This is the episode where we answer a listener question around creating an information product. We could flesh these show notes out, but you know what … that’s exactly what we cover.
Quote of the show – “It’s time to take the floaties off and hit the jet skis!” – James Schramko.
(Duration 57 min – 52 MB)
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Tim: James Schramko, welcome back to Freedom Ocean.
James: It’s my absolute pleasure, Timbo.
Tim: Isn’t it an absolute joy to be back in those waters?
James: It is. A new setting, a new scene here.
Tim: Yeah, well we’re sitting here at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. You’ve just checked out of the Hilton. Had a lovely time.
James: It was a great place.
Tim: A freeing experience and we’ve been at the Ed Dale conference. The, what’s it called? Going Pro.
James: Going Pro. That’s right.
Tim: I’ve got to say, I’m sort of glad I came and in another sense I wish I had stayed at home because it’s just this information. It’s just like at what point do you kind of stop and collect your thoughts? However, before we go in and talk about that, sort of about talking about what are the right questions to ask in terms of choosing an Internet marketing model to get your teeth into? But before we do that, we should welcome our listeners back to the Freedom Ocean. I’m the guy with a million questions. You’re the guy with the million dollars and that’s the basis of the show really. As the lovely Holly, oh Holly is our voice over at the staff.
Tim: Yeah, she’s lovely. I’ve found Holly on Fiver.
Tim: There’s a little tip. Five dollar voice over. Sounds a million, doesn’t she?
James: She certainly does.
Tim: Yeah, she’s been very helpful and so that’s the premise of the show. So, I’m the guy that’s got all the questions about Internet marketing and there’s lots. Since we launched the show, James, we’ve gone to number one on iTunes.
James: That’s phenomenal and I guess we should thank the listeners for that.
Tim: A hundred percent. A hundred percent.
James: And we read every comment.
Tim: We do and they’re good. It’s nice to get constructive feedback. It’s good for the ego, they say, you know? “We should be charging for this,” they say. I like that one.
James: I like that and I also like them asking for what they want us to cover because we’re quite dynamic.
Tim: Yeah, that’s it. I’ve probably got asked questions, I think, for the next decade.
James: [laughs] Why don’t we dive into a couple of them in the Freedom Ocean today?
Tim: Well, listen. Before we do that, some of the stuff we’ve covered in episodes one to four, because sometimes people kind of dip in, metaphors galore of course. But you know so far we talked about why you walked away and why you walked away from a $300,000 annual salary. We’ve covered the 10 Internet marketing business models and you shared the one with the most explosive growth. I think it was in episode three or two which was very interesting. So, I’d go back and listen to that if you haven’t listeners. The characteristics of a successful Internet marketer. Very interesting. See whether you match up to that. What you do differently starting today was another area you covered and what you’d avoid when starting the internet or what you should avoid when starting the Internet marketing business. So, there’s a fair bit of stuff in there and in fact last episode we set our listeners a bit of a challenge. I bit of homework.
James: I wonder how they went with that?
Tim: Clearing the inbox. You love that one.
James: I love it. I think it’s just number one in terms of getting set.
Tim: I have this fear that things will go missing and people will come knocking on my door saying, “Why the hell didn’t you respond?”
James: I was lucky I had a manager who was hopeless at making decisions and would never get back to me. He taught me that sometimes if you ignore something long enough it just falls away in importance and only the critical emergency things seem to bob up again. So, I took that lesson, for what it was worth, applied it to my inbox and I’ve got to say I’ve hardly ever had a situation where I’ve missed something that was critical. So, letting go of that fear is really the first step to freedom.
Tim: Yeah and I’ve got to say that letting go of fear, one of the big things that came out of, it might’ve been one of your talks yesterday, was like think big. You know, I think fear sometimes stops us from thinking big.
James: Well, I think it extends back to the old days when there was too much of a penalty for stepping out and for trying something new. You’d get castigated.
Tim: You’re talking cave man days?
James: Yeah, that’s right.
James: You’d be outcasts and sent off into the wilderness to die. So you die. But it’s not the case anymore. There’s very little downside for trying new stuff.
Tim: Yep, but I still think, you know, we talked about whether Internet marketing where it is in its life cycle. You believe it’s really young still. We are of a generation where our parents, they had a job for life. This lifestyle of freedom that Internet marketing potentially offers is very, very sort of, quite challenging to get your head around. And you do have to make some quite big leaps.
James: Well, let’s have a look at some examples. I mean, as a case study. When did that exist?
Tim: Well, it’s four weeks old.
James: That’s right. It’s four weeks old but it’s now a legitimate published business idea, concept in action.
Tim: Number one on iTunes. I told you that.
James: Number one. I think you mentioned it. [laughs] With an audience and a community and it’ll grow. That really is just a classic example of having an idea, running it through a few filters of checks and balances which we might want to talk about at some point and turning it into something real. A lot of people come along with an idea. I bet people are interested in the process of, “How do you go from idea to having an actual online business?”
Tim: Do you want to cover that in this episode?
James: Yeah, why don’t we?
Tim: Let that be the heart and soul of this episode because it’s funny you raise that. We do have a listener questions from a young bloke who, I won’t say what the condition that he suffers because he may want to go and create this product, but he suffers a particular physical condition and he wants to create a product around, or an online business around helping other young blokes in their teenage years who also suffer from this condition. He wants to go and create that and make a living from it because his condition does actually stop him from getting a proper job. [laughs] Getting a proper job. Getting a real job. I’ve got to stop saying that.
James: Isn’t that interesting for you say that because I have a member of my team that suffers from polio. His equipment costs a lot of money, the walking frame and stuff and it’s very hard for him to catch public transport and he really found it hard to get employment anywhere else and now he works from home for me. He’s part of my team and this is the first time he’s had an employment opportunity where he can make money from his brain, from his ideas and concepts without even having to leave the house and he’s in another country.
Tim: That’s free. He’s completely free. He is as free as he can be from a business sense given his condition.
James: So, I guess the suggestion there is that there is opportunity where previously there may not have been. It probably wouldn’t have been possible before the Internet unless he was a telephone salesperson or something.
Tim: Okay, so the idea of the concept of having an idea. What then?
James: When we look at an idea, the first thing is there’s a few checks and balances you want to go through to make sure this idea is going to have commercial potential. So, is this person looking to make money from it? Because there’s a big difference between setting up a website and building a profitable business.
Tim: What’s the difference?
James: The difference is that one’s a website and one’s business. The website is just a marketing channel and it’s like having a billboard. You know how you can get a billboard and you can put an advertisement on it but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will make your profit. So, we have research filters where we actually go and check certain things to make sure that there is money there and there is a few sure signs that you can make money from something. Number one, “Is there already somebody doing it?” That’s a great check. If someone’s already doing it what can you learn from that?
Tim: Well, doing it and or making money from it. So, let’s assume they’re doing it and there’s a pay button there which means their pursuing something in which they’re getting income from.
James: Yeah, so we like to see someone doing it and even more exciting is if there is competition and if there is a number of people doing it. One of the simple checks that anyone can do in about a minute is go to Google and type in their idea and see if there are any advertisements running down the right-hand side of the page. Because if there are advertisements and if they’re not just eBay, you know. Once you could go and type “dead horses” and you’d see an ad that would say, “Dead horses? Check out eBay for best price on dead horses.” [laughs]
Tim: I bought every word.
James: Yeah, double bidding on every price. So, forget the eBay and the big stores. If there is actually sites selling something that is a great sign. So, if you were to go and type “plastic surgeon” or “how to get an accounting diploma” or something. You will see advertisements. There are markets where people spend money and there is a consumer and somebody is making a profit. If you go to your phrase, if you type it in and there’s nothing on that right-hand column, if there’s no advertisements, you need to be concerned because it means- I mean. the chances of you inventing something are quite slim. The other problem is people might come into it, try and make money, fail and then they disappear.
Tim: I can understand that. Part of me also thinks that while someone’s got to have a crack first and maybe what you’re saying is there is no such thing anymore as an original idea.
James: Well, there are less and less. Just consider there’s full-time commercial operators have been doing this for a decade and they have research teams and they do a lot of data and the amount of tests that they run, they find the money and they chase it.
Tim: Would a test be to also go to somewhere like Clickbank or Commission Junction to see if there’s any affiliate products?
James: If theres-
Tim: Or is Google Adwords enough?
James: Generally, you’ll see an advertisement and it may lead to a Clickbank product. You know? Do I have to pull out the phone book yet?
Tim: [laughs] You reckon Clickbank? Well…
James: We should explain that one if someone just started today.
Tim: Yeah, well we promise in Freedom Ocean because it is for those people who are looking to start an Internet marketing business and given that that’s the type of profile we promise not to get too technical, no acronyms.
James: Yep. So, you mentioned Clickbank. Clickbank is the world’s largest digital marketplace. The products for sale are electrons. They are not necessarily a physical product a real product. So Clickbank.com if there are products on there and if you can search and see how much they sell one of the best measurements of that is called gravity. If it has a high gravity somebody’s selling it. So you would generally see if the people that are advertising they might actually end up leading to a Clickbank product.
Tim: Yeah right. Just on Clickbank, I’m going to go right off the track here but come back. Gravity versus popularity.
James: Well, gravity is sort of an indicator of how many people are actually selling the product. The more people who sell the product the higher the gravity.
Tim: Okay, okay. I always get confused. So gravity is the best indicator on Clickbank.
James: It’s a good indicator because if it’s a very high gravity it means a whole bunch of different people are promoting the product and not just one.
Tim: Okay, now James, if our listeners are hearing some background noise that’s because we’re sitting out in one of the foyers of the Melbourne Exhibition Centre but that’s a good thing because it’s a little bit of ambience.
James: A little bit of ambience. Maybe they found out we’re broadcasting and that we forgot to prospects box up. [laughs]
Tim: Live from the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Okay, so let’s get back to that notion of once you’ve got an idea. So, first of all is there a marketplace for it?
James: Yes, is somebody doing it? Are there people advertising? That’s a tremendous sign.
Tim: Okay. Next is there another test or let’s say, “Yes there are. There are people that are selling products and solving the problem to my prospective audience.”
James: So, we generally open up a new file and we start making a few notes. We go and look at the top sites that come up from the Google listings and go and see what they’re doing. Because we can learn a lot from what they are doing. You know, what’s their model? Are they collecting e-mail addresses? Are they a podcast? Are they a resource directory? We’d like to see what they’re actually doing and then we can see how popular their site is by going to a site called Alexa.com. We go to the site information section and we type in that website and it will tell us what popularity it is, in what country and what type of audience it has.
Tim: What’s the measurement criteria?
James: Well, it’s really just out of all the websites in the world what rank is it? You know, is it the second-most popular site or is it 100,000 or is it a million?
Tim: Within its category?
James: No, in the world.
Tim: Well, then how does the average pundit know if of the website looks like it’s the 13,568,000th most popular site in the world. How do we know if that’s a good thing or bad thing?
James: Well, I would say that if the site is anywhere better than the top 300,000 websites in the world, there’s something happening on the site.
Tim: Three hundred and below. Three hundred thousand and below.
James: Yeah, and if it was in the top 100,000 it’s fairly busy and if it’s in the top 50,000 it’s rather busy. So it’s a good indicator of traffic and volume.
Tim: Bragging rights. Question on the spot. What is your best ranking on Alexa?
James: One of my sites is somewhere around 25,000 in Alexa.
Tim: Yeah, I’d be happy with that.
James: I’m never happy but it’s good. [laughs]
Tim: Okay, so you’ve gone to Alexa and you’ve typed in the site that’s been sitting on the right-hand side of Google and you’ve got sort of 250,000. It’s got an Alexa ranking of 250,000. Something is going on.
James: Yeah, I’ll just clarify. What we’re really interested in is the ones who are naturally listed in Google. We sort of discount the ones that are advertised because anyone with five dollars you could start an ad with a brand-new site and have nothing happening on that site. But, for them to be listed on the first page of Google there’s something happening there and they are doing something right because what Google is telling us is it’s the most relevant. So, let’s go back to this example your friend with the requirement. He would go to Google and type in his special condition. Then, he would see what comes up. Now, if it’s already covered by a lot of people they will potentially become partners for him later on down the track. If there is nobody there and there’s no one advertising I’d actually move on to the next idea. That would kill it for me. Now, let’s have a look at some other factors. You said he was young. One of the things you have to consider, 17-year-olds don’t have much money. So, in terms of a commercial market maybe he’ll be thinking about targeting the parent.
Tim: Yeah, well I think he’s got the idea of, I think he’s targeting the parent. He’s hoping the parent will buy it and give it to their son and listen to or listen to it themselves because there’s a lot of stuff that his parents went through when he was diagnosed with this illness. So, there’s a kind of two audiences or two potential audiences in this product.
James: Now, there is another critical factor. We need to consider what phase of the buying cycle this product would be. People love cures and they’re really not that interested in preventions. So, he needs to target people when they know there’s a problem and they really almost desperately are looking for a solution. I’ll give you the perfect metaphor for this. Imagine if you were selling hotdogs. You could have a hot dog stand here today in the exhibition center where there is hardly anybody in the center, I mean, it’s almost empty except for those noisy people in the background. [laughs]
Tim: Yeah, those annoying internet marketers.
James: There’s almost nobody here today. You’d be probably lucky to sell a dozens hotdogs.
Tim: Put your price up. [laughs]
James: Yes, well. Now, if he were to wheel that down to South Bank at three o’clock in the morning, when I left the casino last night at 3 AM it was packed. The place was buzzing. I reckon he would sell hot dogs left, right and center. People come out, they’ve had a couple of drinks and are a bit piggish, it’s a long train ride home. He’s going to sell hot dogs. What we’re looking for is the starving crowd and this is taught by Gary Halbert. He said, “Just give me one thing. All I want is a starving crowd.” So this young gentleman has to look for his starving buy. He has to find a person who is hungry and ready to hand over money for that solution right now because when you want to make money online or off-line for that matter what you really are is a problem solver and you want someone who is happy to pay for the solution. So I would think about it in those terms whatever the idea whether you want to teach someone how to make paper airplanes or whether you want to teach someone how to become a horse riding instructor. What problem are you solving? Who is the person most likely to pull out the wallet and pay for that solution? You need to get in front of
Tim: Is that just using intuition?
James: No, intuition is a guide as to where you might look but you use fact-based tools. Google tells you. It tells you everything you need to know. Is there someone on there? Are their advertisements? When you go to Alexa.com for the best ranked site who is the audience? It actually tells you the demographic. It tells you the age, the sex, the education level.
Tim: Alexa does?
James: It tells you all of these and it’s free. It will also tell you the key phrases that people use to find that site and get this, it’s called the Clickstream. It will tell you where they came from before they got to that site and where they went after that site.
Tim: How does it know demographic information?
James: Because people install a little toolbar and it follows them around the Internet and it gathers data.
James: It’s a huge profound concept because once you understand that you never have to guess, it’s all there and you can actually translate and interpret it, anybody listening to this podcast now could go and punch in whatever their current business is and find out all about the competition in about five minutes.
Tim: What’s that saying, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure?”
James: That’s right. Once you know there’s no going back from there. You can do this over and over again and that’s what we do. That’s what my business primarily is researching and creating good content that solves problems and doing a transaction, building up a customer base.
Tim: Okay, so far we’ve gone to Google. We’ve headed off to Alexa. Things are looking pretty good at this stage. What next?
James: So, let’s imagine that we found someone there that they’re advertising and we understand their audience better. We’ve seen how they’re operating and what their business model is. You’d have to go back to the previous podcast to go through the business models. Whether they’re having a membership or whether they are an affiliate like they are selling someone else’s product or they’ve got their own. Now, what we’re going to do is we’re going to have to build a website at some point. That’s one of the next steps is to-
Tim: Not create the product?
James: Well, to get the product for sale we’re going to have to build a website at some point. We want to. It’s ideal. So, in order to do that we’re going to have to do research because we need the right building blocks. So, we continue our research and we end up getting our primary keywords, the building blocks of our website. Then the next phase is content. We’re going to need content.
Tim: Have we created the website or are you saying we haven’t?
James: We know we have to so that’s sort of the destination for now is to have the website. So, we reverse back from that. To build that we need research-
Tim: I would have thought the website would be like way down, you know, clearly acknowledging that we need one. But, as you say it’s really the channel to market. So…
James: Well, that’s right. This is a bit funny but in our business we build a website before we create the content.
Tim: You’re freaking me out. [laughs]
Tim: This is why this show exists.
James: Yes. It’s unconventional. But what we do know about Google is that the longer you have a website the more it trusts you so we like to build it first. Yeah, we like to just get it up there.
Tim: Okay, now see, I have so many questions. So, you build this website but you build a website with that button in WordPress saying, “Don’t let Google find it.” Don’t you?
James: No. We’re happy for them to find it.
Tim: But, what if they find it and go, “It’s just a frame. There’s nothing there.” They’re not going to spank you and say, “We won’t come back here as often as we normally would.”
James: No, because we’ll give them so many reasons to come back to our website. What we will do is we’ll make sure that we have at least 100 to 200 words on that site that relate to our topic and that’s it. That’s our fundamental.
Tim: The holding page. So, it’s not under construction?
James: Never say under construction. That’s very, very amateur.
Tim: Keyword. One to two hundred, okay.
James: So, let’s imagine we have this guidance has this idea and he doesn’t know really what to do. He’s probably going to put out a website at some point. Now, we didn’t really discuss domain names but that’s a whole cottle of fish there. Probably a whole show on that one. So, I think for now are going to have to presume that he could get a brand new domain if he wants for about $9 or $10. So, he gets a domain name and ideally it would say something that relates to what his thing is. It’s not essential.
Tim: Sorry, just GoDaddy?
James: GoDaddy is good, yep. I prefer NameCheap.
James: I believe that they have a better interface with a whole lot less upsales and pressure.
Tim: Pressure, okay. They have nailed the upsell, down sell, cross sell-
James: For an under sophisticated buyer it’s quite difficult to navigate. I do have an account manager with GoDaddy so I sort of skipped that whole rigmarole and but you should probably use NameCheap is my recommendation.
Tim: Okay, so he’s got to go off and register. So, we will skip it but we will devote an entire show to domain names but surely, very briefly, how should you decide on a domain name? Should it be keyword rich? Should it be…
James: It would be nice if it has something that relates to what he intends to do but it’s not essential. I’ll give you some examples of domain names that do not have keyword rich? Are you ready?
Tim: Freedom Ocean? [laughs]
James: Freedom Ocean. Google. Yahoo. EBay.
Tim: But, the thing with Google, Yahoo and eBay and to a lesser extent, those three have got lots of dough to throw at it and get awareness. Freedom Ocean has got some of your smarts to create awareness.
James: Well, anyone listening to this we’ll have awareness too.
Tim: They will. They will have a time but you know your average pundit isn’tgoing to have that. They’re not going to have the ability to you know.
James: Well, putting a keyword in a domain name is going to be a small boost. It’s that extra few percent. It’s not the main beast.
Tim: And one last thing on domains, Should it be a .com given that this is going to be a global business based in Melbourne?
James: It should be a .com. Unless he’s going to have some local attribute like it if you’re are a plumber and you worked in the Maroubra, you’d want to have a.com or .edu.
Tim: Clearly so a Sydney suburb, Maroubra is it?
James: It is a Sydney suburb and it’s a local specific business. If it’s going to be a global business you cannot beat a .com. End of story.
Tim: Okay. So, he’s gone and got his domain. What next?
James: Next, he’s going to have to arrange some hosting. This one is basically where the website is going to live. The domain name is like the P.O. Box. We have to tell it where to send the mail, you know, if we want to redirect it. So, we actually have to host our website and a good company for that is Host Gator.
Tim: I’m quite proud of myself. That’s my hosting company.
James: Is it? You’ve done well.
Tim: I use GoDaddy, so I apologize for that.
James: Well, I do too and it’s very popular and it’s well priced. So, it would probably be for most people unless you get further into domains you’ll start to realize there are some other things that you look for. So, if you had GoDaddy and HostGator or NameCheap and HostGator-
Tim: You’re doing okay.
James: You’re doing well and you’re on really well priced programs there. You could probably even put a couple of links in the transcription here for those resources. So, he’s going to have to get hosting and it starts from about six or seven dollars a month. You just need a baby plan or a reseller account. Either of those would be fine. Then he’s got to build the website. I suppose this is where you’ve got a few choices. There is the “Do it yourself” and “Done for you” options.
Tim: Can I just interrupt there? So, are we just getting that website up with the 200 word descriptor and then going back into the product creation?
James: Yes, we are but I think the getting it up there with 200 words would stump most people. You know?
Tim: Okay. Yeah, that’s fair.
James: It’s easy to say. [laughs]
Tim: Roll off the tongue.
James: [laughs] Just roll off the tongue. How the hell did he do that? So, it depends where somebody is at. If they’re going to be doing this a fair bit then they might want to do it themselves or to get the process down. There are a number of tutorials on how to build a website online and the platform that we use and recommend is free and it’s called WordPress. It’s a very popular platform because it’s easy to use and Google loves it. Anyone can work on this. I mean, you use fiber.com to find someone to build a website.
Tim: Yeah, and I am very successful at my man in Portugal.
James: Why don’t you talk this through from a perspective of someone who’s done this?
Tim: Well, so that’s bloody interesting because part of me wants to learn every single part of the process but then I kind of just implode because I just want to focus on the stuff I love. Also I think I really should know all this so that when I do outsource I can know what they’re doing. So, I kind of twist in-between, but I’ve got a guy in Portugal who for the principle sum of anywhere between $10 and $20 depending on what needs to be done but I go into the control panel and- No, I give him access to the control panel basically. So once I’ve done that-
James: And the hosting company since you the control panel details in an e-mail didn’t they?
Tim: In an email, yeah. So, in the control panel is from what others call it c-panel but basically it’s a place where you can affect changes to your entire hosting account for that domain name.
James: Correct. It’s like the dashboard.
Tim: It is like a dashboard and there’s a lot on it which I’m sure- It’s a bit like a video remote control. You know how the video remote is like — three buttons that you must know. There’s play, stop and pause.
James: And turn the TV on and off.
Tim: That’s right and everything else is like, what engineer thought who was trying to prove themselves at that time? And the c-panel is a bit like that because I looked at a c-panel for years and gone you know I’m not interested. I’m just saying I’m not interested but now I’m going, “You know what I kind of get to know a little bit of it.” So, I set up that c-panel, bumble my way through it and get him access to it. Then tell him, then he goes away and he installs WordPress. He installed a theme. It’s always the same theme and there’s lots of different WordPress themes. We use Thesis.
James: Now, Thesis is a paid theme and a theme just means the way the website looks. We actually call it a skin as well. It’s on the outside. WordPress is like the skeleton and the theme sits over the top like a skin.
Tim: Yeah, it makes it look pretty. Then he goes ahead and does that. I send him content. He uploads it. He has a plug-in. He pulls the plug-in called the SEO pack. SEO is all in one SEO. He does make sure the page titles are right. He does some basic SEO-ing, you know, meta tags and all that rich-
James: I’m reaching for my phonebook. [ laughs]
Tim: We are getting spanked over with the phonebook. But you asked. Anyway, he does all this and this is what is fantastic about it. What else does he do?
James: So, let’s just break that back down. In other words, you paid someone $20 to set it up for you.
Tim: Yeah, yeah that’s right.
James: I’m going to suggest to you if any of that is a blur then people should look at having someone else do this for you. We actually set up a website to do this from just a few hundred dollars so you don’t actually have to know any of that. All you need to do is pay a small bit of money and fill out a form and you’ll have your website built for you. This is just to set up and get ready. This is not to populate it with all the content. Because I think that’s our next discussion.
Tim: It’s great to spend just the $20 but…
James: Yeah, but you’ve still got to do stuff if you’re going to pay $20.
Tim: Yeah, yeah. Push it, manage it, you know, questioners. But a part of that for me has been the learning. I’ve chosen to do that. But another product that you’re talking about and it’s tremendous.
James: With our product you, if you buy a domain, and then you just point it to- just send us the logins, we’ll do everything else. We can even host it, build it, get it ready.
James: You just have to tell us what you want and you’ll know what you want when you listen to the next part of this.
Tim: Yeah, yeah. Okay, so back to you in terms of- We’ve kind of got that website to a point where Google is starting to…
James: We basically just built this website and now we need to put stuff on it. So, we need to think about our business model and it really comes back. So let’s tie it back to this person. What would he do? He’s probably a subject matter expert. He’s the expert in this case. Now, if you’re not a subject matter expert you’ve just got to go and find one. It’s like you did. You’ve got all these questions [laughs] and I have the answers. You wanted to do a podcast about Internet marketing so you just needed an Internet marketer. Now, if he is a subject matter expert that’s easy. He can literally record himself or he could write down articles or content.
Tim: He’s got it all. This is a guy who’s been through enormous and now wants to share with others who have just been diagnosed and are now living those first few years with the knowledge that they’ve got it for life.
James: Well, more than likely he’s probably going to be doing a blog where he posts and starts a discussion about the topic to draw in people looking for the information because it’s a great way to get momentum. You just start posting information about it and Google loves that stuff. They just, when someone goes to search for the phrase, you know, such and such problem, they’ll find his blog because they love WordPress and its original content that he’s written and they’ll send the people to him.
Tim: Blogging forces you to talk. You write like a human as you say to me. I ask you about SEO and you say don’t write for the search engines, write for humans.
James: Write for the people.
Tim: That’s essentially what a blog is.
James: Remember what Google wants. They want to serve the most relevant results.
Tim: So, it would be good for him. Instead of getting the 200 words out get a blog out.
James: Just start with a blog post. You know? Three to 500 words is all you need. If it’s 1000 words fine. If it’s 200 fine. You know, Seth Godin is a popular blogger and he does very short posts and often. And he has thousands of posts. And lots of lots of traffic to his site and that’s a classic blogger case study. He has a way of capturing customer’s details so that he can stay in touch with them. That’s probably the next logical step for this person is to somehow take that visitor and start a relationship with them. Now, he is going to solve their problems for them at some point he’s going to want some money. So, the next step is he will probably create an information product. That will probably be a suitable model for him. By that, it sounds fancy, but it could literally be taking an extra long article or two and turning them into a PDF document. He can sell that. It’s like an electronic book.
Tim: Okay, literally just take a couple of the longer blog articles. Seems a bit light on.
James: Well, he doesn’t have to charge a lot for that but he may want to run workshops. For people with the condition, parents or people with the condition. He might literally rent somewhere, a venue and run a workshop and you might say, “Well what’s this got to do with Internet marketing?” I’d say, well now we’re creating a product because we’re taking along the camcorder and we record it. Once he’s done that once, he can leverage that over and over and over. He can actually put a digital version or a DVD version of it up for sale online from his website.
Tim: That would be kind of interesting wouldn’t the? An approach clearly he is in some kind of community of other people who suffer this condition. Put the word out within his local state or city.
James: That’s it. He can still sell a global product that he’s created in his hometown. He could find out if there’s a convention of people with these conditions. For example, we’re here at a convention on a particular topic. It wouldn’t be hard for us to find two or three experts to come and contribute to a product.
Tim: Everyone wants to contribute to products.
James: They do.
Tim: They want to give their two bobs worth.
James: They want to help people with their problems. They want to get the word out. It would be very easy to wrangle a few of them. Put them together into a compilation and then compile that and package it in a way that the market sees value in. Then, he could charge money for that.
Tim: Yeah, great idea.
James: It’s so easy to do and I’ve done it. I run workshops. I record them. Every time I run a workshop I give it a new name and every re-position it for another audience or I stack it on top of the one that went before as a complementary or the next logical step.
Tim: It doesn’t even have to be a physical workshop. It could be a webinar.
James: It could be a webinar. He could actually run a webinar series and charge a recurring fee and that’s the sexy part.
Tim: Oh, we like that.
James: Recurring fees make me smile.
Tim: They do. You can’t stay recurring without the corners of your mouth pointing north. [laughs]
James: What we’re talking about here is you come up with a product concept where you sell it once, you sell the idea of it once, and people see the value in it. Then they make a commitment to continually pay, to keep receiving that product. If you want an example of that I’d say to you have a look at your phone bill. You were sold on the idea of having the phone and you just keep paying every month until you say stop. I no longer want a phone.
Tim: Until your plan finishes or until you no longer want a phone.
James: For most people they just keep paying. It’s a great business model and many companies have built huge wealth from the recurring business model. So, let’s tie it back to your friend here. He’s checked. He’s made sure there’s a market. Somebody is advertising. He’s bought a domain name. He has got a website built for him or he’s built it. He’s started putting good content on there. He has got an idea or concept of creating an information product that he either creates or gets help creating. He packages it and now he starts to get it ready to make for sale on his website.
Tim: With the information product, so hold that thought because I was moving to our next phase, but-
James: We’ll cover the next 11 podcasts. [laughs] We can dive into any of these.
Tim: We’re just swimming in the shallows of the Freedom Ocean. In future episodes, we really are, I was talking to you before. We hit the record button and saying you no like clearly right now we still are. We’re swimming in the shallows and we’re heading out to the reef and then at some point that continental shelf is-
James: We’re going to step off into the deep.
Tim: We are going to step off into the deep and really kind of- That’s when the phone book gets put away, I think. And we can get out a bit.
James: Yeah, we can take the floaties off and hit the jet skis. It’s time for fun.
Tim: Yeah, enough metaphors for the next, while with you we’ve been going for 37 minutes. [laughs] It’s not bad. I only had about five metaphors but just on that product creation. One of the things that I find that blockages like, I’m a bit of a linear person. I know to kind of go off- Do we need to create a product that is linear in nature? So, for this guy for example, does his first foray into product creation need to be about when he was diagnosed or can he zip through to the age of 16 when he had to start making some life decisions about alcohol and girls and things that his condition affected? So, do you know what my question is?
James: It’s going to come back to the audience. Who is the person with the wallet ready to buy the solution? What do they need? What problems do they have that he can solve? What’s the easiest way for him to translate that value? So, it’s whatever is relevant to the buyer.
Tim: Yeah, so there is a bit of thinking to be good done in there.
James: A little bit of thinking and we have liked to see somebody else doing it because they’ve done the work for us and we can piggyback that.
Tim: Okay, just got to do it better.
James: Well, we need to come to the market with a twist. We can’t be a “me too” market which is very common. People see what’s being done and then they go and literally cut and paste, change one word and say, “Hey look at my fantastic solution.” Well, what value are you adding to the market that wasn’t there before? None. Are you going to be successful? I don’t think so. So you have to come to the market with a reason why someone could care less. What makes your solution better than every other solution including no solution at all? Why should somebody hand over the money? It’s all about the customer. It’s not about you. That’s where people tend to go wrong with, “I’ve got a great idea.” You’ve got to be able to answer, so what? Why should I care? Why should I be interested? What would cause me to put my hand in my wallet and hand over money to you? How will I be better off as the potential customer?
Tim: That whole customer focus, customer centric concept goes well beyond Internet marketing.
James: It’s a global thing.
Tim: It’s amazing how many discussions you can have about production and about finance and about all these other important modules if you like. What about the customer? What do they think?
James: It’s all need-driven. People need things and if you can be there to help-
Tim: Do you have any tools that you recommend to actual members? Obviously going out, finding prospects and just asking. What do you think of this or what problems are you experiencing?
James: Well, surveys are obvious. Surveys are fantastic and there are tremendous online survey tools that I used to use in a real business. One of the most popular ones is free called surveymonkey.com. I set up surveys and I’m regularly polling my own customer base because I have this belief once you get a customer you can keep them for life as long as you stay up to date with their problems you can keep solving them. So, I actually say to them, “What’s your biggest problem right now?” Then they tell me. Then, I create a solution and I tell them and then they buy the solution and they’re happy and I’m happy.
Tim: Pretty obvious isn’t it?
James: It’s advanced isn’t it? [laughs]
Tim: Really. It’s beautifully simple.
James: Yes, it is simple. The best ideas are elegantly simple.
Tim: Yeah, absolutely they are. Okay, so well that’s great. So, product, we now back to creating- back to the website, really, aren’t we?
James: It’s really about the relationship to this person has with his potential buyer and at some point he’s probably going to want to get their e-mail address so that he can stay in touch with them. There’s also sorts of names for that process. One of the most popular ones is Name Squeeze or the Name Captcher. Usually to get somebody’s e-mail address-
Tim: Seth Godin’s?
James: What does he say?
Tim: He calls it permission marketing.
James: Yep, permission marketing. So, we need to have them comfortable about us being in contact with them and sometimes we may want to extend an offer of something in return as we do in our case. Perhaps you want to talk people through that?
Tim: Well, you go to FreedomOcean.com. You kindly hand over your first name and e-mail address and in return we will send you a link to the transcript of every show that we do. You’ll be the first to know when a new show goes up. Every now and then we will send you some incredibly high value reports and PDFs on particular areas that we think would be of interest in building a business. That’s all in exchange for being able to contact you.
James: That’s it. So, we make an exchange of value. We offer premium content which is not publicly available and we’re building a relationship there that over time will be profitable for everybody and our listeners of course they’ll get fresh information and the extra content. So, they can implement better and they put the stuff we’re talking about into practice and actually turn that idea into money and profit. In our case we get to build our community and understand our client better and to solve better problems that have high value. Who knows, one day we may have a Freedom Ocean course or a Freedom Ocean paid webinar series or a Freedom Ocean workshop. Any of these things you’ll actually see. I think it would be sort of fun to do some experiments and document it and have people participate just to show them how it works.
Tim: Yeah, I’m sure in the coming weeks or months, once that list builds to something significant will send out a survey and say, I’d love to know what we could do better. What solution or what problems are they still experiencing that we haven’t solved and create something around that.
James: So, do you feel that we’ve addressed your friends question about how he would go about this as we’ve gone through some of those steps?
Tim: Yeah, I think one thing that you alluded to we didn’t specifically cover or have any idea of once he gets it’s a blog. He’s got the blog. Forget the 200 words. I think that a blog is a great idea because he’s got stuff that he wants to say now. The idea of getting a form which is, you know, that’s technical stuff. So, he’s got to go and sign up for some kind of auto responder like and aWeber or Male Chimp or a Campaign Monitor. He’s got to go and sign up and he’s got to then create a form. These things allow you to create a form. Post the code on the website so that it appears beautifully. So, really going back to the newbie is not going to be able to do that. So, the idea of going to our product like yours that you mentioned is a good idea because you’ve got it up off the ground you’ve got the form-
James: We actually say, you know, “Have you got your form details?” And if they don’t we ask them for the logins and we just kind of make it.
Tim: [laughs] Beautiful.
James: We’ve just been through the same process with our own Freedom Ocean website and I think one day it will be great to do a little blow by blow of what steps we went through.
Tim: I would love that.
James: You’ve been enjoying the building process.
Tim: Oh, listeners, I wish… gee.
James: The back and forth e-mails have been hilarious. [laughs]
Tim: Yeah, yeah. Well, I’m glad you found them hilarious because every now and then just before I hit send I go, “Oh. Should I send this to him?” I’ve learned to be brief. I love the idea of a topic per e-mail. I did send you one e-mail. We might just put it up in the show notes at some point because he came back to me. It was about 11 o’clock at night. I was in regional Victoria doing some seminar. You were at home. I can’t remember the words but it says, I’ll paraphrase and say, “Don’t ever send me something that long again.” [laughs]
James: It was something like, “Too long. I’ll have to discuss on phone.” [laughs]
Tim: Well, here’s a day you know because the idea of the freedom and the lifestyle you’re creating is I don’t want to be adding to the, I was going to say, stressed. But you don’t look stressed. But you’ve got to manage it.
James: Really, what I was saying as well as sometimes it’s a lot less steps or input required to get a result than what people think.
Tim: Yeah, well that was interesting because the long e-mail I did send you, and I’m finding this really difficult in the creation of Freedom Ocean, which is the anal retentive part of Tim Reid just wants to tick every box and I’ve showed you yesterday, “Oh look here. The Freedom Ocean website is just not looking so good on the iPhone as it is on the laptop.” It’s like, yeah we’ll fix that but it’s not a dealbreaker. It’s not like, “Oh we can’t go live.” We’ve gone live. I find that hard and I think it’s such a great lesson to learn for anyone who’s entering Internet marketing who previously needed to tick every box and get it to look all beautiful. I mean, I’m very proud of Freedom Ocean’s design and I know that I spend an inordinate amount of time, too much time, really but it’s great. Is it going to earnest an extra dollar? Probably not. Will I wear it on my T-shirt? Every day of the week. [laughs]
James: That’s it. You know, it’s not like building like an exhibition center. It’s not that rigid that you can’t change it later. These things are highly dynamic. If you want to change a banner or you want to change the page layout it’s a five-minute job for someone competent. You’ve see the change quite a bit with just me being able to forward an e-mail with a simple request.
Tim: Yes, well there’s a huge comfort in the e-mails that come back to me saying, “ The ninjas are onto it.” [laughs]
James: Quite often it’s finished before we get off the phone within minutes.
Tim: So, look back to your point, I think the idea of you and I going back and retracing our steps from the inception of having the Freedom Ocean idea through to where we are today. We’re a website and a podcast and a list and creating really valuable content and building that website. You know, putting that website together, the plug-ins needed for a podcast, how we podcast. I personally, I hope our listeners would think and affect, I’d love them to maybe indicate somehow whether they do find it of value, whether they could send us an e-mail…
James: That would be great to make a comment on this episode on the post.
Tim: Go over to the show notes for Freedom Ocean episode five and leave a comment saying, “Are you kidding?” or say, “Tim you kidding?”
James: I mean, why do we podcast? We podcast to reach a new audience, to create value for the marketplace without any commitment on the audience’s behalf. We are the ones extending. But the reciprocal value is there. People come back and they keep listening and they will follow some of the resources that we recommend. I am a little bit biased because I am a solution provider for people in the Internet marketing space. So, I’m actually creating valuable content in the Internet marketing space and it’s actually a business development technique which I encourage anyone to do in their own business. This works for just about any business. I’m sure there’s podcasts in all sorts of categories.
Tim: Yeah, absolutely. Well, not a shower in itself but I just think podcasts is one of the most underdone marketing channels in the world and part of me is going, “Well, maybe there’s not many,” you say there’s not many people doing it.
James: Well, there are people podcasting.
Tim: There is a lot. There’s not many good ones. That’s a big statement.
James: When you look at our podcast on the rankings, who are the other podcasts on either side of it?
Tim: Well, it’s an embarrassment of riches. We’ve got Harvard. [laughs] Just a little bread. The Australian Stock exchange, Sky News, and then some little other players like us. You know?
James: So, I mean Australian Stock exchange has got to be some money involved in the stock exchange.
Tim: It’s a hard one to knock off, but we did it.
James: We did it. So that’s a classic case. There are other people in the space. There is commercial intent. Some of those people are commercial buyers and that’s our audience. So we keep popping up in the same place. It’s just inevitable that at some point we will get noticed and we’ll start to draw in a new crowd.
Tim: So okay, going back just to finish off that product discussion. He does need to get that form of and so I think the take out of that, listeners if you’re still with us in terms of we haven’t lost you technically, the idea of going and getting your first one created would be a very good one. In fact, there is a link on our website to various products. That’s one of them. It would be a smart thing to probably have that first one created and probably ask a lot of questions along the way of the person designing and developing.
James: Yeah and here’s something I think is really important. Don’t expect your first website to be of Facebook or a Google. Okay? I see people get a little over enthusiastic. [laughs] Well, I know that you’d want that but they get a little over expectant of what this website will do and please don’t expect that you will be retiring tomorrow from the website. When I put my first website up I logged in the next day ready to see my embarrassment of riches. Nothing happened. It’s not a case of if you build it they will come. If you build it the way we talk about and do the implementations we talk about they will start coming. But, it won’t be a torrent. Remember when you asked, “Do we turn the page off and make sure it’s not found?” No one’s looking. They’re not looking at yet. So it does take quite a few activities to get attraction but what we did experience with our own website is when we did tell people to go and look. They look because of where we told them to look at how we ask them to look and what we had for them when they got there. When we reveal some of the statistics in the future episode I think they’ll be really interesting.
Tim: We might make that part of our little product that we would put together. It would be good to have some data at the end.
James: Yes, well we have because we’re tracking it. Have we told the audience that?
Tim: We have and they’ll be some screen captures in the show notes of the iTunes store. But, I think we should finish here. We’re getting close to an hour, James. But what we’ve done, the good news is I think we’ve gone through the process of product creation and getting it out online. The bad news is we just created a new little haystack.
James: Yeah, I think what we’ve done is we’ve discussed the idea and another view of what it might look like. There’s a lot of detail needed to be fleshed out in those areas and of course we love to be guided by the audience on which bits they would love to have more depth on.
Tim: They’re glad to comment on the show notes for sure.
James: Yeah, post a note.
Tim: Gosh, I did have a whole lot of other questions for this time.
James: I think that’s the next one.
Tim: Do you reckon?
James: I think so.
Tim: Do you reckon because we…
James: If someone’s brain isn’t taking over now we’re not in the right place.[laughs]
Tim: I did have someone say, “Can you shorten the episodes?” Then I said, “No, I can’t.” Imagine trying to get that down into 15 minutes. You know? That’s a blog post. That’s a bullet pointed blog post.
James: It is.
Tim: That’s another thing. My show notes are too long.
James: Well, I’ve had a look around at what other people are doing and what I can learn from it. I’ve observed other podcast episodes and they can fit a couple of podcasts on one page. So, my thing is to question everything. It was really just a question to you. What do you think about this and what can we learn from it? We don’t know the answer but at sometimes we can test it.
Tim: But I did think that the one you sent me, I thought was too short. Well, it was a nice length for humans to read.
James: Do you know how we could find out the answer? We’d ask our audience. Should the show notes be longer or shorter? We don’t know the answer but you do.
Tim: I’ve always wondered where the people go. On the other podcast that I do, the show notes are fairly long. I don’t know where the people go there or not. We always put links in the show notes.
James: What is the other podcast you do, Tim?
Tim: I’m glad you asked. It’s called SmallBusinessBigMarketing.com.
James: It’s a great podcast.
Tim: It is a good podcast. It’s a lot of fun. Well, we’ve already told the story. You can by that show. But I sort of like the show notes. It seems interesting.
James: Well, there is a benefit for Google. They like more content.
Tim: That’s why I do it. But, then I think-
James: Well, we really need to do it for the audience. What we’d find is if the audience prefers short posts, they’d come back more often. So, it actually outweighs the benefit of having a Google send them there. If they don’t like it, it doesn’t matter.
Tim: Back to the humans isn’t it? Back to the human element.
James: Do it for the customer. That’s really, if that’s the key message we got today. If you’re thinking of a product, if you’re thinking of leveraging the Internet, start with the customer. Start with the hungry audience and work back from that. That is the fundamental point
Tim: Would that be the homework for today? Is there homework? Homework every show?
James: Why not? I hate homework, actually.
Tim: So do I.
James: Really, it depends-
Tim: I’d suggest that’s the homework.
James: If we said, “Don’t do anything.” That’s probably more of a dare. [laughs] I would suggest if you’re interested in making a profit from online, if you’ve already got a website, if you’ve already got a business and you’re thinking of having a website, or if you just want to set up a website and make some money, think about who’s got a problem you can solve and what sort of solution would you like to be offering them. Then, go and have a look and see what other people are doing. That would be something you might want to consider. It’s certainly not homework.
Tim: We would certainly not demand that they do that. We do demand that they clear their inbox but that was kind of easy.
James: Well, that’s so they can be ready to receive the alert that this podcast was ready.
Tim: Correct. James, we’re almost on the hour. So thanks mate. There was a lot in there as usual and listeners the transcripts will be sent out and thanks for listening. Thanks for diving in, James. See you next time.
James: See you next time.