#36: Can You Get Rich by Giving Money Away? How Spencer Vann Did It
Today I'm talking with a guest who built an 8-figure company by giving away hundreds of millions of dollars. It sounds crazy, but stay tuned, and we'll get into his experience in business and selling training products.
Welcome to The Creator's Adventure where we interview creators from around the world, hearing their stories about growing a business.
Spencer Vann is the co-founder and CEO of SurplusFund. By the time he was 24 y.o. Spender had already built an 8-figure company and helped give away hundreds of millions to people across America who needed it.
Learn more about Spencer Vann: https://www.surplusfund.com/
Bryan McAnulty: Welcome to the Creator's Adventure, where we interview Creator's from around the world, hearing their stories about growing a business. Today I'm talking with an entrepreneur who grew an eight figure business by giving away hundreds of millions of dollars. It sounds crazy, but stay tuned and will get into his experience in business and selling training products.
Hey everyone. I'm Bryan McAnulty. I'm the founder of Heights Platform. Let's get into the show.
Hey, everyone. We're here today with Spencer Van, the co-founder and CEO of surplus fund.com. By the time Spencer was 24 years old, he had already built an eight figure company and helped give away hundreds of millions to people across America who needed it? Spencer, welcome to the show.
Spencer Vann: Yeah, it's, it's a pleasure and honor to be here and yeah, I'm very excited, very excited.
Bryan McAnulty: Awesome.
Well, my first question for you, this is something that I've started to ask guests when they come on. What would you say is the biggest thing that you did or that you're doing that has helped you achieve the freedom to do the things that you enjoy?
Spencer Vann: Well, I think that's gonna sound really kind of abstract. But I think just committing, I, there's this, one of my favorite quotes is that perseverance counts far more than potential. And I think a lot of times when you're growing up as a kid, I know for me it was like, you know, I go to school, then there's like this advanced program that I wasn't in, and it's like all the smart kids, like, Oh, their potentials higher.
Or like, you know, I'm not like this amazing athlete that I was just born with, like LeBron James Genetics. And so like, okay, well his potential's way higher, dah. . But for me it's really just been a battle of perseverance and just pushing through always. And I think that is single handedly the one action or decision that I've mentally made that has probably made the biggest impact.
Bryan McAnulty: Awesome. Yeah, it's a great answer. I I, I like one that's a little bit more abstract like that cuz I think it's gives people something to think about. So
Spencer Vann: I think so too because, you know, on top of that too, it's like when you If I were to give you like this tactical thing, like, Oh, webinars made the biggest difference.
Well, first of all, webinars don't make sense for everyone to do. Like everybody can commit to persevering. Yeah. Everyone can commit to figuring things out, but exactly, everybody can commit to doing a particular tactical thing, so cool.
Bryan McAnulty: So when we were doing some research on you we kind of figured that like you were always an, a very entrepreneurial type of person, even at an early age.
Can you share some examples of how your passion for entrepreneurship has kind of evolved throughout the years?
Spencer Vann: Yeah. You know, that's an interesting question. I think originally I came from a place of scarcity. You know, I grew up in an interesting family situation. My younger brother's autistic and you know, we lived in a nice neighborhood, but a lot of the, the money that I guess would've been excess money went to trying to treat him and take care of him.
And so we really didn't have a lot of money growing up. And You know, I think originally it was like this, I wanted to make a lot of money from a place of scarcity, of like, Oh man, like I need to take care of people, da da, da, da. And I think it slowly evolved to just genuinely wanting to serve and help people.
And I think every, every entrepreneur says that. In fact, it's funny, I read a post from Alex Becker like a few months ago where he was talking about like, everybody says that they wanna help people, but the reality. , you know, very few people are like Mother Teresa, where it's like they're just helping people under the kinds of their heart.
And so there's still an element of me that, of course I wanna build a big company and accumulate resources and do those things. But I also wanna do that in a way where it genuinely actually makes a difference in society. You know, I don't wanna be remembered as someone that is, you know, I don't know, just like this scry guy that just wants a bunch of money and like, you know, has a big house somewhere.
Like I, that that's not really me. And honestly I don't think that that's a lot of people. I think that a lot of people think that they wanna make a mon a lot of money. They wanna be that guy or that girl coming from that place of scarcity. But I think once you start to accumulate a reasonable amount of resources, you start to realize, like, you know, if you have 5 million and you live a reasonable, I live on a one bedroom apartment, it costs like three, three grand a month.
I mean, it's not very much, right? So if I go from 5 million in my bank account to 6 million in my bank, , what difference does that make? , right? Like, okay, I added another a hundred years of savings. Like, it, it doesn't really make a difference. But, you know, being able to help someone start a surplus fund business, for example, with one of my companies, right?
And grow that, grow that business to where they go from making two k a month, working at, you know, an Amazon warehouse to eight k a month working from home and they can spend more time with their kids. That makes a huge difference in their life. And that brings me a lot of fulfillment. So, a kind of a long roundabout answer.
I think that that's probably been the biggest change and, and biggest evolution for me. Awesome. Yeah, that's a great answer.
Bryan McAnulty: So can you explain a little bit to our audience what exactly a surplus fund is? I'm not even really familiar with that too much myself.
Spencer Vann: Yeah, well that, and that, I think it highlights one of the beautiful elements of it.
It's not very many people know what a surplus fund is. A surplus fund is, is just lost. that is owed to someone and is being held by a third party. Now that's a, again, a really roundabout, abstract way of explaining it, but essentially it works like this when someone owes someone else money, either a person or a company, right?
So it could be two companies, two people, a company and a person, whatever the case is. And there's a legal binding agreement, which in a many, many, many transactions there are. In fact, one of the main transactions where there are circle funds exist is real estate foreclosure auctions, which I'll get to in.
But when somebody owes someone else money and they can't find that person, or they can't send that money to them, or there's some issue with actually getting the money over to them, that they legally are bound to paying them the money. They can't not pay them the money unless they wanna break the law and become a criminal, which they don't wanna do.
So what they do is they send it to the government, the government comes in and, and, you know, steps in temporarily. And I, I use the air quotes temporarily, cuz many times it is unfortunately permanent. But they step in temporarily to hold onto this. , and you know this, you're probably thinking, Okay, well how much of this money really is out there?
Is this even really this big of a thing? One in 10 people in America right now are owed money, they don't even know. And you can still recover money from people that have passed away. So if you add those members, then it's even a higher percentage of the population. And overall there's like a hundred billion with a B dollars right now that's just sitting un.
That's owed to people in America that they don't even know it exists. And that's part of the problem, right? And so what I figured out several years ago was that if you just find the people that owed money, which there's a lot of 'em, so they're not very hard to find, and you give them back the money that they're owed from the government, you can collect a finder's fee, you know, and, and some cases it's 10%, some cases it's 30%, or, you know, even higher sometimes.
And it, it creates a massive opportunity because number one is there's this massive amount of money that nobody knows about. Number two. many times, you know, you'll call, you'll call someone and maybe they've heard that they're owed money or they like vaguely think, Hey, I might, yeah, you might be right.
Maybe I owed money. But they have absolutely no idea how to get it. And by the way, the reason why this is such a secret, because the government will have you think it, otherwise, the government will have you think, oh yeah, you can just come get the money, the time you want to. In most jurisdictions in the United States, the government cannot keep the money.
Okay, so they can't, you know, if, if again, if you owed 10,000 and it never gets to you, they can't just take the 10,000 as cheap that as tax revenue in most jus. There are some places where they can do that, which is a whole nother issue, but in most places they can't. But what they can do is take any interest that that money accumulates and take that as tax revenue.
So an example of this is my grandma was at $7,000 from the early sixties that she just recovered a couple years. And she was owed that from an insurance pay. Well, think about that. What, what would $7,000 in 1963, you know, compounded at 10% over the last, you know, 50 years, 60 years be worth today a whole hell of a lot more money than $6,000.
I'll tell you that. . Okay. And it's unfortunate the government is in a lot of ways de-incentivize from telling people about this money. So that's become kind of one of my main missions. I mean, that is the main mission of my company. We wanna recover 10 billion. You know, we've recovered a couple hundred million, which is awesome.
Like, that sounds like a lot of money, but when you look at the scale of a hundred billion, we're really just beginning.
Bryan McAnulty: Oh, yeah. So I think an example I, I'm kind of familiar with this, it might help some in our audience essentially like unclaimed, unclaimed property, right? So like, I think I, I've seen something before, like when I moved then some company that had some kind of maybe a check or refund insurance or something, like you said they couldn't find me cuz I wasn't at that address or whatever.
And there's some kind of check or payment that the state was basically holding. It's similar to that, but you're talking about like, it could be in the case of like a house that was sold or foreclosed on.
Spencer Vann: Right. Yeah, so, and you bring up a great point. So surplus funds is technically a legal term to describe one way that someone's owed money.
Now we've kind of broadened the definition because you know, hey, when you start a company, you can make your own definitions, right? But surplus funds, as we look at it as an umbrella term for what we call four niches or four different ways that someone's owed money. Now you explained one of them, which is unclaimed.
And that is where the money is being held, typically at the state level, sometimes at the county level. And there's a million reasons why that money would get there. But there's three other ways that people are money that are not even, By the way, I'm not even counting in the a hundred billion in lost money.
This is just like icing on the cake. Two of those ways have to do with foreclosures. So essentially, you know, if you own a home and let's say that house's value is worth it's $200,000 market. And you owe a hundred thousand dollars left on the loan that you're making payments on, right? For whatever the reason is.
Maybe you bought it 10 years ago and it's appreciated. Maybe you've owned it for 20 years or 50 years and you've refinanced it and now there's this loan on there and you stop making the payments. Well, obviously what's gonna eventually happen is that bank or that, you know lender is gonna come in and they're going to foreclose on the property.
They're gonna take the property back, they're gonna take ownership of it, and they don't really want the property. They just wanna sell it at auction to get their. So they sold at auction for, you know, right around market value, $200,000, but they're only owed a hundred. So they can only, they can't make profit.
It's not their, their right to take any of the additional money above the a hundred thousand. But now there's this lost a hundred thousand that is owed back to you, to the homeowner. The guy that got foreclosed on the gala got foreclosed on and the problem is, is. It's a huge liability for these banks and lenders to keep the money because if they give the money out to the wrong person, now they're liable for the a hundred thousand dollars that they just gave out to the wrong person.
So they try to get rid of it as quickly as possible and send it to the county, but then it sets to the county forever. Right. And in some places it goes back to the state. In some cases it doesn't, whatever the case. But the point is, is that, you know, I don't know about you, but I don't think that banks, lenders, or any government entity is in the business of giving away.
In fact, none of them are . Okay? And if the government is in the business of giving away money, they're not doing a very good job of it. Okay? So, so it ends up just kind of floating around there and, you know, these are people that just lost their home. So typically they're in pretty rough financial shape.
So if, if you can go and again, find, and those are even honestly, the more lucrative ones because. with the unclaimed property ones, they're a little bit simpler to do because there's less moving pieces, but many times the state will cap your finder's fee, so that'll be 10% or 15%, whatever it is. With those ones, many times there's not a cap.
Now I think you should be ethical. You shouldn't charge like a hundred percent. That'd be really bad. Don't do that. But you can charge 20, 25% of a hundred thousand dollars fund, and that's a good paid, you know and you're, you know, helping someone get this money that many times they don't even know that they.
Which is ridiculous, you know, and they're living in their mom's basement, so so anyway, so yeah, those, those are the three niches. And then the fourth one is through bankruptcy. So people can actually be owed money after a bankruptcy case. And again, they often don't even know, you know, I mean, these are people that are in, again, with the bankruptcies and foreclosures, they're in tough financial positions.
And it's like they need this money more than anyone else. Yeah.
Bryan McAnulty: Yeah. And there's no way of them really knowing that unless they made the effort to go out and find it. . And so yeah, as you said, if they're in this difficult position for you to be able to find that for them and say like, Hey, actually we, you've got all this.
It's a, could be life changing.
Spencer Vann: Absolutely. Well, and it's, it's like, you know, I'll tell you this, my my business partner now is this gentleman by the name of David Church, and he was one of my original mentors in real estate. My career started in real estate, you know, whole selling. I was an agent, fixed and flipping all this stuff.
Yeah. I want,
Bryan McAnulty: Can you go into more of this? I wanna learn about like, how did you get started in here because a lot of entrepreneurs are Creator's. They're not gonna say, Oh, well I'm gonna start a business in surplus funds. That's not, not a typical thing you even hear.
Spencer Vann: Yeah, well, it's, it's essentially like I got put into real estate really young because of a situation I was in with my ankle.
So I I'm somewhat tall, like 6 4, 6 5, and I love basketball. And when I was a kid, that was all I did. I played basketball 10 hours a day. I didn't do homework, I didn't do anything. It was basket. And I was like, I'm going to the nba. You know, I didn't even think about college. I was like, I'm going to the nba.
I'm going all the way. And then I ended up breaking my ankle and it wasn't like a regular break. It was like I shattered my ankle, broke it in six places. The bone came out, the skin, I dislocated. I mean, it was a recovery. And I even had to get knee surgery. That's how bad I broke my ankle. Wow. And so the recovery of that was like almost a year where I couldn't play.
And it was right in the peak recruiting time. And in that time I kind of lost my identity as well. Like, because my whole identity was basketball. I couldn't do. So I lost my identity and in the, the, the realm of trying to figure out who I am and who I'm gonna be as a person. I was 15 when this happened to me a few days before I turned 16.
In fact I, I realized that, you know, I, what I really wanted was to be successful and one way, one way through another, I ended up getting involved in real estate. So when I got healthy, I started attending real estate meetups, local real estate meetups in my area. And I just really found a passion for, for.
And real estate specifically. And, you know, I started bird dogging, which is if you're in the real estate market, you're, you're familiar with that. It's like basically one of the most entry level things you can do on the real estate investing side. And it, you know, graduated up to whole selling, which they're very similar.
Got involved in some fix and flip deals. Not ever as a person that was buying it, but someone literally, I would go and David Church, my business partner and again, original mentor. I would go and I would do construction when I was a kid on his fix and flips. And over the years, I just started accumulating all this knowledge of real estate strategies.
I mean, I, I became obsessive. I would literally spend, you know, that 10 hours a day I'd spend on basketball. I'd spend that online studying. You know, because I just was like, I need to figure this out. And I had the time to do it. So I started accumulating all this information and last forward a few years, I have like notebooks of notes, but I had this one notebook in particular red spiral notebook, and it was filled front to back with every investing strategy in real estate I could possibly find on the internet.
And I, one day I go, I'm 19 now, so this is, you know, years later. And I go to this real estate meetup and this guy's talking about surplus funds, and he's talking about the, the particular kind that happened after a foreclosure. And I knew real estate, I knew foreclosures. I was like, Dude, this guy's lying.
Like this is not real. You can't make, there's no money after a foreclosure. The bank takes it. Like, what are you talking about? And long story short, you know, he ended up not being a liar. He ended up telling the truth and I ended up looking like, you know a little prideful, we'll say I got humbled, let's just put it that way.
And I realized that I still had a lot to. and that this was a huge opportunity. I started doing it, started realizing again how much money there is out there. It was like, the more I did it, the more I realized like, dude, like there's even more money than I thought. And then I got to the point where, at that time, to, to relate this into the course creating side I was interested in online business from the standpoint of, you know, really wanting to.
you know, basically build something that was more automated than real estate. The only way to scale real estate is through people, and I was 19 and I had really bad acne and I was like, This is not gonna work. This doesn't, I don't think anyone wants to listen to me. So I was like, I needed ways to scale something that was more based on technology than was people.
And I realized online business would be easier to do that. At that time, I met someone named Tanner. He is not the scooter guy, the Amazon course creator guy. And he was like one of the big, the first big Amazon influencers you know, big in parentheses. I don't know. He was doing well. He was making 300 grand a month selling courses.
At 21 through YouTube channel. Didn't have a webinar, didn't have a vsl, literally YouTube video link order form, 300 grand a month. It was like ridiculous. I was like, this is so, so stupid. Okay. And I looked at him and I was like, Dude, well, you know, I'm at those, these real estate events. These guys are like 50 and they ain't making 300 grand a month.
And then I see this guy who's 21 driving a Lamborghini and he's making 300 grand a month. I'm like, Whatever he's doing, I gotta do something. Some of. And realized what he was making money from was courses and in and information and how well that, that scales compared to services. And then I kind of just put the two together.
I I, my first course actually was a, a real estate investing course, and I never even launched them. Because I was like almost too nervous to launch it. I was like too scared. I was like, This's not gonna work. Da dah. And then I, through one way or another realized that a, a huge opening in the market was surplus funds cuz nobody was talking about that online.
You know, I looked back at my notes. All those notes I took were from learning online. and there was nothing about that online, about surplus funds. And I was like, Dude, this is a massive opportunity. So partnered with David cuz he had a lot more experience in it than I did. So I was like, Hey, why don't you teach it?
I'll focus on the online business stuff and I'll tell you this as a, as a trick for some of your more beginner level audience like, I had never, I had made one course before that I had never launched. I had never run any YouTube ads. I had never run any Facebook ads. I had never built a funnel and I had no idea what the hell I was doing.
Like, just to be blunt, I was like very low confidence. And so my plan was like, Hey, I'm gonna partner with David. He's gonna teach this stuff. I'm gonna do all the online stuff. I didn't know anything how to that stuff. Okay, Now I didn't tell him. Gadget to be blunt, I, I don't know if I would've told him if he would've worked with me, but it ended up working out for him.
So I, I guess it's a, it's, it's a win for him. And you know, we, we launched and it took us six months. We did webinars for six months. We didn't make any money. We live webinars and those sucked. And eventually we figured it out.
Bryan McAnulty: So, So yeah. What's kinda, do you feel helped you figure it out? Was there like a tipping point of something that suddenly had started working?
Spencer Vann: Yeah, I mean I think in any business it's like, first of all, I, you know, at that time you gotta think about the timeframe. So this was late 2017 was when we did the first live webinar. And so at that time, like Expert Secrets from Russell Brunson had just come out and, you know, it was like this whole thing of like, you gotta do live webinar.
You gotta do live webinars. You gotta do live. That was the thing in the internet marketing education space was live webinars at that time. Yep. And so I was like, all right, and I'm looking at the numbers like I'm listening, you know, I was obsessed. I was like, Podcast, everything I can do about live webinars, I'm learning.
So, , I, you know, I'm looking at these numbers that like Dave Woodward's talking about on his podcast, or Brunson talking about his, or whoever it was, and they're like throwing like, Oh, cool, cool. You get a hundred people on, you close 20 of 'em at a K, that's 20 grand a follow up, another 20. Like, I'm, I'm doing the math.
And I'm like, Okay, cool. That all makes sense. So let's start with this. And then we start doing that. And then we realize, dude, you can't just start doing webinars. Like, there's a lot that goes into it, you know, like, first of all, I had never done sales before, let alone sales to a large group of people.
Mm-hmm. . Okay. Which is way harder than one on. And by the way, if you figure out, which we ended up figuring out how to do sales to a large group of people. Then I, with nor formal training later on, did one-on-one high ticket sales, and I nuked it because it was so easy. I could literally talk to someone and figure out what they, what they wanted.
But anyways, I, I digress. So what ended up happening was we kept doing these live webinars and like, again, I had so little confidence in myself. I, I wasn't running the ads. We, we hired someone to run the Facebook. and, and at first we weren't even doing that. We were like renting email list, right? So I wasn't managing the traffic, I was not managing the funnel at all.
We hired a team to do the funnel. And by the way, looking back, they did an awful job. I should've just done it myself. I could've done a better at all, right? Did awful job. The only thing I was doing was doing the webinar. That's it. I would spend literally 10 hours a day on the webinar. And the biggest breakthrough came from I realized that.
For everything great that David does. David is not necessarily a amazing salesperson when it comes to live presentations and all that. But we were doing these webinars, we're doing them together. We were partners on the webinar, and so it's like I would be cutting him off and then he would cut me off and then I would cut him off and it was like, it just wasn't working.
Mm. But again, it's like this is someone that I look to as a mentor, so I, I didn't have the, the courage to be like, Hey, David, back off. Let me, let me do this. We said I was gonna do the marketing Anyways, you do the course. Let's just go with that. I, I, I literally was not, I didn't have the courage to do that.
So for six months we didn't get any sales. It was awful. And I probably knew that for about two months of it. I was like, This is, this ain't working. And then what ended up happening by the grace of God is I got sick. And when I got sick, we canceled the webinar. But again, I was so determined to make this work.
Like I ended up feeling a little bit better on the day of the webinar. I said, You know what? I'm gonna do the webinar anyways, even if no one shows up. Now we still had some people that had registered, but you know, we stopped the ads and all that before. Yep, yep. So I was like, whatever, I'm just gonna do it anyways.
No one shows up. That's fine. Well, sure enough, three people showed up and I did the webinar by myself. I closed two of them. Wow. Right. And then I was like, Okay, like we're onto something. And then I had to have the hard conversation with David and say, Look, dude, like. This is my, one of my unique abilities is marketing and sales.
And I was just learning that at that time. And what you're really, He was literally a teacher at one point. It's like, you're really good a teacher. Like why don't you just teach and I'll do this? And that's kind of been the way it's been since then and it's been great. So I think leaning into the hard conversation was something I should have done earlier.
Cause I think we would've made money a lot earlier. And then also, and I think this is a big one too, is like trying to figure out what your unique ability, And then going all in on that. Yep. You know?
Bryan McAnulty: Yeah. That's great advice. Yeah. I would challenge anyone listening to this to think about is there something that you're doing right now in your business where you know it's not working?
You, you can already see that this is, this is a problem. And, and if it is difficult to, to figure out the solution, if that involves a difficult conversation with a partner or something like what you're talking about how can you move forward with that today? I think in, in your example you gave you, you went almost backwards what a lot of people recommend of, they usually say, Well, you should sell one on one first, and then that'll help teach you to sell one to many.
You went the other way, and as you said, once you mastered the webinars, selling one to one was easy. Even with the high ticket because you already, you knew all the answers. But, but yeah, it's a lot easier sometimes to start off just trying with, with one or two people before you worry about that webinar.
Cuz like you said, yeah it can be, it can be months of time to figure that out cuz you gotta figure out, well what, what is this person gonna ask versus what is this person gonna ask? And if you can kind of answer those potential objections and questions ahead of time for people it makes it a whole lot easier.
I wanna address something that I feel that in your industry especially, but I think it'll help any creator or entrepreneur trying to sell something online. I feel that there's probably a good amount of people worried about like if you're scamming them or if if the whole thing is a scam or something like this.
You even said you were skeptical when you first learned about it, right? So how do you deal with this and, and gain trust from your prospect?
Spencer Vann: Yeah, I think it, it's so funny you ask cuz like every podcast I do, they ask the the same question, which is like, that's gotta be the biggest thing. And to many, many times it is.
And, and honestly the biggest thing I've learned when it comes to skepticism is like lead into it. And I don't like be scared of it. One of the things that I've done too and, and kind of resorting back to like webinars is. If you have an offer, you have a course where there's some fundamental thing that just no matter what way you, you go about it, people are just not gonna, like, you know, with my offer for a long time it was that they had to make cold calls.
Like people don't really wanna make cold calls. You know, like even if you're giving away money, like you can frame it in a better way like we do, but like, people don't wanna make, they just don't wanna make cold. Cold, right? Like, very few people are like looking forward to making hot cold calls. And so for a long time, I almost avoided bringing it up or like very sparingly brought it up. But then you end up with customers that are like unhappy cuz it's like, Oh, I didn't know how to make cold calls. And it's like, well, I mean, how else did you think gonna contact them? Right? But then to their point, I, I never clarified. And then when I, when I switched and I said, you know, lemme just lean into this and just, instead of leaning into it and like, like this hesitation way, let me just lean into it and embrace it and make it like a thing where it's like, Hey, this is not a big deal, dude.
You're just gonna make some calls and give away some money. It's not a big deal. Right. It, it, our conversions went through the roof. And so it's the same thing with working with surplus fund clients where Yeah, I mean, of course, like why would anybody not be skeptical if some random person calls them and says their owed money?
Like every, that sets every alarm, you know, Bell possible. But number one is come in prepared. So, hey, you owed money because of this and this reason. Well, if you give them a reason. They're probably gonna remember vaguely, maybe where it came from. And if they don't, at least, you know, hey, it sounds a little bit more credible.
But then on top of that, you know, lean into it. So be, Hey, listen, I'm sure this sounds crazy. I'm sure that you know, many times when you get a phone call, I, if you ever get a phone call from people that say you read money, you're probably like, What? What is going on? What is this, you know, Nigerian prince scam type of thing going on here.
But I want you to know I'm, you know, registered with the state of whatever you're working. , I'm a professional. I do this. I've, you know, the, the company that I'm working with. So my company has helped recover hundreds of millions of people in America. And right now, if you look up, I can even send you an article.
There's a hundred billion dollars in America that's owed to people just like you, and you're one of 'em. And I just want to help you recover somebody and help feed my family in the process, you know? And I think if you just lean into that, it's like, just embrace it. So you know, I mean, I, that's what I would say.
One of the things too, actually, that just popped in my head, A really, really good objection handling clothes. If you, for people that ever do webinars or VSLs or high anything, high ticket is to reframe the price. Because a lot of times, like people will drop a price and on a webinar and they'll be like, Oh, it's 1997.
And I know it seems like a lot, but duh, duh, it's great. When I got to the point, I learned this from, from I think it was Jason Flatland, but he, he was like, Luke, when I dropped the price, I'm like, Listen. . It's a lot. That's a lot of money. And it's a lot of money. It's a large sum of money because it's a large opportunity.
Yeah, there you go. You just embraced it and now you reframed the whole idea of a lot of money. Well, like, yeah, it is a lot of money and because it's a huge opportunity, why would it be cheap? So, so anyway, I don't know if that answers your question.
Bryan McAnulty: Yeah, no, that's great. I think it's a great point too that you make about embracing it.
Just having, having nothing to hide because like, you're right, I think the, the example with dropping the amount of money on the webinar completely ties into that. Cuz if you don't address it at all, then it's, it's scary to people and they're like, Well wait, he's suddenly, he's telling me it's all this money and there's some point of tension and fear and, and all kinds of.
But if you just address that, like, Hey, this is what I said, this is why I said that, this is why all of this is then everyone feels a lot more comfortable. So I think that's great advice.
Spencer Vann: Absolutely.
Bryan McAnulty: So now you're doing the this coaching, this course. Is the, the training more of your focus now, would you say?
Or are you still involved in like the surplus funds yourself?
Spencer Vann: I'm, I'm vaguely involved in, in surplus funds or broadly involved in it. You know, me and my partner, we still actively close deals. I'm not directly involved in the actual closing of the deals, but we're still actively, you know, like as a company, we have a side company that actually closes, closes deals.
One thing that I am more involved in, and, and this is kind of a lesson as well for course, Creator's is like again looking at your offer, right? Most offers are not, in fact, not most. All offers are going to have something that's going to hold people back and say, Ooh. And if you're thinking in a, like a very closed mind, you're like, Well, I'm screwed.
Right. Like, what am I gonna do? So for us, the two things that people did not like about Surs funds were that you gotta make cold calls and then you have to wait for the government to pay you. And it used to not be a big deal. It used to wait like eight weeks, 12 weeks, and you get a check. But since Covid, it's just gotten longer and longer and it's taking like six months now.
It's crazy. Wow. And so obviously, like I could continue selling the program and being like, Hey, you gotta wait six months, and like, what do you think that's gonna do? I probably not help them. . Yeah. Probably gonna make them worse. And so instead of saying that, and like again, it's better to embrace it and maybe you can reframe it.
And we, and we've done that to a saying, Hey, listen, like you get in, you start building up a pipeline in six months, or now you're gonna have money just rolling into the mailbox every single week. Like, okay, cool, that's, We can reframe that. But then what we did was we just created, I'm creating a company right now, it's called Surplus.
And so how it works is, you know, someone might get a deal today where they're gonna make five grand and, but they gotta wait until, you know, December for the check, and they don't wanna wait. So I'll cut 'em a check today for a percentage of that money, and then I'll wait the six months and I'll make profit on the back end of collecting the, the full money.
So they get a check today, they get a t-shirt, they get a certificate, they get, you know, all these awesome bonuses, right? We're getting pictures of them holding checks within a week or two of them signing up for the program. Right. So time to value, right? Yep. And on top of all of that we're making money from it.
So we're increasing the, the, the, you know, getting a little advanced. We're increasing the LTV of the customer because we're collecting money on the back end, and we're decreasing the time it takes for them to be successful. Yeah, that's, that's awesome. Truly. So that's, I've been spending a lot of time on that.
And then also the other thing I've been spending time on too has been I think that I have a unique position where I understand webinars and marketing and sales at a really high level, and if there's an opportunity, I, I think I've been looking at different markets to try to jump into and partner with certain Creator's in those markets if I deem them being like worthy of.
Spending a lot of resources on in terms of ad spend and trying to scale a, an offer there. Cause I think there's some hot markets, there's always hot markets on the horizon. And I think that's one of the biggest secrets too, to getting into if you, if you're coming in from a business perspective of trying to make as much money as possible is getting a really good course credit, like I did with David in a hot market right before it's gonna, you know, blow up and you know, positioning yourself really well there.
So that's something I've been working on. . Great.
Bryan McAnulty: Yeah. Yeah, that sounds good. We also saw how like you're really active on YouTube. We saw some of your videos and you mentioned about how entrepreneurs should build systems and try to automate their processes in their business. So I like to talk about the idea that, like, how can you create leverage in your business and so that way you're not trading your time for money anymore.
That said, how would you say that you're achieving this in your own business, apart from like webinars and things like that?
Spencer Vann: Yeah, I, I, I think that's that's a great question. I mean, at, at the point I'm at now, the way I look at it is there's two types of systems. There's technological technology based systems, so like you mentioned webinars, right?
Like, okay, that's a website with a video on it that automatically plays when people show up. Okay, cool. That's technology. And then there's people based systems. And so I'm at the point now where I've, I. Experimented with both. I will tell you firsthand, technology based systems scale easier and are typically more profitable than people based systems.
But really my main focus recently on automating and scaling has been building a really, really strong executive team and. Yeah, there's this leadership model that talk about, it's called Racy, R a c i mm-hmm. . And you're essentially trying to elevate yourself through it. So you start at R which is responsible for, So if you're doing the sales and your company right now, that means you're responsible for sales.
And then eventually you hire sales reps and you move to a. Which means you're accountable to, So the sales reps are accountable to you with the sales. Okay, cool. But you're still managing and leading them and training them and all of that, right? Cause they're accountable to you. Okay? Then you move from a, and you hire a sales manager who, who fills in there and you move to C.
Well, C is like you're consulted with. So you're not responsible. You're not doing the sales anymore, you're not being accountable. You're not holding them accountable and leaving them and train them. But when there's a problem that neither of those two people can figure out, or you know, those two parties can figure out, then they come and they consult with you on the big.
Okay. And then ultimately move to I, which is informed. And informed is, Hey, when something goes wrong, you don't come talk to me. You come talk to this guy. You're training and all that. You talk to this guy. Literally, I'm just sent a dashboard of numbers and that's how we perform. And then maybe I'll make some, some decisions, some really, really big picture decisions.
And so as you kind of go through that progression, you know, you hire different types of people and I'm at the point now where I'm slowly moving into the eye and that requires you to hire, you know, a really strong exact. So awesome.
Bryan McAnulty: All right. And then along with the the YouTube stuff, we noticed that you are a big fan of YouTube ads and you've invested heavily into those.
So can you share a little bit more about that? Do you have any tips or strategies you would share for a course creator who wants to start with YouTube ads?
Spencer Vann: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, YouTube ads has been the backbone of a lot of what we've done for a while. We did Facebook ads before, and just to be blunt like I did, I didn't like it.
I just, it, I struggled. We kept getting kicked off the platform. This is in 2018 when, you know the rules were stricter than they are now. And I don't know what it was about our offer or about our positioning. We just couldn't keep the ads on there and Facebook was not very helpful, so we ended up moving to, to YouTube and it's been great.
As far as advice and all that I would say a couple things. Anytime you're launching ads, your first time you're launching ads, the first several times you're launching ads and scaling ads as a business owner, you're going to be nervous unless you just. Have no conscience or something. Like for me, I was very nervous.
Like I, I turned on the YouTube ads for the first time and it was like $200 a day and I looked at my bank account and I'm like, We only have this many days, and if this doesn't work, I'm screwed. Right? So that's, that's a little intimidating and scary. But the reality is it's like, you know, at the bare minimum, like if everything goes south, you're probably gonna know pretty early on.
You know, I would really recommend if you're not an experienced media, meaning you haven't spent a lot of money on ads yourself. I would recommend that you do find someone who is an experienced media buyer and work with them just from the standpoint of. They're gonna know way quicker whether something's working or not, than you are.
And so, even though you're gonna be paying them to run your ads, as long as that you're not paying them an outrageous amount for the, you know, amount of ad spend that, that you're spending, you're in gonna end up saving money because you would've turned those campaigns or those ad ad costs, you know, off later instead of catching them earlier.
And then I think the, the biggest thing is just to reframe your mindset when you're spending money on ads and, and from spending to investing cuz you're investing in getting. . And the reality is, is like I just launched an offer recently, a trading offer. And you know, I'm at a point now where it's like I can spend a lot more on ads and like, not think about it, right?
But we spent like four or 5,000 hours on ads, we can get a sale. You know, this is a 5,000 program. So I'm like, oh crap. Like that's not good. But the reality is, is like I, I understand the market so much better now. We've made so many adjustments that when we relaunch those campaigns, like I would be very surprised if we're not a four or five x on.
Right. So I think the biggest thing is reframing your mindset and then partnering with someone if you don't know it yourself and you know, look at yourself as, as an entrepreneur and say, Look, it's my superpower. Is it buying ads? Is it doing that? Like, probably not. The last thing I will say, I could go on a whole long rant about bots is with ads specifically.
A lot of times when I made the same mistake for a long time is you'll look at the numbers of the ads and you'll be like, Okay, well our CTR is this and our cost per click is this, and our CPL is this, and therefore we need to change this with the ads where we target this demographic instead of this, cuz the CTR is better.
And it's just like, at the end of the day, don't make it so robotic that you forget that people are on the other side of the computer, right? Like at the end of the day, your ads are being showed in front of people and whether they like the ad or not, they're clicking on it and opting in, or. And think about what the customer's thinking versus what the numbers are saying.
And that is how you will improve your ads the best that I found.
Bryan McAnulty: Yeah, that was great advice. All right, awesome. Well, I have one more question for you on the show. We'd like to have each of our guests ask a question for the audience. So if you could ask our audience anything, what would that be?
Spencer Vann: Yeah, I mean, I, I would say is kind of going back to the hot markets thing.
Like what, what are you as a course creator doing to identify hot markets and how, like, how are you, first of all, where, where on the internet are you, What are you doing to find these markets? And once you found the markets, what is your strategy to, again, go in those markets and, you know, create a course either yourself or to partner with someone?
So, cool. All right. That's a great.
Bryan McAnulty: All right. Well, Spencer, thanks so much for the interview. Before we get going, where can people find you online?
Spencer Vann: Yeah, just you can go on my Instagram at Spencer j Van. My name is Van, like the shoe company, but it's two ends, V A N N. And then same thing as my YouTube.
And of course if you wanna check out surplus funds, just go to surplus fund.com. We've got an amazing free training. If you're a course creator and you wanna see what an amazing VSL looks like, watch that vsl. You don't have to buy the product, but watch the vs. I'm telling you right now, it's one of the best VSLs in the industry for course Creator's.
And I know that's saying a lot, but I know a lot of the top level guys and it is very good. So check it out, strip plus fund.com and yeah. Thank you so much for your time, hon. Awesome.
Bryan McAnulty: Thanks so much for that Spencer. If you enjoyed this interview and won the chance to ask questions to our guests live, tune in on Tuesdays when new episodes premiere on the Heights Platform Facebook page.
To learn more about the show and get notified when new episodes release, check out the Creator's Adventure dot com. Until then, keep learning and I'll see you in the next episode.