Asim Akhtar's Journey

Asim Akhtar's journey on his progress with marketing, e-commerce, and making SAAS companies.

18:35 PM

IG DMs (conversations) + FB DMs (conversations) now done for the most part.

Some things I'll likely have to do after app goes into production e.g. testing, displaying users Names instead of just username...

And also later I'll probably create a full person profile, merge customers, map Facebook users to emails + Shopify data etc etc...

But for now it works fine for DMs.

  • Gotta do IG comments + FB comments next [secondary inbox].
  • Then I'll have to do outlook / microsoft office 365 integration.
  • And then I'll have to create a custom email integration for everyone who doesn't use google workspace/microsoft.
  • Oh and of course live chat...

BUT my Facebook business verification is taking a long time (I think it'll take 1-2 months), so I couldn't even launch if I wanted to.

So I'll get all the bugs sorted before then + make everything nice + smooth.

Alright so, IG comments + FB comments it is...

15:32 PM

IG conversations work fine... except with all facebook conversations it only updates every 15 mins.

Might fix that with webhooks or might figure out alternative solution...

Read, write/send/reply/close

No macros on any of the IG/email/FB conversations yet.

Anyway now I'm building everything so it scales better + trying to get everything so it'll work for teams of 100+ as well as teams of 5-10.

Because 1 big company of e.g. 30 people will pay 10x more than 1 small company of 3 people.

So getting it to work with everything.

Anyway, now gonna do FB conversations.
18:42 PM

Done some of that but still working on it.

Gotta add FB + IG logo to messages so ppl know where each one is coming from.

19:06 PM

Doing IG + FB integration slowly but surely...

Should have conversations bit [main inbox] this week, maybe sooner

then will do comments bit [secondary inbox] after that

then I'll see

12:16 AM

I had a dream a few months ago that I'd have the problem I have today w/ my app.

Interesting.

17:31 PM

Oh nice I should be able to do everything all-in-one inbox.

Just figured it out, shouldn't be too complex.

I could also store data now that I've got more space, so if someone messages from Facebook/Instagram/Gmail, that user is mapped all onto one profile

Maybe

Maybe

Long-term it might save time but short-term it's not a feature I need.

Gotta get the main bit done first.

2:00 PM

Made everything more scalable by putting it in its own 'items' part.

The thing that's nice is I can basically copy/paste this stuff if I ever need a similar part for future SAAS's.

Anyway now that should work for large businesses + small ones.

Gotta merge everything – ig – fb – email – all in one inbox now

6:25 PM

Too tired; taking a lil break today.

5:04 PM

Tidied up code quite a bit, made some parts of it more efficient.

E.g. before was double reading/writing to database, fixed that.

Some other stuff fixed too.

I've got to put everything in their own separate 'Items' part so it's scalable (e.g. atm everything takes up 200KB / 1MiB limit) — with 5x the messages we'll go over the limit [unlikely but could happen]

That's for a later date though...

Anyway,

Got all the IG + FB data

Now I've gotta put all of it in one

  • So gotta combine gmail messages + facebook direct messages + instagram direct messages [main inbox type thing]
  • Then gotta make a separate table for fb ad comments + fb page post comments + dynamic ad post comments + ig ad post comments + ig page post comments + ig mentions [secondary inbox]
  • So I'll get to work combining those this week/next week + should be able to read/write everything to facebook + instagram fairly soon.

Problem is some parts of it I'm limited since my app hasn't been released yet, e.g. webhooks + seeing some fields (from_name)...

But shouldn't be too much of a problem.

  • After this I might skip Twitter integration [80/20 rule]
  • I'll probably create a live chat app system // possibly self-service portal too
  • Then make macros
  • Then maybe maybe subscriptions
  • SMS might be future thing
  • Shipping/returns maybe future

Basically I've done quite a bit of it... for the rest I'll have to get merchant feedback,

As big business needs might be different + highly varied, so I'll have to build a product that's good for them.

BUT if I focus on getting the small details right to start off with (trying to automate as much of everything as possible), then I should be well on my way to making something very good.

I don't care if other apps have more integration/features. I'm going for depth, not width.

E.g. integrating with 5 different shipping apps + 5 different returns apps is stupid af if you can just make it yourself + have an all-in-one system for customer service, which would be a lot more smoother + scalable.

5:52 PM

Been procrastinating a little today.

Seems like if I procrastinate towards the start of the day (or think about it), then it ripples down into a chain towards later events in the day.

So I'm not only responsible for myself (present), but I also influence my future self's choices.

This is obvious. Naturally.

But I don't just have 1 future self.

I have many.

And this world is far bigger than myself.


My influence will eventually spread towards many billions of people (if I don't die first, that is).

So it's not one choice. Not a single decision. It's multiple. Stretching across time.

I must not falter.

Day 146

4:16 PM

  • Doing Facebook integration & Instagram integration
  • Got Facebook messenger messages + ad comments + page post comments
  • Also got Instagram messages + page post comments
  • Still gotta get Instagram ad comments and Instagram mentions

Twitter integration will be a future thing.

After I've got the data, next stop is combining it with the email data so it functions as all-in-one inbox.

Won't be too tricky.

Will likely have 1 inbox for main stuff (messenger, dms) + another one for comments/social media posts.

In the future I'm going to automate the stuff that needs to be automated + add tags/filters where possible.

E.g. if someone says “Where's my order” in a social media comment, then I'll flag it + add a red 'Important' tag or smth...

Or just skip that step + just reply automatically saying 'here's the info you need... if you need more help then reply'

Gotta go to tertiary steps instead of trying to copy competitors.

E.g. purpose of managing comments is to

  • A) Thank customers who leave nice messages and
  • B) Answer customer FAQs
  • C) Deal with order-related queries

It's a lot easier to automate sub-tasks instead of trying to go for 1 big major task.

  • E.g. you can see how you could automate 'thank you' messages.

Create a list of variable thank you messages (based on the brand).

These can be written by the store owner.

  • E.g. customer writes 'Love mine!'
  • E.g. you usually reply 'Thank you so much for buying our [X] [Name]! I appreciate you so much! <3'

But instead of writing that 50000 times, you just save it (and variations of it) + let the auto-thank you message thank your customers.

But if someone writes a longer and more heartfelt message, then you can flag it (based on text length) + mark as important.

Because really that's what most people do – they have a fixed # of variable responses, and respond based on the IF/THEN templates they were 'trained' with.

If a real person writes the original message, then it's still sincere + has the same effect for the customer.
Turing test.

Now I'm not saying you HAVE to use automation/templates to respond to customers, but I'll create them for people who want to practically save their time + deal with more important issues.

The end goal is to have most (if not all) customer questions responded to instantly.

This should also increase conversion rates + LTV...

  • Because as soon as a customer needs help, they should get it.
  • There and then.
  • No waiting.
  • No issues.
  • No extra returns/exchanges.
  • No packages shipped out 'by mistake'.
  • No 'missed messages'.
  • No BS.

Anyway back to it...

6:29 PM

US store looks break-even today. I know it's best to judge results on a week-by-week level, but today might be indicative of the future.

Basically ad costs doubled today compared to yesterday

So

So

We must play the long-term game

$100M Offer + SAAS

That way we can thrive in any market/ad platform + get recurring customers + heavy referrals.

As always, long term game.

Would've been nice to have a few mil in the bank, but looks like that isn't going to happen with e-com.

So I'll get back to work on SAAS (as I was already) and focus more on that rather than daily fluctuations of a business I have little control over.

OK, yes, I COULD change the offer with the e-commerce store, but it isn't a sustainable business anyway.

I COULD make it into a brand, but I don't fancy that.

SAAS. Original mission. Focus...

8:40 PM

US store seems to be working. Not sure if there’ll be a cap at 2-3k/day due to high ad frequency, but methinks not.

To make $5m pre-tax, gotta sell to 1 million people (1/300 of population) at $5 profit each.

1/150 people in America (since target audience is females)

 

Anyway that’s a side thing…

 

Doing Facebook/Instagram integration now (without webhooks atm), not sure if it’ll scale well for super large businesses – I’ll have to see.

Can always edit/change + improve later. Speed is key.