Welcome back listeners to episode 67 of Freedom Ocean. This week, Tim and James discuss the recent changes and trends in the online world during the past 12 to 18 months, a preview to the next episode and a funny challenge from Tim (feel free to contribute to Tim’s list).
– What are the limiting beliefs that fence business owners in?
– Portability and accessibility, thanks to technology
– Lessons from “Remote”: Running a virtual team
– Using automation and new marketing tools the right way
– Life and business lessons from Henry Ford
– The success of LeadPages
– When to move to another hosting service
– Facebook + remarketing + webinars + memberships
– More FREE things coming out
– SEO then and now
Build your own team. [Click To Tweet].
Focus on your role as a business owner. [Click To Tweet].
Learn to adapt to the changes around you. [Click To Tweet].
Automate your business. [Click To Tweet].
Money is made in conversions. [Click To Tweet].
SEO is different now. [Click To Tweet].
Internet Marketing Products & Resources
Here you’ll find Tim and James have some things to help your business become more powerful.
Tim: Welcome back, listeners, to another episode of Freedom Ocean, Episode 67 in fact. If you’ve listened to last week’s episode that would have been funny. But I’m Tim Reid, and right there, James Schramko.
James: Good day mate, how’re you going?
Tim: Very good, mate, very, very good. And just to reset what this show is all about for people who haven’t listened before, because you know, the audience is growing, this is a show where James and I have a chat, have a chin wag about how to build your business online. Not so much an Internet marketing show, but more about how to build your business online. Would you agree with that, Jimmy?
James: Yeah, I think we’ve changed a little bit in the past. It used to be a real discovery show about everything wild and wonderful about the Internet. And now we’re sort of refining a little more and getting into more of the sort of sustaining stuff. But I reckon somewhere, someone probably just fell out of their hammock. Two episodes of Freedom Ocean in a week? This is like the old days, you know?
James: Someone was telling me last night that “If you don’t put out the shows, guys, we start getting itchy to listen to some content. We start dialing around and finding different podcasts.”
Tim: Sleeping around.
James: Well, it makes sense. They’re in consumption mode, they’re driving somewhere, they want to listen to something. So it’s great that we’re getting this stuff back out there and I think today’s topic’s going to be really interesting.
Tim: It will be. How the online world has changed in the past 12 months. And I’m excited about it, because it’s an underlying premise to what I talk about when I give my keynotes to small business owners about marketing. And you know, if people have ever listened to me rattling on about small business marketing, I say there’s never been a better time to market a small business. And a lot of that is due to the improvements and the changes in the online world.
James: Yeah, a lot of this is going to depend on your position in the market, because I imagine still probably nearly half the businesses out there still don’t even have a website. I imagine that a lot of people who listen to this show, the long-term listeners or long-time listeners have probably got a website, or a bunch of domains, and may already be in motion. So someone like me, I’ve sort of weaned myself off all of the marketers’ newsletters, and I’ve gotten myself more into the mainstream of the established marketing side of things. So it’ll be interesting to see even in our own perspective how much they differ.
Tim: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. What do you think, before we get into the nitty-gritty and sort of list some of the ways the online world has changed, what do you think are some of the limiting beliefs that business owners have around marketing their business online?
James: One that I saw yesterday is a classic. It was a thread posted in a Facebook group and it was hypothetical. If you were given tickets around the world for six weeks, two people, all expenses paid, would you abandon your business to do it? And I’m thinking, woah, woah, hang on a minute. That’s exactly what I do. That is exactly what I do. I do fly around the world and run my business. So I think it’s a limiting belief that your business can be in such command of you that you can’t actually start living a retire-esque kind of a lifestyle. Because if you set your business up properly, I really think that if you’re using automation, if you’re using a team, and you’re not the lynchpin or the key man in the business, then you can start experiencing a different shift on what a business is. Instead of being a place that you go to work each day, it can now become the funding source for a different life that you could be having.
Tim: Jimmy, is that as true for a builder as it is for a vet as it is for an information marketer as it is for a seller of clothes?
James: To some extent, it actually is. And one of the test cases in this is my buddy who’s a video producer and in the beginning of me helping him in my mastermind, he was the technician. And this is very common with business.
Tim: On the tools.
James: On the tools, doing the work. The ant thinking. And it was even true of me, and it’s probably true of you. Thinking that you’re the only person in the world that can do this particular job, when in fact…
Tim: Control freak.
James: Well, not just that. It’s just a limiting belief, which was your question. And if we fast-forward that to a year or two down the track, now our friend has gone on a family holiday overseas for more than a month, he has gone on a bike-riding tryst through the countryside, with a whole bunch of other guys, camping and looking at sunsets and sunrises, and…
Tim: Bike-riding tryst. That’s fantastic.
James: Yeah, and he’s got… there’s a new word for you.
James: So, then, he’s also got guys in the office who are now scheduling jobs, filming them, editing them, producing them, running the business automation software that manages prospects and customers, and it’s more profitable now than when he was doing all the work. And, he’s able to swoop in and do the passion projects that really excite him. So yes, I think it could actually apply for most businesses.
Tim: Let’s just touch on that. I think I know who you’re talking about, we don’t need to name names, but that’s a person who is… he was on the tools. He was behind the camera, he was probably sitting in on the edits, he was meeting with the clients, he was doing the lot. And he’s a creative person, by the fact that he’s in video, and would have felt, prior to having those discussions with you, a real need to be across all that. So how does someone like that wean themselves off that feeling of they must be needed, they must be on the tools, and yet still maintain or continue to increase their creative integrity, their wonderful production values, which I think this person has?
James: Yeah, well the two main things that were really important in this case study that were inspiring: one, there was a lot of resistance and the knowledge of how to do this was not there in the beginning. And the second thing was this person’s so passionate about the craft that not doing the work was a big mental adjustment in the beginning. However, what it has done is actually enhanced the creative capacity, enhanced the ability to enjoy the work again, for the first time in a while. So, of course the answer is just join SilverCIrcle. The longhand answer is, you have to make changes to the way you think about things. And I think we’re going to cover some of the topics in today’s session. Some of the things that are available to you now that were not commonplace a year ago even, helping business owners like that step away from the tools and start to build a business. So really what you’re doing is changing from a job to a business. And there are parts of my business that are still very much job-like, when I have to turn up to do it. I’m turning up to this podcast. I can’t really delegate that. So this part is not able to be done by someone else as easily.
Tim: But there’s a great example. You don’t have to be in your business, in your shop, in your home to do this podcast. You could be doing it on bloody top of Mount Everest if you chose to, so…
James: And one day maybe we will. But that’s the thing. I get to choose the rules that I want to play by.
Tim: OK, so how’s the mic…
James: And if it turned out that we couldn’t do this… let’s say that there was not even an ability to connect on the Internet. Then you and I could fly to Monaco, watch the Grand Prix, and record from the VIP box while the Grand Prix’s running. Like we really could make stuff happen if we were so determined for that to be the result.
Tim: Yeah, very true. So if we were to open the batting, then, one of the ways the online world has changed in the past 12 months is that it’s incredibly easy to create marketing outputs for your business, from anywhere.
James: Yes. It’s quite portable, with I think with the rise of iPad Minis, iPhone camera quality…
Tim: Microphone. Like it’s just unbelievably good-quality portable microphones.
James: That’s it. You can have a RODE smartLav, good Aussie company. That plus an iPhone or an iPad Mini, gets you production quality that you would not have had a few years ago, when we were using flip cams and stuff. They were bulkier, and they didn’t do other things like take phone calls, so you wouldn’t carry them on you all the time. So portability and accessibility to high-quality gear. The apps that you can get, like the TiltShift video app, can get you the nice looking video. So I think that’s something that has changed, at least in the last year. For me, I notice I’m taking a lot less stuff when I go away. I’m really just taking what I would have normally taken, plus one little tiny Lav mic that can live in my pocket most of the time. So technology’s improved, computers are getting more powerful, everything’s moving more cloud-based. So for me, I went pretty much cloud-based when I went Mac, because I couldn’t use Outlook, I couldn’t use half the software that I used to use, which also helped me go virtual with my team. And this is another big trend, is there’s such a better awareness of the ability to have other people working in your business and on your business, that don’t have to be in the same country, the same office, and the great book that was just put out about this is called “Remote” and it’s a great book about running a virtual team. So there seems to be, in my world anyway, much more awareness that you can build a team. That a) you should build a team, b) that you don’t have to build a team locally, you don’t need the traditional office and employee in the way that we were employees. We might not have enjoyed being an employee, or we might have had compromises that made being an employee not as nice as it might be if you’re hanging out in the Google place or whatever. Like having to go somewhere and deal with people and all that other stuff. Now, those things don’t exist if you don’t want them to.
Tim: Yeah, OK, so just to recap there, because we just knocked out four, four ways the world has changed in the last 12 months, portability and accessibility. And access to high-quality gear, powerful computers, I mean throwaway line, but boy oh boy, you know, like this little MacBook Pro that I’m looking at, which is the new one, just come out two weeks ago, I mean man, that is just like, it is small and it is unreal what you can do from an edit point of view, which can often take up a lot of grunt and time and processing power, but it’s quite incredible. So powerful computers, cloud-based files storage, I mean there’s nothing really you can’t use the cloud for now. Awareness of… just awareness of the ability to create a team of A-players somewhere in the world
James: Yeah, so let’s just combine a few of those things, then. The obvious thing to do, and what I’m doing with my customers, what I’ve been teaching people, and I won the best speaker at the SEO conference for this one, is don’t ask the owner to do any of that stuff. Get an expert like the video dude to go out there, film the business owner, make a documentary story, instead of an old pitchy ad. Put it together, it’s only going to cost you a few thousand dollars. And you put it on the website in a really nice beautiful clean, cloud-based player like Wistia, and then you have everyone go into that. You can run ads. And I want to talk about the technology. There’s two things that have really changed in the last year. One is automation and triggers and mechanisms. A lot more people are aware of systems like Infusionsoft and Office AutoPilot, where you can have behavioral-based marketing and automation happening. It’s much more prevalent in normal businesses now. And the second thing that has really changed is the way that you can market with things like remarketing really taking off. That, combined with webinars, is a whole new way of marketing than a couple of years ago. It’s just become easier and smoother and a little more hands-off.
Tim: Jimmy, if I had the phonebook handy, mate, I would have jumped you.
James: Yeah, but it’s not your show. This is not Small Business Big Marketing. We’re talking to experienced Internet marketers, in some cases.
James: But if you’re brand new, let’s just spell it out here. Let’s go through those things one at a time, if you can remember what they are.
Tim: Well, you mentioned CRM kind of Infusionsoft….
James: Well then, go back first. What do you think about just have someone go and do it all for the business owner, because they’re not going to do it? We know that they’re not going to do it. The mechanic, the car dealer, the lawyer, they don’t want to know about this stuff.
James: They shouldn’t be doing it, either. Really no business owner should be doing it unless they are doing something like we’re doing. We are info marketers, we’re podcasters. It’s easy for us to do this. But for my customers, who are really focused on what they do, it’s very easy to do it for them, to have someone come in and just make it all happen. They put aside half a day, boom. It’s done. And my customers are getting such amazing dividends from this that they think it’s like the best thing ever. And they love nothing more than a cool video about them on their homepage. It suits everybody’s needs.
Tim: Yeah, totally. Totally. And that whole idea, man, we were talking before we hit record this morning and just that whole telling you some of the stuff that I’d done, and you know, I’m as guilty as anyone if…
James: Well, you know, I don’t do that stuff.
Tim: No, you wouldn’t have done it for a long time. But it’s hard. I mean, I don’t know, there are some kind of limiting beliefs around just… are these the control freak thing? You know, many small business owners…
James: You go and watch the Henry Ford documentary, and then see what control freak means.
Tim: Yeah, right. You want to see a control freak? Have a look at Henry.
James: Yeah, and then I bet you that you’ll hug your son after watching that video.
Tim: Right, right. Tell me, why is that? Because he was such a tyrant with his family?
James: Yeah. He bullied his only son, pretty much to death.
James: And it’s very sad and a tragic story, but his son was just not good enough for him and he didn’t get that the son was from a different generation and wasn’t growing up on tractor-plowing fields. So he was a stubborn old man, Henry. In any case, that’s a classic example of things changing around you and you just digging into the old guard. It didn’t work out that well for Henry. He pretty much went from having all the market share in the world for automotive to almost going broke a few times, and then ended up having to go public in the end because he just hung on too much to the old guard. And as you know, like the American car manufacturers these days, they go bankrupt every now and then.
Tim: Yeah, well I think an entire city called Detroit kind of went bankrupt, didn’t it?
James: Right, because they were asleep at the wheel.
Tim: Yeah, literally.
James: And they weren’t paying attention. So that’s what this episode is about. What’s happening out there that you’re not aware of or should be aware of that I’m tuned into, that Timbo’s tuned into, that you could take advantage of? The big one is automation. You’ve really got to go from that very basic email system, whether you’re using Outlook or Gmail to broadcast to your customers. And deadset, I have customers who have lists of 10,000 that they manage from Outlook, and it horrifies me that this could happen. You’ve got to import them into a smart system like Office AutoPilot or Ontraport or Infusionsoft, and start tagging them, segmenting them, having automation happening. You know, when they do this, send out this particular email. Have the ability to contact people about relevant topics. You know, when we put an episode of Freedom Ocean, we can broadcast it to Freedom Ocean people who have nominated to receive that information. That’s important. And now you can combine that with video views, with webinar replays and when they visit a certain page on your site. If you go and visit one of my sites, and don’t buy, the chances are you’ll get a follow-up email a few days later, just making sure that you know where that page is and checking if you’re still interested.
Tim: James, the whole concept of surrounding yourself with a team and getting people to manage your office or your office automation, your CRMs, your editing, whatever aspect of your marketing or business you were talking about – where would you start?
James: Well, there are automation experts. I know a few of them whose core job is to help people just to hook these systems up, get them all running smoothly. And that is, by the way, a huge career path. If you are technically inclined and you get marketing, these people just make a killing. I know three or four of them now and they are serving the world of people who are technological laggards, who know they need it, who want it happening and they pay these people to do it. And for most businesses, it would be worth having someone to set up. Even on a basic level, if they had someone come in and set up Google apps, just setting up Google apps and getting off Outlook. It gets you portable, it gets you group emails, it gets you much more streamlined, interoffice communication. These things are…
Tim: Collaborative documents.
James: Yeah, just the basic tech sweep of the business is going to get most businesses up a little. But if you’re still running a business out of Outlook, then you’re just going to get left behind.
Tim: Yeah, great business idea. Great business idea for the technically inclined, with a bit of marketing communication savvy about them as well.
James: The market is in such demand. Everyone wants help with this stuff. They shouldn’t really be doing it by themselves, and when you think about it, there are people who serve most other parts of the market. You can hire someone to come and video you, you can hire someone to write sales copy, you can hire someone to draw an illustration of you. Why can’t you hire someone just to hook all your tech up? Well you can. I know them. I work with at least three of them in SilverCircle. And they’re doing very well, because they’re good at the bits that people aren’t good at and they know they need. And really, automation is where I’ll be focusing a lot more next year, is to take all my autoresponders, and my triggers and sequences, and the messaging I’m sending, and just to continue to refine that. I got tricked by one yesterday. It was so good, I thought it was a personal email. And it was someone else’s, and it was very, very clever. It was just the right timing, just the right message. And it was just the perfect email. I’m actually going to copy it today for my business.
Tim: Well, tell me a bit more. What did it do?
James: It just sent me an email with the subject line: “Did you see this yet?” And it said, “Hey James, did you see this yet?” It linked to the page that I had already visited, and it says, “Come join me, I think you’d offer the community a ton of value.”
Tim: You would have gone out into that.
James: Well, no, I went and had a look at it, and I actually spent 10 or 15 minutes thinking about whether this community is what I need right now. So it got me to the page, and it got me thinking about it. Now I’m following up with the owner, I know what his conversions were, I know how many people it went to and how many sign-ups were made. But he has made quite a lot of money from that one email, off not that many people, and that is a classic use of automation in the right way. He’s sending a targeted, interesting email to the right person at the right time, and he has generated sales that have happened automatically. That’s the automation part. He didn’t have to sit there, thinking “Oh, you know what, I really should send James an email off right now because well, let’s see, he visited my site three days ago, he didn’t buy, and I’ve just checked the cart, yup, he didn’t buy. Alright, so I’ll send him a little personal email.” So he didn’t have to do that. The computer did that for him, and that is where the power comes. And I have lots of those little email responses. And Amazon does it. You go and buy… Go and look on Amazon at something. If you’re registered to them as a customer, then go and have a look at something on Amazon and I’ll bet you a week later you’ll get an email, something related to whatever you looked at.
Tim: So, just until that point, if you’ve gone to that site, you haven’t gone to that site anonymously, you’ve actually gone and logged into that site, so it knows you’re there?
James: No, I’m just on the guy’s email list. So he knows that I’m a subscriber, he’s probably cookied my browser somehow when I visited the site. And if I’m using the same computer, and I go back there, which is pretty common, then it’s recognizing me. It says, oh, OK, so this guy. And then now it can refine the message again. I may get a follow up email that’s more persuasive than the last one, or coming from a different angle. Because it will go and say, well I sent that email, he still didn’t buy, so now I’m going to send him the different one. And this is all possible. And some people map this out for the next 60 sequences, on every one of their products. And this is where the money is made. The money is made in conversions. It’s converting that valuable resource and maximizing this sale into the next possible purchase. But he very nearly tipped me into a buyer, and I didn’t notice that it was automated because it was 1 in the morning, I’d just got back from a forum meet-up, but I felt that it was, it really was like a personal reach-out, and I wanted to give him the courtesy of respecting that personal reach-out with a respectful answer. But it was automated.
Tim: Aw, great. I love that. Tell me, if you were to go and there’d be people listening, getting excited about the whole concept of automation, at what point do you jump into automation? Do you wait till you’ve got your offer, or I call it your ascending transaction model ready or your product set-up ready to sell? Or do you jump straight in and start setting up the automation?
James: Well firstly, screw the ascending transaction model. Start with the mid- or high-priced product today, you’re in business, right? That’s another trend, by the way. There’s a big trend on these 25, 45, $60,000 coaching programs, and the model there is, put up one page with a survey, start running Facebook ads, telling people that their life sucks, drive them to the survey, they fill out the survey, and then you hard close them on a $40,000 coaching program. So in terms of ascending model, no one needed to go and get an ebook for free, buy a $7 product, warm up to a $39 product, then move into a $3,000 product, blah blah blah. Like you can go straight for the gold if you want. So the first thought on that. Second thought is, if you’re signing up people for 40 grand, then you can afford it today. Don’t worry about it. You know, it’s going to cost you about $300 to $500 a month for software that does this stuff. That’s it. And that’s if you have a reasonable-sized customer base. It’s going to cost you time and energy to learn how to run it. In my case, it took me about two weeks to watch the tutorials and to think about how I want to organize my customers and to map out some of the basic emails. However, if you want to pay someone to do this, there’s a stack of people out there who do this stuff. People you and I know. There’s people like Jake. There’s… anyone who’s big in those communities or in those Facebook groups. There are literally dozens of them who are very savvy with the software and would sit down and map it out for you and then implement it for you. And that might cost thousands of dollars, but for a normal business, you know, a normal business is going to be making a couple of hundred grand a year. The sort of Small Business Big Marketing businesses of yours, a lot of them would be in that one hundred to one million category, I imagine?
James: With a few staff, it’s totally worth it for them. And if you’re an info marketer or whatever, I think you’ll find that the extra sales will pay for having that. So it was such a huge shift for me to go from a basic autoresponder system like Aweber or a GetResponse or MailChimp into the more advanced ones. And a lot of them have cart functions and affiliate programs, if you need those things.
Tim: To me, two weeks for you to get your head around it, that’s a long time. So for the average person, trying to get stuck into that, it’d be a little bit more of a learning curve.
James: If you have a couple of products and services, then it would be worth for you just to say, “Hey Jake, you want to come around and set me up on this thing, get it rolling for me?” And then you could hire someone to run this thing if you wanted. So it’s worth it when you’re basically cracking six figures, then I guess most people would benefit from moving to this level of automation.
Tim: Yeah, right. Right. That’s interesting. So just going back to how the world has changed in the past 12 months, to me, of all the things we’ve mentioned, that kind of is a stand out one where, like, there is a significant difference upon like 12 to 18 months ago, in the offerings of Infusionsoft and Office AutoPilot.
James: Yeah, I think they’ve become cheaper and easier to use, and many more people in the marketplace are talking about it, using it and sharing ideas on it.
Tim: OK. The other things to me have… there have been incremental improvements, in terms of… Yeah, the cloud…
James: Oh no, there’s some other huge ones, I think…
Tim: Yeah, yeah, no, absolutely. Let’s move forward. What else have you got?
James: I mean they really have, in the last year, just gone from nothing to megastars, and they’ve made it incredibly easy to create a landing page that works on a website, on a WordPress site, on a standalone, hosted solution or in Facebook. And they’re great for getting opt-ins, to get webinars, to give away ebooks, to have at the end of each post, to have on a Coming Soon page, or an Error page. That is game-changing software for a lot of small marketers. Like if you could only have one tool in your toolbox, really just having a landing page is just such a… it was such a barrier to entry a while a go. You used to have to have stuff like OptimizePress and start learning how to use WordPress. LeadPages just made it that much easier.
Tim: Yeah, I like that. What about LeadPlayer?
James: Well, LeadPlayer was the first product, but it’s not such a big deal. Wistia now have Turnstile, and it integrates with a lot of the opt-ins, so I think LeadPages is the big winner. That’s the hit-it-out-of-the-park product, and Clay said pretty much the same thing on my last interview with him. But there’s more changes, should we go through them?
Tim: Yeah, of course.
James: So, hosting. A big company’s been buying out a lot of the popular hosting companies, and they’re pretty renowned for crappy service. And a lot of us would have used a certain company for hosting a year or two ago, and if you go back to our old episodes, we would have had hosting recommendations. That’s changed. They’ve gotten so slow and so unreliable that people are bailing left, right and center into different hosting solutions. I made my move after my dedicated server got shut down for like a day and they wouldn’t even answer the ticket. I’m like, that’s it, I’m out. I took my couple of thousand bucks a month to a different company, we use LiquidWeb now. Now I let people have access to my dedicated server for $59. And for that we update plugins, do all of the security checks, and it’s very, very fast. It’s on the same site as Freedom Ocean, actually. And I’ve seen in my community, because I’ve got this FastWebFormula community with all these members, everyone is migrating their hosting out of the traditional places where people would host because they’d load too slow. Now a listener can go and test this on their own site. They can go to Pingdom Speed Test, and they can plug in their site, and see how fast their site’s loading. And if your site’s taking like eight or 12 or 14 or 16 seconds, you need to change hosts, because it’s killing your conversions, it’s killing your SEO, and probably there’s a chance that your company won’t even be in business at some point in the future because they’re getting such a migration, a mass exodus. So I think the hosting game now has gone up a notch this year.
Tim: Hosting, load time… Got a bird at my window. Load time’s a big part of the Google algorithm, yeah?
James: Well, Google have always said that speed’s very important. But the big thing is, it’s a conversion killer. If people won’t wait for a site to load, and not everyone has fast Internet, believe it or not, and I live that dream, as you know. If you’ve got something on your site that you’re trying to sell and it takes a long time for it to load, people will not stick around. They’ll go on. They’re out of there. So your site really has to load in a few seconds, or it’s not going to be as good as… Some sites we’ve been developing on our test server, we finished, and websites is another thing that’s changed a bit, we put it back on the customer’s site, and it’s like slow. They’re like, hey, what happened, why is my site so much slower? Mate, because your service sucks. Right, so they end up buying our hosting because it’s just that much quicker, and we suggest that as the default now, because it’s kind of a letdown to have a great, a Ferrari website, and then you go and put it on a Toyota server, you know?
Tim: So, you mentioned LiquidWave and Freedom Ocean living on that now, which used to live on Amazon S3, correct?
James: No, we used to use a different server company for…
James: I’m not talking about where we put our podcast episodes, I’m talking about…
Tim: Ah, you’re talking about the website.
James: Where the website is.
Tim: Yeah. Still living on Amazon S3 for the podcast episodes.
James: Still using Amazon S3 for that. You really shouldn’t be hosting rich media files like videos. Put them on Wistia or YouTube. Audio, put them on Amazon S3 or Libsyn. Email, put them on Google apps. Get them off your server. Everyone knows that now, but probably a few years ago they didn’t. Don’t put media or email on your server, you’re going to kill your site. Or you’re going to blow stuff up. Basically. I’d hate to be thinking about our podcasts off a server.
Tim: Yep. That would be not good. What else you got, Jimmy?
James: Well we’ve sort of touched on remarketing. That is just huge. AdRoll, Perfect Audience, Google Remarketing. Most people now know that you can put a little piece of code on your site and follow people up who visited your site with a related banner ad. And most people in the IM space are all over this. And they’re also combining Facebook marketing. So Facebook advertising, combined with remarketing, combined with opt-in pages, combined with webinars, that’s the way that people are selling these days. Driving traffic from Facebook, registering them for a webinar, following them up with remarketing, running the webinar, asking for the order, following people up if they don’t watch the whole webinar, and then driving the into memberships.
Now there is a shift in platforms. A few years ago we might have talked a lot about ClickBank, and that was kind of the affiliate marketplace, but now you’ll hear a lot more about places like JVZoo, of which I’ve got to say, I’m really out of that world. I’m not into the affiliate space, I’m not into the JV space, because I don’t do joint ventures, I don’t do launches, I don’t have affiliates, I only promote products that I really love, like LeadPages. So it’s not my world, but apparently that world’s changed quite a lot and now you’ve got different platforms that are popular. But in the business professional world, they’re going to be looking at platforms like Udemy, and Lynda and stuff. They’re going to be putting their programs on Udemy as a lead gen, and that has everything built-in to make it easy. They’ve got the affiliate business, they’ve got the ability to make sales and send you commission and stuff. And also, Kindle. You’ll see a lot more people putting out Kindles than in the past, and we’ve got Amazon opening in Australia now, as well.
Tim: Yeah, I saw that.
James: I think there’s more free stuff out there these days. I think that the bar has moved a bit on how much is out there for free, and how much quality information and training people will give you before you have to buy anything.
Tim: Yeah, the free thing’s been around a long time, hasn’t it? I had this discussion with a mate yesterday. Sort of like, I’m running a paid webinar at the moment, and it’s filling really well. And he’s kind of going, well he kind of challenged me on the idea, shouldn’t I just be giving that away for free? But you know, the webinar isn’t actually… the webinar is an endpoint. You know, it’s not there to pitch .
James: Yeah, it’s the product.
Tim: It’s the product. I’m not there to pitch something, I’m there to deliver content.
James: On that note, I think there’s less pitchy events these days. I think some of those schlockfests have been weeded out. And most of the events that I’ve been to lately have been ticket-price event with good content. You know, the ticket price might be a thousand or $2,000, and the content will be good and there’ll be very little pitching.
Tim: Yeah. It’s good, that. I’m glad that’s come around, finally.
James: Yeah. I’ve been wondering when legislators would step in. There’s some pundits out there that they’ve really pushed this whole easy make-money-while-you-sleep line, but I don’t think that they’re genuine with their ability to deliver that. And it’s gone on for too long. So I think the market’s getting…
Tim: Well, they’ll always be around.
James: They will always be around.
Tim: You know, it is a cycle. I’d be interested to know, maybe one day you’ll go back into JVs and affiliates. Certainly when I met you, you were right amongst that, and now you’re out of it, but everything’s a cycle, isn’t it?
James: Thing’s a cycle, but I think the ideal JV these days is being a guest on someone’s podcast. Or having a guest on your podcast. And I think it’s much nicer to be able to promote something because you love it, because you think it’s awesome. In fact, I’m having an affiliate discussion with someone on my podcast. Clay Collins and Dan Andrews and Dan Norris sometime next week. We’re going to talk about the shift in that, and I don’t think it will go back to the way it was with affiliate marketing. I’m seeing a lot of companies unwind their affiliate marketing. In fact, the discussions that I’m seeing now are around own the media channel. Own the distribution. So that’s what we do with podcasts. We have distribution. Once you have distribution, you don’t need affiliates. You might need them in the beginning, to get awareness, to build up your profile…
Tim: Yeah, right.
James: But you certainly don’t need them once you’re big. You’ve got money then. You could buy media. You could go out and buy ads. You could get media placements. You can run solo ads. You can do retargeting. You don’t need to have affiliates once you’ve reached critical mass.
Tim: Because the affiliate thing was all about distribution anyway.
James: Yeah. You know, we don’t need someone out there on the street corner pimping Coke to us. We know what’s in the fridge in every shop.
Tim: Coca-Cola, by the way, listeners.
James: That’s right. Coca-Cola. So like, I think the reseller model is fine. You know, that’s an old, established model, like the Mercedes dealers. They’re pretty much reselling the factory’s wholesale supply for a profit margin. They’re retailing. I think the traditional models are fine. Oh yeah, the other thing I’ve seen, there’s been a lot of scammy MLM stuff in the last year, and it has to collapse at some point. It’s just so dirty and filthy and offers no value whatsoever. It is effectively to me, it looks like a pyramid scheme and I look up the Wikipedia definitions. They are just a greedy cesspit of people who are just buying ads, pitching riches. There’s no actual content and there’s no actual… there’s nothing of substance other than the opportunity itself. And I’d love to see that stuff get wiped out. I really would. Not because I want to be mean, but because I see the tragic heartbreak that it causes. People with no ability to run their own business get sucked into this and don’t make any money. And I reckon it must ruin families. I’m sure people will be driving buses for 20 years paying off a credit card debt for something they couldn’t afford, shouldn’t have bought, and it was dangled in front of them in a very seductive manner. So I’ve seen a few of those big networks rise, and I’ve made an effort now to stop helping or providing for people who are involved in those seedy products. I won’t coach someone in that market anymore, I won’t attend those events, I won’t be a part of it. I think that it’s got to stop.
Tim: Making a stand against MLM.
James: Well, I know I’m choosing a marketing channel but that’s what the topic was just the channel but I’m just saying there’s a couple of products in particular that I’ve seen really rise and I would like to see them lower as well.
Tim: Yeah, okay.
James: And speaking of that, Bitcoin hasn’t that been interesting lately.
Tim: Bitcoin, oh mate, I haven’t followed that since kind of maybe six months ago. What’s happened with it?
James: Well, it just had an epic rise like, just Bitcoin went off the stratosphere and I don’t really understand it. I don’t know why people would accept it as a currency, it just seems so volatile but we are seeing changes. You know, there’s changes… I don’t think there’s a lot of confidence in the US economy and if you follow Sovereign Man – it’s really an interesting newsletter talking about the inevitable collapse and corruption of the way that currencies are pegged around the world and stuff. So, I think we’ll see, like in my business, I’m effectively becoming a currency trader because I’ve handled three different currencies so I don’t know this affects some of my peer group. Like when I started online marketing, the Australian dollar and the US dollar were quite different. There were like 60-something cents to the dollar. And now, it’s like a dollar-five or something. It’s really gone the other way. So, they’re close to parity now but over time I think we will continue to see changes in currencies and that’s worth paying attention to where your business is, what currency that it’s trading in and how you move your funds around between merchant facilities, Forex accounts and Paypal accounts because you start to have a few wild swings in percentages, it really makes a big difference on a nest egg.
Tim: Just on that point, what about making it easy for people to give you money? Paypal seems to be still the major way of transferring money online. What else are you seeing?
James: Yeah, like Paypal is very popular and I’m seeing when I have credit card set as default, then people would still toggle it to Paypal 20 or 30 percent of the time somewhere in that region. People like to use Paypal in our space, in the Internet space. Normal moms and dads, I think anyone with an eBay account’s probably got a Paypal account and it’s still worth offering that for a lot of people. Some people like, they hate on Paypal and whatever but I’ve actually found them to be extremely good to deal with. They even ring up and offer conversion optimization tips and stuff. Like they’re very approachable. In fact, a company who I found extremely arrogant and rude last year blew me away this year. Like yesterday, I was trying to enable a Hangout feature on my Google Apps and I just filled out a little email, I said: “Hangouts doesn’t seem to work on my Apps”. And then, my phone rings and it’s a guy from Google, he goes: “Oh, I got your request, let’s just go through it.”
James: He screen-talked me through it, we enabled it and then he sent me a follow-up to make sure everything is working fine. I’m like: “Well, OK these guys have started to listen to people maybe.”
Tim: Yeah, yeah. That’s great.
James: There’s a change.
Tim: Yeah, yeah. Totally, totally. Anything more mate, before we wrap up?
James: No, I think I covered most of the things that I thought. Just one last thing, I think there’ll be more and more of a focus on professional design. You know, we’re playing around with things like T-shirts and physical merchandise with logos and stuff. But with Google taking away keyword data, that has shifted the game. You know, SEO, between now and a year ago is wildly different. They’ve smacked around everyone with manipulated links. They’ve pulled out link networks. They’ve put an emphasis on search queries that have a sort of an educational, informational content like how-to or whatever with Hummingbird. They have removed keyword data from the stats, so now we’re seeing a surge in research reports. People are buying research reports from us because they can’t do it themselves and I think that it really just means you’ve got to focus on having great content and on having good design and a memorable brand and focus on structuring your website properly, you know – fast loading, correct descriptions, etc. That is how you do SEO and we’re getting like amazing results in our SEO service by focusing on the fundamentals – everything by hand, focusing on the end user, good quality stuff. It’s like that automated email, a lot of the stuff we’re producing now is as top-shelf as someone could produce on their own or better and that’s the way it has to go.
Tim: Wow Jimmy, that’s a really good segway because we haven’t talked about the next episode but one of the topics we’ve got down on our little listed future topics for Freedom Ocean is SEO and I think it would be really interesting to… I think it’s probably like 12 months since we did an episode on SEO and it should say big, big changes, you know. Far less talk about backlinking and much greater talk about relevancy and just creating stuff that’s going to educate and improve people’s lives and help them make a transaction in your favor. So, I think that next episode we can talk about SEO must-dos and how the SEO world has changed in the past 12 months. What do you say?
James: I’m up for it. It’s something we live and breath.
Tim: Yeah, yeah. Well, I think it’s exciting. SEO for me in those early years of going online and starting a business was pretty technical and I just get a feel that it’s moved, kind of you have a scale of rational and emotional. Yeah, there’s some rational things that you’ve just got to nail like your metadata and still understanding your keywords but there’s a kind of real emotional bend now where it’s just about creating great content.
James: It is about creating great content. Speaking of which, it’d be good if the listeners could go and vote on our T-shirt design on our fanpage and…
Tim: Hey mate, I think the tribe has spoken there. Greg, who designed, sent me the email saying: “You won.” He considered defeat.
James: Yeah I think they have. It has considered a defeat. Well, yeah, that is interesting.
Tim: He said I asked the wrong question or be it but you know, yeah that was an interesting discussion because for listeners, what happened was one of James’ students, Greg, he’s got a great new business I think which is creating merch, creating merch for us podcasters in the form of T-shirts. And he’s gone off and designed some pretty funky designs for existing podcasters’ brands, at which point he kind of veers away from the actual logo of the podcast, which for someone who does love design like me this kind of raises an interesting question, so…
James: Well, the great thing is he’s kind of won out of it, regardless because…
James: He gets a mention and he’s like: “A or B?” and we pick one, he still got a T-shirt to put on the store. He’s pretty clever.
Tim: Well, yeah he’s now going for both. What happens was he was only going to go with the one he designed. Now he’s going to go with the Freedom Ocean existing logo and the one he designed. So, gee.
James: And to take us out, here’s a contribution from Brett Kelly who was listening to the episode 66.
James: And he’s a friend of Cliff Ravenscraft but he was basically taking a break at a reststop on the way home to Chicago and he said: “I’m finer than frog’s fur, mate.” New joke book on the Christmas list for Timbo methinks. He’s told you to get some new jokes.
Tim: Well, it wouldn’t be the first mate. I’ve been accused of dad jokes last episode. Hey, just have a listen. Don’t know whether you can hear that but that is a chorus of kookaburras out at the front of my window and they are laughing.
Tim: Big question is are they laughing at me or with me?
James: Well, you’ll have to take your Zoom out there because your microphone is so damn good, it’s screened out all the noise.
Tim: That’s good. I just had, oh we have it on live again so that’s a good thing. So, alright. Well, send me joke books, listeners. I always like some new jokes. I do have to…
James: And you need them
Tim: Harsh, harsh, very harsh! I’d like to see you crack a few more gags Jimmy. And I know our listeners would too. There you go, that’s your challenge. And you can’t just go: “Oh, I’ve got a joke for you” and tell a joke. You just have to cleverly integrate them into the conversation like your co-host does.
James: Yes, beautiful. Alright, that’s it. We’re out, we’re done.
Tim: Finished. FreedomOcean.com, that’s where you’ll find the lovin’. Leave a review on iTunes, tell us what you think. Who’s the funnier, Jimmy or Timmy?
James: Oh, and Tim’s the funniest but, which is saying something?
Tim: Yeah, whatever. Alright guys, thanks Jimmy, see you next week.
James: See you.