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IAM2036 – CEO and YouTube Ads Expert Unlocks the Power of Alpha AI Targeting Strategy

Podcast Interview with Aleric Heck

In this episode, we have Aleric Heck, a YouTube Ads expert and the founder of AdOutreach. Aleric shares his journey from starting a YouTube channel when he was 12 to becoming a market leader in the YouTube advertisements industry.

He discusses how his company uses custom audiences in Google to target potential customers based on their past internet activity. Besides, Aleric talks about his AI ad targeting software, ‘Keyword Search', and his broader mission to increase business's impact on the world.


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Full Interview:


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Aleric Heck Teaser 00:00

How can we take a human strategy and apply it to the AI that Google has to help you find new people? The way to do that is by building what are called custom audiences. These custom audience segments inside of Google tell YouTube and tell Google who your ideal client is.

So you can target people based on websites they've been on in the past, things that they're searching for on YouTube and Google descriptors that identify who they are.

Intro 00:25

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Grest values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:54

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Aleric Heck.

Aleric, it's great to have you on the show.

Aleric Heck 01:02

Thanks for so much for having me on. I appreciate it. I'm excited.

Gresham Harkless 01:04

Yes, I'm excited as well. You're doing so many awesome things, so before we jump into talking about all those awesome things, I want to read a little bit more about Aleric so you hear about what that is.

Aleric is a YouTube ads Expert and the founder of AdOutreach. He has been on YouTube for over 12 years, first growing a YouTube channel to over 500, 000 subscribers. Over the last seven years, Aleric has taught thousands of entrepreneurs and business owners how to grow and scale their businesses using laser-targeted YouTube ads.

Collectively, Aleric has helped his clients generate over 200 million plus in sales from youtube ads and scaled his own business to over eight figures. I absolutely love Aleric and all the awesome things that he's doing. I really caught wind of like his story and how he started when I think he was four or five years old recording videos just around his family and how he just really took that ball and kind of ran with it.

I really was motivated by one of the pieces of a device that he gave. He talked about the power of alignment and how impactful that is when you have that for your clients, your team and yourself. So it's not just YouTube ads, it's overall business knowledge and information we're going to get from Alex today.

So Aleric, are you ready to speak to the I Am CEO community?

Aleric Heck 02:12

Absolutely. And thank you so much. Yeah, I'm really excited. This is great.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:15

Yes, absolutely. So I know it's such a little bit upon like how you got started, what I want to do is rewind that clock back, take me through a little bit more of what I call your CEO story.

Aleric Heck 02:23

Yeah, so I started out, I was filming videos like you said, when I was very young. Taught myself how to edit with back in the old days of Adobe, all the discs you'd have to upload and stuff like that. Taught myself how to edit at nine. Then, when I was 12 years old I actually created my first YouTube channel, very early days of YouTube. This was back in 2009 created a YouTube channel, teaching people how to use their iPhone tech tutorials, app reviews called app find, and the channel started to take off, people started watching it. I was reviewing the best apps. I was helping people learn how to use their new iPhone or iPod. tThe channel ultimately really started to grow quickly. Grew to over half a million subscribers. I remember it grew to hundreds of thousands of subscribers throughout high school and college.

About eight years ago the channel was really growing, I had hired a video editor, scriptwriter, business development person. I was in college at the time and I remember there was a particular social media app they had hired me to do a promotion and I promote their app on the YouTube channel, get a bunch of downloads. So this is great. How can we get this video that you made about our app in front of more people? They originally wanted me just to publish the same video the next day, but I had to tell them it didn't really work like that. You can't just post the same video to the same audience twice and double the results. But what if we could reach new people, a new audience, by taking that YouTube video and running it as an ad? This was eight years ago, so not many people really knew about YouTube ads. YouTube ads were in its early phase. So they were a little skeptical, but they agreed to it.

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We took a 500 budget and in one week we got over 11, 000 users to sign up for their app, just promoting that video to more people and so they were blown away. They called me up and they said, Hey, Aleric we want you to drop out of college, fly out to Silicon Valley, join our team, you can run all the YouTube ads. It was a tempting offer, but I turned it down because I had that entrepreneurial drive, the CEO drive I'm sure everybody here listening and like yourself, and so I said, you know what, I want to build this myself. So that's when I created AdOutreach about eight years ago. Originally, it was YouTube ads for mobile apps, then within a little less than a year, I realized that there was way more out there that I could market with YouTube ads than just apps.

I started marketing, variety of different businesses, expert-based businesses, coaching, consulting, course companies, then there's e-commerce products, SaaS companies and a wide variety of different businesses that we started helping with YouTube ads and that's where we scaled up from there. After, I was done with college, I got offices back in. I used to live in Massachusetts. Now I'm out here in Austin, Texas. We ramped things up and grew our team. Now we're definitely proud to say we've helped thousands of clients leverage power YouTube ads, and we're just getting started.

Gresham Harkless 05:06

Yeah, I love that you're just crying and scratching the surface and doing so many awesome things. So, could you take us through a little bit more on how you're working with your clients, what that process looks like, how you're serving the clients that you work with.

Aleric Heck 05:17

Yeah. So, the majority of our clients, we have a done together process, which we found works really well to get our clients the best results because it's a hybrid. So, oftentimes out there, there's kind of like two main areas. People either do it all themselves, they might invest in a course or learning something, or they might hire an agency to do it all for them. But then it's handed off, right? This important part of their business is handed off. So we do have course trainings, we have some select clients we're running ads for. The majority of our clients are more of this hybrid type of client. It's a done together process and more of a consulting process where we come in and we understand the client's business and we map out a game plan and strategy and help them implement YouTube ads into their business.

So we've got copywriters on our team that will write the scripts for our clients. They'll write out exactly what to say and do on video. We are of course helping them set up their ad campaigns make sure they've got the right videos, go into the right funnels helping them target those campaigns. We've got some software that we developed in-house that's does AI add targeting with YouTube ads called keyword search and I can talk more about that later. But, we basically built all of that in. Then what we do is we get our clients ready to launch and we help them launch their campaigns, making sure all the I's are dotted, T's are crossed. Then as they launch, we empower them and their team to know how to run the ads longterm.

So we're essentially helping somebody on their team, whether it's a marketing person, a media buyer, even operations person on their team, understand how the campaigns work. It's done in their ad account, and we're empowering them to be able to have these be their marketing powerhouse long-term. So we found working together because our clients know their business the best, their ideal client, we know YouTube ads, the best and marketing. So we combine that together to get them the best results.

Gresham Harkless 06:58

That makes so much sense. So you might have already touched on this, but what would you consider to be what I would like to call your secret sauce? This could be for yourself, the organization or a combination of both, but what do you feel sets you apart to make you unique?

Aleric Heck 07:09

So I think the big thing that sets us apart is, we've been on the cutting edge of developing YouTube ad strategies for quite some time. What we have developed is what we call our alpha AI targeting strategy. So why alpha AI? If you take a look, there's this concept in the stock market, I'm sure you're familiar with it. It's seeking alpha, achieving results that are better. Then the average. So the average return, that's, S and P 500, right? It's like basically in the world of stock markets, the average return is that in the world of marketing advertising, the average return is just using some of the baseline audience targeting that you can do inside of Google, inside of YouTube.

So, you could target people that are in the market for advertising or in the market for weight loss, right? That's a prebuilt audience that Google has. But what you can do is if you want to achieve better results, you could train the algorithm, the world of stock markets, the best way to achieve alpha results is to have an algorithm that's trained by human. They're called quants, right? How can we take a human strategy and apply it to the AI that Google has to help you find new people? The way to do that is by building what are called custom audiences. These custom audience segments inside of Google tell YouTube and tell Google who your ideal client is. So you can target people based on websites they've been on in the past. Things that they're searching for on YouTube and Google descriptors that identify who they are.

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You're essentially building these out and targeting people based on that. One thing that we've done is we've gotten really good at that. We've also taken that, bottled it up and put it into a software. It's keyword search, That's an AI ad targeting software I've been working on the last three years. Even before AI was big here. Basically the way that this software works is people just describe their business, they click generate and it'll go and find all of the different related search terms on YouTube, on Google websites, their ideal clients might be going on channels they might be watching, and then you can use those to target those ideal clients and then sync them to Google ads.

So that's the type of process that we help our clients implement. That come and work with us hands-on. And it's also something that people can get access to when they, use the software as well.

Gresham Harkless 09:10

Nice. I absolutely love that. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This could be like an app, a book or even a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Aleric Heck 09:21

So one thing that I think really makes me more effective and efficient and the whole company and organization as a whole is really streamlining all of our tasks and everything that we're looking to do into very clear, what are called OTA's. Something that one of my mentors out sharpen really guided me in is these are outcome transparency and accountability, right? So, what are we looking to do? What needs to happen and then who's gonna be accountable for this and then really spreading that out across the entire company. So we build those out and what we've essentially done is really systematized our overall company, all projects, all initiatives, all tasks that need to get done.

We have mapped all of that out. We use Notion, I know other companies will use Asana, they use ClickUp some of these other, softwares. I love Notion. We've been using that for some quite some time. And so essentially we've created a full systematized process for everything that we do. What that's allowed us to do too is really cut the time that we've had on meetings, not even in half, but honestly by a factor of four. We used to have way more meetings than we have now. The way that we've cut that back is by actually making sure that we have streamlined processes for everything. Now, what I can tell you is the reason a lot of companies don't do this is because it takes time to build this, but once it's built, it's going to serve you.

So essentially what we did is made a living, breathing handbook, but instead of a handbook that nobody ever opens, it's actually a series of tasks and to do's that everybody's constantly looking at either based on recurring activities or new projects and all the different details within a project that needs to happen to get it done. Otherwise, what we found if we don't have this, then we're spending time on meetings. Having a database has been incredibly valuable as a CEO, and it also gives me a lot more visibility on what's getting done and what's not getting done.

Gresham Harkless 11:07

Yeah, and that's absolutely huge. So what would you consider to be a little bit more of what I call a CEO nugget? This could be like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. I often like to say it might be something you would tell your favorite client, or if you have to do a time machine, you might tell your young business self.

Aleric Heck 11:20

So I think the big thing to focus on is to remember like the best rocket fuel that's going to allow you to strive and achieve your goals is really looking at the impact that you're able to create on your clients, on your team and on yourself. It's like a triangle, right? You get your clients, that's your North Star. You want to make sure you're supporting, empowering your clients and getting them the best result. Then what you also want to do is make sure that you're aligned with your team and your whole team, what's going to be the best for them and your company, and then aligning with yourself as an individual and what's going to be the best for you and the other people around you.

So ultimately that alignment of success, your success is going to be aligned with the company and the team success is going to be aligned with the client's success and when all of that comes together, we're seeing the best success across the board. The best thing, the best rocket fuel got this rocket behind me here is really seeing the impact that you're able to create. Like our mission at Ad Outreach is to empower businesses to amplify their impact and create a ripple effect on the world. I believe that marketing is much more than just us putting numbers into a spreadsheet or into Google ads or YouTube ads or whatever it is. It's actually connecting people with the companies and the products and services that they need.

That's going to better their lives, better their businesses, whatever it is that they're happening to look to do. And so, by us going out and helping facilitate more of those connections, it's creating a positive ripple effect. So really grounding yourself on that as a CEO, why do we do what we do? What is the mission that's going to inspire the team, right? More than just metrics, more than just money, more than monetary goals. What is the real deeper why and mission? That's something that I would really encourage all of you as a CEO nugget. Also, it's always been a part of what we have, but I think if I was to go back, I would tell myself, to focus more on it earlier on.

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Gresham Harkless 13:04

Yeah, that makes so much sense. So now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. Our goal is to have different quote and quote CEOs on the show. So Aleric what does being a CEO mean to you?

Aleric Heck 13:15

So I think being a CEO means to me really being that steward for the company's mission, the core values, and ensuring that your company is really aligned to see the best success. Like I talked about the alignment of impact, being aligned to see that success for your clients or customers or whatever happens to be whoever you're selling, right? But for your clients, aligning the success of your team and also the success overall of your business and yourself as the CEO. So when you align all of that together, that's when you're going to be able to create the biggest impact. That's going to show true success as CEO.

I think too many CEOs focus on one or the other, obviously there's the classic example that everybody sees, which is the CEOs that focus on themselves or just focus on the business, maybe at the expense of team or clients, but there's also those that maybe just only focus on the clients, but they don't take care of them, the team or themselves, and they might be Providing the best service, the best product ever, but they're not asking themselves, how can I invest in marketing to grow? How can I invest in my people? How can I pour myself into that? How can I actually make sure the company is profitable enough to be able to scale and then impact more people because impacting 10 clients or 100 customers, profoundly is great.

But what if you could do a thousand or 10, 000? So all those things, you don't wanna just focus on one, you wanna align all of them together, focusing on your clients, providing the best product, services, solutions, whatever happens to be that's gonna empower your clients, make them the most successful in whatever it is that you do. Focusing on empowering and leading your team because that's your responsibility as a CEO. You are the leader and you are the leader of that team. It's also you're responsible for holding the mission, holding the vision, the values. Then also you have a responsibility as CEO and some forget this because a lot of people I've seen dive really deep into clients in the team, but you have a fiduciary responsibility to see the best success for your company, right?

To make sure that you have those healthy profits that you have the ability to grow, have the ability to scale so you can persist and grow long term. And so you got to focus on the company health as well when you focus and align all of those together. That's when you're going to see the best success.

Gresham Harkless 15:18

Yeah. That makes so much sense. So what I want to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best people get ahold of you, find out about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.

Aleric Heck 15:29

Absolutely. So you can find me on all the different social media platforms, @Aleric Heck I post a lot on YouTube. I also want to give a gift for everybody who is on here. If you're interested in YouTube ads, how you can grow and scale your business, I've got a gift. It's our 200 million YouTube ads strategy, PDF 19 pages walks through step by step completely free on how to run and scale YouTube ads. You can go to

You'll also be subscribed to my weekly Marketing Minds newsletter where every week I'm sharing the best strategies that's working the best for us right now with not just YouTube ads, but overall marketing the strategies and principles I've used to grow my business. So the software is You can go and sign up for five-day unlimited free trials. It's actually a fully no filters there. Free trial to do some audience research for your YouTube ads and sync those audiences. Over to Google. So you can start running on those ads..

Gresham Harkless 16:17

Awesome. Awesome. Again, to make that even easier, we'll have links and information for that in the show notes as well, too. Thanks so much and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Aleric Heck 16:24

Thanks so much. You too.

Outro 16:25

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Want to level up your business even more? Read blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch videos at Also, check out our I Am CEO Facebook group.

This has been the I Am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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