Turn a service into a subscription

One of the things that I’m discovering is companies are turning services into subscription products.

Well, joining me is an entrepreneur who did exactly that.

Johnathan Gryzbowski is the co-founder of Penji. It’s an on-demand graphic design service. It’s a better way to outsource your graphic design because you pay one monthly fee and then you get ongoing access to designers. We’ll find out how he found the business model that made it work.

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Johnathan Grzybowski

Johnathan Grzybowski

Penji

Johnathan Grzybowski is the founder of Penji, which offers on-demand graphic design.

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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. And one of the things that I’m discovering is that, um, There are companies that have turned services into subscription products. Joining me is an entrepreneur who did exactly that.

And I think when you hear how he does it, you’ll your mind will be opened up to lots of different businesses that could have this model, Jonathan. Gryzbowski is the co-founder of . It’s an on-demand graphic design service. Basically. It’s a better way to outsource your graphic design because you pay one monthly fee and then you get ongoing.

Is it unlimited design work, Jonathan? Unlimited design work. And so I, and I’m here to find out how he built up this company, why he left Apple when so many people just want to work at Apple and also how this whole model works. So if somebody has an idea for doing something like this in a different space, What could they learn from Jonathan’s experience building PNG?

And we can do this interview. Thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. The first, uh, as you’ll see Jonathan used search engine optimization to grow his business. So I’m going to do an ad for SCM rush to talk about how you might use a search engine optimization and other content marketing to grow your business.

And the second. It turns out there are people who are reselling his services, kind of playing arbitrage. So I thought let’s do an ad for HostGator, where if you wanted to start a business like that reselling PNG services or doing something similar, we’ll talk about how you can do that. Basically. I’m turning my ads into content, Jonathan.

Good to have you here, Jonathan.

Johnathan: Uh, uh, it, it helps them actually listen to what you have to say. So, you know, kudos to you. And it’s an honor being here. I’ve Googled best podcast for years now, and you’re always on the list. So I’m excited to be here.

Andrew: Right on. Thanks. Um, you probably know that one of the first questions I ask my guests is what’s their revenue. I know already you talked to our producer, you said I’m not giving Andrew numbers. Can you give me a sense of it? Talk about like roughly where you are.

Johnathan: Yeah, I can definitely give you a range. It’s uh, it’s definitely over 250, um, which is a monthly, monthly recurring revenue

Andrew: More than 250,000 recurring revenue per month. Got it. Okay. All right. All right. So wait, so that’s higher then you told our producer, you’d be willing to say, you’re basically saying we’re doing over 3 million a year.

Johnathan: Yeah, exactly. Um, I did, I, you know, we, we talked about it internally and it’s something because our industry is so competitive that once you get a, a it’s like any, it’s like dating once you’ve, you put a number, you find out what somebody earns and makes they immediately, you put them into a hole. And I feel like that’s the same way when it comes to the industry that we’re in.

So. Yeah. That’s that’s exactly right. Um, so we’re over to the two 50 Mark, which is something that we’re incredibly proud of and,

Andrew: that’s a, that’s a run rate though. We’re basically, we’re basically looking at the last few months and multiplying the average by 12. That’s where we are roughly.

Johnathan: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: All right. Great. By the way, you said that you Google me and you’ll see that I’m one of the best interviewers. The pre-interview is one of the reasons why I become one of the best interviewers.

People will say less than a pre-interview think about and go, you know what, actually, there’s so much more, I have to say about that. In this case, I can get a little accurate, you were thinking a little more accurate about the numbers. Um, The way the business works is he, someone signs up and suddenly, instead of asking for one design project at a time where you have to keep hunting new business, you’ve turned them into like a SAS customer, right.

Software as a service.

Johnathan: Yeah, absolutely. So the traditional SAS is basically, as you said, a software as a service, but we’re kind of doing it as like a service as a service. So it’s still kind of similar to the SAS, just different wording, but yeah, so businesses essentially go onto our website. They sign up through our website, they pay somewhere around $500 a month and they get unlimited access to our designers.

We have over 125 designers that are willing to design anything. From a logo to a business card, to a website, to an app. I mean, infographics, the list goes on and on, but it is a buffet too, to a degree, but we actually have software that we use where it limits to a steward degree. So instead of sending a hundred things, um, you can submit one or two projects or 10 projects and we’ll do one at a time.

We won’t move on to the next one until that first is complete and so on and so forth.

Andrew: Got it. You are holding a mic. Most people won’t see or know it. Um, you have a proper setup, but you’re not at your setup. Why what’s going on?

Johnathan: Yeah. Sure. So, um, My I’m at my family’s house for people that, um, can actually see me. And I met my family’s house because fortunately my mom passed away about three months ago from breast cancer. And, uh, from time to time I come home, I have a younger brother who’s 19, I’m 31. My dad works his ass off, sees me if I can’t say that word, but he works his butt off.

And, um, and I, I come here about once or twice a week to, um, Just to help them out. Uh, I can work. I have the luxury of working remotely and doing it anywhere I want. And I can plug in pretty much anywhere I want to. So I come cook dinner for them. I love cooking. It’s one of those escapes for me. I cook them dinner.

I hangout, I talked to a 19 year old. Who’s going through the trials and tribulations of, um, of adolescence and teenage years. And we have some amazing conversations and I’m kind of like, Going backwards a little bit. Cause I was so far removed from business in the early twenties. And I didn’t have that, you know, strong connection with, with family.

Cause I was just eating dirt and heads down most of the time. But once you lose somebody very important in your life, if I were could kind of just, you know, give a philosophical thought here, uh, you don’t, you don’t know what you got until it’s gone and when you lose somebody, it definitely brings everybody together.

So that’s where I am. And that’s what I’m doing.

Andrew: Do you start to have a different attitude about life now that you’re so close to her passing? What’s the difference?

Johnathan: I just appreciate things more. And I think that, and number one, I want to thank you for asking these questions. I think more people should. Talk about this type of stuff. And, and I think that sometimes in the business where we glorify, uh, entrepreneurs and business professionals, but a lot of people don’t understand that they’re they’re hurting or a lot of people don’t.

Mean, um, to, to answer the question my life, I just feel like I, I appreciate things more and I can, I know, I definitely don’t think take things for granted. Um, not to be, you know, incredibly morbid, but things can change tomorrow and appreciate what you have right now. But at the same time, like understand it this moment.

Don’t take it for granted, whether it’s a happiness or a sadness it’s, it’s there and embrace it and enjoy it.

Andrew: Your, your mom passed away. You’re there with your family. You’re getting ready to cook for them. You’re kind of extending that time. You’re because you’re spending a little bit of time. With me, you’re, you’re going to get to it later. I asked you, do you want to record this interview on another day? And you said no business has to go on widen, losing your mom, make you feel like business can wait.

Spending time with family cooking, being in the moment is more important than promoting my company or talking to Andrew about how I built it or any of that.

Johnathan: Yeah. Um, to me, and this might be a selfish thought, but I’m just going to give you my honest, my honest opinion, like my business. This is my dream. Um, this is the thing that I’ve worked my entire adult life for. Uh, I’ve only had one real job. Um, I started entrepreneurship. Technically at the age of 15, but you know, full-time really doing it at the age of 23 and no matter what happens, you can still appreciate what’s around you.

But business is always going to be there. It’s always going to be thriving. I have me and my co-founders. We have a hundred plus people that we have to take care of and look after. And you know, those people are an extension to my, so as, as important as my mom was there, There are other family members that I also have to look after.

And so that’s why business goes on. Cause if I’m not talking about it, I’m not getting in front of the right people. If I’m not sharing my story, then people understand what penny does and how it can actually help people.

Andrew: Okay. You mentioned you were an entrepreneur at 15. What did you start at? 15.

Johnathan: And mowed lawns. And I really truly believe that that was kind of where I got my work ethic. I mowed lawns, I think like 40, 60 hours a week. I was making some good money at 50. I was

Andrew: wait, well or 40, 60 hours a week. We’re talking about an average, like a traditional business day is 40 hours a week, 900.

Johnathan: Yeah, we were mowing lawns from like eight in the morning to like six at night. I mean, I was 15, so my energy was like through the roof.

Andrew: I get it. But then when, when was school?

Johnathan: Um, well, mainly in the summer, so we did it in the summer. Yeah. And, uh, myself and my, uh, my friend, my best friend at the time. Um, but he, yeah, we did it in the summertime.

We didn’t really do it during, during school. Um, but it was just in the summertime. We were making like a couple grand a month and I wished that I was smart about money, but I’d probably spend it on like Wendy’s and like Pokemon cards at the time, which kind of sucks. But here we are.

Andrew: beyond working hours. I imagine if you’re getting that much work, making that much money, you’re also hustling to get new customers. I mean, I imagine you as a teenager knocking on doors, literally saying, can I that’s what it was.

Johnathan: Yeah. That’s exactly what I was. I actually had a really cheesy, like eight and a half by 11, like forum that said, hi, my name’s Jonathan. I’m a, I’m a, I’m a S I’m a student at X and Y school. Um, Can I, can I mow your lawn? It was so cheesy. It was called grizzly services. Uh, it was so cheesy, but it worked, it worked.

And I think the, uh, the young card, the school card really played a, a huge proponent of it and people, people signed up. So.

Andrew: I remember being a younger kid. Seeing people in high school and college saying, I’m a student, seeing my parents hire them because they’re students seeing my parents describe them, not by their name, but saying I hired this student. And at some point I realized, wait a minute on that person, someone’s going to want to hire me and talk about me as that student.

I should actually talk about it instead of pretending that I have something else going on. And that was both liberating because I didn’t have to hide the fact that I was a student, which come on, who’s going to believe I’m not a student. And also. It gave me opportunities that I wouldn’t have had.

Otherwise it’s a, it’s an eyeopening experience you eventually stopped because of something your mom told you, she gave you some work advice. What was that?

Johnathan: She said go get a real job.

Andrew: Because.

Johnathan: Honestly, I don’t know. Cause she was afraid. I mean, she, she didn’t understand entrepreneurship even till the day that she passed. She had no real idea what I, what I did, how I made money. Um, And, you know, maybe that’s my fault for not being able to explain it properly, but at the same time, I think it’s a two way street personally.

Andrew: Did I understand this right? You ended up going to work at Apple doing business development.

Johnathan: Yeah. So worked at Apple because I thought it would be an amazing company. My mom actually said no to work at Apple. Believe it or not.

Andrew: Why this is 2008. They had already proven themselves.

Johnathan: technology I think is just like a old school technology

Andrew: Uh,

Johnathan: from like North Philly. My dad is from North North Philly. And if you know anything about North Philly, they’re, they’re like a bunch of Polish and Italians and Irish people that, you know, Are very stubborn and they don’t understand the whole technology world.

That was very technologically savvy. I loved it, but yeah, I wanted to work for Apple. I grew up in the ranks, um, started at 18. Um, and then I started working on businesses, the business, when it comes to like, and working with business customers. So if you are a business person, if you are, um, a real estate agent, or if you have a small business, I would basically help you in, in, in, in.

Take you through the journey of Apple from a business standpoint. And I feel like that in particular really helped me refine my speaking ability in sales. Um, but then I love the culture side of Apple, which inevitably we brought over to PNG, um, from just the culture of like how, how it works, the internal aspect of it.

So like, I couldn’t be more grateful and very appreciative of my time at Apple’s. It was a, it was a godsend. I just. Wasn’t fulfilled, like just doing the same thing every single day. I make good money. Um, I just knew that I was meant for more and I knew I wanted to help people and the things that I was helping just wasn’t I was, I was helping one individual at that particular moment and I wanted to help the masses.

And I feel like that’s kind of was just like my calling, how can I help more people? And how can I have the freedom of working for myself and by myself,

Andrew: You quit. Did you have an idea before you quit or did you just quit and find a business idea?

Johnathan: I put in my two weeks. And they’re like, how about you just leave now? So that sucked. But I actually had a, uh, social media, um, uh, social media marketing consulting company that I started. Uh, I, I didn’t have any customers at the time, but I gave myself three months in my bank account that says, like, if I don’t get a customer within these three months, like I’m done, I have to go get another job.

Um, but I ended up. Getting a couple of costumers. I ended up bartering for food because I knew that if I didn’t have any money I had, I had to eat. So I ended up like saying, Hey, I’ll do your social media. If you pay me in food or if I’ll, if you can, uh, I’ll pay, I’ll do your social media, if you can give me a haircut.

So I ended up like finding a pretty good amount of people that wanted to do it. And that’s kind of how I, I got to where I was. I was able to get some cash. Right.

Andrew: Awkward working on doors at Italian restaurants, asking for the boss, telling them that you could build a, it was

Johnathan: Absolutely. Yeah,

Andrew: how’d you get past that.

Johnathan: that’s a really good question. I don’t think anyone has ever asked that. Um, I just stopped caring. Like I would say that I’m really good at, at failing. And I’m really good at just bouncing back at the end, like I’m and if I could say, like, what I’m good at is like, I’m fearless.

Like I don’t care how other people believe what they think of me. I don’t care about hearing a no, because I know that I’m one step closer to a yes. And so I don’t really have an exact answer, but I’m just, if I built that skin over time, by hearing the word no over and over again.

Andrew: I wonder where you got that. I’ll tell you a bit. I got it from reading sales books as a kid, and just knowing this is part of the process and they would glamorize the person who could take a lot of nos and still keep on fighting. And the, the phrase that stuck in my head didn’t come to me until years later, when I went to a Jay Abraham sales pitch.

And I think it was him who was definitely someone at his event who stood up and said, if you’re hiring salespeople, hire people who eat no for breakfast. It’s like the sense that this is their power. They wake up in the morning and to get energy, they take in a lot of nos. And so that’s where I got it.

You know, where you got this, this habit to accept? No. And keep going.

Johnathan: No idea, honestly, to this day. I still, I still don’t know. I just think if I could pinpoint one particular thing, I don’t think it’s like the exact answer, but I have for reflected over this, especially over the last couple of months, like where the hell did I get this from? Um, because like my parents are completely opposite, but I think it’s just the upbringing that I had.

I would say that my parents are extremely. Middle-class hardworking. My dad’s worked for FedEx for 30 something years and I I’ve never had the nicest things. And I’ve always told myself that, like, I’m not going to live that life. And my, my parents in particular were always about money, money, money, money, like we don’t have enough.

And I knew that if, if I were to. Help people that money would naturally come. And, and I feel like that is the core essence. Like I want to provide a life for myself, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my coworkers, a life that where they can feel comfortable and they don’t have to have the strain the same stresses that I had growing up as a kid,

Andrew: Yeah. You know, it’s funny. They say that people who have a lot of money think about money a lot, but that’s not true. People who don’t have money. You have to think about it a lot. Even if you just think about what you’re going to eat, someone who has money, doesn’t think what’s it going to cost?

You think about what food you want you think right. When you don’t have it, that’s when you’re constantly doing the math in your head.

Johnathan: Yes, I still do that by the way. I’m cheap as hell. Like I was, I was still calculate it like, uh, Oh, actually this is a really good example of this happening yesterday. I was getting food for my parents, uh, for my dad. And, uh, and he, he was like, go to BJ’s and I went to BJ’s and BJ’s, if you’re listening in the United States is like a wholesale food market, essentially.

So you get a lot of things in bulk. Um, And, uh, one thing in particular was like $10. I did the calculations in my head that if I were to get an off-brand at like Audi or target, that it would actually be more and it would be for less. So I decided to not go and buy the thing at BJ’s and ended up spending and ended up driving just a little bit longer.

Um, you know, not by much and, and went to target and Audi, and I got what I needed to get more for less.

Andrew: You know what I’ve done that recently. And it feels so satisfying to, for example, realize, you know what, we don’t actually need three screens on Netflix. The house just needs two, two at a time. Even with Olivia’s parents using our account remotely, it’s fine. You save like two or three bucks. But I’ve also found that one of my bet, what happens is it becomes a distraction.

Like you, you had to drive out to this whole other place just to save a couple of bucks. I had a one night when we did want to watch something and both her parents were watching on Netflix and then we had to go and figure out how do we log in? Um, so I’ve been rethinking it, the one big benefit that I get, and maybe you get this to Jonathan is.

When the big expenses come now I calculate how many nights of how many months of Netflix savings does this cost? You know,

Johnathan: Absolutely.

Andrew: suddenly it becomes much more of an awareness.

Johnathan: Yeah, absolutely.

Andrew: Where do you spend money, then? What do you give yourself space to do it?

Johnathan: I don’t spend money at all. Like, well, okay. So full transparency. I. I didn’t receive a paycheck for five, six years. And now my expenses for the most part were paid, like my renting, my food costs. But like at the same day, the food costs, I think I was spending close to 50.

Dollars to $25 a week on food and to not receive a paycheck for five years on purpose and be able to reinvest that back into the business because we are bootstraps. So to speak. We’re cashflow positive. We’ve never received announce of funding. It. For me, that experience completely changed my life and how I see money.

So if I were to answer your question, what do I spend money on? I’m really big into wine. And I love studying wine. That is the one thing that I actually spend money on. Um, other than that, I don’t really spend

Andrew: you live on that much money for food. And I could see where if you go, not just to BJ’s, but you’re looking for a price that’s lower than this wholesale club. I get how you could limit your, your food spending. And then what’d you say you did for rent?

Johnathan: Uh, like how much?

Andrew: No. Where do you live? That you can pay so little for rent.

Johnathan: Well, at the, I mean, now it’s a little bit different, but at the time I roomed with, uh, like my business partner. So we split the cost and rent. Um, I think it was like somewhere around like 1200 ish dollars. So that ended up being pretty cheap and then just using some really cost-effective ways to save money.

Uh, I naturally don’t really cook with meat, so that’s going to be a huge, like a huge money saver. Um, so just like, you know, chickpeas are 49 cents or 69 cents a can, you can get your protein. Um, and, and that, and more just by. Some really cost-effective ways. So like I ate dirt literally for five, six years of my life in order to be where I am today.

And I think that helped shape the way the company is shaped the culture. It shaped my internal process in mind and how I view things. And if there are businesses, if there are people listening right now that can physically do that and emotionally do that, I implore you to do it as long as you can. Um, And not immediately just see capital for your business or your idea, whatever it may be, eat dirt as often.

And as much as you can in the beginning.

Andrew: There was a period there where you got to eat the food of the restaurants that were paying you in food, got haircuts. And I’m guessing it wasn’t just that you needed the food and the haircuts. You were looking for customer success stories. You could then say, I did these guys sites. I can do yours. You started building up a business.

I think you got, from what I understand to a couple of hundred, maybe a customers, is that right?

Johnathan: Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, that was in the beginning stages of the first entrepreneurial like journey, but eventually we got to a point where we were selling, um, high-end websites. Uh, For an agency that inevitably was a spin off of that initial door to door thing. But we started asking ourselves like, this is our, we hit, uh, the ceiling essentially when it comes to our agency, when it comes to SEO, when it comes to a web development and things like that, which is what we did primarily in addition to the marketing that we discussed in the stories that we’re talking about.

But eventually PNG had to come forth. And we realized that like, how can we help more people we’re working with our eight previous agency, these, uh, universities for websites, but we asked ourselves like, what can we do? That’s going to be beneficial. And we stumbled across this idea, uh, of, of PNG, which is unlimited graphic design.

Andrew: And the way that you came up with it, from what I understand was you sat down with you. Designers with the team at your, uh, uh, at your previous company, what was it called? Waterfront media,

Johnathan: Yeah. What are from media?

Andrew: whatever. So you sat down with them and you said, this is not working. We need something else. And so they came up with the idea of what if we do a subscription?

Am I right?

Johnathan: Well, not exactly. So my co-founder and I were actually on a trip in Vietnam and we have developers that are over in Vietnam and we sat in an ice cream shop and we said like, what can we do differently? We came up with the idea of PNG in that, that ice cream shop. We later came home. I’m from Vietnam, which is a 17 hour flight plus very fun weather.

We came back and pretty much that next day, we knew that we had to shed the skin of what once was and build into the future. And we sat down with all of our employees. We gave them and we only had about like, you know, six or seven. At the time, but we sat down with each person and gave them a resignation letter from waterfront media.

And, uh, we said to them and said, Hey, you know, you have been officially fired as of today from waterfront media. And. Um, we appreciate your service and we thank you for your time. And the minute that we did that, we let them feel it. And, and it’s really EFT up for us for doing that, but we had to shed that skin.

Um, and then immediately after that, we gave them a. Hiring letter, uh, for pen G and that overall just feeling of that sadness and that pain was not only good for us, but it’s good for them. Um, and that hiring of that euphoric standpoint of them being, you know, employed again, um, it really just shaped our mindsets, uh, in order to focus on the future.

Andrew: I see. Yeah, it seems like you’re definitely are sending them on an emotional roller coaster, but I get what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to bury the past and appreciate that there’s something new instead of holding onto the past and saying, why did you guys go on vacation and come back with this thing that changes our lives?

The idea behind penny was you wanted consistent, dependable revenue, right?

Johnathan: Exactly.

Andrew: What else was it just that, that you were doing design work, but it was lots of different types of design work, lots of different development work. It was too many projects, not enough consistent revenue. Am I understood?

Johnathan: Yeah, for the most part. I mean, like, like I mentioned it, like, we hit this glass ceiling, we couldn’t grow anymore. We knew we were destined for like, we knew we were all really smart. Um, and for the most part we just said, How can we make this easier? And a lot of people said that graphic design was the best thing that they, that they received from us.

And that’s when we decided to explore that we ended up interviewing close to 250 of our closest friends to say like, Hey, if we built this type of service, would you buy it? And a large portion of them actually said yes, and became our first 100 customers. Oh man. At the time it was $79 a month.

Andrew: What type of work from you?

Johnathan: S the same service that’s now we just were just like, we didn’t know.

We didn’t know that it, that it would work. We were just like, what can people do Ford? And we’re like $79. It looks good. But we have like five people that are still on that $79 plan. And by the way, we just grandfather

Andrew: an early customer.

Johnathan: Oh God. Yeah,

Andrew: good. You gotta, you, you, you take a leap of faith, but when the payoff is there, it’s really there. Let me take a moment. I want to talk about HostGator with you in mind. Jonathan, I asked you before the interview started, if someone just had a HostGator account, created a quick website and wanted to resell penny services, could that be done?

And you said, yeah, people do it. So tell me how people do it.

Johnathan: Yeah, we’re in on unlimited graphic design service. And so there’s, you can create unlimited brands within a penny. And so if you have, uh, an agency is literally the cheapest and most affordable, economical way to start a business, if you have a business mind, if you know what looks good, you literally can just log on to PNG.

You can subscribe to us for four 99. Um, and you can put all of your customers in there. So very similar to like a host Gator, uh, where you can create a website, uh, and do all these things and host the, the website. Um, it’s, it’s a great play because you can sell our service to your customers for a hundred hours a month, and you can get a hundred people on there.

You might have to upgrade your account on Benji, but essentially you could service a decent amount of customers on, on one single account.

Andrew: Ah, so what you’re imagining is let’s say someone was listening to us who said, do you know what podcasters do a really bad job of taking the highlights of their interviews and sharing them say on Instagram or sharing them in others? Replaces or creating ads that promoted you might, however, the person listening to us might go to hostgator.com/mixergy because they throw a slash Mixergy.

At the end, I get a credit. They also get flow’s price from HostGator find they go there and they create a site that says my, uh, podcast or design agency. And then they email people like Andrew and they tweet at other podcasters and say, I think you could get nicer designs for what you’re you’re doing.

Let me show you how, and then if they get me as a customer, maybe I pay them 500 bucks a month to create a handful of designs, but really what they’re doing is taking that money. And, um, I’m using it to pay you guys because once they get me paying them and working with them, then they can go and get everyone else’s.

Yeah, it’s crazy. Exactly. That’s the model.

Johnathan: Yeah, that can be that, that is a part of the model. Absolutely. You can do it for what it will, when it comes to us in particular, that’s definitely a large. Uh, a portion of it, but a lot of the people that work with us are digital marketing agencies. So it’s like a combination of people like yourself who listened to a podcast and have a lot of content.

And then the second aspect of people who are high in agencies that need graphic design, but don’t want to do the grunt work. They hire a $60,000 employee, uh, to do social media posts. Like, I don’t know if that’s worth it because that doesn’t require a

Andrew: As well have an agency. And if they’re going to do an agency, one low price gets a massive results. All right, anyone who’s listening to me who decides that they want to resell Jonathan’s work from PNG. You can go to hostgator.com/mixergy. Right now you get the lowest price that all skater has available.

It’s so quick to set up a website with them. You’ll be shocked. I know I was, I went to rediscover it recently to see does this work. I was shocked. It works really well really quickly. And I’ll tell you something else. It’s also easy to cancel if you’re not happy with them. And yes, they do have a guarantee on their site.

If you go to hostgator.com/mixer, GLC to guarantee right there, you’ll also see all the features on meter disk space, unlimited email addresses, all this stuff, go get the details, sign up, get started with that idea or anything else at hostgator.com/mixergy. Um, you then started doing work for these people.

And I feel like one of the things that I love about PNG is the backend. One of your guys did a screen share with me, showed me what happens when somebody submits an order. That’s a really well done process. The first process that was all done in Trello with boards, each column, I imagine represented a different step in the process of turning a customer’s request into a finished design project.

Right.

Johnathan: Yeah. So we kind of use it when we have different sections where we have like, um, It’s not necessarily like the board of Trello, it’s more so flipped and it’s kind of stacked. Um, so you submit your project. You tell us exactly what you want, you have your descriptions. Um, you’ve become as descriptive as possible and provide examples.

Um, then it starts pulling, uh, coming together in blocks. And so your first block is going to be your first project and it’s going to be the one in Q a and then each project after that is going to go below it. And we’ll work on that top one. And one of the cool things with PNG is that. And, and I think from my perspective as like a former agency owner is you don’t necessarily know how to explain what you want changed from your initial design.

And I think we do a really cool job at doing that by just using a point and click tool where you could say, Hey, change this color right here to purple. Uh, it’s currently orange. I don’t like it, or,

Andrew: But that’s now, but the very first version

Johnathan: Oh, I’m sorry.

Andrew: No, no, no. The very first thing that you guys built,

Johnathan: Yeah, the guy, the first thing that we built was like, it was Trello. I mean, to be

Andrew: was just Trello for keeping track of customer orders and how you work through the process. And a person would come to your site and I guess, fill out a form, right? That’s how it would get into your Trello

Johnathan: Yeah. Sorry. And thank you for, uh, for, for reel me in. So yeah, so essentially that’s what it would be. We would use everything in the very beginning of PNG. We used email, um, and we used Trello. So they would send us an email that they wanted to sign up. We actually would process everything through a manual authorization form.

Um, that we would do via email. Um, and then they would just come through, fill everything out and then get access to this PNG, this, uh, this Trello board. And they would submit the projects there.

Andrew: Okay. So. You were charging what you said 79 a month. How many customers did you get when you were still using the Trello system?

Johnathan: We definitely had our first hundred customers, uh, that were under the $79 plan. Um, we had another plan too, but for the most part there, it was on average. Like, let’s just say a hundred, some dollars.

Andrew: So let me pause there for a moment. Let’s say you’re doing what? Eight, $10,000 a month.

Johnathan: Yeah.

Andrew: Your designers were aware. How do you get a group of designers for less than 10,000 a month?

Johnathan: Yeah, in the very beginning, we’re definitely losing money. Um, but in the very beginning there, we used all of our designers here. Eventually we realized that it wasn’t sustainable. We started hiring people in the Philippines. We started hiring people in central America, um, and also parts of, of, uh, of other parts of Asia and Europe.

So in order to lower that cost, we did do everything ourselves in house at first, but then we got to a point around the a hundred. Customer Mark, where like this isn’t feasible. We have to upper prices and we have to figure out a better way to do it.

Andrew: When you did that, how did you hire people in the Philippines in South America? How do you find good people that way?

Johnathan: Uh, at first we used the traditional forms of what people probably use right now, which is like your standard Upwork and things like that. But as we started hiring people, we found, we got lucky and we found a lot of really good people, um, that knew other great designers. And so we used and leveraged.

Their network of people in order to find other talent. Um, but now we’re in the process of now we have a process where we have hundreds of people just naturally filtering and sending us, um, resumes and applying. Yeah.

Andrew: Okay. So what is a designer? Typically costs

Johnathan: Um, somewhere around 14 to a, a thousand dollars, depending upon whether there are 1200, sorry. Yeah, 400 to $1,200 a month, depending upon their skillset.

Andrew: And then how many customers can a designer handle?

Johnathan: A good question. Are you asking now or in the very beginning? Yeah. Now it could be somewhere between, again, it depends, but 10 to 20, sometimes 30 just depends.

Andrew: Wow. Okay. So if you’re getting a customer, if you’re getting a customer for, even if it’s still a hundred dollars per year, you’re breaking, you’re more than break. Even. You’re making a profit on them.

Johnathan: Oh, yeah. I mean, now we’re pretty profitable. We’re getting somewhere around like, Again, it depends on the month, the pandemic kind of lowered the average a little bit because of just people, uh, naturally canceling because of small business issues and things like that. But we can net somewhere around 60 to 70% revenue per, per month, depending upon

Andrew: Net, uh, not revenue, but net profit.

Johnathan: profit. Yeah. Net profit percentage. Excuse me.

Andrew: Let’s wait, actually it’s gross profit because we then take that money and you reinvest it in the business. You can reinvest it in team. You reinvested in tech, right? You’re not taking that out. So it’s gross profit 60%. That means the cost of fulfilling. Each order is 40 cents on the dollar for every dollar you get 40 per 40 cents goes to fulfilling it with people.

And then the rest of the expenses, taxes, any, you guys don’t have office space, but any equipment that you have, et cetera, uh, advertising all it goes, uh, Because out of the rest right

Johnathan: Yeah, exactly. And because of the stories I told you about cutting costs, like we are still running as lean as possible to this day.

Andrew: now, you take to finally take your money out of the business, right?

Johnathan: I am

Andrew: You are finally,

Johnathan: I’m excited.

Andrew: Were you freaking out a period’s there when you weren’t making money and taking it out of the business or you were

Johnathan: Yeah, absolutely.

Andrew: so had you call yourself off, had you not, not get distracted?

Johnathan: I found really good ways to just clear my head. And I just continued to tell myself that like, I’m good enough. Um, and I have a team smarter.

Andrew: getting yourself to, to realize you’re good enough that you’re going to make this work?

Johnathan: This isn’t like the best answer, but working out,

Andrew: Yeah, no, that’s a great answer. Yeah.

Johnathan: um,

Andrew: Really meditating or just ideally meditating, but it doesn’t really

Johnathan: My definitely my definition of meditating is, is, and I, I’m not like those people who say it and don’t do it. Like I use Headspace every single day. Yeah. I love it. I’m sitting in the car, but sometimes I do it like.

Okay. So I just came back from the, uh, the finger lakes, um, to see my godson, which I’m like incredibly proud of his name’s F an IO. And he listens to this 20 years from now. I hope that he gets excited hearing his name. Um, so, uh, it’s a five-hour drive and I spent the entire five hours. In utter silence, no music, nothing.

And I just used literally five hours. People might think I’m a sociopath, which could be true, but five hours of literally silence and just thinking and reflecting and just seeing this beautiful nature that’s around me. Yeah. So I love that. That’s a way to just clear my head and think,

Andrew: I don’t go five hours without audio. Even when I sleep.

Johnathan: yeah, it’s

Andrew: been saying that I, I go to sleep with a air with an air pod in my ear, and I listened to something. I I’ve been trying the calm.com uh, sleep stories. It doesn’t really work for me.

Johnathan: No. I understand

Andrew: some story, some documentary, some educational thing that my mind will just

Johnathan: some British guy or a girl just like speaking. Sweet, the sweet, smooth sounds of their voice. Okay.

Andrew: No, I think that’s the problem that I have with calm. It’s just to relax. It’s and now I’m going to tell you a story, but first breathe in and breathe

Johnathan: That gives me more anxiety, to be honest.

Andrew: me too. Just say, come on already. Is there a way to speed it up? Is there something, there was one that there was this one app. I forgot what it is.

It’s really good for stories. Um, Because you can like play train sounds underneath it or fire crackling, whatever, because I used to go to sleep on the train into, into Manhattan when I was, uh, working or into Brooklyn. When I went to high school and I was exhausted, I would fall asleep on the trains to the train.

Sounds, listening to the train sound underneath their stories, um, is really helpful, but their stories do the same thing. The calm does. Now we’re going to go into historical story.

Johnathan: We’re the same type of weird though. I, I grew up in the city and I loved the sound of a car whizzing by, so I don’t, I, I didn’t take the train because, you know, access to in New York is a little bit different than Philadelphia, but, um, but yeah, carves whizzing by like that’s, that’s, that’s my calm.

Maybe, maybe like a, maybe like a homeless person screaming at the top of their lungs like that, that too.

Andrew: I know. I don’t know if you’re kidding or not, but I’m going to say yes, that does it for me too.

Johnathan: was a joke, but it’s definitely, it definitely was my, my upbringing. So

Andrew: Oh, here it is. This, this, this app is really good and it’s, well-designed, it’s called slumber. I don’t know why it’s not doing as well as calm, but it’s called slumber. And what’s good about it is you get to find all these different stories that you want. They will repeat it, which means I don’t have to sleep without audio.

If I don’t want to, uh, speaking of audio, how’s my audio coming through to you. I’m looking at your face and you look like you just got hit in the head with that audio. I think he just did there. I lost you there for a second. Speaking about audio anyway, and then it’s got the ability to put all these different sounds, but I’ll just hit play anyway.

Johnathan: I’ll have to look it up. It is it’s, I’m always down for, uh, for new things. So.

Andrew: Right coming back then to you, you have your team, you have your business model, you’re willing to suffer through the business. And one of the ways that you’re suffering through it is by taking space to clear your mind, working out so that you feel good about yourself, et cetera. You, you go through the initial list of friends and friends of friends and past customers, and you convert as many of them to Peggy as possible.

At some point you run out of them. What do you get the next batch of customers?

Johnathan: Uh, good SEO. Um, I would say the cornerstone and foundation to our success has been fantastic SEO, which is essentially search engine optimization, higher rank on Google, et cetera. We perform really well. We do a lot of, uh, long tail keywords that we rank for. Um, we then. Uh, have short tail keywords as well.

Um, and which we then do retarget marketing in order to get our name out there. And then usually from that, and when I say retarget marketing, we use advertising and things like that, so they can continue seeing the brand. Um, but for the better half of the first two, three years, and still to this day, we invest a ton of resources and time and money into content creation and just pumping out as much content as possible.

Andrew: So, for example, it seems like one of the keywords that you’re going for is cool logos. You are according to SEM rush. It’s true. This is one of the ones that you worked on. So according to SEM, rush your third position on cool logos. Let me see, uh, cool logos. You knew that that was a topic that your audience was searching for you then created, let me see.

25 cool logos that will inspire your next logo design as an article. And, uh, I could see Apple beats NBC and so on and throughout as I scroll through this list of logos. I can see on the right. There’s an ad for penny unlimited logo design starting at three 69 a month. This is your, this is your, your strategy.

And because I hit that page and you do retargeting, I might come across other ads on the internet that, uh, are, that are aimed at somebody who is looking for a logo.

Johnathan: Yeah, exactly right. Yeah.

Andrew: This is your model.

Johnathan: yeah, that’s the, that’s the sustainability of the, of the model and it’s just like them going back into the funnel over and over again. Um, and we have, uh, hundreds of other keywords that we, that we rank for. Um, and we also rank really well for like our industry keyword, which is extremely competitive.

So, you know, in combination, like that was a large portion of it. Um, other than

Andrew: your industry. What’s your industry key word.

Johnathan: Unlimited graphic design or on demand, graphic design. One of.

Andrew: Got it. All right. I should say, uh, my sponsor SCM rush for a limited time is going to let people use SEM, rush for free. Don’t need to do a credit card. There’s no upsell on it. They’re just going to let you sign up. And then if you decide that I want to stick with it afterwards, you can pay. If you want to do it, just go to, they didn’t even create a URL for this Jonathan, because they just want to do it quickly.

If you go to mixergy.com/s E M rush, you’ll get to use it for free, uh, right now. And I have to be honest with you guys. You’ve heard me say this before. This is going to expire. It expired at some point before probably will expire again, use it. And I’m sorry if you use it and it doesn’t work because others probably grabbed it first.

It’s free from SEM rush.

Johnathan: Top of that very briefly. I know that was a sponsor, but I think you have to invest in a service like that because you’re not going to understand if you are a business like ours or SAS, or if you’re, even if you’re a small business, you need to understand your numbers. And whether that’s like. Data from your website or just numbers from your business.

You can’t move forward until you understand what is current, what you currently have and services like SEM, rush, and other services out there in the world that give you that type of data. That’s the only way that you can make smart decisions. So.

Andrew: So then walk me through the process. You had to figure this out yourself. Walk me through the process with you take that you took to figure out SEO, and then what’s your current SEO strategy?

Johnathan: Uh, it’s awesome. Is that actually the same is it is no different to what it is today. Uh, we write an article it’s somewhere around like 2000 words. We make sure that everything is under a hundred kilobytes in terms of images. Uh,

Andrew: start with the article?

Johnathan: We start, well, I guess we start with the, the, the, uh, the keyword. We start

Andrew: Yeah. What, how do you find the keyword that you’re going to be writing about?

Johnathan: Um, we can use other services, but for the most part, you know, something like an SEM rash, something like a

Andrew: What are you searching for?

Johnathan: Um, what am I, what are we searching for? I mean,

Andrew: start? Do you start to say, what topic do we need to come up with? Are you starting with, I have an idea for a topic. What are the keywords that should be

Johnathan: so we do it in terms of sectors. So it was like some, like one month we have like a thing called topic of the month. So it’ll be, it’ll be like an industry of the month. What could we go after and tackle this entire month, one month it was wedding planners, which didn’t work out by the way. Um, the other month it could be freelancers and other month it could be, um, you know, maybe even more like agencies or something like that.

And we’ll just

Andrew: So you pick a, you pick a group of people that you want to target as customers. What’s the next step. Maybe you can pick one out as a, as an example, so I can see the way you think you pick one.

Johnathan: So we’ll use agencies, right? Um, so agency is the topic of the month. The first, uh, project could be, uh, like let’s go on a whiteboard and think of some ideas. So the first one is like five tools agencies need to use for their business. Um, Services are used for, uh, for an agency, uh, how to minimize your time to perfect.

The perfect pitch deck, the perfect business proposal.

Andrew: So you think, what do they need? You just randomly, we’ll throw it out on a whiteboard and it comes from your head and your experience having worked with these customers and it doesn’t have to be con it doesn’t have to be limited to design projects. It’s what,

Johnathan: Yeah. Now it doesn’t come from my head. It actually comes from our marketing manager, Jai, who is absolutely incredible and a cornerstone to our growth. But with that said, um, yeah, essentially, that’s it. We come up with unique ideas as a team. Um, then from there we. Let’s just say we come up with a hundred, right.

Then we find out how many people are actually searching for it. And then we inevitably just write content specifically for that the content ends up being somewhere around 2000 words with a bunch of, uh, uh, cool

Andrew: you research it to figure out which of these topics you go with? Or

Johnathan: Well, So if it’s like a, a highly competitive keyword and it is something that we think we have a pretty decent sized domain authority, uh, which domain authority is like your credit score in the world of the internet. And. And we start to, uh, what we sometimes do. Not all the time, because usually if somewhere around 2000 is a good one, but we actually end up like going through the top.

Like we searched that keyword and we find out how many words are in that particular article. And then we try to write more than the one that is actually on the first. So we’ll do like a summary of like the top 10 or whatever. We’ll take all the words, put it inside of a word doc. Count the count, the words, and then divided by 10.

And then we just write that particular amount of words, because we know that’s a good indicator of, of what success is like with that particular keyword.

Andrew: Got it. All right. And then what’s next after that you’re looking for people to link back to you or anything like

Johnathan: Yeah, so outreach is huge. Um, uh, this is actually why you got on your show. Believe it or not. Um, we sent you a really cheesy, cold email. It’s something that I’m actually incredibly proud of. I treat outreach emails as if that they’re talking to humans. Um, and, and I. Trained a team to, to think as such, we’re not going to send an email like, Hey, you know, so-and-so, you should have them on the show.

I don’t know exactly who it was that emailed you, but they said something along the lines of like, you know, they said something specific. Uh, I should have looked it up before I talked to you, but

Andrew: I’ll look it up right now.

Johnathan: um, I’m, I’ll say for myself, right? If you were to send me an email to get my attention, I’m a huge fan of the 70 Sixers.

Andrew: I got it. I’m going to read it exactly right now. Here’s what you sent out. It’s a heightened right? I’m pronouncing his name, right?

Johnathan: Hayden

Andrew: Hayden, excuse me, Hayden. Uh, her name. Okay. Hey, uh, Hayden says, Hey, Andrew, just read about you and your brother’s story and about your first business venture together. Your stories inspiring, love the fact that you never gave up.

And you just took a break and start again, moving forward. Could we design something for you for free? I honestly wanted to reach out to you and ask if there’s any graphic design needs in exchange for being suggested design source for your customers. Do you have a few minutes to chat about how we can work together in some capacity?

Uh, I said, thanks, but I can’t think of anything. And then that started the conversation.

Johnathan: And I’ll be honest, looking back and hearing that we probably could have condensed it a little bit and made it a little bit more, um, you know, More specific, but I think the one sign there as the first line, which was, uh, you and your brother, right? Was that what you said? Yeah. We mentioned something like something emotional towards you, something that’s like specific to your livelihood.

Andrew: Is that somebody going and specifically looking at my site and then writing out the email. It’s not a fill, it’s not a form. It’s not a field in some database now.

Johnathan: Nope. No, it’s a human being going in and actually told to specifically look at this particular thing. Um, and in find specifics within that particular like your life. So whether it’s Instagram or whether it’s like your LinkedIn profile, whatever you’ve mentioned in the past, they’re going to pick up on that.

Andrew: I like that, that does really work. I get all these douchebag, uh, emails from people who. I could see it’s nothing. And here’s how I know that it’s, it’s nothing but plug and chug form on some kind of system. They say, Hey Andrew, can we please be included in Mixergy where, uh, Andrew is interviewed? And then they go through the list of all the things that I keyword stuff that year or now I changed the name of the podcast to, um, Mixergy or recession-proof start-ups dash Mixergy.

And so they’ll say, Hey Andrew, I’m a huge fan of recession-proof startups. Dash mixer jingle. What the hell are you talking about here? And this is the way you want to start the relationship. So I immediately just, I want to respond back in anger, or I want to tweet it out with their picture and I have to calm myself down.

You do.

Johnathan: Oh a hundred percent. If somebody meant I get it, this isn’t me bragging, but I get it about like five to 10 messages a day from people on emails and LinkedIn from people that just want to have a conversation. And I immediately, if I don’t like it, I’m like, that’s a terrible response. Like get your game up.

And I’ll absolutely comment on it. If it’s good, I’ll respond. Yeah. I’ll send it to them on LinkedIn. Absolutely. If they’re,

Andrew: no, I mean, I want to, I want to post it online and go

Johnathan: Oh

Andrew: what this jerk is doing. He’s clearly spamming. I want to spam shame them because they’re spamming.

Johnathan: but

Andrew: That’s what I want to get angry. Or I want to say something like. Um, I want to call them out on their BS, longtime fan, whatever you really want to come and do an interview with someone where you start off with a lie.

I just heard Marc Seuster, um, was being interviewed by Jason. Calacanis about how he invests in. Jason said what’s the number of people who outright lie to you. And as it was talking about it, uh, Mark Schuster just said, let me bottom line for you. We don’t fund liars. It’s like the same thing here. You’re starting out with a lie.

Do you really want to be called out here as the liar?

Johnathan: Can I, can I add onto that very briefly? Um, Mark sisters’ actually was on my podcast. Yes. When I was doing it more, uh, when I had more time and I got him on the show because he was originally from Philadelphia and the email subject line. Is, uh, cheese steaks question Mark. Um, and then I ended up saying like, Hey, I heard you’re a big Eagles fan.

Um, would love to give you a cheese steak. If you ever come down by the way, would you want to join me on my podcast? And, uh, so that same approach is not only how I ended up getting people on my podcast at the time. Uh, but also how we get backlinks and how we get like press mentions and things

Andrew: Got it. So if it’s requests backlink, it’s not the same again, here’s another douchebag thing that I get. Somebody will say I saw that you link to, and then they’ll put their competitor’s name. We thought that you might want to link, but. It’s an interview. There’s nothing that I’m not taking out the link to the competitor and linking to you.

If it’s an interview where I’m saying here’s the company. So what you would do instead is have somebody actually read the site, make a comment about something. And then what else asked for the link right away? You would okay.

Johnathan: Yeah, no, no, no, no. Actually, um, it would be a little bit different. So the words I saw is always going to be a tall tale sign that the person doesn’t understand what they’re doing. Um, the other aspect of it would be, um, We would probably start with a question, like a thought provoking question, something that’s going to engage them in an, ask them for a back link, maybe in the second or third email, but we have to find a good transition.

And that’s something that we’re still trying to understand, but we need a good transition from the play, the playfulness of an email to the actual ask of, of the, of the inquiry.

Andrew: So it doesn’t come in. The first message. The first one is just designed to get the response. And the next one is where you ask for what you want if fit flows. Well, I see. All right. There’s one, there’s one other thing that I want to say.

Johnathan: that, but we try to do it in an under three.

Andrew: I was watching your process. Here’s another thing that I’ve noticed only when I’ve had people over for scotch and they say that they do see things like this.

They use email that will automatically do follow ups and so on. And I said, aren’t you worried about the spam implications for your domain? And they said, no, you always use another domain for this. And you do that to the email that I got. Didn’t come from png.co, which is your domain. It came from another domain.

Fair, to be honest.

Johnathan: Yeah,

Andrew: All right, let’s continue then.

Johnathan: that’s fair.

Andrew: SEO is doing well. There are other competitors that started to pop up and we’re doing, I don’t know, design, pickle, really big name. In fact, I do a search. I come up with design pickle, a lot people talk about design pickle, because the founder where D well, frickin pickle, how do you compete with them?

When they, when there are people who are so well known in the space,

Johnathan: Yeah. Um, you stick to your guns, you stick to your, your thoughts. You stick to your core principles. Um, we don’t need to embarrass ourselves to get attention. And what we want to do is we want to, um, look. Respectable look presentable. Uh, I think first and foremost on our website. Um, and lastly, uh, we will also want to make sure that we, when you go to our site, you, you just feel that sense of confidence that we could do it.

And that’s where we are. So we’re playing the long game. We’re going to continue pumping out helpful and resourceful content. We don’t need gimmicks of any kind in order to get ourselves out there.

Andrew: Well, I don’t want to say that what he had, they definitely do have a gimmick, but what about this? You’re also finding, like, I think you’re buying the design pickle, keyword, you’re writing articles that you’re, you’re seeing that they’re doing well in certain places. And you’re saying that doesn’t mean that we have to get crushed by it.

It means that there’s an audience of people who want this type of service. Let’s just let them know that

Johnathan: Sure. Yeah. We’re definitely riding the wave. Yeah. We’re riding the wave of, of an industry leader in the very beginning. That was the initial strategy was, you know, how can we ride the wave? How can we use the leverage and the ad spin of somebody else in leverage that in the aspect of, of us being in the same breath, we’ve done that for multiple companies and not just in the design space, but other spaces as well.

Andrew: I want to close this interview out by asking how someone who has a similar idea can learn from your experience. Um, let’s, let’s see, there, there are a bunch of ideas that are what you call services as a service, or I’ve called that before. I almost want to call it service as software instead of software as a service services software, where you’re just saying I don’t have software, but I do have the ability to do work and I want to charge and get recurring revenue the way the software does.

Imagine somebody listening to us and says, you know what? I agree with? What Andrew and Jonathan are saying about cold emails. I could see lots of different areas where that would work. Maybe it’s for SEO, linking, maybe it’s for business development. Maybe it’s for getting to be a guest on a podcast. I see all these people they’re sending out cold emails, their emails stink.

I’m going to copy Jonathon’s approach. I’m going to send out a question that actually invites a conversation, then follow up. I’m going to do all that. And I’m going to do it for clients. And so they decide that is their business. Maybe it’s called, um, it could be called something like cold email as a service, or it could be, um, a specific niche that they’re focusing on.

What are the problems that they’re going to see in your experience and what did you do to overcome it, to overcome those problems?

Johnathan: I would say really good question. I would say like, in that in particular, the domain thing is actually huge. Like that second Darien third domain, I think is a huge aspect. If you’re going to be doing cold email, um, I think something that was really motivating for me in the very beginning, um, was that every time that I heard a no, I got a piece of paper or I, I actually, at the time I had a, um, a white board and I put a check Mark on, on the board that.

Said that you got to know today. And then when I got to 12, we, uh, we had streamers, you know, those like little mini poppers as hand poppers, where you pull at the bottom, it looks like a champagne bottle. And then like stuff comes out every time we got 12 of those, um, We ended up popping one. And, and so like, it’s super cheesy, but we just kind of celebrated the nose a little bit more than we did the yeses because the more nos, the more yeses.

Um, so that was definitely in the very beginning, but like the high level stuff would be getting another domain name. Email as many people as possible, make sure you’re finding the right person, um, use softwares and services to find those people, um, invest in tools so you can get the right person and make sure you’re sending a genuine response and not just something like cold and blanketed about like, you know, let’s, backlink together like, like talk to them

Andrew: Okay. So you’re what, you’re sorry, Jonathan, what you’re suggesting is to get customers use your own, like use the cold emailing approach to get customers

Johnathan: If you have nothing, if you have

Andrew: You have nothing you’re just starting out and you say, I want to create services a service, the way that Jonathan did. I want to do it on a recurring fee.

I want to systemize my process. One thing you’re saying is be good at sending out offers on a regular basis. Be good at celebrating how many nos you got, because all those no’s lead to an eventual. Yes. What else? What about on, on, on pricing, on systemizing, the backend for managing it about any of this that we need be aware of.

If we’re going to use this model to charge a monthly fee for services.

Johnathan: Yeah. I mean, I would say don’t, don’t like create technology and don’t add more stuff into your system and process until you have them enough money and resources to do it. We’ve had, uh, we waited until a hundred to 200 customers before we even thought about technology. And I think that that in particular is like a huge proponent of, of that success.

So I would say like, don’t. In bass too much in time and resources into something that you, that you know is improving.

Andrew: Okay. Anything about keeping the systems simple that we should be aware of or expanding beyond?

Johnathan: Simplicity is always going to be key. Um, the more simple, the more, the more simple you keep, the more lean you keep it, the easier things are going to be so. I we’d like to keep a really tight ship and we understand what’s going in. We understand what’s going out. So just the simplicity, I think once you start to over-complicate things, that’s when it gets messy.

Andrew: Okay. And then you always seem to get your potential or not always part of your sales process is get the person on the phone, right?

Johnathan: well that wasn’t, uh, if you’re, if we’re still answering the same question, which is in the very beginning. Yes. But now we’re just leading them to our website. So,

Andrew: the site and it’s where it happens.

Johnathan: yeah, so we don’t talk to anybody at all anymore. We used to as of like maybe three, four months ago, but we ended up just creating a really cool demo page where people can sign up.

Um, and they can just like watch our video. So now we’re, we’re simulating what it would be like to actually be a PNG customer as if that you were a prospect as well. So if you, we don’t necessarily give phone support, although we will jump on a phone call, but if we, if you start the, the we’ll use the analogy of you start a conversation, a relationship on a lie based off of an E email, a cold email.

Imagine if you were to do that to your customer. And so we did that to our customers by. Doing phone support or by doing a phone sales pitch call and not actually delivering on the phone or from a customer standpoint. So now everything is digital and it makes like the phone call a little bit easier.

And when they have to jump on a call, if there’s a problem,

Andrew: Okay. So I see now I can schedule. Oh, but no, I do see at the top of your site, it says schedule a demo. Oh. And then as soon as I do, I, I hit schedule,

Johnathan: Yeah, we

Andrew: guys have my email

Johnathan: that. We tested the word schedule and more people click on schedule demo than they do on just like, you know, click here or whatever the other phrases.

Andrew: because there’s kind of an expectation that you’re going to get to talk to a human being. Who’ll answer your questions, but then what you do is you send us into a video and the video demo, that’s you in the video, isn’t it. I think it’s you in the video? Yeah. Talking about here’s what the process will be like.

All right. I see how it works. You, uh, you’re you said at the beginning of the beginning of our conversation before the interview started, that you’re willing to offer our people some kind of a discount. I said, I do not want any affiliate commission or anything on it. Um, but anyone who happy to check you guys out, I’m happy to let them get a discount on it.

What’s

Johnathan: Yeah, and I’m really appreciative of that. So thank you. So it’s mixer G is a, it’ll give you 15% off the first month, uh, feel free to use it. And, uh, we hope that we see there. I mean, we couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity to share our story.

Andrew: Thanks for being on. I appreciate it, especially on a difficult circumstances and thank you all for listening. Um, bye everyone.

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