Ep104: Trevor Shirk

Today on the More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast, we're talking with Trevor Shirk from Denver.

Now Trevor has a unique situation. He's a former military IED hunter, clearing the way for everybody going out on the frontline, actually identifying a disarming IED's. That's a very special thing, but now back safely in the United States and working on a building his own scale ready algorithm.

He has a unique market position in tattoo removal and a really great system for helping tattoo removal practitioner in finding and growing their practice.

We talked about this idea of creating a scale ready Algorithm, and how we could take this budding hyperlocal business, and create a division that finds all of the tattoo removal practitioners from all over the country and scales and expands to serve that entire market. 

Now, this is one of my favorite things. I like to call it syndication, where you take a local idea, something that you can crack the code once, and then build the scale ready algorithm to scale it out all over the country. Licensing the same system to many, many, many different people.

It's a wonderful model

So, if you have something you have, that could be a scale ready algorithm like, then I think you're really going to enjoy this episode.

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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 104

Dean: Trevor Shirk.

Trevor: Mr. D, how are you, sir?

Dean: I am so good. How are you?

Trevor: Good. I don't know if you remember, but we met in 2015 at Dan Sullivan's game changer event. It was one of the better...

Dean: Okay. Right, right, right. Okay, now I remember. Cool.

Trevor: Absolutely.

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: How have you been?

Dean: I've been fantastic. Where are you calling in from?

Trevor: I'm calling in from Denver, sir.

Dean: From Denver, Colorado. All right. So, tell me everything that is going on here. I know you're running a pretty cool kind of business, but you've got a military background, is that right? You were-

Trevor: Yup.

Dean: ... yeah, you were former army, right?

Trevor: Yes, yes.

Dean: Okay. Cool-

Trevor: Yeah. I was an-

Dean: cool.

Trevor: ... yeah, I was an army officer. I originally came from western Pennsylvania, coal mining country. I went to ... was lucky enough to get into West Point. I went there and then commissioned as an engineer officer. And the only big home run I really had in the army was just that I ... I was lucky enough to lead a platoon in Afghanistan that had this mission of finding IEDs or bombs.

Dean: Okay.

Trevor: We called it route clearance. And it was a ... some people-

Dean: Listen, I would say, I'm going to stop you right there because I would say that returning from such a mission with everything intact would be ... I would consider that a home run.

Trevor: Absolutely. Yeah, without a doubt. I was very fortunate to kind of come of there unscathed, yeah. But in that process, we had that crazy mission of being the idiots to go down the road first and find these IEDs so everybody behind you could kind of flow through and be safe. And we really ... it kind of ... it's like one of those things you think, man, it's going to be a tough mission to sell, and in reality it's such an easy mission to sell to your soldiers and to lead because it matters. What you're doing has an impact.

Dean: Right.

Trevor: And I'm kind of doing something similar now with business owners where what we're doing, we're the enablers that allow them to be successful. And to me, it's been ... it's kind of a sustained pattern of what I did in the past, and leveraging new technologies, and innovating solutions to ... a little bit of targeting in there, too, to enable others to be successful.

And so, yeah, we did the army. I ended up transitioning in 2000 ... almost 2016. And while I was at Fort Bragg, about a year and a half prior to getting out, my buddies and I tried to open a tattoo removal clinic. And we failed to do so. But in the process, we had built our own website and started driving traffic to it to kind of assess demand. And in that I kind of got hooked on the whole digital marketing, marketing, and I just continued to learn that whole kind of world and industry until I got out. And then, kind of just decided, hey, I'm going to go full-time, and build an agency doing digital marketing, and kind of bought into that, oh, I'm going to charge these high retainers, and do SCO, and you name it.

And my first kind of move was like, oh, I'm going to focus on tattoo removal because we had done all that research into the industry. And I actually remember transitioning out of the army with your Eight Profit Activators pdf in a One Note file, going through-

Dean: Oh, I love it.

Trevor: …and a free recorded video.

Dean: Yes. Right.

Trevor:  It was how I was going to dominate tattoo removal. And I partnered with a gentleman who was a veteran as well and is very well known in tattoo removal. And we kind of kicked it off in the summer of 2016, and got into it and had some success.  Then about seven or eight months in, I just ... something wasn't right. I had like this moral kind of dilemma of, you know, we were turning away clients that only had like a 6-, $700 a month budget for marketing. And here's me, like an SCO guy, trying to get a $1,500 a month retainer for SCO.

And in the industry, it just seemed like everywhere you went, someone was getting ripped off or you name it. And so, I don't know, I kind of had this moment where I was like, man, I gotta... I can come up with innovative solutions. If not me, who's going to help these other business owners that are kind of like in this range where they're a local business, they have this budget that's from 500 to maybe 1,000-

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: ... and they need something, but everybody's turning them away that's doing digital marketing. And I remember all the people in like Masterminds and mentorship groups with digital marketing, you don't get clients for under $1,000 a month. And I'm just like, man, really?

And I thought about my mom-

Dean: Well, it kind of, that's how that evolves, isn't it? I mean, that's how that evolves. You expect to see when people go down that agency path, they start out helping people, and then they get involved with other people who have agencies. And then it becomes, well, we don't ... we only take people with a $1,000 minimum. And then it's, we only take people at a $5,000 minimum, then a $10,000-

Trevor: Absolutely.

Dean:  I mean, that price you just sort of get to the point where it's almost like they displace out of the market, beyond what's even possible. And like you said, the ones who really need it and can benefit from are priced out of getting the help that they need. Yeah. So, I feel-

Trevor: Yeah. So, I had a guy that was a client and he had a limited budget. And he had started a tattoo removal business, had made this investment buying the laser, wasn't making any money, and was basically, hey, I can do like 5- to 700 bucks a month, man. That's all I got.

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: And at first I was like, oh no, I'm not going to ... I'm going to stick to my guns and it's not worth my time. And in reality, it didn't sit well with me. So, I was like, you know what, let me think about this for a second. What could I do if that's all I had to work with, and what would be the most transformational thing for his business, and how fast could I kind of implement something that would have a dramatic impact?

And that's when we kind of started piloting hyper-local and the focus is all on local mobile search. For a local business that's ... our kind of sweet spot is becoming local businesses that are more in like a service or kind of capacity where ... like tattoo removal's a great fit. The clients tend to spend a significant amount of money in that process, it's usually 10 or more treatments at right around 150, $200 per treatment to get a tattoo removed. And a lot of times, when they need it removed, they have some type of urgency around it, which causes them to pull out their phone and look for the nearest, best solution that help them remove that pain.

Dean: Right.

Trevor: And with him and his limited budget, we put all of our focus on hey, how do we get found for local mobile search first? Well, we get them into Google Maps. And from Google Maps, we have ... there's a really high conversion rate when it comes to that local mobile search. I think Google publishes 78 percent result in offline conversion.

The cool part is, we achieved that in right around 30 days and his business just changed overnight almost. I mean, not overnight, but in the first 60 days it was dramatic the impact because now he had four or five people a week that were coming in and were spending. And his business just kind of took off, and it went all the way throughout the next year, to the point where he was doing over 25 grand a month. And starting at right around 4 grand, just kind of getting by, covering his fixed costs, to basically crushing it was kind of cool to see.

And that was when we kind of thought, man, we're on to something with this hyper-local and this focusing down. And since then, I mean that was a little over a year ago, and we've now just been adding clients onto it. And that's our focus and we're doing really well with dispensaries here in Colorado.

Dean: You don't need to advertise dispensaries, do you? Are you kidding me? That's the funnies thing.

Trevor: Well, the crazy part is, it's very competitive and they can't do anything else other than-

Dean: That's so funny. That reminds me of Chris Rock would say how ... nobody's selling crack, crack sells itself.

Trevor: Absolutely.

Dean: Oh, man, that's so funny, yeah. But you're saying you're selling the dispensaries be locatable online. I get it.

Trevor: Yeah, yeah. And they're… go ahead, sir.

Dean: Yeah. So, have you packed up, then, your solution for tattoo removal, you've packaged it into a set of SOPs, for lack of a better word, to be able to do it for other tattoo removal companies-

Trevor: Yup.

Dean: ... that you're ... okay. So, that becomes now a winning formula that you have here, right? Like that's kind of what I've really talked about with people, is I call that syndication, right, where you are-

Trevor: Okay.

Dean: ... you're working with somebody, you're working with a local ... type of local business, that's a small business that can maybe afford $500 a month, like you said, that you're investing more time and energy up front to figure out how to crack the code for them kind of thing. But once you do it for one, then you've kind of solved the puzzle for all of them, and that that, then, becomes an almost like productized service that you're able to offer for those particular types of ... for that particular business. And it can be outsourced by you to people who are checklist followers at that level.

You know, you had to go down and create the checklist, you're the ... it's almost like you said in your IED exploration days, you're kind of blazing the trail. You're kind of going down-

Trevor: Yup.

Dean: ... looking for the landmines in the how do we get business for a tattoo removal company. But once you've figured out the path, once you've figured out the clear path, it really is then about creating the way to duplicate that at the most efficient, cost effective way internally, so that you're able to add in a margin for yourself. Or you're able to almost act as a venture capitalist, in a way of investing in a minimal investment from the tattoo removal, where you're getting a percentage of, or benchmarks, or bonuses, as you're growing their business.

You're starting up with them, and they can't ... they're barely keeping the doors open right now. But as they grow, that they grow into a more significant relationship with you, where you're kind of deferring your revenue, you know?

Trevor: Absolutely.  And that's what ... we've gotten to where my ... we have those proven formulas, recipes, playbook is kind of what we call it for tattoo removal, dispensary, dental, medical spas, but my big pain point now is I have eight people, we're growing. We just did our first pretty significant multi-location, and we doubled like clicks for direction to their locations. And it's all been great, but how do I get to the next level? I'm struggling with, should we focus on one of these versions only?

Dean: Right.

Trevor: Do I build out a division that's only in dispensaries because-

Dean: Yeah. I mean-

Trevor: ... and then-

Dean: ... a part of this thing-

Trevor: ... do I-

Dean: ... of thing, this is the real thing, right? This is where it all happens. And now, you're ... it's almost like you're looking to create a Proctor and Gamble like model, where Proctor and Gamble, right now, has 23 individual billion dollar brands. And so, each one of these, where you're saying how do I focus-

Trevor: That's right.

Dean: ... the thing is that you have to determine kind of what gets you excited about this. And it's one of two things. It's either that you like to find a brand new category of business, crack the code, figure out how it all works, and then you get bored with it and don't want to continue doing that. Or you like to ... once you figure out something, you want to do it for all the tattoo removal places in the world, right?

Trevor: Yeah, absolutely.

Dean: But which-

Trevor: You nailed that one.

Dean: ... one of those if motivating to you and one is not. And I suspect that you get more juice from okay, let's see if I can do cigar shops, or if I can do-

Trevor: Yup.

Dean: ... that ... you get more excited about the new thing than building out the existing thing.

Trevor: You're 100 percent right because we have-

Dean: Okay.

Trevor: ... I'm running pilot studies with barber shops-

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: ... financial planner. We've done real estate got decent results. And then-

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: ... okay, and you're right. I love the novelty of a new problem-

Dean: Right.

Trevor: ... and the moment that it's solved, I don't want to touch it again.

Dean: Absolutely.

Trevor: And I know it's sad because it's like, man, it's just not as exciting as the new, hey, could this-

Dean: But then you're all-

Trevor: ... be done-

Dean: ... see, this is the thing, is that then what you're kind of dooming yourself to is that you are constantly working with businesses that can't afford you because they haven't figured it out yet. They haven't had the benefit of deploying all of the solution that you have for them, right? All the value for the tattoo removal company is if you are ... if they're figuring out all of the things that are ... that go into building up their business, as their business becomes more and more successful, they can afford you more, but you've already lost interest in it before it-

Trevor: Yeah.

Dean: ... gets to that point, right?  And-

Trevor: Yeah.

Dean: ... so, your ... the thing is that you can understand that and that ... I'm sure in the army it's the same kind of thing because fundamentally people are either interested in novelty or security, right? That they're interested in always something different, they want to figure stuff out. Those are what we call project managers. They want to always figure stuff out, right?

Then there are people who they just want to know what they're supposed to do, to do it, and then ... do it to the best of their ability, but then be done and not have to figure anything out. They get baffled by trying to ... if they have to think about something or try and come up with an idea for something. And the challenge for idea people, like what you are, what project managers are, is that we think that everybody's like that, and we can't imagine that somebody would be happy to do the same thing, and have that kind of security of the sameness and predictability of that.

Trevor: Yup, you're 100 percent right.

Dean: But there are people like that. And that's where you now have the opportunity to kind of think about building different divisions that are only focused on the tattoo removal. That you have the opportunity to be a dream come true for every tattoo removal company in the world because it's the same motivation, right, the same thing. When you've figured out those things, what is it that gets people to favor one business over another, and those being able to deploy and manage those things for the business.

See, most of the time, most business owners are divided like that, too. Sometimes business owners, they don't want to learn marketing, or learn managing the business, or learn money, or any... administration, all those things. They just want to do what it is that they do. They just want to remove tattoos, or the dentists just want to be working on people's teeth, or they just want to be doing what they do, right? And if you can-

Trevor: Absolutely.

Dean: ... provide a predictable service for them that just keeps them doing that, that's a big win.

Trevor: Absolutely. Now, that makes perfect sense because the ... yeah. I mean, I'm definitely more of a project manager, and I like solving the problem, and it's really exciting when it's new. But the moment that it's-

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: ... routine and we put into the task list, it's like dreadful.

Dean: Right.

Trevor: I want to say it's a bit disgusting, but it's not. It's still love value adding and I love helping, but it is-

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: ... harder for me to get ... my body language, I'm sure, projects exactly how I'm feeling.

Dean: Right. No, your energy ... right, exactly. That's the thing, you get your energy from the new stuff. So, you have to, as an entrepreneur, for the next level of growth for you, is that you ... you're either going to continue to just do new stuff, which is not really ... you're just limited by your capacity that way, or you're going to figure out a way to do new stuff, but leave a wake behind you that is going to ... that somebody takes it from there.

You need to be like a relay team, where you're taking it the first leg and the second leg to figure it out. But then, once you've figured it out, you need somebody to take the third leg, and the fourth leg, and then just keep running, right, because you don't have that longevity of wanting to go all that way.

But here's the good news, is that once you've figured out how to solve the problems for the tattoo removal business, or any of those businesses, once you've figured that out, then it becomes a new challenge for you to find tattoo removal companies that want and need your help. Then that becomes a new, fresh problem, right?

Trevor: Absolutely.

Dean: And then, once you solve that problem, now you've got the whole thing, right? Now you've got something that somebody could do. Somebody could be the driver and be in charge of the tattoo removal division. And their whole thing is finding tattoo removal companies that would be happy to have your help and building that out, right, where you're building this whole community of tattoo removal companies that are applying all your marketing.

Trevor: Absolutely. No, that helps a lot because that, having clarity now that that's the right path, and I can see it a little bit better now to with ... I do want to say one thing.  The More Cheese Less Whiskers concept, you know, we've done that. And that is lethal.

Dean: Tell me what-

Trevor: I don't know if-

Dean: ... you did.

Trevor: ... you've ever gotten-

Dean: Yeah, tell me what happened.

Trevor: ... Well, I listened to that podcast, I think episode 24 of I Love Marketing, like 20 times. And we formulated it with the tattoo removal packages because that's the-

Dean: Okay.

Trevor: ... that's what everybody in tattoo removal wants to sell, is this-

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: ... they can get somebody in and they buy 10 treatments at once, that's that nice cash injection. And then, every four to six weeks they can come back. And so, we did that with just kind of scraping emails, finding websites, looking at tattoo removal in New York, and pulling and trying to find emails to shoot that message to.

And I don't know if you ever ... like I'm sure you've gotten tons of people saying this was awesome, but it was really, really good. I mean, it was to the point where I had people that were at the third back ... message back to them were kind of just realizing what had happened and were a little bit frustrated and saying, wow, that was really deceptive. And I'm like, if you read the message, there's nothing deceptive.

Dean: There is nothing. Yeah, exactly, right.

Trevor: No. It was like, you just ... that was really good marketing that ... I mean, I've had numerous times where people are like, well, let me send over ... send me the name. You know, when you ask the message, well, could you handle five or six new tattoo removal treatment packages next month? And they're like, yes, send me their names. And they-

Dean: Yeah right, yeah.

Trevor:  Get past that first sentence of, hey, I've been working with ReThink the Ink here in Denver on their marketing, tattoo removal marketing packages. And it got to the point where I have a couple emails back from owners, wow, that was really good, but we're good right now. It was ... there was a couple that you could tell they were a little frustrated because it was so effective at them reacting so fast. And from that first email was insane.

Dean: Do you do tattoo removal? Yeah.

Trevor: Exactly.

Dean: Absolutely.

Trevor: Of course we do, yeah.

Dean: and the interesting thing is that that just shows the exact illustration of what is ... that's all about, right? When you say I've been working with whomever on some tattoo removal marketing in Chicago and I'm looking for someone to work with in New York or whatever you're ... however you say that, could you accommodate five or six tattoo removal packages next month? They say, yes.

Then your the thing is, when they sort of then see what's happening, when they think that what you're going to follow up with is give me money, then they say, oh I'm good, I'm good right now, right? But if you did have the names of the people, then they would absolutely be willing to accept them now, right? They have a 100 percent capacity to bring money into the business.

Trevor: Yeah.

Dean: Yeah. So, now the game becomes how predictable is it for you to actually get that result for people, right? So, when you look at it now, how much confidence do you have in your ability to actually do it?

Trevor: Absolutely. Well, we have 100 percent confidence.  I don't remember what episode or anything, but just listening ... you know, removing risk.

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: And we do ... even with a 14 location client, we put in there a guarantee. And it's not like a scammy... we guarantee you page one. It's no, let's pick a metric that you need to grow your business.

Dean: Right.

Trevor: If we can't hold up our end, then you shouldn't have to pay. And there's ... we always talk through that, and that's a very clear-

Dean: How much is a tattoo removal package?

Trevor: Oh, they're in the thousands. I mean, I've had folks, they sell them over $3,000, based-

Dean: Okay.

Trevor: ...on the size. And they-

Dean: a $3,000 package. And what would they cheerfully pay for that, to have one? Like if they ... if you said, I'll refer them to you or I'll ... how much would they be willing to pay to have a guaranteed tattoo removal package?

Trevor: I mean, I think easily they would spend $1,000 for that.

Dean: So, when you look at it right now, that becomes your thing because right now they mostly don't have a predictable way to turn $1,000 into a guaranteed tattoo removal package, right? They're-

Trevor: No.

Dean: ... grasping at straws. They're trying stuff. They're throwing ads up, or postcards, or online-

Trevor: Billboards.

Dean: ... cabs, billboards, whatever it is, right, that they're doing, hoping that that's going to bring people in, but they don't have that predicable way of doing it. Now, how much do you think that you can get a tattoo removal package for?

Trevor: Oh, I mean I think we've done enough kind of hyper-local plus other ... we've done and tested our Facebook funnels, and run Facebook ads, and we had good Adwords campaigns already. So, I think we could do that for that 5 to 700 cost out the door, total.

Dean: Yeah. And that really, then, becomes your opportunity. That you have these things where you could ... and I don't know how big or how popular that business is, it's not ... I don't have a frame of reference for it. Is there a heavy demand for tattoo removal, is that something? I mean, it seems like to me there are a lot of tattoo shops. I mean, it's funny, but yeah.

Trevor: Yeah. So, it's ... to me it's a little bit small, I guess, compared to other verticals. Like if you're the dental marketing guy, it's a very small niche. There's maybe seven or eight per major city, in the whole country.

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: And that's been kind of our ... a little bit of our struggle has been, well, I want to hit where I have 100 hyper-local marketing for tattoo removals. And right now, with our mix of dispensaries and tattoo removal, we're only at 53. And it's me, I'm like man, what are we doing wrong that we're not getting more people? We're removing the risk, we're definitely delivering results. We get a lot of folks that are brand new in the business because we have a great partnership with folks that are getting started, that are upstream and selling them the equipment.

So, I've just been kind of struggling with, man, we're here, how do we get to the next level? And I think that we can absolutely deliver on ... and have a margin in there. It's definitely possible. I mean, we have the tools, we have the campaigns built. It's all-

Dean: Right.

Trevor: ... can be duplicated. We know the right offer, after having done them enough. So, that's-

Dean: Yeah. That becomes the kind of thing where it's almost like you could potentially be a complete, full service thing. Where you don't have to show them or teach them anything about the marketing, but you're finding them. It's almost like you're a tattoo removal referral service. That's another option, another opportunity for you, right? That if they would ... if they're not able or willing to pay an ongoing, like a monthly retainer or a monthly sort of service charge, that you could set it up so that they would pay a per booking fee, but you can handle everything up to the point that they make an appointment to come in.

Trevor: Absolutely.

Dean: Right? Because it's no ... the thing is that it's very standardized, right? It's not ... there's not a lot of variation, and it's really just the size of the tattoo, or the ... I can't imagine that there's much variation in that, in order for you to have the ability to engage with someone and then schedule an appointment for them.

Trevor: No, no. It's pretty, I mean, standard. It goes through the process of people are interested, they reach out, they call, they leave a form. It always starts with that consult in their clinic. And that's usually like their discovery, where people have a lot of questions. I mean, you're about to zap their skin with this powerful laser.

Dean: Sure.

Trevor: And how does it work, and how many treatments, and does it hurt?

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: So, it's ... yeah, it definitely is kind of the standard ... I would say that during piece four, clinic owners definitely very standard.

Dean: Yeah. Like to be able to just deliver people to them because you can do all the education ahead of time and they can make that decision. It's almost like ... you know, in other industries there's lots of this, where you are almost like hotels.com or the travel sites, where they're aggregating. I mean, in the hotel industry, third party providers account for a really good portion of the business that the hotel do. And what they're willing to do is pay a certain amount, some percentage of the booking, to the aggregator, the person who's actually doing all the online stuff and then making the booking.

So, that ... but thinking about where it has to really have the focus to grow is that you have to be aligned with somebody in your organization who's completely happy to only be the VP of ... or the business development head of tattoo removal division. And that's-

Trevor: Yup.

Dean: ... all it is, right? That they're ... you're focused on helping all of the ... and it becomes really not even helping all of the tattoo removal business, but the focus becomes on helping all the people who want to get tattoo removal get introduced to the right tattoo removal service.

Trevor: Absolutely. Man, that would be extremely valuable if that I mean, you look at it like searches today online for like construction stuff. And there's always HomeAdvisor, Angie's List, and-

Dean: Right. All-

Trevor: ... like-

Dean: ... of those things.

Trevor: ... you said, these third parties in the middle, okay.

Dean: And so, you're looking for ... you find niches like that, that are underserved, like nobody's thinking this way about the tattoo removal business maybe, I don't know, but it seems like a niche that kind of flies under radar like that.

Trevor: Absolutely. Yeah, it definitely is. Nobody's out ... yeah, everybody's looking at it like, oh, I want the roofing leads or the people that are in other cosmetic surgery ones maybe, another-

Dean: Right.

Trevor: ... high ticket, very high ticket item.

Dean: Yeah, yeah.

Trevor: Okay.

Dean: That could be a pretty interesting thing, especially then if you're opening up the ... well, to opportunities with them for their email marketing, and their referral getting, all the after unit things, or the-

Trevor: Absolutely.

Dean: ... social media things. Where, you know, there's so many services or support things that you could do to help a tattoo removal provider just to stay in the role that they want to be in, which is their ... they've got a full practice.

Trevor: Absolutely. Yeah. And the crazy part, too, would be the ... I mean, we've seen it with the hyper-local where it's like the first domino.

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: Once they start generating the new clients consistently, they now have more time because they have more resources, they have cash flow, which kind of removes a lot of pain. And then, it seems like then they want, well, what else could I be doing?

Dean: Right. See now they're opened up.

Trevor: And it's like, well, what else? And I've been blown away by how many ... like that guy we started with, the only thing he does now because he reached a point where, for his lifestyle, he doesn't want to hire anybody and he doesn't want to open another location, so he's just like, hey I'm good, but can you just-

Dean: He's just living the dream.

Trevor: ... keep managing-

Dean: You could do it for 30 hours a week or whatever his-

Trevor: Yeah. And then, he just ... but he stick with us on Google Adwords management. And to me, it kind of blew my mind. I'm like, wow, there's so many things that once you solve that kind of, you know, they're definitely not going under, they're getting new clients. And because it's a subscription type of business where they've got to come back for 8 to 10 treatments, adding new people every month builds. And it's definitely been cool to witness all the other things people want the moment that they kind of get out of the danger zone and they're doing okay.

Dean: Yeah. That's great. And your thing is just to usher them into that level. And that's where you can invest in, you start taking that investment mindset that you're ... you know that in 90 days or in 6 months you could turn somebody completely around and now they're your ideal client. And I always say, you don't want to talk about all that risk reversal stuff that sometimes ... and let's think about it just from a straight up business philosophy, that it's often less expensive to get them the result than it is to convince them to give you money to get the result.

Trevor: Yeah.

Dean: You spend so much more time and energy to convince them to give you the $500 than it would be for you to just invest the time and the portion of it to get them their first $3,000.

Trevor: Yeah. No, I haven't thought of it through that perspective at all, and that's awesome because you're 100 percent right in that we ... the other day we launched I think it was an Adwords campaign. And it was so fast because we had it, that I never put ... took the next step of well, somebody that maybe we want as a client could easily turn this on and say, I'm doing this. And it would take-

Dean: What if you did it?

Trevor: ... 30 minutes-

Dean: Because you know that the ... you know you get instant response, right? So, what if before ... you know the nine word emails work, and where you run-

Trevor: Yeah.

Dean: ... into any sort of friction is that somebody, when you ask them can you accommodate five or six, then what if instead of it ... because you know you can do it quickly, what if you turned on Adwords for a day before, and you find a couple of people or however, one person, who is looking to get tattoo removal. And then you send the email to them, do you do tattoo removal? Yes. I've been working with and here I've got this person right now.

Trevor: Absolutely.

Dean: That's the way ... you know, when you start thinking about how much it would cost you to find someone, that becomes a pretty exciting way to talk to people.

Trevor: Absolutely.

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: Absolutely. That would be ... I think that would also just build that trust so much faster, too, because it's not a black art and it's not like, hey, three months from now and this may or may not work. It's-

Dean: Right, exactly. And you don't have to make big promises, right?

Trevor: ... Yup.

Dean: That's the thing. That's why I say it, when you look at it like that, you actually have to deliver less result than you have to promise just to get somebody to give you money for it. You just-

Trevor: Absolutely.

Dean: ... delivered them ... if you just deliver them one person who wants to get a package, you're now ... you're completely aligned with their goal, you're completely ... they're just thrilled because that's what they really want.

Trevor: Yup.

Dean: And they're magnanimous, they're more happy. People are always more ... they're less attached to future money than they are to present money. And that means that they're more than happy to give you some portion of future money that you're going to bring in for them than to give you some of the money that they already ... that money's already spent. The money they have right now, that's already gone.

Trevor: Yeah, absolutely. No, that's awesome. Thank you so much, sir.

Dean: That will be a fun thing to figure out. And is tattoo removal the thing that you're kind of furthest along on?

Trevor: It is by far, I mean, I'm part owners of one now.

Dean: Nice, look at you.

Trevor: And we definitely ... oh, thanks. But we definitely know more about it and understand it more than any of our other kind of verticals that we know hyper-local works in. So-

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: ... without a doubt, it was definitely the original. The only ... and I guess it's probably like scatterbrained being all over the place, but my worry is that it's just a big enough vertical to grow as much as we want, but I think I'm getting too caught up in what ifs down the road. In reality, we still haven't captured our ... the majority of the tattoo-

Dean: Yeah. What percentage of the market? If you've got ... you were saying you've got 53 now, including dispensaries and tattoo. How many tattoo removal clients do you have right now?

Trevor: I would ... we're approaching 17, off the top of my head. And I would say ... that's still-

Dean: That's not even a dent in the…

Trevor: Exactly.

Dean: So, I look at it that you've got so much ... you know, profit activator number one, plan to dominate. Pick your single target market and plan to dominate. You've got so much opportunity there. And all the while, as you're planning to dominate that one and you're building out your system as you go, you are creating now the blueprint for doing that in the next one, the next niche that you want to do that for.

Trevor: Absolutely, absolutely.

Dean: Yeah. Be amazing, right? Like I think that that's ... it's almost like you're creating a franchise prototype in a way, right? Like you ... the one that you're a part owner in could be your shining example of it, yeah.

Trevor: Yeah. And that's ... the cool part about kind of that opportunity is that we have that brand and that name that goes with that, that it could absolutely become the definitive source for both the business owners and the definitive source for the people needing the treatments.

The guy that's on the inside of that company, I get to spend a lot of time doing their SCO and stuff like that. And we do have national rankings for keywords and there's nothing stopping us from kind of leveraging that down to local areas and almost having pages that are on that site that generate leads that we can then turn around and use as a great way to connect with others-

Dean: How-

Trevor: ...that can become our clients.

Dean: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, do the people who do tattoo removal, do they ... is that a service that they offer as part of their regular tattoo parlor or is it, they separate usually, that it's one place puts them on, another one takes them off, or can you get it on and off at the same place?

Trevor: Some places you can. You can get them ... there's a market for the fading. So, if you're big into tattoos, and it's ironic because I don't have any, but if you're big into that and you really ... you get a tattoo that you don't like, a great thing is that you can get it faded and lightened up, so that you can have what they call a cover up over it.

Dean: There's TV shows on that, yeah. I saw a couple of times I've stumbled on, on TV, like Bad Ink I think was one of the shows, where  the whole show is people come in and they show their bad tattoo. And then, the artist can create something around it, so that it ... doesn't make it ... blend it in to something else, yeah.

Trevor: Absolutely. And then, you have another kind of subset that are medical professionals, who maybe they're a plastic surgeon and they offer tattoo removal. Or maybe they were this type of medical professional, I've seen all the way from OB/GYNs to I think addiction clinic owners, what's the one ... anesthesiologists that get into it because in some states there is a little bit of a barrier to them to open a clinic because they have to be like a nurse practitioner or higher.

And that's why for us-

Dean: Right.

Trevor: ... when we were in North Carolina, we couldn't ... we had gone all the way down the path, and when we checked State regulations, the bad part was we couldn't even own it or work in one because we weren't like a resident nurse or higher. And so, you have like that medical professional.

But then, to be honest with you, the most successful clinic owners I've seen tend to be ... they already ran a business in a different whole industry. And surprisingly, the two most successful I've seen have been in construction, they were business owners in construction. And they seem to have the same story of I was getting one removed and thought, wow, this is a great business model, and I could do this better. And they, then, transitioned into the industry and have done really well.

Dean: I got you.

Trevor: So, there's like this difference of we have the medical professionals who, when we do kind of interact, there's definitely a level of ... they have different needs because they're ... some of them are just stressed that they're not making as much money as they could have, and they're doctors, or MDs, or ER docs. And then you have these guys that are just like, well, this is a great business opportunity. And then, the other ones that are like, well, we already do tattoos and everybody's asking for cover ups, and I'm sending that work to some other place to get the tattoo removed, and that's going to have a higher money ... more money comes out of that removal than that putting it on.

And so, one of the best tattoos studios we ever worked with, he's very famous, Epic Ink founder, and he was very clear, like hey, our tattoo removal does more revenue than our tattoos.

Dean: Wow, yeah.

Trevor: And so, definitely there's a market for it to grow. And I think our kind of sweet spot may be more of focusing on those folks, the expansion into hey, you're a tattoo studio and you just started doing tattoo removal. We can help you get that kind of up and running and profitable for you.

Yeah. There's definitely those kinds of three different markets that we help when it comes to that industry.

Dean: And so, I can see it as you've got a pretty simple opportunity there. What would be the next, if you ... and then, taking that blueprint, what would be the next, then, service that you could help with or that you could be your next focus? I mean, the dispensaries or what would be-

Trevor: Yeah.

Dean: ... another yeah?

Trevor: Yeah. I mean, we think ... and I've been kind of digesting this because we ... about 60 days ago, we did our first dispensary client. And we've since done three different types, like a recreational, medical, and then one that was 14 locations. And because of their limitations on what they can do right now, it's almost like the perfect fit for hyper-local, being found locally, people-

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: ... the great metric in there that we found was the clicks for direction because you're literally getting ... showing, it's getting reported, on how many people pull out their phone-

Dean: Clicking for directions.

Trevor: And that, being able to kind of double that for a store in that space because I think that's kind of a little bit of the dilemma we have is that dispensary marketing versus tattoo removal marketing, our dispensary marketing is a much bigger long-term opportunity. And I think that ... it's been a ... since we're getting great results, that we're like oh well ... it comes to that, well, how do I go after both of these at the same time, knowing we truly haven't capitalized the one we started with, but this other one is way more ... it's going to ... ideally, I mean we don't know, but it should get larger as more states legalize recreation.

And it's way more competitive. I mean, if you look ... and Denver is a little bit of an anomaly because of being one of the first places-

Dean: First, yeah exactly.

Trevor: Yeah, there's dispensaries everywhere.

Dean: Yeah, right.

Trevor: And how do you differentiate and ... so, it's been ... that's the part that we're ... and I think through, man, how do I ... I think the bigger long-term opportunity is definitely in dispensary, but it's also the one we don't have as much experience with.

Dean: Right.

Trevor: We've gotten great results and I can say, oh, well look at our case studies that show these great results. But I don't have-

Dean: By and large, most of the dispensaries are going to thrive anyway. That's not really going to be an issue kind of thing, right? But that's the thing.

What else? What other verticals have you been working in that might show some potential?

Trevor: Well, medical call spas are kind of like a subset ... the tattoo removal is a subset of them. The dental clinics, we've gotten great results there where we have a dentist that is right around 30 to 25 new clients per month coming into their practice. And at the ... kind of right at that $500 price point, it's kind of changed that gentleman's paradigm on this digital marketing and the power of it because he had been-

Dean: Right.

Trevor: ...run through the wringer of people charging him two grand a month and not delivering, and saying it takes six months. And it goes back to that ... I think that level of urgency.  I mean, when somebody's looking for a dentist, I don't think they want to travel very hard. Convenience is a factor. And if they're in pain, they're more likely to pull out that phone and take action. So, I think that one.

We did a ... we're running pilot studies with apartments. And I would say, so far it's been successful, but not as successful as some of these other verticals. The same with ... we did a brokerage firm here in Littleton, and they got two listings in the first 60 days that ... we recorded the calls and it's blatant. The guys like, hey, I pulled up and I saw you guys on maps, and saw that you had a lot of great reviews. And I was just curious if you do like a CMA at my house.

And so, I think there's opportunity there. I just worry that we're all over the place and we're not getting-

Dean: Right.

Trevor: ... we're growing as fast as we could if we were very targeted. And that's kind of the dilemma.

And then also, I know with like running the email prospecting for tattoo removal, we kind of ran out of the database. We got through it and it worked to create conversations. And I think we're at a point now where we could circle back and kind of re-engage folks, but I also ... there's definitely other verticals. I mean, like a dentist vertical has thousands and thousands of potential folks versus hundreds with tattoo removal.

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: The dispensary, I mean we'll see. It's definitely growing, but it's in the same boat as tattoo removal where right now there's only so many ... you can kind of, I think, look up the licenses that have been issued for dispensaries and it is like a finite number.

So, yeah. That's kind of a little bit of a dilemma that we've been working through, and what's the next ... how do we get from where we're at to the next level of how many folks.

Dean: Yeah. I think organizationally it's just about organizing yourself so that there's a team that is 100 percent focused on maximizing relationships with the tattoo removal people.

Trevor: Yeah.

Dean: And there's just so much potential going forward with that.

Trevor: Yup, absolutely. Yeah. And I like that because I can ... it's doable. We already know the formula and I just plug people in-

Dean: But then, it's like-

Trevor: ... there-

Dean: ... you said, then-

Trevor: ... make sure-

Dean: ... becomes-

Trevor: ... they're trained.

Dean: Yeah, then it becomes all the other thing, now it's not just on the front end, right? Like now, once they're successful, like now there's opportunities for them to do all the other things that you know how to help them to do, right, like focusing in some of the things they can do in the during unit, and in the after unit to orchestrate referrals and get ... build lifetime relationships with people. That's kind of-

Trevor: Absolutely.

Dean: ... those are things that they would be open to now that they've got breathing room, right, and they're all ... they've got a predictable flow of new clients.

Trevor: Now, when-

Dean: It's kind of-

Trevor: ... you-

Dean: ... it's cool.

Trevor: ... Go ahead then.

Dean: No, it's kind of cool.

Trevor: Oh, yeah. I think it's well, I guess the question I have would be…

Dean: If I was organizing it, yeah.

Trevor: Would you organize the people that ... like the strike team that goes after tattoo removal only, what would that just like composition be? Obviously somebody who has industry experience maybe leading it, that can really speak, but the actual fulfillment back end, we can have some special kind of like people that are really good and tons of experience in that vertical. But do you think that can kind of be ... that back end team for the fulfillment can be working multiple verticals because-

Dean: Of course.

Trevor: ...of the playbook?

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: I was just thinking-

Dean: I mean, yeah, it's the same thing. But the thing that you're thinking about now your before unit. This is the ... that's the way you need to think about it, that your during unit is helping ... once you find tattoo removal people who want to get help, that's when your during unit kicks in, right?

But what's going to drive it, what grows it, is a before unit for you that finds tattoo removal companies that want and need your help.

Trevor: Yup, okay.

Dean: And that ... they keep moving, they keep moving. They are continually ... they're going all the way. Their mission is to connect with and build a relationship with every tattoo removal source in the world. That's the thing.

Trevor: Okay. Yeah. Because I think that ... I already have two great sales reps that I've already kind of started leaning toward what they like. And one has worked in a plastic surgery clinic, ran it. And I think now that we're bringing this to the surface, it's like oh, she's a perfect fit to lead that team. She can speak the language, she knows kind of the struggles and has that insider perspective. And I think it helps, too, that we can inject her into our clinic and get her spun up on anything she might be missing.

Okay. I was just worried, like man, building out a full fulfillment team for each vertical, I was like, oh, that would be tough to do right now. It would be-

Dean: Right, right. Yeah, no. You just want to go all the way. I mean because as it grows, your revenue's growing all that way, too.

Trevor: Okay.

Dean: That's pretty exciting. So, what's your recap here?

Trevor: So, the recap. I have a whiteboard that's full, sir. So, well done, thank you.

Dean: I love it, yeah.

Trevor: But I definitely think we're going to execute on building out the teams that go after those verticals alone. And I figure I've got to circle back and make sure that that playbook is 100 percent kind of rinse and repeat the same standardized, and that it gets specific to the vertical. Because when you brought that up, it made me really realize like, man, there's stuff we do with tattoo removal that we didn't do with dispensary. The bare bones, like the frame of the thing-

Dean: Yeah, right.

Trevor: ... but there's a couple things that, only having done tattoo removal tons of times now, do we know, hey, this needs to be like that. And dispensaries, it was different.

Dean: Yeah.

Trevor: And I think I can absolutely leverage kind of ... codify that same frame work for dispensary marketing. And then I think, too, we're going to explore how could we flip a switch and instantly provide clients to someone to help facilitate that process of closing, so that we're not getting bogged down with trying to promise and convince them, and really win them over because this vertical or this whole industry of digital marketing, I think it's tough to build trust when there's so many.

Dean: Right.

Trevor: I mean, all my business owners get 50 emails a day of somebody-

Dean: Yeah. Everybody's trying to convince them to give them money. That's what they're trying to do. Every one of it leads with, give me money, and if it doesn't work out, I'll give you the money back. But essentially you're saying, I want to hold the money, right? So, that's the thing. Somebody needs to go first, right?

Trevor: Yup.

Dean: And I'm saying that it's often ... if somebody's betting on you, it's either going to be you betting on you to actually perform, or most people try and get strangers to bet on them, which is an uphill battle.

Trevor: Absolutely. And then, but I think we can do that. We have that-

Dean: Well, I have lots of-

Trevor: ... capability.

Dean: ... confidence that this is going to be a wonderful follow up conversation once you get rolling here, and you're going to be the tattoo removal marketing king of the world.

Trevor: Absolutely.

Dean: And it all started right here. I like it.

Trevor: Absolutely. That’s definitely a huge influence from you and Joe and everything ... learning. You guys are giving away like an MBA in marketing or all that great knowledge. And so, thank you.

Dean: That's it. I love it. Well, I really enjoyed it. It was great to talk to you and connect again.

Trevor: Absolutely, sir. Have a great, wonderful day.

Dean: You too. Bye-bye.

And there we have it. Now, I love this model of syndication so much. If you've got something that you think might be a good syndication, I'd love to have you as a guest on this show, and maybe talk a little bit about how I could help you with that because I think it's the most ... the easiest to sort of get started with leverage opportunity that there is.

You can practice, you can develop something on a hyper-local level, and then take it all across the country. So, why don't you have something like that, go to morecheeselesswhiskers.com, you can download a copy of the More Cheese Less Whiskers book, and then click on the be a guest link and tell me a little bit about your business. And I would love to have a conversation with you here about just that.

Now, I just got back from Amsterdam and London, back in Toronto, and heading to Australia in August. We're going to do a breakthrough blueprint event in Australia, in Sydney. So, if you're in Australia, or you've always wanted to go to Australia, this would be a good reason to go and join us for three days, where we'll focus completely on applying the Eight Profit Activators to your business. And if you want to wait until we get back stateside, this fall we'll have two more breakthrough blueprints in Orlando that you could join us in October or December.

So, that's it for this week. Have a great week, and I will talk to you next time.