How I launched, validated and got customers for Bot Academy

I was just interviewed by another entrepreneur for another podcast where I was asked what you’re probably wondering…Why am I launching this thing called Bot Academy and what’s with this bot obsession?

If you want to understand how I launched my business, validated it, and got my early customers then this is the interview for you.

Interviewing me is Brian Casel of Productize Podcast, where he has conversations with entrepreneurs about life and the lessons we learn along the way.

Brian Casel

Brian Casel

Productize Podcast

Brian Casel is the host of Productize Podcast, where he has conversations with entrepreneurs about life and the lessons we learn along the way.

roll-angle

Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey, everyone. My name is Andrew Warner. I usually do interviews with entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses, but I was just interviewed by another entrepreneur for another podcast about a question you probably have been wondering about yourself, which is: Why is this guy, Andrew Warner, who usually does interviews, suddenly launching something called Bot Academy? What the hell is this whole bot obsession that he’s had?

Well, if that’s your question and you want to understand how I’m launching my business, how I validated it, how I got my early customers, this is the interview for you. The person who did this interview is a good friend of mine. His name is Brian Casel. Brian, what’s the podcast that this interview was for?

Brian: Hey, Andrew. Yeah, this is going out on the Productize Podcast at ProductizePodcast.com.

Andrew: Cool. And why did you want to do this interview with me about Bot Academy?

Brian: For that reason you’ve just stated. I’ve been getting the emails from you, hearing from you about this bot stuff that you’ve been getting into this year, and I’m like, “What is he up to over there?” I had to get the story.

Andrew: Okay. All right. And if people subscribe to your podcast after listening to this interview that you did with me, what are they going to get? What’s the point of your podcast?

Brian: It started out, as a lot of my content does, talking about productized services and interviewing folks who are doing that. But now this year as I’m kind of in like a second season of the Productize Podcast, it’s broader than that, just talking to entrepreneurs, people who I really respect and find interesting, especially when they’re doing interesting things or they happen to be an expert in one particular area. So I’ve been doing Mixergy-style interviews with them kind of really digging in, usually like 40 to 45+ minute interviews where we can really dig deep and get the whole story.

Andrew: Cool. Thanks for coming on here and asking these questions. I like that you kept digging in and understanding where this came from. This interview, since we’re repurposing it for Mixergy, is sponsored by two great sponsors. The first will help you hire your next great developer. It’s called Toptal, top as in top of your head, tal as in talent. The second is the software I use to book my guests, to close my sales, to understand where people who bought from me are in our sales process. It’s called Pipedrive. Brian told me that he uses it in his business. You’re going to find out about both those later. But first, let’s start with Brian’s interview of me. Thanks, Brian.

Brian: Hey, so I’m here with Andrew Warner. You guys probably know this guy. You know all about his business, Mixergy. But I’m not here to talk about Mixergy. I’m here to talk to Andrew about Bot Academy. Where did this thing even come from? I want to get the whole story. All of a sudden I heard Andrew talking about bots and this new thing called Bot Academy this year, and it kind of came out of nowhere. So, Andrew, welcome. I’m excited to get the story.

Andrew: Yeah. Thanks for having me on here.

Brian: Cool. Let’s just dive right into it. Tell me about Bot Academy, BotAcademy.com. What is it right now?

Andrew: Well, about a year ago, I realized that we were having this issue. We were working to improve our emails a lot, like spending hours going back and forth on subject line, spending hours going back and forth on one email. I loved it, but I realized also that it wasn’t going to improve our open rates. It wasn’t going to dramatically improve our open rates. We weren’t going to go from 20% to 40% open rates consistently. I even flew out to Arizona to work with funnel experts who really redid our whole funnel, like the first thing you get when you sign up, the second thing and so on.

Brian: And we’re talking about Mixergy?

Andrew: For Mixergy, yeah. I do interviews, but we also have this thing called Mixergy Premium that we were trying to promote. I want more people to listen to my interviews, more people to sign up and pay for Mixergy Premium. I’m working on email because that’s the best thing I have, frankly. Still, no matter what I do, I can’t get dramatic increases. Frankly, if you don’t get dramatic increases, you’re pretty much flat.

So I thought, “What do I do? What’s like the next thing that’s going to be the big jump for us? It’s not going to be improving our funnel. It’s not going to be improving our subject lines and spending hours on it.” Then I realized I invested in this company called Assist. Shane Mack, the founder, kept telling me about chat and chat apps. This is a guy who lives the Silicon Valley life. He is in with like Twitter’s offices talking to their people. He’s talking to Facebook. He’s in Google.

He’s the kind of guy that everyone loves so much that all the investors are hanging out with him, all the people at big companies are hanging out with him. So, of course, he constantly talks to me about new technology, and I usually don’t care because I’m running a business. I’m not a 12-year old kid trying to figure out what’s the newest place to chat with 12 other kids or 12 other people.

But Shane, I knew he was going to do something and he started building these chat bots. At first I was kind of interested, and then Mark Zuckerberg on stage looked at one of his chat bots and said, “I love this.” I said, “Huh, maybe this is the future.” Shane then also showed me this stat and he said, “People are spending more time in chat apps than they are in email.”

I said, of course, my wife and I aren’t emailing each other at all anymore. The people who work with me at Mixergy aren’t emailing me anymore. We’re texting each other. If there’s something that’s not pressing, can wait, we’ll email it to each other. But for the most part, I notice that we’re using chat apps like Slack, like Facebook Messenger, like frankly even the chat in project management software. That’s what we’re using to communicate with each other. So maybe that’s the future. What Shane was doing was building tools that allow companies to reach their clients using chat apps. I said, “Maybe that’s our future.”

So I started building one for Mixergy. It was just an experimental bot. I said to the audience of 70,000+ people, “Who wants to experiment with me on this thing?” And a handful of people did. Dude, Brian, the open rates were over 805. The click rates on messages I sent by chat were over 50%, but that’s just stats. I remember driving to Napa to get away from the office, to get away from stuff for the day, and two different people called me as I was trying to get away from that saying, “How did you do that? I love how you did it. Just show me right now.” They were friends, so I showed them how to do it.

Brian: What is it that you would send through a chat bot in that sort of situation, to an audience of 70,000+? Is it automated, or are you just writing like a single broadcast message?

Andrew: It’s all automated. It’s all set up on a sequence. One of the things that we did was we experimented with — I said I have over a thousand interviews, over a thousand courses on Mixergy. It’s hard for someone to find the right one and to know what to get out of each one of those interviews and courses.” I said, “Let’s experiment. Let’s create one that’s just focused on sales, specific sales for people who have online businesses.” So I said, “You sign up to this bot. This bot will train you on how to do sales.

What I did was when you signed up, you’d get a little lesson that came out of one of my interviews. So you’d get to get the lesson in small little text bubbles. You can respond to each bubble by pressing these buttons in your chat app. Basically, it was teaching you in small, bite size messages.

Because no one else was reaching my audience using Facebook Messenger, my messages were getting attention, because I wasn’t flooding you with a big email or flooding you with an hour-long conversation, but dripping a little at a time, you’re much more engaged with it and then the people that wanted the full lessons can then go and download the interviews that each one came from.

Brian: From what I understand — and I’ve only scratched the surface on chat bots and stuff — it is much more interactive. So you can send a message and ask for a reply, say yes or no and if they say yes, reply on something else and that sort of thing?

Andrew: Yeah.

Brian: Very cool. And are we talking specifically about Facebook Messenger, or is it more broad than that, other types of chat tools?

Andrew: At this point, it’s mostly Facebook Messenger. I think there are two platforms that are really good for chat apps. One is Slack for business, the other Facebook Messenger for everything else. The problem with the other platforms, like you and I are talking on Skype, Skype allows you to have bots and I can actually install a bot. You don’t install a bot, you just kind of start a conversation with a bot, and I could do things like get news via Skype from a bot, which will deliver the news every day or book tickets directly in Skype.

The problem with Skype is nobody knows about bots. Skype isn’t promoting bots in it. The problem with other platforms is they’re too small. So Slack for business is actually used. People are actually installing bots on there and Facebook Messenger for everyone else because Facebook is promoting bots and because 1.2 billion people every month are on Facebook Messenger chatting.

Brian: Right. So, basically, the opt-in, whereas it used to be a form on your website where they enter their email address so we can send you emails, now I guess it’s a code that you put in, it’s a button they click that connects to their Facebook account, and now they’re kind of subscribed to your Facebook Messenger.

Andrew: Yeah. That’s another thing. Look at how beautiful the subscription process is. Right now, if I want to subscribe to your email newsletter, I have to give you my email address. That’s kind of a process. It’s a pain in the butt. It’s such a pain in the butt to type in my email address and I have a shortcut on my computer, but I don’t think most people do. I hate typing my email address in over and over again.

So it’s kind of a pain in the butt. You hope that someone’s not giving you a fake email address. You hope they don’t have a typo. Then they submit their information, and you hope they’ve given you the right email address, their best email address, not their third one, which a lot of us use. With chat, it’s so much simpler. Somebody comes to my site and I say, “Do you want to learn this thing via Facebook Messenger?” They just press one button.

That’s it. They don’t have to type in their Facebook name. They don’t have to type in their email address. Nothing. And as soon as they press the button, my chat bot can start talking to them in Facebook Messenger. It’s such a magical experience that right there people are amazed. And I get their name. Facebook gives me their real name. I don’t have to worry about someone giving me a fake name.

Brian: Yeah. With one click, all that information in their name, emails attached and passed along with it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Brian: So what are you doing with this stuff now? With Bot Academy, I understand there’s a course. Tell me about what’s —

Andrew: Here’s the evolution. The first thing I did was I just played with it with my audience, because I always liked to play with new stuff with my audience. I believe that these are people who are entrepreneurs who care about the latest software. They want to know where the world is going before it gets there. They’re a fun group of people to play with, with this new technology. Then a handful of them wanted to learn it. So I started teaching it to them for free. I said, “You know what? Maybe they don’t even care. Maybe they’re just doing it because they want to hang out. Maybe they’re just kind of curious.”

Brian: What do you mean you were teaching them? Did you have it on a webinar?

Andrew: I would do it like on the drive to Napa where I spent half my time talking to one person about how he could setup a bot and the other half talking to another one. I then said, “I can’t do it on my drives. I know these people. I’ll just schedule a Zoom conversation where they could do a screen share with me and hear my voice, and we’ll just build a bot for them in 45 minutes.” And we built a bot in 45 minutes, and people were amazed. I said, “You know what? Maybe it’s just kind of a nice to have thing.”

But one of the lessons I learned from Mixergy is if you really want to sell something, if you really want to know if people care about it, sell it. So I just put a price, $350, and people started paying $350 to spend 45 minutes with me building their chat bot. By the end of 45 minutes, which often would turn into an hour, they ended up with a bot and they were freaking excited about it. That was an eye opener for me.

Now, there are a bunch of people who might be listening to us now who paid me $350 to go with it, go over the phone, to do a Zoom session and create a bot. If they went back and looked at their credit card statements, they see that they just weren’t charged. I didn’t care to actually get the money from them. I’m not selling my time for $350 an hour. I put all my data into a form, and it just sat there and got deleted. So it didn’t even sit there. It just got deleted. I didn’t charge it. I just wanted to validate do they really even care, or are they just trying out new technology because it’s fun?

Brian: That’s interesting. I’ve heard different variations on the whole validation and asking for the pre-selling method and actually selling it and everything. I haven’t heard that variation, where you tell the person they’re buying it and they think they’re buying it and they’re not actually charged.

Andrew: A lot of them were my friends. I also, frankly, was moving so fast that I didn’t want to waste time on setting it up properly. I probably should have actually charged them. But you know what? The more important lesson to me was they were willing to pay and it was worth something to them.

Then another lesson that came to me from having these one on one conversations — I would follow up with them a couple weeks later and say, “Let me see how your bot is doing.” Remember, they now had the ability to get new subscribers. They knew how to send out messages, and they actually started sending out messages or queuing them up in their sequences so when someone subscribed, they’d get one message on day one, another message on day two, another message on day three.

They had the whole thing. I’d say, “How are you doing with it?” They’d say, “I didn’t get a chance to do anything with it.” I say, “Why?” “I’ve had this issue with my employee,” or, “I’ve had this issue with the Facebook ads we’ve been doing. We really want to grow that,” or, “My email marketing is taking up a lot of my attention. I’ll get to it soon.” And they never actually did anything.

I realized something, that if I’m going to put this in the hands of marketers, marketers are pretty freaking busy. So I can’t just set them up with one more thing that they have to go and figure it out on their own. That’s when I tried another approach. I said, “I’m only going to teach this to people who will go and build it for other clients.”

Brian: Consultants.

Andrew: I specifically looked for those people, people who had businesses where they were setting up websites. Believe it or not, there are people still setting up websites for clients — you know it, you’re nodding — people who are setting up email marketing campaigns for their clients, people who are just getting clients and they wanted something new to sell to them. I taught it to them. And now suddenly, they not only had clients who were paying them to set up bots for them, but these bots were up and running because if they were getting paid to build a bot, they have to do it.

Brian: Yeah. I see that sort of thing a lot, especially whether they’re design firms, development agencies, they’re looking for other things like this to upsell their clients and give them something more, maybe even turn it into a recurring revenue opportunity. People from agencies come to Audience Ops with that sort of mentality, like, “This is something else that we can offer.” That’s really cool. So I’m definitely going to dive into why is Andrew Warner launching this new business. I’m going to get really into all that. Before I do, I still wanted to get an understanding of what’s actually happening on BotAcademy.com.

Andrew: Once again, I’m going to pause the interview to tell you about another email that I got from a listener, this time from a guy named William Griggs. He emailed me and he said, “I started a trial of Pipedrive in February. I was marketing software to the members of my private Facebook group. When a member expressed interest, I placed them in my Pipedrive. I set a task to follow up with them and then the following day, I’d answer their question and ask for the sale.”

“The first quarter, which included five days in February and all of March, I converted 98% of the people I put into Pipedrive. That’s revenue of $8,270. March 2017 was actually 100% conversion, $7,595. It’s still new to the program. I enclosed screenshots so you could see the results and correct any inconsistencies you may note. I’m still new to the software,” he says.

That’s the beauty of Pipedrive. Whether you’re someone who’s new to software like William Griggs is or someone who’s experienced and already have your CRM, I really urge you to check out Pipedrive. Pipedrive will force you to organize your sales process, force you stay disciplined within that sales process, give you numbers so you know how well you’re doing and once you add more people to the team, it will allow them to all collaborate on a sale and allow you all to work together to close it.

If you’re a listener of Mixergy, they are giving us something that they’re not giving anyone else and I want you to go check out this special URL to get it. You’re going to get a lot of free time on Pipedrive if you go to Pipedrive.com/Mixergy, 14 free days to try it and really, you’re going to be able to close a lot of sales in that period and 25% off for three months thereafter, Pipedrive.com/Mixergy. All right. Let’s get back to the program.

Brian: So you had those early kind of manual training sessions with folks. Where did it go from there? Did it develop into a course from there?

Andrew: It was one on one with me. Then it became this course with a lot of personalized attention, and then it became confusing because people kept saying, “Well, why is Mixergy doing this bot thing?” I had to spend a lot of time trying to explain why Mixergy is doing this bot thing. I realized, “You know what? It’s easy enough to get a new domain. Put it on a new domain and have it run as a separate thing and it will add a lot of clarity,” and it really did.

Now, when somebody was joining a free Facebook group to learn about bots from Bot Academy, they didn’t have to ask, “What’s this Mixergy thing and why is Mixergy doing it and do I have to subscribe to be a part of it?” They could just join and, as of this morning, like 5,000 people joined the Facebook group to work together on bots. If somebody signed up for a course, they could do it.

Another thing is a lot of people didn’t want to learn how to do it. They just wanted to hire a company to do it for them, hire a person to do it for them, hire someone. So it’s much easier for them to come to Bot Academy and say, “We’ll pay for one of your students to build it for us,” then to come to Mixergy, understand I taught this thing and some of our graduates are available for hire.

Brian: Got it. So, as of today — and we’re recording this right in the middle of 2017 — so it’s kind of an automated self-serve course. Do you have a directory of consultants there?

Andrew: It’s not so much automated. It’s so hands on that it’s exhausting, but it’s worth it. So we do create videos because I’m reaching people who are not technical intentionally. Anyone who wanted to go code up their own bot, I redirected them to a place where they could go develop it themselves. But I think you don’t have to. You could use a platform to create your own bot.

In fact, I invested in another. I got so excited about it, I invested in a company called ManyChat. I said, “I like the way you guys are doing this. You’re basically doing the Infusionsoft or MailChimp or Drip or Convert Kit of chat. I’ve been using you. I’ve been recommending you.” I invested in the company. So you don’t have to code it yourself. You just use off-the-shelf software, but you do need someone to tell you, “Here’s how you should write each message, here’s how should set up the sequence.”

So I teach it. I’m a pretty freaking fast talking person. I get a lot of complaints from people that I talk to fast. So I recorded the videos for each section of this training and let people download it so they could pause it. They could actually slow down my speech so they can go at their own pace. The idea is they see me do it, they go to do it, they see me do the next step, they go do the next step and so on, and then we get together on the phone every week to go over this. We have office hours for one-on-one time, etc. Then once they’re done, when someone wants to hire us to build a bot, we refer them to one of our grads.

Brian: Got it. So, currently, it is still pretty hands on. You are actually involved in the week-to-week, day-to-day training of these folks.

Andrew: I’m about to do 38 hours of one-on-one sessions with students, to give you a sense of how involved I am.

Brian: Interesting. What’s the plan from here? Is it to go more automated?

Andrew: I don’t know. I think we’ve definitely automated a lot of it. One of the things that was important to me was to know when someone was not following up and doing one of the modules. So, in the beginning, we would manually get alerts when someone didn’t do one of the steps. One of the steps is to go and grow your subscribers. If someone didn’t take action there, I wanted to have a personal alert and then a personal email that went out from me and the co-leader, Tam Pham, who’s working with me on this. And then that became really hard to scale. So we created a system that would automatically find the people who weren’t doing it and then ping them.

There are lots of little things like that that we’ve started to automate. I think there’s a lot of tech support involved in this, a lot of personalized guidance. I don’t know exactly how we’re going to do that. Maybe it’s just hiring more people to come in and help.

Brian: Got it. Okay. The big question on my mind, probably everybody’s mind, What led you to decide that this is actually a new business to start instead of focusing on Mixergy, doubling down, maybe using bots to market Mixergy, but like why build something like Bot Academy at this point for you?

Andrew: The results were so big. The excitement was so big. I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t say, “Hey, this is it. You learned this, now figure it out on your own.” Frankly, there was no one doing it. I also think the direction bots were going in was wrong.

So I really like another company called Chatfuel. They created the majority of bots on Facebook Messenger. Their software is so popular. But I had the founder on Mixergy and I congratulated him for getting so far, but I also said, look, I never take strong positions here, but having been in chat bots for a long time, I have to tell you I think you’re making a mistake. You’re creating bots where your software is enabling bots where people have to come to Facebook Messenger, subscribe to those bots, which no one is going to know to do. Second, they have to remember to keep coming back to the bots? It’s not the way the world is working right now.

Instead what you have to do is do what I believe in, which is create a subscription based process where someone subscribes for free and then the bot messages them proactively on a regular basis with content that they actually want. I think that me beating the drum on that has helped shape the way people are thinking about it. So that’s a big part of it.

The other thing is that, because I’m here in San Francisco, I get to see all these guys who have raised money, all these people that are putting attention into it. I get to see where this is going. I think it’s important to pass that on to bot creators. Frankly, because I’m reaching now people who are creating this for their clients, these guys are courting me. They’re courting Bot Academy. They want more people to use their platforms to create bots for their clients because it grows the whole ecosystem and it grows their businesses. So the short answer is it’s just moving so fast, it’s such an exciting space to be I couldn’t not do something here.

Brian: I guess I think I want to push on that answer a little bit.

Andrew: Yeah, do it.

Brian: I get the opportunity. It totally makes sense. I’m wondering why now for you when Mixergy has become such a well-known and strong brand and you have customers on that, you’re selling plenty of advertising and everything.

Andrew: More than ever.

Brian: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. Podcasting has really taken off, yes.

Brian: Is this shiny object syndrome? I know I certainly suffer from that year after year. Something comes up, maybe I should shift my focus here and that starts to stagnate over there. Any thoughts like that going on in your head this year?

Andrew: I don’t think I’m a shiny object person. I’ve been doing these interviews since 2008. I’m really consistent. I’ve been running since 2011, no, 2001, 2000. So I’m a really consistent person. If anything, it’s that I don’t reach out too far and do some things that are a little bit out there and whacky. I don’t think that’s it.

If you’re looking for a psychological reason for it, I guess one of the challenges with Mixergy is that it does depend a lot on me and I’m excited about having something that won’t, in the long run, have to depend on me. I think if you want a bot a year from now, you’re going to be able to just hire someone from our network and not even know that Andrew is at all associated with it.

I think I can teach this really well now, but if you’re going to want to learn how to do this, it could be very well taught by someone else a year from now, much better than me. I think that that’s a big draw of it, especially now that I have kids. I can work like crazy. I can run like crazy. I have tons of energy.

But what I found, for example, last week was my kid was in between schools. He just turned three. The school that he was in up until the time he was three said, “Okay. Now it’s time for you to graduate, so you graduated two weeks ago,” and the school he was going to this week said, “Well, we’re not starting our classes yet, so you’re not ready to come in.” So he had a whole week where he wasn’t in school. Yeah. I could have hired someone. I’ve got lots of services and lots of people I can call on. I said, “This is an opportunity for me to spend time with him.” I want to be able to do that without stress. I want to know that, “You know what? If I do that, Mixergy isn’t going to be suffering or the business is going to continue to grow.”

Brian: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. Interesting. So I guess on that same note, do you see Bot Academy now as more of a side project or like a temporary path that you’re going down, or do you see this actually evolving for you as the next big thing in your business, your focus in the next year, two years, three years?

Andrew: I think I can do both. I think Mixergy is systemized to the point where earlier today, I had no idea I was going to talk to some guy who sells cups — cups. That’s so far removed from the software companies I’ve interviewed for a long time, but it turns out that there’s a whole new crop of entrepreneurs that are now creating projects in China or having them created for them, selling them on Amazon and then moving beyond Amazon to the Shopify stores, resellers, etc.

Just like software became earlier to create and spread and sell online about 10 years ago, I feel like the same thing is happening with hardware, this little hardware, physical product revolution is happening. I interviewed the founder. I didn’t know jack about him before I talked to him. But 10 minutes before, my system was so set up that Andrea hooked me up with a Google doc so I wouldn’t have to go into Google Drive and search for the doc. On my calendar was not just his name and his contact information, but another link to the Google doc.

So all I have to do is click that link, the Google doc opens up on my screen. I have tons of research on him, and I know exactly what I’m going to be talking to him about. That’s a system that you can’t beat. If for some reason I forget to upload it to the system, my video files are automatically uploaded to a folder where my assistant can see everything, including this conversation, and then move it to the editor and so on and so forth.

So the system at Mixergy is really, really well dialed in. We keep experimenting with ad buys, which don’t work that well for podcasting, and other growth tools. Yes, we keep trying to get new interviewees on here and keep looking for new ways to do that. But the process is there. So I can focus on something else and know that this is not going to collapse.

Brian: Yeah. I mean, I could certainly see with Mixergy how systematized it’s become. I’ve been interviewed. I’ve gone through that process before. Hearing you talk about it, I can totally see it. This is something that I’ve been trying to learn from you on that. Doing this interview with you, I’ve known you and I know your stories, so it’s a pretty easy one for me, but the other interviews I’ve been doing are total strangers, people I don’t know their story, and I’m trying to get better at having some sort of system where I don’t need to spend a week researching someone before I interview them and still come out with an interesting episode to listen to.

I guess I’m wondering, as you’re not splitting your time between Bot Academy, you just mentioned 38 hours of training. Was that in a week you’re doing that?

Andrew: I think it’s going to be in a week, maybe over two weeks.

Brian: In terms of splitting your time and like day-to-day workflows, how are you handling that? What does your week look like? When are you doing Mixergy interviews? How much other time are you putting into Mixergy aside from activity being on the recording.

Andrew: So I’m glad that you’re asking about this, because I’m really struggling with this right now. I’m a very systemized person, right down to like my running clothes, right now to I’ve been cycling in the backyard using this bike trainer. I can’t leave my bike out there. I can’t leave the trainer out there. I know exactly the routine for bringing my bike up from the basement and bringing up the trainer and not wasting a second in that process of setting it up.

But Bot Academy has been really un-systematized. I’ve worried that we’ve made mistakes because of it. So one of the things I’m going to do is I’m going to go with Tam and maybe one other person on the team and just spend four days in an inspiring spot. We still haven’t found it. Just whiteboarding the whole thing — here’s what we take in and here’s what we want to put out. We want to take in people who are non-technical oriented who are interested in a little part-time work at first and ideally to build up a whole agency with us based on bots. And at the end, we want to create bots for their customers.

What are all the steps involved in that? How do we systemize it that it’s not just a checklist but a process that will actually keep pulling us forward? What I’ve found is that checklists don’t get checked enough. Even if you mandate that checklists are checked, it’s not enough. If you have a process that has a checklist built in, you’re more likely to get it done. How do we create that? How do we also make it self-improving?

Brian: Maybe combine a coaching aspect with it where they get a check-in from a bot expert on your team, something like that.

Andrew: Yeah.

Brian: Cool. I guess I’m also, just to jump around a little bit here, tell me about the team. Who else is involved in Bot academy, and is it part of your Mixergy business team? Or is it completely separate? What does that look like?

Andrew: It’s part of the team, but there are people who definitely do this exclusively. So the person who’s on full-time with me is Tam Pham. He co-leads the course. He’s a person who started out doing something else, running community. He got so into these bots he saw the opportunity, he saw the possibility, and he just kept cranking them out, really created fantastic chat bots and chat experiences. I shouldn’t even call them bots what he was creating. He enjoyed working with the community and helping them evolve and get better at creating bots. So he’s full-time with this and he’s obsessed on it.

There’s also someone name Rachel Kirsten who helps me launch new things. She’s a project management, I guess is the best way I can — I don’t even know what her official thing is, but she’s just so good at creating stuff in order from scratch. I kind of met her at this event in Vegas. We started a conversation. I said, “I wish you could even come to San Francisco so we could talk.” She said, “You know what, Andrew? We make it happen for people. So how do we make it happen?” So I said, “Tell you what, my wife and I have an extra bedroom in the heart of San Francisco, fly out here, stay with us for I forget how many days, and we’ll just chat and see how it goes.”

So she came over for dinner. She stayed at our place. We went for long walks. We talked about business. We got to know each other. Then when I was looking to launch something, I said, “Can you help me do this?” She systemized the whole thing. She got us on project management software. She figured out how we should be messaging things. She helped me find writers and people to help you. She also has a team she brings in that helps.

Brian: Very cool.

Andrew: The beyond that, we have other people on the team here at Mixergy that are working on this. I don’t want to leave people out. Ari started out just doing some customer service work. She’s been working on Infusionsoft and really automating our marketing. Joe still sticks with editing videos, but he’s been contributing help to videos on Bot Academy. So Joe edits all our interviews on Mixergy.

Andrea, many of people who email me know she’s the one who responds to customer service email. She’s also my assistant for other stuff. There’s a lot team of people. A bunch of them are actually on maternity leave right now. So, April, our head writer, just took maternity leave, she just had a baby. Michael, who’s doing our development work and launching the site and making sure it works right and also creating new chat bot subscription interfaces. So he’s helped us really this too.

Brian: Wow.

Andrew: I know. I’m forgetting a bunch of people.

Brian: So you’re kind of talking about the Mixergy team as a whole, but all of them are touching Bot Academy in some way.

Andrew: Yeah. The one other person who’s like obsessive about this with me is Caleb, who’s been buying ads for us. He just keeps showing me the numbers about how easy it for people to subscribe, but only if you do this one thing first and then get them to subscribe to the chat bot.

Brian: So you’re running ads for Bot Academy?

Andrew: The first time we ran real ads at Mixergy that have worked was for Bot Academy, yeah.

Brian: Interesting. Actually, that leads into this question that have here. So, obviously, you’re a person with a very large audience. People know you. You have a personal brand at this point. That’s generally thought of as an advantage when you’re launching something new. You have a platform you can launch it to. Is it also a challenge, where people know you as the interviewer of entrepreneurs and building this Mixergy community —

Andrew: Yes.

Brian: They don’t necessarily know you as a bot expert or even like a marketing expert, necessarily. How do you think about that?

Andrew: Yeah. It’s definitely an issue. One of the first things people will say to me is, “What are you doing with bots?” And then what they want to know is not about this. They want to know about the angel investments I’ve made around this as opposed to what the idea is. They just want to get an understanding of what I’ve done.

Yeah, it’s an issue, but it’s definitely an asset. I get my calls responded to faster than if I wasn’t at all connected to this. Frankly, a lot of the chat software before we settled on the ones that we like, I didn’t want to try them until I knew the founders. I didn’t know who they were. I didn’t want to use some random software that was used by nobody. Believe me, this stuff wasn’t used by people. I wanted to reach out to them.

So I got to the founder of Chatfuel. I couldn’t find his freaking name or his email address, meanwhile, it’s fairly easy to — actually, it’s not that easy to figure out. None of my usual techniques would have worked. But I went to Nir Eyal, the author of the book “Hooked.” He’s incredibly respected here in San Francisco because people all like the idea of how do you make your app more socially appealing to people, more psychologically appealing so they keep coming back to it.

So I went to him and I said, “Do you know this guy?” He says, “Yeah.” One email from Nir Eyal and boom, I got an introduction to Chatfuel. I wanted to get to know the founder of ManyChat. I knew somebody who worked with him, one of his advisors, boom, from 500 startups. I get in the door there, and it really helps me understand what’s going on.

A lot of these other platforms just know me as the guy from Mixergy. If I use their software, I get an email right away saying, “Andrew, you’re using it. Do you want a demo?” It really helps me understand it. I can’t complaint. It’s a huge help.

Brian: So how about when it comes to validating the business idea, or is it worth pursuing? Can you sell it to a wider audience? Do you ever feel like the feedback that you’re getting or the traction that you’re getting earlier on, is it attributed to the problem or the pain or the goal?

Andrew: I do worry about that.

Brian: Or people who know you, they’re supporting you and they already trust you.

Andrew: In some ways, I think that is true. The way that I test it was there was another product that I was curious about. Did people really want to use this process we called True Mind to increase their focus? Did they want to use it, or did they want to hang out with me and get to know what I’m thinking about their businesses?

So I had Olivia, my wife, get on calls with people who are interested so there’s no connection to me to see what do they say if there’s someone else there. That helped. I could see that they were just as open with her, someone they didn’t know, than they were with me. Here, Caleb Hodges, he’s the guy who bought our Facebook ads, he was targeting people who are strangers — cold people, cold traffic, converted pretty well, really well, actually.

Then the other thing that we did was I went out to people like John Lee Dumas to David Siteman Garland to Andy Drish at The Foundation and I said to them, “Would your audiences be interested in this? If they are, can we create a partner webinar to promote this?” And they said yes. So that helped. That helped me reach a bigger audience and see how they reacted.

Brian: Very cool. That’s something that I’ve been working on in my business, getting those channels running where they’re not necessarily in my personal ecosystem and they’re just kind of coming in from other places.

Andrew: I’ll tell you where we are struggling. This is something that maybe you can help with, because I feel like you’re the expert in it. Let’s take a quick moment away from the interview because I want to tell you about one of the Mixergy listeners who emailed me. In fact, I’m going to read them as is.”

It says, “I’m a member of Mixergy and a huge fan of your show.” The email comes from Brett Stapper. He is the CEO of Hack PR. He says, “I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that we started working with Toptal after hearing about them on your show and it’s been a complete game-changer for us.”

He goes on to say, “We’ve always just patched together designers and developers from . . .” and then he gives me the name of competitors, many of whom you know and you probably have used. He says, “We’ve always gotten okay quality from them. But we’re launching a new project and we decided this time okay wasn’t going to cut it, so we went with Toptal,” again, top as in top of the mountain, tal as in talent.

Let’s get back to the email. “Two weeks in, it’s by far the best looking design we have ever had. So thank you for the tip and thank you for your awesome show. As a youngish entrepreneur,” he says, “it’s truly a huge impact on me. Cheers, Brett.”

So I’ve been talking about Toptal for a long time. I’m not the only one who’s gotten great results from them. Many people who have heard me have, including fantastic business people like Brett from Hack PR. If you’re looking for not just okay work but the best of the best developers, the best of the best designers, you’ve got to check out Toptal and if you do, go use this special URL where they’re going to give you something they’re not giving anyone else.

Go to Toptal.com/Mixergy and when you do, you’re going to get 80 hours of Toptal credit when you pay for your first 80 hours and that’s in addition to a no risk trial period of up to two weeks. Go check them out at top as in top of the mountain, tal as in talent, Toptal.com/Mixergy. Let’s get back to the conversation.

One of the things that I want to do is not sit too much between me and the student, the graduate, but sit just enough that we can help. So when someone wanted a bot, what I would do in the beginning was say, “Hey, here’s someone that can create a bot for you. We’re going to step outside. We’re going to let you guys work it out, figure out the price.” That was completely unhelpful, because then the student has to figure out what to ask the client. The student has to go back and forth, and if for some reason the student drops the ball, we’ve just screwed up for them. We’ve screwed up for the client.

Brian: Right.

Andrew: So that’s a problem. Also, we should be clear about what the client is paying for. I keep thinking about you with productized services. This is essentially a productized service. I want to be able to say to a client, “Here’s what you’re getting. You’re paying this much money. You’re getting this thing and if you want anymore, there are these add-ons that you pay for and that’s it.” And then we pass the money on to the student minus whatever commissions we need to keep that going.
Brian: Yeah. You mentioned something earlier kind of off-hand when you said you planned to talk to the team on a retreat. Is Bot Academy an agency where you guys are delivering the finished product for customers directly, or is it more of a training plus marketplace where you match people up?

Andrew: That’s what we’re trying to figure out. I don’t think a marketplace is the answer, because I’ve talked to people who have invested in marketplaces where you need a specific result, and they don’t end up with positive results. I’m trying to not like—

Brian: Yeah, because you still need guidance on the strategy. Even just the time it takes to vet the candidates in a marketplace, there’s just inevitably going to be some who are better than others.

Andrew: Yeah. I think I could tell you that if someone’s gone through our program, they know how to create a bot. If they’re certified, meaning they’ve created a great bot for us and we’ve put our stamp of approval on them, they’re going to create a phenomenal experience for you and your company. What I’m concerned with is everyone has their own little sense of quirks of how they work. Some people need tons of questions answered before they start. Others need nothing. Others want all your emails so that they can use those to create.

So I don’t want to give an uncertain experience to the client. Also, sometimes things come up in people’s lives. Even agencies, the best agencies drop the ball sometimes. I want us to have a system that avoids that. I’m trying to think of — I think what we would ideally like to do is say, “Here are the five things you should want as a bot client. Here are the five things. The first thing you need is setting up a bot. The second thing is you need a welcome, etc. This package of five is going to cost you $1,000, and it’s going to be created by one of our students.”

Hit Submit and you get the student to do it, and then we pass it on to the right student for you. Maybe someone internally decides who the right student is for you and then we check in a couple of weeks later, maybe even one week later to say, “Are you on track?” We even set a set of deliverables for them. I would even say maybe we create an Asana project for them so they get an Asana project or Basecamp project that says, “Here’s what you need to deliver in this time,” and we watch it and we get alerts when you don’t finish. I don’t know. Something like that. What do you think?

Brian: I think that the training program is really — I’m sure it is this way already, where it’s not so much how to technically set up a bot, it’s more about the strategy. If you want a highly effective bot, it should have this sort of sequence. You need to nurture needs to this sort of opportunity and then follow up and all that. These are the templates, these are the fill in the blank, step by step, and then you can just follow the training and set it up yourself or maybe like upgrade and get a personalized coach to make sure that you implement it for your business, something like that.

Andrew: I don’t think a — I would ideally love for it to be a coach, but I don’t think a coach is the answer. I could be wrong, but what I think people want is, “Just create it for me.” It’s like a website. You either want to build the website yourself and figure it out, like if you’re using WordPress, you want to just figure it out and have complete control or you don’t care. You just say, “Here’s the outcome I want. You build it for me. Let me see it along the way, but you build it for me.”

That’s the stage where I am. I used to love to get into WordPress and mess with it and find the right theme and adjust the theme. I’m not at that place right now in my business. When we got to Bot Academy, I just wanted to hire someone. I said, “Michael, hire someone,” I didn’t even want to hire them myself. I said, “Michael, you go hire someone who is going to install this WordPress site.” Here’s what I need the site to do.

Brian: Productize services, that is a lot of the value, not only just doing it for you, but preventing you from having to go hire someone, like the process of finding candidates, figuring out who you need to hire, interviewing them, testing them, giving them the project. So I guess that’s what I mean when I say coach, like somebody to match you up with a bot consultant or bot technician or something like that.

Andrew: Yeah.

Brian: Then they follow the roadmap you’ve laid out and all that.

Andrew: Yeah.

Brian: Your system prices it out for them. So the client, they don’t have to think about how many billable hours is this going to cost. It’s like, “I just know it’s going to be $1,000. Done.”

Andrew: Right. I imagine then if you like this $1,000 project and you like the person, I’ll step out, just go and work directly with them and that’s it.

Brian: Interesting.

Andrew: Ideally, you would like them and they would keep working with you on a monthly retainer and the monthly retainer would include a set of things they’d do for you. That’s where I’m trying to get to. Any advice for me on that? You’re the guy who created productized services.

Brian: Well, I wouldn’t say I created productized services. But yeah, I mean, I think like anything, every step of that process can be systematized and dialed in. You can have certain guidelines and people in place, like a small team of experts, not just students who have gone through the course, there will be thousands of those, but a small team of like five or ten Bot Academy employees who are coaches who can take a client’s application and match them up with a suitable consultant, a graduate who meets their budget, who has experience in that industry, who knows how to implement your system. I think that makes sense.

Andrew: Yeah.

Brian: And then it depends on the goals of the business. Like do you want it to be a one-time sale or recurring type of service? Are you going to hand off the recurring service to someone else or have a piece that is managed on a recurring basis?

Andrew: I think I’d like to pass it off to them and then let them work it out. If you have a good experience with the person, they could just keep working with you on a retainer and that’s it, charge a few hundred bucks a month or $1,000 a month depending on the work. That’s where it gets harder for me to anticipate. Some people have way more intense funnels than others. They should pay more and have more work done.

Brian: Yeah. Speaking of funnels, I was looking at the homepage for Bot Academy. Really, it’s a single page. You have that plus the blog. What does the funnel look like for it right now? You are kind of, I guess, hiding the pricing and the actual offering. It seems like a pretty distinct funnel. You opt in for some free information. How does that go —

Andrew: Because I don’t want to take on more students now than we can handle. I don’t want to take on more clients than we can handle. I also think that the best thing to do is get you to experience the bot. What happens is if you go to the site, there’s a button you can actually experience the bot for yourself. You press one button and then you get subscribed to my bot. In fact, my bot will confirm with you, because I don’t want to be messaging people who don’t really want to hear from me.

My bot will say, “Hey, can I reach out to you here on a regular basis to teach you about bots?” And if you say yes, I teach you something immediately and then the next day, I teach you something else. At certain points throughout, I introduce you to the free Facebook community where you can talk to us about your bot and get some help from people. At other points I’ll say — you’ll see the bot will say this, “If you want a bot like this, you can hire one of our graduates.” That gives you an opportunity to go in and buy. I’ve seen people just click and buy.

Brian: This question gets back to I guess the speed at which you launched into this Bot Academy thing. You were kind of experimenting with it for Mixergy for your business. You saw results. You see opportunity out there in the market. But then to get to a point where you can develop an actual course and certify people who go through this course. How did you get to that point where you felt like you had a proven system that you know will drive results if you follow all the steps?

Andrew: It took about a year. It was a lot of working with individual students and also frankly working with the people who are — like with ManyChat. I can see what a student is doing, but I can hear from ManyChat if one of our students is doing better work than others, if one of our students is the kind of person they would want to recommend to their clients. So ManyChat is a software that we use. It’s like MailChimp or Infusionsoft for sending out chat. I could see the level of excitement they had for our graduates.

When they want more people like our graduates and they’re trying to figure out how they can get me to create more graduates like them, when their competitors are going out of their way to find out how they can get my graduates on their platform, that’s an indication that we’re doing something right. When our graduates are getting clients and they’re getting clients and they’re building chat bots for them, that’s an indication that we’re doing something right.

Now, do we get some agitation from all this? Yes. Tam will get really upset at stupid little typos in messages. I don’t get so upset about that because I have a different personality than he does. But I agree, he should care about the stuff.

Brian: I could see how typos are more glaring in a short bot message than they are in like a longer email.

Andrew: Though, my feeling is typos are actually part of a natural chat conversation. We should put it into our chat bots. But I get it. We both have these points of irritation that we want to get people to create better bots. For me, when I see someone write five, ten sentences in a chat interaction and their user has to read it all at once, that makes me mental. I get so pissed.

So we’re still having students who do that. How about students who get lazy and they finish the projects, they do a great job, and when they’re working for some clients, they forget — actually, for clients they do a better job than for themselves, but they’ll create a bot that demonstrates their work and it will be like this beautiful fun .gif with a little bit of text and then they’ll ask a question.

So you press a button and respond to the bot and then boom, instead of seeing another image, you see a wall of text and I go, “No. You got a little lazy. Go to Giphy.com and find a .gif or just create a .gif using Photo Booth. We show you how to do that.” I won’t say that we’re in a perfect situation. Frankly, I look at some of my bots sometimes, some of the content we’ve written I think we could have done better. We could have tracked this better. We could have created a better funnel. So there’s definitely room to improve, but I can see that no one is doing it better than us.

Brian: Right. So we’re going to wrap up here in just a minute. But I wanted to touch on real quickly, can you give us some best practices when it comes to bots? I know we can spend a whole hour on that. They are so new. I’ve just dabbled with them, but not a whole lot. I know a lot of listeners are completely new to the idea of setting up a bot for business use. So what are some across the board best practices when you’re just getting started setting up your bot or things not to do, either way.

Andrew: What I would do is decide what’s the one thing my bot is going to teach. Teaching is a great thing to do with your bot because it gives you an opportunity, a reason to keep coming in to someone’s chat app on a daily or weekly basis. So what’s the one thing you’re going to teach?

Let’s suppose you’re into running, which I freaking am. If I had a running store that sold sneakers, I would have to say, “What am I teaching people? Am I teaching them how to run their first marathon, or am I teaching someone who’s already run a marathon how to run a personal best, how to be faster in their marathon?” I’m going to decide one of those things I’m going to teach them.

Next, I would decide what’s the one thing I give people immediately if they subscribe to my bot? If it’s to new runners, it might be, “Subscribe to my chat bot and you’ll get a three-month schedule how to go from no marathon to running a marathon,” very much like email.

Brian: So how would you use the bot to teach that lesson? Would you in each message link off to a video or blog post or you actually give them things to do in the message?

Andrew: I would do it in the message. I don’t think it’s helpful to keep sending people to videos and out of chat. They’re in chat. They want to experience this short messaging platform the way that it was meant to be experienced. So what I would do is I would give you your schedule day one, here’s the schedule, put it on your refrigerator. This is what you’re going to do to go from no marathon to a marathon inside of three months. Then I would tell him, “Look, tomorrow I’m going to give you the one stretch technique you need that would allow you to run 10% faster in a day.”

So the next day I come in and I say, “Here’s the thing. Remember yesterday I promised to teach you the stretch technique. Can I teach it to you right now?” As soon as they press yes, then I teach it to them. Then I teach it to them in short sentences. I use .gifs as opposed to video. So if it’s a stretch, instead of me describing it or shooting it off to video, a little .gif is enough to show someone leaning up against a wall and angling themselves the way they need to.

Brian: Yeah. I’m trying to get back into a workout routine now and I’m constantly struggling with that. I’m sure this exists somewhere. I need someone to create a bot that I can subscribe to, give me the to-do every day and keep me accountable, like I have to reply to it to say I hit the gym today.

Andrew: You can do that.

Brian: I can create it for myself.

Andrew: Yeah. You could do it. You could them have the bot introduce you to other runners if you were interested in that.

Brian: Yeah. I guess you can then leverage Facebook and connect people that way. Wow.

Andrew: Yeah. You could have your bot say, “I didn’t hear from . . .” I don’t think you could say, “I didn’t hear from you in two days.” But your bot could say, “If you need help, click here and you’ll get a coach to personally help you right here in the bot.” So the student can click a button and reach out to someone. Or the bot can say, “I want you right now, Brian, to commit to running a mile a day. Press this.” For you it might not be enough to do that. “Press this to share your commitment with your friends.”

So you press it and immediately goes to your friends in Facebook Messenger. Now they have an opportunity to subscribe too. Lots of little things like that, or if you’re using some platforms, you can actually start conversations with other runners. I can say, “Tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. Pacific, all of us runners who are running at 7:00 a.m. Pacific are going to start a chat to talk to each other and say we’re running.”

Brian: That’s cool. Talking about the open rates, which are way, way higher for chat messages than they are for email, I guess that’s because it’s coming through a chat message going to a notification on your phone.

Andrew: Yeah. That’s the thing. I tried turning off notifications for Facebook Messenger. I tried so hard. Facebook nagged me until I turned them back on and I did. I’m kind of glad that I did, because frankly, whether I like it or not, my customers are using Facebook Messenger to contact me. My interviewees are using Facebook Messenger to contact me.

When I see that people are trying to reach me for business reasons that way, I have to acknowledge it and I need to find a solution for it. Frankly, if it becomes too much for me, I’ll turn my personal account into a business account or a personality or something account and let my staff help me with that too.

Brian: It’s interesting, because it may sound like it’s super obtrusive and you don’t want to annoy all these people with these notifications, but I guess at the same time, people who subscribe to chat bots for various topics, businesses and things, they’re going to be more selective about who they let into their Messenger app, right? That makes them more loyal, more likely to open and act on the information they’re getting.

Andrew: Not only that, I cannot, I physically cannot message 1,000, 100, dozens of people with one message in an automatic way unless they give me permission. Meanwhile, in my email — and I’ve been posting this from time to time on Facebook — I’ll get emails from random salespeople who have stuff to sell me. They lie about their knowledge of my work.

Like here’s one from CastBox. I don’t mean to pick on them, but I happened to post it on there. They sent me an email saying, “Hi, I’m CastBox.fm. We’re a free audio platform. I listen to interviews and I really enjoyed all the episodes. We want to offer you an opportunity to list with us and in return, here’s what you’re going to give you and what we’re demanding from you to get it.” It’s kind of weird that they said, “Here’s what we want from you,” like in a really demanding way.

If you don’t respond to these types of emails — I’m not saying this is what happens with CastBox — but often they’re automated, and if you don’t respond, they come back with a second email that says, “Hey, did you hear me or not?” I get it. I’m not putting those people down. That’s what works. It doesn’t work, and it literally is not possible in Facebook Messenger for people to send that.

Brian: Right.

Andrew: Also, look at Expedia. My assistant buys from — I don’t know why, but she loves Expedia. So every time I say, “Hey, Andrea, can you please put me on a flight to wherever,” she goes to Expedia and she buys me the tickets to wherever. I then get subscribed to Expedia. I have to unsubscribe every time from them and they don’t just say, “Congrats, you’re unsubscribed.” I think they even have a few checkboxes that you have to select what you unsubscribe from.

Then after that, they say — again, I posted this on Facebook — again, they say, “We will unsubscribe you in a week.” I go, “What is this? Is there a human being that has to go type into a system somewhere? Do they have to have one of those old punch cards? What are they using that they can’t unsubscribe me?”

Now, what is it like on Facebook Messenger? Facebook Messenger, unfortunately they change this all the time. It used to be one swipe to unsubscribe. Now it’s just hold or click on the gear and unsubscribe and — let me just confirm that. Yeah, manage messages. There’s a manage at the top of the screen. Not only can I turn off alerts for it, which is helpful, I can actually report this person. That’s a really powerful thing to give a person.

Brian: Interesting. Real quick, last one, with Facebook Messenger, is it always like double opt-in, or can it be single opt-in? Have those rules been worked out yet?

Andrew: It depends. It seems to change a lot. So, for some things, no. I think they have a receipt template where you can automatically send receipts and people don’t need to opt in, obviously, to get a receipt. They just let you end it out. I could have sworn that for a long time they forced double opt-in.

Actually, what they would do is say you don’t have to opt in, but if you get the person to interact with your bot and give you permission, then we’ll give you more data about them. So, for a long time, we were seeing a lot of stupid chat bots that were saying, “Hi,” like a space and the comma. They didn’t realize that Facebook didn’t insert the person’s name because they didn’t get full permission. That’s what Facebook used to do. Now they don’t do that. They change this around a lot.

Here’s what I do know. If you do get double opt-in, which is freaking easy, 90% will double opt in, just get it. You get so much more control. I’m probably not supposed to say this out loud, but Facebook didn’t NDA me. Soon Facebook is going to give even more data if the user like presses a button to give you that. I think it will include things like location, friends, etc. So Facebook is going to make it easier for bots to be more useful.

Brian: Interesting. Wow. I could dig into this. Bots, I need to go through Bot Academy just to get up to speed on this stuff. I do feel like it is something new that doesn’t seem like, I don’t know, like a flavor of the month kind of thing. This does seem like a significant change in behavior of consumers and business owners especially. So, yeah, this is really interesting. I think it’s exciting that you’re doing something new. I’m just looking forward to seeing what else happens and where you go with it.
Andrew: I am too. I agree with you. I think as much as I would like us not to send more messages to each other, chat is the thing. Frankly, I used to have one of those emails that said, “I only send emails three lines or less. Please reply only three lines or less to me,” because people flood you with a lot of messages. They can’t do that in chat. I can understand why people would prefer chat and why the world is moving to instant, shorter and more fun messages.

All right. Brian, thanks for interviewing me. Again, if people want to connect with my sponsors, it’s top as in top of your head, tal — wait, I should say Toptal and then say top as in top of your head, tal as in talent. And the second sponsor is a company that will help you close more sales, it’s called Pipedrive. And Brian, if people want to subscribe to your podcast or find out more about you, where do they go?

Brian: Yeah. So this podcast is out at ProductizePodcast.com. My personal site is Casjam.com. That’s where my newsletter is. You’ll find it on Productize as well.

Andrew: C-A-S-J-A-M.com, right?

Brian: Yeah, that’s right.

Andrew: Cool. Thank you all for listening. Bye, everyone.


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

x