Welcome to DVD podcast where we're helping non text build better tech. Today we're joined by Alex. Peru's, he is the founder of Link Forenza. They are effectively helping people with their online or linked in marketing campaigns and have built a product as well. I'll help people get better at how they sell online and through linkedin. Specifically, Alex, thanks for joining us. Thanks thanks for having me. First person I got my name right, Yeah, you've told me about three times before recording, so that helps. I think this idea we're very transparent, so Alex tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and history and how the business really came about. Uh So based, long story short, um I started my entrepreneur journey at the age of 13, 1 and how old are you guys? You guys are in your mid thirties, mid 30 seconds. So do you know they're tarring, remember the Atari? Yeah, you had an Atari remember?
So we really wanted one. My parents couldn't afford one, I hounded them for six months every day and then realized that wasn't working the first day that I went back to school after I stopped asking, the principal announced that they were running a competition for the kid who raises the most amount of money for charity would win this Atari opportunity. Right? And so I was never very good academically but great people person the kids, the teachers hated me but the kids love me. Um So I knew a Persian guy because that's my background who own, who managed franklin's which is like a version of um uh I think yeah, they got bought out by Jack. So I went to him and said, look surely you've got, can you give me some, you know chocolates or chips or something? Um It's for charity said look yeah we do have chocolate that's going out of date. Um So you pass that on to me and gave me a couple $100 worth which back then is probably worth about 45 grands.
And so I then got introduced to two other franklin's combined, all the chocolates and I went and sold it at school and daughter doll one day Tara because I raised the most amount of money for charity and that's how my entrepreneurial journey started well. So you learn to sell very, really, very cool. Yeah, I got the bug. So then I quit halfway through 11 1st for businesses, didn't go as well as that one at age 13. I lost a lot of money and then got a mentor on board. He really helped me understand what I need to do to be successful. Um, I was chasing money and instead Chase Legacy listened to him, 56 business said, well exited those and then the seventh business I started advisory for him. And that's how lengthen until it started because I started using linkedin to get into the media. Got featured in a lot of publications um and built that advisory firm to 44 time advisers within six months or through linkedin. And lot of people started asking me how realize there's actually a method behind the madness so to speak.
And uh that's where the mission started. Um And then yeah that was 8.5 years ago. It's evolved pretty quickly at the time but also has been a lot of times since then. So the business started 8.5 years ago as a consulting business. But it's evolved and changed has seen that through linked in you now have a product behind it. Um And so tell us about how the steps of the process, the evolution that business that came about. So I started off as an online program. So our core I. P. Were put into a three step a program online. We had a couple of 1000 people go through. And the feedback that we continue getting is well that's all good and well but we need some sort of community and some mentoring to help is with Implementing the program. So we did that would set up 12-month masterminds again two years down the track the feedback that we continue to get was can you just talk for us? And so we ran and managed services side of the business ran that for a couple of years.
Had a couple 100 clients go through it. And we at this point we understood the real challenge. The first challenge is most people don't have a strategy. The ones who do and get a lot of conversations going, they can't manage those opportunities because conversations get lost in the in box. There's it is driving, it just never ends and it's clunky. Then you've got to, you know, put people into unready or drafts, you're using spreadsheets, you're using, you know, poster notes, all sorts of stuff. So we realize it's not just strategy that people have issues with its actually management. And then at the same time we were constantly thinking other than feedback from clients. How can we scale, how can we reach the masses and really make a big impact. And then that's how the jailer was born. So taylor um obviously it's it's a SAS model, It's a SAS play that's solving some of these problems that you found through the journey business. I find quite intriguing how people evolve their business models as they go. I think people are just Assume that I jump into business gonna be the same in 10 years that it is today but never is that way.
It always is evolving. And if you are going to be a good business owner and serving your customers you need to listen to them. I think you've done really well from there. Um so jailer when was the time of the idea? The concept and then how long did it take you actually flesh through and begin that process and get to where you are today. So we're in Docklands. Um We're having Nando's, me and my business father remember this like vividly and we're sitting there and he said I've got an idea on how we can scale. I said okay um tell me about it. Said wouldn't it be awesome if we had a software that helps people formulate the strategy. But then um which is our online program, a core product or methodology. And then what if we also created options where people had automated reminders? So let's say me and you Andrew, we're in a conversation, I add you as an opportunity jailer of put in, I want to follow you up in three days, then you come into jail and he actually tells you in chronological order, who you have to follow up based on the opportunities purely for linked in.
So I said, oh geez, that would be cool because then you get rid of spreadsheets, you no longer waste all this time trying to manage it all manually. And he said, you know what else is missing a crm? So what do you mean crm? Everyone's gonna see are known uh Crm specifically for sales opportunities on length in so you can see, hey, I've got 100 opportunities I've opened up and here are the different stages everyone's in so then they can progress along. I said, can we do that? You know, I'm not a very um, can we, can we do it? Should we do it? How do you do all these, probably the questions that we need to be asked. Yeah. And he said, yeah, we can do it and we can probably do it in a way where let's say, I'm, well, let's say I'm going to Sydney. I want to know my opportunities on linked in that are in Sydney that I have to follow up over the next two weeks And the deal values between 10-20 grand and the likely of that there was pretty high. Can we create, you know, metrics that I can then do a quick search then I can get in contact with those guys say, hey look, I'm coming up.
You want to meet have coffee, whatever he said. Yeah. Then we got excited because we thought, all right, jeez, if we can do that, that in itself is valuable, let alone the automated reminders. Did. I think the big thing we realized from a lot of the feedback from clients is that with social media, you don't like linkedin facebook. Don't really tell you, hey, you know, you've spent X amount of time. This is what you're generating in return. That's a problem because they don't want you to know how much time you're spending on that, correct? They want you want you all good Luck with the return and before you know it, you've spent 20 hours and you don't even know whether you're generating it leads because it's all over the shop and you'd actually even know this strategy you put in place. It's not set and forget. You've got to constantly look at it and refine it, but you can't track what you don't measure. Mhm. So then we created a reporting area where it tells you, hey, Andrew you've sent 100 invites, 40 people have accepted. That's a 40% acceptance, Right?
And then we tell people whether that's good or not, It tells you how many leads you've got, how many hours you've spent. So you can go, actually, it's not bad. I've spent four hours and I've got 15 active leads. That's pretty good. Yeah, that's good. Yeah. Yeah. But if you have some equally, like on the flip side, if you spent 20 hours, you've got to leeds, you're just not being efficient. Um or maybe you're saying something in your messages that is not, it's not resonating, you know, long story short, that's sort of how the idea came about. And then from there was about flushing it out. Looking at the technology side, who can we get to deal that it, um, is this, you know, are these features that people want? And so we ran that passed our clients and I've got to say, I think I've learned, I'm not a big fan of listening purely to your customers because I think to some degree, you also need to venture out into the unknown because yeah, they know the way they currently do things, not a better way potentially or another way.
And if you're doing something that's, look, I wouldn't say that, you know, we're a Tesla, it's like, yeah, we're not that groundbreaking. You know, we haven't created solar for, we haven't gone to the moon and back. You get what I mean, But it's still groundbreaking for linked in. So I guess, you know, if you're doing something groundbreaking, you sort of can't ask your clients who have never really sort of spent that much time on linked in to give you guidance. But to some degree. And if you listen to him, yeah, I think you can sort of for solutions, it's hard to get them in that world. It's more the problems. What's the frustrations? You can dig in on those to understand how big the frustrations are to see how big this market really is, the opportunity looks like. And you have a core basic customers do, which makes it a lot easier to actually question and query. And they started from Sandra, which problem to solve first out of all the pain point. What's the biggest one? Yeah. Okay. So the journey of what was the first step? So you had the idea you carved out.
This is what we might do, the old, this is the plan. Did you document it out? Did you speak to customers? You do? 1st. First step was we have to get into the right mindset because I've gone through a lot of, you know, I've used a lot of products. I think the challenge that a lot of products face in today's marketplace, where people need instant gratification, people's attention spam is next to nothing. Yeah. You know, they're not patient and they just want something simple. So our mindset was we're going to create something simple, um, but the core functionality is going to be high value, but at the same time we want to create an experience, not a product. And I think that's been the game changer for us. Look, it's only been about a week, week and a half, but the feedback is, this is the most simple thing I've ever used. And, you know, as an entrepreneur, you can get into this mindset if it's too simple, it's not valuable and you know, people think it's not worth it. Yeah, the value is the simplicity, because to distill it to that level, or even to develop a product that should be extremely simple, there's a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes that no one ever notices when we were doing stuff for clients.
It's like, can you add a button here that does something, but they don't understand all that working women, like all the buttons in the wrong spot, you're like, oh, geez, this is how to scope out of scope uh before let's dig into that. That brings up bad memories. Yeah, it's sort of the one of the, like the year, but sorry, so you start, it's just from which is yeah, so we just launched about a week and a half, two weeks ago. Right? So I think it's good timing and released pretty quickly for you because I think it's a good time to get it while the lines hot. So, um, in terms of initial feedback, how many people do you have engaging? Is it just called customers or do you actually watch it to the masses? Anyone can grab it because I've seen it online. Um went to like we created waiting list. That's probably in the next piece of advice that I would give to anyone launching a software first. Keep it simple. How do we create an experience? Not a product. 3rd of all go and get, I did a post about this.
Something can actually go and get a waiting list developed. Don't wait for your product. Go and speak about it. Um like we don't even have a video. All we had is just uh like what we knew about the product couldn't show any imagery, nothing because we wanted to keep it a bit um uh a bit sort of mysterious in a way, but at the same time we wanted to tell people what it did. So we just started talking about and then we developed this waiting list of a couple of 1000 people over the course of a few months and you know, we had a good launch. So uh yeah, brilliant. I love that because um the amount of India is they hit my table about the products they want to be developed. It's it's crazy how people think that their idea, is there any idea? And then the only person who's ever had this in the world, um and they want to protect it and protecting it means you do not get the feedback from the community. You do not get any buy in. Um and then you have to launch day zero.
No customers, no feedback. Good luck. Yeah. That's that's the reality of people are asking for an N. B. A. Very green. Yeah. That's a sign of in material. Yeah. Because people don't know, people just fearful that someone's going to steal their idea. But the reality is there's so much work needs to go into these things. And I think sure you can attest to the amount of hours and time and thinking about the products that's happened. How long have you been building it for to get to this point? Yeah. Yeah. We started because we had the agency as well. So we probably full time dedicating focusing a lot of effort, I would say probably. Mhm june last year june last year about yeah so it's been about a year to get it to where it is today and that's just full time. But you're. Yeah. Yes a beautiful two years to get to today effectively. Yeah. So it does take time. It's not going to happen overnight. People think that these things take five minutes and that's what an India just tell when I see it.
That's the only time you see shortcut. The only time there's shortcut there's a shortcut to success is in the dictionary there's no shortcut right shortcut is before success. Um Yeah. Um I think even like with uh even if someone knew our I. D. They're just 99.9% of the population suck at execution because they're going after an idea that's going to be built into a billion dollar business within six months and when it doesn't happen to run after the next idea and then the next one, so yeah, Yeah. What I think I like where you've come from, you've got that level of expertise and this is the type of founders. I see that they get somewhere they've invested in a business to invest in them themselves. They understand their market, they get it, they've got that domain expertise and they're willing to see it through, no matter how long it takes. That is when the magic really happens, because it doesn't happen overnight, as, you know, you're not at this point and you're only at this 0.0.2 years from product, but it's been eight years to get to today, not two years because the product idea came from the all the learnings and the lessons pre that, which is six years of gathering information.
Um, people don't see that from the outside looking in and that's probably the biggest takeaway I see from people that really get somewhere. There's that much years of investment before they get to product. So they don't get with India either. You can't just take their idea and build it. You don't have the domain next, but you don't have all that knowledge built up over time to take it away. If I build jail is going to be my version of it, which is going to be inconsequential compared to what your knowledge is to bring to it and turn it into. So in terms of building the product team, technology, how did you approach that being a non tech? I'm on the podcast. How did you approach that process? So my business partner Mark Meadow, he has launched a software um business before and did well and sold that off. So having him by my side uh definitely helps because he understood what needed to happen from a build perspective to get us there.
Um Then we had to make a choice, do we go and outsource this or do we build internally? And ultimately just to get it to market, we've decided to just outsource it just easier when we looked at all the different options and the time frames. Um So I guess we're just whiteboard it, we sat down and said, okay what do we need to do to make this happen? Cool, well this is who we need. Um but then whilst we're getting this developed, what do we need to do once it's developed so that we're not looking after tickets and handling customer inquiries. Okay, let's train up, let's make sure one of our team members within the agency is across the entire build every phone call, every conversation. so that when uh like Najera um with the support area, she just handles all the tickets and we are gonna have to think about it. Which it's very time, it can be very time consuming. And the last thing you want to be doing is like I get a little neck doubt when I'm doing had been related sort of task.
So you know from um emotionally you want to feel good to when you when you're running a business. So I don't want to look after the task that I shouldn't. Um And that our product unproductive as the founder. So yes. So we looked at who needs to build that what people do we need to put in place after. Okay, we need an ad agency. Let's reach out to him and talk to him and get that um set up in line with the launch. Let's get jury looking after customer service. Let's have someone else in the team looking after the data. Um What's my role going to be when we launch? What's your role mark? Okay. I'm going to look after marketing. You go after the corporate market. Um, so yeah, I think you just got a white board and then, you know, look at all the different aspects of the business, not just to build strong. I think that's you you said you hit the nail on the head there. The way you described that is you're looking at this as a business entity as a as a whole end to end solution. Not here's a product, go and buy it.
Um which is what a lot of people can do. They build a product and let them come. But you're setting up Yeah, he's sitting up herself and look at all the angles and how that things can actually operate because effectively it is a business Now this is a this is a tool that allows you to deliver value to your customers. But that's that's what it is. It's a tool that is of value but without the supporting activity and the marketing and the operations and the people behind it, the tool is just a tool that will die itself off if it's not supported and maintained and evolved. So I think that's really good, good definite event one out there is listening, think of it, it's a business model. Your product is only the product to develop is the way you actually deliver value. That's all it is. Everything else has to be around it before it was the service. Now it's a product that delivered is not the exact same value but delivers value at a mass level, which we just didn't have the opportunity to. That's the thing. It's a different market too, isn't it? Uh, that we're realizing that that's for sure.
Yeah, differently different markets. So that's something that I would take away from that when you're doing things for people very different. They have different budgets, different mind frames different everything. Maybe they don't want to be a part of it. Where is this product here is more target? The person is going to do it themselves. So very different people. Very different market. Have you approached that? Because I find that quite interesting. Um, I think I've approached it in a way. So I think when we had the online program, when we were just a training organization, when we initially started, they like, it's not the same as the software, but they had access to the online program. They had to do themselves. So we understand because of that experience. Yeah, we understand how to now communicate with them. I think the ads are all about, all our communication is all about saving time. Um, you know, closing business being more efficient, uh which is what's really the underlying issues that we are solving through the features so we can sit there and go automated reminders.
This is unbelievable, groundbreaking. No one really cares unless that's solving problems. So we, because we know that problems and had the experience were able to communicate well with them. You're clear on what the objectives are, which is. A lot of people sometimes build things and then try and find the problem definitive. I know which is not how you want to go ahead with any of this sort of stuff or get excited about a problem that either doesn't exist or you've blown it up to be bigger than what it actually is. Yeah. So we had a good example of a way to word that with one of the early podcast, he said everyone has a toothpaste tube and you can never get the last bit of toothpaste out of the truth. Someone can solve that problem, but it's worth solving correct. Yeah. Just go buy another tube. Exactly. So we're gonna have a problem someone cares about. So, um, and in terms of the length of market, it's, it's massive, right? It's becoming a huge space. It's grown significantly over the past four or five years. It's getting bigger beer and it's seen as the professional place for people to be.
Um, let's take it in a little bit on that because I'd love to understand your take on some of the strategies and thinking people should be doing to action on linkedin and start thinking about how they're seen as an influence that are in the space. Um, it is an area that's important to one the business to the founders and how you communicate. So product lock jailer could actually assist. That's great. And I think there's a lot of value in that, but there's a strategy piece, right? Doesn't matter what the product can only do is what it can do if your strategy is wrong or your messaging is not going to hit the mark. Uh, that's where nothing is going to be. No value added at all from the products. I'm pretty sure your tips have influenced our strategy in the course of the past few years with a couple of days later. Um, yes, so to tackle that, first of all, that's why we do this online program we've actually incorporated to be within the software. So if you're so it's not like, oh yeah, buy it for and we used to sell that for 600 bucks when we first started the business.
So we've incorporated that to be included. But I think where most people, first of all, what what you got to understand is that we're living in the hate. She hates economy. Human to human. We buy into people then be buying two companies, then we buy into products. So I think personal, your personal brand is never been as important. Um And the first thing people most people do unless you're, I don't know using I use google right? For my search engines, 2% of the market, right? You might use being, but most people use google and they type in your name before they sign on the dotted line there. Type in your name. When they get that cold email there, Type in your name when I don't know. They see you tagged in a post and based on what they see, they make a They create a perception about who you are and whether you're an expert in that domain based on that, they will decide to listen to you or the 20 other people in your industry that are probably.
you know, that are not offering the same thing because everyone sort of different. But so I think, uh, that's what I would focus on. First and then second step is getting clear on your outcome. Most people have gone linked in. Don't really know why they're on there. So what we encourage within our methodology is get clear on your outcome. Okay. I want to generate leads. Cool. What's your quota this quarter? How much do you need to generate this quarter? 250 grand and sales? 250 grand. Where what's the path of least resistance? If I connect with procurement managers in uh, manufacturing because the deal size and the conversion rates are the best. So people don't think about this staff. So then you might go and connect with factory managers, but you haven't looked at the data of your conversions, then you waste all this time. So getting clear on your outcome and making sure that ties into the business objectives um, is really important. And then it goes without saying you obviously need to have a really good profile that connects with this audience that you connected with.
Um and then from there you start connecting with them. So get your messaging right, create your safe search, which you need sales navigator to do premium option and then got to get into the mindset, it's about quality, It's not about sending high came across your profile through. A mutual connection would be great to connect. It's great. I love when you get the message is high first it's like, oh that's classic. Before it's bad. I've seen a couple of those pop into the inbox before the wrong name. I've even said something like that. I forget to change my template or tweak it. And you know why? Most often they are actually linked in over the last six months. Six or 12 months has gone through a major overhaul with their security. So a lot of automation tools been banging were part of a few years ago and we got flagged ship. Did you okay?
Stop? Stop using them just in case. And what do they say? Did they ban your account now? Has a warning told us to stop. So we just all right, let's otherwise two years worth of marketing efforts just wasted. If we get rid of all the content that was a bit more of a year, we can't lose the content. So like, so why have they gone through a major overhaul one? You know, spam rates were going high. That's mainly because people just Creating a template sending it off to, you know, 50 200 people A day. Now what's happened is they've restricted it to be 16-20 invites today. So what is that that And then they've actually said now what can happen? You guys were lucky now if they find out you're doing it. Like we had one client when we were running the main services, um came to us and said, I can't actually get my account back. Okay, completely passport sending your driver's license and then it goes when you're working with these big media giants, you're waiting months to get it back. So you might as well just started.
You don't want to be in that position. We're lucky. Very lucky. So I guess The reason why I was bringing all that up, it's nowadays is more important than ever before to be about quality. Look at the guys profile, spend 5-10, seven, invites instead of 20 and look at his profile and formulate a connection based on that. Because if you do that, you're actually going to get better results and to your network is going to be comprised of people who have interacted with you more. Um and you're yeah, it was just showing the results as simple as that. It makes a lot of like sort of sense because even when I get I get 1000 cold emails, um but the ones that actually catch my attention are the ones that say something that we say, or I was listening to your podcast with X really love this decent. This all of a sudden I'm actually paying attention because they're actually tale of it to me and I feel like I owe them something to read them anyway because they've actually spent time.
So I think that these are great strategy and he's been using that a little bit because it makes a lot of sense to me. Um but it takes more time, but it's more it's more quality then it's better than the we're in the similar industry, but we can outsource your workforce. Yeah, it's about context, right? So like we've got a cold email outreach going uh campaign now we're targeting I. T. Companies in Melbourne. Uh So you know, weaving stuffing like that helps. Uh you might have received an email I think, I think you reported me as spam actually. Uh but yeah I think context is important I think uh and that's what you got to do with your messaging, otherwise you don't cut through, you just become another number. Just more noise correct? Just just yourself, Alex, what drives you, you've been eight years in uh looks like you're always evolving business, looking at how you can tweak scale, you mentioned a couple of times. What drives you today for the next 5, 10 years?
What's the plan? What drives? So there's to this two elements, the one My ultimate legacy of what I want to achieve is to build houses community houses where I'm passionate about teenagers and entrepreneurship. So I want to take teenagers who are 12-18 off the streets, give him a roof over their head, will have an in house chef, they get proper nutrition food, get successful entrepreneurs to come and teach its curriculum to then formulate an idea that these kids want to finally go out and launch. But then what I want to do at the end of that curriculum, I want to pair them with an actual business that's doing what they want to do with the view that they can either stay in that business, work their way up or launch their own thing they're after. So at a at the core level, that's what drives me um what drives me at a surface level is wanting to transform an industry before, before I've left it.
So I think so with link forms, we try to do that with main services, couldn't scale now with J lo, what I'm really looking to achieve is to standardize the way that people network and build relationships at a mass level. Okay, I love your the big picture. Have you made any inroads there? Because I know you do some advisory and start up space and investing as well. So have you made any inroads in that? Was that? Yeah. Look, I'm a mentor of a foundation called club kid, you know? Um, so we teach 8-12 years how to start their own business, a lot better to advise, but, you know, kids than adults, so I can tell you listen, listen. Yeah, well, they'll try anything, right? Yeah. They have no fear. Um you tell them to jump off a bridge and some will buy your product or not that you would ever advise a kid, just in case there's any parents listening. But yeah, I think so.
I do that. But I think, And look this, everyone's got a different view. My view is that when I get up, when I launched that community house, I want to have major runs on the board. I think I've got runs on the board and most people look at me and go, you've been pretty successful for me. I want to launch a couple of 10 figure 11 figure businesses and then use that as a platform to teach kids that anything spots. Because if I'm telling you, you can build $100 million business. They've done it before. Yeah, yeah. And I can't even, like I had a company wanting to pay me very large sum of money, It was a $50 million dollar company. I wanted me to advice. I refused to do it because I don't know what happens that you're not, you're not at the scale, you can advise that's that's the reality. You may be advised in a specific area but not from our operational business Big picture.
How Do we go from 50 to 200 now? I don't know. You tell exactly the numbers are very uh making sense or seconds changes and makes a huge difference to anything. Exactly. Exactly. So the more revenue, the more you have to evolve change your. That's a good question for you in terms of your role in the business. How has that evolved over time? Because I've seen as your business changes, you need to change the way you are the way you think, how have you thrown that in your world? I've seen a bit of that content coming through Arlington. So where does that sit for you? Uh Initially I was very hands on over time. I've learned just maturity. I've learned delegation and trust. Um, but I don't give complete trust. I think that's somewhat foolish because what essentially this is what I do. Someone comes in and say, okay, you look after the customer service every now and then I go and have a little sneak peek at what's happening in customer service.
And if I see things that in order then my trust level goes from 100 to like 80 then I want to see those stuff get fixed to get to back up to 100. So just gotta trust delegate um, what's my strengths? I love, you know, doing things like this. I like speaking. I'm great with creating partnerships. What do I sucking follow through? I can do it are I've been a general manager of this business for the last five years. It's hilarious. So Anthony. Are you the you that sort of, do you keep things in check? Is that I'm thinking about the clouds a little bit and Anthony? How are we going to do this? Yeah, I got a nice two pronged approach on our end. Yeah, it's good to have that mix. Um So like I can do it, I don't enjoy it, but if you have to get done, I don't care. I'll sacrifice and make it happen. But so I think that would uh just trust, delegate, stick to your strengths, try to dedicate your weaknesses out as much as possible.
Um And then that's really how you're going to grow as a person, but also as a company. Yeah, you need to grow as a person to grow the company. That's what I've noticed over time. You have to grow, you're thinking your vision, your expectations, your impact you want to make. Um and that evolves with the business as you grow and you see more and what what the biggest challenges our industry and I think you wanna wrote to solving bigger problems day life and he wants to access it. Have a play around if they get to understand it, it's just on uh thing for 2.com, I believe. It is, yeah, so they can just get access from there. We'll share it out in the show notes, Alex been a pleasure just having a casual chat about building tech and business and start ups and yeah, I really enjoyed your time on the show today. Thanks for joining us. Promise me one thing. You won't report us this fan again? No, no, no, I'll let everything through. Thanks guys, appreciate it.