An investor in business and technology companies and growth strategy advisor, Brad Costanzo is the founder and CEO at Costanzo Marketing Group, principal at Costanzo Capital, Partner and Advisor at CDB Capital Group, and Advisor and Investor at Otomo. As the host of the award winning podcast "Bacon Wrapped Business" he uncovers what's working now with some of the top business experts in the world. Prior experience includes positions with Brandetize, RealEstate Investor.com, Frank Shamrock, Inc. Jesse Itzler, Real Estate Worldwide, MIH Publishing & Marketing, Organifi, and Prudential Investments. A graduate of The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania where he earned the credential of a Certified Investment Management Analyst he earned his BS in Investment Finance and Economics at Eastern Illinois University.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
In this episode with Brad, we dive into how to break down the core beliefs and principles that your prospects and your web traffic need to believe in order to buy. It is a proven strategy and a method and process that he's implementing for all his portfolio clients. Plus you'll also learn the path of how Brad has basically gone from hired gun and advisor and consultant to now acquiring businesses and exploring even a $50 million potential credit fund to buy even more and more businesses. It's a great episode. Hope you enjoy.
So this is me trying to grow
Speaker 2 (00:40):
Entrepreneur, which is, um, um, create a pitch deck for what the proposed use of funds will be. Um, in this case, it is to do an it service manager, MSP roll up.
Speaker 3 (01:05):
Speaker 1 (01:05):
Listening to the rich and poor ed podcast, where we break down the financial principles that rich advertisers are deploying today to turn advertising into profit and get tons of traffic to their websites without killing their cash. These advertisers agencies, affiliates brands are responsible for managing over a billion dollars a year in ad spend. You'll hear about what's working for them today. They're rich ads and we'll roast their Epic failures and crappy ads on the internet with poor ads. Let's get into it. Welcome to another episode of the rich dad. Poor at podcast is your host, Zach Johnson. I'm with Mr. DC, Dylan Carpenter. How you doing today, Dylan? Good, man. We got an exciting one here. Yeah, I'm excited about today's guests, you know, for a lot of the agencies listening, I think today's guests is like had the perfect consultancy and consulting business that a lot of, of ad agencies or smaller agencies should be modeling after.
Speaker 1 (02:04):
I also think for some of the agencies that have gotten stuck in agency life, uh, can really learn a ton about, um, how to rise above it, uh, and really take things to the next level and, you know, build a revenue stream beyond retain hers as well say. And, uh, and so today's guest is also, uh, the host of, uh, the bacon wrapped business, uh, podcast, which is, um, a PR pretty awesome podcast. I mean, he interviews some pretty, pretty high level entrepreneurs, um, on the show and it's a pretty, uh, diverse, uh, diverse, uh, group. So without further ado, Joe, uh, uh, Brad, how you doing welcome to the show, man. I am doing great. Thanks for having me. It's a pleasure to be here. Yeah, man, I, uh, I'm pumped to you on, I feel like you are, um, the, kind of the perfect blend.
Speaker 1 (03:05):
You're like the perfect guest for the show in the sense that there's like straight media buyers that love to just talk about rich ads all day. Uh, but then, you know, there's people like yourself that, uh, you know, in your words, like focus on growth, you know, across the board and are really thinking about, you know, the financial aspect of it, right? How do you budget for growth? How do you reinvest in the growth? Um, and it really is, uh, growth is all about, you know, being a good investor and allocation of resources. And so I'm excited to dive into that, uh, because I know that's like, um, right up your word, so pretty a little bit up to speed about what you're up to, uh, these days and, uh, and a little bit about how you,
Speaker 4 (03:56):
Yeah, my pleasure. So, I mean, I I've been in the digital marketing space for about 12 years, having back in 2007, I'd left a career in financial services, 2007, 2008. It was it voluntary, right? Uh, everything was falling apart back then, but I had spent my entire career is a both investment advisor as well as like financial investment advisor and, um, and then a consultant to the advisors at Prudential securities. So I managed to book a business, uh, recommending stocks and, you know, portfolio allocation, et cetera for a while. And then it got a little bit crazy and I moved into the corporate side, working with financial advisors, helping them convince their clients to do fee-based business, et cetera. Um, the recession was, uh, you know, cause a lay off at the company just so happened. It was the same month. I read the four hour workweek by Tim Ferriss and I had no idea this was a new area to me.
Speaker 4 (04:56):
I was in my early thirties and I just remember thinking, well, I mean, they're going to go, you know, put my resume together and try to get another job in financial services during the financial service meltdown or Tim Ferriss talked about information marketing and online marketing. And I was like, well, this keeps me from putting my resume together and begging somebody for a job. So maybe I'll try this. So I, um, I started a software business at the same time with a couple of partners. And at the same time I started a, uh, just a home study course like niche information product, really just as a marketing laboratory and to kind of see what I could do from that angle. And I learned all about direct response and copywriting and marketing, et cetera, like all my life. I was actually pretty good at sales, but I knew nothing about marketing.
Speaker 4 (05:41):
So I learned and I learned to learn. And then about four or five years later, I sold, um, now about five years later, I sold the info product. And then about a year after that I sold the, um, the software business and I just started turning into consulting. I didn't just want to start something new on my own. I think that was because I had the, the curse of knowledge. Like I knew how hard starting something up from scratch is. So I figured that my skillset would be better tuned in working with other businesses who already have momentum and are already building it up and say, listen, I like the one thing about me is I'm a voracious learner. I pay attention to everything I test and I try stuff. And when something works, uh, and it works well, I'm like, I wonder where else I can apply this.
Speaker 4 (06:25):
And I found that a lot of business owners, uh, whether it's agency owners or, you know, they own a physical product, et cetera, you know, they're so bogged down in just running their business. They don't have as much time to pay attention to the kind of the cutting edge, uh, strategies that, you know, that work and change. But I loved that. So I got to satisfy my entrepreneurial add by working with a lot of people in a different industries. And I've worked with almost every major industry from SAS to info, to physical goods, to, um, service-based businesses of all types and, um, helping them really grow using my financial background and understanding of like, you know, finance, et cetera. Although I'm not an expert in accounting, I understand that. And then adding on marketing and profit optimization. So now what I do is I still work with companies and this ranges from like I'll work, I've worked with coaches and consultants and people who are, uh, you know, small trying to get an info product off the ground.
Speaker 4 (07:29):
I've got a couple of venture funded app companies that I work with. I'm talking today to a large like fortune 1000, uh, it company, uh, to, to pitch like an ideation service team, which is crazy. But, um, and then at the same time, I've always got my eyes open for acquisitions that I can make specifically, um, in the kind of, I love the health and wellness field. So I've got, um, a partnership in a company called vitamin patch club.com, which is a innovative vitamin delivery system. And I am looking to acquire and or invest in, uh, it companies like managed service providers, those companies that work with local businesses. Uh, so it sounds like I'm doing a lot, but really, you know, my consulting feeds my, my appetite for acquisitions and then looking for acquisitions oftentimes feeds into the consulting business. So it kind of goes hand in hand, but there's nothing I love more than working with a company. I love service-based businesses. There's a, those are my favorites to help show them really unique and proven ways to grow their business without like exponentially instead of linearly or incrementally
Speaker 1 (08:41):
Their statement, man, people that say they love service businesses. Like, I mean, I don't know,
Speaker 4 (08:47):
Operating them. I love helping them make a difference. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (08:52):
So, uh, so my career started out in, in financial services in 2008. I worked at, um, Merrill Lynch and, uh, ax advisors, like right when I was getting out of school at the worst possible time. And so I, that's kind of been, you know, my story, you know, similarly is like taking that finance angle and really that experience and really how to using it as a, as a, like, um, a pretty awesome, uh, tool in the tool belt. You know, as a, as I kind of started my marketing career back in like 2009. Um, so I always listen to your podcasts and, you know, seeing the people that you work with and, and the type of things that you've been involved in over the last few years as directly and indirectly running in the same circles. Um, I knew from afar that like Brad's of the same stock. And so that's super cool, man. So, uh, let's dive into what's working now. Let's, let's give everybody a little taste of, you know, um, this, this, this rich ad segment doesn't have to be this specific ad, but what are some of the things that you're deploying right now with, you know, you're got a broad range of clients ran across a ton of different industries. Uh, so yeah, enlighten us what, what what's working.
Speaker 4 (10:14):
So, um, especially as it, it, you know, it comes around ads. I mean, there's the standard things like just understanding where in the journey your customer is obviously very important with the ability to do, I'm sure most of your listeners understand top, middle and bottom of funnel, you know, ads copying. Um, I mean, at the, at the most foundational level, that's super critical. And for instance, um, one of the things that, um, so, okay, I'll go into this. Um, and I'm gonna put a pin in this. Don't let me forget to explain. Um, but there there's another like super long format that's been working really well. I'll explain. I'm just, I'm saying that. So I don't forget to tell you,
Speaker 1 (10:55):
Go on format. Got it.
Speaker 4 (10:57):
So one of the things, uh, like for instance, with vitamin patch club, which is, I don't know when this is coming out at the time we're recording this, the ads are not, um, they are, they are not as effective and they're not following the guidelines of what I'm about to say, because I recently just, uh, acquired a part of this business and we are undergoing the ad rehab if you would. So, one of the things though that I've done this in the past, and it works really well, but, um, this is something we are actively doing with vitamin patch club. So currently the ads are, did you, you know, did you know, you can get your vitamins from patches and blah, blah, blah. And here's the basic science and just, you know, come over and drop off on the homepage of the, of the Shopify site, right?
Speaker 4 (11:45):
That does not have a really high conversion rate. So one of the very first exercises I did with the founder of the company is we went the, you know, it's commonly called a chain of beliefs. So, you know, this, this sells a, a vitamin C supplement basically, but we broke down something like 20 different beliefs that we're asking the, that the customer or the prospect needs to have in place in order to get to the point where they're willing to give us money at the VA, I'm not going to go through them all. But at the very top end of the belief is that they need to believe that their health is important. If they're not, we're not, that's not our crowd and we're not here to convert people to thinking, I don't care about my health to health. Then I went down further, okay.
Speaker 4 (12:28):
Then they need to think that their health is under control and that this, this, this, and that, you know, they actually, that diet is important, right? So I got as fundamental as possible. Like, what are all this singular beliefs that a person has to have in order to take the next step in, um, bolster to giving us money? Then what we did is down near the bottom of these, which become the, not, you know, no duh beliefs it comes to, will they, they're going to need to believe that for instance, not all vitamin sources are created equal and that bioavailability is important. And what that is, the next thing they're gonna need to understand is that, um, vitamin patch club delivers on its promises and that it's worth it, right? So quality and price. And then at the very bottom, they need to believe that the company is somebody they can trust that will take care of them.
Speaker 4 (13:18):
Because even if they think that the product is amazing, if they don't trust the company, that's ultimately what it is because somebody pushes by they are putting their trust in you. So by ordering this chain of beliefs and then looking at well, are we, do we have content and in our ads or anywhere else that is helping people, um, understand what this is important, because ultimately we don't want people to believe anything because believing something means accepting it without evidence. And in marketing, that's terrible. That's a sin. Belief is a sin in marketing, right? Because we want to support everything we're saying with evidence. And the more evidence we can provide, the more, you know, the more we can move them down that chain. Because the minute we get to a point where they're like, well, I guess I have to take your word for it.
Speaker 4 (14:07):
You're probably going to lose them. Right. So what we've been focusing on now is creating content that can be used in the ads, which supports each one of these beliefs. So this is kind of a, I guess, a more granular version of the top, middle and bottom of funnel. Like instead of three areas, we've got like 24 different chains of beliefs. So what the strategy will then be, is starting at the bottom of that funnel and saying, okay, well, how do we first make sure that people understand that the company will take care of them and that will have to do with, you know, the founder's story and the mission and the risk reversal and all of that other stuff, testimonials. And those are the first things we'll create. And we're obviously going to put that in front of our retargeting audience, because these are the ones who are the closest to the, um, CLO you know, closest to the shopping cart.
Speaker 4 (14:59):
Right. Um, and then, so we've just been building out this ad content plan to say, you know, our, all of our advertising should be valuable and it should be enlightening. And we should try to try to turn beliefs into just accepted facts in their mind. This is a lot of work when done, if done correctly, it's not just like, Hey, throw an ad up there. And then somebody goes and buys because these days, I mean, it takes like a hundred touch points. I've read recently to get somebody to take an action to buy. And that touchpoint could be where they see you on social media. They're Googling you, the emails that you're sending them, it's harder and harder to get somebody to give you their money. It's easier to get, to get the rest of their money once they, once you've got that trust. But the hardest thing is getting them to overcome that first hurdle, right?
Speaker 1 (15:48):
That's such a golden exercise. Like, I mean, what are the beliefs, right. And listening and down, what does everything you need to believe, you know, from top of funnel all the way down to bottom funnel, and then operationalizing that through, like, what are the assets that need to get created? You know, like I feel like, uh, that's a great thing for a marketing consultant advisor marketing partner to come in and do. And, uh, we we've talked to a lot of them and not, not ever talked about that.
Speaker 4 (16:19):
Thanks. Yeah. Well, I'm glad I can add some unique aspect to this, but it's very, it is a very fundamental thing to do. And when I start doing this, like for instance, with a client or myself, it's kind of like, we really have to go through this and then they start to see it. Like, and in fact, I'm going to read, okay. I actually came up with 17 beliefs for vitamin patch club. I'm just going to read these out loud because I can rattle them off. My health is important. My health, and these are important that they're in order, right? My health is important. My health is in my control. I can understand how to achieve good health. My current method is not optimal for good health. Nutrition is number one. It's possible to get good nutrition, good nutrition can be affordable. A balanced diet is the best way to get nutrition.
Speaker 4 (17:03):
Supplementation is important because it, it's hard to eat all the right things, the right times micronutrients are important. Okay. So those are the first 10. Like I'm not going to create much content around those because those are the ones that like, okay, I get it help is important. But we went to that level of what are we, what do we need people to accept as true before we can ever get their money? And then the final seven are not all vitamins are equal bioavailability. Like I know what that is and why it's important. I understand the best methods of delivery for vitamins pills are the least bioavailable. I believe transdermal patches are effective. Vitamin patch club delivers on its promise of great products and affordable price. And lastly, the company will take care of me. Now, there may be some other ones, but if you will think about that, it was linearly you go, huh? Okay. Well, I don't actually have any content talking about like reinforcing the fact that we will take care of them. Maybe I should do that and then throw that in bottom of the funnel retargeting ads.
Speaker 1 (18:06):
Yeah. Whoo. I like that. It's cool. You can kind of reverse engineer it, Sue. I mean, you mentioned Devin's that bottom of the funnel first. So I mean, it's, it's kind of cool. You can really execute this. I mean, we're so we're so addicted to the hack, right. And we just, a lot of times we'll get straight into what's the latest tactic, what's the latest hack, assuming that the principles of what you just talked about and the foundation is all in place and in most cases, um, there
Speaker 4 (18:39):
Exactly, exactly. And the, the, uh, the foundations, the principles are everything there is sometimes boring to do, but, um, but they can uncover, they can make things simple and uncover, Oh, a way to make everything a lot easier.
Speaker 1 (18:55):
And a good consultant. I would also say not only just like takes you through that exercise, but a good consultant is going to like operationalize that exercise for you. Right.
Speaker 4 (19:05):
That's exactly what I do. So one of the, yeah, but one of the other ads it's working real well, so I don't forget this. And this kind of helps, you know, especially if people don't know if you're not a household name, you're not, Coca-Cola, you're not a big brand. You're kind of coming from nowhere. Let's say you're advertising on Facebook is a, is a good example, right. Where people stumble across you. Um, let's just say like, so I did this, I had a, um, I had a client who taught, uh, you know, is in the real estate investor business, real estate investors and agents, both were where their clients. And they were a great marketing agency. They did a lot of work for them and help them generate leads and close those leads, et cetera. And so one of the things we did out there was we put together about a thousand word Facebook post slash ad.
Speaker 4 (19:56):
And on this, um, it was, these are the, I forget how many, I think it was like 24 objection handling answers. So as a real estate investor or an agent, whenever you're talking to a seller, you're likely to get, uh, uh, any number of objections is why they can't do business with you, especially when you're, or when you're negotiating or just trying to get the listing or get them to sell the house. Here are 24 of the best objection, handlers that we've got. And we just listed it out like one, and then a little clip, one, a little clip, and you come across this and it should be overwhelming. Like, wow, this is really long. Like, this is almost too long, but it's so valuable. Like I need to refer back to this. So a lot of the times what people will do, and I do this all the time is I'll save it in my Facebook, you know, save it, screenshot it on my camera, roll on my
Speaker 1 (20:48):
IPhone. It's just screenshots of it.
Speaker 4 (20:49):
Right. So the problem with that is how often do you really go back to your saved stuff and consume it? I rarely do. Right? So every once in a while, I'll go in there. I was like, Oh yeah, I forgot about that piece. But so what we did in this case is we acknowledged in the, on the top and the bottom, like, Hey, if you want to get over objections, if you want this, here's a great resource for you. Hopefully it's helpful. I realize it's long. If you want a printable PDF that you can download for free of this, where I include a few video walkthroughs and et cetera, right? Like throw a couple of bonuses in, just leave a comment or click here or whatever your call to action is. In this case, I use to leave a comment and then I use many chat to fire it up.
Speaker 4 (21:34):
Hey, thanks for requesting this. Would you like a PDF of the post that you just read? Great. What's your email? Now the point here is most people who do an ad to an opt in are, you know, it's, it's kind of a tease like, Hey, do you want these objection, handling things? Give me your email. First, this point is like, no, I'm going to give you the value. I'm not going to ask a thing for it. However, you're going to, you're going to, I'm going to get your opt-in for an easier to consume version of what you just got a better modality, maybe with some bonuses, but I've already delivered the value I've made you believe you can trust me and go, huh? So the, the net effect of this and yeah, I mean, we spent, we spent, uh, tens of thousands of dollars on this ad and it crushed. But, um, it, we, we had so much social proof on that ad. Everybody was commenting. This is great. And we didn't tell them what the comment we just said, Hey, let us know if you want it. So people would phrase it in different ways, but then many chat would pick up that comment and grab it and say, yeah, here you go. So we built a tremendous amount of rapport with them. So the go ahead.
Speaker 1 (22:44):
Well, I, you know, the switching up of modalities is, is proven, right? Like classic, you know, BookFunnel right. Like get the physical book, get the audio book, get the ebook. Right. Yeah.
Speaker 4 (22:57):
And wanting to, in a way that's easy to consume. Oh, totally, totally value from them. That's and that's really the takeaway. There is like, whatever you're selling, think about this. Like how can I create a valuable post so that it's not, this is not supposed to be enlightening necessarily. It's supposed to be almost tactical, like do these things, like what can you produce that somebody would want to print it out and almost have it as a reference or a cheat sheet or something like, Oh, hell yeah. Like we're working on this for vitamin patch club now to just go, um, you know, what are all the things you need to know? Like, Hey, do you want a printable PDF of this? Uh, we're happy to give it to you now. I've got your attention by the end. Then, as, as you guys know, as media buyers, you get tons of social proof on an ad, positive social proof. It just it's like compound interest. Yeah. And, um, and it helps with that. That was always a fun, unique one. I haven't seen a lot of people doing that method. I've seen him saying, Hey, if you want this blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I've got this thing. If you want it, you know, comment here, but now give it to them upfront in an unformatted hard to consume version, but make them go, Oh crap, I'm going to need, I'm going to need to have that handy.
Speaker 5 (24:07):
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Speaker 4 (25:23):
Check it email@example.com. So I want to hear about an ad. That's not working. I want you to read this poor ad because you know, Brad, you have this pristine track record, uh, and public persona of like the ultimate marketing consultant and like stays like super high level. But I want to know brands not perfect close to perfect. The ads that don't work, then I'm sorry. It's easier to pick the ads that do work only because they're so, so the rest of her were a lot longer. Um, I mean some of the ads, gosh, you know, some of them, you know, I love using metaphors and ads, love stories and metaphors Mike in marketing. There's some of my favorite things to do. And I remember writing up one, um, recently I got, I'm trying to think what the metaphor was, but just where it was like a brilliant thing and it was long and it was kind of contrived, but it was like brilliant writing as if, if somebody read it, like it was supposed to create these Epiphanes in people's minds. Like, Oh, wow, that's super cool. And it flopped, we changed the ad to be something like, if you want to, how to, um, if you want to learn how to do this, watch this video and that crushed it compared comparatively. And that's where as a marketing guy, I'm kind of like, ah, gosh, darn it. Like, I think I'm brilliant. And it,
Speaker 1 (26:57):
And you over-engineer that this is like my, my achilles' heel man of being in marketing too long, or you're like, let me just, just put every principle all in play and then flops. Yeah.
Speaker 4 (27:12):
I wish I would have, I didn't create this, but I, I have no idea who to give credit to, but I think I read it someday where it says sometimes the best way to sell a horse to somebody who wants to buy a horse is to put up a sign that says horse for sale. And I was like, it's just so blatantly obvious. I just find somebody who wants what you've got and just say, I've got it. Like sometimes it's that simple. Now, granted, it also depends on the sophistication and cynicism of your market. But, um,
Speaker 1 (27:39):
This isn't, that's a new one, but a good example,
Speaker 4 (27:42):
A lot of marketing agencies who listen to the show. Right. Cool. So sometimes you could literally just say, and we've done this what us, you know, if we offered to do all your marketing for you, you know, would you be interested click here? Like, um, yeah, I want that because in Facebook it's going to be a little different because people are scrolling through and you have sometimes less time to make your point. They know, they typically know it's an ad trying to be too cute. Can screw things up. But as marketers, we always, we want, like, we want to be cute. We want to be genius and creative and stuff. And sometimes that doesn't work. Um, the majority of my ads that don't work or me trying to pull out my best sales copy, you don't really know who's got it. And I, and I, I touched on this, I gotta give him credit, but I love this concept, you know, Joel airway. Yeah. Joel's, Joel's got this absolutely amazing, um, structure for an ad called a power offer. Have you ever heard of that?
Speaker 1 (28:44):
Yeah, we're actually, I think he's actually going to be on the show tomorrow. Uh, recording an episode, talking about,
Speaker 4 (28:49):
Gave him, tell him, I gave him props basically says like, look, go for the absolute, you know, the ultimate thing that people want. Like, and just say, if I offered to do this for you, you know, w would you be, would you take me up on the offer? Like what, like for instance, if I offered to do all your marketing for you set up all your campaigns, do this, blah, blah, blah, like talk to the highest, highest possible, um, avatar of somebody who wants what you're doing. And then just say, if I offer to basically do all this, would you take me up on that offer and then, and then give them something to click on and go find out more because when you're ever, you're talking to people like basically saying, Hey, do you want me to do this for you? Or just here, you're going to get the attention of everybody. You're not just getting the attention of, Hey, you want a cheat sheet of the best objection, handlers, you know? Um, so I love what Joel has done. I'm happy to give him credit for this power offer structure. Uh, you know, I've used it and you know, it's been, it's been great, but, and he uses those in ads.
Speaker 1 (29:48):
Cool. So I want to talk about your zone of genius, man. I want to dive in and really there's so many things to uncover in this next segment, but no, we're really talking to, you know, agencies, advertisers, and some of them are, most of them I should say, are all guilty of marketer, math, right? It's lazy Roundup to the nearest million or 10 million and, and, um, you know, project out, uh, all kinds of, uh, of crazy numbers around bookings instead of revenues. So I want to talk about some financial principles, um, in terms of how you think about, uh, this with your clients in terms of investing in growth, managing marketing budget profitability. And then I also want to talk about some of the creative stuff that you're doing in terms of leveling up from being a paid gun for hire consultant and expensive one at that to really jumping into, uh, using strategic finance, to, to, to do acquisitions and, um, and, and buyouts, I think there's plenty of stuff out there. You know, I'll just leave a caveat. There's plenty of stuff out there around like no money down acquisitions, you know, and, and being creative. And, and, and there's a ton of principles on like no money, but like, I want to, I want to focus on like what to do with the actual money.
Speaker 4 (31:12):
Yeah. There's I mean, and I, and I've bought a couple of companies with no money down and by the way, like the no money thing, it, sometimes it can mean not your money out of your checking account. Right. Sometimes it can mean I borrowed money sometimes millions of dollars to do this. As I mentioned offline, like I'm, I'm attempting to put together a $50 million line of credit, which makes my butt pucker and go who you don't know what you do, and, but you're going to do it anyway. So, um,
Speaker 1 (31:40):
Well walk us through that. Like, what does that, what does that look like? So
Speaker 4 (31:44):
I'm just figuring that part out. Well,
Speaker 1 (31:45):
I, yeah, I mean, let's, let's, let's talk it through, right? Like what's the use of funds, right? Cause like you go raise 50 million, you're going to pay depending on who you raise from, keep in mind
Speaker 4 (31:54):
Line of credit. So not like give me 50 million and let me have access to it and put it in the bank. So a line of credit is going to be different. If I can get access to that, then with the ability to say, Hey, if I've got a specific deal or deals, then you will write the check. Cause I I'm basically it's earmarked for me. That's a different story. And that's a more powerful way to do it because it's less risk for both parties. But, um, for instance, one of the, one of the things and once more, I'm, I'm going to be telling you this, as I'm learning how to do it. This is me trying to grow as an entrepreneur, which is, um, um, create a pitch deck for what the proposed use of funds will be. Um, in this case, it is to do an it manager MSP roll up where our goal is to buy multiple it service businesses and, um, you know, acquire them up, make them more efficient, operationally and profitably, and then sell this conglomerate to, um, maybe it's, let's say five different companies to a bigger player, like a private equity company or another strategic player, like the one company you and I were talking about offline.
Speaker 4 (33:08):
So in order to do this, um, and it's a very competitive market out there for this industry, we're gonna, we, you know, we can go at it and try to get, you know, owner financing and be real creative if we're talking to somebody who wants to sell, but cash is King and somebody who sees themselves able to get money is going to get the deal. You know, they're going to give the deal there. So what we're going to be working on is putting together a very robust pitch deck that says, here's our plan. Here are some of the companies that we have identified as potential targets. Although I don't believe we have to have conversations with them yet. We can just identify them and then build the business model and the case, or, um, what we're looking to do. Uh, a lot of times they call this a search fund, like give us a fund to put together that is, uh, you know, we've got access to this capital.
Speaker 4 (34:00):
So when we need it, we can strike and we're going to go out there and search for these companies that way. It allows me to say, okay, Zack, you've got this business, it's worth $3 million in cash. I'll give you 1.5 million in cash with a one point, you know, you know, $1 million in, um, you know, owner financing, another half, a million dollars in earn-out or something of that nature. Right. But if I can write a check, I don't want to write a check for all cash for somebody assets, unless I, I know I can come in there and flip a switch and double the income, but, um, that's the goal of creating what really, I think this amounts to is a search fund, which is what they call.
Speaker 1 (34:40):
And so we're not going to go the route of, you know, creating money in, you know, nobody down trying to go [inaudible] you want to talk about a $50 million search fund, which is, you know, it's different, right? So what would come to mind for most people is like, I need to go create my own font, right? I'm going to raise 15 million in whatever, five Oh six BC, whatever. And I'm going to go pick a million dollars at a time. And, uh, and basically give, you know, 10 to 12, 15% pref and you know, some upside, right? That's like what most people would default to in terms of raising 50 million, if, um, you know, unless they're doing a more of a syndicate where like, somebody's just going to be like, Hey, we have this deal. You bring in money on a, on a per by deal, by deal basis. Um, so you're, you're kind of taking a different step. You're not saying I'm going to create a fund you're I'm going to go get a line of credit. Uh, yeah. Up to 50 million that I could draw down when the acquisition is ready. So talk to me about what you're learning in terms of who, who are these, these, you know, with the money. Yeah. Who are the people with the money
Speaker 4 (35:57):
On that case? Literally the conversation this week where he cause he, a friend of mine put together a deal like this for a different industry. And, uh, I lucked into this. He's like, I've got the people, they've got no access to a lot of money. Um, I can't go into like the, um, they are looking for deals to place their assets. He's already got an in, he's already gone through the process and he's like, I'll walk you through it. He'll obviously get a piece of my company. But, um, he goes, I'll walk you through it, but they are, you know, they've got access to at least a billion dollars of, uh, cash that they're trying to do. Um, you know, placing investments because they don't want to put it into the stock market. Ideally they will be real estate backed, right? Like a lot of these investors want something that's real estate back.
Speaker 4 (36:46):
Like it's, let's say it's a local chain of auto shops where they actually own the land under it. The stuff I'm looking for, isn't really real estate back. So that might cause a problem. But bottom line is how do you find these people? For me, it was luck and networking and relationships of people who just know what I'm trying to do, which is why I'm never secretive about the business plans and things I do. I mean, I may be secretive about the micro details, but I let people know because it only takes one person to go, Hey, I've heard you on this show and I may be able to help you out. So I out, I tell everybody I don't hide the ideas,
Speaker 1 (37:22):
The, uh, uh, just to speak on that. We're saying I a hundred percent agree when we, when I first had the idea of like just funding people's ad spend and kind of changing the monetization model of a FunnelDash like literally the first person I told was the guy I go to church with, who was like, he's like in nonprofits, you know, he's like, you know, just like you're running the mill local guy that shows up on a, you know, has got a couple of kids in high school, not in business, like at all, you know? And he's like, yeah, you know, you should meet, uh, Dick blew it. Um, he's a good friend of mine. And Dick is basically the head of the GSO group at Blackstone, which is like the largest credit asset manager in the world is like the first go around connection onto this effort. So I couldn't agree more in terms of like being open with what you're thinking about. Even if it's unstructured, even if you don't have all the pieces, um, you never know who's connected to who and, uh, sometimes you have somebody completely ignorant that doesn't even know what you're talking about, but they're like, yeah, you should probably talk to this person.
Speaker 4 (38:30):
That's precisely, that's precisely it. And then with the, with the ways that we're trying to find some of these deals, uh, there's going to be a, and this has started, it's going to be both, um, uh, email, like networking, email, direct mail, reach out, just trying to get conversations going. We, we have created a company that is doing a pay-per-click lead generation for, um, it surface companies, um, to be quite honest, that the Trojan horse we're going to go in there and do that because if we can, I mean, we'll, we'll try to monetize it either way, but if we can get their trust as a trusted advisor, who's able to ask them about their business. Then we can ask the, um, the million dollar question, which anybody who's who's owns an agency right now should pay extremely close attention to them. It's a very highly manipulative persuasion based question, very advanced language, which is you ever thought about selling your company?
Speaker 4 (39:31):
Right. Ask that question. Um, agencies, advisors, consultants never asked that question. And it's mainly because they don't, they wouldn't know what to do with it. If I have. And if that company is thinking about selling, they, they get worried because they're like, well, um, I might lose a client. I ask every single one of my clients that, and I suggest that every agency owner does too. Because even if you do not know how to buy a business, you know, people who do, and if you don't know people who do, and you're listening to the sound of my boys hit me up. I know we just met, but call me maybe. But, but that can happen. And then, so for instance, I love working with agency owners who are especially product high service. Like let's say I do PPC and Facebook ads for a company or a website design.
Speaker 4 (40:20):
You know, they've got the ears and the trust of their clients simply ask. So what's the long-term, uh, what's the long-term vision here. Do you plan on growing this, giving it to your kids, maybe selling it. If they say selling it, put on your thinking cap and go, wow. If this guy could sell it to somebody else, what if I could buy it or, or be a part of a group who buys it? I wonder who I could call to help make this happen. You'd be surprised at how many business owners would love to get out of their business because, but they feel like they're stuck in it because they're not even thinking that anybody would buy that piece of crap. That's how I felt about my info product. I, it was, it was down 70% from its peak because I was working on other stuff and I was just gonna let it ride it down to the ground.
Speaker 4 (41:04):
But I talked to a buddy of mine who said he knew a business broker. He's like, I bet I could get this thing sold. Like I never thought I'd be able to sell it. Lo and behold I did. And that is a very common thought among business owners out there. Like, I'd love to sell this business, like take it off my hands because especially, you know what, like in my field of the it service businesses, a lot of times there are these tech technicians and they're really good at it, but then they decided to go like quit Microsoft and go out on their own. And then they realized now they have to deal with client service and marketing and sales and accounting. And that sucks.
Speaker 1 (41:43):
Right. I want to know. So how do you scale this, right? Or like, how do you manage your time? You're a guy that is working on so many different verticals. How many projects can you like, just peel back the onion for us, just a little bit of like, how many deals do you really have going on right now in the sense that you're able to keep a pulse on? Not as many, unfortunately for me, but that's okay. That's okay. Advisers, you know, they, you know, some people are doing like 50 deals, a hundred deals. I don't have that level of organization or management ability in my life. But like, do you talk to, what's your sweet spot? Is it like three to five deals at a time? Yeah. 10 deals at a time.
Speaker 4 (42:27):
The time is quite a bit, I mean, it depends on what stage they're in, but you know, I have to split my split my time between three primary things professionally, which is I have current clients that I work with, some of them on fees, some of them on performance, uh, you know, et cetera. So I have, I do have to devote some time to that. Uh, the good part is I'm not doing a lot of personalized delivery. It's more strategies showing up and helping manage a few of the parts and more creative brainstorming. But, um, I typically try to do client meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That's kind of my sweet spot for that, if I can. And by the way, I'm far from perfect at doing this well. Like regimenting my time. Um, the other time I actually, you know, I have a couple of portfolio companies, the ones that I have ownership in and I like Mondays and Wednesdays, I really try to, uh, focus on, um, you know, my, the things I have ownership of to the greatest degree possible, um, throughout the day, usually in the afternoons is when I do, uh, you know, phone calls and like analysis.
Speaker 4 (43:36):
Like non-creative work, just talking to people, moving deal. Like if it's a deal, moving those things forward and just trying to see where it's going now, if sometimes, you know, sometimes the deal is just conversation, conversation, conversation. And then once an agreement is struck, then it goes into like due diligence and it gets harder. So, um, I have to sacrifice either client time or portfolio company time. And I just have to, I have to get creative or work twice as much. Um, but that's, I mean, those are the three things like at this exact moment, my deal flow is not real high, so it's not overwhelming me. Right. So I'm spending the majority of my time between the companies that I have a piece of and my, um, and my clients while trying to get that other deal flow coming in more timely.
Speaker 1 (44:28):
What do you do on Fridays?
Speaker 4 (44:29):
Primarily working my and strategizing, like just really strategizing the things that have to move forward. And a lot of fun Fridays are almost all phone calls back to back to back.
Speaker 1 (44:40):
Got it, got it. But
Speaker 4 (44:42):
I'm trying to figure it out. You know, there's no such thing as time management, it's all activity management and the other way, I've kind of time blocked. Uh, once more, I'm not as successful as I'd like to be at this, but I try to group things into, uh, the mindset I need to be in when I'm doing it. So strategic work is one thing, like really thinking through a strategy, uh, there's creative work, maybe I'm writing copy or ad copy or, or something of that nature. Right. So there's difference between strategy thinking and creative thinking. And then there is just doing things. I call it feeding the animals, right? Like it just has to be done. Maybe it's personal finance, maybe it's just getting off my plate. Um, and then there is the connecting side, right? Like I need to be in the mode where I'm having conversations and I'm connecting.
Speaker 4 (45:30):
Those are the four primary buckets and there's other little ones, but it's like, am I doing, I guess the other one is like deep analysis, like let's say spreadsheet work and really, really left brain thinking. Um, right. So if I try to switch, if, if, if I'm writing sales copy or, or trying to come up with an idea for a video or something like that, and then I have to go jump into a spreadsheet. The cost of switching is so high that I'm not going to be effective at one of those and likely either one of them. So I'll try to just segregate those out by day, say, all right, Hey, is spreadsheets all day, put a gun in one hand and a mouth.
Speaker 1 (46:10):
All right. So I gotta, I gotta, we gotta wrap up with two other questions here, which is, uh, wa well, we'll just dive into the first one here is what are your thoughts on debt in the business? We've talked about debt to acquire businesses and, you know, exploring, you know, the idea of creating a credit fund. And, uh, but then there's, um, you know, there's actually a good and bad uses, uh, of leveraging debt. How do you advise your clients on this? Do you, to what extent are you involved in that financial planning conversation and in terms of capitalizing, cashflow management, things like that?
Speaker 4 (46:46):
I don't go super deep into that because I unders like, I don't even, um, I'm not as expert at that as I actually would like to be, but, um, I you're right. The good debt, bad debt. Um, basically if it, you know, if it's something that either funds inventory or funds a growth initiative that you think you can turn this around and, um, and get profitable on, then yeah. Go for debt. If it's vanity projects, if it's just like growth at any cost, I say, no. Um, like, and for instance, I love following a profit first methodology made famous by the book of the same name by Mike [inaudible], which is, um, you just flip the numbers to say, here's my sales. Um, this is how much profit I'm pulling out, like, pull your profit out of your, uh, out of your sales first. Like, let's say, I love to do this, which is, I want to engineer a minimum of a 10% profit margin in a business that I own, right.
Speaker 4 (47:44):
So it's like a million dollars come in of those of that million dollars off the top a hundred thousand dollars, let's say it's that year, or let's say it's that month a million dollars a month, right. A hundred thousand dollars comes off the top and goes into a separate bank account that leaves us with $900,000 of expense to play with. Like, that's how much we get to spend. We've pulled the profit off first, don't touch the profit, don't put it back into the business. Now, given those, that level of expenses, can we grow with what we need to, um, like, you know, do we have the capital to grow well, there's a couple of ways to create capital. We either sell more stuff and ideally that helps. Or we borrow the money for an initiative. If we think that, you know, the terms are fair and we can pay it back. Um, I wish I had a more expert opinion, but that's kind of the way, uh,
Speaker 1 (48:36):
No, that's good. That's good. So, uh, and then the last one, where do you really land, you know, in a, w w with credit cards, are you like a cash back guy points, sky credit,
Speaker 4 (48:48):
Then they have a points guy personally, but I am woefully inadequate at managing those points. And then I never want to spend those points. Cause I was like, Oh, but if I spend the dollars, I'll get more points. So I'm terrible at this. I just looked at my like Amex. I got like almost half a million points on my Amex and I've got other stuff and I never use them. So I'm not efficient at managing them. And, uh, whatnot. I would love to, like, I love this stuff that you guys are talking about, bringing out for your card. Like maybe it's a crypto thing or et cetera, but, um, I accumulate points and then I sit on them and I go, Oh, Hey, look at all those points. What should I do with them? I should be much more intentional with them.
Speaker 1 (49:28):
Yeah, yeah, no, that's cool, man. Yeah. I, uh, well, this has been an amazing episode. Thank you so much for effort for being able to, I enjoy, um, tell me a little bit about what you're up to next, how we can support you and, uh, how people can get
Speaker 4 (49:46):
All right. So yeah, th th the things I'm up to next is really, uh, growing, um, vitamin patch club, which is, you know, the one just took, um, equity in, uh, so anything to do with, uh, health, wealth, uh, health, wealth, health, and wellness market. I am going to be actually looking to do some acquisitions in that space as well. Um, that's a big area. And then, uh, really looking for it based companies that I can either serve as a, you know, lead generation and advisory to them, because it can be one or the other, and or if they're open to taking an investment or, uh, exiting, then I'm extremely interested in talking to them. And for instance, if you have people listening to this who run agencies, and maybe they have clients who are in the it service space, I don't want to compete with you and try to serve them.
Speaker 4 (50:37):
But if you ever ask them a question such as, would you ever be open to selling your business, um, or open to a conversation? I know somebody who's looking to acquire, then, you know, you know how to get ahold of me, by the way. That's not just it businesses. I'm always looking for businesses that can have value added to it, that the owner might be a little bit ready to let go. And marketing agencies have the single best level of trust have that you should be having that conversation anyway. Um, have it, and if you don't know what to do with it, I mean, get, get ahold of me. I may show you how to get control of it, or I may offer to partner with you. Those are the two primary things. And then beyond that, if anybody just wants to, um, you know, cause some kind of unique ideas to grow their business, uh, you know, I, I still do work with clients. So, and you can't,
Speaker 1 (51:26):
I mean, check out bacon wrapped business. I feel like you, uh, you got all the OGs of, uh, people that are in a marketing for like a decade, two decades, uh, on your show. And, uh, you go like really deep, uh, on that side. You know why? Because I use that,
Speaker 4 (51:43):
I joke that I have the most selfish podcast on iTunes because I do not actually care if anybody's listening my audience. I have people on the show that I want to learn from. And very selfishly. So it's like, you don't get on my show. If you just want to talk about you. It's like, if I already know everything that you're going to talk about, you're not getting on because of that. I ask these questions that are, that I want to apply either in my business or my client's business. So it's very actionable. Like I could almost care less about your story. And because of that, by the way, like I've generated over a million dollars in revenue from my guests alone because I've found a way to work with them and say, Oh, that was, that was an interesting challenge you're having, but let's follow up later and I've done either partnership deals or clients. So it's there, you got bacon
Speaker 1 (52:30):
Wrapped business.com sponsored by
Speaker 4 (52:33):
Speaker 1 (52:35):
Sponsored by bread. That's awesome, dude. You've been an amazing guest. Thank you so much, Brett. It's been a lot of fun. Thanks so much for listening to another episode of the rich add more ed podcast. If you're like me and listen to podcasts on the go, go ahead and subscribe on Apple podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and rich dad, poor dad.com/podcast. And if you absolutely love the show, go ahead and leave a review and a comment share with a friend. If you do take a copy screenshot of it, email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Show me you left a review. I'll give you a free copy of the rich add for ed book to learn more about the book. Go to rich ed for a.com to leave a review that a rich ad for at.com/review. Thanks again.
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Jason Hornung is the founder and Creative Director at JH Media LLC, the world’s #1 direct response advertising agency focusing exclusively on the Facebook ads platform. Jason’s proprietary methods for ad creation, audience selection and scaling are responsible for producing $20 million + of profitable sales for his clients EVERY YEAR