Nov. 9, 2020

Guerrilla marketing, mergers and sales, by Jason Myers.

Guerrilla marketing, mergers and sales, by Jason Myers.

Jason Myers, Partner at CopyPro.ai and Chairman of Various and Guerrilla Marketing Global, talks about how he grew multiple businesses into cash-generating machines and how he managed to get through the very first stages. We also discuss Guerrilla marketing and how it works and other customer acquisition channels.

Guerrilla Marketing Global: https://www.gmarketing.com/

Fill out this form to get connected to investors and mentors: https://form.typeform.com/to/vT8gVQDG


Transcript

And today is a guest speaker web Jason wires who initiate the merger with a T, early 2000 after we record that part.

Who initiate the merger with a T in early 2 thousand's and are a few businesses into multi 1M revenue generators does that sound right?

Yes all right. Cool. Cool. That's really important. Part.

And today's a guest speaker, we have Jason Myers who initiate the merger with a T in early 2 thousand's and also a few businesses into multi 1M dollar revenue generators. And this episode will talk about.

Basically growth, and how to generate that revenue. So, Jason, let's kick it out by you giving us some background on yourself and on your core current company, COKIE Pro.

Absolutely, well, it's great to be with you and your listeners today in terms of my background, I started out really? Being 1 of those inquisitive people I learned how to use a screwdriver when I was 6 years old.

My mother handed me a screwdriver and said this is how you take a screw out and this is how you put it back in and I immediately started tearing everything apart around the house. And so I got the point.

It was so bad. They wouldn't buy me any toys for my birthday or anything, because they're like, he will just tear them apart, but fast forward a couple of years.

And I actually started teaching myself how things worked on the inside and was able to start repairing household appliances, doing various repairs.

2 cars actually did a break job at, like, 12 years old, 13 years old. I was putting a new clutch and that's the transmission of a car rewiring car, repairing the washing machine.

The microwave, the stereo, and working on gasoline, you know, like a motorbike and all this stuff. So I've always been 1 of those people and.

I started writing computer code when I was 12.

And I found that to be the same thing, get inside the code see how it works, make it better. And that set me off on my entrepreneurial career.

Nice that's interesting. My brother was saying the same exact thing when she was a kid well towards Facebook now. So I think if your kid is disassembling things that's a good sign right there. I, I really think so.

You know,
and I,
I applied that software mentality to business overall, and you asked about coffee pro coffee pros, software company that partners,
and with 1 of the great living legend copywriters, John Benson,

and we're using artificial intelligence and what we call augmented intelligence to harness human copywriters and the best of machine learning to create brand new marketing copy to help business owners and marketers

be able to more effectively market their products both online and offline.
Nice nice. So, let's start with the late experience and then we'll move on to more current situation.

So 1 thing that you've mentioned on our Pre recall is that you were 1 of the people who initiate the merger with a T, back in the early 2 thousand's.

I even had no idea that a T was merged with anyone and that was a little bit shocking for me. So, can you tell us a little bit more on that?

Sure, the, the history of that goes that, um, I was, uh, the youngest, uh, corporate director, uh, for singular wireless, which was owned by SBC and Bell South mobility.

And 1 of the assignments that I had was related to the investment portfolio strategy of the company, and in working on that project,
creating our investment thesis for the next 5 years.
What I did was I identified the at T. wireless was.

Approaching the point where they were going to catch us,
and we were the number 2 carrier in the nation behind horizon was the biggest primarily,

because they eliminated from the Northeast and they had that really dense population of the eastern seaboard where we were more scattered across the country,

and so I identified that at T was a problem,
they were gonna knock us into the number 3 slot,

and I felt like that was a catastrophic thing for the business and what that ended up doing when I gave that analysis to the top 50 executives in the company,

um,

that set off a chain reaction where we ultimately acquired,

you can say,

merged with a T.

and then we changed our name. T. most people don't realize that's actually what happened. But, uh, I'm just some interesting trivia at the time.

It was the largest merger and history, and was was quite newsworthy at the time. And then later they Anheuser Busch, InBev deal just worked it, buy another 20B dollars or so.

Nice. That's really interesting. I'm pretty sure.

Most of my listeners had no idea that merger ever existed. So, or at least, I hope so. I'm not the only 1. at least then anyways now, let's move on to more current situation and more realistic numbers. I

think.

May you've my listeners expect to grow to a T sizes. Oh, sure. So, let's talk about no. Gain that initial revenue.

You grew couple of your own businesses into multimillion dollar revenue companies and let's talk about how that happens. How do you approach the 1st.

You know, 1st, couple, 100 customers. Let's see.
Yeah, absolutely so when I was finishing up the work with, um, singular at T, I saw the.

Satellite radio industry, starting to take off Howard Stern, it's signed to deal with Sirius satellite radio. ameena buddy of mine said, hey, there's a huge opportunity here. Satellite radio is really going to become something. And so we started the business.

We started it as a retail business. We added the online E, commerce and then we said we're making so much money on the Internet. Why do we have retail locations? So we pivoted to completely online.

We grew that business.

We started that business and for a phone company of 5 by 6,

we were a top national seller of XM,

satellite radio.

We were moving some of the most amount of units with Sirius satellite radio and we were also selling satellite TV. We were doing all of that online and we grew that business.

To where we had a catalog of E, commerce products with 1.865M skews. We were a top a 3rd party partner with Amazon dot com Sears new egg by dot com.

We had 3 dozen of our own websites. Um, the 1st, couple of 100 customers are retail customers. But when we went online, you know, we did 30000 dollars the 1st, week we were online and my partners, like, why do we have retail locations?

And I said, it's a really good question. Um, and we grew that company to to 72 on Inc, 500. what powered that business is because of my software centric background.

I've always kept up with programming built my 1st website back in 97. that was profitable. It's 1st month and I'm like the Internet is cool.

But but I built a software and then hired a development team. And house, and we built this multi tenant SAS software to power the E, commerce that we were doing. We had 40 suppliers. We had our own inventory.

We were drop shipping inventory. It was very complicated communicating electronically with all these marketplaces and all these websites and keeping the orchestrate. So we built a software nobody had at the time.

And we ended up selling the business to a public company, you know, 9, as a software company, instead of just as a E, commerce company. Nice. That's really cool. That's real cool. I think that's not the 1st time.

They hear someone just doing something on top of E, commerce and then all of a sudden, it's actually not an E, commerce anymore, which I think is great. So.

You want to say something oh,
yeah I was just gonna say,
you know,
it's that byproduct of business and oftentimes what I find when I'm advising and, and,

you know,
providing some consulting to,

to early stage companies is you have assets in the business that are worth more than your business infrastructure things,

right?

You can unlock that trap wealth. So that's what I did there and I've gone on to do it many times since then. Right?

So, I think, I don't remember do you mentioned that you have failed any companies in the past, or you don't have any failures at all?

Oh, no, totally. I, you know, but I did have the benefit when I worked in the wireless telecom industry I got to to fail and succeed with their relatively infinite checkbook.

Um, I got to make some pretty big mistakes and got to learn from that.

So I was in all the, all along the way I was investing and in small companies as an angel investor, and I made a ton of mistakes investing and other people's companies, because I'd write them a check.

And then they wouldn't return my phone call. They just burned my money then they come back going. I need more money and I'm like.

Dude, I haven't heard from you in, like, nearly a year since I wrote you the check or wired the money. I've never heard back from you. And now you want more money like, How's this going to work?

So,

um,

I learned the lesson,

the hard way that I needed to help them invest my money in their business that I needed to provide some,

you know,
wisdom some,
some coaching based on my experience.
And when I would do that, my money would multiply.

So that, um,

that helped quite a bit I made a lot of those mistakes while I had the safety and security of the golden handcuffs of a really cushy corporate job since then,

you know,

I've still made some mistakes,

but most of those early mistakes,

or then,

however,

the way I got into the wireless industry was my 1st business I started grew really fast was successful.

My 2nd 1, I thought I knew everything so I started it it grew really fast. It was successful and then it imploded on self because I just didn't know everything, but I had.

Become indoctrinated into the wireless telecom industry, because I was an independent dealer for sailor 1, which was so Craig mcos company before he sold the day at T.

And, uh, I said, you know, this industry, this is the early nineties like, this industry's going somewhere and I found the opportunity to go to work on the carrier side. And that's what set up that whole thing we talked about.

Um, I think I had, you know.

33 assignments and 11 years, or something like that. That's insane. Yeah, so tons of tons of mistakes tons of lessons. A little bit of success. A lot of fun along the way.

So, I assume you do some angel investment now as well, right? So.

From in the current know 24019 2018 what do you think is the major reason for starts to fail now?

I think the major reason is people don't know what they're getting themselves into.

There's a significant difference between having passion for an idea, and having everything it takes to get that to reach escape velocity, many people.

And I learned this by watching some of my counterparts in corporate America, uh, many people think that they're really good at marketing or really good at sales are really good at operations or finance. And they are.

In that environment of the company they work for, and they can go to another company and become part of that environment and be a contributing player. Who's really good at their job.

In that environment as well, but when you become.

The founder of a company, you literally have to become good enough at so many things in order for the to reach escape velocity where you can begin to build a team around you.

And most people are not actually very good at that.

They're good at being a gear in the watch. They're not good at be in the entire watch.

Right, right so here I want you to move on. Actually move back to the question of generating the 1st revenue on our premium recall you mentioned guerilla marketing strategy. Can you 1st define? What is that? And.

How you use it in the past? Yeah, absolutely. My 1st, 2 businesses, uh, grew as a direct result of me reading the very 1st, guerilla marketing book that was published in 1984 by J. Conrad Levinson.

I just absorb those books as, like, a Bible. Um, you know, he went on to publish over 50 titles, uh, translated into 62 languages like 25M copies sold around the world. And I, I took that information.

And that has served me.

Well,

my entire professional career in every role in every type of business in every industry,

and most people don't know what it actually is,

unless they have read the book recently,

and they've refresh the memory.

People think that it is stop marketing. They think it's that cute stuff that thing that really grab your attention. But what girl marketing is.

Is what every small business needs, which is effective and efficient marketing with a focus on profits.

And in big companies, like, the telecom company has a huge.

Spend money on branding and, uh, you know, let's spend money on a corporate sky box for the, you know, the football game and let's let's entertain people. There's no direct on most of that stuff they do.

Because their job is to spend their budget or next year. They'll get less money when you're an entrepreneur.

Your job is to get a return on that marketing investment,

whether it's advertising or some other form of marketing and so guerilla marketing lays out the entire way that you go about thinking and executing your marketing.

So that it's always focused on profit.

Nice so well, it's not yeah. Too much too deep into the group Morgan, because I'm not the biggest expert in the marketing and.

Don't really like covering it so, for every start ups definitely re, read the book, you know, and leverage what it teaches you think it's still applicable in 2020 would that.

Person, I forgot his name. I have horrible memory but do you think that's still applicable in 2020? You know, that that many years later.

Absolutely, and you've seen the commercial where the guy like the razor so much, he bought the company, um, on such a believer in guerilla marketing data about 3 and a half 4 years ago.

I I bought the company from the family after Jay passed away, because I want it to continue to be relevant for entrepreneurs around the world for the next 35 years.

And we're publishing a new book that comes out later this year, which will, um, I'll definitely make sure you get a copy of it and you'll read it and you'll understand how it is. Absolutely.

Applicable in good times and bad uncovered times and noncovered times in 24025 doesn't matter. Nice 1st of all. Would you mean he bought the company from from Jay? How how does that work?

Yeah, so, you know, essentially guerilla marketing is a global publishing and education brand oh publishing over 50 bucks, translated into 62 languages.

And so I acquired the, um, the business from jay's family after he passed away to make sure that the legacy continues and that we can continue to teach people effective and efficient marketing.

Nice. That's really interesting. I'll make sure to leave a link to grow marketing campaign in this episode. So everyone can try. I honestly had no idea.

Thanks for educating us here, but let's move on to again the current situation. So, as an.

Angel investors slashed from wire, sued, mentor and advisor. What do you invest in? What stages do investing and.

Which field you invest it great question. So.

I love recurring revenue. I love SAS anything. I'd love B to B more than I love B to C. I love stuff that has, um, you know, contracts predictable revenue.

Uh, transactional businesses are not as exciting to me. Yes, I've made a ton of money with E. commerce, I've sold over 50M dollars on amazon's platform, you know, et cetera.

But I, but I love SAS products for businesses, anything I can do to be a part of empowering entrepreneurs to make more money by using the right tools online.

I'm all about that as far as stage, um, I like to see traction.

I like to see revenue generation uh, usually, Pre, uh, you know, they're usually burning money is when I get involved.

But, um, what I do is I bring my experience scaling businesses, structuring, deals and capital raising to the table and help them accomplish more with less.

So that they can grow faster to unlock more value drive towards the exit. That's really what it's about.

Nice. Nice. That's really interesting. So, you've touched on to fundraising that you help those startups fund Greece. Let's talk about fundraising a little bit.

So looking back at your life experience, what do you think was the worst fundraising mistake that you've done?

Oh, the worst fundraising mistake did I, I've had, um, or that I've seen.

I've seen all, I mean, we will some name, hey, who many? Horrible, awful mistakes and fun reason. But you personally, do you ever experience, you know, something like, you know.

You finished fundraising and 5 years later. You're like, okay, that was really horrible. I should have

never done that.

Yeah, and and this is good advice for your listeners, anybody that is investing in deals deals that move really fast where they have a very short fuse and you've got like.

No time to conduct due diligence are usually always bad deals and the ones that have been the ugliest they've blown up the worst on May are the ones where, you know, I got.

Told a story I bought into the story, there was some compelling reason to take action immediately and that completely.

Short circuit, any normal due diligence that I would do those investments.

Invariably are terrible. You lose all your money. I think you need time to understand what you're investing in.

And if they're waiting that long to get you involved, and you're at the 11th hour, it's because they couldn't get enough money from other people before they talked to you. And there's a reason for that.

And to take that as a hint, right? Right.

And now that we've talked about the experience, of course, we should touch on to the experience, you know, looking back at that experience in your life, was there any particular great moves from the fundraising point of view.

Absolutely,
I think 1 of the best of fundraising scenarios that I've seen play out time and time again,

in deals that I'm involved in is when the company has enough traction where they're actually able to harness their vendors for capital and they're able to get people.

In their supply chain to want to invest in them and that instills a lot of confidence. And I think breeds a certain amount of stability in what's going on. And so I.

Will get involved and I'll look for well.

How about 1 of your big clients? How about 1 of your vendors? Like, who else is available other than just quote unquote?

Investors right. Who are these alternative investors that they really give that business of vote of confidence beyond just and I'll use the term loosely dumb money.

Right. You want people that that no, like, and trust the business and have a vested stake in the business doing well, and if they're willing to invest in it, that usually goes.

Very well, everybody's more aligned.
Great. Great. Great. So, now, let's talk about you.

Combine your experience into 1 advice to someone who is young, who just graduated from college, or who is in college right now or maybe someone who is just starting their business right now what's what's your advice to them?

Maybe they are going to be 2 or 3 points. That's what we recommend doing. The 1st thing, if they haven't gotten started, get started.

Jay used to say the best time to plan tree is 20 years ago and today and so if you haven't already planted your founder tree,

you need to do it right now the barrier to entry on a new idea,

and getting the market is lower than it's ever been in the history of the human race,

and you need to take action.

That's like the main thing, um.

The,

the next thing that I would say is get people around you that can provide mentorship and advisory that have already been to where you're trying to go because to them,

it's familiar territory and to you, it's verified air.

So, if you can put people around you, that are comfortable growing to the level that you're gonna grow at, that have grown a company in your industry before have been a part of something that grew really fast that's really gonna help you quite a bit.

Because the biggest thing is the muscle memory, if you're doing things, the way you think they should be done the way you've always done them and you need to do them differently. If you're gonna have a fast growing startup.

Great that's a great advice. I think that kind of combines my next question, which is a collaboration, but.

I'll still ask that question because I always do. So, Jason, what's your call to action to our list here? So what is the 1 thing you want to listen to do? As soon as the episode is over?

Check out my website, you can learn a little bit more about what I do and what the team does it collective com.

And you're going to put the guerilla marketing link in the so they can check that out too. If they're in marketing topics.

Absolutely, absolutely. And if you're bad with understanding how people spell things, like, I couldn't understand what Jason just said about that website, make sure to check the links in the description the template because I'll include everything there.

So, if you're curious to hear or read more on those topics, definitely check out the description.

And, yeah, that's going to be my call to action, go to the description and click the links be curious about things and have a good day.