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December 19, 2023 32 mins

Ep. 145 Cliff Worley is an accomplished marketing leader and growth advisor to startups. As Sr. Director of Portfolio Growth Marketing at Kapor Capital, he provides strategic coaching to help VC-backed companies effectively go to market and scale customer acquisition. He also currently stands at the forefront of artificial intelligence, speaking nationally to audiences on his secrets to leveraging AI. 

This conversation took place at the 2023 Annual Meeting of HOPE Global Economic Forum in Atlanta, GA. HOPE Global Economic Forums are the largest gathering in the world on behalf of empowering poor and underserved communities. The conference convenes like-minded leaders from around the world dedicated to advancing the financial well-being of all people.

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
All right, I'm gonna get this storry, but this guy's
got to take it to the moon. Please walk up
to the stage and one and only you see them
right now, We'll Lucas. Yeah, yep, it's so good to
be with you guys here today. Let's make some noise
for the introduction that was. That was pretty cool. I
enjoyed that. As my name is Will Lucas, the host

and brand manager for afro Tech and Black Tech Green Money.
Afro Tech is the largest black tech conference and digital
platform in the world. Our conference was just last month.
We had twenty five thousand black people in Austin, all scientists, engineers,
venture capitalists, founders, students who are trying to figure out
their new place in this new tech world. And so

I'm super excited to have this conversation with you guys
here today, specifically for this reason. As much as I
am a technology guy, a startup guy, and talk about
companies that go to you know, billion dollars evaluations, there's
something special to be said about AI and small business
that gets overlooked too often when we have these conversations.

And so today I'm so excited to do this because
I have some small businesses, so I'm hoping to learn
something from my interview also. But Cliff Worley seeing Director
of Portfolio Growth Marketing at k POR Capital now k
POOR Capital is a special venture capital firm because they
specialize in impact investing, particularly looking for black people, underrepresented communities, women,

and etc. To invest in. He supports their portfolio companies
in all aspects of digital and growth marketing strategies. He
received his BA from the University of California at Berkeley,
NBA from w Ollen Graduate School of Business at Babson College,
and after graduating from Babson, Cliff joined the Shark Group
Damon John. Y'all know Dami John Right. Shark Tank You

a branding consultancy firm created by Damon John, and as
Chief Digital Officer, he set the digital strategy for Damon
John and worked as a digital strategist for all of
his investments. Before a k POR Capital, he held the
role of co Chief Communications offered at the Kport Center,
where he managed the digital strategy to help make the

technology industry and entrepreneursship more diverse, inclusive, and impactful. He
is on the board of the Nasdak Entrepreneurial Center, a
nonprofit design to educate, innovate, and connect aspiring and current entrepreneurs.
Please welcome to the stage. Cliff Worley. Good to have you,

my brother, Thank you. I think you owner, I think
you are yeah, all right, all right, And so I
want to get a sense of who's in the room
before I toss up my first question. So can I
if you are a small business owner, can you raise
your hand pretty much like ninety percent of the room there.
If you are not a small business owner, maybe you
are a career person, just raising hand. You have a

really good job, you're happy with that. If you are
trying to figure it out, raise your hand in there's
a couple, there's now, there's that. There's that. I'm with
that too. We trying to we're all trying to figure
it out. And so it's good to know who's in
the room. So as we tee up this conversation, and
so I wanted to have this teed off with the

theme of this conference, this this economic form, which is
making the case for optimism. And so often when we
talk about AI, it's one of either polar opposites. Either
it's gonna ruin us, it's gonna kill us, all one day,
it's gonna take all of our jobs. It's gonna ruin
our businesses, and we're gonna have to go be subservient
to some robot. Or it's gonna be remarkable and set

us up to where we don't have to do the
stupid stuff anymore. So, can you make a case for optimism,
particularly the small businesses with AI? That's a great question. Uh.
The good news is I'm on the optimism side. I
am not scared of robots taking over, not scared of
my job being lost. But when I think about AI

at the end of the day, it is supposed to
make us more productive so that we can give more
time to do things that we actually love. Right, might
be hang with the family, hang with your spouse. What
since AI launched last year, I've been able to save
so much time in doing my job that I can
do more or I could decide to just hang back.

And I think we're in the early stages of this,
but I'll go ahead and make the claim that we
may be seeing like a three day work week to AI. Right,
some of y'all like that something, Yeah, what other advantages
do you think in the next ten issuars? Things like
the three days work. We can continue on that track

if you could. Yeah, I mean, I think one of
the things I'd like to see happen sooner than ten
years would be in the in the medical industry right
where we can solve diseases. I mean, I've seen stories where,
you know, the were kids that didn't know what disease
they had. They went to all these doctors and all
of a sudden, AI comes in there, scans it and
identifies it on the first try. And so just think

about that, you know, And the other piece of it
is that And I remember this was years ago, might
have been twenty fourteen. I went to this conference when
I was working with Damon and they were talking about
the future of just technology, and they were saying there
was going to come this point in time where technology
is just going to go super linear and just expand,
and from there it'll just go more and more and more.

And so as you think about it, like the price
of technologies come down, the power is going up. And
so what you're seeing right now today, which is amazing
with AI, it's going to two x by next year,
it's going to four x by the year after that.
And so like the question is what is not possible.

So there's people in this room who in the room,
I'm curious, has been a little skeptical about AI, reasonably skeptical.
That's you know, thirty forty percent of the room right there.
And so this, this conversation is so funny to me
because if you think about it, you've been using AI.
You just don't even realize it. And so if you
if you ever clicked the auto complete on Google and

you started writing a sentence and it finished it for you,
you're using AI. I just want you all to know that.
Mackenzie put out a study in twenty twenty that said
black entrepreneurs tend to pursue businesses in less lucrative sectors.
We over index on food, restaurants, retail, healthcare also, And

so if you're in business in one of those sectors,
you're not just going to shut it down. What do
you do using AI? If I want to squeeze the
juice out of it, I'm already in business in one
of these sectors. This Small Business Administration even said this,
eighty percent of our business are in the bottom twenty
percent for sales revenue. Eighty percent of the businesses we

create as black people are in the bottom twenty percent barbershops.
Think about that. If I want to leverage AI in
the business that I'm in, and I'm not making a
bunch of money today, but I want to grow, what
are some things I can do low hanging fruit that
I can implement in my daily work to help me

squeeze more juice out of this. It's a great question. Yeah,
So I would say the way when I think about
AI is like I always think about what is my
stuck point in the day right or when I'm doing
a task when I'm like, oh, I don't feel like
writing that email, or I don't feel like I just
don't feel like doing something, or just a how many

you guys procrastinate? I definitely do. Okay, so here here, here,
Here's one way to use AI on procrastination is to
really just kind of think about, you know, what can
AI do that can help you get started. So let's say,
for example, you need to write a blog post for
this week. You might use AI to give you the topic.

You might use AI to give you the first paragraph.
You might give AI to write the entire blog post. Now,
I am not a writer. I went to a terrible
public high school, junior high, and elementary. And she made something.
I made something to myself. But if you would give
me a job to write, I'm going to go hide
in a corner. But with AI, it has now turned

me into the best writer I've ever been. And this
is over the last year. I've always wanted to start
a newsletter and I just I don't even know where
to start. And I remember, and this is how easy
AI is is that I just wrote a paragraph down
in complete sentences, terrible punctuation. But I was like, this
is what I'm trying to say, can you make this better?

It turned my one paragraph of gibberish into three paragraphs
of gold. Okay. I sent that email out. People were like,
oh my god, this is so good, and I'm like,
I know, oh, so I would look at it as
all the things that you're you know, that's taking up
a whole lot of time. Oh, I don't feel like

running social media today, you know. I know it gives me,
you know, customers, but I just don't have the time
to do it. Well, there's so many things with AI
tools now that makes running social media so easy. I
put out five videos a week, one a day, and
this thing takes me seconds to create. So you have
to think about AI as like how does it give

me back time to go work on other things? If
you want to launch a new product, well maybe like
AI can take care of the stuff that's not moving
as fast so that you can get time to work
on something else. So you really need to think about,
like what's getting you into that stuck point and how
you can use AI to get you out of that.
I want to make this super related. We're gonna get
to Q and A at the end, but I want
to get this super relatable to somebody in their own

If you're entrepreneur, raise your hand again if you are
not intentionally using AI, and keep your hand up. If
you're an entrepreneur and you are not intentionally using AI,
keep your hand up. But if you are intentionally using it,
put your hand down. So those with your hands up.
You're an entrepreneur A and you're not intentionally using AI. Good,

all right? You can you tell us what business you're
in career consulting so you help people figure out, you know,
what they want to do. They have some skills, a
little bit of knowledge about what they like, what they
don't like and they're trying to just find their way
in the world. Okay, what's your name Dana? Okay, Dana
is a career consultant. She is helping people figure out

their path in life. She's not intentionally using AI today.
How can she use AI in her business? Plenty of ways. So, like,
one thing that you can do is I mean I'm
assuming with you, like you have client calls, right, and
so there's probably some information that you have on the client.
So you could go to just I'm taking this, for example,
chat GBT and say I am a career coach and

I have this client and I'm going to give you
the client information and my goal is to recommend you know,
four different career paths. Here are the four I have.
Give me four that I haven't thought of. Seconds you
have that call, she's like, whoever, it is like it's like,
oh wow, I didn't think of that. I mean, there's

been so many times I've used AI where I'm like,
here's my situation, here's what I know. What am I
not thinking of? And it'll do something. I'm like, oh man,
that was good. It was so interesting about this. So
if you got a phone on you, I want you
to take or have a notepad. I want you to
write down chat GPT. So if you chat GPT, write

it down bookmarket on your computer because it will be
your best friend. And so as we're thinking about that,
I believe and I want you to give me yours.
I believe how to write prompts is going to be
one of the most important skills because the way you
just position that question, that's the skills she's going to

have to have. The robot will do all the rest
of the work. So can you talk about how can
I find success if I'm intentionally using it? What are
some ways I can make sure I'm being successful with it?
Great question. So the first thing you want to do,
and I'll just say, like CHATGBT basics one on one,
you don't even need to do crazy prompts. The better

the prompt, the better your answer you're going to get.
But the bare minimum you need to do is when
you go to chadgbt's you say either and you can
do it in any order. You can say, you know,
this is the goal that I'm trying to accomplish, so
that they know. And then the second thing is is
I need you to act as blank I need to
act as a writer. I need you to act as
a marketer. I need you to ask as a social

media manager, I need you. You need to tell AI
what to be and what to act like. And once
you do that, you type that in and then it
it has the context, it has the tasks that you
want to complete, and then it'll do it from there.
So that's like the bare minimum. But this is the
goal that I learned not too long ago, is that
when you don't know what to ask chat GBT, you

can ask chat GBT what should I ask you? And
it will give you the prompt to ask. That's good,
wasn't it? That was good? They're like, oh, I didn't know.
I didn't know. And so one of the things that
you said that I loved and I want to go

a level deeper on is you can say act as
if you know, I'm an artist or et cetera. But
did you know you can also have it respond to
you with the language like let's say I'm a career consultant,
and who's the biggest who's the biggest career consultant company
out there? Who's that? Give me the company? Any company

a big one? Okay, Robin Hat, Robert Hath. Okay, you
can say, I want to write a new copy for
my website, write it as if I'm Robert Hath in
the style of that language, in the kind of language
they use. You could say, write it as if I'm
Jay Z, and it will give you your career consultancy

copyback for your website in the voice of Jay Z.
And so can you talk about as we're going through this,
because there are people in this room who who was
in the room COVID actually pushed you to be an entrepreneur.
COVID pushed you to going forward and with your business goals,
and so there are things about being future proof because

we think about okay, as I'm a freelancer, I'm a creative.
Maybe there may be some social media marketers in the room,
There may be some other freelancers. How can they be
more future proof when AI can write the copy and
they don't have to write the copy anymore. Yeah, that's
a great, great question. You know. I think the analogy

I'll use is a story I heard from the CEO
of open AI and he said that, you know, one
of his friends in Europe who's a teacher, said Yo
Man all my students are using chat GBT to write
their papers, and his response was, maybe we need to
stop testing them on writing papers. And so bars there's
going to be And this is what I truly see,

is that what's coming is that we're not going the
nature of work is going to change. Right. There may
be a day where you send your virtual self to
the meeting with other virtual people and that thing comes
back and tells you what happened in the meeting while
you were just cooking, you know. So when you talk

about future proofing, you know, I really I think you
need to start when you pay attention to AI, you
need to start looking at what is the thing that
is going to be automated in the future, Like you know,
like I think we'll be at a place maybe by
and I'm starting to see a little bit of it,
but we'll be at a place maybe by the end
of next year where you can say I want a
website built and this is what I want on it,

and it'll just build a whole website for you. There's
tools out there that do that now, but like to
be good. Right, So if you're in the website development business,
you've got to be aware of that. So you've got
to figure out, Okay, what is it that I'm going
to pivot you in this right? And it may be
instead of you developing you know, you pay you know,
you get paid fifty thousand dollars to develop a website. Well,

those days might be coming to an end. So instead
you might be doing fifty websites for one thousand dollars.
You're still making your fifty grand. So think about this
is like productivity is going to go up. You mentioned
at the beginning, you talked about, you know, the AI
could solve a health care related issue and et cetera.
There are several issues that play black owned businesses when

you think about access to capital, how to attract talent,
How can I scale and grow my business without putting
so much blood, sweat and tears into this thing? What
are some other ways for small businesses? Specifically, AI can
help solve somebody problems? Yeah, I mean, I think, going
back to your earlier point, one of the things that
you know I use AI for. I think I call

AIS like my my universal personal intern, right and this
thing is super smart, right like, and they say open
AI or CHAGYBT it would take a human twenty thousand
years and eight hours a day to have the same
amount of information, right, So this thing is super intelligent. Right.

And so if you see something out there that's like
really good copy or really good website or something that's
really good, I usually will just give that as an
example to CHADGBT and say, here's my business. I need
something like this, right, And I don't know, I feel

like it's it's like, I'll give it another example for
like from a money standpoint. So I was throwing an
event and our spot sponsor backed out last minute one
week before the event, and I had one hundred people
coming and it was you know, it was like seventy
five eight thousand dollars and seventy five hundred eight thousand dollars.

And I was like, you know, I need to write
a really good email to potential sponsors, like hey, I'm
in a I'm in a bind, right, And so I
wrote the email. You know, it was terrible, and so
I put it into AI and I said, you know,
here's the situation. I really need an email that's going
to convince these people that I need this money. And
so it wrote the email and the email title was

like exciting opportunity you don't want to miss out on,
you know, some something something like that, I got eighty
five hundred dollars in two days. Those people responded like this,
and so you know anything that you're struggling on from
a money standpoint, My thing is like it's almost like
a business coach too. Ask it. Say Hey, this is
my situation. I only have three thousand dollars for the

next month and a half for marketing. What do you
think I should put it towards? Right? I save it? Right?
Should I not even use it? Like? Use this thing
is like super smart, and so just use it as
in many ways as you can to ask it these
questions that you're struggling with. Right, I want to do
the same exercise I did with Dana. I think it

was two or three more times. If you are an entrepreneur,
raise your hand and if you are intentionally using AI,
put your hand down. Let's pick you right there, maroon shirt.
What's your name? Yes, Monica? What business are you in?
Monica is is a production company and a credit repair company.

You are not intentionally using AI today? What issues are
you having growing your business? I mean, let me actually
give you another one talking about your challenges. How does

she solve these problems? Okay, so for credit repair, So
let's go to the best creditor repair person out there. Right,
you go to their Instagram account. You see a video
that's gone viral for them. Right, there's a tool called
four play dot co that will take the script that
that person wrote in that video. You give it your
business and it'll rewrite it in your business name, and

you go record that same video. It's called four play
dot co. So I've got a lot of tools, so
I'm gonna spit out a lot of things. But yeah,
so that's like that's like one example of you know,
and then I would also say, maybe like just let
them know this is what this is what I am
doing to attract clients. What are the other things that

I can actually do. There's a tool called get it
out dot io where you can scrape a competitor's website
and it'll give you the profile of the person that
they're actually targeting. So if you see a company that's
doing well, My thing is anybody who's doing well can
be imitated. Now those days are it's game on, just

like they've been doing to us, right, but now it's
you know, and when I talk about these AI tools,
these tools are five dollars, ten dollars, fifteen dollars, twenty dollars.
I haven't seen nothing over fifty dollars. And then tell
me the second the production about the writing. Yep, got

it and the challenge there you're having is what got it?
Got it? So I would just for example, like let's
just say you're making horror films and it's Halloween, right,
So what I would do is I would take all

of the scripts that I've written, give that to chat GBT, right,
so it knows how I write scripts. The second thing
I would do is I would give it all the
latest blockbuster Hollywood horror films that are out right now,
grab the title of it, put that in there, and say,
write me the next blockbuster film. In my writing, this

comparable to something like this yeah right, like because it's
about it's about it's two things that this AI can do.
It's it can take what you have already been doing
to learn you to say Okay, I got it. I
know you. Now tell me what the next thing is
to do, which is like, okay, this is the end

result of what I'm trying to be like and I
need you to come up with the concept and write
the script. So like this whole half of the room.
Half of them got shook, half of them got excited.
Just now they're like what in the world, And then
the other ones are like, I'm using that. Yeah, we

are running on because this conversation could happen for two
more hours. And so here's what I want to do.
I'm going to give you because here's one I think
it's super important. There's a quote I found on your website,
whereas you said, here's the tricky thing about digital marketing.
Nothing stays the same for long. As soon as marketers
discover a tactic that works, the clocks start ticking. Before long,

that hack is saturated and it stops working. It happens
to everything. And here's why I bring that up is
because a year ago we were talking about NFTs and
the blockchain. We're still talking about the blockchain, but this
stuff happened so fast. A year before that we were
talking about the metaverse, and the year before that we
were talking about you know something else, you know, the
VR Charlene and THEO Goodness Ease, And so this stuff

happens so fast. How these are small business owners. They
don't have all day every day to be trying to
figure out the next thing and staying ahead of the curve.
How do you advise them to get acclimated and keep up? Well, First,
I say, followed me on social media, because every single

day I go through well, let's just say this, every
week there are or I should say every day, there's
two hundred new tools developed AI tools every day. Okay,
I try to sort through those, and every week I
put out the five best, and so I do it
on social and I also have a newsletter where it's

just delivered to your inbox, so they like, let me
do that hard work for you. But in terms of
how do you stay relevant, what you have to recognize
is that it is the Wow Wow West right now,
which means anything is possible. I could clone you right now.
If your voice is online, I can clone you have

it look exactly like you have it in your voice,
and I can do it for five dollars in probably
six minutes. So that's the wild wild West right now,
right And that's not going to be here for long.
But if you wanted to do something like that in
your marketing, you know you could. So but I always
give this advice is that there are tools that are really,

really good and they just disappear. Like, for example, I
used to use this tool for Twitter, was one of
the best tools. Well, now the Elon CEO he's cut
off all API access. You got to pay ten thousand
dollars a month if you want API access. That tool's gone.
So it was all those people who used that tool beforehand,
that grew their Twitter accounts using that tool that won.
And you saw what happened last week with open AI.

You know there was a second there where we were like,
is chadjbt gone? Cause if so, I've been using that
every single day. So you need to make sure that
you're taking advantage of these tools. And I would say
at the end of the day, like the if you're
going to take one tool away, it would be chad GBT.
If you're an entrepreneur, raise a hand. If you are

intentionally using AI, put your hand down. You okay, you
already got you. Let's go right here. What's the right there? Yes, yes,
you ma'am, there's your name on fronka. Oh I got it.
The second time. I love that. Done with your business,

financial wellness, business and talk to me about any issues
in your business that are going on right now? What
are you trying to solve for? You want to you
want to promote and scale your business? How can she
promote and scale this business? So you say you're trying

to narrow down the markets to do more targeted marketing?
Got it? Got it? So? Using and you want AI?
So I mean I guess like you could essentially like
find the best, like somebody that you want to be

like out there and figure out who their target market
is using AI. Well, there's like tools out there. I'm
trying to think of something else, like a tool that
can scan somebody's followers and figure out what demographic is
the best, biggest demographic. But the other piece of it
is is like and I'll just give you this just
like a general marketing tip. When you're doing this kind
of spray and pray and just trying to figure out

who my target market is. The second someone buys, you
need to go look that person up and go figure
out who that is. And if you can't find them
online with AI, then pick up the phone and call
them or send an email to them. Because it was
one day I was running this period of TI where
I was running this business for Damon and I was
struggling with marketing and I couldn't figure it out. And

so what I did was I ended up taking the
email addresses of everybody that purchased, and then I ran
them through this software. I can't even remember the name
of it because it was so long ago, but I
know it still exists. But it told me the demographics
of all the people who bought, and it was black
women forty to forty five. So now I took that
information and then started running my marketing to black women

forty five. Sales spiked because at the end of the day,
it's about who was pulling out that credit card? Right,
So hopefully that's helpful. Are there small business opportunities in
the AI space? If I'm not building a startup, I'm
not trying to go to Silicon Valley raised millions of dollars? Yeah,
oh for sure. I'll give you. I'll give you an
example of just something that that happened recently. I created

this like mini course on how to create an avatar,
how to make yourself like virtual Right. This, a girl
I went to high school with hits me up last
week and she goes thank you so much for that course,
and you know, I took your course. She's like, but
now I have a business making avatars for other people.
So she took my course and developed a business out
of it. And she's like, I got somebody for a

thousand dollars doing this, thousand dollars doing this, And I'm like, man,
you need to give me cut to away. But you
see what I mean. It's like, I think we're gonna
be I think I think this is my this is
my like overall take on AI. I think AI is
going to force each and every one of us to
have our own business because it's going to be so easy.

I want to do one more. If you're entrepreneur region
and you are intentionally using a I put it down
black and white stripes. What's your what's your name, Sharanda?
What's your business? Yeah? Young girls eight to seventeen, ten,

ten to seventeen, youth development, helping them become better. What's
what challenges are you faced within your business? Some more targeting.

I don't know if you want to go yeah, yeah, no,
it's all good. So I'm gonna give like two part answers.
So like, let's just say, for example, like you were
able to get an email list of parents, right you
had they had signed up on your website. There's an
AI tool where you can record one video once so
you can say, hey, you know, you know, hey John

and Mary, you know, this is what I do. I'm
really interested in, you know, uh, you know, connecting with
your child on this And here's our story. And let's
say you had one thousand email addresses in one thousand names.
There's an AI tool that can basically read the names
on the list and say it in your voice so

that you don't have to record one thousand videos. Right
And the name of it it's slipping in my mind,
but probably Hagen is one option. Synthesias another option, and
tavis dot io is another option. So ask chat GPT

to spell it for you. Go to chat GPTA spell
syntious for me. It's gonna give you answer. I think
it's t A v u s t a v us
dot io. I believe, so synthesia. Don't make me spell that.

C y n ts you. But here's the good news
is that I have Yeah, yeah, this is I do
have a website that does have all of the tools
that I've talked about plug your stuff. So so we
so there's gonna be a line to see you outside
number one. But give your website, give your social media
stuff so people can follow along. So if you want

a website of all the tools, it's Askamarketer dot a.
I that is two hundred over two hundred tools and
I update that daily. Okay. Second thing is I have
a newsletter if you want the hottest AI tool GPS,
writing it about it. It ain'ty. That website is uh
m t y s k dot com marketing tools. You

should know m t ik dot com. And then all
socials is just physical Cliff. If you want to see
the videos and kind of get a little bit of
a mini demo, I release a tool every single day. Yeah,
I'll make some noise with Cliff makes some noise
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