Episode 9 – Zach Thomas, CEO of Apogee

Listen in to this in-depth conversation with Zach Thomas, CEO of Apogee. Zach coaches business owners on how to leverage TikTok to grow their business and generate leads.

Zach shares:

  • how he went from a DJ to operating one of the biggest event spaces in Oregon
  • how he’s grown a large audience on TikTok and got millions of views
  • how he helps his clients grow their business via TikTok
  • and much much more!


Podcast episode & show notes below!

Show Notes:


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Click here for the raw, unedited transcript:

This transcript was automatically generated using Descript.

Ismail: Welcome to The Bound to Be Rich podcast, where I attempt to reverse engineer people who seem to be successful, no matter the circumstances, so that you can apply those lessons to your own life. I’m your host, is Mel Hume. In this episode, we are joined by Zach Thomas, CEO of Apogen. Zach owns an event company in space in Oregon.

He’s also had a lot of success with TikTok, where he has received millions of views. He now also consults and coaches, business owners, and how to leverage TikTok to grow their business. Is it worth spending time creating TikTok content? How can we leverage it to actually grow our business rather than just wasting time?

Let’s dive in.

Zach, thank you so much for coming on the show, man. I really appreciate you making the time. 

Zach: Hey, it’s my pleasure. Thank you for having me. It’s truly an honor to talk to you once again. So thank you so much. I, I 

Ismail: appreciate it. I, I think we met, uh, for the first time at the photo Booth Expo in Vegas in person, and I’ve been watching you, uh, over the last couple years and you seem to have your hands in a, in a bunch of different things.

So you, you’ve always been an interesting character to 

Zach: me. Appreciate that. , you, you could said it worse. You could have said much worse. So interesting. I’ll take it . 

Ismail: No, that’s a compliment, man. You, you’re doing a lot of things, so I’m, I’m trying to, I’m trying to learn from people like you. So I think where, I guess, why don’t we start at the beginning.

Like I know you, you had experiences a DJ and then that kind of, uh, led into a whole event company. Uh, 

[00:01:38] Backstory of Zach.

Ismail: do you mind sharing like how you got into DJing and then how did that kind of turn into a much bigger. 

Zach: Sure, Sure. So I’ll give you just kind of the four 11 on on where I started, where I came from. So I, in high school I had a small band and we, you know, we weren’t super serious.

We played a few shows around, but it left me with the PA system. And so with that PA system, I had heard that some, I went into Guitar Center actually. I went guitar shopping and one of the guys at Guitar Center was like, Hey, you know, some old man, he bought, you know, a couple of these things. He went out DJing and then he came back, you know, a few months later cause he was so busy and he was making a bunch of money.

And I was like, Huh, okay. And so I bought a few things and I started to try to sell myself as a DJ cause I could do that. And so this was 2006 and all that I was doing at the time was run. Head f it was running iTunes out of a headphone jack , but, so it was, it was pretty ghetto. Um, but it allowed me to get into the industry real quick and not have to buy everything I, in terms of like hauling crates and records around.

So I was mobile and I was fast. Um, but you know, at the time I just thought it was side cash. I was going to school to be a paramedic and then at the tail end of that, instead of taking the medic job, I actually got into medical sales. And so I learned from there. I was doing orthopedic sales. I was doing a lot of the service side of it too.

And so we had a surgical side, but my job was really to work with the patients in the rehab side. So after they had surgery, they’d usually come see me to get fitted for their postoperative equipment or their knee brace or, uh, we also, we did for Oregon State University, and if you watch college football, the, the knee braces that the linemen wear, we did those custom braces.

Uh, and so it was my job to lead our sales team and to go into these doctor’s offices and learn how to sell. So that’s what I did . And, uh, so during that time, the event side and the DJ business, I did a couple of things here and there, but I wasn’t real serious until I got fired from that job. And then a couple months later, I found out that I was gonna be a dad

And so I was like, Oh, well I guess I need to. You know, get my budding gear and start making some money. So, uh, so this was, uh, 2000 late, So yes, 2011. And as time went on, um, in 2012, you added another dj, added a photo booth. Uh, 2016 we added, we’d added you read at a couple of photo booths and a couple more DJs.

We added photo video. We opened our first small office where people kind of come, you know, have consults, check out the photo booth, you know, see a little bit of the photography in the video that we were starting to do. And, um, Then we just kind of kept rolling from there. We had great years in 2018, 2019, you know, there were nearly 20% growth years.

And I had always kind of envisioned a space where we could have, uh, the, just an all inclusive shop where couples could come in and they could literally shop everything for their wedding. In terms of the DJs, the photographers, um, you know, they’re catering the venue itself. And so at the end of 2019, we found a huge warehouse, has a huge covered patio outside.

And I was like, Haha, well, in my town there’s logistically there’s no, they there some unique geography around our place Is that the city of Salem, Oregon sits right between Portland and Eugene. Uh, Salem’s the third largest city right between those two. And they’re each in our. An hour apart down the freeway, but there’s no event centers there.

And so my plan grabbing going into this place at the end of 19 was that, oh yeah, I can have 350 people back here for a party. And there’s nowhere else like it. It’s indoor and outdoor and we’ll kind of work into it and start to build into the all inclusive model. Um, so we joined a partnership with, um, a florist who she’s great.

She has been three times finalist for best florist in the state for weddings, which is awesome. So she joined up with us and we opened the flower shop down there. And, uh, The March 6th, we did a big, big hoorah with March 6th, 2020. We did a big hoorah for the Salem Chamber of Commerce about what our plans were and, and we had planned at the time too to integrate a podcast studio and inside that pod.

And so that was one of our big, big things too, is cuz we wanted to use that studio to help sell our, our wedding services and, Then once Covid hit five days later, , you know, we found ourselves, uh, really kind of scratching our heads for plans. You know, once the guest lists all went down to 10 and six and were nothing at all.

And it was, uh, kind of an odd time. So, you know, we ran and hid, you know, kind of did, did our thing. And what ultimately, you know, not to talk about the forbidden year, uh, it kind of left us in a position of, well, we don’t really have any events now to book, so what else can we do? And so just taking, you know, stepping backwards and zooming out and out and out.

What do we have? We have a building. Okay. What’s in the building? There’s this room, there’s that part, there’s that part. We have cameras, we have microphones, we have people and just started patching things together. So we were able to integrate a few other service sites, you know, like hair and makeup of something that was needed in our area.

So we pulled in, um, couple hair and makeup curls. We’ve even, and the venue itself, we just got to work just making it what it needed to be. Uh, in Portland, there’s a lot of these urban industrial warehouse type venues, and there’s not really much outside of it. And that’s kind of our, our venue. Um, we do a lot of rustic things to out in the country.

So we started to build the outside of a barn inside of the plates. And now one of the newer things that started to come down the pipeline is, uh, is, is films and photo studios. So we, over the summer when we were creating content for the wedding sides, doing staged photo shoots, we started to get a few questions about, you know, would you guys rent this out for other photographers?

And certainly not opposed to anything. So that’s what we did. Um, and we just opened. Monday through Friday for photographers to come in, do DIY photography, um, bring in their own models and clients at an hourly rate. Um, we’re trying to save the weekends for, you know, some of the birthday parties, um, birthday parties, bridal showers, um, baby showers, any, any small niche right now that’s about 25 to 25 to 35 people there.

There really hasn’t been a lot of good options, at least in our area for people to gather and do that. And so us having the, the ability, um, to be indoor and outdoor and have that option right now. Really starting to save our butts because , you know, first people for their events, they look at the venue and then they’re able to see everything else that we do, and then they’re able to, we’re able to up our tickets because we don’t just offer, you know, the studio a as an event space, but we’re able to tack in all of the services behind it too, I mean, with the flowers.

And so it’s really kind of a, been an interesting concept, you know, as we move forward. Um, I had a meeting about filming a, a dating show inside of our warehouse as well, and we produced. Uh, one of our corporate clients this summer that came to be, and I’m sorry, my add is probably making me squirrel brain jump around a little bit, but if I backtrack to this last summer of 2020, there we had a, we, the corporate client that had a conference, there was a self-help empowerment usually.

For women use 400 people in attendance. And, you know, it was a big event. It was a great thing, just a great goodhearted event. And there was nowhere to have it. And it, so she came to us and we were able to, we redesigned, you know, the, the show concept itself and more or less filmed a Ted Talk style film conference and self empowerment.

It was a six hour film. And so now we’re having the conversations of well dating shows and, you know, the dating show helps us gain notoriety for the wedding business, for the wedding services that we do. And so there’s just a lot of, uh, Certainly February is not a busy month event wise on any year. Uh, I think that it, this summer, late spring, it looks like that’s when we’re gonna be coming back.

So in the meantime, we’re just using everything that we can, that we’ve had over the course of time as a wedding business to, you know, in terms of photo booths we’ve put in, um, uh, instead of having the iPad be a photo booth inside one of our ring light booths, I mean, it’s still a photo booth, but we’re using it as a talk station instead.

So influencers and creators could even come into the studio. They have a ring light and an iPad ready to go for ’em. It’s a mobile device even, um, that they can take to different set designs in our studio. Uh, so we’re just getting really creative with a lot of bonkers ideas and trying to throw it out to the public, see what happens, see what they like.

And, you know, we’re in the meantime. This is all in mind because. I’m still on pressing, go on. Trying to get us to be this large, all inclusive national brand that really means something on somebody’s day to have there. Like we’re the cool guys to come in. The wedding business is an $80 billion a year industry, but there is not one single brand that dominates that space that comes in on the day of, does a killer job.

And those are the guys to have that doesn’t exist, and that’s what we’re working towards. So 

Ismail: that, that, there’s so much to dive into that. I remember, I obviously, I was going through my own storm when Covid happened, but I remember thinking of you because, uh, it was like horrible timing for me to do a, a conference.

And I, I remember you like literally open an event space right around when all that happened. So I’ve, I, you were in my thoughts as well, , but it sounds like you, you are pivoting, you know, effectively. So I’m curious, just generally speaking, 

[00:12:30] COVID effect on business.

Ismail: do you think, like as you’re explaining it, you just seem very rational, logical, um, doing this, you’re doing that and it all makes sense, but in the moment, uh, speaking from someone that was there too, do you think you were handling it well?

Was it stressful? Are you the kind of guy that’s like, you know what, it’s not that big of a deal. We’ll figure it out. 

Zach: Um, no, it was definitely, it’s definitely stressful. Um, you know, and on a personal note, you know, I was going through a divorce right before that too. So for me, the way that I was looking at that situation was, Nothing’s worse than that.

And so that for me was I was, it helped a lot because I was able to just put my mind into work and just do what I thought needed to be done. Um, you know, looking back now, hindsight’s always 2020. I feel comfortable at least knowing that I put in the time and the grind, doing absolutely what I have thought and felt was best.

But certainly there are things that I would, I would do differently now, just because you never know what you don’t know, um, but. That’s the way it goes. Progress isn’t always, isn’t necessarily linear. And we had, we had a couple setbacks we were doing, starting to do pretty well. Um, Oregon people were getting pretty fed up, uh, late October in the fall.

And so we actually had our, the studio event space booked three days in a row. We had a triple book that Halloween weekends. And, um, then the next week we, the governor put, rolled back the restrictions and it was just, everything went cold. And so everything that we were having for December, some of the parties, um, it just, all the leads went cold and all the events went off the books and that, that was probably the most stressful then, because, you know, we’d already been under the gun for a while just trying to figure out what to do, um, you know, in the event industry.

And so we’d kind of felt like we’re starting to get our legs back. Maybe that’s, we’re going in the right direction. And that took a lot of wind outta the sales. So that was really stressful. Um, and yeah, I mean, I did lose like 40 pounds, so there’s probably something to that too. , some people 

Ismail: might consider that a, a benefit

Zach: Yeah, it needed to be done, but it wasn’t all good. 

Ismail: I’m also curious, you mentioned

[00:14:53] Inception of creative ideas.

Ismail: a bunch of things like, um, you know, the dating show bringing in here and makeup people and Yeah. The i, those ideas, are they like things that you come up with and you’re throwing it at the wall, or is that coming from, uh, like clients bringing it to you?

Like where’s the inception of those creative ideas come from? 

Zach: It’s me usually. Um, you know, now, so I’ve been doing weddings for 15, 15 years now was the first time that I started to get into it. And just looking out, you know, I’ve had conversations over the years with just tons of people and Bri saying, Where do we find this?

How do we do that? And so, Over a thousand. I haven’t done myself a thousand weddings, but certainly I’ve had my hand in a thousand weddings answering questions in some sort of way. And it’s kind of led me to a point of, well, this would just make sense. And so here and there, over the years I’ve just, Well, this would be nice if that was this way,

And so many times of that would be nice if that was this way. I come up with a pretty big list of things that would be really nice if we could do things that way. Um, so moving forward to us, you know, we are looking to kind of make the shopping part of it a lot easier so it can be just done online, it can be done easy.

They can see who they’re working with right away. Um, but yeah, the ideas are usually just things. Start to creep up, um, through, through the years and we’ve, we’ve had the opportunity now. That was the nice thing with last year being what it was, is it did give us the opportunity to execute some of those ideas and try them out, and then to get ’em going.

So we’re still, we’re still. Figuring out a lot. Um, still adding some warm, but yeah, I’m kind of a crazy guy. , 

Ismail: it’s all relative. Some people see crazy, some people see brilliance . So, uh, you also mentioned in, in the, the story in the beginning, uh, 

[00:16:51] Start & Use Podcast to grow business.

Ismail: you wanted to have space for a podcast. So as someone obviously with a podcast, I’m curious, how did you think about that strategically?

Like what was the plan, uh, and how did you intend on using the podcast to help grow all the other things that you were. 

Zach: Sure. So templated out. We own a podcast called Marry Me Podcast, and it’s basically, it’s just a skeleton show idea, even still, and this project that I’ve wanted to get going for a long time, but there’s just not the bandwidth to make it happen.

And so getting into the space, all right, we can have our offices right here, and we as a team now that we’ll all be in here doing different things and there’ll be multiple people here a day. We can make this happen, and this will be good branding and advertising for us to, if you, if we get a good podcast going, it helps us with our authority in the industry to just say, Hey, these guys really know what they’re doing.

Um, and so that, that’s what we wanted to do with that. And when Covid came down, I went, All right, you know, I’d already tinkered around with it a little bit here and there, just kind of mobile, trying to patch together, you know, figure out how all the equipment works on a semi-professional standard. Um, started today, my audio isn’t better.

I’m working from home.

Then March last year, I got into just really patching it all together, making it work, figuring out how to get onto Spotify, Apple, Apple Music, Google Play, and all the other little outlets where and how to get the advertising. Um, starting to track the analytics. Just taking a deeper dive into everything as a whole and understanding.

So what I did was I created, um, I created my little side project and it was really whatever I could squeeze out, not very well thought out at all. I don’t run your podcast like you definitely don’t run your podcast like I was running mine, which was, hey, you wanna do a podcast tonight? Or, you know, tomorrow night and you know, then it’s 11 o’clock and we show up there and we whatever can squeeze out creatively for the rest of the day.

That’s what we get. . Um, 

Ismail: so, but, so I’m curious then, like, is that, um, cuz we’re gonna get into content later in this conversation as well, but is it effective? Like some people believe, just put something out there, just create something, just keep creating and other people have the approach of being more thoughtful, methodical, um, they can both work, I guess.

But I’m curious from your perspective, like, was that Effecti. 

Zach: Yes. Um, I have since pressed pause because it’s not the direction that I want to go, but yes, it is effective creating massive amount of content and just doing it is, I mean, probably more than 50% of the battle. But there are things that were left for me that I wanna sharpen out within it.

I want to do, you know, I can get, I need to level up inside the professionalism realm is what I felt with that. So, my first season extremely sloppy. My plan was to do it that way on purpose so I could say all the bad words I wanted to and look like a moron and get, get that out of the way. So, I could then have the authority to, hey cats out of the bag that Zach says bad words and has strong opinions on some things,

And, but it would allow me the opportunity to like, okay, now here’s season two of a more professionalized version that I I, that I think is gonna be real powerful, uh, once we start cranking that out. So I’ve gone back to the work. I pressed pause on a podcast after I did, did a huge dump and run on it, just cause I needed to focus on other areas of our business.

Um, so now the kind of we’ve circle and back to the podcast needs to start becoming more of a thing. Um, both our wedding podcast and my personal podcast and what it does, what we need to be, you know, as a company, as a, I feel, is to be a professional media hub where. Clients, customers can come in, do this thing real quick, whether it’s a podcast or just use the studio for content purposes.

Um, and yeah, you know, we’re just kind of just feeling it out, seeing where it goes. But the more any brand can do to spread eyeballs and awareness, Yeah, it’s, uh, you know, it’s a great thing. And 

[00:21:20] Promoting the content.

Zach: well put on that note though, like you, you mentioned, uh, just creating a ton of content is effective. And I’ve heard that before too.

Ismail: How do you think about that related to promoting the content? Cuz I, I wrestle with this too, where I just wanna make great content. Uh, that’s what everyone says, Content is king, uh, or just make a lot of it and put it out there. But what about promoting it or do you think that organically happens? How do you think about the balance between those two?

Well, 

Zach: I think it depends on what your goal is. So my goal at the time when I created the podcast, In March was, it just needed to do it and make it happen. And I didn’t really care. I didn’t care. Like I, I’m not afraid to say what I want and people don’t like it, man. , that, that’s my sincere opinion. Um, so in March, I didn’t care.

But now, you know, circling back around, it was like, okay, I figured out what I needed to, uh, I learned a lot of things. That was really what I was trying to accomplish was my learning curve more than anything else. And so part of that learning curve was that I needed to, if I’m going to get high caliber guests and I’m going to sound better and I’m going to ask pinpointed questions, you know, I need to put together a little more research and thought into what I’m doing and, and iron it out that way.

That being said, you know, for me, has been the best way to promote everything by, by far, Because it links with all, It links with everything else from your Instagram to your YouTube. You can put in your Spotify URL of your podcaster and that’s what you wanna do. Or if you’re a merchant, you can. Put in your shop link, whatever your, your personal biolink.

Um, and when you get on the platform. For me personally, I’ve had a lot more success on there just in terms of the amount of people that will see everything that I do. And if I’m, because so many people will watch TikTok and the videos get so many more plays than anywhere else on the internet right now.

Whatever is done inside of that TikTok video that reaches the most amount of people is the best way to promote it. And so I’ll take shots of me being in the podcast studio. I’ll put that up there. I’ll leave subliminal target, I’ll wear my t-shirt just in some of the videos that say, have my company name and then I.

Different shots within my studio, and like, none of these things are, this is more or less like a big paid, uh, you know, Zach, the app, Apigee man on TikTok. If you wanna follow me, you can. Uh, I’m at app Apigee man. But if you watch that TikTok carefully, what’s really going on there is there is a company named a Apigee that is highly sponsoring this guy.

Um, and that’s not necessarily intentional and it’s my company, so I don’t get paid anything , but, but subliminally. Everybody seems to kind of be putting together what I actually do and what the business is. And so I’ve created myself now that I guess I’ve earned the title as an influencer on the platform.

I am starting to educate 135,000 people about what my business actually does and some little niche things and quirks and behind the scenes, um, behind the scenes operational types of events. And conveniently, 80% of my following is between 18 and 25 year old female right now that is going to be getting married in the next few years.

So, so I’m 

Ismail: glad you, you segued the conversation to this because this is something I really wanted to selfishly learn from you and I think people listening will benefit from, is that you seem to be utilizing TikTok in a very effective way. And, um, I think I see you also like, uh, coaching businesses on this as well, and how they can leverage TikTok to get leads to grow their business, to do branding.

Um, and I’m, I would look at your profile. You’ve got hundreds of thousands of followers. Um, you’ve got over like a million or 2 million total views I think you just mentioned before we got on. Um, so you, you’re doing it well. Right. So I guess generally speaking, and you mentioned, uh, that you get way more engagement on TikTok.

Uh, and from what I’ve heard, the algorithm is different. So like even people without a following have a shot at getting a lot of views. Uh, if it’s their first piece of content, it doesn’t really matter. There’s no, like on Instagram, you have to be big first to get a lot of people to view your stuff, and even then they don’t show it to everybody.

So I’m curious at a high level before 

[00:25:52] TikTok is a powerful tool for business.

Ismail: we dive in more, From all your experience on it and coaching businesses to use it properly, why do you think TikTok is such a powerful tool for businesses? 

Zach: Because your organic content that you post on the channel will go farther to more people than it will anywhere else and the other platforms or dying from participation.

Uh, Instagram, one of the things that actually went around on TikTok a few weeks ago. Who was, one of the trends was what’s your favorite social media app that you think that’s going to be gone in the next three years? And clear and away, Instagram was the number one choice. And the reasoning for that was because they keep changing the algorithm.

And like you said, the influencers have that space locked down. And then outside of that, that paid advertisements on the platform have all of the organic reach on lockdown because they’re gonna prioritize. And Facebook does the same thing. Um, is it, It’s not any different, but the paid advertisers have locked down all of the organic reach.

And TikTok doesn’t work that way. TikTok, the very, it’ll give you an advertisement is on your four U page as soon as you open the app. Outside of that, it does not. Not yet. Anyhow. I probably will eventually. So, So the branding opportunity, it just becomes different. So if you, what TikTok says is don’t make ads, make tos.

And this is a very, very good philosophy to follow no matter what, no matter what you’re posting. Because what sells on TikTok is what’s entertaining and what people like. It really is as simple as that. And so what happens is you, they do change the algorithm and they’ll tweak some things here and there, but what it ultimately comes down to, and this is within the algorithm, is that if a creator.

You’ll see some of these accounts where they get 25, 30,000 followers and they get locked there and they feel like, Well, I got shadow bands. Nah, probably not, but may, I mean maybe that that is a real thing, I, But what more than likely happened if you didn’t actually do anything bad with guidelines, strikes, is that the algorithm is testing you as a creator of whether or not you’re worthy enough to keep going and can you engage people beyond the audience that you have now created.

And this is where I found myself, um, in a couple places. So I, I run. Three channels. I have the a Apigee man, which is I, you know, like a hundred 5k. And then I have, which is, which is where I’m known for more psychology. That is actually where I came through was my first viral video was for attachment theory and psychology and how people relate.

And this is kind of a sale, that’s a, it helps me in sales, but it is also helps in relationships, that sort of thing. So I threw this, this video out there and bam, you know, overnight

[00:28:50] Popular Viral video.

Zach: I got 25,000 followers basically. 

Ismail: So why was that so effective? That was one of my questions too. I saw that video. Uh, I got a million.

Over a million views. Why did that one click so well? And I think, um, there’s a strategic element here where you’re trying to target younger females, right? And that’s your target market. It maybe it resonated more with them, which benefits you. But like, generally speaking, I look at these clips on people’s profiles and I can’t tell how come that went one viral and the other one didn’t.

So how do, how do you think about that? 

Zach: Yeah. And that’s sometimes where there is a good part of, I don’t know. With this one in particular, I think that it was a few different things. So everybody had, this was May or April, some around there last year everybody had just kind of been stuck in their house for about a month.

A TikTok was getting a lot of downloads, their. It, it’s an interesting concept for one, like it is a good talk. I mean, I did do a good job with it, but, but I used a lot of the features. I, there were a lot of psycho, there are a lot of psychology tips in that video. If I break down that video, I, what I do is I hook people, or here’s something you haven’t learned about before by using the term you, in the very beginning, you grab the, you grab the attention you need to hear this thing.

Uh, you could have learned this before. This is how it has detrimental impacts on your life. You know, the news does a lot of this psychology hacks to also where they, um, they, they feed you a little bit of the, this is why it’s important to you. So you better listen up and figure out what’s going. This time in particular, I hit the algorithm with a, one of the hashtags was a book club level up, and since I was going through the book, I used the hashtag and I used one of the other trending ones.

And I think that a oddly kind of fit within both of those trending hashtags. Um, so it caught it, but nonetheless, still like 10,000 people or it was 11,000 people I think within 24 hours had shared the video. So, but then I had followed up with some things. I’m like, Oh, for sure that’s gonna stick and it goes nowhere.

And where I’ve really boiled it down to is it comes down to transparency and authenticity, combined with is it valuable to the person consuming your video? They can swipe through and see unless anything else that they want to, why should, like, you have to earn their view and transparency and honesty and authenticity.

From a culture that’s been sold, the, this is the fake lifestyle on Facebook and Instagram, which we now think is gonna go away. It just seems to work better. 

Ismail: I guess it de like, it depends what you should do based on like what your goals are, what kind of business you have, et cetera, et cetera. I’m curious, like if I wanted

[00:31:50] How to use social media platforms to get more listeners to podcasts?

Ismail: to utilize TikTok to grow my, you know, podcast listener base, attract more listeners, um, I don’t know if anything about social media or TikTok, I’ve, I’ve consumed some content.

What do I do? Like, how do you even begin to help me or advise me on what I should do to use that platform to get more listeners? 

Zach: So the first thing is to, if you don’t have the app, you gotta get the app. Um, start cruising around, checking out all of the features. Look at, look for people on there that you think might be like you in your niche.

So one of the things that I would teach in my business class if, um, this was to be, you know, one of those was I would say, how do you find your niche? And to find your niche, it can be very difficult, but what works for me? And I just started to apply this. I was having the exact same struggle cuz for me personally, to talk about anything that I feel like talking about and making a TikTok about that.

I’m good with that all day and I can do 10 of those a day. That’s not a problem. I was having problems though, for me personally on the business account where I didn’t know what to post. And so I was taking a lot of the, or some of our wedding films, I’d post that, I’d try to post some, a lot of the stuff from, you know, when we had packs, dance floors and let’s make a and keep going on that.

And then I think, oddly enough, last week I finally stumbled into what works, um, for me on our business at camp, and it came down to a video where I said something to the effect of, if you’re planning to have an open bar at your wedding plan on three drinks per person and three pounds of ice per. And that was it.

And I sent it out to the world. And then the, like that overnight it, that was another one. It had 500,000 views and, um, we got a thousand followers overnight from it on the business account. And I went, aha. So the algorithm seems to, at the moment anyhow, and, and I think this is what’s happening, is they’re starting to prefer shorter clipped videos.

And where I had had a good success doing the longer videos that helped with my watch time. The short videos seemed to be getting rewarded in the algorithm, um, conven. And then I followed up with just, okay, well here, let me do some more wedding tips. And I started to push out, I think I’m on like number nine or something, and I put in a couple little stories and I’ve put in the studio a little bit and it’s, it’s, it’s paying off.

And so a lot of it comes down to you just really need to post, um, some of what your goals are. No matter what your goal is, your objective needs to be transparency and authenticity and then use if you can, education. People are curious creatures. We do like to learn and no matter what your business is like, if we’re trying to promote the podcast, there are a lot of clips that’ll go around where you know, if you can record them on video to just take the little snippets from the podcast to chop ’em up real quick into a quick thought.

Throw that out there. You know, you link the podcast into the platform and then you know people, when they come and they see your video, they’re seeing that you got headphones and a microphone. And you say something interesting, they scroll over to your profile. Oh, this guy, this is that guy’s podcast. You know, Now he keeps coming up in my four U page.

You know what? I’m actually gonna check that out now. And what was interesting to me was the first time that I threw out that attachment series, um, the attachment theory series was within, it was, it was over a couple weeks, but just from TikTok, I had gained 400 YouTube subscribers. And what that told me was that if they watched my video on TikTok, they scrolled over to my profile.

They. Clicked on my YouTube, They exited out of YouTube, out of TikTok to go into YouTube and then followed me that that person is a die hard follower. And with talk’s ability to gain you so many more organic views. I mean, I have 20,000 video videos regularly. My channel normally would get, um, on a good week, I all get a million plays per week.

Um, my best month is about 2 million, which is actually this month, but it’s not irregular for me to have 20,000 videos or, you know, you get 20,000 views a day across my videos. And so that will ever, ever, ever happen on any of the other platforms, including YouTube. But you can gain the influence on those platforms.

By using TikTok effectively, and that’s why it’s a powerful tool. So even for brands that don’t that or you have it or crushing it, maybe on Instagram right now, great. What else is behind there? You know, there probably somebody was killing it on MySpace back in the day two, and eventually it’s all gonna go away.

And like Gary v says, you know, what’s the next thing? Is it Clubhouse? Is it, you know, Twitter? Or, you know, whatever Twitter’s little integration is that might seem to make Clubhouse a feature. I, I don’t really know. But there’s always the next thing, no matter what. And we just need to be mindful of that, you know, as business owners or whether somebody’s goal is an influencer, to make sure that we’re not just putting our eggs in one basket.

That can be cut, that can be cut out, But to use everything as a whole is a tool in the bag. And if we can strengthen the other tools like YouTube and your Instagram platform by even reposting your Instagram reel, maybe, um, do that. By the way, speaking on Instagram reels, what I’m seeing right now is I don’t really understand the purpose of posting anything other than a reel.

I don’t know if anyone’s having that same sort of thing, but that’s where the organic content on Instagram seems to go right now is the reels. And nowhere else. Um, I, my girlfriend that same thing. And then the next day I posted a reel on Instagram and I got like 6,200 views. I’m like, not, I’ll never get that with anything else.

So 

Ismail: you also posted something recently, 

[00:38:08] TikTok vs Instgram Influencers.

Ismail: I think where you compared TikTok and Instagram and even though you’re saying on Instagram, the reels are where, where you get more engagement, it doesn’t seem to compare at all to what you’re getting 

Zach: on. No, it’s not even close. Not even close. Um, like I said, you know, a video for me, or even a new influence or a new user, it doesn’t matter.

One person can become an influencer overnight on a platform just by posting something that’s really interesting. For example, there was a guy that, there’s two guys, one guy, he was in the hospital. He is like, I am 45 years old. I’ve, you know, always worked hard. I’ve, I’ve just focused in that, trying to make sure that I ever had everything lined up and trying to make sure that my family had enough money.

And now, but he’s clearly in a hospital bed with oxygen around his nose. He’s like, Hey, I just found out that I, you know, I just had a heart attack and I’m lucky to be alive right now. Explains why, why you just need to be present and the video like that almost, you know, within a few hours will get millions of views.

And then that guy gains a large follow that’s rewards videos that are interesting. It, it’s as simple as that. Um, it likes lighthearted stuff. It doesn. They’re, they probably censor things harder than maybe Instagram or Facebook, I would say, You know, in terms of, uh, not, not just like political, political nonsense or, or, or violence, you know, they, they all kind of do that the same, but it favors lighthearted content.

Quite a bit in comedy, quite a bit, um, and things that resonate emotionally. It, it favors that heavily. Um, it, it’s very interesting. Yeah. Once you dive into the algorithm and just get going, it’s, it’s, it’s interesting. So 

Ismail: I guess, and this is probably not stupid, but I, I know people think this, like they have a business, they wanna grow their business and they go on TikTok and they see, uh, people doing weird dances and doing all sorts of nonsense and they’re like, Oh, do I don’t wanna have to do that type of stuff to get eyeballs.

I know the answer, but, uh, It sounds like you don’t have to do that kind of stuff. You can just be real, right? And if you’re giving even advice or sharing interesting things that happen to you or, or tips in business that might get a lot of, uh, attention and engagement. 

[00:40:44] How to begin creating content on video platforms.

Ismail: So for example, with me in the podcast, right, it’s not video.

Like the tip that you gave is a great tip to, uh, take that snippet, put it up there. But for someone like me that doesn’t have video, uh, how do I even begin to create content on a video platform? 

Zach: Start recording yourself. Um, to gain traction, you know, putting out, and this is my, my opinion anyways from a branding standpoint is, dude, we need, we need to have a presence on everything somewhere.

Even if we’re not using that thing, we at least need to have some kind of a presence. And I think that YouTube and TikTok, everything is moving towards video. My, my fear, well, I say my fear, I believe with podcasts that that’s the direction it’s all gonna go. Where it’s kind of more self casting than necessarily just audio casting.

The, the, the young consumer right now, everything is good enough quality that comes out of their cell phone, but it’s also, it’s not necessarily , but what seems to work well is a combination of. Just slightly better than what they can get for themselves. And even like a, just using an iPhone right now to record something that you can chop up.

You just, I just, if you can re use your cell phone’s fine. For TikTok, that’s what people are doing is it’s the front camera of their phone. It’s nothing fancy. It doesn’t have to be, and it doesn’t have to be great quality. But, um, you know, if you record your, your audio will obviously sound great when they’re driving in the car and you’re doing that thing, you’re gonna, you’re gonna be super professional.

But if you can even get some sort of a video recording, um, you can, you can throw that to talk, that’ll dump you dump. Your Spotify link or whichever, wherever you want ’em to go into your profile. And then you also, you, your YouTube links up with that too. So you can just take that video and just throw it out there to the world.

And it’s, it’s an easy piece of content to do cuz you’re, you’re already sitting there at your computer talk and you’re just recording it and then press and send at the end of it. And, you know, I, I would highly re. Okay, so 

Ismail: I gotta, I gotta get my video game up. Uh, but it sounds like the general tip is to take snippets of things that I’m already doing and discussing like, the best parts of each podcast and make them into a TikTok and see how that, how that goes.

Uh, it’s probably the first thing for me to start 

Zach: with. Yeah, just I, you know, just start making talks, um, or, or any random thought that you have where go behind the scenes, you know, when you’re about ready, like, Hey, you know, I’m Ishmail. I’m gonna come back here and talk with so and so right now. Here’s my little setup, you know, press send.

Just send it out there. Uh, the algorithm also favors, favors, consistency. So, you know, like a new creator or is somebody that’s brand new that throws out that video that gets famous overnight. If they don’t continue, the algorithm’s gonna slow them down. Usually what I’ve seem to find, find is that I get three days hit out of a hot video.

I’ll usually know within a few hours if it’s going, if it’s going well, sometimes quicker than that. Um, but within about three days you’ve kind of lost that mojo and you’ve gotta win a new crowd somehow. And the ways that you can win a new crowd is by continue to feed into it. So like say you, if you video yourself and you’re talking, talking to somebody about TikTok, and that’s your talk that took off.

Okay, well maybe I can now follow up with some more things about TikTok, but over time, and this is just a little piece of advice that I’ve figured out in the long run, , is that. You are going to have to regain and reer entertain your own audience. And so for me, I gained a real large audience with psychology and attachment theory.

And then I’ve also, I’ve posted some funny ones and then I’ve posted some, uh, just general type, this is what I’m doing, and then I’ll watch my analytics grow. So, you know, if I, if I have a day where I only gained 50 followers in a day, Okay, my content’s getting a little stale. You know, let’s go back and let’s reengage one of those old audiences.

So, you know, coming up on my project now is, let me go back and let me talk about some of these attachment types again, because there’s a lot of people that follow me for that. And I’ll reach the new people on the platform and have a chance to reengage, you know, an even larger like-minded audience for something that people already follow me for.

Um, but the first step is really just to be, there isn’t just to do it. If you don’t know what to do, it doesn’t matter because the content, the algorithm’s gonna favor you doing it. Uh, that’s people are going to favor people favor. I even see there, There are a couple guys that I follow that are, um, high end film people and they use really nice cameras for things, but they’re boring and they don’t, they don’t really, it looks really good, but a really good.

Looking video that is boring, still doesn’t work, but a crappy video that’s entertaining will go well. You know, like the, the guy that sticks his arm in the alligator’s mouth from 1995 still works . Um, something’s never get old

rooting for, for the animal. But , 

Ismail: I guess another common question that people have and, and you seem to have wrestled with this too, cause you say, I have multiple accounts. Um, let’s use me as an example.

[00:46:33] What is better: Create an account for podcasts OR build a personal account.

Ismail: Does it make more sense to create an account for the podcast, like the business at Bound to be Rich? Or should I focus on my own personal account and growing that?

Zach: You know, that’s, that’s a hard question without maybe exploring some of the, the purpose in each. And you know, I say the purpose and not the reason because you know, the pur your purpose is what your long term is. And the long term is from the podcast is, well, you wanna do it because you like it and you wanna make money at it too, But at least I’m assuming, And to do that, they’re going to have to like you no matter what.

So it doesn’t really matter. And so where I’ve found myself is I believe that you should probably do both, but, but maybe not . And I can’t, I can’t straightforward answer that question. The reason why is because if I look at myself and I go, Okay, I’ve got a good following, that helps me for the business, if I have a good following, even though there’s not just me, um, you, yourself, if it’s since it, you know, you’re selling, you.

It would probably be easier and be a good first step to do yourself if you had, you know, if you get video and stuff dialed in and you’ve got like a home studio, maybe, maybe professionalize it and then, you know, start dumping into the podcast itself. But ultimately if people like you, they’re gonna watch your podcast.

And so I think what I’m talking myself into is I just listen to myself speak, is I think that you should focus on you. Um, so it, 

Ismail: it sounds like it’s like anything else, like it depends on the individual. Maybe if someone else was asking you to have a different, um, suggestion, but for me it sounds like I should focus on building my own personal account, my personal brand, and that that would help the podcast and anything else that I do 

Zach: afterwards.

Yeah. And, and just, And if they like you and as you start to build your channel and having your link in. And they’re gonna get to know you, and they’ll figure out that you have your podcast and that helps you dump, uh, your eggs into your channel. Not have to spread thin. I wouldn’t say that this is a mistake that I made, but I, I also have my King of Agy channel, which is, um, I’ve, I’ve taken a little bit more of a local political route with it, and it’s just hard.

It’s really, really hard to maintain, uh, two influencer accounts. And I wish that I would kind of have just stuck to, to one when it worked and just try to diversify my audience a little more by letting them get to know different aspects of me. But since I was, you know, nobody really likes somebody that tucks anything political anyways.

Uh, I do have a separation. On my larger following account from politics entirely, which is very helpful. So, you know, if you don’t repeat some of those, a lot of this is, it’s really difficult to figure out because it’s new. I’m learning things all the time and I don’t have all of the answers. I just know a lot of what has worked for me, what I’ve seen worked, and then what I know definitely does not work.

And you shouldn’t do . 

Ismail: Uh, that’s, there’s power in that too, cuz you can help people save time, figuring out all the things that you already figured out. So, Yeah. But then, but then you mentioned like, it sounds, so I’m trying to sit back here and think about, right, 

[00:50:09] Repurposing content on Social media.

Ismail: what do I do? And it sounds like, um, you, you’re seeing a few things.

One, uh, focus on video and repurpose your content. So you’re already doing stuff somewhere. How do you repurpose that into other platforms? Like if you, if I start incorporating video, I can put it on TikTok, I can maybe stream live on TikTok, maybe I can put it on Twitch as well. Like you’re already doing it.

Uh, try to leverage it and repurpose it as much as you can. But then you start talking about like, managing different accounts. It’s too much work. It sounds like it’s a lot of work doing one account, man. Like how do you, people I talk to wrestle with, uh, that investment in creating the content, like thinking it out, planning it out, recording it, editing it, mashing it up together, it takes time.

Right. So how do you, do you have any suggestions to that or do you just have to suck it up and do it? 

Zach: Yeah, I mean, to get the, It doesn’t matter what we do in life. You gotta suck it up and put in the work and point your feet in the direction you want to go and grind this, this manifestation, like manifestation is huge on TikTok.

You know, we think all these positive thoughts and this stuff’s gonna happen. Well, okay, that’s true. You gotta think about where you’re going and feel good about it, but you actually have to, at the end of the day, get up off of your butt and go do it. Um, so yeah, , Yeah, it’s a ton of work. And when I’m putting out, when I have my bigger content days, I mean, I’ll be on there, I’ll be on my computer.

You know, I answering emails in between. I’m doing TikTok and I look at my screen and I’ve been on TikTok for six hours a day, and then I’ve been on my computer right next to it while that’s been uploading or while I’m trying to figure out what to think of next. Um, it is absolutely a ton of the work and that’s why I think that you can kill a lot of birds with one stones.

And this is, so this is what I’m even doing right now, so I have. I’ve got, um, and maybe from photo booth or something. I don’t know if you have some extra iPads or something laying around. There’s an app that’s called Switcher Studio. And if you download this app, you can link any iOS devices, cameras that you want together.

And this is how I’m about ready to record season two of my podcast and kill YouTube and be able to post on Instagram reels all at the same time. And so this isn’t, uh, I don’t have any like real hard numbers on this, but from a podcast with this, these are my thoughts when I’m rolling into it. So maybe it’ll help you.

So I’m taking the Switcher Studio app. I’m linking up a pairer, um, well, three iPhone pros with different angles on me, and then I can set my tablet down. Um, I can, we can run, run the mics through, run the headphones through, uh, there’s, there’s a little mic pack I can send you. It’s, um, it’s, I’m using it’s a com.

Coma, cm ica, they’re lapel mics. They came in a little box. They’re pretty decent. Uh, you can run two of them at the same time into an iPhone. They’ve got pretty good range, but you can also get an audio out for them. So where I’m starting to play with is running these iPhones to where I can record podcasts, like with different angles on the fly.

Or if, like, if you think of, uh, say like Joe, uh, Joe Rogan’s podcast, obviously he is number one. So he is got different, different angles on there. So we’ll have the d. Angles, but we’re not using, um, you know, these $5,000 Mark Pros. We’re using iPhones and to take that content, you can throw graphics up real quick.

You can throw images up and it, so if you’re talking about anything specific, you can really plan your podcast and kind of your show and shot production through this. And then you record all of your audio. You have the video because you can, you just record the video, you can go live with them too. So for us, you know, if we do live wedding ceremonies, these are, this is where we got ’em from, we got them for, is for the live wedding ceremonies.

So we can stream live on YouTube, uh, Facebook, watch, whatever. And that’ll allow you live streaming. Yeah. It’ll allow you to easily professionalize your podcast in, in terms of like creating like quick content. Fast and efficiently, cuz you’ve got the video, you’ve got the audio, and then the, the video is fully unedited.

You just, literally, you take that, it’s done already. You upload it directly to YouTube, or if you went live on YouTube, it’s already done for you. You just end it. Um, and so you’re killing your audio. You’re, you’re getting your audio version right there. You’re getting your video version right there. And then from that video you just say, This was a really cool couple of sentences.

Um, it’s something between 10 and 20 seconds, you know, Shoot, they, they have that 15 second marker on TikTok for a reason, for your video shoot for about 15 seconds of an idea of, this is what I said. This was an interesting piece of the convers. Throw it out there. Um, I’ll send you an invite. Also, there’s an app company, uh, called Shuffle.

It’s a beta invite right now, but it’s the, I really think that it could be a good future. It could be a killer in the podcast arena cuz it’s just, it’s like tick. And they, they found me through TikTok. It’s like TikTok but it’s for podcasts and it’s really interesting cuz it integrates with all of your Spotify and Apple.

But you can scroll. You can scroll the different podcast like TikTok and it’ll get to learn what you like. Um, and you, it’ll, you can cut pieces up to a minute out of your podcast and put it into shuffle and uh, I can send you an invite for that too. Yeah, I appreciate 

Ismail: that. And I’ll link to a lot of the things you mentioned, the show notes, the Switcher Studio, Um, I haven’t heard of that.

I’ll check that out to, in the lapel mics coma. I took a note. So that’s another thing is like, one, one thing I’m worried about with the video, um, is that sometimes like, I don’t look interesting. I’m taking notes on what you’re saying, so I can put it in the show notes later. Like, does anyone wanna watch that stuff?

Zach: Um, yeah, people do. And even with YouTube Premium, they don’t have to necessarily watch it. They, you know, they’ll close their phone and they’ll listen to it. Interesting. So, and anywhere that you can build a presence is a good thing. . 

Ismail: I, I guess. Alright, so I guess I’ll sum this up all up with one question that I seem to hear from entrepreneurs all the time.

[00:56:39] Is Social media worth your time?

Ismail: Like, because we’ve acknowledged that there’s a lot of work involved with creating the, the social content. Um, you guys suck it up and do it, but then how do you know if it’s worth it? Like how do you really know? Um, this is taking a lot of my time, but I should keep doing it cuz it’s working. 

Zach: Yeah, well you don’t always, and that’s kind of the gamble, I guess is entrepreneurs.

Um, I’ve lived my life a long time knowing that reward is usually a long ways away at the end of the journey. But if I look back, I messed out on Instagram big time. I missed out on YouTube big time. I remember in 2008 telling this girl that I was like, You know what? I should start a YouTube channel and just start talking about things that annoy me,

And had I done that for 2008 to 2018, And I was creating a video every day. What did I miss on the table? Then I go back and I think, Oh, well, I didn’t really even start to post on my business Instagram until like 2016, and it really, you know, it, it’s still, I’m not good at it. You know, it’s a little, got a little bit better a few years ago, but if I was smart enough in 2010 to go, Ah, Instagram’s a little more than taking pictures of your food, Twitter’s a little more than just spouting off some nonsense in YouTube’s more than, you know, people.

YouTube has some real potential and actual broadcast and getting inside home televisions. Had I known that, I would’ve, I would’ve put a lot of eggs into that basket. I don’t know that TikTok is going to be that, but I really feel like it’s there. It has a worldwide viewer based, you can go, it has the broadcast aspect to it.

It’s still growing immensely. Uh, the engagement on the other apps is, is down, you know, Facebook’s kind of turned into a marketplace slash if you want to go to your annoying family’s picnic, you know, this side of the family that you don’t really wanna see, but you kinda, in Instagram, the unobtainable, the, uh, 

Ismail: so.

I, I,

[00:58:56] Is it too late to start on social media?

Ismail: I thought the same thing that you kind of just said is that, Hey, I missed the boat on this thing, that thing. And then I’m like, Oh, the talk’s happening. You know, maybe I should not miss the boat here. Is it too late? 

Zach: No, no, it’s never too late. And it’s not even too late on those other platforms, really.

Um, I, you know, I don’t know who’s crushed it on, on Facebook right now by posting status updates, but it’s probably never too late to crush it on there. There is just more opportunity on TikTok because it’s a global, it’s a global app. There’s more people that use it than. Anything. And there are not enough creators right now to meet that demand, but that is filling up.

And I, I guess this kind of goes through what I said a little bit ago about how a year ago, a minute long video had a better chance of going to the four U page than did a 15 second video. That’s not the case anymore. So I’ve had to adjust my own strategy of, you know, you gotta, you gotta watch it and you gotta look at your own channel and go, Nah, you know, that one only got.

You know, I only got 3000 plays on that, and I, you know, I put an hour into that video like, what did I do wrong? You know, it’s, it’s a good learning curve so it’s not too late because you can, you know, you draw from your failures and what didn’t work and go, all right, what works now. Um, and over time, you know, and to Gary v’s.

You know, what he said in his book, Uh, I re, I read his book where I listened to it anyways, early 2019, I think it was the second one still crushing it. And in the book he called it Musically. And what he said was, you know, I’m not saying musically is gonna be a big thing, I don’t know, but it’s really, but it could be the next big one.

And it got the wheels spinning in my head about what I could do as a dj and I didn’t really make good on it for another year. If I in, you know, late 2018, I knew what it was in late 2018. Had recognized that, had recognized it for what it was, as did my friend Jake Colvin, who is also, um, he actually, he is second shot a weddings for us before.

Um, he helos on the Oregon coast now because he has 8 million followers and he goes out on the beach and picks up, uh, these little shrimp and jellyfish and pulls the parasites out of the, like the crabs and throws ’em back into the ocean. And that’s what he does now because he got on the platform earlier and he is like, You think I’m doing good with I guess 135 combined thousand followers?

I mean, this guy, I looked at his page, um, a few days ago and he had 8.1 million and it’s com the, the followership that you gain exponentially as you crack into some of these barriers. Follow. Um, as you crack into some of these tiers, it’ll speed up and it’ll slow down. But once you, you know, if you can get that blue verified mark on the platform, any platform that gives you immediate authority, and you will get the watch time merely by having that.

And so what I’m taking that from my personal, so I’m taking, this is my strategy as of now, and this is never , never above reproach. Is on my personal channel, I’m going to continue to provide shorter clips and just say whatever I want and I’m going to reengage my, my audience using some of the sales psychology and things that I know and things that people like, but also the things that I’m interested in so that I don’t narrow myself into one single niche as a human being, I don’t like that.

Um, from a business standpoint, narrowing yourself down into a niche isn’t a bad thing at all. And so on the business account, my strategy is to continue to provide educational content that’s easy, um, inspirational material for, and also engaging with news and updates and trends. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece of my product.

So Instagram is the masterpiece of your production tos. Anything that you can squeeze in between three and 59 seconds. So just there is an unlimited possibility of what we could do there. So, but keeping it short, keeping it authentic in keeping it valuable. Um, and keeping it consistent will pay off.

Definitely. It is absolutely not too late. Um, but it was, it’s gonna be, it’s, it is harder to get on the four U page now, I feel like, than it was six months or a year ago. So it’ll probably only 

Ismail: get harder. Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, before I get into the last two questions I wrap up every episode, I’m just curious to hear, cuz we were just kind of riffing on, uh, is it too late to get on a platform, uh, leveraging new platforms?

[01:04:03] Clubhouse vs Podcast.

Ismail: What do you think about Clubhouse? Cuz you’ve got a podcast too, it seems to be audio centric. So my thinking is like, hey, maybe I should devote some time there cuz people are already consuming audio there. Maybe it’s easier to carry them over. But the one thing that I don’t like and I’m, I’m curious to hear what you think is that it doesn’t seem to like the content dies there.

It’s not recorded yet. It’s live only. So you spend all this time engaging in the platform. Having interesting conversations, but you can’t replay it or repost it or whatever. On a podcast, like podcast you can listen to whenever you want, um, over and over again on Clubhouse. It’s just life and then that’s it.

So I’m curious, have you played with it? How do you think about that too, as a podcast person yourself? 

Zach: So, I, I’ve gone into the app a few times. I’ve jumped into a few different conversations, but I, you know, honestly, I, my bandwidth it as far as. I’m a pretty busy guy. I wake up, I usually sleep about six hours a day and then I get up and I just kind of start working until I fall asleep.

And I’ve found ways to keep myself plenty busy enough doing everything else. I’ve only really had the opportunity to, to dive into it on the surface it, I really like it though. I think that it’s, I think that it’s really cool that that to me seems like a feature that they will probably get as time goes on, because they’re still paid and there’s still invite only.

So I think that clubhouse is gonna be a big thing at some point, but you know, who knows? It could be. It could not be. It could, It could fizzle away. And I think that, Or for how Instagram stole Snap Snapchat, for example. Snapchat was posting a story go away. Okay. And Instagram’s like, We can do that too. My fear is with what Twitter’s doing is that, and I, I’m not a fan of Twitter.

I act, I have an account and I just don’t even have the app . It’s just a mess. And my fear is that Twitter will come along and do the same thing to clubhouse that Instagram did to Snapchat. It won’t necessarily kill it, but it kind of makes it be, well there’s already this enormous user base on there doesn’t really become valuable.

And Snapchat from a business standpoint, Is not valuable anymore. Um, there was a brief moment before store, before Instagram where, you know, it kind of became, it was more, it, it wasn’t just for Sy Grahams anymore. Um, but now it’s kind of, that’s back to what it is in my opinion. . That being said, I haven’t, I haven’t gone on there for quite some time.

It just, it’s not an app that I’m impressed with. You know, if you want filters or whatever, you can, you can get these through these other apps. A clubhouse though, it does have a lot of potential and that’s where. I like the live conversations to where, you know, we get these sound bites from media or the anywhere else, the news.

And, you know, sometimes podcasts, a lot of things are edited out, but with Clubhouse it’s just hashing out the idea in live. And that’s the way that humans naturally communicate. You know, we’re not naturally communicated through a picture with text or a few, you know, real boiled down, um, boiled down sentences to invoke an emotion to get a click.

And that’s what I, so I really like it. Um, I would like to spend more time on it is just kind of personally, it’s become a bandwidth issue as far as Yeah, I, 

Ismail: I totally relate to that and I, I can’t resist asking this question, but just from my comment on Clubhouse, I like it too. Uh, but because it’s like a messy natural conversations, which.

How conversations go. Uh, and it’s live. It just requires so much of an investment of time, and I’m not always available. I’ve got kids, you’ve got all this stuff going on. Uh, to me it’s hard to just tune in live whenever something cool’s happening and wait for the conversation to pick up. Um, so on that note, one, one thing I just can’t resist asking you is I see you’re doing all these different things.

[01:07:59] Business management strategy.

Ismail: Um, you’re, you’re creating tos, you’ve got this event business, you’re a business mentor, you’ve got your podcast even, so you have like a Etsy merch store, Uh, you’re a father . How do you manage it all? Like, do you have people, like do you have any device on productivity? Do you hire people? Do you just like a Bulldog Barrel through and do it?

Like what’s your secret? 

Zach: Yeah, so the event side. You know, I’ve got a really, really, really good team. Um, our guys are awesome. So my job, my role in the event side at this point, you know, we kind of scaled, I’ve scaled. When, when we got the venue, I was like, All right, you know, I’ve been out on the events for long enough.

I need to step back to be able to help my team do what they need to do and go into business mode. And so I’ve removed myself from doing the actually events themselves. So that pulled, that pulled a lot. Um, and then the other things, they kind of came about. Yeah, this last year I started doing a whole lot of things because I needed to, you know, the events were gone and so I needed to do the podcast.

I needed to invest the time into talk. I needed to start to use my experience in the industry and throw it around, you know, not just for, um, the benefit of others, but you know, for me and my family, I’ve hit to where. I know a lot of weird things about our industry just from doing it for 15 years and, um, building the teams and expanding the businesses and adding the different business pieces together that it’s, it’s an education that I couldn’t have gotten doing anything else.

Um, you know, even if I would’ve went and got my master’s in business, which in retrospect, um, I’m grateful that I didn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to learn all of these things. But productivity, it’s my tip is to do less than I do and to slow down and enjoy the moments should you be able to. At the end of the day, I would prefer to not work and sit at home and hang out with my kids and not do anything in life.

There comes a time where you need to sprint and there comes a time where you need to relax and re understanding with the difference between the two is difficult, however, You, you just, I look at it in terms of I need to do what I have to do, but I’m also, I’m plagued by this anxiety that I’m never doing enough.

I’m, I, no matter what, I’ve always kind of felt that I’m not doing enough. And if I lay in bed for too long, you know, I just, I’m one of those guys where the voice in the back of my head just is like, You gotta better wake up. You’re, you, you’re lazy. Piece of crap. You need to get yourself outta bed and , Oh my God, 

Ismail: you dunno how much I, I relate to that.

And I, I’m sure people that spend time listening to podcasts probably relate to that too. Like, you just have that voice where you, you feel like you should be doing more. Like, I don’t know, It’s like a curse. 

Zach: It’s a curse. Um, it’s a blessing sometimes though, too. It, it’s a double edged sword because, you know, it allows me to get up and to create a lot of things and to put myself out there and to outwork a lot of people.

Right. It. I understand and I, that I have that drive to, for con, it kind of boils down to a drive for conquest, I think is how I’ve labeled it. In order to get out there and to do things and to experience, uh, to experience the new things that life has to offer crop for me and for my family. I think that it’s, that it’s fun to just get to explore all the different possibilities and to not lock myself down into something like, you know, thank God I could have worked that, Thank God I got fired from that medical sales job, cuz I could have worked that job forever.

You know, I, I would’ve been making 150 grand a year, would’ve been a good job, good benefits. And it would’ve really sucked a lot because every Monday came around and whatever you did last week was never good enough. And, you know, the month that you just came out of where you beat every company record wasn’t not you, you now had a new quota even higher than that because you , you know, gained a client that you were working on for two years.

So it’s, um, It’s rewarding, but it is also, it’s blistering painful to try to do so much and I, I really don’t recommend it, but I do have a really good team that helps with the event side. Um, ha having the last year be a little bit slower from just doing a lot of the events though it really did open up some of my personal bandwidth, uh, to, to explore some of these other things, um, you know, and to work those late nights.

You know, I, I have those days now, one of the, one of the things, you know, go getting divorced opened up the opportunity for me to have those 14 hours, 16 hour days if I needed to, just to get what I needed to done. Um, But, um, yeah, no real productivity tips. If anything, I would tell you to slow down to be honest.

Ismail: Yeah. If, if only it was easy enough to follow that advice, I think I’ll, I’ll let, I’ll, uh, say something that my, my wife sent me recently, which was, I’m reading it now. Uh, if you do not pick a day to relax, your body will pick it for you. So that was her reminder for me to slow down, because eventually you’ll crash, which happens periodically.

Um, but, uh, I’ll wrap it up, uh, Zach, with, with, uh, these two questions that I ask everybody. So if I, uh, 

[01:13:30] Any hint of a future successful entrepreneur as a young kid.

Ismail: to people around you, like young Zach, when you were younger, how would they describe you? Would they, uh, say that, Hey, I always knew Zach would be King Apogee, he was destined for success, Or would they be surprised?

Zach: Um, no, I don’t, My younger self wouldn’t be surprised. I, I would be surprised by the route that I have taken, um, and all sincerity, I. I believe that, you know, I’ve certainly had a lot of mistakes. Um, you know, if I were to go back in time 20 years and ask my high school, so certainly I’ve made a lot of mistakes.

My, my path isn’t what I probably would’ve picked for myself. Um, but that’s, you know, the journey of life. Um, you learn a lot and you grow. But I do believe that my younger self would be proud of where I am and what I’ve done, um, with what I’ve had. And that’s, that’s something that’s important to me. I try to live my life by, by a set of principles and, um, that, and not, not let myself be ruled by emotion.

I do believe my, my younger self, Probably be even more so to proud of me about that part. , 

Ismail: what about, um, we’ve covered so many different things in the conversation. Like, um, people think when they hear the word rich or bound to be rich, it’s just about money, right? And obviously we all know that’s not the case.

[01:14:51] What is a rich life to you?

Ismail: So what is a rich life to you? 

Zach: A rich life to me is going out, doing what I want to do that brings me joy. So I ascribe, I I believe that everybody’s one of the book. One of the things I didn’t even tell you, God. Now the thing that you don’t talk about being busy is writing a book. 

Ismail: That might be a whole show.

Zach: Yeah, yeah. Um, you know, I’ll be able to use it for the studio though. You know, a lot of people do consume audio books, but, um, Living by a set of principles, um, to me is Now I forgot what was the question again? . 

Ismail: What is a rich life to you? 

Zach: The rich life? Yeah. Um, it is just being able to go out and do what I want, what I like, and I enjoy and ascribe my purpose.

Um, one of the things I put in my book, this is where I was going with it, is to, everybody needs to ascribe for themself a life purpose. And I believe, and I think that others believe, if we really boil it down, our purpose in life comes in service to others. When we serve others, it brings us joy. And when people like us through doing that, it brings us.

It brings us value. And when we’re valued as a human being, uh, that brings us happiness. And that’s where I believe that the real richness in life comes from being able to spend it with the ones that you love and in peace with the relationships and others around us. 

Ismail: Yeah, I think I, I agree with that. And like you were talking about why I have the podcast, obviously everyone wants to earn a living eventually, but, uh, it really boils down to what you just said, right?

You wanna add value to people and feel like you’re contributing. Um, so people thinking about their purpose is probably a worthwhile thing to do. Uh, I think that’s a great place to leave it. Zach, thank you so much for taking the time. Um, 

[01:16:36] Way to connect with Zach.

Ismail: is there anything you want, uh, to hand people off to? I’ll put the links to the show notes of anything that you.

Zach: Yeah, so follow me on TikTok. Uh, at a Apigee man is my personal one, and that’s kind of where everybody will see. I do a little bit more of the mental health things and kind of you snip down and hash out a few. You follow my personal journey there, I guess. Um, our company is at a Apigee is awesome. That is everywhere.

And we are, we are a apigee.com if you wanna see all the event stuff that we’re doing and can see different studio pictures, different media things that we’re creating. Kind of the vibe that we’re going for is we go to kind of develop our whole media side of the brand to bring awareness to, to the wedding.

Ismail: Awesome. I’ll, I’ll link to all that stuff in the show notes, everybody. And, and again, Zach,

[01:17:26] Thank You & Wrap up!

Ismail: thank you so much for making the time. I, I’m sure people got a lot of value outta this. I took a lot of notes on what I should be doing, uh, with TikTok, so maybe I’ll report back soon to see if any of that worked.

Zach: Sweet. Well, I, I hope so. Awesome, Zach. Thanks so much, man. Thank you. 

Ismail: And there you have it. If you enjoy this episode, please remember to leave a review. I may even give you a shout out and read yours out on the show for any and all resources that we discussed. Check out the show notes or head on over to bound to be rich.com.

Until next time.