Alex Berman is an interesting guy. He’s a millennial entrepreneur. Alex has started his own company with the support of virtual assistants, generated over $20 million in sales, and works remotely as a “digital nomad.” I was fascinated by Alex’s story after watching his Youtube channel and had to get him for an interview. Alex is using automation programs in Gmail to save hundreds of hours of repetition. His marketing knowledge is strong and he knows how to interest people in what he has to say.
Alex graduated from the University of Central Florida a few years ago and immediately started traveling. After spending 3 months in Egypt he was hooked on travel and decided to make it a lifestyle. Alex has spent time all over the world working remotely. He uses cold emails and smart targeting to propel his entrepreneurial success. I asked Alex everything I wanted to know about how he hacks, works, and lives his digital nomad life.
Alex, like myself, draws inspiration from Tim Ferriss, Ramit Sethi, and the Lean Startup model. Alex’s primary business, Inspire Beats, generates high-quality sales leads for web software service (SaaS) companies. His business partners and team help companies find high-quality prospects through cold email. His tactics can be found on his Youtube channel. He’s doing spectacular things with automated email.
What is some advice you’d give a new entrepreneur to optimize their career?
Don’t be afraid to hire a full-time staff. It’s made things easier. Knowing you’re paying someone forces you to keep projects moving forward.
Do you use Virtual Assistants?
Yes, one of my primary staff and CEO works remotely from Romania. He manages the day to day of the company. I’ve also used Asian virtual assistants for some things. FancyHands works best for research tasks.
When I onboard assistants I record quick tutorial videos for them via private Youtube links. I have a few hundred I can pull from in my Youtube library.
What does your sales funnel look like?
We find people online and target them with personalized emails. Leads can be worth up to $2,000 each. So, it’s worth putting in the effort to diligently pore over who we’re targeting and how we’re messaging them. We’re not just sending out a form email. Lots of thought goes into our process.
What automation apps do you use that Optimized Now readers may not have heard of?
I love Streak. They’re a free customer research management program that keeps track of sales leads and allows us to organize them right there in Gmail. It’s super convenient and easy to use.
We’re constantly looking for new podcasts on which to be featured. I’m starting to get requests by constantly being in touch with podcast producers.
I also use Canned Responses in Gmail Labs. It lets me quickly save template emails so I don’t have to write the same thing over and over. But, it also allows me more customization than bulk mail programs like Mailchimp or Yet Another Mail Merge. It’s important to send people relevant emails that don’t look like they’ve been copy/pasted. Nobody wants their inbox filled with junk.
Do you use Chrome extensions?
Of course. I use Full Contacts to research someone’s background based on their email address. Yet Another Mail Merge automates bulk email sending through Gmail. Email Hunter predicts someone’s email address based on their name and organization URL. We use Split Names to clean up messy names on spreadsheets.
Power tools for Google Drive cuts out repeated words and changes caps. This can help save a lot of time.
Form versus function for web design?
If you’re demo-ing a site for a prospect, it needs to look clean. But it doesn’t have to be insanely well-designed. Function is more important. The site need to work first and foremost.
What’s your ideal lifestyle?
I’d live in a different city every day but also spend more time with family. I usually end up in a new city for 3 months. I’d work from 6am-3pm. The rest of the day I’d spend with friends in big cities.
What are your tips for someone moving to a new city?
Do same things wherever you go. Uber everywhere. Eat at restaurants everywhere. Have virtual assistants research the top people in the area and start meeting up with them. When I moved to Vegas, I hosted an event in a bar with 10 of the area’s top 30 under 30. It was helpful to be able to get started in that city with such smart and motivated people.
What is your advice for Millennials starting out in the working world?
Have a passion you express to people. Try many things. There’s a big translation gap between us and our parents. Don’t let that keep you from engaging them.
What has been your most difficult test and what did you learn from it?
I had an interview with Godiva, the chocolate company, right after I graduated. I bought a suit. I practiced with friends. We ran through interview questions. I went in ready and I still didn’t get the job didn’t get job. I recommend brainstorming questions with friends, that can be very helpful.
What has been the best $100 you’ve ever spent?
I bought dinner for my colleague and friend. That felt good. I’ve always gotten the most rewarding feelings from spending money on other people.
What was the best meal you’ve ever had?
A ribeye steak at American Cut in NYC, medium rare with grilled asparagus. So good.
Where do you want to eat?
Definitely Japan. Especially Giro’s joint. Also Bobby Flay’s place in Vegas.
You spent a fair amount of time in NYC, what are your favorite restaurants there?
The chicken and waffles at Amy Ruth’s in Harlem are amazing. Somtum Der Thai in the East Village is super good. Union Square’s Michelin star spot Malaysian Laut is good.
What is your favorite location to hang out that I couldn’t find on TripAdvisor?
In the Wynn in Las Vegas across from the waterfall, there’s a bar that’s only open before the bar opens.
What has been your favorite fun vacation activity?
Cliff jumping in Hawaii.
Rob Schneider: “YOU CAN DO IT!” from Water Boy. Because everyone can do it.
Having a family and kids.
How can people learn to be more successful online?
Keep uploading. That’s how to be successful. Don’t even care about failing. Be persistent.
Where can people be in touch?
If they need leads for their startup, check out inspirebeats.com.
Here’s an example of the emails Alex is sending out to cold leads. This one got him a Youtube interview with a world-class marketing pro.