Ep 91: Using Data to Make More Money with AJ Yager and Meagan Connell | Recap Episode

AJ: (00:06) [Inaudible] RV: (00:07) Hey, welcome to this special recap edition of the influential personal brand podcast joined by my wife, best friend business partner and CEO of brand builders, group Aja Vaden. We’re breaking down the interview with Megan and AJ from practice metrics. The other AJ, the male AJ also with red hair, AJ: (00:28) Male and female version. RV: (00:30) So why don’t you kick us off? What did you what’d you think? AJ: (00:33) Yeah, I thought it was a really data interview. And I think the first thing that I think is kind of the essence of the entire interview, if you haven’t listened to it and you’re always in forever reminder, please go listen to the whole episode. And this is really just your recap version, but it’s this whole concept of information is a competitive advantage. And I love that. It’s so true. And it’s the one thing that I think most companies and most brands, personal brands never have enough up. They’re making decisions based on emotions. They’re basing decisions based on what other people are doing. They’re basing decisions on what they were told to do. They were basing decisions on what used to work, but on not actual information and data that is live in real time. That is today. And I think that’s huge. And I really do believe that it’s like information is the new competitive advantage. AJ: (01:25) And I love the way that I think it was Megan raised it. And she said, if you just think about it, you have two very similar brands and they have similar prices and similar features which one’s gonna win. The one that has more information or less information, always the one who has more information, you have more information on your customers, their spending habits, what your Mark, what marketing tactics work, what converts what’s the lifetime value. It’s all these things make such an incredible difference. So I just love that. And I think that’s the essence of the whole interview of information is a competitive advantage. RV: (02:01) Yeah. And I, I think what we got to at the end about tracking was really important. And it’s, it’s related to that where again, I think it was Megan who said it, if it hasn’t been tracked, it does not exist. Yeah. If, and you don’t have to get everything right. You don’t have to know all of this stuff. You don’t even have to do anything with this yet. The one thing you have to do right now is you is you have to get it tracked. You gotta just get the stuff installed and make sure it’s installed correctly. And that was a big takeaway for me to come back even and go, even, you know, we know a lot of this and I’ll go through our stuff and be like, okay, like, are we actually, as the tracking installed properly, like, are we getting it? Cause we can deal with it later, but we got to track it. Now AJ: (02:45) We track a lot of stuff and sometimes it’s are we tracking the right stuff? And I think that’s even a, you know, an issue with us is what are we tracking that really makes it different? And this was one of my other takeaways I would say, this is my second one is, and this is what it relates to us. Cause I was thinking about all the things that we track and it’s like, Oh my gosh, I think we have like a hundred dashboards. We track a lot. We track financials and marketing and social media and retention and cancellations. And we track a lot. I’ll just say that. And here’s what I took away is are we tracking the right things to help us make quick decisions? And they put it like this it’s what are your predictable levers? What do you know that if you just do more of this or spend more here, it will give you X results. AJ: (03:37) And I think sometimes like, and I’ve thought about us intentionally. It’s do we really know that? And it’s like, to some degree, I was like, yeah. And others. I was like, I don’t know. And I thought that was really good and a very, you know, self reflection of all of these dashboards, because I think I have a hundred and it’s like, which ones are my production? My predictable levers of, if I do more of this, I know I’m going to get this output. I put more money here or more attention here. I know this is what I’m getting. And I think for all of us is the whole point of tracking is so that you can start to create what are your predictable levers so that you know what to push and what to pull when RV: (04:15) Yeah, that was my second takeaway too, was the predictable levers, you know? And I know I had it didn’t even know you were going to do that. In fact, I was going to do it third, but you did it second. So I was like, all right, well, I’ll jump on the bandwagon. But she, she said that, you know, they work with these VC firms and that’s what they’re looking for. And that makes sense. Right? And it reminds me, and this is really relevant for me right now. Cause we have our eight figure entrepreneur event that’s coming up. It’s one of our phase four events where we talk about what does it really take to grow a personal brand into an eight figure business. And it’s a huge part of the, the premise of that event is thinking like a real entrepreneur and real entrepreneurs make data driven decisions. RV: (04:57) They look at, they look at the metrics. They should. I mean, you don’t really get to eight figures probably without doing some or you have someone on your team. Otherwise you have a lot of good luck and a whole lot of charisma, but personal brands, a lot of times we don’t, we don’t run it enough like a real business. And you need to know. And I think in our business specifically, we know a lot of like, you know, we know our affiliates are the number one lever we have. Like if we have something coming out with affiliate, we know that works, but we even brand builders group, you know, we’re almost two years in as a company, AJ: (05:37) July 27th. RV: (05:38) Look at that. We’re two years old today. The live taping here. That’s cool. I didn’t even realize that that is awesome. So the, but, but for us, we’re just now as a company getting into phase three, which is high traffic strategies and all paid, and man, you don’t even want to mess around with that stuff until you got this, this dialed in and the data, but that’s, that’s a huge part of the future for us with our, you know, this company brand builders group is we’re going to be able to pull the levers and know this is what works and this is what doesn’t. So I thought that was huge. AJ: (06:16) Yeah. And I think too, that, and I process this interview like I do most, but probably more. So this time, the recent past of more of this introspective look at our own data, our own personal brands, dashboards, and our own company dashboard and thinking about the difference between growth and scale. And I bet this was very, very insightful is that there’s a difference between growth and scale because growth requires money and people it requires investments of time and resources and human capital. But scale is when you get more revenue with the same expenses where growth is like you’re growing revenues, but your expenses are growing with them. But scale is when those expenses, those expenses plateau, but the revenue keeps going because the systems are in place to scale without having to add tons of more people or tons of more technology or tons of more stuff. And I really love that. Just this concept of, okay, am I in growth mode or am I starting to scale? And just knowing where you are and your own business pattern, I think was really insightful. It was really strong. It was a great company. RV: (07:29) That was a great distinction. I’d never heard that before and we’re were close personal friends with AJ and Megan. I had never heard them say that before. And they’re withholding the goods. Like how, how long do we have to be friends before they give us the good stuff now? So my third takeaway which fits in with that was that, you know, she said actually I think Aja said we help brands scale by eliminating waste. And that’s like the difference there where growth is just, we’re adding more to get more, but scale is we’re growing with not incrementally more expensive, just like a fractional increase in expenses or no increase in expenses. And so that’s about eliminating waste. And, and I think as a personal brand, you’re pretty far ahead if you’re tracking this stuff, you’re really far ahead. If you’re looking at it and you’re interpreting the data wisely, and then you’re really, really far ahead if you’re actually using it, not just for marketing, but other parts of your business and figuring out where can we eliminate waste, how can we streamline? And in our case, we kind of came in at the reverse because we needed it so badly on the operational side, it was out of desperation. You know, that, that AJ: (08:44) There was nothing that you can’t use dashboard reporting form. We do it with expenses. We do it with our financial analysis. We do it with commission reporting, affiliate reports, retention, cancellations. There is nothing that we don’t use dashboard reporting for. And, you know, we have Mary seriously considered adding a pull cumin position about what have been complicated to say the least. And I feel like their workload would have been just full of Excel spreadsheets. And these dashboards have eliminated the need for a full time position so that we can use that money to hire other positions that can’t be automated. So I, I can’t say enough about this concept of data. It is the new competitive advantage RV: (09:29) Nerds are taken over the world. Check out Praxis dot brand builders, group.com. If you want to see that free training that they’re putting together or queue up for that. And Hey, we want to be the ones helping you prepare and plan and figure out exactly how you’re going to scale your business. And we’re honored to be going on that journey right along with you.