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Ep 43 :The Common Thread: AI, Giving, and Marketing (Featuring Joe Apfelbaum)

The Common Thread: AI, Giving, and Marketing (Featuring Joe Apfelbaum)


Join us for an engaging episode as we delve into the incredible story of Joe Apfelbaum, the CEO & Founder of Ajax Union, a renowned B2B Digital Marketing Agency based in Brooklyn. Joe is a seasoned business strategist, LinkedIn expert, and Certified Google Trainer, bringing a wealth of knowledge to our discussion.

In this episode, we explore the surprising connection between AI and networking, unveiling the key pillars of AI-driven networking and its revolutionary impact on connectivity.

Discover Joe’s transformative journey as he shares his belief that living is giving, which has shaped his life and philosophy, at [01:20]. We also uncover the turning point in Joe’s life, a defining moment that propelled him towards personal growth, at [04:38].

Learn the importance of seeking help from others for personal and professional development, as Joe emphasizes at [07:05]. Collaboration and support play a vital role in achieving success.

At [10:09], we explore how businesses can leverage artificial intelligence to drive growth and success in today’s competitive landscape. Uncover the transformative potential of AI in business development and marketing strategies.

Gain valuable insights on how to smartly respond to client push backs at [14:19]. Equip yourself with effective strategies to navigate challenging client situations with confidence.

Is LinkedIn still an effective platform for professionals? Find out at [16:02] as we discuss the platform’s current relevance as a networking and career advancement tool.

In the final segment, we emphasize the importance of clarity and purpose. Joe highlights the significance of knowing exactly where you want to go at [19:35] and how it can guide you towards achieving your goals.

Join us for an enlightening conversation with Joe Apfelbaum, where we uncover the surprising connection between AI and networking, gain valuable marketing insights, and unlock the power of giving. This episode is filled with practical advice and inspiring anecdotes that will leave you motivated and empowered.


To listen, click the play button above. Or click the “Subscribe” button to go to your favorite podcast player.

Show Highlights


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Podcast Transcript

Joe Apfelbaum  00:00

Do whatever you need is right around you all the resources that you need are right around you. People are trying to find new resources. But instead focus on being more resourceful. Focus on taking the resources you already have. And being more resourceful if you can do that, then you will not only create truest fans in your life, but you’ll be more confident you’ll be happier and you’ll live a more fulfilled life

Rob Brown  00:35

You’re listening to the truest fan podcast. And now here’s your host, Rob Brown.

Rob Brown  00:44

Hello, hello. Welcome back to the podcast. Rob Brown, your host here with my guest, Joe Applebaum. I think I say that right. It’s for some reason, that’s a hard name for me to pronounce. And I also wonder because Joe is an AI expert. And I’ve seen his virtual, I’ve seen virtual Joe, I forget what you want to call him. I think I’m talking to the real Joe today. Welcome to the podcast. Thank you for having me here. Yeah, I myself don’t know if I’m the real Joe or the AI. Yeah. And we are recording on a Monday morning. So that might impact it a little bit. A little bit, that uncertainty, too. But Joe, talk a little bit about what you do. I see you really, you know, when you when we talk about networking and connecting, you know, one of the most important things to do is to give and I’ve been in a couple of groups with you, you work with me on a couple of things. And I just love the way you give to others. And I’m sure not necessarily because you’re expecting direct payback, but because you know that when you give you get so to talk a little bit about kind of how you become such a giver, I believe that the secret to living is giving. And I got to a certain place in my life where I was very successful, financially, a lot of friendships, a lot of great things, but I still felt unfulfilled in my life. And so what I always realized the one thing that really made me filled me up inside was being able to give to other people. So for everybody, they have to find what their thing is. For me giving is really important to me making sure that I’m taking care of the people around me, when I give somebody a lead. And it turns into a major opportunity for them. It just really fills me up and it opens up my heart. When I’m able to give somebody a piece of advice or give somebody some feedback or give somebody some of my expertise. It makes me very, very happy. And so that’s why we create courses. That’s why we do seminars, that’s why we do webinars, that’s why I run networking events. But I’m always contributing because I can and because it fills me up inside. Awesome. Thanks for that, you know, I think that is one of those truisms that we all probably in our hearts know to be true. But sometimes it’s hard to live that or especially in business, if things get a little busy, are tough. And you’re thinking, Well, gosh, how do I have time to give? I need to? I need to get I need to ask? Yeah, it could be you know, especially when you’re busy, especially when you’re a busy person, you don’t have a lot of time. The question I always ask people that feel like they can’t give is how much are you giving yourself?

Joe Apfelbaum  03:18

How much are you making time for yourself? How are you filling your own cup, it’s very hard to give to other people, if your own cup is not full, if you’re not exercising, if you’re not eating right, if you’re not doing a good wellness routine, if you’re not taking care of yourself, it’s gonna be hard to give to other people. If you’re if you’re not putting in the time for self care and self love. So I’ve been able to do that, fortunately, and realize that when you’re full, it’s much easier to serve others.

Rob Brown  03:45

Yeah, that’s another great piece of advice. And a great way to think about giving because one of the principles of being a true as fan is you have to be a truest fan of yourself. Because when you really recognize what an amazing person you are, and the opportunity that you have to do big things in the world, whether it’s a very small world that you choose to live in, or very large world, but it starts by recognizing how important you are and putting yourself in a position by taking care of yourself to really realize that out into the audiences that you serve, whether it’s a business audience or a family audience or dealing with causes that you care about.

Joe Apfelbaum  04:24

Very powerful, very powerful to be able to make time for yourself.

Rob Brown  04:27

So is there someone in your life or a situation that happened that really kind of turn that light bulb on? You mentioned as we were getting started talking about giving that this has been something that you’ve learned or maybe improved on? Is there anything in particular that really jumps out to you say, Well, what I really recognize this as being a moment that caused me to start shifting my thinking,

Joe Apfelbaum  04:52

Well, what I realized growing up is that my mother tried to build her business for many, many years and events She went out of business 96% of business owners in the United States are doing less than a million dollars in annual revenue. And they don’t last more than three to five years. They go out of business. And my mother was one of those businesses that she tried to build it. She actually lasted almost 10 years. And eventually she went out of business. And a lot of it, I think, is because she didn’t have the right mentorship, she didn’t have the right coaches, she didn’t have the right strategies. She she wasn’t guided in the right way. And I believe that people can be very successful in any area of their life, whether it’s a relationship, whether it’s their health, or whether it’s their finances, if they get the right guidance, you think about Olympic athletes, or any type of athlete for that matter. They all have coaches, they all have people guiding them, they’re not supposed to figure it out themselves. But some reason when it comes to business, or our health, or even relationships, we try to figure it out on our own. What ends up happening is we end up failing. And so what I what I’ve been able to experience in my life is when I created that shift, where I realized that the shortcut to success is asking for help. It really helped me be able to propel my business, it really helped me to be able to propel my health, it really helped me to be able to have better relationships. And so I want to be that person for other people as well. I want to stand for other people. So growing up and watching my mother in her store, not having the audacity to hire somebody to help her out in that way.

Joe Apfelbaum  06:29

Even the concept of like therapy, a lot of people believe that all therapies for crazy people, getting the help that you need is so important. People wait till they get sick in order for them to go to the doctor. When in reality, you can be going to acupuncture on a regular basis and not get sick. You can be doing preventative measures, people wait till their businesses are in trouble before they go to their accountant and their lawyer. Well, you can hire a coach, you can hire a consultant to help you make sure that your business never gets to that point where you start having major issues. And you can be proactive. But because we’re very reactive often in many areas of our life, we don’t realize that being proactive is important. So giving people those reminders. I’m very big fan of strategy, I believe that the right strategy will save you a decade. So making sure that you plan out that you work on your business, not just in your business. Those are the things that will help you be able to propel forward. Yeah, those are some great points. So that whole idea of help is chief among them. I just know from talking to people who I would potentially do business with the hardest ones to talk to. The ones I want to help the most are sometimes the ones who have waited too long to get help. But then they waited so long that they don’t accept advice. And it just perpetuates the challenge. But when you find that person who really wants help, and is really willing to listen, maybe willing to do things differently than they’ve done them before to be open to those ideas. 

Rob Brown  07:59

That’s really the secrets of the right way to seek and to use the help that comes your way.

Rob Brown  08:09

Yeah, so and so talk a little bit, Joe about the types of clients that you work with in your business, and maybe even describe your business a little bit for the audience.

Joe Apfelbaum  08:21

So I have two businesses, I have one of them called Ajax union. And another one called Evergreen Ajax union is a b2b digital marketing agency, based in New York, right now we’re virtual, we’re all over the place, we work with companies that are typically over 10 million in annual sales, they have a marketing department and a sales team. And we help them build out a marketing funnel that will help them be able to get more qualified leads, and be able to create a strategy for them to grow their business in a way that’s measurable. So they can get an ROI. Then we help them fill up their funnel their marketing system, with leads using search social and email digital marketing strategies that help be able to get the right customers into their business. At evergreen. We educate people on how to use LinkedIn, how to use artificial intelligence, we teach them the strategies that work for us because not everybody can afford to hire an agency. So we just started a new business several years ago, and we trained over 1000 companies on how to leverage LinkedIn, and also how to leverage AI.

Rob Brown  09:30

That’s awesome. So let’s talk a little bit about AI. Because I think that is certainly on the minds of a lot of people right now. And that’s actually how we got to know each other a little bit better. I was really in awe of a course that you put together where you really laid out how to strategically think about using AI as opposed to just turning it into this dark tunnel that you can wander into and maybe get no results. I just love the course the direction, how to use it. It was this was just, this was simple but profound. So So what kind of led you down that road to creating, to getting into the AI space and what you’re teaching others?

Joe Apfelbaum  10:14

Well, I started teaching people how to use LinkedIn for a long time, you know, quite a few years. And people started saying, I don’t have time to do this myself, I don’t have the ability to post I’m not creative, they started having those issues. And so when open AI released their chat GPT product, I realized this is a great opportunity for me to be able to educate people on how to use AI for business development and marketing. A lot of people that don’t have the money to go out and hire a copywriter. Well, you don’t need because it costs two cents to produce 1000 words of content using a really smart robot. And what I also found was that although I knew how to use the AI, a lot of people didn’t know how to interact with it using a concept called prompt engineering. And so I decided to create a course using AI, I created a course. And over 100 people purchased the course in the first week of me launching it. And so that was really powerful for me to be able to see that I can create courses that I can create images that I can create content that I can transcribe audio, that I can create videos and edit videos and do so many different things. And people could ask me, Joe, can you show me can you show me? Can you show me, I’m only one person. And if I’m going to show 10,000 people how to do something, I might as well just create tutorials, of course frameworks, checklists, cheat sheets, and be able to support the people in my life. I’m also developing software that sits on top of LinkedIn and acts like a little robot. And helps people be able to leave comments posts, and reply to direct messages using AI. So really excited because it actually saves people tons of time. One guy that bought our course he said, he saves $30,000 A year not having to pay copywriters now, because now he knows how to use the tools himself.

Rob Brown  12:01

Yeah, so it’s a it’s a money saver, and it’s a time saver.

Rob Brown  12:11

Are you ready to discover your true purpose, live with impact and build an ever greater legacy? Than you need to make time for what truly matters most? Go to truest To begin the free, truest fan seven day Quickstart.

Rob Brown  12:35

When you think about the folks who have gone through your course, or the conversations you’ve had about AI, other than just say, hey, buy the course and get get started. What are the things that you suggest people look for first, because I have some clients who know that I use artificial intelligence and some of the work that I do. And they say, Well, Rob, tell me how to use artificial intelligence. And I suggest Well, that’s the wrong way to approach it. The right way to approach it is what is it you’re trying to accomplish? And can we use AI to help you? And to me, that seems like the right order.

Joe Apfelbaum  13:11

I always tell people make a list of all the issues in your business, figure out what you’d like to accomplish, what are you spending money on? What problems would you like to solve. And when you make a list of all the different problems that you’d like to solve in your business, suddenly, you start seeing that some of those problems actually could be solved using artificial intelligence. And when you’re able to see that, oh, wow, I can solve these problems with AI. That’s fantastic. Now you can start using AI for those specific problems. So don’t just try to solve all your problems or just use AI for the sake of AI. Start thinking about what you’d like to create. So for some people, you might say what I’d like to do is transcribe all my sales calls and turn it into action items. Well, AI can do that. For other people, you can say I’d like to brainstorm with a tool to help me be able to expand my business, well, you can do that with AI, somebody else might say I’d like to create images for new products, and for, for product ideas to be able to sell my business. So you can use AI to help you create images or graphic design or advertisements or manage campaigns or create social campaigns a lot you can do. So understanding how to be able to leverage AI in those ways can be really, really helpful.

Rob Brown  14:17

But you also see some pushback from folks who wonder, you know, hey, will this AI content that I might create? So I have clients who create regular communication calendars to communicate with their clients and prospects and say, Well, if I use AI is not going to be me, it’s going to sound like everybody else, because it’s just created by a robot. How would you respond to that?

Joe Apfelbaum  14:43

Well, AI is a really good starting point for building content. You want to customize it with your voice after you could also train the AI on how to be able to speak in your voice. You can actually train AI and how to do that. But even if you didn’t want to do that Oh, you didn’t figure that out. AI is really a starting point for you to do brainstorming, research, create strategies help you prepare content. And then you can take that piece of content and use it in your own voice. So it’s not so much about it taking over and doing everything for you. People are afraid that AI is going to take over their job. Other people are going to take over your job because they know how to use AI, not because AI will take over your job.

Rob Brown  15:21

Yeah, no, it’s, it’s, it’s thinking about it the right way. And I think that’s always one of the challenges with new technologies, it’s, there’s the fear of the unknown, and you look for the thing that is going to that you think could be caused the problem, then you make a bigger deal out of it, than you used to, or that then you need to. So I know that you have worked with some financial advisors, and I have a lot, mostly financial advisors in my audience, are there some cool ways that you’ve seen financial advisors improve what they’re doing in their work by using AI, and maybe even attach that a little bit to LinkedIn, because that’s another area that I see a lot of advisors struggling in is, you know, LinkedIn doesn’t work anymore is kind of thing they say, but then you ask them, Well, what did it do for you in the past? And they said, well, nothing. So then how can you say it didn’t work anymore? If it’s never worked for you previously?

Joe Apfelbaum  16:18

Yeah, so when people tell me LinkedIn doesn’t work, I always say does networking work, because LinkedIn is networking. So if you’re saying you don’t get referrals, and networking doesn’t work yet, you’re right, networking doesn’t work for you, because you’re not working. It’s called networking, not net sitting around waiting for things to happen. So that’s number one. Number two is AI can help you with networking. AI can help you craft referral letters. It can help you organize your content, it can help make sure that it creates assets for you that you can share with your audience. You can research particular industries, say for example, your financial advisors, for airline pilots, let’s just say that’s your niche, and everyone should have a niche, then you can start having AI create information about resources for airline pilots, specifically around financial services around financial advice around being a trusted adviser. And a lot of people are just not doing that. Because they don’t know they can do that they don’t know that they can niche down if you take a look at your niche. If you want riches, you got to tap into the niches, I always tell people that even if you’re a financial advisor, so AI can help you with business development, with marketing, with networking, with research with coding, it can help you with so many different things. Like I said, First, find the issues in your business that you have. And then you’ll be able to leverage AI. Google is now integrating into Gmail, an AI writer. So you can literally just go in there and click on the little AI writer button on the bottom, and boom, it just starts writing with AI, it basically just types up the whole email for you, you could just tell it what to write about, like Google Bard. And it just writes up a whole beautiful email, and then even takes into account the response. You know, if you want to respond to somebody, and you’re not sure how to respond, AI will help you properly respond to that email. So a lot of people have no idea that you can do that, or even how to do that. So leveraging these tools, and learning how to do that will save you time and make you more money. And ultimately, at the end of the day, make you feel more confident as a professional so that you can focus on what’s most important. Use AI as an assistant. That’s really the idea. Using AI as an assistant can be extremely, extremely helpful. And most people are just not, they just don’t know how to do that. They don’t know how to leverage AI as an assistant. And if you can do that, you can start creating some really, really cool stuff.

Rob Brown  18:43

Yeah, that’s, that’s awesome. And we’ll talk in a minute about a webinar that you and I are going to do together soon where you’ll walk through some ways to get started in this process. But we’ll also share links in the show notes to the course that I referenced earlier that I just think is great. And I’ve shared it with several of my clients to help them get get started. But this has been this has been a great conversation, Joe, we’ve kind of drifted from some really important ways of being talking about giving and helping as a way to and taking care of self is being ways that are really important to take care of yourself, but also to just be better people to be better in business. And then we kind of moved into talking about artificial intelligence and LinkedIn a little bit. So we’ve kind of drifted all over the place and you’ve given some great advice as we kind of get to the end of the podcast. What advice would you like to share that maybe we didn’t get a chance to talk about over the last 20 minutes.

Joe Apfelbaum  19:50

What I want to let people know is that if you want to be successful in your life and in your business, you got to know exactly where you want to go. Most people are kind of like a little bit less And they’re not willing to kind of put the nail exactly where they want to go, they didn’t put the address into the GPS or like very general, take me to the eastern side of the United States. Well, what you know, like, where are we going. So knowing exactly where you want to go is really important, really having a clear vision, for your business, for your life, your relationships, for your body, for your mental health. And once you know exactly where you want to go, then enlist the help of people around you to be able to support you and let them know, Hey, this is where I want to go, how do I get there. And what will happen is, you’ll see that whatever you need is right around you, all the resources that you need are right around you, people are trying to find new resources. But instead focus on being more resourceful focus on taking the resources you already have, and being more resourceful. And if you can do that, then you will not only create the truest fans in your life, but you’ll be more confident you’ll be happier and you’ll live a more fulfilled life. Yeah,

Rob Brown  20:59

that’s at the heart of what we try to help folks with is really start with, you know, what is that dream big? What is that thing that you really, really want to do? And then how do you boil it down into what you should do over shorter periods of time, including, what should you be doing today? So I think that’s, that’s extremely important. Great advice. So thank you. So Joe, talk about here, as we close out the best way for people to get to know you whether they’re interested in learning more about Ajax union or evergreen, how can they get to know more about you and get in touch with you?

Joe Apfelbaum  21:34

Well, the best way to learn more about me is to go to Joe, J O E And you can check out my LinkedIn profile there, you can send me a message, let me know that you heard me on the truest fan podcast. If you want to check out our AI course you can go to new ai And you can check out our latest AI course that’s available. And if you just have any questions, yeah, hit me up anytime my cell phone numbers right on my LinkedIn profile. So check out my profile. Let me know what you think. Feel free to like and comment on my content. I’m always putting out new incredible information. So feel free to follow me. Yeah.

Rob Brown  22:09

And again, that that kind of begins or ends where I started in talking about you as the giver, just opening yourself up being willing to help other people who come in contact with you, whether it’s through a networking group that you’re in, whether they’re a client, or there’s somebody you’re meeting for the first time through the truce fan podcast, I really appreciate that giving. And with that, I think we’ll we’ll finish it off. Joe, I thank you so much for being on the podcast. And I look forward to sharing the stage so to speak with you on the webinar coming up on where we specifically get into a i, I should have written it down. I’ve already forgotten the name of the topic was the nine,

Joe Apfelbaum  22:49

nine different ways to leverage AI for business development, marketing, networking, and prospecting, if you’re looking to grow your business, there aren’t a million different ways to use AI to grow your business. So if you want to learn the nine different things that you can do, then join the webinar and we’d be happy to have you there educate you, inspire you, and train you guide you in the right way. And maybe we’ll even do a little song there.

Rob Brown  23:12

Yes, absolutely. And I’ll leave it there because the song is the songs can be fun. So Joe, thanks for bailing me out and reminding me the name of the event that we’re doing and giving it a good plug. Take care, Joe. Thanks for being on the podcast.

Joe Apfelbaum  23:27

Hi, everyone. Thank you Rob, everybody.

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