Andrew Warner: Hey there, freedom fighter. I’m Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they started their business. Today’s guest is a Mixergy listener who was inspired by interviews like the one you will be listening to and then decided that I would start my own software company before blogging. He was teaching online, but when he decided to do software, he saw this opportunity and I felt that your life had changed.
Am I right? I love the accent. When I had kids, I was one of my favorite places. I couldn’t just get on a plane and go to Paris and sit in a cafe for about five hours. And I, so I miss being able to do that, you still do it as a Frenchman in Paris. Do you sit in a cafe for hours? Okay.
Aurelien Amacker: Yes. And I saw this on Twitter and sent you a message and tried to give you some advice and things I would like to take. So, yes, I’m from Paris. Uh, it’s a great city to visit, but it’s actually a pretty bad place to live. I’m very happy now because people are rude. Uh, it’s very expensive if it’s bad.
Uh, it’s actually just the opposite of a cop.
Andrew Warner: Yes. I found the people in Lisbon incredibly nice. It has many advantages from Paris. As if you could sit in a cafe for a long time if you want. I’m looking for places to sit and work and think, and then it’s incredibly cheap and the weather is nice. Correct?
Aurelien Amacker: 200 meters away from us for about six months. But now it’s a great country, very happy to be here. Uh, very sure, great people. It’s really, really nice.
Andrew Warner: And when he does, he has this package, a complete solution for everything you need to create a landing page. This collects email addresses to offer an initial sale, an upsell, a downsell. If you have people’s email addresses, you don’t need to share their email addresses with another email app.
He lets you send emails from his software. And am I right? You do affiliate programs too, don’t you? All in all, he built this company, booted it up and we’ll find out how well it worked and why it worked well. Many thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. The first thing is when you have to hire developers, when you’re inspired by it and you say I have to grow, I have to build something and you need a developer. I urge you to go to top talent.com/mixergy where you can find the best developers.
And number two, there is a podcast that I urge you to check out. After this interview is completed, it will be referred to as traffic secrets. Completely open.
Aurelien Amacker: We will generate sales of almost three million euros, GCs of around 3 million euros.
Andrew Warner: Give me monthly. And in the last month, June, June 2020, roughly what did you do?
Aurelien Amacker: I checked this morning. Uh, we made $ 260,000 in sales, so it’s two $ 80 to $ 90,000.
Andrew Warner: But then you can’t keep it all. Correct. Much of it goes to affiliates. Does that work?
Aurelien Amacker: But then you have the European, you know,
Andrew Warner: After paying excise duty, after paying your affiliates, how much do you own?
Aurelien Amacker: 50 to 60,000 euros profit. So it’s great. My goal is to make a profit of a hundred thousand euros a month. I mean, I’m 40, you know, we can talk about it. I have made some investments in my life. I own some real estate and stuff, but today we want to buy a big house with my life here and they’re not cheap, you know?
So yes. I have some personal goals.
Andrew Warner: What type of property investments have you made so far?
Aurelien Amacker: So I started not so young, actually I bought an apartment from young friends in 2014, you know, it’s the second largest city in France. So it was really like an investment. So we renovated it, rented it out to students. So it’s an investment. The same year I bought a small apartment in Colombia because my wife is Colombian.
So, um, and we actually lived in Colombia at the time. So I wanted to make an investment. And then when we arrived we were in Leesburg. So that was the following year. So there was a lot of shopping, you know, I wasn’t that far, but yes, it went well. My goal was to actually make an investment within a year of our arrival in Lisbon because I love the city so much. I thought it was undervalued. There was. A huge potential. And not even 60 after we arrived we bought an apartment that cost us. We renovated 155,000 euros and rented them out to students and Airbnb. That brought almost 2000 euros in sales per month.
So like a 14% yield, you know
Andrew Warner: See how far you have come. This is completely right. You have all these investments and your business is growing enormously. You know that it has grown enormously quickly this year. Um, and we’ll talk a little bit about why COBIT helped you grow, but I keep thinking about where you were 10 years ago, 10 years ago, you just got a job offer.
What was the job offer?
Aurelien Amacker:, a job offer for a similar sales position, because I think it was like a software company. Uh, and the idea was that after a couple of years I should go to Chicago to work, but at that time I actually had a blog about personal development that nobody read.
If I had 10 visitors a day, I would drink champagne, you know? Um, I read about personal development and the step that nobody bothered about the lack. At that time I even published one thing, cake recipes. I will be with you one hundred percent. and I followed these guys, his friends, there are bloggers who didn’t earn much, but made about 500 to a thousand euros a month, uh, mostly ads like sponsored liens.
Sponsor Post, Google AdSense, this is what these people actually did. And I made one of them. She called me sister. Yes. Today it is quite big, it is one of the largest marketers on the French market and we had lunch. And I thought: Oh, that’s what I want to do. And give me some advice, like some, as you know, websites to register, post ads, and get paid.
And, um, yes, well, I was about to finish with a job offer. Oh, I want 50,000 euros a year. And that the wife of HR young woman, she was great. She called me at night. She said yes, I had the answer from the two founders.
Andrew Warner: So they gave you the number, the amount you wanted, and you rejected it because you met this blogger who makes more money than you and you started to see the possibility of what you could grow into . I’m right? What do you think?
Aurelien Amacker: If I can earn 1000 euros per month and 2000 euros per month, I am free. No, I can go to Thailand and live on the beach. You know, that was my idea. I was 30 years old. I thought I didn’t want to go back to a corporate job. . The story is funny because I bought a secret manual that I pay like a euro or two. And the title was how to make more money. And there were two main pieces of advice in the book. The first advice was to learn English because everyone, every fool, can do it. And at that point I couldn’t speak a word of English.
So I started learning English myself. And the second advice was, if you have a position like a technician or an engineer, move on to evaluating the position because you can make more money. So I quit my job and got another job as a certified person for a nightgown service company. And I worked like crazy.
I bought a suit, you know, I had my scooter, I went to the bank and did the meetings, but oh my god, it just didn’t work. I worked a lot to make appointments. I made a few sales, but that just let me go. It was a relief. And then I went, so when I, when I did this job, we were kind of a fermenting engineer, you know, for big banks, for IOT projects.
But I was on the director’s side and I saw them talking about the engineers. It was like: Oh, we have. It’s 45. So you have to find him a job. And I thought, what’s wrong with jumping here? You know what I mean? Um, um, he’s 45, so he has about 20 years to keep working and get a full pension.
And they said: Oh, but you know, after 45 they can’t get a job. I thought hey, I don’t wanna be a business here later.
Andrew Warner: Yes, you don’t want someone to look at you a few years later and say they are 45. Roger that. And so you said I see a way to live in Thailand if I want to. I have the freedom to do what I want. And to know you a bit now. I feel like you also like the ability to continue to improve and grow based on your personal appetite.
Everyone read a book to learn how to grow in business. The book says: If you’re an engineer, switch to sales, and if you don’t speak English, you’ll learn English. And he learns English, this guy wants the freedom to improve whenever he wants. Well. So you said I’m going back to my blog.
Aurelien Amacker: Yes. Yes totally. Of course I made $ 82 and it’s funny, you know, because at that time I had a friend who, I mean, is a very smart guy, like a guy from Lebanon. Uh, engineer speaks four languages, super smart people. And when I told him that I had earned 82 euros, he couldn’t but laugh. And me then because Fran said: Oh, you work a month and earned 82 euros.
But I thought yes, but if I went from zero to 82 years, maybe next month, you know, I’m going to do more and more.
And I don’t care. I am
Andrew Warner: What did you do to get your first 82 euros?
Aurelien Amacker: So I actually counted like the money I got from the websites I worked with to get some sponsorship and stuff like that, Indians. I don’t even know if I have this money, you know?
Andrew Warner: You just knew you deserved it, but you don’t know if this was when the websites paid it out because they were, at the time there were websites that wrote sponsored posts. Did you do that where someone would pay you money and then write a blog post? And now in retrospect, what they were doing, SEO fraud, was correct.
Or they did SEO and pumped. They wanted someone to write an article to get the link, and then Google sees them as authoritative. Yes,
I did not understand that. That’s what this whole business was about until much later.
Let’s take it a little slower and then we come to the system.
Aurelien Amacker: Yes. So, so I’m going to learn how to make more money with it, um, you know, as I increased my traffic, I actually started building my email list. I was around, I think it was like May 2010. So I went in with a weaver and it’s funny because I want to start spending $ 19 a month in my mind. It was like a big step. Yes. And I actually promoted a guy. Of course he said in a webinar and I made a sale. So I got a few hundred euros for the ads and the ads. So yes, I made a thousand euros in just one month. And then I thought, okay, what’s the next step? And I actually found out that there was a guy who, one of the bloggers I followed, got started.
Uh, it started like an online course on how to start a business and how to become an entrepreneur. Yes. And he had earned just over a hundred thousand euros in SAS. And to me it was like gorgeous money. As if I couldn’t believe it. And then I found out that he was actually another guy he had started and.
It’s funny, but I met these two guys because we were part of the street teacup community in France. Uh, you know, the dating niche, like, um, yes, the idea that I wasn’t a coach. You know, I read on the forums blogs and said it was like working as an employee and when I left work it was like it was. Oh yeah. Yes i would say i mean i wasn’t like a virgin or anything but i always wanted more when it came to relationships and i found this website and it’s crazy. It’s like a kid in a candy store. I thought Whoa, I can’t believe it’s true. And that’s how I studied. I started going out, I consolidated, I took my car, went to Paris and walked all day, sometimes alone, sometimes with some friends and just,
Talk to women, get phone numbers, and then call back. And,
um, but then I was like meeting women, you know, online websites, um, night clubs, um, colleagues. I mean, it was a, yes. I’m sorry for what I actually know, no, not really the total. So I did the numbers, you know, maybe I’m an analytical guy. And I found out that I was, I had one, I had funny numbers like from, so I spoke, I think too. I do not remember. I was talking about maybe 20 or 30 women and I got 10 phone numbers and from those 10 phone numbers I would get two days out of these two days that I would get, um,
go out with one
Andrew Warner: You basically turned it into a numbers game that I didn’t read on purpose, Neil Strauss’ game, which was a mixer
he had like a bag of magic tricks that he would keep a little belly to himself. Correct. You are laughing at a notebook. So I didn’t do any of it. And I purposely didn’t read it until I met him.
I will say that. What worked for me was to commit to talking to five groups of women at least every night and not going home and not ending the day until I did. And if I were in LA. The possibilities were there and then it didn’t matter what I would do to say something would come up and no pressure.
I’m not trying to get a date or anything. I have a conversation right now. If, of course, it leads us to continue doing this somewhere else. Great. And then sometimes I would just take her to a party and we would become friends. Sometimes introduce them to a friend of mine. Sometimes nothing happened.
Absolutely OK. No pressure. Just focus on pushing me to speak to at least five different groups of women. This is
It seems that it worked for you too. If you went to 10. I love that, I love the idea of self-improvement that you could take a concept you could get stuck with for what I was and then come up with a simple concept and bring it out and see it work.
And then maybe another concept and another concept. And you also feel a sense of power over the rest of your life instead of helplessness, don’t you?
Aurelien Amacker: Yes, exactly Andrew, but you know what actually happened because I discovered this as a niche and started reading the books that were recommended. So I read how to find friends, how to make friends. Yes, great book. You know, I read it and I read influenced by Shalini too.
And you know, the funny thing is at the time, so I was still an employee and I had a problem with a colleague that I couldn’t really access the resources for. I couldn’t do my job and the guy who used to be a friend, but then he got angry or something and I started using the technique. And oh my god, it works so well.
. So some very simple things. I remember walking past his desk. I thought: Hey, what are you doing? And I somehow, he was surprised. It was like: Oh, I’m listening to him closely.
You know how to learn some very simple things, but how not immediately, but gradually we learn because everyone likes to vote when someone listens to you, you know, and, um, has a certain interest in you and other things. But then, you know, I thought, look, if I could get this result just by reading two books, I could get so much more. So I kept reading books about self improvement, um, business and
Andrew Warner: What is good that we may not have heard of?
Aurelien Amacker: There are so many, so I know that I’ve read Mark Manson’s, the subtle art of not giving an F like. Um, um, like four years ago, a few years ago, when I was a little bit in my, my, my business. And uh, the big advantage of the book is that it’s okay. Not to feel. Okay.
Andrew Warner: I should just go back and get it again because I saw it on the best sites, not just on basement lists, but not audible, or Amazon released a list of books that people actually read through and how to make friends wins and influenced people was there. And that’s the way it is with this book. Let me take a moment.
Talk about my first sponsor. I’ve been thinking that this first sponsor is traffic. I wondered if I should give the name of this guy or not. When I started Mixergy there was another man. I don’t know if he came after me or before me, I didn’t know anything about him, but he also did interviews like me.
His site was developed as I hoped my site would be after I started. I said I know what I want, now that I’ve seen the page, there was, um, and then he just stopped his sight. Never started, never got the name recognition that I personally have, but also for Mixergy. And I can’t say that his job was bad. I heard it.
Um, I think I do more research and prepare better for the guests. He was too surprised by what the guests said, which told me that he didn’t even have the basics, but the gasoline was so good it didn’t matter. when you get the founder of LinkedIn on.
He’ll be good, no matter what, he rejected me by the way. And although I was introduced by a friend and told to contact him through LinkedIn, I contacted him through LinkedIn. We chatted a bit. He said Andrew doesn’t fit well. Anyway, that other, that other podcaster cut them. Many guests on.
Then why did my website start where it is not research? I don’t think people fully appreciate the value of it. And I know this is not what makes people do it because I knew how to get traffic, and I haven’t had all these different ways to get traffic where I have Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, SEO, did everything.
I did not do it. I found only one, one. For me it was hacker news. Just go on. Hacker News is a community. Get free traffic from there by actively participating. And that’s why I do it 10 years later, he gave up years ago. And I’m not going to say his name because I heard you have several friends who were so angry with me.
I heard from several friends that it was him. He felt I stole his idea and I didn’t even know it existed. I have no problem saying that Gregory Gallant was out there before me and I was definitely inspired by Gregory Downs. And I interviewed him on Mixergy because I told him I was inspired by him and I want to learn more.
So I have no problem saying that other people have inspired me anyway. He is so out of shape. I’m not going to address it, but I could see why I didn’t take care of everything, mostly because I found a way to get traffic, someone to come and watch out. And the more people I was allowed to listen to, the more people wanted to do interviews.
And the more life I touched, the more influence I had on what my goal is. All you have to say is put it back on the road. Secrets is a podcast. Are you if you listen to me you may have an idea. That’s great. Maybe as good as someone else’s. Don’t fall behind by not getting traffic, by not getting people to see him.
It doesn’t have to be that big and expensive not to get people to read it, not to get people to try it. There are many free ways to do this, the people like me that we did. And if you want a podcast that we are currently creating. Share how others do it. Give some suggestions without forced tasks, without forced, um, exhaustion. Just listen and you will find a technique or two to use and implement and grow your business.
If you want, it’s a completely free podcast. I am not even persecuted. So you don’t even know how effective this ad is. Although I feel like it’s a killer, a good ad. Just go to the podcast app you are listening to and listen to the traffic secrets. Simply subscribe for free, listen to the ideas and see how much bigger your business could be.
Traffic secrets. . Then let’s continue with your story.
Aurelien Amacker:. It’s actually funny because I got in touch with the blogger and I turned to him saying, hey, could I do an interview, you know, um, so we did the interview and a third interview .
Uh, I thought: Oh, you know, I heard that you can all do verse lounge, I would be interested in doing the same. And he said, um, sure. How I could, um, you know, give some advice, but you know it’s a bit expensive. Um, and I thought: Oh, I have some savings. It was like, okay. So that’s 24,000 euros including VAT.
. And back then it was half my money, half my savings. And I thought about it for three days. I found this guy very smart. He really impressed me well.
And then he started Oliver’s course. And they are successful. So what, what more can I ask of this guy? So I made a check and mailed mine. So he helped me do at least one poll. I had about 1500 people on my email list.
And to find out what her biggest pain points were. So it’s the classic way. If you want to start an online course, do a survey on your list as a gold question. What is your biggest frustration when it comes to your niche and people and people are saying: Oh, I would like to do the same as you, you know how to have a blog and make money.
Okay, let’s create a blogging course. So he helped me with marketing. We sold the course in advance. . We had the name, the content, the table of contents. Should i say? So we did a webinar. We sold a few copies of it. Back then it was 500 euros.
And it’s funny because we, like the Sunday evening, we ran away. And I made my first four or five cents, I don’t know. And it was incredible, you know, that feeling of, wow. It works out. As if I had earned a few thousand euros. It was amazing. And the day after. I took my camera and went to the box to start recording the videos for my course because I told people that the course was not finished and you would get access like in three days.
So I had three days to make the first videos. So we did two webinars. I made a turnover of 10,000 euros.
You know, a big start was planned for the first launch. I don’t know you’ve heard of Jeff Walker. Yes. So, everyone was, uh, like these guys were fans of Jeff Walker and using his techniques, you know, so he has this course called the launch formula. So the idea was to make a big start, and I kept working by networking, meeting people and stuff.
So it’s funny because we made a start next year, so we had a lot of partners. We had 13,000 people, one, 3,000 people, who signed up on the start list to watch the free videos. And we made 550 sales of my course. There was a price of 1000 euros. But. Yes, no, no, no. At that time it was the largest launch on the French market. Thanks to Sebastian. I should be naming it. So, um, yes, there are a lot of events going on in the US and all that. So Sebastian, the French marketer, I think it’s like his nickname. So he’s a very smart guy. And yes, but it’s funny because we actually closed the start.
We were at the airport and going to Scottsdale by plane to go to Jeff Walkers Event, and I sign up to join Jeff’s mastermind group. Um, but the thing is that I never adopted this launch model. I never liked it because when you hear about it for the first time you will make a year of sales in two weeks.
We’re like whoa, that’s great. And it’s actually the opposite because it’s as much work as it is so much work. You have no idea, so much work, so much stress. And it’s before, during, and after, because we had so many customers that I literally woke up at 8 a.m. and sat at my desk all day to answer customers’ questions and things and not go to bed at 10 a.m. Night but it was okay.
You know what I mean? You know, we made good money so I couldn’t keep all that money. And then maybe I had 120,000 euros. That’s great, but it’s not half a million, of course, because you have refunds like a churn, you know, churn, VAT, affiliates, launch consultants, video type, and so on and so on.
So let’s see. I was very happy about it, but the thing is, so I joined Jeff Jeff’s mastermind group and it was fun because I felt like the guy who never ended. The guy who wasn’t interesting, you know, the guy who didn’t have any interesting things to tell. In fact, we made 450,000 the following year.
The next year we made 250,000 and the following year, 2014, we made only 150,000.
Because I wasn’t really good at getting traffic. I was in the worst place to stay, but I wasn’t great at it. And I relied on the traffic of my joint ventures. Do you know relationships No no. As if I was getting less and less traffic.
The joint ventures felt that I didn’t have much traffic alone. So I relied on other JV traffic. So there was no need to promote me again because it was better to promote the guys who were able to get a lot of traffic. Biden’s house. So I found that I really wanted to bring a lot of value.
As if Oliver existed, as if he also had a blogging course and he was somehow more successful, more interesting. He had a lot of traffic with his blog and on a social network I thought, oh you know, so I decided to leave Jeff’s mastermind group. I went alone in 2015, so I just liked my YouTube channel, my blogs, my email list.
And I started finding my own thing. And it was interesting because when I was in Jeff’s group everyone said that expensive products had to be put in, like 1000 euros, 2000 euros. And I thought how, you know, you never tried So I tried different things. I try to sell like smaller courses, yes. Okay. So, um, because I think I read the slim startup like 2011 or 2012. And I started listening to your show around 2012. And I don’t know, I heard your show, listened to interviews. I’ve always said it’s crazy. Like every time I listen to one of these podcast episodes, I learn about another man I didn’t know. That brings in at least 50,000 earnings a month. Oh, that’s a great business model, you know?
Und sie haben mehr, mehr Vibrationen als, wie die Online-Kurse, Unternehmen.
Andrew Warner: Nein, es ist wahr. Und es ist auch überraschend, wie Sie sagten, dass es so viele Leute gibt, die dies tun, dass wir nicht einmal wissen, dass sie sich manchmal auf kleine Nischen konzentrieren. Manchmal konkurrieren sie mit 50 anderen Menschen, aber es geht ihnen immer noch gut. Correct. Nathan Barry ist ein gutes Beispiel für diesen Nathan Barry, der gerecht war.
Bücher schreiben, Inhalte schreiben und plötzlich entscheiden, dass er seine eigenen Zielseiten erstellen möchte. Und dann wurde daraus etwas anderes. Ähm, aber mittlerweile sind wir zum E-Mail-Marketing herangewachsen und es gibt Unmengen von E-Mail-Marketing-Unternehmen, MailChimp, Weber und Fusion, soft, was auch immer es ist. Und es geht ihm immer noch sehr gut.
Aurelien Amacker: Ja, weil Sie sich an 2015 erinnern. Also habe ich diese Wohnung gekauft und dachte, ich möchte weiter investieren. Und wenn ich einmal in Immobilien investiert habe, wissen Sie, ich meine, Sie haben andere, andere Leute mit Geld, Sie können in Immobilien in diese Anleihe investieren, und das ist nicht so kompliziert.
Okay. Sie müssen nur geduldig sein und nach der richtigen Gelegenheit suchen und dann, wissen Sie, Anweisungen geben und versuchen, sie zu ergreifen. Ich dachte, wenn ich in mein eigenes Geschäft investiere, sollte ich in der Lage sein, eine viel bessere Kapitalrendite zu erzielen, weil es eine Nische ist. Äh, ich habe viel Erfahrung mit Texten, wie digitalem Marketing.
Also sollte ich in der Lage sein, und ich gebe den größten Teil meines Geldes die meiste Zeit meiner Tage für mein eigenes Geschäft aus. Ich sollte also in der Lage sein, eine bessere Kapitalrendite zu erzielen. Es war also wirklich eine Investitionsentscheidung.
Andrew Warner: Okay. Wie sind Sie auf Ihre Idee gekommen? Und dann werde ich Sie fragen, wie Sie sich entwickelt haben. Wie geht es dir?
Aurelien Amacker: Ja. Nein, das ist eine gute Idee. Also habe ich tatsächlich studiert, weil ich mit den vorhandenen Lösungen sehr frustriert war. Ich erinnere mich, dass ich es war, ich glaube es war 2013 oder 2014. Ich lebte mit meiner Frau in Kolumbien, wo wir gerade geheiratet hatten und ich begann Ontraport zu benutzen und ich gab 300 Dollar pro Monat aus und ich konnte das verdammte Ding einfach nicht benutzen, weil Zu dieser Zeit gab es keinen Streifen.
Äh, und wie, ich konnte das PayPal nicht zum Laufen bringen. Ich musste bei Upwork wie ein Russe finden und habe ihm 1000 Dollar bezahlt, um wie ein Gateway zu werden, das für die Verwendung von Band auf der CA entwickelt wurde, das der Typ damals nicht konnte. Ich meine, er wurde bezahlt und ich dachte, ich war, oh, total. Das war genau die Voraussetzung für diese App. Als ob Sie gerne Seiten und ähnliches erstellen könnten, aber das Design war schrecklich. Es war wirklich schmerzhaft zu benutzen und ich konnte es einfach nicht wirklich benutzen. Also fing ich an zu überlegen, okay, vielleicht sollte ich einen Typen holen. Und tatsächlich habe ich einen Entwickler aus Bangladesch engagiert. Äh, um mir zu helfen, die Seiten zu erstellen, aber das benutzerdefinierte Design zu mögen.
Also musste ich ihn fragen, wann immer ich wollte, weißt du, einige Zeilen und Sachen zu ändern.
Andrew Warner: Als Sie Ihre eigenen Kurse verkauften, haben Sie einen Mann aus Bangladesch eingestellt. Er hat Landing Pages erstellt, die Ihren spezifischen Anforderungen entsprechen, und jedes Mal, wenn Sie Änderungen vornehmen mussten, hat er diese für Sie geändert.
Aurelien Amacker: ja. Das war Anfang 2016. Und eigentlich kurz bevor ich anheuere, war das so. Ein Kunde von mir, ein Randkerl, der ein Wunder lebt. Und ich fing an, auf meiner E-Mail-Liste und so weiter zu sagen, ich möchte eine Software erstellen und sagen: Oh, ich habe eine, eine Entwicklung, eine Web-Black-Software-Entwicklungsfirma. Ich kann es für Sie tun, für 7.000 Euro, ich weiß nicht.
Weil ich wirklich, weißt du, okay. Weißt du, es ist so wenig Geld. Oh, das war die Theorie, aber dann kam die, kam die Realität, weil wir, oh, wir haben das bezahlt und ich gebe zu, dass ich dachte: Oh, okay. Wir würden diese Funktionen benötigen. And these features, uh, and after three months the guy was like, look, there was so much work to get done. And I have my, uh, deepened offers. So now I need to get paid on a monthly basis, which makes sense.
Okay. So I started paying. But, I mean, these guys, they didn’t have a clue. It was so bad with you flew with my wife to Morocco. That was like April of 2016. And we met them and these guys who was super good at telling me that everything was going to be all right. Uh, but actually so bad at delivering like this guy, wouldn’t answer my messages on Skype.
And then it was like, Oh yeah, don’t skate. I don’t take my Skype messages. I was like, okay, no worries. So then I started sending emails, but she wouldn’t answer. I mean, the incentives were so bad. And I remember we were in the meeting room in Morocco, so meeting together and I was like, Hey, you know. yeah, exactly.
My recall. Yeah, it was his wife, Myra Khan. And, uh, he was living there. And I remember we were in the meeting room with them and they developer and I was like, Hey, you know, guys, I’ve been doing some research and I found this thing. So it’s called scrum, like it’s development, uh, you know, like methodology, right.
And these guy to say, it’s grandma what’s that? And he asked his developer, could you make some research about it? And I was like, creme that’s the, you know, like the, the thing that all the startup using the word, like it’s the basis. Correct? So we were struggling and I fired him. So that was early November.
So it took me a while realize. Oh, look, once I talked about it on YouTube. So I published a link on old people. So the URL and five minutes later, I had a guy actually taking the URL, injecting some code. So there was like a big pink unicorn in the middle of the page because it was developed so bad. Like I remember.
Yes. So. So I had some beta users and we found out they were like, Oh, it looks like I can actually access data from other accounts. Yes. And I was like, guys, you know, I understand bugs happen, you know, but like, Yeah, I mean of our users, you know, there is no way we can do everything we can to make it secure, you know, no way.
Andrew Warner: All right. Let me take a moment. I’m going to talk about my first sponsor. I want to know how you fixed it, but I also want to know why you didn’t give up. At this point, you could have just gone back and said, I’ve got these courses, things working, but first, let me tell you about another live Mixergy listener.
His name is Eric Berger. He’s a lobbyist. Think about how you’re so far from software, that you are a course creator. He’s a lobbyist. And he looked around and said, you know what? I understand why people are fed up in America because they feel like they don’t have a voice. Now, somebody who is a client of Eric’s or any lobbyists has a voice, they have somebody who’s going to get them access to the government.
He said, you know, how do I give the regular people a voice? It tends to be people who have the money and the access to lobbyists. So you had this idea. He said, what if people knew who their representatives were? What if they had an easy way of sending say. A voicemail to their representatives or a text message or making a call to them or reading at them or doing whatever they’re comfortable with.
What if they had an easy way of sharing their message with their friends who could then go and contact their representatives without any issues? We had this idea, but he’s a guy who has a full time job. He’s a lobbyist. As I said, well, Eric’s a Mixergy listener. And he said, you know, Andrew keeps talking about these guys at top towel.
Let me just give him a shot. So he calls up top towel by going to top tab.com/mixergy. Anyone who is listening to me can set up a call with top talent, get some feedback on top of that said, you know, we could build this for you and sure enough, they went, they built it for him. I got on a call with him. I said, tell me about the problems.
Cause I’m kind of a nerd, Nick, when it comes to this stuff, I want to know about pain. I want to know about frustration. I want to know where he found recommending someone, if there’s a problem with them. Cause you do, there’s no problem at all of these kinds of so good. I said, let me see what you’ve done.
He said, I’m gonna share my screen and show you, but I want you to understand what you’re seeing here, how it impacts people. And he told me about this organization called what is it? Vaccination Alliance of Connecticut. They wanted to get more people to vaccine their kids in Connecticut. So it shows me the landing page that he created for them.
He shows me how, if. I don’t do anything. It knows what my area code is and allows me to figure out who my representatives are. And then quickly I can send an email, a tweet. I could sign a petition and anything that I want to do automatically gets super easy to do. I said, all right, great. I like that. You have a good site design.
Did it work? He said, yeah, they were able to pass their law. They embedded it. They embedded our software on their site. They were able to get people to take action and the legislation passed anyway. That’s what Eric did. If you’re out there listening to me and you need to hire developers, the best of the best developers I’ve said this forever, no Mixergy listener has ever disagreed with me on that.
No Mixergy guest is what I meant to say, but I’m sure the same is true for listeners. Here’s where the guests have given me problems in the past. They say, yeah, I like it, but I don’t want to hire outsource developers or I don’t want to hire developers who are not in my office. I want them to sit next to me.
Well now because of Kobe people are. Are more aware of how remote working works and they’re much more open to it. So if you’re somebody who’s wanting to try this, who wants to hire developers, I urge you to go to dot com slash Mixergy. When you do, you will get the best of the best developers available to you right now.
And if use that URL, you get 80 hours of developer credit when you pay for your first 80 hours, in addition to a no risk trial period, top isn’t top of your head tells and talent. Dot com slash mixer GTO, P T a l.com/m I X E R G Y. Is it awkward? The two of us are sitting here and I’m doing this and I’m looking at your face and trying to read it.
Weißt du was? Sometimes I engage my guests with it because I know my, my sponsors love when I engage my guests and it feels a little less awkward. I just couldn’t. I was on a fricking roll. I had to tell Eric story.
Aurelien Amacker: Yeah, it’s, it’s a great question, you know, and, uh, so I was doing about, uh, so I would say about, so we didn’t say I was about to do about 20 to 30,000 euros per month in revenue, which is. Which is, uh, yeah, which is, uh, which is really good, but you know, it’s funny. Uh, I was really feeling as a failure, big time.
It’s terrible. Like I was feeling so bad. I mean, my life was great, you know, with my wife, anything, this is great. But business wise, I was feeling like a fader because these guys were making launches and I was hearing stories. They made 1 million, 1.5 to millions. I was like, dude, you I just kept trying with the, with what I had in mind, because, so what happened is that, you know, also I fired these guys from Morocco and it’s crazy. And right after I had the guys, uh, from Bangladesh who was still working with me because he was doing the Stripe integration so I could send my son stuff.
Andrew Warner: office autopilot or what do they call it? They changed their name to, um, what’s the name of the software that you were using?
Aurelien Amacker: Yeah. Yes. I never get to use I’m troubled. Correct? I paid maybe, I don’t know. Over a thousand bucks. No, the guy from Bangladesh didn’t integration from tribes. So I could actually sell, I was, uh, I was sending like a subscription offer for my courses. So it was under 20 euros per month. So we get access to all my courses.
Aha. So it was great value because I had read customer by January. Why reload, you know, great book. And so I was working with the guys from my recall, I fired them and the guy was from mango there. She was like, Oh, you know what, I’m going to take care of it. I’m going to get like cheap freelancers on Upwork.
And I’m going to take the project and take others, the guy to two months. And then we, we, we plugged the button on what he needed and it just stopped working. And I was like, Oh, don’t worry. I’m gonna, I’m gonna, we had a few, a few bits, our users, if you want. Okay. And I was like, okay, the next day it still wasn’t working.
The guy was like, Oh, don’t worry. I’m going to take care of you. I was like, yeah, I’m sure you’re going to take care of it. But it’s not working, so we need to find a solution. So I started looking for people on upward by myself and it was it’s crazy when I think about it, like I would literally get in touch with a guy in Vietnam or Portugal or whatever.
I was like, here are the passwords Yeah, pretty much. But at that time we didn’t have any real users. It was just a few customers like beta testing and stuff. And it’s crazy because I still remember the time I saw this guy, he was from Russia and I saw his face and I was about to San, you know? So on Upwork you have like a default message, like, Hey, I saw your profile up where blah, blah, blah.
That was about to hit Sam. I was like, wait, This guy looks like, you know, like a good guy, let’s say the message a little bit, you know, make it more personal. And the guy replied to me and we started working together. And it’s crazy because right from the beginning, I, so, uh, from the reaction of the other guys that he was so much better because the other guys were like other Chino, there is this problem with blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
And this guy, he was like this two hours. hours later it was done. So, you know, I was telling the guys, look, I understand, you know, it’s not easy and stuff, but I need, I need people to find, uh, solutions, not problems. And there is this, this other guy, you know, he’s about to work and do the job. So, yeah, I mean, uh, I talked to him and, um, No, no, no, no, no. So guy was, so he was working for Howard as a presenter and, uh, and, uh, right from the beginning, because the project was quite big because we knew we would have to do landing pages, uh, auto responder and stuff. Uh, I was like, Hey, do you know someone that’s like, like you, and he’s like, yeah.
Before I was working with another Russian guy for a company in the U S and I know he’s good. I was like, Let’s get him on board, you know, so the guy accepted, he came in, but then we needed a third one guy to actually build the page editor because it’s a different technology. And he was searching. I mean his network and we couldn’t find anyone.
And I w I kept insisting. And after a couple of months, he told me, Hey, you know what I talk with? I talk with you sky one month ago, but now he wants to go freelance and he could be a good fit. So we get him on board. We started building the product. So we were not making any revenue from this. So in 2016, we actually ended up losing maybe I dunno, 12,000 euros, but I could see that we were building something, you know, and right from the beginning, I felt that there was like some magic in this team.
I dunno, we were working so well. So we use Slack, you know, everyone works what he wants, so I’m kind of the product guy. And it’s funny because at that time I didn’t realize it, you know? Um, so I was working closely with them to build the product and saying what we should do. I studied migrating my own business over.
So I left a Webber. I moved my email list to our software. We started using it and then we moved, I think it was the payment pages. And then the last step was moving actually all the online courses. And we launched a product in April. 2018 on my list.
Andrew Warner: And, and how did it do,
Aurelien Amacker: So yeah. So no, it went well. I mean, we had a thing after the launch, uh, we had our first like 400 customers,
so it’s, so I had my own email list. I had, I dunno, maybe a 20, 20,000 people on my list, maybe
Andrew Warner: People were coming to you to learn how to build an online business.
Aurelien Amacker: Yeah. I mean, I told him, look, I think it’s great. That’s what I use. Uh, you know, it’s, uh, it’s cheap. So, you know what, I’m an email marketing guy I’ve been sending emails for 10 years or so. So we did this launch
Andrew Warner: 27 bucks. Gut. So 27 bucks, you’re looking at over $10,000 in revenue, 10,000 in monthly recurring revenue, assuming they all stuck around that’s. That’s great for all the work that you’ve put in. You finally saw some real money, not just one or two customers, but a significant number.
Aurelien Amacker: Well, no, it’s great.
Actually. Okay, because you have, because you have 2000, like 20% VAT that you have to pay to the state, you know? So like European States, so Well, then you have the affiliates because I launched my affiliate program in 2017 and we use our own software to run our affiliate program. So in 2017, it was only my courses that our affiliates could promote. But then of course, then we add the software subscription. Yes. So actually at that time it wasn’t majority. It was, yeah. Maybe I don’t remember maybe 20, 30, 40%. So we pay 40% of your commissions, uh, on, uh, Yeah, but you know, it’s funny because sometimes, uh, yeah, I, I, I see like some software owners saying, Oh, you shouldn’t pay that much, but I’m like, Hey, I want my affiliates to make money.
Wissen Sie? So they keep promoting. So maybe it’s not always a good strategy, but that was my, my vision. And it still is. So then I have to, I had to bail, like some servers to send emails. We use SendGrid actually. Uh, Yes. It’s, it’s amazing. You know, because at the beginning I was like, okay, so the lounge has happened. So what do we do next? So I started this Facebook Facebook group, uh, to try to engage users. And we were getting like new people getting in like every day, but it wasn’t much, it wasn’t very impressive. Wissen Sie?
So today we have 11,000 members in this Facebook group and, um, It was little by little. It’s funny. I have all the numbers, you know, for each month. Um, and yeah, it was growing, but it wasn’t growing. But see she was growing, you know, like I had some money. I was worrying about my 12%, so it’s not much, but still it’s 12% in a month.
That’s a lot. And I don’t know, like, yeah. The athlete program started getting traction. I don’t know. The thing is we were adding some features and in the group I was announcing them and I still do it. Then people were getting so excited and we were adding so many features so fast. I don’t know. It’s crazy because, you know, I started to go, uh, I tried to go and contact the influencers.
Like the marketers, the, the people sending the online courses and I couldn’t get anyone to promote us because either they were using like different tool or the genomic care or the didn’t like me. And that’s the craziest thing ever is that we went from zero to number one in the French market in two years with almost no influencer promoting us.
It’s only the small guys, the small affiliates promoting us. Yes. Yes. So actually the thing is so they can promote. So I have a book that I wrote in 2014, about how to make money blogging. Uh, and I wrote another book about like personal freedom, you know, with my, what I learned, what investing in real estate and in business and stuff. Um, so I think it’s can actually offer these books for free, like the digital version. And once then once that someone, uh, sign up on my email list, I can send him emails and then I can sell it courses and software yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. And, uh, so they can also promote some, we have some small sales funnels to promote our online courses because I have like half a dozen online courses, like how to make money blogging to say, I like
Andrew Warner: And they promoted for, for commission. They sell it and then they get a commission of the sales from those courses.
Aurelien Amacker: Yeah. Most of the time I treat the don’t promote the offer right away. They just send people who opt into our email list. And then each week we run a promotion to two hourlies. We’re
Andrew Warner: So as long as it gets someone on your list, they don’t have to sell anything. You do the selling, they just have to say, go get this free book and that’s enough. And then they get 40% got a commission. Gut. Also on the bottom of all the landing pages that you create, there’s a link you said. Back to system.io, but anyone could get rid of it if they don’t get rid of it, they
get a, when someone follows that. Okay. What about this? What was, let’s talk a little bit about product now that we’ve done some marketing conversation product. What went into the very first version?
Aurelien Amacker: Uh, no, actually when we launched it, so we had, so we had to let me pay GS, but I remember at the beginning like that it was almost everything. Just that it was like small, small features that were missing. Uh, so actually, yeah. yeah. Uh, yeah, like, uh, payment pages, of course. But then we added the paper integrations at the beginning.
It was only Stripe. Uh, then we added the ability to, um, uh, use custom domains, which causes an issue with the SSS certificate because all the pages today are HTTPS. So it was very costly at the beginning because we were using a CloudFlare, but then we moved to Amazon, AWS. So yeah, we, we kept adding some features.
Um, and yeah, it’s crazy. Like we started getting some testimonials from users like, Hey, it’s great. You know, it’s so much thing it’s so easy to use. It’s so, uh, so affordable. I dunno. Es ist verrückt. Like, and we kept working on it. Uh, we had our first customer in the U S that was July, 2018. And I have absolutely no idea how she found our website.
And, um, but then it was very, so even though our supper was available in English, uh, so we, we, we grew mostly in the French markets. Um, and, um, we started reworking on the English market. Das war
Andrew Warner: I see now, according to similar web, 10% of your traffic is coming from the U S
okay. Last year, December is when you hit your first million dollar run rate, right? If you multiply the December revenue, was it by 12, then you realize you’ve got a million dollars in recurring revenue. Habe ich recht? How did that feel?
Do you remember the moment when you saw that?
Aurelien Amacker: I remember the moment when I saw that. Uh, but I mean, it’s been like a, an amazing ride. It’s been so exciting, you know, because we kept making, I mean, each month we pretty much were doing more. Uh, actually each day we have more subscribers, so I could see that something was happening, you know? And, um, I don’t remember that day.
Uh, I remember, so that was very exciting. I was very looking forward to, uh, reaching, uh, a hundred thousand euros in monthly recurring revenue. So that was like in March this year, and then the COVID-19 crisis hits. And it’s crazy because we grew by 50% in like three months. Oh, it’s so, you know, when I listened to your interview of the teachable founder, uh, they had the same experience. I mean, everything that’s related to started online business, uh, it grew a lot because of Colby, because one people were, um, you know, trying to find ways to make an additional income launched a side business.
And two people were actually stuck at home, like, you know, causing the internet.
Andrew Warner: So both buyers and sellers were going online more. And so it works great for online store for online people. Obviously painful for people who are
Aurelien Amacker: Yeah. And some people transitioning. Like I remember I saw an email because when people are signed up for the free trial, they get an email sequence in the first email. It’s like, Hey, you know, what does he can reply? And, you know, and she said, look, I’m doing like some fitness classes, live classes. I can do it anymore.
So I’m looking for ways to send my, um, my, uh, my expertise online. And I was like, yeah, that makes sense. You know,
Andrew Warner: So someone who has fitness classes offline is thinking maybe I do fitness classes online, do doing zoom. Maybe I do fitness classes some other way. Maybe it’s an online course. Got it. Gut. Let me see if I get the big takeaways here. Number one. Um, What you did was you solved her own problem. Since you were a user of this, of all the software, you recognize that there was pain that you were feeling, and if you weren’t solving it, If you couldn’t solve it for yourself, probably others were like you and couldn’t that’s number one.
Number two, you had an audience that you built up before, right? So that’s important. Number three, you suck that, getting your software developed and that’s part of your process. If you had to give advice to somebody who’s at that, who’s not a developer who needs to get someone to code it up, code up their site.
What would you have done differently? What would you recommend to the person that’s listening to us? So the person, the people who you worked with were, who didn’t know scrum were not right. If you could do it over again, you would probably give them smaller projects, get a sense of how you work together. See if you jive on Slack. Correct. Okay. Um, and then. The last point is the power of affiliates that I don’t think we talk enough about.
We talk about Facebook ads. We talk about content marketing and CEO. It’s interesting. You’re one of the few people who I heard say that smaller affiliates have done really well for you. A lot of companies will say, forget the smaller affiliates. I only want a few big ones. Small ones are too hard to manage, but it worked better for you because.
Aurelien Amacker: No. So we got an, a few program that’s like self serve and actually the thing, the cool thing is that because we have the landing pages and the email list inside the same tool, we have a very strong tracking. So what happens that when someone obtains to one of my, uh, you know, pages like opt in pages, he gets automatically an affiliate ID.
There is no need to register. As a nephew. So, you know, there is very little friction because all the people on my list are affiliates. So I can actually send them emails, either newsletters or email campaigns saying, Hey, uh, you just, uh, you know, sign up on my list is great. If you want to recommend it, here is your affiliate link and boom, and that’s their affiliate link and can start using it right away.
Andrew Warner: But you don’t find that there’s cheating or that there’s too much handholding or maintenance involved with so many small affiliates.
Aurelien Amacker: No, no, because it’s survived. That’s the opposite where like, we don’t have, I don’t have enough fleet manager. I try to, you know, to hire one, but couldn’t find the right person, but we don’t have a one. So that’s the thing because you have, yeah, yeah. So we changed the marketing campaign. Sometimes we got to promote to our entire list, the opportunity to promote a satisfier known as an affiliate to make money as an affiliate.
I mean, we try to integrate it into our, our marketing.
Andrew Warner: All right. And then there’s one last thing where it was that the name of the book that we mentioned earlier. I didn’t want to close it out without bringing it up. It’s secrets of power persuasion by Roger Dawson. I’m looking at the old table of contents. I haven’t read this in years. Not since that day in college.
When I was looking for, pick me up in this, did it, it’s a, how to ask for more. Let me see. How unions and managements get each other’s goats. That’s not the right. Let me, let me get, look at some of the chapter titles. Um, tell them only as much as they believe here’s another chapter title. Never assume they believe you.
Number here’s another chapter title, use precise numbers. Remember how I remember thinking. You have to round up because who needs this specific number? No, he explains people believe it more when it’s an exact number. And I think the story tells about was dove was 99.9% pure or something like that. And he says, people believe it more.
They could have said a hundred, no one was going to say you’re off. Richtig. Um, use the power of the printed word. Uh, let them know who else says. So that’s endorsements. Um, Oh, here’s one that we use all the time now in online marketing use quote, if they can do it, I can do it. Ah, the tons, tons. It was such a, such a good book for me at the time when I was in business classes and they were interesting, but just not relatable.
And this was immediately impactful. Just go out and use these techniques and see what happens. Alright, your website, I’m going to give you one piece of feedback. It’s going to be a challenge for someone who’s listening to us to go to E I’m concerned about the English spelling of system. I wish that you had system without the, at the end.
Aurelien Amacker: Uh, I think that the guy who is struggling to like the owner of this domain, who’s trying to sell it to me for a couple of millions would be very happy to listen to you. No. Okay. Andrew that’s so I’m not, I’m a direct marketer guy. I’m not a branding guy. And I know that’s our name and our domain name is not the best, but I’d say that at least it was the job. You know, I think that if my team has become a company that made, I don’t know, like 800 millions in revenue last year, isn’t because they’re are logos teacher, a Phoenician position, right.
Is because it does many things and it’s very affordable. So at the end of the day, it’s what it does for you, how much it costs. And yeah, I think that, so, you know, like teachable, for example, I was get fedora. Yes. I mean, we w we can still rebrand, you know, Don, Don, the way it’s not the end of the world. In the meantime, it works like, so I actually talked with the guy, the domain order, and he was like, Hey, you know, 2 million sounds like, look, it’s not worth two meetings to me because what happens, Well, I offer 20,000 and he’s playing, you know, a silent, dead sign of, but, you know, I told him when people are tied down system, the value system without the need. So it’s not the correct spelling. So two things happen first. They realize they made a mistake and either search Google and find us, or either they don’t find us.
In which case, I don’t think they’re very valuable customers. So, I mean, if I told him, I just want to make a, you know, a quick money, uh, just say yes, and we love why use the money, but I’m actually thinking like, ah, if I get the domain name, I’m not even sure if I, if I will use it. So,
Andrew Warner: I wouldn’t pay more than two.
Aurelien Amacker: yeah, so That’s That’s the French spelling. Exactly. You know, but I mean, you have lift, got a, you know, you have so many companies. Yeah, exactly. So I don’t think it really matters like no English speaking customer, and now we have a few hundreds, you know, no one has ever said, Hey, uh, you know, uh, there is a problem with your name or your domain because
Andrew Warner: Like it’s because you’re not yet huge in the U S and to be bigger, I do think you’re going to at some point rebrand, but I agree with you. That’s not the biggest, it’s not the biggest issue, frankly, to be honest with you, I’m bringing it up because I believe it, but also because I want to highlight to my audience that if they’re going to type it in, they should remember the E.
So I gave myself permission to end it with a critical note, because I think that that’s, what’s going to also embed in people’s minds. I got to type in system with the letter [email protected] And if you do that, you’re going to find a very sparse pain. I’ve talked to him about this and he says, he’s tested, Oh, look at that.
I heard that. First of all, I know you feel bad and I could see it even on some of the posts that you’ve written online and other places you feel bad about the page. You can’t wait for the new launch of the site, but the other thing is. You told me before you got started and here’s the stats of why this page outperforms all the other pages that everyone else thinks is going to do well.
And I’m a numbers person. If this converts better, I’m going to make it work. I’m going to use it. Even if Andrew Warner doesn’t fully understand it and I get it. And I think that that makes perfect sense. Alright, I think we’ve said it all here. Let me end the interview by thanking my two sponsors. The first, if you’re a, if you’re looking to hire develop, and you don’t want the adjective, having a flight out of the country’s explain to them what scrum is.
I think I just popped my mic by saying that yeah, I’m getting the red light because I’m a little too hopped up on it. If you want a developer or a team of developers, you can count on do with so many people that I’ve interviewed here, I’ve done go to top talent.com/mixergy. And finally, if you’re looking for another podcast to listen to at the end of this, listen to the podcast, it will help you get more traffic.
It’s called traffic secrets. Roger Dawson would love that. There’s a word secrets in that podcast. Name, traffic secrets by everyone.
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