Learn How to Build a Thriving Business and Succeed in the Gig Economy with Brennan Dunn

Posted by Anant January 18, 2023

Brennan Dunn has created an empire helping freelancers. Unfortunately in this episode Bronson forgot to plug in the correct mic and the audio is atrocious. Normally we would delete quality like this, but Brennan killed it so hard that it’s still worth listening to. This will sound terrible, but it’s guaranteed to blow your mind.


→ He created an empire helping freelancers

→ He is a content marketing and personal branding expert

→ He provides services and products to help freelancers and small agencies

→ He created a successful course on increasing freelancing rates

→ He created a product called Plan Scope that helps agencies with project management

→ He is considered a go-to person in the freelancing and small agency space

→ How he got into the freelancing space and became the go-to person for helping freelancers and small agencies

→ He started freelancing in 2006 and transitioned to running an agency within a year

→ He grew the agency to 11 team members and learned about marketing and sales

→ He exited the agency and started a SaaS called Plan Scope for project management for consulting

→ A lot of customers reached out to him for advice on closing deals and pricing

→ He took a course by a friend of his, Amy Hoye, which was pivotal for him

→ And a whole lot more



Brennan’s Personal Website



Bronson: Welcome to another episode of Growth After TV, A Rising Taylor. And today I have Brennan done with us. Brennan, thanks so much for coming on the program.

Brennan: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Bronson: Absolutely. I’ve been wanted to have on for a long time.

Bronson: Anybody that’s online has probably seen your name pop up a time or two as they browse around. I think you do a great job at content marketing and it does a great job of, you know, personal branding. And I think also because you provide a real service and people seem to get a lot of value out of the stuff you’ve been doing online. And so I think that’s one of the reasons your name keeps coming up. But for people that don’t know, let me just tell me a little bit about you. You create what I call an empire, helping freelancers. You have a course on how to more your freelancing rates. And it’s wildly successful. It pops up everywhere. Everyone talks about it. But you also create a product called Plan Scope, which helped agency with project management. And so you’re in deep on the freelancer small agency kind of world. You seem to be the man kind of at the center of it. Does all that sound about right?

Brennan: Sounds good to me.

Bronson: You go along with this? Yeah. How did you get into the freelancing space? Originally because I want your LinkedIn profile. And it didn’t seem like you had this life destined for jumping into freelance world. And yet somehow you became the guy at the center of it helping them out. What happened there?

Brennan: How’d that happen? Yeah. So back around 2006 is when I started freelancing. And then within a year I started I kind of got tired of the one man operation and wanted to scale. So I started an agency or I transitioned into an agency, and over the next few years I grew the team to 11. And we it was kind of like at that point I didn’t know anything about business at all. I just knew how to write code. And that’s, you know, I thought everyone hired me because of my code of like code writing abilities and everything else. And what was interesting was as I grew the team, well, first off, I got to the point where we had a six figure month salary that I had to pay. So like randomly hoping for referrals wasn’t cutting it any more. So I had to learn how to like properly market and sell the, you know, the team. And I also had to just learn a lot about like, why did clients buy? Why didn’t they buy? I had to really optimize for like increasing proposal conversion rates and I had to do a lot. So I studied everything I could. I learned everything I could. I joined like a bunch of you know, I hired a business coach. I joined a lot of groups with other agency owners and such. And yeah, I mean, it was doing really, really well. The only downside was I was traveling the time and because we had clients at that point all over the world and I love traveling, I love, you know, going places. But it’s hard when you have two kids. Yeah. So I exited the agency. I basically handed it off to my head of business development and basically did like I treated it like an asset, but still made some sort of recurring revenue for myself. And then but without me in the picture a year and a half into it, it just kind of fizzled out because it’s doing a lot of the kind of promotional work, you know, I was running. But while I was doing that, when I exited it, I started a SaaS, as you mentioned, called Plan Scope, and I did it, you know, the typical agency owner who is like all the software sucks, I’m going to do something new. And I really wanted to focus on project management for consulting. So software that actually understood budget usage and could show your clients like Here’s what you’re spending money on and here’s what you’re getting instead of separating, like you got your Trello or something, and then they randomly get like a massive invoice from you and they don’t know how to correlate, to monitor, to make find a way to make it so the two related. So I started plan scope and like with any starting business, it’s just slow growth, right? I just took a long time to grow, but it it grew pretty well. And what ended up happening, though, was a lot of my customers would email me or, you know, go through the support channels and they wouldn’t write in saying like, hey, I don’t know how to do this. Or, you know, the software sucks, it’s buggy or, you know, it wasn’t that. It was a lot of things like, Hey, do you have any advice on like how I could close more deals with clients or like you have any advice on pricing and I would get on all these random Skype calls. And then over time I was talking to a friend of mine, Amy Hoye, who I took her course through my partner about five years ago. And it was really pivotal for me.

Bronson: What a great course, right?

Brennan: Yeah. And I was talking with her and she’s like, you keep talking with be like your plans, go with customers about pricing, just write a book on it. I was like, I don’t write books. I’m an engineer. I was like, So, but I did it. And so, you know, I wrote that we were freelancing, right? Which then was a book. And then I, you know, that was four and a half years ago. Exactly. And from then on, I mean, it’s just like I started just, you know, at that point I was creating content about freelancing to service, legion for plan scope. But then last year, mid-last year, I got to the point where I was trying to run this, you know, healthy but not huge. SAS And now I had this seven figure training business on my hands. Yeah, I can run. Both So I, yeah, I was, I went through a broker and saw our plans go up at the beginning of this year.

Bronson: Wow. An incredible story. You know, I love when you talk about how you dug in and just try to find out everything you could about how to, you know, keep the hurricane, kick them off, you know, coming in for your own agency. And you had a business coach reading the books, talk to other agency owners. They just gives you this wealth of knowledge that then became how to double your freelance rates. I want to dig into that what that knowledge actually contains and what it is, because there’s a lot of people watching this show that they’re in their individual solopreneur market in freelancers, or they’re running a small marketing agency or some of the people watching women running large marketing agencies. So the first question I have is this kind of a negative spin on it. What’s the one thing that every freelancer screws up with this.

Brennan: Name and what is it? I think the biggest thing is people think that the reason people pay them lots and lots of money is because they like clients, like code or like design. Or something like that. And they focus a little too much on the medium so that they’re really focused on the you know, you talk to developers and they’re talking about test, urban development and object oriented programing, all the stuff where a lot of clients, especially non-technical clients. That doesn’t mean anything. It’s kind of like listing off a bunch of features, but not telling the benefits. Yeah. So I just see a lot of a lot of freelancers who just are so myopically focused on the work product they do instead of how it’s actually benefiting their clients business. Mm hmm. And they don’t know what they are doing is they’re basically pitching clients on, Hey, I can write code for you at this much an hour, you know, take it or leave it. And then the client says, Well, watch this Upwork website. And there’s these guys in Pakistan for eight bucks an hour who will also write code. Why should I hire you? And they don’t really have an answer. So what I had to do and what we had to do with the agency was we had to figure out, like, why what do your clients really want? And how can we you how can we use our our skills, our craft to get them from here to there, from where they are today to where they need to be and focus on selling that that solution. I mean, it sounds enterprising, stupid, but it’s true. Like, how can we help sell solutions instead of just selling? Like, we’ll swing hammers on your behalf. Just pay us to swing or something.

Bronson: Yeah, I’ll love that. So, you know, when you talk about solving a, you know, being a real solution to a real problem for them, do all problems come down to we’ll make you more money, we’ll save you time or we’ll build you a great brand. Like, is there any other bucket that things can fall into between that brand?

Brennan: You know, what I usually say is for any B2B transaction, it’s almost always make more money or lose less money, which always end up being more profitable and a bit like a better brand at the end of the day is really about profit or money. Yeah, right. Totally. So yeah, I mean, that’s one of the you know, I always tell the story of when I first I mean, this was years ago. I signed up for Infusionsoft back like two and a half, three years ago and had a $2,000 selfie. And I gladly paid that to get on. You know, I knew that this software would help my business. And then I remember that night laying in bed on my iPhone thinking like, I’m not going to spend $0.99 on this done at my game. Right? So that’s to me, like the like that’s that B2B to B2C.

Bronson: Like transition.

Brennan: Apps, right? So thinking as a business owner there and a consumer in the, you know, at night, but I think that’s the big thing is that if you can help a business, if you can realize that businesses want to look at you as an as an investment rather than a cost or an expense. Mm hmm. And really sell, like, hey, how can I understand? Like, you know, if you’re doing, like, say, your designer and somebody hires you to redesign their online store, that’s like saying, like, hey, you know, the design now they don’t like and why is just redesigning it? Like, what about a redesign implicitly means they’re actually going to like fix the problem at hand. And that’s where like, you know, systems like jobs to be done, which are all about like the idea of the switch. Like why, why are they firing their own website? Why are they firing their old way of doing things? Let’s say they’re using like Excel now and they’re hiring you to build them some custom software. Like, why are they firing yourself and what is the job description that they need? The new thing you’re doing for them to do like. And when you focus on that and you really just focus on like, what is the business problem at hand? And how can I come in as a consultant not only to do the technical work, but also figure out like where what do we need to do? I mean, that’s the big that’s the big mistake I made early on. I just thought I was an order taker. And like, whatever the client thought they needed, I do. And I mean, that’s usually not true.

Bronson: Yeah. Now, I mean, that’s an awesome insight. It almost seems like it’s the ability to be empathetic, to actually put yourself in their shoes, to think as a business owner, what am I thinking about? What am I worrying about, what I’m excited about or what I need to happen? What jobs do I need done? What jobs I’m going to fire like? And so if you can be empathetic as a freelancer, as a small agency, whatever.

Bronson: Then you can, you know, craft things into the words they need to hear. You can give them solutions that actually solve real pains.

Bronson: You can speak their language. Right? So, yeah, go ahead.

Brennan: Yeah, I was just to say, I mean, one of the side benefits of it all is you’re able to charge more and you have a higher closing rate because you’re lower risk. Right. So the more risk somebody is, I mean, just because I’m like, if I needed a so like right now I’m working on building some custom courseware for some of my stuff. If I just hire an off the shelf WordPress developer, there’s nothing about hiring that person. That means I’m going to get like the courseware that’s going to make my students more successful. Whereas if I talk to somebody who like, let’s like I’m going to go in, I’m going to dig in and figure out like where students getting tripped up. Now, where are they getting lost? How can we make it so like if you have more successful students, better word of mouth, more referrals, better testimonials, all that sort of stuff, you know, how can I help you build more intuitive, more more courseware that actually makes people more successful? Like, so if somebody came to me with that attitude. I pay them more. It’s like when I did my video course I was, I got pitched by a local videographer. I think it was like 1500 dollars to film an edit, a five hour review course. Then one of my customers actually came to me and used my exact proposal template, used all my stuff, and he pitched me at 22,000. But what he said is, I’m not just going to film and edit because anyone can do that. I’m going to tell you, like when I’m filming you, if you’re saying stuff and you’re confusing me and you’re going kind of like on a tangent or something and I don’t get what you’re I’m going to like direct it in a way. I’m not just going to film. So you went from being like this commodity video editing service to I’m going to help make this video course super successful. I know, I know film, I know video, I know. Like all that sort of stuff. You know, your subject matter. Let’s get together and let’s make something that your customers are going to love and that I gladly paid in 20 times more than.

Bronson: Well, it almost seems like it takes the relationship to a different place. Instead of it being a freelancer and a client, it becomes a partnership. If people feel like they’re in it with you to win it, then you’re going to pay them more. You’re going to trust them or even like them, or you’re really.

Brennan: In it together. Yeah, because the chances that I’m going to get the result I need are so much higher. Yeah, absolutely. You know, just by the fact that they’re focused on that, you know, that they’re going to like when one of the things I do when I don’t consult much anymore, but when I do, I always tell my clients that like if they come to me with a new, Hey, you see this all the time, like they have a great idea or, you know, they were in the shower this morning and they thought of something, right? I, I need to have permission to say, okay, if you do this, you know, you need to basically make the case for it. Like, how is it going to be? We know the end goal. The end goal is a minimum 10% lift in online sales or something. Right. That’s the goal. How is this new thing going to get us there faster or more economically if they can make a case for that, sure, let’s do it. But when that’s when you’re always focused on that outcome instead of like the scope or the feature set or whatever you’re going to be doing it, you’re just more guaranteed to actually have a successful project. Yeah, I like that.

Bronson: And so that’s kind of high level, you know, being empathetic, you know, seeing things that are a point of view. Now tell me some of the nitty gritty. You know, let’s say they already have that. They already think from the other person’s point of view, what are some of the ways they can actually double the rates? Is it just a matter of charging more? Is it a matter of like having larger pride? Like what do they actually do now? You know what I mean?

Brennan: Yeah. So I have a little kind of like a framework that I tend to use and that is I use. So I went to school for the classics and I studied a lot of Plato and Aristotle and same here. Okay, cool. So I mean, so if you read platonic dialogs, you know about Socratic questioning, right?

Bronson: Yeah. I used to watch children.

Brennan: All the time. Socrates and Socrates is shown in Athens and he goes to somebody with these assumptions and he uses their own words against them in a way, by asking the right questions that get to where he needs them to be. Right. So what I do is when somebody comes to me and says, for instance, so actually I have a client I’m working with now who’s an agency and they need to generate more leads. But what they came to me first was, hey, we hear you do a lot with like marketing automation stuff. Can we, can you work with us? So I didn’t just jump into like what I historically would have done, which is like, awesome. Let’s talk about like what we’re going to do technically. Let’s not get in details. Instead, I would say, like what, what actually like made you wake up today and reach out to me like what happened? Was it like an actual event was the culmination of events and you know, I ask these questions, I get them back to tell me outright, like, what problem do they have that they need to be meeting to solve? And then I try to dig in and this is usually like we all hate it when people come to us with non-disclosure agreements, but this is where I bring on my NDA and I’m like, I need to ask you some details about like how this business problem is is impacting you financially. And they don’t always know this data like off the top of their head. But I want to get a feel for like how is it actually impacting them financially? The reason I want to know this is I tell them outright, like, if I’m not going to deliver an ROI and I don’t think I can, I don’t want to work with you like I don’t want to have clients who pay me but don’t get a return. So I need to know what’s at stake. And then I ask them like, tell me a bit about what tomorrow looks like. And then what I’ll do is I’ll get into what I call just quantifying the financial upside of the project, which is. I would ask. So for this client, I asked them, what’s the average LTV lifetime value of a client of theirs? Mm hmm. And it was like 50,000 or something. It’s like the average LTV. And then I asked them. So all things being equal, let’s say you have ten leads this month. How many of them are you going to close? And I think for them it was like two or something, right? So they basically I mean, to me that’s just back in the neck in math that says a lead is, what, $10,000? Mm hmm. Valued. And then. Then my focus is now, how can I get them new leads at $10,000? I don’t care about, like, anything else. That’s my goal. New quality wins, obviously. Yeah. So then when I actually get to the point of issuing a proposal, I’m not doing the usual thing of like, I’m going to do this, this, this, this, here’s what it’s going to cost. Blah, blah, blah. Instead, I just basically write them out a sales letter for one. And I say, Here’s the problem at hand. Here’s how it’s impacting you financially. So the first number they’re seeing is kind of what their potential is. Right. So I get 10,000 a pop, which I’m just I’m throwing their language back at them.

Bronson: Yeah.

Brennan: It’s stuff we already discussed. So by the time I get to my pricing, I anchor my costs against the upside. And I mean, anyone who knows anything about price anchoring knows like, you know, how do you make an $800 watch look cheap? You put it up against details. Same sort of thing at work. And what I’m able to do is I’m able to say I’m really able to frame it as an investment. So, like, here’s a realistic path to making a 100,000 plus dollar payoff within six months. Congrats. It’s only going to cost you 30,000. I mean, that’s. I obviously don’t write it like that.

Bronson: Sure.

Brennan: I mean, that’s basically it in a nutshell. And what I’m doing is I’m not just saying I’m not trying to say like quantify the market rate of what I’m doing. Because, I mean, the last project I did, it took two weeks and it was a $50,000 budget. So basically 25,000 a week. Mm hmm. But what I was doing for them was a little JavaScript, a small amount of design. By design, I mean, just see that stuff. Mm hmm. Some writing and then wiring it up together in a tool like Drip. And it wasn’t like they were never like, Oh, that’s not the market rate of JavaScript developers or copywriters or anything like that was never even if you.

Bronson: Didn’t position yourself.

Brennan: That way. Yeah, because I wasn’t selling copywriting or that I was selling a solution to the problem that they had that they, we talked about, we discussed. Yeah. And that’s the sort of thing where they’re gladly wanting to pay that and you know, they buy clients historically do get a very good ROI because the focus is on like, I’m just going to wire up some code for you or something. Instead, it’s focused on, Here’s where you need to be. Let’s work backwards and figure out how we get there together. The idea that’s.

Bronson: Come online is this idea of deferring the sell. And, you know, I think about like what you’re doing, you’re not just getting on the phone and trying to close it because they’re interested. You’re trying to learn enough to actually be able to close it when you’re ready to write your proposal. Also, think about software development, how we do customer development instead of trying to get the sale. We have to learn a lot of data from the market, then use that data to then sell back to them. And it’s this idea like delayed gratification, deferring the sale, this process to really learn before you make your move. And then when you make a move, you have so much more leverage and so much more power. Does that seem right?

Brennan: It is. And one of the other things that I do, which I didn’t mention yet, but one thing that’s really helped my agency, my consulting business and my students now is this idea that the jump from no commercial relationship to like a $50,000 budget is pretty steep. So what I end up doing is I sell something called a roadmap engagement, which is a small like it could be a one hour session, it could be a one day session where basically what you’re using that for is a way to really dig into the problem holistically and figure out a plan of action, a roadmap, and use that as a small one off paid engagement so that if they can go from no money spent on you ever to let’s say a thousand to then 50,000, it’s a much easier jump because going from 0 to 1000 for a business isn’t that big of a deal typically. But going from 0 to 50 can often end with like a lot of foot dragging and all that sort of stuff. So if you can get them in there, deliver an early ROI, it’s basically like the consulting equivalent of a wire. So it’s basically help them give them something of value with something that isn’t a huge risk, both in time or money for them. There’s also I mean, if they hire you for a big engagement, I mean, it’s more than the budget. It’s they’re committing to it. They’re putting reputation on the line internally, potentially. And there’s a lot at stake. So there needs to be a lot of trust develop to get there. So by doing it this way, you’re able to then have something upfront that they can, I mean, potentially even swipe their Amex to pay for it. You don’t need to record anything. And I’ve seen a lot of like join a web. You see this a lot where she would do these website teardowns. Mm hmm. She’d never work with you. So you go and you pay her, like, $800 to basically produce a report about, like, a sales page years or something like that. And then that would be kind of the. Her step before, and then she could upsell you on. Hey, why don’t you let me, like, redo your whole thing? Mm hmm.

Bronson: So, no, no. I like that idea, like the other tripwire for freelancers, and I think it’s a good idea. So let’s shift gears a little bit. Let’s talk about plan scope. So you built the software like we already said, you sold it, you know, because you weren’t really able, you know, it began you were creating content for top of funnel, for plan scope, and then it became the top of funnel content was actually making the money, which is a good thing. And so what did you learn? I’m interested in what you learned about growing a SAS product. What what what is different about growing up SAS product as opposed to growing a book or a course or something like that? Do the same things apply? Is marketing marketing or does it take to different styles, approaches, methods to grow each of them? What’s your thoughts on that?

Brennan: So I learned a few things. One of the most interesting things was I really tried to make by the end plan scope have an educational element in it that makes sense. So instead of just saying, Here’s a tool here, here’s your pickax, go learn how to like mine. Gold Right? Instead, I would try to incorporate into the tool more things on how can you use? How can a tool not only for instance help manage projects but also help manage them better by making the user better managing projects, right? Because usually there’s a disconnect, you know, given that, say you have Trello, right? There’s nothing that’s teaching out to be a better task manager implicit within Trello itself, right? So I tried doing that, but the other big things that I learned was, you know, with, with plan scope specifically it’s so pricing started at 24 a month, which doesn’t seem like a lot. I mean, I was the freelancer here, but it was easier for me to sell a $200 course than it would be a $24 a month subscription, because people generally don’t like commitments. I think like, you know, being stuck knowing it’s 24 a month, even though they realize like, you know, getting to you would take what, ten months or something or whatever that would be right to spend. Because people like I think people what people like is they like that immediate, like pay money, get results right away. And that’s what like tools like barometric systems. Mine is great example where you basically literally get the value you need immediately. Whereas with a project management tool, the feedback loop is big. I mean, you’re not going to know if this tool is actually helping for a while. And that’s really hard. And I think a lot of people discount that when starting a software product, they don’t really think like, you know, is this going to be a tool? Like, that’s what I love about like these analytics tools. We could just basically, you know, get it in and bam, like, there it is. Yeah. Or you have like the problem with like any project management tool or Mixpanel or KISSmetrics, you know, one of these tools where great, you sign up, I’ll go do like implement all this code on your site and then like come back and we might have some data for you like in a while. So you start figuring out like what to do with like your funnels and stuff.

Bronson: Right. Yeah.

Brennan: So that was one thing is that I realized I was in a, the feedback loop was a lot bigger, which meant selling I think was a lot harder. Mm hmm. So again, people like Met stick around and so on.

Bronson: Did you find any ways to sell it that worked the best or was it just everything was kind of a struggle with it?

Brennan: I mean, I think the big thing was I did a lot of the so I had an email and this is my first foray in email courses, but I did an email course about project management. And what I did is I basically talked about kind of at a high level how you should manage projects. And I wasn’t specific about using software. It’s just about communication. And, you know, how do you deliver updates to clients and so on? Mm hmm. And at the end of it, I basically said, I baked all of this theory into this tool. So because I think otherwise, you know, you give a project management software, there’s a billion options.

Bronson: Sure.

Brennan: They all like they all you know, it’s it’s race to the bottom with like how many features you have. Right. Instead, I said, look, you know, we’re we’re going to try to be opinionated. And I’m teaching you about how to manage projects this way. If you don’t follow this this framework, don’t use this tool. But if this resonates with you and you’re you’re running into a lot of the problems that this email, of course, addresses and you’re nodding your head in agreement, then it’s tools for you. So what it ended up doing was it actually allowed us to be very hyper focused on. Mm hmm. And it wasn’t just about demographic alignment. It was about you need to buy into, like, our philosophy in order to use the tool. Yeah. Which I think worked because it made the customers much more open to us as being more than just like front line support. Instead, we’re and that’s what I meant by like baking in that education bit into it where we really tried to make the tool the like implementation of a lot of the content they were reading by us.

Bronson: Yeah, I’m literally going to use that as all my products. I like that so much. I mean the email cause that ends with like, does this resonate with you? Because if so, we kind of crafted some. And perfect for you. I really like that angle because it’s, you know, you’ve already found them. If they’re reading that last line, they should buy the software. And I didn’t make it through the course. They’ll never get to the point where you try to sell them. And I think that a lot, you know, you’ve also been doing a lot with email automation, email customization, drips. I believe your with lead pages helping them. Yeah, if I’m not mistaken I.

Brennan: Bet like a formal advisor for them in Drip now who they own.

Bronson: Yeah. Which is awesome. And so I’m sure you’re just learning a ton about, you know, those kinds of things. So what is it? Your what is it you’re learning right now? What are some knowledge you can draw on us with email, address, customization, automation.

Brennan: And that stuff? Yeah. So the big thing that I’ve been doing and it’s been really working well is really making it so the content people see either on my website or in emails is specifically crafted for them and what they do. So for instance, like I know when you join my email pass, which is where most people join my, my list, I asked email and what kind of work you do as a developer, sign, writer, marketer, whatever. And depending on what you do, everything will then change. And I passively survey people throughout their like I don’t give them a big upfront survey. Instead I kind of like hit them with these little pop up things like, Hey, are you solo or work with the team? And they just tap solo or they tap team or whatever. And then like depending on what they choose, I then start to personalize the or tailor the other survey questions over time. And what’s cool is so if you go to my freelancing product now and you’re a solo designer, you’re going to get different copy and testimonials and everything else than if you were a team developer. So what that I mean, it’s common knowledge, but I mean, everyone says like, you know, to go to each right. But I think people think like the product itself needs to be super, super niche. But if you can make the marketing super niche, you basically get the same effect, right?

Bronson: I love that. I don’t know if people like are fully tracking how big what you just said is, but I think it’s a really big right because. Right. Everybody says go niche, right? But they don’t mean product. They mean making the customer feel like it was made just for them. Even if it can do more than they use it to do, even if it is, you know, also works for other verticals in other industries. If they feel like, Oh, Brendan knows me, he’s using my language to talk about this product. He’s displaying the features in a way that really resonate with me, even though it also it for somebody else. As long as you’re connecting with me through the marketing, it’s okay that the product isn’t that niche. I love that.

Brennan: But what’s interesting I found is so is I track everything. I did this I actually ran this report yesterday and developers spend five times as much on my stuff as designers, but I have more designers on my list. Okay. And the reasoning for that is I’m historically a developer myself. So a lot of like the examples I would give in the way I’d write would be very developer free. So it’s just a matter of like now I’m going through and I’ve only done this in the marketing, but the next step is within the course itself. Since it’s self-hosted on my site, I can go in and I can tailor like in the course itself. Examples I give can be like if you’re a designer, you’re going to get all like examples. Like when I give you a, you know, for example, blah, blah, blah, but around design, which allows me to, I mean, there’s, there’s a few benefits. First off, there’s a pecking order like, you know, I have designers, developers, and then like I ask, like I’ve got Vas, I’ve got audio engineers, but they’re kind of like small related to everyone else. I can prioritize it based off of volume, like who do I know about? And I mean, I just started rolling this out a few weeks back and it’s already been like, I mean, just doing stuff is stupid is like changing it. So if you’re a designer, I think I mean, I’m this is my assumption. But if you’re a designer and you see a bunch of testimonials from like iOS engineers, you’re probably going to think like, this isn’t for me, even though it is for you here, peer designer. And you see other designers talking about how they succeeded from it. I mean, that’s huge. And I think you’re absolutely right. Yeah.

Bronson: Yeah, yeah. Well, what software are you using to change a user? Like optimize like to change our copy? Or are you doing is this custom?

Brennan: Yeah, it’s all custom. Like that’s again, I’m an engineer by training. So what I did is I store all this data in Drip. So your subscriber data, like when you’re on my site, I track everything you do. I know like what you read most and then I can make it. So like if you tend to read a lot of articles on pricing but you haven’t bought my person pricing, you know, then start getting emails from me about why you should buy my I gotcha.

Bronson: And your storing that data initially when they say, I’m a designer, I’m a developer, I’m a writer, I’m a, you know, that’s when you’re storing it initially and then it’s changing their experience throughout your universe.

Brennan: Exactly. And as I collect more data, it just refines it even better. Yeah, it’s brilliant. So what I’m able to do then is so, you know, I have all this in within drip and then, you know, as they move through my set and the benefit there is I can then tailor the emails they get to. It’s not just like the, you know, the on site personalization, it’s also the personalization. And I’m able to do all this. And yeah, I mean, it’s just it’s how I’m doing it technically is I just wrote some custom JavaScript that basically says like when Drip comes back with its Halo data of like, here’s a subscriber and their custom fields and their tags, I just have a bunch of like conditionals like for the headline tag and I can even share with you later. But like for the headline, you know, the each one, if they’re a developer, return this text. If they’re designer, just switched them. So, yeah, yeah.

Bronson: No, that’s awesome. Very cool. Well, this has been an amazing interview. I mean, it’s just chock full of insights and tactics and takeaways. And two last questions. It’s how they end every interview. Silly questions. The first one is, what are you working on? As soon as this interview is over and it can be you’re doing dishes or walk the dog and closing $1,000,000 deal or whatever it really is you’re doing when you hit the start button, what is it?

Brennan: So in 24 minutes, I have a and so I have a new course called the Donor Financing Academy. It’s very high touch. It’s kind of like an immersive seven month thing, an iPhone or a Skype interview. Every everyone who applies. So I have an interview.

Bronson: And so what’s very cool, it’s like one on one. They get time with you.

Brennan: Yeah, it’s like a 50 minute call, which is really a mutual vetting. Yeah, sure. It’s right for them. Make sure it’s right for us and yeah. So that’s awesome.

Bronson: And then the, the last question is, what is the best advice you have for any startup that’s trying to grow? And it could be something you’ve already said or something new.

Brennan: Yeah. I mean, I think the biggest thing is like just because I worked with a lot of freelancers specifically want to start like a SAS or something on the side. The thing that I’ve seen work really well is when you can have like so I have a friend who’s doing an analytics startup where they’re basically tapping into Google Analytics and helping you like figure out like trends and such. What though, you know, it’s hard to grow at like $20 a month or whatever. He’s charging what I’m having him what I told him to do, I think he’s doing it is he’s doing like this higher touch offering where he can basically sell consulting clients on like him honing their analytics growth. Like, you know, he’ll be in charge of helping them increase whatever KPIs they hear about like traffic or sales or whatever else. But he’s using his SAS is like he’s dogfighting, a SAS with his clients. So now he’s able to like basically add, I mean, he’s getting them on retainers for like a thousand plus a month is like adding a thousand more more every time, he adds a new consulting client. But he’s able to start slowly moving all the stuff he’s doing individually, like on a one off basis into the software he’s building. So eventually he’s starting, you know, a delegate more to the software. Yeah. And it’s going to make it so the software is more tailored to the actual needs people have, like it’s clients. Yeah. And, and he can also sell that independently and then upsell the consulting through the software.

Bronson: Now that’s awesome. I want to call that extreme dog food in. Yeah. Yeah, that’s great. That’s a.

Brennan: It’s a what Patrick McKenzie coined it as software, as a service, as a service.

Bronson: That somebody else people should look up if they haven’t read his stuff or listen to his stuff. He has a very unique take on everything. Stuff. Yeah, that’s also. Well, Brendan, thank you so much for coming on growth after TV. It’s been an excellent episode.

Brennan: Awesome. Thanks, Brunson.

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