Manage episode 268315572 series 1410522
So you got your business running, and COVID-19 is hitting you hard. How can you work smarter, using the assets already at your fingertips? Steve J Larsen joins Grant to discuss how to Evergreen your business using artificial intelligence!!
Grant Larsen Alright everybody welcome. This is Grant Larsen on click AI radio. Welcome to another episode. I'm very excited today because I've got this person in my life and he came into my life over 30 years ago, who would this be? Who would be in my life over 30 years ago? Well, I'm happy to announce it's my son Steven. Well, Mom and mom and dad we call you Steven. Right? I think your your show name is Steve Jay Larson. Right? Tchaikovsky, Steve or psychology Steven.
Steve Larsen Either is fine. You brought me into this world!
Grant Larsen I might slip back into Stephen node now and then Okay. All right. Okay, so Steve, or Steven has been really successful in business. He's done a fantastic job starting up businesses and applying technology. And as I started to think about the work that I'm doing in AI and what it means to businesses, I thought I can go grab Steven and get his thoughts and his stories now. He's focused on solving a real specific problem for businesses. And so before we get into that, and how we talk how the problem is Solving is actually addressed and and is actually benefited by using AI before we get there. I want to back up and give Steven a chance to introduce himself and talk about your origin story. So why don't we back up? I don't know let's say Should we go back to when we brought you home from the hospital? I mean, how far back!
Steve Larsen Now I as far as professionally speaking goes, like the way this all started for me was I mean, you know, I was I feel like I'm saying this now to listeners about you, because in high school, I was selling tons of stuff. I sold stuff all over the place. We grabbed golf balls from the golf course clean up selling right back to the golfers and I mean, sold laser pointer pens had to do a bunch of community service as a punishment for that in. It's just lots of lots of entrepreneurial drives that I didn't realize I was doing or had in college. Really, when it first started, I would say, actually started and had a hard time feed my family for a bit and asked you for cash. I remember that. And I said, you know, as getting a student loan, which good or bad as well, it's another conversation how easy it is to get student loans, but money was on the way. And I said, Hey, could you float us some cash? And you said, "Son, no. If I give you this money now, you will not exhaust the resources he didn't know you had.""
Grant Larsen I remember saying that. That was a painful discussion.
Steve Larsen It was a little painful for me. Yeah, yeah. It was a moment of I saw immediately what we were what you were doing. And I was like, okay, and it's basically, you know, it's been shown that we don't do anything without a new environment, not necessarily new willpower. And so it put me in a unique spot where my back was against the wall in a way I would not have put it on my own. And you basically said, figured out kid, you know, which is great, but it's just started my entrepreneurial, like, puzzle. And I did everything from real estate to diamonds to ebooks to other physical products to flipping stuff to go. And I mean, it was literally about a year ago riebeck went back and counted again, it's about 34 tries over five years.
Grant Larsen I saw that on one of your podcasts as amazing.
Steve Larsen It's crazy when recounted all of them, and the names of each one of them when they happen when they hurt. Like why that, thankfully, Mona like they didn't work like I'm so grateful to try to didn't work or I'd be doing it. Yeah, like yeah, turn around and think the journey you know, so. So I am professionally mostly known for my work at clickfunnels when I got hired to work there as a lead funnel builder over there and and did that for a few years. And then I was like, I still got this itch. Russell, you know, Russell Brunson is like I gotta go man, and it...
Grant Larsen ...must have been a strange conversation right?
Steve Larsen But he was extremely supportive. Have and which I think was rare and amazing of him and still good friends and still chat almost daily and still actually still do work for him. Just most people don't know. It's a Yeah, my involvement at the one phone away challenge has been fun, but basically what it showed me, I was already building successful sales funnels before I worked for him for a lot of other companies. But he certainly helped sharpen the saw, you know, and by all the things I was observing and things that the community was struggling with, and I decided to make an active stance and helping people make attractive offers and launch them into specifically internet. And so when I left Yeah, the first million took a little while, but came and then the next one faster next month, faster, faster. And it has been fascinating to see how it's how it's blown up since then. So that's, that's the professional nutshell. Yeah,
Grant Larsen Yeah, that's an awesome story. What a journey now that journeys led you into some things that I think you've identified to me a couple times that maybe the market doesn't talk too much about now that that's campaigns and can we talk about what those are? And I think there's different kinds of campaigns you've identified.
Steve Larsen Yeah, absolutely. So every time I say campaign well actually I was actually for a while in high school my dream was to be a high school history teacher and even into college most people don't know that I was gonna I was like high school history teacher that's why American history specifically and so I like history is when I saw their paycheck i i unmarried that dream. Like, oh, I can do history otherwise, but I love studying marketing history. And you go back and you start looking to see you know, the internet became publicly available. 1991 you look previously before that, and all these marketers these rich dead marketers, they had to go do things that we never have to go do because the internet's here so I got really obsessed about year and a half two years ago have these these models that that guys without tech had to Go through in order to still globally or nationally launched a physical product. That's, that's amazing. And so when I started seeing was these patterns, and I started recognizing that in the very successful product launches without the internet, what they were doing was what I would call a campaign, although that works kind of getting poisons. Now, I'd say, in a campaign I define it as being just a series of mini events that lead to a big one. So like guys, like PT Barnum, you know, like, yeah, show greatest showmen. Mm hmm. He had this museum his entire career, he would go every time we had a new product, or thing to show in his museum. He create these stories and these many events and he'd go to another city and create pressure and buzz and roll that pressure buzz into another city and build it. It's common, here comes the big unveiling of the new thing in my museum. And that rolls into the next thing. Now let's get the press involved. Boom, right? And that's like, but we don't do that. Now. People are like, I'm gonna launch my products and they send one email On the dates available, no one's heard about it since then. And they're like the internet's of scram. And you're like, Okay, campaigns. That's a reality like.
Grant Larsen You don't know, the truth, right?
Steve Larsen Yeah. So like campaigns today, like, well, I'm running Facebook campaigns. That's not a campaign. It can be part of one. But it's not a campaign in and of itself. And so I go in and I help basically, companies launch their products online to creating these small pressure events that roll into a bigger, they're rolling to a bigger, all quoting, inciting a future release date, similar to how Hollywood releases a product or movie, you know, with this increasing level of pressure towards the release date. So that's, that's what I say a campaign is.
Grant Larsen Okay. All right. And through this, as you focused on this, I think you've identified these different kinds of campaigns, right? Yeah. So you talked about there's one in particular that caught my fancy because I think it lines up with some of the things that I've been doing in the AI space and that's I think we call an evergreen campaign. Is that Right.
Steve Larsen Yeah, yeah, yeah. So in my pursuit of looking to see what these campaigns were, and I'm trying to bring back kind of this dying art, you know, think about the internet with such free distribution, but we'll treat it terribly because no one knows how to leverage it anymore. Like it's called an E blast, weakest form of campaign ever just blast it out there, available. Like I didn't know it was even coming. Anyway, but there's these certain campaign styles that I've noticed are really good for getting the rocket into space. But there's other kinds that are good for keeping it in orbit. And more often than not, I've been noticing that when someone launches something on the internet, they will turn around and though they'll build the rocket, it's an amazing offer a great funnel, it's a good sales, it's good enough to do really well it actually could go into space, but they don't put enough fuel in the thing.
So then they go back like the Rockets terrible. It's like you put a quarter tank gas in something that needs a lot more to get out into orbit. There's nothing wrong with your funnel 980 percent of time I'd say that I don't really touch my offer after I launch it, that's not usually the issue. It's just that there's not enough no noise, not a buzz, they get it out there. So I have a list of launch campaigns and evergreen campaigns get into orbit and keep it in orbit. That's kind of so with my funnel building process with my internal team. I've incorporated your AI stuff into our evergreen stuff, because I'm terrible. The evergreen Phase I like to launch stuff. If we can use AI to show patterns in what it is that like, that's great, because I anyway, yeah, that's that's kind of what happened.
Grant Larsen That's, that's what got me thinking about about you is when I saw your powerful ability to take organizations and to help them launch, and I come from a world of Hey, the thing is launched, how do we how do we keep it going, right? The thing in space, right? And that's what led me into the AI world and so on. Here's the question I have now that COVID is hit and impacted all of us. Right and tons of small businesses are being certainly negatively impacted. How do we keep that that thing launched? Right? What impact has that had to the Evergreen campaigns? Do you think it's possible to keep the small companies going in this? I mean, would AI help us something like that?
Steve Larsen Yeah, absolutely. There's two, there's two moves them, I'm encouraging everyone to go for right out of the gate, first cut costs, I went through all my stuff, I was able to cut 13 grand a month in expenses that I didn't realize we didn't need to be spending, which means I had to sell less to keep just as much I'm just more profitable now. Like, that's the first easy move. The second easy move is to, you know, when you're creating an offer, offer creation and the way we sell is really a function of value. It's like how valuable am I? So we've asked the question then, like, what is value? We know what prices we know what cost is how do you define value? Because value is not right. Money, but can be, but sometimes isn't. And you're like, Whoa, so that was another one of the questions I started diving into few years ago. And what kind of deep with that and found out like value is usefulness. That's it. And it's not usefulness in the eyes of the Creator, it's useless in the eyes of the user. And so so again, first of all cut costs second of all become more useful to the marketplace. And then third, when you are figuring out how to keep those repeat sales going, I mean things like AI is huge, showing all the patterns that are I can't see it's massive, consistent content creation has been a big one for us.
The way our ads have been working, and using AI to show ads, how they're working with Facebook ads, massive just got that report from you on a product will re launch and re evergreen at the end of this week. I mean, it's we're we're doing this everyone who's listening or watching right now. It's a It's been, it's been powerful. I think when it comes to evergreening stuff, though, consistent content creation and consistent ways to find new veins of gold. And having a look at that, I think it's gonna be one of the easiest things moving forward. We I mean, you come from such a huge, big, big e entrepreneur world, you know, and I come from very much the small E, small entrepreneurs are like, look at all the resources that these big e companies have. And it's, it's something's been on my mind for years now. I'm like, I make decisions based on how someone's belief patterns are, how they are their stories, you know, what it is that they've been telling themselves, and I'm trying to enter the conversation in their mind at a certain place, these big e entrepreneurs that you have access, they're just looking at data towers. Like, most of the time, they're just looking at data towers and huge spreadsheets, and they're letting data show which both is right but I don't have access to so I feel like I remember when you and I first started talking about goats like, Dad, if I could tell Turn around and get these big, massive data towers and have like, see the pattern, I could have the best of both skill sets. Yeah. And I feel like that's the marriage that's happening.
Grant Larsen So that conversation was very pivotal in my mind. Because as you know, I've been working with large companies who have access to that. And you think about a guy like Jeff Bezos right? And you think, what secrets is he getting and leveraging out of his data? Right? He's been doing an incredible job with it, right? And we all know the other big companies that do that, certainly apple and Facebook and so forth. But that conversation made me start thinking, Hey, I, I want to democratize AI. I want to I want to take AI. So it's no longer just in the grasp of these big data science teams in these big organizations. And I want to put this into the small and medium business world so that we can compete. I mean, I think that's a fabric of capitalism, right? It's a fat capitalist pig, right? Yes. So I thought, Wait, this Is this is the right time and the right timing to do something like that? So, quick question I have for you. And actually what came out of that conversation was the way the AI works is you and I know it's evergreen is that when you go apply it, and I know you're, you're applying it right now in your organization. So, so when you apply it, what happens is, is you're gonna change your history, right? Your something will change, because you're going to change your behavior, right? And then then, in a few months, guess what, you should take another look at the AI again, because you've changed your data footprint right in the sand basically, right, got a turn, look back and say, Okay, so we changed ourselves. What does the AI tell us? Now? That's another key aspect of evergreening the business. Does that make sense?
Steve Larsen Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Because it's like, I mean, that's what you told me too. It's like data is all historical, because it happened in the past. And then you have to keep taking new stamps of the data because it changes the predictions in the past. And what's gonna happen and, and so what we've been doing. So when I was leaving clickfunnels, one of the roles, the final role that Russell's asking me to do was help bobe an internal funnel agency. When I got there, it was literally just he and I, there was an a copywriter a designer, we were doing everything. And then as we brought in a funnel guy, you know, another assistant guy or another copywriter, we had to finally actually build a process beyond Hey, what are you on? Alright, let's do this. Right, we started building a system and, and I started documenting it and making these processes and systems for what it took to get a successful funnel out the door. So that I wasn't just leaving him and he had to just hold this thing now. Yeah, well, what that turned into and started developing into and what's now turn into two and a half years later, is this 12 step process that designs launches in evergreens lucrative funnels. Well, just a little while ago, I was Like, why aren't we in the launch phase in the, in the funnel building phase, we need to be setting up data capture systems that I can then send to click AI. So that we're so that it's there. It's there, when we get to step 12, which is evergreening. And then I can send it to click, and then you go, Hey, here's all the patterns and insights your naked eye can't see. And then we go back, and we make the tweaks and the changes. And that that's, that's awesome. Because I evergreen phase, and now I get computers looking at it.
Grant Larsen And you know, what's interesting is a lot of companies hate the Evergreen phase. And so that's why looking for ways to automate it with things like AI, take some of the monotony out of it, right? Because otherwise you lose the creative edge because you end up just going into maintenance mode. where's the fun in that right as humans we love to create. And so I see the AI piece as a way to help us still explore the creative avenues in terms of evergreening our businesses. Yeah, so I have a question for you. What in your mind are the biggest hurdles to small to medium companies leveraging AI to help them? What do you think would be the things that would get in the way of that?
Steve Larsen Yeah, you know, especially when it comes to the small entrepreneur, they're thinking sale, sale, sale sale sale sale, because they gotta eat what they kill, you know, and, and since most of them are so new, they don't really have any evergreen selling systems. And so they're, I mean, I've been at phase two for a while. It's like you're selling and launching and selling and launching. We recently went back and I started making a list of all of the projects that we had once launched, that were very successful that we're not doing a thing with that aren't selling because I'm not doing that last phase. It was like 15 projects, and I was like, that is literally millions of automated dollars. I'll have to do nothing for just sitting there. I was so mad. I was so I was livid. I was like Darn you and your distaste for evergreen. So that's what I went back and started adding In those things, to our funnel process to tie into click AI, and I think the danger and the challenge for small entrepreneurs will be not understanding how simple it is to simply I mean, this is how, for everyone who's listening now, this is as simple as I mean, data capture systems. Yeah, it's a zap to a Google Sheet. There's nothing else download it and then like, send to ClickAI.com.
This grandiose thing, it is behind the scenes on you. It's super smart, very wizardry. But I think that because we hear data science, you know, the spoiling the entrepreneur data science, and, you know, all this stuff is gonna be this massive, like, I gotta go get a Harry Potter wand and like, you know, get up, you know what I mean? But it can be simple.
Grant Larsen Yeah, you know, it's funny, you mentioned that we're doing some stuff for Blake Nubar the other day, and he goes, he said the same thing is like, "Okay, so, Alright, so what am I going to have to do?"" I said, "Send me your Excel file."" I go, "Yeah, yeah, we, we got the rest."" He said, "Yeah, okay." And then we will tell you what changes to go put in place. He's like, "Okay, well, that's simpler than I thought so." Yeah. Yeah, it's critical. Yeah, it's hard part was just just in the head, right. It sounds scary. Ai right. So you're like, oh, gosh, that this must must be hard. Okay, so, all right. I know we're, we're out of time here. Really appreciate your time.
Steven, I will just mention one other thing. Do you remember the last wrestling match we had when it was you and Kenneth and Jared and me and we are wrestling on the floor in Colorado and I got off the floor and I said, "I'm done wrestling you guys."" I went upstairs and told your Mom, "Okay, I think that's the last time I tried to wrestle those guys. They're kicking the crap out of me."
I know you're super busy. Just really appreciate your time coming here today and representing capitalist pig. A lot of luck the branding. Thanks for doing that. Any final comments?
Steve Larsen No, it's just it's fun to see ClickAI go. You know, I actually I do get asked frequently to like, okay, looking from where you are in the funnel world and all that stuff, you know, and where do you see it happening and I don't see a way where the marriage of AI and and small e funnel tech can't happen because it's already have I feel like it's something you have to jump on and find a solution for similar to how like, you know, email autoresponders are out and now suddenly few people have heard of these SMTP providers now you can send email on your own now you sending like, do you have Windows yet yet? Was it I feel like that's what AI is gonna be soon. It's like, do you have an AI provider and so, this is like a, you know, the pre bubble, you know can take advantage of.
Grant Larsen Exactly. Steven, thank you so much for your time. Appreciate that and Everybody, thanks for listening today and until next time, get some AI.
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