Ep. #1227 - Finding Your Niche Market
Today’s episode of Startup Hustle features Andrew Morgans and Lucas James, Co-Founder & CEO of Twiz. They explore the art of finding your niche market and pivoting your business strategy at every phase. Gain valuable insights into reinventing business models over time and effective lead-generation strategies.
Covered In This Episode
All entrepreneurs can benefit from effective marketing strategies but seldom have the time or skill to execute them properly. Twiz handles it for them so they can focus on their core tasks.
Listen to Andrew and Lucas discuss Lucas’s entrepreneurial journey. They then swap insights on lead generation strategies and the role of the marketing agency. Lucas describes the three-step funnel for outreach, lead generation, and niche selection.
The conversation turns to finding focus, evolving, and choosing the playbook that works. Lucas tells listeners how to get involved with Twiz and recommends The Dynasty as a must-read.
What are you waiting for? Join the conversation in this Startup Hustle episode now.
- Lucas James’ entrepreneurial journey (2:44)
- Marketing agency and lead generation strategies (6:47)
- Three-step funnel for outreach (10:24)
- Lead generation (12:04)
- Find a niche (19:34)
- Finding focus and continuing to evolve (26:04)
- Find a playbook that works for you (31:23)
- How to get involved with Twiz (39:37)
- Book recommendation: The Dynasty (42:14)
I’m really curious about how working will shape itself going forward. Because I actually had never developed software before. I just always wanted to. I was like, alright, I’m just going to teach myself. So, I went and originally was going to do custom development. I was gonna go learn all the traditional languages, and then I came across no code. I was able to build things way faster and was able to get something to market really quickly.– Lucas James
I think, ultimately, there’s a huge conversation to be had, especially for service businesses or anyone offering a service that you need to find a niche. And I think there are a lot of people who say that, and I actually do agree to an extent, but the metaphor that I like to use for anyone who is thinking through this right now is you should always try to find your niche at every moment of your company’s development.– Lucas James
If you’re at this size, you should be focusing on this. And if you get to this size, then you can focus on this because you can say what, look what I’ve done, and that changes the narrative.– Andrew Morgans
You have to keep reinventing yourself, and if you can stay committed to one thing for a really long time and you love it, you’ll succeed beyond your wildest expectations.– Lucas James
Full Scale enables entrepreneurs like you to build a software development team quickly and affordably, earning them a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in 2023. So, if you’re looking for developers, testers, and leaders, work with Full Scale now!
If you need support beyond software development, additional Startup Hustle partner options may be of help, too.
Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Andrew Morgans 0:00
Hey, what’s up, Hustlers? Welcome back. It’s Drew, founder of Marknology, here as today’s host for Startup Hustle, covering all things e-commerce, startups, SaaS, you name it. You know, in around the world of e-commerce and around the world of marketing, we’re touching base. Today’s guest is calling in from LA. Before I make that introduction, I want to give a shout-out to our sponsor, who makes this whole episode possible. Today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by Full Scale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult. Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably. And has a platform to help you manage that team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Lucas, welcome to the show.
Lucas James 0:39
Thanks so much, man. I’m really excited to be here.
Andrew Morgans 0:42
Okay, it’s Capistany.
Lucas James 0:44
Yeah, so I have. That’s my real last name. My full name is Lucas James Capistany. A. So I decided to just go by Lucas James because, people, it’s just hard to spell Capistan. Because you will think it’s like a K, they think it’s like an I at the end. So, for simplicity’s sake, I just go with James.
Andrew Morgans 1:02
Stage name. I like Yeah, I like it. I just wanted to know, you know who you are. But I didn’t want to butcher it as well. I think that part of our thing here is we have so many languages in the US that people get a little sluggish to pronounce the names.
Lucas James 1:13
Yeah. Yeah, it’s it’s crazy. I mean, even, like, I guess it’s a little bit off-topic. But even when you’re working with, like, offshore people who are in other countries, you know, there really is no difference anymore between working with someone in another country because in the United States, as you said, there’s pretty much every language, every kind of person. So it’s like this cognitive dissonance where you work with some people, and they’re like, oh, I don’t want to work with people in other countries, because of whatever reason, culturally or something, just whatever doesn’t resonate with the brand. But
Andrew Morgans 1:45
I’m not going to work with that person. If they’re sitting next to you at the desk, get your job, like, you know,
Lucas James 1:50
Exactly, I find it funny. I’m like, I don’t know why this is a problem. I mean, it really shouldn’t be an issue. But yeah, there’s so many people in the US.
Andrew Morgans 1:58
Lack of education is the problem in the US, I think for those Yeah. And they just haven’t experienced it, they haven’t done it, haven’t done, understand. But we’ll leave that to me. We’ll leave that to them. And that when alone, we’re talking about the future of no code. And before we go into kind of, you know, what you’re doing, what you’ve been building. I like a little bit of the backstory. I think our listeners love to get started with just a little bit of the backstory, getting to know a little bit about Lucas James. So, I know you’re a developer. But tell me, like, you know, kind of where your entrepreneurial journey started? Like, did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? You always know you want to be a programmer? Did you fall into it? Everyone has a little bit different spin, you know, on that where you come from a family of entrepreneurs, what is your story begin?
Lucas James 2:45
Yeah, so definitely come from a family of sales professionals, we didn’t really do a lot of entrepreneurship. Growing up, in fact, I didn’t even know that you could have a business. I thought it was illegal to have a business under the age of 18. I just for some it’s a kind of a, it was a little silly, but I just didn’t know. And I’m a little bummed that I didn’t because I definitely was someone who, you know, went to school, but always was wondering what the point of all this was, and honestly would have loved to do more entrepreneurial thing. So I was always finding outlets in different areas, like I would, you know, run a food drive, or like, set up a club or something like that. But it wasn’t until college where I realized, Okay, well, I’m old enough now, which was never really a problem. But I just thought it was a mental barrier. Well enough, now I can start my own business. And so I launched one when I was a junior in college. And my whole perspective has always been that I wanted to build companies in phases. So my first business is and continues to be this marketing agency and software company. The reason I wanted to start there is because I am not really into the whole fundraising thing. I don’t really think if you’d like or someone who actually says, I want to maximize my chances of building $100 million business, a billion dollar business. I think, at least in the beginning phases, you should probably learn how to actually run a business and not just go raise money before learning all that. So I decided I want to learn that first before just going out and raising money. So I put in the time to like build a team, build a culture, build a company, that cash flows from day one, I built that into now multimillion dollar business. We do close to $2 million a year in revenue. And what we sell is, you know, revenue growth, like so I do tell people this because I want to show them hey, we’ve done it already. So you know, I’d love to do it for you as well. And then over the last year and a half, two years, we decided to start building a software and so I was able to remove myself from the day-to-day of the business and just went fully into developing software. I actually had never developed software before, I just always wanted to, I was like, Alright, I’m just going to teach myself. So, I went and originally was going to do custom development, I was gonna go learn, like, all the traditional languages, and then I came across no code. And I was able to build things way faster, and was able to get something to market really quick. So we started going to market and we charged like nine bucks a month for a software that was like a community referral software called AgencyGo. It was a different brand at the time. And I decided to incorporate it into Twizz, after about a year and a half. And after about the first two versions, and after I rolled out the first few versions, and we had scaled up to like, pretty good size. I was like, Alright, I want to actually do this for real with like a real team. I’m not just going to build it myself. So, I started put together an actual development team. And the last six, seven months, we’ve actually been building something that’s the next version, which you can access now for free for 30 days. But that version is built by a real team, not just me yoloing it, and it’s built to scale. Right? So, I’m at that point, the business just working on the flywheel, working on the culture, working on creating content, putting out content, that’s where I’m at in the journey of it all, I guess.
Andrew Morgans 6:15
Yeah. So tell me, when you say, you know, as on the marketing, we’re gonna break this down piece by piece. So when you say you work, and you know, you’re you’re a marketing agency building, you know, 2 million in revenue, and you help other people grow, very similar to what we do. You know, we help people grow on Amazon. Yeah, you see, too, and different things like that. But Amazon has been our focus for a long time. Yeah. Whether that’s SEO for keywords, product descriptions, you know, you name it. What do you guys do? More in depth, I guess, to help brands grow? What services that?
Lucas James 6:46
Yeah, well, actually, what’s funny is we actually worked with someone you might know, My Amazon Guy. So we’ve worked with them. And I can kind of explain sort of how that happened. And what we did for them, at least I’m like a high level because it’s the same process we do for everybody. Which is we, if they don’t need SEO, which is usually a service business, you know, we do SEO a lot for E-commerce brands, real estate companies. And that’s like a pretty straightforward offer, which is that we have extremely good rates on SEO, we’re extremely good at it. So anytime we get an SEO client, it’s really straightforward, really, isn’t that complex for us. So there isn’t really a major SEO?
Andrew Morgans 7:27
Or is it PR? Like, yeah, so our listeners to do
Lucas James 7:31
marketing, we’re dealing typically outside of places like Amazon. So it’s mostly like, within a website that somebody currently has with Shopify web flow, WordPress. And I think the biggest value out there we have is just, hey, we work with some of the biggest companies. And I’ve done this for so long. And I could literally just show you the growth of our websites, that it’s not that complicated. Like it’s not a complicated pitch. It’s not really I would even say unique necessarily, in the sense that there are other companies that do this, but I feel like maybe ours is different because we have that technical perspective, like really, in deep technical perspective, not surface level. But you know, we are software developers, so we can look at it from a very complex standpoint, and just show our results. It’s very straightforward. But I think with the delivery of our kind of lead gen services, that’s been a little bit more unique because we do have a global team. And we do try multivariate testing of different kinds of campaigns. So we do what’s called indirect offers and direct offers. So we’ll message people with a direct sales pitch, like everyone’s familiar with, like, Hey, I do this. I want to hop on a call with you. But then we do a lot of like lead magnets around gifts, webinars, podcasts, just any possible way to get someone to respond. And that kind of supplements the funnel. So we kind of call those are universal value offers. And those are universal lead magnet. So there’s things that people say yes to. And so I think that does make that service a little unique because most people are not used to running lead gen campaigns that way, it’s usually just like, you take their sales pitch and you just send it out to 1000 people and I think that doesn’t really work at scale. It’s
Andrew Morgans 9:13
the same as a webinar or a free audit, or Yeah, free consultation or an e book or, yeah,
Lucas James 9:19
I mean, it’s like basically, the way I describe it is if you directly pitch somebody, you’re trying to get to the 1% of people who are actively thinking about this. So, you’re gonna get less people opting in, but those people have a shorter sales cycle. And also if, if, if the only thing you do is a direct sales pitch and that’s it and you never try anything else creatively outside of that, you might completely fail at it because it’s very possible that the people you’re reaching out to just don’t want to hear any kind of direct sales pitches at all.
Andrew Morgans 9:46
I definitely don’t like to be sold like I don’t like to be hard sold to like exactly to shut down immediately. Even if you’re even if you are selling me exactly what I need. There is a part of me that’s just like, I don’t like to be pressured. I don’t like to be pushed, you know, did you do you actually know about my needs? Have you looked into my company are you just spamming me, the kind of like, I’m gonna make a bad decision, if I make a fast decision, I just don’t like to be dB sold to like, it definitely needs to feel more like a relationship and needs to feel more like lead with value. Wow, on this pitch on this demo on this, I already got so much information, this, they have to know what I need to know, kind of Yeah,
Lucas James 10:25
Exactly. And actually, that’s why the only way to really get direct pitching to work unless you get lucky, is just going super deep with personalization. So we actually have a typical, like, our typical three step funnel for outreach is very simple. It’s send something that gets their attention, right. So whatever it is, gets them clicking Send that first, and then follow that up with verification, that they’re a real person and not a bot. Because there’s so many bots right now, it’s like, you got to show that you’re actually real. So what we’ll typically do is we’ll have somebody create, like a video that’s just introducing themselves that gets sent to everybody, but it’s actually kind of in front of a camera, which actually works really well because all the person needs to know is is this a real person. And then third step is if you hit him with some kind of an offer, like, let’s say, for us, and this is something we haven’t even talked about yet, but because of the success of our initial launches of our software products, we got asked to build a lot of software for the people. So one way that we get software clients now is will be like, hey, we’ll do free app design, right, we’ll do a free app design for you. And what we’ll do is when they say yes to that, before the actual meeting, we’ll make like a whole video, customized video breaking down all the ways they can make an app like that they want or just showcase our case studies or something but a personalized video to this person. And that’s the third step. If you do that, then you’re already kind of like increasing the odds that they’re going to be interested by tenfold compared to any other kind of,
Andrew Morgans 11:57
you’re showing what they told me was that you’re showing them what they could be like, yeah, you could have an app that looks like this.
Lucas James 12:04
For Yeah, and that’s, you know, you might have other kinds of like lead gen people listening to this. Potentially people who do that for other companies, I would say that’s the big issue with providing lead gen as a service to someone else is that the things that a lead gen company is willing to do to get customers is not always the things that the lead gen company tells their clients they should do. And that’s the reason their clients typically fail is because they don’t really tell the clients how hard it actually is. It’s really hard, and the client kind of has to be willing to like do some of the work, otherwise, it’s very unlikely to be successful. So
Andrew Morgans 12:42
Dig into that a little bit like Yeah, so you’re talking about just to get the identities correct. So you’re saying, You’re a legion company selling like, Hey, we’re gonna go help Marknology get leads? Yeah. Okay. And so if you help me get leads, what you’re selling is that we do Amazon services, right? And is what’s missing is that the Legion company is kind of going as quick as they can to get a sale and not really setting expectations on those leads. Yeah, correctly for the agency. So the agency comes into it. The client has said yes, was like, wow, I already saw this, like, kind of done for me. I didn’t have to do anything. Yeah. And now they think that it’s going to be too easy. And expectations aren’t correct. Is that am I, you know,
Lucas James 13:22
you’re you’re you’re saying it correctly. And the thing that, you know, the reason why we are always like careful to take on new lead gen clients really is because when you’re dealing with a new company that wants more leads, or wants more sales, sometimes you’re competing against the hundreds of retargeting ads and pieces of content that are that are actually in a lot of cases, just straight up lying to them about how easy it is. And so you have to be really honest. And I think the only way to really get clients at a certain point at scale is just to show look, this is what we do. This is how much revenue we produce. I can do it for you. And I think that that ultimately because I know our company sounds like it’s a little all over the place. But I would say that the single thread that I’m going to be doing, and we’re actually redesigning the homepage of the website right now, because of the software’s new version. The single singular thread I’m trying to convey to people is like, Look, I’m not a marketing agency. I’m not a software company. I’m not a SEO company, I’m just a sales company, I just help you get more revenue. So the software helps you get more revenue. SEO helps you get more revenue. It’s the same pitch as like a financial advisor. I mean, it’s like all the different ways we can help you we’re vertically integrated. So it’s not worried about just one strategy. I’m just you come to us, we grow your revenue. That’s it. And we have software that helps you grow your revenue. So
Andrew Morgans 13:22
We’re not gonna make you fit a shoe. We’re going to figure out what size shoe you need.
Lucas James 13:37
Exactly. Yeah. And that’s the that’s the right conversation to be having. I think you know, with people just to be really like frank with them because if you’re gonna grow a business by like 10, 20, 50, 100% like usually don’t just do one channel, usually you’re doing a lot of different channels, you know?
Andrew Morgans 15:05
Yeah, for example, we are a TikTok shop, TikTok agency as well. That’s something that’s happened in the last six months, I think, you know, TikTok shops in the US like six months, we’ve been there. And I’ve been doing Amazon for 12 years. So in the Amazon industry, that’s like, I’m a dinosaur. But that’s been our bread and butter. That’s what we’ve done. That’s what people know us for. But I’m building my own brands, you know, you talked about selling software as a product, like I’m building my own products. And what those products need is not just Amazon. So while I’m using Amazon as my expertise, that’s what I’m good at, let’s say like SEO is what really got you guys going. And you really know how to drive sales with SEO and growth with SEO. You know, there’s also tech, you know, there’s also apps, you know, that there’s also, you know, in person events and lead gen and all different types of things. A Webinar is not through SEO, a lot of times that’s through a chatbot or that’s through a list, you know, from an event or who knows any number of things. They can come from different channels, right. My point being, it can come from all types of places, right. And what I understand about building a brand is, let’s say you’re selling an invention, like a new toy, like fidget spinner, Okay, before we all saw fidget spinners and knew what they were, there was no one looking for a fidget spinner. Right? Right. So if you’re selling on Amazon, the person, the customer goes to the search bar, and they type in fidget spinner, or they might type in like ADHD toys, or they might type in anxiety toys, or I don’t know, whatever they might search, right, right. And these things have existed, like Rubik’s cubes and stuff, but they don’t have like a one term fits all for them. And so a fidget spinner is not really ideal for Amazon, although Amazon can be a conversion page. And eventually, if it’s ranked high enough in a category, and people know of it, you know, then they might see it and explore it like that. But you’re gonna type in like, ADHD toy, let’s say, or like, anxiety toy. And the actual toy is called a fidget spinner. So there’s no match there with us. Right? If that makes sense to you, they’re going to spend a lot on ads. It’s a toy for tick tock, okay, or Facebook or Instagram, one of these tours where you can market instead to a demographic of people. Let’s look at ages. Let’s look at people like that like these things. It’s like people that I’ve also liked these pages, maybe there in the zip codes, etc. And in doing that, no one is actually searching for a fidget spinner. But they might be scrolling through Instagram, and then see a fidget spinner and be like that looks cool. Click on it, go to website or go to an Amazon page and buy but they weren’t searching it. And that took me a little second to get out. But my point being, I know that there’s different products that fit better for a website, or for let’s say, social media marketing than just directly Amazon, even though I’ve done Amazon for going on 30 years now. So any way that’s a sales expert, or a sales company really understands the differences in these types of products and what you’re what they’re trying to build and how they’re trying to sell and should be able to say, Hey, guys, I know you came to me for Amazon. But really, I think your product is going to be a better fit for, let’s say, tic toc shop. Yeah. And we should approach that. And that’s taken me sometimes years to learn, because I’m like Amazon’s my expertise, I want to push everything through the Amazon channel. But sometimes that’s not the best way. And the last thing I’ll say is, let’s say some products are not great for websites you like, well, everyone should have their own websites, their own real estate, you know, and maybe you need a landing page. And you need like some kind of reference that points some other places. But some products are like exhilarate products is something that you buy while you’re at Walmart buying other stuff or while you’re at the supplement store buying protein, you buy that, that shaker on the way out. And it’s not something that you would just go to the store just to get a shaker. Right, right. And so any any true sales team, marketing team that’s really good at what they do is going to understand that there’s different mediums for different products and what’s best. So I was trying to give just like a product based version of kind of the same thing, I think as Twizz to make a relation there. On your like, whatever you’re needing in this gambit. And I think something else that we talked about is like if you go to Twiz.io right now, what you see is a website that is going to solve whatever need you you need you there’s categories, you’re picking it, you’re you’re asking for a quote, you’re asking for more information. And you’re saying, Hey, we do all these things, if it’s any of the things that aren’t here. Yeah. Here’s a great partner for you that’s been vetted out and proven.
Lucas James 19:34
Yeah, that’s exactly right. And I think I think ultimately, on the there’s a huge conversation to be had, especially for service businesses or anyone offering a service that you need to find a niche. And I think there’s a lot of people who say that and I actually do agree to an extent but the metaphor that I like to use for anyone who is is thinking through this right now is you should always try to find your niche at every moment of your, of your company’s development. So for example, like when I started, my niche was SEO, because we grew to our first like, million dollar run rate and million dollar a year being predominantly a SEO company. But what’s taken us to become a multimillion dollar company is adding on and specializing, like really going to market with a niche around like LinkedIn lead generation, what I think will get me to, you know, two to 10 million is actually kind of forgetting all of that and making the niche around just purely sales growth, I want people to associate Twiz with just sales growth, that’s it. And so I think it’s about having one thing at any point in time, but just knowing that you have one thing. So you can offer different services, you can do these things, but from the brands perspective, you need to have like one singular thing that they they know about. And they’re focused on when they’re thinking about you. And so we’ve gone through a lot of evolutions, we’ve been around for almost six years now. And we’ve gone through a lot of evolutions. And I think that the biggest thing I tried to do is just to always find that center, amidst all the different things you might offer, just like what is the one thing you want the customer to think of? When they think of you? You know, brilliant, that’s sort of the because like Amazon, you know, you can you come up with like a million words, but they’re so big. Now, that doesn’t really, I don’t think it matters, but doesn’t matter as much, maybe. But when you’re like sub 10 million, I think you do need like that one thing. And then even when you get bigger like like loom, for example, they just did a video about this. But they just sold for a billion dollars too lazy and, and that was huge. But you can actually pick just one thing they do, which is just video recording. Just one thing, right? So having that one thing can take you a long way. So I do think you kind of need it. But also, it’s not like the world isn’t so black and white. Right? There’s not just always binaries with everything. I think it’s a helpful mechanism. But it’s not always the way that it’s not always the case. Right? So I think,
Andrew Morgans 22:14
as long as you know, the focus, so that whenever people are saying, well, how can you help? And you can say, well, we can help you with sales growth, you know, online sales growth. Okay, what does that look like? Well, what is your business look like? What are you trying to do? Right, and, you know, I think that’s where our tick tock, you know, being a tick tock shop partner, or playing in DTC and content creation, things like that has evolved is we’ve got a ton of Amazon brands that we build relationships with, or Amazon, you know, clients on Amazon that were like, Hey, we need help here. We need help here. And you’re either referring that out or you’re building it in house, we’re building it in house, if you think you’re going to need it yourself. Right. So I think I think that’s some of it. And you know, when I started Amazon, almost 13 years ago, there wasn’t competition, Lucas. It was I was top two in the world on Upwork. That’s amazing. There’s no one else there. There wasn’t teams in the Philippines or where teams in India or Pakistan or any of the other Amazon headquarters that they’ve, you know, built up and then people leave those companies they become freelancers and vas, none of that existed. Like, it just wasn’t the case. And so at the beginning, you know, here in Kansas City, I wanted to be known as the Amazon guy, not my Amazon guy. I literally just said, like, I wanted to be if someone was like, Oh, you’re trying to be on Amazon, or you’re, I know a guy. It’s Andrew. He’s like, he’s obsessed with it. This is what he does. And I wanted to be the referral. Yeah, people sent out, you know, can see is a small town like that, where referrals are a big thing. And people like to work with people they know. And, and so first, this was my pond, and I was like, I want to be the Amazon guy. And at first people knew me as a t shirt guy, because I build an apparel brand. Now nice. And I was like, I don’t make T shirts. Like that’s not what I do. Right? This is way cooler. Like I’m changing an industry. I’m helping create an industry I’m changing the way we do business in retail. And that was on me. It was a branding issue. I was confusing people. Right. So I needed to get my my niche, my focus. Well, then I’m an Amazon I start speaking in PPC advertising because I was really good at it. And that’s kind of what people needed at that time when it came out. 2015 1617 Yes. Okay. PPC guy people are not Oh, Andrew speaks on PPC, okay, bring him in, bring him in. Well, then people start coming around doing that. And it’s not really like a specialty or anything that separates us other than we’re really good at it. Well, what was next content was shit on Amazon. No one was doing everything was like Fiverr done on Fiverr up work. No disrespect anyone there. I know. There’s talented people. I got my start there. But it wasn’t the same as like real true story brand branding, storytelling stuff. And so I’m like, Okay, I’m going to tell the market the industry content, branding, like you want to stand out from Chinese sellers who are beating you with your Alibaba prices because they have the same molds as you whenever anything else? How’s your branding? How’s your right? And so it just evolves, we’re still the Amazon agency, but oh, that you need good content and branding, like Mark Knology? Well, we used to be a PPC agency, we used to be just the Amazon agency in general. So you got to allow yourself room to evolve and change, just like people, your business is a live organism. So, you know, allowing it to change. And now we’re playing in tic toc and doing some of these other things. Because I, I have been acquiring and building brands myself in a smaller way. And so now we’re doing some of those things, I’m even talking on it sometimes about those things. And it’s always been Amazon. So I’m just saying, I’m doubling down on what you’re saying, in creating a business and start with your your market, your small market, your neighborhood, your city, you know, be known for that thing there, you know, and then then you’ve got other cities, you got other countries as an international world, but allow yourself to evolve to as as the market changes. You guys are now into talks about AI and wanting to help people embrace that and be able to use that. And that wasn’t something that was mainstream, you know, two years ago.
Lucas James 26:04
Yeah. And I think there’s, you know, where I’m kind of seeing it is, you may find your focus, and then you may just like add one or two words onto it, or you might not. I mean, I think, I said sales growth. But that’s basically based on where we’re at right now, the plan for the software is that the next quarter will have a huge AI component. So then we’ll maybe I want people to think of me as like aI sales growth, like who knows. But it’s just little tweaks like that. It’s like a constantly evolving process, like you said, and it’s exhilarating, honestly, building a building ecosystem, I think requires that building a company that you just grow to maybe half million or million and then sell one day. I don’t think you really need that. You could probably just milk it for like as long as you want. But if the goal is to build this, like, huge business, it’s about constant evolution. Like, I don’t plan on really ever selling this company. I just plan on continuing to build it more and more. Paying myself my team well, and just doing good job for our clients. But
Andrew Morgans 27:09
you know, we’re having fun.
Lucas James 27:10
I’m still having fun. I’m still having fun. But I you know, it’s funny, I think, I’ve told my business partner, we’ve been working together now for six years. And it’s like, I think this is the most fun I’ve I’ve had I’ve ever had in the business because it’s finally exactly what I wanted it to be. I always wanted to build a software product. But it was a little disconjointed from like the marketing agency. But now they all feel very like together. And I’m able to do everything I want. Like I have a social media team, we work on creating content. I’ve I’ve changed the branding a little bit to be, you know, if you had been interviewing me like last year, we were all about agency growth. That was like the first niche, right? And then I was like, well, I could definitely keep that going. But also, I still think I can be competitive with just like the whole AI thing. Because I know a lot about the development. And maybe there’s like not that many, you know, a service based businesses that are actually software developers that have grown so like, I feel like I can kind of talk about it, and talk about that whole experience. So I’ve kind of now changed it to where I just want to get I want to be like a news media brand around like innovative tech. And if I can get people like yourself and other people just like listening that watching that because it’s all interesting stuff, then I know I can kind of get them in the funnel, and then sort of put them in wherever, wherever they think that wherever I think could be best for them. But like, that’s sort of where what keeps it fun, right? Because before I was kind of actually talking about things where I sort of felt like I was regurgitating myself over and over again, over and over. It’s just not, you lose a little bit of excitement. So I had to think like, Okay, what is something I could talk about forever? So I changed at work. I did a branding exercise with my like, social media manager, and she was like, Okay, well, what do you want to talk about? And we figured out that changing the branding from like, here’s how I grew my agency to like a seven figure business instead saying, I help innovative businesses build the products they want to see in the world. That’s something I can talk about forever. And my sign off on TikTok is basically like, Hey, my name is Lucas and I talked about innovative tech. That’s something I’ve talked about forever. And I know businesses care about innovative tech. So they’re in my funnel. So like, as long as I can kind of make it all work. There’s so many different ways to build a business, you just have to get the impressions, get the visitors get people in, and then and then funnel, funnel them down to where we want to go. But it doesn’t really matter how you get them. It’s just do you have a funnel? you need a funnel, but you can get that funnel in so many different ways. You know,
Andrew Morgans 29:36
I think some of it is kind of like, I’ll make a comparison here. But like, think about like John Mayer, okay. Like, the musician, right? At first he was like, it was love songs. ballads, like, you know, as John Mayer that we know neon, you know, these love songs. And he built himself to be very successful, right? And now he’s like in a jam band. Okay. And he’s doing what he wants to do. Now, I don’t think if he came out just doing jam band he would be the John Mayer that we know. Right that’s can do anything and sellout crowd and all that just doing jam band stuff. Okay that time, but so he’s where he wants to be where he’s a thought leader and he’s he’s putting out content, music and playing what he wants. But he went all in on one thing when he was smaller, I think that kind of echoes what you’re saying about like, if you’re at this size, you should be focusing on this. And if you get to this size, then you can focus on this because you can say what, look what I’ve done, and that change the narrative, you know, to kind of what you’re saying. But for those of us that like our students of knowledge, and just love to learn and do things, like you said, you just wanted to code. So, you know, you went to figure that out, you thought you’re gonna go to school and custom code and you know, it took you a different direction. You’re like, No, I want to learn AI. Now, I don’t just want to work with agencies, I want to work with E-commerce brands, too. And I want to work with anyone and everyone, I want to be able to have a solution. I like helping people. Let’s put it that way. And I love I love problem solving at the core. And I love problem solving around innovative tech, young, innovative tech to problem solve. And, you know, then you’re bringing yourself all the way down, you’re like, that’s my true passion. And whether I was whether I’m doing this company, or I’m doing this company, or I left my knowledge and I’m doing something else, I think if I’m around problem solving in innovative ways, I’m going to be happy as a person. Yeah. Right,
Lucas James 31:23
Exactly. And that’s also why you have to be so careful about just following these predefined pathways that people say online of just do this. And I guess I’m a prognosticator of it, too, which is that I’ll tell people, Hey, this is what I did, you should do this too. And I think you should actually be kind of careful with following that because at a certain point, you almost once you’ve consumed enough information, I feel like you kinda have to turn it off. Like, right now I actually don’t read very many business books. Actually, I kind of stopped I was I was like, really into all these different books like Good to Great, the one thing Alex or moseys like 100 million dollar offers, like I was really reading up, but it’s like, at a certain point, I feel like you’re almost just confusing yourself because you get to the word. Yeah, though. The one thing you read about every single time is that it seems like everyone has a different way that they made millions of dollars, or they were super successful. It’s like everyone has a different path. Like I just heard, I saw a little clip on TikTok, Instagram, I think it was yesterday on an interview with Mr. Beast, and he was literally like, I literally just work until I pass out not because I’m like, overworking, I just, I don’t really take weekends off, I just work. And then when I’m tired, I’ll just take a day off, and I’ll work more. So other people would be like, No, you have to have a regimented schedule, you gotta be like nine to five before I
Andrew Morgans 32:45
4 am. If you’re out before you’re getting, you know, three times more done on everyone else, and yada, yada, yada,
Lucas James 32:52
Exactly. Like there are some core principles that a lot of these people follow. But I think at the end of the day, it’s like, you almost get to a point where you have so much information that can actually kind of distract you, like, find the things that in the last few years you found to be true. Find a playbook that you absolutely know works of all the things that you’ve encountered. And just do that over and over until you get to your goal. And stop overthinking it. Like the one thing that I have problem with because I apparently have ADD, my girlfriend says I do. And so just my doctor, so I guess I do. I just don’t like to believe I do. But is that I get really bored really easily. Like I love working on new projects, which is also why it’s been a struggle keeping the business so consistent is like, how do I do that. But I just kind of look at it as Alright, I know for a fact that from my own patterns of behavior, and from looking at these other people build businesses, once you have something that’s working, you actually have to just put the gas pedal all the way down and do not stop, like just keep doing it and do not change it. Don’t change direction. Just keep doing it. And that is something that I’ve learned from reading many different books, watching many different videos on successful people. And I feel like I don’t know if I need any more information than that. Like, I know that that works. I know that method works. Just keep doing it. Like don’t get distracted. Just do this. It’ll work. Don’t overcomplicate it, and just, I don’t know, read something that you enjoy. Like I’ve started reading a lot of like historical biographies and like science books, just because it’s fun for me. I don’t really really like reading business books anymore. It kind of distracts me I feel.
Andrew Morgans 34:30
I think that’s because we go through different needs. And I think something you said earlier in the show is like is really important. And it’s like what do you need in your life or in your business and when like, you know if you’re at the starting stages, you need discipline, you need focus, you need to get expert at something, you need to get a niche you need to stay dialed in pedal to the metal. You get to a point where let’s say your business is is doing well and it’s you’ve got people you’ve scaled you’ve got people helping you with things. Now you can change and you can be a little bit more flexible and you’ve learned that discipline, you’ve learned that patience, you’ve learned that skill. Now you can go do something else. I definitely am the trailblazer, not the manager, like I am the guy with a machete in front clear in the jungle, it’s not going to be perfect. It might be, you know, the grass and might be like, you know, up and down and not perfect links. But I’m going where most people won’t go. They haven’t gone yet. And other people come and make it look manicured, like a manicured lawn. And, you know, they’re like, moving these plants over here and making everything look great. Right? That’s for you. i You can call it ADHD or you can just say that I’m a trailblazer. I’m an explorer, I’m done. Yeah. And other people are farmers, you know, and, and we’re not all the same. And so it’s like, it’s really knowing your strengths, and then being like, Hey, guys, like I can go get this thing started. Like I figured out, you know, I’ve launched a warehouse and stood up all the software myself, you know, we’re in four years into our warehouse and three PL they know shit about that. I’m good at attacking software. And, and, but I wanted to do it and it was fun. So I jumped into it, and I get everything set up, well, then I need to hire a warehouse manager and get people that can actually do the job, if that makes sense. And in different areas of my business that’s that’s really where it is. It’s like I’m still aren’t I’m still the r&d department. Yeah, because because I like doing that. And another chip take I would tip I would give for anybody that’s maybe a newer entrepreneur or just looking for a change is, you can read all these books. I tried to get obsessive about one particular thing that I need to learn well, like, for me, patience was one I need to learn. Really bad, I just knew that like, I would almost like smother things or overwater them or whatever. If you know if I was left to do my own doing so I was like, I need to learn how to be more patient and let it get the sunlight it needs and put it back in the shade and put the plant back out in the sun, you know, and be patient with something. And so sometimes for me patients, the best way for me to be patient was to do multiple things. So I could let one thing bake, and go focus on the other thing for a while changed my brain. I wasn’t lazy, I like working, I just needed to work on something else. Right, or I was gonna smother. And so if you’re reading the business books, you’re doing the thing. If you’re now implementing the things you’ve been reading in the book, and you’re like, I shouldn’t focus on anything else, I really just need to focus on systems in my business, or I need to focus on sales, growth in my business, whatever that is. Maybe, then what you need is pleasure, and you need disconnect, and you need play and you need, you know, stimulate your brain with your imagination and get inspiration and things like that. So some of it comes down to self awareness and knowing yourself as the leader of your company, of what you need when and being realistic with yourself. And, you know, for me, I’ve been on a craze, like mental health books, I’ve just loved, I kind of got some success in my personal life like in, I used to just have night terrors, like, pretty much my whole life. So I was like, 34 grew up in Africa. And so some of that stuck with me. And I got rid of them like I’m 36, like, couple years ago, or they eased up a ton. And I was just like, whoa, results like, Are you kidding me. And I just like, jumped in, like I just was like, I want to read and consume everything, because I got some results. And I’m like, I want to know more about this? Well, you gotta know yourself and where you’re at in your business. And I wouldn’t have even been at that point. If my business wasn’t at a better spot, if that makes sense. I wouldn’t have been willing to, like, open up those areas of my brain for vulnerability. If I wasn’t feeling you know, I’d already worked through some of these other things. So took me a while to get all that out. But I think there’s so much meat there for founders that are trying to figure out what’s best for them and how to work best with others and figure it out. And you know, just know it know where you’re at, know what you are at your core and who you are at your core. Be real with yourself, you know, maybe that’s a girlfriend telling you maybe that’s your doc, maybe the brand manager kind of helping you direct you. But that’s why they’re around you. Right? They shouldn’t be around you unless they have that. Yeah, right to speak into your life and give you some direction. But I think everything you’re doing makes absolute sense to me. So maybe we’re just both in the same crazy in the same crazy class or something. But you know, now that I’ve asked enough questions, and really kind of heard it explained, it’s like, Oh, that makes me duh. Like, it’s like a Deus situation for me. Right. Oh, let’s spend the last couple of minutes just talking about, you know, the software. Yeah. You know how people can learn more, get engaged, follow along, like see what you’re building this latest version coming out? How can it help? How can I help businesses?
Lucas James 39:37
Yeah, so easiest way to get involved and kind of join the community here is to go to How to Scale an Agency Podcast. If you just type that into Google is going to come up first thing that pops up. We interview a bunch of agencies, but I think even if you are not an agency owner, you could get a lot of value. Out of this, the service businesses in general. So, any kind of agency actually really go check that out. I also have a YouTube channel now where I’m putting out a lot of content tech content. And just like teaching people how to use all these things around AI sales, no code. So just look at my name, Lucas James, Twiz, T-w-i-z. On YouTube, you’ll find me there. And then, you know, I think if you just if you just type in Twiz online, you’ll find us. And if you want to sign up, it’s free to sign up for our software. Give it a shot. I’ve been using it internally to track all of our leads. And it’s been a great way to start putting a lot of business intelligence into sales. I got the idea to do it because I have this huge sheet that tracks all my different sales reps. And I have all these numbers and KPIs and everything in there. And I was like, dang, is a lot of work. I just put this in an app. And so I did, and this is a product of now, like, three years of just building an app that can be like a super sales app, essentially just giving you all the insight data you need. So definitely, if anyone’s growing scaling, hop on in there. It’s free to use. And we’d love to, love to see what your thoughts are on it, honestly.
Andrew Morgans 41:25
That’s amazing. We’re definitely going to have to connect up to this. I have listened to his podcast without even knowing that it was you. At least listen to a couple of episodes. And so that’s pretty cool. Yeah, I was just on his own, trying out a bunch of different podcasts about scaling my agency and looking for sales, growth stuff, and just some nuggets, you know, so I pulled it out. There are a couple I have listened to already. So that’s absolutely amazing. And we’ll have all those links and stuff in the show notes as well. For anyone that you know might be driving, didn’t get a chance to write some of that down. But I really appreciate you being on the show. Glad you’re having fun. I can tell just by the way you talk about it. It’s always nice talking to founders that are, you know, six years in and still just like very passionate about what they’re doing.
Lucas James 42:14
Yeah, man, if anyone wants some good reads for the weekend, read the book The Dynasty. It’s about the Patriots. I mean people here might hate the Patriots, to be honest. But if you are part of the, I don’t really know if I love or hate them, but they talk about how, you know, Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, and Tom Brady, they just kept building this thing. And at first, it wasn’t that great. And then eventually became like the best dynasty in the history of sports, you know, debatably. But it just kind of goes to show, like, you got to keep reinventing yourself, and if you could stay committed to one thing for a really long time and you love it, you’ll succeed beyond your wildest expectations. So I’ve definitely tried to follow that book and just anything like that. So yeah, I’m glad you can see that. I mean, I’m definitely trying. So
Andrew Morgans 43:01
Thank you, Lucas. And thanks again to our listeners for tuning in. And thanks again to our sponsor, FullScale.io. Do you need to hire software engineers, testers, or leaders? Let Full Scale help. They have people and the platform to help you build and manage a team of experts. When you visit FullScale.io, all you need to do is answer a few questions and let the platform match you up with a fully vetted, highly experienced team of software engineers, testers, and leaders. At Full Scale, they specialize in building long-term teams that work only for you. Learn more when you visit FullScale.io. Lucas, thanks for being on the show. Hustlers, again, thank you so much, and we’ll see you next time.