It’s a special surprise episode this week as we celebrate Leanne’s Birthday. Joining us is Adam Schafer of Mind Pump!
Inside of this episode:
Cal surprises Leanne with the #1 spot on her scary list!
First hand advice from a podcast and media mogul on monetization, the importance of authentic growth + partnerships, a up close listen into the Mind Pump machine and so much more!
A synchronistic moment that landed Leanne’s fiance’ an HTC debut and so much more.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEANNE!!
Interview with Adam Schafer:
Calla: I’m going to let him in. First of all, happy birthday. Happy early birthday.
Leanne: To Who?
Calla: I want you to meet somebody.
Leanne: Oh My God, I’m not trying to cry in front of Adam first time. Hi, Adam. How are you?
Adam Schafer: Rumor has it. I’m helping you guys. I’m a media company helping you guys grow your business right now. Is that is what we’re doing right now?
Leanne: That is what you do. My mind is blown. Oh my gosh, hi. Awesome. Oh my god.
Calla: I’m so thankful that you did this, Adam. I’m Calla, by the way.
Leanne: I’m Leanne. Big long-term fan over here.
Adam: Nice to officially meet you both.
Calla: We were talking about you this morning.
Leanne: It kind of comes up every podcast episode somehow.
Adam: Give me a little 411 on you guys and what you guys do before we get into the interview? I’m curious.
Calla: Yeah, for sure. So I started the podcast in 2018. There was a genuine need for connection in my life. When I looked around the table, I saw that everybody was like me. I didn’t have a lot of different viewpoints. And I needed some help. So I just kind of started from the corner of my garage after my kids went to bed and just started reaching out to people and having conversations. A lot of it was in the cannabis space in the beginning.
Adam: Oh, Yeah?!
Calla: I’ve learned that we have a lot in common, actually.
Adam: We could talk about stuff all day long.
Calla: Right. Right. So then, I got burnt out trying to do it all myself and realize, like, put it on the table for a little bit. And then I asked Leanne if she would join me. And she did. And here we are.
Adam: So Leanne, what’s your background? So what did you do?
Leanne: So my background in training. I’m a personal trainer. So we could talk about that all day too.
Adam: Personal Training and Weed, That’s my thing! So we could go anywhere on those two subjects. How long were you a trainer for?
Leanne: I’ve been a trainer for almost ten years now. I’m NASM certified, and actually, it was my fiance now, but my boyfriend at the time, that introduced me to Mind Pump. So I’ve got all the programs, all my clients are priming. They’re all wearing their Fitbit and stuff. And it’s all thanks to you guys. You guys have transformed how I train myself and my clients, so I cannot thank you enough.
Adam: I mean, literally you are, I think the true avatar that we thought about when we started to create Mind Pump, it was kind of scratching our own itch. You know, if I was a new trainer coming into the space, like what type of content would I think I like to consume? And we knew that obviously, the information and science-based stuff we provide would be important, but then enough entertainment that I would keep coming back, you know, that keeps me coming back? So that was part of the formula that we tried to piece together. So yeah, you were the type of person we had in mind when we thought, okay, if we can reach all the trainers, then we will reach all these clients by proxy.
Leanne: Oh, that’s so cool. Yeah. Honestly, he’s part of it. So my boyfriend or my fiance is three years younger than me, and it was kind of just like one of those things like, “Oh, he’s cute, but I don’t know.” And then, once I started listening to Mind Pump, I was like, “Oh! He knows his shit!”
Adam: no, you know, it’s really rare. It happens that way. So what we get the most common is the wife or the girlfriend is the fan or the listener, and then she’s always trying to get the boyfriend or the husband to listen. We love when we do live events. We always meet the poor husband who’s been like a super fan. And he’s like, oh, Who the fuck are these guys? But then they meet us. Okay, these guys are kind of cool. They’re down to earth like, and then the guys end up listening after that. But normally, it’s the other way around. So you got a good one. And then and then the weed background, were you a farmer were you like into what were you doing?
Calla: I was a struggling mother. I’m the Memes that you and Sal post all the time of, like, the mom group, so the mom smoking the joint, that’s me. I was just desperate. I’ll be completely honest. It’s not a cute story. It’s not a fun story. I was needing help, and cannabis provided it. I kind of inserted myself into the industry a little bit with some influencers. I hate that term, but you know, people in the industry and started just to learn their stories and learn more about it. We recently just partnered with a company out of Canada, and we’re telling veterans stories and their cannabis and plant medicine journeys. So that’s what we’re doing right now here on HTC. (Stories of Healing)
Adam: Ah, very cool. So is that how you guys monetize? Are you sell products that are related to cannabis?
Calla: Not yet. We’re so new. We are so new, and that’s why we look to you guys. Part of why Leanne even agreed to join me on this is because she’s been such a fan of you all. So she was just like if they can do it and their friends like…
Adam: If these dummies can figure it out! I can figure it out!
Leanne: I’ve got this! Our whole podcast is centered around mental health and wellness. And we say everything in between just so we’re not pigeonholed, but it is all one piece, right? So the mental health comes with physical health and vice versa. And I mean, that that’s what we’re trying to kind of get across to people, whether it’s veterans using cannabis for PTSD or it’s normal people just trying to figure out how to feel better during the day and to spread the word on different ways to feel better mentally and physically.
Calla: Live a good life, right? And it all happens through talking to people and hearing about it.
Adam: Well, I’m not going to tell you guys what direction to go in this podcast. But feel free to get into the kind of you know, one thing that happens I get interviewed sometimes is I get people that have all these like real personal questions related their business, they want to ask me, but then they’re like, Oh, we need to appeal to our audience in my ask audience type questions. So feel free to drive me in any direction that you guys want and take advantage of us hanging out because, yeah, whatever you guys want to know about the business side and what it’s been like scaling Mind Pump.
Leanne: How did you all start monetizing?
Adam: That’s actually a really good question, a really good place to start with asking me because we strategically waited a really long time to monetize. Now, I say that, and it obviously sounds like a place of privilege, right? That we were in a place that we didn’t have to monetize. We had built other businesses outside. So we didn’t need the income at first. We were all still doing other jobs while we’re still trying to build the podcast. So Sal and Doug had created MAPS Anabolic, which is the number one selling program of all the programs that we have. It’s the original, and they had that done ready to go, ready to be sold before Mind Pump even started. In fact, Doug and Sal went through some internet marketing stuff. And they’ve actually put some things out there sold a few programs on their own. And Sal and I met, and at the same time, I was building a social media presence intending to sell an app that Justin and I were building. So Justin and I were trying to gamify fitness through this app, and I was pumping money into it. He was kind of the tech guy managing the engineers. And the idea was okay, he’ll handle all the tech stuff and the details of building the app. My job was to go out and build an audience. So we had somebody to introduce it to sell it to potentially. And Sal and I talk about marijuana here. So Sal and I actually ironically met on Facebook, communicating about marijuana.
Calla: I met some of my best friends that way, I get it.
Adam: What was so ironic about it back then was this we’re talking like, this is like a this is well before my pumps is like eight, eight years ago or so. And in the training space, marijuana was still pretty taboo. Like there weren’t any fitness people really touting the benefits of marijuana yet. And I was already, you know, knee-deep in it with the cannabis clubs that I was running. I was actually a master grower. I taught myself how to do all this stuff. And so I was in the thick of it. And Sal was doing a ton of research because he had a mother in law that was dying of cancer. So I all and we had mutual friends who had told us about each other like I had heard for many years from some good friends, people I respected a ton saying, Oh, you have to meet this guy Sal, you guys are just alike, and I could just see you guys doing something great. So I heard that for years. And so did he. And we just never got around to connecting and then actually just connected on Facebook day. And you know, he slid in my DMS and started messaging me about marijuana and stuff. And then we that was most of the conversation for like a few months. And then it was kind of like, hey, so what are you up to? And I was like, Oh, well, you know, my buddy Justin and I were building this virtual app, and we’re trying to gamify fitness, and I’m building a social media presence. So I just turned on my YouTube and Facebook, and Instagram. And that’s the reason why we clicked on Facebook then was because I didn’t have one before that because I was like an anti-social media guy. I come from a generation that would didn’t use it that much. And I used to have this thing where people asked me about it. I’d be like, I don’t need virtual friends. That was my thing, right? So totally naive, had no idea the potential of what I could do, later on, figured that all out and said, Okay, I’m going to, I’m going to turn all this stuff on and see if I can build an audience. So that is the original way we all met. And then what happened was Sal sends me over a kind of a demo and a sales pitch to maps anabolic. And I watch it, and I love it. And I love it. Because of the message that was behind it. It was very counter to what was being presented in the fitness space at the time. And it was, in my opinion, the right message that more people needed to hear. And I was like, This is brilliant. And I said, Can we get together? I said, Can you guys come to my house? And meet up? He says, Yeah, can I bring Doug with me? I said, Sure. I said I wanted to bring my friend Justin with me. And we can all just, let’s just meet, we had nothing. We had no intentions of building anything. It was just for people who had a bunch of ideas that were kind of similar. And we saw, we saw, we aligned a lot. And so we got in this room in my house. First time all meeting, and it was just fireworks. I mean, it was bah, bah, bah, bah, fireworks. I mean, like four hours went by, and it felt like it was 15 minutes. And there was not a breath taken between everybody, absolute chemistry. And Doug piped in one point and said, Hey, we should put this on a podcast. And at that time, I knew of this podcasting space as far as how it was growing, but I thought it was like starting a radio show. I assumed that we needed a network and sponsors, and lots of money to get going. Doug kind of laughed at me. He’s like, “I have the gear at my house. We could do it on Saturday.” And we all looked at each other like, “Okay, let’s try this. And let’s see what happens.” And we did, we got going, fell in love with the idea of it right away. And we did have the foresight to know that, okay, we may like this idea, we may be seeing a few people listening to us, but let’s not make the mistake of trying to sell our audience something right away. And that’s just that’s, that’s like, sales one on one. And we all have backgrounds, right? Like the last thing, you want to do. I used to teach my trainers this; someone walks in the gym, the easiest client to sell personal train to is the lady who walks to the front desk and says, “I’m looking to buy a personal trainer,” the worst thing that one of my trainers could do is just to open up the book and say, “how many sessions do you want?”, I would teach them not to do that. That person’s already an interested buyer. They’re going to buy for you, so take your time. Please do a full assessment, build value in what you provide them, and then sell them a year’s worth of training or a bigger package. And so it’s basic sales, right to understand the idea that we need to provide tremendous value before we start to ask for anything in return. So even though we had anabolic ready to sell, and this podcast was kind of slowly growing week, over week, month over month, and we were having a little bit of success, we still knew like, okay, let’s not try and sell anything. And the goal was, can we get to a place where we are providing so much value that people are trying to give us money. And that’s literally what happened. It got to a place where people weren’t now, mind you, this 100 episodes plus later. So we’ve done 100 plus episodes. And now we’re starting to get emails and messages on Instagram that are saying, Oh my god, you’ve changed my life, and you help my mom, you save this. And then just telling us these great stories and saying, I Where can I give you money? Do you have a Patreon? Do you have anything I can buy to support what you’re doing? I want to show you my appreciation for everything you’ve given us for free. And we didn’t just get one or two of these, which started to become a regular occurrence. Every day we are getting this. And so the way we looked at it was okay if there are people just trying to give us money for nothing in return because they already feel like we’ve provided some value. Now we’re at a place where we can offer something, sell to them, and probably have a pretty legitimate business. And since we knew we were providing something that we thought was even more valuable, it should be a pretty easy conversion. And that’s exactly what happened was, we waited about a year and a half after we had got lots of these messages we decided to turn on and by the way, it wasn’t like we turned it on and suddenly we were millionaires overnight. I remember months went by before we even got to a place where we sold one program a day, you know, one program a day divided by four owners.
Leanne: That’s encouraging to hear.
Adam: If you were to go back and break down our chart, a graph of the podcast’s success, it’s been the same steady, slow climb since day one. Yeah, it’s just consistent growth a little bit—every single week. Every single A month and has been doing that since we started. And now, of course, that’s compounding when you’re three, four, or five years deep. And so we’ve done a lot, and we’ve built a lot since then. But that was really the beginning of monetization. And that was the way we decided, when is the right time to do it? Well, the right time, in our opinion, was when the podcast had provided so much value that people wanted to give us money. So we thought, okay, if I sell them a shirt, sell them a program, sell them anything, they’re going to feel good about, you know, spending money with us. And actually, that probably took, I would say, it took six months to a year somewhere in that time when the first big milestone for me was when we actually sold one program every single day and had no blank days. Right? So we had a month, I, when there was somebody buying one program from us at minimum, a day that was like the first like, okay, we’re catching momentum now where we can actually guarantee that there’s someone buying it now, you know, hundreds of programs are sold every single day. And we have all kinds of different streams of income that are coming in. And it’s much, much bigger than that. But yeah, we waited a long time before we decided to turn on the monetization.
Calla: How has it changed since the very beginning for you guys internally?
Adam: I mean, one of the things that I’m also very proud of that my co-founders and myself all thought of this from the beginning was, we didn’t want to be, we didn’t want to be the brand like we didn’t want to, which is kind of the opposite of what you see being taught right now. Like everyone talks about, like, you know, you need to be your brand. And we actually were kind of the opposite. We knew It was a necessary evil at the beginning like we have to be the face of the brand, we had to do all YouTube videos because we couldn’t afford to pay other people to do those things. Right. And, and, and all that people knew was us at the beginning. And still to this day. You know nobody can get on my YouTube channel and draw more views, more comments, more likes, more shares than one of us owners doing it. So it doesn’t matter how many trainers I’ve hired to come to do it and how talented, smart, good looking, whatever they are. People still want you, and that’s part of it. But we also knew that we didn’t want to be tied to that. I mean, we had a much bigger vision, like we wanted to build a company that we could all remove ourselves from, and then it would continue to continue to turn right. So that was so as we’ve scaled, we’ve always scaled ourselves out. So the minute that the YouTube channel was generating enough income and revenue, that it was basically at least paying for itself, videographer editor, occasional guests of trainers coming on there, we instantly removed ourselves.
Calla: was that hard to do?
Adam: Yeah, yeah. And not hard from an ego point. Like we were, we couldn’t wait to get off of it. Right. Like it was challenging because we saw a dip, and it wasn’t doing as well. So that was a bit frustrating. But that we’ve done that with every department in this business. So ever there’s, at one point, a department that was an idea that we started to test it ourselves one of us, and then we would build it up. And then once it’s generating decent revenue. Instead of putting that in our pockets, we instantly look to hire it out, hire and delegate out and scale out of the business. And so that’s what I would say has changed the most in this business since the beginning is that as it’s continued to get bigger and bigger and bigger, we’ve removed ourselves further and further and further out of the podcast. And, in the story I share whenever I get interviewed, I get a common question: when was that moment when you knew you made it? Was it a dollar amount?
I vividly remember when I felt that personally and the other guys may be different. But for me, there was this moment where so our customer service is run by my sister, and she works behind the scenes as customer service. She fields anywhere between 75 to 100 emails every single day. These are people that are going through our programs and have questions “Oh, I don’t understand this, or my knee hurts blah, blah, blah.” And she takes that we have software that we’re the HubSpot that we’re building towards AI so that when she answers questions, and we will specifically make a video or write something for that person, she makes templates that automates the process and makes it smoother. Well, a lot of times she references something that one of us hosts say on the show, well, she gets this lady one day, who says she’s This lady is bought, I think four or five of our programs. So she’s already spent 300 plus dollars with us. And she asked a question, and I think it was referring to knee pain or something. And my sister is referencing something that I had just said on the podcast like the day before, like oh Adam said, Baba, bah, bah, bah, bah. And the lady goes, Who the hell is Adam? For me? That was the moment that I knew like, Okay, this is cool because this person has spent this much money with my company. And they have no clue who I am. And that was a very powerful moment for me because it was a testament to
Calla: Such a testament to the product, right? Like, that’s huge.
Adam: That’s right. It was now bigger than us, which was always the mission for us. None of us ever desired fame, we none of us wanted to be the lime in the limelight, we wanted to build something that provided tremendous value to people that was the closest to emulating what it would be like to be trained by one of us. And provide that without us having to be the people taking care of it all the time. And I feel like we took a couple of years, but we achieve that.
Leanne: And it truly does. I was a competitive swimmer in college. So all I knew was overtraining and just hours in the gym, and the pool and running and all of it. And there’s no kind of in between you, you graduate, and they don’t teach you how to work out like a normal person who has a full-time job. And so I thought to stay in that shape. That’s what I need to keep doing. And I did it for four years. And I ran myself into the ground and wasn’t making progress. I mean, you guys talk about all the time my metabolism slowed down, I was just in that like, cycle spinning my wheels, and it was MAPS Anabolic that got me out of it. So I was like, I’ll buy the program, I’ll test it on myself. And if I like it, I’ll have to totally revamp how I train all my clients because I was training them the same way. And so it does, it’s made it it’s changed my life.
Adam: ,That’s exactly like to someone, someone that might know what MAPS Anabolic is. It’s a very basic full-body routine that is the old-school basic compound lifts. And at face value, if you’re a trainer and understand lots of exercises, someone might open it up and be like, well, this is so basic and simple. But that was the brilliance of when Sal sent that over to me. My experience is exactly the same as yours in that you are actually way more common than the opposite because we all have this tendency to overreach. And trainers also have these bad habits of all that creative exercises and basing it off of the intensity and how much you sweat and burn. And over the decades of training, I started to piece together that it’s not the most creative; it’s not the most intense workout that is the most effective for my clients. It was the most effective exercise and the appropriate dose for them. And more often than not, it was significantly less than what I was applying and what they were applying to themselves and anabolic to me either that that two day or three day routine was full body was the answer for most people. And when I looked at the landscape as far as social media and all the influencers that were, you know, touting their latest fitness program that they have, none of it looked like that. It reminded me of the programs I created when I was in my early 20s were all the creative, fun exercises and stuff that’s going to make you sweat and burn, and they were all, yeah, it looked cool, right? But it wasn’t as effective. That’s why the podcast was so instrumental to the success of the business because I don’t know if we were just a digital marketing company without the podcast if MAPS and MAPS Anabolic or MAPS products in general would have been that successful. We needed the podcast to communicate in long form why this program will be so successful for you because the average person probably would just look at it and be like, oh, this is lame; I’ve seen these exercises already.
We had to communicate that message on the podcast 900 different ways for people to get it, and we knew once they followed, it would get them to trust us, and then they’d see tremendous results. But, of course, that always sells everybody once they see the results, right?
Leanne: Do you guys get burned out?
Adam: No, you know that’s the honest to god truth, and I’ll be I will tell you right up until the day we do is the day you know we disappear because I think that we have built this up that we have we could write we could walk away from the podcasting and the responsibilities that we have but we just had that we’re just talking OFF AIR just two days ago about this and other than that the thing I love about my co-founders like a bunch of mushy guys, like a bunch of tough dudes but then text each other all this like sweet, emotional stuff. We love each other. I can scroll my phone right now, and the last text from Sal the other night was exactly that, and just appreciating our friendship, business relationship, and vision in this. I can truly say that, you know, almost seven years of doing this. I’m as excited about doing and coming to work today even more than I was first. Everybody knows I’m deciding isn’t beginning when everything’s new. Yeah, you’re just getting started, and you have lots of hope and energy and excitement. It’s you’re at your all-time high. And every other business I’ve started, there’s always been this kind of arch. And that eventually does dip down. And it takes a lot of discipline to keep it going. And it hasn’t, man, it’s been, it’s been a fun, it’s been very fun and exciting. And that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been challenged. It’s been lots of challenges and plateaus, and the businesses and small setbacks and disagreements and all that stuff. But, man, it’s been such a fun ride. And even today, like I come to work, just as excited to get here, and it never gets old. And never and people go.”How do you do so many episodes without running out of content?” And I’m like, you know, it’s similar to what being at when you’ve been a personal trainer like you have for a long enough time. How many times have you communicated the same message? You’ve just communicated it 1000 different ways, right? Yeah, you may communicate the benefits of strength training to Susie, Tom, Richard, Mary, all four different ways, the same message that you’re trying to get across, but you say it in four different ways. And that’s the podcast literally: we know the core things that we need to teach everybody. And we know not to go too far. And deep in the weeds like you see some people do. We stick to what we know will add the most value to their lives and communicate it in 1000 different ways. And not only do we just keep doing that, but we also refine our messaging like if I like I cringe when I listened to an episode like before, you know, 500 like anything before five is like, Oh my god, so embarrassing. Cringe-worthy. So yeah, you know, not only are we repeating and refining, but we’re getting better at our craft and learning Media along the way. So it’s, it’s, it hasn’t come close to getting old. It’s just getting more exciting every day.
Calla: What do you find the most challenging out of all the hats you wear at Mind Pump?
Adam: So the most challenging thing, and that this may change, right? I would say this, where we’re at size-wise, the hardest thing is actually what to say no to. So you work so hard to get to a place where we’re at, where we’ve got many things working well for us and a lot of things scaling and doing good. And one of the great things about all the hard work that we’d put in the previous, you know, two decades, if you include all the training, you know, that we’ve put in is that stuff starts to snowball, and like stuff starts working well—all this good. And we start attracting people that want to be a part of it and want to help us out. And we’ll have ideas that we can do together with them. And before you know it, you’ve got all these great opportunities. And it’s knowing what to say no to and staying very focused on the things that are going to deliver you the most return in return doesn’t always necessarily have to be money. It’s just what I want out of business. And sometimes, that is fulfillment. Sometimes that’s time. And sometimes that’s money. And you and when you’re making those decisions, the hardest thing is to know like, because I don’t sometimes it’s just a shot in the dark. I think this is the right way to go.
Sometimes, I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong. So and there’s a lot of that right now there’s you know, there’s not a day one that goes by that one of the founders doesn’t walk in and say, hey, I’ve got this great opportunity, you know, or this great idea like we are, we got four visionaries and ever reached this height of success. It’s, it’s, there’s a plethora of it. And something that hindered our growth probably three years ago or so I’d say when we were at the peak of this was recognizing that you know, when it first started to happen, we were like, you know, squirrel bird? Yeah, you know, and then we all kind of looked at each other and thought, okay, we spent the last six months, not really accomplishing anything we already know, based off on what we’ve proven in the previous years, had we done X, Y, and Z, the business would have made this much more money, we would have been that much more successful. But instead, we chased all these other ideas and look where we’re at now. And so we’ve had to learn that lesson many times over. And it still is one of the most challenging parts of the business today is seeing all these opportunities and not missing out on something that could be really great, right? So you don’t want to say no to everything and be like, oh, we’re good. You know, we know what we wanted. And then and not so I’m always taking meetings, I’m always exploring the potential of other ideas. And so that takes up a lot of my time and then knowing like, Okay, this is a good one, or this one isn’t, and I think we’re where we’ve gotten the best at it—being able to see the ones that require the least bit of our time in order to implement into what we’re already doing. Because anything that takes or robs Our time is inevitably going to take from something else, we all have so many things going on within the business that, you know, it’s maybe something that someone tells me, oh, this will only take an hour of your day a week or something. It’s like, Okay, that sounds like hardly anything, but my days are already filled up with stuff. So if you take an hour from there, you’re taking it from somewhere. So where’s it going to give? You
Leanne: How did that process start with you guys finding your partnerships and sponsorships and all that?
Adam: Also, another one of my favorite things to talk about- another thing we agreed all of us, not only do we not turn on the monetization, but we also agree that we were not going to accept sponsorships at the beginning, we were going to continue to focus on growth and monetizing the programs and staying in our kind of lane. And we are just getting better at our craft, adding more value getting bigger. And when the time was right, we would go after companies. So most of our partners, at least 50% because now we’re at a place where I mean, I’m fielding 10-15 partner opportunities, daily, like now they want to write when you’ve reached into the fitness level that we are at. Now anything related to fitness and selling, people want us to promote their product. But it didn’t start that way. It started, nobody was reaching out to us. A couple of people who had kind of small no-name brands that listen to the podcast, we’re a fan of what we’re doing saw synergy, and it was within so they’d reached out. And so we turned all that stuff down and said, you know what, I don’t want to start and devalue our podcast that never had commercial before. Start adding all these commercials in just so we can make and by the way, when you first start off with podcast sponsorship, it’s kind of chump change. So I caution podcasters on this is like, do not take on partnerships just to make a couple of 100 bucks, because you’re more than likely, you’re more likely to hurt your brand than to help me unless this unless that brand just totally aligns with yours. And even if it aligns, like, if they’re really, really small, they’re not going to be able to help you out that much. You’re just peddling their product for a small commission. I mean, that’s what you’re doing. And so you better love that shit. I mean, you better. You better believe they have some of the best stuff out there and that there isn’t a better product of what you’re peddling, and you’re never going to go anywhere that way. And you’re doing it all for a couple hundered bucks. So don’t do that. I think that’s a big mistake. I think that was one of the things that we waited for. And here was a cool strategy, you can still do this. Although I think when we did, it was new. At this time, I had somebody working for me who was perfect. He reminded me of a younger version of myself. What I mean by that was I used to be kind of hip and cool. Like when I was young.
Leanne: You still got it.
Adam: I love you guys. I’ll come on here anytime you want me to. I’m wise enough, though, to recognize that, right? I just don’t have the same time to be reading the GQ magazine every day. I mean, I did. Yeah, I was on the latest music. I was on the latest trends.
As far as the partnership goes, so I had this kid, right. So I had Taylor, who was working for me, I mean, a younger version of myself. And I was like, This is perfect. And there’s another example of what I talked about earlier is I built that side of the business with us first, the minute that it started to grow and catch some momentum, I instantly was looking for somebody who had the skill sets that I was looking for to do exactly what I was doing. And what we were doing was we would look for companies that were on their first or second round of funding. So really early on, or even on their first seed money like that, and look for something that aligned with us, and we would look for categories like the like, Vuori, we were on Vuori before anybody knew what Vuori was. We were the first advertising partnership Vuori ever had. And it was, we went after them. When they were early on, when they first were getting funding. What we said to them is like, Listen, we love, we love what you’re doing, we love your brand, we think there’s synergy. But behind us, we’d love to meet, we’d love to do a commercial for you guys, we’ll do it for an extremely discounted rate, just to show you the type of return that we can do for you. And then we’ll talk about a long-term partnership after that. So lly sad to sell ourselves that we can convert for you and I knew we could convert it was stuff that we liked, and we align with like, and the Auris the shit, right? So if you once you wear their clothes, you put them on, you see everything and you understand. And you know, Joe, you find out like, they’re amazing. And so we knew we do well with companies like that. So we went after all these companies that were really early on, and we and we pitch them on letting us advertise for them. And we in some, I had to do all different prices, some people, I could get a decent rate for some people not so good. And I would tell them, let me show you what we can do, the audience that we’ve built the loyalty that we have, if I can introduce them to this cool brand, I feel confident that people will enjoy it. So we went after the first bit of our partners. And then and then the next thing that we saw a huge opportunity with partnerships was this. When I listen to Joe Rogan, Fighter and The Kid, Business casual is my favorite podcast, all these podcasts., listen to everybody does commercials the same way. Call either pre-rolls or mid-rolls. And they are a generic read commercial in the first three to five minutes of the podcast or interrupts the podcast midway. And I got to think that 80% or at least half of the people are just like me. When you listen to your favorite podcast, you know where the commercials are? just fast forward. Yeah. So right away, you have to think 50% or more of the audience is not even listening to that commercial. So I saw this huge opportunity to if I’m a math person, so I mean, do the math, double the potential sales revenue just by getting everyone to listen to the commercial? Yeah, so building it in the conversation was the first like real strategy for partnerships was, listen, if we only have one or two partners, and we don’t ever allow more than that in the conversation we could, and we’re all sales guys, we will find a way and we’re all partnering with brands that we love we use we were that it won’t be hard to bring them up in conversation naturally. And we’ll just do that. And then most people will listen to it. Well, that was the first big move that we made. And that huge success from that, right. So because of that podcasts the same size as us, we convert five to six times more than they do for all partners. So that was the first thing. The second step I saw a big thing that I saw was this. If you do get to a place where you have enough size and people come and want to advertise with you, typically, it works company. So there’s normally a broker between the company and you. And they go, Hey, your podcast aligns with this brand all the pop. And this is how much we pay per CPM, which is basically how many 1000s of downloads you have, we give you $20 so you’re like okay, I have a few 1000 downloads, okay, $80 commercial, okay, you make a deal for 10 commercials, you sign the contract and you go about your business. At the end of the contract. You normally talk to that person again, they go, oh, you know, you guys did a really good job. Let’s do another five or they go. Yeah, thanks. But no thanks. Then they move along. They go to another audience and then they never work with you again. So we thought, well, that’s really crazy. Like there’s no conversation between that. So we hired somebody as soon as we started to make a little more money in that department. We hired somebody that their full time job is to literally manage partnerships, and they’re in direct communication with the company every single week. And their job is to check on our performance on a weekly basis. So they can report to me and the guys on Monday and say, Hey, Juve is trending kind of low, you guys. So your last commercial you did, maybe it wasn’t very good or you didn’t explain it very well. And that is our cue to then go out and to talk about it on other platforms, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook. So we have these other mediums that we use to help bring awareness to the brand that we’re not performing. So when you see us talking about brands, you can kind of guess that’s probably what’s going on right there is that, oh, they’re trying to get more awareness. Now, sometimes it naturally happens. It’s not always Yeah, you know, doing that. But a lot of time, we want what we didn’t want to do, whichever a lot of people do, is they try and monetize every part of business. Oh, if you want a podcast mentioned, that’s $200. If you want an Instagram post, that’s $50. And they try and monetize every bit for you know, a few extra bucks. Well, we were like, okay, we are really good at selling the product on the podcast, that’s our biggest audience, we’re gonna charge a premium for that service. And then if we’re not delivering you let us know. And then we’ll use all the other mediums to help bring up countless apps and games. And partners are we’re blown away by that. They’re like, Oh, my God, we’ve never I mean, you’re talking about we work with the same people who work with the Joe Rogan’s, The Fighter and the Kid’s, these big podcasts are like, nobody does it like this. Like nobody cares. Like no one seems to care about us. They’re just curious about getting their money. They talk about it, they’re on with it. And we’re like, no if this is a true partnership, which is what we call ours, not sponsorship, or advertising, we call it a partnership, right? We want you to be successful, we want you to care about this relationship as much as we do. If that’s the case, then you let us know if something’s not performing well we’re going to use our other mediums to help bring those numbers up. So we always deliver and because of that, we don’t lose anybody. I mean, everybody who has been part of that is years and years that they’ve either like most everybody that is with us right now is signed all the way into next year.
Calla: So amazing. I see why they call you the closer.
Adam: That was one of my favorite things to talk about. Because I saw a huge opportunity to still By the way, it’s so green, there’s still not anybody I know that does it the way we do it. There’s a good book I read I wish I remember the name of it back when I was in my mid 20s, and what I got from it was that you can never tell somebody they’re doing a great job enough. TAnd even if you they did a survey on like, people that work for these Fortune 500 companies and the people that work for them gave the bosses like a score of 2.5 the bosses scored themselves for 4.5. And the moral of the whole thing was that even these people who say they are grateful and say you’re doing a good job, it’s never enough for the people so that I can never do that enough. That’s where this came from. And I used to do this with my staff. And I do this with my relationships in business. So I have all of my partners I have all their the CEOs, numbers, I know most of their, their their birthdays, things like that. So I have an assistant her main job, okay for me is the dude literally manages so when it got to a place where I could no longer manage this by myself, which was when we started getting to like 1500 plus interviews. I had to find someone to help me. Her main job is literally to like be paying attention to all those partners and letting me know hey, Adam, and by the way, I don’t have to do this anymore because she understands her job and she just sends me over oh by the way we sent flowers to Brooke over in Utah. Oh, by the way, we sent over a box of chocolates or something. Oh, by the way, we got Tom bill you a pair of shoes
Leanne: That’s handy.
Adam: Yeah, very, very handy and very valuable. So, instead of putting the extra money in my own pocket, I hire and staff somebody to do that. And the partners we do this for all our partners every year at Christmas, we give our partners Okay, that pays for advertising. We buy them air pods. We do like really cool Christmas gifts for everybody like we’ve just we’ve we’ve managed those relationships like we care and we give a fuck and it pays us back tenfold because of it and I just didn’t see anybody else running that side of the business like that saw huge opportunity for
Calla: That’s so exciting. You do bring tremendous value in this conversation and and obviously with everything that you’re doing. Thank you for coming and hanging out with us.
Leanne: Seriously, I feel so unprepared, but this was like the best surprise ever. Thank you. Thank you for your time and and thank the guys from us for doing what you guys are doing and you’re changing lives. You really are, and I know you know it.
Adam: I appreciate it and that this is the stuff I like to talk to you guys by I mean I love other people that are getting in the same space and wish you guys all the best and have an open door policy. So, especially this stuff, I’m an open book, and I can’t stand when I meet other successful entrepreneurs that hold everything so close to the secret. It’s such a it’s a scarcity mindset.,
Calla: yeah, it’s such a disservice.
Adam: Yeah. And you and it’s a disservice to themselves, they don’t even realize that when you give from a place like that you give with abundance, abundance comes right back to you.
Leanne: I’m reading The Secret right now. And that’s exactly what it’s all about.
Adam: I live my life in that way. So like, I mean, I always tell people, don’t be afraid to ask me very direct questions about I will tell you because I and I can’t stand when somebody plays all coy with me, trying to hide it, you know, so?
Calla: Well, I can’t wait to ask you a million more questions. And there will be because, like, I just can’t thank you enough. You’re just even cooler than I could have imagined. So thank you.