people trying to like get more likes and eventually, you know, like, um, it was just out of control because our best paying customers were actually like the worst spammers.

So for example, people telling you like how to do like online betting and all these things that I really hate. And they were like buying lights from real people, just, you know, like joining,

Andrew: it. You weren’t just connecting them into pods. You were also letting them buy likes.

Guillaume: it’s not like buying likes. It was you, you were buying like the pods you are in. So for example, let’s say that there is a pod is a group. So for example, if you have, like, let’s say CEO’s in Los Angeles, so people would join that group. And the admin will let them in. So we would, our assumption, why was initially that admins will always control the quality of the members of their group, but eventually, like we started having people creating like a lot of fake groups with titles, like CEO’s in Los Angeles.

So if you receive in Los Angeles and you arrive on lamp, you’re going to join that group. So you’re real CEO, but someone else is just like creating the groups and creating this for every city is, and

Andrew: boy. Are they asking what where’s your software automatically liking the posts or were you just coordinating the requests?

Guillaume: no. So essentially like the software was automating the like four people in the same group. So for example, if you are like in a group of CEOs and you post all the CEOs in the group are going to like your content.

Andrew: like it. got it.

Guillaume: An executive and, and eventually, like we thought, okay, we’re saving time for people is just something that you can use with your team, et cetera.

But actually very quickly, it became like the biggest marketplace of body in the world. And, um, we were at like within 12 months, we were at like $600,000 in revenue. And this is where we decided to exit the business because we couldn’t really manage like both Lampert and lameness at the same time with the hypergrowth we were having on both projects.

And for me, the idea of, of having like an exit was first, it’s quite cool to have an exit, like let’s face it. Uh, second thing was, we will find people were actually willing to invest more energy into like fi like credit monitoring, the quality of what’s happening, et cetera, and would kind of like rebrand and redo something about it. And the three, it. was just like having full focus on Lemonis.

Andrew: Did you get into any trouble with LinkedIn on that? How does he even know? How would they

Guillaume: So we,

Andrew: Were they starting to look for common votes?

Guillaume: their algorithm essentially. So the issue with the, it was, it was really, really effective, uh, because it was a, you know, like matching their algorithm to get more rich and, uh, and eventually like LinkedIn kind of like change entirely their algorithm in order to detect this type of behavior, which were, which were really like difficult to detect for them.

So they spent like a lot of time with, uh, with that. And whenever we sold the product, LinkedIn actually reached out to me because they were a video of me as the CEO of lamb pods. And they told me like, uh, you need to stop. And I told them that we had sold the company. And then they say, Okay.

then give me the name of the new owner.

And I say, it’s not possible. Like we have NDA, you know, whenever you’re doing like, uh, when your business gets acquired, it’s not possible to, to give the name of the person. So I try to explain that to them. Then they didn’t believe me. So I basically like made them an intro with the broker. So we had like a, a broker like website, broker that’s was basically like helping us to sell the business.

So this person basically like told LinkedIn that I was not the honor, uh, that it was like an Australian company, et cetera, et cetera. But that couldn’t mention the name. But eventually like, um, it’s just not, I don’t think, I think it didn’t even mention it wasn’t an Australian company. I just think it said like it’s a different person and give me is not involved in there, but LinkedIn didn’t really care and they, the blocks my LinkedIn profile.

Uh, and, uh, and then they were like this. Um, because at that time I had like tens of thousands of followers, uh, making like one millions of reach, like every single month. Like, it was really like a, a good thing for our business, but, uh, but they, They, killed my LinkedIn profile. And then back in, uh, early on this year in 2021, there was this, a big mission called the free deal.

Mobish uh, and actually like hundreds of people, even thousands of people like posted. On LinkedIn too. So LinkedIn, like, uh, give my profile back and they actually killed the Ash stag free deal movers. So if, for example, you do a post right now with , which would be zero. They’re going to put you into like a

Andrew: never, from what I could see, they never let you back on. You now have a brand new account with just Jeep period.

Guillaume: yeah,

Andrew: No last name, no nothing. And then it says it does identify you as the CEO and founder of Lem list. Um, right. So this didn’t work at all. You had, you almost had a sale. Then LinkedIn came and crashed and cracked down.

Then you had a sale at a much lower price you got out. Can you say how much I have the price here? Can you talk about what it is?

Guillaume: Uh, we, we didn’t like we couldn’t,

Andrew: it. Hundreds of thousands, millions.

Guillaume: uh, yeah. Number one.

Andrew: Hundreds of thousands. Okay. I do have the number here. I think. Um, I do I have it here, but I think we got it from you and in a private conversation. So I’ll hold back on it. Did you get the cash out yourself from that? You get to put some money in the bank.

Guillaume: Yeah. Yeah, of course. So we put someone in the bank and, uh, we have like a different structure, uh, to lower risk on both sides, but yeah, it’s, uh, it’s, it was not like the exist of our life. Definitely not, but still like it still, uh, yeah.

Andrew: What’s the lemon Lim pod Len list. What did that come from?

Guillaume: Okay. So essentially like, um, when we wanted to find the name in the early days, I was studying with my co-founders and telling them how important the name is. And then they’re like, we don’t give a fuck about the name. So I was like, okay. And they were like, here’s a big guy, find it. So I started brainstorming with my dads and then I wanted like, basically a short name with only like two syllables.

I wanted the.com to be available. And I wanted a name that didn’t exist. So at that time we were doing like emails, we at least et cetera. And eventually my dad said lemon lists. And for him, lamb meant lunar excursion module. And he’s like with lemon list, you’re going to bring your customers to the moon.

And because my dad do a lot of design, it kind of like design the first, uh, lending page of lemonade with kind of like a Mooney atmosphere. Um, and Zen, you know, we, we said like, okay, all our projects, we start with them. So we had  et cetera. So we decided to call the company empire

Andrew: uh, it does make sense because it’s easy to spell. All right. Um, by the way, I was looking to see, did I ever interact with you before? Cause I have a feeling we’ve talked before and what I found was from like three years ago, I sent your company or two years ago I sent your company. A tech support question.

Like, can you do this thing that someone in my audience is looking for? And then the response came from you. You’re the guy who is answering the chat. And so I’ve got an email of the chat transcript. All right. Let me introduce you to the company that you don’t know about. It’s called overpass. Here’s where I freaking wish I had discovered this before.

Gee we’ve sold software in the past. Well, actually, you know, we’ve sold membership in the past for a couple, $3,000 and people will pay the thing is that they’re much more likely they did pay for it. I discovered when they talked to me and I wanted to see, is it just because it’s me or is it that they have, they want to talk to a human being.

And so I had my wife, frankly, a couple of times just get on calls with people. They talked to her. Um, I didn’t have anyone on my team who could do sales calls or who could talk and feel comfortable and will be available. But occasionally we’d have a couple of people who could be around for the day or two to just answer.

Um, we’re usually a remote asynchronous company, so it was hard to have them. I thought it would be such a pain to go and find a good sales person, find somebody who could do this. And so I just didn’t look for someone, especially since we need a short term burst when we’re doing these sales. And then we close up.

What I discovered recently is overpass the beauty of that, of their services. They have a vetted group of salespeople. It’s not super expensive. You can onboard them very quickly. You can watch them and see their ratings before you hire them. You can use the overpass software to manage your interaction with them and make sure that they’re actually doing the work representing you well and so on.

And then to make sure that they get paid, not just from what I see or the price, frankly, that their salespeople get is not that high, but they also get a commission. But to make sure that the whole thing’s handled all beautifully done within overpass, you were talking about sales as a service that anyone can spin up like that.

And if anyone out there is selling a thousand dollar product, if you’re asking people to spend a couple thousand dollars, you need this. Do you guys do that by the way, G at Lend-Lease do you have salespeople who talk.

Guillaume: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. We have a, we have the sales team and, and we like to keep human interaction because as you said, I think it’s, uh, it’s definitely like, uh, one of the most important part of sales is trust and helping people out. And sometimes it has to go through like a human interaction.

Andrew: I feel like for certain things like bigger purchases, things that are more directly connecting your customer with their customers, they want to talk to a human being and make sure that it works. Make sure that the, that the company can stand behind it. All right. Listen to me, people. If you want to go try this out, you should@leastgoandcheckoutoverpass.com slash Mixergy.

When you use that URL, they’re going to take 10% off. Um, and also you’re going to get to see their service and see how easy it is to add a sales person, a real live human being who can close sales into your business. Really, this is an amazing service. I wish I thought of the idea since I did. And I’m just going to introduce you to it.

And I know that people are going to thank me for introducing them to it. It’s called overpass.com. Like you’re going to overpass a competition over past customer resistance so much more. All right. overpass.com/mixergy. Do you ever come across, are you like an idea person where you just keep wanting to come up with ideas and go?

I should have come up with that one. That’s a great,

Guillaume: no. I usually like I have my own ideas. Yeah.

Andrew: Do you to them that you’re constantly thinking about and considering creating.

Guillaume: Yeah. I have like a, I have a place where I put like all my ideas and, uh, of the things that they’d like to do or where I think they’re

Andrew: one that you’re not going to do, but maybe somebody in the audience can jump on.

Guillaume: to be honest, like anyone that would build like a very good centralized inbox. So for example, like if you look at LinkedIn inbox, it’s a mess. You can’t find anything on there to conserve the search. Doesn’t work. Like LinkedIn search is probably like the worst search ever. Like I’m not sure what’s Yeah.

what’s happening there.

I understand that. But a lot of that time, but in any case it’s not possible to, to reach out or like find anything. So if, for example, you could have like, um, a new inbox where you can search for any conversation You had, no matter what channel you used, because as an entrepreneur or head of growth, or you’re communicating on so many channels, I think it’s, it would be like wonderful.

And I would pay for that. And I know like at least a thousand person would pay for that as well.

Andrew: You know what Sean rad, the founder of a Tinder was on an early Mixergy interview back when I was willing to edit things out and cut out and everything, he sat and he talked about how he created a business G that did just that. And then at the end of the interview goes, what the hell did I just say, Andrew, can we just edit that out or remove it?

And so I removed it and then, uh, and we never rerecorded it, but he essentially did that. It’s a really tough business to get into because all the platforms want to fight against you. They want you to go to their app. They want to be the main communication. They don’t want you to disengage dis intermediate them, but I I’m totally with you even Twitter.

I do a lot of my business during, uh, through Twitter. Somebody will mention something and then for me to go and find them is a nightmare because DMS in Twitter are helpful, but you can’t search for them. I can’t say who’s the guy who said that he’s going to be a Noey. Nope. You have to remember the person’s name and go hunt them down.

Um, By the way. Speaking of LinkedIn, I had a sponsor earlier in the year that did essentially what Lenley’s does on LinkedIn. What they would do is they, their software would help you find the right people to connect with on LinkedIn. Uh, write up your message, add customization, and then when you’re ready, you hit send on it, the messages go out and then some people will engage right back in real time.

And you just sit there at a coffee shop and you respond back and you close a sale. Why didn’t you guys ever get into LinkedIn or did you,

Guillaume: uh, we do that actually also. So it’s like, yeah, now we’re, it’s, it’s more like multi-channel so the product has been evolving like a lot, but you can do like any channel you want directly from Lemonis. So essentially like, uh, because to me, I think like a sales is, uh, is something you should build on the terms of the person you’re reaching out to.

And some people are very like comfortable on LinkedIn, others on email, or there is on phone. And if you want it to maximize like your results. You should reach out on the channel. Your prospect is the most comfortable on and to do that, you need multi-channel. So that’s why we decided to build it.

Andrew: I didn’t see that. I saw that you do phone integration. I thought it was with a third party, but you’re saying it’s part of the Lemlem software.

Guillaume: so like, fun can be either a test and you use your own phone or you can use a tool like eriko that? Uh, it’s basically like a, yeah, but for social it’s integrated

Andrew: So LinkedIn is integrated. I can do the same thing. Just warm people up on LinkedIn. What about Twitter and other platforms?

Guillaume: for Twitter and other platform, you can do that by API. So either you use a tool that has another API, or just like a trigger, like some, some of integration we have.

Andrew: Okay. What else do you have? What other integrations? Where else can I warm people up?

Guillaume: So the truth is like with, uh, since we can trigger anything by API, like you could do, for example, like real mail. So that that’s also something like sending paper letter, essentially. Like, uh, it’s it’s something like no one does, but actually like can get really good results, uh, in some cases, sorry.

Andrew: a service like lob, lob.com. Right.

Guillaume: Uh, I don’t know but uh, yeah,

Andrew: we’ve used it a little bit. It’s really helpful, especially for, um, for sales that you’ve closed because it’s very inexpensive and it reaffirms something, you know, where we used it, we were doing a payment plans for something.

And a lot of people were just kind of blinded to the idea that they were on a payment plan, no matter what we wrote on the site, it just didn’t feel like it. So then we created a letter that we sent out as soon as somebody signed up that said, thanks for signing up. We trust you enough to put you on this payment plan.

But if you have a problem and you want to cancel, you can just cancel right now. And we’ve experimented with different variations of it. And that can not completely, that changed things dramatically. People finally understood that there was a payment plan. If they wanted to cancel, they could cancel. It just created a sense of seriousness because they held it in the hands and due to cost less than a buck.

Guillaume: Yeah, it’s very cheap.

Andrew: Very cheap. And it’s just like firing off an email. You just trigger it using for us. It was using Zapier. All right. So first messages will you using limbless to reach out to potential customers? Then you look at your open rates. From what I understand, uh, you would take screenshots of the open rates of the click rates of the reply rates, and then you started posting them on different Facebook groups and saying, this is what I got contact me.

If you want something like that, how did you not get kicked out of those groups? What did you say that worked

Guillaume: The truth is like, uh, I mean, if you’re bringing value, it’s like, Hey, like the Macy’s would be like, Hey everyone, we just like build this new software that allows you to get this type of results. If you’re interested, simply comments me. I ask people to comment, not to reach out, because if you ask people to commence, the more they commence, the more other people are going to see the post.

And, you know, it’s kind of like viral. And to be honest, I I’m just thinking, it’s like, yeah, if it’s bringing value, people are like, Okay, with that. And, uh, and as the posts were like really viral from the start, like, it was really a quick way for us to get initial traction and initial users to get as much feedback as we could.

Andrew: Okay, so that helped you get customers. Were you also on, um, on AppSumo

Guillaume: Yeah. We, we launched an app where we, you know, in early better just to get again, same, like a lot of customers get a bit of cash, so we made $160,000 in two weeks.

Andrew: wow.

Guillaume: But AppSumo took 70% of that, but it’s still good, you know, like for a SAS, like making 50 K when you don’t have money and you’re just started out, it’s still good money.

Andrew: 160,000. They took 70%. So you got what? 48.

Guillaume: Yeah.

Andrew: That’s still solid. Right? You’re getting started. But more than that, now you have real people using your software and you can see the problems that they have. You can start improving it. Right. What else did you do to get early customers?

Guillaume: So the other thing we did is like, um, so doing my outreach, I was doing a lot of discovery calls. Spurting, you know, like, uh, what pain points people were facing and putting them into buckets. So for example, if I reach out to you and I ask you, okay, Andrew, what’s your current open rates? And you would say 40%, I would say, okay, Andrew, as deliverability issue.

So I’m going to put like a mark on deliverability for you. And then, you know, like if I reach out to Sarah and Sarah says I’ve got like 2% reply rate, I know, okay, Sarah, as a problem in copywriting, because the reply rate is way too low. And then based on that, you know, like I would build relationships with people and write the appropriate content for them.

And once the content was later, I would reach out again with. The appropriate contents in order to build a strong relationship where I’m always providing value. And based on that, I would start inviting people who sign up to Lemonis to a community of, uh, of our users where, because I had, I was the only one handling customer support as you’ve seen from the message back three years ago.

And essentially like, um, I would have people in the community answer, most frequent question that people ask, do like loom video, where I showcase a product, the new features showcase my campaigns also with existing templates, like being fully transparent with everything we do. And from there, like writing the right content to the right people and kind of have this cycle of growth where my only focus is bringing value.

So I’m listening to the users and the find answer for them.

Andrew: All right. Here’s the other thing you did, you seem to just constantly be out there talking. So for example, this thing that you just described right now, there’s an, a more in-depth understanding of what happened during the AppSumo launch on indie hackers. You’re constantly going out. You’re writing on there.

You’re um, on LinkedIn. Well now I guess a little bit on LinkedIn, but you’re constantly doing it. How much of your day is spent doing interviews like this, or going out to indie hackers and writing or going onto other platforms and making sure that people see you

Guillaume: uh, I normally like count the hours or anything. I just, I just like to share the story and I do it mainly, I think like, uh, the first reason why, you know, like, uh, I started writing about our journey and about our failure, the things we did, right. Et cetera. It’s because one of the article I read that truly inspired me was from someone.

Were explaining how they found out their ten first customers anyways, detailing the process. And I was like, oh, this is awesome. I need to write similar stories. So I started sharing our revenue publicly. I started like, you know, like sharing the stories that are up and down, et cetera. And I saw that, you know, it was really inspiring for some people knowing that, you know, of course you have the shiny numbers and the April gross and everything, but we also have a lot of downs.

We also, like, I screwed up a lot. I failed in the past. I felt businesses, et cetera. And I think this is powerful. So yeah, I don’t count on any time I spent per day or per

Andrew: actually enjoy this. This is a pretty intense article that I’m reading here on indie hackers. And it’s not even an article. It’s basically a post in their community. Right.

Guillaume: yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Andrew: You just sit down. How long does it take you to write something like this?

Guillaume: Uh, I, I usually like multitask. So when I write an article, I usually write like four articles at the same time. Uh, just because my brain function this way. Like I know some people like to be like super focused on one thing. I like to start writing, do something else and write about another topic at the same time, then come back because I had other ideas.

So usually I think like, um, yeah, a week for an article that is written, like ready to publish with me going through on it afterwards.

Andrew: I think the only time that I saw we are two co-founders mentioned online was in the, yeah, here it is. You basically have this, a GIF of cats typing away at the keyboards to show how hard you are working to respond to comments. And then underneath it, as a joke, you said real footage of Vinay, Francoise.

And I. I think Venay, I, I, when I do a search for Lend-Lease founder, I see just you all over the freaking place. I had to go to Crunchbase to see there’s gotta be the names of the other two. Co-founders he’s talking about them here. Nope. Renee is in there. He’s the founder and CTO. France. Why? I only saw there is friends who are still with the business.

Guillaume: Yeah.

of course Francoise is a, is a little brother of DNA. So they are two brothers actually. And, uh, and Francoise is a, is a bit like I’m more shy, I would say. Uh, but Vienna and Francois, I always mentioned them in every single article. So if you go to pyre.co you would see us three on the homepage and, uh,

Andrew: you getting, getting so much attention?

Guillaume: it’s, uh, it’s not easy. Um, because obviously like, uh, we, we started the company remote. So as we grew, obviously like my personal brand grew a lot also. And, um, and eventually, you know, it’s, it’s that time where. You need to think, like, do you really know the person you’re working with and how do they see you, you know, like from the outside.

And, uh, and I think like it’s really important, you know, to communicate and really have like a opens conversation. And I think that we have that. So obviously, like, they are happy that I’m the one, uh, eyes that represent the face of the business because they really don’t want to do it. So, so it’s helpful for them.

Uh, and at the

Andrew: like this guy G he keeps getting all the attention. It’s like, he’s the founder, but we’re doing all the work.

Guillaume: I th I think it’s just like, Uh, I’m getting the attention because I’m showing my work and I eventually, like early on this year, we did start actually, because it’s, it’s, it’s very honest question, you know, it’s like, okay, like, am I getting to attention because too much attention, because we were going getting a lot of PR and being on every media, et cetera.

And eventually, you know, I was like, Now it’s my time to challenge you, you know, like, cause you were challenging me in the early days because you know, I was like this young CEO, we had never worked in SAS and now we build together like a multi-million dollar company. And then I told them like, Okay.

but you know, like all the extra mile, all the hours, I put all the work I put now it’s maybe like, if you want to have like a, to build your brand and build your image, like I would challenge you to do that because for example, what we see, you know, it’s like in term of recruiting, it’s super easy for me to recruit in business.

Like I have zero issue to find the best talents, but when it comes to the tech side, it’s very difficult because we don’t, they don’t show their work. They don’t show how good they are. And that’s why I really pushed Janet to start blogging. And now we have one person in charge of VNS, personal brand and.

And he started lugging. So having like a CTO to blog is something you will never see. Like it’s, it’s very uncommon. And this is really funny because he’s like 45 years old going outside of his comfort zone, talking in French, very like CTO mindset. So very sharp, very direct and bold. And this is amazing, But yeah,

Andrew: But this was an issue they were feeling like maybe you’re hogging all the limelight. Maybe you’re getting, like, you’re getting a lot of attention, but also, maybe you’re getting distracted and you, instead of backing down said, you know what used to push me and say, I wasn’t doing enough. And closing enough sales.

Now I’m going to push you. You’re not doing enough to raise your profile. Do you guys have to go through therapy or something?

Guillaume: we do our w we do our therapy together now. So we are, we, we, yeah, yeah. We, we spend a lot of time talking and I think like, something that’s very important is that we are like good at putting our ego aside. Um, which I think is the worst thing. Like people with a lot of ego in business, like don’t, I think console a lot of issues when, uh, whereas like on our end, you know, it’s like sometimes like Janet told me, yeah.

Like, yeah, of course you’re getting the spotlight. So like yeah, of course I’m, I’m being jealous. And then I said, Okay. fine. You know, like you’re going to start doing interviews in French. And I sent him, you’re like doing interviews. And then after the first interview, he came back and say, I don’t want to do this. And then I told him like, Yeah, do you really feel like it’s, it’s super nice to repeat all the time. The same thing. It’s not like right now, you know, we’re having like a very different conversations,

Andrew: the beginning of the conversation, you, you had to sit down as I kind of ragged on your business. I had to ask you about your dad and not talking to your dad. Right? A lot of people wouldn’t want to put up with that.

Guillaume: Yeah. Yeah. absolutely. It’s it’s yeah. And he didn’t. but, but now, you know, it’s like, I’m challenging him on the personal brand and now it’s been, I think, a month since he has started doing that and he loves it. He loves it because it gets traction messages and yeah.

Andrew: nonviolent communication. Apparently you studied that to learn how to talk to him. I don’t know what that is.

Guillaume: So actually I wasn’t the one like coming up with, with this, but it’s essentially like, instead of blaming other people for what they do, you should talk about how you feel. So for example, like very specific example, um, at some point our customers were asking me, you know, like when would this feature be available?

And they were asking me this so many times, so I would come to Gannon Francois and ask them like, when was this feature be available? And then they would say, Stop micromanaging me micromanaging me, you know, and then I was like, I’m not micromanaging. I’m just, you know, like willing to understand. And for exam, it was micromanagement.

And for me it was them not willing to give a deadline, which is really annoying. And, and eventually, you know, like micromanagement would be like telling them, I need a deadline right now. And you’re not giving deadlines, which is wrong. And nonviolent communication would be, you know, when you’re not giving me deadlines of when the feature is up, it puts a lot of pressure on me because first I don’t know what to answer to our customers, not even a timeframe.

And secondly, it means either I have to lie to them or find out something which is not something I’m comfortable doing with. And by doing this, they understand the position you’re in and on their end, they’re saying like, yeah, but if you ask me constantly about something, it puts more pressure on me and you know, you talk more about your feeding and then it’s much easier to solve issues.

I think.

Andrew: You recommend, I read this book, they’re actually, from what I can see, not a Kindle version of the book. It’s a, there’s an e-textbook, which I don’t even know what that is. Should I get that? Is that what helped you do it?

Guillaume: To be honest, I think like even reading like a few articles about that is, is enough. It’s just a mindset and trying to implement it.

Andrew: I don’t want to overthink it. You’re right. I think I do that with Olivia, my wife, without recognizing that I do it. And then with everyone else, I don’t do it. I’m the opposite, much more willing to listen, much more willing to talk about what I say, you know what I mean? Alright. What’s what’s next. Now that we’re closing this out, where are you guys going with?

Lemme list?

Guillaume: Uh, we want to be like, uh, a unicorn bootstrap unicorn in the next three years. So keeping that hyper growth, keeping, providing value and, and trying to really like change the markets. Cause I think like a lot of people, you know, and you started out the podcast like this, you know, is. Yeah, is this, I’m like, I’m sick of receiving.

Like, I love the, I love it, but I also hate it. And I think like helping people build relationship and truly friendship is, is really awesome. And the truth is like technology right now as push people to be a bit more lazy in the way they do things. And it’s, it’s not the right way of doing this. So for me, like education is a, is a big part of what we do.

And, uh, and I want to push this really, really hard in the next years to come.

Andrew: So wait you’re now, can you say the revenue? I don’t know if you told me in private or in public, what’s the revenue now?

Guillaume: uh, we’re at 8 million. in AR.

Andrew: order to get to be a unicorn, where would you say the revenue needs to be?

Guillaume: Uh, it’s about the next from that. So between between 70 to a hundred, you’re a unit coordinator. Yeah.

Andrew: In order to get that kind of billion dollar valuation, that kind of revenue, what do you need to add? You can continue to just do this, right. And it needs to go more and multi-channel, but what’s the, what’s the vision. What’s the tool set or the customers that allow you to get.

Guillaume: so it’s, I mean, there are, first of all, like there is, there are room for, in the market for, for such a company, especially like, uh, we are focused on, you know, like scale up SMBs, even though we have, like, we have several options when to be going up markets. So we have customer like Zendesk, Amazon, et cetera, but they came kind of like naturally, and we could go and dig in and get.

more enterprise level customers.

Or we could just like, um, focus really on this SMB nailed the market, have like hundreds of thousands of customers, like, uh, you know, like companies like monday.com for example, like they have like this huge amount of customers. So that’s one of the possibility another thing could be like, uh, increased, you know, at our average revenue per user, by adding new products.

So for example, we’re in the sales automation space, uh, we connect naturally with a lot of CRMs. But I don’t know anyone was happy with their CRM. So everyone like is using, like, I don’t know, HubSpot Salesforce by, by butts, every time he’s complaining about it, which I think is it’s also like a huge pain and there is a huge space for this.

So it’s just a matter of, you know, of getting for me as long as you’re providing value to your users and you’re making them successful, then you can really grow big and fast, you know? And, and for me, this is a sole focus.

Andrew: Yeah. I agree with you on the CRM. They all fricken stink.

Guillaume: Yup.

Andrew: trying them so much. I just paid for four clay. Do you know this clay dot birth? I guess they’re still in the, in the, uh, secret beta phase. I was paying them for a month. And then I get on a call to onboard yesterday with them. And I said, I don’t even know who you are.

You didn’t give me access to your software. And you’ve been charging me. I said, I’m willing to pay it because I’ll CRM just stink. And then I saw what they had and truthfully, it’s not there yet. It’s,

Guillaume: Thank you for missing or,

Andrew: I think what they have is, is just an interesting, okay. Start

Guillaume: okay.

Andrew: isn’t anything revolutionary yet, but you know, it’s super early there.

They’re giving me a test flight, you know, that’s where they are right now.

Guillaume: But they’re making you pay.

Andrew: Yeah, I bet that it was because they wanted to curate who they got on calls with and who’s, um, who’s problems they wanted to look at, you know, it was just them trying to understand it, but it is kind of awkward.

I wonder if they really did charge my credit card or if it was just a test either way, I think you’re right. CRM needs to be improved. Do you feel like there’s any kind of risk in being so tied into this type of email? That’s connected to spam where you’re you’re people are going to start to get, I don’t know, hit with a Gmail issue or something.

Guillaume: no, I don’t think so to be honest, cause we’re fighting spam and uh, and the truth is like, we are like really working hard and teaching hard, like, uh, people, you know, how to build relationships. And the truth is like with our content and with what we’re doing like recently, you know, I did like, um, I launched a masterclass and in one hour I made like more than a thousand, a hundred thousand dollars by selling this masterclass.

People people want to learn, like there is a real need for that. And the more I see like people, like, because what I did with this masterclass is I I’m also spending, so I’m doing like weekly coaching calls with everyone and I’m doing also like for the first hundred we bought the masterclass like a one-on-one coaching session.

And I see, you know, like. From this coaching course. And I can see like the difference from people when they join, when they learned and how great, you know, their business is going after learning all these things. And, and to me, this is where I know that I’m doing the right thing, and I know that there’s such a huge market out there that we’re on the right path.

Andrew: All right. The website is Len list.com. Thanks so much for being on here, man.

Guillaume: Thanks a lot, Andrew. I had a great time.

Andrew: Me too. All right. I want to thank two sponsors who made this interview happen? The first, if you, well, you’ve already know, I’ve been talking about this, your, your other listeners, my other listeners have been signing up to HostGator and I highly recommend that you do a to hostgator.com/mixergy.

Especially if you decide to do this, uh, lead guru business, I know you’re running late, so I’ll also close it out by saying overpass. If you need to hire salespeople, go to overpass.com/mixergy. Gee. Thanks,

Guillaume: Thanks, a lot.

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