Outbound vs Inbound Deal Sourcing & Course/Community Launch

Colin and Brent discuss discuss Colin's new micro-pe course and community and deal sourcing with outbound vs inbound.

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Pre-order Colin's Micro-PE Course at IndiePE.com.

Colin Keeley: [00:00:00] Hello. And welcome back. This is Colin Keeley. Here

Brent Sanders: [00:00:02] And I'm Brent Sanders

Colin Keeley: [00:00:04] we are two guys buying and building   wonderful internet companies.

Brent Sanders: [00:00:08] indeed. What do you want to talk about this week? We have a couple of new things. Your courses lie.

Colin Keeley: [00:00:14] You want to live on Wednesday launched out to everyone, added a community on top. Cause I felt like it was a shame, so many awesome people like signed up and I was like haven't you people connect and meet each other on the backend. So did a bunch of research on the best platforms. And I looked at all of them as say, slack discord This course is another one.

That's pretty popular, like a forum software and ended up oh, and Facebook groups probably have the best engagement, but you don't. Most people don't really trust Facebook. I didn't really want to do that. So I ended up on circle seems to be the favorite for these cohort based courses or like creators that build a community on top.

Brent Sanders: [00:00:50] Yeah.

I really dig it. I I did one of the lessons in your course and I, so you granted me access. That was my price of admission on a. What did I do? It was on hiring a tech team or working with tech team, but basically Tech. Oh, one-on-one if you're gonna buy a tech business, but I got to introduce myself.

It looks really good. I'm really impressed. Like you've got, 40, 50 people in there and the first couple of days, and I'm excited and looking at some of the profiles everyone's filled out their profiles and it really does seem to be a good place for, just spit balling ideas, whatever else.

There, there are some of these communities that have been around for a long time and some, a lot of them have been paid. And a lot of them, guess that's one question. Can anybody join or do they got to buy the course first?

Colin Keeley: [00:01:33] Yeah. So I'm going to get more of those questions. I imagine the entrance fee is the course price, and then you have lifetime access and you could separate them. You could have the course and then you could have a yearly fee for the community or something.

I want to reward like these earliest subscribers with as much awesome stuff as possible because they're like early believers in you and us.

Yeah, they have lifetime access. I don't know where it goes in the future. And maybe it's like a country club where it's like the price increases and increases just to keep the quality of the people up. And that's purely, the reason for high price is just like an entrance fee. But yeah, I think it's going to be fun.

There's already a lot of introductions. Some like discussions going on. I think it's just going to increase the value over the longterm.

Brent Sanders: [00:02:12] Yeah. So I can't wait to start advertising my new supplements business.

Colin Keeley: [00:02:17] Yeah.

I had to do cozy code of conduct. I had to go through all this stuff and plan it out by the beginning. So Yeah. people misbehave. I'm just going to ban you forever. But we'll see to be fun.

Brent Sanders: [00:02:26] Yeah. I'm excited about that. It looks really good. The product you were saying circle,

Colin Keeley: [00:02:31] Yeah.

Brent Sanders: [00:02:31] like it's really good. Yeah.

Colin Keeley: [00:02:33] Yeah, so I do have to pay there's other ones that are free or self hosted circle, I think is like 40 to a hundred a month, which is cheaper than like discourse or slack or some other ones. But definitely a little bit of an investment.

Brent Sanders: [00:02:45] Got it. Yeah, it looks really good. And then on the course you have the line chair, the lessons done. Do you have any more to report?

Colin Keeley: [00:02:54] I have a few more like forward facing ones around growth and product decisions and like our process of improving stuff. Like the question I asked what did you find the most annoying I've been working on a lecture about that? But it's mostly there. And then I have a bunch of guests lectures. I want to record with other folks.

You just have to schedule them. And I think going forward, it will be fewer lectures for me and many more from like other people that are specialists in their area.

Brent Sanders: [00:03:20] Great.

Colin Keeley: [00:03:21] Any other like guests, people You think I should have on, or that you'd like to see topics on?

Brent Sanders: [00:03:26] There's two categories for me, there's people that. I think would be good from like a niche strategy of they've done it really well and you know how they did it. I can think of a couple of companies that I'm trying to think of. There was a company we did diligence on it, builders that they had a really interesting like page strategy and they went really deep into that and they were I feel like you did diligence on that.

You look at that deal. I forget the name of the company though, but so stuff like that, jump cut. Yeah. Yeah. So that was, I don't know if they're still around or what, but there are strategies and maybe having some, something you like that, who wouldn't really deep down a specific niche or a specific strategy.

And just like getting that, or even we talk about the sales guys at Paro a lot. Like they, they went deep on just cold emailing. And how do you set up. That whole infrastructure. And how do you start to build a sales team from one person outwards? I feel like that would be really gold. It would just be a lot of really interesting stuff to people that, here are the strategies, here's how to implement them and you give people the option to choose from a library of knowledgeable people.

And then the other category might be more. On the investment side, right? Less, less implementation, more what do you look at when you decide to choose a specific segment, a channel or whatever, set of pieces maybe your buddy, Andrew Wilkinson, somebody like that can talk about their strategies, how they see them.

Colin Keeley: [00:04:45] Yeah, that would be super cool. And that's my view going forward is I dunno, I'm a podcast host in like community manager where I'm just going to bring on experts in the different fields and have them explain how they do what they do so well. I think that's a, like a pretty established playbook.

The one thing I've been like, bummed on. So I launched on Wednesday and maybe it was unrealistic. I was thinking like everyone would rush through the doors and complete the courses. And I know my courses have a 5% completion rate and it just is like a little bit of a gut punch to see people like, not a ton of them going through.

I know a lot of people got value and I got some really nice positive views on the templates and structuring deals and like hiring and managing devs, your section. But yeah, it's not 50% of people have completed the course or anything like that.

Brent Sanders: [00:05:31] So it's funny. Yeah. I think that in our experience with avocado, we met with somebody. I forget the guy's name, but he has been in like the self-help space or something for, since the eighties. And he was like, people buy these things. They don't even open them, let alone do they even listen to them?

And I think he was busted or when somebody went after him because he was mailing empty CDs to people or something like that, like blank, CDs and a packet. And he was just mailing to people saying it was self-help and he knew that okay, only like 20% are going to open it, let alone listen to it.

So I wouldn't categorize this as self-help, but it is personal development, in a sense, or like you're trying to do skills building. And that is the sad reality is you, the follow through is, I don't know if it's sad or maybe people just need to find that like Saturday or Sunday when it's not in the middle of the summer to to dig into this course, but

Colin Keeley: [00:06:21] yeah.

So the course business is always aspirational. And I think that was more of a joke on his end is I could just be sending out blank CDs and

Brent Sanders: [00:06:28] Oh, was it? I wasn't sure if he was actually a criminal or not.

Colin Keeley: [00:06:32] I don't think he was a criminal, but you definitely could, especially maybe in that one. I think the reality is with of course, like mine it's only 200 bucks.

And if you find out like one useful thing like that saved you a couple of hours of work and that's easily worth you $200, or like you find, one developer, one SEO writer and that's all your money right there. So it's easy to justify that 200 bucks and maybe people get their value and they just don't care to do the rest of it.

Brent Sanders: [00:06:58] I think the better question is, what is, what are you missing out by w I guess what's going to hurt you by not taking this course. If you don't do this, you're potentially going to go down some really what is it? The lesser trodden paths, or, run into some basic issues.

And this is where Paying a little upfront to get you down the right channel or like pathway, for example, using the development piece of this. If you get off on the wrong foot with the developer, you're telling like weeks to course, correct. And it's going to be thousands of dollars, thousands, and thousands of dollars, potentially.

Even beyond that, just if you make the first step incorrectly. So I think this course is full of making the first right step. So diligence, modeling out what your pathway is going to be, or trajectory is going to be in a business. These are all, it's all full of your first steps. We go deep on you, go deep on a couple of things, but not really it's not like here's how you.

Middle and end of business. It's, here's how you start, look at the business, buy it, get the deal done. And so it's all the beginning steps and they're so formative. So that's how I phrase it. I That's my feedback on the course in general, it's it's, know, it's full of gold around not, fumbling in the beginning.

Colin Keeley: [00:08:05] yeah.

that was really, my goal is to shepherd you through the whole process of a, to Z, get it done. And this is how we do it. And it's been pretty effective for us so far. So Yeah.

hopefully everything's been super positive. It'll be interesting to see where it goes. What I'm realizing is it's going to be like more of a marketing exercise where you just need that top of funnel.

You need people coming through the door. You need people to see in the site. And so that's realistically, it's probably my Twitter profile and then getting affiliate started and like getting inbound links from other people. So I'm actually, I set it up where I'm paying out 50%. So if you sell it, you get half the money.

And I get half the money, which is a pretty, pretty juicy offer. If you just want to embed that on your website or whatever, like people could be making plenty of money from this.

Brent Sanders: [00:08:49] Dang. Yeah, I didn't realize you were cutting in half that's pretty. Yeah.

Colin Keeley: [00:08:53] Yeah.

The, I think it's the Right. play for these like info products and especially like what we're trying to do here. I'd rather have as many people come through the door and build up the community as big as possible than to I'm not charging 5,000 bucks and take it all myself. It's not purely like a money-making exercise, but I think in the long run, it's like significantly more powerful to have a big community on the backend.

Brent Sanders: [00:09:12] Yeah. Makes sense. Cool. So stay tuned, check out NDP. E-course I think it's. If you're thinking of getting into the space, it's definitely a good investment. If you're already in this space, it's still a good investment. Just see it. It's like looking at someone else's work, get a sense behind the curtain.

We're trying to be open-source about it too, to an extent you still need to pay for it. So it's not totally open source, but we, it is a bit of an open book and Collin's got to eat, so I've got to pay something.

Colin Keeley: [00:09:37] Got eat. Yes. Yeah, IndiePE.com. Check it out. Is there anything else you want to talk about

Brent Sanders: [00:09:41] Let's talk about the time we got a question from somebody about deal sourcing, inbound, outbound, like how we go about doing it, how we balance it. You want to talk about that a little.

Colin Keeley: [00:09:50] Yeah, I think that's a good idea. So inbound is basically people sending us deals. And to me that's like the holy grail, like you become known for doing a certain type of deal. And that would be an argument to niche down as well. So that could be relationships where people just come to you because they know you, or it could be like content.

So like the course or Twitter or the spot. People know us that way. And it increases your surface area for luck where people know of you, they just send you stuff. So that to me is the. Like the best possible outcome. And I think that's like where Andrew Wilkinson is now with tiny and he's gone on all these podcasts and it all serves a purpose, very few private equity people do that.

A lot of VC people do that. And like get the game on the field. A lot of private equity people are very closed off and very quiet. Many of them aren't on Twitter or anything. So two kind of different playbooks. And then outbound is like cold emailing basically. So building a list, building, finding a big list of, companies that may be interested in selling, or maybe in your market that you'd like to buy and reaching out to them.

And then that is much more of a numbers game. And it also is relationship building over the long run. Like you may reach out to someone that doesn't want to sell now, but maybe they want to sell in three years or something like that.

Brent Sanders: [00:11:03] Yeah. I don't know that I gotta talk about the outbound, since buying blink sale, we get five a day or so like that. And it's largely trash. It's and I think I've heard were tons of other folks who, they have similar. Types of businesses and they decided to list it.

And it's, I would imagine that, it makes you feel good. Oh, these people want this. And I just have a feeling it's like a ton of tire-kickers. It's once they realize what the business actually is, it's maybe, we want to see a certain dollar amount because they've no idea what you're doing.

They have no idea what your financials are. They, maybe because. Blink. So was on micro prior. So there probably was some disclosure of revenue and whatever else. So it's probably an idea, but still I don't know. I don't give a lot of that. I've never crossed my mind. It's never crossed my mind to follow up with any of these people.

Colin Keeley: [00:11:51] Yeah. So it is a numbers game though. So it doesn't work most of the time, you only need a few of them to work in. They're like proprietary deals where there's No, other buyers in the market they're just selling to you. So you get pretty amazing deals. So at scale, like if we had more money or more time, You'd hire a bunch of interns like booth interns or undergrads or whatever, or VAs to the list building and you just set them on it.

And if they got, one deal done a year, it would be worth all their salaries.

Brent Sanders: [00:12:21] Yeah. That's true. That's true. Yeah. I It's just we did cold emails for formulated. And when you just get one, it's okay, this is worth it. We did months of it and we got a couple of conversations and at least you have some irons in the fire when you're starting from nothing.

But yeah, it clearly must work. Otherwise people wouldn't do it.

Colin Keeley: [00:12:38] Yeah we will start the operation up at some point and pursue it. But I think the reality is like, just through referrals and inbound it's been sufficient for us, but once you have more money and could do more deals, I think it makes sense. And then you probably, at some point graduate to the point that you just known and the industry, and then you could stop your cold emailing because people just know to go to you.

Brent Sanders: [00:13:00] Yeah. Yeah. I I think it's timing right on the cold emailing. It's if you find somebody who's just had that day where they're like, I hate this business. I want out. And you slide through with the right pitch and the right, you resonate in the right way to them. Yeah, I could see that.

I know I've been there myself where it's just oh, what am I doing here? And if somebody, I just I do think that. The personal referrals. Always great. But yeah, to your point, you have to really be established and people got to know you and trust you and, going back to the core. So I'm hoping that people can start building relationships that way.

It's if we can help facilitate, it's not what the community is about. It's not my, you're not trying to replace micro require even stepping into that game, but There are a lot of people doing similar things. It's just, everyone has their own profile. And as we've talked about almost on every podcast, like there's just an abundance of opportunity out there.

And so I think there's more opportunity than there are operators and acquirers

Colin Keeley: [00:13:55] Yeah, it's super early days. There's so much opportunity and there's just going to be even more. And it feels like there is a bit of a wave building where like more and more people are getting into this, but we're still such early days. And like our podcasts and the community. And of course all that, we'll just continue to compound our relationship as well.

So it's we're all, it's all investing in the future. It just takes time to build that reputation up.

Brent Sanders: [00:14:19] Yeah. Agreed. So that, I guess the answer to the question, what are we doing? It's all been referral as of right now. I I think you definitely have the you're the top trending Twitter person. You clearly have a profile there where people know that you're doing. As far as I get emails from people now that we've had conversations and I keep a lower public profile, but privately, telling people what I'm up to and you just gotta put it out there.

And so you start getting these emails. I got one today from a gentleman, we were speaking with new business. I Maybe it's fit, maybe not, but either way, it's an opportunity. Again, increase that surface area for luck. I liked that. I liked that saying surface area for luck.

Colin Keeley: [00:14:56] Thanks. Yeah, I'll tweet that out. That's a good one. Yeah.

Brent Sanders: [00:15:02] Cool. Yeah. And that's basically what's going on at Vern these days. We're, doing diligence on a deal. Number two, hopefully that comes through closes out. I think we, we set a deadline for ourselves. Around, we're not going to talk about the business itself, but we've set a deadline that we just got to make a decision.

I think it's been slow to get numbers, but I think around talking to everybody in the business and understanding it and wrapping our arms around it, I think next week, Wednesday, we want to just make a final decision. So next up said we'll be talking about that a little bit. We definitely don't want to jinx it or anything, right?

You don't want to talk too much.

Colin Keeley: [00:15:35] Yeah. I don't want to talk about live deals, but just as Actual, like in practice of doing these deals, it's so much messier than maybe all investors like, think from outside, like everyone that hasn't done their first deal yet. It's oh Yeah.

we'll just grab all the numbers. We'll check 'em, thumbs up.

They are what they say there. It's taken weeks to just get the point where we can be like, Yeah. the numbers actually are what they said. They

Brent Sanders: [00:15:57] Yeah.

Colin Keeley: [00:15:58] Okay. And it's you have this expectation and all the KPIs are like nicely an order. And there's a data room set up. And boy, is that not the case?

Brent Sanders: [00:16:07] Yeah. Yeah. I think that's definitely not the case with the size that we're working with, but this isn't a smaller deal. This is a, it's definitely on the larger side for, what we've done in the past. And again, don't want to talk too much about it, but it's work. You gotta do it.

Colin Keeley: [00:16:23] Yeah. That's what the opportunity is like it's messy and that's where the reward is. Yeah, that's all I got.

Brent Sanders: [00:16:28] Me too. Thanks for listening everybody.

Colin Keeley: [00:16:30] All right. Take care.

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