Andrew Warner is normally the interviewer, but today the tables have turned! Andrew Warner is the founder and CEO of Mixergy, one of the original (maybe first?) places to be doing online interviews with founders likeGary Vaynerchuk, Barbar Corcoran, Paul Graham of YCombinator.
Watch the full Andrew Warner interview:
In his 20’s Andrew sold a company with his brother for ~$30m, then started Mixergy to interview other founders about how they started.
Listen to the Andrew Warner interview:
Interviewing People for Podcasts, and How To Ask Great Questions
- Asking private questions. I know in the past you’d ask crazzzyy questions like Howard Stern. Is this still your style? Anything you’ve learned from that?
- I’ve started doing some interviews (like this!), what are some suggestions for becoming a better interviewer?
- You’re writing a book about interviewing….what prompted that?
Podcasting, Making Money from Podcasting, and Promoting a Podcast
- When you started Mixergy as an early internet show, did you mean for it to be a business?
- You’ve got guests on your podcast like Gary Vaynerchuk, Barbar Corcoran, Paul Graham of YCombinator. What’s your thought process for getting guests like this?
- How does your podcast make money?
- Direct subscription model Mixergy has is different from most podcasts. $49/mo or $399/yr for access to all the interviews.
- Sponsorships? Is this a big part of Mixergy?
Promoting a Podcast:
- Social Media: What channels are best for you?
- Video? Why not moved to YouTube?
- SEO: How do ya’ll approach this? Do you rank for founders?
- Do podcasts really help sell books?
- Is content marketing part of your strategy?
- What are some key ways that you grow?
- When I was first exposed to Mixergy, podcasts weren’t really a thing, and YouTube hadn’t started.
- How did it grow then vs now?
- If you were to re-start today, would it be a traditional podcast or YouTube interview channel?
- Any common qualities you see between the top entrepreneurs you’ve interviewed?
Courses -vs- Community -vs- Memberships -vs- Subscriptions for Mixergy
- Is Mixergy a community or a course or a membership?
- I know you’ve done other courses and academies, how were those compared to the subscription for Mixergy?
Neville Medhora 0:00
Andrew Warner, welcome to the show what’s going on man? Hey, how’s it going? So Andrew Warner is normally the interviewer but today the tables have turned. Andrew Warner is the founder and CEO of mixergy, one of the original, possibly first, places online to be doing interviews with founders like Gary Vaynerchuk, Barbara Corcoran, Paul Graham, Y Combinator, all these people have been on your show and a ton more. Yeah. In his 20s, Andrew sold a company with his brother, they were doing something like $36 million a year in revenue. And then he started mixergy to interview other founders about how they also started. And Andrew is also about to receive book called stop asking questions, how to lead a high impact interview and learn anything from anyone. So Andrew, thanks for being on the show. Thanks. So speaking of learning anything from anyone, let’s talk about interviewing. Yep. So I remember back in the day, I always listened to every mixergy thing. I had a subscription for a long time. I’ve even been on it one time. And that was like the highest sales. Yeah. Oh, really? Yeah. It was one of my highest sales ever from what were you selling? I think it was, oh, maybe was like the sumo business blueprint or something back then. We’re talking about how to validate a business.
Andrew Warner 1:03
You know what I admired about you that there was one interview that you did about copywriting. And you came in wearing these like, overly size glasses, to just make it look interesting, the attention to that detail to go out and buy the thing or find the thing to make a dress up? I’ve always loved that.
Neville Medhora 1:20
Well, if you saw what my glasses looked like in elementary school, they’re bigger than that on glasses, and I just thought you were putting it on. So before we go on all the podcast and business stuff. I was always intrigued by your questions. So you were one of the first Were you really like the first person online to do interviews and stuff. There was one other person Gregory gallant,
Andrew Warner 1:37
I met him at a conference he was doing and I thought this is great. I want to do this type of interview too. And so I talked to him. I asked him how he did it. And then he stopped doing it. And I became the person who did it. This was like before podcasting was a thing. You’d have to download the audio file. YouTube was my thing. Yeah, it was just,
Neville Medhora 1:55
yeah, you were like the original guy Roz from my house. But like so Okay, here’s one thing I always thought was contentious, but you would always ask very private quote. Yes. Now, you would ask questions, and I know you kind of like idolized howard stern. I listen to Howard Stern all the time, all the time. Um, is this still your style? Is that a thing? Or has it like changed? Because you would have you would ask people like when you lose your virginity or something,
Andrew Warner 2:18
I do it in person, like we were talking about. That is so crazy. Here’s why. When I was talking to Alexis ohanian, I kept pushing him to expander Reddit, founder of Reddit, why did he sell Reddit early on. And he just kept saying not going, they’re not going there. This is a company that eventually became multi billion dollar business, he sold it in the early stage to Conde Nast. It wasn’t until later on that he published an article about how his he had a family member who was sick. And he needed to just take some space. And that’s why I sold the company. And the reason that I’m bringing this up is he didn’t sell it because it was the perfect valuation. He didn’t sell it, because that was the right time. He sold it because something personal happened in his life that dictated the business. And so if we exclude the personal, we’re not understanding the business. Now, how do I do it without being so overly personal that it feels uncomfortable? That’s where the techniques come in over years of learning. And one of them, frankly, I got from Howard Stern.
Neville Medhora 3:10
So okay, so you’re writing a book about interviewing? Like, yeah, what what prompted that? I’m assuming as like a ton of people would ask you like, how do you interview like, 1000s of people,
Andrew Warner 3:19
you know, what would happen is I would come up with a technique about how to get somebody to be open. And I wrote it down for myself. And the way that I did it was if something worked, I’d go through the transcripts and see, what is it that worked? How did I get this person to be so open? And if I found it, I just put it in a Google Doc, and I’d name it and if it didn’t work out, I get together with my producers and go, what did I do that was so stupid that it didn’t work out. And then we just experiment on on a new approach. Next time. I’ve been doing 2000 interviews. So there’s a lot of time to practice and experiment. See. So for example, how do you get somebody to be open, whether it’s a cab driver, a new person, you’re meeting or an interview? One of the things that howard stern would do is he’ll ask like this double barreled question. I’ll say something like, is it inappropriate to ask you if you just had sex last night? Right? He’s asking these two questions. And when you ask people two questions, they will almost always pick the easiest of the two questions. And if they don’t do that, they do both. So you ask them the two questions. Is it inappropriate to ask you if you had sex last night? Now they’re they’re going to pick the it’s inappropriate to ask me that question. If they don’t want to answer the one about sex, then I have actually gone to my transcripts. And I’ve seen it, the founder of what is that? The customer service emails Zen? desk, Zen desk? Yes. I asked him if it’s inappropriate to ask him about his wife. He goes, yes, it is. And you could see another transcript. And I immediately move on to me telling a personal story, and then continue back to business. And so if you learn these techniques, you’ll write them down the way that I did. And inevitably, my producers would use them so that they could have better pre interview conversations. And I started sharing with others and before long it became this collection of things that people used and I decided let’s turn it into a book, man.
Neville Medhora 4:54
I’m glad to do these interviews online because no one can punch you like like you ask a bad question.
Andrew Warner 4:59
No They don’t wouldn’t punch me they would hug me if you have a real personal conversation. People love you. The problem is that we have non personal conversations. And so they go really boring. We don’t really get to understand the other person. And then we don’t get to understand about ourselves. Man. So
Neville Medhora 5:13
is this interview like super boring for you?
Andrew Warner 5:15
I’m not asking Cray haven’t gotten into let me ask you this. Can we talk a little bit about what you said the other day about? Kids for your life? Yeah, sure. Right. Okay. So you were super open with me. And you said that you have a plan for having kids?
Neville Medhora 5:27
2023? Okay. I
Andrew Warner 5:28
didn’t know if we weren’t allowed to say that. Right? Doesn’t that make it more personal, more meaningful to talk about this vision? It’s a little bit dangerous to bring it up to say, I want to have kids but it’s more personal. And then I told you about how I went into this whole process of how do I find somebody who I care enough to marry? Right? And it’s now we’re getting into something that’s meaningful that maybe you can learn from maybe I can pick up something? That’s what I think real competent. Okay, about what do
Neville Medhora 5:51
you think about this kind of little off topic? But what about what about like, woo people, you know, you know, anti woo people you live in San Francisco before you know what it’s like, there’s people that are like, they’re always like, I want to have deep conversations. And I’m only into deep conversations. I don’t like shallow talk. But what that tends to mean is it means sad stuff, every time. So sometimes we’re at a dinner and when I’m with like a bunch these people or something like that, and they’re like everyone go around and tell something interesting about your life and like they go real deep. It’s like when I was five, I was molested by I’m like,
Andrew Warner 6:22
Look, I don’t want to hear this right now. If it’s not what you care about, it’s your obligation to shift the conversation away from it. So when I was a kid, I didn’t know how to have conversations. Then I read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. And I got good at conversations. And then I realized Dale Carnegie’s office was right in midtown Manhattan, not too far from me. I went over, I knocked on their door, and I said, Can I work for you for free? I said, What I go, I just want to understand more about how to build these relationships. I see the book is good. I want to see how you use it. I said, Okay, I worked for them free, and I come back over the years and and work with them. The thing that I learned about them, though, was Dale Carnegie’s approach was always whatever the other person’s interested in, it’s your duty to tap into it and let them go off on it. So if they’re interested in postage stamps, you ask them about postage stamps, they love you. And if they’re interested in I don’t know, the sad things about their lives, you let them do it. My one challenge with Dale Carnegie is that I don’t want to make it about what’s interesting to you. It’s got to be a combination. If I’m not interested in your personal feelings, and the thing that happened to you when you’re a kid, even if it’s your molested, and I can’t get into it. It’s my obligation to say, What am I curious about? And that you want to talk about, and we’ll talk about the combination of my interest in yours. So absolutely shift away?
Neville Medhora 7:33
Do you try to ham it up? Like on the interview? Like do you try to agitate them to get them really into it? Because Because I’ve noticed this before, so we used to it like at Epsom we used to produce a ton of different courses and stuff. And sometimes there’d be a very talented person that we get on camera, but they’re not great on camera. And so I would have to like really agitate them. So there’s this one guy who is a venture capitalist, and very smart guy, but wasn’t on camera. And he was just like, well, would you ever invest in a company outside of Silicon Valley or something like that? He’s like, No, I wouldn’t. 10 hours like that is so boring on camera. So I’d be like, I heard that Austin’s the best place you could possibly pick to invest in a company. He’s like, No, it isn’t it kept egging him on and he finally got so pissed off. I was like that was good on camera.
Andrew Warner 8:15
Yeah, you egg people on like his I definitely do. I think it’s important to do it. When I used to teach Dale Carnegie’s class, one of the things that we we would say is, everyone is articulate if you smash them in their kneecaps with a two by four, right? And so what’s the thing that smashes them in their new in their kneecaps with a two by four? bring that up, get them angry? And then I do think that you get to know people?
Neville Medhora 8:37
Oh, my God, this sounds so contentious. I don’t know if I’m that meat. Well, I mean, but like not that mean?
Andrew Warner 8:42
Well, the thing is, though, that I also think that people can tell if you’re being mean to be mean. And if you’re being mean to bring out the best in them, and they could read they can read your micro gestures, they could read what you’re trying to do. And, and so they could tell if I’m doing it just to be mean to be a jerk. And they could also tell if I’m doing it to draw them out and make them more interest. What
Neville Medhora 9:02
about pre interview? Okay, so like right now I, you know, I’m drinking a Red Bull. I got a little topo Chico knockoff over here. Is there anything you do pre interview to get people all riled up? I’m assuming caffeine. I’d like it. If people are caffeinated when they’re two, I always do my interviews remotely. And so I don’t do that.
Andrew Warner 9:17
I can’t I would I would bring them whiskey if I could. I feel like we have better conversations when we’re drinking. You know, what I find is, it’s helpful to have a couple of come to, it’s helpful to talk to people a little bit before the interview. So there was this one entrepreneur, Jonathan tryst, he was someone I was supposed to interview at a conference. He was an investor, he had all these opinions about how to build a good company. And as I’m looking them up, I realized he doesn’t have much experience building companies. In fact, the money that he’s using to invest came from his parents. And so in my mind, I’m going that seems like a guy who’s just daddy got him where he is. I cannot bring that up. But I can’t just smell I’m over the head with it in the interview because then it loses trust. So before the interview started, I said, I think if we don’t bring this thing up, people who know about the fact that your money comes from your parents are going to say that all you are is daddy’s rich kid who’s getting to invest in startups and and pontificate he goes, by all means, Andrew, you should absolutely bring that up, if that’s what people are thinking. And so we get into the interview, I say, Do you only have money because of your parents, and so maybe you don’t have much credibility in the startup space. Now, instead of being angry or restrained with me, or just clamming up, he understood where I was coming from, he knew why I was doing it. And he got open about he said, Andrew, yes, my money does come from my parents. That was the first round after I proved myself there, I was able to raise more money from other people. I don’t have as much entrepreneurial experience as the people I’m investing in. But I did have this design agency, here’s how well it did. And here’s what I learned from it. And now we got to talk about it. But everyone in the audience who didn’t realize that I had a conversation with him before was, was cringing when I first said, didn’t you just get your money from me, daddy? So yes, you do need to have a conversation before
Neville Medhora 11:03
now. That’s very interesting. So let’s talk about like a little bit of the business side of podcasting. So when you started mixergy, as an early internet show, is always a call to internet show. podcast, the podcast? Did you mean for it to be a business? Or was it just a way to like interview people? Like what was the reason? I’m trying to figure out the reason I started this, I think it’s just fun to like,
Andrew Warner 11:25
start it. You can really good. I think I feel like you know what, you’re always good at this stuff. I feel like you’ve gotten good at the machine part of the creation. Stupid emails are like on point all the time they come in, the recordings are interesting, the way that you now clip out parts of the show and make it into small YouTube videos. The whole thing is like so organized,
Neville Medhora 11:44
what well, selfishly, here’s what I get out of it. Yes, whenever I have one of these conversations. So I read all these questions out myself, right, I have to, I have to write all these questions out. So it’s kind of like an organized show. Otherwise, it’s rambles on into nothing. And I have to think about that person what to ask them, then I think it’d be interesting question to ask them. And then later, I have to make this into a post and an email and titles and clips. So I kind of have to go through it. I listened on like, 2x speed or 3x, like on VLC player. And I take notes on it. Okay, so I have to take my own notes, and therefore I remember it, and then I’ll end up watching my own clips. Like I watched my own podcast all the time. I can’t believe you do that. Yeah, it’s hilarious. And so I watch it. And so I feel like I personally just learned a bunch, and hopefully other people do. I don’t know if that’s true or not. But I hope that I learned from it. So I try to get people I want to interview about things.
Andrew Warner 12:35
Okay. Yeah, what did when you came in here? Beyond like, what whoever’s out there wants to learn? What’s the one thing you said, I need this one thing selfishly.
Neville Medhora 12:44
I mean, I wanted I’m trying to figure out the reasoning behind the podcast. This is why are you doing your podcast? Yeah, of course. It’s just interesting. Like, when you look at YouTube stats, like what hits and what doesn’t like interviews are never as popular as like a proper YouTube like, Hey, guys is nevel training it? That one’s always going to be more popular. But the watch time on these is through the roof. And get this I’ll go to like a conference or something some CEO be talking to Oh, Neville, right. Like, I watched your thing with whatever I’m like, Really? Wow. That’s crazy that you did that. They never talked about the the training videos, they talk about, like the interviews. Yeah. My mom listens to the interviews Hi, mom had like, like that kind of stuff. So I know, there’s something there’s something to it. I don’t know, maybe like having other people with credibility gives me more credibility.
Andrew Warner 13:26
All reasons to have a podcast rubs off on you? Yes, yeah, I think that’s a big one. I think the relationships that start off as a podcast could end up going on and becoming long term friendships, which then is really useful for work and for life. When I started though, I just wanted to not screw up again, business, I came out of that one business that you talked about where we did over $30 million thinking, I could do anything in business. I’m not great in life. I’m not great in sports, but I’m great at business. And then when the thing didn’t work out the next thing that I did, which was invitations, I just thought my world was rocked. And I want to never make that mistake again. And I said, I’m going to find people who’ve done things well and just talk to them and understand what’s worked for them. And I couldn’t just call them up and be needy. But I could do this, you know, this podcast now some questions.
Neville Medhora 14:15
So. So you’ve had people I mean, like Barbara Corcoran, and Gary Vaynerchuk, and all that kind of stuff. Do you reach out? Like what’s your thought process? Whenever you reach out to them? Are you thinking I want to ask this person questions? Or are you thinking they’ll get a lot of views or people will like this, or what
Andrew Warner 14:31
I tend to think about my problem these days is that it’s it’s become kind of a machine for me. And so the machine takes away some of the heart and some of the need. In the beginning it was seeing someone do something well and saying I want to know how you did it or seeing somebody make a statement that seemed a little bit outrageous. And it pushed a button in me and then saying Can I interview you about it to understand is this real or not? So that’s what it is. That’s where it started. And then at some point, it does become kind of a machine and does lose a little bit of that heart. I don’t know who I’m going to interview tomorrow. But I have a process to make sure that my audience will care about them that someone on my team knows that I will care about them. And and that’s helpful. But now that you bring it up,
Neville Medhora 15:17
well, I mean, I thought so I always thought like, where does this go long term. So I remember when I first started this, I was like, I’m gonna do one interview per week, because we got the process down where it was relatively quick, and I was a winner reviewing, here’s the problem, you also got to promote one interview a week. And it’s a lot of interviews, especially to ask someone like, Hey, watch me for talking for an hour with a person. It’s a lot. And sometimes it’s a little bit disjointed. Right? If I talk to you, that’s like a Gary Vaynerchuk. This other person’s a little bit disjointed. And so I thought I was gonna do 250 episodes. I don’t know why I really pulled that number I asked. But I thought like, some of these podcasts, like you’ve seen years has been around forever, but a lot of people started and went, and they interviewed like, 100 people, and they’re like, Damn, this is hard. Like, I got it. He’s all the time. I think there’s too many episodes like people are interviewing for the sake of interviewing,
Andrew Warner 16:03
it seems it could be that at some point, it’s gonna die. I would say that you don’t have to promote every interview. You don’t have to sit and listen to each interview on double speed and do something, I think that what you could do is just say, I care about meeting these types of people. I just want to have a process where I can meet these people, have a conversation with them, and then leave it for the audience to listen to. And maybe this is not the thing that you promote and produce. It’s just a part of your personal education. And then let everyone else learn along with you. And that’ll free you up to say, What am I just genuinely curious about this week? I go find that. That’s pretty cool.
Neville Medhora 16:39
I actually like that answer. That’s a very selfish answer. I’m into it. Yeah,
Andrew Warner 16:42
I think that I think that the best interviews tend to be the most selfish interviews, the ones where you can see that someone’s hunting for something in shoot for mine. One of the interviews that I did was with Cameron Harold, he used to be the CEO of a one 800 got junk at the time, my business was so like, disorganized because everything was on me. And I was overwhelmed. And I threw all the lessons out the window, and I just said, Cameron, I need to hire someone. I don’t know how to do it. It’s not working out. And we just did like a coaching session. But the audience loved it. I got a lot out of it. I think there’s a lot to be said for that.
Neville Medhora 17:15
Is that a thing? Like a lot of your guests become friends or some of them are?
Andrew Warner 17:18
I think so I think to some degree, absolutely. Some, some unfortunately, you never see again, you don’t talk to you again, and then others, you end up becoming long friends with it.
Neville Medhora 17:29
So what’s the okay? How does a podcast make money? Like what are the different ways you’ve seen, like you’ve made money off the podcast or a subscription and
Andrew Warner 17:36
I can tell you about other ways that other people have for me, it’s I started out with advertising. And then I added membership. The first thing that I did with membership was people said that they would pay for my older interviews, I said, Great, I’ll lock up the older ones. And if people have membership, they could pay, they could pay a monthly fee, and they get access to all the older ones. I like that because I just needed something to put into the membership. And then I added more stuff like courses and you did a course for us on copywriting and, and other other material went into the into the membership. There’s someone who helped me I named Bob Hyler helped me like think about the business side of my business. One of the things that he started doing was doing interviews with, he liked getting leads for, for lawyers. So he started interviewing the kinds of people that he wanted to do business with. And at the end of the interview, after people were done, they go, what is it that you do? And then he tell him how he helps lawyers get new clients by by doing ads for them, let’s say, you know, I could use that. So they’ve gotten to know Him for an hour, they’ve gotten to trust him. They’ve seen that he took an interest in them. They trust Him, and they end up hiring him to get leads for them. I think that that’s a very valid business model. The other thing that it does is he he gets to learn the lingo. He gets to understand what lawyers care about how they talk, how they promote themselves, what they’re looking for.
Neville Medhora 18:53
That’s interesting interview peeps you want as clients? Yeah, do it is for business development. There’s so many people you can reach out and sell to, but it’s so funny, I’m talking to a company, I won’t say the name of the company, but it’s like a big company that we’re talking to about doing like a public experiment like this. And I was like, I like them as a client, because they bought a bunch of memberships for their marketing team. And I was like, what are we should do like a podcast episode with them where we just redo their stuff, like on the on the fly. It’s interesting. That was really the number one thing that we’ve been I found out last month that like most people just don’t know what we do. They have no idea. And we’re just like, if you have a web page, we’ll help you redo that webpage, make it convert more, just simple.
Andrew Warner 19:28
You did this other thing with us. So we’ve hired you over the years. And one of the things that you did with us was, you got together with us and you helped us rewrite material and you did it in real time. You didn’t want to see anything ahead of time you did it with us, then because you were so good at it. We brought on one of our sponsors onto a zoom call with you, our writers and the sponsor, and we said here’s what they do. Will you tell us how we could how I Andrew could promote them better my podcast and dude in real time you were riffing and it was amazing to see how you come up with ideas in real time. How you Understand what we’re trying to do how you give us different options. It was fan freaking tastic. I think there’s something in that.
Neville Medhora 20:06
Well, I mean, that’s what we do. But at scale, right, so we have, obviously, there’s only one of me. So we do office hours where people talk one on one, and people can join and ask questions and all that stuff. You mean within the community? Yeah, we do it every week. And then, and I think the bigger thing that’s gonna scale, even larger is like, we have a forum. So I call it a forum, but it’s community call whatever you want. But basically, I have to be able to take like a giant landing page and bill to give a lot of feedback on different parts of it. And so a forum seems to be the best way to do that a Facebook group is it’s impossible. You literally can’t do that tech. I hate that. I don’t hate Facebook for that just for our use. It just didn’t work. It’s It’s not possible. And so we had to make our own thing. And so we do that at scale. So when people are in there, they’re like, Oh, I didn’t realize you do this. I’m like, yeah, we’re doing a bad job. So I’m almost thinking like on this. What if instead of just talking to you, we would like bring up your page and go through it live? And somehow we superimpose the page? That could be a cool twist on the podcast and such as interviewing,
Andrew Warner 21:01
I think it makes sense. I think that if you think about selfishly, what do you need? And if you think about your audience with it, what do they need? I think it’s, it’s, that’s the goal of it. I think when we start to think of ourselves as performers, when we start to think of ourselves as the next David Letterman, because we saw something Letterman did years ago, we lose it. It has to be I didn’t even ever call myself a show it. I just don’t want it to be that I’m not a performer. I just wanted to understand what people do. If you could just bring on one of your customers. If you could bring on somebody who signed up but didn’t complete the purchase. It just talked to them. What are they going through? I feel there’s a lot of value in that in you learning and you doing customer discovery? In you talking to people who did buy from you, I think there’s something in that.
Neville Medhora 21:43
Yeah, I’ve done all that stuff in private, that you know what the problem is like, I’m going to remember this conversation one because it’s on video one because it’s on audio and the other because I took notes on him. So I’m gonna remember this conversation, those conversations, I get really excited I take a sentence or two of notes, and then I forget. So Hmm, that’s a that’s a very good suggestion for this.
Andrew Warner 22:00
And I’d say also, for anyone who’s listening to us, I think that they should just chill out on the idea of what a podcast is, if they’re thinking I, I’d like to do it. I’m not sure I think that they should absolutely do it. And the thrust of it should be, who are they curious about who they want to talk to who they want to learn from, and stop reaching for like the people who’ve written the books that are on your bookcase. But think about the people who are in their world, like their boss from college, the person who’s who’s in a community that they’re with that they that they see that they’re step ahead, or they’re doing something interesting. Just learn from them, get to know them. That’s the goal. Don’t try to do a show. Don’t try to be someone else’s numbers.
Neville Medhora 22:37
Interesting. I think a lot of people try to copy like, especially do try to copy like Joe Rogan, Howard Stern, that kind of stuff. It’s like, you’re not done though.
Andrew Warner 22:44
This this, you know, if that’s what you want to do, go ahead and do it. But that’s not really what we all want to do. I don’t I think that there are two different aspects of us. There’s an aspect that just wants to be super famous and wants all that and good luck. I mean, I think it’s great, do it. But there’s another part that’s a little bit simpler, that would do the informational interview, if we could that would just say, I see someone who’s rich, how did you get so rich, I see someone who did this thing I want to do, how’d you do the thing I want to do as you finish writing a book I do, how’d you do a marathon, whatever it is, you want to learn from them, just do that. And let let the fact that you’re doing it as a podcast be the excuse, let the fact that now everyone’s allowing podcasters to grow. Let that be a thing for you let the fact that they’re the person you want to talk to was probably curious about podcasting themselves. And we’ll do it just to see what your process is. Let that be the thing. And then once you start to figure out how to ask the right questions, how to learn from somebody, it’s just invigorating, and they’re gonna love you because you’ve tapped into who they are. you genuinely took an hour to learn from them.
Neville Medhora 23:40
There’s an interesting analogy of Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine, the the lead guitarist on that guy, rage against machines, still, to this day sounds completely unique from any other band in history. And he always talked about he went to Harvard, he would practice eight hours a day, he told the story, that the reason his guitar playing most people like that a guitar that he’s playing, what is that thing? He’s just like, I realized early on that it was a piece of wood and a couple of strings and some like basic electronics, you do whatever you want with it. You don’t it doesn’t have to be just strumming in a chord or something like that. You do whatever you want. And I like how he kind of went his own way with that. And credit is totally unique thing that’s almost like impossible for anyone to recreate and having to go back and hear their music. I don’t remember standing out like, I don’t remember raging Dude, you can get the hell out. Okay, so, from raging and listening to podcast sponsorships? Is this a big part of mixergy? Like sponsorship, like, is this a big part of your
Andrew Warner 24:34
revenue or it goes on and off? It’s, it varies. There was a period there where I wanted to get rid of membership, because the less things you have behind a paywall, the more people discover you and things grow. And so I was about to get rid of it. And then I interviewed this woman whose whole business was membership and she said that she liked to have both because at one point in like 1999 or 2000 when the whole internet went bust you She hated that all her revenue went away because she put all their eggs in one basket. I thought, you know what, I’ll be a little bit safer. And I’m glad I was because there’s some years that advertising is so big that it dwarfs memberships. There’s some years where membership is so big that you think why am I even dealing with advertisers? Why am I helping them out? And why am I distracting from selling my own stuff? It goes up and down. And what I’ve discovered is that it’s a nice way to balance things to have both.
Neville Medhora 25:23
That’s a very Okay, interesting take. I thought one would just dwarf the other for some reason I did. Seven years one does dwarf the other. Yeah, very interesting. Did you ever hear about the Tim Ferriss experiment that he did where he removed advertising? Yeah, people revolted. We’re like, No, we want the advertising.
Andrew Warner 25:38
I you know what? I get it. I learned not to disbelieve him, but I don’t think I would ever bolt from advertising. But as a listener, I can’t imagine going I’m not listening to him because your ads aren’t there. But
Neville Medhora 25:50
but but you know, I At first I thought I was like, is he bullshitting? Because so for context, Tim Ferriss became post economic as Balaji Srivastava would call it, where basically, he never needs any more money, because he got rich as hell off of Twitter and Uber, IPOs, and stepped up right to earn hundreds of millions of dollars. And he said, You know what, I don’t really need to have advertisements on my show. So I’ll just get rid of them. See what happens. And it turns out, people actually really liked his advertising because he would talk about products he liked. And they would discover new products much like like app Sumo, or the hustle or some of that, that people discovered things through it. And I actually agreed, I listen to some of his episodes where he went straight into it, and I thought I would like it. And I was like, I do kind of like that. He mentions new products, though. Like I heard about, like, eat sleep or other like different brands through Yeah. And I was like, Okay, I can see why people want to hear the advertising because the only vets the good ones. Yeah. And you kind of believe him that like he wouldn’t advertise something really shitty, because he doesn’t need the money.
Andrew Warner 26:44
So what I taught my audience how to skip ads, you can just say, hey, Siri, skip, jump forward. 30 seconds, skip this. I’ve even created a button on my phone, I could show it to you. It’s called the nuke button. Right there nuke it will skip 90 seconds in any podcast. And all I have to do if I’m running and I don’t like the ad, I can just say, hey, Siri, nuke it. And it just runs that one shortcut that I created and jumps forward a minute and a half the ads are done. It’s totally fine. I want people to skip ads that suck. It’s in their power to skip ads, it’s suck. I think then it makes it more interesting for us to say, how do we make these ads more interesting for me? I tend to have advertisers want to buy the whole year until What do you do to make an ad interesting. So if I have Hostgator, over and over again, what do I do? What I discovered was, I kind of like how the hustle in their podcasts, they’ll come up with ideas. And so since Hostgator, is great for hosting websites, I’ll turn to my guests. And I always include my guests in the ads. I’ll say Hostgator is the place to go host websites. If you had nothing but a Hostgator account and you have to start from scratch. What idea would you come up with? And these entrepreneurs always have a bunch of ideas, and they’ll throw one out and say, here’s what I would do. And I think it’s fascinating. I talked to this one guy, his whole business is about helping companies ship their products out at the right rate. I said, What would you do? He said, Andrew, what you need is a product that people need to buy over and over again. And it has to be ideally small so that shipping is inexpensive. And as we were talking, we both brainstorm together. And we said what about spices? A lot of spices don’t have much flavor, because that’s exactly it. McCormick is the big brand for spices. There’s no new MacCormick of the internet, something that has like more spicy spices. I think that’s like, it makes sense. So now I’m getting the advertising to be more content. And then the fact that there’s an ad connected to it. I think it’s it’s helpful.
Neville Medhora 28:31
Interesting. Okay. You know, something you said blew my mind. He said someone bought the whole year. I never thought of that as a concept. Yeah. I never thought of that. Yeah. Because we had some sponsorships here and there for like our email list and stuff was experimented with. And it was like, pretty good money. Actually. I was like that that could be a whole other revenue stream for sure. Yeah. That’s kind of interesting. So
Andrew Warner 28:55
Tim Ferriss, also, he has affiliate programs in his email, right? So he’ll do an email with different products that he recommends he makes money from affiliates. I think there’s another thing too that Neville that we want to know what our audience cares enough about to buy. And if we’re just running our own products, I don’t think we’re exposing ourselves to enough ideas. I also have sponsors will come in for just a couple of weeks. And I want to see does the audience care about their products? Am I am I missing a need that somebody has in the audience? What have you Okay, so you’ve always been doing video interview also, right? Like you’re, I don’t publish it anymore. But
Neville Medhora 29:27
okay, but you’re used to Did you ever do clips because I noticed that’s kind of like a new thing. Like, I know, Joe, I started seeing it for Joe Rogan, those comedians, I follow do the same thing. So I started doing clips,
Andrew Warner 29:36
I can’t make my clips work. I can’t take somebody’s story and edit it down in a way that tells the story while whenever I get into that, I feel like I should just tell their frickin story because it’s too disjointed to do it. Right. But I definitely like when Joe Rogan does it. I’ve seen other people do it. Well,
Neville Medhora 29:51
I mean, that’s why we I organize these the way I did podcasting, promoting a podcast content marketing, interviewing, like I have all these sections. Yeah. And so someone takes the notes down And then like we cut it after the interview. Yeah, that was a curious, I talked to a couple of YouTube consultants. And they were also just curious how the clips channels go because I have a separate clips channel, where instead of this whole interview, you can get like the individual clips.
Andrew Warner 30:12
I think I might see that from your email. But don’t you do 10 minute clips,
Neville Medhora 30:16
they’re there. There’s no time limit on them. Like, like, I think this section like it’s gonna be podcasting was promoting a podcast, this might be a 20 minute clip. I don’t know. Okay, yeah, we just kind of go back and editing into it. But I was just curious if you have any thoughts on that, because it seems like this new era of like, there’s the big content, then there’s the kind of mid sized content and then you can really pare it down to like a one minute tic Tock.
Andrew Warner 30:38
I think that makes sense. I mean, I’m super into chess right now. And I watch chess videos. Some of these chess YouTubers are so phenomenally interesting that they will do clips of like 60 seconds of them analyzing a game, or 60 seconds of them falling off the chair, and I get 10s of 1000s for these new 10s of 1000s of views on these new clips.
Neville Medhora 30:57
Yeah, it’s kind of just this whole other thing. I don’t think one’s better than the other necessarily. Well, for some things, it’s better if you want to learn how to cook an egg right away. 62nd video can probably do it. You don’t have to watch a 20 minute Bobby Flay video about it. Um, let’s talk about promoting a podcast. Okay, so, recording a podcast is one thing, that’s a whole other can of worms that you know, people can go down and do. But then you have to actually promote the damn thing. What channels for you have historically been the best? Is it like social media, word of mouth, email, what kind of stuff
Andrew Warner 31:26
my ideal is when the guest promotes. And I don’t know if I should reveal who told me this. But one of these this, there’s a great podcaster, who has a huge following who says that before he gets into the interviews, I think I even talked about his name in the book. So maybe it’s okay to do it. But he’ll say to the guests, after this interview is done, I’m going to email it to my audience, I’m going to put it on my podcast feed, it’s really big, I’m gonna get all these different ways for people to hear how great you are. And they’re gonna love you because of it. Can you do to help me out to promote this so that more people see how great this interview is. And now he’s putting all this pressure on the guests. You know, he’s saying I’m doing all this, it feels weird not to reciprocate. And so guests will come back and say, you know, I could promote it here and there. And so I’ve done that that by far is the most effective, I just don’t feel great about doing it. And I don’t want my guests to feel like we’re in this together. But it’s incredibly effective. And frankly, when I’m on a podcast, I want people to know that I’m that I’m on the podcast, I want them to know that I’m important enough that Neville is going to have me here to his house is going to sound recorded that there’s going to be all this editing work, right? I want them to know that I’m important enough to do it. And still, when you’re going to email me I’m going to go, I don’t know feels a little bit too self aggrandizing to promote this. It feels a little bit too. I don’t know much about me, and so not gonna do it. But if you emailed me back and said, Andrew, before we did this podcast, you said that you have a good list that really wants to know who you’re who you are. And you never talk about yourself. You told me to remind you to send this out. Here’s a little sample of what you can email list. Okay. Oh, now I’m telling my audience, they already know me. They want more meat. You’re wincing. I know the feeling
Neville Medhora 33:01
cringy as fuck though. Okay, okay, what about this? What about this? Yeah, yeah. So I’ve thought about this. I know, I can ask someone, I’ll be like, I have my friend, Noah, or someone over here has a following. And I could be like, Hey, can you promote this? It seems like I’m almost sacrificing part of my relationship with that person. For this little transaction that is insignificant in the very long run. I think I have them promote however, I thought about this, right? So the reason we have this whole setup going on over here and all this crap and I spend money on this and stuff like that. And Sam’s over here helping us produce is hopefully this interview is so good. It looks so good. I don’t think it’s 100% there yet. I want to there’s a couple little technical things I want to kick up but I think it’s gonna be so good. You’re going to want to promote it. That’s what I want to do. Yeah, I’ve ever seen like a you know, where you go to like a wedding to have a professional photographer and they take like, is awesome. Yeah, that one. Yeah. I just want to be so goddamn good that other people just want to see interviews
Andrew Warner 33:58
that are that good. When creative live used to do I forget the founders name when he used to do interviews? Yeah, he would make them look so good that people would have to share it to go this is where it looks like real,
Neville Medhora 34:09
like a real movie or something. Yeah,
Andrew Warner 34:10
like when I walked in here, I wanted a photo of this place because it looks so good. I get what you’re going for. I think that’s big.
Neville Medhora 34:16
Yeah. So you know, we got a little, you know, extra background stuff here. I’m going to kick up the lighting, a little extra soundproofing, stuff like that, but ultimately just make it so good that people want to share. I think that’s going to be my strategy. Because I always thought about this, like, one thing I learned about growing alliances asking people to share, and I’m not sure I’m that guy. analogy. I mean, I feel bad about it. And I think like if it’s so good, they’ll share it. And maybe it’s not true. They’ve just not good enough.
Andrew Warner 34:42
Yeah, it’s not true. Because we I know myself, I I just I want people to see it. They want to know my stuff. I just don’t do it because it feels because I don’t want to be that guy too. But I do I need to some people need to push. Some people need to push
Neville Medhora 34:58
Well, maybe so I also think that it’s a it’s a dynamic of power at some point. So let’s say this podcast is huge and have trillions of subscribers, then it could be like, Look, Andrew, you better share this shit. Because, you know, I’m putting you on my stage, maybe whereas right now it’s like, I feel like you’re doing me a favor.
Andrew Warner 35:16
And I don’t know, I don’t know that that’s true. And I do think that overall people need to promote. Here’s another thing that’s worked really well find somebody who’s already, like this week, going big in a community, and then go interview them while they’re big. So they’re all these little communities, you’re in the copywriting space, the entrepreneurial space, the online business base, right? To all these little communities, these Reddit communities, Twitter communities, the indie hackers, community. Occasionally, there’ll be someone who just pops goes to the top of indie hackers, right? You see that there’s incredible interest in them, do the interview with them as fast as possible and post it while everyone’s still curious. Who is this guy? How do they go from something to a zillion, right? There’s someone who does the NFT thing, whatever it is, that’s really big, because there’s already a proven demand for them right now. And I’ll add one last one that always works. Anything news related. So if you see something that’s in the news, right now, you’re gonna see it, come up with NF T’s you’re gonna see it come up with, I don’t know, online businesses, whatever it is, as soon as it’s in the news, do the interview with the person that’s in the news as fast as possible. People are talking about it, it’s gonna do great.
Neville Medhora 36:20
I mean, one thing I was we go over the stats of YouTube every once in a while, and like I said, the interviews never do as good number wise, but their watch time is through the roof. But the thing that really gets the subscribers is like the normal YouTube videos like, hey, it’s Neville teaching you copywriting stuff over here. those tend to be the ones that are the cash cows or the subscriber counts. That year after year, day after day. You’re getting 10 2030 signups per day from it. You’re getting blog post traffic, you get an SEO because YouTube related like it’s
Andrew Warner 36:52
it’s not you know who’s Frankly, I don’t watch videos on YouTube. I don’t know what’s doing it. You watch video. I’m a day long, but you do it on YouTube. Yeah. I listened.
Neville Medhora 37:01
I actually I paid for YouTube, of course.
Andrew Warner 37:04
I didn’t know I don’t I use my sister’s family account, guys.
Neville Medhora 37:08
Yeah. tchibo but, but uh, I just don’t want anyone to see like all the videos. I’m looking up. It’s it’s she can see the videos. I’ll let her see. Yeah, it’s pretty embarrassing. But I’ll even watch a YouTube video and then put it out like you could turn it off if you pay for it and then watching. I’ve watched all sorts of stuff. Okay, what’s the most embarrassing thing? embarrassing? Don’t hold back be open? Well, it’s nothing like Cray. It’s not like porn or anything like that. I watched like Indian head massage videos. Okay, yeah. Me and Sam Parr. We’re doing this one thing where we’re going through like weird videos. And he’s like, I watch all these weird things. He looked it up. I’d like watched all of them like that. But it’s like ASMR kind of stuff. Okay. Yeah. So sometimes at night, I’ll be watching a picture of a video of someone getting a haircut. Just to relax. I don’t even know why. Okay, I guess Oh, yeah. All right. There’s something about it. All right. That kind of stuff. But anyways, I listened. I watched YouTube for everything. So I’m with you. I
Andrew Warner 38:01
go to sleep with an air pod in my ear. And I listened to now YouTube educational videos that are story based. And the whole night that’s all that we so you weren’t listening to YouTube then? Not for interviews, not for interviews I
Neville Medhora 38:14
do on Spotify. I listened to a lot of comedians a few Yvonne and Brendan Schaub, these comedians that were on Joe Rogan, they have a podcast called, can you the staying Mark Norman has two podcasts, we might be drunk in Tuesdays with stories, okay, there’s with different comedians, I listened to pretty much 100% of every episode of those. Wow, all of those. Alright, so that’s, that’s like at least four hours of interviews per week. Those guys are listening. And that’s just them. There’s other ones that’ll stick. Alright. It might just be me. I’m still podcast for I have podcast all the time. But So why have you never moved to YouTube? You were doing video interviews. I remember people be like, surprised how you even had two people on a screen. I know. Like that. Yeah, that I can work it. Yeah, yeah. People. How do you do that? That was the number one thing I
Andrew Warner 38:56
know. And I have to spend time showing them how to do that. Yeah, absolutely. Remember that? Would you ever make the jump? I did. And then what I found was, and maybe we should go back into it. I found that that people thought of me as the video person and they wouldn’t go to YouTube to go look for the interviews. And if they weren’t watching an online then they would think that I don’t exist as a YouTuber as a podcaster. And they say Go Go watch podcast. I said they say you should launch a podcast and I said bit of podcast before podcasting was a thing. Yeah. So it was very hard to show people that podcasting was where I was.
Neville Medhora 39:31
Because I remember back that like, even just a few years ago, YouTube was not YouTube. Like it existed as basically like a video host for like 32nd clips and then it got longer. It was like yes, you could do timeto real effort a few years ago to go longer. Yeah, minute clips so long as it’s not like a Simpsons episode or something copyrighted. Yeah. So they did that. But it was more used as a video host. Like none of us took it seriously. back then. Like I remember we had like, even for app Sumo. I had one. Noah had one. We had YouTube channels, but no one took it. Yeah, it’s like a thing was just posted. service, which we all thought was going to like die
Andrew Warner 40:02
alone now it’s phenomenal. Now it’s it’s got it’s got to be more valuable than Netflix. If it was a standalone product, Netflix is literally too much to invest in time. This is you’re listening to watching it all the time.
Neville Medhora 40:13
Yeah, I think Netflix still like, it’s sounds cool when you have like a Netflix deal. It’s kind of like you went to Harvard, it’s like this pre validation type of thing. Okay, so why not video? So
Andrew Warner 40:21
because I’m still torn about like, should I just distribute these on audio or video? And I think my answer is all like, just all, I think you should do all frankly, maybe we should bring back all I was doing video first, and then the audio second. And then we started shifting to getting more people in the podcast. I found the podcast was number one, and video was taken away from it. So I got rid of it. But maybe we’ll add it back. Hmm. Interesting.
Neville Medhora 40:45
Do you do like SEO like
Andrew Warner 40:49
Seo? at all? I don’t I probably should. I don’t all i where I optimize all my time? is in the questions. How do I get people to be more open? How do I get to know a little bit more about them? I will not ever once go through the SEO of my site. But I will get every interview transcribed. I’ll go through I won’t listen to myself because I want to see the mechanics of what work. And I will say, why did this person get open? Why did this person get angry at me? What happened here and to study a conversation to that degree to me is fascinating. And that’s all I want to do. I want to understand what makes people feel alive in a conversation. What gets them to be open? Why do they want more of a conversation? What is it? That’s where I’m obsessed?
Neville Medhora 41:32
What about the transcription? So we started doing transcriptions, like rev.com are
Andrew Warner 41:36
one of those I use, we use descript. Because that’s what we use to edit. And then I’ll In addition, if I want my own transcript, I have an account with otter, I’ll upload my interview to otter and I’ll analyze it. And then if there’s someone else who’s done a good interview, I will upload it to otter, and I will transcribe it and have it and go through. I’ve taken old interviews, like there was one with Barbara Walters interviewing Richard Nixon, I want to know, what did she do? How did she do it? I’ll give you an example. One of the things that she did so at the last question that she had for him was, Do you regret not not discarding, not destroying the tapes, the tapes that did him and you know, he was recording in the White House. She didn’t get much time to explain. There was just like less than a minute left before the whole live show was over. He has has to come up with a quick answer. His answer is yes, I do regret it. So now he or she is getting him to admit that he wished that he had destroyed these tapes. Those little techniques of when she asked the question how much time she gave him those things. They’ll do things that are fascinating to me.
Neville Medhora 42:38
Well, like back to transcripts was kind of like you have been doing it. I’m like, Is it useful to people read the transcripts? Have you do people tell you because you’ve always put the transcripts up? They will tell you they read them?
Andrew Warner 42:48
people absolutely do read them. But it’s more than that. It’s researchers who go through it. It’s the Associate at the venture firm that’s looking into someone that they want to invest in, who’s not going to hang out and listen to an hour long podcast. But just once that one segment wants to see that wants to search for some random thing. And that’s what they’re looking for. Now, transcripts used to cost I said spend 100 bucks per episode to get a transcribe that cost nothing. Now, you might as well make it available to people and it’s it’s easy enough to do. Hmm,
Neville Medhora 43:19
interesting. Do so I was talking to Jordan Harbinger or buddy who ran the Art of Charm and out of the Jordan Harbinger podcast. And he says that I mean, it’s like authors that want to come on podcast. Yep. Does it? Have you noticed that it really does move books like podcast move books?
Andrew Warner 43:36
I think so anecdotally, I will absolutely see that my audience will tell me that they bought books more than they’ll tell me they sign up for software or anything else. So yes,
Neville Medhora 43:44
I’ve noticed it personally. Yes, for my case, because I bought the James Dyson’s book because I listened to him on Tim Ferriss podcast, even though I heard him talk on the podcast and like, I still want the book.
Andrew Warner 43:53
I know, I think that there’s something about a book, it’s such a major investment, that you really want to know that stuff before you go and buy it. Yeah. And then it’s also such an easy financial investment that if you listen to someone, it’s very easy afterwards to just go and buy a book, you’re not going to overthink the price of it.
Neville Medhora 44:08
Although I have said I have seen some podcasts where I listened to the podcast. And I think I thought it was far better than the book. I could just listen to the podcast. I
Andrew Warner 44:15
think the interviews done really well. It will do better than the book really young. So interesting.
Neville Medhora 44:21
So what about so any sort of content marketing that you’ve seen throughout the years? Is that part of your strategy? Is that like a Is that a thing? The all like, I hate email, so I hate admitting it. But email does work really well. And I can’t stand email
Andrew Warner 44:34
and email given up email over the years so much. Why because it’s such a flood of information sent at us. It’s so badly constructed. Why does email have a subject line and a body? Why can’t email just have the subject line? Why do we have to go through it’s just I hate it but
Neville Medhora 44:49
that’s kind of like Twitter. It’s just a bunch of subject lines, right?
Andrew Warner 44:51
Yeah, exactly. I prefer was that but I have to say I really liked your email. I read your email every time because it’s image first big text Quick like delivery of the punch line chart with the student amo the stupid email so but even the others that you’ve done over the years, I like them. I like your approach as
Neville Medhora 45:07
well instead of badly constructed emails, what about goodly constructed animals right
Andrew Warner 45:11
late emails worse because it’s more of my time. Yeah,
I hate email but
Neville Medhora 45:16
it works. That is the worst answer I’ve ever heard. So with with mixergy, like I know in the beginning was Pro, you’re doing a very unique thing. doing the interviews back then. So I’m assuming it grew a lot about like word of mouth and stuff like that, right? Yeah, I
Andrew Warner 45:32
think that word of mouth was a big one. I think the fact that I would be deep in a community and then I would interview their heroes in the community is a big one. I think that today, people say Andrew interviewed Paul Graham of Y Combinator, and he interviewed Brian, the founder of Airbnb, and it feels like it’s these big names that are not easy to get interviews with. They were people who hardly anyone knew about a small community called Hacker News. And so they said yes, to do the interview. And then that small community would go and listen to the people who they were talking about. That’s, that’s what did it. And I think that’s still true to this day, you see people within small communities that they have a huge, passionate audience huge for them, and they want to know about them.
Neville Medhora 46:15
If you were to restart mixergy, today, would it be a traditional podcast or YouTube interview channel? Ever thought about that?
Andrew Warner 46:21
I don’t know. I don’t know. I really like long form. So it would probably be long form even though there are these easy systems like I like racket, I don’t know if you’ve ever used bracket comm makes it super easy to do a 10 minute interview with someone? It’s it’s the easiest way to do an interview. So clean, so efficient, was do they give you a single URL to give to someone they all have to do is go in as soon as they do their iPhone or Android will say, can I have Mike permission? You say yes. And then they could talk to you and say, here’s what we’re going to talk about. You hit record, it immediately records it, and then it turns it into a podcast. That’s like 10 minutes or less. It’s
Neville Medhora 46:56
amazing, huh? Interesting.
Andrew Warner 46:58
Yeah. And it’s super easy. They even have the pre interview time. So you don’t have to do anything except just hit record when you’re ready. But what I would do is I would not care about the audience. I’m not looking to be famous with this. I’m not looking for this to be a show. I’m looking for this to be a Andrew has questions. How do I understand this? It’s just amazing that we have this opportunity. When I was dating, imagine how many times I would ask girl, for her contact information, we’d have a great conversation, I get her phone number. And then I call and I get her voicemail. She’d never call me back. I was dying to know why don’t you? Here’s what I would do today, I would say look, I’m going to go out all the same places. And I’m going to ask women who don’t call back. Can I interview you about how you’re finding people? Like why would you give out a phone number? What didn’t I want to understand an ambiguous show? Exactly. What is it that we’re curious about? In retrospect, it was probably this, you know, it’s awkward to say no. So
Neville Medhora 47:48
that would give me the title of the call. Why do I suck? Yeah. That’d be I thought that was a joke. It was like, Gee, thanks. Yeah. It’s more chord in this. Okay, so you’ve interviewed a ton of entrepreneurs? And yes, God, you probably get this all the time. But I was actually curious about this. What qualities do you see between like the top entrepreneurs?
Andrew Warner 48:11
I think a big one is they really see problems everywhere, and they want to fix it. We remember when we went there, I was sitting down for dinner once with Noah Kagan. And he was asking for a cookie and it wasn’t there at the restaurant. It was right next door. And he thought, why wouldn’t the person just go and get the cookie if I really am craving it? Right? We see these problems. And we think, how do I solve them. And the best entrepreneurs are just amazing at noticing problems. And then they can’t help but try to try to solve them. Paul English, the founder of kayak is a good example that he saw that there were all these different sites where you can find out what an airline ticket costs, but people would just naturally have to go and search all the different sites and they accepted it. Because the early days in the internet, it was magic that you could even go do it. But he said, That’s too much work. Why should they have to go to all these different sites, I see the problem, I see the pain, I’ll aggregate it all in one place, whether they airlines want or not, I’ll put it there. He’s done so many other businesses over the years. One of them is get human. He just said, it sucks that we have to dial in to chase. And then we have to go through the phone tree and we never get a human being. But if we know the right combination, then we’ll get a human being goes What if I put like a wiki essentially, where anyone who knows how to get through to human being could just put the answer up and the rest of us can go and get a human being now called get human. It’s another little side project that he has he created. He’s created a bunch of businesses. He can’t help find problems, and he can’t help but spend time solving them. And that’s the thing that I’ve noticed the most that these people will find problems and be aware of it. But we’re others are going to pontificate about how the world shouldn’t be this way. They can’t help but think this is a solution. I’ve got to do it.
Neville Medhora 49:54
Do you think most interviews, entrepreneurs are smart or do you think some of them are kind of dumb?
Andrew Warner 49:58
I don’t know. I do think that there’s Smart in a, in a, in a in a world for sure in their world. They’re super smart. It’s amazing how smart they are. I think it’s amazing how smart they are and how much now they spend a lot of time hiding it by by pretending that all they’re trying to do is save the world or something. I think they’re smart. I think they also pretend they don’t love money, but they love money. I think they pretend all this stuff isn’t true. Because, you know, they’re smart enough to know what the world well, maybe or public they
Neville Medhora 50:24
say right? Money doesn’t right. And to some extent it’s true, but at the same time, yeah, they’re like, Okay, so this is something I’ve been interested in. So community memberships. I know, there’s like a lot of talk about creator economy and communities and all that kind of stuff. I don’t see many people doing really, really well, I have a list that I keep people that run good communities, I have a there’s a barrier to entry though to this list, you have to have at least 1000 paid members. And you have to not be on Facebook groups.
Andrew Warner 50:51
That that’s what you keep, you’re gonna ask me I hate communities to I’m not really good at it. There is one community that did something really interesting. wil Schroder from from startups calm. He put me and these three, maybe it was four other great entrepreneurs on a weekly call. And then one of us said, We need a way to talk in between calls, and we created a whatsapp group. It’s such a close bond to be able to when you’re talking to someone on the phone to go into a chat with them. It’s amazing. My friends are a Christian who go into these big churches will also have these small groups where a similar thing happens where it’s now this big group is going into a small platform. And now you care about the bigger group more because you’re coming into a small platform. There’s something about that, that I think even someone like me who hates groups gets a lot of value out of I like
Neville Medhora 51:44
that analogy. I never thought of it like the church and you have a little breakout group or you have like a giant college class in your little ta session,
Andrew Warner 51:50
right? Or your small project where you get to bitch about the teacher and everything. But you’re working on a single project. It’s super helpful. Even in, in kindergarten, when my kid went into zoom class, the teacher finally figured out how to do zoom, and she put them into breakout rooms. And having them in a small group meant that the kids like three or four other kids together, they got to know each other better. And they cared more about the bigger zoom classes
Neville Medhora 52:13
on the current iteration of mixergy subscription. Do people still remember like the comments used to be a big thing on yours?
Andrew Warner 52:20
Yeah, that was comments are dead. Yeah, yeah, they might come back with comments at some point died.
Neville Medhora 52:25
Hmm. Oh, so have you ever thought of putting like a forum for mixergy. So people could talk.
Andrew Warner 52:30
And we did a community it worked out? Well, I just don’t love communities. What I ended up shifting it to that I really enjoyed was I like in person. That’s one of my problems. So I said, Let’s get guests who I’ve interviewed. And we’ll do dinners for them. And the guests want to know what other entrepreneurs are going through. And so we started hosting these dinners around the country around the world, actually, where one entrepreneur who I interviewed would get together with, say six other 10 other entrepreneurs in their city and they’d have dinner and they talk and to create a great relationship. So hold on, you said that it did well, so
Neville Medhora 52:58
you put like a forum thing, and people were using it. So what do you not like about it?
Andrew Warner 53:03
I don’t like staying engaged all the time. I don’t like staying engaged all the time. That could be that’s definitely one of my problems. No, I mean, it’s very, like fully disconnect. I
Neville Medhora 53:13
mean, it’s also one of the problems the Facebook groups, right, what is Facebook reward, they reward contentious things that have a lot of complex saris, like they don’t reward contentious things. They wrote things that have a lot of engagement and activity, which is often contentious stuff. And then also it’s like the the big questions get the most amount of answers. So if I’m in a copywriting community, everyone’s always like, what’s the first step to do? copywriting? How do I make a trillion dollars a day doing copywriting? What copywriting books are out there. It’s like the same questions over and over. And Facebook kind of rewards that because those get the most engagement. Yeah, keep people coming back to Facebook, etc, etc, etc. So, I mean, that’s one of the things I didn’t want a community that’s just active for being active sake, which a lot of Facebook groups are, they just try to engage your PVS. Just to keep it right.
Andrew Warner 53:55
Let’s just ask a question of the day. And the question of the day is, where would you fly? If you could fly anywhere? And then who cares? But yes, certainly when I think your community is different, because what you’re doing is you’re focusing more on a direct result that people are aiming for, right? They’re aiming for improving their copy and getting better at giving, like feedback. Am I right?
Neville Medhora 54:14
Yeah. So if there’s 10 posts on a thread, it’s literally because someone said, here’s my about page. I think that sucks. And it’s not working. What can we do to make it better? And we say, try this. Try this. And they come back a week later, they’re like, Hey, we did it. We have a 3% higher open rate now, whatever. And we’re like, cool, and then that thread dies. I think that’s the important part that does a fuck I hate that the threads die. No, no, but it’s good. I think it’s a feature not a bug. Yeah. Because think about it. If Imagine if Facebook groups the threads kept growing, it would just go forever, you
Andrew Warner 54:44
know, have you that red should die, but there’s so much like utility in that in what was said there that I wish it could get saved. One of the things that I really get saved,
Neville Medhora 54:53
they don’t they don’t die, they die. Oh, there’s no more conversation. You know, people save it. Yes. Let’s see, once it’s solved you Don’t need a lot more unless there’s some sort of follow up and they can always still post but like, you don’t want to have keep just going on thread forever, then it just gets okay. No, I see your point.
Andrew Warner 55:08
Absolutely. Yeah. I like my favorite community is stackexchange StackOverflow, where they will have a question and then the top answer underneath it. And that could stand for years. And then maybe five years after the question was asked, somebody will come up with a better answer, and they’ll get updated. But it’s so useful even after the fact that you can search but you know, what stackexchange does what it says resolved. But you can always come in and add something else to it right and improve it. But there is a resolution is that’s where
Neville Medhora 55:38
that’s where each thread is an asset to the community, not just like this random thing that goes away, whereas Facebook groups, I know it still exists, but it’s like, not you, if you go to like a hustle trends group or something and scroll back, you know, 20 pages, you’re still on like day four, we’re
Andrew Warner 55:50
not doing it. But how great would it be if somebody could say in the hustle, give me the 20 best ideas all time here? Give me the 20 best moments of the podcast? I don’t know. I do wish that it survived.
Neville Medhora 56:02
Yeah, hopefully Facebook comes out with some better organization. Or maybe it’s someone else will come up with it. Maybe Yeah, so I know you’ve done so with. So you have your main membership. That’s been like the primary theme. And I know you’ve done like other courses and academies, or whatever you
Andrew Warner 56:15
want to call it, how are those compared to like, just like a subscription for mixergy of all the things that I’ve done, the subscription is the one that lasts the best. And the best thing that I’ve done of them all of it. Because the courses if I do a bigger course, I’ve seen that people do these multi $1,000 courses. And I think there’s huge value in that I get much more invested when someone’s spending $3,000 on a program, I think it’s just phenomenal. And I have more to give, right? There’s a bigger budget to make sure that they’re taken care of that we mail the thing that they want. But the subscription in many ways, like a SaaS product where people are invested month after month after month, you know, there have been times when I’ve just been burned out. But the subscription continues to go and the people are still there. And, and it’s helpful.
Neville Medhora 57:00
And and I’ve noticed for a long time, because I keep track of a site called swipe file.com where we track people’s pricing and stuff like that, and just whatever. So you’ve had your subscriptions, like 47 bucks a month for a long time, right? Yeah. Is that like the magic number? For some reason?
Andrew Warner 57:15
You know what it was, I discovered, at some point that people who really want it at a certain point will pay, they could even pay 100 bucks a month. If there’s a thing, they’ll pay for it. And then if they don’t really want and they’re on the fence, the thing that will get them to say yes is a discount that’s temporary. So we went from 25 bucks a month to 50 bucks, essentially, you’re saying 49 I’m gonna appear to them and say it’s 50, right? 50 bucks a month. And if somebody wants to thing, they’ll sign up for it for 50 bucks a month, I’ll try to transition them to annual and Neil Patel years ago said try to switch people over to annual it’s less of a pain in the neck for them. And it’s great for you. It’s all the way around. It’s fantastic. So we do that. And then we’ll do discounts every once a while. There’ll be one for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, whatever. That
Neville Medhora 58:01
Yeah, that sounds pretty much like what we’re doing. Is that what you’re doing? Yeah, we did. So we started the the actual forum like in 2019. It’s been two years or so we started it. Two years, five months. I’m like that. And we tried all these different price points, just to see what would happen. And I hate this about the world. You try all these new things like you tried different crazy prices credit for instructors, but it always comes back to the same goddamn thing. Which is, which is like 97 bucks a month or 497 yearly like those just somehow stick like I don’t completely get it. I think it’s just like people are so used to it, that it’s not a big deal. Also, it just just kind of makes sense. Like you save a little bit of money. If
Andrew Warner 58:43
you just make sense. People have all figured it out. And the I don’t know what the logic is behind it. But maybe that’s the number that you can charge your company or some I don’t know,
Neville Medhora 58:51
people just used to it.
Andrew Warner 58:52
Yeah, you know, what I wish I’d done though, is I wish I’d had a company wide price. I’ve always geared myself towards entrepreneurs, but companies buy in bulk companies buy this type of thing. Like it’s nothing. If I think about when we spent when I spend money for myself a much cheaper when someone on my team needed better writing and they told me that you offer to the the consulting package. I said absolutely go buy the consulting package, because I know what I’m paying the person who’s going to go work with you to pay them to pay a little bit more to make them much more useful. Absolutely makes sense. And I think that there are a few different options that I could have considered but to have a package for a company is really helpful. Hmm,
Neville Medhora 59:36
we have that and people have done it but it was just kind of pulled out of my ass. How have you seen that done well before.
Andrew Warner 59:44
The easiest thing is to just say this is for the whole company, but you know what I’ve seen so I’ve interviewed people who’ve done courses and I’ve tried to understand what they’re adding into it. Some way for the boss to see progress is a big one. I don’t really believe that the boss ever checks to see did everyone go through it? But I think it’s very satisfying to know that you will get to see progress. That is see that they’ve gone in on a regular basis. They’re doing this thing.
Neville Medhora 1:00:08
I literally answered that email before this question. The guy’s like, Is there a way to just track if did they Yeah? Or did they even login? Like, am I spending money? Right?
Andrew Warner 1:00:16
Right getting something out, right? Or is this download, right? And then overall, if the person knows that their boss is watching, maybe that increases their utility of it, it’s it’s a really great feature. And it’s great for companies to be able to offer extra perks,
Neville Medhora 1:00:27
we just been doing, actually yearly seats. So we sit, we take our yearly price, whatever it is, and then we say you just buy a bunch of seats and bolts. So just send us the list of emails and whistles. Okay, yeah, trying to make you fully automated right now, just with subscription stuff, it gets a little bit more complicated, but not really. So. But yeah, that’s always a good thing, when like, you know, a marketing company will buy, you know, 12 seats for their people. And you’ve had that happen. Well, yeah, I mean, isn’t that great? Yeah. I mean, it’s been, it’s so far that that onboarding process has been a little ghetto in terms of just like, we, they email us, and then we send it back and forth. But we’re gonna automate it. And so hopefully, that becomes more of a thing. Because honestly, those people are the best. Yeah, a lot of times Oh, by what we think is a large number to us. But then to that there is nine, right? And we’ll help them improve that one email for their sales team. And it does 3% better. And they’re like, yeah, this means millions of dollars for us. So we don’t give a shit about the you know, 10 grand was dropped on you or whatever.
Andrew Warner 1:01:22
Yeah, and for some reason, I just didn’t think that way. But it’s so helpful to think that way. Interesting, right?
Neville Medhora 1:01:29
I knew I knew this one guy who ran a course company, just basic courses on how to do like, a large IT companies products, right? lot of complicated products. And he just made courses on that. And a company bought them for 40 million, that company bought them for $40 million. I was like, What? Okay, and it’s just like for them? That is not a big number. We bought the whole business
Andrew Warner 1:01:51
of Yeah, the whole business, okay, to integrate them in and give it to their employees notice sell the service?
Neville Medhora 1:01:57
Well, to give the employee is mainly That’s it? Yeah. And then also they said they sell to their their retailers or something like that. Okay. I remember thinking like, What a crazy valuation that that was, because it’s being sold to a larger company. And so you know, they got my brain turning a little bit, of course, like,
Andrew Warner 1:02:13
I think there’s something here I think copywriting for businesses, we’re now seeing that everybody’s in the copy copywriting space, right? We think about somebody who’s creating ads for people, for for their customers, by their few entrepreneurs were interviewed on mixergy, whose whole business is to put together for four companies, all the branding materials they need, and I said, What the hell do you need that for? I said, Well, think about when a bathroom is out of order. Some companies will feel great just writing on a piece of paper out of order and putting it up there other people other businesses can have that they need it to feel on brand, or else it’s going to look junky. But how do they know it’s on brand, they used to have a Google Drive or a Dropbox thing and it just doesn’t work. They need to have it organized in a better way to know who checked what out and where things are used. And it’s multiple businesses that are multi million dollar businesses, just keeping the brands together. does nothing for copywriting like that. When we think about how we write a letter, how we write an email out to the team, there’s not or to our clients. That’s copywriting. And there’s nobody who yet who’s done that said, Everybody in the business is in the business of copywriting. I feel like you’re onto something with this.
Neville Medhora 1:03:23
Yeah, just optimizing little things for a company. My favorite is just the cold email outreach, or the the quick like sales pitch. Yeah, email. Those are the best because it’s the most immediate results. Yep. Right. So I remember there’s a I wish I could I can’t talk about a lot of these because they’re private or that the paid consulting stuff. There’s a farming company, and farm sell like, like when they sell fertilizer, they don’t sell like a bag of fertilizer. It’s like $3 million for the fertilizer. Okay, and if they get one more farmer to buy fertilizer, that’s a lot of money. This was a client of yours who needed a way to improve that one emails. Yeah, they have 12 people do that do outreach, okay to companies. And so it’s it’s email, but there’s also in the farming industry, there’s a ton of calling going on, like good old boys network I have. And the way they were outreaching was very just like dumb say, hey, we’ve been around since 1945. And Dad, I’m just like, I don’t give a shit about any of this is just like, we’re 25% cheaper, and we have local things near you. So the shipping cost is 300,000 instead, and that’s what you told them that Yeah, I was like, put that in there. And they’re like, they started selling more of this product. And, and they’re like, cool. Yeah, that’s what we needed. That’s all we need. Like, they don’t care about any of the videos or anything like that’s what we wanted. Well,
Andrew Warner 1:04:31
I’ve seen you do this with people, if you do it with me, where you’ll hear what I’m trying to say. And you’ll just cut through everything and say, here’s the approach. Do you then do what I did do come back the way that I do with my interviews and say, What what are the techniques I’m using without being aware of are you creating a Google Doc somewhere where afterwards after a consulting call, you say, here’s what I did that worked after a foreign policy. Here’s what I did that worked or what didn’t do do that?
Neville Medhora 1:04:57
Yeah, we I mean, we like it already. During this, if we do
Andrew Warner 1:05:01
formatted are you how organized? Are you about your techniques?
Neville Medhora 1:05:05
I guess not very, I guess if you asked me, Do I have an actual doc for that? No, there’s no but it’s
Andrew Warner 1:05:09
in. I know it’s in your gut. And I know that it’s repetitive. It’s not like it’s one time random out this way. And then if your guts going
Neville Medhora 1:05:16
that way, it’s that way. Some of it when we’re talking about something very specific, like a cold email. I’m just like, cut most of the big words out, make all the words easy. bullet points, and strong call to action. There you go. That’s the whole thing.
Andrew Warner 1:05:27
I think. All right, great. I think if you could find a way to condense it all into that, and even if it’s not a book, but here’s a forum with the things that we believe now we’re going to link out to all the different examples of how you’ve done it. Something in that. Yeah, there’s something. Maybe I’m just brain Oh,
Neville Medhora 1:05:41
so Okay, cool. So let’s do a little lightning round. So I’m going to time these actual questions. I’m going to pull it down. Why you got your phone out? I said, is he taking text messages? Yeah, I’m sending text messages at the moment. Yeah. I don’t care about you at all. So let me find my lockout. Yeah. So these are just one minute all the time. And just so you have it here. So okay, so let’s get started light, like lightning round with Andrew Warner. If you were to start a podcast again today, how would you do it?
Andrew Warner 1:06:05
I would use the cheapest, simplest tool that’s available out there. And it could even be frickin clubhouse or Twitter spaces. Find a topic that I’m interested in and iterate every single day. Have an interview every single day. Wow. Every day, god damn.
Neville Medhora 1:06:18
Cool, great answer. And then one more. Okay. From all your interviews, what areas do you see growing?
Andrew Warner 1:06:32
It’s these small unfortunately, it’s a lot of small SAS companies. So it used to be that SAS would make you a multimillionaire huge. Now I’m seeing a lot of sass companies, and everyone’s just going to earn a nice living like, you know, my dad did when he had a store selling clothes. It’s not revolutionaries as much interesting.
Neville Medhora 1:06:47
Yeah. Cool. Well, Andrew Warner, thank you so much for joining, what’s the name of your book again, stop asking questions. Stop asking question. How did I do as interview? Well, what’s the review? let’s get let’s get the Google review here.
Andrew Warner 1:06:59
I thought you were really good. What, when I could see that you are hunting for certain things that you are trying to figure out for yourself, the community stuff, the advertising the membership, you’re trying to figure it all out for yourself. And that’s where I felt. That’s why I felt like I was being useful. And I saw that you needed something specific. Here’s my advice that I would that I would suggest for next time. You’re super frickin organized. Look at all these questions that you’ve written ahead of time. I’d say check in before we got started so that you could ask some of these questions and see where I wasn’t going to be super helpful. You know what I mean? That I went through them, but mostly, I said, Do I have a sense of where he’s going, he’s going to ask me about my underwear is gonna ask me about something super personal. Alright, he’s not great. I’m good. But I feel like I could have done better or maybe dropped out some of the questions. I wasn’t super useful about SEO, for example.
Neville Medhora 1:07:48
Oh, yeah. But see, I like that. That answer it gave you’re like, I don’t do it. Okay. That’s That’s the question. All right. Yeah. So that’s great. Cool. Thanks, man. Appreciate it. Thanks. Good times. Hey, it’s nevel here. And I’d love to explain for reasons getting on our email list can benefit your life. Number one. Every Friday, we send out the stupid email, which is a swipe, thought uplifting picture interesting. And drawing people regularly say this is their most look forward to email they get all week. Number two, we spend a lot of time and money filming great interviews about content marketing, copywriting, communications, growing a business, and just figuring out more about how the world works. For example, we’ve interviewed the CEOs of appsumo, Udemy, the hustle and many more. There’s so many Golden Nugget lessons we learn from each of them, and I hope you get in on this too. Number three, a single idea can possibly change the trajectory of your life. Just one thing you learn or pick up from these emails can potentially have a gigantic impact on you. And number four, we cover topics on how to grow a small business from just a side project to becoming something that’s a full time career. And bonus number five, you can unsubscribe at any time one click poof, I am out of your life for ever. Losing a subscriber is painful. So I’ve tried to make sure my email list is full of useful information to business owners and people trying to improve their copy and communication skills. So go to copywriting course comm and enter email. We’ll handle the rest. Thank you