Three, two, one. Hey, everyone, Harry Whelchel here. Today I have Evan F. from Unicorn Capital and gonna be talking about how Evan added 60,000 in sales over the past two months using a social proof driven sales process. So Evan, why don't we kick it off with this? Tell everybody a little bit about yourself and what you guys do.
Absolutely, so super simple. Evan F. of Unicorn Capital, A.K.A Unicorn Business Plans, and what we do is extremely, extremely simple. We eat investment banks' lunch for them. We do what they are supposed to do a lot better and for a fraction of the price. So we do business plans, pitch decks, financial models, our clients have even dragged us into doing websites and graphic design and all sorts of stuff. But yeah, that's the crux of it. We just do it better than them for a lot less than they do. So, yeah, that's us.
That's amazing. So Evan, how did you get into this? How did Unicorn Business Plans get started?
So we started off, it was like a sort of magic moment where I was raising money as an investment banker, I used to be an investment banker and I was raising money for a business out of the UK. And I successfully closed around for 4 million, right? They raised 4 million and so everything was great. And ended up going to work with them afterward as just like a one-off type of consultant thing. And so 18 months into that, the CEO of the company comes to me and says, hey, listen, can you do our documents, what we're gonna put in front of investors? Can you put them together again? And I said, absolutely, no problem. And he said, what we're gonna do, we're gonna do something a little bit different this time around. We're not gonna do the black and white investment banker special because that's not going to convince anybody of anything. So what we wanna do is we want something that is just super punchy in terms of story, that has all of the financials that we're gonna need and none of the bull crap that's gonna throw us off track. And on top of that, we want it to look absolutely amazing. Like just dynamite, hitting on every single cylinder. And that's the package that we want. And so we did that and it ended up really fantastic, particularly for them, they ended up raising 40 million thereafter. So basically, but to track it, they raised four and then 18 months later raise 40 and then two years later raised a hundred and I just actually was texting the CEO and he's like, yeah, we just did another deal. And I'm like, so anyway that process, like it stuck with me.
Had you done some decks like that beforehand as a banker? But it was like, what was the transition there?
So everything that I was taught when I was a banker was here's the standard and here's what you gotta do. And here's this is like, this is our standard format and you have to do that. And I was looking at it, I'm like, guys, this is kind of garbage. You're the analyst, I mean, even up to like vice-president level, they're like, no, this is our format and this is what you got to do because this is what's expected in this sector. And I'm like that still doesn't convince anyone, guys. And so basically when I got to go out on my own and start doing things where I'm like, that's what's really gonna work and that's what's really gonna sell, just sort of stumbled upon it in this process. And yeah, it ended up being successful. So a bunch of my previous clients from the investment bank came back to me and said, hey, we want that too. Can you do that for us? And so then it just sort of grew and grew and grew from there and we went from one person to now, we're like, I don't know, 10 going on 15, just hired two more people this week. And it's been a sort of just growing process fully remote everything just super distributed and fantastic. We have a great group of people doing absolutely amazing things and what ended up like we try and track our stats and what ended up happening is we look back at all the people that we've put this product together for and 85% of them are successfully raising. And all in all of what we know of what we know of collectively they've raised $1.2 billion.
So I mean, yeah, it's mega.
Dude, that's amazing. So what type of companies do you guys work best with? Is there a certain class of companies you guys look to work with?
Yeah, so there's definitely a profile and it's typically a business that has raised one, maybe two rounds among friends and family. Typically, the sort of threshold that they get to is they either raise like a million or million and a half amongst their contacts and then it's time to go pro. And when you go in front of a VC or big time investors that can cut huge checks then you got to come correct and you've got to bring your a game because you only get one shot. And if somebody says, no, then what happens? It's like a permanent 99.99999 it's if some of these says no in the first meeting, then--
They don't come back around.
Never, you'll never turn that no to a yes. And so you get one shot. And so it's gotta be absolutely, the technical term is fucking dope. So you have that one shot to make the impact, and so when you have to go from friends and family into going pro for that like 5 million, 10 million round, that's the sort of angle where we work with a lot of people, but equally well, we ended up working with a lot of experienced people too, because they know this already and they already know what's on the line. And so we ended up working with a lot of people out of like the Boston community, just by nature of the fact that you have Harvard, MIT, a lot of biotech people and just a lot of experience. And when people understand what reputation is, then it is a massive accelerator and I definitely need a pro level pitch for going in front of these investors.
Totally, that makes a lot of sense. Okay, cool. And so like what sort of... just brag a minute about your clients? Like what sort of investors or institutions do your decks get in front of?
I mean, so SoftBank nine times in the last nine months. Let's see, Mark Cuban, Richard Branson has backed two of our companies. Let's see, every accelerator you can think of Tons of celebrities, Kevin Hart, Louis Vuitton, Moet Hennessy Group last week, Zillow, Google Ventures, directors of Apple. I mean, just any VC that you can think of. Just the only one that comes to mind that we haven't been in front of, I know that we've been in front of Damon John, I know that we've been in front of Kevin O'Leary, but not on Shark Tank stuff, like where they actually write checks type of stuff. And the only one that comes to mind that we haven't been in front of yet or that I don't know of is Warren Buffet. But we'll get there one day. It's like our little white whale.
Does he invest in like new technologies and new companies every once in a while, that type of thing?
He kind of stays away from like tech businesses and Whatnot, it's too cyclical not really his cup of tea. He's more of like an old guard going into the next phase, let's say rather than your typical tech investor or biotech, which is very specific. We work a lot with people who have a lot of technical things going on, complicated stories where they know that there's something there but it's just... they don't know how to tell it.
Yeah, and when you package it correctly and slim it down to only the things that you need to be saying, then they end up with something that is actually extremely impactful and also looks good. And you're not giving like TMI all over the place and going off on crazy tangents, you stick to the deal. And when you come off as a pro, me as an investor, I'm not looking at you as, how are you, how are you gonna raise in this round? It's as an investor, if I see certain markers come up in your pitch to me this round, I know that if you can raise this round and I see those markers, you can raise the next round too. So as long as your business isn't totally screwed up, I know that you can raise now, tomorrow, next year, next decade. It's more of a skills thing.
Dude, that's so interesting. What comes to mind for me is I feel like a lot of places in business, there's what's being communicated on the surface but there's also like the subtext going on. So you're saying there's like these cues in your decks that say, okay, this person knows what they're doing and that they're going to raise the next round and the next round. And the investors are picking up on those.
Absolutely, major strategy, major strategy. Very much, let's say, deep think. We always liken it to an iceberg, right? So you only see the tiny little bit beneath, like above the surface, then there's a massive of what's going on underneath and that's basically what we do too. So that, for example, if I tell you we've done this and our business is going to look like that and I put it in a very specific way, then when we get to Q and A that's going to elicit a very specific question from you as to wait, wait, wait, hold on. You said something in there, tell me more about this. We call it investor inception, where I have gotten you to ask me the question that I'm then going to knock out of the park. So there's so much more strategy in this than you would think. It's one of those things it's taken a lifetime to hone.
Cool, I love it, man. It's like, I love all these like dark art to the secrets are kind of like all the nuance to these different fields. It's so interesting to me. It's very fascinating, but it makes a ton of sense. So what do you think, like makes you guys really unique about what you guys do? I mean, besides everything we've been talking about, like if you had to sum it up.
So, I could say it's about having the whole package in one place. I could say it's about track record but that's just like the effect in fact, of what we have, the value that we've brought to the table. And if I boil it down, I would say that it's just the ability to tell people when they're wrong and tell people when something sounds stupid. And do it in a very straightforward manner because when people come to us, they're not looking for someone that's just going to say, oh yeah, you're doing great. You're doing wonderful and everything's fantastic. They're looking for somebody to say this sucks, but I will show you how to make it better because these are the things that you need to know now. And if you're trying to learn them on the fly, then you're gonna get no after no after no after no after no all while you're trying to learn these things. We just front load everything and say, okay, that's wrong, but here's what you should be doing. And so when we're working with people, they gotta have a thick skin, but the best thing is the best founders are the ones who can take that advice and just internalize it very quickly and then run with it off into the future very, very fast. And so that's when people do really, really well with us.
Yep, it's like, time is of the essence for your clients. The stakes are high, they don't have second chances. So it's like, why would you not? It's not like this lean startup thing. Why would you not front load it, make sure it's right and then just get the outcome you're looking for?
Right. And like the whole fear is that everybody who has ever raised money knows what the black hole is and it's where you're in sort of like pause mode where you just keep trying to raise money, to keep trying to raise money and just keep going to meeting after meeting after meeting and you end up failing and failing. That's that learning process that gets condensed, from our side but the black hole comes when you end up... you think that it's going to take you three months to close your round and we're talking millions of dollars on the line here, right? Like not small money. And it ends up taking, nine months, 12 months, 18 months, and all while your business is slowly circling the drain.
What's the opportunity cost of that?
It's massive, it's enormous. I mean, we've asked our clients like, what is that opportunity cost? And in terms of lost business value and the way that we frame it is, what would you be able to do, like what sort of business value would you be able to generate if I've took this check and I wrote it to you today? And off of a $10 million investment the loss of that six months worth of time is, I mean, we've gotten answers as high as 750 million that's what I'd be able to do, hands down. That's what I'm missing out on. I mean, it's real.
That's, amazing, super interesting. So let's switch gears for a second. Let's go back to the beginning with us two months ago, what were you doing before working with us? Was there a specific job you were trying to tackle or something you were looking to solve?
Absolutely, so before we were working together, I'm going to answer the questions in series. So before we were working together, I would liken it to drowning in the Pacific Ocean, trying to like look around for land. And the reason why I say that is because I always knew that based on the response that we had, 'cause we do a lot of video, we do a lot of... I mean, I probably record Loom videos like five times a day regularly. As soon as we get off this call I'm gonna record one. We've had a lot of success with injecting video into our process. And that's been really, really powerful for us and so I was always wanting to do video testimonials, video testimonials. And we had tried endlessly to get our clients to do video testimonials for us. And the directive was okay, here's what we want you to say, here is how you do it. Here's the software that you need. Here's how long it should be. Here's what we want you to answer, 60 seconds. All it takes, very simple, nothing crazy. And all I can say is that the results that we got back from that were extremely few and far between, people did not follow through. And when they did, it was not ideal as you'd want it. It's always helpful to have that video endorsement from somebody, but what we ended up with was it just, it could have been better, it could have been better. And so the results that we were getting were not ideal and we couldn't use that content so much. And we have some amazing, just mind blowing stories of what we have done for people and the thing is like coming out of my mouth, you might not believe it but if it's coming out of a client's mouth then it turns into something really, really powerful. And that's one of the things that was evidenced by, I knew that this worked as far as results are concerned because we get a lot of referral business. Like 40% of our clients already are referral business and when you can say, listen, I shot my deck to sQuid not even the final one, the second draft. And sQuid just snapped up and said, we'll cornerstone the route, you can't have that better. You can't have better than that. And when you hear that from a founder, a founder to founder, then it's like, wow, this is really, really legit, right? But capturing that story was always a challenge. Always, always. So that's kind of what we were doing. We were trying to make it work, but it just wasn't working.
Yeah, it's super interesting. So you're getting these clients getting these wins, raising round after round after round and you're trying to collect that proof, but you're not collecting it. And when you do, it's not actually moving the needle for your business metrics, the way that you were doing it.
Right, it wasn't doing a great job, but the most important thing was that the clients who we knew who had the good stories too, we knew who had the stories to tell, and we tried to get them to do the video testimonials. And the worst is when they agree to it and then we end up chasing and chasing and chasing and we still don't get it. And then when we do get it, it's like if it's a letdown, then it doesn't help us at all if we can't use the way as intended. So that hurts.
When you would email them and like ask them, like, let's say they did it and you're like, this isn't, I can't use this. Like, would you ask them again? Or like, would that, is that even possible?
It's just no, it's not, we have tried to do that by the way, we had tried to do that and it didn't end up being meaningfully better in a way that we could really, really leveraged the content. So it was just one of those sticking points where like I was looking around, I'm like, what do we do? How do we make this work?
So were you looking... did you try anything else before we were working together? Or what were you looking at at the time?
What have we tried? We had tried asking them for the referral and that had some results, we built into our process at one point, just whenever we close out, we always ask for the referral because a lot of times it happens. The moment that we started asking for referrals within two months we ended up with 40% of our business being referrals. And it was just like, oh my God, how were we missing this for so long? And so that was our first step. And then the second step was let's try and get the video in. And that was like failure. And then we tried follow-up, follow-up, follow-up, follow-up to try and get people to just do it in the first instance, and it was just very ineffective. And then we just, we left it, collecting dust, knowing that this is fantastic. We had to leave it collecting dust because there's only so much follow up that we can do with how busy we are. And only so much you can annoy people. And that never works so we let it go, we let it go for a long time.
Yup, yup. And were there specific, like metrics in your business you were trying to influence what these assets, like, are you looking to lift conversion or raise pricing, or like, can you speak to, like, what were their specific business problems they were trying to solve by collecting more of these assets?
Yeah, one of the things that we've, I think that we've done pretty well with is our intake flow. So in what we do we always have to be very, very careful on who we agree to work with 'cause not everybody is a fit, right? But it's more, just very, very specific with our business of if you're a bad fit, we cannot work together. We cannot because with how busy we are, we can't do anything with drama. We can't do anything... We can't sell to somebody who is not a good fit because it ends up bad for us bad for them bad for everybody all around and nobody ends up benefiting. So I'd rather say no to people who aren't a good fit and truth be told, we turned down like 84% of the people that come our way. And that's not to say that we're not trying to be proud of turning people away, but when someone's not a fit you cannot take the business. You just can't agree to it because if it's not gonna be a success for them in the end then it's not gonna be a success for us either. So we've been really, really careful in that process. And it's always been about reputation for us always when we got into this early on, when it started growing, my thing was always, we're either gonna be number one in the world or we're not gonna do it, not at all. And establishing that reputation was always really, really critical for us. And the whole thing is if people know about that, then it just makes business a lot easier. It makes growth a lot easier. And so focusing on making sure that you're delivering solid results for people and making sure that you have just a pristine reputation for excellence and delivery on time and just doing what you say you're gonna do. It's such an underrated thing to have a solid reputation and so as far as KPIs and metrics that we targeted, it just permeates all aspects of our business. We are actively trying to get that Google index ranking where if you get a hundred reviews then it indexes to Google when you search out the business and it says, oh, five star business. So we're trying to get that and pushing for that and that's part of this process of collecting client feedback and just what good, bad or indifferent, just give us a review and tell us how we're doing. It also impacts a lot in terms of sales and the more that we can do, the more that we can help people then it just it turns into a more flourishing business. And so those are the main areas and it all comes down to the reputation aspect of it because if you've got the right reputation among the people who matter and you're focusing on the clients that matter that you can really help then business is gonna be easy.
Yeah, it makes me think of like inevitably in your business where you've got people coming in and they might be just really not knowing what they're doing and they just want to have a business plan. And they're these, these. I met my point of view of a wide variety of leads that are coming in to you. So there's that 15 to 20% of leads that are like the really, the real ones that you really wanna work with. So the more you can basically win more of those deals and grow that slice the better 'cause you don't wanna necessarily serve all those people because you just can't and it won't get the outcomes you're looking for and they can't afford it and all that good stuff. This just lets you do what you're doing even better, right. Is that fair?
And you ended up growing the pipe and having more leads in pipe. And when you're doing it in a very specific manner, then you actually end up with the more volume that you add into the top of the funnel, it actually ends up coming straight down to the bottom as well, because you're adding in good fit. People who have vetted you who have looked at results and they know what to expect and they know when they see the proof points that they need as a person, as a potential client it just to believe that yeah, potentially by working together I at least believe in the value if at absolute minimum, I at least believe in the value and that you're not like a shyster or somebody who's selling smoke. Yeah, it's total credibility. And when you can establish that as an absolute foundation, before you've even gotten onto a call with somebody, it's very powerful, very powerful. And that's the sort of stuff that we've seen in these past couple of days. All right seen that.
Nice, so let's go back I don't know if you remember but like where did you and I first get connected, like, was it in like a private Facebook group or like, how did we first get connected?
I had seen some of your posts on Facebook and I think at some point I remember exactly where I was, I was laying in bed and like lazy Saturday afternoon and just the most relaxed that I possibly could be. And I saw that you were based out out of Atlanta and I was like, hm, that's interesting. So I had seen some of your posts and from people that I know that I guess we have in mutual contact and I ended up just reaching out to you and I was surprised that you got back so quickly. To be fair, I also kind of front-loaded it like, I'm probably gonna be a client is going to have a pretty good effect from working together.
Yeah so what do you--
I saw that what you were doing and you explain what it is that you're doing. I was like, are you Jesus?
Okay. I love it, I love it. So like back on those earlier moments where you see those posts and stuff, what peaked your interest at the very top when we first got connected.
Honestly, it's about volume and you appeared to be somebody who on a wide variety of topics. I can't remember what exactly it was but I remember I looked at some of the posts and it was a bunch of different things and it appeared that we were in a similar kind of space. And I looked into, it was basically, people were asking for advice and you were just the most helpful guy and in each one of those things, and actually it's not just about being helpful. It's about being giving relevant and pointed advice for a given situation. And so whenever I saw your name pop up, it was associated with something that was intelligent to say. And so at one point I was just like let me reach out and just see what this is all about. And I checked into you and I had no idea really what you did before we connected. But once you explained to me what you did, I was just like oh man you nailed it.
I mean, I appreciate that. So let's go forward if you can remember back, what were some of the things that we did together? What was the first thing we worked on as a team? I mean, how to do with collecting the interviews, but do you remember exactly a little bit more detailed what we worked on?
So we covered a bunch of things, we covered from... let's see, we covered from the interview workflow. We covered how to run the calls, which really was just immensely powerful for me, just how to run the calls. And the questions to ask the format to go in how the sort of process flow works. Post-production just everything that was the stuff that really turned me on. And then the where you can use the assets and how and the application of things. And as well as using the vouch software, how do you do that? How do you run people through that flow? And that's was basically what we covered early on. But the things that I latched on to the most was the how to run the interview, how to set them up for it, offer the broad. I even tell people now, like there's a bribe involved, you're getting money from me when you get on a referral call a client interview call and they love it. And I get a lot of response off of that. So whatever maybe I'm just the person who seems like they would bribe people. So, but yeah it's every step of that, I'm very much into the strategy of things. And so we've talked about it in passive, how to have that client vetting process works on our end. And you taught me stuff like the status Delta, which we use all the time now. So yeah, there's but those were the things that we had focused on early on.
Yeah, so it sounds like, so we were worked on how to collect the interviews, conduct the interviews, and then how to use them in your marketing. And then also in your sales process itself not just like, I think one of the things like I come up against again and again, and again, it's like people think, oh, I get this interview and I just posted on social and that's all you can do. Like maybe speak a little bit of that. Like how it's this more evergreen thing that you can use in your business?
Oh my gosh! Yes it's fantastic. The way that you weave the interviews and all of the content together in just every single touch point across the process as well as in the wall of proof and just bring it in every step of the way is enormous. And it's a mega value and I've had clients reach out to me but just saying, Hey, I watched your video and it's really awesome. And I'm like, that has nothing to do with you. And we're actually working on a separate project together but they'll come and say, oh, just because it's in my email signature and I sent him a message and they said, yeah, I watched that video it's awesome, do more. And I'm like, all right, well then when we're done with your project you're doing with mine. It's become this living, breathing thing that just goes throughout our entire process. And we're trying to implement absolutely everything in there because when you get all of those touch points, I mean, here's a weird one, right? Here's one thing that I've seen, so the client in the mid-process thing what we've seen with that it's very interesting because you always have not so much like buyer's remorse, but that curve of enthusiasm where just when you it's at the pinnacle, that's when you've made the purchase and then you have that fall off, right?
The honeymoon phase.
Yeah, the honeymoon phase and then--
And coming out of it .
And then if it goes too low then it's like, buyer's remorse or disillusionment or whatnot. We've seen and this is totally unimpeded and non-scientific, and probably a bunch of bullshit but we've seen that people in the process, once they get into a certain phase of the process, they're notably, notably. And this is like within 60 days, right? There are noticeably, they see and are reminded that the results are tangible. And when we say you got to do this, you got to hold up your end of the bargain. It's not like, oh man, I thought that I didn't have to do anything. And it's much less back and forth must much less arguing it's just basically do what we tell you to because these are the results that people are getting. That's what it says without saying it because they are watching the videos and we're getting tons of views we're from, I don't know where they're coming from.
That's so funny I've seen that exact same thing in my own business where like I've had clients who I've tried to convince them of doing something a certain way and I'm getting all this resistance and then they'll watch an interview. And then literally instantly, they're like, all right, I get it I'm doing that.
Get it now. Now, I understand why you do that yes.
Well, I did not know this was gonna actually help me serve my clients better. But like, to me, I think these are like, they're almost like a summary on assets. They're like in the sales process and in your actual client delivery, they almost have as much value. If not more than at the top of the funnel.
Both they have, I would say it's equal value whether they're a client within the funnel, whether they are a client that is sort of mid-process right? Like, we're all working together. And then they have just as much value as when they're a client later on because what happens, they end up reaching out and saying, oh, by the way, I got somebody for you. And they send some business your way, because it's just another little reminder of yes people are getting results working together. And it's like, oh man, I remember the results that I got out of this, by the way, I got somebody to talk to you about this and they're already set up, they already know what it's gonna cost, they already know they're fully primed. I mean, a referral close is the absolute easiest we don't sell, we don't sell, you get on the phone and within 15 minutes, I mean, I've got a 90% close rate within 15 minutes.
Yeah, I often look at these like interviews as one to many referrals, 'cause it's like, this person is singing your praises, they're on demand and you can use it for the rest of the business's life. It's so powerful.
Things around it and that's what we're trying to do. I mean, in one of the things, and you're not gonna like this but screw it because I do. I haven't been able to use the vouch system, you've probably seen it as much as I would like to because the interviews are going over and we're getting just absolute, fricking gold from people. And what ends up happening is I don't even have to run them through the process just because I may have something backed up to it and we've gone for 45 minutes. But what has come out of that is just getting to that critical mass of the social proof that we need to fill in the gaps on our funnel process in particular, we're playing catch up right now. And once we get past that phase then we're going to be going for the mega referral juice up and then that's gonna be a total game changer.
Yeah, it's funny. I mean, like, don't worry about that at all. 'Cause it's like most of my clients are actually in the same boat. Like all of us, we're all like realizing how powerful the interviews are. And like for the people who are listening, there are certain strategies we're gonna use to get referrals off of the interviews, right? And what Evan's getting out here is like, he's getting so much value out of the interview that he's not having bandwidth. It's like, we're just focusing on that and that's where all the returns are coming from at this point.
And the returns have been enormous.
So let's talk about that for a second. Like talk me through like some of the wins like that day you messaged me last week, what was that about?
That was nuts, it was one of those just for everyone who is listening those days where you wake up and you're like, God damn today is a good day. Just everything is going right like from the moment that you open your eyes, and that was that day for me and this was last week. And so I had to send you a message just because there's no other possible way that this could happen but there are a bunch of like contributing factors. And basically I had just had like two marathon days of a bunch of different discovery session calls. These are like my 10 max 15 minute calls with people and what ended up coming out of those was just, let's call it a small avalanche of work and payments. And so I wake up in this morning, I wake up in the morning and I see in my email inbox and there's like five different emails from five different people or different one from Stripe, one from PayPal and another that's your contract was signed and here's the payment. And then it all is all said and done on that single day, I woke up to $30,000 in contracts or payments on one day on one day. And this on the same day, within 24 hour period on top of that, that's when this investor who I respect so highly, who is the canniest investor I know, smartest person in any room. She came to me and said, listen, I watched through your case studies. And I think they're great and I think you should do more. And I was just blown away and then I found out after I had sent you that message also same day, I actually did one of the case study interviews with another client, turns out he had raised his full boat, like his entire life. We're talking like multi multi-million dollars. He raised his full boat on his second pitch meeting which by the way, middle of April during COVID, okay. He raised millions of dollars when everyone else is having like super horrible times on his second and meeting with it with an investor. He's like, I had to meet a list of a hundred investors. It's like I had to go to two meetings and I was fully capitalized. Now we're going to 10 X our business. Like can you give me like more social proof than that?
How fulfilling is it to hear that from a client?
It's incredible, it's incredible. And to be able to take that and just be able to use that in place of what people used to do if like ask for a reference or can I speak to one of your clients? Like, yeah here's four of them, they're talking to you, my friend.
Its like canned goodwill, it's like canned energy that then you can like feel your business with basically.
Yeah, can you feel how energetic I am? This is the derivative of everybody who has been giving us just amazing results that have translated into dollars.
Yeah, so how are you, like how fulfillment service delivery side, are you guys pretty strapped? Is that what you're hiring people or are you, you can handle more.
We are weekending and there are all nighters. I have been on since we started working together, since I collected the first one, I've been on six days a week, call it six and a half. just long, long days because we're just getting really, really busy but we're barely keeping up, we're barely people. I shouldn't be doing this right now.
I appreciate, you making the time, I really do. I really do. And you have a few more minutes or you have a five o'clock stop.
No, I'm good for you like I've got time Harry, like.
So I appreciate that. So well let's do this. So what do you think if you had to summarize why do you think things have improved? Why do you think you you've done 60,000 the last 30, sorry 60 days, two months.
I mean, all right, so we talked about 60. That's just the uptick, right? Just direct that is incremental. So 60K up and over the course of 60 days. I mean, it's been pretty enormous for us and on top of that, by the way, didn't mention it before we had to raise prices and no push back at him. Like nothing, no problem.
I love, I wanted to hear if there was something else 'cause like it's not only the assets it's like, you've got to raise your prices that's fantastic. So that's huge, that's huge.
Yeah, it's because you're then taking the... you're taking a process that's really working well and you're just putting it on steroids and just allowing everybody to just know what is working and how other people are doing it. Whether they're a big business, small business, somewhere in between, whether they have huge track record or had never had a meeting with an investor in their life how can we help you, right? And so that number that I told you about this 60, that's just the Delta. I mean, we're up massively and that's why we're on six, six and a half days, and some days like last night I got four hours sleep. That's okay, I'm good 'cause this is awesome, right? I know a lot of people are hurting right now and the best thing that makes us feel good is that I can pay bonuses to my team and they're super, super grateful to be just like crushing it and everybody is.
They got to feel confident like they can like rest easy that they're like, I know Evan is at the helm like we've got business like things are going.
Not really, no, I'm not at the how I'm kind of trying to dig myself out right now, I shouldn't be taking on so much work. But because it's coming, that's why I said we had to raise our prices. So all right fine whatever we'll keep doing work. But yeah, it's been enormous and coming back to the why I would put that directly attributable to these assets that we have put together. And the reason why we haven't done anything different, I have not changed any of our processes, okay? But let's call it minor tweaks, but the minor tweaks have been centered around directing people to wall of proof content specific case studies, quotes, proof shots, watch these videos. That's what's been the tweaks, okay? That's how we've tweaked our processes, and that's how we've ended up with this incremental, enormous uptick in business. And so the only thing that I can say that is the major difference is just that. So when I look at it as to how has this happened and how have the stars aligned? Okay, you've got COVID and people who maybe have a little bit more time but a lot of people have less money.
I imagine this environment is typically like the economy's down, I guess the autonomy's a little bit up now but like who knows it's gonna go back down a lot more volatility in the market. Like investors are typically less inclined to cut checks in these environments, right?
Very much true. So the VCs themselves on that side of things, VCs, like whatever they had before cut that in half and so that doesn't mean that they're writing checks for half the size, it means they're writing half the number of checks. So it's much more competitive. So yes, in a way that gives a little bit more wind in our wings as far as the sales process and belief points and Whatnot. But realistically what that means in wider economy type of things, it means early stage businesses are gonna be less and less of our business mix because we're geared toward midlife businesses anyway. But on the other side of the funding equation, you've got high net worth individuals that they pulled all their money out of the market at the start of COVID like that's why it took a huge tank because everybody pulled their money out. And they're like, dude, I'm sitting on cash I want to write checks like now.
And I wanna deploy this. And I want smart businesses to cut the checks into and so that's what really our clients that's where they're at. They're like playing squarely in that somebody just pulled 20 mil out of the market and super angels out of him and his five buddies and the VC that they're tied into. That's where a lot of our clients are at. Some later some much bigger, but yeah, it's had an immense effect on us. So during COVID right? Think about this, during COVID we're up 6K and within 60 days of starting and on top of that, I'll put a little cherry on this also true we have stopped outbound, LinkedIn or organic. We have stopped. We had it before and we stopped it during this period in time and we're still up. There's only one explanation and that's our work together.
One other thing that just came to me and I completely, I can't imagine that we completely forgot this. Remember, when we first started, you sent out that first batch of emails asking people to do interviews. And one of those people who came back to you, what happened off that email? If you remember that too?
Oh my God! Yeah, the first guy that came back-- that was hilarious. I had no idea that I knew that he raised money but I didn't know that it was this crazy. Basically, he came back to me saying, I don't need the money that you're gonna pay me for this interview but I do need to tell you a couple things. One, I raised money. Two, I raised it in 13 days, which is like, what? Like 13 days after we worked together as raises a better part of a million dollars, like 13 days he had cash in his bank. Like all right so that's like part two fantastic. And then the third part of it was that he came back and said, oh, and by the way, I have another project for you. So yeah, like just instant you can't put... I mean you can put a number on that ROI but it's immense because from when we started working together and then when I started sending the first batch of emails, which I was laid on that so my fault but probably three weeks into working together then we had--
I think you signed up and then we like push pause and we did a kickoff date, like two or three weeks later. It was still within that first week you sent the email.
Yeah and it was enormous. And so he comes back and says, okay, well I have a new job for you. And we're talking like a high ticket job and that's incredible. And so number one you get a case study, number two, you get a dynamite case study that says exactly why people should be working together and number three, Hey, here's some more business.
I wanna bring that up. It's like the value you got, it wasn't like back the back end it was like instant and consistent throughout .
Yeah, it was exactly that how it is exactly that it was very much... well, what is it that they say if you can't defer gratification, like delayed gratification. If you're delayed gratification, you can't stand that and you need like something fast and that is going to do well, that's this, there's no delayed gratification and something like that. I had not only an asset that I could use a really amazing one. And I also had new business.
It was a touch point and it reminded them, it was like a marketing asset for you. Like the ask for the interview sparked them to be like, oh yeah can I give you more money? Can I hire you.
Hey, can you do this too? Why not, why not.
Let's do it. So, going back, like when we were doing our sales call, why did you decide to do business with me?
Honestly, it was because I looked at the system and I was just like this you nailed it, you nailed it. And there's actually some more stuff that we're gonna talk about how to even kick that up even further.
We're not done yet, there's more for us to do.
Oh yeah, oh yeah but the fundamental of how you go about just layering every single asset into every step of this process, it was just exactly what I was looking for, exactly what I had been searching for for the longest time, for the longest time. And just seeing that when somebody nails it and especially with knowing that a single cell for us is going to have a big effect. Then, I mean, I was just sitting there thinking this is what I've been looking for for the longest time, because I know what the ROI, what I thought it was gonna be. And guess what? Point proven with the first guy who comes back saying, oh, by the way, can I give you more money? And also an easy client to work with too so who thought?
Yeah, I love it and I think like me, I remember back to our call, it was like, definitely on the shorter side, like really quick. And you were just like super professional, really focused and systematic. And I was like, all right you knew what you wanted and I was like, I'm pretty systematic too. So I was like, all right here's how we're going to systematically collect these assets, here's how we're going to system at the use of each point and you're just like, got it right away. And you're like, all right, cool how do we do this?
We do that too, we do that too with our client filtering funnel to like kick anybody out who is probably going to be a bad fit so that we don't waste each other's time. And so when you started talking to me about the systematization of how and where and when you just strategically layer these things into the process, I was like, man, this is what we're doing but on the lead funnel intake side of things and just making sure that when we're booking strategy sessions we're spending good time. I was like this is what's gonna just blow that up enormously. And it has, and it has. So, yeah, very good that it was a short call because the moment that I saw that what you were doing, I was like oh man
Did you feel like anything? Like what takes you over the fence? Do you need any ticking over the fence? Do you feel like there was anything?
Nope, I didn't need to kicking over the fence. I was already over the fence before you knew that I was over the fence.
Yeah, I didn't, obviously I didn't share this but like, I was kind of a little bit taken aback. I was like, wow! he's wants to move really fast through this. Okay, maybe he'll buy and it was like either he's already made a decision and he just needs me to like, make sure that I'm not crazy. Or like, I don't know, it's not gonna work but it ended up that I think he had already arrived. Huh?
I hope I didn't give it away.
No, you didn't I was just like, okay. Like either this is like gonna be a very easy sale or like, I don't know but it was just--
It's gonna be somebody like totally messing you around that has no intention but knows everything about what you're doing.
Kicking the tires, just yanking my chain or something. I don't know, but anyway. So who do you think we're a good fit for?
All right, so I'm not going to tell you who I think--
Before you answer that, like, would you recommend other people work with us? I know it might be obvious at this point but I'd love to hear just in your own words.
All right, this is the part of the video that you're going to edit out, because I'm gonna say I wholeheartedly recommend that anyone work with Harry. No seriously though yes, I do but you have to be a very specific type of candidate. And just like the way that we try and get very, very specific in who we work with, I also look at it from your perspective too and the people who this is going to have a very large effect on are people who are successful in their own, right. Who had been struggling like we have and collecting those assets that they need to just make that process of bringing in clients so much easier. I know that it's started to be about the referral thing, and for us, it was also about the referral coming into it. But now we've seen so much benefit on the front of the funnel that's why we're focused on that part right now.
You don't have the bandwidth to do anything else quite yet .
But you don't have to, you don't have to the only thing is if you have that collection process already nailed then you're already in good enough shape to then start focusing on the referral business, right? We never had that and so it started off being about the collecting the referral but then it just quickly became, holy crap. We now finally have a process of how to collect and capture the really, really dynamite content that I can shout from the rooftops all day long and say, I can say enough about our business and what we've done, that you won't believe me because it's unbacking believable. But when it comes out of somebody, else's mouth, very different story. So that's where I think it helps actually a lot for us, which is just getting over that trust and credibility gap. Even if we are ranked number one on every platform, you still have that question mark coming in as a client. Are they really number one though? Or have they just gained the system? But when you have a client saying it, then it's completely different things. So who is this gonna be the best for? It's gonna be the best for somebody who has a going business who is going pretty well making money and things are going pretty good. And you'd have a focus on reputation and you do want to hit that number one, number one, in whatever your niche is if you want to be number one in whatever your niche is then it's just starts off of not wasting your time with people who are a bad fit and you can turn down more sessions if the ones that you do have are your conversion rate it goes from 20% to 50% then yeah. You absolutely have a business that is in a completely different set up. So I would say speaking from our perspective, if you've got to go in business and you want it to just get into the, really this is like the funniest, most American thing to say, but if you wanna take your business to the next level, like then yeah but that's like a real thing.
No, I hear you and I think like the way I would maybe summarize it as, like you said, you wanna be number one and I would say similarly, it's like, you really care about getting clients results. Like you actually wanna deliver outcomes, right? And then maybe you have at least the bare bones of like your business place, you're making some money, right? A little bit of sales, a little bit of marketing, you have a decent offer, but you're looking for how do I basically take those things do them better and just get more sales with less effort because you're just documenting what you're doing already better. If that makes sense.
You could even do this like very early on. I mean, if I had this, 'cause we only started our business, I mean, we formed an entity like two and a half years ago and so we've done pretty well but if we had this two and a half years ago, I think we would be on another planet by now. Like really, it would, I wish I am happy and I am fortunate that we met and I'm happy and fortunate that we had the good sense to work together. But if we had this two and a half years ago then we would be just like there's doing well and then there's extremely well and we're very busy and then crushing it and then just fucking flat out that's where we would be.
Yeah and I mean, you're thinking about that. You don't need a ton of clients to leverage this process you just need like one or two bad-ass case studies to get this kind of engine cranking and then it gets easier to keep cranking the engine. You know what I mean?
But if you're the sort of person who is delivering really fantastic results to somebody and you're focusing on making sure that you get those fantastic results, then they are going to happen. And clients, when they feel that they've gotten outstanding results like me, for example, in this relationship they want to talk about it. They wanna talk about how well it's gone and they want to sing your praises. And if you give them the forum to be able to do so, I mean, just use the content correctly. There's easy.
So if someone's on the fence listening in right now, why should they take action right now?
If, you are a person who is a good fit based on what I have said, if you even if you're early on but you have a couple of clients that you're like, man, I know that we did a good job with them and I know that they would be open to talking about it. Then if you don't have this process all ready nailed down you need it because what's the opportunity cost of sitting on your hands and what's the opportunity cost of that success. Are you unprofitable? Good then get in. Are you in a position where you're kind of stalled and things are going well but you're just sort of like ticking along down this month, up this month and you just don't know what's been good. Get in it I mean, if you're on the fence and you know that you need this you really know. There's no like you can't kid yourself in your gut that you need something, then just do it because what I've found and one of the things that we're trying to do and be more successful with is you gotta just make decisions faster. You got to make decisions faster and when you know that you want something then you have to be able to move quickly. It's not because it's like a pressure tactic or something. Things will weigh on your mind and you'll sit there thinking about something for two hours that night and you'll sit and you'll think about it for an hour and a half and trips around on the internet for five hours over the next three days. And realistically, if you want things to grow you need to cut that part of your life out of the, hmm do I kick this back and forth, do I need to do it? And if you have enough of the information to be able to do it, you have to 80 20 of the decision and say, you know what, screw it. Let's do it thought about it, all right, let's go job done. So that you can free up all of that mental time to go back and then start doing things that will help build your business. So that's my advice to somebody who's on the fence.
No, I love it. And I think the one point I had at the beginning, you were saying about just like, if you're on the fence, you're probably not really on the fence like maybe--
You're not, you just have to sit around and yeah, you're just a little bit anxious and you don't know that you're mentally ready to make the decision yet. I'll say this categorically, right? If you think it's like a Henry Ford thing, right? Whether you think you can't or you think that you can either way you're right. So I think on some level that you need this and this would help your business, then whether you think it will, or you think that it won't either way you're right. But either way you should just make a decision faster because I'll stand here hand to heart and say all day long by we got major, major ROI facts, and you can't like you can't fake this sort of discussion. Like it's simple but for people like that are spinning their own wheels. You just have to say at some point, all right I'm gonna do it, let's go for it because it's time. It's time that's it.
Awesome, so Evan, what's your number one piece of advice for coaches and consultants, just in general.
My number one piece of advice as you can tell I'm a pretty verbose person but I'm gonna try and distill it down to one thing. Focus on your reputation, when you have a reputation for excellence and always deliver on time, every time consistent, excellence that brilliance will come. And then as a business will be very, very easy to do. And you don't have to do everything under the sun perfectly in order to Excel and to do well on look at Apple computer, for example, very, very simple and easy analogy. Everybody knows Apple, Apple was struggling for a long, long time until one thing came out that just dominated everything. I'm talking about the iPad in fact, and it was one thing, one thing that meant that took the company from pretty good into holy crap! You think that they were the only one who did that...
The MP3 player. MP3 player no I bought a Rio, I saw the Microsoft one, which is garbage by the way, everybody did it all wrong but they did the one thing, right? One thing absolutely perfectly and so if you can do one thing really, really well and then make sure that when people are considering either working with you or whatnot, that they know about it, how you do things, then life would be very, very easy for you.
I love it, I love it that's such a great analogy. I don't know if you know, but like that's when jobs came back to Apple and part of it is they had all these other products they were exploring and he just cut them all. No sacred cows cut them all, that's when they started their rise to this trillion dollar company.
Exactly, that was like for me, yes you have all the backstory and all of what was Apple before the Macintosh and Whatnot but that's when it really kicked off. That's where the real accelerating moment when we throw out all the garbage, we just focus like a laser on what works. That's why I've been spending my time like just so much time on making sure that we get our asset placement with these assets as correct as we possibly can and get our workflows together as much as we possibly can because that's the single accelerating factor. And I can see it. I can feel it I can touch it that this is what works. And this will take us to the next stage of our business's growth. And so as somebody who is looking at this from the outside, looking in, when you can simplify everything that you're doing and maybe cut things out of what you're doing in order to make room for the only thing that you should be doing, that will take you into the stratosphere. Then that's when you open yourself up really mentally and business wise for a lot of personal growth, professional growth and just--
Yeah, financial growth, thank you. That's what you called me.
Yes, what's next for you in the next, like 30 to 90 days, what's on deck for Unicorn business plans.
So what I have on my plate is I wanna hit critical mass with what we're doing right now, I think off of the very limited, because I own three businesses on the daily, right? So this is just one of them but--
I didn't know that, that's another story. We have to talk about that later.
So this is just one of them, but as far as this is concerned, I'm trying to spend my hours building this out further and just getting to that critical mass 'cause in the limited time that I've applied to this we have like a customer list, like 300 people with fantastic stories, right? 'Cause that part I've gone through it. Haven't sent out all the emails so just don't have fricking time. But when we get to that critical mass of just 10 really good ones, then that's when we're gonna shift gears into let's go, pardon me, referral focus type of a workflow. And just 'cause I know what effects that this has had so far, I wanna build that critical mass. Once we have the critical mass built, then it's time let's go for four referrals and this is gonna sound so crazy and crazy. And so many people are gonna hate me but what love being a black sheep anyway, we are probably going to press pause on all of our outbound because referrals are that powerful when you're doing it right. That you can turn just referrals, have a really good process and product into your 90 plus percent of your business and then the rest will organically come as just like bonus clients reaching out to you of, Hey, I heard about you guys from this. We didn't PR it but I have literally had clients not even kidding by part of this. I've literally had clients say, yeah, we want it to work with you guys. I'm like, wait, what? And he's like, yeah, listen, we heard about you guys from the VCs in Silicon Valley. And I'm like, okay, I don't know any VCs in Silicon Valley. I haven't spoken directly with Silicon valley VCs, not recently. And he's like, yeah, we heard about you from these and these guys. And I'm like, you never know where your name goes.
Doing good things and it just, people end up just talking about you and you end up with tons and tons of inbound. And then that's when you turn on the ad flows and 'cause you have enough cash to be able to develop whatever assets you need, landing pages, spend money on ads and whatnot because when they're landing on something, they're landing on dope, very technical term, dove case studies.
It's so interesting that you say that 'cause like that's like it just makes me think of like how VC firms run like they often say like you don't apply through the website you have to come through a referral, right? Like there's these high-end boutique basis models out there that are evidence of what you're talking about, where you can get a lot of stuff coming in through referrals, through word of mouth, all because of reputation and the results you've gotten for people in the past.
Yeah, and that's the only way I shouldn't say that's the only way to end because there are many other ways to win but at least in that game as far as financing that's the easiest way to win which is just do a really fricking good job in everything that you do make sure that you're just gunning for number one gun for number one and you'll get there.
And if you do that in your space, like all the guys that you serve, they're used to that in the VC. So they're gonna have like a mental model about that and it's going to help build your brand and your prestige all that stuff It's like, oh, we don't take direct applications? Like you have to know somebody.
He's a teacher in breach it, I mean that's just sort of next step of our business. I mean, that's why I say I run the three. So here's an interesting one to just like sort of close us out. Yeah, if you want to close out or there's, I don't know.
I got one other question and then we're and then we can wrap man.
Well then here is like the most interesting thing that came my way for a long time. My partner and I have looked at, do we form a VC because we're getting just immense results. Like put it this way, if you're a business that you're about to go raise your first institutional round, we're talking like from VCs or whatnot, if you're gonna try and raise more than a million dollars, then your chances of success are between five and 10% on average, just the fact to raise a single dollar, right? Five to 10%, our clients are raising 85% of the time. So what does that tell you? Am I just so good at picking up who's going to be the winners? I don't pick
who has an early look at all these companies that people invest in? you do.
Right and so we're looking at it as all right it's clearly, there's something in here and there's something to do here. And we're like do we start cutting checks now? Because now with the business that we're doing, yes, we can be cutting small checks and a number of different ones. And so that's been on our radar for a while now and I reached out to a bunch of the people on our list in this process of like, okay, Hey, do you wanna do a case study interview and whatnot. One of them comes back and says, we wanna hire you again. Which another common response, Hey, can we pay you more money ? And we ended up actually having a chat, I turned down the money, funny enough, but we ended up having a chat and he's like, yeah, there's a VC that wants to cut us the $3 million check. Can you take a look at this? And we just had a couple of chats and it turned out that now we're talking about them being one of our portfolio companies that is going to be in our VC. So, I mean it's not just the one business even, it's not just the one business. It flows over and has flown in flowed, whatever, over into the other business that we're doing. And it's like lead gen for the other business.
Yeah, yeah it is.
Is a lot of positivity.
Cool man, well Evan, thank you so much for your time you've been more than gracious to give me this much time with you. Where can people find out more about you online?
The only place that I would send them to is www.unicornbusinessplans.com/work. And then you'll see everything that you need to know about us and what we do and the sort of cool stuff that everybody's so hyped about what I'm so hyped about.
And then amazing, man. Well, I can't wait to see what happens the next couple months. I'm looking forward to working with you further and yeah, let's talk soon, all right?
Absolutely, thanks Harry. Bye.
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