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Here’s the program.
Andrew: Hey everyone, my name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy.com, home of the ambitious upstart, the place you come to hear exceptional success stories directly from entrepreneurs.
How does a software company go from zero dollars to $1 million in five months? Joining me is Travis Rosser and Kenny Reuter of Kajabi, a hosted software platform that lets entrepreneurs create membership sites and sell access. Kenny and Travis, welcome.
Kenny: Hey, thanks for having us, Andrew.
Travis: Thanks. Total honor to be here. We’re so excited.
Andrew: Well, thank you. So $1 million in sales, that’s how much the people who are creating websites on your platform are earning, and you guys get a cut of that?
Travis: No, that’s how much we’ve actually billed to our customers within the first five months. Our customers have made around $25 million with out software.
Andrew: $25 million?
Travis: That’s right.
Andrew: And how old is the company?
Kenny: We launched to the public in October of last year, 2010, and we formed the actual company just in the summertime of 2010.
Travis: And the idea was hatched in 2009 officially, so then the first customer to use it used it in a beta form last February. And then throughout that time we had a lot of high-profile customers use the software and do really well. We like to say that it’s like Tiger Woods got to use our golf clubs and he won the Masters, and then everybody wanted our golf clubs, so it’s pretty awesome.
Andrew: In this case, ‘winning the Masters’ is actually bringing dollars into a business, and your customers are doing it.
Andrew: This is unbelievable for a software company to pull in this much revenue so quickly. How much funding do you guys have?
Travis: We had zero funding. We had an idea, we had a talent in the software space. I’m a designer; Kenny is an awesome Rails programmer. And we had this idea but we had no connections, and so part of our story is that we actually made great connections. And then one of our connections, he gave us a small loan. And then Kenny kept his day job for a long time, and then I quit my day job. Throughout the process we did a little bit of consulting. We got paid one time for an affiliate deal where we promoted somebody and we made some money and we just bootstrapped and kept it cheap as long as we could. At first there was only three of us for a long, long time.
Kenny: To launch on launch day there was only three of us.
Andrew: And how many today?
Kenny: We have a new guy joining us, he’s joining us next week, that makes eight. Eight on site here, and we’ve got one guy in Brazil, a programmer.
Andrew: Unbelievable. And on-site is where? Is it Orange County, California? Sorry, we lost the connection just for a moment. What city are you guys in?
Travis: We’re in Tustin, California which is in Southern California in Orange County.
Andrew: All right. Cool.
Travis: We’re in an area called Old Town. It’s where all these old buildings they’ve fixed up are, and we have this great space where we all have fun all day and make awesome software.
Andrew: I know the area. I used to live in Southern California and I’d ride my bike down there and then I’d ride right back up to Santa Monica
Travis: Oh, awesome, yeah.
Andrew: I miss it. So, unbelievable story. Within a matter of months, bootstrappers to get this far. Either one of you have a hit this big before? Is this the first business you guys have launched?
Travis: Well, we’ve been consulting for years. We’ve tried many, many businesses, but no, this by far is our biggest success.
Travis: We’ve been friends for over 10 years. We actually met at a church and we just became friends. We both had interest in software. We’ve been around for so long that we went through the dotcom boom and bust, and we experienced all that as employees and people inside. Myself, consulting firms in Orange County, and I’ve worked on big sites that had great success, and I’ve been able to provide ideas that made millions of dollars.
I remember one time, I worked for a local search engine company, and I made a change to one of their colors, and that color change turned into $3,000 per day in revenue, which is a million-dollar color change, I used to call it. So I’ve had the successes, but we just hadn’t had our moment yet.
Kenny: Yeah, yeah.
Travis: We were longing for it, we would watch shows like yours. We used to listen to this podcast called the Web 2.0 Show, way, way back. And we would dream of this day when we would build this software. That was when we started looking at Rails and going wow, we can actually turn our ideas into something really fast.
And we’ve tried a bunch of things over time. I think some of the things we’ve tried we’ll go back to. We actually built this cool Twitter game, that’s called ‘Find That Tweet.’ It allows you to hide a Tweet somewhere, or find a Tweet. It’s like a . . .
Kenny: A scavenger hunt on Twitter.
Travis: Yeah, it’s like a scavenger hunt. It’s like a needle in a haystack of needles. You find it, you video a bunch of clues about it, and then you take guesses. It’s an interactive game and we did that for awhile, and it didn’t make any money.
And we had an idea to do a donation site for non-profits, like, an easy way for them to collect funds. We also made a journaling site. It was really cool. It was, like, a private journaling site called PrayerLog, because we thought it was important for you, if you’re going to pray about something or trust God in something, to try to keep track of that. We did the PrayerLog for a while.
Kenny: But this is the first idea we’ve really gone for.
Kenny: You know, we quit our jobs and just went for it.
Travis: Gambled, just went for it. I mean, I had a nice, high-paying six-figure job and I remember, I walked out last year right in the middle of them doing really well. And they’re, like, “What are you doing?” And I’m, like, ‘I’ve got this opportunity and I just know it’s going to happen.” And we just took a leap, and it did.
I mean, there were lots of struggles along the way, but having that faith and that vision, and seeing it. And there were many times I’d see things. I’m like, “Kenny, I see this happening. I see us meeting this guy. I see us making connections in Silicon Valley.’ When here we are in Southern California and we had no connections. I mean, we’re just guys who make the software for somebody else. And all that has happened, and it’s amazing.
Andrew: You know what? I haven’t known you for a very long time but we’ve talked before and we’ve set up this interview with more detail than most people care about the whole interview. That’s how much you put into the set-up. Let me let people in on it.
You guys have a microphone, of course, which gives your audio better quality. You made sure to sit in the right place so you get light right on you. This is without me even being on the call. You have the light on you, but you also have a sheet so that it’s not directly hitting you.
Because of that I installed Ecamm Call Recorder. I gave you a copy of it, that the company was good enough to let me share with you, to make sure that the recording’s good. The reason I say all that is because I really admire your attention to detail. And Kenny, looking back, can you take one of the businesses that didn’t work, and just share a little bit of the story and what you learned in some detail? Because I want that analytical brain to help me understand what didn’t work, and why it didn’t work, and then we’ll come back to the Kajabi in a moment.
Kenny: I think that the Twitter scavenger hunt is probably a good example of that.
Kenny: And we did have attention to detail in terms of what it looked like. Aesthetics are huge for us, we love the customer experience just to look awesome. But with Find That Tweet, we really didn’t just jump off the cliff and go for it. And maybe part of that was we were a little unsure how successful it could be, or how it was going to be monetized. But it wasn’t something that just gave us the feeling, the assurance that we were going to make it with this. And with Kajabi, from day one, even before we wrote a line of code, Travis and I knew it was going to be successful.
Kenny: It wasn’t like we hoped, or, ‘Oh, I hope we can find customers.’ We absolutely knew. And I came home and told my wife, ‘This is it.’ And she thinks I’m crazy, still to this day, but that’s a different story.
Travis: Both of our wives. But they’re very supportive, but they both think we’re a little wacky
So something I learned with Find That Tweet was, I think, everything that we’ve done to this point was really good for us to learn how to work together. We can trust each other fully as business partners, and I think that was really good before embarking on Kajabi. And then, you know, I was the lead developer on Kajabi until launch day really, and got more experience developing a web app, having real users in there. And I think just everything paid the way for this.
Andrew: With Find That Tweet, can you give me an example of how you held back because it didn’t feel like “the one”?
Kenny: I would say the biggest one was just time. Travis was very busy.
Kenny: I was very busy. We would leave our separate jobs and go have lunch and just talk about it real quick, and we might hack away at it on evenings here and there, but we didn’t really go for it.
Travis: Yeah, we didn’t fully execute the idea. That’s one thing we’ve learned, great ideas are awesome, if anything they’re easy, but execution is where the money is.
Travis: You’ve got to fully execute the plan.
Andrew: So you didn’t fully execute, but it wasn’t because you’re lazy, it was because there was something about it that didn’t feel like “it”. What was it? In retrospect, now that you have a little bit of distance, analyze it. Why do you think that wasn’t the right one?
Travis: You know, it’s that energy that a great idea gives you. Great ideas give you energy to make it to all through all the valleys and peaks, and Kajabi had that right away because we saw the opportunity. And it’s a story of, like, everybody along the way that I’ve met was very skeptical because it’s in the Internet marketing space, and people think, ‘Oh, it’s just a scam. Nobody can make money or learn anything from these guys.’ But I’ve been a fan since 2004. I’m the kind of person who as a kid used to watch infomercials and would be just sucked in. And I love what they’re doing. I love the idea of the invention that they’ve created. I love how they’re, like, you know, ‘And wait, there’s more!’ I just love that.
And so it was about that opportunity to believe it was going to work. We believed it was going to work and it just kept us going.
Kenny: The other thing is, I’m a firm believer in building software and building a business around something that you yourself need. And Find That Tweet, I don’t need a Twitter scavenger hunt.
Travis: That’s right.
Kenny: And I don’t even know that I would play somebody else’s Twitter scavenger hunt. So while I could imagine people out there in the world that would love it, I wouldn’t really love it.
Travis: And people loved it. People got into it.
Kenny: And that’s the other thing, too, we didn’t have an opportunity to hit the audience that we did with Kajabi. I mean, Kajabi, part of the plan was to take our Tiger Woods golf club and meet Tiger Woods one day and give it to him. And with Find That Tweet we didn’t really know, you know, Bob Barker, or someone else in the space.
Andrew: So let’s make sure first that everyone in the audience understands how Kajabi works and what it does, and then we’re going to go back in time and figure out how the idea emerged and how it developed. Now I’m finding myself actually getting very excited about this, and in preparation for this interview I saw that people who were excited were all affiliates of Kajabi. I’ve never been on the platform. I’m not an affiliate of Kajabi. The excitement for me always comes from hearing two entrepreneurs, or any entrepreneur, just come out of nowhere with a hit product. You know, to me that’s fun.
There are a lot of people watching the royal wedding. To them, they’re never going to forget where they were, that’s fun for them. To me what’s fun and is exciting is to see guys from nowhere suddenly hit it big without huge venture money, without a huge publicity tour, without all the attention that goes to, you know, some of the majors who are funded by Silicon Valley. This is the kind of story that gets me excited and that’s why I am excited about it. I wanted to be up front about my bias. I have one, but it’s because of that.
So first of all, Kajabi is, the best way to explain it is to find one of your users, and just tell me what he’s doing with it. And then we’ll understand through that example of what it does.
Kenny: Sounds perfect. We have a customer and he is in the herbal niche, so I know nothing about the herbal niche, but how to use herbs for health and well-being and things like that. He uses Kajabi, and he did a launch. A lot of users for Kajabi like to do a launch, and a lot of people in the Internet marketing space, instead of just creating a product and trying to sell access to it, you know, and having people trickle in and get the word out. You build up this pent-up demand for it, and get people so excited that on launch day when you go to sell it, they are just without question they want to buy it, they’re drooling over the product. So this customer in particular did that. We were just talking to him because we wanted to make sure that we had our facts straight. He partnered with somebody else that was a bigger name in the herbal health industry. He partnered with them to come out with some free videos. He actually invited this guy over to his house and videotaped this guy just raiding the guy’s kitchen and just making a healthy meal using whatever he found in the kitchen.
So he videoed this and put it up using Kajabi and he basically teased it, and then said if you’re interested put in your e-mail address here and you can see this free content. And a lot of people did that and he was building a launch list. He was building a list of warm leads, you know.
And then a couple of days later he put out another video of free content. I think this time it was recipes, free download, PDF.
And then a couple of days later he came out with a video: OK, this was all leading up to a course I’m going to teach on herbs and how you can use it. Here’s the details of this course, here’s what’s going to be included. And he showed screenshots of the actual Kajabi learning portal, what kind of categories and posts and content that they could expect to find when they bought. Then he even waited. He didn’t even ask them for any money. Then a couple days later, finally he said, “Okay you can buy it.”‘ And people just started buying it. I have some of the stats for that.
Travis: You know what’s awesome is that he explained it to us in such a simple way. I got goose bumps listening to him, because . . .
Kenny: Yeah, so he called that whole process of delivering the free content before launch the pre-launch, and during that he got over 5,000 opt-ins. So he got over 5,000 people who wanted to give their e-mail address because they wanted to see what content he was giving away. And then of that, on each content page, he allowed Facebook comments, or I don’t know, I don’t even think it was Facebook comments, I think he used built in Kajabi comments. And he got over 600 comments of just people who were excited asking questions. He was answering back.
And one thing that stuck out that he told us was that at the last video before he launched, he just wanted to invite people along and journey with him. So he wanted to be totally upfront and just say, “Here’s what you’re going to get. Of course there’s a refund period once you get in there, if you don’t like what you see, but I’m so confident you are,” and that’s it. And he opened the doors and had $100,000 in five days.
Travis: Yep, in five days he made 100 grand.
Kenny: Just for selling some info product about herbs. And the other thing he said about the use of Kajabi in particular was just that the technology got out of his way. I mean, he wants to focus, he’s a creator and he just wanted to create something that would satisfy his people’s needs.
He just logged onto Kajabi and click, click, click, upload a video here and upload a PDF there, and it was done. It’s really cool to see customers having real success.
Travis: Yeah, it was amazing. That’s why we built the software. It just justifies what we’re doing.
Andrew: OK. So I think we got a sense of what could Kajabi is. It’s a platform that allows people to enroll their users in a membership program, from beginning, before they pay, to where they pay, you guys handle payment for them, and then you handle the delivery of content. Let’s talk about how you got here. Where did the original idea come from?
Kenny: I think again, going back to a software that we could use. It goes back to, you know, Travis and I would always meet for lunch like I mentioned earlier, and try to come up with business ideas or just things we could do. And one of them, Travis was really excited about the Internet marketing thing, and I was very skeptical of shiny boxes and arrows and all that. I just thought it was hogwash, you know? And anyway though, we decided we were going to come out with our own info product. And we were going to make an e-book to teach parents how they could make a kid’s sprinkler toy, like a car wash, you plug it into your hose and your kids can run through it. So we videoed the process of building this thing step-by-step. We made instructions, we just made it awesome and we put it up. We wanted to sell it online and we never realized how hard that was going to be.
I consider him an expert designer and I’m a pretty good programmer, and it was still hard for us to do that. Just one PDF, you know? We wanted to protect it from piracy, we wanted to capture some e-mail addresses, we wanted to have a good-looking sales page. We wanted to upsell them so they could pay us a couple of bucks more for the video. And we just realized that this is a pain. Think of how awesome it would be if there was a web app, and we could just decide, come up with an idea for a product and a couple of clicks later, a couple of minutes later, be able to sell it.
Andrew: Why would you think that that would be — a car wash for children — why did you think that would be a product worth spending time on?
Kenny: Because it was something that I wanted to build anyway for my kids.
Travis: Well, both of us have boys; I have two boys, Kenny has three boys, so we’re constantly hanging out with them and playing outside and doing fun stuff. So we’re like, this is really fun, I’ll bet you people would want to know how to build this thing. And so me being into Internet marketing, I’m, like, “Let’s take this and sell it and test it out and see how it goes.”
Travis: And pretty soon we weren’t even focusing on the product anymore, we were focusing on all the technology, all the headaches, and it just made me think, ‘Man, there’s no easy way to do this.’ And my theory is, everybody’s really good at something, or they know someone who’s really good at something. And people are always saying, “Hey, can you help me with my computer? Can you help me with, how should I swing this baseball bat?” And that was when the Kajabi idea really came to life and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, we need to build a system like this.”
Andrew: What was wrong with, ClickBank, there’s E-junkie, there are other services out there designed to allow you to sell digital products. Who did I interview? I interviewed the founder of Fastspring, another provider of digital sales and services.
Kenny: We wanted, even for that sprinkler product we envisioned so much more than buying an e-book. We envisioned, let’s have a community of parents that want creative ideas for their kids; and it’s a private community and they can interact with each other and they can share their own ideas.
Kenny: I think that was a big differentiator. You know, Kajabi does integrate; you mentioned ClickBank, we do integrate with them so people can put their product up on ClickBank, use their payment processing but then deliver their content with Kajabi.
Travis: And there’s lots of solutions where you can take one of the blogging platforms and put a bunch of plug-ins and then duct tape it all together, but even that process, for someone like Kenny, an experienced programmer, can be daunting. You can miss steps and it doesn’t work the way you want. We need to build a system that is specifically for this purpose, for selling and delivering digital content.
Andrew: Okay. So you decided that you wanted to build this system, how long did it take you to get the first version up and running?
Kenny: From the first line of code to the launch of our first beta product; let’s see, we started coding I think in November of ’09 and we launched in January of 2010, so two months, about.
Travis: Yeah, it was pretty rapid; we rent went real fast. That’s one thing we learned too; I’m such a perfectionist and it is so difficult to just ignore the perfect vision you have and just execute. We had to continually have patience to go, “Okay, this is awesome; it works. We know it’s going to be even more perfect one day, but at this point our customers can have success with the way it is.”
Andrew: Give me an idea of something that you cut out, something that the perfect version would have had that the first version had to sacrifice.
Travis: I think our theming engine that we’re just now finishing so that our customers will have a huge library of themes. We decided to scale that back to just two really good themes that worked great, and then make sure that our theming framework was bullet-proof. And we’re now at that point where we’re getting ready to ramp that up.
Andrew: What else did you cut back?
Kenny: The admin interface, the whole interface that our customers see on that first beta launch was nothing.
Kenny: I mean, it was un-styled and it was ugly but we knew, “Hey, the end-users aren’t going to see it.”
Travis: That’s right.
Kenny: You know, our beta user at the time could manage, and so we didn’t spend any time on that.
Travis: That was another key to our success, was when we came to the market our first membership site was with our other partner, Andy Jenkins. It was called The Video Boss, and when that came out people were blown away at the quality, the way the graphics loaded, the way the comments were integrated, the way the video loaded. That created a huge buzz for us because we disrupted this marketplace that was used to really clunky, thrown together, outsourced technology. And all of a sudden we brought this professionalism to it and people were blown away. I mean, people wanted to buy just to see what it was going to look like inside. And when they got in they were blown away. They were, like, “This is amazing, all this content, it’s beautiful.”
And that created huge buzz for us, because we were down in the footer, people knew, ‘What’s this Kajabi thing?’ And it’s just this big tidal wave that started to create way back in February, all the way to our launch.
Andrew: You guys didn’t have any experience in the membership space. How did you find out about it; what kind of market research did you do?
Travis: For me, I’ve been a consultant for a long time. In 2002 I built something called The Members Circle for BMW, so when you buy a BMW you get to go into the member’s circle. So we’ve built membership software, we’ve built apps where you can come in and you can view protected stuff. And then we’re just students of software. I mean, the 37signal guys, we read all their books. We just try to emulate kind of the style and the strategies they’ve done. And there’s always learning, I’m a huge audiobook reader. I’m reading audiobooks all the time.
Andrew: Did you talk to any potential customers before you started building?
Travis: Yep, sure.
Andrew: Who’d you talk to?
Travis: Well I think the first one was our other partner Andy Jenkins. We sat down with him, and part of that process was first of all meeting him. We had no connections, so we had to meet this guy, and then we pitched the idea to him. And when he started getting really excited about it that was when we really saw the vision and where we were heading. And then we talked to other marketers like Frank Kern, who’s another great Internet marketer who knows this space, and a guy named Jeff Walker. And we realize we’re really onto something. This thing is awesome, and we’re getting feedback that we’re doing the right thing, so it was just energizing.
Andrew: Was Andy the first marketer, the first potential customer you reached out to? He was?
Travis: Correct, yeah.
Andrew: How’d you find a connection to him?
Travis: See, we had no connections. It’s funny. It’s like people always say, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” But it’s actually both. It’s like, get good at something and get to know people, that’s the secret to succeeding. It’s just, find something you’re awesome at, and get to know people.
So we didn’t know anybody in the Internet marketing space, and we knew we needed to go there first because they are in that space and they know it well. So using things like Twitter, I just started tweeting some of these guys. And I got a connection to do a blog for somebody, and I did a great design. And then Andy tweeted, “Hey, I need some help,” and we tweeted and he replied right back. And we’re on the phone with him that night, and in two days we’re down in La Jolla, which is half-an-hour, hour from where we are, and we just hit it off. It was like this vision it kind of all came together.
Travis: A little bit of luck, little bit of bravery.
Andrew: Did you say he became the third partner in the business?
Travis: That is correct. He’s one of our founding partners so he brought that experience, he brought that knowledge of the Internet marketing space, and he also gave us a very small investment that we tried to use as our capital.
Andrew: How much?
Travis: Do you know the amount off the top of your head?
Kenny: Over the course of the entire, from the very beginning, he probably put $150,000 in, and that’s when we hired — towards the beginning we kept mentioning there’s three of us. There’s three of us really building it. My old friend, I’ve known a long time, Brendan, was an awesome Rails programmer, and that’s a funny story in and of itself. You know, the most careful guy I’ve ever met.
Kenny: He was in the same job for 12 years, and I convinced him to just quit and come work for the startup.
Travis: And he was super-skeptical of Internet marketing, “Oh, that’s such a scam!” I remember we went to Panera Bread to have dinner one night, and we’re sitting down and we’re just telling him, ‘Here, here’s the idea.’ And I remember leaving, like, I love this guy, he’s awesome, but there’s no way he’s leaving his 12-year job that he’s doing great at. And within the, I don’t know, a couple of weeks?
Travis: He was, like, “I’m going to do it!”
Kenny: So the initial investment went for that. We had some decisions to make right at the beginning. Do we get an office or do we all just work off-site? You know, we could have saved a lot of money just working out of our houses, and we said, “You know, what – no.” For this to really be successful and for us to go for it we’re going to pick up and go.
I had worked out of my house for nine years, it was a big uprooting for my family for me just to leave every day. So we got this office using some of the money that Andy put into the business and we just went for it.
Travis: And it really energized us and gave us synergy being together. We have this area in the office where there’s all these desks, and we call it the pit. All of us sat in that area. We had this huge, maybe 2,000 square feet, and we sat in 50 feet, right in this little space just to stay connected, to be able to talk. You know, over the years we’ve built other things where we’ve off-shored, and we’ve had some success, and we’ve used freelancers, but the power of smart people together, making eye contact and talking through problems and solutions is pretty powerful.
Andrew: Do you have an example of something that Andy Jenkins helped you think about, or maybe a specific feature that he turned you onto, or a direction that he led you to because of his experience?
Travis: Yeah, he’s known for video. He’s the producer of The Blair Witch Project, so he knows Hollywood, he knows video. So he’s always letting us know the best encoding, the best quality and kind of sizing, and he’s always really pushed us in that area when we may have not focused on that as much, but for him it’s, like, it’s important, that experience. And now we’re at the point where our stuff delivers really well, it’s really an experience that you see, and we’re really grateful that he pushed us in that area.
Kenny: For sure. One other big thing was he was the first person to launch a product with Kajabi.
Travis: That’s right.
Kenny: And so he had members, his paying customers, that he had to manage. So we got a lot of good feedback from him on how to manage these customers, how to interact with them, how to deliver content to them better.
Travis: There were performance issues that we saw with how our commenting was working and it’s amazing, like, no matter what problem comes at us now I get this weird peace knowing that we’re going to figure it out, because we had overcome so many database issues and crashing. Just during that beta period that was one time when the database started deleting itself because of a foreign character.
Kenny: You’re not supposed to say that [inaudible].
Andrew: What is that? Did you guys decide that you’re going to duct tape your mouth shut if you went too far?
Travis: I’m known to talk a lot.
Kenny: I had a piece of tape ready because I knew he would start talking and I was going to, at one point, put it over his mouth.
Andrew: Was there anything you guys decided not to talk about before this session started?
Travis: I mean, not really. There’s probably stuff . . .
Andrew: What kind of areas did you say you were going to stay away from?
Kenny: Well, there’s lots of people that are skeptical of us, and I don’t really want to shine light on that, because I think when people meet us and they see who we are, and the integrity we have and the passion we have, that kind of goes away.
I mean, when you searched for us you probably saw as much negative as you saw positive, and there’s many reasons why. There’s a reason why because an affiliate can talk negatively about us and then promote a competitor and make money, which is kind of lame. And then in this space of making money people are passionate about it. It’s like the Gold Rush, everybody’s running for gold and so sometimes there’s jealousy, there’s people looking for short-cuts. It’s like the Wild West, and so when people, when we had that Tiger Woods golf club, people got the golf club, you know, it came to their house and they put it in their closet and they’re, like, “Why haven’t I won the Masters?” Well, it’s because you didn’t work. The customers we know that hustle and work hard are having success.
Kenny: It’s also a sensitive issue because we’re dealing with people’s money. Some people are at their wits’ end to make a couple extra bucks for their family.
Travis: That’s right.
Kenny: And they turn to the Internet to do that. And sometimes that can jade them a little bit and they’re very unsure of themselves, and they don’t put a really good effort in. They just are hoping the software will magically fix all their financial problems.
Andrew: I see. They’re coming to you saying, “I’ve got to pay the mortgage tomorrow.”
Kenny: Yes, that’s right.
Andrew: “Get me there by this afternoon.” And when you don’t do it they get upset.
All right. Andy Jenkins, you said that he was a producer of “The Blair Witch Project,” right?
Kenny: He was one of them.
Andrew: One of them. What is his background? Is he an online marketer?
Andrew: How do I not know this guy?
Travis: Okay. He’s been in film. I think he did NFL films and he’s done a bunch of great video stuff. He was the owner of a company called Stompernet, which is a great SEO training company, he was one of the CEOs. That was why he was always on my radar, because I looked up to the guy, I saw him as a good leader in the Internet marketing space. And I’m, like, ‘Kenny, we’ve got to meet that guy.’ And ironically we met that guy and he became . . .
Andrew: It is impressive. He seems like the kind of person I’ve got to have on here.
Travis: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: What kind of things was he marketing online?
Travis: He markets how to get top rankings in SEO.
Travis: They’ve been doing that for years and had success way, way back when nobody was really doing it.
Kenny: And now the product he launched on Kajabi was a video course called The Video Boss. And it was start-to-finish, why video is the best medium for selling something online. And then how to produce your own videos from script writing, development, to lighting, to everything you could think of.
Travis: It has over 200 videos on this thing. I mean, it’s like a full college course that you get. You learn everything, how to film, how to do keynotes, it’s awesome.
Andrew: Okay. I see now how you got Andy Jenkins. I see that you reached out to other people like Frank Kerns, I see in my notes. You launched the first product. Andy’s the first person to sell on the platform. What do you learn once you launch? What were you wrong about? What did you assume would work that didn’t?
Travis: That’s a good question.
Kenny: Yeah, I think not too much went wrong with that launch.
Kenny: It was picture-perfect, and to a detriment I think, because we started thinking, ‘Wow, this is the software totally by itself, hands off.’ And we forgot about the long hours that we put into that launch. I mean we were babysitting that launch. We were making sure every step of the way that everything went right. And it did go right, but I think that kind of gave us a false sense of security to when we opened the doors to the public, and the public’s using it without us staying up all night watching it.
Kenny: And making sure it was acting OK or the pages looked just right, that’s I think where we encountered some rough patches.
Andrew: Give me an example; what’s one mistake, one rough patch?
Kenny: There were just some errors, basically, in the site. We hadn’t thought through every permutation of how somebody might use it. Andy had a specific plan mapped out for his launch and what he wanted to do, and we had all these features in Kajabi, that nobody had really gone into every dark corner and tried combinations of different types of pages interacting together and things. We had done a fair amount of testing, and we’re firm believers in behavior-driven development and testing and things, but we also didn’t want to postpone the launch for ever and ever until we were positive that everything was perfect. So there was a point on launch day where people would click a certain combination of steps and encounter a ‘We’re Sorry’ error. And we were behind the scenes fixing that.
There were some areas in the site, browser compatibility issues, just little CSS things that it didn’t look perfect in every browser, or something would wrap weird. You mentioned earlier that we’ve got a big attention to detail, and that’s accurate, so it just killed us to see this.
Travis: Oh yeah, it was crazy, the stress.
Andrew: I can imagine.
Travis: I can remember the day after launch, I was excited, but then I was just, ‘What did we get ourselves into?’ It worked, you know? There are customers here and they’re using it. And that’s another funny story. We had this off-shore team of these awesome help desk people. We launch on Thursday, and Friday is their Saturday, and we didn’t plan for that. So all of a sudden they’re all gone; we have one guy on staff and we’re wrapping up here at the office, and we’re, like, “Why do we have thousands of trouble tickets?”
We’re blown away; we’re, like, “What do we do?” We realize they’re all gone, and the next morning Kenny texted me, ‘We’ve got to take care of this.’ And so we all went over to Kenny’s house, got around his kitchen table, got as many computers as we could find, got neighbors and friends and we’re just going through trouble tickets, trying to get things moving. It was crazy.
Andrew: Wow. What kind of trouble was coming in? What kind of issues?
Travis: There was a lot of not just issues with the software, but questions on how to use it.
Kenny: Yeah, there’s people using it.
Travis: ”Oh, can I upload this type of video? Can I do this; can I do that?”
Travis: Since we did a launch we had thousands of people, and on launch day by the way we gave a 14-day free trial. So we had so many, just even just tire kickers in there.
Kenny: And they just wanted to know everything they could know, which is great. We just didn’t ramp up the way we thought we should have.
Andrew: So here’s what my audience I’m sure is wondering right now. How do you on launch day end up with that many potential customers? How do you do it?
Travis: It’s just the process.
Kenny: Go ahead, you tell it.
Andrew: Teach us, tell us me process as you’ve done it. Oh, we’ve got that tape on Travis’s mouth.
Travis: That was self-inflicted tape.
Travis: Yeah. So a couple things, I know that there’s lots of companies out there that have affiliate programs, but we firmly believe in it. We don’t want to just give, we want our affiliates to feel excited to push our product to their customers. And we realize we didn’t have a big list. We were building an e-mail list through this Tiger marketing campaign we did, you know, “when all the big guys use our software,” we were building a list. And we had a list of about 8,000 people on launch day, I believe, to tell, “Okay, we’re actually making this available to the public.”
But we offered our affiliates a 30 percent commission to go tell their lists of people. And in the Internet marketing community the software fit what so many people were looking for. So there were so many top affiliates that had lists of people who were hungry for this kind of software, that we coordinated, did it all. Instead of them just telling people different schedules we had it down to the day, I mean, down to the hour coordination.
Travis: We said, “We are launching this launch event, mail your lists.” And then all of a sudden . . .
Andrew: And you reached out to them individually. Because if I would reach out to all of these guys and say, “Mixergy is offering a brand-new this and that, mail it to your list.” They go, “Bug off, man; I got other people — I don’t know who you are!” Well, you guys are even less known at this stage; how did you get people to run you?
Kenny: That’s true.
Travis: We started the process weeks and weeks and weeks before the launch. Months before.
Kenny: Well, even months before the launch. We did these launches for all these big guys, we got to know the biggest guys in the space and we delivered awesome software and awesome design, so they got to experience it and go, “Wow, this is amazing. I’m going to tell everybody I know about this.” And then all their customers . . .
Andrew: You created membership sites for some of the top guys.
Kenny: That’s right.
Andrew: Before you launched it to the public you made sure it worked for them.
Travis: Yes, that’s correct. We did five customers . . .
Travis: We did five customers, big customers, and they had huge success.
Kenny: And we gave it to them; we didn’t charge them anything, but we said you are our guinea pigs and if it works for you guys everybody’s going to want it.
And the other thing we did to coordinate it — you were talking about if you’d try to do a launch like this — we set up an actual Kajabi portal for our affiliates ahead of time. So they were all there, we could communicate with them, we could give them assets, we could give them the launch schedule, and so it was very, very coordinated. It wasn’t like just the night before we called them and said can you send an e-mail to your list tomorrow.
Travis: It was a long process of relationship building. I think, Andrew, you have the perfect opportunity because you have this great content, you have all these connections, you have this membership stuff I’ve been seeing, and you could easily pull off the same thing.
Kenny: For sure.
Andrew: I want to know how you do it, and I am sure that a lot of people in my audience are in similar situations and they want to know too. So what I’ve got is, first of all, bringing Andy Jenkins in was a huge help. You reached out to him, you guys did free work for him. Did I understand that right?
Andrew: Like, free help?
Travis: Yes, we did free help and then we also got paid slightly for his launch, which helped us put more cash flow in the company.
Andrew: Paid for his lunch on Kajabi?
Travis: Correct, we got a very small fee, yes.
Andrew: The first thing you did was you saw that he needed tech support. You reached out to him, you said, “We can do it for you.”
Andrew: Through that you build a relationship with him and through that relationship he became the first person to run your site. The first person to pay for the product, and the first person and only person to put money in the business. Getting that person was critical and now I understand how you got him.
The second thing you did was, you said, “Andy Jenkins is great but he’s not the only person out there who can help us.”
Travis: That’s right.
Andrew: We’re going to go and find four, five other people who are going to launch on our platform. They’re going to give us feedback. It’s almost like we’re doing consulting work on their behalf. We launch for them, and then they have to, or we’re going to urge them to tell their people and give us a reputation so we can reach out to strangers and say, “Look, we did it for these guys, do it for us.” That helped.
Another thing that helped was having an affiliate program. I could see that that was important . You’re saying have a portal for your affiliates so they can talk to each other. I’m going to come back to why a portal’s important, but I want to write that down. And one day, one launch, that seems to be important. Am I right, Travis?
Travis: Yeah, yeah. It’s just like the iPhone. When the iPhone comes out we’re all so dang excited we go wait in line. You can do that with information products, that’s what the herbal guy did. He said he made more money in those five days than by having it open all year long, because the best he could do was a couple of sales a day versus all those sales in that amount of time. And the beauty is he now knows it so well he can scale it and do it every couple months.
Andrew: I see. And did you do what he did? I mean, collect those warm leads?
Andrew: How did you do it; how did you get the first people in there?
Travis: We had a launch where at first we had like a splash page for months saying we’re coming. And then ,obviously, we had Andy on our team, so Andy made these incredible videos that were so exciting and sexy, and people were, like, “Oh my gosh!” So they’re opting in, they’re learning about our software, they’re learning about what it does, which is good and bad because we already had all this buzz and build-up. And then it was like, people are begging to buy it which was great but it also created that tsunami of tickets that we weren’t ready for. It was awesome, it was like overnight everybody’s talking about Kajabi. Everybody is just in there. It was awesome.
Kenny: It shows how emotional it is. In one of the events before we opened the doors we had people in the comments mad at us. I mean, telling us off because they wanted to buy it right then.
Travis: I know, I want know. “Oh, I want it right now!” But it was all part of our process. It was like, ‘Yeah, you want an iPhone early? Too bad, you’ve got to wait two more days.’ You could do the same thing with info marketing.
Andrew: What I like about this is that you’ve used info marketing to sell software. I always want my audience to do stuff like that, to go to info marketing to learn about how to sell software. To go to offline marketers and find out what they’re doing right, and bring it back. Kind of like what you did when you were studying all those infomercials for fun.
Travis: Yeah, yeah.
Kenny: That’s right.
Andrew: So you did that, but what was the thing that you offered people in exchange for their contact information, and the ability to market to them?
Kenny: Our launch was a little bit different. We knew we had the tsunami behind us, and this wave we were riding, that we didn’t need to entice them for their e-mail address.
Travis: Yeah, that’s right.
Kenny: We already knew we had them so what we did is we just gave out free content, without asking for their e-mail address.
Travis: That is true.
Kenny: Our first launch event was just the video, getting them excited about, what was the content of that video?
Travis: It was almost like a TV commercial. It had all this animation and screenshots reminding them of the journey we just went through with these guys all along, Frank Kern, Jeff Walker, John Reese, Mike Filsaime, all these guys love launched on the system. Just reinforcing the story that, ‘Wow, these guys did it.’ And then the next video we made sure that they knew they could do the same thing.
Kenny: And on those pages we did have an opt-in, you know, an optional thing. If you’re interested, if you want us to tell when it’s available put your e-mail address here.
Travis: We had a free report, it was a PDF called ‘The Need for Nice,’ and it was this report that Colin Thoreau wrote for us, and it’s all about how nice sells. In Internet marketing, ugly has been what’s selling, the ugly sales pages, the long formats. And we brought sexy to it. We brought really nice design. And clean design makes consumers feel great. They’re at ease and they enjoy consuming the product.
Andrew: All right. I see so much here that I could learn from. Did you cookie the affiliates’ users when they sent them over? You didn’t.
Kenny: Yeah, of course.
Travis: Yeah, and we have this thing called gateway technology that Kenny and Brendan developed. It actually cookies them so that you won’t have to opt-in either again, because everything’s going through that funnel process. So during a launch you just opt-in one time and then you just come back and keep enjoying the content. In the past these guys would opt them in on everything and they would lose all kinds of users. I don’t know the exact stat, but it was a phenomenal amount of people that just wouldn’t come back.
Andrew: Okay. All right. So that’s why for a while there I remember seeing blog posts or maybe even e-mails about Kajabi, “What is could Kajabi?” I said. “What is this?” I clicked over, I went to the page I’m sure the first time I did it I was cookied, and if I bought, the person who cookied me got credit for it. All right, I get that.
Travis/Kenny: That’s correct.
Andrew Warner: All right. I get that, I understand how you used affiliates well. What about this portal? Why put affiliates into a portal where they can talk to each other?
Kenny: I think, and it’s still one of the visions of our company and something we’re executing today, is we could go out and we could try to pound the pavement and market ourselves. And we’re going to do a fair amount of that as well, but why not have a group of people that are excited to make money selling our product for us? And all we focus on is training them, giving them tools and resources to push our product. And so a portal’s a great way to do that. They’ve got their own info product in there. I mean, we give them news ahead of time when we’re releasing new features so they can write up blog posts about it and things like that. We give them sample banner images, and . . .
Andrew: Do you enable them to talk to each other?
Kenny: Yeah, definitely.
Travis: I was going to say, they’re able to share strategies, they’re able to partner with each other. There was people that, like, “Hey, I do design.” “Hey, I write copy, let’s do a blog post together.” And they were excited about that. I remember them saying, “We’ve never done this before!”
And see, the beauty is the system we use for our launch we’re building, like Kenny says, so everybody who uses Kajabi can have an affiliate portal for their info product.
Andrew: I see. So if they create a product they can have an affiliate portal just like you can, where their affiliates can talk to each other.
Travis: That’s right.
Andrew: Is there a danger though, that if you guys create a Kajabi affiliate portal, that I might say, “Hey, I want to compete with Kajabi. I see how much fun they’re having.”
Travis: Meeeow . . .
Andrew: I’m going to go into their portal and steal all their affiliates.
Kenny: Yes, and it happened. Well no, nobody stole our affiliates but people stole our designs, people stole our ideas. People were in our beta and watched everything and then made a competing WordPress plug-in. It happened many times actually. And it’s kind of flattering because, you know, “Go for it.” We’re pretty confident in what we’re doing but it was pretty frustrating to see. Like the button that I have in the system, this really nice orange button that converts really well — everybody’s copied that. I mean, you can get that thing free for everywhere. And it’s just, it’s just accepted in the Internet marketing space.
Andrew: I’ve got to steal that too. I don’t even know what that is, but it sounds great, a button that works that well.
Kenny: It’s all your, Andrew, you can have it for free.
Travis: It’s going to be on Mixergy tomorrow.
Kenny: But inside the portal they don’t share e-mail addresses. If they wanted they could talk.
Travis: And that’s fine. And a lot of them know each other; we don’t mind.
Andrew: Okay. I see that; I see this, I see this. I’m going through the whole thing here. You know what? I kind of wish we were doing these interviews live, still. I’d love some of my guys who have web apps to chat in with their URLs and have you guys take a look at it and have you tell them how they could apply your strategies on their businesses. I’ve got to get that back.
Travis: Let’s do it.
Andrew: I want your feedback for them.
Andrew Warner: Do you think this could work for others? Do you think that the person who is listening to us who has a web app who’s not targeting info product communities, or who’s not targeting online marketers could use your ideas?
Kenny: Yeah. Listen to this.
Travis: Oh, yeah. These are some of our customers.
Kenny: I wrote down a list of real customers just to show how diverse they are.
Travis: And this is so exciting for us. It just justifies that what we built is awesome. I see some of these Kajabi customers and I want to buy some of their products. It’s crazy, I get sucked in, like, “Oh, this is a great funnel, I want to buy this!”
Kenny: So I mentioned the herbal guy. We’ve got golf instructors, we’ve got somebody teaching how to coach youth baseball and how to get them to hit better. We’ve got martial arts instructors putting up videos of teaching different moves. We’ve got fitness people, weight loss people, spiritual stuff, health and wellness, and some lady teaching somebody how to play a Celtic drum.
Travis: Wait, wait you missed one.
Kenny: I skipped the best one.
Travis: Okay. You’ve heard of Think and Grow Rich, a great book, you need to read that. And there’s a lady out there who has Strip and Grow Rich, and we’ve seen in — Honey, I have not logged into it. But what it is, is it teaches a stripper about good business practices. It’s funny.
Andrew: Oh, she’s teaching strippers?
Andrew: I see.
Travis: It’s called Strip and Grow Rich. How to collect more tips.
Andrew: I got that. I don’t know why that I missed that she was targeting an audience of strippers. So she’s doing this and what she’s trying to do is get strippers to pay for access to her site.
Andrew: And on there she’s got content.
Kenny: Yes, on how to get better tips; how to get people to like you over the stripper on the pole next to you.
Travis: Just basically how to be a business person in that industry, and we’re like, “This is amazing, we would have never thought of that.’
Andrew: Tell me what these guys are doing well. Give me some of their tactics and let’s bring it to my audience.
Travis: Yeah. You know, they’re real. Every one I see that I love, and I always love good designs, when I see good design I like that. But I also love when they’re on there on video, and it’s a real person talking with their experience and being really open and transparent, I think those people are doing awesome.
Kenny: And a lot of times it’s not some big produced thing.
Kenny: I think people could get scared of that. Sometimes the content of their portal and the videos that they have is them standing in front of a whiteboard.
Travis: Yeah, yeah.
Kenny: And just, mistakes and all, just going for it, sharing knowledge. And that’s what Kajabi does well. It just lets you put raw knowledge up there, and people will pay for that.
Travis: That’s right. And we know that some of them have made six figures in these little industries.
Andrew: And you guys can see where their numbers are coming from, or can you?
Travis: No, the only thing we can do is kind of run reports on some of their usage, so there’s a lot of assumptions, but we have contacted some of them and we’re promoting . . .
Andrew: So you’re not processing their credit cards?
Travis: No. What we do is we plug into all the major shopping carts like PayPal and ClickBank. We actually are in the process of building our own cart which will be fully integrated, so it’ll all be a one-click process.
Andrew Warner: Why did you decide to charge a monthly fee and host people’s sites instead of creating software that they could install and that they would get to pay once and move on?
Kenny: Big question, lots of people ask us. And there’s so many reasons for it. One is that there’s a full-time team of awesome guys here that are monitoring this thing all the time.
Kenny: You know, there’s no updates to install for the end-user, nobody’s going to hack your pages.
Travis: You don’t have to download FTP software; you don’t have to unzip PHP code and connected to MySQL, all that’s gone.
Kenny: It’s really software as a service, meaning it’s continually improving. There’s people on Day One, on launch day, that started paying us, expecting what they were paying for at the time. And since then we’ve rolled out so many features it’s unbelievable.
Travis: Yeah, we’re constantly shocking them with the awesome stuff that we’re doing. Because we have so much passion about making it better, that by us having on our system we can continue to improve it on a regular basis.
Andrew: What about the benefit for you guys as a company, that you have continuous dependable revenue coming in?
Travis: Oh, sure, yeah. And as a startup, cash flow is everything to us. We focus on it; we’re looking at conversion rates on our site; we’re trying to keep our customers happy. To us, a customer that starts making money, that’s our goal. When they’re happy and they’re making money.
And a funny story about customers is, you know, we read the ‘Delivered Happiness’ book, awesome book about customer service. Kenny and I are awesome at customer service, we care about people, we always deliver what we say. But we found a lot of our agents were screwing up along the way and we didn’t know that at first, but then it started becoming obvious. And then just recently, I think in December, we found that Zappo’s actually bought Kajabi. They were going to use it for something, they didn’t know that we integrated with something, but we did! And our customer service agent didn’t know and they were really rude to them! And Zappo’s was really nice, they were, like, “Hey, please help us.” And we found the ticket and we were, like, “No!”
Kenny: The guys that wrote the book, literally, on delivering customer happiness, we blew their customer happiness.
Travis: We blew it on them.
Andrew: Oh, no way!
Travis: Yeah. So we actually want to fly out there to apologize personally.
Andrew: Oh, that’s open of you guys to admit that.
Travis: And we have a new guy starting and we’re focusing on that more and more is our customers, and then now we’re going to start coaching our customers, to really give them the Tiger Woods golf club, and show them how to hold it and how to swing.
Andrew: I know that we’ve run way beyond time here, especially because we had some tech issues. Coach my audience; what do they need to know if they’re going to sell something on a continuous basis, whether it’s going to be info products or software, like you guys? What are some of the common steps?
Travis: Step One is you’ve got to build a list. You’ve got to build a list of fans and followers. And the guy we talked about earlier, John Gallagher, he started it with just blogging. He would just blog about herbs, and he would get SEO traffic and people would start following him. And I think he had a newsletter at the time, and he started with a list of 2,500 people. So I mean, if you’re new to this you could start with a list of just your friends, people you know. And you create something awesome. You create that content that you’re passionate about and you give away your best stuff. Your best stuff is free, and you’re always delivering that value.
Andrew: Free, in exchange for signing up for the list.
Travis: That’s correct. And for building that relationship, and that trust, and that authority. And then over time as you build that list and you build that trust, you can start surveying them and get an idea of what they need in that space.
Kenny: A perfect example, the list isn’t some tool to spam with.
Kenny: You have literally, the people who have these good lists have a rapport with their list.
Travis: That’s right.
Kenny: The people on their list look up to them and want to hear what they have to say. And this herb guy, John Gallagher, his list is so bit now, he was telling us that he’s not trying to create a product, like, “How do I make money?” He wants to say, “Hey, how can I provide value to my list?” So he’ll survey his list and say, “What do you want to learn about herbs?” They said they wanted to learn how to cook with herbs, so he said okay, created a product for that and marketed it to his list, and gave them exactly what they wanted.
Andrew: Okay. Lists, freebies, survey to find out what to create, you’ve surveyed, you now know what to create. What’s the next step?
Travis: That’s right. And then you want to start connecting with other people in your space. You want to build that affiliate relationship. And you’re going to do that obviously by just paying them a commission. John was telling us that he pays, it’s not a huge commission, but people are still blown away that they can blog about his stuff, and get it and love it, and then they make some money. It’s just really a win-win for those people.
Andrew: Okay. Connect with affiliates. What’s next?
Travis: When you’re ready and you think you have enough buzz and you have enough content you do a launch. And you do a launch by developing a digital product, which Kajabi does great, and then building that funnel of the launch. And the funnel for the launch is either a series of posts, or it’s just one post and then you’re going to squeeze their e-mail and deliver that free content and get them hyped up. And then maybe on the second or third post it’s going to be your video, and show them what they’re going to get. And say, “For $19 I’m going to give you this ‘How to Throw a 90 MPH Fastball.’ I’m committing to you.” It’s just a sales pitch basically.
Kenny: And you might wonder, well, if they’re already on your list why during the launch are you squeezing them for their e-mail?
Travis: That’s right.
Kenny: That’s a key point, is you consider your list, maybe like a warm list, but you want to get a hot list.
Travis: A hot list.
Kenny: You want people; you know, just a small segment of your initial warm list is going to really join again during your launch.
Travis: Yeah, and you even tell them in the footer: Hey, if you’re not interested in this just opt out, you’ll still get my newsletter about herbs but if you don’t want to buy the herbal remedy, just opt out.
Andrew: Gotcha. So you create a second list that’s completely targeted towards this upcoming launch.
Kenny: That’s right.
Andrew: And the way you get these people to give you that e-mail address is by offering a video or a guide or just telling them, “You’ll be one of the first people to know when I launch.”
Travis: That’s right.
Andrew: So you get the e-mail address; you launch with one day it sounds like.
Travis: You either start on one day or you’re open for a period of time, that’s typically.
Travis: Because a lot of these, especially with John’s, he had to put scarcity in there. It wasn’t a false scarcity thing. He actually only had so much room because there was a lot of live coaching, there was a lot of live calls, and he wanted to go to a certain point. So when you have a scarcity, of like, ‘I’m only going to do 100 of these,’ it’s pretty amazing, like, if they only had 100 iPhones they’d sell them in seconds.
Andrew: Okay. And what about afterwards? What do you do to make sure that once they’ve paid for that launch that they’re really happy?
Kenny: That’s a big part. And I think that’s where the Internet marketing community, not in general, has failed in the past. They are looking for the sale and they just want the dollars. And we always say that they’re like miners instead of farmers.
Travis: That’s right.
Kenny: They’re just looking for the payoff, the flash in the pan guys. The guys who are really going to succeed will have a membership portal, and then when people buy they deliver even more awesome stuff that they did during the launch.
Travis: Yeah, like when Andy and Frank and all those guys did it, you’ve really got to treat this as a business. A farmer takes a small little seed and they plant it and they put water on it, and sometimes it takes three years before it produces really solid fruit. So you’ve got to be committed to your idea and really go for it and nurture it. And when it’s ready, harvest, and sometimes you’ll be shocked at what you’ll harvest.
Kenny: A practical way people are doing this with Kajabi is interacting with the customers who just purchased in the portal.
Travis: That’s right.
Kenny: So don’t just let them buy, take their money, and then they can just download some faceless videos. But there’s comments on every single post, optionally, with Kajabi. But people are going to be so excited to be in. You know, you have a welcome post, so the first thing they see if maybe a welcome video you did, and they get so excited and they comment, ‘Oh, I’m so happy to be in here! I’m excited for this course to begin.’ And the course creator should be in there commenting to every single person, talking to them and letting them know it’s real, and really just helping answer the questions along the way.
Andrew: I saw that, and I was surprised that paid members had what looked like blog posts, but obviously it was premium content and so on, and they were interacting with each other. I haven’t seen that before, but I obviously don’t know the space as well as other people. I guess you guys showed me Andy Jenkins’s stuff? His video course, you walked me through that, his site?
Travis: Yeah, that’s right.
Kenny: That was the one, and yeah, you see members helping members. And so for a while there at the beginning Andy was answering everybody’s questions, but now somebody goes into the portal and asks a question about a certain video camera, you know, one of the other customers is answering that question.
Travis: Which is the beauty of what we’ve built. You build this community of passionate people about something; let’s say it’s herbs. Not only does John, the owner of that site, go in there and interact, but he can also pick out all-stars, people that are also great and they have great knowledge. He can upgrade them to comment moderators, and pretty soon you’re site is going and creating content on its own, and you’re taking a week off and hanging out with your kids. It’s very powerful how big and interactive it can get.
Andrew: Hey, by the way, I think the only issue you and I had around scheduling an interview was around your kids, that, what’s the holiday? I don’t have kids so I don’t know; so what is it?
Kenny: I think we were worried it was going to fall on Spring Break.
Andrew: So when is Spring Break; in the future?
Travis: We just had it, so it worked out well. I think when we talked to you in the past we were worried, because Kenny and I are very, we’re focused on our families.
Andrew: That’s what I was going to get to.
Andrew: How many hours a week, considering the fact that you’re just recently launched, how many hours a week are you guys in the office?
Travis: Right now we’re at very normal hours. We’ve stabilized a lot, so we’re working maybe nine hours, eight hours in the office. We’re always available in the evening’s monitoring things. And we have a staff that monitors 24-hours a day. But there was times when we launched, like, when I had a full-time job I followed the Gary Vaynerchuk theory of “Quit F-in watching Lost!” And I love Lost. And I would work all day and I would come home and I would work until 3:00 in the morning. And I would see my kids and have dinner and I would just hustle and bust . . .
Travis: And we followed that for a long time, but we don’t want to stay in that habit, because our kids are our priority.
Andrew: How many kids do you guys have?
Travis: I have two boys, Kyle and Connor.
Kenny: And I’ve got three: Josiah, Noah, and Jonah. So the guys make fun of me because it’s baseball season now and two of my three are playing baseball and I’m helping coach and everything, so I’m leaving early almost every day, it seems like, to go coach a game or practice. But that’s something that’s important to me, and I want to keep doing that, regardless.
Travis: Because it brings balance, too. It allows us to hustle hard when we need to, and we’re not burned out all the time. It’s just something. We like to keep balance in our lives, even though we’re crazy passionate about this and I think about it all the time, we’re always texting each other or calling each other and talking through things.
Andrew: Well this is, I’m excited because it’s an exciting story. Congratulations on having accomplished so much in such a short period of time.
Kenny: Thank you very much.
Travis: Awesome.Thank you for having us.
Travis: This has been great.
Andrew: You bet. The website is Kajabi — what does Kajabi mean?
Travis: Kajabi means to take flight. It’s an old Aboriginal word. I used to work in a summer camp, and there’s a game called Kajabi Can-Can, and I loved that name. I thought this is the best name. Probably 8 years ago I bought it, Kajabi.com. Then we just learned what it meant maybe two years ago. We’re, like, “This is it; this is going to be the name of the company.”
Kenny: Totally fits.
Andrew: Easy to spell too. Kajabi.com is the website. Guys, thanks for doing the interview.
Kenny: Thanks Andrew.
Andrew: Cool. Thank you all for watching.