- How Paco's unique approach distinguishes her from “regular” bookkeepers 📚
- The secret to maintaining a low client number while maximizing revenue 💰
- How to repel the wrong clients through strategic branding 🚫
- Running a thriving business without constant self-promotion 🌱
- The art of practicing energy efficiency in your brain 🧠
- Utilizing processes and procedures to scale your company 📈
- Learning business skills from playing in a band 🎸
- Overcoming fears and obstacles in your entrepreneurial journey 👊
- Crafting a career-focused marketing plan for long-term success 🎯
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Paco de Leon
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[00:00:00] Brian: Hello and welcome to the six Figure Creative podcast. I'm your host, Brian Hood. If this is your first time listening to the show, first of all, welcome. Thank you for giving the show a chance. You are in the right place right now. If You're passionate about what you do. You want to earn more money, and you wanna do it without selling your soul.
[00:00:13] Brian: If that is you, you are in the right place. And if you're watching it on YouTube, you already know this, but there's a sign behind me that says it takes more than passion. I talk about this on the time on the show, but it's, worth reminding people, cuz believe we need to be reminded more than we need to be taught.
[00:00:23] Brian: as creatives, we are usually passion driven. We're passion led about what we do. But if we're trying to earn more, if we're trying to make this our living, it takes more than just passion. So I like to bring on guests on here who have. Taken that to heart. They've built their entire business around both passion and business.
[00:00:38] Brian: And I think our guest today is a wonderful example of, doing just that. Our guest is Paco Daon. She is a author of the book Finance for the People. She's the host of an iHeartRadio podcast called Weird Finance. She is a public speaker. she has a TED Talk. She's the founder of a group of companies called The Hell.
[00:00:56] Brian: And she has taken her actual non-creative skills in finance and [00:01:00] blended them with her creative skills and her passion it's a really interesting business in one of the most uninteresting spaces, , and we'll dive into what all that means.
[00:01:08] Brian: But she's taken something that is just dominated by uh, the most boring businesses possible on earth, and she has set herself up to. Incredibly interesting. Something that's so interesting that she's been featured on, New York Times, Forbes Business Insider, npr, vice Bloomberg, a bunch of other things.
[00:01:23] Brian: Good Morning America, because she's gone against the norm. She's used her creativity, her ingenuity and her business sense to create something that is really successful. and she's done a wonderful job of building her personal brand in a way that sets her apart from all the other people so in our discussion today, Paco talks about how she sets herself apart from all the other businesses in her industry.
[00:01:41] Brian: She talks about how she gets clients, the unique ways that she's doing that, and she even talks about how she's accomplished all that she's accomplished so far in her life, even though she's lazy. So without further delay, here is my conversation with Paco. Deon, Paco, thank you so much for coming on the show today.
[00:01:56] Paco: Thank you so much for having.
[00:01:58] Brian: I've already mentioned a lot of this stuff in the intro, but [00:02:00] you've got a pretty cool group of businesses, I guess just one business with a bunch of wings going on called the Hell Yeah. Group, which is the best name of all time. And I'm gonna fit the word hell yeah.
[00:02:08] Brian: Into this interview as much as I possibly can. And when I got the request for you to come on the show, it was a hell yes. if it's a hell yes when a guest is pitched to us which is very rare I have to have you on the show. So I'm glad you were able to make it today.
[00:02:19] Paco: [00:02:19] Paco: Thank you. I'm flattered for the hell.
[00:02:21] Brian: Yes. But I actually wanna start what would you consider yourself an expert at? That's what I wanna know at, before I even start anything.
[00:02:27] Paco: I'm an expert. Helping people with their finances. I have a finance degree. I studied financial planning. I worked as a financial planner at a investment management firm. So I have both the academic and the practical experience. And by now I've talked to like thousands of people and tried to understand what they're dealing with.
[00:02:48] Paco: And there's two pieces, right? There's the practical and then there's the psychological emotional piece. I love both of those worlds. And to me, making progress is like pedaling a bike where you do have to make progress on the practical side, and you do have to [00:03:00] make progress on the like, emotional, psychological side.
[00:03:02] Paco: So that's why I love those, two pieces. can't have one without the other. Can't just dream your way into a better financial life. But oftentimes, We don't know why we're holding ourselves back or why we don't act in our best interest. So I would say I'm an expert in that and I've gotten pretty damn good at business.
[00:03:17] Paco: And I've been having a great time. Frankly, along the way is I never thought I'd enjoy working for myself so much. I thought, boy, it's a lot of responsibility. I don't know if I'm the guy for that, but it turns out I'm totally the guy for that.
[00:03:30] Brian: Well, You've got a book called Finance for the People, which I highly recommend people check out anything we mention today, by the way, will. Show email@example.com slash two four. Just the numbers 2, 4 4. And that way you don't have to like go searching around for a bunch of stuff.
[00:03:42] Brian: All the links will be there, including the link to her book Finance for the People. So you've got this book. You also have a podcast called Weird Finance and When I say Weird Finance, one of the episode titles is Exploring Financial Kinks with Financial Dominatrix Mistress Marley. Wonderful title. And I even, skimmed through explanation of this. Cause I didn't have a full time to listen through it when [00:04:00] I was doing my research before this episode. And it seems fascinating. had, I'm gonna go back. I added to my podcast you to listen to that whole episode. it is like weird finance in the best way.
[00:04:07] Brian: So that is like your niche, you've put the flag on the ground. This is my world. But you also said that you're an expert at business. You've gotten good at that. And I actually wanna start there with you because when I was doing my research for you on this, There's just so many different places to start with you.
[00:04:19] Brian: Like you're one of those Renaissance women, men's, the phrase Renaissance women. And you have done a really fantastic job of differentiating yourself from the hordes of other financial people out there. And I'm gonna specifically talk about right now your bookkeeping agency called hell yeah. Bookkeeping. How do you set yourself apart and the name is a giveaway a little bit, I think.
[00:04:39] Brian: But how do you set yourself apart from the hordes of other bookkeeping services that are out there? there's a lot of really saturated niches out there, but bookkeeping is one of those. it's a predominantly boring niche and maybe that's why you've decided to go the way that you went.
[00:04:50] Brian: But just talk about how you've differentiated it. Cause I think you've done a, job of it.
[00:04:53] Paco: Thank you Brian. you mentioned that it's a boring industry. I'm laughing because it is really. [00:05:00] Not sexy, it's not what I lead with. Clearly. You asked me what I was an expert in and I wasn't like, I'm an expert at bookkeeping. personally, I'm actually not an expert at bookkeeping.
[00:05:08] Paco: I hire bookkeepers who are experts, but the bar was so low, it was just so easy to clear. And the thing I learned about accountants and folks who. In the accounting profession that provide bookkeeping services, cuz typically it's a tax firm that does both taxes and bookkeeping. They're good at the tax code, they're good at interpreting the tax code.
[00:05:33] Paco: They're good at being tax counselors. They're good at filing the returns and staying on top of all of that stuff. They're generally bad at business, they're bad at communication. Both broadcasted widely, like copy on a webpage and then they're bad at it on a more. Intimate level. Like I cannot tell you the amount of times I've spoken to a prospect who has said, my bookkeepers ghosted me.
[00:05:56] Paco: My bookkeeper takes eight days to get back to me. I haven't heard from my [00:06:00] bookkeeper in three months. So I really built my business on the shortcomings of others. So every time I had a call with a I just started, gathering these things, and I just saw a thread line. It was like poor communication.
[00:06:13] Paco: And the inability to educate the client and meet them where they're at and speak their language and the silliest thing, like not getting your reports, which is mind blowing because that would be like if a plumber went to your house and didn't fix the thing that they said they were gonna fix.
[00:06:29] Paco: even if the bookkeeping is happening, a lot of customers need to be shown exactly what they're buying. They need to be led and educated and walked through to understand the value. And then you have to be kind of on the nose about it. Cuz this is an abstract service that I'm selling. So there's that whole piece, right?
[00:06:46] Paco: The understanding that the bar was low, there was an opportunity in the market, and knowing that I could, plug those holes. Okay. We'll just have policies where we just respond to people within a timely manner. And I do try to [00:07:00] find bookkeepers who have a personality like mine, meaning they kind of straddle both worlds, they understand the finance space, they understand accounting, but they might be a musician or they do creative writing on the side, that's important to me because that's who our clientele is and we need to be able to relate to them because there's one thing I've learned about, my friends, I've built a business serving my friends.
[00:07:19] Paco: At the end of the day, my community is creative professionals, is they can smell a suit a mile away. I've watched this happen so many times. Where, know, a colleague of mine at the financial planning firm is trying to talk to this guy who he's written a bunch of films that are really hot right now.
[00:07:34] Paco: He's a true, creative person. And then you have a suit and it just, it's like ships passing in the night. And I love watching those interactions. It's just, I'm entertained by it. So, was a perfect store and perfect timing. I happened to belong to both worlds and I really just had this vision. We could just do this less
[00:07:51] Brian: I built my business on the shortcomings of others and essentially by being less which is amazing. And you said that bars really low and the [00:08:00] bookkeeping world, which I'd agree with you. But that's the norm in every industry that I've seen in any creative industry.
[00:08:04] Brian: In my background, in the music production space, the bar was just as low music producers suck at responding to people in a timely manner. They suck at doing things that they say they will do when they're gonna do it. If they ever do it at all, they suck at the business side of running things. So the bar's low in every industry that I've seen, and it's, I'm sure anyone listening right now, the bar is just as low in your industry.
[00:08:23] Brian: So setting yourself apart just by doing the basics is a really good. You also mentioned something. I'm gonna, brand this, mullet team members, business in the front part in the back, It's like they straddle both worlds. I don't have anything else to say to that, that just popped in my mind when you just said it.
[00:08:37] Brian: my ADHD kicking in, most people listening right now probably struggle answering this question. I call it the cornerstone question in business or freelancing, and the question of why should someone hire you versus all the other options that they have.
[00:08:48] Brian: I think you've done a really good job of that, just from what I can see. But what is your perspective, Paco, on why someone should hire hell? Yeah. Bookkeeping versus all those others that are out.
[00:08:56] Paco: I'll start with the fact that we specialize in production bookkeeping. [00:09:00] So if you're running a production company or you have multiple clients and multiple jobs happening all at once, and it's in a creative industry, so you might also be a marketing agency or you might be an interior designer, or you might be an event person, It's all financial and accounting, chaos because you have a, client like Nike, and you have a client like Google, and then you have a nonprofit and you probably have multiple clients that you're working on. They all write you checks, you're paying vendors, you're bringing on contractors.
[00:09:25] Paco: You're trying to navigate between, oh crap. Do those people have to be on payroll or can, are they a true contractor? Did I even make money on that? That's our sweet spot. So our value is helping creative clients manage their finances when they have multiple and multiple clients. And we understand you as a creative person. We understand that you might be afraid to ask certain questions because maybe an accountant in the past has treated you crappy or they. Don't bring you into the process when you really wanna be brought into the process.
[00:09:56] Paco: But they're frustrated cuz you don't understand what they're talking about. [00:10:00] And we just, we meet people where they're at.
[00:10:01] Brian: Were you ever scared of being too narrow of a niche at some point, did you like question whether this is going to work or not, or was it just hell yeah, I told you I was gonna put this in. Hell yeah. I've chosen the right thing. From the start, I know this is gonna work.
[00:10:13] Paco: I actually didn't start with production companies, I started with writers in Hollywood. Because when I worked as a financial planner, we worked with a lot of writers in Hollywood. We worked with a lot of behind the camera people, and They were charging a fee for their service.
[00:10:27] Paco: There was no product involved and it was less complicated. So I started off easy and then I, got a roster, kind of a hodgepodge of creative businesses, like the ones I already mentioned, but we have. Actors and dancers and creative people who they're a freelancer and they have what we call a loan out or a single member, L l C, or an S-corp, that's a pass-through entity, what we call in the industry.
[00:10:49] Paco: And over time what I realized was, do I wanna have a big book of clients and they're a bunch of individuals, or can we figure out a way to have a [00:11:00] smaller book of clients where their revenue. Changes the dynamics and changes the workload, frankly, for my bookkeepers. So we pivoted over the last couple of years.
[00:11:09] Paco: We had a lot of production companies because in in LA you can't throw a rock without hitting somebody who runs their own production company. And that's, I think, where the sweet spot is in terms of level of complication on their end. And then level of engagement that my bookkeepers get to have working with clients like.
[00:11:27] Brian: you've narrow done a pretty specific niche, and because of the way you've branded yourself as the hell Yeah. Group or hell yeah. Bookkeeping.
[00:11:34] Brian: You're excluding a lot of people. If I'm a buttoned up corporate type company with a lot of money, then I can dangle over your head. you've actually repelled me because of your branding and I think so many people are afraid to take that strong of a stance in a specific niche. As a creative, I resonate wholeheartedly with that.
[00:11:49] Brian: so it's like attracting the right type of person as creative with a business but it's repelling what would probably be the wrong type of client.
[00:11:55] Brian: But how did you approach mentally, the barrier of excluding so many people your market as [00:12:00] a, agency?
[00:12:00] Paco: I didn't have a barrier. The exclusivity is what makes it attractive. So like when you can't have something, you kind of want it more. so I had a mentor in the financial planning world, and he taught me how to sell. He taught me how to talk to anyone with any net worth about money.
[00:12:16] Paco: I have a background where I worked for two years as a debt collector for a big bank while I was in college. So I already really felt fluent. I could call up a stranger and ask them for money, you know, and I wasn't aggressive. I was very Paco about it, gentle and kind and like, what's going on? How can we help you?
[00:12:33] Paco: And then my boss He helped me learn how to take that skillset and make it better, make it sharper, talk to really anyone. And so one of the things that we used to do is this was all his idea too. Sometimes he would have people come in and we would talk to them and, we're doing the dance, the recording, the do you wanna work with us?
[00:12:51] Paco: Do I wanna work with you? Back and forth. And sometimes towards the end when he would hook him, He would oftentimes say, my financial advice to you is [00:13:00] not to hire us as your financial advisors. And the way these people reacted was like, we just spent like an hour, an hour and a half. You bought us lunch, you brought in coffee.
[00:13:08] Paco: We have a great rapport, and you have the audacity to be like, we don't want your business. I learned a lot from that. I learned a lot from this idea that when you're not for everyone, For the people that you are for that's attractive. It's like, getting accepted to soho House I think what's really interesting is my work is all about, accessibility. But in the marketing world, you do have to niche down. You do have to say, these people are not for me because not gonna be happy. I think serving everyone, you have to find the right people who value you and who you get along with, and everybody else can find their person.
[00:13:44] Brian: I watched your Ted talk and you mentioned about how when you try to be everything for everyone, you end up being nothing for no one. And I think you've done a really good job of not just talking the talk, but walking the walk as well. and this is actually just one of the many benefits of, Ning down, is you get to have fun with your design [00:14:00] and your copy.
[00:14:00] Brian: Like you've picked a fun name. were you scared to use that name by the way? Or was it just like, hell yeah. I'm using that name.
[00:14:04] Paco: I was riding my bike one day
[00:14:06] Brian: any story that starts like, that is a wonderful story. So continue. Sorry to interrupt
[00:14:09] Paco: So I'm just like on the LA River, just, thinking about this new thing that I'm doing, trying to work for myself. so many great ideas, they're gifts given to you from, I don't know where else. And your job is to organize your whole damn. To be ready to receive these gifts and to serve them all the way through.
[00:14:26] Paco: And I was just writing and poop. It just popped in my head a little gift and it was like, hell yeah. Bookkeeping is hilarious and I thought it's gonna turn the right people off and it's gonna attract the right people. And it was a no-brainer from there. In retrospect, when I go on, Network television.
[00:14:43] Paco: like it was on Good Morning America. And I was like, they're not gonna say it. And I just did a thing for p b s. We didn't really mention it. It's just funny now that I'm seeing like, oops. . This is also put me in a tricky spot when it comes to like some of these bigger corporations.
[00:14:58] Brian: So this brand, this wonderful [00:15:00] idea that popped into your head that you did receive as a gift, you have shaped your entire life around this and written a book, and launched a podcast and done Ted Talk and been on all these shows and had all this wonderful publicity and done all these wonderful client acquisition things that we'll probably talk about in this episode.
[00:15:12] Brian: And you've brought it to fruition and now it exists. But, another thing that you've done with this wonderful gift, Writing great copy and doing fun designs for this brand that you've created, and you have the freedom to do that because you've gone so far down this path you might as well do it this way.
[00:15:26] Brian: So did you write the copy yourself? Did you hire it out? Did you do the design yourself? I know you were an illustrator as well, did you design it all yourself? How did you approach copywriting and the design for this brand?
[00:15:33] Paco: I did it all myself. I thought that it needed to just sound like a friend who is trying to help you navigate something that feels foreign and scary sometimes and has never felt like it was for you. when I worked at the financial planning firm, they started a website committee and I was on it, and it was excruciating for me to see the things that we were picking.
[00:15:58] Paco: It's always a picture of a [00:16:00] watch, a sailboat, and like a white guy with gray hair laughing with his wife. I think that experience was so horrifying for. that's why I just completely went the other way. A lot of it was a hypothesis that I had. The question was, could I do something so different than what I experienced?
[00:16:20] Paco: know, And this was like in 2014 and now I feel like it's a lot more common. There's a lot more people talking about money. It's a lot more accessible today. But back then I've didn't really see much of it. So I was. I'm curious, is this possible? Could I put a roof over my head, food in my belly, have some money to save with this different perspective?
[00:16:41] Paco: And it's funny that you say that I've niche down so much because I actually don't feel that I have, because I still operate in the business finance world and the personal finance world, right? I didn't pick one. I'm still doing both. And now I have all these different lanes that I'm in. Like I'm an author and I have a podcast that doesn't seem to be related to the book necessarily.[00:17:00]
[00:17:00] Paco: And then this other service, this bookkeeping service that I, frankly, I never actively promote it. It's very rare that I do. that's another interesting business thing to realize is that once you kick up enough dust around all this other stuff, sometimes people they wanna be in proximity to that, and that's how you can get them in the door with a service-based business.
[00:17:17] Paco: This, It's been a wild ride.
[00:17:19] Brian: Would you say that your personal brand is. Launch that business.
[00:17:22] Paco: mean, I never wanted to put my face on anything because I'm a lazy person and I didn't wanna be beholden to having a job, I always thought I will make the brand fun and relatable and unusual and estranged. had a very business perspective and I'll make it run on its own and then I'll be like, deuces, I'm just gonna ride my bike and hang out. But things changed actually, just the climate of business has been, oh, you have to show your mug or people don't trust you. And I really do like this performative aspect of [00:18:00] business. I like being in the media. This is really easy for me. I am tick. That now one of my jobs is to talk on the internet, are you kidding me?
[00:18:08] Paco: Like all of my elementary school teachers who gave me a C in conduct. Look at that. I jujitsu my way through life, and now I'm getting paid for this
[00:18:16] Brian: Yeah, I got a detention like 50 something times in sixth grade for talking too much. So like, I can relate to that and I can resonate with that. So how big is the agency now? How many people are working there? I'm just outta curiosity, and you don't have to answer this if you don't share this stuff publicly
[00:18:28] Paco: I have four bookkeepers right now, and I'm flirting with the idea of expanding. And I have a coordinator, so there's five or six of us who are, making this thing happen.
[00:18:39] Brian: And you said you are lazy and you don't want to be beholden to, ideas or whatever. What does that mean? Because.
[00:18:45] Brian: I feel like that is a liberating sentence for someone to hear right now. So many people feel like they're lazy because they either don't stick to what they say they're gonna do, or they, so bad to do something, but you've made it work.
[00:18:55] Brian: If that is genuinely true, you've made it work, and I wanna know how. I wanna know your secrets.
[00:18:59] Paco: The word [00:19:00] lazy I like to use because it's entertaining and you're not supposed to proclaim that you're lazy. I think
[00:19:08] Brian: That's what Gary V would say. you're lazy, you're gonna fail or something. I don't, I don't listen to Gary v.
[00:19:11] Paco: So the other side of the coin of lazy is energy efficient. And I just think I'm a very effective person so that when I do show up to work, I believe that I execute on things and I iterate on things and something always moves forward. So every day I practice creativity, which moves the media side of my business forward. And every day I'm thinking about the revenue side, what am I doing business development wise to really think about that. So now I'm backpedaling with lazy because my best friend always gets so mad that I publicly say that I'm lazy because she's like, you're not lazy. You're one of the hardest working people I know.
[00:19:45] Brian: What do you feel like you're lazy then?
[00:19:47] Paco: I'm a back of the class kind of a person. I never cared about grades. The thing I cared the most about in high school was making friends, playing in my band, playing music in college. I remember I showed up to school one day, we were doing the PS SATs,[00:20:00] as a practice test, and I was like, what's this? And then a bunch of my other friends were like, we're taking the s a t two s next weekend or whatever. And I was like well, that ship has sailed. Cause I didn't know there was an s a T two. So I just never was like academic and I never thought about school. I never really thought about my career. The reason why I chose finance was because it was 2006.
[00:20:19] Paco: My time was running out. And I was like, there seems to be these people who are making tons of money. They don't even seem that smart. And I bet you they have all this free time. And that's why I chose finance. Another thing that I was really good at was I would enroll in a class or I would sit down in my first class in high school, and I would read the syllabus and I would understand how the grade is weighed, What are the components? What are the weights? And I then would be strategic about how I. Put my energy into the course, So if homework had a big grade or a big waiting, I'd put all my energy towards homework. And then finals week I would just get an F and it wouldn't matter because my B would stay A B.
[00:20:56] Paco: Or it would be like I have an A, but if I fail the final, I dropped down to A [00:21:00] B it's all good to me as long as I'm passing the class. So that's what I mean by lazy. I just never believed that hard work alone is gonna get you what you need in life. It's not gonna make you successful.
[00:21:11] Paco: The thing that's been the most powerful for me, and that I feel lucky that this feels innate and natural, is I am freakishly militant when it comes to being consistent. It is heinous. It's ridiculous, but I'm a very, very consistent person. Once I decide on something, I just go.
[00:21:29] Brian: I think that story illustrates, I think something that's two sides of the same coin is successful. Lazy people are actually just people that are really effective at what they do. They understand the 80 20 rule, and they put that to use in their life and their business.
[00:21:41] Brian: And that story about your understanding the weight of different things in your grades That's where I was like, oh yeah, she just understands a 20 principal got that.
[00:21:49] Paco: that was so much shorter and concise. Thank you,
[00:21:52] Brian: The thing about long form podcasts like this is we love listening to stories, so it's
[00:21:55] Brian: okay. let's go back to the agency's beginning. This is always a fascinating thing to [00:22:00] me and hopefully to our listeners.
[00:22:01] Brian: If not, I'm so sorry. We'll get the more interesting stuff later. When you started this agency was it going to be an agency in your head at the start, or did you start as a freelancer? Like a solo freelancer first, did you have this big vision for what you were creating at the very.
[00:22:12] Paco: I called it an agency because it seemed cool. . And I'd never seen that done before. They always say like, we're a tax firm. We're an accounting firm. I was like, uh, I don't know. That's not really gonna fly. Can I just call it an agency? Like What is an agency even, Oh, you bring in the right players, you put them on the right project.
[00:22:30] Paco: I'm getting paid for like making that happen. For bringing on both sides basically. So I originally had a business partner who came from. When I was working as a business consultant or at a small business consulting and management firm, when I first graduated, him and I came together and we actually made a lot of mistakes together, like painfully, painfully underbid.
[00:22:53] Paco: like our pricing was just so low that I think people thought it was a scam or that it was so poor quality. The story I always like to [00:23:00] tell is like the $1 oyster. For me, at least when I drive by and I see a sign that says $1 Oyster,
[00:23:06] Brian: guaranteed food, poison.
[00:23:07] Paco: Right.
[00:23:08] Paco: So I think we were the $1 oyster for a while, and then he bounced. And then I was like, oh crap, it's just me. And then I started, so I went from him and I kind of doing the work to me immediately being like, I actually don't like bookkeeping, which is a good sign because if I don't like it and I have a finance degree and I've worked as a bookkeeper and I know this stuff.
[00:23:28] Paco: If I don't like it, my goodness, there's a ton of people out there that don't like it. This is a real pain point. So then I started hiring people uh, you know, I brought on like my first Lance. to answer your question, we were a corporation right from the start because you had two business nerds starting a business.
[00:23:43] Paco: So we did it right, and I didn't have some grand vision. Like I just was iterating over time. And then as soon as I brought people on, I realized how scalable this is, and I realized this is how you do a business, right? From a business owner's perspective, you think about businesses as processes and procedures.
[00:23:59] Paco: You think [00:24:00] about it as value for the. It's all intertwined. And if you can get those processes and procedures down pat that's why I'm so obsessed with having like a marketing workflow because we always have a full pipeline. If you kind of need my mug, but you don't need my mug to get sales.
[00:24:14] Paco: And at the end of the day, if I wanted to sell the company, everything has a process and now I'm there, but I wasn't there. Four years ago. it's been a learning process. The whole, you know the whole thing.
[00:24:26] Brian: Did you read Built To Sell at any point when you were starting this business?
[00:24:29] Paco: I did not, I read the EMyth guy.
[00:24:32] Brian: Yeah. EMyth were visited by Michael Gerber, I believe is his.
[00:24:34] Paco: That's it.
[00:24:35] Brian: If I bomb that, sorry, listeners, but I promise I've read it multiple times. All right. So I wanna move to, a portion of this that I think most people struggle with.
[00:24:42] Brian: Actually. It's the number one problem of all our listeners. Last time I, pulled our audience is the actual client acquisition side, and then if we have time, we'll get to some other stuff. If not, we'll have you back again sure our audience will love to have you back. I'd love to have you back to talk about some of the things that you said you were an expert with, which is the money and finance side.
[00:24:55] Brian: And there's so much to discuss around. I wanna talk about the client acquisition side because this [00:25:00] to me is one of your superpowers. Whether you think so or not, I don't know. You might disagree with me, but this is one of your superpowers. you talked about processes and systems around keeping your pipeline full, which I've never heard a creative talk about.
[00:25:10] Brian: here's the client acquisition methods that I gather just in my research. This is outside looking in, so I might, miss a few of these, or I might get some of these. You do guest podcasting. So this is a form of client acquisition. If anyone's listening right now that needs bookkeeping services, it's a creative that resonates with hell yeah.
[00:25:23] Brian: Bookkeeping just to save people from bothering you? Like what would the minimum income if somebody need to be for it to make sense for Hell yeah. Bookkeeping.
[00:25:29] Paco: I would say 15,000 a.
[00:25:31] Brian: Okay. So unless you're doing like 15 grand a month, you probably don't reach out. But if you're doing over that, great. That's a form of, client acquisition. For guest podcasting, you have your own podcast on iHeartRadio podcast network. Wonderful. You just started that recently. So, we can talk about some of the things that may wanna listen for on that, aside from the episode I already talked about earlier, You have a Ted Talk and you just, do thought leadership in general.
[00:25:50] Brian: You have an email newsletter, you have that book I mentioned earlier in the episode called, Finance for the People. And you have a blog this is an area that I think.
[00:25:58] Brian: Fascinating cause I've not [00:26:00] seen anyone do this in this space. It's publicity. you have a good PR person I think cuz you've been featured in New York Times, Ted Forbes, I'm just looking at the logos on your site. NPR Vice Bloomberg Business Insider Refinery 29. Good Morning America and there's probably a bunch of others that I'm missing.
[00:26:14] Brian: So I think publicity is probably a big part of your client acquisition process. In general. What is working best for he out bookkeeping in general and side note you as a personal brand as well. Cause those are two separate things. the personal brand definitely feeds into hell yeah.
[00:26:25] Brian: Bookkeeping,
[00:26:26] Paco: I just have divine timing.
[00:26:28] Brian: You've heard it here, First folks, you gotta have divine timing on all things and you will succeed. No. What does that mean? gimme like a, breakdown. What that means.
[00:26:34] Paco: I think 25 years ago, a face like this was not gonna get the amount of publicity. This face is getting today. So I think me arriving on the scene when I arrived on the scene has a huge, huge role. I don't think marketing is icky. I love sales. Something about sales is so entertaining to me because I think it's like a dance that you're having with this other person, and I think for me, Part of that is I don't know if it's [00:27:00] competitive or what it is, but I don't mind the sales aspect.
[00:27:04] Paco: I love trying new things on a sales call. like, I started doing this corny thing at the end of a call where I would say, Brian, thank you so much for, giving me this opportunity to win your business. being that. Is jarring to people.
[00:27:15] Paco: Gosh, I don't have a PR person, but I will say that I have a, an incredible PR team over at Penguin. So shout out to, Shelby and Christina and Julia over there. And I've heard people warn me when I got a book deal. They're like, the publisher doesn't give a crap about you. They got me on Good Morning America and a bunch of NPR stuff, I think I've just been really creative and really just putting out as much as I can. And the lens that I view that through is this gonna be valuable to the end user? Why should they stop scrolling? Why should they stop and listen? And actually, I'm gonna attribute this to playing in the band since I was 16 years.
[00:27:55] Paco: Holy shit, you learn, you're running your own little business. First of all, [00:28:00] we used to reach out to bars on MySpace and we used to say like, Hey, can we play at your bar? And none of us were 21 yet. We'd be like, our MP three s are here. Listen to it. They would say yes.
[00:28:09] Paco: And the day before the show, we would message them again and say, by the way, none of the members are 21 years old. However, according to Los Angeles penal code, and we cited the code, we are allowed inside of the bar to perform. And we just have to leave right after. I think just like that kind of audacity, All of those things I think are the reason why I am. Successful. It's very overwhelming to hear you tell me all the things that I'm doing because, the layers have just been built on over years. But excellent timing, not being afraid to just sell. Cuz at the end of the day, selling is just effective communication.
[00:28:47] Paco: And the number one skill that I think if you want to be on the internet, and you want people to buy into whatever it is you're doing. Focus on writing Everything [00:29:00] begins and ends with excellent writing, You get on this podcast, there's a script, there's an outline, right?
[00:29:04] Paco: A book, I mean everything. A, caption of video. Not only does content rely on good writing, writing helps you clarify your ideas. So if there's one skill that I think everyone should do, it's right. And. Ship. That's the other thing is I am not afraid to ship I love it. I love having an audience that knows that I'm gonna send out an email every Wednesday.
[00:29:25] Paco: Now I'm sending out a podcast every Sunday. Find people to be beholden to and be consistent. timing, consistency. I feel like everybody says this, you know, this is like when people are like, how do you have a six pack? It's like, well, you eat broccoli and you exercise six days a week. I'm sorry. That's the.
[00:29:40] Brian: Sometimes the answer we don't want to hear is the truth I do think there's some things that are worth. Talking about, in my opinion, you said divine timing. another way of saying that is luck. I may be mis saying that, but to me that sounds like luck.
[00:29:51] Brian: But I feel like of all the people on Earth that could have been lucky, even people that look like you, talk, like you, sound like you have a similar upbringing to you played in [00:30:00] bands, still wouldn't have had the success that you have because You mentioned consistency. I think that's a huge part of it.
[00:30:06] Brian: You have prepared yourself all along the way. You've not been afraid to take big leaps and try these things that I think other people, frankly would never try. Example is just shipping anything ever. I think the majority of people listening to this show right now have never released a piece of content outside of a, social caption period.
[00:30:22] Brian: they've never put effort into trying to help someone else, especially at scale. And I think that's one of the biggest things to overcome as a creative, as a freelancer, as anyone who's trying to build any personal brand that they have to overcome. And I think you've done an excellent job of that.
[00:30:35] Brian: did you have reservations around that? Did you have any hesitations to put out content when you first started shipping? I can speak to that a little bit, but this is your interview and I have plenty of other times to talk about this, but I'm 244 episodes into the show Now, episode one did not sound like this.
[00:30:46] Brian: I promise you,
[00:30:47] Paco: constantly. Are you kidding me? I'll write something and it'll feel so painfully vulnerable, and I'm like, I'm gonna look like a damn bozo on the internet if I put this out there. But one of the other things I didn't [00:31:00] mention is like years of therapy and working with a coach and rewiring my brain to understand that if I'm afraid, I must go towards it.
[00:31:09] Paco: There's no.
[00:31:10] Brian: I think that's the opposite. There is people, they're scared of something and they think, oh, I'm such a wimp. I, I shouldn't be afraid of this. I am definitely scared to do things all the time. even today.
[00:31:18] Brian: I still get anxious before podcast interviews and this is why I do so much research. I've been on plenty of shows. No one ever does nearly the amount of research that I do on my show. I don't have a research assistant. I'm listening the interviews. I'm going to YouTube videos.
[00:31:31] Brian: I'm looking on your site. I've got a whole episode outlined. I don't want my guest to have to do a damn thing. I don't want them to have a wonderful time on the show. And I put a lot of effort into that because I'm terrified of making my guests sound dumb, myself, sounding dumb. So I have a lot of fear that drives me.
[00:31:45] Brian: But courage is having that fear and still going forward. Really cheesy, really overdone, but that's truth is like we're all scared, but we still do it And I don't know if there's anything you can say to this pocket cuz I, I didn't really give you anything there, but like that's a huge part of why you're successful is you have the courage to go forward even [00:32:00] when the fear is there.
[00:32:00] Paco: Yeah, the fear is always going to be there. You're always gonna have fear. You're gonna have fear if you do it. You're gonna have fear if you don't, so you may as well do it and see what's on the other side of that fear. Oh, guess what? It's more fear.
[00:32:12] Brian: the other thing you said is you actually, enjoy sales. You love sales is what you said. And you equated it to a dance. that is bizarre to me cuz even like I'm good at sales. I don't hate sales, but I definitely don't love sales. And I haven't met that many people who love sales, but I know everyone has things that they love, things that they hate, things that they're indifferent about, that they don't love.
[00:32:30] Brian: I'm kinda like in the middle of there with sales. you scared of sales at first and you eventually grew to love it? Like What was your approach to sales at the very beginning? Because I don't know many creatives who would ever say they love sales. Many people say they hate sales, but how did the transition to loving sales.
[00:32:42] Paco: I definitely. It. But I am the kind of person that when I suck at something and I'm frustrated, I wanna get good at it. So I practiced. I think the best way to get good at sales is to practice. I'm sure I did a bad job for a long time. Especially cuz [00:33:00] when I was working as a financial planner, I had to do sales and I was terrible at it. And what I learned there was I was acting like a weird robot version of myself in corporate America, I was just weird. I was trying to mirror what I thought. They wanted a stiff, awkward, very serious person. And then when I started my own company and I leaned into the weirdness, that's when I'm like, oh, sales is, Me saying like, Brian, what are you struggling with in your business from an accounting perspective?
[00:33:29] Paco: Okay, great. We can either help you with those things or we can't help you with those things, and if I can't help you, then I'll send you over to whoever you need to go to so they can help you. When you look at it through that perspective, it's a lot less daunting and it's a lot less scary.
[00:33:42] Paco: And I think having really good upfront content or like a funnel or. When people already know how you're gonna be on the phone, because they've read your newsletter, it makes the sales so much easier. And I'm finally at that point where people are reaching out and they're I've been a fan for [00:34:00] like three years.
[00:34:00] Paco: I've wanted to work with you for a long time. It didn't make sense. Now it makes sense. So I think liking sales now is different. When I first started, lot of it too was like, I spent two years on the phone at a very, very big bank for four hours a day, five days a week, asking people for money.
[00:34:15] Paco: Being like, Brian, you're, 40 days past due on your Toyota Tacoma. Are you gonna make a payment today? Just learning how to talk to people I think is a big part of getting good at.
[00:34:24] Brian: when you've done something as hard as that, doing debt, collecting calls to people that don't know like, or trust you, and frankly, they don't want to talk to you , and they're may be at the lowest point of their entire lives because my family's been there, they've had cars repossessed.
[00:34:36] Brian: I've been in that scenario you're like, it's an unknown number. Don't answer it. I've been there from a family's perspective, like when I was younger, when I was a kid. they don't want to talk to you. So like you've already been through what could be the worst sales position on earth The opposite of that is what you're doing now, and I think the reason you're able to get on the phone with people who already know you, like you and trust you, and frankly, they probably want to hire you. It's just a matter of finding out if it's a good fit. Completely different process, and that's why you love sales and you [00:35:00] don't get to that if you don't have the personal brand.
[00:35:01] Brian: You've built up. You've spent a lot of time building a personal brand, putting out content, shipping constantly so that by the time someone gets on the phone with. It is as good as closed. It's just a matter of, figuring out the details of whether or not you can help. And that's a big difference what a lot of listeners have right now, where it's like pulling teeth.
[00:35:16] Brian: I don't know who you are. Why should I hire you? And they're like, I went to school for it and I have 15 years experience and I spent a hundred grand on gear that I don't know how to use. Is that a good reason? No. I think your, marketing plan for your personal brand and your business has helped a lot with sales, and I think that our listeners should observe what you're doing so they can take that back to their businesses because it's a really good machine.
[00:35:38] Brian: I do it myself of a podcast. People listen to the show, There's people right now binging through episode one to 2 42 right now that just found me on an ad maybe, or they've got recommended from someone else or whatever. And then by the time they get to needing something that I offer, it's a matter of like, Brian says I can help me.
[00:35:53] Brian: I'm gonna book a call or I'm gonna apply, Paco, is there anything for our listeners that you think you. Help them with [00:36:00] when they're just trying to, get that first piece of content out there so that they can start building their personal brand.
[00:36:04] Brian: I think that sticking point from zero to one is a huge point. Do you remember what it was like for you when he first started doing that? When he made the transition from like I'm just a consumer of content to now I am an actual creator of content.
[00:36:15] Paco: I was ignorant and it was great and nobody cared. Nobody was watching, like my friends were reading the nerd letter, the email newsletter when I first started sending it out, and they liked it and they were encouraging and appreciate these moments of relative obscurity and. Wow. What is my advice if you're afraid to push publish? I don't have any advice except just do it.
[00:36:39] Brian: It's like when you're in a band at the very beginning, cause I was in a band too, and we were on MySpace and we were just emailing people to book shows and tours that did not want to hear from us. that's kind of where I, learned the basics of business and.
[00:36:50] Brian: Here's the thing. When you suck at your instrument and your craft, which content is a craft, it is an instrument. When you suck at it, no one's really paying attention. you could do whatever you want because people [00:37:00] aren't really paying attention until you get good at it, and you won't get good at it until you've done it enough.
[00:37:03] Brian: it's kind of one of those things where you don't get good until you put the effort in, and you gotta put the effort in to get good to where people ever start paying attention to you.
[00:37:11] Paco: I think the thing that's helped me the most when it comes to publishing is to orient my perspective to the reader or the listener. I really think about them and to relate it back to being in a band. You know, When you're playing in an unknown band in a city like Los Angeles, sure you could get a show at a great venue, but when you're first starting out, you're playing at 11 o'clock or 1130 on a Wednesday, I remember when.
[00:37:37] Paco: I would be texting my friends and sending out the Facebook invite. Like, Listen, band's playing. Here's the kicker, 1130 at night on a Wednesday. And I remember talking to my band, or hyping ourselves up for the show and thinking about it. And I remember thinking, guys, people are leaving their climate controlled home.
[00:37:54] Paco: Where they could have food and drinks delivered where they can lay in their cozy bed and they [00:38:00] have to find parking in Los Angeles and then buy drinks, and then have their ears assaulted in ways that they had not prepared for, maybe the opener doesn't know their sound or the DJ is weird because it's a Wednesday night.
[00:38:13] Paco: So make it worth it for them. Make it worth leaving all of those comforts and just give them a good show for these 30 minutes. So that they'll come back next time so that they can at least, drive home and say well, that was worth it. So when you're making content, think about the end user and care a lot about them. Eventually it's gonna be good. Eventually it'll be great.
[00:38:34] Brian: Paku I, appreciate you coming on the show again. We'll have to have you back on here to actually talk money, which was the thing. You said you were an expert at the very beginning. Where can our listeners go to connect with you or learn more about you, or where do we send our listeners right now?
[00:38:45] Paco: You should sign up for the Nerd letter. It is a weekly email newsletter, and just go to the hell yay group.com and you can sign up.
[00:38:51] Brian: We'll have that in our show notes as well, along with every other resource that we mentioned firstname.lastname@example.org slash 2 4 4.
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