Building a $200k/mo digital marketing agency from the ground (using Messenger Marketing)

One of the people who is way ahead of the pack when it comes to growing an audience through chat bots is Manuel Suarez.

Manuel is the founder of Attention Grabbing Media, a modern digital marketing agency.

He’s started managing chat bots for huge online personalities. I invited him here to talk about how he built up his agency.

Manuel Suarez

Manuel Suarez

Attention Grabbing Media

Manuel is the founder of Attention Grabbing Media, a modern digital marketing agency.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses for an audience of real entrepreneurs.

And today’s interview came about an investment that I made. You see, a few years ago, I guess it was over three years ago. I saw that whatever I did with my email marketing was not really impacting things. I would hire writers, I would adjust headlines, I would switch this and that, and yeah, things were okay, but nothing improved it. And I realized, you know what, the reason nothing’s improving is because I’m texting my team. I’m Facebook Messengering my team. I’m Slacking, at the time I was using Slack, my team.

And I realized we were all shifting to chat with communication towards the people we love, the people we work with, and I was only using email to talk to the people I was trying to reach, my customers, potential customers, my listeners, etc. And I said, “That’s the disconnect,” and I went out hunting for a solution. And what I discovered was this little, tiny company at the time called ManyChat, which allowed me to send messages to people using Facebook Messenger, the number one chat platform that allowed those type of thing.

And I started using it. And then I got to know the founder, we went out to breakfast, to lunch, all kinds of stuff. And then I eventually invested in the company. And I said at the time, “This will be big. People will be able to get big subscribers. People will be able to sell using this methodology, reaching their audience via chat.” And it was a lot of this will one day, this will soon, trust me, this will happen. Well, that has happened.

And one of the people who’s doing it really well, way better even than I’m doing it, and I was in there early, and I thought I had a huge advantage. One of the people who’s way ahead of the pack on this is a guy Manuel Suarez. He runs Attention Grabbing Media. It’s a modern digital marketing agency that does everything from strategy, to Facebook ad buying, to content creation, to even Amazon management for their clients. I mean, they’re doing a whole lot of other stuff online.

Well, he started managing chatbots for people like Dr. Berg, who is a huge personality on YouTube. And he’s getting customers for him. For Grant Cardone, who is a huge personality everywhere, who’s getting new subscribers for him. And so I said, “You know, Manuel, would you mind coming on here and talking about how you built up your agency, and then spend a little bit of time talking about what you’re doing really well with this Facebook Messenger marketing channel. And teach it to us.”

And so in this interview, we’re going to find out about his agency, how he built it up, how much revenue he’s doing. You’ll see he really built this up from nothing into a huge company, and also what he’s doing with chat. And then once the interview is over, for the people who are listening live, we’re going to have him turn on his screen sharing and show us step-by-step how he’s doing it. So it’s going to get a little techier, a little bit geekier, a little bit more and more specific to people who are doing this type of chat stuff after the interview is over.

And I should be able to record it and have it available for you guys somewhere. If you’re listening to the podcast, if we have a recording of it for you, I will of course link it in the show notes.

And we can do this whole thing, thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. The first is the number one place to go when you’re hiring developers. It’s called Toptal. And the second is James Altucher, one of my past guests. He’s got this belief that everyone should have a side hustle and I’ll tell you about his Side Hustle Bible later on. But first, Manuel, good to have you here.

Manuel: Oh, it’s a pleasure to be here, Andrew. Thank you very much. I’ve actually followed your story for the last few years, and I’ve seen you provide a ton of value to this community. So it’s a pleasure.

Andrew: Thanks, man. You built up your agency from nothing. What’s the revenue today?

Manuel: We’re doing about 200k a month. I mean, we’re already on the $2.5 million, $4 million a year and growing steadily, getting a lot of attention. At this point right now, because of my content and the results, I don’t even look for clients. They come and show up at my doorstep, which is a good problem to hack.

Andrew: And give me an example of a campaign that you’re both proud of and also will help us understand what you do.

Manuel: Well, there’s many things that I’ve done over the last few years. We have a lot of big guys on our agency. One of them, like you mentioned is Dr. Berg. He has grown dramatically, and Messenger has been one of those big, powerful channels for him. I mean, this is something that, to give you a comparison, Dr. Berg has been in business for over two decades. And in a matter of around two years, we actually generated a Messenger channel that has 700,000 subscribers on it today.

Andrew: 700,000 subscribers, people getting his Facebook Messenger alerts, their phones vibrate, they tap it, they open it up. And then does that translate any revenue, any profits, anything financial?

Manuel: A ton of it. More than most people can say. So I can tell you that one person that was very struck about this was Dr. Berg himself because it took him about 18 years to go from zero emails to 150,000 emails and the fact that we were able to repeat a process, but 5X it in a matter of a year and a half was incredible. So, yes, he’s doing easily. About 25% of his revenue comes from Messenger, and he’s in the millions of dollars every single month.

Andrew: Wow-wee. It is a huge deal. And so for him, you told me before we started, one of the things you do is YouTube work. So what do you do for him on his YouTube channel?

Manuel: Well, we have an agency that has over 50 staff and we have SEO experts, YouTube experts, we have Facebook advertisers, media buyers, Messenger experts, and all that. So I have a team of people that created the explosion on his YouTube channel, and we optimize his titles, his SEOs, his content overall, we do editing, and we get the content seen by more people. Like this particular YouTube channel, I have rinsed and repeated that a couple times already.

It all started with my dad. My dad was my first client that also is a YouTube star in his own right, with millions of subscribers and followers. So these guys, Dr. Berg is getting right now about 16 million views on YouTube every single month. And we are the ones ensuring that that content gets seen by as many people as possible.

Andrew: SEO and other work, you also do editing and help him come up with topics?

Manuel: Yeah, well, we give him content ideas. I mean, obviously, we have a whole structured process of feeding data to him. We use the survey data from our existing audiences to find out what content is hot, and we feed it back to him. And so he uses that to create more content, but this guy is like next level on the content creation. He does 14 videos a week right now.

I mean, a lot of us are wondering if we have what it takes to produce one video a week. I mean, when you get in a rhythm, eventually, you can get to that level. My dad does seven a week. Dr. Berg does 14 a week. And we do titles optimization, tags with descriptions, we do all the stuff that you can do plus a couple of ninja things, which is in for another subject for a another day in regards to getting that content seen organically. I mean, the growth on YouTube is not paid advertising, it’s organic growth for both my dad and Dr. Berg.

Grant Cardone invests a lot of money on YouTube. That’s the different animal that we’ve helped optimize his channel too. But he does put a lot of money.

Andrew: Do you spend money for Grant Cardone? Are you buying ads for him?

Manuel: No, we did optimization for his channel. Our thing was optimization for organic reach.

Andrew: Got it, okay.

Manuel: He has an internal team that has been doing the paid advertising, the Google AdWords for him. So we built his Facebook Messenger channel, which was launched about two months ago, that from the ground up was built by my team and it went from zero to 50,000 subscribers that he has right now quite fast, with very little energy. And I could talk a little bit about . . .

Andrew: I do want to get into that. Let’s talk about how you built up this business, how you got into it. You said that you got into the agency space because your dad had a problem, and the problem was?

Manuel: Puerto Rico, if you guys know about that island, in the news for a long time. Way before the hurricane, it was already a bankrupt island in a lot of trouble with a government that was falling to pieces. So my dad, being in Puerto Rico, we have a business called NaturalSlim, which was in one single country, having a really tough time, not surviving. He actually had a book, and his book was not going that well yet anymore because there’s a limit. We’re talking about 2 million people in a small island, eventually, you’re going to run out of people to sell your products to.

So I found my dad in a situation, having a tough time, not being able to provide for his staff anymore, and I said, “Dad, we’re going to get you in front of a camera, and you’re going to grab that incredible content that you wrote in that book, and we’re going to start putting it on videos.” He said, “Really?” And I said, “Yes, start.”

So, at this point, he’s 63 years old. He thinks like he’s a crazy man talking to a camera. We put a camera, we put a studio, he started talking about different things. And for the first six months, nobody was paying attention. But eventually it started snowballing. And today, we actually get . . . Forget about that. It’s a long story, Andrew, but . . .

Andrew: Let’s go into . . . I want to understand how you build up your agency here. So let’s take it step-by-step. You helped him get in front of a camera. Were you holding the camera or setting up the camera for him at first?

Manuel: There is a longer story to that. In short, my dad is not into . . . just because I’m his son, he’s going to give me the empire. I built my own business. It was an e-commerce business. It was doing $600,000 a month.

Andrew: Before you helped him by getting him on camera.

Manuel: Before I helped him.

Andrew: What was the e-commerce business that you had?

Manuel: My story started back in 2010, Andrew, when I actually went bankrupt, and I had to look for a solution, all right?

Andrew: How did you go bankrupt?

Manuel: I came into United States in 2006. I told you a little bit about this in the pre-interview. My wife and I bought a property. I don’t have a career. I don’t have a certificate on the wall. I don’t have a degree, nothing. I got a job, the economy collapsed. I was the last one to buy a house in the subprime mortgage market. I was literally the last one. I don’t think anybody else bought after me. The market collapses in 2007, we lose everything, I already have three kids. 2010, bankruptcy is final, and I had to rebuild, and I had to find a way out.

So for the next few years, I looked for options. 2013, I get introduced to Amazon. Turns out that I get really good at it. I find a partnership with two friends. We become a partnership of three people. We buy bedsheets from China. We change the freaking labels, we put them on Amazon, and we start selling like crazy, in our pajamas, in the middle of the night, after work hours, right?

So within a matter of 18 months, it was selling about $600,000 a month. And I said, “Dad, look at this.” All right. “Do you believe me? Let me help you because you’re in trouble right now.”

Andrew: Got it.

Manuel: So then, he offered me the opportunity, and he paid me, true story, okay? This is just me by myself right now. Not thinking about an agency, not thinking about any of that stuff. I was already getting really good at the social media world, which was my thing, my starting point. I used social media to flow power towards my Amazon accounts, and boom, ranking and everything else. So that’s what I did.

Andrew: What do you mean when you say you used social media? What did you do on social media to get people to your . . .

Manuel: I got really good at controlling social media advertising. When the Facebook Business Manager became public, which was somewhere around 2014, all right, I started learning about it, and I got really good at it. And on my own, because there was no training because it’s brand new. So then I started using social media traffic, paid traffic to my Amazon listing, converting and that was helping me increase in the rankings.

Andrew: Because you were one of the first people to do it, you had an advantage, got it. Okay.

Absolutely. So I was getting very cheap advertising. I was getting people to my Amazon listings, I was getting them to convert. And I was ranking like crazy. So I was feeding the algorithm and getting me super-well position. And cost of advertising was so low. People were converting on Amazon, win-win scenario, I started winning. And I got really good at it. So then I talked to my dad about it, and just a one-man show this point, me just being a son, “Dad, I want to help you,” all right? I’m not thinking about building this empire that I’m building right now. “I want to help you.” He said, “Okay, son, fine.” I had to convince him.

At this point, he was investing $80,000 in television every single month.

Andrew: $80,000 in television?

Manuel: In a small island of Puerto Rico of 2 million, right? He was dying.

Andrew: Selling what?

Manuel: All right, he was bleeding out. He has a company called, that we own now, called NaturalSlim. All right? NaturalSlim is a weight loss clinic that you’re going to see that website’s in Spanish naturalslim.com. But it’s the weight loss clinics that educate people and then sell supplements so they can get more results with the use of the supplements. A combination of health and supplements, not miracle pills. So he has a clinic with a system.

So he was doing paid advertising on television to get people into his clinic, and it was not working. He was not . . . I think he was paying about $500 per acquisition at this point. And his, you know, the . . . I mean, it was a total mess. We don’t have to get into the gruesome details. But at that point, I said, “I’m going to help you.” And he said, “Okay, fine, son.” “Here’s your budget. I’m going to give you $250 for advertising a week. And I’m going to pay you $250 to give this a try.” Instead of $80,000, so I’m talking about $1,000 budget for social media ads versus . . . and this is a point that was social media for him didn’t exist. If you guys look this guy up right now, he’s a social media phenomenon. It just started six years ago, all right?

Andrew: Okay. And so what did you do to get him there? You told us about how you got him on YouTube. What else did you do to get him to grow on social media?

Manuel: Facebook, YouTube at the same time, we started . . .

Andrew: Buying ads on Facebook?

Manuel: We started buying ads on Facebook.

Andrew: Sending it too?

Manuel: For his NaturalSlim weight loss clinics. All right. And we started getting people into the clinics. But from the beginning, I had an intuition about this whole thing of not being direct marketers, selling, all right. It’s something that I felt like I had studied Gary Vaynerchuk’s book on crushing, right? I knew about the whole Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook philosophy.

And because of that, I had this feeling . . . Okay, this is right. So I’m going to go in and grab my dad’s content, his information, and I’m going to invest money knowing that I’m not going to get any money back. And I’m going to pay advertising dollars to get this content seen by people.

Andrew: Just to get people to watch him talk about weight loss, metabolism, and health topics on YouTube without an expectation of return on investment.

Manuel: Exactly.

Andrew: How much money are we talking about?

Manuel: On Facebook, like I said, I was starting with $1,000 a month. 250 a week. And then I started doing right away, retargeting strategies to say like, “Hey, I want to thank you for watching my videos. Just, you know, I have a weight loss clinic, which is natural, it’s going to help you get rid of those unwanted pounds.”

Andrew: Where was this retargeting . . . how? So somebody would come in from Facebook to see him on YouTube.

Manuel: Social media. From social media.

Andrew: And then if they clicked over to YouTube, on Facebook, you’d have a video saying, “Thank you for watching?”

Manuel: Two worlds. Two worlds, Andrew. Okay, at that point, we had Facebook advertising, and we have YouTube account creation. All right?

Andrew: But the Facebook ads were sending people to YouTube?

Manuel: No. We were . . .

Andrew: Oh, they were just videos on Facebook also.

Manuel: We actually uploaded the videos on YouTube, and then we grabbed those same videos and uploaded them on Facebook, and we ran advertising towards those videos. All right?

Andrew: Only on Facebook to Facebook. Got it.

Manuel: Only on Facebook. We’ve built two words simultaneously. They’re not connected. All right, at that point.

Andrew: Somebody watching on Facebook, you’d also do a follow-up retargeting video that says, “Thanks for watching, you should also know that I’ve got these clinics.”

Manuel: Absolutely.

Andrew: That was the model.

Manuel: We started bringing people into the clinic. Instead of paying $500 per acquisition, we were now paying about $10, $12 to get somebody to show up and get them close on the program. So as soon as my dad saw that, we reversed the budget, and he cut television, and he started giving me money to advertising social media, and then we went and we exploded. So Facebook has been our driving energy. YouTube has grown organically, while Facebook has been growing with paid advertising and great content, too. So if you look at both platforms . . .

Andrew: And YouTube is more SEO, search engine optimization.

Manuel: SEO. All right, yeah. We haven’t gone heavy on advertising on YouTube on any of these guys that I mentioned, all right? On YouTube, has been organic growth. On social media, it has been organic but very heavy advertising on these platforms. All right?

And building funnels, we build funnels, right, like, you’re going to grab a video, and you’re going to see it. You’re going to see an article and then you’re going to read it. And then you’re going to go to the website, and then we’re going to go into the next step of the funnel, right?

Andrew: What was the next step in the funnel?

Manuel: Well, in this particular example, at this era, no Messenger. We were still going through landing pages. So the next step of the of the funnel was like, you’re going to go visit a landing page and get an appointment to the clinic. Or you’re going to go to this funnel, and you’re going to enter your information, and we’re going to contact you, and one of our salespeople are going to give you a consultation, one-on-one consultation on the subject of metabolism. And from there, if you’re interested, you’re going to come into the clinic. So that’s how we did the NaturalSlim office in Puerto Rico.

Andrew: Got it. Not a lot of email lists, it seems like.

Manuel: No, we actually didn’t. We have a big email list. But at that point, our email was not that hot anymore. I mean, even six years ago, getting maybe 20% open rates, right now, that’s down to like 8%, 9% open rate, especially, like, Latin America has plummeted. People are not opening up their emails anymore. They’re opening up Facebook, and Messenger, and WhatsApp. That’s what they’re opening right now. [inaudible 00:17:20] getting something else.

Andrew: I’m getting how it works for your dad. Yeah.

Manuel: You get how it works. In a matter of two years from 2014, we started exploding. In 2016, we now opened up in nine countries, all right? So we went from the small, little bankrupt island with YouTube and Facebook, and now, Messenger being a big deal, because he also has 700,000 subscribers, by the way, just like Dr. Berg, we have built this agency, this . . . not agency, this monster . . .

Andrew: For his business.

Manuel: For his business.

Andrew: I see.

Manuel: Right, which is our business, who we are in Panama, Costa Rica, United States . . .

Andrew: Mexico is huge for you guys.

Manuel: Mexico is huge for us. 27% of our audience is actually from Mexico.

Andrew: Chile is big.

Manuel: Yeah. So we have this company now that is doing over $40 million a year revenue from one small little bankrupt island.

Andrew: So that’s you doing your dad. I’m wondering then why go out and get a client? Why not say, “My business is doing well. My dad’s business is doing well. Let’s just focus on that, and maybe create another business? Why get a client?”

Manuel: That’s a good question. That’s such a good question, Andrew. The main reason why that happened was because at that point, I already had a team in place. And let me tell you the truth. I got bored because it was rolling without me. We already had a strategy, and it was rolling. Even my dad and I sat down, and my dad said, “You should build an agency. There’s people asking about how did you get this done?” And all I say is my son.

Andrew: Why an agency? Why not say, “You know what, we’ll do it again on another project for ourselves and own 100% of it?” An agency means listening to clients, means answering them, and then you get paid per hour, not get a percentage of the upside.

Manuel: Like they say, “Being somebody else’s bitch.” Yeah, yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. So why do that? Let’s be open.

Manuel: Well, let me tell you one thing about why, right, specifically. My dad has been building NaturalSlim’s structure for 20 years. Building that is hardcore. I mean, doing all the structure, the policies, the documents, the products, the guidelines, and staffing them . . .

Andrew: Okay.

Manuel: It’s a big project. Instead of me being like, “Okay, good. So, Andrew, what’s your revenue right now?” “I’m doing $100,000 a month.” “Okay, how would you like to do $300,000 a month?” “I have strategies for that.” “Just come on in, all right?” And then what I do is that I actually bring them in, and I charge them a retainer. All right, so we’re going to put them on a on a service. So instead of having one-off projects during a retainer, and then I also scale with them, because the agency model, we actually charge them a percentage of the advertising spend.

So, for example, Dr. Berg, at first, we had a $500 budget. My additional invoice was $500, 10%. Now, he spends $200,000. So my additional invoice is 20,000. So as I deliver results, I can scale with these guys, and it’s an entry for me, and I have celebrities on my lines, Andrew. I’m working on a project now for Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson. I have a big company from Italy that I work on a huge multimillion-dollar company that we’re working on.

So this process of also me being a content creator, now has all these guys on my lines that I get to charge a lot more because this information here is so damn valuable because that’s what people don’t get.

Andrew: The stuff that’s in your head. Yeah.

Manuel: You get paid based on your information, man. That’s what it’s all about.

Andrew: Okay, so let me say this. I’m going to go into an ad, but it’s kind of interesting. What you’re telling me is, “Look, Andrew, to get to a point where my dad’s business is, it takes years. It’s not like I could say I’ve got all this marketing power and knowledge, and I could then create a whole new business fast. It takes too long.” Why then not focus on what you love, and what you do well, which is marketing, and then go find businesses that you can take a cut of the growth that you bring them?

Manuel: Absolutely. You got it.

Andrew: Got it. Great.

Manuel: You got it.

Andrew: So let me talk about my first sponsor, and then we’re going to go directly into the rest of the story. And I want to know how you ended up, what was your process for getting more clients, and then we’re going to get into how you discovered chatbots. And I know that you have a different approach than I do about chat, you actually think it’s not just a replacement for email. It’s way, way more than that, and I agree with you. I definitely oversimplified it in the intro. I want to keep it simple, but let’s understand it fully now that we’ve gotten into this.

My first sponsor is, it’s actually a guy named James Altucher. He is a former hedge fund person, entrepreneur, well-known bestselling author, who says, “You know what, Andrew, I’ve tried advertising with you before. The ad didn’t exactly work.” Frankly, it’s because I didn’t do such a good job with it. But he said, “I think I get your audience. Look, a lot of people in your audience are watching me meaning James Altucher, watching you, Andrew, watching your guests like Manuel.” And saying, “You know, I’m here because I don’t have a business. I want to understand how to start a business.”

And so where most of my guests, most of my sponsors are addressing an audience, people already have companies. James said, “You know, let me get people started who don’t have a company.” And so what he’s got is something called the Side Hustle Bible. If you want to learn about how to start a side business, he is offering you a chance to do that. All you have to do is go to thesidehustlebible.com/mixergy. When you do, I went through this, I wasn’t charged anything. He’s just going to give you a bunch of ideas for how to start a side business.

He was a great guest, and I’m excited to see that he’s offering this for free. And frankly, it’s because the last ads that I did for his other business, I suck at. And so he said, “All right. Here, just run this instead.” And so that’s what we’re doing. Giving away thesidehustlebible.com because my other ads sucked.

And Manuel, that’s what’s challenging about. I get to do these ads and say whatever I want. And for the most part, it works out well. Sometimes, it’s, ooh. I was looking at my old stuff and it really was painful.

Manuel: It’s a process, right? It’s a process.

Andrew: It is. You know . . .

Manuel: I always tell people, Andrew, I always tell people that the first year when you’re creating content, when you’re talking, when you’re writing, when you’re doing a podcast, it’s not about them, it’s about you. Right, you got to get better.

Andrew: You figuring out your process, figuring out what you say?

Manuel: Yeah.

Andrew: You know what, I want to come back to ask you that. Because you said before we started, “Andrew, not everyone is as good at you as creating content.” I’m great at this podcast stuff and I built up a real reputation here. I’m trying YouTube out of my personal fascination with it. I’m a little bit like, shaky, very shaky on it, and I’m not sure how to do it. I want to get some feedback from you about it.

But let’s continue. Now, you have your dad, and you’re going out to get clients. How did you get your first clients?

Manuel: Officially, I think my first client, wow. I’m going to say that he was actually Dr. Berg.

Andrew: Really?

Manuel: Yeah.

Andrew: Where was he at the time?

Manuel: I structured the agency. Officially, we incorporated on February 2016, so three and a half years ago, right? Give or take. And it was just me literally talking with my dad. The initial idea was that my dad was going to be a partner, and then my dad said, “You know what, you do your thing, I do my thing, all right? And then we’ll just keep on helping each other.” Okay, fine. So I was like, “Great,” because I was going to lose 40% of the business at that point.

I’m happy about that decision right now, right? But at that point, he had people asking him, and my dad being such a, not only is he a great personality, he’s a great speaker. He’s also a brilliant businessman. And he has a lot of people that listen to him. He’s a great opinion leader. So they asked him all kinds of stuff. And being what he is, and what he had done, he had people asking him about it. And one of those people was Dr. Berg.

They were friends, right? So they knew each other. So he said, “What are you doing on Facebook? I’m so clueless over here, I don’t know what to do. I know . . . ” He’s like, “My son.” So then Dr. Berg reached out to me, and it was three years ago. And he said to me, “Your dad told me about what you were doing for him. I’m interested to find out if you can help me.” And I said, “Absolutely, Doc. I will love to help you. Let’s roll.”

So I got started. And at that point, it’s funny because we have grown so much. And it’s actually something that because of his growth, we have forced ourselves to also grow. Because we’ve made him explode, right?

At that point, Dr. Berg had about 50,000 subscribers on YouTube. All right? He was a freaking baby. I mean, you can even reverse engineer his progress. If you go back, he was creating content on YouTube since 2009, all right? So at that point, 2016, it’s been seven years.

Andrew: Of him constantly creating content.

Manuel: Constantly creating content.

Andrew: And YouTube, by the way, 2009 was largely like, my brother bit my finger type stuff, cat videos, and kind of stolen stuff off of online. It wasn’t like, completely stolen, but it was like the next level of. I get it. And so he was back then. How did you get him as a client?

Manuel: He was . . . My dad told him. You know how . . .

Andrew: Oh, so your dad knew him. Got it, okay.

Manuel: Andrew, there’s nothing more powerful in this universe than word of mouth. Nothing, all right? So, and my dad told him . . .

Andrew: But I kind of feel like whatever a guest tells me word of mouth, I feel a little bit helpless about it because I can’t juice up word of mouth, like, I could buy more Facebook ads, I can create more podcasts, but juicing word of mouth is really hard.

Manuel: No, no, no. In social media, you can actually incorporate word of mouth. On Messenger, you can definitely incorporate word of mouth.

Andrew: How? How do you do it on Messenger?

Manuel: People trust what other people say. They don’t trust much what you do.

Andrew: You’re saying if I get a testimonial, I could amplify it there. But when you’re saying like your dad . . . All right, so your dad knew him because they work in the same industry. Got it. So he referred. What did you do for Dr. Berg?

Manuel: The first things that we did, I actually slowly started taking over all his areas. The first thing that I took over was his Facebook. He was not doing anything. He was pretty dead, a couple thousand followers. And I built a strategy for him. The main thing what they did was like, “Okay, we need a strategy.”

So I built a content strategy, and I looked at the content on YouTube, and I said, “Wow. Your content is spectacular. We need to get that seen by people.” Facebook is an opportunity. So I built a content strategy on social media, organic, and paid. So I grabbed his best videos, and I started posting every day. Three to four posts every single day.

Andrew: His best videos from YouTube and putting them on Facebook.

Manuel: Exactly. Right.

Andrew: Got it. And then you are linking them to where? How were you going to monetize it?

Manuel: At that point, we’re not linking anywhere. I’m actually just investing dollars on getting these contents seen, all right?

Andrew: Because you’re trying to build up subscribers.

Manuel: I’m trying to build up . . . Forget about subscribers. On Facebook, I’m trying to build people engaging with the content. Why? Because . . .

Andrew: I guess what I mean is because once they do and they’re following on a regular basis, then when you do have something to sell, you could sell, which is a Gary Vaynerchuk thing where he talks about Jab, Jab, Jab means give, give, give. And then meaning eventually, he could ask. But you have to earn it by jabbing, by giving.

Manuel: Right. But this is the thing. We don’t have Facebook page likes, followers. It doesn’t matter anymore. All right? You want to go ahead and grab, people get stuck in that number. It doesn’t matter. Like, you can look at . . . you can actually do a whole experiment. Look at my content on social media and on my Facebook page. And I have 4,000 followers, nothing. I’m still a baby. But if you see my engagement, I have a ton more engagement than people that have half a million followers.

Andrew: Okay, let me take away a couple of lessons from this that are that are broader. Number one, focus on people reacting to your stuff more than how many people are following, or other numbers. They are becoming vanity metrics, maybe they always were. And number two, it seems like whenever there’s a new medium, take what’s working in the old medium and use that as a starting point for the new medium.

And I see this actually for people who are creating chat Messenger experiences. They’re going to their clients and saying, “What’s your best email funnel? Let’s just repurpose that for chat and then we’ll create something brand new so that we at least get a little bit of momentum before we reinvent it.” Am I right to take those two lessons?

Manuel: 100%.

Andrew: Okay, and if I could add a third lesson, it might be if you’re starting an agency, go to people, friends, family who you know, and go and find the people they know because you’re going to get taken more seriously.

Manuel: Right. Let me give you a specific example, Andrew. Like Grant Cardone’s Messenger channel. He had nothing to do with that channel, nothing. He didn’t even produce a content piece for that channel. That channel is full of content. We actually grabbed all his content that was doing really good on social media, and we created a messenger channel. Meaning . . .

Andrew: And he is like . . . So you’ll go into his Instagram, he kills it on Instagram. You’ll take the stuff that works best on Instagram and send it out via Facebook Messenger.

Manuel: You got it.

Andrew: That’s where you’re starting. And then you start to learn new techniques like surveys, like contests for building an audience, and many of those also have their roots in other online experiences. So that’s what I’m getting.

Let me go through . . . I want to spend a lot of time here talking about how to create content and about what you’re doing in Messenger. But let’s finish out the conversation about your agency with a couple of other things. Number one, I thought I saw on LinkedIn that you’ve got a co-founder, Jorge, if I remember. Jorge Rodriguez, there you go, right?

Manuel: I have two co-founders, and they’re co-founders because we’re family. Jorge Rodriguez is my brother-in-law. We’ve been learning about marketing for ages together. He was the first one that introduced to me the Amazon world in 2014. And my other partner, who’s Ernesto, we are the ones that built this Amazon business together. So when we sold that business two years ago, two and a half years ago or so, we had already started the agency. So we’ve been together for many, many years. And we’re like family, right? So I am the majority owner, I’m the founder, but they are my partners.

Andrew: Okay. We got a question from Scott Dowd saying, “How does Manuel measure engagement, and how is that compared to sales and revenues?” Yeah, what are you looking for? Are you looking for number of comments? Are you looking for a specific metric? No, he’s shaking his head?

Manuel: Yeah, that’s great . . . It is a great question, Scott. Absolutely. Let me tell you what, that question can be answered in a very long way. But let me simplify it, all right? The way that we’ve built very powerful sales channels. All right, I’m talking about generating revenue has been through building audiences. And when I say building audiences, that’s equal to creating engagement. If somebody stops on a feed and they consume a video, they are engaging.

I have that data. I as the marketer know if Andrew is watching my videos or not, that’s engagement. They don’t even have to click anywhere. That’s all. All they got to do is stop their fans. You’re on mute right now, Andrew . . .

Andrew: Got it. Not being a fan, not being a like, whatever that. You’re just saying, “Look, even if they’re watching, it’s considered engagement.”

Manuel: Absolutely. Yeah, if they comment, if they share, if they send the message, if they visit a website, if they click on a call to action, those are all engagement metrics. So I’m trying to build massive audiences of people that are engaging with my content on that first step. That’s all.

Andrew: Okay. All right. So then let’s talk about how you got other clients. Once, you had to go beyond friends, what works for you for getting clients?

Manuel: You know, I thought about actually probably building a course in the future on how . . .

Andrew: How to get clients.

Manuel: How to get clients, the whole process work. I actually did a video the other day on Instagram TV, which I recommend that you guys follow me on Instagram, check it out, because I talked about the process of building an agency. Like, if I reverse engineer myself, like the way that I did with my dad was that I basically offered him my services for almost free, and I said, “Let me prove myself.” This is what I will do if I was starting all over.

I did a little bit different, I’ll tell you right now. But if I were starting all over, I would actually learn about advertising, learn about bots, understand the Facebook world very well, because believe it or not, even though you guys in the e-commerce, in the online world think it’s already late in the game, it’s just getting started, and it’s a baby in evolution. That’s the reality. I can tell you because I do a lot of seminars, all over the place, many times a year, so I know. People don’t have a clue. It’s over their heads yet.

So if you learn about it, and if you walk up to an agency, up to any business, if you communicate with people and you tell them, “Look, I want to give you a services for free. Let me just run this for free for you for a month, and if you like it, if you like what I do, I can actually go ahead and put you in a retainer.”

Andrew: Well, you’re saying your approach is to go to clients and say, “I will do this ad buying for free. If you like it, then pay me on.” Really?

Manuel: Prove yourself. That’s not my approach right now. It’s not.

Andrew: But that’s the approach that you had when you started?

Manuel: I had it . . . I did it slightly different, all right? I had a very low entry fee with a 100% guarantee of refunding the money if they weren’t on satisfied with the services.

Andrew: Because you were doing Facebook ad buys, largely.

Manuel: Exactly. Now, I didn’t generate leads for Facebook ad by myself. All right? My leads for the agency came through me doing a lot of content, and also being a part of special groups that have large audiences. And then I was invited to talk for those audiences, and that’s how I started building my personal brand.

Andrew: Give me an example of a group that you built up your brand with and then you got this [customers 00:34:14] from.

Manuel: Mr. Ben Cummins. Mr. Ben Cummins is one of the biggest and largest e-commerce, Amazon teachers in the world.

Andrew: Okay. You go in his Facebook group?

Manuel: I am actually his number one teacher. I’m his go-to guy in this social media world.

Andrew: In the beginning, you did that with him?

Manuel: What’s that?

Andrew: In the beginning, you did that?

Manuel: You know what, Andrew? Let me tell you. This is a funny story, right? Because you know how you were saying how you should just put a little grain, and seed, and talk to people. That’s the way that I did it, too. I wanted to become a personal brand, I wanted to become a teacher, and I wanted to show people that I was good.

So I was Ben Cummings’s student. I was Ben Cummings’s student from 2013 to 2016 or so, and I kept on communication with him. And I bought his programs, I bought his trainings, and I was a part of his monthly program. And I was super connected all the time.

So at one point, I decided to start sending emails to support to him to show him the results of what I was accomplishing through his training. And also to show him some ninja things that I was learning along the way. One message, two messages, three messages.

Andrew: Just constantly staying in touch with him? And then that elevated you to the point where you are a teacher within his community, and then that brought customers to you people who are learning and saying, “Hey, you know what, Manuel, I’d rather just hire you to do it.” Okay.

Manuel: Absolutely. That was my first speaking engagement. In 2017, in January, I went to Vegas, and I delivered a seminar to 50 of his top students that paid $10,000 to be on that [inaudible 00:35:44].

Andrew: And they became customers of yours, some of them?

Manuel: No, I started getting attention. I mean, like, it just it trickles, Andrew, right? It’s just little by little, “Hey, Manuel, can I hire your agency?” They send me a message here, they send me an email. At this point, I don’t even have a website built. Right now, I have a badass website. agmagency.com is a powerhouse, but I didn’t have that. At that point, it was just a lot of like, “Manuel, would you be able to help me too?” “Wow, what you did for Dr. Berg,” “Wow, what you did for your dad,” “Can you go and help me out?”

And I started getting one customer here. I got some local clients, I did some local seminars, and I have, for example, a chiropractor doctor that I am always flooding his clinic with clients, and I’m keeping his inactive patients coming back to his clinic. And then I had this e-commerce Amazon brand for me to help them boom their Amazon brand. And it just trickled like that, slowly but surely.

Andrew: Got it. And so it’s not a direct, like, “I spoke at this conference, and someone walked up to me and said, “I want to be your client.” It’s more like the more you elevated your brand, the more people got to know you, and then that led to sales.

Manuel: The more that I gave value. The more that I just educated people, the more people were lined up I had that wanted to be a part of my agency.

Andrew: So would you recommend that people now, if they’re into Messenger and chat as a marketing channel, would you recommend they go into, like, the ManyChat community, our community, I run a company called Bot Academy, and to our community and to other communities, just be the person who answers questions, and then eventually get clients that way, or is that a big distraction?

Manuel: 100%, Andrew. Stay connected with the group. I mean, my example with Ben Cummings was the thing that really helped me take off in a big way. Later on, I was invited to speak at Entrepreneur on Fire podcast, and then I was invited here, and then . . . Like, it’s just, you got to just have a starting point. So, for me, my first moment was Ben Cummings after four messages, finally emailing me back and saying, “Manuel, this is freaking awesome. Would you be interested in giving a little seminar to my students in Vegas? I’ll pay your plane ticket. That’s all, and I’ll let you get in for free,” all right? “So if you’re interested, I know if you’re not comfortable . . . ”

I mean, I was scared shitless at that pointing. Because at that point, I didn’t know, like, am I a speaker? Do I know how to talk? So all this growth has really happened in two and a half years just like that, Andrew. And after me, one thing that I usually tell people is like, “When you’re trying to learn from people, make sure that you’re learning from people that are actually doing it.” Right. It will be kind of weird if Andrew is not building bots himself. I mean, it’s like, why, right?

Andrew: Are you going into ManyChat and building chatbots yourself right now?

Manuel: Do I what? Again, Andrew?

Andrew: Do you go into ManyChat yourself and build a bot yourself now?

Manuel: I do, but I have more of a staff that I just basically give strategy to, right?

Andrew: And then they go in and they build it.

Manuel: Exactly. I tell them what I want on it. And I said, this is how you’re going to build it, and this is how I want the menu, and the sequences, and the growth tools, and the slide in’s, and the chats.

Andrew: That’s what I do. What I do also is, I will go in and sometimes mess up their stuff because I’ll go in and edit within ManyChat to change the links, to change the copy, to change what we’re doing. And I probably shouldn’t be doing that. I should probably not, because I feel like I’m stepping on their toes, you know, or . . .

Manuel: You should direct them. Right, you should definitely direct them.

Andrew: I saw you even wincing as I said it . My problem is that it’s sometimes easier to . . . There’s no way to comment on it, and to send them a comment unless I take a screenshot. So it’s easier sometimes for me to just go in and edit or link to something else. The problem with that is if I link to something else, they don’t know what I linked to, we could be breaking stuff, because they’re not adjusting what I’m linking to. Anyways.

Manuel: Andrew, did you see that you can note now? You can put notes on . . .

Andrew: No.

Manuel: No?

Andrew: Oh, yeah, yeah. And that, it’s not enough for me.

Manuel: It’s not enough for you, okay. How about recording your screen and just . . . ?

Andrew: I do. What I do ideally is I’m an iPad person. I do take screenshots and then I write on the screen myself. And you’re right, that does send it over. But there’s nothing like just going in sometimes, and I shouldn’t be, I should be doing all the things you’re talking about. All right.

Let me talking about my second sponsor, and then I want to find out from you, what’s working for you with ManyChat and then also in general, some tips about content creation.

I’ll tell everyone that my second sponsor is a company called Toptal. If you’re hiring developers, there’s no better place than that. There’s an agency owner who I talked to, a guy named Drew Gorham, who runs The App Factory. And he says, “You know what? I get projects from people that I have to say yes to because I’m doing this thing that I’m great at, but they’re asking for something else that I’m not great at, and it’s connected.”

Like, if someone asked him for an app on Android, and maybe he was focused on iOS, whatever. And he says, “Look, at that point, I have to spin up a team of people. How do I go and get a team of people who can build something, because the client is willing to pay us a lot of money for a project that is actually something we should do, and we want to do.”

On the past, you’d have to go out and try to hire developers, you’d have to hire agencies to do it for him. Once he discovered Toptal, he realized, “You know what, I could just call up Toptal.” I could say, here’s the expertise I need. And Toptal will then go into their network of developers who are amazing Google-level developers, meaning the types of people who could work for Google but happened to be living outside of Silicon Valley. Unlike me, they don’t have a family that just insists they live here. I would do, Manuel, I would so leave San Francisco if my family would be okay with it.

So the developers do live outside of San Francisco. I’ve met some of them. They live all over the world, and so they could charge a lot less than San Francisco developers, a lot less than Silicon Valley developers, but they’re still that strong. And so that’s what Toptal gets for him. That level developer, and so he started going to them, and he has found people who are like the 10Xers, the 10X developers, people who are phenomenal, who can develop for his clients, he could hire them for his clients and then he could say, “Okay, project’s over, guys. Go.”

And as far as clients know, his developers who’s hiring, they’re using the same email address, same Slack channels, they present as if they’re full-time employees of his because they are on his staff, but he didn’t have to hire them full time. He could just go to Toptal and hire them quickly and pay for only the time that he needs.

If you’re looking to hire developers, go to top as in top of your head, tal as in talent. That’s toptal.com/mixergy, and the reason you want to put that slash Mixergy at the end is because when you do, they’re going to give you 80 hours of Toptal developer credit when you pay for your first 80 hours in addition to a no risk trial period. Do what Drew Gorham and so many other people have done. Hire the best of the best from Toptal. toptal.com/mixergy.

All right, let’s talk about . . . When we start with content creation and then go into chatbots as a channel, and then we’ll close this interview out, and you will do screen sharing and show us what you do well. So content creation, I have been doing interviews for years. I decided, you know what, I got my little GoPro, let’s just start recording videos before and after the interviews, maybe even tell stories out of the interviews and turn them into 10-minute pieces. It’s kind of a pain. How do you recommend somebody who struggles with content creation? How do you recommend that we create content?

Manuel: It’s an absolute must, Andrew. If you don’t solve this problem, it becomes impossible to penetrate the social media world, Messenger world, and everything. Because Messenger, especially because of the rules that Facebook has imposed on the Messenger platform, content is the only way to make it a successful platform.

Andrew: What do you mean? What is it, specifically about Messenger?

Manuel: It’s not a marketing platform for direct selling. It’s just not. You cannot just send 10% coupons every day.

Andrew: So what would you do? What kind of . . . Oh, you’re saying, “Look, if I want to reach people via Messenger, I can’t just keep selling to them. I have to send them content. And if I haven’t figured out content, then I can’t do Messenger.” But I’m also recognizing that if I haven’t figured out, like, YouTube and other content, then I haven’t figured out business. Business today is more so about content creation than even about accounting.

And God knows, I took accounting classes at New York University, it was phenomenal accounting classes. I never took content creation classes. So what do you recommend to someone who hasn’t taken a content writing class, who doesn’t have your dad’s charisma and boy, this guy has authority and charisma just emanating from him, or yours, or mine when it comes to podcasting? What do you recommend we do when we try to create content for all these different mediums?

Manuel: Absolutely. Well, content is a variable. Now, one thing that I want to clear out. I don’t have a degree on content. I didn’t take lessons on writing. It’s something that you develop. Like, some people are going to feel comfortable in front of a camera. Some people are not. There’s basically three ways that you can create content. Through camera, talking about a message, you can entertain, inspire, educate. Those are the three options, right?

On video. If you want to do written content, that’s also really still valuable. I have a blog who is called manuelsuarez.com. If you guys put a lot of content there, we do two articles every single week. If I want to get more attention, I actually run paid advertising, which in this day and era, you have to understand paid advertising. There’s no way around it, right? So I’m talking about paid advertising, I’m talking about understanding the Facebook Business Manager, so you can control audiences and bring them into your content.

So I run paid ads to get my content seen in my blog, that’s written articles. If you don’t feel comfortable writing articles, then you do like Andrew, like myself also, you do a podcast. I don’t know if you guys know about this, I don’t know if you talked about this enough, Andrew, but there is a platform that I use called Anchor. Anchor is a free platform. I’m not sponsoring them at all. I’m just saying, like, the excuses have actually been taken off the plate.

Andrew: Like saying, “Look, find something, however you’re comfortable. If it’s writing, do writing. If it’s interviews, do interviews. If it’s just talking into a mic, do it, but you’ve got to figure it out.”

Manuel: Absolutely. Now, can I share something very quick on my screen?

Andrew: Oh, wait, no, no, don’t do that. Let’s do it afterwards because it kind of screws things up.

Manuel: Okay. We’re not going to do that right now. I wanted to show you . . .

Andrew: Because a majority of people are going to be listening, and I want to make sure that they could follow along.

Manuel: Got it. All right. So . . .

Andrew: We’ll do screen share later.

Manuel: This is something that you can actually write down on the chat, but there’s a few places, because I also understand how you’re going to be like, “But Manuel, Andrew, I still don’t know what to talk about. I don’t get it. I don’t know what to write about. I just want to sell more products. I just want to get more money.” If you don’t understand that content is your gateway towards being able to make more money, then you’re already lost. You got to just got to understand that.

Andrew: So I’m doing a bunch of interviews about entrepreneurship. There are tons of topics that come up here. I could pick any number of topics. How do I pick the right topic that people will care about? You were starting to talk about that.

Manuel: Here’s a tool, all right? There’s a website called answerthepublic.com.

Andrew: answerthepublic.com, okay.

Manuel: Beautiful, powerful, website, all right? If you go in there, and you search for whatever topic you’re passionate about, whatever thing you’d like to talk about, whatever your niche market is, you’re going to get actual Google queries by actual human beings, and you’re going to get a ton of them. It’s going to come up like in a beautiful way, like a whole wide circle of why, what . . .

Andrew: Wait. answerthepublic.com, all I’m seeing is like promotion for a book.

Manuel: I’m looking at it right now, actually.

Andrew: answerthepublic.com. Do you see like a guy with a beard standing in front?

Manuel: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Andrew: Oh, yeah. There. Got it, got it, and underneath, I might see it. Okay, so let me type in the chatbots. I know that you don’t like the phrase chatbots, I don’t like it either, but I’m just going to type it into see what people ask about it.

Manuel: You can do that.

Andrew: Let’s see what comes up.

Manuel: I give these guys a lot of business. I’m not affiliated to answerthepublic.com. They do have a . . . They allow you to search for several times for free, and then they put you on the program. But it’s brilliant. It’s incredible.

Andrew: Oh, look at this. So I see 118 questions that people asked. Okay, so it starts, oh, look at this. The how, where, will, etc. So let’s pick how.

Manuel: All you got to do is answer those questions.

Andrew: How chatbots work. Got it, how chatbots help businesses. So what you’re saying is, now, I pick this topic, I know how chatbots work, I can talk about . . . Look at the enthusiasm. So what I do now and say, “Okay, I’m going to create a video saying how chatbots work.”

Manuel: You got it.

Andrew: I just show it on my screen share. Great, it’s done. And once I show it on my screen share, one of the things that I’ve learned that I could do is there’s a tool called otter.ai. It will like that, transfer anything, convert anything that I speak or any audio or video into transcriptions. So now, I have a transcript of it, and if I take some screenshots of my screen sharing, I’ve got a blog post with screen sharing. And now, I’ve got that, and frankly, boom. That’s what you’re talking about. That’s my YouTube strategy. Here’s another one. How chatbots help businesses. I might need a little bit more information about that.

Oh, wait. So let’s see. I clicked . . . Oh, so I click it, and now it takes me to YouTube searches, and I could see what people have asked. How chatbots help improve customer service. Got it.

Manuel: And I can bet you, Andrew. I can bet you that you probably can answer 95% of those questions.

Andrew: Mind blown, dude. You got . . . Anyone else is excited about this, or am I crazy? All right. One, David just saying order.ai? No, it’s otter, I’ll just type it in here, .ai for you. Phil is saying pumped. Christian’s saying mind-blown, I like it. Give me more, give me more, give me more. I’m taking my freaking jacket off. It’s freaking hot.

Manuel: You know what, I’m going to go with you, man. We’re taking our blazers off. Let’s go all in. We’re going all in.

Andrew: Give me more, give me more. [inaudible 00:48:55] come up with good content.

Manuel: So this is going to . . . The thing about it that this is a cool thing, guys. These are actual searches by people that you want to find. No matter what it is, you can type in makeup, you can type in chiropractic, you can type in weight loss, you can type on whatever the heck you want to type in there. Construction, remodeling . . .

Andrew: Can I start my initial YouTube stuff, which is me talking into a camera, maybe doing a little screen share show answering that? Could that be a good strategy?

Manuel: Isn’t that cool? I mean, if you think about how Gary Vee formed his audience, he had the Ask Gary Vee Show. He get people’s questions, and he would answer them. So it’s as simple as that. You, this is the thing that I’ve noticed, being a speaker myself for the last few years. Being a podcaster, being a writer, a video creator, I have noticed that most people take for granted the information in their minds. They take it for granted. All you got to do is understand that your information, people are dying to get.

Andrew: Give me more ideas for how I can find out what people are dying to get. Information that they’re dying to get from me.

Manuel: Well, there’s another website that . . . is another really cool website, simpler, not as advanced called contentideagenerator.com. Do you know what it does? One wild guess.

Andrew: Yeah. Content idea generators. Generate content ideas. Okay, I’m with you. I’m actually going into it right now.

Manuel: Yeah, you can actually ask your questions there, and, I mean, I personally, I have a crazy mind, just like you probably, Andrew. So like, we have a lot of things that we want to talk about. So I keep a list on my phone of videos that I want to create, podcasts that I want to create, articles that I want to write, and I’m always, whenever I get an idea, I write it down. But that’s because I don’t need ideas. But most people out there, they need ideas, all right? They don’t know what to talk about.

Andrew: The thing that I want is pain that my customers, pain that my audience has so that I could answer that. Do you have any ideas for how to get them to tell us more about their problems, more about them saying, “Here’s what I don’t understand.”

Manuel: That is the power of a Messenger channel. That is the power of one of the things that I wanted to show you, which are surveys, quizzes, those things that you can build in, because what we do is that we use social media paid strategies to flood Messenger. All right, so once they’re inside, I use the channel to get data about them. Then I can use that, right?

Andrew: So what I do now is I get people subscribed to my Facebook Messenger. And then I send out regular messages teaching them stuff. You’re saying, “Andrew, no. The Manuel Suarez approach is, they subscribe, you don’t start teaching, you start asking questions.” So give me an example of an actual client that you have and the questions that you start off your Facebook experience with.

Manuel: What is your current revenue? How many staff do you have? Do you have any YouTube channels? Do you have social media?

Andrew: So this is for yourself?

Manuel: Well, I mean, if I want to get information about my students, potential students, or potential clients, I ask as many questions as possible so I can actually use that in my social media. Now, you can actually go . . . I know what you’re talking about. You can actually go a lot more micro to find out what areas are you struggling with. Are you already are using Messenger marketing? Do you have a Messenger channel? You don’t know how to grow it? You don’t know how to nurture people inside Messenger?

Andrew: Okay, so that’s a big win for me already. So the first thing I do is I say, “Here’s what you’re going to learn. I’m going to go back now, and reformulate it and say, tell me a little bit about yourself.” And in Facebook Messenger and frankly, other chat programs, including even iMessage, though iMessage is not as open and available to as many people, but anyone can create an experience on Facebook Messenger.

When someone subscribes and says, “Yes, I want to hear from you on my Facebook Messenger,” the first thing I’ll ask is a question about, if I’m teaching them about chatbots, I’ll say, “How experienced are you with chatbots?” Or “Have you built a chatbot before?” Ask a couple of other questions. “Do you have a business now or not?” “Are you trying to build this for your agency or to sell stuff for yourself?” And then I might even ask an open-ended question like, “What is the number one challenge that you have with chatbots?” And have them type it in? What is the number one objection or frustration you have with chatbots, and have them type it in, and then I use that to learn what kind of content to create for them and see where they are.

And then the other thing that I could do is based on some of what they told me, I could start creating different flows for them. So someone who says I’ve never heard of a chatbot should be introduced and taught over the next few days what a chatbot is. Someone who says “I have” might maybe then, I start to say, “Well, this guy, Manuel Suarez taught me this one thing that you want to know if you already know about chatbot.”

Boom. I got it. Give me more. How about surveys or one . . . Anything I’m missing about surveys before I move on to something else?

Manuel: Well, to give you an idea, one thing that I’ve been in talks with ManyChat with the team, right, with Tamilla, and Anna, and some of these guys there, what they want to do, I think it’s . . . We’ve been talking about that for a while. I think that’s the way to go about it, right? Like, you can actually do a specific campaign to bring in a particular type of audience, and you can give them content particularly just for them.

For example, on Messenger, what we’re thinking about doing with ManyChat as a company, okay, is it we’re going to target coaches on social media, bring them into Messenger, and show them how to use Messenger marketing as coaches. That’s different than then targeting e-commerce entrepreneurs, bringing them into Messenger and showing them how to use Messenger marketing for e-commerce. So you got to give them a unique experience. And that’s what you want to get data about these guys.

Andrew: But can I do that right now? I can do that, can’t I?

Manuel: What do you mean? Like, in you day now?

Andrew: I can ask them if they’re coaches or something else. You’re saying, don’t even ask them, find a way to know that before you even ask?

Manuel: You know, you can find out right now. Absolutely.

Andrew: Yeah. So then why are you asking ManyChat for a change? Can’t they do that already? I’m missing something.

Manuel: No, no. They want me to help them build a campaign to target people on social media, to bring them into a coach’s experience, specifically.

Andrew: Oh, so you’d be building their chat experience for them. Got it, because they recognize that there’s some people who use their software to create chatbots who need . . . Got it, who need coaches and other people who are different.

Got it. Okay. So let’s talk more about other things that have worked for you, and then we’re going to end the interview. I’ll have you share your screen, and we’ll actually see it for ourselves.

What’s one other thing that’s working for you in Facebook Messenger for growing a subscriber base?

Manuel: You know, like it’s a . . . The most important thing that I want everybody to be aware of, right? It’s a process. And it’s a sequence of steps. It’s like, for example, an analogy that I like to use is like, you don’t try to sell a book unless you have written a book. Generally, right? You have a book, you write it, and then you can offer it. On Messenger, you have to build the book. You have to build a channel. And the things that I’m doing on the Messenger channel is that I’m building the content. And to the public, all those places are going to give you a lot of ideas on how to build it.

When I say building, there’s a few main elements that you want to have on every single Messenger channel. A powerful menu, you want to have a sequence to educate people that are coming in, and you want to have growth tools that you’re going to be using on social media channels, email marketing and other places to bring people in. Once you have that built out, and you know that you have a good solid 60 days of content to give people once they come in, that’s where you really have a channel that you can now flood with people.

We briefly touched on this, Andrew. I think you’re on mute right now, yeah.

Andrew: Sorry, I keep muting because I’m typing out to people responses, and I’m actually . . . And I don’t want to keep bleeding into the mic.

Once you . . . and we should say it. We’ve got a live audience here for this. I know most people will be watching the recorded version, but the live audience is someone I’m constantly interacting with. You’re saying you have 60 days’ worth of content setup for people who subscribe?

Manuel: Yeah, and that means that we want to do about 30 messages, right?

Andrew: 30 messages. So one every other day on average.

Manuel: Exactly. That’s what we’re doing right now. And also, another thing that we’re doing, because we don’t want to give communication to people that don’t want to receive communication, first and foremost, right? We can easily give people an option to unsubscribe and get out of the channel, right? But the idea is that it’s going to be so value packed and so targeted to them that they’re going to want to get that information.

Andrew: Anne is watching us live, and hears it, and is thinking the same thing I am, which is what’s your unsubscribe rate? When you’re hitting people every other day with an alert that goes off on their phones, and they tap it, open it, what’s your unsubscribe rate?

Manuel: Easily 20%.

Andrew: 20%?

Manuel: Yes.

Andrew: And you’re comfortable, 20% gone because of that?

Manuel: I’m comfortable because I want to keep on floating in it, and I want to get rid of those people that don’t want to get my messages. And eventually, I’m going to get qualified people. And I have tested this out, so I know it’s all fine. I’m okay seeing big drops, right?

Andrew: What kind of content are you sending out? Give me an example of a specific client, and what content you’re sending out. Do you want to talk about Grant Cardone?

Manuel: On Grant Cardone, you can see, if you go and check out his channel, m.me/grantcardonefan, we have mini courses that we built through his content. For example, there’s a how to be a best a better salesman, tips for real estate investing.

Andrew: So you’re taking the content that he’s already created, teaching this stuff, you’re shortening it, making it more bite size, and making it fit there, and you’re sending it out. Got it. Okay.

Manuel: You got it. Right. So then we have four sequences, actually. All right. They are based on the actual survey answers. So we have a main sequence for Grant Cardone, we have like a real estate sequence, we have like people that want to learn about handling objections, and then we have people that want to get better at sales.

Andrew: And every other day, they’re getting a tip that teaches, teaches, teaches, and then eventually, you need to sell. How do you sell it? I’m going to put that link in the chat.

Manuel: Actually, in Grant Cardone’s channel, they actually get content every day because they are subscribed to the main sequence of content which has motivational, the Grant Cardone message overall, getting people pumped, and then the next day, they get content unique to what they want to get for more content on.

Andrew: Got it. So if they’re into real estate, they get something more specific. What’s your what’s your process for converting them into customers?

Manuel: It’s an upsell process. So you guys know, most of you guys know that there is a 24+1 Rule, right? So you send the message out, you bring a subscriber in, and you have the right to promote whatever the heck you want for 24 hours. And then you have the right to send one more promotional message after the 24 hours have passed. After that, if you don’t have content built into this channel, you have no chances of getting these guys to be part of your promotional audience.

Andrew: What you might do, if I’m understanding right is, if somebody’s been reading Grant’s tips for 30 days, if they responded to the last tip at day 30 by just hitting a button that says, “Yes, I want to learn more,” now, you have an opportunity to come back to them within 24 hours and say, “By the way, Grant’s got this live event. If you want to buy a ticket, you can.” And that’s totally kosher within their process, right?

Manuel: I actually . . . I’ll go one step further, Andrew, with everything that we do. And we embed upsells into the sequences.

Andrew: So, within the sequence, if they’re learning by getting a tip, hitting a button to say “I want more,” learning a little bit more, you might say, “And by the way, I’m selling more here.” So you’re selling like that?

Manuel: Yeah. Not I might say, I actually do.

Andrew: You do. Every single day’s tip would have some way for them to buy if they interact with it?

Manuel: This is the cool thing about this. Most people don’t realize what they actually can do with Messenger. Because here’s the thing. With content, you build and engage community. And as soon as they engage, they click a button, they comment, they see something, and they engage with it. You have just reset the 24-hour window, which means that you have opened up the channel for being able to market to them.

Andrew: How fast do you sell to them within that experience?

Manuel: Let me give you an example. Okay, particular example. Dr. Berg, one of the sequences invites people to do a new mini course called the Rapid Fat Burning Mini-Course. That course is composed on, and any of you guys can get it done. If you go to m.me/drericberg, you’ll see how that whole channel is built.

I’m going to say . . . I’m going to go out on a limb and say, Andrew, that this channel is probably one of the biggest Messenger channels on health and fitness. All right? Because, I saw before the Messenger platform change, there was a ranking on, like, on who was number one, and we were above WebMD, and a lot of the other guys. So we have, like, a powerful channel there.

So if you go m.me/drericberg, Dr. Eric Berg, you’ll see that we have mini courses embedded in the menu. All right? Now, the menu is about to change today.

Andrew: I’ve got the wrong . . . You know what? I got the wrong URL. I’m giving it to the live audience. By the way, I should acknowledge the live audience. Becky is saying something that a few other people have said, which is, “Andrew, I can’t take notes fast enough.” Yes, you could access the recording.

Manuel: Yeah, he typed it in incorrectly. Dr. Eric Berg, B-E-R-G.

Andrew: Eric, got it. B-E-R-G, got it. m.me/drericberg.

Manuel: So here’s example. you start doing the mini course, which is a course on . . . Is going to give five lessons with good copy, right, on how to get rapid fat burn. Super valuable, people are into that, especially Dr. Berg is a great teacher, right? But anybody can do mini courses. You don’t even have to do a video, right?

So now, once you engage with it, and you get for the mini course, the last video, we’re going to say something like, because Dr. Berg already, like, hinted on it, right? He said, “Look, if you want to maximize your results while you’re implementing this technology, then this is a series of products that are going to help you get the most out of it.”

So we sell something called the Keto Kit. And if you get for the course, at the end of the course, we upsell the crap out of that particular Keto Kit. And our click-through rates are generally about 40% if they get there, all right? And our conversion rates, once they land on page is going to be about 15%.

Andrew: 15% of people who landed the page will end up buying?

Manuel: Yes.

Andrew: I’m on the site right now. And I see it within Facebook Messenger. He’s got . . .

Manuel: Why? Because they’re getting educated, Andrew. These people are connected with your content. So they are already sold on the idea. They don’t need to be sold anymore.

Andrew: Free fat-burning mini course. Free mini course on ketosis, free eating hacks mini course. I see it. This is on the menu. Whenever anyone’s getting any message from him, they could go into the menu in Facebook Messenger and see that. By the way, people who have not seen Facebook Messenger are just going, “What are you talking about?”

You have to go and experience this stuff for yourself. It’s like me trying to describe email to an old person who’s never been online before. There’s no context for it. You have to just see it for a minute, send it out, and then you realize what it is. So guys, go out and check these links as we’re talking about them.

Let’s talk finally about one more way that you get people into subscribe using contest. And then we’ll end the interview, and we’ll take a look at the behind the scenes stuff.

Manuel: Okay, great. So the tools that I use to grow our Messenger channel right now are . . . they revolve around contest, quizzes, freebies, which are any resources that anybody can find to structure. I mean, I have . . . to give you an idea for those of you guys that are completely clueless as to how to get a resource that you can utilize as a lead magnet. I have a tool for that too.

If you go to the theplrstore.com. the PLR store. It stands for private label resources. theplrstore.com, guess what, you can buy your own e-book and private label it for 20 freaking dollars. And it’s all yours. Congratulations. You have bought yourself a lead magnet.

So again, any people that have excuses, any of you guys are like, “Oh, but I don’t even know, I don’t have time. There’s an option for all of you guys. The lazy ones and the busy ones, for everybody, right?

Andrew: What’s the guy to guide the free e-books to sell, to offer for free?

Manuel: theplrstore.com.

Andrew: Oh, yeah. T-H-E

Manuel: T-H-E, yes.

Andrew: plrstore.com. Got it.

Manuel: Exactly. You can go in there, you can buy an e-book, make it yours, and you can give it to a designer on Fiverr, which is fiverr.com, and you can actually just pay $10 to maybe add your logo on that PDF, and it’s all yours, and you can plug that into Messenger, and then you can run some Facebook advertising to get people there. You don’t even have to have a video.

Five tips to go organic on a budget, 10 easy ways to lose weight without doing exercise. You know, like, whatever it is. No matter what it is, your subject. You can come up with some content in one page, two pages, you can actually structure and give it as a value. Again, first step, create the content, build your Messenger channel, write that book on Messenger. Get it all structured and ready to receive traffic. Sequences, menu, growth tools, etc.

And then you got to learn about paid advertising, and that is my obsession. I’ve learned paid advertising throughout years, and you can . . .

Andrew: I kind of feel like paid advertising. We’re sending people out to go and figure out paid advertising. It’s so competitive now. What’s one thing that we could do that will work even for new people?

Manuel: Competitive. I would actually tell you that there’s still a lot of opportunity. And, I mean, it is competitive, there’s a lot of content out there, but you can generate leads. I mean, I’ve generated leads for pennies on the dollar.

Andrew: Give us as a suggestion for something that we can try right now that works. And then we’re going to get back into chatbots.

Manuel: Objective, use messages. All right? Objective. I mean, if you want to use the most valuable objective on Facebook right now, Facebook is composed of three areas, right? When you’re going to run a campaign using the Business Manager, business.facebook.com, right? So if you don’t have a business manager account, you got to create that account.

When you create a campaign, you select an objective, messages, that’s you want to generate your objective, you can actually do . . .

Andrew: Meaning the objective, the goal of the ad is to get people to interact with our Facebook Messenger, which means subscribe to our messages.

Manuel: You got it.

Andrew: Got it. And is that an easier thing to do right now, because there aren’t a lot competition for it? How are you finding that compared to getting people to a website?

Manuel: Because it’s so user friendly, it’s so easy to get them to engage. It’s so, like, seamless. The experience is so nice for them. They don’t have to wait for a page to load or anything like that. Because of that, we’re seeing a great conversion rate from our ads.

But it depends on the industry. I mean, I have a lead generation webinar coming up in an hour and one minute that I’ve been promoting for a while, Andrew. And I talked about the things that we do over here, but not a message, not particular messages. Probably, I can talk about it a little bit. But, in reality, what we do is that we bring people into Messenger, and then we get them subscribed to our sequences, and now once they’re on those sequences, which is educated, educated, educated, and we can even send promotional messages, listen to this, every single day. You can send out promotional messages seven days a week.

Andrew: As long as they interact with the messages.

Manuel: As long as they interact with the messages. But guess what, if you do content, you’re going to have audiences interacting every day. Some people interact one day, but they don’t interact the next one. So now, you cannot communicate with them. But then, they come back to interact in the next one. And that way, you can send promotional messages activity to those people, and that’s why content is so valuable.

You can you can sell doing the upsells, like I told you guys about. You can also sell on broadcast with people that have interacted with your bot in the last 24 hours.

Andrew: You mean you go into ManyChat or whatever tool people are using, but ManyChat’s the most popular now, and say, “I have this thing to sell, I want to send it out to everyone who interacted with my chatbot in the last 24 hours,” and you send it out. We actually recommend being a little bit more strategic than that. It might be I want to send it only to people who fit within the category that were of the product that we’re selling and who interacted with in 24 hours.

Manuel: I like that. Okay, approve of that. Yes.

Andrew: Let me do this. I’m going to end the interview right now. And then I’m going to have you turn on your screen share. I know we don’t have that much more time with you, and I want to see what’s working for you firsthand. And we’ll do questions in a bit if we have time.

So, for everyone who’s listening to the podcast, thank you all for being here. This is a little bit different for me. What I’m saying is, chat is the future of communication. I’m not even saying email is dead, I’m not taking up the this or that argument. I’m just saying, look, you’re watching in your life that people are communicating with you using text, using iMessage, using WhatsApp, using Facebook Messenger. And that’s the way that you’re going to be communicating with your customers and potential customers in the future.

I’ve said that for a long time, I invested in ManyChat because I believed in their ability to do this. And now, I’m not saying it’s going to be the future only. I’m also saying it’s the present. And so we have heard from Manuel about how he did it, and we’re going to do a screen share in a second. Did I just lose it? Where he’s going to show us how we did it. I just lost his video. I hope I didn’t just lose everything.

Manuel: Well, Andrew, can you still hear me?

Andrew: Oh, you know what? Yes, but I cannot record. I cannot even hit stop on the recording, which is totally fine. Zoom doesn’t usually have issues. I’ll end the interview by thanking the two sponsors who made this interview happen. The first will help you hire phenomenal developers called Toptal. Check them out at toptal.com/mixergy. And the second, if you’re looking for a side hustle, check out thesidehustle.com/mixergy.

Who should we feature on Mixergy? Let us know who you think would make a great interviewee.

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