PreneurCast is a marketing podcast. Each week, author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.
To celebrate the 100th episode of the Podcast, Pete and Dom hosted a live Q&A session, and were joined by a whole host of PreneurCast listeners who asked their most pressing questions and got answers live on the call.
Pete and Dom hosted a live Q&A event to commemorate the 100th episode
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Dom Goucher: Welcome, everyone, to the 100th episode of PreneurCast. This one’s pretty special because not only is it me, Dom Goucher, and him, Pete Williams. Hi, Pete.
Pete Williams: Hi, man, how’s things?
Dom: But, it’s everybody else as well. We are live. We are running a live show today. Not quite the live studio audience, but the next best thing. We’ve got a load of people on a GoToWebinar with us. People from the Preneur Community have joined us on the show. People are already typing in their questions in the question box. Hi, to people who are typing in their question box. Great to have you here live with us. So Pete, 100 shows.
Pete: It’s been a crazy ride, isn’t it? What’s it been? Fifty-two weeks a year, we’ve had a couple of years, we’ve had episodes not every week, so it’s probably about almost two and a half years now.
Dom: Yeah, it’s been quite a while.
Pete: Wow. That is crazy.
Dom: It’s fantastic.
Pete: I know, thinking we were reaching 100 episodes, I never sat back and thought, timeline, how long had that been? And yeah, it would have been early 2011 we started, I think.
Dom: It was something that we were trying out to see how we got on with it. We weren’t sure what was going to happen, how it was going to go. And yeah, it’s worked out really well. In fact, someone’s put in the chat for us, “More than two years of great stuff.” Thank you for that comment. Thank you very much.
Dom: The funnest thing is that we’ve enjoyed it, haven’t we?
Pete: Sorry, what was that?
Dom: We’ve enjoyed it.
Pete: Oh, I had a great time catching up with you on a weekly basis, talking crap, and sharing thoughts and experiences. It’s been crazy. When we started this, we recorded a handful of episodes before even releasing it to the world, because we didn’t want to start something and then drop the ball six weeks later like so many people do.
So we had about five or six episodes in the can, as they say, and then decided to release them out. Obviously, we no longer have a lot of episodes in the can for future release, but back on to one-to-one at the moment. But no doubt, we’ll get that buffer happening shortly. We’ve got some cool stuff planned for the next two and half years at least.
Dom: It is, but what I find interesting, as always we were looking today at the comments onPreneurMedia.tv, which is currently the home of the podcast as a website. Obviously, you can get the podcast through iTunes and lots of other places, but PreneurMedia.tv is where you can download the files, you can get transcripts.
You can also reach out to us and leave us a comment on there in lots of different ways. I was looking through the comments, and we regularly get new listeners. Regularly. We get great feedback from new listeners who find us, and then go back to the beginning, and start again.
I’m getting a lot of feedback from people that are working their way through the previous 99 episodes. So I thought it would be a little bit interesting to just kind of have a quick review. Typical question: what was your favorite episode from the first 100 episodes, Pete?
Pete: Well, let’s do this actually, that’s a great question. Definitely got some I’d love to chat about. But while you and I share our favorite episodes, why don’t we ask our live studio audience? So guys and girls who are listening, love to hear your feedback on the favorite topics we’ve spoken about, favorite episodes.
Throw them into the chat box here and we’ll cover it up in a moment. Love to hear what your favorite episode was. For me, there’s probably been a few. In terms of interviews, that’s been a lot of fun. I’d probably say that the three or four best interviews that I’ve been able to do based on the podcasts: Tim Ferriss, loved him.
Love to chat with him anytime we can, getting him on the show was fantastic. Robert Greene, the author ofMastery, was a fantastic conversation. Really enjoyed that, and we’ve kept in contact quite a bit since then. Had dinner here in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago when he was in town, which was fantastic.
Same with Ryan Holiday, as well, who we had on the show, author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, which I think is a must-read book for any marketer. Ryan and I have kept in touch quite a bit and doing some stuff at the moment. And then also, a guest we had on the show, which wasn’t really a business-focused interview, necessarily, was Rich Roll, author of Finding Ultra.
We’ve kept in touch a lot and caught up for some runs around the canyons of LA when I’ve been in town, and helping him with some advice on monetizing his message about plant-based diet. I’ve adopted more of that in my lifestyle. So that was a really great conversation.
It sparked some friendships for me, which is a great benefit for me personally, but I think those four interviews are probably the most well-received and most downloaded as well . Dom, were there any particular interviews that you did yourself or heard that you liked?
Dom: Well, the recent interview with Kourosh Dini was really the first one that I did. You’ve been the main source of the interviews, you being the international man of mystery as it were, friend to the stars and all that. I have to say that one of my personal favorites – and this is being reflected in the questions, I’m hoping, you can see this going through.
One of my personal favorites, people might be surprised by this, was the original 7 Levers episode. And the reason was, if you listen to the episode, I’m quite excited on the episode. Folks, I hope you could appreciate that this is all genuine stuff. We genuinely are interested in the people that we talk to. We genuinely believe in the topics that we discuss.
When you first came to me with the idea, I had never come across it before, and I was just so excited. It was such a great idea. It’s grown and grown from that one episode. We got such great feedback on the first episode and the second episode. We went ahead and even built the home-study course based upon it because we got such great feedback.
But that was one of the big episodes for me, personally. And, also, I think it was just a little bit of a vanity thing. But when you were approached by Tim Ferriss and you interviewed Tim Ferriss for the podcast, I thought that was great. And that really did start this increase in the authors’ approaches.
Pete: Well, that’s the really cool thing.
Dom: Yeah. It really showed to me, and I think it showed to the audience, the power of creating something as simple as a podcast. This really is just, basically, it’s a phone call between you and me every week, right?
Pete: Yep, absolutely.
Dom: That we record, but it’s gone on for 100 episodes. This is over two years’ worth of content, and now we are being approached by these authors. I’m really proud of what we’ve done.
Pete: Yeah, I absolutely, too. I think it’s a big testament to the listeners who are the lifeblood of the show, who listen regularly and download the podcast while they’re driving to work or out running, or cleaning the house. We’ve heard some crazy stories.
It’s good to have such a big community here around the podcast, and Preneur Marketing, in that we can now throw our collective weight around. I’ve mentioned this on some previous episodes. But when authors and publishers come to us now, to say, “Hey, we’d love to be on the show,” I want to make sure they can give us something that the audience gets beyond just some cool information and a conversation.
So we now have that regular contest happening. If you haven’t checked out PreneurMarketing.com/Win, we have an ongoing contest there that changes every week. Make sure you check it regularly and re-enter, because you need to enter every time there’s a new contest.
But we’re getting books and recordings, and really cool stuff from these publishers and authors that come on the show that you guys can win. We’ll send them to you personally. We’ll cover the cost of postage and all that stuff. So make sure you check out that site, and enter regularly for different books and downloads being sent to you.
Because we have this power now as a collective that we’re pushing on your behalf. Unfortunately, I can’t turn around to publishers and say, give us 40,000 copies of the book. That would be really cool, but we’re getting a handful for every guest. That way, at least, people have a chance of winning that stuff, and it’s all run through a great platform.
We’ll talk about that on the blog at some stage shortly once we really test it and know how it’s working, and how to really maximize that, and show you guys what we’re doing and how we’re using it. Check it out: PreneurMarketing.com/Win is a really cool thing that we’re now able to do based on the size of the community that we’ve built up over these two years and 100 episodes, which is just awesome.
Dom: Yeah, and we’ll continue to look out for the products and services that we use ourselves and we recommend, and we’ll be looking for opportunities to get you those free trials and subscriber deals as well as they pop up. Let’s just have a quick look through, because people have now put in quite a lot of feedback about their favorite episodes.
It’s safe to say, the 7 Levers, from our live audience is pretty much their favorite one, although, really good comment here: “I also love the 7 Levers for different professions, because it demonstrates its versatility.” And I have really enjoyed doing those. The kind of ‘If I Was…’ episodes, where I’ve challenged you. I pulled a yoga teacher out of the bag to try and get you the other week, didn’t I?
Dom: And you still managed to find a great set of opportunities to improve those seven areas of the business. Somebody very kindly said that they liked my OmniFocus interview. You’re kind and I thank you.
Pete: It’s definitely 7 Levers that by far seems to be the most powerful and impactful episode we’ve had, so that’s going to be and continue to be the core of what we talk about for a lot of the episodes. We might as well touch on now what the plan is moving forward.
Obviously, for the first part of this calendar year, we’ve both had some crazy things happening, family stuff, and bits and pieces. We went to an episode every two weeks, just so we can get on top of everything and get our processes and workflows in place again with those shifts.
But now we’re back on track, 100 episodes, we’re going to get back to weekly shows. The plan is to basically do an episode with Dom and I one week, and then the following week will be a guest, with an author or an expert in a particular area, and then swap that out so every two weeks it goes back from Dom and I, to an interview, to Dom and I, to an interview.
In the conversations that Dom and I have, we’re going to have that more of a bent towards the 7 Levers, and continue that to be the strong undercurrent of all episodes. So things like a lot more of the If I Was… series, or other conversations that we’ve had around topics that relate to one or more of those 7 Levers.
Dom: Yeah. Don’t forget, folks, we are always on the lookout for any kind of feedback that you can give us. But specifically, we do ask for you to suggest ideas for the If I Was… series, or anything else that we do. If you’re in a particularly odd business, and you think, well, I’m not sure how the 7 Levers would apply to me, then that’s your opportunity.
Go over to PreneurMedia.tv, drop us a line through the comments, or the audio message, and we will make an episode all about your specific business. As you’ve probably heard, we have this huge community of people and we regularly get interesting opportunities and lots of different businesses, all kinds of things, online, offline, services-based, white collar, all kinds of businesses.
And it’s a great challenge, very interesting for us to make those episodes. I particularly enjoy them. I think it’s got something to do with seeing you suffer, Pete, but I’m not sure.
Pete: In terms of my favorite episodes, my favorites are the 7 Levers. My favorite episode, and I still get tweets and e-mails about this, was the productivity episode. I don’t want to give it away for people who haven’t heard it yet, but it seems to be one of the other most impactful episodes I’ve ever done that.
At the time people really enjoyed it, but probably don’t think about it, because it’s not something they took away that they probably implement regularly. But it was one of my favorite episodes in terms of the feedback we continually get.
The numbers episode, which was in my mind one of the most important ones as well, just to remind people what to be focusing on and what not to be focusing on. There is a lot of noise out there in marketing and people do get distracted very, very easily. So the numbers episode, I think helped give people clarity on what they should be focusing on, what they shouldn’t be focusing on.
Dom: Interesting. Somebody just popped in the questions that somebody completely unprompted has said, yes, if you do e-mail us, we respond, and we do respond personally. It’s something that we say, but it’s great for somebody else to come out and point that out. But we do, absolutely.
Anyone who’s e-mailed the show or left a voice message, you would have gotten some level of personal response. If it’s from Pete, very often you’ll get an audio response, one of these little cool audio responses. Or from me, I’ll very often write you quite a wordy e-mail. Again, feel free, drop us a line, ask us a question, give us a show idea. Please do. We love the feedback, we really do.
I just want to point out, and something else for me that has been great to me personally because this is something that I did yesterday, and I do it pretty much most of the time; I have my own consulting classes. You do, Pete, for different things. And the other day, I was able to say to somebody,
I talked to them about the concept of Zero Based Thinking, which you introduced quite a long time ago in a podcast. And I said, we don’t need to go into too much detail, because Pete and I did an entire podcast episode on Zero Based Thinking.
Pete: From memory, I think we recorded that while I was in West Australia a couple of days before the Ironman.
Dom: Yeah, probably.
Pete: I don’t know why; I recall myself staying in a really bad hotel room in Busselton, Western Australia, about five days before the Ironman, recording that episode. Random memory. Here we go! Two years of shows create some very random memories of places we’ve recorded the show.
Dom: I was about to say, summarizing it by saying it was sometime around you doing some exercise somewhere random really doesn’t help specify at all.
Pete: Fair enough, fair enough.
Dom: People have already started putting their questions in the chat for the show. It’s a live show, we’re here to answer questions directly.
Pete: Cool, man. While people are putting their questions in and you’re going through them to work out which ones we’re going to ask and get through, I’d love to just reel off, quickly, some of the other episodes people are saying here they really like. We’ve got the 10 productivity tools episode, that was really cool, where you and I just shared the tools we’re using for productivity.
The morning routine one. That has changed a little bit now that my morning routine includes diapers and baby bottles, so that morning routine has changed slightly. “Yeah, the guys do respond. Another win by PreneurCast,” for the audios. Yep, thanks, guys.
The episode where we ran through the books on our desk and shelves; someone just finished The 4-Hour Workweek because of that, which is very, very cool. That’s awesome.
Dom: We should do another one of those because I’ve had a heck of a lot of really cool books this last year.
Pete: Oh, speaking of cool books, can everyone please go out and buy the audio version of a book called Start by Jon Acuff. I’m only about three quarters of the way through it, but the book is really cool. It’s read by the author, who’s a public speaker.
His articulation and reading of that book has to be one of the most engaging listens to an audiobook I’ve heard in a long time. It’s a really, really cool book, a really, really fun listen. But half the enjoyment I’m getting is hearing his tonality and his enjoyment, and his passion while he reads it.
Dom: For the people that didn’t scribble fast enough, that was?
Pete: Start. The book’s called just Start, by, actually, let me just open up my iPhone so I can give you exactly the spelling of the guy’s surname. I think it’s A-C-U-F-F, but let me just double-check. Hang on a second. I’ve got to get out of the white noise audio track that’s playing on my iPhone at the moment, which we play at night for Eli.
And that actually, funnily enough, was suggested to me by a listener. Someone e-mailed through when we just had Eli saying, “Hey, here’s some books to read and make sure you download these particular audio tracks, because the babies really like it and it soothes them.” So we’ve been playing the clean white noise tracks for him quite a bit when he gets a bit grizzly.
A good benefit for me is the listeners as well, not only are we giving you good stuff, you guys reach out to me, which I really do appreciate. Okay, so the book is called Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work that Matters, and the author is Jon Acuff. Hopefully, I’m pronouncing that correctly. J-O-N A-C-U-F-F.
Dom: Cool. And like everything that we talk about in the show, that will be in the show notes which, depending on what you listen to the episode on, you may not see it directly. There’s always show notes associated with these files. But if you’re not sure, and you want to check something out, always go to PreneurMedia.tv.
All the show notes will be immediately there, ready for you. The transcripts take a little bit of time after the show goes live, and the associated videos and things, but the show notes are there straightaway.
Pete: Yeah, 7 Levers, leaky pipes episode, Start as You Will Go On, OmniFocus, 7 Levers, 7 Levers, 7 Levers, and 7 Levers.
Dom: Told you, told you. Real, real weighted towards 7 Levers. Okay, so I’m going to start you with an easy one, Pete, okay?
Pete: Are these the questions?
Dom: This is from Simon Frost, who I believe you know.
Pete: Hey! Who’s also a long-distance runner.
Dom: Is he?
Pete: Yeah! They run marathons and half-marathons. We’ve gone for a couple of runs when they’ve been in town. So, guys, if you’re ever in Melbourne and up for a run, hit me up. If it fits with the schedule, hey, why not?
Dom: So Simon asks, and this is a great question, because it’s quite reasonable and legitimate, how does being a new daddy affect your entrepreneurial activities? What adjustments have you had to make to fit a baby into your schedule?
Pete: It has definitely been a change to the workflow. A couple of things, really. Oh, God, where do I start? Things adjusted for the first six months to allow those routines to settle down, and things like the podcast got shifted to a fortnightly episode rather than a weekly episode.
I know we say that this only takes an hour to record, and it does. We jump online, and we talk. We get offline, and Dom does the edit. So it’s not a lot of time for me. But it’s still, the time we record the show is generally early morning or late evening, because Dom’s in beautiful Spain, I’m in currently cold Melbourne.
So, we do these shows at these timeframes, and being a parent, Eli wakes up in the morning. We’ve got to feed him, do the nappy, diapers thing, or late at night trying to put him to sleep. We have juggled that a little bit, just to make sure it was easier to fit a schedule. That was one thing that’s changed.
The other thing is I’m now taking a lot more time out of the telco and the Infiniti businesses. In terms of the office, I now only go into the office for the telco and the e-comm businesses; the ‘real-world’ stuff that I do, which I know everyone’s heard me refer to previously as babysitting, with the staff.
I’m only in the office on Monday, Tuesdays, and Thursdays now. I’m working from home on Wednesdays and Fridays, which I haven’t really done before on a regular basis. That allows me to get tons of stuff being done. I’m upstairs in my office. Door’s closed. I’m in work mode, which is one thing that’s changed a little bit.
Haven’t been doing a lot of training; signed up for a couple of half-Ironmans for early next year. I’m only starting to get back into training now. I think the first six months, everything was put on hold just so I could work out what I could do and what I couldn’t do. It’s different, coming home previously, when Fleur’s best friend was living with us.
Fleur had someone to hang out with all the time who’s been her best friend since she was a teenager. So I’d be able to come home, do the family thing with dinner, and then go upstairs in my office and get work done, and do all that knowing Fleur was – not being looked after, that sounds like a terrible term, but that kind of stuff.
Whereas now, I’ve got to come home. When I am home, it is family, baby, nothing else. I very rarely do work at home at nights anymore. If I need to get something done, I’ll stay in the office until it’s done and then laptop off. It’s playtime, baby time until I go to bed. That’s kind of a different shift.
It’s more about, just priorities have changed in terms of less time in the office, so I can have more uninterrupted time doing that stuff. I don’t know. Hopefully that’s some value for people there. Nothing major to take away, just a shuffle of priorities and a shuffle of positive constraints, i.e. not being in the office.
Dom: Cool, okay. I just thought it was relevant and topical. Speaking of relevant and topical, Debra from Melbourne has asked me a question, which should be a relatively quick answer. I recommended the particular headphones that I use because they seal out external noise.
They’re a particular brand called Shure [SE215 in-ear headphones]. They literally stick themselves inside of your ears and seal out the outside noise. Debra asked if there was another recommendation because she said that they would be uncomfortable and hard to insert.
By the way, they’re not; but different people have different responses to these things. You really do have to try them. You get all kinds of different fixtures with these things. To comment on something, Pete, that you just mentioned, before I had my noise-blocking headphones, what I would do, and still something I do now, is I would use white noise.
You can get software or audio tracks already prerecorded that generate white noise. Now, there’s all kinds of different versions of this, but basically, it sounds a bit like static hiss from a radio in its simplest form. But you would be amazed how much this helps your concentration, just with a regular set of headphones, having that white noise playing, it drowns out everything else that’s going on.
It really does help if you’re in a distracting environment. For some reason, and I’m sure there’s some science behind it which I haven’t really looked into, I used to find it really, really helpful when I worked in a busy environment to have this white noise just on the regular headphones, nothing special or technical. Maybe that will help. Pete, are you using a particular app for yours?
Pete: Well, no. What I’m using for the phone is just an audio track that I downloaded from iTunes, like ninety-nine cents app, but something that’s being suggested, and we use it in the office occasionally. It started off as a bit of a piss-take. We do use it now, productivity-wise, is a website called Coffitivity.com.
What that is, it’s really weird; it plays ambient sounds from a coffee shop. There’s a whole bunch of stuff on the page about the science behind how this helps. Basically, what you can do is you just play this ambient coffee lounge hustle and bustle in the background, so it feels like you’re in an environment with other people going around.
It’s not distracting music that you sing along to, but it’s some sound that kind of gives you that ambient background that is apparently meant to boost your workday creativity. We’ve been playing with it in the office. Really cool; something that’s funky and a bit different.
Dom: I’ll put that in the show notes. Andrew says he totally agrees with me, white noise or even pink noise can be great, so some feedback from the community.
Pete: Yep. What’s pink noise?
Dom: It’s a variant of white noise. That’s probably the least technical answer I’ve ever given in my entire life.
Pete: Well, someone’s saying the Mozart effect really helped them, so for those who don’t know what that means, go back and listen to the productivity episode that we had early on in the series of shows here, because that kind of definitely links into that, and I think it made a huge difference to a lot of people.
Dom: Yep. Andrew recommends SimplyNoise.com. I’ll put that in the show notes for people.
Dom: Let’s go for something a little bit more challenging. Pete, this is something that we don’t do a lot about, but I would like to just see if you’ve got a kind of quick answer to this. Jason Matyas has asked for someone getting started in online business, what are the most powerful business models, and what’s the best sequence to build or approach them in?
And the examples he gives are things like affiliate marketing, membership sites, training, coaching, consulting; things like that. I know this is something that you and I have been talking about a little bit recently, so maybe you’ve got a little bit of feedback on that?
Pete: Yeah. It might end up being a little bit of a rant. Before I get on my soapbox, I’ll just touch on a couple of things. I’ve been working with a couple of writers to help put together what I’m currently terming the ‘definitive guide to online business models,’ because I think the issue that’s being raised there is a serious issue.
We’ve talked to so many people now; that the more we do stuff online, the more online marketers kind of get to be part of our community, which is a good thing; happy to support them and give them advice. But the problem is that there’s no such thing as internet marketing.
Saying you’re an internet marketer, as I’ve said before, is the biggest load of crap ever. You have to know what your business model is, and the internet is just a path to market. Affiliate marketing is the business, not internet marketing. Consulting is the business model, not internet marketing. Being a writer is a business model.
Someone who sells eBooks online calls themselves an internet marketer. That’s absolutely crap. You’re an author. It’s a huge distinction. I’m writing a whole big book around this different business models to help people get real clarity on what your core business model is, and then you use the internet as a way to market those products and services.
So that’s one quick thing without going too ranty about it. To answer the question, though; it comes into what your skill set is. If you’re trying to start a business just to make money because you need to make money, it really isn’t the best model. Trying to go after a business model that’s going to give you the best revenue doesn’t exist.
If you look at the top richest people in the world, or even the people who are making $200,000 a year or even $75,000 a year; I watched a really interesting documentary about two weeks ago called Happy.
Just Happy, that’s the name of it. And it talks about some seriously in-depth studies that have been done, and they’ve found that the happiness level of people who earn $75,000 is significantly more than people who earn $30,000, $40,000, or $50,000.
But once you earn $75,000 a year, the happiness level that you have, between that and $200,000 and $1 million a year is absolutely very negligible. It makes no difference, which was surprising to a lot of people, but it’s absolutely fact. So I think people should be aiming towards making $75,000 a year as their first goal, and then after that, look at trying to build Facebook.
What I’m saying, though, is that if you look at people who are earning $100,000 a year, $200,000 a year, $1 million a year, they’re all doing it with different business models. You could be a wholesaler selling pharmaceuticals. You could be a information marketer. You could run a used car lot.
You could run a mechanic’s. There’s so many different ways to make money. So trying to say what business model’s going to make me the most money is just a counterintuitive, wrong way to look at it. It should be: what is your skill set and how do you monetize that skill set?
What is your passion? How can I best monetize that passion? That’s the true answer that I suggest people really think and look and strive for. Unfortunately, that’s not the answer people want. People want, “Hey, go and do this.”
Dom: A lot of the people answered, “I totally agree with you.” A lot of these things are what I call business opportunities. And people that follow them along that I refer to as opportunity-seekers. Another term for them is arbitrage. And arbitrage particularly refers to anything that works right now, but probably won’t work later.
That’s not a business. It’s an opportunity, but it’s not a business. Back to that initial point that you made, and you said it was a rant. But one of the first things I ever heard you say; before we met, I saw you speak. And one of the first things I ever heard you say in one of your speeches at a conference was about the internet being a path to market. And this leads us into the next question; a question from Andrew.
Pete: Before you go, I just want to make one more point. Finish your point, but before we go to the next question, I want to make one more quick point.
Dom: Yeah, I’m not going to go, I’m just going to say this. The point is that a business model is a business model. But affiliate marketing or membership sites are just another kind of path to market for your skill or your product, or your business. They’re not businesses.
And I think that’s kind of what you were trying to say there, but saying it slightly differently. We could probably give some recommendations on how you might market using the internet in a particular business, which is what the next question’s about. So, Pete, what did you want to say?
Pete: I was going to say I’ll slightly disagree with you there, that I do think affiliate marketing can be a business model in itself. I think membership sites, consulting, that stuff, is a path to market and monetizing a skill set, but I think affiliate marketing can potentially be a business model.
Dom: It can.
Pete: Yeah. I want to make a suggestion to answer the question that they want to hear. I’m a bit reluctant to do that because it’s not the correct answer you really need to have, but it’s what you want to hear, so I’m going to try and answer them both together.
I do think a good way to start out using the internet to make money, let’s get this very clear and make sure we use the right language here, is a model that Pat Flynn used. Now, I’m not saying everyone else should go out and exactly rip off what Pat did.
But I think Pat has one of the best integrity-based businesses going around. Pat started off doing this ‘internet marketing’ thing, basically being an information publisher. He was creating eBooks and content in different niches, I think security was one of them, how-to kind of stuff, and was monetizing that as his business.
But then he also started this website where he openly said, “I’m starting out. I don’t know anything about this, but I’m going to blog and talk about my journey as I learn this. I’m going to share some stuff I’m learning along the way and hopefully you can, too.”
So as he wrote that, he’s not turning around and saying, “I am a guru. I’m experienced.” Because nothing pisses me off more than seeing people out there buying a course on a how to make money online and then they suddenly start teaching how to make money online.
It’s an absolute pyramid scheme, and it pisses me off. There’s no integrity in what you’re selling, and you wonder why you’re not making any friggin’ money. Because, internally, most people realize that they’re doing the wrong thing, that there’s no integrity in what they’re selling and what they’re saying.
So they don’t push hard enough and work the extra hours, because they feel some unease inside them, which is why they don’t succeed. We should probably do an episode on that, Dom. Can you make a note about this? It’s going to be a ranty episode, but I think it needs to be said in this market.
Pete: Going out there and saying, “I don’t know about this, I’m trying to learn it, come along with my journey, I’m going to blog about it,” and while you’re blogging saying, “this is a tool I found that I’m going to test out, and here’s the affiliate link for it. You can make money that way, which is a great way to do it.”
So it is affiliate marketing in a particular industry or space, but the way and the language you learn, and you use, is a lot more congruent with a lot more integrity, and you’re audience will prefer that for you, and they will support you. More importantly, you will have more confidence in yourself because you’re not trying to be somebody you’re not.
So many people online who are trying to make online businesses ‘work,’ do so, and they’re trying to be someone they’re not; they’re trying to be a guru or an expert when they’re not. And they wonder why they’re not willing to work that extra hour, get up that hour earlier, follow through, continually getting distracted by cats on YouTube and Facebook.
It’s because they know internally in their heart that they’re not being true to themselves, so why would they work extra hard? And that’s why most people fail with this quote-unquote internet marketing thing. Alright, rant over. To answer Josh’s question, Pat Flynn, really cool, but do think drop shipping.
To me, I think drop shipping is great. One of the biggest revenue generators for me and my businesses is an e-commerce site. Selling physical products I absolutely believe in, because that is my core revenue stream. This is the thing, I’m telling you exactly what I do.
Everyone who listens to this show knows about SimplyHeadsets.com.au, which is the biggest e-commerce site that we have in our group of websites and businesses. That’s a multimillion-dollar business selling physical goods. So I’m a big believer in e-commerce and selling physical goods for sure.
Taking that drop shipping approach, I’m assuming you’re probably referring to Ezra [Firestone]‘s product and course that came out recently. I think it’s a great business model, absolutely. It’s what I do. That is the core phase for me. I’m not an information marketer.
I podcast because I enjoy them, share some courses and speakers, I enjoy it. It’s far, far, far from the core revenue. It is physical phone systems and e-commerce stuff that is what I do as a businessperson.
Dom: Yeah, and as we’ve mentioned before, and it is well worth highlighting, in your little rant there you regularly say you can’t get on with people that put themselves forward as gurus because they’ve read a book or watched a course. One of the positions that we take very strongly on this podcast is the fact that you are absolutely a real-world businessperson.
I am, too. I don’t run the same number or scale of businesses that you do, but I’m certainly in business, and I’m going through the challenges and discussing these topics from a position of, certainly in some cases, I’d like to know myself or I’ve experienced it myself.
And you certainly have a lot more experience because of these real-world businesses, which hopefully brings value to the content. Going back to a real business and a way of working that forward, Andrew has asked; he’s a training and consultancy company that has gained business on the back of a key figure in the company, his wife, through her personality and her specialist knowledge.
She’s incredibly popular. People are happy to travel just to listen to her speak and teach. However, she’s hitting that barrier, which is she can only be in one place at a time, so there’s an absolute limit to the scale of the business and a limit to what they can earn and business they can generate.
So, they’re trying to think of ways to utilize the personality and knowledge, and reach a wider audience without diluting the message through what some people do, which is that they train up consultants.
We’ve seen quite a lot of this recently, where people said, “Oh, yes, come and join my program and one of consultants will talk to you.” They don’t want to go that way, so they’re looking at organizing an online course. Do we have any advice, suggestion, direction?
Pete: Yeah, I think that’s a much better way to go. I don’t know the intricate details, and I could get this wrong, but I think that’s an issue, I believe, Tony Robbins faced a few years ago when he tried to leverage out the Unleash the Power Within weekends, where he got facilitators to run those weekends and it just, from my understanding, backfired.
Now, I could be wrong, don’t quote me on that one or anything, but that’s my understanding. I do agree that getting other people to represent you can potentially be a bad thing. There’s ways where franchising works. Brad Sugars did it exceptionally well with Action business coaching.
There’s definitely ways through that, as long as you start branding the businesses as more than just you. That takes a bit of a shift, so that’s a bigger play. Though I do think this is where the internet can come in and help you, give you that path to market in a much more leveraged way, and this is a smart way to use the internet.
So you are still being true to your business model, which is consulting and supporting, whatever it is that your wife does. And you can start using the internet to build up that brand, that positioning, and have a one to many reach. Starting that blog, starting that podcast.
Looking at Marie Forleo, and seeing what she’s done using video quite regularly, because it’s personality and it is that face coming through the computer screen. And then off the back of that, you can do the membership site, the group coaching, where it is the one-to-many delivery.
Rather than doing one-on-one coaching, which you can do over Skype, I take on a couple of clients here and there; but the group coaching stuff works a lot more effectively because it is still that one-to-many scenario where you get six people in a group, you jump online for an hour and half every week, or fortnight, with your consulting clients.
It’s more cost-effective for them, it’s easier for you and your wife to deliver the service. You spend the first 15 minutes or 20 minutes of that group session teaching, educating. And then everyone gets a 15 minute focus time in that session. That kind of stuff works exceptionally well to leverage the internet.
She can have clients all across the country, all across the world. So, take that same enthusiasm and message and then use the internet as a way to reach out with that. Finding other people who talk about similar topics that your wife does and start giving some of that content that people love as guest posts, as exclusive videos for their websites.
And then start booting up that brand and that positioning online, driving them back to some website where you can capture their details. And then monetize that through a membership site, through this group coaching stuff. I think that’s a much smarter way than going down the path of replicating that.
I’m assuming that the consulting can be done through a Skype connection or a GoToWebinar or aGoToMeeting, something like that. That it’s not like a consulting masseuse-type of role where you’ve got to be physically there touching the person, that this can be facilitated that way.
Most things can be done these days with a screen cam. GoToMeeting, Citrix’s alternative product to GoToWebinar that we’re using for today’s podcast allows you and the other people in that conversation to share a computer screen and share webcams. You can see everybody and see their facial expressions and have those conversations. It works exceptionally well.
Dom: Cool. One bullet point where you said, to add a little tiny bit to it, definitely what you presented there was a path of increasing complexity with a really easy start point. This is something that, again, speaking to everybody, you’ve heard me a couple of times recently talking about a book called The Lean Startup.
It’s not a new book, but it’s a book I think that pretty much everybody should read because it encourages you to do the minimum you need to do to find out if what you’re doing is going to work. And a lot of people would leap straight at, for example, membership site, online training courses.
Now, small, tiny little reference to one of my businesses. One of my businesses is creating online training courses, it’s a specialty of mine, so this is my specialist subject. I wouldn’t recommend that people jump straight into creating a course when you can go through these paths that Pete just laid out, which is you start off, you could blog and, as we have done here, very, very simply create a podcast.
This is all growing the audience and the authority out to a wider circle and communicating with that potential client base. You could even publish, maybe, a digital book, which is something that just sits there and you can either give it away or you can sell it through all the digital book platforms, or through a website.
And then, yeah, you can use all these technologies like GoToWebinar or Skype video chat on a one-to-one model to reach audiences further and further away. Then you can build up to this idea of collecting the knowledge into these targeted and focused online courses. It was a great answer, Pete.
I think, hopefully, Andrew, you got something from that. Right, okay. Andrew said he really feels that they need to take it slowly, but they are being approached by someone to create a series of course from them. Andrew, I don’t like pimping, but if you contact me through support, I might be able to help you with that. That’s all I will say.
That was an example of somebody who has an existing business model, a body of knowledge, and they want to use the internet to move it forward. We gave a really huge pile of options there. Just while everybody’s brain cools down from that, Debra has asked another question, which is that she refers back to an episode about managing expectations.
The one that I talked about with the funeral director, and about where businesses assume that clients already understand the process that’s going to happen, but that really it’s your duty to explain what’s going to happen to them. She had an interesting experience, which is worth discussing, even if it’s briefly.
She was discussing with a client who’s a graphic designer and his view was that the type of clients he wanted wouldn’t need such clarification because he only wanted to work with clients who understood exactly what they were expecting. I have a response to that; two-fold response.
The first one is if it’s a new client, they have no idea what you’re going to do, and really you don’t want people coming to you thinking that they know what you’re going to do, because that can really because a big mismatch in expectations, which you need to clarify.
But the second and more positive thing to that is, that it is an opportunity for you to differentiate yourself by doing this. And that’s really where we were coming from with that episode, Pete, wasn’t it?
Dom: That by going through and explaining to people what you do and how you do it, is an opportunity to really demonstrate to people your professionalism, the scope of your service, and differentiate yourself from those other people in your marketplace. It’s a positive thing in all cases from my point of view. Debra says, in a comment, that she believes it’s a positive thing.
Pete: One thing I must add, the way I read that question is that they think they understand that the client knows the process. Now, the process is different from expectations. This is a big thing that hopefully people took away from that episode. The process of graphic design is we’re going to sit down, we’re going to do the brief, we’re going to this, go back and forth.
But the process itself, the linear process, it can be known by the client. Someone is going to come and mow my lawns and do my gardening. I know what he’s going to do; he’s going to come and get the lawnmower off the back of his truck and mow my lawn, but there are still expectations around that. How’s he going to do it?
What’s the time it’s going to take? You still need to manage the expectations, because the way you do a process is very, very different. If I said to someone, “Hi, I’m going to go run a marathon.” People know what the marathon is, but saying I’m going to run a marathon that gets me into the Olympics is a very different expectation, too.
“I’m going to potentially walk half of it because I’m big and fat and slow.” The process is the same; running from one point to the other point across a course over 42 kilometers, that’s a process. The expectation of when am I going to eat, how often am I going to eat, how fast am I going to move, what’s my split time, am I going to positively or negatively split it?
That kind of stuff is the expectation that you need to manage. Now, it’s probably a pretty poor example, but you still need to manage the expectation, not just the process. And from my reading that question is I think the person they’re talking about thinks the client intends a process, but they don’t need to manage the expectation. They’re two very similar, but extremely different things.
Dom: Yeah. It still comes down to this: there’s multiple reasons for doing it, and it’s all about managing that expectations, really, isn’t it?
Dom: Okay, absolutely. Now, I have another question. This is absolutely hot topic for us. You’re going to love this one. This is Adam, in the UK, a regular listener of PreneurCast, the best part of the year now, been using our advice and developing a small outsourcing team. Welcome, Adam. Don’t do the work yourself. Work on your business, not in your business. Great stuff.
Pete: Cliche after cliche. I love it, Dom.
Dom: Just following your example. However, I find that your quality of many of the contractors on the sites where he’s finding the people can vary a lot, and sometimes people seem to apply for jobs they aren’t really capable of doing properly.
Also, some of the contractors will string out simple tasks over many hours when they should take only a short time. Do you have any advice or tips on how to find reliable, quality subcontractors?
Pete: Yeah. It’s a two-day lecturing session that Dave Jenyns and I did all about how we’ve built our teams. It’s a hard answer, 16 hours’ worth of content that Dave and I have shared in a quick podcast response; but let me give the quick, top-level stuff. Firstly, don’t use Elance or oDesk for full-time staff.
You have to think about the mentality of the person. A person who goes to Elance and oDesk, their mentality, no matter where they’re from in the country, or the world, they’ve got this mentality of needing to maximize that job because they don’t have another job tomorrow necessarily.
Or, they’re going to get half-way through your job and need to secure the next job to make sure they can put money and food on the table for their family next week. Their outcome is different from yours in that respect. So if you’re going to hire someone full-time, hire someone from a place where they’re going to look for full-time work.
Now, in Australia it’s SEEK.com.au. In the US, it’s maybe Monster or Yahoo! [Careers]. And in various countries, the Philippines, India, they have their own respective job places where someone who wants a full-time job goes. People who want a full-time job don’t go to Elance or oDesk.
They’re contractors for individual tasks, so they’re out-taskers. So that’s the first thing: if you want someone who’s going to be reliable for long-term employment, go to a place where that’s the context in which they’re looking for a job. That’s the first thing.
Secondly, for one-off jobs, you are much better off paying a slight premium because you know that person’s going to be good, because otherwise you’re going to get strung along by someone doing extra hours. That’s a big thing. Also, getting them to set expectations upfront, and saying how long this job’s going to take.
Four-hour job? Okay, great, I’ll pay for four hours. And then just be upfront with them, saying, “Okay, well if it takes six hours, what’s going to happen? How are we going to deal with this, because I’m paying you as an expert to do this? So you should have an expert’s advice and opinion on how long it’s going to take.”
Get fixed quotes for stuff like that. It’s a much better way to go. I’m more and more avoiding places like Elance and oDesk, and looking for referrals. Unless I find someone with a huge rating, a lot of hours on that platform that you know is trustworthy. Really look at their history.
Someone who hasn’t had jobs before or very little jobs or earned very little money, that says a lot. Don’t be the guinea pig for them, let them find someone else less educated who doesn’t listen to PreneurCast to trial. Always go with people who have more experience and pay that slight premium for it, because it’s better in the long run.
Dom: Great tip. Really, again, I don’t like pimping. But I really, really have to say, folks, if you are interested in outsourcing, which you should be, for getting things done, completely independently, because Pete and Dave Jenyns put the Outsource Profit Machine course together. Independently of me; wasn’t involved in it in any way.
Not sore about that, but I’ve watched their entire course. It’s two solid days of a presentation that they did, which is their insider knowledge on everything they know about outsourcing. Now bear in mind that both Dave and Pete run multiple businesses with multiple, multiple members of staff all over the world doing all kinds of stuff. They really, really know their stuff.
Some of the tips, I mean, five minutes of listening to that changed the way that I handle a lot of my own business, let alone the more advanced stuff that they do. It was a fabulous, fabulous thing. So if you have an opportunity to study that course, if you’re into it, if you’re thinking of going into outsourcing, or you’re already struggling with it, I can recommend it, completely not being paid by Pete to say this.
Pete: Can I make a suggestion, though, mate? If people are interested in the outsourcing course, don’t buy it right now. It sounds counterintuitive.
Dom: Ooh, insider knowledge.
Pete: The current version that’s available is only the first day of the workshop. We did another second full day this year, and we’ve been about two weeks away from releasing it for about four months. We just need to record the sales video and we’ve just been slack about it.
That should be up and out, I’d say in two or three weeks, so if you’re on the Preneur Marketing newsletter list, which I’m assuming most of you probably are, if not, head over to PreneurMarketing.com and sign up. There will be some e-mails about that when it comes out, and it’s going to be crazy cheap. We realize that it’s not about making money for us, it’s going to be an extremely low price point for 16 hours’ worth of content.
So don’t buy it yet, just keep an eye out for that, because you’ll get both editions, probably at a very similar price, if not cheaper than the first version available right now. A bit of a heads-up on that one.
Dom: Cool, so keep an eye on your e-mail boxes, as those internet marketing people say.
Pete: Yep, exactly.
Dom: Some great tips there, Pete. As I say, this is an example of the depth of your knowledge that you can kind of give some really powerful stuff in such a short space of time. We are coming close to what would be the normal episode length at this point, Pete, we’ve been running for nearly an hour now.
Dom: It’s flown by. We have a pile of questions that are coming through. People are dropping things all the time. Can we eke one more question out, Pete?
Pete: Yeah, let’s do this. I’ve got plenty of stuff, I’ve got back-to-back meetings that I unfortunately it’s a bit of a crazy day for me. What we could do is if anyone’s got any extra questions they want to have us answer on the podcast, throw them into the chat box right now, and then Dom and I can record answers to those and get them out for maybe a follow-up episode in a couple of weeks’ time.
We can have the Part Two, or the after-hours sessions. We will answer all your questions, just probably not live unfortunately. We’ll go and do that offline for another episode. We’ll still make sure we answer everyone’s questions, they just won’t be live on this episode.
If you’re listening to this episode and you’re really enjoying the Q&A, check out in a couple of weeks, we’ll follow up with all the other questions we’ve got. But, yeah, we can definitely squeeze in another question.
Dom: We have one question. It’s excellent, actually. Hopefully, you can give a quick answer. I have also some feedback for this person because they’re somebody who sent us an e-mail previously. This is Dave Collins. Dave asks, do you have any tips for getting more conversions on a website where the business is an expensive service? Now in this case, it’s higher-end video production, which can be very expensive, as I know myself. Pete, any input?
Pete: Yeah. I think there’s a few things. One thing that, again, this whole ‘internet marketing’ community preaches is that you need to get an e-mail address. That’s the opt-in you need. But I really do believe, and we’ve spoken about this so many times, and in the telco business Infiniti that we run, we sell phone systems there.
Ten thousand-dollar, $15,000, $20,000 solutions, all the way down to $2,000 or $3,000 for a small business. So, we’re not going to get an opt-in for a free report. Why, that’s just stupid, it doesn’t work like that. Because we know the lifetime value of our clients, we know that the margins we’re willing to pay to acquire a client, and how much effort we’re willing to get a conversion.
The opt-in can be a phone call. If you’re a high production video company, where you’re selling $10,000 and $15,000 dollar solutions for people, your opt-in should be a 20-minute consultation. That should be what your opt-in is, because nothing sells better than face-to-face.
Nothing’s going to get you a conversion like a face-to-face conversation. The reason you use the internet is to give you leverage, to reach the masses at a lower conversion rate. But this is the thing that confuses so many people. That doesn’t mean it’s the best way to make a conversion, it’s not.
The best way to make a conversion for anything, no matter what you’re selling, whether it’s a two dollar eBook or a $200,000 video production, is a face-to-face conversation. Now at a two dollar eBook level, the numbers don’t work for that. It can’t really work for you to do that, but for a $5,000 or a $2,000 profit video production, have that 20-minute conversation with people.
So the opt-in should be, “Want a free conversation with one of our team members about some ways you can do this yourself or have us do it for you? Call us now, request a free consultation.” That’d be what the opt-in should be. In my opinion, it shouldn’t necessarily be about first trying to build this list, it should be about getting the conversion.
What’s the best way to get a conversion? Get on the phone with a prospect. ‘Request a quote’ type functionality where it’s a bit of a survey on your website, asking them to just pick up the phone and call you is a very easy way to get an opt-in.
Because remember, as we spoke about in 7 Levers, an opt-in doesn’t necessarily mean an e-mail subscriber. For a retail store, an opt-in is someone going into the changing room and trying on that dress. That is the opt-in. The opt-in’s different for every business model, so that’s the first lesson, and I think it should be about picking up the phone calls.
White papers can work, but, again, not really. When someone’s going to be making a $2,000 expense, they’re not there for information, they’re there to make a purchase. Help them make that purchase. That’s the difference with people coming to this internet marketing world with a ‘real-world’ business like a video production company.
Trying to mold that ‘how to make money selling an eBook’ business model to that doesn’t work. The foundation and the concepts work, but the execution has to be different. So, the execution is not opt-in for a free eBook. The execution is pick up the friggin’ phone and speak to me so I can sell you. Dom?
Dom: Really good point, man. It’s very much overlooked. When we do consulting work in our mastermind groups and things like that, we review people’s websites, which is something that we do for people. One of the first things we say is what is your goal? What is your opt-in?
Going back to the 7 Levers, everything comes back to the 7 Levers, what is your opt-in? And if your opt-in is that you need them to contact you, you need to get that face-to-face, or voice-face contact, then you’re asking them to ring you. Then usually our initial response in any given situation where somebody says can you review my website, will be where’s your phone number then?
Because it’s usually missing off the front page of the website in the top right-hand corner. Simple, simple, simple stuff, but some people get hung up with this idea that the internet is magic and things just happen. It’s still a path to market for a business. Business rules and marketing rules apply.
Again, podcasts we’ve talked about this before, everything we talk about has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. The example you gave was the book about Houdini [The Secret Life of Houdini], and how Houdini was using marketing at the turn of the century. The techniques that people now are bringing out, going, this is revolutionary on the internet.
It’s not revolutionary on the internet; it’s been around for a hundred plus years. Go and read a book. Folks, we are at time. So as Pete said, just while I’m wrapping up the show, if we didn’t get to your question, but you desperately want that question answering, Pete and I will endeavor to answer it in one of our recorded podcasts in the next few weeks to get that answer to you, or we will get in touch with you somehow, preferably on a podcast.
It’s been an absolute pleasure today to do this. It’s a celebration because it’s the 100th show, but it’s been even more enjoyable to have everyone on here live, interacting with you live, helping you, answering your questions, and just really being in the community that we know is there.
There’s this huge community, the Preneur Community, listeners to the podcast. We know you’re out there. We get your feedback through PreneurMedia.tv, through iTunes. But having you guys live and chatting with us has been just a pleasure and an honor.
Pete: Absolutely. It’s been amazing, 100 episodes, two and a half years. It doesn’t feel it’s taken that long to get here. It’s been amazing, so again, as Dom said, really do appreciate every one of you, as we said at the start of the show, and people have mentioned in the comments.
For those who do reach out, we do take the time, because we appreciate you, to reply personally with audio or e-mails, so again, thanks, you all. It’s been an awesome journey and it’s just beginning, as they say in the classics.
Dom: Okay, folks. Anyone listening at home to this recording, as always the show notes are on PreneurMedia.tv where you can get the download, the transcripts. You can leave us feedback as a comment below the post, or with the little audio buttons on the side of the page.
You may have come to us through iTunes. Please do, if you enjoy the show, leave us an iTunes review. We really appreciate those because it helps other people discover the show. Starting next week we will be going weekly, so listen out for our next show and we’ll see you all soon.
Pete: See you guys and girls, love you all!
http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/ – Pat Flynn’s Site
http://coffitivity.com/ – Coffee Shop Noise Generator
http://simplynoise.com/ – White Noise Generator
Start – Jon Acuff
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