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Real Fast Results for Marketing, Business and Entrepreneurs

The Real Fast Results is a business podcast for people who want to see real results in their business fast. The show provides actionable, implementable steps in each episode. The focus is definitely on marketing strategies and list building with an emphasis on little-known but effective tactics. We also will cover passive and recurring income opportunities as well as productivity and time efficiency strategies for the busy and often distracted entrepreneur or content creator. Any time you invest listening to the Real Fast Results podcast will be both enjoyable and practical. If you're an online business person or entrepreneur who realizes that it's about working smart then you're going to LOVE this show!
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Now displaying: September, 2016
Sep 30, 2016
Dan Morris Today we are promising to teach, show and explore the idea of building a collaborative venture that will not only grow your list and grow your income, but will get you in front of the people that your audience members are following all of the time. It’s a product called the BC Stack.  We do it for Blogging Concentrated, and we do it for clients. We help build their “stack,” per se.  We find 65 people in the niche.  In our case, it has always been blogging on internet marketing.  We put together a package with 65 products, and we sell that package for $27.00, and we use the 65 people to help market it by sharing the profits of all of its sales.  So, not only do we grow the list with people who have already been filtered, but everyone gets in front of people they need to be in front of.

Benefits of Collaborating with Influencers

The primary reason for doing this is because Tom Cruise knows Oprah Winfrey.  Dave Ramsey knows Suze Orman.influencers  The top people in any industry know the other top people within that industry.  As far as I am concerned, the top people do not know you.  You are not at the top of the industry.  You’re just not there.  In order to get there, you actually have to reach out.  It doesn’t happen the other way around.  People don’t just randomly call the smaller people in the industry.  You have to reach out. This is an opportunity to reach out with something of substance, with a reason to say, “Hey look, we’re going to put your product, your ideas, in front of a bunch of other people who have already been filtered.  All of these other people in our niche have already filtered the audience.  Nobody follows them but people that like that kind of thing.  This is your audience too, so how about you contribute a product, and we’re going to put together something that nobody else does.”  Now, all of the sudden, I am talking to Tom Cruise.  Now I’m a position by name. Now the top people in any industry have more of a chance to get on big podcasts and big shows.  If they are ever going to mention your name, they actually have to know it exists first.  I mean, our first major benefit is if you want to be somebody in your industry, you have to meet the other people in the industry, or you’re just the guy in the basement. Outside of our world, validation comes when Dan Rather mentions someone in the news.  If you’re a runner, you’re probably reading Runner’s World magazine.  If Runner’s World magazine mentions you as a good running trainer, that is a third-party validation of what you’ve been trying to do the whole time.  That is part of rolling the snowball of your business, finding ways to make sure that you’re always planting in the minds of your audience that not only does what you’re saying work, but other people respect these concepts. Everyone has objections to buying your product.  Everyone has objections to even following or listening to your webinars. When you can slowly overcome those objections by putting validation in front of your audience, this makes it so much easier for you to say that you have a book coming out and have people pre-order it.  We’re huge fans of marketing to people through filtered lists.  For instance, coming on this particular podcast, these people already exist that are listening to this, which I would like to speak to.  That is much better than a billboard on a highway, which is not filtered; it’s just thousands of people.  So, this is an opportunity to stand in front of a filtered list, and a big list, in a big way. The second benefit, that I didn’t know the first time we did it, was that once it was over people wanted us to come on their podcasts, or they would say, “How do we do something together?” I say, “Send me the copy of what you want me to say to the email list.”  I will send it out.  I will help you reach all of the people that we have gathered.  Not everyone downloads every single product.  There’s always more people on the list than any contributor gets.  That kind of camaraderie like, “Why don’t we build a product together?”  Those more personal JV kind of things are the second benefit.  I didn’t foresee them, but they were very welcomed when people asked. People always say that you should be authentic online.  They try to tell you to be yourself, but the fact of the matter is that everyone is themselves.  That’s not the issue.  [bctt tweet="The issue is how to get an audience to follow you because their interests are your interests?" via="no"]How do you speak in a way that makes people say, “Man, I really need to follow that person because he has things to say that I want”?  What the BC Stack does, that a $25 Amazon gift card giveaway doesn’t do, is it bring in people to your audience who actually, in their heart, want to learn what you teach. You know, when you give away an Amazon gift card, if you want to do some sort of list building thing, then everyone on the planet comes to join your list because they want the gift card. However, at no point in time is there an authentic relationship between you and them.  The filter isn’t there.  The reason why they entered your community isn’t authentic.  It isn’t real.  So, I love this concept.  I might be on your podcast today, but you could also be on mine tomorrow.  That helps you, and it helps us.  It builds that relationship with our audience as well.

Step #1 - Finding the Top Influencerscollaborate with

Here’s the big picture.  We have a spreadsheet that we call “The Universe”, and in the middle of it, we put the niche.  So, it’s the DIY Universe, or maybe the Blogging Universe.  On this page, we have:
  • Amazon
  • Udemy
  • iTunes
  • Podcasts
  • Magazines
  • TV Stars
  • Radio Stars
What we do is go to every one of these sites and we find the top people.  For example, we find the top person on Udemy within that particular industry. We figure out who the top authors on Amazon are for a certain niche.  We learn who the top podcasters are who are talking about the subject at hand.  Then, we build out the universe as it pertains to the top people within the industry we’re looking into.  If you are a player within an industry, you should already know who the top people in that area are. Most of the time, the list that we develop are 90% full of people we’ve never met.  It may be some guy in India who wrote a great guide to blogging.  According to Amazon, this is one of the top sellers, and I didn’t even know it.  But, now I’ve got my universe defined, and all I have to do is reach out and talk to these people.  That’s the big picture.

contactStep #2- Making Contact

A member of the team, usually a VA, has to go find this information.  What’s their website?  What’s their Twitter handle?  What’s their email address?  We use a plug-in called Search & Scour for Gmail, and it actually finds email addresses like crazy.  It’s pretty much a Chrome plug-in.  So, I can find pretty much anyone’s email address, and then their Twitter handle, and we put together a letter.  It’s easier for me now because we have three under our belts.  I can say, “Hey, look at what we’ve done before.”  That makes it a much easier cold call. That first cold call letter, we did not reach out until we found somebody that wanted to be on-board.  So, we asked John Lee Dumas if he’d like to contribute to the very first one because I was on his show, and he said, “Great!”  So our very first letter said, “Hey, we’re doing a stack of products.  John Lee Dumas is involved.  Would you like to be involved?”  Basically, we’re leveraging somebody else’s name in the industry that the person we’re contacting has probably heard of.  That shows that this isn’t a fly-by-night type of thing.  It’s real. In any case, that’s the first letter, “Would you like to be involved?  Can I tell you more about it?”  I don’t put any more in it because it really is a cold call.  All I really need from them is to press, “Yes, I’d like to be involved.”  Then the door is open to say, “Let me tell you more.  This is what we’re trying to do.”  And, you reach out to all of them, which takes some time. You know, we have a saying, which is, “Be the biggest small dog you can be.”  In order to get Tom Cruise to say, “Yes, I would like to be involved”… Maybe you think, “I could never get Tom Cruise,” but maybe you go to LinkedIn, and you find Tom Cruise, and you use LinkedIn’s professional tools to tell you the path.  Who are the people that I know who could get to him?  Can I use one to introduce me to another?  An introduction is fantastic because that’s validation right there.  Or, do you use a small guy to get to a medium guy? This thing worked really well, if you remember back in the 90’s, when the very first viral thing online was OneRedPaperclip.com.  It was where a guy turned a paper clip into a house by trading his way up.  This isn’t that different.  We’re basically trading validation for validation to get to where we want to go.  Once you do the first one, you can just use the last one to sell the next one.  You really just have to do a bunch of work on the front-end.

Step # 3- Affiliate Set Upaffiliate

The hard part is the affiliate part.  Like, we use aMember. There are a variety of tools that you can use, but you really need to have some sort of software that can produce an affiliate link for your people.  So, once they agree to be part of what we’re offering, we send another email that says, “Hey, here’s what we need, and here’s when we need it by.”  For the most part, I haven’t really asked if they would promote, and a few people don’t.  I’m not as concerned about that.  Obviously, we want them to promote, but I don’t want to be a pain.  Like, I don’t want to be a jackleg.  I mean, it’s not required that they promote After I get their information, the next email that I send, and, this is the hard part and I haven’t perfected this, but it works really well, I send an individual email to every single affiliate.  Now, we had 370 affiliates at the last one.  So that’s 370 emails, and we send them every single day.  It includes their affiliate link, and copy for an email they could send out, and images we create. You know, we create new images every day for the product, saying like there are four days left or three days left.  We send them out individually so that the people who are helping promote do no work.  Like, “Here.  Just copy and paste.  Copy and paste this Facebook update.  Here’s an image you can use on Facebook.  It’s already optimized for Facebook, and here’s one for Pinterest.” We do that every day for the seven days that we do the project.  I don’t really ask for promotion; I normally just give them the tools.  When people ask me about promotion, I basically say, “You are in the business of selling your product.  I’m giving you a one-week opportunity to sell your product with 64 bonus items.”  And, I let them just do what they do.  I always say, “How many books do you think you’re going to sell this week?  20? 15? 8?  How about 100 if you offer 64 bonus items on top of your book?  Just tell your audience ‘Hey, guess what?  My book is on sale this week with 64 bonus items.  You’ll never get this again.’” If your book is $50, and you’re used to making $50, then $50 x 8 is a lot different.  You’re going to make $13 as an affiliate with our product, but you’re going to make $13 x 100.  That’s kind of how we talk to people.  Like, “This could be a no-brainer for your audience.”  They might be saying to themselves, “I’ve really been thinking about buying this product, but I haven’t yet.”  I mean 64 bonus items?  That is a different world than just telling them, “Hey, it’s on sale for 10% off this week.” Let me tell you, as far as I can tell, there is no other way.  If you do affiliate marketing, you’ll know, and you’ll have a list of affiliates, but only 3% of them will keep selling your product.  For the rest of them, it’s at the back of their mind because there are so many different things going on.  It’s not malicious.  It’s just hard.  Unfortunately, in our world, since most people don’t have CEO training, and most people don’t really have a team, the path of least resistance is the one that people take every day.  A good percentage of people don’t even build strong businesses because a shopping cart is too difficult.  They skip it every single day and say, “Well, I’ll get to that later,” because the path of least resistance is writing a Facebook post with an affiliate link. When you do the work for them, it makes it so much easier for them to even be excited about getting on it because there aren’t the stumbling blocks that you have to get over.  Your audience is never going to be as energetic or as grid worthy as you think that they are.  You think that they’re going to be gung-ho to sell your product, but they won’t be until they see how easy it is to be gung-ho and they see that they can probably make money from it since, for the most part, the stack is a no-brainer.

influencers-workStep # 4 - Work

The next step is work.  For the next seven days, there are lots of people that are going to email in.  There are going to be questions, problems, and new affiliates that come out of the woodwork.  Hour after hour, you’re going to have to be on your game for seven days.  Like, if somebody wants to promote, I’m going to get their affiliate link, I’m going to get their email ready, I’m going to get their graphics, and I’m going to email them back within like five minutes.  I’m going to tell them, “I’ve got you set up.  You don’t even have to register.  Here it is.”  I do all of that.  I can take care of getting their PayPal email address later, or whatever other crappy detail that I need. For one week, it is work.  For Rachel and me… Rachel is my business partner… It’s a lot of work.  We have people on the team, but still, you’ve got to know, if you’re going to make a lot of money this week, you’ve got to earn it.  There’s really no way around it.  This isn’t an automated IFTTT thing.  It is work.  I like it.  It’s one week.  Get a babysitter because you’re going to need focus time.  Things come up, and you just have to be ready.  Basically, the stack is open for 60 days.  We allow it to be open because if someone important contributes a product that basically means that on his website there is a page where people can come and get it for free, where they would normally pay for it.  If I make him keep that open for life, that is a risk that I can’t make other business owners take. We have tried to open it for 60 days, for everyone to get in and get out.  When they buy it, then it gets sent to PayPal, and it gets sent to.  I guess we can go through the minutia of that, but really, that’s as simple as it gets.  It involves setting up the PayPal button and the affiliate link inside.  You’re going to want to make sure that person’s email address gets added to AWeber and make sure that email goes out in the auto-responder that says, “Hey, if you didn’t get automatically redirected to the page, here’s your download link.”  Then, making sure that on Day 2 they get that exact same email, and on Day 3 they get a similar email, but make sure that you take customer service out of the equation.  You don’t have time for it.  So, you’ve got to keep sending them emails that say, “Hey, here’s your download link,” and/or, “Here’s your password.”  Make sure that’s built in. Now that we have a big email list, we send an email out that says, “Look, you cannot be an idiot business owner.  Just because you paid for 65 items, doesn’t mean you should download them all.  Really, what’s the one item in here that’s going to make you $28?  Because, if you can spend $27 and make $28, that would be a win.  Download that, and do that, and get better.  That way, if you don’t download anything else, you’ve made your money back and your business is moving forward.  If you spend all day today downloading 65 products and getting bogged down by all the different things you have to do to make all of them work, that won’t be a good thing.” That’s not good for the contributors because they shouldn’t download products that they don’t need.  They don’t need you on their lists.  You need to go find the thing that is going to make your life better.  Then, the next time we do the stack, you’re going to buy it again.  That’s what we want.  We want you to stick around for a long time.  At some point in time, if your customer didn’t have the product that he needed today, he’s going to reach out.  He’ll say, “Hey, I did this thing that I got through the stack, and I need help with this part.”  Now, all of the sudden, he has a relationship with someone in the stack. That whole authentic part has to take place.  Our job is to continually be good stewards to that list in order to make sure that people don’t unsubscribe.  A certain percentage will unsubscribe, but if you got on in the first place, how can I make your life better until the next one.  How can I send out an offer that I agree with, that I think is so much better, that’s going to help everyone?  That’s kind of our job.  How do I roll you into the next thing? Understand that this should be a promotion that lasts from a certain start date to a particular end date.  This is important, first of all, because of the laws of persuasion.  One of the laws of persuasion is that there needs to be a sense of urgency.  There are actually countdown times on the sales pages.  That’s because when there is a time limit, you actually feel like you have to take action.  The second part is that you have to limit access.  If you can’t always get it, then you know that you have to take action now because it won’t always be available. I will tell you that many, many affiliates show up on Day 6 and say, “Hey, I just found out about this.  Can you extend it for my audience for four more days?”  We can’t.  I can’t train the audience at any point that something happens beyond the cut-off date because next time, even if 1% of people go, “Ahh.  This will probably be available for another day, or there’s going to be a second offer where they reduce the price,” you’ll lose sales.  That’s because the power to procrastinate is huge. [bctt tweet="It’s very important to remember, if you say something as a business owner, you better live up to it." username="danielhall"]Whatever it is that you say, you have to stick to it.  So, if something is ending on a certain time and date, that’s it.  It’s over.  That’s one of the reasons why when I do a promotion, there’s a countdown timer, and it automatically redirects when that timer goes to zero.  That’s it.  It’s over, and there are no exceptions. Actually, I only allow one exception, and that is if a contributor comes to me and says that a certain person in my audience was on vacation and wants in.  If they say that within a day or two, and it’s the contributor that comes to me, I want to honor the contributor.  I feel like, I don’t want you to say “no” to your people because you’re not the one who created the timer.  This has only happened a handful of times during these promotions, however, and it’s like a lot of rules.  There are always some exceptions, but the general rule of that rule is “no exceptions”.

tipsFinal Tips

There was a mistake that we made the first time, and that was that we asked all of the contributors to contribute the product by the 12th because we were starting it by the 15th.  That worked fine, but what didn’t happen is I didn’t have a moment in those three days to look at the entire picture of everything that had been contributed and come up with angles, or marketing ideas, and put together a more comprehensive and strategic plan, in terms of marketing it for those seven days.  I would love for you to put 15 days, or two weeks, between the contributor deadline and the day that you start.  This way, you can email the contributors and educate them on what else is in it so that they have a better idea about how to sell it, and you also want to do this because it allows you to look at it and organize it, say, on your sales page in different ways. Once you see all of this, you might be like, “Oh man!  I could have grouped these four and these four so that people feel like they got a podcast pack and they got a blogging pack.”  If you don’t give yourself a little bit of time between the promotions, you’ll never see the things that might actually make you more sales.  I would say, spend a month trying to get the contributors so that you can put two weeks between the two.  Not a lot.  You really want those people to be fired up, and if you put too much time in there, they lose sight of what you all were doing in the first place.  You should, however, give yourself time to come up with some sort of strategic plan.  Look for some trends, or patterns, or something interesting. Also, I’ve had an opportunity to be on a couple of the podcasts of contributors who wanted the podcasts to come out the day that it started.  So, if you don’t give yourself a little bit of time, people can’t do that.  Then, we use a simple spreadsheet to keep track of the affiliates and their affiliate links.  Just on the spreadsheet, I kept track of their product names, the link to the website, and the code in case I had customer service problems, to make that very simple.  We did have the sale for seven days. I always try to bring in non-contributor affiliates.  One of my big ones is conferences.  I really like to contact conferences and say, “Look, one of the things that you do is you give like a $150 discount for tickets, but what if you gave away the stack for free?  Like, what if you just buy it for everyone who buys your ticket?”  That’s a $27 discount, and you’re going to get $13 back.  So, really you’re only giving $13 back, but you’re giving people an actual product, which is kind of the LeadPages way of marketing.  Every weekend LeadPages gives away a bonus.  So, I do like to offer that concept up. I like to suggest an idea.  Like, you could say, “Are you interested in marketing this stack?”  That’s nebulous, and they are like, “Well, maybe.”  However, if you say, “Would you like to give away the stack for free as a bonus for someone buying your ticket?  It will only cost you $13, but it’s a cool bonus.”  That gets their mind thinking.  If you say, “Hey, would you like to be part of the stack?  I know that you’re selling your book all of the time, but you could sell it for one week with 64 bonus items,” that’s a different mindset for them.  It’s kind of like if you have a blog and you have a “Pin It” button, that’s a great thing to have, but if you say, “Add this to your Halloween board,” that’s different.  It’s like, “Oh, that is a good idea.  I should add this to my Halloween board.”  The power of suggestion is important. Other than that, there’s the customer service in the backend.  I lost my email address.  I lost my login.  That part is hard to get around.  You can do the email auto-responders, but there is going to be some of that and you’re just going to have to deal with it.  That’s just part of the business.  After that, for us, it’s thinking about the next one.  More importantly, for us as an income source, it’s finding new clients to do that for between BC stacks.  We only do ours once a year, and if we did it more often during the year, I think it wouldn’t be as powerful.  Maybe it would.  Maybe twice a year, but I like once a year. I’ll do it for a DIY blog next week and for a gardening blog a week after that.  We use it as an income source, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m tapping my community for $27 every few weeks.  I like that because, you know, we’re doing the course starting September 12, 2016 and in that I can totally tell them, this is why it’s for you.  You know, every course is 100% for you. I don’t mind tapping the audience for things that I have developed specifically for their needs, but tapping them for the BC stack where there are some things they probably don’t need [is different].  Like, there’s a product on how to load up WordPress.  Most of our audience doesn’t need that.  So, I feel like asking them for the same $27 a week for things that won’t 100% benefit them would be a violation of trust.  Trust and integrity are vital to your business because once you lose it, it’s damn-near impossible to get it back. I do want to say that you also have a responsibility for your audience’s time.  So, when you give them 65 products to download, you’re basically saddling them with 65 things to learn.  Consider that too.  That’s part of being the guardian and leader of your community.  You’ve got to make sure that what you’re bringing is really valuable.

Connecting with Dan

You can always go to BCstack.com. That’s the page that’s live every year.  In between times, there are links to the past ones so that you can see what we did.  Plus, visiting the site will give you an opportunity to get on the list so that you get notified when the next one is coming up.  Primarily, we run Audience Industries, which is BloggingConcentrated.com.  We also run FindingJoy.net, which is a site about motherhood, which Rachel writes.  It has blog posts that have over a million likes on them. You know, a couple of hundred thousand people a day.  It’s a really big site.  We also run Benefits of Resveratrol, which is an anti-oxidant and nutritional site, and we do that for the specific purpose of learning niche things that we need to do for the audience.  Otherwise, BloggingConcentrated.com is our hub and Provide Podcasts is the way that we do this kind of thing on a daily basis.

Resources

Dan Morris Sites: BCstack.com BloggingConcentrated.com Plug-in for Finding Email Addresses: Search & Scour Affiliate Set Up: aMember Auto-Responder Tool: AWeber

Real Fast Results Community

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Sep 27, 2016
David Perdew The one thing that I’m going to promise people today is by the time they finish this segment, they will know exactly how to create a sustainable and scalable business with residual income. First off, I’m going to use “passive” and “residual” income interchangeably here, and the reason is that there’s kind of a stigma with “passive income”.  People think that’s kind of “get rich quick”.  “Residual income” seems to be from working once and getting paid forever.  That’s what I like.  Do the work once and get paid forever.  I have experience with the big telecom companies, as a consultant, and they are basically the biggest membership sites in the world.  They know that you get a subscription every month to your phone bill, and they get a monthly contract from you, and it’s a subscription model membership site. What they’ve done is, they’ve actually been just the masters of creating monthly, residual income.  Now, when you start residual income, you can build on it every month because you know what’s coming in automatically.  That’s the way businesses grow, every business.

The PIE Test - Passive Income Evaluation Test

You know, I was a systems guy.  I like to build systems, and that’s processes as well.  So, I developed my own little system called the PIE test.  [bctt tweet="The PIE test is the “Passive Income Evaluation” test. " username="danielhall"]It’s easy to remember, PIE test.  We all want a piece of that pie, right? There are five steps to the PIE test:
  1. The first one is “lifetime database referral”.  That’s my own term for commissions that you get paid over and over.
  2. The second step is “plenty of products”.  You want to make sure that you’re working with people who have plenty of products.
  3. The third is very high-quality products. Because, it’s your reputation no matter if you own the product or not.
  4. The fourth is “great product sales funnels”.  Is it a “one-hit wonder” kind of sales funnel or is it something that gives an opportunity to buy more and more?
  5. The fifth thing, and this is the biggie that I think a lot of people will bypass, is to “know your numbers”. If you know your numbers, you have a pathway to scalability.  That’s incredibly important.

Step # 1 - Lifetime Database ReferralsReferral Programs

Step 1 is “lifetime database referrals”.  A lot of people would call that lifetime commissions.  It’s very tricky, when you’re doing online business, because in the online business world people talk about lifetime cookies.  Lifetime cookies are completely different.  Anything that is a “cookie” goes away.  A cookie is a technical term for a little piece of code that goes on your computer when you are referred by somebody else in affiliate marketing.  Sometimes those cookies are set for 30 days, sometimes 90 days, and sometimes “lifetime”.  Everybody thinks, “Ooh, lifetime cookies!  Those are awesome!”  And, they are awesome; they are pretty good.  They’re my second choice. My first choice is “hardcoded in the software” because if you can get hooked up with the people that are hardcoded in the software to your referral, then you’re going to get a commission on anything that they purchase in the future.  That’s what I like. You know who I learned this from?  It was insurance agents.  Insurance agents, when they make a sale, like a life insurance policy or a medical insurance policy, they make a sale on the first policy and then they sell you additional policies.  You’re already in the system, and they get commissions on your insurance forever.  So, you know, that is real passive income, and that’s why this is such a good business model.  It’s kind of boring.  I never thought that I’d want to be an insurance agent, but man, it’s a great business model because it’s passive income and it builds cumulatively. This isn’t just about affiliate marketing.  You can do this with your own products in your system so that other people promote you, which is what we’ve done.  Affiliate marketing is when you’re promoting someone else’s product and you get a commission for that.  It’s like commissioned sales except that it’s very simple, very easy, and it’s a fast way to make money.  In fact, I think it’s the fastest way for somebody to get started.  If they can build a list or drive traffic, they’ll know how to make money with this pretty quickly with affiliate marketing. Now, the other part, the cookies versus the hard coding on the machine, that is, in my mind…You have to get the right software to run the system.  So, if someone tells me they are using, for example, JV Zoo, which I love JV Zoo; I sell on JV Zoo too, but JV Zoo is not a lifetime database referral program.  It’s a cookie program.  If you and I were promoting the same product, and somebody came to me and looked at the sales page through my affiliate link and decided not to buy, then they came through your link and looked at the sales page and decided to buy, because you were offering a bonus, you would get the credit for that sale.  In a hard coding situation, if they came because I introduced them to the product and they clicked on me first, or even last (sometimes), but whoever gets the sale is then hard coded for all future sales. So, that’s the difference.  It’s that first sale that gets made, but then the future sales are yours.  One thing that you need to understand is that people can flush their cookies off of their machine.  So, even if you set a cookie on someone’s computer, they can clean the cache, they could get a new computer, etc., and your cookie is gone.  The next person that might be promoting will then set their cookie because yours is not there.  Another good example is that if I visit a site on my computer and I don’t buy, but then I go to my iPad and I decide to buy from there, it could be a completely different cookie arrangement.  It could be a different link, right?  So, I would still get a commission no matter where they purchase from.  That’s the difference there. If you want to know if you are going to get commissions, the easiest way is to ask, but you have to be very careful because often the promoter doesn’t know.  They’ll say, “Oh yeah, we’ve got lifetime cookies set,” and you can say, “Well, is it lifetime cookie or lifetime of full?”  Then, you might have stumped them.  If they come back to you and say that it’s a lifetime cookie, then you might need to educate them. Another way to know is by what software they are using in their system.  Is it aMember, or Zaxaa, or DAP, or Infusionsoft?  These can all be set up to be lifetime referrals.  Then you have to just ask questions about that.

passive incomeStep # 2 - Plenty of Products

I know now that someone has lifetime referrals.  The next thing I ask is, “How many products do you have in your system?”  If I’m getting lifetime referrals for one product in your system, I’ve already sold that and I’m not going to get any more money. However, if someone has dozens and dozens of products, let’s say, you’re going to get a commission on all of those, and I would be very excited about that.  Then you’ll know that whatever you promote, you’re going to get some money out of it.  That’s what happens with lifetime referral programs.  I get a lot of people who say that they love to promote our stuff because they know when I send an email, they get money.  That’s the way that works. I also promote things that don’t have any cookies to them because I like to have a base income, but I also like to get peaks on good stuff.  We can do that.  In the kind of business that we’re in, we can identify products that we like to promote because it fits a niche in our system, it fills a training hole for us, or because it’s just a really good product and it converts really well.

Lifetime Referral Programs

Yeah, this is really hard to find.  Like I said, anybody that has an aMember system set up is usually using that.  It takes a little bit of investigation to find those people.  So, those kinds of programs, you have to start asking around and just learn who they are. Now, one of the other things that you want to find is tools. I like tools a lot because tools will give you lifetime referrals. For example, AWeber; you get lifetime referrals for AWeber.  Anybody that buys into that system, you get the commissions forever.  Zaxaa is one.  Zaxaa is a really good commission system.   You get people into that point system, and it’s a very good point system, and you get a lifetime commission from that.  So, those are examples.

Step # 3 - High Quality Products

The third step in my system here, in the PIE test, is very high-quality products.  Very low-quality products do not convert, and if they do, you get a lot of refunds on them. [bctt tweet="The key to knowing if you should deal with somebody is by asking them about their refund rate." username="danielhall"]The refund rate, if it’s less than 5%, I’m interested.  If it’s over 10%, I’m not interested because I don’t want to deal with refunds.  It’s my reputation on the line.  You have to be very careful about that. My definition of a great product is that it solves a real problem that isn’t going away.  I love evergreen solutions.  If a product is out there that’s more of a solution to a fad, I’m not interested.  If it’s a solution to a problem that is going to be around for a while, and a lot of people have expressed interest in it, that’s the kind of product, to me, that has legs.

Step # 4 - Great Product Sales Funnelssales funnels

The next step is to have a great product sales funnel.  That means that the front-end converts really well, but that there is something on the back-end as well.  If I’m sending someone to a $17 product, or a $27 product, or a $5 product, or whatever it is, that’s only the first step of the process of getting people into that system.  A great sales funnel is something that has upsells, downsells, cross-sales, long-term sales, automated sales, and all of those kinds of things.  So, I want to know what the sales process is with the people that I deal with, just as I want them to understand out sales processes when we put our products out there. There’s this seven-upsell syndrome, which I think is just insane because it wears people out before they get to the end of it. B the other thing that makes people really angry about upsells, and downsells, and all of that, is that they’re not related.  If they’re not related, people are just going to think you’re stupid because, you know, you’re just trying to extract money any way you can.  If I buy a course on how to do webinars, and you try to sell me on, I don’t know, “how to create PLR,” that’s not related.  Why would I even think that you know what you’re doing?  So, it’s not a good thing. Before we get to the next step, I want to give you a quick example.  We had somebody come into our system who loved the lifetime referral process and saw the benefit of all the products that we had, and they drove in 2,500 people into a free opt-in product, just to get them into the system.  But, then they said ROI… the short-term solution was not good enough to continue promoting. Well, that 2,500 people, over 18 months, because of our upsells, because of our promotions, and because of our product line, turned into $14,000 in commissions for them.  So, they didn’t do anything else, 18 months, $14,000.  Not a bad deal, right?  That’s a great little income stream.  If you have the right things in place, this becomes a stream of income for people.

david-perdew-know-your-numbersStep # 5 - Know Your Numbers

The last thing is “know your numbers”.  I love numbers.  Numbers are what we do.  Once you get your products created, it’s all about numbers after that.  It’s…“How do I improve conversions?  How do I improve the size of my list?  How do I create sales copy that goes from 1% to 2% on the conversion trail?  How do I add customer value, taking it from $10 to $50?”  It’s all numbers at that point, and the only way to do that is to stay in the numbers and have tracking systems in place so that you can see your numbers on the back-end.  Luckily, almost every cart system out there these days gives you a really good tracking system.  You just have to be willing to dig into them and understand them. Now, if you’re working with somebody else,I want numbers of those people that I’m promoting.  I want to know what those conversion numbers are.  I want to know which piece of the funnel converts best.  I’m working with a guy right now to do some product launches, and the very first time that I promoted his product, a third of my income, on a pretty good launch, came from the front end.  Sixty percent came on the back end.  That’s a good number.  I loved that.  So, knowing that there’s more money on the back-end, and being able to point out the numbers that actually give you those indicators, is good information to have.  You’ve got to ask for it.

Final Tips on Developing Residual Income

I think we’ve covered the formula.  Coming back to our promise in the beginning, if you create one stream of income, and you’ve got it working for you, you’ve tweaked it out so that your conversions are just about maxed out to what you can get for this income stream, the next thing you do is you create another income stream.  And so, it starts stacking.  I’m doing this all of the time, and a lot of the most successful marketers online are doing this.  Nobody goes back to the well every day and creates the wheel over and over.  Boy, I’ve mixed all of my metaphors up, but nobody creates the wheel over and over again every day, right?  You just don’t do it.

Connecting With David

Well, you know, I’m talking about how to create passive income streams here today, and I actually have something for you.  It’s basically our $197 program that we have called “Found Money: Creating Passive Income Streams”.  It’s a three-part, four-hour video passive income course, and it’s an in-depth look at three websites that drip passive income daily.  I mean, we went out and did some case studies with this and really took a look at some websites that are doing a good job with this. We’ve got a checklist for adding passive income to your site, and we’ve got video presentations for all of this, we’ve got MP3 audio downloads and PDFs of the presentations.  It’s just a really robust course.  If people go to NAMS.WS/Hall they are going to get this $197 for $17.  It’s almost a four-hour course for people on how to build these streams of income.  We go through all five of these and show you which niches to look at and how to find people, and exactly which processes, which products, which platforms to focus on.

Resources

David's Program: Found Money: Creating Passive Income Streams Lifetime Referral Tools: aMember AWeber Zaxaa

Real Fast Results Community

If you are diggin’ on this stuff and really love what we’re doing here at Real Fast Results, would you please do me a favor? Head on over to iTunes, and make sure that you subscribe to this show, download it, and rate & review it. That would be an awesome thing. Of course, we also want to know your results. Please share those results with us at http://www.realfastresults.com/results. As always, go make results happen!
Sep 22, 2016
Tom Antion We're promising your listeners MASSIVE, and I'm talking massive with a capitol "A", massive increases in speed and productivity.  That's the main thing.  So that they can sell more, faster, automatically. You can either make more money, or make way more money, in the same amount of time, or you can make the same amount of money and cut your time down tremendously, ten times or more, if you use the business tools that we're talking about today.  A lot of times you can do both too. The way that I kind of developed this, I've always worked out of my home.  I've been in business, formally, for over 40 years, never had a job, always worked out of my home.  I was always averse to a lot of employees.  Now it has changed, but I got to $1.2 million a year with one part-time temp person.  This was, at the peak, about 150,000 subscribers asking me questions every day and 30,000 customers.  So, these are the business tools, what we're going to talk about today, that allowed me to do that with only one temp person. Here's the thing.  When I started hiring people, that's when my accountant called me.  He said, "Hey Tom, you've got too much retained earnings."  I said, "I've got too much retained earnings?  That's good right?"  He says, you're going to have to pay more taxes now because you've got too much retained earnings.  I'm thinking, "I'm keeping my nose clean.  I'm not buying yachts, airplanes, and everything else, and now I've got to pay more taxes?"  He said, "Yup."  So, that's when I got mad.  So I started hiring people.  I thought, "I'd rather hire people and take a load off of myself, instead of buying bombs."  That's when I started hiring all of these people.

Speedautomate business

The first thing is, I'm a big stickler for speed.  Speed to market and speed with customer service, because I'll tell you now, people hardly want to fill out a form anymore because they feel like no one's ever going to answer them. They figure it's going to be two months before they get a reply.  So I've built a lot of my fortune because I just Boom!  I really hit and take care of customers really fast, and prospects really fast, because nobody else will.  So, they'll buy from me because they get really fast service. One of the tools, that I have been using since 1997. I don't know how many years that is; that's 19 years.  We figured out the other day, just an estimate, the best we could. It has saved me 7 million keystrokes in that amount of time, and carpal tunnel for sure! The name of the program, for a PC, is called ShortKeys.  This is the first class that I teach at my big mentor program because I don't want people fighting with their computer.  There's only so much psychic energy in a day.  I want you to use it to create products, write sales letters, and talk to customers, and all of that, not fight with your computer. I was crying about, "I have to type the same crap over, and over, and over again."  So, my young geek, Ilya, the little Russian kid that I recruited out of high school.  He's a little smart-aleck too.  He'd say, "Shut up," and then he'd go, and he brought back ShortKeys for me.  Basically, it's called a macro program.  Now, for the Mac computer, the Apple computer, it's Keyboard Maestro.  But what it is, I can make a little keystroke combination, like G1, and that's GreatInternetMarketing.com.  It doesn't have to be just a website link.  It could be "War and Peace,", or anything that you type a lot.  My motto is that if I get the same question more than once, I make the answer into either a short key, which I use a lot. Anyway, ShortKeys and Keyboard Maestro will save you just an enormous amount of time.  There are days where you will be tired, and cross-eyed, and trying to get your work done.  Well, the short key is going to type the thing properly every single time.  In fact, we make our employees use it because I don't want to be paying them an hourly fee to just type the same stuff over and over again.  So, you should have your employees use it also.  ShortKeys and Keyboard Maestro.  That's your first tip.  We're only talking $20 for this thing.  A one-time fee!  It's crazy!

tom-antion-signature-fileSignature Files

The next one is right in front of your face, and I use it even more than I use ShortKeysIt's called a signature file, or a "sig file".  Everybody knows that's just an appendage to an email that has your name, and email, and a blurb about your stuff, but that's not all you can use it for. If you have a program, or an email client, that will have unlimited signature files, I have probably 200 or 300 stock answers to things.  Even if I had them in a file, where I had to think about it, "Where was that answer," and I had to go find it, copy, paste... No, I just lost my train of thought.  But, if you email me a question that I've heard all of these times, I can go "Reply > Insert Signature > Pick it Out of the List > Hit the Button > Boom!" That's the speed, and people can't believe it.  They can't even believe that the email got to me and they already got their answer back.  That's impressive to people.  In today's atmosphere, when nobody gives a darn about anything.  "We'll get back to you at our convenience in 48 hours."  I could be dead in 48 hours.  I don't have time for that.  I'm old!  So, signature files. Gmail only gives you like 4 or 5, but Outlook... If you have Outlook, for Mac or PC, you have unlimited signatures, and it will do all kinds of other stuff for you.  I don't know of any of the other ones.  I just know that if you use that function, it will totally transform your business at speed to market, and taking care of people.

Automatically Sellingtom-antion-settings

Up-Selling

The first thing is called "up-selling".  When you buy one product, they offer you fries with that, right?  But, that should be automated.  That should be, "Bam, Bam, Bam," and if you do it right, you're going to make 30-50% more.  Every time I do it, 30-50% of the people take advantage of the upsell. I'm just going to mention the upsell theory that I go by to get that result.  Let's say that Daniel was going to do a speech, and he wanted to buy a new suit.  He went down to Today's Man, and he's going to pay $600 for a suit.  He goes in there, and they say, "Hey Daniel!  Anybody that buys a suit today is going to get 2-for-1 on shirts and ties."  Thirty to fifty percent of the people will go for that deal, but here's why.  Daniel already had a $600 price point in his mind, and the deal that they offered him was a lower-priced product.  It was related to what he was buying in the first place, and it was a deal. If you do those things, a lower-priced product that's related to the initial product and it's a deal, you will always do 30-50% more business.  Of course, I can't guarantee it, but I can't remember one that I didn't at least do 30%, and I've been doing this at least 24 years.  A lot of times, 50% of the people will take that deal. Now, you need to automate that with your shopping cart system, or whatever you happen to use.  That's called "point of purchase," by the way.  So, you automate the "point of purchase upsell".

Thank You Page Selling

There's also "after the sale upsells".  This is a very little-known one. It's right in front of you.  It's called "thank you page" selling.  Anytime you sell something, you should have a "thank you page", right?  If you do, why just say, "Thank you for your sale. Goodbye," you know?  No. [bctt tweet="The easiest person to sell to is the one that has their wallet out already." username="danielhall"]  Of course, they call it, "Do you want fries with that?"  This is almost like  Columbo.  Do you remember Columbo?  He knows the killer, and then he walks away, and the killer is relieved, and Columbo is like, "Oh!  One more thing..."  That's what "thank you" page selling is like. On that page, I might have, "Thank you for dealing with Antion and Associates.  Why not check out these other fine colleagues of mine."  I might have a Daniel Hall affiliate thing on there, or something related to what they just bought, where if they click and go buy something, I get an affiliate commission.  That's all automatic.  You're wasting that "thank you page" if it just says "thank you".

Add Finance Options

Also, you must add finance options, automatically to your sales, or to your bigger-ticket sales.  But, when I say bigger ticket, I think we sold 700 of my WordPress courses for $97, or that was the price if you paid it all at once, but 180 people took a 3-pay deal at $39.  In some places, the economy is tough, and you've got to realize that.  They paid a $17 spiff just to be able to pay in three payments.  Let's say that if I didn't have the finance option, I still would have gotten 100 of those people.  I still would have lost 80 of them.  If you multiply 180 times $117, that's would come out to another $18,000-$19,000.  If I didn't have the finance option, and people were holding tight to their credit card, they would have said, "No, I'll just wait." You must have a finance option.  But, when I first did this, before I had the shopping cart, I was so disorganized.  I would take the first payment and then lose the paperwork.  Then, I'd find it six months later, "Oh God!  I was supposed to charge this guy $99 a month, and I didn't do it."  Now the shopping carts will do it automatically, every 30 days and pound them to death if their expiration date goes bad, but all of this is automated so that I don't lose any sales because of it, and it makes more sales.  So, you've got to get your selling automated, and then we can kick into auto-responders, which is selling after the sale.

Auto-Responders

Let's talk about automatically selling.  [bctt tweet="Auto-responders, obviously, are one of the most powerful things ever invented." username="danielhall"]If you ask a bunch of marketers that have been around as long as we have, it's just crazy-powerful. My philosophy is I give people service, service, service emails, so that they're used to getting emails that help them.  Then, when I ask them to buy something, they're not upset.  You see?  Auto-responders do that for you.  This is just a smattering of the things we use to automate the business.  There are tons more of them, and a lot of them are cheap or free.  You just have to implement them. You know, you get one or two additional percentage points in sales a month, that adds up over a year.  That can be a car payment.  That can be saved for your kid's college.  I mean, it's clear money.  It's money that was there, and if you didn't go and pick it up, it's your fault.  That's especially true if you're new at this.  The better you do these things right from the beginning, the faster you won't be new anymore.  The faster you'll be a respected member of our community, because you know these things, and you implement them, and you've got money in the bank.

A few More Tips to Automate Your Business

There are all kinds of things that we use to format things correctly.  I've got 20 or 30 of them in this new book I wrote.  It's a 60-page eBook that outlines all of the stuff that I cover in my mentor program that people pay like $8,000 to get. I was sitting down one day and thinking, "I've been teaching this for years to people, to increase their productivity, but I never turned it into a product."  The book is called: How to Automate Your Business. Another thing is, I used to have a book called Click that kind of dominated the speaking industry for 10 years.  But, it got so big that it was 1,042 pages.  By the time I did it in one part, the other part is obsolete, so I am trending my business with more and smaller products that I can get out fast, and edit fast, so that if they change I can fix them fast.  However, there's another important concept here called "consumption". At 1,042 pages, I was overwhelming people.  Especially in the early days, I was the only guy around.  With all of this stuff that you get hit with, from JV Zoo, and Warrior Forum, and all these places, you just get buried.  So, 1,042 pages were just too much.  I started doing very tightly laser-focused books, but not little crappy 10-page things, though.  These are like 60 pages and illustrated, and they teach you things like how to maximize your cell phone.  There are a bunch of cell phone tricks that people just haven't been taught, like how to go way faster with your cell phone.  I just came out with this, and people are loving it.  It's making them go way faster, and it's giving them the time to work on the stuff that brings in revenue.  That's the important stuff.

Connecting with Tom

The main website for my big mentor program, that has all of my contact information and a downloadable learning brochure that has lots of tips in it, and there's a video people can watch.  That's at GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com.  The other thing is, I invite everyone to attend my variety show at 10 pm EST on Sunday nights via Facebook Live.  I'd like to warn people that it can get a little bit out of hand, though, because one of the sections is "A-Hole of the Week".  So, I get a little bit mad at people who do some bad things, but then there's a hero of the week too. I also give a professional speaking tip, and internet marketing tip, a self-defense tip; that's because I have a site called Brutal Self Defense.  I've been a lifelong martial arts type of guy.  We also have a "Fake Sponsor of the Week,".  That's where I show you a place that's definitely not sponsoring us.  So, it's a lot of fun.  That's at 10 pm EST, Sunday nights, at Facebook.com/Antion.

Resources

Tom's Book: How to Automate Your Business ShortKeys Keyboard Maestro

Real Fast Results Community

If you are diggin’ on this stuff and really love what we’re doing here at Real Fast Results, would you please do me a favor? Head on over to iTunes, and make sure that you subscribe to this show, download it, and rate & review it. That would be an awesome thing. Of course, we also want to know your results. Please share those results with us at http://www.realfastresults.com/results. As always, go make results happen!
Sep 19, 2016


Joan Stewart My promise is to show people how to become an expert in their niche, or their industry, or their topic.  Remember, expertise doesn't have only one definition.  Expertise is a ladder, and you're constantly climbing the ladder of expertise.  So, if you're at the bottom, we're going to help you get on the top couple of rungs and then show you how to keep on climbing. The benefit of this is that experts get the gigs!  Experts sell the books.  Experts get the paid speaking engagements.  Experts get the paid consulting assignments.  Experts get mentees; they get protégés.  They get people in their coaching program.  They get the moolah!

Getting the Credentials to Become an Expert

I always hear people say, "I'd never try to pass myself as an expert.  I'm not the person in the world who knows the most about my topic."  You don't have to be.  You only have to know more than most other people.  That's to be an expert at the bottom rung of the ladder, and we're going to talk about how to do that.  Then, you're going to learn how to keep climbing to become even more of an expert.

Overview of What it Takes to Become an ExpertExperts

  1. You're going to want to identify and study the top experts in your niche industry area.  You're going to learn from all of the other people who have already done it.  That's the first step.
  2. You're going to read 10 recent books on your topic.  Now, you might not find 10, and if you can't, then find as many as you possibly can.  Don't say to yourself, "Wow.  This niche is filled with a lot of experts.  I can't possibly steal business from them."  There's enough business out there for all of us.
  3. Attend conferences, seminars, workshops, training events, either locally in your own community, if that's all you can afford right now, and then branch off and go to the national ones.  This is going to do a lot of things for you.  We'll go into this in a little more in-depth later.
  4. You're going to start applying your knowledge by doing things that experts do.  In other words, as you start to become an expert on the bottom rung, you're going to start to do things with that expertise.  The most important message that I have to deliver about expertise is, "It's not only about what's in your head.  It's not only about what's in your brain.  Expertise is about what you do with that knowledge."  Experts do specific things, and we'll talk about those in a minute.
  5. You're going to keep always climbing the ladder of expertise, and don't stop at your comfort zone.  When you're in your comfort zone (and I've learned this from personal experience), that's when you get into trouble, and that's when the money stops flowing in.  I'm going to give you a good example of what I'm talking about, something that happened to me earlier this year.  I got way outside my comfort zone, but I learned how to do something really cool, that I've always wanted to do.

top expertsStep #1 - Identify and Study the Top Experts in Your Niche

Identify and study the top experts in your niche, and the best way to do this is to just use Google.  It's the best search tool on the planet, and you can just go and type in, "Top 5 Internet Marketing Experts," or "Top 10 Dog Breeding Experts," or "Best," or whatever.  I promise you that you will find something.  You will be amazed at how much stuff you find.  Follow them on social media, subscribe to their blog posts, and if they have a podcast, subscribe to it.  Get onto their email lists.  If they're an expert, I'll bet you they're building an email list, just like you should be if you want to be an expert in your field. Pay attention to the topics they're writing about.  Pay attention to the controversial issues they're discussing.  These are all topics that you need to learn more about and maybe you need to be discussing at some point.  Snoop.  Snoop!  Who are their first-degree connections on LinkedIn?  Now, I don't let people see my first-degree connections on LinkedIn, but some people do because they don't know how to configure the settings on LinkedIn.  Go find out who their first degree connections are.  Who are these people?  Then, go connect with them.  Go snoop to see what industry groups they are in on LinkedIn.  Go join those groups and see if those groups are perfect for you. What Twitter lists are those experts on, and if you don't know how to use Twitter lists, just Google "How to use Twitter lists".  Anybody can create Twitter lists, and usually experts are on a lot of Twitter lists that other people create.  That's how to do #1, how to identify and study experts in your niche.  And, I don't want you to view them as your competitors.  I heard someone once say:[bctt tweet=" They're not competitors. They're simple joint venture partners who don't know it yet." username="danielhall"] When I quit the newspaper business two decades ago, there were a couple of people who I thought were big mega-stars. One time I checked them out. I was surprised at how little information there was about them online.  I actually leapfrogged over several of them, and so today, they view me as a big star.  A lot of it is that you've got to do things with your expertise.  You can't only get a PhD in whatever the topic happens to be.  You have to keep learning and keep doing, doing, doing, doing.  We'll get to that in a little bit.

Step # 2 - Read 10 Recent Books on Your Topic

Read 10 fairly recent books on your topic.  Again, use the best search tool on the planet, Google.  Or, you go over to Amazon.  You type in, "Best books on internet marketing," or "Best-selling books for real estate sales," or "Top books in," or "Top 10 books in".  When you go over to Amazon, the site is going to tell you exactly what the best sellers are because they are going to appear down at the bottom.  Some of those books are going to be written by the experts who you've already identified in Step #1. Experts write books! Do the books have a glossary in the back of industry definitions?  That's a great way for you to learn a lot about your industry really quickly, and good books usually do have a glossary.  Make notes, again, of the controversial topics they are writing about in the book.  If they're telling stories, about people in your niche, copy that down because maybe that's someone you can interview later on for a podcast.  Also, look to see what books they are recommending.  They're recommending books, maybe on their LinkedIn profile, maybe they're reviewing books.  Take a look at the books they're reading and the books they're recommending. The aim of this activity is to get smart as fast as you can from people who are already experts in their field.  They are the experts; they've written the book.  And, you may not like the book.  Some of the books you may read, you may think they are crap, and they may be crap because these people have done a really good job of promoting themselves as experts.  So, make note if the book is crap.  You're not going to come across all of this material that is A+ and 5-Star.  It's just not going to happen, but I want you to learn from it and expand your brain and expand your expertise.  That's the best way to become an expert fairly quickly. When you are interested in a particular marketplace, and you see that something isn't first-rate, that should motivate you in actuality.  That means that there's an aperture in the marketplace that you can fill.  If you start seeing that there's a lot of crap, that means you're in a really great position.  That means you stand a great chance of becoming the foremost expert in your field.  Learn from that crap that you're seeing and do a job that's 10 times better.  If you follow this advice, you will become the expert.

Step #3 - Attend Live Conferences, Seminars, expertsWorkshops and Training Events

Attend live conferences, seminars, workshops, and training events.  Yeah, you can sit in front of your computer in your PJs, like you might be right now, but you want to get out there and go live for a whole bunch of different reasons.  In the first place, this will give you the chance to meet these hotshot speakers.  I speak at a lot of events, and a lot of people are there because they want to talk with me and the other speakers.  They want to pick our brains and meet us.  They want to learn from us.  They want to sit next to us at lunch.  You can't do that when you're only listening to someone on a webinar or a podcast. This also allows you to network with a lot of other people in your industry or your niche.  I can't even begin to count the number of people who have become my joint venture partners, which I have met at Judith's Author U Extravaganza, for example, or National Speakers Association conferences.  You can meet lots and lots of people who you can joint venture with and make money from down the line because your areas of expertise, they might overlap.  Even if they don't, don't worry about it.  They'll know stuff that you don't know, and you'll know stuff that they don't know. [bctt tweet="Use live events to start building an email list of people." username="danielhall"] I believe strongly in email marketing.  Email is, by far, my most valuable marketing tool, that's brought in the greatest amount of money.  These are also events that you may want to speak at someday. One of the things that experts do is they speak from the stage, either for free or paid speaking engagements.  Some experts won't touch free speaking engagements.  I love them; because I can sell from the back of the room. I'd much rather have your email address at a free speaking engagement than to be paid a couple of grand from the stage and not be able to collect email addresses.  I'll take the email address any day, because that's my most valuable marketing tool. Down the road, consider joining your industry trade associations and also becoming certified in your particular area.  For example, there are certified professional speakers in the National Speakers Association.  There are certified marketing consultants (CMCs) for consulting.  There are certified ghostwriters.  Certification is really powerful in your industry because certification is something that most other people don't have.  Your industry or trade association will be sponsoring a lot of these events. So, get out there and attend live, hobnob, rub elbows.  Meet as many people as you can.  Eventually, the good ones, you want to speak at these events. The benefit of going to a lot of these live events and seeing these big shot speakers, and rubbing elbows, you get to see who the jerks are, who you do not want to have any kind of relationship with at all.  Online, you can't tell that sort of thing, or by talking to someone on the telephone either.  If you see them on stage and they suck, and everybody hates them, "Man, are they boring!  All they do is promote from the stage," they are probably someone that you do not want to joint venture with.

joan-stewart-knowledgeStep #4 - Apply Your Knowledge by Doing Things That Experts Do

Start applying your knowledge by doing things that experts do.  It's not about what's in your brain. It's about what you do with your expertise.  Look at the people who are billionaires in this country who never graduated from college.  They don't have a PhD behind their name, but they are successful at stuff. Here are some things that you can start to do:
  • I want you to start writing articles and publishing them to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Start a blog.
  • Start guest blogging for other experts.
  • Start a podcast.  Podcasting has been on my to-do list for years, and I'm going to get around to it eventually.
  • Write an eBook on your topic for beginners.  If you're a beginning expert, what did you learn that you can teach other beginners how to do?  It doesn't even have to be an eBook if you love videos.
  • Do a video series.  You can teach a class in your community through the adult education program.
  • Go to the Small Business Administration's SCORE program and teach a course for small business owners.
  • Start referring to yourself as an expert immediately.  As soon as you start to build expertise, I want that word "expert" to be everywhere.
  • I want it in your email signature, on your LinkedIn headline.  I want it on your marketing materials, in your eBook, in your author bios, on your speaker one-sheet, and I want it in your newsletter, your blog, your podcast.  All over the place.
[bctt tweet="When people are searching for a specific kind of person to teach them, what word are they using?" username="danielhall"] They're using the word "expert". Don't use "authority," use "expert".  That's the word that most journalists are searching for too, when they're looking for people to interview.

Step #5 - Keep Climbing the Ladder of Expertiseexpertise

Keep climbing the ladder of expertise and never stop.  I was really in my comfort zone for a couple of years, and that's when I saw my revenue go down.  When I wasn't doing, and when I wasn't challenging myself.  Somebody approached me last you and said, "I want to bring you to my conference, that I have down in Orlando, and I want you to sell a high-ticket product from the stage."  Now, I've seen other people do this, and I always swore that was something that I would never do.  "I can't do it.  I don't want to do it.  It feels sleazy.  It feels awful."  And he said, "How about if I teach you how to do it?"  I said, "I can do that." So, he taught me how to do it, and I created a $5,000 product.  I sold one from the stage, and he got half the revenue.  So I walked out of there, all dejected.  I only made $2,500.  Then I went back to him, and I said, "Wait a second.  Let's sell this over at your website."  He said, "That's a great idea," and we worked out a JV partnership, and he sends me lots of affiliate commission.  All of these people on his list are not people in my niche.  He has a completely different section of people who we sell this too, but they all want to learn how to get publicity.  So I don't do anything, and we even have a fulfillment house fulfill the product.  I don't have to touch anything.  The only thing I have to do is cash the checks, and I love to cash checks.  Do you love to cash checks?  Yeah, I love it, love it, love it. Okay, so that's an example of getting outside your comfort zone.  If you've joined a trade association, try to be an officer in the trade association.  If you're the president of your association, that has a real cache, assuming that it's a good association.  Do you need formal training in your topic?  You might have to get a bachelors degree or a masters, or go to tech school, or maybe even a PhD.  Or, get that certification that I talked about.  Are you ready to become a columnist for Inc., or for Forbes, or for Huffington Post, or for Entrepreneur?  I was a columnist for years for Entrepreneur, and I am still getting leads from that.  I'm getting tons of leads from it. What else do experts do?  They have copyrights.  They have trademarks, and they have patents.  What do you have that you can put a copyright on, a trademark, or a patent?  Form relationships with other bloggers, podcasters, experts, and other media people.  Start to build a relationship, and always ask the question, how can I help you?  You want them to help you, but the best way to get their attention, especially if you're working with a journalist or a joint venture partner, "How can I help you?"  That will be music to their ears because most other people don't ask that question. It's also very rare for people to take action on the information that you provide. The people who buy my products and take action, I call them my "super-fans".  They are a tiny group, right in the middle of my target market, but they can't stand to be without anything I offer.  Not only do they implement my programs, they give me a video testimonial that speaks to the value of my product, that I can use on my sales page.  If I ask a person for a video testimonial, I'm not going to get it because I don't want to have to screw around with video and all of that.  So, what I do is I use a program called SuperTinTin, like Rin Tin Tin, the dog.  I think I paid $29 for it. You put it on your computer, and you can see each other.  I just interview them for about 10 or 15 minutes, and then I splice it together. I give it to my editor, and I tell him exactly which ones I want for a really nice, minute-long testimonial that hones in exactly on what I want them to say.  It may take 10 minutes, during that interview for all of that stuff to come out, and they would never sit down and give me a testimonial like that, but since I'm talking to them for 10 minutes and I have the video right on my computer, my editor can splice it together and it's primo.   It's really easy to use this program.  I'm a non-techie, so if I can use it, anyone can.

How To Find Your Target Market - From a Recent FB Live Interview

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA_HEPUAJXM?rel=0&showinfo=0&w=853&h=480]  

Connecting with Joan

I want you on my email list because I email twice a week.  The Publicity Hound's Tips of the Week.  I've been  doing this for more than 15 years.  I do it every Tuesday afternoon and every Saturday morning.  If Christmas is on Tuesday afternoon, you get me in your email box on Tuesday afternoon, and I do this... I think I've missed six issues in 15 or 16 years.  That's because I've made a promise that you're going to hear from me twice a week, and dammit, I'm an expert and I deliver on my promise.  So, you're going to see me in there. Three snack-sized tips every week, and because I am the "Publicity Hound," you get a funny dog video.  Some people read my tips just for the video, and that's okay.  You can go over to PublicityHound.com/tips/sample.  That's actually a sales page.  Pay attention to it.  That's going to sell you on all of the reasons that you should sign up onto my list for free.  So that's how to stay in touch with me twice a week. Joan's digital  reports are among her most popular learning tools. Each of the 52 reports, on a super-narrow publicity or marketing topic, is at least five pages, and chock full of helpful advice. Joan sells the entire bundle for $247. You can save $123 off that price if you go to http://PublicityHound.com/go/daniel and use the coupon code REPORTS at checkout.  These special reports are so popular that you'll even find a special report on how and sell write special reports--a perfect product for people who are learning how to become an expert.

Resources

Joan's Reports - http://PublicityHound.com/go/daniel Coupon Code - REPORTS Joan's Newsletter - The Publicity Hound's Tips of the Week Video Software: SuperTinTin

Real Fast Results Community

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Sep 16, 2016
Jeff Hunt Today, we are going to talk about the topic of website investing.  That is, buying into cash-producing websites and the market that has developed around these online properties, and exactly why you should be interested in that.  And then, we'll get into how you do that, in pretty good detail during this short conversation. I would guess that most people listening to this today have a website or are planning to have a website.  Those are assets.  They really are assets that have value, and whether it's your own or someone else's that you're looking to buy into. There's a lot of value there, in terms of the net worth of the traffic that you've generated, of the process that you have in delivering that product to a customer. [bctt tweet="There can be value in selling what you've developed or looking for things that compliment what you're already doing." via="no"]We'll talk later about how you can actually pick up and acquire audiences.  You don't have to always build things up from scratch.  That's just one of the key components of why you would want to do this.

Educating Yourself About the Marketinvesting in webistes

The first step was one that I didn't do my first time around, and that's educating yourself a bit about the process.  Anytime you make any kind of sizable purchase, whether it's a cell phone, or a car, or a house, you really need to know something about the market.  That's important.  At the time, when I started doing this, seven or eight years ago, there was really almost no information available about how to buy a website, and do it safely, and choose the right one.  How do you build a business, even if you're not looking to be an angel investor and go out and acquire things?  How do you go about finding something that can complement what you already have? I mean, content marketing is one of the big topics today, and it's all about sharing audiences.  I don't care what your topic is. Say it's about travel, or poetry, or whatever, I guarantee that somewhere out there is a website where someone has already developed an audience around a website that's very complimentary to what you do.  I've known a lot of internet marketers who have bought websites for nothing more than the list that comes with them or the traffic to the website that's already there. Then they can actually sell their own service on a website that already has that traffic and audience. So, the first step is education, and we can get more into how we do that, but essentially, one of the key parts of education is actually getting on the list of brokerages and marketplaces that sell websites and beginning to look at the listings.  Educate yourself by reading about:
  • What does the website do?
  • What is its product?
  • How does it attract its traffic?
And, you just really want to understand a lot of the business models that are used by a large variety of websites for making money.  There are a lot of fascinating, different stories out there about how people do that.  I could tell you a whole lot of stories that I could tell you about with websites that are for sale.  But, that's kind of... That's the first step.

investing-in-websites-searchSearch and Collect Listings

The next step, as I alluded to, is the search.  What that means is getting yourself on lists and beginning to collect listings.  So, in your search, you're looking broadly, and then the next step is to kind of narrow that search down to a few listings that you're more interested in.  The next step, after that, is actually some due diligence on those listings, to really get in and ask questions about those sites to make sure they are really what you would be interested in and that there's no funny business going on behind the scenes. Then, really taking it down to a single one and completing a transaction, where you're taking over the assets from the seller.  You've negotiated a price, and there's a process for making sure the money is safe in escrow and that you're protected with contracts while that transaction takes place between you and the seller to make sure that you're getting everything that you think the seller told you that you were going to get when you made the offer. After it's yours, the next step is "what do you do with it?"  How do you optimize it, and how do you control the business that you've just purchased?  Then, you move on.  Perhaps, later down the road you just sell  it, or you may not.  You may just fold it into your own portfolio. People attack this in different ways.  Some people have portfolios of smaller sites.  Many guys really look for something that's bigger, where they can sort of invest all of their energy into it.  It's a good idea to be focused in your approach.  That's certainly the case in website investing.  If you own too many of them, it can be hard to optimize any of them.  Some people really hone in, and they might buy one site and then actually just augment it with complimentary, symbiotic kinds of sites, as opposed to just going out and trying to find anything at all that might make money. A question I often get is, "Should I build mine around a theme or a particular type of business?" I've seen that to be very effective.  It's effective because you begin to learn more about the nuances of that sector or that business model, and you also have resources that you can leverage. Maybe you have technology, or maybe you have relationships with an ad network, or many things that you can leverage when you buy a new business.  And, other buyers that you are competing against with that business might not have the resources that you bring to the table.  For example, you might already have an audience, and you can sell the product of the new website to that audience. You'll get a lot more value out of it than someone who didn't have that audience.

On the Job Traininginvesting-in-websites-website

Clearly, to me, on the job training is one of the most important things.  That is something no one can do for you.  Just reading the listings, kind of putting a plan together, and there's certainly some resources available on the Web.  Different brokerage sites have blogs where you can read about isolated topics.  There really aren't very many courses out there on the topic of website investing.  There's really only like one or two.  I put all of my experience into a video course that I developed, and it's something that I continue to keep updated.  That's important, and even beyond that, just getting other eyes on the deal. It's not just an academic exercise. As you walk through the process, finding people that you can have a relationship with who have some experience in these and will say, "Hey, that's a good one, " or "That's not a good one," or "You ought to be asking the seller these kinds of questions." You know, a lot of that you can find in course materials, but it's really hard to find that online.  As you can imagine, "What can I ask the seller about this deal?"  Try to Google that, and you're not going to get many answers.  There's the informational kind of education, and then there's the experiential kind, where you're not only looking at listings, but you're also throwing some questions out there to the seller just to see what the give and take is like in a transaction. Just on that point, it's interesting, the kinds of people who buy websites.  One big category, surprisingly, is real estate people.  They're not technology people, but they're not afraid of deals.  They understand this process of, "Go find an asset that has some value, dig in a little bit, do a little research and due diligence, and make a deal."  So, they're not afraid of that.  When they hear me talking about buying revenue-generating websites, online businesses.  It's kind of like online virtual real estate they're in, and there are other people like that as well, who you wouldn't necessarily think that this is the first guy that's going to buy an online business, but in fact, there's really a variety of people who are attracted to this model.

Resources for Investing in Websites

Flippa.com is the biggest marketplace for lower-end websites.  And, when I say low-end, I mean anything less than $50,000.  So, it's not that low, but at any given time, every week, they have about 3,000 websites for sale concurrently, and they sell a great number of them every week. Then, the other category is brokerages There are a lot of online business brokerages, not the kind of Sunbelt business brokers that we know, that sell the brick and mortar things.  Companies like F.E. (Frank Ernest) International, Quiet Light Brokerage, or Empire FlippersThese are all companies that specialize in online businesses for sale. Those are the ones that you want to visit and get on their lists to buy. I also have a private buyer's list called WeBuyInternetBusinesses.com.  I'm not a broker, per se. However, because I'm pretty visible in this area, I get a lot of people asking me if I can help them sell their sites.  It's just a private list, and I send it out to the guys on that list.  Feel free to sign up there as well.

Return on Investment

We didn't really talk about the return, which we're this far in and I can't believe I haven't mentioned it.  [bctt tweet="Websites are selling at somewhere between 2 and 3-year multiples of net income." username="danielhall"] If you just do the basic math, what that means is that, if it's a 3-year multiple, it means that you're getting about 33% return on your investment every year, assuming that the website holds its value over that 3-year period of time. As everyone knows, 33% is a fantastic return, and even higher-quality sites are selling at that 3X multiple.  Of course, there are some newer sites, maybe a little more risky and less tested sites that are selling at, maybe 1.5X-2X.  You don't have to go on up to the 3X. But, that's really what's attractive to a lot of investors and new business owners about this. You can buy into a site that can potentially make you about 33% on your money.

Investing in Your First Website

"What do I need to bring to the table in order to invest in my first site?" The answer is that I've bought $100 websites, and $400 websites, and $40,000 websites.  And, it goes way up beyond that.  You can buy in for almost nothing.  Now, truthfully, the fact is that the less you spend, the lower quality you're going to get.  So, when you buy a $400 website, chances are it's brand new, it hasn't stood the test of time, and you know, we don't know if it will survive a Google update. We may not even know if the thing is legitimate or not.  Some of the traffic might be fake and those kinds of things, and there are steps that we take to avoid buying into low-quality things, and we talk about those things a lot in the course.  But, the 33% return over three years, probably isn't going to hold if you buy something that's pretty new and may not last six months.  So, you have to keep that in mind. Certainly, the amount of money that you have doesn't really keep you out of the market.  As long as you have a few hundred dollars, you can get in.  Now, the reality is that these things that are less than $5,000 - $10,000 are not real businesses, in the sense that they probably don't have several years of history.  They may have traffic, and they may have a product, and they may have all of the pieces of a business, but it may not be as sound as what people would call a real business, until you spend a little bit more. Lots of people, including myself, have found really good deals in that range of less than $10,000.  I bought one for $400, three years ago, and I checked back and I had made $900 on it.  My $100 website, I have made $350 on it. Even those you can stand to make a really good return on.  If you're going to launch something, you're probably going to get something a little more substantial.  If it has more intrinsic value, it's probably going to cost you more.

Narrow Down Your Options

The next step is narrowing things down.  Getting acquainted enough with the website, doing the reading and maybe a little bit of searching on it, and checking some things out that would make you want to take it to the next level.  We call this evaluation, and essentially what you're doing is, you kind of develop a "watch list".  Maybe you've found 3-5 listings that you're interested in and might be something that you would actually buy.  You'll start sending questions to the seller about those, and you'll probably have an interview with the seller. One of the key tools in due diligence is to have a face to face, kind of like over Google Hangout or over Skype, where they can show you the behind the scenes elements of the business.  So, like sales transactions, or maybe if it's an eCommerce site, they'll show you the shopping cart, maybe the PayPal statement, and those kinds of things, so that you'll get an idea that it's legitimate.  Most sellers will do that for you, even before you've negotiated a deal, particularly with the lower - end kind of websites.  Other sellers will do that during an escrow process. This next step is kind of the beginnings of the due diligence.  Maybe you have those 3-5, and then you narrow this down to one that you're really serious about buying.

investing-in-websites-negotiationNegotiation and Agreement

The next step, is actually, getting into negotiation and trying to figure out, "What is this thing worth?  What's the value of it?"  And, I talked just real briefly about the multiples of net income that we use to kind of price sites, but there's a little bit more to it than that. Every business is different, they have different risk profiles. For a real risky business, you're not going to give them the same multiple than for what you feel like is a stable business.  You'll think through that and kind of put a price on it.  It's not that complicated.  The truth is that it's not that hard to decide how risky the business is and to put a price on it that you think it's worth.  So, that's kind of the next part, that negotiation process. The step after that is once you're sure that you want it and you've reached an agreement. For lower-end sites, you may not need a contract.  You can kind of rely on the escrow process, which I use Escrow.com.  I've used them 20 or 30 times.  Essentially, the buyer's money goes to escrow, once escrow has the money, the seller transfers the domain, and the website content, and all of the stuff that you've bought.  Then, there's a period where you get to inspect it.  You just make sure that the traffic really is coming in, the sales really are coming in, and you've got everything that the seller says was included in the deal. Let a little time pass.  Then, you tell Escrow.com, "Yup, it looks good."  That closes the deal, and they release the funds to the seller. So, for smaller transactions, a lot of times you can rely on escrow to keep both parties safe.  For a little bit larger transaction, you're probably going to want to have an attorney, or if they are working with a broker, you'll want to have contracts already established, that you could customize.  That keeps you safer because there can be some things that go wrong with escrow, and you certainly don't want to risk it if you have a lot of money at stake.  That's the next important step in the buying process.  Anybody who has bought a home has probably been through something very similar, although you don't have a stack of papers buying a website like you do with a house. During that escrow process, you've probably made the transition.  If you didn't have a web hosting account, you do now, where you took one over from the seller.  Everything belongs to you, at that point.  Then, what's important, in my course I talk about low-hanging fruit. Every business has some smaller, easy things to do that you can increase profits pretty quickly with, or at least you can test it. And, I'm talking about things like, let's say you buy a business that has only one price.  They've got one product, but there's always buyers that want a premium version as well, or something, and they are willing to pay three times that.  There are other buyers that want a discounted version of something.  So, if you buy a business and it only has a one-priced product, that's a real simple one. You just add two or three levels of the product and differentiate it by expedited shipping, or a bonus training, or an eBook. You know, these are all familiar things to internet marketers, but every business has them, whether you are an internet marketer or not.  Or, if you're buying a publication, moving the ads around to get better click-throughs, or increasing the conversion rate on an opt-in page or on a sales page.  All of those kinds of things are real simple, and when I buy a site, I already have those in mind well before I ever buy it.  "Hey, I know that I can do these three or four things to tweak this thing and get more money out of it almost right out of the gate."  That's really what you look for. Then, as business people, we also want to put controls around it.  We just bought it, but actually, when I buy something, I'm thinking about selling it from the day I buy it, even though I don't sell a lot.  That's not my intent or objective, but I want everything to be in place in case I do sell it.  So, I want to make sure Google Analytics is on, capturing all of that, I want to have a spreadsheet that tracks the sales and the expenses by month.  I want to have some basic processes.  I want to make sure that the site has its own email account set up so that if I ever sell it, the email accounts transfer over and that it's not dependant on my own email for customer service and those sorts of things. That's just a list of basic things that responsible business people are going to want to do with a new website, and believe me, those things sound pretty basic, but you won't believe how many businesses there are that don't have those basic things in place.  If you do those things in place, you can stand to sell them for a lot more.  You might sell them for an extra point in multiple or something like that because the potential buyers in the future would just feel like, "Hey, this seems like it's under control.  It's working."  And, they'll develop some trust in who you are as the current operator of the business, and they'll feel like they can be more successful themselves with it. [bctt tweet="I sometimes talk about passive income from website acquisitions. The truth is, there's nothing passive in business. " via="no"]The non-passive part is like finding it to begin with and then doing some of those tweaks we said early on, to make it more profitable.  But, I've had websites that I bought a number of years ago that continue to make money month after month with very little maintenance or customer service.  So, those kinds of things are certainly possible. Now I think, more often than not, there's some routine that needs to be done on the website. If you don't want to do it yourself, you'll have that outsourced, the technical support, or somebody manning the chat box, or fulfilling the orders, or whatever.  So, there are ways to do that as well, and there are trade-offs. You may outsource things and have a little less profit to keep, but not have to worry about that stuff.

Learning From and Connecting with Jeff

If you want to learn more from Jeff, you can visit RealFastResults.com/WebInvest.  In terms of contacting me, my personal website is HeckYeah.org. I'm also developing OwnOptimize.com, and you can reach me through the contact areas of either of those websites.  You'll find some resources there as well.

Resources

Jeff's Course: RealFastResults.com/WebInvest Flippa.com Brokers: F.E. (Frank Ernest) International  Quiet Light Brokerage Empire Flippers

Real Fast Results Community

If you are diggin’ on this stuff and really love what we’re doing here at Real Fast Results, would you please do me a favor? Head on over to iTunes, and make sure that you subscribe to this show, download it, and rate & review it. That would be an awesome thing. Of course, we also want to know your results. Please share those results with us at http://www.realfastresults.com/results. As always, go make results happen!
Sep 13, 2016
Rachel Rofe Today, we are going to show people How you can make sales on some of the biggest eCommerce sites, like Amazon, without having to spend any upfront money with very, very minimal effort, and start to build up some cool passive income. One of the main benefits is the passive income, and also, it's just super-easy, super-fun.  As I explain it, you'll see that it can be so simple to get lots of designs up and make sales.  We have kids doing this system that I've been teaching, and it's really fun.  It's just easy, and there's no need to learn a bunch of different things.  This method seems to be working for people.

Download the Complete PDF Show Notes and view Rachel's Full Training Video of the Low Hanging System Free

The big idea here is that you can come up with different designs and things to put on different products, like mugs, T-shirts, and necklaces.  You come up with the designs, and then you overlay them.  You can take your designs and put them on top of the products, and then you get finished pictures.  You can take the pictures of products and put them on sites like Amazon, Ebay, and different places.

Using Print On Demand Sites

[bctt tweet="There are companies that will do physical print on demand products. Just create a simple design." username="danielhall"]

Download the Complete PDF Show Notes and view Rachel's Full Training Video of the Low Hanging System Free

 

Learn

  • 7 Steps for Selling on Demand Products
  • Identify niches that you want to make products in
  • Create your design
  • Launch your product on the drop-shipping site (Gearbubble)
  • Find keywords to use, so that you can be found once you launch your products
  • Launch on Amazon
  • Launch on other sites like Ebay, Bonanza, and Etsy
  • Process orders

Download the Complete PDF Show Notes and view Rachel's Full Training Video of the Low Hanging System Free

 

Connecting With Rachel

This particular product can be found on RealFastResults.com/fruits, and then I also have my personal blog over at RachelRofe.com. I also have a crash course on how to do all of this that you should totally check out.

Resources

Designing Tools:  Word Swag Drop Shipping Site: GearBubble.com Sites to Launch Your Product: Ebay Bonanza EtsyShopify

Full Video Training Of Rachel's Low Hanging System

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvVYUVaTCwk]

Click here when the webinar is finished

Real Fast Results Community

If you are diggin’ on this stuff and really love what we’re doing here at Real Fast Results, would you please do me a favor? Head on over to iTunes, and make sure that you subscribe to this show, download it, and rate & review it. That would be an awesome thing. Of course, we also want to know your results. Please share those results with us at http://www.realfastresults.com/results. As always, go make results happen!
Sep 9, 2016
Tony LaidigWe're going to be talking about templates today.  Something that I love, and I know you love as well.  It's a great way to take  your business in a new direction that, perhaps, you haven't considered before.  So, that's what we're going to focus on.

Benefits to Offering Templates in Your Business

I think it's important to recognize, first of all, that we as human beings are hardwired to respond to templates.  I mean, after all, we are based on templates.  DNA, right?  Everything that surrounds us falls into some sort of template.  We may not think about it that way, but the fact remains. Anything that takes a long process, a long series of steps to do, over and over, repetitive-wise, can be turned into templates Anything that is outside your wheelhouse, like maybe designing a book cover... You're not a graphic designer, or whatever, but you want to have something professional-looking.  You can accomplish that using a template. So templates, across the board, save us time and save us energy, they save us effort, and that's one of the reasons why I refer to templates as "the perfect product type", because of those reasons alone.  We love saving time, money, and effort.  That's really it.  Imagine taking product development, from that perspective.  You have customers, regardless of what business you're in.  How can you help them save time, save money, save effort? Even McDonalds, their hamburgers are made using templates.  The process is a template.  Actually, the hamburgers are too.  They may not be the best hamburgers, but they are still made using templates.  Why?  Because out of the hundreds of thousands of McDonalds stores, restaurants, they want the hamburgers to be the same.  It's a form of branding.  You know, you want predictability.  So, templates give us that opportunity. Part of my career past was that of a cover designer.  I worked in the publishing industry for 20 years as a book cover designer.  So, it's easy for me to create a professional-looking cover.  I've done it hundreds of times, but for a new upcoming writer/author who wants to publish their book, they don't want it to look like crap.  It won't sell.  But, they don't know anything about designing a book cover. If I, as a designer, create a template that they can follow and just plug in their information, now all of the sudden, for a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the time, they have a professional-looking book cover that they can be proud of.  It will boost their sales.  It will boost their following.  You know, all of that.  I think that's just the beauty of working with templates. Let's say you want to start a new LLC, a new company.  You go to MyCorporation.com.  What do you do?  You fill in a template, and you pay a nice chunk of money for that template, but still, it just speeds up the process.  Imagine having to fly across the country, and sit down with an attorney, and fill out all of that stuff manually, face to face.  Holy crap!  We'd never do it.  So, it just saves us so much time, and not only that, think about what you have in your business.  What are people asking again, and again, and again?  What are they communicating with you like, "It's so hard for me to do X."  You know, or "I'm having a lot of trouble doing Y." What are those things in customer support, or in FAQs, or in your Facebook group, or whatever, that people are struggling with?  How easy would it be to help them to provide better support and create a new product by creating templates that help them solve that problem?  Another thing, like courses, they can take days, if not weeks, to put together.  Templates you could bang out in an afternoon.  A couple of hours and then you're done.  I love that feature.  That's why I say that it's such a win-win at so many levels.

Identifying and Developing a Template or Template Bundletemplates

You know, we have our friend Felicia Slattery.  Felicia is a speaker, trainer, and she's brilliant.  She's coached me on my speaking, teaching on webinars, and all of that.  She noticed something starting to occur within her business where people were wanting to get more speaking gigs, and she teaches how to do that.  In order to professionally reach out to groups and reach out to organizations, and places like that where a speaker would want to be, folks were struggling.  They didn't know how to make that connection.  She's like, "You need a one-sheet.  You need a way to communicate what your speech is, and where you've been featured, and who you are as a person, and all of that." They just really weren't sure how to accomplish that.  So, Felicia had the great idea, "You know what?  I could create a series of templates that people could just fill in the blank, and all they would have to do is put in their information, what the name of their speech is, their bio, their photo, and so on.  Then, they could pick colors, they could make it look professional, and Boom! Done!" She set out to do that.  She created a series of templates.  I believe there were four or five.  It was one basic template, and then she changed the colors.  Ten different colors, and now instead of five different templates, there's 50 different templates, or whatever the case may be.  But, it was just different colors. People loved it.  Talk about creating a service.  She had never done anything like that before.  She had never created templates like that before.  Coming from something that was a little bit outside of her wheelhouse, because she normally teaches speaking, but saw that need, provided a solution to that need, in the form of templates, and now all of the sudden, here's this little product that turns into a $15,000 payday for her.  The other side of that being how she did with it. I remember whenever she released them, people tagging her on Facebook with a screenshot of their speaker template that they just created for their own thing, and it was fun to watch.  It was fun to see people achieving that level of success so quickly, when they didn't have any idea what to even do before those templates were out.  It's such a great example of what can be done, very quickly, just by identifying a problem and then producing a template to solve that problem.

Step 1 - Identify What Your Customers Are Asking For

The first step is to identify what your customers are asking for.  What are the sticking points for your clients and your customers?  You need to be looking at things like your FAQs, and what people are mentioning on your support desk, and on your support emails, and what they struggling with as communicating on social media, etc.  That's essentially Step 1, and then the second step is to create a template that sort of fills that gap you have identified.

Step 2 - Create a Template That Fills in the Gap

One thing that I want to point out is that you should ask yourself what you would need to experience success whenever you are identifying what to create.  As the template creator, one thing that you would really need to be aware of, and conscious of, is that when you are really good at something, like cover design or whatever the case may be, the process can become invisible to us, where we think it's easy when it's not.  You want to even think about templates from that perspective.  "Oh yeah, I can whip up a cover in no time," and somebody else, they're like, "What? I got nothing."  They think it looks pretty, and well, we won't say what it looks like.  So, what would a template look like to accomplish that? We're not talking about step-by-step training, but we're talking fill-in-the-blank, is really it.  You know, what blanks need to be filled in order for your customer to experience the results that they want?  You talk about Real Fast Results.  That's the name of this podcast.  How will someone achieve real fast results from a template that you're creating.  What are those blanks that have to be filled in? Templates are all really unique.  Felicia's templates are perfect for speakers, and that's what they were created for. But, quite frankly, authors could use them to advertise their books, coaches could use them to advertise their coaching service, and on and on it goes.  Real estate agents could honestly use it to talk about what markets they're in and that kind of thing.  So, there's a lot of adaptability there, and that's the other facet of templates.  Don't pigeonhole them to the point where, "Oh, you've got to only use it this way."  You know, our job is to create a framework where people can be flexible.

business templateAdding Templates to Your Business

Decide what kind of template will best serve your audience. Of course, there's the creation process.  You have to create that template.  There's a number of programs that I like to "play in," so to speak, when it comes to template creation because a lot of the templates that I work with are information-driven. 

Tools to Develop Templates

  • My favorite, probably, is PowerPoint.  That's the same program that Felicia used for her templates.  It's really easy to set up, to modify the data, and so on.
  • Microsoft Word could be another example, because Word documents are very easy to fill in.
  • Even Adobe Acrobat, you can use to create some pretty cool templates.
  • From a cover design perspective, I've created some templates using Photoshop, which of course is the #1 image editor on the planet.  But, I've also created them in PowerPoint.  So, it's identifying the tool.
Now, something to keep in mind here, with the tools, it depends on who your audience is.  You don't want the tool that they need to use to modify the template to be cost-prohibitive, or require a steep learning curve, or those kinds of things. It's usually a good idea to include some sort of instruction on how to modify the templates, but you can get PowerPoint as part of the Office 365 Suite for $10 a month.  You know?  And, if you really don't want to do that, you can get OpenOffice for free.  So, there's a lot of flexibility in using a presentation-style software for creating your templates because... free, $10, I mean, whatever... It's available to pretty much anybody, and it's pretty easy to figure out.  So that would be the next step.

Free Templates Vs. Paid Templatesprofit

If you go to the Microsoft website, where they have Office, you'll notice that they have hundreds of templates there that you can download and use for free, which begs the question, "Yeah, if my customers can go to Microsoft, or other places, and find templates for free, why on earth would they buy templates from me?"  And, it's a good question; it's valid.  I've never let that stop me. To me, it's a non-issue that the templates are available for free because they aren't mine.  They aren't my templates.  So, whenever you're buying templates from me, or from whomever, you're not just buying a template that you can download somewhere.  You're buying expertise, you're buying insight, you're buying business experience, professional results, and those kinds of things. You're not just selling a template.  You are, but you're not.  You're selling yourself.  You're selling your results.  That's a huge factor in it.  Relationship certainly plays a role in that.  Felicia certainly has a reputation of being a great speaker.  She has spoken thousands upon thousands of times.  So, she can draw upon those results and that experience to bake that into those templates. I've created nearly 600 book covers.  That means I know a thing or two about book cover design, and I can bake that experience into my templates, and that's really what it comes from.  That goes back to the question of, "What specialized knowledge do you have that will solve problems for your customers that could be turned into a template and save them time, money, and effort?"

Step 3 - Sell Your Templates

The last step is to make them available, to sell them, which is an obvious thing.  I had a thought that I'd like to share really quickly just, again, to drive home an example.  So, let's say that you serve the publishing industry, and you have a first-time author who wants to publish their book.  What all do they need, as it comes to you as the publishing professional? Obviously, they need a book cover.  They need the text of the book laid out.  They need a website.  They need branding.  They should have an author one-sheet.  They need a media kit, a book trailer, an Author Central page, a professional bio; you know, all of those things to help them promote their book, right?  Every one of those, every single item, can be template-ized, and they should be.  That's just one small market, and the same could be true of a myriad of markets.

Learning More and Connecting with Tony

I have put together a pretty stout on-demand webinar.  It's available to you right now.  You can head on over and register at RealFastTemplateProfits.com.  The easiest way to connect with me would be to visit TonyLaidig.com.  I've been working on redesigning my site, making it look pretty and functional.  But, that's the best place.  You'll get to learn more about me and see what I'm up to.  My courses and trainings are all on there as well.

Real Fast Results Community

If you are diggin’ on this stuff and really love what we’re doing here at Real Fast Results, would you please do me a favor? Head on over to iTunes, and make sure that you subscribe to this show, download it, and rate & review it. That would be an awesome thing. Of course, we also want to know your results. Please share those results with us at http://www.realfastresults.com/results. As always, go make results happen!
Sep 6, 2016
Felicia SlatteryOur promise today is we are going to talk about, "What you should talk about."  You know so much stuff in your head, and you know so many things in your business. We want you, at a moment's notice, to be able to have a conversation with anyone who connects to your audience that you can benefit from, that you can build your list from, that you could make money from, very quickly and very easily.  That's what I have to talk about.

Benefits of Being Able to Speak Confidently About Your Business

Obviously, there's the tangible number of leads that you can get and the amount of cash that you can make.  That's obvious.  To me, the biggest benefit is the confidence and the calm that comes with knowing that you know your stuff, and you're going to know the answer.  You're going to know what to say. We hear all the time that public speaking is the #1 fear of a lot of people.  We don't dig deep to find out why, and the biggest reason is that people aren't sure what they are going to say or how they're going to say it.  So, when you already know, in your head, what you're going to say and how you're going to say it, you just have this confidence that is about you.  So, someone is in a pinch. A meeting planner is in a pinch, and you are at a meeting, and they're like, "Oh, we thought someone was going to be here, and they're not here.  What do we do?  Daniel, can you talk?"  You can be like, "Sure I can," and you're ready and good to go. To be clear, I wrote a book called Kill the Elevator Speech: Stop Selling, Start ConnectingSo, what I don't want you to do is I don't want you to memorize an answer to, "What do you do?"  We need to know who we are, what the kind of work we do is, and the kind of people that we help, and what the results are. That's kind of an easy no-brainer.  That's another kind of conversation that, I'm meeting you for the first time, we're shaking hands and saying hello. Really, what we're looking at is an opportunity for you to connect with a group of people, whether that is, a podcast situation, a video situation, a media situation, on stage, whatever that case may be. "Hey, I'm going to put you in front of some people.  Let's talk."  What are you going to say?  How are you going to say it?  Where are we going to go? That's where we are going with this, and to me, what we're looking at is knowing, on a head level and actually at a heart level, what are you about?  What are your steps?  What are the pieces, or the parts, or the things that you can really offer, which #1 for you, make you stand out, and be different, and be unique, be interesting?  Number 2, what's going to benefit the audience?  So, those are the big overlying principles that we're looking at.  Those are the kinds of things that are going to make you look good, benefit you, and also provide value.

Sharing Two Sides of Your Businesssharing your business

There are two sides to what we want to share.  The first side is the personal side, the "who you are" stuff.  That's how people connect with others.  The kind of businesses that we're building are personality-based businesses, for the most part.  We're authors, we're speakers, we're coaches, we're consultants, we're experts in some shape or form.  We're sharing ourselves and the information that we share.  S o, people want both of those.  They want to know, "Okay, so who is this person?"  The second side is the information that we sell.  That product, that service, whatever "that" is. Those are the two pieces, and that's what I want you to be thinking about as we're going through this process.  So, personal bits and professional bits.  Have these, both pieces, ready to go, and be able to share those kinds of things. So, that's where we're going to start.  Let's talk about the person first. That may sound like a weird place to start, but it's actually not because, again, this is what's going to make you stand out.  Why?  Well, are there other people in the world teaching what you're teaching?  Here's the actual answer, "I hope so because if there's not, there's probably not any money to be made in your area."  I'm just saying.  Go into a market where it's proven. Now, what's going to make you stand out from everyone else?  Is there a right way to do what you talk about? Probably.  Well then, there's other people teaching the same kind of steps and the same kind of methods.  It's not necessarily the professional content that's going to make you stand out.  For example, I teach people about speaking, and there's a right way to start a speech and a really bad way to start a speech.  You know, there's a handful of ways.  So, anybody that teaches this stuff knows the handful of ways.  There's a right way to end a speech.  How am I going to stand out from somebody else?  I'm going to stand out over here with who I am and what I'm about.  And, that's going to be the same for you. People are going to be attracted to you, and your message, and YOU.  Your person.  You're the reason why people will buy that professional content, because of YOU.  So, let's talk about your personal self and think about a couple of different things.  I like to put it in the context of storytelling. Think about some of those stories, in your life, that you can, what I call, make a turn toward.  Something that happened in your life where people go, "Oh my gosh!  Really, that happened?  That's interesting," or "That's cool," or "That's scary," or whatever.  Then, they connect to that, and you go, "So, now that I've told this story, here's why it matters to you."

speaking - storiesProfessional Story

A great example is, back in 2008, I had been running my own business from home, and things were okay.  I had to learn to use the Internet in 2006 because I wanted to be home with my babies, who were 1 and 3 at the time.  So, I was doing okay and making a little bit of money, doing some coaching and that kind of thing, and then I went to my first internet marketing event.  I was sitting in the audience, and again, this was my first event so nobody knew who I was, and I didn't really know any of these people. I wasn't really in the internet marketing world at the time, and I was sitting and taking all kinds of notes, and it was great.  And then, there came a portion of the event when there were a couple of speakers, both talking about Google.  One was talking about Google Adsense, and one was talking about Google AdWords, which are kind of two sides of the same coin. But, they were having some technical difficulties, like the video wasn't working or the audio wasn't working, and they wanted to record the session.  They said, "We're going to figure this out.  While we do that, we'll bring up the speakers," so all of the speakers were now standing on the stage.  Not just these two, but a bunch of people.  All of the speakers for the whole event are standing there, and they're saying, "Hey, we'll take your questions." I was like, "Ooh, this is really cool."  I was ready to take notes and everything.  People are raising hands and asking questions.  Somebody raised their hand, and she said, "How can I be more credible on the Internet?"  And, I had been speaking because, again, that's what I do.  I had been delivering a speech called "Credibility and Cash Flow" for the last year and a half.  I thought, "It's going to be really interesting to hear what these really smart speakers are going to have to say about it at this event."  As they spoke, I was like, "None of them really have the answer."  Why?  Because credibility and cash flow wasn't their thing.  So, they could answer it okay, but that was something that I knew. It was informal, and they were still struggling with the tech stuff, and it was a small enough room, maybe with a couple of hundred people.  So, I felt kind of comfortable, like half sheepishly raising my hand. Nobody knows me at this point.  I said, "I could speak to that," and they said, "Oh great!  Come on up," and then somebody handed me a microphone.  "Well, hello!  Felicia has a microphone!  Look out!"  And, I gave about 2-3 minutes of my 30-minute signature speech, "Credibility and Cash Flow". People are taking notes, and everybody is on the edge of their seats like, "Wow!  This is really good stuff."  And, at the end of that, I looked down the line, and maybe you remember the cartoons when we were growing up, when we were kids, and there would be one head over another over another in a doorway; that's kind of what I saw when I looked down the line.  I had one microphone, and all of the speakers, I was standing up next to them at that point, and one of the other speakers, New York Times bestselling author, he goes, "And, who are you again?"  I was like, "I'm Felicia Slattery." So, what did I just do?  A couple of things.  Number 1, I shared with you a story about who I am and what I'm about.  At this point, you have no question in your mind that I'm not afraid to get on a stage, right?  So, now  you know a little bit about me, but I also shared (it's kind of a share within a share) that I had content ready.  I had been delivering this speech, at that point, for over a year, which for me is forever.  That's just a long time to be talking about the same thing.  By the way, 10 years later, I'm still talking about the same thing because people want to know. I know this stuff inside and out, so when someone raised their hand and said, "Well, hey, I need to know this."  I knew I could provide value.  From that, my entire business changed.  From just being willing to raise my hand and go, "Hey, I can speak to that," within three weeks I was on the #1 internet marketing podcast in the country at the time.  I was invited to be on stages all across the country.  I was invited to do guest blog posts, which was a huge thing at the time.  It was like, suddenly all of this changed.  My list grew exponentially, I started making all kinds of money, I had people wanting to be my affiliate, and I was like, "What's an affiliate program?"  I didn't even know.  "I'll get one of those, I guess." It was so fun. What I'm asking you to do is think about, "What kind of story can you tell?"  Now, I want you to break your stories into two pieces.  That, for me, that was a professional story I just told.  You want an example of you, showing who you are as a work person, like I just shared.  The other story that I want you to have in mind, that you're going to share with people, is a personal story.  Again, it can be anything, but you want it to be something that you can then, kind of doing what I'm doing here.  Unpack a little bit for the audience and say, "Why did we just tell that story?  What's that about?"  And, I'll demonstrate because sometimes that's a little bit easier.

Personal Story

It was just about four years ago that I was diagnosed with non-smoking related lung cancer.  I'm here.  I'm doing great.  Yay!  And totally healthy and fantastic, and I'd like to talk about how I experienced a miracle during that time.  What happened was, I was diagnosed with a particular kind of lung cancer.  There are three kinds, if you don't know about this.  I know way more than I ever wanted to know.  There's large cell, small cell, and then this weird third kind that no one has ever heard of.  I was diagnosed with small cell non-smoking related lung cancer from a biopsy.  They had tissue, and because I had been doing what I do...I speak and do podcasts, and webinars, and all kinds of stuff all of the time, I had built up a sizable list and following between social media and my lists. So, the night before my surgery, I sent out an email and I said, "If you're the praying kind, please pray.  If you're the visualizing kind, please visualize.  If you're the energy kind, I need all of the good vibes I can get.  Whatever... please send it.  I'll take it.  I'm having this surgery tomorrow, and I'm scared."  The next day I had surgery, and when I got out of the surgery, my doctor said, "I know we had seen what we saw.  It was the small cell.  But when we were in there, and we got a bigger piece... We got the rest of everything out, it was this weird third kind..." This weird third kind is called mucoepidermoid, a weird medical name, and Harvard University, over 20 years, had only had 12 cases of this.  Of the 12 documented cases, it never spread, it never came back, and nobody ever died.  And, that's the miracle that I experienced in my life. It was a scary time.  I mean, I couldn't speak.  Ha ha... That's a whole other story.  I couldn't speak for three months. They had to remove a big chunk of my lung.  My brain was looking for that chunk of my lung and saying, "Oh, we don't see it. Ah, you can't breathe."  So, my breath would stop because my brain didn't think that I could breath.  There were three months when I was like, "If I can't speak... [gasp]... what am I going to do for a... [gasp]... living?  Do I need to find a new... [gasp]... line of work?"  They're like, "It'll be fine."  Darn it, if it wasn't cardio exercise that got me back.  My husband was like, "I told you so."  He's a personal trainer. So, anyway... What was that?  That was a personal story.  Now, I'm going to tie that personal story back into work.  How did I get to experience that miracle?  Well, I experienced that miracle, number 1, because of my faith.  That's my personal piece, but also because I had built up this community of people who were listening to what I had to say, who were reading my emails, who were reading my social media posts, and they liked me.  Remember, we talked about this at the beginning.  You've got your personal, and you've got your professional. If all I was about all of the time was doing public speaking and that was it, and didn't connect with people, I don't know what the outcome would have been.  But, what I do know is that I received email replies from literally around the world, and in multiple languages and in broken English [saying], "I'm praying for you, and I hope you're okay."  And, it was amazing.  That was because I had taken that time. You know, you hear about building your list. Well, I think of my list as individual human being people, and that's how I like to talk to them, and that's how I treat them.  That's, then, how they treated me, and they helped me have a miracle. Now, there's my story.  That was a personal story.  I had cancer; that's a personal story.  I related it to work, and I'm going to relate it to you.  If you're not building your list, and building your tribe, and sharing who you are, you're making a huge mistake in your business.  Why?  Because there are business reasons to do that, and there are going to be personal reasons, that you don't even know of, later.  You don't even know. I have multiple stories I could go on about, but like, all kinds of reasons why you want to be sharing who you are with your people.  So, a personal story and a professional story that rolls off of your tongue, the way that I just shared those stories with you.  It's clear that I've told them before.  I want you to practice your stories, your personal stories, your professional stories, so that you can connect with people also.

Using Stories to Build Your Business speaking - business stories

What you want to do is think of a way, "How can I tie this personal stuff into this work stuff?"  So, for me, I tie my personal stuff into my work stuff by saying, "Okay so, how did I connect with people?  How did I build my list?  How did that miracle happen in my life?  Well, it was through speaking.  It was through connecting with people from the stage.  I'm going to show you how.  Here are some ways that you can connect with people from the stage," and then I would share some content about connecting from the stage.  You tie your personal in with your professional, and then share some steps about exactly how to do that. When you're thinking about, "What are the kinds of steps that I should share," these should be things that you're going to know off the top of your head because you say them all the time.  Maybe, think about the most frequently asked questions that you get in your business.  When you say, "I am a..." or "I do this," or "I have a book called that," or "I have a training that does this," and they want to know stuff.  What are those three, maybe four, and no more than five, most frequently asked questions that you get, that you can then speak to right away? I'm telling you now, from years of experience doing interviews like this, and podcasts, and being on stage, and even media interviews.  There's not a question that somebody's going to come up with when they are first meeting you, first introducing you, that you're going to be stumped by, if you've thought through these 3-5 frequently asked questions.  Because, everyone wants to know the same thing, so they're going to ask you that.  Know your answers.  It's pretty simple. When I share that story about being able to jump up on stage with that group of people, and actually the miracle story because what I talk about spoke to a lot of audiences and that's how I did it... One of the things that people say all of the time is, "Oh my gosh!  I'm so scared to speak.  I don't think I could ever do that." How does someone get past being scared to speak?  Ding!  There's my question.  How does someone get past being scared to speak?  I know the answer to that, and so, I [say], "You know, there's three things that you can do..."  Practice and visualize, those are the two biggest things.  The third is "expect it".  Know you're going to be nervous and deal with it. Then, I have steps.  "Well, how do you do that?"  How do you visualize, and what does that look like?  How do you practice, and what does that look like?  If I have 30 seconds, I'm going to say, "Visualize, practice, and expect that it's coming and deal with it."  If I have three hours, I'm going to spend an hour on each one of those.  See?  Easy. So, if you break things into numbers that you know... three things... two things... the #1 secret of... five things... Don't go above five because it starts to get hard to remember.  Unless they are very specific steps that you could totally do in your sleep, anything above five, that's okay.  But, otherwise you'll be like, "I don't remember the sixth one.  What was it again?"  That does the opposite; you don't want that. So, no more than five.  Three is an easy number.  And then, sometimes it helps to have the #1 secret, or the #1 tip, or whatever, like that because people will ask you.  Here's another one that you'll get asked a lot.  What's your favorite quotation?  If you don't have a favorite quotation already, then think of one that you like and have that in your head, whatever it happens to be.  I love lots of quotations, so I will use a different quotation for different reasons, depending on what they happen to be. Sometimes you get asked that question at weird, random times.  For me, I didn't even expect that it was coming... Back when Twitter was a brand new thing, I would do like 50 quotations a day, just tweeting out stuff. Motivational stuff, because it was fun and I loved it, and it was copy and paste, so I mean, how hard was that?  That's how you build your following is, you give people what they were interested in, and my people were interested in that. So, I would have like 15 come to mind, and all of them try to get out of my mouth at the same time.  It didn't work; so now I've got a couple that I fall back on, depending on what the circumstances are.  Think about that for yourself as well.  That's like a little bonus tip.  What could be a famous quotation that you could share?

call to actionCall to Action

You know, I think the final step is that you've got to tell people what you want them to do next.  You've got to have a call to action.  Now they know you, now they know your stuff, so now what?  What do you want them to do?  Do you want them to go to a website?  Do you want them to read a blog post?  Maybe you've got a re-targeting campaign set up?  So, anyone that hit your blog post, that you've got out there for free, you're going to be re-targeting them for the next 180 days.  Hallelujah!  Thank you Facebook!  They don't even have to opt in.  You're just going to follow them around.  Not that I know anything about that... Or, maybe you do want them to opt into something. Maybe you want them to go buy your book, or maybe you want them to download your free Kindle book.  Maybe you want them to subscribe to your podcast.  Maybe you want them to subscribe to your YouTube channel. Whatever you're working on at the moment. By the way, your call to action can change depending on what you're working on at the moment.  It doesn't matter what your call to action is, it just has to be something.  You just want them to go somewhere because if they liked you, and they thought your stuff was good, now give them more.  What's next? Give people their marching orders.  That's another thing.  In the business world, people want a leader.  They want to follow a leader because they don't have the time to figure out a lot of this good stuff themselves.  They are busy doing what they're doing.  If they identify you as an authentic leader, someone that's genuine and somebody that they trust, such as when you do make a call to action, when you do have them do something, or ask that they do something, not all of them are going to do it. However, there's going to be a percentage of those people who resonate with you and your story that will actually take the action.  Those are the cream of the crop people.  Those are the people who you really want to be doing business with anyway. Why are those the people who you want to be doing business with anyway?  It's because, 1), they made a decision, and 2) they took an action.  So, they didn't just decide, "This is good stuff, I'm going to have to go get that later."  They did it right now.  You know this, if you've worked with anybody.  The greatest joy they get is when they come to us and say, "What should I do," and then they go do it and get their results.  They're like, "Hallelujah!"  Then, they go off and do their thing.  We want those people who have made that commitment and taken that action, however small it may be.  It doesn't necessarily have to have purchased a product.  Just going to like the Real Fast Results podcast would be an action they could take.

Connecting with Felicia

If you like the idea of trying to figure out what you want to say and having it ready to go, and you liked the story about how I was just able to jump up on stage, that would mean that you'd want to have a signature speech ready to go.  So, go to SignatureSpeechSecrets.com, and  you can opt-in there and get something for free.  Learn about how to do the signature speech, and if you think the beginning stuff sounds great, I have a whole training that you can sign up for after that.  If you think the beginning sounds good enough and you can run with that, awesome!  I have plenty of other stuff coming your way that will help you.  It starts with having your signature speech ready to go at a moment's notice, knowing what you're going to say, knowing how you're going to say it, and feeling that confidence.  That's SignatureSpeechSecrets.com.

Resources

Felicia's Book: Kill the Elevator Speech: Stop Selling, Start Connecting

Real Fast Results Community

If you are diggin’ on this stuff and really love what we’re doing here at Real Fast Results, would you please do me a favor? Head on over to iTunes, and make sure that you subscribe to this show, download it, and rate & review it. That would be an awesome thing. Of course, we also want to know your results. Please share those results with us at http://www.realfastresults.com/results. As always, go make results happen!
Sep 2, 2016
Dani Hedlund
Welcome to this edition of the Real Fast Results broadcast.  Dani Hedlund is here today to share her secrets on how to get a literary agent.  This, of course, is very important to know if you have a desire to become traditionally published.  Let's see what she has to say...

Today's Promise

Today I'd like to talk about how you go about getting a literary agent. There's a lot of debate about whether or not a writer should seek out an agent, or whether or not they should go to an independent publisher, or even a self-publisher.  It's the stance of my company, and myself, that the best way to go about getting your work out to the public is going through an agent. The reason for that, agents are your best avenue to a large traditional publisher. Frankly, if we have ideas that we want to put out, maybe that's through a quirky sci-fi or a deep-rooted memoir, we want as many people to read that as possible.  What we are aiming at, as authors or editors, is to get that to the largest house that can give us the most proliferation.  That is always a literary agent.  Your top five, or top ten, publishing houses do not accept unsolicited work.  So, these agents are the gateway into that larger avenue. Literary agents have kind of a horrible reputation of being these, you know, heartless bastards that are exploiting the great writing of these new creators. However, in a lot of ways, literary agents are the new editor.  They are the people that you call in the middle of the night, and you're drunk, and you don't know if you're going to have to kill off that character.  Your agent is going to be the one that's like, "Okay, calm down.  I don't know.  That character kind of needs to die, but let's drink and talk about it."  And, they're also there to make sure that you don't get screwed.  They are there to verify all of your contracts, to make sure the house that you're at is the right one. Also, now that there's this huge avenue for writers to go from book deals to film deals, an agent is going to be the one that makes sure they can navigate that new space.  I mean, we're writers; we all wanted to grow up to be Hemingway without the shotgun.  We don't know these sorts of things.  So, we need someone to be our conduit through it all.  Literary agents, in that respect, are the goldmine of being able to help a really great author get everything they want out of the industry.

Finding the Right Literary Agent for You

How to Get a Literary Agent-pinterestLet's say that you have a great book, and that's going to be where we'll start.  The end goal will be that you have an agent that signs you.  I'm not going to do any of the "write a book well" sort of talk.  We are all starting from the point that you need to sell it.  This is a very common situation, where I will come into work and have a really brilliant novelist who has the "Great American Novel," and this person can't get an agent to reply to them.  A big thing with that is just forming the query. The way that querying used to work, like back in the day, before the 90's, was you wrote a good book, you summarized it in a page, and then you sent it.  Agents just wanted a good book, so they would read an interesting description, they'd ask for pages, and then they'd buy it.  That world is no longer the world we're living in.  We're now living in a publishing world that's inundated with so many books and so many queries that agents are trying to make their jobs as easy as possible on themselves, which means a query letter has to do two things.
  1. It has to do the old thing it always did, which was making a book sound interesting,
  2. but it also has to make an author seem marketable.

Writing a Good Querywriting a query

The first thing about making a book sound interesting is you have to sell it in a way where it's not just like the back of the book blurb. It has to be, "Here's a new interesting idea, and then here's possible ways it could go," without actually telling the agent anything about the ending of the book, and never, ever telling the agent how to do their job. A very good query starts out straight in, and it's going to say, you know, "Sandy McClain was a woman who always knew her place in the world, until the day she discovered a letter written from the future."  Yes, that's a terrible line, but it's going to show you instantly that I have a character and here's why I care about them. That's going to make up one or two paragraphs of the query, but a lot of times an agent won't read those first couple of paragraphs.  They'll skip right to the third paragraph.  This is the crux of selling the author.  This third paragraph just says where else the author has been published.  That's called a publishing platform. It'll say something like, "This author has been published in The New Yorker and The Paris Review," or any literary journal or anthology.  What this says to an agent is, "Okay, somebody else has already taken a chance on this author.  This author clearly can write well, and they're already developing a fan base.  Great.  Most of my work is done for me." After they see that, then they'll go back to look at what the book is about.  A lot of really great authors will even sell their books while developing the query, but since they have no publishing credit, an agent would be like, "Ugh, I mean, that sounds good, but do I really want to waste the hour it would take me to read the first couple of chapters?"  And, often times, the answer is no.  Definitely when you're querying an agent, make sure that you're selling the book well and that you're selling yourself well. Another weird thing that's emerging in the industry right now is social media platforms.  Again, before the 90's, publishing houses were big enough, and they had enough money, that they had really large marketing departments.  That meant you could take a totally unknown author, buy their book, and then marketing people would market. Nowadays, people are reading less and that's hemorrhaging from the company.  So, large publishing houses are taking that out of marketing and publicity. Which means that the author has so much responsibility now to market themselves and so does the agent.  That's why an agent makes a larger percentage now, because they do a lot of the marketing work. One of the things that a lot of agents look for is they'll have their secretaries Google your name and then write down the number of Twitter or Facebook followers at the top of the query.  I know so many agents that just discard anything with under 1,000 Twitter followers, which is crazy. They don't even read the query letter. It's very important for an author to make sure that they are creating a professional social media platform.  There are so many young authors that I run into, and their social media handle is like "SweetCheeks5".  Like that's the first thing I do... I'm like "No.  Use your name.  Be professional.  Reach out to other people in the industry." A very important thing, in writing a good query letter, is selling yourself as well. 
  • Get good publishing credit.
  • Have a strong social media/marketing platform.
  • And of course, sell the book well.
I know that I could talk about any of those aspects, but I think it's most essential that we go over having your own platform because a lot of authors have trouble doing this.  You must market your stuff, and parcel with that is developing a fan base, a rabid fan base that wants to buy anything that you create, pretty much right out of the gate.  If you can do that, then you are so much more desirable for an agent and a publishing house because you have inbuilt sales, or at least that's the thought.  That's the reason why you need to do this.

agent 1How to Make Yourself More Attractive From a Marketability Standpoint

The most common thing that is done is to get smaller publications.  That's submitting to literary journals, submitting to contests, submitting to anthologies.  The big reason for that is you have people in the industry taking a chance on you and publishing your work.  That allows you to build a fan base, but mostly it just shows the agent, "Okay, that person writes well enough that someone bought something they wrote."  It can be a literary journal that no one has ever heard of, or it could be a very prestigious literary award, it just has to be something. This is especially true for literary fiction.  If you're writing literary fiction, you need publishing credit because that is one of the most difficult industries to both make money in and to find representation.  That's just because it doesn't sell near as well as the other aspects.  So, that's publishing credit, and that's very important. A really great thing about publishing credit is that if you're writing shorter works, you're growing as an author.  I could just kick myself because my first work, right out of the gate, I wrote a novel.  If I were writing and published short stories first, I would have learned all of the very stupid things that I was doing in a short, manageable way that didn't make me think, "Oh my God!  I have to get rid of the last three years of my life." I highly encourage writers to always be making short work, and it's a great emergence into the industry, and it's another way to make contacts.  A lot of the time, you can get published in a literary journal and an editor will be like, "Hey, I was so excited to publish it, can I help you in some other way?"  The moment someone in the industry turns around and says, "Can I help you,"  that's a wonderful moment.  That's a big aspect.  Especially if you're writing nonfiction. Blogging and building up a blogging fellowship is also incredibly helpful. You look at The Rules of Inheritance, which is a beautiful memoir that was published a couple of years ago. Jennifer Lawrence ended up insisting that the film rights were purchased, and it will be a wonderful film, and Claire is a wonderful writer, but she didn't [need to work on getting] an agent because she ran one of the most successful grief counseling blogs in California, at the time.  So, she got to pop that into her query and say, "Hey, I already have hundreds of thousands of followers that care deeply about my grief counseling, and I want to write a non-fiction book about losing my parents to cancer."  And, the agent was like, "Okay, I'll book the writer.  You instantly can sell." I know that blogs get a lot of crap in the industry, but they're great.  If you can make people care about you, that is wonderful, and social media is the same sort of thing.  If you're writing quick little things about your cat that, you know, 70,000 people like, cool.  Good.  I mean, if you write about physics, at least 10% of those are going to come along.  So, those are great aspects to grow, and depending on what you're writing, you can build up that sort of awareness in other arenas.  For instance, if you were writing historical fiction about the Roman Era, and you're a Roman critic at Oxford, that's going to lend a huge amount of credibility to an agent being like, "Okay, you're definitely the person to write this." That works in a lot of different arenas.  You know, if you're writing a feminist non-fiction piece, and you're the head of a feminist group in your state, then great.  So, anything that could help an agent paint for themselves, "Okay, this person obviously has the ability to write this book, and they have credibility that I can market," is really good.  There are certainly unconventional ways to build publishing credit, but those tend to be the ones that are the most successful and the most accessible to agents. The other thing that I would say, that one of my authors pointed out to me a couple of years ago, and it always really stuck with me. His name is Scott O'Conner, and he wrote Untouchable, which was a totally wonderful book.  He's brilliant.  I love him... But, he told me that the most successful thing that he ever did for his writing was to be "a good literary citizen".  I've always loved this. He ended up landing, essentially, his book deal because he stalked his local bookstore.  He went to every single reading, every single time someone came out.  He read their books.   He went and he talked to them, and book signings, honestly, aren't very popular.  So, you'll end up having a really great writer that has, you know, ten people come to the book signing, and you talk to them afterwards.  You talk to them about things they care about.  Suddenly, you have an arsenal of people with power and influence who like you. He ended up randomly getting his book deal because the bookseller was like, "I want to pick up this book.  What do we need to do about it?"  And, he just stalked this book store for like five years.  Giving back to the community in that way, going to signings, reaching out and doing reviews of books, and you can build that on your blog.  If you're a young person, get involved with your literary journal at your school, intern somewhere. This is just a game of who you know, and who you can grow from, and who  you can lean on when it matters.  Clearly, use those connections.  Anything you can do to build connections is the right way to go.

Where to Send Your Queryliterary agent - sending

We've discussed, roughly how to construct a letter.  You sell the book well.  You sell yourself well.  But, who in the world are you going to be sending it to?  Where are you going to find a good literary agent?  This is one of the most common steps I see authors struggle on. The first thing they usually do is list to me their favorite writers, which it's everything from Neil Gaiman to Stephen King, and they think, "Well, I kind of write it like that.  I want that agent."  exceptions to that rule, but generally, if you are the sort of agent that represents really big names, you may only have five clients.  That's all you need because you are pulling in 20% of these enormous deals. Take into account where you are as an author, and then try to reach out to an agent that's in a similar place.  There's a really wonderful website called AgentQuery.com, and it lists pretty much all of the agents out there and the genres that they like, and what they're looking for, and whether or not they're actually open.  I would recommend going in there.  There are great little checkmarks where you can say, "I write fantasy.  It's magic realism.  I'm looking for this kind of an agent." Put together a very nice spreadsheet.  You have to be so organized about this stuff and figure out when they're open for submission. And, it's very important to specify why you are submitting to that particular agent.  That means it's a lot of research.  If you see an agent that fits all of the things that you're looking for, and you read their description, and they want, "Character-driven sci-fi that has reflections on society," and you're like, "Oh my God!  That's what I just wrote," you can't just put down, "I read those things, and that's what I wrote."  You have to put in the time.  It's a lot like dating.  You have to listen to what they want and then know things about it. Go look up the titles that they represented, and then figure out whether or not that's the sort of thing that you fit into.  That way, in the letter you can say, "Dear Mrs. Johnson, I would be really keen to be represented by you because you published this book, and it does this thing, and my thing is like that."  Then the agent will be like, "Okay.  You put in some time, and you actually know what I do for a living.  You respect me, so let me show you respect."  That's a very common thing that new writers don't do.  They just assume, "I'm going to be making the agent money, so why would I have to do that?"  It's not like that at all.  It's a mutual relationship, and if you start with respect, they will give respect you back. The best way to find an agent is by looking at the books that are most like what you write, and go to the back of the book, to the acknowledgement page, because every writer acknowledges their agent.  Then, look up that agent directly and figure out what they are doing.  I find that [looking in] Barnes & Noble's "Discover New Writers" section is a super great way to poach agents in the way that you know that those agents care about new talent.  They're looking for new voices, and they are usually pretty new in the industry because that's who deals with debut talent. Go through and find books that are your book.  Read all of the descriptions, or order the books and read them, and then really care about querying to those agents.  New people in any agency, like always junior agents are lovely.  They're still not broken inside, so they still read most of the queries.  Make sure you're querying to the right sort of people.  Also, there's just a couple of things you should never do. Never, ever use the words, "I think this will be a bestseller," and never say it has "film potential".  Agents hate it when you tell them how to do their job, so never, ever do it.  I find that comparative lines, and by that I mean, if I say that I have written Fight Club meets Grapes of Wrath, that tends to work pretty well on East Coast agents, but like UK agents hate comparisons.  It's a very weird sort of thing.  But, kind of figure out what demographic [book fits in]. There are so many great resources online.  QueryShark is one of them.  It's a wonderful New York agent who, essentially you just submit queries to her, and she chooses them, and then she just rips them apart online.  But, it's the most helpful way to figure out what you're doing wrong. There are a lot of weird sorts of things for that, and there are a lot of resources.  Just make sure that you're not falling into the pit holes of telling an agent what to do, and make sure that you are querying to agents that actually care about the stuff that you care about.  That is, along with showing the fact that you have publishing credits, you have a marketing platform, and of course, your work has to be really good to start with.

finding a literary agentSteps to Finding Literary Management

  1. The first step is writing the query exceptionally well.
  2. The second step is making a list of all of the agents that you want to reach out to and doing the actual research.
  3. Then, the next step is sending your queries out.
I would never recommend sending a batch of more than  5-8.  You have your whole list of all of the agents that you could possibly want, and then the middle ground people, like the B-quality people.  Send out 5-8 query letters, and make sure that you're catering them correctly.  The reason for that is because, inevitably, the first query letter that you write, no matter how much you love it, is probably not going to be good enough.  You only learn that by getting rejected. Then, some agents promise to get back to you in three months, but some of them are six months.  It's kind of insane, but send it out and see if you get rejected, see if you get comments back.  In a month go back and make revisions to the query letter.  Make sure that you're sending it out to everyone you know, not just the literary people that you know, but send it out to some of the readers you know because they'll be good at telling you whether or not it would make sense.  Keep doing what you're doing and adding more people to your list.  Usually, you'll get to a point where you haven't heard anything back and you're just kind of confused.  That's the time to kind of seek help.  Like I said, there are  lots of great online resources that can help you get good at this stuff. This is usually  a sign that you're selling your book wrong.  The primary way that someone is usually selling their book wrong is they're not identifying the genre correctly.  Like I said before, literary fiction, you can sell some, but to get a literary agent to be like, "Okay, I'm going to take a huge chance on someone, who even if they are Don DeLillo, are not going to make me very much money."  So always go back and look at your genre, and see if there is a way to pitch your book in the best possible genre.  If you wrote a literary fiction book that is 5% fantasy, you pitch that thing as a fantasy novel.  You pitch it to a genre agent because that's the way someone is going to be able to justify taking a chance on you. One of our writers is amazing, Emily St. John Mandel.  She wrote Station Eleven, which you know, won like every award known to man last year.  It's a very beautiful, post-apocalyptic book about a Shakespearean troop, after the apocalypse, traveling around. It is straight up literary fiction.  Half of it is written in poetry.  It's like a mystery, sci-fi.  That's what you need to do.  You need to figure out the most sale-able thing about a book and then you push that.  That's just a matter of a writer letting go of their ego and saying, "Hey, I'm not selling out, but I'm trying to figure out how I can push this book in a way that matters." Then, I say go through the entire process again under a different genre.  Seek out new agents, and make sure that you're being as marketable as possible.  If you're still hitting a whole bunch of walls, it might be time to think about bringing in an editor, or think about bringing in someone who can tell you whether or not the problem is your first couple of chapters, because some agents will ask for a chapter sample right up front with a career letter.  Maybe the career letter is too long.  A lot of times that doesn't mean that your work isn't great or that it won't find a publisher; you just haven't figured out how to sell it correctly.  Because, why would you know that?  You're an author.  Like, you wanted to be an introvert for the rest of your life, and now you're expected to get up and sell something? During that entire time, what you should be doing is building the platform.  You know, you're submitting things out, and you put your soul on a query letter before passing out into the darkness.  The only thing that's going to keep you sane is progress.  So, keep submitting to literary journals.  Keep building that platform.  Keep being a literary citizen.  Build your blog.  Build your social media.  That way, every time you go through a round on a cruise, you get to add another line in.  "I got to publish at this new place," or "I have this many followers."  Or, "I met someone great and they said they'd pass it along to their own agent."  That does miraculously happen sometimes. As long as you are constantly keeping progress, and you're making sure you're growing, I swear if you've written something good, someone will take a chance on you.  It's just that you've got to be ready for rejection, and don't give up.  It's just like business.  You have to just believe in what you're pushing enough and just keep fighting because the world is hard and you've just got to be harder.

Genres that Sell

There are certainly statistics.  You can just, essentially, Google how many sci-fi titles got moved by Penguin or all that jazz, and they fluctuate a little every year.  I can tell you with certainly, the thing that sells best in all of the book world is non-fiction.  That's everything from memoirs, to celebrity memoirs, to cookbooks.  It sells significantly better, but in terms of what sells for fiction, it is without a doubt genres like mystery and fantasy.  The thing that sells the absolute best is YA (young adult).  Young adult books can reach into so many different demographics, and that tends to sell exceptionally well. If I had to go back in time and tell you that you need to create a bestseller and make as much money as you possible because your life is on the line, I would have you write a YA book because I know that's where the money is at.  It's really where it's at.  If you really want to sell, write a YA series.  Anything where you can have the same characters for as long as possible, it's a win.  But, aside from YA, our genre really sells about the same.  From fantasy to romance, it's very similar demographics.  Literary fiction, on the other hand, is less than 10% of the market, and especially anyone that goes out and gets an English degree, they pop out wanting to write literary fiction. You know, we all want to be Dickens and Hemingway, and that's fine.  You've got to write what you feel.  You know, if you wrote Brickhouse, you put down that you wrote a murder mystery.  You do not write that you wrote literary fiction.  Pretty much, don't write down "literary fiction" on anything, ever, or at least not anything if you can avoid it.

Find Writer Friends

I think that's what I would recommend, more than anything, is to go out and find writer friends.  I know that might seem contradictory of all the very process given, but this is a very difficult process.  One in a million get an instant acceptance.  Their uncles are literary agents, and you know, they went to the Iowa Writing Workshop and walked out with a contract.   You're really going to start doubting yourself.  You're going to doubt whether or not you're a good writer, you're going to doubt whether or not you made the right move when your mom was begging you to become an accountant. It's going to be so hard, and the only thing that's going to get you through that is to be able to lean on people that care about the same things that you care about, and that care about you as an artist, and that are going through similar things.  I remember going through this process, and I had friends that were going through the same things.  We would go to the pub and buy each other a shot for however many times someone got rejected.  You have to lean on each other because this is going to hurt so badly, but it's worth it.  If you have something great that you've written, it deserves to be in as many hands as possible.  You have to put in this hard work now.  Be open to revisions, and be open to change, but keep believing in yourself and lean on the people that believe in you.  It's going to be hard, but it's going to be worth it.

Thoughts on Self-Publishing

I have a really hard time with self-publishing in the respect that there are a lot of times when a self-published book falls on my desk, or even an independently published book, and honestly, it's one or two edits away from being picked up by a big house.  I look at the print numbers, I look at circulation, and this book that could have changed the way that people think, it sold at its max, maybe 1,000 copies.  I know, as a publisher, that this could have gotten a major distribution.  It really breaks my heart because this author not only has shot himself in the foot for this book, but he's come onto the scene as a debut author, which is one of the only aspects of publishing that still has any marketing oomph. You sell well as a debut, or you sell well as established.  This middle ground is the really, really hard part.  Honestly, it breaks my heart.  And, that doesn't mean that there aren't some books that are brilliant and no traditional publisher will pick them up because no one wants to take chances.  There are times like that where I will advise an author and be like, "Hey, you've written something brilliant, and it's insane because I don't know of any way to get it published.  The only way is for you to go out and just do it yourself."  But, I've said that twice in my 12-year career.  I definitely think that if you believe in yourself, and if you're getting feedback where people are saying, "Hey, this is good.  This is worth it," just put in all of the rounds of revisions. It sucks and it's heartbreaking, but do it because your work deserves it.  Honestly, going it alone is so hard.  A lot of people think that it's easier than surviving with an agent, but if you really want to get out there and get your voice heard take the hard road.

Connecting with Dani

I run a non-profit called Tethered by Letters.  We are an international company that helps people do exactly the things that I'm rambling about.  We run full editing workshops, we walk people through the query process, and we are, you know, the strange, loud advocates for, "Hey, you've written something really well.  Let's help you get it published."  You can find us at TetheredbyLetters.com, an internationally distributed literary journal.  It is the fastest-growing literary journal in the states.  We just found that out, and we're so excited that we're going to get it tattooed somewhere.  So, if you're looking for some way to get that publishing platform credit and certainly try out F(r)iction.  It's totally lovely, but I'm completely biased.  So, reach out.  We're always happy to help.  That's what we do.

Resources

Books Mentioned by Dani: The Rules of Inheritance Untouchable Station Eleven AgentQuery.com QueryShark TetheredbyLetters.com

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