Redefining Pathways: The Inspiring Journey of Matthew Holman from Incarceration to E-commerce Innovation

In a recent captivating episode of the “Scroll Sessions” podcast, hosts Dan Page and Shane Hickenlooper welcomed an extraordinary guest, Matthew Holman. Holman’s story is not just about success in the e-commerce and marketing world; it’s a journey of transformation and resilience.

Early Challenges and A New Direction

Matthew’s tale begins with a turn that few could anticipate: incarceration at the age of 22. Yet, it was within the confines of prison where his professional journey took root. Working as a designer in a prison print shop, Matthew learned the intricacies of design and printing, skills that would later become foundational in his career. He humorously recounts how a spelling error on a Department of Corrections badge (“Corruptions” instead of “Corrections”) led to his first real job in design.

Education and Reintegration

During his incarceration, Matthew took advantage of educational opportunities, pursuing studies through a program offered by Utah State. This period wasn’t just about acquiring knowledge; it was a time for profound personal growth. Matthew speaks eloquently about the empathy he developed, learning not to judge others based on their past. These experiences shaped his perspective, emphasizing the importance of giving individuals second chances and understanding their unique stories.

The Leap into E-commerce

Post-incarceration, Matthew’s path led him to the realm of e-commerce and marketing, driven by a fascination with technology and consumer behavior. He founded Commerce Catalyst, a community focused on e-commerce and marketing, and became a leading figure in subscription-based business models. His work with qpilot and the launch of the Subscription Prescription podcast highlight his innovative approach to e-commerce, particularly in maximizing customer retention and value.

Advocacy and Empowerment

Matthew’s journey is also about giving back. He is actively involved in supporting those transitioning out of incarceration, emphasizing the role of education and community in reducing recidivism. His story is a testament to the potential for transformation and the power of a supportive network in creating positive change.

Conclusion

Matthew Holman’s story, as shared on the “Scroll Sessions” podcast, is not just inspiring; it’s a powerful reminder of the human capacity for growth and change. His journey from incarceration to becoming a leader in e-commerce innovation shows that with the right opportunities and support, people can redefine their pathways and make significant contributions to their fields and communities.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/holman-matthew/

https://www.thesubscriptiondoc.com/

Podcast Transcript

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0:05

well we have Matthew here today on the scroll sessions podcast Matthew Holman we’re excited to have you I’m excited to

0:12

be here too guys this is fun and uh if you’re curious how to approach him guess

0:18

it’s either Matthew or Matt and his response Maddie it’s gonna dictate you

0:23

know your future with him you said big head earlier so I did just depending like high school I was Holmen you know

0:29

it’s just been different nicknames my whole life so now I love it I think I’m Matt because it’s easier to type that

0:34

back in an email yeah so I like math quick it’s easy two T’s common yeah oh

0:39

there’s a lot of mats with one t all right are you he’s he’s too t Matt yeah I’m too you could pick there’s there’s

0:45

the new name next time I see you it’s two teams

0:51

all right well we’re we’re excited to have you on today um how about you explain a little bit

0:57

about who you are what you do professionally right now and then we’ll get into some of your background yeah

1:02

absolutely so part of my I do I’m doing quite a few different things right now um I’m the founder of Commerce Catalyst

1:08

which is an e-commerce and marketing Community I’ve got a slack group about 650 members do lots of events lunch and

1:15

learns um things like that and we can talk about how that kind of happened because it’s kind of a fun

1:21

story um and then um I do a lot of work with subscription Brands and e-commerce so

1:26

um the Partnerships I run Partnerships at a subscription software company called qpilot I’m very much focused on

1:33

delivery outcomes and inventory issues related to subscriptions and then because of that with all our own

1:39

customers and I love content and Consulting and stuff I do a lot of work through a brand we created called

1:45

subscription prescription so newsletter we actually just launched a podcast yesterday just talking about all things

1:51

subscriptions trying to help Brands figure out how to do better get more recurring Revenue in awesome and do you

1:56

have a full-time job and run uh businesses on the side or businesses so

2:01

what you probably was a full-time job up until just recently but because of a lot of the work that I’ve been doing with Commerce Catalyst and then also with

2:08

where we want to go with subscription prescription is actually launching a community within that under that brand

2:13

as well to help Brands like you know access resources and Network consult with other brands and stuff so I’m those

2:20

are my new two like big projects that I’m working on subscription prescription Commerce Catalyst awesome so full-time

2:26

Your Own Boss yeah at this point pretty much that’s awesome what got you into like

2:32

e-commerce like what was the catalyst so to speak to get you into e-commerce I’ve

2:37

always loved e-commerce just because for me I feel like so I love Tech like I’m one of those guys and nerds about about

2:42

everything like History Science all the stuff like I did theater growing up a sports like I’m all over the board and

2:48

for me e-commerce though is like this to me it’s it’s this amazing intersection of Technology but

2:56

Innovation within technology and psychology right buyer Behavior like

3:01

what’s going to motivate people what do people want and I think e-commerce is one of those spaces that’s really really

3:06

fast at adapting to Consumer Trends and behaviors like the idea that you can shop on Tick Tock right that’s that’s

3:12

e-commerce yeah that is not anything else and that’s blowing my mind right now the new tick tock shop holy yeah

3:17

yeah so they’re they’re building that out more and more and getting feedback from users from their Merchants just

3:24

because they’re trying to make that dollar transaction happen that much easier and faster and that is what I

3:29

love about e-commerce is that the Innovation is just rampant non-stop like if you look at B2B and stuff which I do

3:35

a lot of work with I mean B2B is a big it’s a massive from a dollar value it dwarfs anything in the b2c space but

3:41

it’s slow and The Innovation there just takes time there’s it’s just a different breed of people and companies doing that

3:48

red tape on red tape yeah exactly and So within within Ecom though it’s like oh hey we just found out that kizik

3:54

implemented this new app that some guy out of like Germany just like released and allows this transaction to happen

4:00

twice as fast yeah boom everybody’s using it yeah and then somebody else will come in and disrupt that so yeah

4:06

that’s what I love about it that’s awesome it’s awesome well before we get to uh deep into all things e-commerce

4:12

let’s talk about one marketing I I read a little bit on your LinkedIn that you got into

4:18

marketing because a friend just needed help can you explain like what led to

4:23

you pursuing this career and what did you do before all this yeah so I mean I

4:29

think for a little bit more context it’s important to sound like I actually was incarcerated at 22 years old so

4:36

um and I was incarcerated for quite a while so um for me my first job was actually in

4:41

prison like I was a kid when I went in my first real job I did some a few things before like Landscaping stuff

4:47

like that but my first real job was in prison where I got a job as a designer at a print shop a sign shop in there

4:54

that they had lost I mean that story actually I think I can I could tell that story so this story is this is hilarious

5:01

um back when Katrina happened in 2005 um the state of Utah put together a

5:07

bunch of supplies to send out out there to help support um all the you know all the issues with rebuilding and stuff like that so the

5:14

Department of Corrections assembled a bunch of stuff they had a big truck that they’re shipping out there and they they printed out a big sticker because they

5:20

had a you know sticker sign Department The Shield showing the Department of Corrections so this truck drives all the

5:26

way down to Katrina or all the way down to Louisiana and the the like you know head of the

5:32

Department of Corrections out there calls the head of the Department of Corrections in Utah says hey we got your truck awesome but why does it say

5:37

Department of Corruptions on the badge that’s real that is real oh my God 100

5:43

real so a guy was just messing around messing with the shield thought it was

5:49

funny to change corrections to Corruptions gets printed yeah it gets put on the truck nobody notices truck

5:56

makes it all the way to Louisiana somebody notices oh my God so that guy got fired no kidding and then they

6:03

needed somebody to come in and figure out some of the design and printing stuff and my buddy was like Hey matt’ll be great at it and I was like okay so

6:09

that is why I got like a friend like hey can you come help us and it was a great job in prison it was uh I mean there

6:15

weren’t very many jobs where we could be using computers and like interfacing with customers and design and stuff like

6:20

that so that’s how I got started that was in 2005. how did you hold a job while you were in prison no it was

6:25

inside yeah so the department like so most States and Utah’s got a pretty good

6:31

program where they have um it’s called the um see UCI Utah Correctional

6:36

Industries so they have a plate plant where they make all the lights obviously license plates are made there they do a lot of fern there’s a furniture shop a

6:43

print shop a sign shop they were doing like data entry like even at one point before I got there they were doing like

6:49

cold calling for um like Telecom like what was it before Angel Studios that like like edited

6:55

Angel maybe I don’t know if it was them specifically but like they people they were calling and selling huh you know

7:02

edited videos and stuff like that so yeah they’ve had a few different random things through there so yeah they have a pretty good um and the whole goal of

7:08

that is one it supplements the state like you know the Department of Health like gets all their printing done there right like the Department of Education

7:16

um you know I’ve designed logos for State departments and stuff like that because um and then it was a great opportunity for me because when I got out that’s the

7:22

job that I went for two years I went and worked in a sign shop doing what I had done in prison so yeah it’s a great way it’s like it’s a good it’s a great

7:28

program so did you get paid normally or what kind of pay do you yeah I was making four dollars an hour yeah which

7:35

in prison is actually a lot yeah really yeah yeah

7:40

you know the word that’s it yeah so most guys most people make a dollar an hour

7:46

or 80 cents or 60 cents an hour yeah so four dollars I was making like four times over four times really the average

7:51

wow yeah so you were popular because yeah you could get all the goods yeah you could get all the goods yeah that’s

7:58

awesome um if you don’t mind me asking how long were you 15 years wow yeah and of course

8:05

that’s a like a very long story and a pretty I mean obviously um a lot that went into that why I was there and what

8:11

I did and or didn’t do and um all the time I spent there but yeah so I got I went in at 22 very little

8:18

experience grew up in there but with a lot of positive and negative things um you know and then got out at 37 and

8:25

so I had gone to school for a little while um they had a bachelor’s program through Utah state for a few years and I

8:30

got close so when I got out I had a lot of credits I transferred to the University of Utah so I was going to school those first two

8:37

years school full-time working full-time got a 4-0 at the U got a degree in

8:42

information systems yeah I didn’t want to go into marketing because I I was scared that I was going to be competing

8:48

with a bunch of 25 year olds who all knew how to do Snapchat better than I did yeah so I I had a little bit of

8:53

exposure to Tech while I was in there but not like you know I didn’t have a Facebook account or anything like that

8:59

so it was a little overwhelming to feel like and what I love about marketing is it it

9:04

was didn’t take too long until I realized that there’s a lot of people who just did it weird or didn’t know what they were really doing and if you

9:09

could be good at figuring out how to make something happen you could be successful it didn’t matter you know so yeah that’s one of the things I love

9:15

about marketing well what what was I mean it’s a long time yeah yeah it’s a long time to be out out of the maybe a

9:23

relish world how like what is the what’s your I guess life experience from that

9:29

experience that you’ve taken and learned from and are applying now in in your real life and there’s two really big

9:35

things that I think the first that like fundamentally changed me as a human being was

9:41

sitting like I’d only been in a few months and again my story is somewhat complicated and I was sitting there

9:46

thinking like like how are people gonna judge me for what I did or didn’t do

9:51

and how can I possibly judge somebody else just because of a newspaper clipping or what somebody said that they

9:57

did no matter what the CR and I’m talking about the whole gamut of crimes and that kind of like crystallized in my

10:05

mind like this idea of like empathy like I don’t understand like what other people’s life stories are like there

10:11

could be somebody who was a child molester who had been molested their whole life who was in the state like was um in

10:18

foster care never had a chance yeah and and what what do you do with somebody like

10:23

that like how do you judge somebody like that who has never had a chance and had horrible things happen to them then do horrible things and now they’re

10:30

incarcerated right like how do you how so for me it’s like this really interesting perspective of if I I don’t

10:35

know you I’m going to try to give you the benefit of the doubt and I’m gonna listen to you to tell me who you are and

10:40

try to ignore what other people say or do and so my wife sometimes teases me because she’ll meet some friends that I

10:45

did time with and she’ll like oh what it what did so-and-so do I was like oh this but I don’t really know more than that

10:52

she’s like what like you never asked I was like yeah they never brought it up yeah it didn’t come up yeah this person was from the

10:58

person I met was trying to be a good person they had made mistakes they’d done serious things obviously and

11:04

they’re trying to be a good person so that’s the first thing was like just changing my view or lens of how I look at human beings trying to give people

11:11

the benefit of the doubt like I’m wearing a be kind shirt because for me it’s just just that’s the one thing we can control is how we interact with

11:16

other people yeah um I think the other thing that’s that was really really impactful was I don’t take I don’t take anything for

11:23

granted I mean that from like a knowledge standpoint like I’m I was I was a smart kid I had a lot of good things going for me I ended up in prison

11:29

and so the idea that I’m out here now trying to work and build businesses and try to help people like I’m I don’t take

11:35

that an assumption that I know what I’m doing better than anybody else or that so for me what makes me kind of like

11:42

lethal in a business standpoint is that I’m willing to learn like whatever and figure it out and talk to people and

11:47

network and take advantage of that and I don’t have a bunch of Hang-Ups of how something was done 10 years ago because 10 years ago I was locked up so I don’t

11:54

have like a an average frame of rap yeah I don’t like oh back you know when people talk about like oh Facebook marketing back in 2015 I’m like oh that

12:01

sounds cool like I don’t know I don’t even know what you’re talking about I don’t know what that is I read a Blog about it I don’t know like you know I

12:07

know people talk about it all the time like we had access to newspapers and magazines and stuff like that um and I was in school but it’s not like

12:13

I have an idea of like oh well we did this campaign this way 10 years ago it’s like no like let’s go look at what’s

12:18

Happening Now what’s working now yeah and trying to implement that and then I think the final thing is I’m really good at connecting a lot of dots like that’s

12:25

just what my brain is good at um yeah so it’s awesome you you were going to

12:30

school while you were incarcerated where were you going to school how did that work they had a continuing education

12:37

program through Utah State so back like before um the recession in 2007 there actually were locations and they had still have

12:43

some now where like Salt Lake Vernal um you know St George issues yeah satellite locations so we

12:49

actually were a satellite location at the prison in Draper and the prison in Gunnison and a couple of the county jails had a satellite locations so we’d

12:57

be sitting here on a mic like with a little camera and you could talk to actually my cousin was going to classes in Salt Lake and we were in like the

13:03

same class together but she was in Salt Lake not yeah not going to bed Behind Bars and I was in yeah Draper going to a

13:10

class oh my gosh and what kind of free time did you have because you worked you

13:15

went to school did you have yeah yeah there was lots of free time I mean they it’s

13:21

I I I I should say like in general like prison is not good right it’s boring it’s horrible there’s bad stuff

13:27

happening like but there are opportunities you know there’s yard there’s gym

13:32

um here in Utah they have a strong Chapel program like there’s amazing volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ the Latter-Day Saints who’ll come

13:38

in and like do family history they had actually a music school program where you could go and learn to play the guitar the piano like be in a choir

13:46

um so there were a few things you could do um you could have a get a little TV um so for me it just depends because

13:51

it’s a long stretch of time so there were times where I was not that active and kind of depressed and there were times where I was like you know just

13:57

trying to really I picked up running around like 33 34 and so I was just like just running all the time I’d work and

14:04

at that point I wasn’t going to school anymore I would work run watch TV go to sleep you know like NFL season was like

14:10

the best thing because then you just knew that Sundays you could watch football all day so yeah yeah Sports in

14:16

prison are pretty big yeah I’m sure it was like it was like where are you from what did you do who’s your football team

14:22

that was the three questions you would get asked by any time you met anybody so who uh who was your football team who is

14:28

your the funny story right now I grew up in the Bay area so I would originally I was like uh you know I like grew up

14:35

loving College like and um rooting for the Cougars right for BYU even at the

14:40

bay area but I’d say like oh I’m from the Bay Area they’re like oh you must be a Niners fan or a Raiders fan and at the time they were that was early 2000s they

14:47

were both pretty bad yeah I just feel like dude I don’t I don’t really care that much but people would get so like

14:53

well no what’s your team what’s your team and so I started just picking I started just saying the Cincinnati

14:59

Bengals because they were the absolute worst so that people would be like Oh I’m sorry man

15:05

um because I was so tired of people just like obsessing her I’m like oh I’m a

15:11

Bengals fan well so what happens is over time like it just I kind of like kind of like the Bengals they had like uh John

15:18

kittner quarterbacking there you know like Marvin Lewis days and then so yeah so I’m a Bengals fan there’s certainly

15:24

other teams that I root for pull for as well but yeah I’m a Bengals fan and now like I’m in the last couple years with burrow have been pretty phenomenal so

15:30

yeah right Joe burrow came in and changed though we changed the whole thing yeah exactly

15:35

um so being an NFL fan and a college football fan are you still a cougars fan

15:43

try to be um I did graduate from the U so yeah you know it’s one of those things in my you know my wife is a graduate from there

15:49

and all her family is and so it’s one of those things where I I want the I want BYU to do well

15:56

um so I never really rooting against them unless they’re playing like that you can do something like that were there a lot of BYU fans in prison really

16:02

oh yeah wow that’s surprising it’s about where you grew up who you were with yeah yeah I mean that’s really kind of the

16:08

more of it but yeah it would be kind of funny to see some guy who’s like sleeve down like yeah gang banger drugs all the

16:15

things and he’s like go cougs Goku yeah and you’re just like wow this is not sure this is what the university

16:21

imagined as their fan base yeah cool hey good for them good for you right with

16:26

all the things you learned in your your time in prison and you said you mentioned empathy right

16:34

you mentioned empathy and obviously trying to better be a better human being uh you know post incarceration how have

16:41

you taken those things and applied it now into business in your personal life yeah it’s a that’s a great question I

16:47

mean I think for me my my journey especially recently has been

16:52

you know I I have a little bit of paranoia at the back of my mind somebody’s gonna judge me or for sure be

16:58

turned off by by my past right yeah um and for a while I was kind of like warring on whether I should be open

17:04

about that or not and I think actually to give like shout out to um the people

17:09

behind we are mind right um Nick staggy um uh Levi Lindsay like those those guys

17:16

like and Patrick Williams is a friend as well like talking about mental health and and that vulnerability kind of gave

17:22

me the courage to feel like you know what this might not be the best thing for me right now but

17:27

you know so my LinkedIn byline has formally incarcerated on and I posted about that I don’t talk about it necessarily a ton but I had to put out a

17:34

post like this is about me nobody nobody knew like five years ago I got out of prison kind of thing and what’s

17:39

interesting is like a lot of people have come up to me and say like that has given them courage to

17:46

talk about like dyslexia or um their own past or their own running with the law or their own family and

17:52

those things and so it’s sometimes it’s hard because it’s like I might get dismissed or or lose out on a business opportunity and that’s happened for the

17:59

most part it doesn’t but every once in a while lose out a business opportunity because of it and I but the the flip

18:05

side is I can tell myself hey I can help people through this way yeah so my thing is I don’t ever want anybody to be

18:11

uncomfortable because of me right like I don’t like if if you don’t want me to be your speaker your headline person because of my past that’s that’s fine

18:17

like you get to make choices for your own order right but at the same time I am regularly trying to remind myself I’m

18:24

choosing to be vulnerable like right here on this podcast yeah talk about this because I hope that this can be beneficial to people and hopefully you

18:31

guys don’t get Flack and I don’t get flacked but even if you do like the idea is like having these conversations are more real and that for me that’s those

18:37

are the relationships that I really value and so more of my job like my job is trying to build community and finding

18:44

that I actually have a talent for that a knack for that for me it’s it’s more innate and I understand that better than

18:50

just like digital marketing and so yeah leaning more into that and doing more of the community building

18:55

um so that’s part of who I am but it’s also built a lot on on understanding empathy I think one of the funny jokes I

19:01

like to make with guys that are getting out and trying to help them find jobs is you don’t realize but you’re actually

19:06

already a great networker because that’s how you survived just finding out who knows what and who’s got access to what

19:11

go talk to this person to get a job don’t talk to that person yeah exactly like avoid this no so but the thing is

19:18

you don’t realize when you’re getting out that that is actually how the world works yeah you get jobs at the micro world yeah right yeah exactly so that

19:25

idea of like understanding relationships and how to move things how to actually like show up for people you know how to

19:30

be accountable and like yeah responsible and stuff so anyway that’s giving you really long answers questions

19:36

like if you take it seriously and you want to survive that is definitely the way to do it and absolutely like yeah

19:42

Jail prisoner it’s that microcosm of probably the worst first part of the the

19:48

like world and what I mean by that is like the worst parts of who we are as

19:53

human beings and hopefully that changes right and and some people change some

19:59

people don’t and I think you took that as I I need to change I’m Gonna Change

20:05

yeah and then you had to and and then you took that and brought it into the rest of uh of your life which is pretty

20:12

amazing excellent so so uh also it sounds like you do work with people that

20:18

are getting out of prison still do you absolutely share a little bit about that yeah um when I I was at the school at

20:24

the University of Utah and I heard that University of Utah was launching like a prison education program to go on as

20:29

volunteers and teach some college classes and so I connected um there with Dr Aaron Castro was starting that

20:35

program and for there it was like a kind of a no-brainer to like I was like hey how can I help I can’t go in but let me

20:42

teach you how to interact and what it’s like and then she’s connected me with people where for a really long time I

20:48

you know most people have gone to College of are aware what a Pell Grant is um but back in like the early 90s

20:55

um they removed access for incarcerated people to access Pell grant funding and Pell Grants are interesting just because

21:01

it’s an expandable pool of money so if like if you give a prisoner or an inmate

21:06

a access to funds it’s not like you know your cousin going to school at you know UVU doesn’t get access to Pell grant

21:12

funding now it’s just depending on how many people so for 30 something years people that have access for it and so I

21:17

was part of a coalition of people that were going to DC to talk about my own experiences with education mine and the

21:24

lives of people I’ve seen like 50 year olds who’ve been in federal prison their entire lives who had never had spent like maybe a

21:31

couple years out since they were 18 going to college taking math classes and

21:36

seeing what that like ownership and like what that kind of like I I honestly believe that the biggest key to like

21:42

lowering recidivism and changing our like a lot of this prison is education but all and and dreams giving somebody a

21:49

reason to want more yeah and so yeah so I started doing a lot of work with their and non-profits and then I do a lot of

21:55

work with um we’ve got a group here um a Utah reintegration project we’re trying to help people with slick

22:02

um Salt Lake Community College you know just people getting out not sure what to do say hey I’m here talk about it like

22:08

let’s chat like I can give you interview advice depending on what you do maybe I can connect you to somebody

22:14

um just trying to do what I can there just it’s it’s really lonely when you get out

22:19

even when you have support it feels like just really overwhelming oh man so yeah yeah well I and I’m speaking out of uh

22:27

my wheelhouse here but like something that I think about is

22:32

when when I look at the prison system or when anyone looks at the prison system it’s and you see all these people that

22:38

go in you have to think about them coming out and

22:43

don’t we want change right like isn’t that what we as a society are going for aren’t we trying to forgive forget move

22:50

on and create like a positive change and I know that there were other countries

22:55

even like Sweden where they did music schools and things like that that really impacted and helped and uh I just think

23:04

it’s a forgotten piece often like talking about this today is all to me

23:09

mind-blowing you know it’s like 95 of people that are incarcerated will be released one day do you want that person

23:15

to have an education and uh have worked on their anger management issues yeah or

23:21

would you rather they just take the world yeah because that’s that’s what we’re churning out right now yeah do you

23:26

want as a society if you were to ask yourself a question someone gets out of prison what do you

23:32

want them to do next right right do you want them to go back to prison or do you want them to learn how to fit into

23:38

society and provide like this positive experience to the world so I think it’s

23:44

really cool that you stay involved and it in a way I think of like uh the

23:49

military how people come home from the military and they struggle with PTSD I’m sure even in prison I’m sure a lot of

23:56

PTSD comes from prison and to come out and have a support system of people who’ve been there has got to be huge and

24:02

helpful I I mean when I meet vets it’s the same feeling of like want to try to help and do everything I can

24:08

because while they chose to be in the military right you know like for sure like they didn’t make a mistake yeah but

24:15

still it’s hard and like reintegrating and being undervalued because of a label I think another really big one is like

24:21

single moms is in the same space because they were out of the workforce for a long time and then because of divorce or

24:27

change or something they’re re-enter they’re going back in with a 10-year Gap like I was raised by a single mom I married a single mom for me that’s

24:34

another um group of people that I think are often undervalued undervalue themselves

24:39

and are undervalued by society and so like I try to help them as much as possible too yeah I mean I think to

24:45

myself if I was labeled for the biggest mistakes I made in my life publicly is that would it be that haircut

24:52

it would be it’s longer

25:03

uh if I was judged for every mistake uh that I made or labeled for every mistake

25:08

I made I think we have to consider that as a society because Prison isn’t just

25:14

full of all the most evil people in the world like there’s no yeah 100 well that’s why it’s like cool like we were

25:20

chatting earlier like programs like at least in Utah The Other Side Academy Red Barn Academy

25:26

um programs outside of Utah like Delancey Street which is based in the Bay area that are trying to give an

25:33

alternative sentencing facility or other means that are way more productive than

25:39

just going to prison absolutely right and giving um these men and women chances to be

25:45

productive members of society be productive members for themselves first and then their community and then the

25:51

surrounding you know areas after that it’s it’s super positive and the impact that those organizations have had

25:58

locally and you know uh and throughout the United States are huge and on that note sticky bird in Farmington yeah if

26:05

you’re familiar with it it is 100 operated by the Red Barn the red barn

26:10

and all the employees there were formerly incarcerated and it is the smoothest running like

26:18

restaurant and the best staff the sticky Bird yeah sticky bird in Farmington

26:23

check it out but that like I mean both of them like they they all have for-profit entities to support the the

26:30

more or less non-profit business um but they you know they’re all um yeah they’ve got the I know sticky

26:36

well Red Barn has sticky bird the restaurant which is kind of a great uh yeah

26:42

so you know chicken sandwiches uh chicken fingers stuff like that then they have uh a thrift store they’ve got

26:49

a moving company they’ve got a working farm and they also do they raise animals

26:55

and you know take care of the animals and sell them off too and similar operations for you know other side and

27:02

Delancey Street they all have those supporting businesses but graduates most of them go on to either start working

27:08

for the business side or become entrepreneurs entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship’s huge like I mean I

27:14

think most people would maybe recognize this thing maybe not but like uh Mike’s

27:20

Killer Bread and that’s probably like a classic example of like somebody who started a business after being

27:25

incarcerated and it’s I didn’t even know I didn’t even know that so it’s a massive brand yeah it was started by

27:31

somebody who was incarcerated what that’s kind of the joke like that’s why it’s called Mike’s Killer Bread and there’s the you know my wife

27:39

yeah so yeah you have to look it up now supporting me all along you just didn’t know it you have to look it up now that

27:45

you should actually you have to listen to the there was a um how I built this

27:50

podcast okay and they interviewed the guy that started it and it’s fascinating oh my gosh I’m gonna go listen but very

27:56

similar to like people that have been to prison been to jail been incarcerated

28:01

you sometimes and I think the best entrepreneurs too you have sometimes have to hit the lowest of the low right

28:07

to and like in order to like get your head right and focus and you also have

28:12

the comparison now and now there’s nothing left to lose like you have lost everything and now it’s only up it’s a

28:20

good reminder because days where it feels kind of hard or discouraging it’s like yeah I’m still way better off and what’s the worst thing that could happen

28:25

to me is like I it’s it’s not that bad yeah right I get to go home to a loving

28:30

wife and family and things like you know like that’s a totally different scenario so yeah yeah that’s that’s totally true

28:37

and in your case do you feel like entrepreneurship was your only option or did you feel like you had other yeah it

28:42

was so when I was at the U and and again like I mentioned the the GPA because I

28:48

was like you know you’re killing it I was killing it and then I started to apply for places and they were like oh

28:53

wow yes and then you get through all the way and they were like yeah background checks sorry yeah and some of those

28:59

experiences were kind of negative like they they just say no like one of one of them a fairly prominent tech company

29:05

here like they just ghosted me yeah and then I know that happens in general but it was like the interviews came so fast

29:11

they were so excited and then it was like you’re back and another one another prominent attack company

29:17

um actually was really cool they actually had like one of their head of legal like talk to me about it and like like walked it through and stuff and I

29:23

was like okay cool like I appreciate you guys taking time to treat me as a human being yeah I mean that was cool and so

29:29

um so yeah I started applying for a few few of those jobs when I was trying to get out of school and

29:36

um funny enough I happened to run into a friend of mine who I actually had met while I was inside he had been in prison

29:42

in Utah for some white-collar crimes that we had kept in touch and I was walking through Sugarhouse park with my sister and run into my friend Gene with

29:49

with his daughter and he’s and we’re catching up he’s like hey you should come come check out uh what we’re doing

29:54

like yeah we’re trying to spin up a new Department like servicing some of our e-commerce customers like you should

30:00

come here and so I started working for them and this is a small business what’s that was this Q class no this is this is

30:06

ehub this is amazing company um that’s actually where I met my wife like it’s like a lot of like amazing

30:12

things happen yeah and I was working there but that’s when I kind of started to get this bug of like

30:18

do I want to be working for somebody else or do I want to be working for myself because I don’t have a lot of control here and it’s also hard to like

30:24

you know like if you’ve ever worked every company you know sometimes the frustration is like they want you to Zig and I want us act yeah I think it’s just

30:30

the red to know yeah it’s like approvals you know so so what ended up happening was his uh land and age

30:36

um just the ultimate connector would post it on LinkedIn like who wants to join a a econ SAS startup as a marketing

30:43

co-founder whatever and I was like me and interesting enough since Q pilot has

30:49

got a very strong emphasis on shipping I was have been working for a shipping company so that was a great end and the funny

30:55

thing you mentioned entrepreneurship was I go out to Denver and I’m meeting David David Bradley’s the founder Cube pilot

31:00

he’s an amazing human being one of my favorite people on the planet we’re getting to know each other and hanging out and

31:07

um we go out you know we go out to breakfast after a full day of talking and stuff and he goes look man I I gotta

31:13

tell you like because at this point I’m like almost 40 or about I’m about 40. he’s like I can’t quite figure out why at 40 you’re turning to entrepreneurship

31:20

and so I said well let me tell you a story so I told him I told him the much

31:26

longer story and he was just his immediate response I will just will never forget he’s like he’s like wow

31:31

well you know one of my first jobs is working for a moving company and almost everybody there had a felony and then in

31:37

my early 20s I was working doing tech support for a company that would do micro loans to formally cars for people

31:42

in Texas and he’s like now I get it I get why you would want to be an entrepreneur and I love it and he’s full

31:49

always embraced me and wanted my story to be part of the cute pilot story um and so that’s yeah that was like

31:55

something and then and that’s what’s amazing about the entrepreneurship Community is it’s so much about adversity and trying to overcome some

32:00

obstacle Implement some kind of change so in many ways entrepreneurship is like it’s not open market yeah and a lot of

32:07

people are like oh cool yeah like you know like I grew up in Africa and I’m in the US now or I grew up here I you know

32:13

worked in corporate for 20 years and got sick of it so now I’m starting my own company but good on you you know so yeah yeah so that was kind of the story of

32:20

like where I went from school and at that sign company and and working with with ehub and their team and a lot of

32:26

their projects and then went the entrepreneurship brat with Q pilot and as a digital marketer you know it’s hard

32:31

working at bootstrap companies and while I was there um I just wanted to do a little informal

32:37

Meetup with a couple of friends that I had made that were in marketing so we just started doing these little breakfast groups like once a month just

32:44

to talk like landing page pages and like offers and crap like that yeah all that crap

32:56

[Laughter] so uh so we go we go for a few months

33:04

you know we like maybe take a picture post it on LinkedIn like you want to come join us kind of thing and then um

33:10

we did one with like I started getting a few more people so we would get like lunches I thought breakfast would be

33:15

more popular because it’s before your day but yeah people you know kids you don’t want to get up early or you can’t get up get out that early uh so we start

33:22

doing lunches and we start to get 10 15 people and then Patrick Williams was came to Juan and he’s like dude you

33:28

should do like a bigger thing like this is really great because my whole thing was sit in a room introduce yourself what’s your number one problem right now

33:33

because you got 10 other marketers who are going to tell you like oh you’re looking at kajabi like oh no go do Bubba

33:39

why do you want this like why what’s your objective here like oh this is how you create a social post and like all

33:45

that stuff and so it’s really really helpful and so Patrick was like this is awesome you should do like a bigger thing and I’m like I I don’t know I

33:52

don’t have to do that yeah but I was at Kiln and Kiln is just amazing for empowering entrepreneurs I told him hey

33:58

I want to do like a big I I was doing a lunch event in their thing that they actually bought lunch for I was like Hey

34:04

I want to do one in the big room this is in Lehigh and they’re like okay cool we’ll sponsor it and I was like oh okay

34:10

cool so I invited like all of the most famous people I knew which is like Nick

34:15

staggy uh uh Lindsay Ivy Madeline van Hoff

34:21

um Bianca Collins and um Patrick Williams

34:27

yeah maybe it was Levi instead of Bianca I think Bianca might have been later but um

34:32

yeah it’s so I have them all on a panel I was just asking questions yeah the room was packed yeah and and again I was

34:40

thinking like the easiest social strategy on the planet is like invite a bunch of people with a stronger following and create an Eventbrite and

34:46

ask them all to post about it once yeah you know what I mean and then but out of that it’s like my my marketer brand was

34:51

like okay well if I have a bunch of people in the room what am I gonna do like this isn’t a business but I should maybe like

35:00

and I was like hey anybody that joins the slack can like we’re gonna do a

35:05

random drawing like oh yeah it was Levi because uh I said the winner gets a free hour with one of these five panelists so

35:13

it’s like 20 people go join the slack yeah one of them’s like I want my hour with Levi Lindsay yeah and then

35:19

um the yeah the rest is kind of History so I just start doing like monthly meetups and then inviting people to come to the

35:26

slack like if the speaker had a slide deck yeah you can get it in the slack and it was like the most Basic Marketing

35:32

ever honestly running events is super fun yeah it really is it like and and

35:38

you’re exactly right I feel like the people you surround yourself with especially when it comes to marketing and event it’s huge it’s everything yep

35:45

yeah they do they do all the work for you that’s why we invite cool people on our partners this is a cool podcast I do

35:54

I do I do I was really glad to come on because you guys do a great job well and

35:59

so tell us this like big transition you went from ehub now how did you get from ehub to now where you’re at building

36:05

these two e-commerce and what were you doing exactly because digital marketing stuff I was leading marketing ever as a

36:11

q pilot which means you know like we were running some ads for a while um we were doing content creation we

36:16

would do Outreach what year was this this was so this was is going to be like 2020 20. and what kind of ads were you

36:24

running uh we were doing a little bit of Facebook and some LinkedIn um we’ve ultimately switched over to Google search just because like just

36:31

capture bottom funnel like yeah it sometimes it’s so maddening when you look back and think why didn’t I

36:36

recognize that as an opportunity early on but it’s like we had a a big plug-in that a lot of people would switch off of us on woocommerce to to us oh okay and

36:44

so we just started targeting that keyword and like that that we had a good lift from there and then creating more

36:49

content around that that key term because it’s woocommerce subscriptions it was a competitor so so that and so

36:55

yeah so I was doing that for well really just up until just recently and and then also the same time as a small company we

37:02

were bootstrapped so it’s like I’m also doing Partnerships you know I’m like head of growth I think was my time yeah it was my title so it was like marketing

37:08

and Partnerships and revenue and and trying to figure out you know how to make the company grow and

37:15

um and I I would say I’m a good marketer I’m not sure like you know maybe somebody else in that situation could

37:22

have like just blown the roof off of it I don’t know like I I don’t want to like discount my time there as a marketer

37:28

because I just wonder like you know maybe somebody else could have been better right it’s like so you did your

37:33

best I did my best yeah I worked hard we we worked hard we’re it’s a great team it’s amazing product and and I think

37:39

honestly like I think with where we are now there’s an amazing focus on the right type of content the right type of

37:45

Partnerships who we’re going after and talking to so it’s actually really really exciting for us and so even with

37:50

me being a little bit less from a Time perspective less involved I think it’s

37:55

going nowhere but up or continue to go up um but as I was doing like marker the

38:02

the first group was marketers unite was that slack group in meetings and stuff and then last year for about seven eight

38:08

months I was we had rolled that into sharehouse and so I helped launch sharehouse with Madeleine and and Wade

38:14

is uh my brother-in-law at that group So like um helping do a lot of that and

38:19

ultimately one of the things I learned they were putting on events was I couldn’t feel like a really strong tie back to my own business like we did an

38:27

Amazon event in October and it was a ton of work it was really hard it was a great event half day we had like 120 130

38:33

people show up paid tickets yeah and at the end of it I was like wow all this effort like I could have done a

38:38

subscription event and had 20 people there and it would have been more beneficial for me personally yeah and so

38:44

for me it was like I got to figure some of this out and so you know um Share House continue to do what

38:49

they’re doing amazing VIP stuff but then I was like okay I’m just going to do something else I’m just going to do this

38:54

Commerce I’m gonna I bring rebranded Commerce Catalyst thank you chat GPT like it was almost amazing like I can’t

38:59

believe like it was literally like 10 minutes on AI finding chat like Commerce catalysts and when I because I because

39:06

my issue was like I had marketers in the group initially and then I had econ people yeah how do I what’s the name how

39:11

do I get bridge the gap yeah and then I came up with some crappy logo off of an AIG well now our branding is done by the

39:17

grounder Company by Nick’s team yeah which is just amazing yeah it’s so cool um when I did my first event with the

39:23

new logo I took a picture I was like holy holy crap it looks amazing on this giant screen like this is really really

39:29

cool so I was doing such a good feeling yeah so it’s doing that and then um and then basically like this like

39:36

earlier this year actually it was a conversation I’ve been thinking more and more like I love this event stuff this community stuff yeah I need to do more

39:42

of this how do I get more involved in this because I’m not sure Q pilot has

39:47

got community waiting to happen for it which I’ll come back to but I’ve got this Catalyst group and then it was kind

39:54

of one of those things where I was like Hey like accelerate puts on pattern puts on this amazing event

39:59

um brandless and Clark Capital put on an amazing event with consumer Summit like could could catalysts Commerce cattles

40:04

put on a great event yeah with less resources and less people but just that whole tact of I’m just gonna invite some

40:11

really cool smart people to speak and and so what’s funny is like people say like wow how did you get so and so to speak because I I sent him a DM I just

40:18

asked in or I asked somebody if they knew him and if they could make an intro and see if they’d want to do it and it’s

40:23

it’s literally that fancy it’s literally that fancy there’s a spirit of like I just want things to be helpful and useful so the panels are all like

40:30

designed to like you’re gonna learn something at least one thing yeah it’s it’s gonna be amazing and and

40:36

and so that was yeah so I went to my partner today was like hey I’ve got to do more of this stuff and it happened to

40:42

be the right time for what Q pilot needed more focus on Partnerships because a lot of the content marketing is just kind of running yeah and

40:49

um and I get to focus on that and at the same time what we did we started doing last year

40:55

because like nobody wants to read Q pilot newsletter on subscriptions right like or if you do you’re only using coupon yeah right so we rebranded it as

41:03

subscription prescription and we basically started saying like hey we have we have 250 customers we have

41:09

access to all their data we know what works yeah so let’s just start writing about what works for everybody and not

41:16

and be try to be platform agnostic as much as possible like whether you’re on recharge or whatever app you’re using

41:21

and the newsletter has grown to like 2 000 subscribers like it’s like done very well very specific but it’s very

41:27

specific and and it’s like hey there’s a big need for this because subscriptions are almost like one of the problems is

41:33

if you’re running retention at a brand like you know I mean even a decent size doing

41:38

20 30 maybe even 50 million like there’s most likely not somebody who’s just over subscriptions yeah it’s their retention

41:44

specialist that also manages subscriptions and those people didn’t go to school for subscriptions yeah they

41:51

only probably know what they know about subscriptions from the brand that they’re currently working at maybe one other brand before that and so I’m just

41:58

trying to facilitate like you know that’s the same thing knowledge this is what’s working hey this is what

42:04

this Brand’s doing this is what we’ve seen work and so that’s the other thing is like I just love that Community

42:09

there’s like there’s a lot of big plans we have there as well as some we’ve been doing consulting and stuff too like again trying to be platform agnostic so

42:16

so those are the two big passion projects now is catalyst doing events and the community stuff and then

42:21

subscription prescription podcast Community it was right around the corner and more content so what are what are

42:28

the pillars then to keeping people retained and and and building a

42:33

subscription base yeah so it’s a it’s a really great question I think the

42:38

that’s the one I get a lot where people are like how do I decrease churn yeah how do I keep people more and so like and you guys are running an agency you

42:45

run in the same problem right people leave for some reason and I think what ultimately the the I try to put that

42:51

turn that question over on its head a little bit and it really comes back to trying to be better at understanding what they were expecting out of the

42:58

subscription and so it really comes back to acquisition like if you and you guys know this if you acquire somebody who

43:03

doesn’t really value your services or value like what type of marketing you do they’re not going to pay that price for

43:09

that long even if it’s working they’re going to be like oh well anybody could probably do it or this is not that so I’m just gonna go find something they

43:15

just don’t get it right so you don’t you want to find people who don’t undervalue what you do you want to have a clear pain point that you’re answering like

43:21

like with any good service um the other thing is just it comes coming down to an offer and

43:26

understanding what people really want and and his subscription is has the

43:33

unfortunate thing of like you know you get that initial unboxing that’s great maybe month one month two you know month six is it are they still

43:39

as excited no right so most subscriptions they start to decrease over time so the idea is understanding

43:45

why somebody came in a great one is like I take CBD to sleep so so

43:51

when I sign up for a subscription the first thing is is that brand actually asking me like why why are you ordering

43:57

this is it because of focus is it because of sleep and if it is becomes asleep like I would love to see more

44:02

Brands ask like on a post purchase survey like okay it’s sleep like what how is lack of sleep cost what is that

44:09

cost in your life like it’s like oh yeah well I have to take all this caffeine like I feel like I can’t show up I crash

44:15

whatever the reasons may be you get uncover that and then suddenly it’s like

44:20

oh well if I know this person’s taking the CBD for sleep yes but their sleep because they feel like they can’t be as

44:26

productive in their job or maybe they’re training for a marathon or something okay well now that’s the type of content

44:33

that I use to remind somebody why they subscribe and I go after more people that are looking for that as a solution

44:39

because I’m getting clear signals from customers that this is what they’re looking for and so it’s really just

44:44

fine-tuning that that kind of marketing that acquisition and then what happens is oh well if it’s about energy

44:50

and and you don’t like taking Monster energy drinks to supplement it like well here is a organic non-caffeinated energy

44:57

supplement you can take during the day and now you have a product you can upsell into your subscribers yeah right you can boost that aov boost that

45:03

lifetime value and then also give people a reason to keep coming back to your brand so that’s like where the trick is

45:09

understanding why people come in and then finding product or products and offers around that problem or problems

45:15

to keep keep going I’m trying to think of subscription models that I have been

45:21

subject to you’ve been you’ve bought into one that I always sign up for and

45:26

always cancel is the grocery uh delivery delivery where they deliver meals uh I

45:34

forget what it’s called but um it’s like meal just like a meal planning yeah like a meal delivery thing oh yeah okay

45:40

Harvest or something yeah yeah I always sign up for those because they have these really good initial offers and

45:45

they’ll send you like freshly picked or you know your first six meals but there’s one called something simple

45:53

fresh whatever I can’t yeah yeah but those guys I always sign up I

46:00

always end up canceling because the initial offer is so good and you’re totally right it’s get your first six

46:07

meals or your first six deliveries discounted and then after that price goes up but I know I’m gonna get

46:12

a letter in the mail or an email six months later that’s like sign back up and get your that same offer again so in

46:19

my eyes it’s like well you know that everyone’s just working the system so just offer that same offer forever just

46:26

say sign up now and you get this discount well the trick the trick is so the beauty of a building a business like that is identifying the people that are

46:33

going to keep doing that yeah and and and some businesses freak out about that which I think is a mistake it’s like hey

46:39

we’ve got people who keep coming in and then they’ll cancel and they’ll come back just to get the offer just to get the offer it’s like okay are you worried

46:45

is that is if that’s like 80 or 90 of your business then yeah you’ve got a problem but if that’s 10 or 20 of your

46:51

monthly like customers coming in are you identifying the people that stick around forever

46:56

yeah the people that really see the value because if it’s just like if that’s just a top of funnel activity for

47:01

them I’m sure they’re like taking a bath on like the cost of like acquiring customers like that like yeah I’ve seen

47:07

some of the numbers on those businesses and it can be a little bit ugly it’s really competitive and you know oh yeah and be pretty costly but the idea is

47:13

yeah if I can get people to try the offer the the real beautiful subscription programs are like oh you

47:19

stick you stuck around when we put this threshold in

47:26

we’re like oh wow you’ve been around for six months like or really it’s like two or three month periods like oh we’ll try

47:32

this new this try this other product and suddenly now you’re ordering two three things from them you know like yeah um I

47:37

interviewed um Caitlin props from Zao nutrition and they were talking a lot about this where they sell a lot of just

47:43

mundane supplements that you could potentially get anywhere but they can bundle them they have ones that they’re

47:50

very specific about that’s like um proprietary to them so it’s like a stack yeah so it’s like a stack it’s like hey

47:55

you come in you might buy the vitamin C but hey we’ve got this like blue light bill to help you with like the headaches from blue light that you can take that

48:01

you can’t get on Amazon or like you might come in for the blue light well here’s the vitamin C here’s the zinc here’s the all the other stuff so the

48:08

idea is like finding yeah some people might come in buy one thing the example I always use I’m a Dollar Shave Club guy bald right yeah I don’t buy anything

48:14

else I don’t buy any of the upsells they sell me a free thing I send me a free thing I might use it now I don’t know if

48:21

I’m the ideal customer for them or not I’ve been on it for forever as long as I’ve been out basically yeah so um you

48:26

know my ltd’s probably pretty high but maybe I’m not the ideal customer that they Market to where I don’t try all the

48:32

lotions in the aftershave and all this stuff but but they’re trying and that is the trick is it’s like unlocking the

48:37

more valuable ones and so like in the agency world it’s the same thing as like who can you find that needs more and more services right who can you find

48:44

like is there some kind of a signifier like where it’s like oh when we run into

48:49

somebody who’s opening a Bake Shop in a densely populated area that’s never run ads for for us before we know those are

48:57

the customers that will make we’ll make them 10 million dollars and they’ll make us a million dollars over the next two years so it’s like and that’s hard

49:03

obviously I’m oversimplifying it but that’s kind of like how you start thinking about who’s the ideal best customer for that subscription and if

49:10

the Tam on that if the market isn’t big enough then maybe you gotta pivot but that’s the idea go after them figure

49:16

that out uncover more people like that um anyway I think of a good uh example like my my wife and and we subscribe to

49:24

like Walmart for grocery delivery yeah we just like so and and I think we’ll probably have it forever because my wife

49:31

doesn’t particularly like walking in Walmart I don’t think most people do for the most part and we have two small kids

49:37

so my wife doesn’t want to go into the grocery store and try to Lug around a baby plus a four-year-old in Walmart

49:44

right and but Walmart prices are good and so it’s easier to just get those

49:50

groceries delivered even paying a little bit extra plus the monthly subscription and they will never crushing myself yeah

49:57

and we’ll probably never cancel that yeah and but and the nice thing is I think like oh man the grocery uh you

50:04

know Kroger and uh the main the main Grocers and all of their subsidiaries

50:10

just blew up with a pandemic and going to that model yeah because I mean that that was the Catalyst for them to just

50:16

open everybody’s eyes to how that was gonna work because I mean like doordash and everything all that stuff was around

50:21

instacart all that was around before the pandemic but it was nowhere near Main Street so far yeah oh yeah I just pushed

50:28

it completely mainstream almost overnight you know until it was it was a normal thing that’s about when we started and we don’t plan on ever

50:35

probably yeah it could be canceling it to to your point about identifying your customer right like that subscription

50:41

model doesn’t work for me because for me the grocery store is date night because

50:47

I don’t have kids right right so it’s so easy for me and my wife to be like well we’re not doing anything like we’re just

50:52

sitting here on our phones on Tick Tock and and granted my wife still loves

50:58

shopping in person but it’s at very particular stores right like yeah we go buy produce in person we’ll never like

51:05

get produce to our house oh yeah um which means my wife is a major but dry foods are different specific but dry

51:11

foods and dry goods and all the other stuff that you don’t want to go get and you can get for cheap you’re not really examining the things of flour to see if

51:17

they’re fresh well also yeah sometimes you just can’t trust what people are going to get so there are some of those

51:22

finicky things but yeah my wife’s definitely an ideal customer for Walmart though yeah because you have kids so

51:27

your wife’s not sitting at home on Tick Tock doing nothing she’s taking home she’s taking care of two kids and needs

51:33

groceries delivered to her right we’re like so it’s so interesting how two people same age the same demographic

51:39

right but technically are being Target could be targeted differently one question I had on subscription based is

51:46

uh it for retention is offense or defense more important like the question of

51:53

oh don’t cancel we’ll give you your next two months at a discount Shopify does stuff like that or

51:59

um or the offense of like you’re not even assuming they’re canceling you’re just offering them more stuff or you’re

52:05

offering them a deal at random so I I think it’s actually something you can run at the same time so

52:11

the the defense is probably a little bit easier so the defense is like what’s what we’d call like a cancellation

52:16

survey or a win-back campaign So like um I talk about on my podcast like a tool called upzello where

52:22

um and there’s there’s quite a few tools that do this and some of them are native to the subscription app but basically it’s like somebody goes to click cancel

52:27

and you’re asking them like maybe a set of five reasons why and the trick on that is like if

52:33

somebody’s canceling because they hate your product it does not matter what you offer they’re gone yeah they’re done but

52:39

if they’re if they’re if it’s because like maybe they have too much or like

52:44

maybe they’re not quite seeing the value so it’s like hey we’ll we’ll give you a little bit how about we give you a free month to to get you to see if you like

52:50

it still you know like and the interesting thing is some of that is like you’re trying to incentivize somebody just to stick around a little

52:56

longer to see if it works or maybe there’s something you can offer that answers the reason why they wanted to cancel and those ones can be really

53:03

really successful because a lot of times that person who is about to churn ends up sticking around for another six

53:08

months so you’re like not only that that first month you might have given them free now that should all be data back

53:13

you can test with offers but you don’t want to just like start throwing away discounts left and right you want to understand what’s motivating people to

53:19

stick around and whether those people are worth keeping in the first place right the offense side is like is

53:25

understanding and it’s hard to do when you first launch subscriptions because you don’t have any data but it’s like okay

53:30

where’s the biggest drop-off points it’s obviously month one month two month three maybe if I can get them in a month

53:37

four that’s the safe Zone so month one I’m giving him a free gift

53:43

because um it’s a sample or something like you’re trying to improve the unboxing month two maybe I’m giving a different

53:50

gift or maybe it’s month three so you pick a point where you’re gonna start trying something like Avi is a is an

53:55

e-commerce brand like they were doing a b tests on free gifts like to get somebody to stick around a month too so

54:00

the idea is you can start testing that to see if that can increase your retention rate

54:05

um the the thing with that though is it can be difficult because if you’re just giving discounts like you might be serving the wrong type of

54:12

customer and so like I’ve heard people giving the first free month um I mentioned Kate from from Zao like

54:18

one thing they did that I thought was really cool is like you get your second month already free so like you already end up on the third

54:25

month yeah yeah you know so the idea is you’re enough time to use the product um the other thing would be then like

54:31

understanding the other part of offense is again that question you’re asking questions about why people come in and then you pay

54:37

attention to questions why people leave maybe it’s a product issue maybe it’s I have too much product I always say you

54:43

should always get into the why why people have too much product is it too much product because you’re serving sizes are off is it because like the

54:50

average person you’re selling to actually doesn’t use it as much as you think that they should is it because it’s a new habit so depending on which

54:57

is one of those Arts like okay well um we need to adjust our actual product or excuse yeah literally athletic greens

55:02

for me I’m like it is not good enough to drink every day right like I will drink it twice a week but man when you’re

55:09

telling me to drink it every day and I’m getting new things delivered I’m like this is too disgusting I can’t do this yeah so the one that I really like as an

55:16

example and athletic greens would be good it’s like okay well maybe on the product page they need a little bit of a better like how often do you think

55:22

you’ll drink this or is it like I think they intended to drink every day they do yeah so maybe you’re not but maybe

55:27

you’re not ideal then right like maybe you’re the person who’s gonna slip through the cracks or they need to come up with something where you go to to

55:33

cancel they’ll say hey how about you adjust your frequency how about you do it every other month instead of every month so that you can be happier with

55:39

the product right right and I would go for something like yeah and so that’s the thing is like that’s why you think and so a lot of subscriptions is like

55:45

you put something out there and then see what’s working or not and then you’re trying to iterate and fix and a lot of

55:51

times it’s like oh I gotta go improve my onboarding or the types of customers I’m acquiring because there needs to be a

55:57

better fit with expectation so how do you learn all this information like where do you I’m sure you talked about

56:02

this on your podcast but like there and there’s tools do you have tools you recommend because how does a company

56:08

doing thousand orders a day 200 orders a day how do they learn all this information about their customer so that

56:15

they can be more trial and error yeah oh like about their customer like you want to use a post purchase survey tool so like you know here in Utah we have

56:21

bestie Trevor yeah um and then you besties yeah and then

56:26

you’re going to want a cancellation survey tool right so like I mentioned up Zillow but there’s others that work at

56:32

work well and so you can gather that data whatever subscription app you’re using is going to have a data component

56:38

paying attention like cohorts like people that subscribed last month how do they perform next month the month after

56:44

that kind of thing so paying attention to that um and then a lot of it is testing talking to customers like there’s no

56:49

there’s no overstating the importance of like getting qualitative data from talking to people yeah

56:55

um and then again it comes down to like looking at your offer what’s working um but it’s it’s not necessarily easy

57:02

um but I find like with most e-commerce operators like they’re really good at like having an idea of what’s Happening

57:08

they might not always know why and but they’re always good at like wanting to test something and pull a different

57:13

lever and try something out so subscriptions are kind of the same thing I think the mistake though is like you think that oh like I’m just gonna throw

57:19

a discount at it I’m gonna just try this free gift kind of thing what it’s like well if they don’t like you the free

57:25

gift isn’t going to work like maybe you can improve how you’re selling so that they trust you more initially or yeah

57:30

you know things like that make your decisions with data right exactly yeah always like so as far as uh

57:39

e-commerce Brands knowing where to go next because I think a lot of e-commerce

57:45

brands probably are using tools but not using them efficiently is that right common

57:52

absolutely like upzello I my best guess is if I own an e-commerce brand we do

57:59

run a subscription business right like our business is all based on subscriptions but it’s service based our

58:04

product is a service sure um understanding our lifetime value our churn rate we were just talking about

58:10

this at lunch with another person is very hard to understand right um do you have any tools that you’d

58:17

recommend for like a service based company um bestie’s one that we’re trying to integrate a little bit more I I would

58:22

say like even something as simple as like using type form or something yeah just a form yeah like I think I think

58:29

for the most part it’s like the biggest problem is you you could use just a little more visibility in what’s working

58:34

or it’s not and then also I think expectation so like as part of the onboarding

58:40

process like asking lots of questions or even like I think a quiz is often a really great tactic with anybody whether

58:46

it’s quiz whether it’s service based or Ecom like understand like oh you come to the website like why do you think you

58:51

need help with SEO yeah and and like if you can uncover a little bit about that

58:56

better it makes this process easier to sell but also helps you understand like and and oftentimes it’s like hey this ad

59:02

is doing really really well with people that think SEO is like this magic serum that like transforms your business it’s

59:09

like oh no actually it takes more time so maybe you need to change that right yeah you know so that’s where I would

59:15

say like you should be looking at is like challenge a lot of those assumptions

59:20

um discounts aren’t discounts can work but that shouldn’t be the end all it should come down to your offer and so

59:25

like with service based businesses I think an interesting thing would be looking at like so it’s not a tool but just a maybe a

59:32

strategy is either implementing something that’s higher value for higher value customers

59:38

so that you’re not giving everybody the same service so if you’re charging five thousand dollars a month for these three

59:44

things or you know whatever set of the set of services is and you treat everybody the same you run the risk of

59:50

like the best customers walking out the door because you’re not giving them so if

59:55

there’s not a ten thousand dollar a month package for double the meetings right or like two project managers

1:00:01

instead of one like whatever that is right you know and then the alternative might be is like oh instead of the five thousand dollar a month option there’s a

1:00:08

there’s an entry level 500 a month where you get this one thing and then that way maybe that’s a channel for somebody to

1:00:13

like okay I’m I’m skeptical but I’m gonna try this and if it starts to work you can build some report and and same

1:00:20

thing with like SAS that’s how a lot of SAS work right it’s like the free plan has some basic stuff but and and they’re

1:00:26

happy with 80 of their user base being free because the 20 they unlock start to use the tool all the time and they pay

1:00:32

tons of money for it so um that’s how I would think of like from a strategy perspective thinking it yeah

1:00:37

I really like that because I think that in our business we have run into this

1:00:45

problem directly before where recently I think within three or four months ago

1:00:50

Dan had told a customer then I had been having a conversation about these low tier customers versus high tier

1:00:57

customers and how obviously we want to treat everyone Runners equally as possible but someone paying us 10 grand

1:01:03

versus 500 it is different and Dana told the customer like they called him and he

1:01:08

said I actually this isn’t included you calling me isn’t included in what you pay us to do and the guy lost it he

1:01:15

got super upset and it made us realize why is our service any different than a

1:01:20

software right like a software you might not get all of the tools or even a

1:01:27

customer support line if you’re not on their premium package and you know that

1:01:32

going into it and it’s all about expectations they set that expectation by saying pick plan a b or c c includes

1:01:39

customer support that’s why it’s more expensive and plan a does not where I

1:01:44

think that it made us kind of go back to the drawing board and say could we build out some services

1:01:49

that upfront set that expectation where we say it’s not included here

1:01:55

I would assume that your cus your ideal customer is very similar to my ideal customer which is like on the

1:02:00

subscription side which is when somebody’s like looking to you as a partner they’re asking for your feedback

1:02:05

on different things they want to try or do they love working with you they’re feeding you information

1:02:11

yeah they’re much more integrated so like the idea is like we recognize that with Q piyota it’s like hey when

1:02:17

somebody and I hate using the word partner in marketing because I think it’s so cheesy and so overused but when I had a customer tell me that they’re

1:02:24

like basically they’re like look we’re looking for a partner can you be our partner and I was like yes but I need a plan that emphasizes

1:02:32

that where it’s like maybe that higher tier plan is like yeah you get invited a Christmas dinner like that’s how much we’re integrated you know what I mean

1:02:38

like just because there are people that are going to be looking for that and you want to be able to capture those people

1:02:44

more than worrying about the guy that gets mad because you don’t have this included and now he’s gonna cancel or

1:02:49

hey that’s not a great customer yeah no and it wasn’t for the beginning and I and I think it’s one of the reasons why

1:02:56

we came up with our partner program maybe we need to change the name or maybe not but like our partner program was us

1:03:03

being a lot more integrated and we did the same thing like we looked at our best customers and this is what it

1:03:09

always comes down to is you really need to understand your customer and we need to understand our customers better too

1:03:15

but I I think we came up with our partner program to have us be more

1:03:21

integrated with our clients and vice versa like us being able to have the time because you’re paying us a little

1:03:26

bit more money for us to be able to understand your business in a bigger better way be more integrated so we can

1:03:32

move the needle more right and quicker right um and so that that’s where the partner program came into play but it’ll

1:03:39

evolve and continue to get better clip that that’s an ad right there but but I but I agree like I feel like

1:03:46

the clients that you can integrate with the best and the most and you know the

1:03:52

ones that um are the ones that stick around the longest yeah I do think it’s funny when people say can you be a partner we’re

1:03:59

looking for a partner absolutely we can it’s gonna be ten thousand dollars a month right like yeah to get that level

1:04:06

of commitment from our staff and that’s kind of what we put together was the thought of like

1:04:11

in order for us to be as involved as we think you’re gonna need us to be like to

1:04:17

do each platform SEO paid ads web design for us to be that involved and on a call with you weekly and getting in the weeds

1:04:24

like this is the price point we’re gonna put on that absolutely and they’re like it’s 2500 bucks a month starting not 10

1:04:31

grand but yeah yeah should be 25 000. um but yeah this has been really really

1:04:38

insightful I think uh we should have we should have a time where we have you

1:04:44

coming to help us better about our subscriptions because yeah we just struggle

1:04:50

we’re learning all the time we’re young we’re young dumb and in love and we’re just trying to uh

1:04:57

figure out how to build a good business but we learn over time yeah right our

1:05:03

lifetime value two years ago may have been three months where now it’s a year right so yeah we’re learning a lot but I

1:05:10

think that’s the biggest thing is like collecting some data understanding things a little better and then also like knowing yourself and what you’re

1:05:15

really good at because that’s the harder part sometimes it’s like yeah we want somebody wants this but it’s like but

1:05:20

this is the reason yeah right this is why we do really well or something like that yeah totally absolutely well I

1:05:26

Matthew to end I want you to plug a Commerce uh Catalyst

1:05:31

um because it’s coming up I hope we can release this episode we’re gonna drop a release this episode before I was gonna

1:05:37

be out of town for that but but I canceled my flight okay just so I could come yeah he’s gonna be there but yeah

1:05:43

plug it so Commerce catalyst is hosting an event Catalyst 23

1:05:49

for the year 23 this is actually the first year we’re doing it uh September 6th at the Mountain America Expo Center

1:05:54

in Sandy uh 8 30 we have about 20 sessions um 40 plus panelists on all aspects of

1:06:02

running e-commerce business whether you’re talking about greater creative on ads sourcing overseas Ops

1:06:09

loyalty programs really the list goes on and on AI and website content creation

1:06:15

yeah I’ve just tried to put together as many pieces as I could of the e-commerce puzzle with some of the best and

1:06:21

brightest Minds from from Utah because there’s really just an amazing e-commerce scene here I just love it

1:06:26

yeah it’s really cool um and yeah I’m doing track a so okay

1:06:31

that’s the track I think I’m gonna go on but it’s it I’m really excited I’m flipping out a session later he’s not

1:06:37

going to know it yeah okay but that’s the track I was like that seems like the most interesting to me

1:06:43

and what I can probably learn from this but anyways it is a little random it’s a little risk like part of me is like oh

1:06:49

the non-focus aspect you know everybody says you should always be focused but I’m like you know what I want you to

1:06:54

bring if you got five people working for you at a brand like all five should come because your email marketer will go into

1:07:00

that session your sourcing person will be the person you know what I mean like there should be a session for everybody there and maybe because honestly who

1:07:06

goes to every session anyway like all that track like you go to the ones you want to go to so yeah anyway I’m excited

1:07:12

it’s going to be really cool I’m starting a product company right now yeah now that we’ve been doing uh a

1:07:17

marketing agency for four years I’ve learned a thing or two about how to grow right um so this could be really really

1:07:24

insightful for me to know what to do next well we got to get you inside Catalyst of slack so you can yes you do

1:07:30

I just redesigned my slack theme so it’s looking pretty cool I like being in

1:07:36

slack right now well Matthew where can people find you

1:07:42

uh yeah LinkedIn Matthew Holman or um Twitter on the subscription doc

1:07:47

um yeah platform X platform X yeah excuse me juggernaut exactly cool cool thank you

1:07:55

again for coming on Matthew thank you thank you there’s a fair

1:08:02

lady me

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