Welcome to episode 52 of Freedom Ocean. James and Tim talk about Traffic and Conversions and some really cool stuff to help kick off 2013.
We also discuss:
- The importance of benchmarking and acknowledging your success
- How different modality content can influence SEO
- Why pursue continual learning?
- How you can use different mediums for effective traffic and conversions?
- Looking into the future of affiliate programs and top promotional channels
- Check out this neat and convenient tool to improve your audios and videos
Holiday break is over and your vacation fun is just about to begin here at Freedom Ocean.
Internet Marketing Products & Resources
Here you’ll find an extensive range of the best Internet marketing training products and services going around.
Tim: Welcome back listeners to episode 52 of, well, Australia’s favorite internet marketing podcast. What do you reckon Schramko?
James: Well, you know, there’s a lot of people in our community now podcasting but I’d still think it’s very popular. A lot of people ask us when the next episode is out so yeah, we’ll run with that.
Tim: Correct, we’ll run with that until someone tells us otherwise. What do you mean it’s favorite?
James: Well, it’s right there in the top of the charts. I noticed that it’s still there today even though it’s been a week or two since the last episode and every time we release an episode, it jumps right up the top. So as at the time of this episode, yes it’s still favorite.
Tim: You know one thing, enough navel-gaze I’m going to stop that right now because I’d tell you what, I tell you what annoys me listening to podcasts that you don’t get on mass media, and I do love my podcasts, but you don’t hear hosts of radio shows or TV shows talking about their ratings.
James: I disagree. The top radio shows always tell listeners that because they need that advertising dollar and we don’t have advertisers on this show.
Tim: I’m not sure I don’t listen to, how do you say that “I don’t listen to a lot of commercial radio”, but I think podcasters go on a bit too much about the medium and their ratings or otherwise. But, you know, I stand to be corrected. I can say that because I’m a podcaster.
James: Yeah, and it was you who actually mentioned it too, which is somewhat funny.
Tim: I correct. Yeah, well now I try not to do it. I mean with my other show, I say it’s Australia’s number one because it is but on more times than not. But I kind of don’t then dwell on it, so anyway, there you go. Just a bit of a rant upfront.
James: Well, you know, every time I look at my local bottle shop, Sydney’s fourth best bottle shop, I wonder is that a good thing or a bad thing. Most people tell me that it’s a good thing, but I still think it’s interesting positioning. But if you are the top – I mean I saw in the podcasts in iTunes today, I was just checking your ranking, and you were number one in the business section. I mean if you’re number one, you’re number one, and why not be proud of that? And my new podcast is number… it was number 3 today in the health section in its first week. And it’s at least a benchmark to have a look at and say, well, okay, I got two more people to take on now to get to that top spot and it’s kind of motivating if you have a competitive spirit. So I’m competitive, I’m not sure about you, but other people, probably, it probably pushes people to compete and it raises the bar for everyone.
Tim: On a scale of 1 being a sloth, and 10 being unbelievably competitive, what are you? What would you rate yourself?
James: So 10 is unbelievably competitive?
Tim: Yeah, you are like, I don’t know, who’s the most competitive person we know?
James: Probably any Olympic athlete, or…
Tim: Yeah, yeah, correct.
James: I’d say I’m closer to the 10 than the 1. I am competitive, I know that about me.
Tim: Yeah, the smiling assassin.
James: Ha ha ha, well…
Tim: The velvet sledgehammer.
James: Ever since I’ve been in a commission only environment, it just – that became a way of life. You’re only as good as your current month, or the last month, and that’s it, and you start from scratch on the first of every month and you have to compete with everyone else in a dog-eat-dog environment and I learned to compete with myself. And that’s when I actually went past the others in the sales environment. I wasn’t benchmarking off them anymore, I was benchmarking off me, and my results extrapolated. There was a couple of months where I would sell as many as the other five sales people put together, and I couldn’t have done that if I was benchmarking off them, because I would have held myself back unnecessarily.
Tim: How do you congratulate yourself then? Do you just head down to the mirror, and sort of go, “James, you have done very very well this month, my friend”?
James: You know, I think in business it is important to acknowledge your successes, and I set targets and rewards. My hundred thousand dollar a year target was to buy an Omega Speedmaster – that was my goal.
Tim: What’s an Omega Speedmaster? A watch?
James: It’s also called the Moonwatch. Yeah, it’s like an automatic watch. Fantastic watch, they cost about three thousand dollars back then and they’re probably about four thousand now. And that was my goal, and my boss walked me down to the jewelry store and we bought it together and it was exciting.
Tim: That’s very…what a lovely picture that was!
James: Yeah, it was romantic. No. We got a good deal though, from the watchmaker who was also a customer. I think it cost about seventeen hundred dollars, but I also justified it on, you know, that this is something I can hand to my son one day, and it won’t lose value. The next goal was when I became a general manager or when I owned a Mercedes dealership, I would buy the Rolex Daytona, and that was the next goal. They were incredibly hard to get and much more expensive. They were more like the fifteen, sixteen thousand dollar mark. And again, to lock in that success, it’s just a little reminder, a constant anchor that hey, you know what? I’ve been up against challenges, and I’ve succeeded, so I can do this over and over. It’s a behavior, it’s a pattern that I can repeat. And I apply this to every aspect of my life.
Tim: So how do you reward yourself these days, now that you’re working by yourself?
James: The next big reward is my Ferrari 458 Italia, and I’ve got that set in my mind and I’ve just got to get there and then it will activate.
Tim: How far away is that?
James: I’m probably – I’m not quite halfway there. So, it’s a pretty lofty goal, and some would think it’s extravagant. It would cost close to six hundred thousand dollars. However, when I reach my goal, it won’t really be a significant thing. But to get to that, I will have to help so many people and create value for so many others and employ lots of people, that I certainly won’t feel selfish about it. It’ll be a great reward.
Tim: And when you say, how do you measure being “halfway there?” based on halfway to what of what?
James: Sales turnover, or as our overseas compatriots say, revenue.
Tim: Revenue. Ah well, hope it comes soon mate, I’ll have a lift. Please pick me up from the airport.
James: I will. I think you enjoy being picked up from the airport. We used to get together for these things live, remember?
Tim: We did. We did. There was no real need for that, but at that point we hadn’t met, so you know…
James: That was good. I remember you walked past me at the airport a couple of times until I could jump in front of you, the big man, and say “Stop, it’s me, look down here”.
Tim: Who’s that weirdo? Who’s that weirdo? Security, security!
James: What are we talking about today?
Tim: Just stuff mate, how we’re ranking on iTunes, I thought.
James: We’re awesome. Ok, so…
Tim: Yeah. Just you know, whether what kind of cars we’re looking at buying, iTunes rankings, watches…
James: I wonder if anyone’s shouting at the little podcast app right now like I do when I listen to shit on podcast.
Tim: Just going, really, who are these guys?
James: There really are some really crappy podcasts and I’m like, “Seriously, is this news to anyone?” like, and I hit the plus 30 seconds, plus 30 seconds, and then I’m out, and then they just get taken off my library, never to be listened to again.
Tim: Well, to anyone who’s still listening, and they’ve probably got us on two speed at the moment just to get through this, but it is interesting, the point you make does have impact, because I remember saying a few months ago that content marketing is obviously the new black in the world of marketing online and off, and there’s a whole lot more people producing a whole lot more podcasts and vodcasts, and videos and books and forums and you name it, because it’s becoming a whole lot easier and a whole lot cheaper, and therefore the challenge is quality now.
James: Totally agree. So in my case, I’ve been upping the ante on myself, I’ve gotten better with my videos, I’ve really paid more attention to the audio quality, and the rich media content, those custom pictures. I’m teaching myself now how to edit better, and to put in B roll and diagrams and have things scroll across the screen and to make it more engaging and interesting. And I’m noticing a lot more participation in the comments when I post a video. And I’m even learning more about what to ask people, or how to keep them involved with the video so that it can grow and it’s really having a good effect on all the metrics in the business across the board, so I think content is where it’s at. One of the big questions I asked recently was about whether people value transcriptions, because there was a whole discussion about this in my forum, you know, is it worth it? And I think people who are on a budget find it’s expensive and they’re not quite sure if they get a result from it. But boy, did people respond in the positive for that, like absolutely they want transcriptions. So I think people who are prepared to fund better content, who will produce more modalities and put that effort in are going to get the audience share and they’re the ones who can profit from it.
Tim: Yeah, it’s interesting, that transcription discussion, because from my point of view it’s not – I’m getting transcriptions done for like a dollar per ten audio minutes, which is pretty inexpensive. I actually just today got an email from a listener who works for some kind of disability service and he was suggesting that I, he put me in touch with someone who I should interview about how to insure your business’s online presence is amped up for the hearing and sight-impaired. And obviously transcriptions, that’s a whole audience that most businesses online are missing out on. Because you know, and I don’t know what percentage it is, I don’t know the numbers around it, but the idea of transcriptions obviously is great for the hearing impaired and in a whole lot of ways, and good for SEO, too.
James: It’s fantastic and what I’ve found interesting is a lot of people switch between modalities. Sometimes they’ll watch a video, sometimes they’ll listen and other times they’ll scan or they might do a pre-scan to decide if it’s worth watching. Or, they use the search box, and here’s an interesting stat. Now obviously if the whole thing is transcribed and they’re using the search on your site, they can find your content to then go and listen to that podcast. But my friend Ezra, who has ecommerce stores was telling me that five percent of the people on his site used the search box on his ecommerce store, and those people generate 20 percent of his sales. So the people who are prepared to search are the more commercially-validated people, because they know what they’re looking for and they want to find it and if you’ve got it and you can present it to them, then that’s good. So I think the transcription really takes advantage of the search. And we even take the whole transcription and paste it into the YouTube videos, so that someone can actually get the entire video transcribed and absolutely it’s great for the hearing impaired.
Tim: I didn’t know you could put that many words into a YouTube description.
James: Put the whole lot. In fact I think they have a go at making it themselves but they botch it up. But you can actually, when you load your video, you can load the transcription as well.
Tim: Just into the description box, or is there a special field?
James: No, into the captions section.
Tim: Huh, interesting. Yeah, well I’m sort of going back into that. I haven’t done transcribing for a while for Small Business Big Marketing but I certainly intend to. I’ve got a few being done at the moment, and getting back into that zone. Hey mate, you’ve just been to San Fran and to the Traffic and Conversions Summit, you are one for continual learning. Good trip?
James: Fantastic trip. It’s definitely one of the best conferences that I’ve been to, certainly the biggest in this industry. There was eighteen hundred people there, and that it looks big in the room.
Tim: Everything’s big in America.
James: Well, typically they’ll have five or six hundred people at an event, which is bigger than most events here in this industry where you might get a hundred and fifty or two hundred and fifty. And I like the scale of it but almost everyone who I’ve been seeing for the past five years was there just in one place, so it’s super convenient to fly over and have everyone there in one place. The event was well-run, and basically all the people who are either customers or contacts for me where in that event. So If I’m going to go to the United States a couple of times a year, I want to maximize my trip, and that was a great one. I’ll definitely go to that event next year, and it was the first time I’ve been to that particular one, and I’m sure it will cast a shadow over some of the other ones who are in the immediate vicinity of it. There’s a marketers’ cruise, and then there’s an underground after it, and I think this one will be the one to go to.
Tim: They had a marketers’ cruise?
James: No, there was a different mob have an event at almost the same time, so I’m sure everyone who was on the other one probably heard about this and thought, Gosh I wish I was at that one.
Tim: A marketers’ cruise. Be lots of long white socks and patent white shoes on that little trip.
James: I couldn’t stand to go on a boat, stuck there for days. I’ve done it with, you know, up the Nile in Egypt or whatever and the big problem of course is stuff like Internet connectivity and being a little bit claustro in that place. I like the open space and the ability to move around. So this event was great.
Tim: So, mate, the Traffic and Conversions Summit – it feels dry, I know you’d love that, it would be like Internet porn for someone like you, talking about traffic and conversions. Was there a whole lot of intellectuals running around, or was there a bit of excitement?
James: No, it’s not like a tech geek thing – I’m not in the tech-geek side of things. So it’s not like the SEO conferences, which I think would be as boring as anything. It’s far more the marketer’s thing, it’s like how to take advantage of being a self-published author, so it had people like Timothy Ferris, Guy Kawasaki, and Tucker Max, like really interesting, colorful characters talking about publishing books, dealing with publishers, foreign language markets. They talked about the opportunities that Kindle have. They had Ezra Firestone, my other co-host from the other podcast I have, talked about ecommerce. I managed to wangle a spot on stage talking about my Own The Racecourse style of marketing, this new version of content instead of traditional SEO traffic and having people on multiple subscriptions, making sure that you’re absolutely everywhere with the major traffic funnels like Facebook and YouTube and iTunes and Google and your own blog and your email lists, so that was cool.
Tim: How’d you wangle yourself on stage? So to speak.
James: Well, the first thing I did was, well, I emailed the event organizer, there was two guys – Ryan Deiss and Perry Belcher. I emailed Perry and said “Is this event of yours any good?” and he replied back and said “Dude, you should absolutely come to it as my guest”, so that was step one. And then when I went there, I did what I normally do – I put my luggage in the room, I have a shower, get changed and then I go down to the bar, and that is where it starts. The event definitely starts the night before at the bar and people just come in from everywhere and they start talking and it gets louder and louder. And Perry was there and he said “Hey, it would be so good to have you present a couple of slides if you could give them to my assistant” and I said “Absolutely, I’d love to do that”, and this was for the next day. So the next day, I gave my slides, that’s about twenty slides to his assistant. I got involved in a multi-speaker panel thing and I got to speak on the topic that I wanted to talk about and there’s 1800 pairs of eyes staring back at me.
And of course, being able to speak on day one is fantastic positioning because from then on for the rest of the event, people come to you and they say “Ahh I loved your presentation” or “I really resonated with what you spoke about” or “How do I find out more about your services?” or “How do I get your guys to work on my site?”. It was just like a sales dream. You’ve got these readymade prospects right there who know about your stuff. And by the way, we had a lot of FreedomOcean listeners, so a big shout out to all the people who came up to me and said “Hey, I love FreedomOcean. It’s a fantastic podcast”. You don’t know how powerful these podcasts are until you go to a live event and all these strangers come up to you and say “Hey, I love your show…I love your videos…I love your podcast”. Podcasts are hot and I told them that as well.
Tim: Was there a podcast speaker?
James: Can’t recall there being a podcast speaker
Tim: Wow! That really surprises. Surprises and disappoints.
James: You know I think Australia is a little more on to this right now. Like if you look around the fields, you know, like Jake Hower and Pete Williams and there’s us and there’s well, from just us we’ve got like five or six. We’re greedy. Between the two of us like you’ve got two and I’ve got four. So I think well, really, that’s what that whole competitive thing is. That’s what we’re teaching our community. We are certainly in FastWebFormula, oh and Dan Norris. I mean, there’s a stack of podcasters there and then we’ve branched into other subgroups of podcasters like Dan Andrews and Tim Conley in that. Those podcasts, they’re sort of crossed across and merged the listenership and they’re all supporting each other. And there are some guys making headway in the States like Entrepreneur on Fire with John Dumas and a lot of the good content shows like Myxergy have podcasts and I think Rich Schefren has one but we are certainly doing really well on a global scale with podcasts here. And it’s, you know, we keep banging the drum about it because it’s worked so well for us.
Tim: That really surprises me that there’s just was no dedicated podcast speaker.
James: The big thing there on too is Amazon and Kindle. Like that is what’s hot right now in the States. It’s about being an author and not putting out those schlocky resell right stuff. Like having an actual good quality, properly copy written, edited, formatted Kindle and piggybacking the powerhouse of Amazon. That’s what they’re all talking about right now.
Tim: How easy is that mate without going into technical detail. You say you’re talking about writing a book and having it ready to be put on a…having a Kindle publish. Is that a Particular file type? What’s involved?
James: Yeah, but from what I can understand, you can pretty much do it all up in word type document. The big thing that Guy Kawasaki was talking about is you have to have it properly checked. You can’t possibly get it grammatically correct, you need to have it professionally checked over, and then you submit it, and he said “Put a lot of effort into the design cover”. But the bottom line is its easier now than ever in history to publish your own stuff, and when you’ve got your Kindle up against some other guy’s Kindle they don’t even know who the publisher was. It could be RandomHouse, it could be Penguin, it could be yourself, it doesn’t matter anymore. What you want is that most compelling cover with a really good title that has the author’s name that’s easy to read, and it’s a good quality book, and then from that you can just keep doing that. And that positions you for power and authority in the market. And I mean, you’re writing a book aren’t you?
Tim: Yeah I am.
James: And so is another friend of mine Dan Andrews, and I am as well. And I think this will be a popular way for us internet marketers and you business owners. We should all be putting out that book if we’ve got something useful. I mean I love that saying “Everyone has got a book in them and that’s exactly where it should stay”.
Tim: I was at an event this morning. My daughter started year seven, and I had a bit of a morning tea for parents and I got talking to a guy who owns a restaurant and he’s telling me like January, it’s a restaurant down on the beach like literally on the water and he’s saying like, you know January’s just been nuts but thank God because come May – June he’s just going to be hoping praying that he gets a whole lot of wedding and big function bookings, and I shared the idea with him of writing a book, because yes he found out I was a marketing guy and he said “what advice have you got?” and I said “You know like, I’m imagining there’s a whole lot of brides and grooms come down looking at your place and you hand them a card, a business card and a brochure but have you thought about writing a book?” and he said “What, writing a book about my venue?” and I said “No, like writing a book you know, for example about The Secrets to Holding the Best Wedding Ever” and dispersing shots of his location with genuine tips.
This guy has hosted – how is this mate? – He has hosted, he’s been responsible for holding 500 weddings at his venue so he knows a thing or two so you can imagine the book in him. And you can imagine the idea of giving a book over to a prospect as opposed to a brochure or a business card.
James: Yeah so I think if you have a book, if you have a Kindle, if you have a podcast, if you have a video channel, if you have a powerful content blog, you can write your own ticket.
Tim: It’s all about conversion though isn’t it mate? It’s all very well I have a podcast orI have a book…
James: Well I treat them all as traffic and that’s where people have a different view point. I treat podcast, book, content blog they’re all just traffic and they push people back into my system which has services and products. So I’m converting like crazy, I mean it literally generates millions of dollars in revenue from my front end traffic activities. The big mistake I think people make is they pin all their hopes on this book or podcast, or blog being the income generator. It’s just a traffic machine and if you can fuel that traffic machine from Facebook, iTunes, YouTube, and Google and have that just driving traffic – and I’ve been experimenting this on SuperFastBusiness – it can be the most powerful traffic machine ever but you still have to send them somewhere.
That’s why I have things that people can buy. They can buy a mastermind, they can buy a done for you traffic service, they can buy an Internet Marketing Coaching community which includes meet-ups, etc., and that is how the money gets to change hands because a) they find out about you, b) they know what they have that can solve their problem, and c) you make it a natural consequence. So that is the ABC of creating a powerful multimillion dollar empire is to get your products and services sorted and then drive traffic to them with your powerful authority machine.
Tim: Tell me about it, I’m just going back to Amazon, and okay so there are all big guys talking about Amazon at this traffic and conversion summit, how should we, the business owners, view Amazon these days? What is it? It’s clearly no longer a place to buy just books, I mean that’s been the case for a long time now. It’s pretty much a massive online department store, but how should we view it?
James: It’s a platform. It’s just like Facebook, YouTube, or Google. It’s a platform that has a ready-made..
Tim: Hold on because those three things are social media. There you can have two way conversations online.
James: You can have a two way conversation on Amazon. There’s a review section. You have people review your books. You email them. This is what they’re talking about. You email your friends, and then your colleagues, and then your customers, and then your alpha testers the book, and you send them the chapter. You ask them to go and comment on the book and then you release the thing for free for a short period and then ask people, “If you don’t mind could you just go and leave a review?”, so now you’re getting a participation, and these reviews can make or break sales. The bad reviews can hurt sales. Unless you’re completely unknown and then in some cases they actually drag more people to become aware of you than what actually found out about you before, which is an interesting step. But I think that it is a two way street now and the most important thing is, it’s a ready-made platform of buyers and it’s already raking in all the long tail search on every possible thing and then when you put your product there, just like in our podcasting system, if someone buys a different book in the same category in the similar reviews then yours will show right near it and say people who liked this also liked that. And then they’re marketing and following up a customer for you. So just like the iTunes ecosystem, this Amazon eco system is it’s just a traffic haven and if you can put good inputs into there you can tap it.
Tim: Okay so people can leave reviews. Can you as the author respond to those reviews? You can on iTunes.
James: Probably only in your content somehow. So I mean, if I were to treat it like every other part of my business I would be using it as a way to bring people to my site where I can have that discussion. Like we bring people to our website FreedomOcean.com, people do comment and discuss things and we can always address things in future episodes. And I think the whole concept is, it’s so easy to be publishing things these days that you can follow up with more products and more iterations.
Tim: So Amazon, we should view it as a platform. You are suggesting it is another social media channel or be it, it’s a traffic generating…
James: No I’m not saying its social media but I’m saying there is social interaction on there from the actual buyers that bring it a level of legitimacy. The traditional publisher model is that you pay someone a stack of money, they publish your book then you pay them a stack of money to go and put them in all the bookstores through a distribution, and then you pay someone a stack of money to go and buy them from all the bookstores so that it ranks among the top ten on the New York Times’ best seller list and then that social kick-in happens and people start buying because it’s a top best seller which is funny because we’ve looped back to the original part of our conversation about why you tell people when you are the number 1 because it makes people want it more and they buy more of it.
Now you don’t have to go through that entire media manipulation, now you can format, edit things, get it checked over, get it out to the market cheaper and start that distribution funnel without having to go through companies. And they use some pretty good examples of best sellers that had been rejected, like The Four Hour Work Week, like Fifty Shades of Grey. Like a lot of these things are apparently rejected by many publishers but now you don’t even have to deal with the publisher.
Tim: Tell me, with Amazon can anyone upload anything? Or is there an approval process through Amazon?
James: I have not uploaded anything to Amazon so I can’t tell you but I believe there’s the create space or the Kindle KDP or whatever. There’s this platform that you can load things up and I’m sure they’ll have an approval process and if it’s good. Where people come on stuck is they upload crap and then the reviews just slaughter it so it gets stopped in its tracks, you want to upload good stuff.
Tim: And when we’re talking about an upload mate, really it is a book in Kindle and a hard version yeah? Soft and hard versions.
Tim: You can’t upload courses, you can’t upload anything else but books, correct?
James: Courses is a great topic, I don’t think so but that’s where I’d be looking at sites like Udemy. And I think for the average small time publisher it’s going to be easier just to take advantage of that already existing infrastructure and platform, and these guys are just rocking it. Lynda, Udemy, put your course in there. They’ll take a little bit of revenue from it but they’ll also have an audience and they’ll promote it for you so I think that we’re going through a maturing phase. We won’t see those red letter individual sales pages and, you know, little PayPal protected pay walls and stuff for single products. I think that’s getting cleaned up, and even in my own business I’ve gone along and had a good look at the numbers and I’ve swept up my front end products and put them into my membership and now I’ve got the main product of FastWebFormula and that’s where I put up all my products so people can join one membership and get access to all of the products instead of buying them as stand-alone products anymore. And my job is to just publish so much free line content with videos and podcasts that people can see what they’re getting launched early in advance and just step into that standard membership.
And I think if you’re going to have your own platform, you’re going to have to put investment and make it solid because there will be a big gap between the Udemy’s and the little sole operator slapping up their domain name and a cheap little site and I think we’re past that phase now in internet marketing and publishing your own stuff. You’d probably be better to create. Well firstly just parasite off big platforms like Amazon and Udemy, and secondly if you are going to build your own thing, make it solid, make it good, and put some resource behind it to make it stick. I’m getting critical mass of like 600 members and that’s enough for me to have my platforms successful, when there’s every day you see someone’s setting-up a brand new Facebook group or a meet-up, or whatever but these things are free and they’re busy but it’s very hard to monetize.
Tim: Yeah that’s very true. Do you know anyone who is making money off of Facebook?
James: That’s a pretty general phrase, I make money off Facebook. It’s probably one of my top three referrers for my business and when I say that, SuperFastBusiness is my hub and that’s my Own The Racecourse case study and a lot of the traffic coming to that is from Facebook because everyone’s on Facebook. It’s easy for me to share pictures and videos and bring people back to my site. And that’s where the journey begins because then they may join my newsletter or they might be tagged with the remarketing cookie and I can follow them around with banners then and make suggestions anywhere on the internet. But it started at Facebook.
Tim: Are you selling any of your training products individually now? Or is it all found in FastWebFormula?
James: I only sell Wealthification separately, which is not in FastWebFormula. And now I’ve made FastWebFormula cheaper to buy than it used to be. And it’s the place where I put everything and I’ve got just that one product now. So instead of someone paying $39 for Own The Racecourse, they just pay $79 to join FastWebFormula and they can get all of my products. And then they can stick around each month if they like it and I keep adding new things in there. They come in for the information products but they stay for the community and for access to me and to be involved with hundreds of like-minded entrepreneurs who are really interested in growing their business. So, it turns out to be great value for them and it justifies my time to turn up and participate every day.
Tim: Why do you keep Wealthification out?
James: Because I think it’s a really useful stepping stone course to my Mastermind. And it gives people the insights that they’ll need to prepare themselves because I’ve got a minimum criteria now of $10,000 per month revenue to join my Mastermind then not everyone’s at that point but Wealthification will help them get to that point. If they watch it and implement it, it will really help them grow their business much stronger. That’s why I’ve left it as a separate product. And it’s not inside FastwebFormula, so I want to keep developing that product as a stand-alone product for now.
Tim: Just going back to San Francisco and the Traffic Conversion Summit. Just let’s finish up by maybe you could share It sounds like your biggest “Aha!” moment was kind of having the Amazon penny drop, anything else?
James: Well, that wasn’t actually the biggest “Aha!” moment, just contrasting podcast there. For me the biggest thing is that, as you know the end of last year I’ve dropped my affiliate program and decided to earn my reputation and earn my referrals where instead of “incentivizing” people to send me traffic, now they send me traffic because my content is good. So the biggest “Aha!” moment for me was that I can now interview and discuss with other people who have huge communities. I mean there’s a guy there who’s got about 1600 people in his community on a monthly recurring fee, and if you do the numbers on that, it’s quiet a decent revenue. I can interview and podcast with him without needing to put an affiliate link to his stuff and he doesn’t need an affiliate link to my stuff. And when we make that content together and we both promote it then we both win without it being a dirty sort of affiliated or under-the-table exchange of commissions. So the big key for me is I’m getting super empowered by not having paid affiliates. I guess I’m turning into one of those bloggers or content marketers who are trying to craft good content and peel a post and useful videos and I’m enjoying that more than anything. But I found connecting with the people who can take that out to their community was super empowering and now I can do things that I couldn’t do before because it was just a bit awkward.
Tim: Yeah, interesting mate. It’s a massive change isn’t it?
James: It is a massive change and it’s the way forward and I’m going to predict that in a few years from now there will be very, very tight affiliate programs and really heavily regulated and super hard to join compared to now for the average thing. And people will want brand control. And branding and reputation will mean a lot more as social media gets more and more embedded into society and that’s why I think the stuff that you do will actually be more in demand in a year or two from now than it has been a few years ago.
Tim: What are you referring to in particular?
James: Talking back your brand exercises and workshops on how to define who you are and what people think about when they think about your brand and stuff because I can tell you the number one search traffic for my stuff is people looking for SuperFastBusiness like typing that into Google. They want to find my brand and my site pops up. That is a hot asset that I own. Is that mind space around that brand ant that’s why I’m rolling in my other podcasts where possible into that brand and I’m rolling my front end products into that brand and making sure that I’ve got that central place where everything comes to. I’m even going to give away some of my front end products that I used to charge for on that site to draw more people in and to give more value.
Tim: If you have to drop all content marketing channels except one, which one would you keep?
James: When you say channels, do you mean my?
Tim: Podcasting, Facebook, Youtube and all those different ways of generating traffic.
James: Well, I would podcast over YouTube and I would probably just keep Facebook as the primary traffic source back to my blog. Facebook is still a Kingkong. The podcast brings the high value ones, but the thing that I found and they work best together. A lot of people on both. Almost everyone listening to FreedomOcean has probably been to my blog or seen my Facebook page at some point if they’ve been listening to more than a couple of episodes. And the same would be true if someone who visits my blog over and over again or is a member of my forum or wherever would probably find my podcast. The whole key is just put your stuff into the main traffic sources so that people can have repeated exposure and they end up knowing all about what you have and what problems you can solve and then they actually take action.
Tim: So, Facebook then podcasting then YouTube.
Tim: Yeah, that would be fair. Why did you put YouTube below podcasting? Because from what I understand, videos have high conversion but podcasting has higher, what would you say, listenership or penetration?
Tim: Reach, because people can listen to them in more places.
James: I think it’s easier to make podcasts.
Tim: Yeah, it’s much easy.
James: I mean I could crank out 10 podcast episodes a day easily just to talk. It’s a lot more fiddly to set up lights and cameras and mics and then edit it. So I think it’s an easier medium. I think that it’s still relative to competition. You can have massive cut through. I mean your thing is sitting there in the number one spot. I don’t know if we mention that already in this episode. But like you have the audience like anyone who’s logging on to that business section of iTunes in Australia is going to find you. So you’ve got cut through. There’s probably a lot more competition on Youtube. But I think the beauty of it is Tim I can do all of them and I will. I’m going to participate in all of them and when my book is finished and when I’m on Amazon, I’m going to have that perfect storm of I’m absolutely every single place that my customer might be for my category. So I’ll be on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google. You know I want to be there. And I’ll probably put one of my courses in Udemy and test that out as well because I think that that’s a smart thing to do and probably I’ll put Wealthification on there. It makes sense to do that.
Tim: What about MySpace?
James: Oh yeah, I think that could be past its prime.
Tim: Do you think?
James: You know I just got my 5-year Twitter anniversary tweet the other day. Isn’t that funny how things changed? When I was on Twitter, no one had heard of it. Now, it’s on every radio station, in newsbreak, in TV. So who knows what we will be doing five years from now? But I can tell you one thing. The most important thing is to own the asset. Own your own site, own your email list. It doesn’t really matter what I’ll be doing in five years but if I can reach my audience then I can tell them what I’m doing and it won’t matter.
Tim: So true. Good place to wrap it up James. Excellent mate! Welcome back! And I think I don’t know how you’re going to frame this interview, this chat because we’ve covered a bit of ground but that’s okay. It’s sort of short sharp snippets of stuff.
James: We just call it stuff. Because it is a real grab bag isn’t it?
Tim: Yes, it’s a grab bag. That’s okay and here we go.
James: Can I share an amazing resource? Amazing resource. I’ve been like the last few episodes I’ve taken over doing some of the editing because I’m really getting my hands dirty with this content stuff and the team are learning about this too. And I put together the show and splice it up. And I’m not a sound engineer. I’m not using all the fancy stuff. I don’t know how it works. I don’t have Adobe whatever. But there’s this amazing software called “Auphonic”, A-U-P-H-O-N-I-C.com. Apparently it’s funded by the Austrian government, but they got a lot of sound geeks and you’d load up your raw file. It could be a YouTube video or an audio of any format. You load it up and then they actually process it. And they like balance it, equalize it, adjust it and take out the hiss, the noise and clean it up and make it perfect. And then you download it again. And I’ve done this for the last few episodes of FreedomOcean. Some guy actually emailed me. He said “I’m trying to listen to your podcast but it’s out of balance. One person’s louder in one ear than the other. It could be because I have a slight hearing loss in one ear”, who figures. But he sent me this resource and he said, “Could you please for the love of the Lord Jesus use this software”, so I’d loaded it up and then downloaded it and it was great. Now any track that I’ve got, it’s part of our standard operating procedure. It goes through Auphonic. Every YouTube video, every single audio that I put out on any of my podcasts, on ThinkActGet.com, on FreedomOcean, it gets auphoniced and it just gets beautifully balanced. And these guys are like so cool with service. They’d seen what I’m loading up. They emailed me back. They said, “You know if you tick the hiss and noise button, you’ll get a better rendering?” and I said, “Really?” And by the way this is free.
Tim: Figure that out.
James: God love the Austrian government.
Tim: Don’t tell anyone. Don’t enter Auphonic.com. Correct.
James: I won’t. We won’t mention it on the podcast. We’ll keep it our little secret.
Tim: That’s amazing. I’m going there now.
James: Yeah. Oh and it integrates with Dropbox and Amazon and Libsync and everything. It’s just like you can just drop it in the file and it does it automatically.
Tim: I love a bit of integration with Dropbox.
James: Alright mate great to catch up.
Tim: FreedomOcean.com is where you will find us with the blokes lying in the beach chairs. One with a quizzical look on his face and the other one just enjoying life. Until next time. See you later.
James: See you.