Unlock $140K in 6 Months: Terrell's AI Success Story

Discover how Terrell, a member of the AI community, went from zero to over $140K in 6 months. Learn his strategies for acquiring top talent, leveraging referral partners, and scaling an AI-powered agency without heavy marketing. Explore his journey and insights to grow your own AI business.

June 12, 2024

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Discover how Terrell, a member of our community, achieved remarkable success by leveraging AI to grow his agency to over $140,000 in revenue in just 6 months. Learn the strategies he used to acquire top talent, build referral partnerships, and consistently generate income without extensive marketing efforts.

How Terrell Went From Zero to $140,000 in 6 Months

Terrell's journey in the AI space began in 2020 when he gained early access to GPT-3. He was amazed by the technology and its potential to automate content creation. Since then, he has been passionate about exploring new AI tools and learning more about the industry.

Inspired by the success stories he saw in the community, Terrell decided to leverage his programming background and start an AI agency. He initially helped an e-commerce company hire developers and took a cut from the large contracts they secured. As he gained more experience, Terrell transitioned into offering custom development services, building a portfolio of projects within the community.

One of the key moments in Terrell's journey was hiring a lead developer, the ex-head of engineering at Postman. Terrell focused on creating an "irresistible offer" that aligned with the developer's vision of working in the AI space and building innovative products. By offering a revenue-sharing agreement instead of a fixed salary, Terrell was able to onboard top talent and scale his agency.

Terrell's role has evolved from being hands-on with the coding to focusing on business development and content creation. He now leads the sales and marketing efforts, while his CTO manages the engineering team. Terrell's agency has been able to leverage partnerships with community members, such as Yanis and Mark, who refer clients in exchange for a share of the revenue.

In the last 6 months, Terrell's agency has generated around $140,000, averaging $20,000 per month. The agency is now focused on scaling its YouTube channel, which features in-depth tutorials on building AI-powered systems, primarily in the voice AI domain.

Terrell emphasizes the importance of community and providing value to others. He believes in the concept of "business karma," where putting in the effort to help others eventually leads to reciprocal benefits. Terrell's active participation and contributions within the community have been instrumental in his success, allowing him to build valuable relationships and secure referrals.

Terrell's Journey Into the AI Space

Terrell's journey into the AI space began in 2020 when ChatGPT-3 was first released. As an early access user, Terrell was amazed by the capabilities of the technology and how it could automate content creation. This sparked his passion for exploring new AI tools and learning more about the industry.

Inspired by the success stories he saw in the community, Terrell decided to leverage his programming background and dive into the AI services business. He started by helping an e-commerce company hire developers and taking a cut of the large contracts they secured. This led him to transition into offering custom development projects, as he noticed a gap in the market for technical expertise.

Terrell's key to success was building strong relationships within the community. By following up with top students, he was able to establish trust and secure a steady stream of leads from content creators who needed help delivering on their AI projects. Hiring a talented lead developer, the ex-head of engineering at Postman, was a crucial moment that allowed Terrell to scale his agency.

Recognizing the importance of talent, Terrell has focused on creating an "irresistible offer" for his team, leveraging revenue-sharing agreements and equity to incentivize top developers to join his vision. This has enabled him to step back from the day-to-day coding and focus on growing the business, including launching a YouTube channel dedicated to AI automation and voice AI.

Terrell's story highlights the power of community and the opportunities available in the AI space for both technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. By positioning himself as a reliable partner and delivering high-quality services, Terrell has been able to achieve remarkable success, generating over $140,000 in the past 6 months.

Transitioning Into Custom Development Projects

I had a little bit of background in e-commerce, and an e-commerce company reached out to me for a decent-sized project, around $20K. After we wrapped up that project, they needed a lot more work, and I realized one of the best ways I could help them was by giving them access to some top talent.

I effectively helped them hire a few developers, and those developers worked directly for them. I would take a small cut of those large contracts, which ended up being around $100,000. I was very excited about this, as there was interest in the AI space and people wanted to hire AI developers.

As I got more into the space, I transitioned into doing custom development projects. I noticed a gap in the market - there were a lot of people doing no-code, but many in the community needed help with custom development. I started helping them with their custom projects, building up my portfolio. After we had a few projects under our belt, we started partnering with community members to really scale the projects.

The key moments in my agency journey were:

  1. Hiring a key lead developer, which allowed us to start scaling the services.
  2. Bringing on my business partner Josh for the operations and sales side.

Finding and retaining top talent has been crucial. I've had to get creative with revenue share and equity agreements to make it an irresistible offer for them. Building trust and understanding their vision has been important.

My role has shifted from being hands-on with the coding to focusing more on bringing in new projects and clients. I now work closely with my CTO to ensure we can always deliver high-quality projects.

Community has been invaluable - building relationships with other leaders in the space and providing value has led to a steady stream of referrals and partnerships. Staying active, contributing, and being a team player has been key to my success.

Building Partnerships and Scaling With Top Talent

I've been passionate about the AI space since 2020 when ChatGPT-3 first came out. I was an early access user and was amazed by the technology's ability to automate content creation. Since then, I've been addicted to trying out new AI tools and learning more about the space.

After discovering your content, I was inspired to start offering custom AI development services. I began networking within the community, looking for success stories and people doing big things in the AI space. This led me to start doing dev placements, helping clients hire top talent.

As I got more involved in the community, I noticed a gap in the market - a lot of people needed help with custom development projects, beyond just no-code solutions. So I started building up my portfolio, delivering custom projects for community members. This allowed me to partner with other members to really scale the business.

A key moment was bringing on the ex-head of engineering from Postman as our lead developer. I was able to find him within the community and craft an "irresistible offer" that got him excited about our vision. This allowed me to step back from the day-to-day coding and focus more on business development and scaling the agency.

Another important aspect has been building strategic partnerships with content creators and influencers in the AI space. By providing high-quality development services to them, I'm able to tap into their audiences and get a steady flow of leads, without having to do extensive marketing myself.

The revenue share model has been crucial in securing top talent. While it may mean giving up more upfront, it aligns incentives and allows me to bring on developers I couldn't otherwise afford. This has been a game-changer for scaling the business.

Overall, community, partnerships, and a focus on building an exceptional team have been the keys to my success so far. I'm excited to continue scaling the agency and growing our YouTube channel to share more AI automation knowledge with the world.

Leveraging YouTube to Grow the Business

One of the key initiatives Terrell and his team are focused on is growing their YouTube channel. The channel, called "Terrell and Lenny", is primarily focused on AI automation, with a focus on voice AI and related topics.

Terrell shared that they are only releasing in-depth, long-form tutorials, around 1 hour or more in length. These tutorials aim to provide a comprehensive walkthrough on how to build various AI-powered systems and implement them in businesses.

The content starts with no-code approaches, keeping it beginner-friendly, and may eventually incorporate some custom code as well. The goal is to provide immense value to the audience and establish Terrell and his team as authorities in the AI automation space.

By leveraging the power of YouTube, Terrell and his agency are able to scale their client acquisition efforts without having to rely solely on direct outreach or other marketing activities. The channel serves as a way to attract a relevant audience and showcase their expertise, ultimately driving more leads and clients to their custom development agency.

The Power of Community and Networking

Terrell's journey to success highlights the immense value of being part of a strong community and actively networking within it. A few key points:

  • Joining communities like the one created by the interviewer was a pivotal moment for Terrell. It exposed him to success stories, new technologies, and like-minded individuals.

  • Terrell made a conscious effort to be an active participant in the community - contributing value, reaching out to others, and building relationships. This "business karma" approach paid off as he was able to find top talent and secure client referrals from other community members.

  • Being prominent within the community was a strategic focus for Terrell. He showed up consistently, shared his expertise, and positioned himself as a go-to resource. This helped him build trust and credibility.

  • The community not only provided motivation and inspiration, but also a pool of potential team members and clients. Terrell was able to find his lead developer and secure client work through his community connections.

  • For those new to this space, Terrell's advice is clear - be an active participant, provide value, and build relationships. This "participant" mindset, combined with consistent execution, is a high-percentage path to success.

Conclusion

Terrell's journey in the AI space has been an inspiring one. Starting as an early user of ChatGPT, he recognized the potential of AI technology and set out to build a successful agency around it.

Through his dedication, networking within the community, and a strategic approach to hiring top talent, Terrell has been able to grow his agency to over $140,000 in revenue over the past 6 months. His focus on building strong partnerships with content creators and leveraging their leads has been a key driver of his success.

Terrell's advice to others looking to enter the AI space is to be intentional about building relationships within the community, provide value to others, and be willing to offer attractive revenue-sharing agreements to secure top-tier developers. By doing so, he has been able to scale his agency while freeing himself up to focus on content creation and business development.

For those interested in Terrell's work, he encourages checking out his YouTube channel "Terrell and Lenny" and his custom development agency, 6.ai, where he offers his services and is open to referrals from the community.

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