Pursuing Entrepreneurship with Luke Faulconer

Our guest on today’s podcast is Luke Falcouner, a young entrepreneur. He joined forces with tech startups at an early stage, both as an employee and co-founder. Passionate about helping companies scale and grow, Luke came across digital marketing and automated systems.

As of now, Luke is the owner of Peak Leads, a company helping real estate agents, lenders, and investors with lead generation.

Furthermore, Luke’s advice to oncoming entrepreneurs is to invest partially into the business initially, in terms of time and money. Once you find yourself striving every day to improve in the field, you may take it up as a full-time commitment. Lastly, he speaks about different social media platforms to opt for your business and why.

Visit Lukes’s website: https://www.peakleadsllc.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peakleadsllc/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lukefaulconer/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peakleads/?hl=en

Katie Brinkley 0:02

Hey there. This is Katie Brinkley and you’re listening to Rocky Mountain marketing. This podcast is all about helping Colorado based small business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals discover the strategies and systems that take their marketing to all new heights. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Welcome back to the podcast. My guest today is Luke Faulkner. Luke is a young entrepreneur who has worked with in advice companies across the board from Y Combinator backed startups to Fortune 500 companies. Luke’s background is in tech startups, both as an employee and as a co founder. These experiences helped him develop strong skill sets that brought him to where he’s at. Now, his biggest passion is helping companies scale and grow by implementing digital marketing and automated systems, allowing them to focus on the parts of their business that they excel at and enjoy most Currently, he is the owner of Peak leads a company that helps real estate agents, leaders and investors close more transactions to their lead generation and appointment booking platform. Luke, I am so excited to have you on the show today to talk a little bit about this because I know that so many small businesses need people like you out there to help them find those leads. So thank you for coming on the show today.

Luke Falcouner 1:14

Absolutely. Thank you for having me, Katie.

Katie Brinkley 1:16

So let’s start back at the beginning. Tell us a little bit about where you grew up and what your life was like growing up. Yeah, I

Luke Falcouner 1:21

grew up I was born and raised in Kansas City and I suburb kind of outside the city on the Kansas side. So we’ve had a lot of excitement recently with the chief Super Bowl and people in Denver, where I currently live. Don’t love to hear that. Yeah, I was expecting that with the hell away Jersey in the background. But yeah, good place to grow up. Yeah, had a great upbringing, my dad owns his own business. So I feel like I had some entrepreneurialism instilled in me that way. And then pretty normal upbringing, went to school, down in the south at Ole Miss, actually. And I knew I’d always be an entrepreneur. So school wasn’t necessarily my first priority by any means. I’ve always been starting some type of business. But that eventually led me to the tech startup world. So I got involved with that, as an employee, and then actually a co founder in an airline startup at one point, software startup. So I could get into that. But it’s a long story, but kind of led me to where I’m at now. So had a lot of experience in digital marketing technology, and then knew I always want to get into real estate, read a lot of good real estate, investing books as a kid involved in some way. So kind of blended the two blended technology, digital marketing, and chose to implement it in the real estate space. So I’ve been doing that for about three years now.

Katie Brinkley 2:43

Can you take us through your career journey, where you started out the different professional steps along the way, and how that led to where you’re at today?

Luke Falcouner 2:50

Yeah, so my first startup I was with was actually in college is a company called Hooked. And they were popping up on a lot of college campuses, there’s a food app, kind of a discount food app. And a friend told me about it, they went to different school, and loved the idea for it, and saw that it had a lot of potential. So I actually reached out to that and, and I was kind of the first student employee that they brought on and actually took over sales and marketing at my school. So like, great experience, it allowed me to, it kind of felt like my own business. So I was in charge of that whole market from getting all the restaurants on the app to actually growing the user base of the school. So that was a great experience, especially being young and in college. And shortly after, got involved in a airline software startup, we were essentially selling last minute airline seats to our user base. So we partner up with airlines, one of our clients was Air France, and then we would sell kind of last minute seats that they weren’t selling to our user base that ultimately brought me out to Denver, where we raised some venture capital and didn’t know much about Denver at all. And happy to call it home now and absolutely love it worked for a couple of real estate investing companies to actually learn the real estate game hands on. And then yeah, that’s what allowed me to start my own company.

Katie Brinkley 4:15

If someone is listening right now, who is an aspiring or a new business owner? What is the single biggest piece of advice that you’d want to give him or her as their journey starts?

Luke Falcouner 4:25

Yeah, I was talking with my dad about this recently. And this isn’t something that a whole lot of people always say a lot of people say go all in and like it has to be your your main thing, you have to just go 100% All and take the biggest risk. I think that for me, what allowed me to actually grow sustainable business right off the bat was having a gig. So I got a really flexible gig with the real estate investor I was working with wasn’t a huge time commitment. I had money coming in. I was learning and then on the side I was able to slowly start my business so I wouldn’t recommend anybody to just drop all their they’re doing and pursue a new idea, I think it makes a lot of sense to start it as a side hustle, whatever you want to call it. See, if you like it, there’s a good chance you do it. And you’re like, I don’t even like this. So started on the side to where it’s sustainable, I personally grew up or grew at least like a year’s worth of savings, where I’m like, I have that peace of mind in the back of my head. If it doesn’t go, well, I’ll be okay. And then I took that plunge when I felt like I was in a good position to do so to grow a true business. So that would be some advice that I would give anybody. And it’s, it was huge for me looking back on it.

Katie Brinkley 5:37

I focus for my company a lot on social media, because that’s what we specialize in. But the power of email is something that you really can’t overlook. Talk to us a little bit about how important it is to have email campaign.

Luke Falcouner 5:51

Yeah, so I mean, marketing comes down to putting the right message in front of the right people at the right time. And when you think about the right time, the way I look at that, for most campaigns is going to be if you reach enough people, you’re bound to hit somebody at the right time. And cold email allows you to implement it properly to reach just a massive amount of people. And you want to have the right message in place to obviously increase those conversions, open rates, all that good stuff. But yeah, if you have the right systems in place, I mean, you can be sending out 1000s of emails per day, to very targeted lists, I get hit on a lot of good list sources. These seven lead finder is one that we like to use, you can type in any niche, any city, and it’s going to provide you with an email lists, phone numbers of your ideal target market. And then emails, again, is a perfect medium to reach those people.

Katie Brinkley 6:43

And what you guys specialize in is for a lot of real estate companies and investors and talk to us a little bit about how you are able to find those leads for your clients.

Luke Falcouner 6:55

Yeah, our primary lead source right now for our clients is primarily Facebook ads and Instagram ads right now dipping our toes in always testing us stuff, such as YouTube ads, LinkedIn ads, we do some like SMS campaigns, they’re really targeted lists and stuff like that. But yeah, the power of Facebook ads is still I think, pretty unmatched. It allows us to reach just hundreds of 1000s of people. And again, put the right message for the right people. So we’ve really dialed in, and the targeting Facebook’s platform allows you to to really go after the right people and put your message in front of 1000s of people. So that’s what we’re utilizing. We are big believers in flooding our funnel in our system with as many leads as we can. And we kind of downplay the leaves themselves, like leaves are cool leads are great. But what’s important is taking a high number of those leads, putting them into a good back end system. In our case, we have a call team here in the US that works all the leads for our clients qualifies them books appointments for them. So take as many leads as you can from a cheap source like Facebook, and it’s still so so cheap, and really drive down into the the true opportunities out of that massive number.

Katie Brinkley 8:10

And one of the things that I think that a lot of companies might struggle with, even in the real estate industry is that there are some hurdles that you need to look at when you are doing a lot of these different campaigns is especially on like for employment or for housing, or there’s different categories where Facebook makes it more difficult. How do you try and find successful ways to kind of still find your right audience without having to be super broad?

Luke Falcouner 8:37

Sure, sure. No, great question. We get asked all the time from prospects and stuff. So yeah, Facebook, I don’t remember when it was probably close to a year ago. Now. They implemented the special ad category. And you mentioned employment housing credits one. Yeah, we always have to be in that special ad category. It truly didn’t limit what how we were doing our targeting too much. Yes, it’s going to be a little bit broader in terms of geographic location, geographic location, age, but we always kept it pretty broad. For instance, in a bigger city, we’re always doing like a 25 mile radius, location wise, and then using some of Facebook’s targeting. So we’ll go after real estate interests such as like Zillow, or real estate calm that shows that people are visiting those sites, we’re not going to be able to do like income levels and certain job titles like we used to, but again, we’re big believers in keeping it somewhat broad anyways to get as many leads coming in as we can. So it didn’t really impact us too much. Another thing you can look to do that’s extremely extremely powerful is using big email lists and creating either custom audiences or look alike audiences. For example, I implemented a new campaign for my business targeting realtors, and it stemmed from a list of 500,000 Realtors in the US I built a custom audience out of that. And they look like audience and the look like audience and Facebook’s capabilities to take that data. It’s proving the to show some awesome results.

Katie Brinkley 10:13

And it’s also great too. I know you brought up the email list integration. And I feel like that is something where a lot of people might not even know about that. And that just really kind of reiterates how important it is to have an email list or one just to directly get in touch with people who have shown that yes, you you’re free to email me and and get in touch with me. But you can retarget on social media and target a look alike audience have them?

Luke Falcouner 10:40

Absolutely, absolutely. No, it’s, it’s often overlooked, but it’s extremely powerful.

Katie Brinkley 10:46

Talk to us a little bit about the Facebook pixel. And how do you guys use that also for your clients?

Luke Falcouner 10:53

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So for those not familiar, Facebook pixel is a simple piece of code that you install on certain pages of your website. And it serves as kind of a tracking tool for any data that’s coming through to your website. So yeah, it takes a bit of time to kind of train that pixel and gather enough data. But once you do, it’s very powerful. Because, for example, you know, it can take your current website, visitors or past website, visitors allow you to retarget them, like you hit on or create a look like audience based on those people’s data. So what I tell people all the time, is, if folks are already visiting your website, there’s a good chance, those are the types of people that you want to work with. Those are the types of people that you want to put ads in front of. So that’s some of the stuff allows you to do. One example of kind of what it allows you to do is everybody shop for a product on Amazon or some type of e commerce website, and then that products in front of your face for the next week. And you’re like, how do they know where I’m at? That’s just simply a pixel and then retargeting.

Katie Brinkley 11:59

Yeah. And can you talk to our audience? Just a little bit about the pixel Events Manager? And how if you set up the pixel correctly, you can track customers journey pretty specifically?

Luke Falcouner 12:10

Yeah, absolutely. So for real estate sites, we keep it somewhat simple. We’re going after, you know, visitors, so we can build look likes based on them, we are putting on certain pages, obviously, to go after conversions and events like you talked about. But I do work with some like E commerce sites, sometimes I’ll get referrals. And like, that’s where it’s extremely important. Where like your objective, everything starts with your objective and say you want to make more sales on your website, it allows you to put a pixel on your checkout page or you know, even the button and allow you to convert for that, right. So if your objective is to make more sales, by having that pixel installed, it’s going to take the right data, it’s going to find the right people and allow you to convert for the things that matter most of your business. So yeah, super powerful.

Katie Brinkley 13:01

Now, I know we spent a lot of time talking about Facebook, and pixels and Instagram, talk to us a little bit about links. And because I know that LinkedIn advertising is relatively new still, and a lot of people might not realize it, you can even do a lot of ads on it, or I think you were talking also about how you do a lot of messenger and messenger kind of conversations. Talk to us a little bit about

Luke Falcouner 13:24

that. Yeah, so I’ve been diving more into LinkedIn ads, I’m not gonna pretend like I’m an expert quite yet, because it’s rather new, I haven’t spent enough money on there. That is one of the

Katie Brinkley 13:33

things I’ve found with LinkedIn too, is you need to have a pretty substantial ad budget, if you it’s not as nearly as affordable as Facebook is. But I do think that it’s pretty targeted, and it opens up a lot more messages kind of right away. But again, you have to have a much larger advertising budget for LinkedIn than you do for some of the other social channels.

Luke Falcouner 13:55

Oh, you’re definitely correct on that. But I think you pay for the quality. So I think I’ve read that Facebook, maybe the average income of folks is 35 40,000, something like that, or LinkedIn, the average income for the users like 75,000, or something like that. So it’s gonna be higher quality people, their targeting is not yet at least, like as limited as some of the stuff that Facebook has done. And you can target you know, certain companies, and you can do some of this on Facebook. But they’re very powerful when it comes to like targeting certain job titles, certain employees of certain companies, income levels, still extremely powerful. So just think that the user base there is, is a higher quality, so you get what you pay for. But still a lot of work to be done there. We put a little bit more emphasis on LinkedIn automation. So connecting with people automatically messaging people automatically. It’s a lot cheaper than LinkedIn ads themselves, and it’s a numbers game much like email. I mean, I think the issue is there. Everybody now is, is getting the other guards up because everybody hops on LinkedIn and they have messages getting pitched something, um, you have to approach it correctly, right, you can’t just come off the bat and pitch somebody right away, you got to know what you’re doing. But using some LinkedIn automation tools, and I’m happy to get into some of the ones that we like, allow you to reach a massive amount of people without having to manually be in there all day gonna take an hour today.

Katie Brinkley 15:27

So yeah, and I find too, if when you use an automation tool like that, you’re able to get as focused as you want, you can choose people that live in a certain city that are within like your, your first degrees first degree. So you’re not like just throwing darts out there. And so if someone were to say, like, Well, how did you find me? It’s not like, oh, well, I was using an automation tool, you know, it, you can actually be like, Oh, well, you and I both know, the same person, you know, and it, people are way more approachable than if you I’ve never, we don’t even have any similar connections.

Luke Falcouner 15:59

That definitely, yeah, it’s just so powerful to be able to target the right job title you’re going after? You can do it based on city. And then yeah, you want to primarily do the second connections, like you’re talking about? So it’s not just some random person.

Katie Brinkley 16:13

Yeah, I’m gonna steer us back to Facebook just a little bit. Now, what have you found to be the most successful way to generate those lead form campaigns to do a straight lead form campaign? Or do you kind of have a whole process of an awareness campaign and then you’re doing a retargeting, you know, website, click campaign, and that, or do you just go straight for lead form?

Luke Falcouner 16:33

Yeah, we’re doing primarily lead form, almost always, right now, there’s a time and a place for landing pages. And I, I do some for my own business. But it’s hard to be lead forms right now, the cost for sure, just for a couple of different reasons. I mean, Facebook built it for a reason, right? They like to keep people on their own platform. So by doing so they’re gonna favor you with your campaign, they’re gonna favor your campaign because of it. Secondly, I think people’s trust level goes down when they’re already on a platform such as Facebook, and you’re taking them to a third party website. So your conversions are ultimately go down because of that. So yeah, we almost always use lead forms. In the thank you page, you can obviously redirect them somewhere else. And we’ll do that to a client’s website or a messenger bot or something like that, or have a calendar page. But yes, lead forms are hard to be right now,

Katie Brinkley 17:28

you know, you brought up messenger bots, do you use them for a lot of your clients installing messenger bots, for Facebook Messenger through different AI for your clients?

Luke Falcouner 17:38

We used to, and I will at times for certain clients. So the follow up is the most important part. I mean, everybody says that the money is in the follow up, we used to use the messenger bots, just to further qualify, leads coming through with some automation. But since then, we’ve built a call team, we call it an is a team inside sales agent team here in the US. So instead of funneling them through automation, and through a messenger bot, we’re actually funneling all those leads to our call team. So they’ve kind of replaced the need for that. But I know in some industries, messenger bots still do quite well.

Katie Brinkley 18:18

Yeah. And I know that there’s a lot of people that are using messenger bots to start that first conversation to from going after the lead forum, then like you said, they have the the messenger bot that pops up just to kind of continue the conversation. And then if they continue engaging, then someone will pick up the phone and directly call them. So I want to talk a little bit about some of the other things that you guys do at your company, I know that we’re talking a lot about leads and lead forms. And that’s it’s really your bread and butter. Talk to us a little bit about just the importance of having an online digital presence, like whether it’s your website that asks people to opt in to your email or just being present on social media and putting out content and engaging with it.

Luke Falcouner 19:01

Yes, as far as having an opt in somewhere on your website, it’s extremely important. Yes, you have tools like the pixel to capture some type of data, but it’s not going to capture like, it’s not going to tell you oh, here’s their name, here’s their email, phone number. Um, you need to be able to capture those folks and and build that email list, build that customer list. So good ways to do so or, you know, giving away some type of lead magnet, whether it’s an ebook, webinars are still you know, a great way to do so. But yeah, data is everything nowadays. And in capturing those people’s info, you know, those are your prospects at that point, right. Those are the people you should be picking up the phone and calling and, and turning into customers sending your newsletter out to really important I think, Neil Patel, for those that are familiar with him at one point was saying that, I mean, this is for certain types of businesses, but any email subscribers worth like $1 a month I think in people’s business, so like, and that means a lot of different things. It could mean if you’re selling this You know, products are converting them into into clients. But like, you know, once you start to build that up to 1000s of people, it should be worth 1000s of dollars to your business. So it’s, it’s very important. Absolutely.

Katie Brinkley 20:13

Well, let’s talk a little bit more about you and your entrepreneur. Pat back here. I know so many business owners and entrepreneurs have the passion of building their business around their lifestyle. How has that played out in your story and running your business?

Luke Falcouner 20:27

Yeah, it’s been huge for me. Yeah, I didn’t used to know. You know, people talk about their why and start with why like Simon’s next book and stuff like that. And I kind of just dove into it, because I knew I didn’t want to work for somebody, I just have that entrepreneur bug. And then I started thinking more about like, Alright, I need to build right, start to think about what type of business do I want to build, it really did come down to like, what type of lifetime that’s I value freedom? Yes, I work a lot. I mean, more often than 12 hours a day that not. But if I want to go do something I want to travel, it’s extremely important to me. So like having that freedom, flexibility was probably the first thing that came to mind, even more so than like money. If I don’t want to work one day, I don’t, don’t necessarily have to at this point. So that’s, that’s really important for me, not being tied down to one spot. Like I said, I love to travel as well. So I can work from my laptop wherever I want to. And that’s, that’s amazing. I used to hear people doing that. And now I’ve been doing it for a couple years. And it’s, it’s awesome, I would recommend it to anybody. But so those are huge. And then now more some more about like having an impact. So yes, I love the real estate space and helping those clients. But more and more like, since I’ve been able to build this business and achieve in a lifestyle I want. I want to help other entrepreneurs and and business owners achieve a similar thing. And I hope to kind of build a program around that. Teaching them certain systems, teaching them how you can you know, build a true digital marketing company from your laptop and, and travel or you kind of do whatever you want. So that’s important to me.

Katie Brinkley 22:04

What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received? And how has that impacted your business?

Luke Falcouner 22:08

That’s a really good question. Really good question. I invested into a program middle of last year called Scaling with systems with a guy named Ravi Babu Bala. And I kind of saw his lifestyle, he was like, going to Barcelona for a month and working from his laptop and his phone even and all this stuff kind of living like the life that I want wanted, and invested in his program, and is all about how to scale your business with the right systems, technology, automation, delegation, stuff like that. So I could give some overall theme advice that I’ve heard, but I think actually, the best thing that he talks about is set appointments, take appointments, like there’s so many things to do in your business every single day, it can get overwhelming that I think a lot of us lose like what’s most important, like money, not necessarily but like we all need clients, right? We need to make sales. How do you do so you set appointments, and you take those appointments. So for me the past year, like that’s been the biggest thing. And when I get overwhelmed, and like what I need to do today, I need to talk to more people, book sales calls and take those sales calls. So you know, not some huge, like mind blowing thing. But like I think if people actually take that to heart, and just focus on that, rather than like, oh, I need to make a tweak to my website or do this and that, like they’ll be really shocked where their businesses a year from now.

Katie Brinkley 23:31

Absolutely. Well, before we finish up, is there anything that I didn’t ask you about during today’s discussion that you think is important to share?

Luke Falcouner 23:38

Oh, I can talk about this stuff all day. Yeah, I think one thing right now, kind of hitting back to some of the systems I’ve learned automation, delegation elimination. That’s one thing I you know, it’s I have a spot in my journal every day, are those certain things like what am I doing right now that I can automate using tools such as you know, Zapier, whatever may be delegation, I think virtual assistants are a big, big business app right now, for folks that aren’t familiar with virtual assistants. I can touch on that all day, but a really affordable way to outsource big parts of your business. My virtual assistants handle at least half of my business right now from cold emailing. They manage most of my lead generation for my company, many different things. And then elimination is probably the most important of those. And I catch myself trying to do too many things. A lot of times, I think as entrepreneurs, we have a tendency to have a hard time saying no to opportunities. And recently that’s been important to me, I’ve had a lot of opportunities come my way. They’re very intriguing. But if it takes away from my immediate focus, I’ve learned to have to say no to them. So I think cutting out stuff is really important.

Katie Brinkley 24:48

That is a very important thing to bring up. Because I know like you said, as entrepreneurs you you never want to say no, but it’s always good to refocus and make sure it’s something that you actually are passionate about and that You want to spend the time doing so, so important? Yeah. Look, this has been such a great conversation. Where can we find out more about you and your business online?

Luke Falcouner 25:09

Yeah, you can find more about peak leads at peak leads llc.com. And then I’m all over Facebook. That’s probably where I’m most present LinkedIn, and then Instagram as well.

Katie Brinkley 25:21

Awesome. Well, thank you again so much for coming on the show today. Thank you. Okay. And if you’re ready to take your social media to the next level for your small business, head over to my website, and check out my free video training the three biggest mistakes small businesses make with social media and how to avoid them. Discover how to make your social media marketing stand out from the crowd online. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Rocky Mountain marketing. As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can visit my website at www.nextstepsocialcommunications.com or connect with me on LinkedIn. Just look for Katie Brinkley. Let’s keep taking your marketing to new heights.