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Deal Debrief: 7-Figure Content Site Sells for All Cash
Deanna has over 20 years of experience in strategic business development and was the Marketing Manager for Smart Wires Inc. and the Marketing Program Manager for Ernst & Young LLP. She graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a bachelor’s in business administration and marketing.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [04:38] Deanna Berardi talks about why a seller wanted to exit their growing business
- [07:06] Why you should be careful of personal branding
- [11:50] How can you remove your personal brand from your content site?
- [18:34] Deanna discusses conversations about a deal structure
- [21:34] How can an SBA approval increase your likelihood of an exit?
- [25:06] Deanna explains why seller education is crucial for a greater exit
In this episode…
What steps can you take to minimize your personal likeness when trying to exit your business? The sooner you can think ahead on the transferability of your brand, the easier your exit will be.
Deanna Berardi knows that the more valuable you are to your business, the less valuable your business is. Preparing your personal brand for exit begins by slowly removing your likeness from your content site. By removing risks, you’re building the valuation of your brand which can lead to a greater exit. Listen to this episode to hear Deanna talk about lessons learned from selling a content site.
In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Joe Valley sits down with Deanna Berardi, Head of Partnerships at Quiet Light, to debrief a deal that ended in a seven-figure, all-cash exit. Deanna talks about bringing value to your brand, negotiating an SBA loan, and how seller education can help sell a difficult brand. Stay tuned!
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Deanna Berardi on LinkedIn
- Deanna Berardi’s email: [email protected]
- “How To Earn $15,000 by Sending an Email” with Deanna Berardi on the Quiet Light Podcast
- Quiet Light
- Quiet Light on YouTube
- Resources to Help You Grow Your Business | Quiet Light
- Joe Valley
- Mark Daoust
- Walker Deibel
- Quiet Light Podcast email: [email protected]
- The EXITpreneur’s Playbook: How to Sell Your Online Business for Top Dollar by Reverse Engineering Your Pathway to Success by Joe Valley
- Buy Then Build
Sponsor for this episode
This episode is brought to you by MyAmazonGuy, an Amazon agency to help level up your PPC, SEO, Design, and manage your entire Amazon catalog.
This episode is also brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.
There is no wrong reason for selling your business. However, there is a right time and a right way. The team of leading entrepreneurs at Quiet Light wants to help you discover the right time and strategy for selling your business. They provide trustworthy advice, effective strategies, and honest valuations. So, your Quiet Light advisors aren’t your everyday brokers — they’re your partner and friend through every phase of the exit planning process.
If you’re new to the prospect of buying and selling, Quiet Light is here to support you. Their plethora of top-notch resources will provide everything you need to know about when and how to buy or sell an online business. Quiet Light offers high-quality videos, articles, podcasts, and guides to help you make the best decision for your online business.
Not sure what your business is really worth? No worries. Quiet Light offers a free valuation and marketplace-ready assessment on its website. That’s right—this quick, easy, and free valuation has no strings attached. Knowing the true value of your business has never been easier!
What are you waiting for? Quiet Light offers the best experience, strategies, and advice to make your exit successful. To learn more, go to quietlight.com, email [email protected], or call 800.746.5034 today.
Hi folks, it’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips, and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.
Joe Valley 0:18
Hey folks, Joe Valley here, welcome to another episode of the Quiet Light Podcast. Today, we’re gonna do a deal debrief. Typically we’ve had sellers on talking about their business, how they built it, the challenges that they had listing it for sale, going through due diligence, things of that nature, and ultimately, how they feel after they exited. Deanna Berardi on the Quiet Light team heads up a lot of different things. One of the things that she does is talk to the advisors once a month, on all deals that closed, she interviews them, they talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the business challenges that they had with selling the business and things of that nature and how long they’ve worked with the client in advance of even listing the business for sale. And that’s a key thing here, you want to do that as much as possible. And then that is shared internally, it’s not an external, it’s not going to go to you folks, because there’s some really private information there. So what the Deanna has done here we’re going to talk about in a minute is she’s sort of whitewashed, some of those details. So we’re not giving away the URL. We’re not talking about the brand itself, or the sellers name. But we’re going to talk about some of the things that need to be done in order to sell in this particular situation, a seven figure content site had been around for a long time, particular owner had been running it for more than a decade, and was ready to move on to her next adventure. One of the advisors work with her well in advance, helping her prepare, modify some things to make it more transferable, more sellable. And ideally for all cash. And I’m going to cut to the end, it ended up being an all cash deal for seven figures. And we’ll talk about that in the interview with Deanna. Before we jump to that, I want you to know that this podcast is sponsored by My Amazon Guy, if you run an FBA business, you got to check out MyAmazonGuy.com. Just go to the site or go to YouTube and start looking at all of the content that Steven Pope produces. To help you understand and improve the overall value of your business. It’s there for free. But eventually, if you want an agency to help you scale up your SEO, your PPC, whatever it is, you do on your Amazon business, My Amazon Guy is the company to work with. So check them out at my amazon.com MyAmazonGuy.com. And now let’s jump to Deanna Berardi and A deal debrief. Here we go. Deanna. Welcome back to the Quiet Light Podcast. How are you?
Deanna Berardi 2:51
Hi, Joe. I’m great. How are you doing?
Joe Valley 2:53
Fantastic. This is going to be interesting, folks. Deanna is in charge of a lot of things are Quiet Light. Referral Program, she does a deal debrief with the advisors each month writes it up, does a video interview. And then it shared with all the advisors as well. And as you know, as the audience, we sometimes bring clients on that have recently sold their business. But we’re going to try something new for the next few months. And that is a deal debrief, debrief on a monthly basis where Deanna is going to come on and talk about a deal that closed and she interviewed one of the advisors and she’s going to talk about all the strengths and weaknesses of the businesses, what the sellers could have done a little bit better to improve the likelihood of the business being sold and getting maximum value for it. She’s doing an in depth interview with the advisor. Sometimes the advisors are a little shy and don’t like to come on the pie, the Quiet Light, I guess. But Deanna you’re not shy at all are you
Deanna Berardi 3:52
know, I love this stuff.
Joe Valley 3:55
Good. I love it, too. So we’re going to talk about a content site in the same seven figure range that one of the advisors sold on the team. We can say his name, right, which advisor.
Deanna Berardi 4:09
Now we can’t do that, Joe,
Joe Valley 4:11
that’ll give away people were going to give away too much information. It might have tried to figure out the name of the business, okay, we’re not going to, we’re not going to give away the exact price of the business. We’re not going to give away the URL of the business. It’s just a content site in the what niches at Deanna.
Deanna Berardi 4:28
It’s the states in that it’s like in a home kitchen niche. All right. Cool.
Joe Valley 4:33
So give me a little background, what what can you share about the business and we’ll go from there.
Deanna Berardi 4:38
So So kind of cool. This is a content site. And it’s we started in 2009. And we started by an awesome seller who had a real niche and a real a real knack, I should say for for for creating content that got a lot A lot of traction very, very quickly. And especially the business went through a boom, because the content was relevant in a pandemic, when people were at home and they were in their kitchen, they were absolutely absorbing this content like crazy. And so the seller was just ready to exit, you know, young children for them very successful for you know, 11 years, and wanted to leave and just move on to
Joe Valley 5:26
the business become too much for the seller to handle with four kids at home, sometimes sold businesses where they wanted a little side hustle, and it turned into this massive business that required too much time and attention and thinks, you know, oh, my goodness, I’m doing a million in revenue. This is not what I wanted, please help me sell this is that kind of the situation exactly
Deanna Berardi 5:45
what ended up happening plus, the kids did aged out, thank God. So over a 10 year period, you know, 2009 by 2020, she’d been doing it for 11 years, the kids were kind of aging out, she was very successful, but she wanted to explore other things, in addition to the kids just growing up and didn’t want to have this other thing plus the kids plus the existing business. So wanted to add to the existing business, spend more time with the kids, but also watch something new. That was the genesis of it.
Joe Valley 6:10
aging out what does that mean? I’m an empty nester, you’re close Is that what that means? You start going
Deanna Berardi 6:14
to school, you know, they’re not all for home all day underfoot, they’re starting to finally get into middle school in high school kind of thing.
Joe Valley 6:20
Gotcha. Okay, so what kind of lessons can we learn from this particular business? And what what were the strengths of it? What were the weaknesses of it? What did the advisor that handle this, and I know, this particular advisor has handled lots of blogs and content sites, even in particular, he’s handled, this big lesson
Deanna Berardi 6:38
here was a watch out for personal branding. And you’re building these content sites. And if we had to create a tagline, this is when that mean, the adviser created together on this this business, the lesson learned was, or the knowledge point gained was, the more valuable you are to your business, the less valuable your business is. And that would mean to a prospective buyer. What does that mean? Exactly? So meaning that if you are the brand, you are the personal name and the URL, you are the personal likeness on your content site, you are a heavy contributor to the content, then you’re you’re very valuable to that business, the less valuable that business would be to somebody that wants to buy it. Buy that? Well, Joe, it’s touched on in your book, it ties back to transferability.
Joe Valley 7:32
Well, it’s still transferable, right the business if it’s JoeValley.com, which by the way, I don’t own the folks I used to, I gave it up, and now photographer owns it. But if it’s JoeValley.com, it’s got my name and face all over it easily transferable, that’s not an issue, I can transfer it over to you. The problem might be the risk associated with you. With me, not you owning you owning the site of me not being the name and face of it anymore. That’s that’s the real challenge there. Right? So if
Deanna Berardi 8:01
second goodwill and then intrinsic value, that’s hard to put your finger on, that is not staying in the business, when this amazing woman who started at leaves,
Joe Valley 8:11
what do we do in a situation where, you know, 100 members of the current audience are running businesses like this already, and their names and faces all over the website? What kind of recommendations do you have for them? Or what kind of recommendations to the advisor have in this situation? Because that’s exactly the situation?
Deanna Berardi 8:27
Yes, exactly. So the advisor did give some guidance to the seller on this. And it was tough, because the personal name of the seller was in the URL. And so there was a, you know, an 1112 yard history of that person’s first name. Luckily, it was kind of a common name being in the URL. So I would say you’re kind of stuck at that point. And that’s kind of what the advisors figured out figured out too, is the personal name and URL. It’s in there, you really don’t want to be changing that URL or changing the name of that landing page is
Joe Valley 9:01
too much risk. Yeah, you don’t want to take that risk and have the trends fall down and people type in the URL. Sometimes redirects don’t work. And you lose some rankings. So that’s definitely a no, no buyers would not want you to do that and don’t want to do it because it could tank your business for even just for a few weeks. And you lose all that revenue, you lose a few weeks worth of revenue and affects the overall value of the business. So the sellers first name. First time was in the Euro, not the last name,
Deanna Berardi 9:33
first name, you’re saying to me. So if you’re listening to this podcast early enough, and you’re doing an awesome blog content site, just just try not to even start there at all. Just don’t do it first. If you can, but if
Joe Valley 9:47
you’re there if it’s you know, cooking with Jennifer I think I talked about that in the book right cooking with Jennifer’s or cooking with Jennifer. What do you what do you do then? It’s two, three years in I’m not going to change the URL Um, what what’s what’s the next option, what’s the next step that this advisor recommended or had to deal with in this particular situation?
Deanna Berardi 10:06
Exactly. So, so basically, there’s a lot of coaching, that was provided upfront, which was, hey, you’re probably going to need to agree to keep your name in the URL, and you’re probably going to need to agree to stay on to the business with your likeness. And we’ll do everything we can now to start taking your picture, and your name and kind of bearing you on a back page, like let’s demote the about piece of it, let’s, let’s put you on the About tab that’s have you in there on the contact and about section that let’s just make the pictures as small as possible, and the write up as smooth as possible. And let’s kind of do that now. To see how with your face and likeness being on a back page, not the landing page, what the trends are. So you kind of they kind of had to sit with that and start measuring this is what happens when that likeness is somewhat buried. So at least six months of that, to get some history of what happened
Joe Valley 11:04
to make sure that the the time on site doesn’t change dramatically. If that person’s name and face is not all with all over the website,
Deanna Berardi 11:13
traffic, monitoring the traffic.
Joe Valley 11:16
Okay, what about you say likeness? Is it minimize the size of the photo? Is it create a caricature of in this case? That’s good. I don’t know if there’s a URL URL out there that says cooking with Jennifer, I just made it up. So, you know, would you create a caricature of this person? Or just minimize their photo and bury it on the site? So they’re less important to the business overall?
Deanna Berardi 11:43
Yeah, well, in this particular situation, there was a photo. In some cases, though, there’s logos of the seller, people have little logos that have the seller incorporated their face or likeness, or they may have a video on there that shows them doing their task for their audience, or maybe very prominent on the landing page. So all those things were kind of stripped away. So if there was a video it was, it was maybe taken down. Or, or if there was a prominence on the landing page, it was removed. So the likeness could be in those things logo, video, photo, or even a character in a cartoon. We’ve seen people that have content sites where they have a cartoon that looks like them, all those things, you just want to start eventually demoting and tracking the demotion of them and how that impacts the traffic on the site.
Joe Valley 12:27
I would say the cartoon is fine, personally, because it’s not your face, right? I can’t find you your image on LinkedIn if it’s a cartoon. So I’d say that’s probably fine. But your first and last name, making everything as prominent front and center. So you are the business. Because what happens is that the audience becomes incredibly confident about the content, because it’s you that’s delivering the content. If you want to sell this business and transfer it, you need to put yourself sort of on the backburner and make yourself less important. You know, here’s a quiet light, I used to do 50% of the total transactions when it came to brokering deals. At one point, it was 70%. Now I do nothing. I’m so unimportant when it comes to actually doing transactions. So I’m putting myself on the back burner, because Hey, folks, I’m getting old, right? Someday, I’m not going to want to do this anymore. And so I’m naturally doing that over time over the years, putting myself on the back burner and making myself less and less important to the brand quite like you need to do the same thing. If you are the name and face of a content site. What do you do in a situation? Or what did the advisor recommend? And how did you overcome objections from buyers? In the situation where this is a content site? It’s a blog, it’s writing about stuff in the kitchen, on a regular basis? Is the written content that’s being posted on a regular basis, still being posted by the owner of the business? Or by guest writers or by somebody else? All together? What was the situation recommendation their DNA?
Deanna Berardi 13:59
Yeah, and that was that was one of the key aspects as well, that was very important to the buyer on this deal. Was the content contribution. And you know, how many of these blogs and articles were actually being written by the seller and how attached were the readers to the sellers personal content that was going on to that side? So and this person posted something with that getting a lot more views or looks or you know, tracking to it than another one? And luckily, in this situation, the content contribution, she had began to using ghost writers she had began to stop tagging it directly to her and outside of a feature or two, so most of it kind of was ended up being completely fine because that was something that was controlled and looked at
Joe Valley 14:45
writer, a Guest writer or is it the situation do you mean a made up name?
Deanna Berardi 14:51
It could have been mult. I think in this situation. I think she had used a ghost writer and the ghost writer was just kind of using different names. You know, there’s so and so contribute this recipe so and so likes this one. So it was different kind of names, but it wasn’t like one person was doing all the content. Okay?
Joe Valley 15:07
That makes sense. It’s, it’s a scalable operation where you might have, you know, 20 guest writers, and they don’t need the credit. But there are employees that are writing for you. And you can attributed, as long as as long as the audience’s receiving the good quality information and believing in the content. That’s the key, you could test that dabble with it, do split testing, make sure that the time on page doesn’t drop dramatically, because your personal name is not on it, or your personal likeness is not on it as well. These are things you need to dabble with early on, so that you can eventually plan your exit in a situation where you’re ready to sell and all of this is in place already. Sometimes you just have to accept that you’re not going to walk away from the business. At closing, not completely anyway, I, I’ve talked about this on the podcast before but if you didn’t hear it, folks, I sold a prepper site years ago, you know what a prepper site is Deanna? Now tell me, a prepper site is more a prepper business or a prepper in general is somebody that believes that you know, the the worst of the predictions of the world are going to come true. And they Oh, right. They’ve got more than a sword on their side gasoline stored on their land, they’ve got gold coins, they’ve got food that lasts for years, all of this stuff. And so not only do I have a prepper site that’s been around for a long time. But the owner of the business was the name and face of the business. She wasn’t in the URL, but she wrote content and reviewed products and everything for you know, the prepping industry. And when the business was sold, she had to stick around in name and likeness. So the person that bought the business negotiated that he would use her image and her name in new content for up to 12 months. Caveat was that she had to pre approve that content because it had her name and face on it. And then of course, we had to negotiate the amount of time that she had to pre approve that content, right? If she had a life, she had vacation, she wanted to retire things of this nature. So it gets a little sticky and makes it more difficult. And not all buyers are willing to work through all of that. My point is that, like you’re talking about Deanna is that the more you can think in advance of the transferability of the business that minimizes the risks, right? If you have your name in the URL is still transferable, but your name is in the URL and you want to go away as the you want your name and face and content creation to go away. It has to go away, but that increases the risk for the buyer. And when that increases the risk, it’s they lower the valuation, or they require an urn out in that situation. So you want to do everything you can to remove those risks so that you’re getting maximum value for the business at closing, hopefully all cash in that situation. What other objections were surfaced during the listing process of this particular business and due diligence that the advisor had to overcome?
Deanna Berardi 18:23
Yep. So yeah, good point. So the first thing you asked about was, you know, what was one of the struggles and we talked about it. So the coaching that the advisor had to give opening up this listing, and again, before it even launched was the whole personal likeness, the name and the URL, the next part of the conversation was, let’s anticipate that the buyers are going to do one of two things, they’re going to do risk this by putting a deal structure in place that’s going to protect them. So there could be a hold back, there could be some sort of burnout component to this because they want to test on you right at your exit is what you said true, you know, with you being gone is the state still going to be valuable. So that was another it’s kind of it was kind of a bummer, because it was a very sight now they’re having conversations about deal structure where you can’t get your cash up front, you have to keep your picture on there. And now you have to actually take a difference deal structure that directs the buyer, not you,
Joe Valley 19:18
right? And if the seller does all this in advance, they don’t have to worry about that that doesn’t have to be negotiated. It’s not what if it’s already hey, we’ve done this, it’s been running this way for six 912 months is not as important as I used to be to the business and therefore this is not a risk, right? It’s not what if all you have to do is and this is what I hear from you know, sellers over the years it’s all you have to do is launch this new product and revenue is gonna go up and that’s why I want this multiple or this is why I want all cash. All you have to do is blank. Remove that blank and do it yourself and take that risk away from the buyer and you will get more money for the business. It will sell quicker, it’ll be a better transaction a better deal structure as well. None of this earnout. Seller note, what was the other a whole back term that you use there that situation as well?
Deanna Berardi 20:13
Yeah. So the advice that was given before we even David got buyers in on this one was prepare for that, you know, that might that might be what happens. That’s not necessarily what was wanted at all, but prepare for it. Now, the good news was is that this deal was SBA approved, so the seller had an SBA designation on them. And so there was a lot of different buyers looking at it. So that was kind of a big plus on this. And so we know the SBA buyers coming in, they’ve got cash. And there might be the only deal with a buyer might be their first and only deal. And so maybe they don’t want the sophisticated deal structure of having earnouts and holdbacks. And you can’t
Joe Valley 20:49
actually with an SBA, there’s no earnings allowed. Okay, yeah. Okay,
Deanna Berardi 20:52
that was kind of saved the day on this one, because there was a non SBA buyer that did come in with a component like I described, which had a turnout hold back to it. And they were really wanting the likeness of that they wanted the person to stay in and continue to actually create content, continue to do some videos and stay on the front page. And that wasn’t really what the seller wanted. That person had a little better offer all in to the deal. components were not quite as desirable. And so at the end of this deal, the happy story is that it did sell for cash all upfront, at a lower number than the first offer. But it was an SBA buyer that did not really require much of the involvement from the seller at all, except to bury them on the about page, like I mentioned,
Joe Valley 21:43
right. And normally folks in the negotiation of the asset purchase agreement, there’s training and transition period is typically typically up to 40 hours over the first 90 days after closing. And I can pretty much guarantee you that was part of this asset purchase agreement on this seven figure exit of a content site, you just don’t sell it and walk away. That’s the reality, you need to be a good human. And you’re going to be contractually obligated to be a good human and put that time in after closing to help the buyer make sure that their investment is sound because they’re investing in it to take care of their family and their future. And you always want to do the right thing there as well. So, so SBA buyers, generally, great buyers, folks, great buyers, Deanna they have a 10 year note from the SBA, so they’ve got financing over a 10 year period. The interest rate is unfortunately variable in this marketplace is variable. What happens though, interestingly enough, is that your your your payment amount doesn’t go up. But you’re still making the same monthly payment, even though interest rates have gone up. The difference is that more of it goes to interest, and less of it goes to principal, as interest rates go up, your payment stays the same on these SBA deals in that situation. So it’s just a matter of, you know, less principle being applied with each payment that you’re making. When a business is listed, SBA pre approve, the advisors will pre approve it through an SBA lender, we’ve got several of them if you want to run your own business through it folks, or and see what the lenders think. Or if you’re a buyer out there, just go to the Quiet Light partners page. It’s QuietLight.com/partners, we’ve got a number of SBA lenders there that can help you. You want to have in this situation, as you mentioned, the end of the business was how old 11 years old like that?
Deanna Berardi 21:46
Yeah, it sure was right. So
Joe Valley 23:45
the business had its own entity, I would imagine and no commingled funds with other businesses or side projects and things of that nature. So the tax returns were probably pretty clear. And there were at least three years of them that allowed it to become SBA eligible. Sometimes you can get SBA pre approved with two years, but in most situations, they’re requiring three years. And sometimes they require 10% down as well. But in this situation, you said there was I’m sorry, not 10% down but a seller note in the situation it was the buyers probably putting down 10%. But the sellers getting 100% of the exit value. Is that the situation? Yes, yes. Beautiful thing, a seven figure exit all cash just like that.
Deanna Berardi 24:29
It’s pretty solid. Exactly. Exactly.
Joe Valley 24:32
What are the things came up from the adviser that were challenges with this particular business that you can think of?
Deanna Berardi 24:38
Um, you know, I think this was a hugely agreeable seller because just highly motivated to do it. But you know, when I asked the advisor again, what would be the, you know, the lessons learned because when we do these debriefs, we always focus on what gems or what lessons learned come out of this because of the 15 advisors, somebody would definitely come across this again. And the key thing was just I’m educate the seller really early on and upfront, whenever you see anything that’s personally branded, and it comes really difficult Joe, when it when it’s when there’s these consultants that are putting their face out there, and they’re trying to sell their consulting services, or their digital marketing services, or their tutoring, or online education services very difficult, because they’re hiring the person to be smart in front of them and partake, you know, send knowledge. So it’s a little bit easier in this case, because it was just, you know, a content site where they were offering like, you know, something that was kitchen and kitchen days, you just read it, it’s different when it’s delivering in person. So that is even more difficult to actually depersonalized yourself.
Joe Valley 25:43
Let’s give an example there. Our buddy Walker Deibel, here at Quiet Light, is the best selling book Buy Then Build these a Wall Street Journal bestseller now and he runs something called the acquisition lab. Folks, if you haven’t been there, if you’re out there, hoping to buy a business, check out the acquisition lab, they’ve got cohorts that run you through a 12 week program on how to buy a business, not just an online business, but any business. And Walker is the name and face of Buy Then Build, he wrote the book, it’s kind of hard not to be. But what he’s done is minimize the work that he does on a monthly basis with the business. It looks like he’s working crazy hours. But really, it’s Chelsea that’s doing all of the work. Walker produces videos and does some educational content upfront, and hops on to these cohorts on a regular basis. But still very minimum, if Walker wanted to sell the acquisition lab, it would be very difficult at this point. But he’s working on continuing to minimize himself and make the educational content pre produced where somebody can then hop onto, let’s say, a communication or discussion room. Eventually, it’s a it’s a tricky situation, if you’re in a situation where you’ve got a brand and name recognition like Walker dipole, creating a business that is eventually going to be something that you can sell can be challenging, but you’ve got to think about these things. And I bring this up because you said consultant, the consultants, businesses are generally really, really hard to sell. And I can’t think of one that we’ve sold in the past. We sold SAS content agencies, e-commerce, FBA, you name it, we’ve sold it. But I can’t think of one consultancy, because generally, it’s the owners expertise. And this is where the transferability comes in. It’s an owner’s expertise, that you can’t simply transfer somebody else’s head. You and I have talked about this, right? You’re running the quiet light referral program, which what was the what let’s let’s just talk about the referral program briefly here as we wrap this up. Last year was about 25% of the total transactions were referrals. Is that right? Yes. Yes. So last year being 2021. Folks, I think we’re about that, Mark, so far this year in 2022. This is actually going to air in 2023. In early January, the referral program is something that is never been managed, it’s always happened sort of organically. But now Deanna is running the referral program with goal of scaling up the total number of referrals from 25% to 50%. And typically, it’s been friends of quiet light, trust their friends, to trust quiet like to work with their friends to help them achieve their exits. Now, Deanna is working with more of those friends, more personal touches more conversations with them, and also scaling up and trying to find scalable ways to increase the referral program. We talked about it on a podcast recently with Vienna, in terms of how one email can generate 10s of 1000s of dollars in income through the referral program. I think the highest referral fee we paid in 2022 was was close to $60,000, wasn’t it?
Deanna Berardi 29:02
Oh, we paid no, we? Well, yeah, I guess 60,000 was in the last 12 months, but we didn’t. Before then that was 80,000.
Joe Valley 29:10
that’ll pay for a few years of tuition. School, not a private school. I just I just stroked a check for the next month. Next next semester’s tuition at the private school area. All right, well, this is this has been very helpful deal debriefs is what we’re going to try to do on a monthly basis, folks, we’re going to cover FBA businesses. We’re going to cover SAS businesses, we’re going to cover straight up e-commerce content, even some agencies in some situations, and Woz is going to come on the podcast and talk about agencies in a few months, because he’s sold several of them in the process. Deanna has been fantastic. Let’s dial this in and continue to bring deal debrief to the audience on a regular basis. Looking forward to chatting with you more often on the Quiet Light Podcast. Thanks for joining me.
Deanna Berardi 29:55
Thanks so much Joe you enjoy
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