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Discover How a Simple Text Can Dramatically Grow Your Business (Episode 144)

Ryan Fenn has a passion for automation and entrepreneurship. 

This drive led him to create CHIIRP: an automated text messaging platform that helps businesses communicate instantly with customers. 

With CHIIRP you can send a text message broadcast to your list and enjoy a 98% open rate! 

This is one of the fastest and easiest ways to generate sales for your business. 

As CEO and Founder, Ryan knows all about the necessity of immediate contact with customers in a world where people’s attention spans are shorter than a TikTok video, but Ryan is not your typical Silicon Valley techie. 

He is an autodidact with a vision. 

What you will learn

  • The surprising way Ryan began his entrepreneurial journey
  • How Ryan discovered the power of text messages while building his first business
  • Learn how adding text message automation can dramatically improve conversion rates
  • Discover the best practices for text message automation flow
  • Ryan shares little-known ways to convert leads into customers
  • Learn a highly effective sales follow-up process for people who drop out of your funnel
  • Discover why post-sales communication is so important
  • The ‘Who Not How’ Mentality: Ryan shares his philosophy on mindset
  • Ryan shares his best tips for rising entrepreneurs
  • Plus loads more!

Transcript

Jeff Bullas

00:00:03 - 00:01:48

Hi everyone and welcome to The Jeff Bullas Show. Today I have with me, Ryan Fenn. Now, Ryan, hi Ryan, welcome to the show mate. I should say buddy in American. So in Australia we say mate, okay, good day mate, put another shrimp on the barbie from about three or four decades ago.

So Ryan's got a passion for automation and entrepreneurship, we're going to find a little bit more about that. And on The Jeff Bullas Show, we dive into what's the inspiration for starting your business or side hustle and tips that we can bring to the table that Ryan's going to show us and other people show us as in how to grow your business and manage it. Growing is one thing, managing it is another, but we'll talk more about that as well.

So now this entrepreneurial drive led Ryan to create Chiirp, an automated text messaging platform and I'm sure some of you have seen messaging used in some of your sales or in your inbox that helps businesses communicate instantly and automatically with customers. He's a CEO and Founder, Ryan knows all about the necessity of immediate contact with customers in a world where people's attention spans are shorter than a TikTok video, a mosquito bite or whatever. But Ryan is not your typical Silicon Valley techie and is an autodidact and we're going to find out what that really means with a vision. So Ryan explains how automation can make or break your businesses and his journey to creating Chiirp.

He said he has sent or received over five million text messages in his career and the only person that takes more than a teenage girl. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, Ryan, but welcome to the show.

Ryan Fenn

00:01:49 - 00:01:51

Little self deprecating humor there.

Jeff Bullas

00:01:52 - 00:02:28

Well, self deprecation goes a long way, but it shows you don't take yourself too seriously, it means you're open to a little bit of humor, which is actually a good thing, I think. So, Ryan, you're dialing in from Utah but you haven't lived there all the time, so I want to learn how your entrepreneurial journey start? Because I'm always, and then what was the inspiration for that? And then with a couple of, a few steps in your journey and we're going to dive into those too, but how did you get into the entrepreneur area?

Ryan Fenn

00:02:29 - 00:04:47

It started all the way back about 4 years ago, my parents came together and no, it actually started, actually when I was nine more like 30 years ago, I've been an entrepreneur since day one was what I was saying there, but I found that out when I was nine when I begged my mom to buy sour candy, sour gumballs for me to sell at school. So she buy the bulk sour gumballs and I sold them at school and if you didn't squint, you got one for free, that was my little deal that I would do for people. But really my first successful business, that one was pretty successful, I made like $40 I think. But so I've always had a drive, I've always had a passion for entrepreneurship. I didn't finish high school, it didn't interest me. I took a few college courses and just always knew that, you know, I didn't really want to be kind of molded into that box and so I tried several different things in my twenties just to get my feet wet in entrepreneurship and try different businesses, but my first successful business really took off about 12 years ago when my first son was born and I can tell you that definitely having children, if you're needing extra drive, having children is definitely a way to do it because when you have to feed more than just yourself, it becomes real and so my wife and I, we were living in California when we were pregnant with my first son, Maddox, and when he was born, we decided to move to Utah. I knew it was like time to just really buckle down and focus on what I was gonna do, I didn't really have any business ideas at the time, I just knew I needed to be in a place that was going to foster good entrepreneurship and Utah is a better place for entrepreneurship, especially the very beginning than California. California tends to be a little anti entrepreneur.

Jeff Bullas

00:04:48 - 00:04:51

That is very interesting actually. I didn't think that would be the case.

Ryan Fenn

00:04:52 - 00:10:03

Yeah, right. Yeah, it's, you know, tinseltown and all that you think it would be like the risk takers dream, but it's pretty difficult to start from zero there. So we moved to Utah, I had $0. I basically had, we had enough money to pay for rent for the first month and it was like, we gotta figure something out. And so, I stumbled onto an opportunity for a job that I thought was just going to be a job for the time being while I figured things out and it ended up really changing the way of living. I've lived my life from then on, it's a part of my life all the way up through now. But the job was a windshield repair business. So I was working for a guy at a car wash fixing windshield, so you know, they get the little rock chip and you can inject a resin into that chip and the insurance companies will pay you and pay you pretty well to do this windshield repair. So I was working for this guy and it wasn't long before I kind of just felt like he didn't know what he was doing and I saw the opportunity and said, I think I can run this business better than he does, and so I bought my own equipment and I started going door to door selling windshield repair and I make like $200 or $300 a night, like for four hours in the afternoon when people are getting home and it was like more money than I had ever made, you know, $200 or $300 a day was more money than I had ever made and it got worse for entrepreneurship, it was like cool, I know I can at least support myself, let's keep going. And so we started doing it out of gas stations and next thing you knew, I was in like nine different auto dealerships as cars are coming through for service, we were offering to fix windshields, we had nine technicians and I was going, you know, really good. And so at that point, you know, I started to go, you know what, this seems like a really good like this was back before online courses, like I knew that I was like, man, I could either continue to scale this business locally or I could take it kind of more on a global approach and say what if I train people how to start their own windshield repair business. And so I started piecing together a course. I started doing little videos. I had a Mac mini computer and I was learning how to edit videos and do this training course. And within about six months, I had a course on how to start your windshield repair business. I reached out to the people that manufacture the tools and I said, hey you know, I think I'm gonna be able to sell your tools, would you be willing to put my logo on your tools, sort of white label the kit? And they said yeah, let's do it. And so I started selling that course. I think the first month I did like $20,000 in sales and I was just like here we go. And so I started advertising on Facebook ads and some other like business opportunity websites and things like that.

And I think we helped over 1000 people start a windshield repair business all over. We have a guy in New Zealand, not Australia but in the same part of the world, but right. And so I made you know like $2 million dollars selling that course and I was doing it all through Facebook ads and text messaging. So as the leads would come in, I would text them, I was piecing together a few different softwares to kind of make it work. And I saw that the sales process was really high converting, it was working really well. If I spent around $200-$300 on Facebook advertising, I would see about $2000-$3000 in course sales through this texting process. So of that $2 million, I may be spent $250,000 on ads.

So from there it was like okay cool let's follow the pattern. I started the windshield repair business and then I wanted to help people also start a windshield repair business then it was okay I've got this really cool sales process. This text message automation works really well, I want to help other businesses do that. And that's when I got the idea for Chiirp and so from there, we started hiring an engineer. We started building a software platform and within about a year, we had a viable product and we started selling that and now here we are taking over the world with Chiirp.

Jeff Bullas

00:10:04 - 00:10:14

So what was the idea to start using messaging as well as Facebook ads? Where did that come from? Was that tipped by a friend?

Ryan Fenn

00:10:15 - 00:11:41

So yeah I had a friend that had done some automation with a company called Infusionsoft. So he used Infusionsoft and he had some software that was within Infusionsoft. And so as the leads would come in, we knew if we wanted to convert them, the key was to contact them very, very quickly. And so once we figured out that, if a lead came in, if a lead said, hey I'm interested, if we shot them that text message right away, that's when it was like, it turned them from here's an online, like a person that I don't know, but I'm requesting information. It immediately takes them into a kind of a more intimate relationship with me and I become a real person at that point and there's a level of trust there that goes way high once you move them from the digital space into a 1 to 1 conversation. And so that really was the ticket to, you know, the conversions on these because they really felt like it was true. I was there at the end of that text so it wasn't fake or anything. But once they felt that level of trust, like hey there's a real person and they're talking to me then from there, it was like, man, let's do it.

Jeff Bullas

00:11:42 - 00:11:51

Okay so what sort of level of improvement you get by adding messaging to Facebook ads, what sort of conversion rate improvement did you get?

Ryan Fenn

00:11:52 - 00:13:34

Like easily more than double, but you think about it in terms of what most people do is they try to capture a lead, they try to capture an email address and then they try to follow up with emails. Okay so the problem, you know, it's the same with anything that it doesn't matter how good your messages, if the people aren't consuming the message, it's not going to convert. So if you have a really well written email, who cares if the person doesn't click to open it? And so if you're doing really really well with email, you're like a 20% open rate, I think, 20%-30% open rate. Text messages have a 98%-100% read rate. So right away you can know your messages being read so you've kind of conquered that one problem of can I get my message in front of somebody? And the question was will people give me their phone number? Yeah and so when we formally compared, the price per lead was maybe 10% different. So more expensive for the phone number. But 10% more if I'm getting a 5x read rate it's well worth the extra investment to get the phone number because I could spend a dollar for an email address or $10 for a phone number but 5x more people are gonna read my message. So the conversion rates were way way higher on the conversion side.

Jeff Bullas

00:13:35 - 00:14:08

Alright, so it totally makes sense. And obviously you build a business based upon an observation in your previous business said, wow this works, let's build a tool that really doubles down on that. So could you reveal to us what is best practice for messaging? Let's say we use Facebook ads. How would you describe the best practice tips or steps that you would recommend?

Ryan Fenn

00:14:09 - 00:17:16

Absolutely, yeah. One of the secrets that I kind of didn't, I wouldn't share the very first one I discovered because I was like oh man this is killer. It's totally okay now and it doesn't it doesn't affect me to do it. But with text messaging and it's the same as email, we're not here to spam people. And so what some people generally think is they go, oh that's, you know, somebody texted me that would just piss me off and I would never do business with that person. And I'm the same way if somebody texted me out of the blue without me requesting information then yeah I'm not gonna do business but if you clearly set the standard at the very beginning that you are going to communicate through text, you have a very good take on that. People are very accepting of that and they prefer it and it's only getting more and more that they prefer it. I mean even in 2015 it was probably less than it is now. Probably it was much less than it is. Now, more than 90% of consumers would prefer to text than any other form of communication. So you just have to set the standard at the beginning that you're going to be communicating through text and to do that, there's some tricky language that you know, copywriting that can really help you with that. So what I do is,

we all know what a lead magnet is, right, where we are, we're saying, hey, if you give me your phone number, I'm going to send you something cool. Most people say, hey, if you give me your email address, I'm gonna send you something cool. I'll send you a free ebook or whatever it is in exchange for your data because we're trying to capture a lead. What I say is I take the lead magnet for example, the lead magnet in this case was a one minute video. Want to learn more about this opportunity? I've prepared a one minute video that explains it. I'll send it to you and what I say is when they go to fill out the form, it says phone number and then yes text me the video or no, just email it. And that language instead of just saying, would you like me to text you? Yes. No. They're gonna say no, but if I say yes, text me the video or no, just send it an email. I'll get about 95% of people saying yes, text me the video. And then it's in their head, they're gonna receive a text message. And then the moment they submit that form, it's about 30 seconds, they will receive the text message. Hey, it's Ryan, thank you so much for requesting information. Here's that video that I promised. So now I've started the relationship off with fulfilling a promise that, you know, I had put out there and so we're starting off with the relationship of trust and now it's like, hey, I fulfilled that. They watched the video and then it's on from there.

Jeff Bullas

00:17:17 - 00:17:28

Okay, so once you've got some of that video, the lead magnet, that could be an e-book, obviously that raises the importance of being quite mobile focused. Is that correct?

Ryan Fenn

00:17:29 - 00:17:48

Oh yeah, yeah, of course. But I would say 90+ percent of the leads are filling out the form from their phone and then the option to email is there. So if they did choose that it's there, but it's, it's rare that they do.

Jeff Bullas

00:17:49 - 00:17:58

Okay, so you've got the lead. Okay. So what are the next steps after that to convert them from interested to buyers?

Ryan Fenn

00:17:59 - 00:21:42

Okay, I'll walk you through the exact, it's what I would call an evergreen funnel. They'll go through the entire sales process all before I ever communicate with them physically or manually. It's all done up to this point. So the first video goes out and here's, I'll walk you through the funnel, the ideal flow and then what we do if they drop off the phone. So the first text message goes out and it has a one minute video. That one minute video is just a brief overview of the business opportunity and it gets them excited to learn more. The purpose of this video is to get them excited to watch a pre-recorded webinar. So one of the things that we teach is close to the highest level. So I can't close this guy yet. He's a new lead. He's at the very top of the funnel. The only thing I can close him on is to do something else, which is to watch a longer video. Okay, so each stage of the funnel, the first part is I'm trying to get your phone number. So I'm only gonna give you enough information to try to get your phone number. I'm not trying to sell you my program yet I'm just trying to sell you on giving you my phone number, giving me your phone number. The next part is I'm trying to sell you on watching my 15 minute webinar, the next part of that I'm trying to sell you on booking a call with me and then I'm going to get on and we're going to have an actual sales call. So remember that as you're building your funnel, that each stage should be focused on, what can I do to get them to the next stage? Not what can I do to sell them? So at the beginning I have a one minute video and it says, you know, millions of cars are hit with rocks every year. This is a really good opportunity. You can make this much money. And then I say, I want to tell you all about it, but I can't in this short video. So I've prepared a 15 minute presentation, it's on the next page. Take some time to watch that video. And then we'll go from there. So that one minute video sells them on watching the 15 minute video. The 15 minute video is a full sales presentation, you're getting your equipment, you're getting training, you're getting videos, you're getting access to our private community where you can ask questions and all of that stuff. And then at the end of that video, I say, great, if this is something that interests you, book a call with me and or a member of my team and they're then asked cause and then I say we want to know if you're gonna be the right person to work with us. It's a two way street here. We're not just looking for everybody to sign up. We want to make sure that you're actually a good potential client. And so let's get on a call and get to know each other a little bit better. They book the call and then if they get on the phone call, it's a Zoom call. We present them all the options and then ideally would close them on a $2,000-$3,000 program, which is in my opinion, well worth it. I mean we're teaching people how to make $5,000-$10,000 even more a month to prepare. So it's a minimal investment for what you get. But that process, as you can see like it's just moving people through the process so that by the time we do get on a call, they are willing to engage and have a sales discussion at that point and we've established the trust.

Jeff Bullas

00:21:43 - 00:22:12

Okay, so that's for selling a $2000 or $3000 training program, let's say that it's a lower value item like $40-$50 monthly subscription. Okay. As an example, which might have a lifetime value of, you know, $1000. So you wouldn't really wanted to get on a sales call to sell that, right? So what would the sales process for a lower value item but still has good lifetime value?

Ryan Fenn

00:22:13 - 00:23:36

Remember the close to the highest level process and move them through a funnel. And I would think in that case if you're selling something like that, a 5 to 10 minute video that explains it would be sufficient to sell a $40 or $50 month subscription. And then at the end of that video would just be an offer to sign up right there rather than booking the call. So we still moved them through, but because we're not, in this case, I need to get somebody on the phone to close a high ticket deal. Whereas in this, in that case it's the funnel ends here, we're at the end of that video and so you can definitely do it without the sales call and you can even do it without the 15 minute depending on what it is. If I'm talking to a home service business that sells carpet cleaning, you know, that's a pretty straightforward sale. It's like you don't even need a video, just go to the booking page and say this is what it costs your book, you know, so everybody's funnel is a little different and you have to determine what the flow is, but the same principles apply close to the highest level through the funnel and then the money happens at the point where the value is felt by the customer. That yeah, it's worth it for me to invest that amount of money,

Jeff Bullas

00:23:37 - 00:24:11

Right. That's really awesome. I think it's simplicity, it's very focused. And I do love the combination of doing ads with messaging and I've watched this sort of thing. I've seen peers of my colleagues use it to actually start and even sell successful businesses. Messaging can be used for a range of other things. And I just had a look at your website basically upside obviously lead generation sales. What are some of the other things you can use messaging for?

Ryan Fenn

00:24:12 - 00:27:50

So, well, let me backtrack just a little bit because we talked about that being the perfect flow of the funnel, I want to make sure we touch just briefly on what we do if they drop out of the funnel and then how to communicate after the post sales. So, obviously, what I just explained to you is an ideal scenario. They go through one minute video, 14 minute video, schedule the call, sale, right? That's an ideal flow, but not very many people just stick right to that flow. They might watch the first video and then disappear for a while. Or they might get through the 15 minute video and they don't book a call. So what you want to have in place is a follow up system. You've heard it a million times. The fortune is in the follow up and this is very true. Most of my sales come from, I shouldn't say most, it's probably 50-50. 50% will go through pretty smoothly and then the other 50% of sales are caught on the back end by me following up through a series of text messages, emails and voicemails that follow up with the lead and send out stuff that gets them re-excited to come back into the funnel. So I'll send out testimonial videos of clients that have taken the course and are very happy with it. We'll send them videos through text message. Hey, I noticed that you watched our video but haven't yet booked a call. Julie was really interested, but she was a little hesitant to start her business. But here's her story. She jumped in and here's her story and they can watch a five minute video about Julie who started a windshield repair business and I'll send a few of those videos over like a 10 day period and at the end of each of those videos, I re invite them to come back to the 15 minute presentation. So I'm always redirecting them back to that 15 minute presentation. I'll say at the end, hey that was Julie's story, she's doing really well. Look, if you haven't watched our 15 minute presentation, I think it'll be really worth your time. Below this video, click the button that will take you to the 15 minute presentation. So I'm always bringing them back to the phone.

Okay now, text messaging, that's for the sales part. So this we're talking about lead conversion right now, messaging can be to your question just now really effective for maintaining your customer base after the job is complete, after you've closed a deal, whether that's your home service business or you are selling a course or whatever you're selling, communication after is really important as well. We want to try to capture reviews and we also want to, you can use texting to deliver experience. So like for example our coaching course, once you've signed up you get access to the course, but we have a sequence that's 60 days long that will drip things that they could be working on, ask them questions, how are things going, where are you at? And just maintaining communication with the lead or the customer after the job is complete when we talk about home service businesses, we talk about reaching out like a 12 months later with a text message that says, hey it's been 12 months since we clean your carpets, time to get you back on the schedule of that kind of thing. So if you break it up into three buckets, you've got the lead conversion stage, which is what we focus the conversation on so far, you've got the actual, you know, the job, whether that's me fulfilling on a course or somebody cleaning carpets or whatever it is and then you have post job communication, which is also important.

Jeff Bullas

00:27:51 - 00:28:09

That's really awesome. So in terms of what your platform does, do you provide templates to help people put in place a successful messaging marketing funnel, is that part of what Chiirp does as well?

Ryan Fenn

00:28:10 - 00:28:54

Yeah, so we have pre-built campaigns for many industries that used Chiirp, part of how we built the platform was, you know, you have campaigns and then they have a code and that code can be shared with anybody and it can be, so let's say you have a 15 day drip campaign that is converting well for the HVac industry or something, I can hand that code to somebody and say, here you go, put it on your account and it'll build that campaign right into their account. And then we can also do that with groups of campaigns, we can say, hey, we have the full, you know, HVac secrets revealed marketing campaign here it is, you know, here's your whole group of campaigns.

Jeff Bullas

00:28:55 - 00:28:58

Okay, because that would really help people get up and running really quickly then, wouldn't it?

Ryan Fenn

00:28:59 - 00:29:51

Yeah. One of the fears always is oh cool, like that seems really cool, but if you just handed me that software and I have no idea what to do with it. And so we have, you know, pre built campaigns. We also have support groups and different ways that people are using it. There's whenever somebody comes up with a really cool idea, we'll try to share it with the group if they're willing to share it, sometimes they're not willing to share. We just had one that was really cool like so I go back to HVac because that's what we're focused on right now, those companies but they want to sell memberships to HVac to the residential clients to join a monthly subscription that like maintenance on their HVac system. So like air conditioning in your home.

Jeff Bullas

00:29:51 - 00:29:52

Okay.

Ryan Fenn

00:29:53 - 00:29:55

That's one of our What's that?

Jeff Bullas

00:29:55 - 00:29:58

So how's that spelled H

Ryan Fenn

00:29:59 - 00:30:01

back? So heating ventilation?

Jeff Bullas

00:30:02 - 00:30:03

Okay. Sorry.

Ryan Fenn

00:30:04 - 00:31:04

HVAC, it's an acronym for Heating, ventilation and Air Conditioning. It's a resident, it's a home service. So like for example, somebody came up with a really cool campaign to sell memberships and that's to send a text message when the technician is on the way to the home, the text message will automatically go to the the client or the customer and it'll say hey your technicians on his way by the way if you'd like to save money on this call be sure to ask him about our membership program. And just that one single text message triggers the conversation and now the technicians are in a really, really good place to answer that question. So these little tips and tricks and things are floating around in our group and you know and it can be for any any type of business really but anything that needs sales, this is very effective and then like I said when we find those things we share as much as we can.

Jeff Bullas

00:31:05 - 00:31:28

So when you started four years ago, I think it was four years ago you started Chiirp. You built the platform, took 12 months to make sure it was ready. And one of the things I'm always intrigued with, did you build it, in other words, as a minimal viable product? In other words, I had enough features to be able to test and see what worked and what didn't.

Ryan Fenn

00:31:29 - 00:32:22

Yes. So well it was really six months when we had MVP, right, minimum viable product. And really, all we were trying to accomplish was Facebook ads capture the lead, started text message conversation and a drip campaign, that was it. Now it's way beyond that. It's taken on a life of its own, it's got tons of automation integrated with tons of different platforms and different things, but originally that was the first thing we're trying to accomplish and we were like, hey, we'll sell this to anybody, that'll buy it. Like, let's just get it out there and show people and then from there, people started to sign up, we started to get people using it and then we started to find the groups that were having the most success with it. And we started kind of focusing our attention on those groups that were really having the most success with it.

Jeff Bullas

00:32:23 - 00:32:29

So in other words, you sort of started broad, but then you decided to need a niche down, is that correct?

Ryan Fenn

00:32:30 - 00:33:25

For sure. So yeah, so its like a shotgun approach, right. And then they for sure the whole riches are in the niches is very, very, very true. I subscribed to that. We just didn't know what the niche was at first. And it's one thing to just go, we'll just pick one. It's like, that's really hard to do if anybody's ever done. It's like, it's really hard to settle on just, and you're like, oh, but you're like, okay, well we'll focus on these guys, like, well, what about these guys, what about these? I think I find for me personally, the best way has been to find who's having the most success and then let them tell me what they need and then me build the product to what they need. So it kind of goes back to the don't try to find an audience for your product, find a product for your audience, right? Find what they need rather than trying to force something down their throat.

Jeff Bullas

00:33:26 - 00:33:32

Right, okay, that makes total sense and that's great. But it is sometimes hard to do that isn't, it's like the shotgun approach.

Ryan Fenn

00:33:33 - 00:33:35

Yeah. Easier said than done.

Jeff Bullas

00:33:36 - 00:33:43

And so did you do a lot of testing as well in terms of Facebook ads? Try different segments and just target them and then see the messaging.

Ryan Fenn

00:33:44 - 00:35:42

Oh yeah, for sure. Yeah. So you start like we got at the beginning a lot of people, a lot of real estate agents resonated with the follow up. So we got a lot of real estate agents coming on board and so we test different Facebook ads and we had a lot of success with a lot of them. And so we test different types of ads and different messaging in the wording and the texting and things like that. And just over time you determine what, you know, what's the, you know, it goes back to just like marketing 101 that's like what is the market like feeling right now, instead of trying to force the message. Figure out what they respond to now and that changes regularly, you know, as a marketer, you should be trying to pay attention to trends in headlines and different things like that and there's different, some pretty cool books on that kind of stuff, but trying to fit, instead of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, did I say that right? You find the message that resonates and just go with that instead of trying to force it down their throats. So you always just find what's hot, like right now, like if you said right now, hey, come refinance your home mortgage rates are lower than ever, like, you know, so that's like an easy, like easy, obvious one, right? But you need to find subtle ones within what you're doing that kind of make sure you're saying the right thing. Like one of the big problems on Facebook is if you go and do ads right now that say like we can get you leads you think in your head like, well businesses want leads sure, like why wouldn't that work? But that it was so done to death that now people don't respond to, they just immediately go to another lead scammer, you know, so you have to shift your messaging to the climate.

Jeff Bullas

00:35:43 - 00:36:03

So on your journey with Chiirp and also an entrepreneur journey, what are some of the biggest challenges you face that has kept you up at night? Were a few of those in other words we all see, we loved hearing success stories but we still got to realize that we're all human, we're gonna make mistakes, what are some of the biggest mistakes you've made that you've learned from?

Ryan Fenn

00:36:04 - 00:38:55

Yeah, so the things that keep me up at night as of late just so you know, as an entrepreneur, once you solve that there's the next thing that keeps you up at night so you never, you never actually get there. But right now, a big thing that I've recently had a big shift in my mindset has been shifting to a Who Not How mentality. My problem as an entrepreneur is. I like to do things and I like to do it my way and I don't like to let other people do things unless they do it my way, which never happens. And so delegation for me has been a challenge for sure and I would recommend there's a book called Who Not How that I would definitely recommend. It definitely helped me change my mindset, there's no affiliate thing here. So talking about the book, really good book, but you know the mentality of shifting to instead of trying, when I have an idea, my mindset has always been okay, how do I need to, how do I do it? And then I start figuring out how to do it and then I implement, which can be good to start with, but you're only gonna get so far because you can only do so many things yourself. And my mindset now is when we have a really cool initiative, when we have a really cool new plan, I don't say, okay how are we gonna do this? I say who do I need to find that can take this project and run with it. We recently hired a partner, a guy in charge of partnerships, you met him, he's the one that reached out to you, Justin, but his job is that we said we need a partner program for Chiirp. We've done what we think we can do at this point on our own. Now, we need partners who can influence us into other markets and so instead of me going okay, I'm gonna go start finding partners and I said okay, I'm gonna find a who, somebody who can spearhead this project and I'm just gonna say that's your focus, just stay focused on that one thing. And it's proving to be very very effective and that's not to say that's the first time we have other hires in the company, of course, but that's been the recent example that's been very successful. And so shifting that mindset allows you to be kind of that scalable mindset of and you know you kind of go man, I have too many things on my plate, how can I scale this business? And it's like that's the problem is you have too many things on your plate, get people in place to do those things.

Jeff Bullas

00:38:56 - 00:39:01

So yeah, that makes total sense. So a partner program, you mean by that an affiliate program, is that what you're saying?

Ryan Fenn

00:39:02 - 00:39:47

It's an affiliate program slash we also work with partners who implement the software for people. So they're kind of like an agency type level where there, if you're let's say, you're a company that wants to implement automation but doesn't want to actually learn how to use all the software. They can hire like one of these companies to do it for them kind of a Who Not How situation, right. Where they're finding somebody to just implement automation for them. So yes, affiliates do have the affiliate program and then we have part of that is the partner program where it's you're selling Chiirp and then also implementing it for the customer.

Jeff Bullas

00:39:48 - 00:39:56

That makes total sense. Yeah. So how many countries are you in now with Chiirp?

Ryan Fenn

00:39:57 - 00:40:11

Chiirp is in North America, Australia is actually next. We'll be in there pretty soon. It's just a matter of some simple code that we're going to finish up for Australia and then the UK would be after that.

Jeff Bullas

00:40:12 - 00:40:17

So by that, you mean that because you must be able to use messaging globally, is that correct?

Ryan Fenn

00:40:18 - 00:40:35

Yeah, well, so that's the hang up. Text messaging is different in every country. So my cell phone won't communicate with your cell phone in Australia through the text and so we have to establish a connection to the carriers in the country.

Jeff Bullas

00:40:36 - 00:40:40

Okay. And that is the big challenges and I've always wondered about that.

Ryan Fenn

00:40:41 - 00:40:47

That is the challenge. Yeah. And it's not something we can't do. It just takes programming, it just takes time.

Jeff Bullas

00:40:48 - 00:40:54

Okay, so someone wanted to target North America for example, the USA then Chiirp can help them do that currently. Is that what you're saying?

Ryan Fenn

00:40:55 - 00:40:57

That’s right. Canada and the US, yeah.

Jeff Bullas

00:40:58 - 00:41:28

Okay, Alright, cool. Alright, that's really good. So I'm aware of your time and what are some of the top tips that you'd like to leave for our viewers and listeners, Ryan, because you've really revealed some really great gems. I think it's been fantastic. So what are some top tips as an entrepreneur or as from Chiirp, what are some top tips for succeeding as an entrepreneur that you've learned along the way?

Ryan Fenn

00:41:29 - 00:44:50

Number one, like for me, I'll talk about some philosophical things and then some actual practical, some practical things, But you know, as an entrepreneur, ego is not your amigo. Nobody's impressed. Nobody cares what kind of car you drive. Nobody cares about any of that stuff. They care that if you take care of your clients and that you're really trying to provide something that is of value to the world. So if you approach it from the, it's not about me, it's about the customer and how we can do this, you're going to be successful. If you're going into this, I want all the cars, I want the beach, I want the women, whatever it is. It's very, very unlikely that it's going to work out that way for you. So the sooner you can drop the ego, I think I definitely, you know, have, it's not, I'm not saying that I don't struggle with this. But definitely I find that as I focus less on me and more on the customer experience and actually trying to shift and make a difference, I find myself as a happier entrepreneur and a more successful entrepreneur. So that's kind of a philosophical side and then, um, and then, uh, the next thing from a more practical standpoint, I would say, if you find yourself saying, hey, I do it like this because that's how it's always been done, you're at high risk of losing your business. It's not the 90s, it's businesses now, there's a billion different ways to make money and if you don't adapt to the very fast changing digital world, you can't survive and so if your mentality is, hey this is working cool, I don't need to learn new stuff, I'm good, you're gonna die quickly. We helped, I just helped a friend of mine start a carpet cleaning business here locally and we implemented all of these strategies and he's on track to do in his first year, you know, over $100,000 just working the truck himself makes $100,000 his very first year. And the point there is if he can step into a market that is saturated, there's plenty of carpet cleaning businesses here. If he can step in and use these new digital tools and take that much of the market share. Your business is at risk, you know what I mean? Because it's not all we've been in business for 20 years, so we're safe. A kid can come in and very quickly take a big chunk of your market using new tools and new automation, so you wanna make sure you're on the front end at all times and so it's lonely. It's a lonely place to be, but you've got to be always knowing that your business is at risk and that you should be trying to stay ahead.

Jeff Bullas

00:44:51 - 00:45:49

Yeah, that makes total sense. So Ryan, thank you very much for sharing your insight. It's been absolutely fabulous. And I've learned a lot and that's one of the things I'm so grateful for and having these chats on The Jeff Bullas Show because I come away having learned so much and I'm always curious about one of the stories behind, you know, successful entrepreneurs or just entrepreneurs, people that actually prepared to go and give it a go in other words, take an idea and take action. I think you've revealed that you didn't go to college, you didn't finish high school, but you took action. You kept learning, you're curious and hats off to you, right, it's been absolutely fabulous to hear your stories and thank you very much for those tips and I'm sure our viewers and business well, I would say there might be some implementations coming up, so we'll take it from there. So thank you very much Ryan, it's been an absolute pleasure.

Ryan Fenn

00:45:49 - 00:45:51

Thank you so much. Glad to be here. Thank you.

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