Josh Fetcher is one of the best growth hackers in the world and a great friend of mine as well. He doesn’t need an introduction to any growth hacking enthusiast. He has been featured in Forbes, The HuffPost, and many other major publications.
Gerard: You are more than inspirational. I think you have created a new way of doing business. The group that you have created is just amazing. Every Time you have surprised me, and I am happy to have you here.
Josh: Thank you so much for having me. I love everything that you are doing with your group as well as Find That Lead. I have been following you guys for maybe a year now, so it’s been a while. It’s been many things that happened to you. You even got married at that time.
Gerard: Yes, it’s been a roller coaster- my personal life man.l You was just showing me the office and its like you are working for another company and only such a short time and how long it took you, how you did and what was your morning routine to achieve where you are for the last year.
Josh: I think people don’t understand how important a morning routine is. I will start with that because people think my morning routine is crazy. I will give you an example. I wake up usually between 4 and 5:30 every morning, and then I go to the gym. In this case, I have been doing much running so I try to do marathons so I can train every day otherwise around your body so I will go straight to work, I will have coffee and put my MCT oil in there. I go through the whole routine right, and I even do superfoods which is like tons of vegetables and powder and put it in a drink and everything with BCA, so I keep myself super healthy, and then I always start my day with writing. So I get most of my book done between early in the morning like 5 to 9 o’clock. That was its peacetime; nobody is in the office yet, I can get all of it done and then when he or she comes in I can concentrate more on the sales stuff. To write you need big chunks of time, you need hours of pure silence. If you don’t have it, it makes it very difficult. I think one of the things you also asked which was very funny was how we could grow. We take many risks. Some of them were a bit crazy so when we got our first office, we couldn’t even afford it and even when we got out of the second office. You are just taking bets on your team, and you’re a co-founder as well as yourself. You are going to be able just to hit that promise. Some of these promises are pretty big if you sign a 4-year lease on a place and then you have to go and make enough revenue to cover it. Especially, if your area is like a block away from the beach in Venice, It’s not that cheap.
Gerard: When you said, ” guys I am moving to Venice.” I was like fuck it’s crazy. He is going crazy. I am going to start from zero. I think it was less than eight months; I remember when we talked, just talking about dolphins, did someone from Fiverr stick the logotype there. We couldn’t believe that it was real.
Josh: We were lucky, I won’t say we were lucky. I will say we were fortunate to find ways to help scale early on. One way is that Houston already came from an agency, so he helped grow and agency to over 100 people. Same without 4th employee partner. He is a partner in the company and having that experience of all these policies when it comes to agencies just meant that we had to get leads and do the good hiring. If we could handle those two parts we would be fine, so a lot of that was my responsibility, in the beginning, many bookings and much getting the right people to come through and work with us.
We did that for a while, granted Linkedin Viral post helped a lot. Every time we posted on Linkedin, we would almost get in a new lead which was crazy. If we were posting every day and getting a new quality leads, someone who can hit or minimum and pay 5k per month. When that got cut off was like 2 and a half months ago, and we couldn’t go viral anymore, and we were like what’s going to happen? We have this big building that we are in right now. So we went and did a lot of cold emails. What I have noticed is that because we are building our brand for the last two years, we could do cold email. People would already respond to us as if they knew us. Our brand had warmed up all of our emails that we were sending out about which was crazy to think. A lot of it was because I had connected to almost every founder in California. So every time we had sent out cold emails to people in California they had already read our content.
That was huge. What we figured is that cold email in itself is powerful but if you have a strong content strategy and a strong brand you have quadrupled the value of cold email. Then, I will give you an example. Once we built our sales operations in place and Houston’s managing a lot of that. We were able to get 20 leads the next week, and I was like this is very real. Then the next week was 40. I was like this is crazy that we are going to be able to scale this way. It doesn’t all just depend on me putting out content. Granted when I put out a book on product item we do get many leads that come in, maybe about 10 to 20 quality leads that come in from that so we do know that is a great source too but writing a book every two months is complicated.
Gerard: That last book of yours was an autobiography in a way.
Josh: I think that’s the best part about it is that is its inception marketing. People are getting copywriting experience and at the same time learning about everything we do and selling the company.
Gerard: I love it. I learned a few things from you.
Josh: I read 170 books.
Gerard: You read every 5 minutes or the thing that you slept in the office, there are a few things that are inspiring. You look like you are growing and it’s so easy but how is it to increase Josh?
Josh: Man, it is so difficult. People don’t know how many hours I work. I work 80- 100 hour week every week, but I love doing what I do so it makes it rather easy. I think if you are working with people you love it makes it easier. I want to say it’s almost like being in college again. You’re just with a bunch of friends working on cool projects.
Gerard: I am like I am just learning all the time. It’s so cool. This is the part that I love the most. I was like Josh lets do something in the group, what percentage do you want? He is like what! I don’t want any percentage. Just get me to talk to the group. I am like this guy is real. Just to let you know you planted that seed on me and I never allow any referrals or anything in my group. I think Gio is also doing fantastic work. I think you guys created little ramifications of Josh Fletchers all around the world that is giving those values. That growth hacking but with ethics and love, much hard work and being amazing. It’s something that is amazing. Tell me a few hacks, give me some bits of e-marketing hacks that have worked for you.
Josh: I will talk about the funnel that we are currently using that I think is incredible for our B2B marketing, cold email, targeting, a lot of Linkedin stuff. What we do is we take someone’s profile like my, and we optimize it. So we make him look like a thought leader. Then from there, what we do is we connect the target prospect of scale, ideally in specific locations.
There is a reason for this. If we connect to many people in LA and San Francisco and San Diego from this profile, we can end up marketing all those connections because you can export them via Linkedin. You can upload them to facebook. So if you ever want to hold a workshop down the line, keep one in LA, you can target those 5000 founders in LA that you have now connected with on Linkedin, be very specific. The best part is, if you are producing content regularly on Linkedin then they should know about you. These people are already warmed up, and then they see your Facebook ad. You can also reach out to them on scale via Linkedin and cold emails as well to make sure they attend those workshops. We are actually about to do this at scale. We are implementing it for a couple of other companies as well which is super cool. What I believe is that if you know how to take over in the city and create a reputable model, you can take over a hundred cities. If you can do that, then you have a huge brand, and so that’s our goal.
A little bit more into the details of it. So let’s say I connect with somebody on Linkedin and then we send them a follow-up email.
Gerard: One question, once you go so specific locally do you go and meet up. How do you approach everyone locally?
Josh: If you are selling a retainer service then obviously it is going to be a lot more specific. Maybe you only need ten people that can show up to your workshop. If you are selling software, that’s perhaps around $50 – $400 per month range. Now what you want to do is go for a little bit more extensive scale. So you are talking about trying to get 100 people to your events. That’s what you are aiming. It depends on what your goals are, and if that is the case, if you are trying to get 100 people at $10-$ 15, you want to have a landing page where they put in their email. Otherwise, you don’t need the emails of 10 people. You know who they are. You are going to contact them over and over again. So it’s a little bit different.
I think one of the cool things about this process is, what we have been able to automate is if someone doesn’t reply to us via email, we follow up on Linkedin and say hey I notice you didn’t respond to our email. Having that extra touch point shows that everything is very personalized and it looks like we are doing this hyper-personalization for each and we are doing that on a scale. We are using a system of VAs as well as internal software, and there is a Linkedin connector tool that I have, as well as using Dux-soup and Link Helper to pull all of this together. We are even using mail shake along with Find That Lead. So five tools total.
Gerard: Sometimes I say to people guys use Fiverr, use VAs, Upwork. How vital are VAs to you? How do you use them and what is the best way to use them for specific jobs?
Josh: I use VAs all the time. Anybody that gets access to my facebook group is thereby a VA. I don’t handle that. Whenever I need to remove people from my facebook group at scale, they do that as well. Regarding bucketing certain emails I have in my Gmail and individual variables, they do that as well. Things have priority, and they are placed in the priority label. That is mostly in term of leads and opportunities. They don’t touch anything else so if there is much communication with me and like a friend, they didn’t feel those things but just concerning leads and other opportunities, maybe speaking events.
Another thing I have been doing is I want to auto connect to people at scale. I don’t do this as much anymore, but many people may need to do that to increase their presence on Linkedin. So they have them handle that part for you. If you handle specific search document within sales navigator to say these are the different types of people I want to connect with, go and do this at these intervals and make sure to retract a request every time you have 1600 pending application. So that way you don’t get caught on Linkedin. Not that people know that though. It is sort of a super secret that most people get banned on LinkedIn because they have over 2000 pending request sent out. As long as you keep the number below 1600, you don’t get banned. No one knows that.
Gerard: Its funny because we did a script, you can do a small text to take them out automatically.
Josh: That’s awesome. You guys are already doing it.
Gerard: You know what happened, Linkedin doesn’t like me to be on Linkedin. I love them, and I think they are doing a fantastic job but let ‘s change the subject on Linkedin. One question, Intuition or Data?
Josh: So intuition or data? I think you need both. So the significant gains are going to be through intuition for the most part. If you are trying channel gets shut down, and you have to test out something else, that’s going to take intuition, especially if you are on a short timeline. You can’t look at all that data. Many data will give you marginal gains and say here’s a 20% increase. If you are trying to hit more significant numbers, you have to rely a lot on intuition. Especially if you don’t have that team around you that can do all that tracking that you need and dive into the data. Most of us don’t have that team unless we are working for 50 or 100 person companies. So in the beginning days, they are so much intuition involved and a lot of it is self-awareness, understanding yourself, understanding psychology so you can be able to take those the right steps.
Gerard: Facebook or Linkedin?
Josh: Facebook of course. I think they play into each other. It’s an ecosystem of content. So if I post something on Quora that does well and I post something on Quora this morning, and then I posted on Linkedin. So it helps to feed other channels. Not many people see that. So I get much creativity from Quora because it asks me those questions so it sort of prompts you thinking right, and then you can use those answers on Facebook or wherever it may be. The reason I like Facebook is the group’s feature is fantastic. There is nothing that can replace groups by far. Facebook groups are so invaluable, and not many people know. So an example when I was trying to launch [Inaudible] Media, we didn’t have any money so I had to bootstrap a mini-startup which was a membership community and I sold 50 slots for the city at $1500 per month. All of a sudden we had a sum of money to bootstrap [Inaudible] media. We went from zero MR to over 20k MR overnight. It’s pretty incredible. That’s was literally over a span of 2 weeks too.
All of a sudden we were like we can do this and that was purely through the group of my facebook profile. I tried to do the same thing on Linkedin and say comment on this post, and I will send you a proposal. I didn’t make any sales from that, but I made all the deals from Facebook, so that was a big aha moment for me. Part of it is that leadership credibility when you are ahead of the group, that perception that you have authority is huge for selling. On Linkedin, you don’t have that. You can look at your follower account, that’s not the same. It’s not you meet a tribe of people which is the most valuable part by far.
Gerard: It’s happening to me because I am super happy not to be on Linkedin because my efforts are on facebook. I know we can do a shift from the more techy type of things to a more organic, more natural, more one to one and I think Facebook is matching this amazingly well. Could it be facebook is the new LinkedIn?
Josh: I won’t say it is the new Linkedin. I would say it always had Linkedin qualities and nobody knew. So Facebook is still unique, but it is still the place where you should be messaging people one on one and using the tool in the right way. Where you are saying, these people are going to add value to my network and be very stringent upon it. Also, don’t think these are just my friends. You are trying to meet new people, that’s what social media is for. One of the things I did which were invaluable to my brand and my connection base early on, a couple of years ago I had a list of 5000 URLs of founders and VCs and I just auto added them to my friend’s list. Through that, I met some of the coolest people in the world. We have gotten so many clients that way just because they see my content for the last two years and all I do was send them a friend request. It seems so simple, but nobody does it.
Gerard: It’s funny that you say that. Just two samples. I sent loads of emails to Aaron Ross and he never answered, but on Facebook, it’s like its impossible to speak with them anyway than facebook. It doesn’t matter if your cold mail or Instagram, get out there and outbound in any way you can. Tell me a little bit about Instagram.
Josh: I am not that active right now, and part of it is I am trying to find an evergreen way to drive traffic to my Instagram profile. I have some ideas. I got to dive in which is the truth. Right now I am trying to figure out how to scale my time, so Instagram right now is just too much to add to my plate. So I will be able to add it once I, move a few things off. Who knows what that will be. I am still trying to figure it out. We are this close.
Gerard: I think it is giving so much value and you know so many people. Giving webinars, I took the idea from Gilles because I love him so much and it’s like fuck man. You are going to be in the growth hacking conference with Gilles in June.
Gerard: I am going to see you there as well. Also in October. I had one, and I had to postpone it because I didn’t have enough time. Instagram, Quora, Linkedin, Facebook. Any other secret social media that we need to be following because it will be growing like crazy in the next few months.
Josh: The one thing I think everybody should look at is how Stelly After grew his business. Stelly, the founder of clothes .so, he built his business in such an organic way, and it’s one of the most remarkable cases that I have ever seen that I have been trying to mimic. He posted 300 answers on Quora, all in the sales section to like 500 videos on youtube all about sales, entirely organic. This was just him straight hustling. He has been able to stand out amongst the competition, and as you know and I know the CRM world, there is so much competition. Everybody has a new CRM and its like why is the CRM better. His ability to stand out has been incredible. So, it’s just flowing so heavy on organic content, and he has produced maybe about 500 blog posts as well. You are talking about 1300 pieces of content ranging from blog post to answers to videos, all about sales to keep their organic traffic coming back to this website. It’s pretty incredible. I think this is the route that everybody should take is go super organic.
Gerard: I think he is one of the first guys who is like a sales guy. He is a great guy. I think [Inaudible] is going to go the same way as Stelly would go on the next one or two years. I think he is ticking all the boxes. He is successful but even more on another level.
Josh: I think Steli is cool. He has that brand, that lousy boy brand. He is like I am in sales, but I am also a badass, and that is what is cool.
Gerard: I like him very much. Tell me a few growth hacks, how you maintain your energy. You don’t have to share if you want. How much do you make, coca cola, coffee, no water? I end up having two coco cola per day and two coffee. I used to take rest didn’t work for me. I make natural enhancement but not when I am working.
Josh: I think a lot of it has quiet time. A lot of time alone. You are not super, and you are just pondering. I like to give examples of Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla, people like that who came up with all their brilliant ideas. It was always when they were daydreaming. When they were staring off into the clouds, and that’s when it hit them. Most people don’t think that way. I think it is with collaboration, talking to other people and for the most part, you will get ideas that way, but the unique one comes when you are alone. What I do is I try to set enough time aside where I can think to myself. It sounds super simple, but most people don’t do that.
Gerard: If you wake up at 5 am what time do you go to bed?
Josh: I usually go to bed between 8 and 9:30.
Gerard: I am like you man. I finish work, and, we try to go super early. We try to do like you work, many hours. I think it’s great. We start at 7:30 with Christian and finish at five but we close the day, and it’s like give value, loving yourself. I think this is a fantastic point of why we win and steady growth.
Josh: I agree with you. I am on the same wavelength you are. I don’t know why more people don’t do it. It’s been proven time and again that the earlier you wake up, the more successful you are. It’s contrary to successful people. If the science is there, it’s there. You can’t beat it.
Gerard: I am going to throw something in the air here. Are you going to do the Spartan race? I am fucking afraid. Just letting you know I am so scared to do Spartan. I can barely I do 21km. Which I am very proud. Tell me a date, tell me a race I can do and I will be here with you.
Josh: There is No Assembly. I think it’s in September. It’s one of the most beautiful race. It’s a national park here in California, and it’s only 13 miles long. It’s not a long one, its one you can walk out.
Gerard: What date? I am going to come, and when I finish this, I will buy the tickets to make sure I do not rethink it. I will spend a week or 2 around here, and it’s a dream to run next to you Josh. Just to let you know if you can show your tattoo to everyone if you can explain to everyone what it says.
Josh: It says peace, love, and purpose and then it has a picture of a feather pen. The reason for that is I was reading this book called the Kingdom of God. Many people know [Inaudible], he is the most famous Russian author ever to exist. Some of the people he inspired were Gandhi, and Martin Luther King were huge readers of his so I was like I have to check out his work. I ended up reading the one book that they talk about the most and was super inspired and ended up getting the tattoo and said hey if I understand this tattoo I will always know the purpose behind my writing and that is to encourage peace and love and to help people. I am still talking to you, and you are always talking about peace and love, and I love it — great vibes.
Gerard: You know I am going to tell you a short story. You can finish when you want, but I am going to tell you a story that we fucked up a little bit. It’s a funny story. We print some notes, and no one knew what happened, but we publish some notes with [Inaudible] face on it. We send them a suitcase full of notes. He was angry. Because money doesn’t shed love and from what I understand, I am sending funny money kind of thing. Money is great, but love breaks every barrier. Just like the film Interstellar and many other things and I would recommend to everyone, and I think you are doing so well. You can do anything you want. It’s basic. You are doing such a good job, such an inspiration. I think for me, and I think many other people as well. I don’t know if you have anything else to share.
Josh: One of the things that I always try to get people. Some of the best advice I ever got was from James Altucher. I am afraid I have to disagree with everything he says, but there was this one piece that helps me tremendously which is whatever you invest in, make sure it is compoundable and transferable. That’s the reason I started a facebook group because I knew if I moved companies the facebook group would always be there, so I was transferrable. I knew that if I kept on investing that more people would come. So there was a compound effect, that’s why I started the Facebook group because I read one of his posts and that’s is what I do with my writing. My writing is going to be here for the next 70 years; it’s going to compound over the next 70 years. I get 70 years of benefit if I live too little over 100.
We don’t do any cold calling. Sometimes I do if we have an inbound prospect and they are not replying to me, I will always pick up the phone and call them. I think you can’t be afraid to call people. One of the first job I had, its funny, the founder of my own company ended up failing. I had to cold call many people. It was hilarious. I got used to it then.
Gerard: You know I went this weekend to meet Christian Helmut. He is like the wolf of Wallstreet the Spanish version. I saw them selling courses of $7000 in front of me to a known people. I am not a big fan of cold calling but Josh, do you see the wolf of wall street type of cell type of thing? I learned a lot. I think it’s great to be behind the screens, but if you can take the phone, it’s a bit more than what we do, and I think it’s fantastic.
Josh:100% That’s one of the things I find with most marketers, is that they are terrible at outbound. They are very good at staying behind the screen, but you have to have both. If You don’t have both, you are going to lose out, and it is a shame. I wish more people knew that. I think every day you should reach out to 10 people you don’t know that can add value to your life. At least. I probably reach out to way more than that. If you are not doing that, then you are not trying to level up.
Gerard: I don’t think everything should only be for business.it’s Like I said if you wrote a fantastic book or if you have a piece of music, send them an email. That way you are connected with them because people feel lonely. I love the book by Tim Ferris, I have approached him a few times. He never gives me reply I had a dream line to have breakfast in the next three months. I don’t know if I am going to make it but hopefully yes. I learned so much from him.. What is the book that changed your life?
Josh: There is a book called Organized Mind. It teaches you how to be creative. People ask me how do you come up with all these different guides and growth hacks is because I read this book. I got recommended to it by the smartest person I knew at the time, and I ask them how are you so smart, and he said read this book, and you will figure out. I was like what does that even mean, I decided to read the book and it talks about how you were not externalizing what you know makes you less creative. That’s we can only store so much information up here, so we have to put it out to the world to have more creative space right. The faster you externalize, the quicker you become creative.
Gerard: Does it mean you do it is a lot, the more you give to the group because I remember the first time and sorry to go back in the past but I remember the first time you came out with those growth hacks and I was like why is he doing this. Did you read it before or after?
Josh: I read it way before. I read before I moved to San Francisco. It stuck with me ever since. I organize everything so that it’s not up in here. Put it into folders, google drive, Dropbox, the less that’s up here, the more creative you are. I believe it.
Gerard Thank you very much for sharing. I love your building; I love the hacks, I love the love and purpose is shining and making the BAMF go to the next level. Thank you, man.
Josh: Thank you. I appreciate it. Of Course, everyone in our community is learning a lot from you, so you are providing tons of value as well, that’s why we are here.