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The Best $65 I’ve Ever Spent
The Story of Building the Largest AI Community on the Internet (and how you can do it too)
Before we dive in to this week’s newsletter:
New pod episode is LIVE with Nik Sharma, a DTC/e-commerce legend.
Nik was tactical and broke down the best and worst DTC experiences on the internet. Examples include The Honest Company, Rare Beauty etc.
Ok, let’s get into this week’s post!
Would you believe me if I told you that I only spent $65 on a project that…
Brought 25,000 community members together
Captured 50,000 email addresses for a newsletter with a 54% open rate
Paved the way for a productized agency on pace for a 7-figure run rate
… in only 40 days?
Honestly, I wouldn’t believe it either.
Here’s how we built You Probably Need A Robot in public to immediate success (and how you could do the same):
I knew I wanted to start a community around productivity and AI, and I had the perfect name for it — but wasn’t sure if there was demand for it.
So I tweeted it:
The second I clicked publish, replies started rolling in. I knew I struck a nerve.
When your tweet gets a 20% retweet-to-like ratio (or 1-1 retweet-reply ratio), you’re onto something. This hit the threshold for me immediately.
After just a few minutes, I rushed to Typeform and created a simple form to capture the growing demand. I asked for a two things:
Email address — duh
What's interesting to you about AI and productivity?
That second question was open-ended — and became an absolute gold mine.
Now I knew exactly what to build.
At the bottom of the Typeform and in several tweets, I wrote six sweet words that 10x-ed the number of signups:
Free for now but not forever.
I’m expecting others to steal this.
The $65 paid advertisement
I noticed Jackson Greathouse Fall’s HustleGPT thread was blowing up. He had a 40% retweet-to-like ratio at around 2,000 followers. This was insane — so I tracked it vigorously.
Suddenly, a golden opportunity presented itself. HustleGPT told Jackson to sell a $65 ad slot on Twitter.
I pounced. I sent Jackson a message and Venmo’d him the $65 immediately. You Probably Need A Robot landed a promotion that now has 1.2 million impressions.
Lesson: look for non obvious ways to promote your community
I came into the project with the sole intention of needing friends to talk about AI with. I was fascinated by how AI could help speed up our processes at Late Checkout and wanted to create a community around it.
Remember how I said the open-ended Typerform question showed me exactly what to build?
The #1 answer was some variation of…
“Hey, my company needs help implementing AI into our workflow.”
So we built a productized agency around this exact problem. Now, we’re working with several different companies in different industries to bring their business to the AI age.
This could be the McKinsey of AI all built on top of a thriving community.
Earlier this year, I wrote about the ACP funnel — a framework for building products that resonate. Over the last 40 days, I lived it:
Audience: I found a large group of people interested in the intersection of productivity and AI
Community: We built a Discord & newsletter for 50,000+ people to talk about AI tools
Product: We launched an agency designed to help businesses use AI to become more productive
My main takeaway from from the process:
What started off as a simple curiosity turned into a community with 50,000 members and an agency on pace to hit 7-figures in its first year.
And it only took 40 days and a well-placed $65 to make it happen.
There will always be opportunities to replicate the ACP funnel.
Find audiences who share questions around your interests, create communities to help them answer those questions, and build products to solve them at scale.
Some ways we can work together:
Revamp your company's design game with Dispatch's membership.
Elevate your decks, websites, apps, and more to stand out from the competition.
This agency was incubated by Late Checkout
Note: we are raising the prices soon due to demand. If you get on waitlist now, we will honor current prices
Find boring ways to make more revenue
Use SEO and “boring marketing” to bring you profitable customers. Last year, we drove 600m visitors and $1B+ in organic revenue.
This agency was incubated by Late Checkout
We set up a FREE community called Late Checkout Land. (~6 month waitlist)
It’s for people who want to become idea generation machines with community based products.
More info here. People are loving it