Eric Carter shares how he started a $2 million dollar recurring revenue business by over-delivering for one of his customers.

Eric Carter breaks down how he founded Approach Technology as the IT leader in the construction and architecture niche. His story is awesome. He provides details on how he began this company by over-serving one of his customers.

His servers are some of the fastest we’ve ever seen.

Listen close as he explains why you have to take risks when starting your business. Valuable insight into the startup world.


Matt: Here we are live again, Game of Marketing and today’s guest is the one and only Eric Carter from Approach Technology. How you doing Eric?

Eric: Hey, I’m doing really well. Thanks Matt, how are you?

Matt: Doing fantastic bud, to see you.

Eric: Good to see you too man. Thanks for putting this together this morning.

Matt: Yes, no problem. Eric is a co-founder of a company called Approach Technology and Approach is based out of Seattle, Washington and they do custom private cloud solutions and don’t worry, he’s going to explain what that is in a little bit.

What we’re going to go through today is how he founded that company and how he’s grown it to a multi-million dollar annual business and hopefully you’ll learn something about the way data is hosted and the way websites are hosted and then be able to apply this into your business.

Let’s start at the beginning. Why don’t first of all you tell us what custom private cloud solutions are.

Eric: Yes, thanks Matt. Custom private cloud solutions are … The cloud is the big buzz word and we started this business up about seven years ago with the intent of helping people manage and do their own IT better out of the data center. Back then we just called it a data center strategy.

We weren’t calling it the cloud, but nowadays everybody calls it cloud computing and so what we’ve done, our focus has really been on the architecture, engineering and construction verticals. We help them move to a cloud based model of IT operations that gets them out of owning their own hardware, managing their own software, drowning in help desk issues.

The idea is that by working with a partner like Approach Technology we can present them with a holistic strategy that tackles their applications, their data, their backups, their desktops, disaster recovery, all of it in a cloud model that allows them to scale up, scale down seamlessly and delivers them into an OPEX model instead of a CAPEX model.

Matt: Whoa, whoa, so let’s slow down just a little bit. What you’re saying and I know a little bit about your business so I’m going to interject a little.

Eric: Please.

Matt: Let’s say that I’m a construction company and I’m putting up a building in downtown Austin here or in downtown Seattle. You would essentially contact these companies or from what I’m understanding now a lot of these companies contact you directly.

Eric: That’s right.

Matt: What kind of solution will you provide for them? Where does that effect them in their day to day?

Eric: When you look at traditional IT, in the past these sort of construction companies all try to operate out of their corporate office for the most part. They’re building data centers in their basement.

One example is a company I work for had a data center in their basement and it had double sump pumps because every time it rained here in Seattle, which as everybody knows pretty commonly, they’d have to fire up the sump pump to keep their own data center from flooding.

Then they had other challenges, there’s a lot of construction going on so occasionally corporate office would lose power or would lose internet feed.

When this happens at a construction company most construction companies have about 80% of their people in the field. If they’re subscribers to that main corporate headquarters for their email, for their files and things like that, any sort of outage like that really effects the entire operations. When you look at construction, the amount of cost for everyday of overrun on a construction site is enormous and it far, far exceeds the cost of doing IT well.

That’s been our approach, we’ve tried to change the paradigm in construction, get people out of trying to manage their own IT and build their own data centers and instead subscribe to a cloud based model where they can lean on myself, lean on my team and we can provide them those desktops, those applications, that data, job site turnover services and things like that and really complement the construction industry in that respect.

Matt: Essentially, let them operate out of their local area?

Eric: Yes, ideally we want to move everything to a data center so that we can deliver via 10 gig internet access and not only do we move all of their IT services, their email server, their file server, we move all of that to the data center but we also move the individual user desktops up to the data center.

When we do that, the end user device whether it’s a Mac, whether it’s a PC, whether it’s an iPad, it becomes simply a dump terminal, a thin terminal to be able to access that desktop up in the cloud. They can jump in, access their desktop up in the cloud and because it lives in the same data center with all of their other IT applications, the data can be transferred very quickly and all I’m doing on the end user device is updating the pixels on the screen.

If you work it with very large data sets, instead of trying to pull that data out of the data center every time you need something, instead the data never leaves the data center and I’m just updating the pixels on your end user device. As long as you have internet access you have quick access to all your data, all your applications on any device.

Matt: This seems like pretty advanced stuff. How did you get involved in this? Let’s go back a little bit here. You went to school for computer science or I believe you went to school for something else.

Eric: Yes, actually I think I did enroll in college with a computer science degree, but I quickly discovered that it wasn’t real inspiring to me to be learning program languages that were all out of data and 10 years dead.

Matt: Like Colbalt.

Eric: Yes right, and then I also looked around my class and looked at the study groups and there were no girls in any of the classes and there were a lot of incentives to reconsider a future in computer science degree. Instead I turned to history and political science and I got a BA in both history and political science.

I feel like it really has well served me for the technology business strangely enough. A lot of what we do is trying to communicate and communicate well to our clients. Whether that’s written in a email form or whether that’s communicated verbally in a face to face conversation, I think you cannot underestimate the importance of communication skills in business today.

Being able to write well, being able to write grammatically correctly and present yourself well and communicate well, oftentimes is more important or as important as dialing in the right technical solution. You can dial in the right technical solution but if you don’t communicate it well and you can’t bridge that communication gap with your client or your end user or whoever you’re supporting then you’re going to continue to have confrontation and head to head conflict.

I feel really well served to have studied history and political science. It’s not going out of data, that’s one thing you can say about history versus maybe a science management degree or something like that. That’s where I started. Once I got out of college-

Matt: Also you played water polo correct?

Eric: I did, college was a lot of fun and I was fortunate to with a history and political science degree I had some free time and I was able to devote it to socializing and also pursuing my love which was water polo.

In college I showed up at WSU in 1992 and the water polo team was defunct but we rebuilt it, we got it going again. I started off my first semester I had a $50 budget from the club sports department there and I had to pay for lifeguards but they only gave me a $50 budget and it was fun.

Matt: That’s one ball, one water polo ball.

Eric: It was one practice, so initially we had to charge people dues, we had to do all the fund raising events and things like that. I got pretty smart about the process.

There was called a Club Sports Federation Counsel and that counsel decided how much money to allot to each one of the clubs. First thing I did is I got myself elected to that counsel and then I worked to get one of my teammates also elected to the counsel. Then they made a rule that you could only have two people from a team or one person from a team on the counsel at a time.

What I did is I had a third person on my team go start up the Judo Club and then he got elected as a Judo Club representative even though he still played on the water polo team.

Within a couple of years I had about three of the seven votes on the counsel were all water polo votes and I needed to cajole or do some log rolling with one other person and we were able to get our budget increased. We went from a $50 budget from when I got there, to the time I graduated we had $5,000 a semester rolling in, we’re riding around in private buses.

Matt: You took over the condo board.

Eric: We did some … Thank God for that political science degree man, it served me well. We were able to do a little back scratching and get that budget pushed up.

Matt: That’s fantastic, and then did you guys hold a record in water polo or something if I remember correctly?

Eric: No, we did turn out to be a really competitive team in the northwest. I remember my junior year we beat UW for the first time in school history at least while I’d been there and that was a big turning point for our program and then getting the more money, being able to travel around more, it really helped things gel. By the time we left, I was there fully five years and summer school, by the time I left-

Matt: A few degrees, not too much right?

Eric: That’s right, that’s right, but I still try and stay active swimming, doing some water polo every now and then and I really enjoyed the collegiate college sports, it was a great club, Water Polo Club was a great experience for us. We also did some DJing, so I was a college DJ and just tried to stay active. College is such a great opportunity for people.

Matt: I didn’t know that, what kind of music would you DJ?

Eric: Back then it was KZUU 90.7 Pullman’s only alternative. It was a college music back then in the 90s it was a lot of guitar rock and stuff like that.

Matt: Like KZOK in Seattle or is that even around anymore?

Eric: Boy, I think KZOK is still around, I don’t know but that was hard school, hard core rock. This was more college rock, up and coming bands and things like that.

Matt: Kind of a sign of the times with Spotify and Pandora and stuff now where we wouldn’t even know if a radio station went out of business.

Eric: That’s true I’m a Spotify fan, I love it, can’t do without it, they get my $10 a month regularly, no questions asked.

Matt: Let’s talk about Approach a little bit. From what I know about you, you have applied some of those same tactics like you did on water polo to building Approach. You’ve been able to really leverage yourself well into the company, why don’t you talk a little bit about how you built that company that you now … Now are you a co-founder or founder?

Eric: I was the founder, I was able to invest with a construction company. The way it started is I’d been a Mary Poppins of IT where I would roll into an organization, help them address their IT problems but once things were fixed it wasn’t compelling for me to stick around seamaster replica Imitation omega constellation Quartz

Matt: You [inaudible 00:11:34] each other at some point right?

Eric: Yes, so 10 or 11 years ago I got the opportunity to come work for a large general contractor here in Seattle that’s been around 100 years and they were having some serious IT challenges and I got to be honest, I didn’t know much about construction when I got into this business. I thought they dug holes and pounded stuff together and didn’t really associate construction and technology to the extent I did.

It was a real learning experience for me to get in and just see how important technology was to the construction process, getting the plans, getting updated plans, making sure people were working off current data and things like that.

It was an eye opener for me and when I got there the organization that I’d been hired by they had some serious IT challenges, the voicemail had been down a week, their other IT person had been gone a few weeks, so there was quite a backlog of addressable tickets. They were having struggles, they were having struggles with the corporate IT running out of their corporation office and maintaining job sites.

At the time they had three job sites in the field and all of them were having trouble communicating back to the main corporate headquarters, the VPM links would go up and down. I got there and we rolled up our sleeves, we put ourselves to work and we made a pretty big impact.

First of all we rebuilt everything so I started rebuilding system by system and make sure I could start clean. If I’m going to take ownership of it and have responsibility of it I want to build it myself and know that it was well implemented.

Pretty quickly we’re able to make a big impact and that construction company went from three job sites up to 25 job sites. They were able to really explode their revenue to the extent that it was a no brainer for them. They realized they’d been under-spending on IT and it’d been costing them a lot of money because they had not been able to scale up their operations.

Matt: I gave them a 40% increase in business.

Eric: At least, at least, and we were working with them and I had them in this model and things were working better but I never, ever felt like the model that I had them in was perfect for construction. About seven years ago, I’d been working for the company about two years at this point, I took them to 100% cloud based model, we didn’t call it the cloud back then, we just called it this is our new strategy.

The idea is that we took them all out of their basement, out of that sump pump protected environment and we moved them to the cloud where everything was delivered out of the data center under one managed service provider, that was me. It worked really well for them, it worked well to the extent that they asked me to take their sister company, which was in the L&I business and take that to the cloud.

We took the sister company to the cloud, we’d helped some other construction companies in the area with email rebuild projects and things like that.

Matt: What’s L&I?

Eric: L&I is labor and industries, insurance basically. By that point they knew that Eric was ready for his next challenge and we decided to take this strategy that we cooked up together, in conjunction together and go extend it, extend it to other general contractors, extend it to other specialty contractors. Now we’re really starting to break into architecture firms, the strategy we have really applies well to architecture. rolex Datejust leather strap watch replica

That’s how we got started, the company I worked for became my partner in this business and here we are now seven years later, we have over 100 organizations that host part of their IT operations with us here in Seattle and we have about 20 organizations that host every single component of their IT with us.

I’m getting a little thing on my screen here, I’ll just shut that off. It’s really grown and it’s really encouraging to see the IT strategy pay off for these organizations. When they make the move to this model suddenly people are empowered to work anywhere.

Especially you talk about an architecture firm where they have very high requirements for their competing power, for their graphics acceleration. In the past these people have been chained to a work station at the corporate office. Sleet, snow, whatever, you had to drive into work or you didn’t work at all and for the first time in these people’s careers they can work anywhere.

Matt: I would imagine having the most current set of plans and drawings is a really big factor.

Eric: Absolutely it is, in fact that’s one of the big paradigm shifts we’ve seen in construction over the last decade. It used to be considered project management and now it’s really considered project collaboration. The things that I see people working on more are not so much project management but how do I share, how do I share where this schedule is with all of my sub-contractors and everybody that’s part of this project.

Some people I want read only access to some people maybe they can make changes to the project schedule, but that had become a real big piece of it.

You’ve seen there’s been some pretty high profile construction projects where they’re not, they’ve gotten in trouble. They’re building off ramps that go off into nowhere because they’re working off old sets of the plans.

Matt: Missed it by 12 feet.

Eric: Yes, we see that.

Matt: [crosstalk 00:16:41].

Eric: That’s one example of how not having everybody on the same page can be much more costly then actually paying for a platform that allows everybody to be in sync from day one.

Matt: Where do you see the future of custom private clouds going?

Eric: It’s got a really strong future. Every trend I’ve seen points to more and more and broader adoption across organizations and their move to the cloud. For us we focus on the custom private cloud. The idea is that you can take your email to a mail host over here, in the internet over here and you can take your file serving over here to drop box and you can have your IT operations spread across eight different cloud providers but none of them talk to teach other.

None of them upgrade in conjunction with one another and that’s where really the custom private cloud model can be a panacea for organizations because you’re pulling all your data into one cohesively managed subset where a single professional like myself can manage all the IT operations. I’m not pointing the fingers at a bunch of different other organizations, I’m not working with other parties who I can’t control. I can take control of it and because I can take control of it I can take ownership of it and with ownership comes accountability.

The idea is you begin paying for a platform that’s going to be up, that’s going to be online, that’s going to be fast and that’s going to provide a very high user experience. Once you do that, organizations don’t look back so the retention rate we have amongst our customers over the last seven years is phenomenal.

In fact I have not lost a general contracting client. Once they’ve made the adoption of our cloud model they’re still with us. I’ve had clients that are now on their second, third year contract with Approach Technology because our solution has worked well for them and the concept of trying to go back and own their IT again is not even palatable to these organizations.

Matt: Now I think it was two years ago there was a helicopter crash right outside your office right?

Eric: There was.

Matt: Tell us about why you chose the location that you’re in and how that all plays into this.

Eric: Well I didn’t have a helicopter at the time. The concept of taking a helicopter to work was appealing, but I think they closed the helipad since that accident. It was a tragic accident, I feel bad. I don’t know that they ever resolved exactly what happened but they did have a helicopter that was taking off from the roof of the building and for those of you who don’t know where we’re at we’re in the Como Plaza building here in Seattle, Washington. It’s the same building as the hospital in Grey’s Anatomy. I don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy but if you do that’s the building I work in.

The helicopter was taking off and I think it snagged a cable or something and unfortunately the pilot lost control, crashed into the street, crashed into a pickup truck, killed two people. Most of our staff was out of the area and away at the time it happened and so we were fortunate.

I myself I was on vacation in Puerto Vallarta I believe when it happened. I was nowhere near it but still scary, we had a lot of our clients reach out to us and ask us if we were okay and fortunately our staff all missed it but what a horrifying experience.

Having said that I think they’ve closed the helipad here. I’ve never ever seen another helicopter land or take off from Como Plaza.

Matt: That’ll cut the noise down around there for you. Where’s Superman when you need him? That sounds like a 1977 Superman all the way, catches the cable.

Eric: You never think of something like that happening right in front of your office.

Matt: That’s awesome, so you are Christian correct?

Eric: That’s correct.

Matt: I know that’s a big part of your life. How do you see that fitting into your life in Seattle there? You live in probably one of the cities with the lowest church attendance rate and I’m a Christian as well and I used to live in Seattle. Talk on that a little bit.

Eric: Thank you, faith is a big part of my life. I have a relationship with God going back to when I was a child, he’s always been there, so he’s been someone for me to talk to. For myself it’s easy to embrace the concept of being a servant. If you’re a Christian you understand the importance of service, being a servant to the people around you, being a servant to the clients and being a servant to your employees, your teammates who work with you.

For me there’s a humbling component of being a Christian that keeps me really down to Earth, makes it easy for me to be cognizant of my own flaws and faults and it helps keep me from getting a big head and if I do get a big head praise the Lord he’s always there to humble me.

Matt: [inaudible 00:21:35] right?

Eric: Yes, but he’s constant companion for me and there’s been many nights as an entrepreneur when I’ve lied in bed praying to God. When you’re trying to start a business there’s so many challenges and I have to give thanks to God for where I’m at today because he’s been a big part of my journey.

Matt: That’s awesome man. You’ve also done some weddings and married some people along the way as a hobby. How did you get started doing that?

Eric: I got started in it when I got married. I’d asked a friend to marry me and he had to go through the internet ordination process, the onerous process of ordering your ordination for $25 or whatever it is through the internet. He provided us a beautiful service and then shortly afterwards he got married and he reciprocated the favor and asked me to marry him.

That’s where I got my start, that was my first wedding with him and then since then I’ve done probably eight different weddings all for friends who have asked me to help them as an officiant in getting them signed, sealed and delivered as a married couple. It’s been a tremendous privilege when my friends have asked me do that and I’ve always enjoyed it.

I take it real seriously, I give a lot of thought to it. I usually lock myself into my hotel room the night before and really try and customize a ceremony that’s specific to those two people. It’s always been a lot of fun in that way and I spend a lot of time with a couple trying to get to know them, trying to personalize the stories about them and things like that.

It’s got a dual reward for me, not only am I honored by them to be a part of their ceremony but I learn so much more about the couple about how they met, how they came together. Sharing some of these stories during the ceremony is often as fun, I always try and making it entertaining to a certain extent and then I always try … I’m not a pastor, I’m not a religious ordained minister to any extent. I don’t want to pretend to be something I’m not but I do always try and bring at least a little bit of my faith into it and share with them the powerful message of Christianity with respect and love and how to care for each other.

That’s one of the ways I try and serve my faith and it’s been a really positive experience for me. I’ve been really proud and privileged, I’ve done nine weddings for people.

Matt: That’s awesome.

Eric: Thanks man.

Matt: A lot of people listening to this are people that are just getting started in business. What would you say, I know you talk at colleges a lot, what would you say to the person that is getting started in business? What kind of advice would you give somebody other then study hard and eat your Wheaties?

Eric: There’s a couple things. One you have to be a risk taker to some extent. If you want to play it safe then you can play it safe your whole life but you’re not going to really break out of the mold, you’re going to work for somebody and you’re going to make them rich.

Ultimately, for myself I have to work for myself anymore. I don’t know that I would want to work for another person again. The reward of being an entrepreneur is it’s wonderful, you’re empowered to invest where you feel like you’re going to get the biggest reward in terms of the return on your business and return on your effort and equity and things like that.

By the same token it’s also a tremendous responsibility, especially once you have people working for you. These people are trusting you, they’re trusting you with their families, with their healthcare, with their retirement, with their futures.

Matt: Mortgage payments, etc., etc.

Eric: Exactly, exactly and so you got to be cognizant when you hire somebody. You understand this person is trusting you. The other thing I would say is personal relationships, you can’t do it alone. You have to treat people well and you have to be a servant to them, you have to give to them so they understand that you’re not just in it for yourself.

When I think about success at Approach Technology if Eric Carter rides off rich into the sunset that’s not a success story. If everybody in the organization feels that it’s been a culmination of their effort and they all walk away feeling rewarded then and only then would I consider Approach Technology a success.

Matt: In order to have your dreams fulfilled you have to fulfill other people’s dreams.

Eric: That’s absolutely right.

Matt: Your dream needs to encompass that of your employees and shareholders.

Eric: Happy dreams that’s right because you never know what you can accomplish. Sometimes you set goals and you’ll blow through them. You’re like wow, I never ever thought I could be here.

Matt: Been there, done that.

Eric: Don’t be afraid, be willing to take chances, take intelligent risks but all of life is the measurement of risk, not the elimination of risk. You cannot eliminate risk so use risk to your advantage and invest in it intelligently, take your chance and make the most of it.

Matt: Fast hosting versus slow hosting?

Eric: That’s right, only fast hosting here. We’ll leave slow hosting to the public cloud.

Matt: Anything last you want to say before we sign off?

Eric: No, thanks Matt for having me. It’s always great to catch up with you, I love what you’re doing at Niche Builder and enjoy all the advice you’ve been able to give to me in terms of business and personal coaching and being a mentor and I’ve learned a lot about marketing from you. Thanks for circling up with me today.

For other’s who are out there who are interesting in Approach Technology please feel free to find our website I’ve made marketing videos there, you can see my approach to marketing, it’s personal, it’s video and it’s worked out really well for us. If you look at the SEO results and things like that we’re right up there.

That’s all I have to say, I want to thank everybody who was able to take a moment and enjoy this interview and feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn. Eric J. Carter, I’m easy to find.

Matt: Awesome man, thanks so much for your time.

Eric: Thanks a lot Matt, have a great day.

If anyone wants to get in touch with Eric Carter you can through

Patrick Stiles Gives Advice For Newbies As He Travels The World

Patrick Stiles opens up about how he travels the world and builds his supplement business. In addition he gives advice to the new marketers about choosing niches, finding their specialty and following scalability.


Matt: Okay here we are, live on the internet once again. I’m sitting here with Patrick Stiles who’s in the health supplements industry. How’re doing Patrick?

Patrick: I’m doing fantastic.

Matt: Good man. I’m sitting inside of Patrick’s place and Patrick’s sitting outside.

Patrick: I thought we were gonna not disclose that part and make it seem like we’re in 2 different locations?

Matt: Oh, okay. Well, yeah, so we’re in 2 different locations.

Patrick: Yeah right, yeah. Matt’s in the bat cave and I’m outside my place here in Austin, Texas.

Matt: I’m in the secret underground bunker, deep in the throes of Austin. We are actually up off of Lamar and for those of you that watch these podcasts or these blabs on a regular basis, you know that this has everything to do with Austin.

Patrick’s just given me a little, I think that’s called, I call it daps. I don’t know what it actually is.

Patrick: That’s not me [inaudible 00:01:10]

Matt: Oh really?

Patrick: Yeah, props?

Matt: That’s right.

Patrick: Now I’m doing you.

Matt: Oh okay.

Matt: We are live in Austin and we’re gonna talk a little bit about start up world. Patrick’s had a company of his own doing significant revenue for the past 5-7 years now. Let’s get into it a little bit. Patrick, one of the things that really intrigued me about you is the way we met, which was in the airport. Why don’t you tell the story?

Patrick: Yeah, sure. I was leaving trafficking conversion with my business partner at the time. This is a couple of years ago, we were all living in Puerto Vallarta and I don’t know. I took off to go get a coffee and I came back and the 2 of you guys were chatting it up.

We’d all just came from the same conference with thousands of people and we were the only guys getting on the plan back to Mexico where we were living. That was the start of a beautiful bromance of living in Mexico. That was a bit isolated.

We definitely had some fun times cruising around on the beach, going to to Sayulita, hanging out at bonfires and stuff like that.

I think I stuck around in Mexico for another couple of months and during that time we got to hang out quite a bit. Got to meet Matt’s beautiful wife, his lovely son and stuff like that, played several games of pool over at his marina beach house.

Matt: Cool and then from there you kind of, that was right about when you ramped up your travel.

Patrick: Yeah.

Matt: You had, much like myself, we read the 4 hour work week, we were both kind of in some … You caught me a little later in my travel days but you really ramped up your travel from there. Where did you go from there?

Patrick: Actually, 4 or 5 years ago I actually went to Asia for the first time and I lived there. Then I returned to the United States to get my business off the ground and then I left the United States again 3 years ago and that was when we met in Mexico.

After that, it was a whirlwind. I literally went around the world in 2014. Starting in Mexico-

Matt: What were some of the memorable countries?

Patrick: I lived in Budapest for several months. I was dating a European gal-

Patrick: She was another entrepreneur. Actually I met her at that same conference, trafficking conversion. We lived in Budapest. We did a road trip from Budapest through all the way out to Paris and Amsterdam and them back up to Eastern Europe to Estonia and stuff and then I flew to Asia, did East Asia, Southeast Asia again and stuff.

Then I went back to the United States for a few months to hang out in California with my brother and his new born baby and then I went to South America. That was at the end of 2014? Yup. Then last year I did Argentina, Columbia, Turkey, Spain and then I came back at the end of it.

Matt: Awesome man. What’s great about it-

Patrick: Those are the countries I lived. I visited, I don’t know.

Matt: What’s cool about it, I mean the reason I ask you about that it’s not to like have Patrick do some brag session. It’s really about the automated income-

Patrick: I will.

Matt: It’s really about the type of income. I wouldn’t even say that your income is fully automated. It’s more of like the type of income that you have. It’s the ability to earn money from anywhere, really from your laptop right?

Patrick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matt: Be able to … If you have WIFI and an ATM, you’re pretty much set up. Would you say that’s a fair assumption?

Patrick: Absolutely. Yeah and a pro tip for the people that want to go oversees is get a Schwab investor checking account cause it has great exchange rate and on fees.

Matt: Right, absolutely. I actually tried to set that up from a couple different countries. The real tip on that is set it up before you go. Don’t try and do it after you go because they really have a lot of blocks set in place.

Patrick: I was lucky 5 years ago when I first left the country I sold my car to a guy that worked at Schwab and I was about to take off in a week or something.

Matt: That’s great.

Patrick: Yeah so it was a great tip. Probably saved me several hundred dollar in fees and stuff at a minimum.

Matt: At the end of the year, it’s funny that you mentioned that because I would look and I’d see that I have $2,000 in ATM and bank fees from various countries and I was like wow at the very least this proves that I was oversees cause I’m gonna deduct every single one of them.

It at least proves that I was out of the country the whole time cause I booked myself.

Patrick: Yeah, you were there pulling out cash.

Matt: I listed myself as an international IT consultant. It kind of goes with the whole image. You’re in the health niche and you do supplements and you’re very good at it.

Patrick: Thank you.

Matt: You run a substantial 6 figure, close to 7 figure business but there was some things we were talking about before we went on live here that really kind of touched. It was your advice to people that are getting started online and some of the pitfalls that maybe you could help them avoid.

Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. I certainly have a lot of these. It’s a question that I get asked a lot when I meet people and they’re like how are you traveling or living from home? Or I’m sorry, working from home and these different sort of things.

Yeah, how am I living from home. Anyways, actually I don’t recommend the supplement industry to people starting out and things like that. It’s a very dicey industry. It’s heavily regulated and it also has a lot of bad apples in it.

My philosophy on it is to create incredible products that stand head and shoulders above the crowd. It’s really hard to not only bring that product to market but also to differentiate it in the marketplace and stuff like that. It’s quite the grind but it is a passion of mine.

One of the top things that I tell people when they want to enter into the world of internet marketing and making money from their laptop is to build a skill. The two that I believe are the two most valuable are copywriting and traffic. Some of the reasons-

Patrick: Pardon?

Matt: I said okay and you’re saying build a skill correct?

Patrick: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah absolutely. Really carve something out that you know how to do. One of the reasons why I recommend those 2 is because they’re the most expensive to outsource. They’re the hardest to hire on. It’s really hard to know if somebody is a good copywrite or a good traffic person and normally it takes 5 figures to really test them out.

You can definitely be out of that money in the end. Conversely it’s other things like coding and building websites and design, those things are very easy to judge. Code can definitely get a lot more complicated, it depends on how complicated you make things. Just for a plain old website, you can go to the website and see what it looks like and see how fast it loads. That’s really straight forward.

That would be more one of the things that I would outsource right away as opposed to these other skills. The thing is is I recommend-

Matt: So be really good at one particular thing that you can do for other people, correct?

Patrick: Yeah. I would recommend-

Matt: Not necessarily just for yourself but be good at something that you can do for other people.

Patrick: Yeah and that’s exactly right. I would recommend that people freelance and that way they’re gonna get a lot of high volume action of building that skill, they’re gonna get paid to learn, they’re gonna get paid to improve that and they’re gonna really get to survey the land of all the different businesses that are out there and what those industries are like.

Then, after they’ve built that skill then maybe have some cash in the bank, they have some connections and they really kind of know how these different industries work. Then they can intelligently enter one of them on their own and go and start their own business if they really want that headache in their life.

I mean you know. You run a successful business with a lot more employees that I have and it’s a challenge. It’s a very difficult thing to do of running all the different aspects of it. That’s one reason … I run my own traffic, I write my own copy and I’ve hired other people I work with, other copywriters, I’m doing more and more of that.

It’s hard to get good at those things because I have to manage so many other aspects of my business day in and day out. There’s always a fire, there’s always an employee that needs something, there’s always a project that needs review and stuff like that. It’s hard to really do nothing but write copy or nothing but look at campaigns all day. That’s why I would recommend that people do that.

Matt: Now they’ve worked as a freelancer, they have chosen which intelligently. What would you say is there next step, once they’ve chosen their niche?

Patrick: To really just scale that thing. This is a mistake that I see a lot of people doing. I have some crazy intelligent friends that have really gotten blood out of a stone. What I mean by that is they’ve chosen niches and go to market strategies that are not very scalable.

One of the things that I see people doing a lot of is trying to build up SEO overtime and that’s getting harder and harder. You really need advanced software and inside knowledge if you’re gonna be doing that. Something like … I’m a paid traffic guy and I love cold traffic and I think it’s really beautiful because I can pay somebody say $0.50 real quick and then if I know my numbers I can look at how much money I made on that.

It’s not always that simple. It’s a lot more complex to scale a campaign, but nevertheless, I would pick a marketing strategy that is gonna be scalable over time. That also applies to the niche. That’s gonna have some depth to it that you can go deep as opposed to having to go wide. An example of that would be, pardon?

Matt: Absolutely, no it’s great. Go for the example.

Patrick: Okay cool. An example for that would say it’s like you want to teach people how to do dog training. That can be great but after you get a dog training product off the ground you have 2 options and one’s to go deep and that would be to advanced dog training or maybe service dog training or something else that is still in the dog niche, where you’re gonna be selling a similar product like the 2.0 or the 202 class to your existing customers.

That would be going deep. Going wide would be where you’re now producing cat training or bird training or something like that. Every time you go into a new niche and you go wide, you need to create a new front end offer. You need to create maybe a new brand, a new website, a new check up process, you have to build a new customer base.

That is really really hard. It’s easier to build one big fan base, one big customer base and just constantly improve products. Build a relationship with those people and really become the master in your domain.

I was talking to a friend the other day and he’s interested in some different health products. He’s basically taking his time and choosing that niche because he’s like this might be the next 5 or 10 years of my life. That’s really interesting.

That’s one reason why it’s so important to do your niche research and why I like freelancing because people are really going to get some action of seeing what’s out there. Especially if they’re working with business owners and seeing what other people are doing, seeing how they’re making their money.

There’s some industries that really are only promoted through affiliate marketing. It’s like, do you really want to deal with affiliates, manage that entity which takes a lot of work and stuff like that. You really have you ask yourself those questions.

Seeing conversely, I have other friends that love affiliates and they don’t want to do what I do which is paid traffic.

Matt: I love the analogy I heard recently it says that if you want to play on the PGA tour, you’re not gonna get 3 golf lessons and then go out for the tour.

Patrick: Yeah, I’ve already tried that about brain surgery.

Matt: Exactly. I think that there’s the double edge sword of internet marketing. While there is money. I’ve traveled the world making money, you’ve traveled the world making money, while that is there. There are so many people pitching snake oil out there that people think that guys like you and I, essentially put up a couple pages and have just been traveling on that money.

Where there’s consistent day in day out months up months and years upon years of effort and grinding.

Patrick: Yeah, I paid my dues.

Matt: Like you were saying, you’re gonna be in it for 5-10 years. I think a lot of people get in thinking that they’re gonna be in for a couple of years and then just have this 10K a month, going on the outside here somewhere on the … It just really doesn’t work like that.

Patrick: That’s funny. I remember I had a partner in one of my businesses when I was getting started in the online world. We were negotiating contracts and we were anticipating having problems like how are we gonna count all our money, like maybe I’ll have a house in Venice.

It wasn’t actually like that but I mean we were just way to optimistic. This is one reason why I’m such a fan of freelancing because you don’t know what you don’t know if you dive in at the deep end and you go and buy say $10,000 of inventory but you don’t even know how to make a website or how to build a relationship with customers and build that trust and really create something that’s different and unique and worthwhile. I do want to see it. The dream is alive.

Last year, I think I took about 5 months off. Of course, several of those months I took off to do a new start up and work on a new project that we closed the doors on. Which had more to do with the personality dynamics then the actual underlying business. I’m eternally grateful for the lifestyle that I have and the world that I’ve seen and stuff like that. It does take work. It’s not as good as I imagined and it’s way harder but it’s very doable.

Matt: Absolutely. You’re in Austin right now. What brought you to Austin? I know you’re getting ready to leave and head to Denver.

Patrick: Yeah my Subaru got me to Austin. Yeah with my Colorado plates. I’ve been back in the United States for about 2 and a half months. I came down to Austin cause it’s a sweet city and wanted to check out the internet marketing scene here because there’s so many marketers.

Matt: It’s pretty ridiculous right?

Patrick: Yeah. I haven’t even tried meeting people and I’ve met loads and loads of people. People that are running really interesting businesses. People that are very smart. People that are making things happen. It’s amazing.

Matt: Yeah it really is. You’re heading back to Denver and you’re gonna do what there?

Patrick: I am I’m leave in like 12 hours.

Matt: You leave in 12 hours?

Patrick: No I’m gonna sleep in late. I’m gonna leave in 18 hours.

Matt: That’s awesome man.

Patrick: Get in at like 3 in the morning. I’m not looking forward to it.

Matt: All right, well cool man. If someone wanted to get a hold of you for consulting on the health supplements business. Do you do that at all?

Patrick: No. I don’t do that. You can’t afford me. I’m not for hire. I did this because we’re friends and I believe in what you’re building. I love meeting people and I love helping them and stuff and I’m always happy to help people and stuff like that. I’d rather just meet over a beer and help somebody get a business off the ground and stuff rather than actually hire myself out.

Matt: Awesome man. Well thanks for taking the time. I know you got a lot of packing to do and you’ve got a long night ahead of you.

Patrick: I do. I got to go on a fancy date and say my goodbyes to some people.

Matt: Spend some money.

Patrick: I think she’s paying is what she said.

Matt: Nice

Patrick: I’m gonna hold her to it.

Matt: Talk to you soon brother.

Patrick: Yeah sure thing.

Matt: Bye bye.

Kevin Milani Talks Paid Traffic Tips For Beginners

In this video Kevin Milani talks traffic. We had a great chat on a warm but cool Austin afternoon. Kevin is new to Austin and has been spreading his wealth of traffic knowledge like peanut butter all over this town.

Matt Gerchow: We’re live here in Austin, Texas, I’ve got Kevin Milani on the line with us. How are you doing Kevin?

Kevin Milani: Hey, doing well. How are you?

Matt Gerchow: I’m great, man. I’m great. Glad to be here at your building, spending time with you. We are up on the 36th floor right now of the Bowie building. Did I pronounce that right, Kevin?

Kevin Milani: It’s either Bowie, Bowie, or Bowie.

Matt Gerchow: Yeah, exactly. One of those. It’s one of the more exclusive buildings down here in downtown Austin. Kevin has recently moved to Austin. Kevin is a traffic expert.

Probably one of the more qualified traffic experts out there on the internet right now. I just wanted to share Kevin’s Austin story with you guys and let you know a little bit about him. Kevin, where did you come from?

Kevin Milani: I grew up in Oregon, spent 10 years in New York City, and I’ve been traveling all over the country. But unlike you, I haven’t been all over the world, just all over the US.

Matt Gerchow: Well, not yet. I know you have big aspirations for travel, you and your wife. How long have you been in Austin now?

Kevin Milani: Just since November.

Matt Gerchow: Fantastic.

Kevin Milani: It’s a fantastic city for all my marketers in general.

Matt Gerchow: It really it. How has your experience been so far?

Kevin Milani: It’s been really good. I’ve just been trying to network in this town. I met a lot of great people. Trying to find some people that are my level in different areas in marketing so I can just grow my craft, especially in areas where I’d like to learn a lot more, like content and copyright and things like that.

Matt Gerchow: Sure. Where would you say your USP, or your expert level is at?

Kevin Milani: Paid traffic is exactly where I excel. All the paid traffic sources. I started off with Google, ad words display being all of those search traffic. Since, I’ve expanded to just any paid traffic source. I used to do SCL, but I don’t do that any more. I don’t do social or anything else. I’m very, very specialized.

Matt Gerchow: I’m outside at the pool right now. See if I can do a little glimpse of it here at the back end as I find a place to balance the phone there. You’ve been here in Austin a little while, you’re really good at paid traffic and social media traffic.

A lot of the people watching this are kind of just getting started in marketing. What are some of the things you would tell someone that’s got a website up now and they’re looking to get traffic [inaudible 00:03:03] to it in some fashion.

Kevin Milani: Probably the easiest thing for anyone who is just starting is to start with some of the newer traffic platforms or some of the less expensive platforms where you can get a win on much lower budgets. Facebook is one of those.

Yahoo Gemini can be really good. Bing ads is always really good for someone who is trying to learn search. I’d stay away from more mature platforms like ad words especially because it’s extremely hard to get that one right unless you have huge budgets and a lot of expertise.

Matt Gerchow: Absolutely. I totally agree. Look at what we’re dong here with Blab. Blab’s going to have plenty of interesting traffic coming on. I’ve had to block 2 people from joining this call before I locked the seat down.

It’s always when you’re on the new platform that there’s an opportunity to actually have a win, where a lot of times if you try to go after Google ad words, right out of the gate, you’re going to get your ass handed to you.

Matt Gerchow: And end up with some big traffic bills and probably not even a winning campaign.

Kevin Milani: A piece of advice that my uncle gave me when I first started digital traffic 10 years ago was to really focus in on something, become really good at something. I decided to become really good at ad words and paid search.

Now a days, if you look around the landscape, you have Pinterest ads, you have Twitter ads, you have some of these newer ad platforms that are reasonably priced and you can really go out there and learn how to become the best of the best at those platforms and carve out a little niche for yourself.

Once you’ve done that and you can get bigger clients, it’s actually a good way to get in with any client almost. There’s a ton of potential clients out there that don’t run on those platforms and don’t have anybody who knows how to run those constellation automatic replica audemars piguet royal oak jumbo replica

You can get your foot in the door and after that you can start to pick up some more platforms. It’s a good way to get your feet wet and start doing some online advertising.

Of course, if you have your own business and you’re doing it for yourself, that can work too. I find that a lot of these platforms get to be so difficult so the people that do it themselves find that rather than pairing it out, they’re doing themselves a big disservice.

Matt Gerchow: It can actually become your full time job just focusing on traffic instead of actually worrying about your business.

Kevin Milani: Not doing as well as it could be done. We regularly see clients come in, and you know, you’re getting a 300% improvement, 500% improvement over a year.

Matt Gerchow: What happens when someone comes to you, initially you’ll spend some time auditing their campaigns if they already exist. What are some of the things you might do for someone right off the bat in order to get them headed in the right direction?

Kevin Milani: Basically, with really quick improvements, I just look to cut waste. First things is just look at all the reporting and all the analytics and find out what types of things are not converting or not giving us sales and let’s try to cut some of that stuff out. Then, pull those out of the campaigns.

Then, look at the places where you are doing well and say, “Let’s try to get more of this. If something’s doing great, how can I get more of that?” The combination of those 2 things is a really good starting point. That’s usually the first step I take when I take over campaigns, just optimizing or improving what’s already there.

Then, there’s a whole other piece, which is way more complicated building that whole new architecture.

Matt Gerchow: You’ve also mentioned to me before, when companies have come to you, they’ve been targeting certain cities across the US, and you’ll actually go ahead and target the entire nation, but do some plus and minuses on the traffic to get still save them gold tank replica best replica watch site review

Kevin Milani: Yeah, we do a lot of geography and that’s been extremely powerful for us, is to just utilize geography as a differentiator. You’ll find [inaudible 00:07:22] about geography in campaigns. If you bid up the places that are working well and bid down the places that aren’t working so well, you can end up with some pretty big improvements in your campaigns just based on that.

The same with day parting. With day parting, you can get pretty big improvements cutting out the parts of the day that don’t convert, which is usually in the middle of the night. Well, it depends on the category. Some categories are great in the middle of the night, like the insomnia drugs.

Matt Gerchow: Yeah like insomniac. Fantastic. Cool, man. You’ve been here in Austin for a while, why Austin? Why did you come here?

Kevin Milani: Basically, the agency I work for is headquartered here.

Matt Gerchow: What agency is that?

Kevin Milani: MQ&C Digital. They’ve been here 25 years. It began as a traditional regular TV agency, and I had my own agency for 8 years. They bought me out and brought me in house to their larger traditional agency. We formed MQ&C Digital.

Matt Gerchow: I had lunch with your friend Ben a couple of weeks ago. Ben’s a dinosaur in this industry. He knows everybody. Much like you know everybody, but he knows everybody.

Kevin Milani: Yeah, I know nothing.

Matt Gerchow: He goes back more like Ogilvy and Chiat Day

Kevin Milani: Yeah, he got connected with all the internet marketers back in the ’90’s, back when they first started and he’s been around ever since. I didn’t get in to the marketing game until 2006, and for 10 years before that I was in New York City doing traditional marketing think tank. I was more of the Madison Avenue type.

Matt Gerchow: Fantastic. That’s about all I’ve got for today. Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule. I know we’ve been trying to get this scheduled for a while and we were finally able to get together. Maybe we’ll take a dip in the pool here for a much is rolex watch replica icelink watch replica

Just going to get back to some of this Austin sunshine. It’s Friday afternoon, traffic’s gridlocked. I can’t think of a better place to be than in town right now.

Kevin Milani: It’s awesome. South x Southwest is going to be here any day now.

Matt Gerchow: I’m looking forward to it.

Kevin Milani: Cool, talk to you soon.

Matt Gerchow: Talk to you soon. Bye.

If someone wants to get in touch with Kevin Milani you can find him here…

So Trump, Obama and the Pope all have blogs…

Trump started blogging for his campaign
Obama blogged for free health care and gay rights
…and the Pope was blogging his memoirs

They would all have been better off using NicheBuilder to do keyword research, build their WordPress blogs and use the content authors within Nichebuilder…

Okay, you see here, this is what “newsjacking” is all about.

NewsJacking is a way of getting into the press on the back of another story.

You relate the most current breaking news “somehow” to your product or service…

News Jacking is the art up injecting your ideas into a breaking
news story.

When a new story comes out it usually breaks like this…
When to Newsjack

When news stories break, they follow a bell curve…

In the beginning they are hot and fresh. That’s when they break. This is exactly when you want to inject your twist on the breaking news…in the beginning

Your goal is to actually become part of the story in some way, although this is not always possible.

For example, when the iPhone 6 was released, Nokia was quick to act and released this picture…



They did that and it was re-tweeted 29,000 times.

Another example is the current very early presidential campaigning that is going on. In order for candidates to get any media attention, they are relating themselves in some way to the Trump candidacy.

Here’s why I disagree with Trump…
Here’s where I think he has valid points…
Here’s why Trump shouldn’t be President…

This is a win-win situation because it gives the reporters and journalists something they can sell, namely, more about Trump! It also gives the other candidates what they want…TV time!

Okay, so now let’s bring this home to your business…

How can you use newsjacking to grow your marketshare?

When news hits you want to make sure to post within a few hours but at the latest within the next few days.

The sooner the better because all of the big reporters are looking for interesting twists to comment on to make their stories seem more compelling as well…

So here is a step by step plan for doing a quick NewsJack…

Step 1. Setup a google alert for breaking news
Step 2. Do keyword research for the main keywords in the story
Step 3. Setup a new alert for that particular story
Step 4. Do a video commentary as quickly as possible and get it onto YouTube.
Step 5. Fact check your information. Make sure it’s not a (fake) story.
Step 6. Go to BuzzSumo and find out who’s sharing related stories. Then send them your video link.

Okay, so there you have it. A recipe for a successful NewsJack.

Guaranteed Business Model for Online Marketing

You’ve probably been pitched such garbage from internet marketers claiming this formula and that formula are the guaranteed path to success…and it’s funny because by law today you are entitled to your money back, but not entitled to success.

Are There Really Any Shortcuts?

Continue reading “Guaranteed Business Model for Online Marketing”

Lead Magnets – The Most Powerful Strategy for New Customers

How to Make a Lead Magnet or Offer Magnet

Attracting customers is like attracting the hot guy or girl from across the room. No one tells you exactly how to do it, but you know the more attractive you are, the better chance ‘something’ is going to happen.
Same goes for business. You have to make your business attractive to new customers.

What are Lead Magnets?

A lead magnet in simplest form is an ethical bribe in exchange for a persons email address. You can ask for other fields as well, like their name and phone number, but the market is moving more and more towards email only.

The difference between a sign up box and a lead magnet is the compelling offer… a freebie that has tremendous value in exchange for their email. When you have the right lead-magnet, your advertising process gets so much easier.

Having the right lead magnet can make a difference between just having a website…and having automated income.

If you aren’t currently using a lead magnet, this one change can catapult your business into the stratosphere.

There is a concept in business known as “moving the free line”. Eben Pagan, a high end business marketer, is usually credited with this term.

What it means is that once a customer enters your site or sales funnel, there is this line that separates your free content from your paid content, software, hosting, etc.

Creating a lead magnet is a way of moving the free line back one step so the user isn’t prompted for their credit card on the very first screen.

In an ultra-competitive market, this allows those that truly have the goods to demonstrate value to their would-be customers before asking them for the sale.

Giving someone an email is theoretically free, aside from be annoying to receive too many.

This often gets those that are hesitant to spend money into your sales funnel…or at a minimum, onto your autoresponder series.

This gives you a better chance to convert them to customers using a staggered multi-contact approach.

What Are The Benefits of Lead Magnets?

There are a lot of reasons to create a lead magnet, some of them I just mentioned above…but here are some additional reasons that are worth taking note of.

– You create a sense of reciprocity with your subscribers. Once you have given them something, they feel compelled even if it’s ever so lightly to do something for you in return.
– You create curiosity about your paid program. When the user gets this high value item from you, they can’t help but think, “what’s the paid content going to be like?”
– When the lead magnet is of value, people will share it with others.

Make Sure It Resonates

You want to make sure your lead-magnet offers something that resonates with your brands overall message. In other words, don’t offer them a set of Ginsu knives when your website is about Child Safety.

Your lead magnet should also tie in with the ad, article, YouTube video or press release that you are getting your traffic from. So if your ad states, free report on retirement planning…it only makes sense to make your lead magnet deliver on that promise.

Most times it’s a bit of a given that people will be receiving ongoing emails from you after the opt-in. But you might want to clarify that for new subscribers. You can do this either on the thank-you page or in your first email to them after registration.

Getting People Into Buckets

First you have to get people into buckets… What are buckets? Buckets are categories that your customers fall into. One of the biggest mistakes that I see marketers make is they pitch the same message to all of their clients.
Let’s say for example that you have a Business that books travel to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Each person coming there is looking for something different.

Your clients might fall into the following categories (or buckets)…

  • Students looking to travel for Spring break and release finals energy in Mexico.
  • Retirees looking to find a second home in a warmer climate.
  • Families looking for a stress-free all-inclusive resort on the beach.
  • Single men and women looking for adventure and possibly love.
  • Adventure minded people of all ages looking to zip line, 4×4 and deep sea fish.

Each one of these groups would respond to a different lead magnet. When creating the NicheBuilder blogging experience we developed our theme with this in mind, allowing for a different lead magnet on each and every page of your website.

So you can write a blog post about “Partying in PV” and have a lead magnet that appeals to the partiers…

lead magnet marketing banner

and on another page you can write a different blog post about the Real Estate opportunities in PV and have a lead magnet aimed at retirees…

lead magnet marketing banner 2

Having lived there for the better part of two years I saw people come and go every day. The companies that had a solid internet presence filled their boats and tour buses every day while those with little to no Internet presence sat around trying to hustle the locals for a couple of pesos here and there.

In this example we’re talking about offline businesses, but the same goes true for online businesses.

An online business is usually delivering some sort of digital good such as a course, a print out, a tutorial or anything else that can be delivered electronically.

In order for a lead magnet to be affective, the person downloading it has to use it.

If the person doesn’t actually use it, then having a lead magnet is okay, but unlikely to propel the visitor to the next step.

Make Them a Promise

Get into the conversation already going on in their head. I get emails all the time saying, “it’s like you knew what I was thinking… how are you doing this?”

  • Ask them what they are having trouble with…
  • Find out what their biggest challenges are…
  • Know your customer avatar intimately… what do they do on the weekend? what causes do they think are noble?

Make it Highly Valuable

Give them something of value in exchange for their email. Listen, web users are not dummies. They are real people and they realize there is value in them giving you their email address.

Whatever you give them should provide value in their lives. And that doesn’t mean just title the offer to get them to click through. This is your first transaction with them. It should be pleasant and leave them with a good emotion about your company.

Name Your Lead Magnet

This is the name of the actual product that you are giving away. This should deliver results in advance and use language that your customer is familiar with. It should be of high value to them.

Gardeners How I Grew Tomatoes In the Snow
Investors How to Successfully Straddle the Option
Peppers Survivalists How To Purify Any Water
Guitarists How to Learn Songs Faster
Marketers How to Get $1 Leads
Travelers Get First Class Flights At Coach Prices

Choose a Type of Lead Magnet

When creating your lead magnet, it’s important to match your lead magnet to your viewer. Are they visual? Most men are… a quick peek at the porn industry pretty much validates that. Are they auditory? Do they want to listen to you? Art Bell has made a total career with his soothing voice and his night time radio show. Are they readers? Most products originally start like this. But what about including a graph or two? Or an infographic? In the next several paragraphs we’ll discuss the types of lead magnets. Maybe this will trigger the necessary thoughts for choosing one for your customer.


Types of Lead Magnets


Cheat sheet
In the internet game, time is everything. Offering a cheat sheet that simplifies something complex or helps someone navigate a complex process is a great way to get the email.

A list of keyboard shortcuts for Excel that you can print out and put on the wall is a good example here.

Software Plugin
WordPress is the 800 pound gorilla in the room these days.

It can do a lot on its own, but often requires special plugins to do specific niche related tasks.

For example, we created a special plugin called LinkTrust that redirects users through an affiliate link but shows the root URL of the destination when hovered. So instead of a complex affiliate link for Verizon wireless, it simply shows…

We give this plugin away for free in exchange for the visitors email.

Exclusive Webinar
Webinars are still the craze in the online world, but they are not used in the same way they were used 5 years ago. As the free line has moved, so has the purposing of webinars.

Now webinars are being used for more than a 90-minute sales pitch. Offering your subscribers a webinar where they can see how you do business differently, with no sales pitch, will often bring them to the door with checkbook in hand, even if you don’t ask for the sale.

Checklists are awesome! I mean, how do you know if you’ve completed something unless you are following a checklist.

That doesn’t mean you’ve done everything right, but having something done for each step of the process will help whoever is helping you to check your work and make new suggestions.

Resource list
Resource lists are concise and easy for the user to digest. Some examples travel resource lists, outsourcing resource lists, lending resource lists…basically anything that will save someone trial and error time.

Think of this, you could call 30 lenders to see if they will lend at 10% down, or you can download a list of 6 that will for sure do it. This probably saved you 2 hours of frustration.

Survey, Quiz or Poll
Take this survey is a great way to get people to start down your funnel.

In the online marketing world it might be, “Are you cut out for Online Business? Take this Survey to find out…”.

The quiz is gaining a lot of popularity right now. The Ask Formula from Gary Levesque is currently a New York Times best seller. In it he demonstrates how to find out exactly who your customer is by analyzing their quiz and survey responses, then developing your offers to specifically target those problems.

Infographics help you bridge the gap between the online and the offline world. If your info graphic is solid, People will print them out and post them on my wall.

Think about it this way… can you name the last 10 websites that you visited? Okay, those are your most favorite sites… now can you name the last five sites you visited that covered a topic you are researching?

Exactly. By creating a info graphic that is worth printing out…

You’re now in their mind every time they sit down desk or glance at the wall.


Spreadsheet are great because you can build complex formulas into them that make people’s lives much much easier.

Examples of this could be a property valuation worksheet for the real estate market or a funnel calculation worksheet for Internet marketers.

Email Course
Probably one of the oldest and most widely used formats for the lead magnet. This is essentially the person signing up to receive your autoresponder emails over a specified time.

The only difference is, rather than a marketing message, the expected result is an educational course that teaches the subscriber something.

Video Course
Your video course can be delivered either all at once or over a specified period of time

Exclusive discounts
This can be a limited time offer. The next stage in your customer funnel will be the tripwire offer or lead-in offer. So you might presell a special discount on that product in exchange for their email.

Giveaways are pretty straight forward, unless you are collecting emails for one big prize. Then you need to check with your specific state as to the governing rules for giving away prizes.

Free Trial (SAAS)
This one is very near and dear to our hearts. We like to have as many people as possible on NicheBuilder and providing people with a trial allows them to see just how easy and time-saving NicheBuilder is.

Private Facebook Group
Offering access to a private Facebook group can give your visitors a sense of community, and really give them a chance to connect with you.

Coupons will offer a discount on any product. What’s nice about coupons is you can cross pollinate your message with complimentary products. In our case, that might be a coupon for a $1 domain, so long as it’s purchased through NicheBuilder.

Phone Consultation
This one works great for business coaches, attorneys, dietitians and consultants of any kind.

It used to blow me away how $400 an hour attorneys would sit and spend 2-3 hours educating me for free. But in hindsight I usually ended up spending forty grand with them throughout the ensuing relationship.

Free Tickets To An Event
This is a great one. One of our close relationships, FortuneBuilders, they offer free tickets to their hotel events where they will educate you on how to flip real estate in your current market. At the event they offer more personalized coaching to move you closer to your goals.

Swipe File
A swipe file is a collected group of email copy, graphics, word documents, screenshots and whatever else a person might put aside for future reference. Marketers may offer this collection of materials in exchange for the email address.

Access to An Online Tool
This might be in the form of a downloadable app, a keyword tool, a domain searcher, a blog name generator, a blog post name generator or any tool that works for your specific niche.

If you were a chiropractor or acupuncturist, you might have a tool that shows a description for the pain in the area where you are feeling it.

A Gated Video Course

This is a nifty little tool. Wistia has developed this into their portal very nicely. You can set how long you want the video to play before the email form pops over. You then need to enter your email to continue with the video.

Access To a Private Blog Post or Content
This is pretty common, it can be very similar to an email course, only the user gets all the information all at once, after they enter their name and email.

As marketers, we’re in the business of Time. I loved the movie In Time with Justin Timberlake. It’s about a time in the future where the only thing that matters is time.

Your business should be structured in a similar format. The only thing that matters is time. Where you can, try and position yourself in the market to save your subscribers time.

Whatever your competitors are doing, simply do it faster for them.


The 5 Minute Rule

And speaking of time, can your website visitor consume the lead magnet in 5 minutes or less? This is key. Look at it this way… If you give them a 279-page eBook, while that might be of tremendous value, your new lead will probably feel they need to digest at least some of this mammoth book before moving onto the next step with you. Your ideal lead magnet gives them a valuable piece of the puzzle, but not the entire puzzle. They will be able to complete the puzzle with your first paid product.

Finding Ideas for Lead Magnets

I’m going to give you a really quick hack for finding out what’s getting traction in your niche.
When you go there, you simply enter your keywords and they will show you what’s getting the most Facebook Shares, Twitter Shares, Pinterest Repins and Google Shares. Simply look at the title and copy and start conjuring your own version. If you need traffic for your offer, why not contact the same people and see if they will share your link as well.

Are you being specific enough?

When you are too vague in your offer, it is difficult to get people to take action. Consider, “How Would You Like to Make More Money Online?” versus… “Make $35 Dollars Online in the Next 24 Hours!” The first one will probably get lost in the

Did you focus on one big thing? Our tests have shown that focusing on one big thing vs. 100 smaller things, gets a higher click through rate.

Even The Button Matters…

It’s important to have optimized CTA (call-to-action) language on your button as well. Give Me The Report! is much better button text than Sign Up Now!


Connecting Your Autoresponder

In order to have an effective lead-magnet, you’ll want to have an automated system on the back end, even if you plan on calling every lead and broadcasting sporadically.

This automated system warms them up to working with you.

The first email should thank them for allowing them into their busy life, set some expectation as to how often they will hear from you and deliver the ethical bribe that you offered for their email.

Once you have your landing page built, you will want to connect your autoresponder to that page. That’s done by importing your html form from Aweber, ConstantContact, iContact or MailChimp.

When you do that on NicheBuilder, we will automatically pull the form fields and add them to your landing page for you.

Single vs. Double Opt-in

There are several trains of thought on this. We have tested giving them the material directly after the option on the next page, after the confirmed optin, in the first email, etc.

Your goal should be to create enough of an instant impact with your reader that they give you their best email, without having to trick them into giving it to you. Make sense?

Best Places to Have Your Opt-in Form

Facebook is great for advertising your lead magnets. You can advertise there based on age, male or female, pages they have liked, geographic location and several other parameters.
Sending traffic directly to your blog post is better than sending them to your landing page.

By sending visitors to a blog instead of a squeeze page, all of the ad-nazi’s at Facebook and Google will approve your page.

You won’t seem like such a money-hungry scammer (not that you are)…because you are bringing the user to valuable content, not to a page specifically designed to siphon user information from “their” users.

The reason Facebook and Google are so strict, is because they value the privacy, user data and wallet of “their” users. If they show ads and allow a negative experience into their users lives…that will reflect bad on them. Too much of that, and they are no longer in business.


Testing Multiple Lead-Magnets and Adjusting

Having one lead magnet isn’t the end all beat all. You really should have more than one. But this will happen naturally over time. When your first lead magnet starts adding subscribers, you’ll either automatically be receiving feedback from your customers about it, or you can survey them. What you are looking for is the parts that they like most about it.

So for instance, let’s say you gave away a guide to buying musical tickets cheap in NYC. And your product is an affiliate promotion for the various shows. Your customers tell you they were thrilled that they got to see Chicago (the musical) for example.

This data tells you something. Maybe what people are looking for is a way to get to see Chicago for less?

So you can create a new LeadMagnet guide that specifically focuses on the musical Chicago. This might convert better overall as the person visiting your page might be thinking, “sure they have deals, but not for Chicago…”.


Easy Setup On Your NicheBuilder Blog

The best advice that I can give new marketers is to simply get it done. Repeat after me…“done is better than perfect”.

When implementing your lead magnet on NicheBuilder it’s as simple as filling out a few small forms, uploading a picture and clicking save. Our goal is to reduce the technical pain when creating online assets such as your blog and lead magnets.

Let’s Get Started

If you aren’t currently hosted with NicheBuilder, now is your chance to take advantage of the number one blog posting for WordPress available on the Internet.
Simply click this link here to get started right now, and we’ll see you on the inside.

Did We Miss Something?

Let’s face it, you are the ultimate critique. Our goal with this article is to provide a sharable, usable and informative resource for Online Marketers, like you.

If you got value from this article, please share and comment below.

If we forgot something, or you feel we got something wrong… please tell us in the comments below.

What The Hell Do I Blog About?

Getting started as a blogger, you start to think of different things… The first one probably being, what the #$%^ (bleep) do I write about?

Writers block can find itself in the blogging world as “bloggers block”. This is that frustrating feeling that you don’t know what to write about.

So let’s solve this problem…

The Brain Dump

The first thing I like to do when filling up my blog is the same thing that I like to do when writing books, I do a brain dump.

This is me setting the timer for five minutes and then writing down everything I can possibly think about, that has to do with my subject.

Now, if you don’t know what subject you want to be in, go ahead and take a look at this post on choosing your niche.

So let’s do this for our niche… the blog and make money online niche… [word cloud]

Blogging, blogger, make money online, affiliate marketing, email marketing, MacBook air, dictation getting started, having fun, software, content management, WordPress, keyword tool, internet marketing, money, retire young, travel the world, freedom

And this would be just a short example of one of my brain dumps. It can go on for several hours. But one things for sure, I won’t be able to say that I have nothing to write about.

I find five minutes to be a good amount of time to get 30 words or phrases on the table.

Creating Quick Post Titles

So now that I have these items written down, the next thing I want to do is create a blog post title for each of these words.

That would look something like this…

  • How to Get Started Blogging
  • Why You Should Pass On Blogger
  • Making Money Online is Easier With This Plan
  • What Is Affiliate Marketing?
  • Is Email Marketing the Same As Lead Generation?
  • How I Run My Business From My MacBook Air
  • Does WordPress Still Give the Best Blog?

Okay, you get the picture… No need to do all 20 right now. And you don’t have to either. Just get the first 5 done, and by done I mean, on the web, published, live!

Voice Your Opinion

Writing a blog is your chance to voice your opinion rather than state the facts.

So if someone is telling you that the sky is blue for example, this is where you will showed that it’s actually blue green.

So let’s do that… For the titles you just created above, think about how you will approach each one with your not so common Point of view.

When blogging, There is a saying it’s called kicked the hornets nest. What that means is you want to write with a controversial tone.

For example, if everyone is excited that Barack Obama is coming to town… you right why it’s the worst thing that’s ever happen to your town, make sense?

The reason you do this is because it gets people interacting. Just make sure that whenever you’re opinion is, You can back it up at least a little bit. Don’t be afraid of a fight!

Solve a Problem For Your Readers

Still have writers block? No worries, let’s talk about your so-called readers. Maybe your Google analytics hasn’t spiked through the roof with new traffic just yet, but you’ve got a pretty good idea who your readers are. If you don’t, you want to check out my post on creating your customer avatar.

So, let’s make a list… What’s bugging them? Top five!

If we were looking at my market and convincing people they should blog every day, the problems might be something like this…

  1. Can I really make money blogging? Like full-time money?
  2. Where can I find cheap reliable hosting for my blog?
  3. What should I blog about?
  4.  Should I promote other peoples products or my own products, or both?
  5. How can I do all of this without being a techie?

Do It Yourself (DIY), Checklists and Tutorials

Along with solving a problem, creating a do-it-yourself article that takes them step-by-step through one of those problems will get you likes, shares, re-tweets and all of the other social mojo that you not only desire, but you absolutely need if you’re going to make impact in your market.

Checklists or another Great resource for people. Giving them something that they can download and print out and put it on the wall or have on their desk is even better. Making the transition from online to their off-line world this huge step in the right direction.


Infographics are Visual diagrams of a process. They show the reader visually how to get from point A to point D or from step 1 to step 6 without a break in the action.

Usually the map will be done on just one page so the users mind can see the entire process from start to finish.

This is done visually so that’s something that would normally be technical or complicated in nature is digesting easily by the mind.

You can get infographics done anywhere from $5 dollars on Fivver to $5,000 dollars for something very custom.

We have a source for great illustrations in info graphic format for around $200 dollars. Email me at for the contact information.

Reveal and Remove Their Fears

Along the lines of solving their problems, you can also help to remove their fears.

What are they afraid of?

If you were blogging about something that is dear to your heart…then what are you afraid of?

Louis C.K., A famous comedian says he likes to bring to light the subjects that people talk about it in quiet with respectful fear.

Then he just beats that subject to death over and over again from 20 different angles with humor to remove the fear.

This technique works tremendously with subjects that your readers care about is well.

For example, have you ever gone through it step-by-step tutorial that maybe even had 15 steps to it?

But by the time you finished that tutorial, you got the results you wanted without the frustration along the way.

That’s what I’m talking about here.

Show Them Something New

Readers also want to learn something new, this helps them feel knowledgeable in relation to their peers.

Think about the last time you knew something before your circle of friends. Maybe it was a new movie that just came out and you saw it first.

Funny how much better it was when you know no one you’re talking to has ever seen it, same goes for travel.

When you have been to some place that your friends haven’t, you can recommend all of the things that created your best memories there.

Niche It Down

Let’s say that you want to start a blog about organic gardening.

So, rather than trying to be the organic gardening guru… how about you become the organic gardening guru for your particular region, climate or elevation.

Pick a niche that you can actually corner the market on.

You would be better to have 2,000 fans that love and adore you than 20,000 fans that barely know who you are.

Give Them What’s Missing?

In our case, what’s missing from other make money blogging blogs… or blogs about blogging, is the complete solution.

So many blogs about blogging are just simply trying to push you to an affiliate offer for hosting.

They are like a one string banjo… playing the same tune over and over and over again.

What we have found is that it’s better to cover the entire “make money from the Iinternet” spectrum and provide value to our customers versus a quick ask for a sale.

The same goes for whatever topic you’re looking at.

Give them a wider or higher elevation view than the common pitch of least resistance that everyone is doing.

Teach Them About You

A very well-known blogger by the name Steve Chou remarked that when he first launched his product, he was trying to just teach, teach, teach, all the time, and while the engineering mind inside of us tells us this is what people want, they actually want to know about you the person that is teaching them even more.

Steve said that once he started revealing his story that brought him to the point of creating his blog, sales quadrupled within just a few months.

How about telling them 15 quirky things about you that make up your personality.

Write your life story from start to finish, from childhood to today.

Make it one long post or use parts of it to teach lessons to your readers.

Help your reader connect with you, because when they know who you are, they can then begin to care about your cause.

Post pictures from your life and not just pictures related to your blog message.

Did you recently get engaged? Write a post about it.

Do you have a cool workspace like A high-rise view or a rooftop patio?

Show it to them!


I can’t stress this one enough, when you are writing or dictating as I am doing right now using the dictation feature on my MacBook Air and my kick ass SoundTrue™ headphones by Bose… this doesn’t even feel like work, and you know the old adage, “if you love what you do, you never work another day in your life”.

But more than that, try picking a subject where your natural tone will be a benefit rather than a penalty to your readers.

Think of it this way… Jim Carrey shouldn’t be writing about how to stay out of the public eye. His entire life has been lived, enjoyed and scrutinized by the public eye.

What Would You Read?

When you’re blogging, try and think about what you would find interesting.

I used to have a writer help me with one of my technology blogs, I asked her to daily take a look at all the news related to Google and other web technologies.

She had really simple instructions… just write about what interest you.

She tended to write a lot about Google glass and digital tattoos. That was what interested her, and I would suggest that you do the same thing.

You are probably your best reader and guess what, there are ton of people just like you out there.

You’d actually be surprised how many people are a lot like you in the world and are waiting to hear your voice.

Chase Your Passion

This subject kinda follows the same thread as the last two paragraphs in that you want to blog about something that you are passionate about.

Think about when you sit down to read the news online or other blogs or watch YouTube videos.

What are you looking at? Try to relate those items back to what you’re blogging about.

You see, most people aren’t just mono-subject oriented. They want to know about all sorts of subjects… probably the same subjects that you are passionate about.

If you could write about just one thing though, What would it be?

Think of it this way… If you could get up in the morning and write about just one thing… What would it be?

That is probably your passion! Write about that and don’t stop until it’s getting you what you want from it, be it money, fame, respect, recognition or some combination of all of these.

Are You Spending Money Here?

This is kind of a gut check question. Whatever the subject is that you’re interested in… be it Donald Trump for president (which I find fascinating) or Vinyasa hot yoga (which I do for exercise)… am I spending money there?

Well at least on the yoga side I spent quite a bit of money.

Between my wife and I, We probably spent round $300-$400 a month on classes, waters, books, blocks or whatever else can move our passion forward.

I find that it is a little unfair to expect others to spend money on something that you are not willing to.

Remember, these people are most likely just like you. If you won’t spend money there, they probably won’t either.

Ready to Start Blogging?

We are anxious to help you move your blog business forward.

We’d love to show you the powerful tools that we have in place to help you get started fast and keep your momentum, even when times get tough…

If you’re ready to get your blog going on WordPress… let me show you how.

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Ask For Sales On The First Date!

Wooing your customer is a complicated and lengthy process. You can’t and shouldn’t do it overnight.

I’m going to be using the example of dating here to show an analogy between customer sales-cycle and the dating to marriage relationship cycle.

When you meet someone, as men, we are often tempted to race for the finish line. To get them into bed as fast as possible.

For purposes of this article, we will use men as the “Marketer” and we’ll use women as the “Customer”.

Ask any woman (or most women) and they will tell you that sleeping with somebody on the first date often ruins the chances of hearing from them ever again.

That is, unless the woman has a higher social status than the man… then…she will probably have just as much trouble getting rid of him as she would any other guy she’s not interested in for the long-term.

But in this article we’re not going to talk exceptions…more in generalities.

The process of acquiring a new customer and selling them products or services is called a sale cycle. As marketers, we’re constantly trying to shorten the sales cycle in a world where the sales cycle is ever lengthening.

This article should probably be called, “Why you shouldn’t propose on the first date”…but that’s a little more obvious, isn’t it?

Plus this headline has more click juice.

The online sales cycle that you take people through is very similar to the courtship of dating.

I’d like to illustrate the analogy between the two using this table…

Waving Hi! >> The PPC or Facebook Ad
Saying Hello >> Email
Casual Conversation >> AutoResponder
Asking for a phone number >> AutoResponder Call to Action
The first phone call >> The VSL or Sales Letter
The date request >> VSL Call to Action
The first date >> The First Sale
The second date >> The Upsell or 2nd Purchase
The 3rd date and sex >> The Core Offer
Dating >> Community
Proposal >> High End Offer VSL
Engagement >> High End Offer Purchase
Marriage >> High End Offer Delivery
Children >> Product Testimonial / Evangelist

So how do you get customers to fall in like with you, to be ready to buy from you? That’s what this is all about, right?

You wouldn’t walk up to someone and say, “Nice to meet you, Let’s get married!”

Aside from some crazy reality TV show, that would be completely awkward and not get you the results you’re looking for.

So what should you do? One by one, let’s break down the sales cycle using the dating analogy.

I’ll tell you in advance I had a little fun with this…

So let’s get into it.

Waving Hi!

The first step in courtship is making contact. When it comes to waving hi, online this is what you would do with Pay-Per-Click Google or Facebook ads.

Your prospect sees the ad and finds it interesting so they click through to see what it’s all about.

Saying Hello

When saying hello, this is the same as asking permission to continue with the conversation.

In marketing, this would be asking for their email. Just like in dating, if the person is not 100% physically attracted or ready for the offer…a small bribe can be used to obtain this permission.

This is called a lead magnet and it will often deliver on the promise of the Google or Facebook ad.

Casual Conversation

Now it’s time for some casual conversation, before you ask for the phone number.

In marketing, this would be the autoresponder or the drip feed emails that go out daily, weekly or on a sporadic basis.

These emails are designed to educate, entertain and demonstrate credibility.

Asking For The Phone Number

Okay, so now some casual conversation has happened… it’s time to go for the number close.

This is when someone (usually the guy) asks for a phone number.

With regard to marketing, this is a call to action either in an email or on your blog… but it usually signals that there’s a sales presentation or product offer on the other side.

Or in the words of Chris rock… Want some d**k?

Again, that’s going to be too direct… but if you’ve seen his act, you were probably thinking it too… and I just wanted to say it.

The First Phone Call

So here it is, the first phone call or in marketing, that would be your first sales presentation.

Up until now you really haven’t had any risk of rejection. What you say or do in that first presentation will determine whether or not the person goes forward or sends you back to loser-ville.

Your job is to put your best foot forward, show them why you are the best solution for their their need, problem or desire.

The Date Request

The date request is you finally asking for something from the other person.

Up until now every move other than them giving you the email has been initiated by you, now you are asking for the for sale.

This is that awkward moment where the date requester says… I’m going to be out with some friends on Friday night… you should come meet up with us, it will be fun.

And then that long awkward pause where are you really don’t know what’s going to happen and what the answer will be.

In marketing, often times people just aren’t ready yet. And really, the word “yet” is key here.

Because let’s face it, meeting someone for a beer is less commitment than breaking out your credit card for a monthly subscription.

Notice how I framed the date request in this case. Instead of saying, “would you like to go to dinner with me?”I crafted the invite to make it almost rejection proof.

First, I demonstrated social proof in that I have friends. Second, I made it light hearted and noncommittal when I said, meet up with us.

Truth be told, when I met my wife I was so busy partying as a single guy in Miami that most of this happened naturally. I was just out and about all the time.

With marketing, you want to do the same thing. You want to make your offer noncommittal without them ever really having a chance to say no. Instead of no, The answer is more like, not now.

If the person does buy from you the first time around, GREAT! But if they don’t, you want to present your offer in such way that the door is always open in the future.

Think about it this way… what if you asked the woman of your dreams out on a date and she said, “I can’t tonight I’m meeting my parents for dinner” and you said, “WELL SCREW YOU THEN!” You wouldn’t do that (hopefully) because that would ruin your chances of a future date.

The same goes for marketing. You aren’t going to call someone a loser or tell them they will never ever succeeded at anything in their life, just because they didn’t buy your product on the first go round.

As someone who has had this happen to him, not so directly, but the emotion was there, it totally ruined my relationship with the person and all I had said was that I wanted to wait for two months before committing to a $15k program with them.

Back to Casual Conversation?

So now, this is where gets a little tricky. You’ve asked for the first date or the first sale… and the person hasn’t responded. Here, you have two choices.

When a new interaction is required, like with dating, you maybe tempted to never contact them again.

But luckily in the marketing world, you can simply let your autoresponder continue to contact them and bring them back to your blog for additional content…all the while getting them more and more ready for the initial purchase.

It’s important here not to simply send them nine emails offering them the exact same thing they said no to.

That would be the equivalent of calling one time per week and saying, “Hi Judy… Ready for that date yet? No, Okay, talk to you next week!”.

Just as that wouldn’t work in the dating scenario, It’s not going to work with marketing either.

It’s very possible that your solution just doesn’t match up with your prospects need.

In the same way you are not going to be the perfect mate for every woman that you meet.

So show them your solution a different light.

Using your list of common problems, use your autoresponder emails to to bring them to your blog where you demonstrate how your solution IS the best solution for their problem.

This may take time or it may never happen.

The same goes for dating… your girlfriend or wife most definitely was not the very first woman you ever talk to.

In marketing, you need to have several prospects in the pipeline at all times.

It’s just the nature of the beast that a few will buy but most won’t.

The Second Date

Now comes the second date or the second sale or the upsell.

Let’s say that this person is now your customer. They have purchased from you once and they like what bought.

Now they want to know what else do you have?

First, it’s key that whatever they’ve purchased from you the first time was of high quality and they came back for more because they liked it.

So the upsell should just be more of what they liked the first time around. Make sense?

When selling a product or service, tests have shown that simply offering more of the same product or service is the best way to upsell.

But there’s a catch… Instead of offering the exact same thing, you offer bulk discount to buy more.

In dating, maybe your first date was an hour over beer or coffee and then a kiss on the cheek good night.

The second date could be tickets to a rock concert that is sure to be a longer more pleasurable experience and will likely end with more than a kiss on the cheek.

The Third Date and S-E-X (Yeah Baby!)

When it comes to the third date, this is you making your core offer… this is usually one of your higher-priced offers that has your most profit in it.

In dating, this is the dinner at the Space Needle or the romantic overnight at Snoqualmie Falls.

Both parties are making a significant investment in the evening. You both know each other by now.

There have been several phone calls and a few dates. Generally your core offer is between $497 and $1497 based on the current economy.

Your customer has already purchased from you on a lower level, say at a $47 one-time purchase and a $27/month subscription.

Now they are ready for the $497-$1497 sale. This will be your whole enchilada.

This is the “send it in the mail” big box that contains everything valuable that you put out to market.


This is arguably the best part of relationship. Everyone is happy and things are continuing forward as status quo.

Of course like any relationship, there will be problems. These can best be handled by having a community.

In this community, people will actually be able to get support not only from your staff but also from the other members of your program.

Just like dating, this status can go on for years and years without too much variation.

Unless you choose the wrong person…then, this period of time can be an absolute roller coaster both emotionally and physically.

We had a particular customer just recently that used our livechat service more than 70 times in one month and then asked for all of his money back.

That is an example of a bad relationship.

With your online business, you want as few bad relationships as possible.

We’ve had customers that buy everything we offer and never write in for any kind of support…other than to tell us what a great job we’re doing and how thrilled they are they’re finally making money online.

The Proposal, Engagement and Marriage

The proposal, engagement and marriage all kind of go together and are usually wrapped around a high-end offer such as a done for you implementation, specific business consulting, high-end coaching, a mastermind program or other high-priced offers.

Just like in the dating world, this is a delicate process because the stakes are very high.

A high-end offer might be anywhere from $2K to $30K in price. For many, this can be the equivalent of their entire life savings.


Just like the proposal and marriage, having children is another high-stakes venture.

If you currently have children you know that in marketing, the stakes are not as high, but, this is your reputation we are talking about.

If your customer’s happy, they will write you a testimonial and become an evangelist for your product.

Think about when you have really enjoyed a product or service. What do you do?

You tell everybody about it in hopes that they use it too.

It’s important that your customers think highly of you and respect you.

The very best way you can achieve this is to one, deliver on all of your promises.

And two, help them solve their problem be it more money, a better love life, greener vegetables, etc.

Essentially you are bringing them more of whatever they were looking for in their life.

So as you can see, having sex on the first date really gets in the way of creating a long-term relationship, both in business and in the world of relationships.

Now there are people out there that specifically target the quick-turn dollar.

I would sincerely urge you to instead create lasting relationships with your customers.

Here at NicheBuilder, we are happy to help you construct this type of business. Let us know where you are at right now, what’s holding you back and how we can help.

Until next time…stay awesome, keep learning and go forth and be fruitful!

How to Handle Refunds

First of all, nobody likes refunds. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, “You know what I hope I see when I first look at my email today…A REFUND! Happy joy! Fun!”

Inevitably, refunds are part of the online course/product world.

Having a guarantee on your online course is critical to success (my suggestion is a 30-day money back guarantee) because even if you get some refunders, you are giving peace of mind to your buyers (the risk is on you) and that increases conversion rates and buyers who might normally not buy.

Tips on dealing with refunds and refunders:

#1: Don’t take it personally. Yes, you won’t like it (I’ve been doing this for years and still don’t like it) but don’t let a refunder be a reflection of your work or you.

#2: Don’t do it yourself. One of my BIG tips is you don’t want to do customer service yourself (and refunds fall under customer service). Not only will you not grow your business if you do customer service yourself, you will start getting angry. And we want you happy. This can easily be outsourced/insourced to a VA who is great with people.

#3: Never beg and plead. Swifty process the refund (or have your VA do it) and then just move on as opposed to begging and pleading with someone to not refund. Focus on the people who DO want to be in your course and want to get results.

#4: Stick to your guns. Many refunders like to give you all kinds of advice to improve. 99% of it is BS. Don’t listen to it. Stick with what you are doing. Is there ever a reason to listen to refunders? Maybe, if everyone refunds for the same reason you could consider an update to your course (example: every single person who refunds tells you the videos are too long…you could chop ’em up or something). That being said, I  don’t recommend asking people why they want a refund, just refund and move on but many people like to give “unsolicited advice.”

#5: Your course requires work for people to get results. I don’t care what the topic is, there is work to be done. Have a special smile reserved for people who say “I don’t have time to go through this” or “I didn’t know there would be work” hehe. Just smile and move on.

#6: Don’t let people take advantage of you…stick to your policies. If you have a 30-day refund and someone tries to refund on day 31…nope. As the Soup Nazi said in Seinfeld: “No soup for you!” …. “No refund for you!” Obviously, you or your customer service peep(s) will put that in a much nicer way 😉

#7: Advanced tip: Tag ’em/list ’em. Depending on your email software, what we do is we add refunders to a special email list/tag. Then I don’t send them stuff by excluding that list from emails. Am I saying refunders are bad people? Yes. J/k….but kinda.

#8: At the end of the day, refunds, refund-rates and stuff like that really doesn’t matter. What matters is the people who want to be there (worth repeating). Focus your time and energy on them and swifty boot the refunders.

Whew! That about covers it. If you want a fun drinking game, re-read the above email and drink every time you see the word “refund” or “refunder.”

Hope you enjoyed the tips from years of experience.