How UpHex is Changing the Game in Facebook Advertising with Sam Carlson

Episode 109 March 21, 2024 00:55:19
How UpHex is Changing the Game in Facebook Advertising with Sam Carlson
The Agency Hour
How UpHex is Changing the Game in Facebook Advertising with Sam Carlson

Mar 21 2024 | 00:55:19


Hosted By

Troy Dean Johnny Flash

Show Notes

This week on The Agency Hour Podcast, we're excited to welcome Sam Carlson, Co-Founder of UpHex, a revolutionary software that's reshaping the Facebook advertising landscape for digital agencies.

Sam shares his journey from digital agency owner to developing UpHex, addressing the challenges of managing social media campaigns. We discuss UpHex's role in streamlining ad launches, enabling agencies to focus more on strategy and creativity.

Join Troy Dean and special guest Sam Carlson for an episode filled with insights on leveraging UpHex for more efficient and impactful social media marketing.


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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: So today, the good news is, is the best ad wins, right? Not the best targeting. So the value to the agency, to the agency that takes the time to acquire the skills that matter most, is that their ads will automatically rise to the top. [00:00:22] Speaker B: Welcome to another episode of the agency Hour podcast, where we help web design and digital agencies create abundance for themselves, their teams, and their communities. I'm really excited this week to welcome Sam Carlson from UpEX. UPEX is a software that allows you to launch Facebook ads within three clicks in less than 30 seconds without logging into the Facebook. Ad manager Sam comes from the agency world. He owned an agency for ten years. He sold it. He built this software to scratch his own itch. It has fast become a major player in the agency space. It's a very interesting conversation. We don't really talk too much about the software. We talk a little bit about it, but we talk more about business models. We talk about the value that agencies add and what you should be charging for rather than clicking the buttons. We talk about how UPX fits into the high level ecosystem and also the business models around high level, whether it's managed services or SaaS. This is a super interesting conversation. He reveals some case studies where entrepreneurs agency owners are making multiple five figures a month in recurring revenue with no staff. A super interesting conversation with Sam. I hope you find it as fun as I did. I'm Troy Dean. Stay with us. So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the agency hour, Sam Carlson. Hey, Sam, how you doing? [00:01:50] Speaker A: Hey, good, buddy. I'm glad to be here. Thanks for having me. [00:01:53] Speaker B: Thanks for being here, man. And I'm really excited about this. We met just a little bit of context for people. We met at the high level summit. And I don't think I've told you this, but maybe I did. I had that weird moment where I'm like, you and I met. I think we met in a car park, didn't we? [00:02:09] Speaker A: Downstairs. [00:02:11] Speaker B: Right? [00:02:11] Speaker A: It was weird. [00:02:12] Speaker B: And I remember having that moment where I'm like, I know this dude. I know this dude. And as we were saying, hello, my filing cabinet is going off my brain. And I'm like, fuck. I watch these guys videos all the time. And here he is in real life. It's kind of bizarre. [00:02:25] Speaker A: Yeah. Well, thanks for watching the videos. I appreciate it, man. [00:02:29] Speaker B: They're amazingly helpful. By the way, if you haven't checked it out, what's your YouTube handle, man? [00:02:34] Speaker A: Uphex. Oh, jeez. I don't know. Just search up hex and you'll find it cool up. [00:02:40] Speaker B: Search upx on YouTube. Go watch Sam's videos. They're amazing if you're an agency on it. So for those that don't know you, I've had the pleasure of meeting you in real life. He is three dimensional. He has legs. He's taller than you might imagine. For those that haven't met you, who are you and what are you doing? What are you doing here on the agency hour? [00:02:55] Speaker A: Yeah. So I've been in the agency business for nine years, and when I say agency business, let me just be more specific. Local lead generation marketing. Okay. Not like ecommerce and that kind of thing. I've been really focused on lead generation for local businesses. Brick and mortar, that's kind of been my passion pursuit, and I started that in 2015 when SMMA was kind of a new thing went through, got the bumps and bruises. We didn't have the type of programs that we have today. We didn't have the software, definitely. We didn't have the learning platforms and the people to mentor or coach us. So I got a lot of bumps and bruises to show for my efforts in the agency space. But eventually, we had a case study published by Meta for our agency, which was really cool. Wow. That led to a software opportunity, and the software opportunity was my now company, UpEx, which the whole goal of Upex was when our agency, as a small, local lead generation agency, would go in to ads manager, upload the same campaigns to every new customer we got, click all the buttons, then get too many customers, and have to hire a media buyer. When all of those problems were happening, we said, well, what if there was a way to where I could take my library of proven ads, upload them once, and then launch them on any sub account that I wanted to in just three clicks and in less than 30 seconds. Right. And so that whole thing basically led to where we're at today, where we have built just that. It's a software that automates the SMMA. So it's like the SMMa SaaS, if you will. Right. And it makes. So agencies can just streamline and scale and get tons of clients and make a good living. [00:04:55] Speaker B: Yeah, got it. I want to come back and talk about that in a minute because I'm really curious us about the problem that you were solving that hadn't already been solved. So I want to come back and talk there for a second, but before we get there, I just want to park. What were you doing before you started an agency? Because for those of you who are watching the video podcast, here. This is not your first rodeo, right? You obviously had a life before agency. Before agency life. What led you to agency life? [00:05:18] Speaker A: Yeah. So I'm 44, I got four kids. I'm married 21 years, actually, this year. [00:05:24] Speaker B: Congratulations, man. [00:05:25] Speaker A: Thank you. [00:05:28] Speaker B: That's against the ODs, dude. [00:05:30] Speaker A: Yeah, no, I'm lucky, man. She's great and my family is great. So I'm very blessed that way. [00:05:34] Speaker B: That's awesome. [00:05:35] Speaker A: But you know what, it's funny because I think there's a lot of people that will identify with this. Since I was a kid, I was an entrepreneur, right? Like I was going to be an entrepreneur. My last w two, the last time I got paid by a company was when I was 22 years old, and I've been an entrepreneur since. But I will say that for the first ten years, I was a really stupid entrepreneur. I was an entrepreneur that maybe I'm in my 20s, early 30s, an entrepreneur that wanted it too easy. An entrepreneur that didn't want to acquire any new skills, that just used whatever charisma or skill sets God had given me. And because of that, it was boom and bust the entire time. And I was boom and bust for about 15, about 1213 years, then finally found a mentor. He shaped me up, showed me, hey, if you're going to be an entrepreneur, you're going to do it the right way. These are the rules to the game. And since then, I've had three seven figure success, breakout businesses and haven't looked back. But I love the game. I love business, and specifically within business, I love advertising. I love it. I have a passion for it. So I study it and it's my thing. [00:06:48] Speaker B: What were the business models before agency? Were they service based businesses or were they physical product or retail? [00:06:53] Speaker A: Yeah. So I owned a mortgage brokerage. So in 2006, I started a mortgage brokerage and that came to a big kerplop in 2008 with the recession. But I owned a debt consolidation company. I did house flipping. I owned a house flipping company for a long time. I owned an excavation company. I can actually operate an excavator pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. And that was before mentorship and post mentorship. It has been a real estate education business, a agency and upex. And those three have just, again, knowing the rules of the game is really important, is really important if you're going to be successful in this. [00:07:37] Speaker B: Yeah, I'd like to come back to the rules of the game and kind of unpack them a little bit as we go on in this conversation. Let's talk about UPX. So you're running an agency, you're doing all this kind of manual work. In the ad manager and Facebook, there was software like Adespresso that were kind of allowing you to push ads into the API early on. What made you think that you could have something different? Or what was it that say Adespresso, for example? What problem wasn't it solving that you wanted to solve? And what made you think you could kind of break into that market? [00:08:10] Speaker A: Yeah, I remember because we used Adespresso as an agency. We used Adespresso word stream, and we had a Frankenstein software stack to try and run all of these things. And because those platforms were built for every different type of media buyer, and because they didn't narrow down enough, they could get you like 80% right, but they couldn't quite facilitate the thing that would actually make it work. Because here's the thing. If I get Adespresso now, I have to learn how to use Adespresso, right? The person that's running Adespresso, sure, it's a media buyer, and the media buyer can now do more. Instead of managing 30 accounts, maybe they can manage 50, 60, 70 accounts. And that's a value add. We wanted something different. We wanted to get rid of media buyers. The role of the media buyer entirely, which means every single click that in my agency from 2015 to 2019, every single click in that time frame was educated, experienced, and knew how to navigate through ads manager since 2019, every click that has launched, and we just hit 100,000 successful campaigns launched last week. All of those campaigns were launched by end users, by customers who are not educated, who are not experienced, who have no idea. So everything is intuitive and it doesn't make mistakes, it doesn't misspell things, it doesn't make targeting errors. And so those softwares were fine, but they didn't do the job that needed to happen for my agency. I still had to have a bunch of staff, I still had to have a bunch of overhead, and I had to, again, Frankenstein all these softwares together to get some semblance of scale. And it just never worked. [00:10:09] Speaker B: This is fascinating because I've been saying since, I don't know, 2017 or 2018, I think that back then I was saying, if you're a media buyer, your days are numbered. Because at that, like Google a long time ago were experimenting with, I'm not going to call it AI because they weren't calling it AI back then. They were just calling it automation or bots. If you like that would be able to design better campaigns than humans, right? And it makes sense because if you think about Google's business model, on Facebook's business model, it's advertising revenue. And the biggest cost or problem with advertising revenue is the people expense of having someone set it up for you. Or if you're a business owner, managing it yourself is going to take you time. And then also human error and inexperience. And the algorithm and the bot and Google have been saying for a long time, don't do. And Facebook have been like, don't do targeting, right? Just give us the ad campaign and let our algorithm find. We want the data, so don't exclude people. Just let us show everyone and let us find the best audience because we train the machine to eventually run ads better than humans. And the reason we want to do that is so that you can run profitable campaigns faster, which keeps you as a customer. Makes perfect sense, right? So you've effectively disrupted your own business. You've effectively said, I'm an agency here, I got a team of media buyers. You're all costing money, you're all making mistakes. It's not profitable. I want to get rid of you all and I just want to have software to do it. What does that mean for. And I'm kind of teeing you up here because I have my thoughts on this, but where's the value now as an agency idea, if I go to a client, say, well, the client's expecting me to say, I'm going to charge 1500 or $3,000 a month or whatever it is, to run your ads. But now I don't actually have any media buyers because I don't need it because I'm using your software. What's the value? Like? Why doesn't the end customer just say, well, I don't need you, man, I'll just go and sign up for UPX and I'll do it myself. What do you think the value proposition is in 2024 for an agency to present themselves to a client? [00:12:23] Speaker A: Yeah, that's actually a really good question. And I could stand on the soapbox for a very long time. Let me just go back to what you were talking about in terms of the algorithm. That is absolutely correct today. So if we go back to 2015, everybody was doing these really fancy targeting. They were like surfing ad sets, duplicating, doing all these different strategies. And so all the emphasis was put on the technical and it was taken away from the creative. There was very few agencies that were talking about having outstanding ads written with solid advertising and copywriting principles and techniques. So today, the good news is the best ad wins, right? Not the best targeting. So the value to the agency, to the agency that takes the time to acquire the skills that matter most, is that their ads will automatically rise to the top where their competitor, if they have been so bought into the dogma of targeting, if they're like, this is what we sell the most targeted people? No, we have the most targeted ads possible. What does that mean? It means that we've thrown to the curb everything technical, and now we target only based on psychographics. What does that mean? That means we talk to the people the way that people like to be talked to. And when we do ads like that, we don't get leads, we get qualified customers. Now, would you like a pipeline full of leads? Would you like people who are interested and motivated in what it is that you offer? Well, yeah, that second one sounds good. Well, you might find people who, if you do, targeting people who make this much money, people who are interested in whatever. Again, that is old thinking. We have a guy that came into a coaching program, was wanting to do B to B, said, okay. And I think his niche is pest control. That's his niche. And he said, can I get a custom audience for people in the pest control arena? So he said, why don't you do this? Okay, this is across the entire United States. So 300 and whatever 50 million people in this audience said, just write an ad, direct the ad to the pest control company, make it very specific and launch it to the country. And just narrow it down by demographics, age and gender. Launches the ad, boom. Leads coming in, qualified. Amazing. Said, I have always done narrow targeting. Custom audiences, interest, behavior. How is this possible? It's because the AI is smarter than you. And the reason that over time, Facebook keeps removing, because you'll know people, media buyers especially, oh, they removed this. They removed that. They removed this. And to the media buyer who's really close to the problem, they don't see what's happening. It's that they're getting it to where there is no targeting. They don't want you to target. [00:15:32] Speaker B: That's right. [00:15:33] Speaker A: It's just the best rises to the top. So the opportunity for agencies today is to get in, build your own IP, your own library of proven ads to a very narrow segment of business. That way, when you show them what you can do for them, they're like, this is the only person I can work with because they have created pest control ads that work in South Carolina for this specific bug. I don't know. That's an example, right? But you show something that specific and specific has value, and that's the opportunity, in my opinion. [00:16:05] Speaker B: Totally. I think it was probably 2016 or 2015. There was this launch of this thing called the Grid, which was a startup that kind of never, I think it failed, but the presentation was very impressive. These guys literally dragged a Photoshop file into a browser and the grid, and it was probably smoke and mirrors, but the grid turned it into a working website, right? And everyone was like, holy shit, that's it. Web designers are done. Your job is over. And I was running an online course business back then, the same business we've got now, a different name, and we were selling online courses, and we had this membership community and know hundreds of people on this Facebook group, and everyone was freaking out, right? Like, hang on a second, let's just take a step back, watch the demo again. The guy drags a PSD file into the browser and the grid, and it was probably horseshit. As I said, it was probably smoke and mirrors, but it looked impressive. I was like, the proposition of the grid is it's going to take a Photoshop file and turn it into a working website. So my question is this, how do you know what to put in the Photoshop file in the first place? [00:17:14] Speaker A: That's right. [00:17:15] Speaker B: And the moment I asked that question, everyone in our community was like, oh, yeah, right. Like, you're just going to go and buy a template from Envato that's got Laura Mipsum in it and drag that into the browser and publish that as a website? Of course not. I've been saying this for a long time. If you deliver marketing services B to B, and if you're a web designer, which is largely the audience that I come from, the world I come from, if you're a web designer, then I don't want to burst your bubble. But you're in the business of delivering a marketing service to other businesses. If you don't think a website is marketing, I don't know what it is. Like, you should not be talking to the IT department. Websites are not it. Right. I have this conversation all the time where people ask me what I do and they're like, oh, yeah, I was into computers very early on, and I did an IT degree, too. And I'm like, dude, I have nothing in common with you whatsoever. I work in marketing. I work in communications, actually. Right? [00:18:10] Speaker A: That's right. [00:18:11] Speaker B: And that's what we do as web designers. We SEO, digital marketing, lead gen web designers, content video production. Our job is to communicate a message, to get someone to take action for our client. That's our job. Right. So the technical stuff, when I saw the grid, I was like, oh man, I hope that thing gets up because it's going to save me so much time. I can spend more time on the messaging and the communication because the robots are just going to do the technical stuff, right? [00:18:41] Speaker A: That's right. It's funny because there is this idea out there. So we've got conversational AI and it's going to change the world, right? All that kind of stuff. Well, on the Internet. So there's this idea, let me preface this with this. There's this idea that you take a link, you put it into AI, and you train the AI based on the link to do a sales call. It's like, okay, well, from what I've seen, and I've seen a little bit, not everything, but I've seen a little bit. If I were to throw a number out there, I would say probably 90% of websites still today on the Internet are feature laden. Or in other words, when we say sell the hole, not the drill, they all sell the drill. So what happens when you put that link or that link in the AI and say, sell for me? Guess what it's going to sell? It's going to sell the features. [00:19:37] Speaker B: That's right. [00:19:38] Speaker A: Which is not what sells a product. Which is not what sells a customer. Right. And so this whole idea, you're absolutely right, marketing and advertising is what makes the world turn. The only reason that the television was even invented was to sell advertising. Without advertising, there would be no television. [00:19:58] Speaker B: That's right. [00:20:00] Speaker A: How would it exist? It wouldn't be. [00:20:01] Speaker B: That's right. And content is just something to put between the ads so people don't turn off. Right? [00:20:06] Speaker A: That's right. [00:20:07] Speaker B: I was on a long, classic example of good advertising, classic example of benefit advertising versus feature advertising, and I would even go a step further and say, our job is not to sell the whole. Our job is to sell the vision of hanging the picture of your kids on the wall. [00:20:22] Speaker A: There you go. [00:20:23] Speaker B: That's our job. Right. Well, how are we going to do that? Well, you need to drill a hole to put a nail in. Well, how do I do that? Well, here's my drill. But what I'm selling you is take a step back and look at that beautiful framed picture of you and your wife and the kids on the wall. Right. That's what we're selling. And I was on a long haul flight once out to LA and watching the ads before the movie starts. And there was this ad for Apple was the new iPhone, and it was just amazing footage of families know, a mom filming her kids making snowmen, whatever, right? And down in the bottom right hand corner, it just all said, shot on iPhone. And the footage was incredible. And the memories were amazing, right? It was like, oh, my God, look at these families creating these beautiful memories, right? The next ad was for a Samsung Galaxy, and all it talked about were how many megapixels were in the camera, how much ram was in the thing, how much thing was in, and I was like, oh, my God, you just don't get it, do you? Just like, no one cares. And you know what? The Samsung Galaxy back then was actually technically was a better phone than the iPhone. Like, on paper, you go, well, the iPhone doesn't even stack up, right? And I don't know what the stats are now, but back then, the iPhone was killing it and was outselling the Samsung because Apple know that they're in the business of providing luxury electronic products to individuals with disposable income who know, I wouldn't necessarily say high net worth, but consumers that can afford to buy the best, who want to use these electrical products to create memories and to create stuff, right? I don't care. I just got a brand new MacBook, and I don't really give a shit about the technical aspects of it. I just know that it allows me to create stuff fast and easy. And technically, I could probably get a Dell or something and would be cheaper, definitely would be cheaper than the Apple and might even have the better specs. Okay, so let's just shift gears a little bit and talk about how upx works. Exactly. By the way, where did the name come from? Upx? [00:22:21] Speaker A: I wish you didn't ask that question. It's funny. Okay, so I did not start UpX. Upex actually started. This is a good lesson for everybody. Okay? Upex started ten years ago. So it's 2024. It started in 2014. And from 2014 to 2018, my partner, my now partner Bradley, was trying to build a platform that would merge reports into one platform. So he integrated with Google, with Facebook, with Twitter, with all these different ad platforms to bring their metrics back into one platform. So it was an idea that he had. What is the flaw with that idea? It's that you don't try and find customers for your product. You try and find products for your customers. Okay? And so when we teamed up with Bradley, we happened to be a customer. We said, you know what? People really want. You have this big integration with Google and with Facebook and all this stuff. You want to know what our problems are. And we laid them out for Bradley and the development team. And at that time, I didn't actually own any of UPX, but we said, this is what it needs to do. There's a market for this because we are the market. And we started working with them. We said if it could make it so I could launch me. I'm the dummy test. If Sam can launch a campaign without getting into ads manager and do it in a fraction of the time without error, that is mission accomplished. And that's where we started. Right. So most companies make the mistake of coming up with ideas for products. You want to know what the number one reason, if you google this right now, if you're listening to this and don't pull it aside or whatever, you Google this later, you search it. Why do most companies fail? The number one reason it cited, it says, no market need. What does that mean? That means that the entrepreneur did what the entrepreneur does and came up with an idea, brought that idea, and turned it into a service or a product. And then the market said, we don't really want that. [00:24:26] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:24:27] Speaker A: That's why entrepreneurship. And when we talk about the rules of the game, I did that for a decade, and that's why I went boom and bust every single time. So upex is the hex. I think it's hexagonal, or Hexa. It's developer speak for making complex things simple. It's a language that does that. Right. And so the concept of Upex is to take complexity and simplify it. [00:24:54] Speaker B: Got it. [00:24:54] Speaker A: Right. [00:24:55] Speaker B: I think it's also a great example of, like, the name doesn't really matter. The brand is not what you say it is. The brand is, because UPX now is synonymous with what it does. And for me, UPX is also synonymous with you because you're such a big part of the brand. Right. But for a long time, I was saying UPX, and one day I was like, what the hell does UPX even mean? I must ask Sam, what does it mean? Like, it's a made up word, right? It's like Google. It's kind of a made up word, right? Kind of. Okay, so just walk people through. Like, if they were to sign up for UPX, what does their 1st 90 minutes look like in UPEX, and what can they hope to achieve, and how much time are they going to save? Just kind of walk us through that journey. [00:25:40] Speaker A: Yeah. So let's put ourselves in the shoe of a brand new agency. All right, so I would say for the brand new agency, I want to put a preface before the 90 minutes. I would say get educated on ads. If you're a web developer, like if you're building websites and you're good at advertising and marketing, you're going to take like a fish to water to ads, right? Because if we remove the technical part of Facebook, get rid of that, then all we need to focus on are prospects, offers and calls to action, right? Just the proper framework. But if you understand how ads work, then when you get into Upex, the first thing you'll do is you'll set up your account, right? It'll then prompt you to go to our template library. Now, the template library has over 700 pre built campaigns that across I don't know how many different niches, lots of niches, where they're pre built with ad copy, with videos and images, with lead forms, with targeting. Everything is already pre built. So it's going to ask you to select what niche you're in as an agency. I think that especially if you're starting out, you do yourself a huge disservice trying to serve more than a single niche, right? So I say narrow down to a niche. You go into UPX, you choose that niche and you import our entire library into your account. That library, that ad library then becomes your ad library. All right? You can take that library, you can go through, you can modify things. It's really simple to do. But the end result is that when you attach UPX to high level, your customers will find a button on the side or whatever you label. It will say manage ads or Facebook ads or launch ads. Whatever you title the custom menu link, they'll go in and they'll see that library that you put in there and they can click on any ad that's in there, they can click on it and they can put in their daily marketing budget and then they can click launch. And in those three steps, they can completely replace the agency that's been charging them 1500 to $2000 to $3,000 a month and just do it themselves inside your high level platform. Right? Generally, if you have a successful agency and you're porting over your own ad library, it'll take 2 hours and you're completely set up. If you are starting fresh, it actually takes less time because you import our ads and you're ready to go. But I do think you should take some time to understand your product. But in terms of logistics, it's very fast. [00:28:35] Speaker B: Okay, so what's my business model now? Like, if I'm not charging $2,000 a month to run someone's ads? Because the way I look at this is when I first started using WordPress, I was like, I built my own content management system in PHP and MySQL. I handwrote it right before I discovered WordPress. And then I discovered WordPress. I'm like, oh my God, this is amazing. I'm just going to build the website on WordPress and give it to my clients. And then I realized my clients don't want to use it. They don't want to log in even as easy as it is. So I just used WordPress to make my own job more efficient, right? So I look at this model and go, well, cool. I'm still going to charge clients two grand a month to run their ads. I'm just going to do it a lot quicker. So if I'm not charged, like, what's my business model now? If I've got high level, I've got UPX. What am I, a software company? Kind of. Walk me through that. [00:29:22] Speaker A: Yeah. Well, I'll say this before I give you basically two columns, two models, if you will. Last year, Upex had its first full run year of being in the high level community. And in one year we won one out of every three of the Saaspreneur awards, meaning our users, the users who got the Saaspreneur awards, if you guys don't know, that means they have 100 sub accounts or more. One out of three of the people we're using UPX to do that. Okay, so there's two models. [00:29:57] Speaker B: This is agencies who are, we call them saspreneurs. High level, call them Saaspreneurs, agencies who are reselling high level as a SaaS. They've rebadged it, they call it whatever they call it. And once they reach 100 sub accounts, that is 100 clients using their version of high level, they become a saaspreneur. Well, they win an assasspreneur award. And what you're saying is that, you're saying 33%, a third of those Saaspreneur award winners at the high level summit last year in Dallas in October, a third of those were using UPX. So that's a massive value add. Okay, got it. [00:30:31] Speaker A: Yeah, that's right. And that was our first folder. This year I want to do two out of three. That's my goal. Got it. There's two columns. So the column A is the one that we fell into and that is, you let your clients run their own. Now, a lot of people would think, well, my clients won't do it. And I thought that, too. But when we launched this to my own agency back in 2020, that was the hypothesis. And on a webinar, we had 150 some people on this webinar, and I gave it to one of my favorite clients, and I said, I want you to show everybody that you can launch ads without me helping you. And she did it, and she did it successfully. We got 52 clients in that one webinar when they saw her launch an ad without an agency. [00:31:22] Speaker B: Did you just put yourself out of business on that one webinar? Just like all your clients go, we don't need you anymore, Sam. We're just going to use your software. [00:31:28] Speaker A: That was actually really scary. That was a moment of burn the boats. We put it out there, and we said, okay, we had 25 clients that were paying us, I think, 1000, 502,000 a month. And we said, wow, we're going to do this webinar. But I was telling Jacob, he's my partner, I'm like, dude, we can't show this to those people. If this falls down, for whatever reason, if this doesn't hit, we're out of business. And so we did our best, but luckily it hit, and it hit massively. We went to 127 clients in two months, and we just converted. So this goes into model two. We converted only about half of those people to the SaaS model. The other half were like, no, we're fine. Just keep running our ads. We don't want to do right? And so that's what you find, is you find people, a lot of people with the UPX model, they start selling SaaS because it's easy to sell and their clients will use it. We have over 28,000 local businesses who have launched their own ads. So that's proof that they will do it. [00:32:37] Speaker B: Okay, dude, that's amazing. Well done. That's great. [00:32:41] Speaker A: So they will do it. But what most of them see, you know this because this is the agency model. You sell them one thing and you create a problem in the next, right? And so it's like, okay, well, you're getting a bunch of leads, but you're not calling them. What do we need to do to help you call them? Okay, well, let us do this next layer, this next level of service. Okay. And so we have people that do both. I'll give you one more example. Michael Dooley. Do you know Michael Dooley? He's over there in Australia. Dooley is a beast, and he is in the automotive niche, and he has two client avatars that he will take. One is a single sales rep for, okay, just a regular salesperson, and then the other is a sales team. So, like, he'll go to a brokerage, a dealer, and do whatever. He sells the exact same thing to those people, but just packages it in different ways. So the single person, he sells it as a SaaS, $600 a month. The broker, the dealer, he sells it as a bundle where they do the launching ads for them. It takes them no time at all, and they deliver that for them. And it's a lot higher ticket than the other, right? But, dude, this is the entrepreneur's dream. You have a tool and a product and an audience, all of these things that both work and are hungry for more business. What local business doesn't want more business? And then it just comes down to the actual entrepreneur to deliver it in the style that they see fit. Can I give one more example, please? [00:34:22] Speaker B: 100%. [00:34:23] Speaker A: So the Ursul brothers, they have a business, an agency called forever booked. Okay. [00:34:31] Speaker B: Yeah, I know those guys. [00:34:32] Speaker A: Yeah, good guys. And I feel like they've kind of started selling coaching, but with a foundational software that operates the tactical part of what they coach. And what I mean by that is they'll go into a med spa. That's their niche. And they have a coaching program, and they're like, we're going to help you get this outcome. Right. That's what we're selling. And then every single day they have coaching calls every single day. But then the people in the coaching are actually using UPX and high level to execute their strategy. So they didn't sell the ads. They sold a strategy to a business. But then the engine is their software, and they are absolutely crushing it with that model. [00:35:24] Speaker B: Yeah, that's the model. I've been threatening to start another agency for about the last. [00:35:30] Speaker A: Threatening that since I met you. [00:35:32] Speaker B: I know my wife will divorce me if I do. That's the only reason I'm not doing it. And the reason I say that is because when I started my agency in 2007, right, I feel like we were handwriting, letters, and faxing people compared to the technology we've got today, right? It's like high level UPX, the high level support companies like extendly and HL Pro tools and growthable out here in Australia. It's like, really, dude, come on. Like, I sit in a room with agencies now, and I'm like, everything you need to get to seven figures or another seven figures is in this room at our events. You've got the guys here from UPX, the guys from the high level, the guys from the high level support companies. We've got white label dev agencies who are on standby ready to take your work when you get too busy. Back when I started, none of this existed. I mentioned that at our live events you have everything in the room that you need to get to, seven figures or another seven figures in your agency. And one of the people who is usually in the room at our live events is e two m solutions. They are a white label dev agency based out of India. They do white label WordPress development, SEO and also content writing. So if you just have too much stuff on your desk right now or you're finding yourself unable to really go hard in marketing and selling and onboarding new clients because you don't have the capacity to take on more clients, then you should definitely reach out to e two m solutions. They will take all of your care plans off your desk. They'll take all of your WordPress projects off your desk. They'll take SEO and content writing off your desk at a very affordable rate. That means you can still maintain your profit margins and you can continue to grow your agency without the headache of employing your own staff or finding your own contractors. They have over 180 staff in the one facility. They have an amazing culture, great company values. We've hung out with them at our live events on several occasions and they are the exclusive sponsor of the agency hour podcast. So check out e two msolutions comagency mavericks. We'll put a link underneath wherever you're watching this or listening to it. And you get a discount off your first month. So take them for a spin, get that client work off your desk so you can focus on the next big move to help grow your agency. And if I did start an agency, another agency, my niche would be coaches and the model would be I would coach them through the strategy and then give them my version of high level and all the tools to actually execute the strategy. So here's your CRM. Cancel activecampaign, cancel clickfunnels, cancel calendly. It's all here. I've already built the snapshot because it's how we run our business, right? So just clean up the snapshot, import it, I'll coach you through the strategy. Here are the tools and I'm experimenting with a couple of clients. I'm doing this with them already. The good thing is with coaches they then have the ability to take high level and sell it to all of their clients. Right. So it's kind of like another layer. So the point I'm trying to make is the only reason I'm so tempted to do it is because the tech and the community around high level and opex is so good that any help you need is there. All the tech is there. In 15 years, I feel like the Internet's been completely reinvented. Right. It's just a very different beast to when I started out. I'm not going to say it's easy. [00:39:03] Speaker A: Because it requires leads to Google sheets or to not google sheets, like spreadsheets, like actual. [00:39:11] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah. It's crazy. Okay, so you talked about the two different columns. I want to sort of draw a line between these columns, because the way I understand it is you've got SaaS and where you basically sell the software. People log in, they do it themselves. You might provide some training, or you might just hook up with a white label support company to help them get on board and support. Right. And the other model is managed services, or like managed software. What do you see? What are most people doing with UPX and high level? What's the percentage you reckon between straight up SaaS and kind of managed services? [00:39:48] Speaker A: Yeah, I'd say without any real great numbers, I'd say it feels like it's the classic 80 20. So 80% selling SaaS, 20% making a hybrid version where they have some high ticket. Now, I will say that anybody, not everybody does this, but many of the people who start out selling SaaS eventually move into the next higher ticket thing because their customers are asking them for the conversational AI, for the booking service, for the prepayment services, for whatever that is. And that's what they want. Right? But a lot of people, in fact, we had one person go from zero to $70,000 monthly recurring revenue with two ad templates. That's it. And it was the SaaS model. And he was doing that over and over and over and over and over again. The beauty in redundancy and duplicating that success is that you can scale up easy the temptation, and I don't know if temptation is the right word, the opportunity, maybe, and whether or not you should take it is up to you, is when you get to that $70,000 recurring revenue for a minute, do you say, well, let's take this to $200,000 and add on these other services and upsell 30% of our customer base to this next thing. I don't know. The lifestyle to go back to your point, the rigor that it used to take to run a business like this made it like every other business where it was a lot of work. The quote, laptop lifestyle has never been more possible. I have a case study with a guy next week, Quinn Nolan. He does well into the five figures every single month with UPX and high level one guy. No support staff, no nothing. Just him, a laptop, those two softwares, doing five figures a month, printing money, and he's built, to me, a seven figure agency. I guess that's something to aspire to. If there's profit margins, that's right. For me, the older I get, the more I'm like, dude, just give me a lifestyle. Give me profit margins 100%. [00:42:19] Speaker B: Which is why for me, at full transparency, the idea, and this is just for me, I'm like, people listening to this, please. This is my own personal preference. Right? The idea of building a SaaS. Now, I couldn't think of anything worse because I don't want that many customers. Even if I can offload all the support to growthable or pro tools or whatever, I just don't want that many customers. I don't want to be responsible. I turned 50 last year. At some point I go, well, what do I do with all of these customers? Do I hand them over to someone else? Do I sell? For me, I only want to work with high ticket clients, right? My agency coaching business is in really good shape. It's doing really well. It's profitable. I have a handful of private coaching clients. I'm at 18 grand a month recurring with four private coaching clients. Right. I don't want 20 private coaching clients, right. Because there are other things, like I get to 30 grand a month recurring outside of my agency coaching business. That's like 95% profit. Because all I'm doing is just getting on calls with them a couple of times a month and helping them figure out what to do next, right? Giving them strategies. And there's no overhead in that business. There's no staff. My private coaching, it's just me. And so I would coach them through the strategy, and then I would give them access to high level, but even the idea of rebranding high level and making it my own, I go, okay, great. But at some point, I'm going to need to unscramble that egg. And then what do I do? Do I let them just open up that I'm like, you know what, just go open a high level account and I'll make the affiliate commission on it. But I actually make my margin out of coaching and strategy. So that's just my personal preference is that I would do high ticket managed services. I wouldn't even do managed services. I just do coaching. High ticket coaching, put people into high level, make the affiliate commission. The second model is managed services. So you put people into your version of high level, you manage the service with them, you coach them through the strategy, you help them implement. And then the third model is just straight up SaaS, which is great. It's a very lucrative model. You just need a lot of customers to make it profitable and to make it mean anything. You know what I mean? You need a lot of customers and I just don't want that many customers in my life. [00:44:32] Speaker A: Yeah, the model, most of the upex users are charging around $500 a month. Okay, that makes sense. Yeah. When you look at your overhead, at which point in time you start getting to the 30, 40, 50 number. [00:44:53] Speaker B: You. [00:44:53] Speaker A: Have a pretty fun life. You can pretty much do what you want, but you do get to a point to where it's like, okay, even though I have these tools and whatever the case may be, I do have to bring people in to keep my customers happy, to communicate with them, to whatever it is. Even though the tools do their job and everything else. There's a phrase that I want every agency owner to burn into their brain, which is you never hear about all of the planes that land. Right. Even if you're doing a great job, you've got 100 clients and 95 of them are just cruising and the planes are landing on time. Everything's going great. There's those five people that nobody's going to make happy. Right? And I made a good habit of just firing people really quickly, but I realized that's a luxury that happens later. But anyway, yeah, totally. [00:45:49] Speaker B: So now we are going to run a webinar at some point. We've been talking about this and trying to tee it up, but we are going to run a webinar at some point where we're going to get on and do a screen share and show you how amazing UPX is. So if you're listening to this podcast, please keep your eyes out on your email for that. If you're not on our email list for whatever reason, just send us an email and we'll add you to it. Right. Just send us an email, say please your newsletter at [email protected] and then we'll send you the details about the webinar and you can jump on. Learn about UPX. What are you most excited about with UPX coming up. I see you guys just partnered with Rob Bailey, and he's just thrown all of his ad templates in there, which is amazing. What are you most excited about over the next 90 days with UPX? [00:46:28] Speaker A: I'm glad you said 90 days, because I'm like, oh, man, I got lots of stuff to be excited about. 90 days gives me a little bit more of a container to be reasonable with. Yeah, well, so Rob Bailey did throw his entire library. Rob. So Rob came from the agency space just like me. Had an ad library just like me. By the way, every agency owner that is in the SMMA space, we all have it. We all have our go to ads. And so he had 70 plus templates that he just completely uploaded into Upex, walked everybody through it. We had a great call. If you want to check out that call, go to UPX. And I think it was last week. Just see Rob Bailey's face on there. It's a great video. Over the next 90 days, I'm really excited for. So we integrated Google, and we started doing Google Promax. We got a lot of people using Google right now. We have search coming out. We have a lead center that will be rolling out of Apex, which will basically make it so you don't have to map forms anymore. So right now, when you launch a campaign in OpEx, it creates a lead form in high level, and you have to go. And it's one step. You got to map the lead form, and that's one step that adds a step. We don't want a step, so we're going to make it so you don't have to map lead forms anymore. It will happen automatically. So that'll be really cool. I mean, it'll make things that much easier. And the same thing will happen with Google. So Google search Promax, it will actually be easier to launch a Google campaign than it will be to launch a Facebook campaign, which kind of blows my mind because Google's harder, but Google is also more. So it's, you know, more data, and it's search driven, obviously, on search campaigns. [00:48:30] Speaker B: Does that include YouTube ads? [00:48:31] Speaker A: Yeah, it includes YouTube. [00:48:33] Speaker B: Wow. [00:48:34] Speaker A: Yeah. So in the next 90 days, the entire Google suite should be rolled out and dialed in. And then we've got beyond that. We have so many back end things like automation, like automating your ad performance. Instead of going in and optimizing stuff, we'll have it done through prompts and AI, which is going to be crazy. So there's a lot of really cool stuff coming. The whole idea. I would just say, here's my thesis. Making, democratizing media buying, by far, and then applying everything that I learned in a decade of doing the agency game, applying it to that tool. Because everybody that's coming in new, who doesn't know the lessons that me and others have learned doing that, they're not going to have to learn them because they'll just be programmed into the software, right, figured out. [00:49:27] Speaker B: And I think I asked you, I can't remember the answer to this, so correct me if I'm wrong, but are you tracking data on the performance of campaigns in all of the UPX sub accounts or just your own agency? [00:49:40] Speaker A: Yeah. Apex was built, like I told you at the very beginning, as a data tracking software. That's what it was built as. So when we built the function of launching ads, we already had pre built all of this really cool ad like, this metrics crap. And one of the things that, as a media buyer, we always wanted was, hey, if I'm running ads for that location and that location and that location and that location, wouldn't it be cool if I could source all of my performance back to the ad itself, regardless of where it's being run, if I could just see all of the performance metrics on the template, wouldn't that be cool? And so we pioneered, and we're the only person that has that. So that is a core metric inside of Apex. You have the metrics there. You have it by client. You have metrics by ad and all of that. You can see, by the way, without ever leaving UPX, you don't have to go into ads manager, right? And so the days of, if I have 20 clients that I got to launch ads for in a single day, going in their ad account, doing it, all that, launching it out of ads manager into the next ads manager, the days of doing that are completely done. We don't have to do that at all. I can do that same function for what might take an entire day. I can do it in 20 minutes. [00:51:01] Speaker B: And is there any way, as someone who's running ads, is there any way of me knowing this template that I imported when I first started out? Is there any way of knowing how that template is performing in other agencies? [00:51:15] Speaker A: Only if an agency sells you their template now. [00:51:20] Speaker B: Got it. [00:51:21] Speaker A: Here's an interesting thing. And agencies will, you can share an entire category with a link. So I could give you a link and you could have all of the ads and all of the stuff within a given category. So agencies will sell those or license them, right? But what's interesting is when we put the ad library into UPX, we didn't put it in there with the intention of having agencies come in and use them just out of the box. We're like, hey, this is your starting point. Build it, modify it, make it your own. Because as an agency, if I'm in the chiropractic niche and you're in the chiropractic niche, I want to have my campaigns be different from yours. Just my IP. I want it to be mine. Well, what we found was people about, however you want to slice this pie, it's either good or bad, whatever. But about 80% of the new users coming in to UpEx are brand new to ad buying and they just use the templates out of the box. And our average results for doing that was we did 1.7 million leads last year at an average cost of twelve point $18. And 80% of that came from brand new newbies using the templates right out of the box. [00:52:38] Speaker B: Wow, that's amazing. [00:52:40] Speaker A: So I don't recommend that again, make them your own, own the product, but that's the reality that people are doing that. [00:52:48] Speaker B: Wow, that's amazing. Well, I'm super excited to bring the webinar to people, so keep your eyes out on our socials and email for that. And I'm super excited to see what happens with UPX this year. You had a dynamite year last year. I can't wait to see what happens this year. Of course, you go on to the high level summit in October. [00:53:07] Speaker A: Oh, yeah, of course. We'll be over that level up for sure. [00:53:10] Speaker B: Yeah, well, we'll be there as well, so look forward to hanging out again. Hopefully we can not meet the car park this time. We'll meet upstairs. [00:53:15] Speaker A: Yeah, budy, you bet. [00:53:17] Speaker B: Hey, dude, thanks for joining us on the agency. I really appreciate your time and appreciate everything you're doing for the agency world. [00:53:22] Speaker A: Thanks, Troy. Appreciate you, buddy. [00:53:25] Speaker B: Thanks for listening to the agency. Our podcast. Big shout out to my friend Sam from UPX for joining us. That was a really interesting conversation and I can't wait to see what's coming next. And also, keep your eyes on our social and your email for the information and the details around the UPX webinar, which is coming up at the end of March. If you're not in our Facebook group, you should definitely join. Just go to Facebook and search for digital mavericks. Join the group, answer a couple of questions to let us know that you are legit and agree to the group rules and then hop in to the group. There's lots of conversation in there, tons of free resources, tons of tips and tricks. And also we promote things like the webinar we're doing with Sam in that group. So you'll be the first to know and you can register before it fills up. So just go to Facebook and search for the digital Mavericks Facebook group and join that. Also, if you want to run your agency, whether you're just starting out, whether you've been going for 15 years, if you want to run your agency through our scorecard and get a benchmark on where you sit versus the thousands of other agencies that we've mentored, just go to gameplan, answer a few questions and we will send you a customized, tailored report to tell you exactly what you should be focusing on next and give you some really tactical advice on how to fix or improve certain parts of your agency. So go to Gameplan Takes about five minutes to answer the questions and you'll have a tailored game plan to help you grow your agency. All right, I hope you're enjoying this. Remember to subscribe wherever you listen to the podcast. Share this with someone who you think might find it useful, and I look forward to speaking with you next week on the agency hour. I'm Troy Dean. Let's get to work.

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