April 27, 2023

I'm answering listener questions

I'm answering listener questions

Today Greg is answering burning questions from the audience. 

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Greg: Hey everyone. Welcome. So I'm trying something new. This is a solo pod. I went to Twitter and I said my podcast canceled. I'm doing the pod solo. This am, what do you want to hear about me or about our businesses? Like Checkout Please, which is our community holding company, boring marketing.com, which is an SEO slash AI business.

You probably need a robot.com, which is our AI Productivity Community Dispatch Design, which is our, uh, design subscription and brand kitchen, which is a new one. And I got some questions. So this is gonna be, uh, just me going through them and I think you're gonna get a lot out of it cuz you'll get to peek into my brain into real time, So, Zt. C. So says, I'm thinking of launching something similar to dispatch. Would love to hear your thoughts on productized design. So the way dispatch works is, uh, you pay a monthly fee and you get, unlimited design. Uh, so that could be decks, websites, apps. You just. Put it in there. Uh, instead of hiring a design team or a full-time designer, um, we started, charging $5,000 a month.

By the time this is live, that price might be increased. but my thoughts in general on productized design is I think it's only gonna get more and more popular, um, especially as, companies try to reduce costs. but. You know, want to maintain output, right? They need products delivered, they need social posts, they need, they need assets.

Um, so I think that's one trend of like, we want to cut costs, therefore we're gonna use something like dispatch. and I think the other trend is really just. The, the bar for design products, highly designed products is getting higher and higher. And I think people are realizing that not only is design important, just like from a warm and fuzzy feeling perspective, but it actually drives conversions.

So, um, having a good high quality design partner, I think, uh, makes a difference. So product ice design only getting bigger. Um, boring marketer asked me my favorite food, probably pizza, my top craters. Um, some of my favorite craters. There's a YouTuber named Passport Heavy. Um, he does these like, honestly pretty long, 30, 60, 90 minute, travel reviews.

But feels like just. Like, it feels like you're on the trip. And so I really, really like how his perspective, I've been following him for a while. He's gotten, he's gotten big now, but um, still kind of pretty, pretty underrated. Um, something exciting I'm doing this summer, I'm actually, if you're watching this on YouTube, you can, you can kind of see like the wood behind me in the fireplace.

I'm, I just landed at at my, house in the woods, in the mountains in Quebec. And so there's something exciting I'm doing this summer is just spending more time here. reading books, podcasts, being in a place where it's peaceful. So, last summer, you know, I was in Europe. It was very exciting, got to meet a lot of cool people, did a, you know, saw a lot of cool things.

And this summer I'm excited to do the opposite. To sort of be, uh, in my peaceful, happy place. And, very cleansing for the soul. Um, Antonio Nev says, I would think it would be dope to hear some of your personal community of dudes what they provide you with the importance of airplane mode, and even in our digital world, how critical and valuable face-to-face time is with your brothers.

Not a sexy topic, but important. good question. So my personal community of dudes, um, I would say I ha I've got like a few, two, three, maybe four small groups of friends. Uh, four or five people. Three, four people. Each and I, you know, I've got these group chats with them and we all kind of check in with each other almost daily.

So, because I've lived in a lot of places, San Francisco and New York and Montreal and other places, Miami. Um, I do have a few different groups, but, um, I will say that Covid like, it really reminded me how like important it is to have these groups of friends and I actually got closer with my friends I grew up with, so I got closer with my friends I grew up with, uh, at, you know, during C O V D and, and also just like leaving New York and San Francisco realizing that, you know, those places.

And I might get hate for this, but they're pretty transactional places overall. Um, at least from what I'm used to. And I think that you can have a lot of friends there and feel like they're friends, but like there's a lot of other reasons why those people are friends with you. So that was a huge lesson learned in my twenties, which is, You know, you could have a lot of, you know, deep friendships in places like New York and San Francisco and these big cities, you know, insert big city here, Hong Kong, London, whatever.

But a lot of the time, they're shallow or there's a reason why those people, uh, those people are friends with you. Um, the importance of airplane mode. So I, I've written about this, you know, going for dinner, put your phone on airplane mode. Um, I'm on d n D mode, like 90% of my time, and I can tell you what a massive productivity unlock.

It's been just being you know, not being pushed around by push notifications, but also just like life unlock. It is so I can't. I can tell you how important putting airplane mode is, uh, especially when you're breaking bread with a friend. or you're, you just want to beat in the, in the moment.

Um, and then face-to-face time with your brothers. Like, it's important. Um, it's really important, like you can't just be in the group chat. You have to. make the effort. You know, I'm flying to Toronto, uh, in a couple weeks and like one of the reasons I'm going to Toronto is like hanging with, you know, this group of friends that I grew up with.

So, you gotta make the effort really, really important. Um, Aaron Batchelder says, I'd love to hear about, you probably need a robot. I have an idea for a community and I've been curious about how the heck you built it so quickly. What role do you play in it? Your future vision for it, et cetera. So for those of you who don't know, you probably need a robot.com.

was a crazy story. I started it about 50 days ago , from a tweet. I was like, Hey, would anyone be interested if I created a free community for, people interested in AI and productivity, like press tweet. Didn't think much of it. Went to make a coffee, come back 10 minutes later, hundreds of likes, hundreds of replies.

I like scrambled, made a type form. I was like, oh man, this is gonna be something. Made the type form to capture some of that, uh, demand. Um, asked a few questions, um, about what they wanted to see in the community, in the Typeform so I can learn how to cr, you know, how to create and design the community. Um, Fast forward to today.

it's a thriving community. Tens of thousands of people are in it. Uh, we added a newsletter, so now I think we have 55,000 plus people who subscribe to the newsletter. Um, people are loving it and how I built it so quickly is, you know, I leverage my own audience. Um, when I first tweeted it, there just wasn't that many communities.

So, uh, timing played a role into it. I think brand played a huge role into it. If you go to, you probably need a robot.com. Like there's these little like robot characters, and it's, it's, they're, they're super cute. And I think like a lot of people saw that and they're like, wow. Like these people actually like invested in brand and aren't just, you know, it's not just like a beehive or a sub.

and, and that's actually why I tweeted out, uh, yesterday, uh, this framework that I use that I came up with called. The t-shirt test, it's actually something we use that late checkout. The t-shirt test is a powerful metric for your brand success. The question is, will your customers proudly wear your company logo on a t-shirt out on a Saturday night?

If your company isn't selling at a merch, it isn't a brand. And then I tweeted about, uh, the merch meth method, which we use when you're thinking about moving from a business to a brand. So I'll, I'll. Just explain it to you. Um, so what is the merch method? Uh, meaningful design merchandise that reflects your brand personality and, and values.

This resonates with your customers and, and will encourage them to wear it. Exclusive offer, limited edition, or unique design merch. To create a sense of exclusivity, reach, leverage. Micro influencers, aka I was like the micro influencer here and creators in your niche to amplify and add credibility.

Community. Encourage customers to share their stories and experiences with your brand. This fosters a sense of belonging and holistic. Integrate your merch strategy into your overall marketing plan, reinforcing your brand's message and identity. So going back to your question, it's like how did you build it so quickly?

I think it was that mix of like essentially partnering with a creator, me. And building brand and being very conscious about that. And um, by the way, I'm sure you'll see merch for you probably need a robot soon. Um, what role did I play in it? very active role, you know, came up with the idea, was like the creative director on it.

Um, the vision for it, you know, we launched an agency around it. So you can check that out. You probably need a robot.com/agency, uh, helping companies figure out AI and automation, and that's going well. my future vision for it is there's a lot we can build with around it. Like, you know, it could be we build AI products.

It could be, you know, we're building SaaS products. It could be we're building, you know, courses and education. So we've got a lot of ideas and we're having an offsite in a couple weeks where we're gonna. discuss it. And I think like sometimes when you're a bit overloaded with what to do, like sometimes you just need to get everyone in a room, be in person, and don't leave the room, uh, until, until you figure it out.

A day in the life of both you and your companies in as much detail as possible. Okay, so Ahan asked that question. I wake up really early. Not because I like want to wake up early, frankly, it's just cuz like I wake up and I just like, have a ton of adrenaline hits me and I'm like, it's like five in the morning or six or even so sometimes it's like between four and six in the morning I wake up and I wanna get the day started.

I grab a glass of water, usually chug it, uh, while I'm brewing coffee. I love coffee so much. make a coffee. That's when I like, do, like in the early mornings is when I do my content. So I'm writing my weekly blog post on my ck I'm writing a tweet or two, I'm entering people. but it's mostly deep work around writing in the morning.

Then when people are getting up and the, you know, our teams are, are coming online in, in the morning, I'm starting to just, you know, connect with the different leads. You know, the way the way our business is structured is cuz we have a lot of, companies that we, that we run, you know, late checkout is a company of companies.

it's just really checking in with the different leads and trying to see how I can be helpful. So I really just spend, you know, nine to five trying to be helpful to, uh, the leads. Um, I spend Four to nine or six to nine writing content. and then yeah, after five, like, it's, it's me time. you know, there's this perception that you need to work 20 hours a day or you but I don't think that's true.

I think that, you know, someone once told me if someone who I really respect, uh, You know, almost billionaire actually, uh, once told me, if you can't get your work done between nine and six, chances are you're not doing your work well. So, I try to do my work from nine to five and I do some writing before to help clarify my thoughts.

And, and that's, I drink some coffee in between and, sometimes I'll do like a midday workout or steam and sauna, and that's, that's my day. Um, So, okay, someone asked Julian DeVito Brand Kitchen. How do you figure out what products to launch with creators? How do you validate it? So Brand Kitchen is something new Brand Kitchen Studio.

It's basically we're partnering with creators that have at least a million followers and we're building product studios with them and products with them. We've actually done this with late checkout, our agency. So we've worked with some large creators to, to build products. And it's great getting paid to, to do that.

Um, but after seeing what, you know, we have such an exceptional team, you know, it's kind of like, well, I'd rather own equity, versus sit, you know, building. a top creator's product, seeing it sore and realizing that we were a lot of the, design and brand and community thinking behind it. So that, that's the reason why we started Brand Kitchen.

Uh, more to come soon. I'll talk more about it soon. I'll talk more about it on the pod. Parker Curry asked would be cool to hear how you found going from startup life to agency life. So, on one hand I love this question because like, I've got a lot of thoughts here. On, on the other hand, uh, on the other hand, I hate this question cuz like, I still feel like I'm building startups.

I don't like consider myself a agency guide, but then again, I own a bunch of agencies, so I hear you. Um, going to agency life, It's a lot less stressful than running a venture backed startup. Um, I think if you raise venture capital for your startup, you just, you enter this treadmill and it just goes faster and faster and faster and faster and faster.

Faster. And agency life is kind of like you're on a treadmill, but you're just walking, you know, you're walking at a brisk pace. And of course there's challenges that exist in agency life. Like there's ups and there's downs, certain companies or or agencies will get a lot busier than others and you have to manage that.

But overall, I just enjoy the pace of agency life a lot better. And that being said, like, like even with, you probably need a robot. Like I wouldn't be surprised if we build or you see like AI products built, Around that, community. So we're still building startups. So I've got this mix of I'm, we're building agencies, but we're also building startups.

Um, Sharan asks would be cool to know, how are you balancing these multiple projects? This is a, this is a good question. So, my belief is that if you're running a product studio, it's really, really, which, what we're, which, what we're doing, like late checkout is a product studio. We launch multiple companies per year.

It's really difficult, or one of the most difficult parts about it is that you can work on anything. You literally could wake up and work on anything. It's not like you're a startup and you're, you know, you're building a social networking app and then you're like, oh, you know, let's go build like a chat feature or a photo feature or video feature.

Like you have a lane in startups versus in product studio you have a highway. It's, you have just so much more, so many more lanes. The difficult part about that is when you can work on anything, you, you end up potentially getting shiny object syndrome, launching a bunch of different things, and then you don't give enough focus to the, the, the projects that either need the love and you gotta give it love or the projects that are working and you really just need to double down on it.

So have been running late checkup for three years now, and I think the first couple years we were bad at just like we would just launch so many things, but like many people with 2022, the recession hitting, we kind of like focused a lot more and now we're, we're just like, okay, we're gonna launch like these, like four companies and we're just gonna really focus on them.

So, How am I balancing it? Uh, launching less and then focusing on it.

Chandler Scott asked, really curious to see how you build your audiences and launch these agencies. Yeah, so with every, Product we launch. Sometimes, uh, we launch an agency. Sometimes we'll launch a product, but we always start with an audience and we sometimes start with a community.

In the case, if you probably need a robot, we just started with the community and then we started building the audience. With the case of boring marketing, we actually started a Twitter account called At Boring Marketer, which over the last, like, I don't know, 60 days has gone up to 17,000 followers.

And Boring Marketer is just an ano, you know, an anonymous face. Like, go check it out. Go follow it. And it's a, you know, if you look at the bio, it's like boring marketing advice that brings you profit anonymous, so I can be a hundred percent honest, drove 600 million visitors last year and a billion in organic revenue follow along and that, and it's just crushing it.

So how do I think about, uh, building these audiences is how do we stand out? How do we build something that is different than what other people are doing? Uh, like for example, with. Dispatch at dispatch design, like we just tweeted, about this like McDonald's logo. It says like, happy Father's Day. And it's, it's like a hamburger bun.

And the hamburger bun looks like, you know, your dad's bald head with like the sesame seeds as like the freckles. So we'll tweet stuff like that. And I think it's really important for us to have like media and audiences and communities at the core of any of the products or agencies that we launch.

That's a part of our strategy. All right. And there you have it. Those were the top questions. Uh, this week where it happens. Question and answer segment. If you like this, I'll do this again. you know, I don't have ads on this podcast. so would really appreciate if you subscribe to the YouTube. so go ahead and if you're listening to this on Spotify or Apple, go to YouTube.

Subscribe on YouTube. It's actually like kind of a, a great experience on YouTube cuz there's different visuals. And if you're more of like a on the Go listener on Spotify and podcast, all good. Um, but share, share this podcast out with your friends. Um, hopefully this was valuable to you. that's my goal here is just to, to drive value for you whatever it is you're building.

so thank you so much for listening And, uh, that's a wrap. See you next time.