When Jason Van Orden found out about podcasting in 2004, he knew it was going to be big. He created his business around business podcasting and is a well-known expert in the field. He has taught thousands of people how to use their personal stories to captivate an audience and make money doing what they love. Jason sits down with Jason Hartman to share his story and talk about how he was able to make it.

Key Takeaways:

4:35 – Jason wasn’t born an entrepreneur. He took the traditional business path, but ended up hating it. 

9:45 – Blogs weren’t that popular at the time, so Jason used forums to get his name out there.

12:00 – Google didn’t even know what podcasting was in early 2005.

15:10 – Jason’s tips to launching a podcast is – who’s your audience, what is their desire/pain you’re trying to solve for them, and what are you bringing to the table that other people aren’t?

19:50 – iTunes looks carefully at how many people rate a podcast, subscribed to it, etc and will make you more authoritative in the iTunes network based on this.

25:00 – Jason V and Jason H both love Facebook ads.

28:00 – Jason V’s audience has been following his company for 9 years, they’ve grown with him, so he’s looking forward to helping them take their business to the next level and make 6-7 figure incomes.

32:00 – Information marketers need to think about not only selling the information, the product, but also sell the community around it.

34:25 – If you need to build a community for your business, just create a private Facebook group.

Tweetables

“I think anybody not building community engagement into their course is really missing out on stickiness to their products.” Tweet this!

“The worst thing to do is get this idea for a product, put it out there, and find out no one wants it. Get sales before you develop it.” Tweet this!

“When we moved our group and communities to Facebook, our interactions went through the roof.” Tweet this!

Mentioned In This Episode

http://www.speakingofwealth.com/

http://www.jasonhartman.com/

http://www.internetbusinessmastery.com/

Transcript

Jason Hartman:

Welcome to the Speaking of Wealth show where we discuss profit strategies for speakers, publishers, authors, consultants, coaches, and info marketers and just go over a bunch of exciting things that you can use to increase your business to make your business more successful and more and more passive and more and more automated and more and more scalable, so we’ll be back with a great interview. Be sure to visit us at SpeakingOfWealth.com. You can take advantage of our blog, subscribe to the RSS feed and many other resources for free at SpeakingOfWealth.com. We’ll be back with a great interview for you in less than 60 seconds.

Announcer:

What’s great about the shows you’ll find on JasonHartman.com is that if you want to learn how to finance your next big real estate deal, there’s a show for that. If you want to learn more about food storage and the best way to keep those onions from smelling up everything else, there’s a show for that. If you honestly want to know more about business ethics, there’s a show for that and if you just want to get away from it all and need to know something about world travel, there’s even a show for that. Yep, there’s a show for just about anything only from JasonHartman.com or type in Jason Hartman in the iTunes store.

Jason H:

Hey, it’s my pleasure to welcome one of the key players in helping me get started in the podcasting business nanny, many years ago in the olden days and that’s my friend Jason Van Orden. He has an uncanny grasp for internet marketing and online media strategy. Their show Internet Business Mastery was the first podcast in the top of the internet business to this date one of the most profitable podcasts in terms of highest revenue per listener.

Over 5,000 entrepreneurs have used their academy training to launch their internet businesses, so it’s great to have him today. What makes it kind of extra special is that Jason recently moved to Paris, France and that’s just a great example of how in this business you can be portable, you can have all kinds of great new life experiences, you can move around and it’s just fantastic to have that opportunity. Jason, welcome, how are you doing:

Jason Van Orden:

Yeah, I’m doing great Jason. Thanks for having me on the show.

Jason H:

It’s great to have you. So, you’re in Paris, France? Congratulations.

Jason V: 

Yeah, thanks. Pretty spectacular.

Jason H:

Now, since you’ve got into this business, you’ve really made three major moves, is that correct? New York City, Portland, and now Paris?

Jason V:

I think when we first met I was living in New York City at the time, which was somewhere my wife and I had always wanted to live and then after that.. actually we went to Argentina to after that and then we went to Portland, which was another one on the bucket list. We’ve always heard wonderful things about Portland.

There for about 5 years, got the expert venture, and now here we are in Paris, France, which incidentally, I remember getting engaged to my wife, this was in the year 2000, and like immediately started to have that talk about what’s our life going to look like; where do you want to live?

France came up way back then, this was before I was even an entrepreneur in my mind, and it was just like, “I dunno how we’re going to make that happen, but somehow, someday, we gotta live in France.” 14 years later here we are and it’s just kind of wonderful to see those little sparks and dreams in your mind and how they definitely manifest themselves. It’s pretty amazing.

Jason H:

That is, that is awesome. So tell me, you know I’m curious and I don’t know the answer to this, what did you do before this? Before you got into the internet and the podcasting space?

Jason V:

Right, so, I started out kind of following the regular track that most people do. I don’t have one of those stories of like, “Hey, at 5 years old I was going door-to-door selling lemonade and I was entrepreneurial at heart.” Like, I had no idea I was going to be an entrepreneur until like my late 20’s that even showed up on my radar. I was an engineer. I went to 5 years of engineering school, got what I thought was going to be my job for 40 years, but unfortunately a couple of years into it I started having that, what I call the Sunday night dread experience. 

Jason H:

*Laughter*. You didn’t want to go in Monday?

Jason V:

Yeah, like you’re having a great weekend and all of a sudden you get that feeling inside your stomach, “Ahh, I gotta go to bed soon and I gotta get up, gotta go to work.” Just like feeling my life and my time were not my own and I got to a pretty, I mean, I wasn’t very happy in life and even my wife would like..I would hit my snooze button over and over again and my wife would be like, “What’s wrong? What’s going on?” I felt like I just needed to become an adult and grow up and my friends are like, “Oh don’t worry, that feeling goes away after awhile.” I was just like, this is horrible. I don’t want to go numb for 40 years until I, like, retire or whatever.

Thankful I read a couple of books and a particular one being Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which was very popular of the time and that was kind of what first opened my mind, “Oh, there’s another way to go about these things.” By the end of reading that book, which this would have been in early 2000s, I figured out I am unemployable, I can’t continue to do this. I don’t know how, I don’t know what this is going to look like, but I’ve got to get out of the cubical because I’m just made to do this.

Jason H:

Jason, you weren’t just unemployable, but it comes from, maybe I’m unemployable, as my friend Michael O’Neal says, then you’re proudly unemployable. *Laughter*.

Jason V:

Exactly, I don’t know what it is. Too freedom minded or whatever to work for somebody else. I knew I needed to get more into, business owner is essentially what I knew I had to be at that point, but then it was a matter of figure it out. It did take a little while and, I know you’ve done a lot of real estate, I dabbled in real estate investing for a while, I had some success there, but that lend me to consultant people and marketing.

A lot of my friends who were real estate investors had no idea how to find buyers and sellers and so I started teaching them market and figured out, “Oh, I’m good at marketing. I’m good at teaching people.” It was like this discovery process that just kind of progressed over, probably 2 or 3 years and then I had seminar on marketing and that was like, trying out, can I actually get people to pay..you know, one on one consulting, there’s a limit to that, right.

You can only sell so many hours, I was like, why don’t I sit 25 people down at a time and teach them all at once? I went for it and I booked a room and I did a seminar and made $5,000 in one day, because they all paid $200 to be there. I was like, okay okay, now this is better. $5,000 in 8 hours is much better than $100 an hour for 8 hours. So, it was like this unfolding of discovering bits and pieces of what it was to be entrepreneur, different ways I can make money, what fit me.

Real estate didn’t fit me. I’m not deal marker, I’m not a call up the banks and get creative of money kind of day. I discovered I’m much more of a teacher, marketer, kind of guy, but I wouldn’t have discovered that without being through that path of real estate investing and working with real estate investors and discovering they needing help in marketing and trying at my hand at the seminar, because the next thing I knew I had this recorded seminar in my hands and I was like, “Okay, I’ve learned enough.” Like Dan Kennedy or somebody had taught in a tape I had listened to like, “Do something once and make money off of it again and again.” So, how do I sell this seminar to more people for a couple of hundred dollars? I’ve got in on CD, I’ve got it in a manual, what can I do?

I started selling it to people I knew there in Salt Lake City where I was living at the time and pretty quickly kind of ran through my list, you know what we call list today, which is about maybe my 80 connections and networks of real investors that 80 to 100 people that I knew, so I needed more people to sell too and that’s what drove me to the internet. I was like, “Oh wait, I can sell things online, okay.” So, like things just kept showing up on my radar. I was like, “Well, that seems like the next direction.”

Jason H:

What year was that when you say that you realized you could stuff online? *Laughter*.

Jason V:

Yeah, so let’s see, I realized the whole unemployable realization came in 2002. I quit my job cold turkey in 2003. I hadn’t actually made money in real estate investing yet, but I just knew I was going to figure it out. By about 2004, I did one deal that made me $17,000 and I actually spent a 3rd of that money coming to Paris, France at the time for my anniversary., funny enough. So, that would have been like 2004-2005 I’m doing..no, 2004 I’m doing lots of consulting and 2004 is when I had the discovery of like, “Okay, I gotta figure out how to sell this stuff online.”

I started at the time, I think maybe, like..there wasn’t blogging, there definitely wasn’t Facebook or Twitter or YouTube or any of these things, it was basically..

Jason H:

There was MySpace.

Jason V:

Yeah, there was MySpace. I’m trying to think if I did anything with MySpace. Basically what I ended up doing was going into forums and there was lots of real estate investor forums, at least a few that were really strong at the time, and I would just participate in these forums and people would post tips and I’d post tips and I’d give helpful replies, so it was kind of content marketing at the time before blogging really caught on. I’m like, “Well, if I’m helpful enough in these forums and I just drop my link in my signature or strategically to my sales page from this program, maybe I can get some buyers.”

That’s when I had, what I call, my financial freedom moment and it’s not like all of a sudden I sold, you know, a million dollars worth of this program. So it was like, ah, I got all this money, I’m free, or whatever; but it was actually nothing more than getting one sale. Waking up one morning checking my email and seeing in my inbox a PayPal email with the subject, “You’ve got money.” And opening it up and realizing this isn’t my mom, this isn’t my dad, this isn’t a friend, this is no body I’ve ever actually physically I met in person before, somebody I don’t know found me through the internet through one of these articles on these forums found value in what I put out there, came to my sales page, read my copy, scrolled down to the bottom, clicked the buy button, and gave me $200.

The reason why I call that my financial freedom moment is because, like, all of a sudden this light bulb came off and any dread or worry that somebody that I may have to go back and get a job again just poof! Disappeared because I knew that I had identity a paying problem, created value, somebody found that value worthy of their money, and they paid me. Like, if I could do this once, I can do it 10 times, 100 times, 1,000 times, I just gotta find more people now.

Jason H:

Sure, yeah, yeah, absolutely. Okay, so I remember, I mean, I specificity remember where I was driving at the time that I learned about podcasting from Leo Laporte. Where were you? I mean, how did you..later I connected with you, you helped me out on setting up my show, but how did you hear about podcasting? How did that come about? I mean, we talk about the online side of it, but podcasting specificity?

Jason V:

Right, so the continuation of that story was, well, now I gotta find more people. So, I’m looking around. I’m on some newsletters, I’m seeing what else are people..what else is there online for me to find more buyers, because I gotta scale this up. There’s only so many forums for me to participate in.

Jason H:

I have a feeling it’s going to happen. I know what’s coming.

Jason V:

It so happens I get this one newsletter. This would have been early 2005. So, I am selling this program online and making money, but I’m like, I need more of this now. There’s gotta be…and this one email newsletter shows up where it mentions the word podcasting. This is a marketing newsletter, I’m like, “Podcasting? What is that?” So, I searched and Google is like, “Did you mean?” And it suggested, I don’t remember, something related to fishing or something. Like, Google didn’t even know what podcasting was yet.

Jason H:

What year is this by the way?

Jason V:

This is the beginning of 2005, so we’re talking like February-March, 2005.

Jason H:

Yeah, that’s about when I heard it. Okay.

Jason V:

So, I start searching around online, but I found a few really geeky blog posts. We’re talking like, late 2004 is the real, that’s like guys doing hand radio or something. It’s like, “OH! There’s this cool new RSS Mp3, look at this, I’ve got this fancy way we can use technology to do this…podcasting.” So, I’m reading these blog posts beginning of 2005. I have a technical background, so I’m understanding it all. I’ve studied audio production as well in college, so it all made sense to me.

I’m going, so, two things crossed my mind. Number one, okay this is going to be significant. This is cool. This is a conversion of technology and as I projected it forward I’m like, “This is going to be significant.”  Second thing that went off in my mind is like, although the information that’s available right now is just woefully inadequate, more people, whether for hobbies or just for fun or businesses are going to start catching on to this. It might be a year off, it might be 2 years off, but I need to be positioned in such that I’m seeing the expert on business podcasting and I gotta start now.

So, I was searching for more customers for my marketing real estate investors program, but really what I ended up discovering was this new technology. It took me a few months actually to make this, because I was basically making the decision to put aside this business that I was growing and working and start putting myself all-in in this new unproven technology called podcasting, but I was like, how many times do you have an opportunity to jump in on something early before it’s really taken off and I said, “That’s it! I’m going to be the world’s foremost expert on business podcasting.”

I launched a site, a tutorial site, I made information that anybody could understand about how to create a podcast and within a few months a publisher found it, asked me to write books. Conferences were asking me to speak about the topic of launching a podcast, how to make money with a podcast, how to market with a podcast, and by the time 2006 rolled around, I’m making even more money as a consultant on business podcasting and teaching $2,000 courses on here’s how to launch your business podcast. Consulting clients coming to me to help them launch their podcast. So, turns out that was a good decision to go all in on the podcasting thing. That is how I heard about and got into podcasting.

Jason H:

Now, podcasting has really evolved. It seems like everybody and their brother’s got a podcast nowadays, which I’m not discouraging, but I don’t know, there’s a few that probably shouldn’t. *Laughter*. But, what are some of your tips centered around podcasting and internet marketing more generally that you have for people nowadays, because it just changes so much, doesn’t it, Jason? It’s just amazing.

Jason V:

It has and you know it’s gone through a steady growth and I think in that last year anything presently is going through an even more of an acceleration of growth driven by mobile technology and Apple and a lot of different people and that growth doesn’t make it so it’s necessary to really think about what you’re bringing to the market place. So, my biggest tip for somebody thinking about launching a podcast or any brand online for that matter, is you gotta know very specificity who’s the audience that you’re trying to reach, what is the pain or desire you’re trying to solve for them, and what are you bringing to the game or the market place other people aren’t bringing?

It used to be just by being a podcaster, you were setting yourself apart. We were the first show on internet business, the first podcast about internet business back in 2005, we’ve been doing it now for 9 years. Now, if you got and search for internet business, there is a huge, like, a zillion of them and they’re all interview shows and they’re all trying to do the same thing, and you know, every once in a while one shows up where it’s like, okay, that person is doing something different here, whether it’s in their format or the audience that they’re going for.

You know, so you gotta know that audience, you gotta know the pain you’re solving, and you gotta know what the unique angle is that you’re bringing in. If you haven’t thought that through, then you’re going to launch a podcast to crickets because the noise is getting, it’s just getting noisier in the market place. It depends on the market place, certainly it’s business related or real estate investing related or fitness related, the big, big topics, it’s pretty saturated, so you’re going to have to try harder than if you had the horse valet podcast or something like that.

Jason H:

Right, you got a long tail kind of situation there. Okay, good, good stuff. Okay, so know your audience, know your avatar as John Dumas would say, so good. Okay, that’s great advice, definitely. What else? What are some of the other things that people can do to just speed up the growth and everybody wants it to happen instantly, right? *Laughter*.

Jason V:

Right, you know, a great way to do that is to get into iTunes. The nice thing about podcasting is that you’ve got a big company. Now, Apple didn’t invent podcasting. Some people mistakenly think that, but they’ve certainly been one of the biggest components of podcasting by introducing it into their iTunes store -a podcasting directory. By making it an app on all of their devices, so that is the place to put your show to start up.

You know, it’s great to put it in iTunes, you can immediately start getting some eyeballs on your brand new show, they’ve got the New and Noteworthy section you might be showing up next to other..you know, Tim Ferriss recently launched a show.

Jason H:

I noticed that.

Jason V:

So, he’s up there in the New and Noteworthy and like, somebody else launched a show the same week can be showing right next to Tim Ferriss in iTunes. That’s some great credibility and authority that you’re burrowing off of Apple and the other people. You know, our show frequently shows up next to Harvard Business School and that looks great, so there’s definitely credibility status and authority that comes with that. That’s one thing, you gotta know how iTunes ecosystem works.

It comes down very simply to things like relevance are the keywords that you use in your title and your description and your author field and all that data iTunes pulls to make your listing. You can see how people are using keywords in order to show up when people are looking. When your target audience is looking for the kinds of things that they might be searching for, you gotta be showing up on the top of those searches, you gotta be showing up at the top of these categories and a big part of that is the relevance of the keywords you’re using.

You really got to have some authority behind what you’re doing, because, you know…any search engine, iTunes is a search engine, right. It’s just like Google and any search engine wants to give the most authoritative and the most relevant content to it’s users. That’s what Google wants to do, that’s why Google is king of search, because they’ve done a better job than anybody else at serving up the most relevant and the most authoritative content on whatever topic somebody searches. It’s the same thing for iTunes.

If I go into iTunes and I’m looking for podcasts about speaking French or about living in France, which there are podcasts about both those things, you know, who’s going to show up at the top? It’s whoever who’s, first of all, used those keywords in their listing so that it’s very clear to Apple and iTunes that there are shows living in France, French culture, speaking French, you know, things like that, then the authority part has to do with ratings and reviews. Like, how many subscriptions, how many people have gone into iTunes and clicked that subscribed button in the last week, how many people have gone in and rated and your reviewed your show in the last week. How many people have given you a 5 star review in the last week? The more that happens the more iTunes is going, “Okay, not only is this relevant to living in France and speaking French, this is clearly the best content, because based on the actions of our users.

The reviews, the ratings, and the subscriptions, this is the thing that’s getting the most attention.” So, that’s what we tell anybody with a brand new podcast, one of the best things you can do is in that first, like, 2 week, 3 week period is use whatever network, list, social media influence, whatever you got to get people in to iTunes, clicking on that subscribe button, reading your show, giving you that 5 star review, typing that written review in, because the most that happens, the more you’re looking at not only relevant, but also authoritative to the iTunes algorithm and you start showing up at the top of the list, in the New and Noteworthy, and the What’s Hot area and then the whole bizz kind of snow balls, because people see that and go, “Oh, what’s this?” And they check it out and subscribe and it carries forward from there.   

So that would be the other big tip, you’ve gotta understand…you gotta get into iTunes and you gotta understand how that iTunes ecosystem works, so that you could get maximum exposure.

Jason H:

Yeah and you know we should say Jason, I mean, there’s a lot to that, understanding that, it really does have..there’s a lot of tricks, there’s a lot of hacks, I don’t want to say that in a negative way, you really need to understand that ecosystem. It is a system and it has its own methodology and its own ways to get to where you want to be faster. I mean it definitely does.

Jason V:

Right.

Jason H:

So, what are some of the hottest things in terms of internet marketing that you’re seeing people do nowadays?

Jason V:

Well, I think if you want to have a true internet-based business, one that’s really going to grow and doesn’t have a ceiling on it, you gotta..it’s becoming more about paid traffic. The reason I say that is..I’m a big proponent of content marketing, you know, the free, hey, we’re going to have a blog, we’re going to have videos, we’re going to have a podcast, and you know what? I’ve had a business now for 9 years that’s driven millions and millions and millions of dollars of sales off of essentially free traffic from our podcast, but I’ll be the first to admit, I think we’ve seriously, we’ve seriously limited the growth of our business by not really getting more serious about paid traffic.

Finally, we’re kind of being forced into that position because a) the podcasting area in our niche is just getting over, over saturated, so we can’t depend on it as much to bring in fresh traffic and then just like the way things have changed with social media and everything these days. You’ve got a lot of people complaining because Facebook has changed up recently, you know everyone is whining saying, “I’ve got 10,000 people liked my Facebook page and now Facebook is not allowing me to reach all 10,000. Just because I put out an update doesn’t mean all 10,000 people will see it.”

In fact, it might be a very small percentage of you 10,000 people that see that unless you pay Facebook to show it to more of them. While everyone else is off whining about it the fact that now they’d have to pay, what I see is an opportunity. It’s like, okay great, if I got money to go to spend $1 to reach more people and to turn that $1 into a $1.50, I’m going to win all day long, right? Like, what better way to grow a business fast.

Keep doing your content marketing, like that’s relationship building,  that’s a great way to earn trust, but I think a big opportunity right now is getting more into pay to play, so Facebook abs are a huge opportunity and that’s just one of many re-targeting. You know, this is kind of advance stuff, but these are big opportunities that people have to get traffic and convert that traffic into sales, very, very quickly.

Jason H:

Do you have a re-targeting vendor you recommend, a platform?

Jason V:

I’ve heard a lot of people who like Perfect Audience. We have a Perfect Audience account. We, right now, we’re just doing re-targeting directly through Facebook, through their own, you know, you create an audience and they give you a little piece of code that you stick on your site, and re-target that way, but Perfect Audience is a vendor if you want to reach a broader base of networks including Google and including Facebook, you can go there, but I think the easiest thing would be to just sign up to Facebook advertising and dabble with it there first would be my recommendation. 

Jason H:

Good stuff and do you see the price of Facebook ads increasing? I kind of think Facebook is employing by the market strategy, I hope they’re not, but I think they are. I mean, organic results on Facebook are not very good. They’ve pretty much have said if you’re not paying to play, you’re not getting that much exposure, unfortunately, but! The paying is that expensive right now.

Jason V:

No, it’s not that expensive right now.

Jason H:

Yeah, yeah, and it’s a pretty good deal. We spend about $1,500 a month with Facebook and it seems like a pretty good value. Some speakers like Perry Marshall said that Facebook is about one quarter the cost of Google AdWords at the moment.

Jason V:

Absolutely.

Jason H:

He also, in talking to him, will increase. I think this is maybe kind of a short term opportunity with the Facebook, at least price wise. The opportunity will always be there, but the price.

Jason V:

Right, right and paid advertising obviously is like usually..it’s whatever the good deal of the day. Now the reason why I’m not saying go and do AdWords PPC is because you’re going to pay a lot more. Why is that? Well, it’s been around for almost a decade now and everyone’s there. Supply and demand. You have way more people running ads and because it’s kind of like that biding system it’s like okay, well now it’s well-developed out and the market is aware of how to use it and so for anything that’s in high demand, like the price has gone up and up and up and absolutely that will happen with Facebook as well. It’ll take a while through, so now is the time to get in there and do it while it is like a good deal.

It’s a good thing for the market, the reason why it forces you..it’s a good thing for your business. First of all, you can get traffic quickly and proof your idea fast, rather than twiddling around with a blog that gets real popular and not even knowing if you’ve got buyers that are following you for all that time, right. So, it’s going to force you really quickly to know, do I have value? Are people willing to pay for it? It forces you to actually learn how to learn, it forces you to have a funnel system that works to track your numbers really well, but it’s, like what better more sure way to really build a business is there than knowing it’s like, I have a system and when I go and pay $1 to get a lead into that system, I know that $1 dollar is going to turn into a $1.50 in the next 7 days, 14 days, or 30 days, right, so then you’re just trading money.

It’s like, well, that’s how, whether it’s real estate investment market, you know, advertising and business as an entrepreneur, like that’s how people make money. They know how to take $1 and turn it into $2 or $3 or $4. So, that’s what you can do in Facebook advertising. So, while everyone else is whining about the organic going away, now is the time to hop in and actually learn. Some of them, the reason why they’re whining, is because they know that they..either they don’t know.. I mean, some of it’s a knowledge gap, they might not know how to go about the Facebook advertising, but some of it is because they know they don’t actually have the value to really pay money and get buyers to buy what it is that they’re selling. So..

Jason H:

Right, right, very interesting. So, what’s next for you? What are you guys up to?

Jason V:

I say what’s next for us, let’s see, we’re about to re-launch..We’ve got three big priorities right now, one of them is the paid traffic. I think we’re all in on that with our team and getting lots of funnel with that. I say a lot more products. We’ve been around long enough that, you know, beginners have been our market for a long, long time and it’s still our primary focus, but our brand has been around for 9 years so we’ve got a lot of people who have “grown up” with our brand and now they have successful businesses and they want to know how to grow it to the next level.

Like, I’ve got an income stream, I’ve got a product, but now how do I take this and turn into a 6-figure, a 7-figure business. So, I think we need more products to meet the more diverse needs of our audience now that people have been following us for all of this time, so you know, you can expect more products meeting more, you know, variety of topics and needs in the internet marketing space from us and then what else..

Jason H:

Any tips on product development? Product creation?

Jason V:

Yes, our focus when it comes to products is make money before you even make the product.

Jason H:

So, tell us about that.

Jason V:

So, Facebook ads would be one great way to do this, but if you’ve got an email list, you can do this too. Like for instance, our most recent coaching course, tried to think of a good example, but yeah. So, here’s a launch where we made $325,000 in about one week and the product hadn’t even been made yet.

Now, we knew what the product was going to solve and clearly we had to come up with a pitch for that product, but you know, if you haven’t proved the pitch and the idea and like the pain that you’re going to be solving for the audience and they’re not voting with their wallet and going, “Yes, I want that.” Then, why should you spend a month or two or three or whatever developing a product?

The worst thing that you can do is like get this idea for a product and then like, spend all this time..usually people spend way too much time developing their products, part of that is perfectionism, part of that is actually fear to put out in the market, and then you put it out there just to find out that no bodies willing to buy it because it’s either the wrong product or the wrong pitch, so I’d say actually get sales before you even make the thing and the reason you can do that is because, like, we made all that money, but then immediately we started a coaching experience. The next week people were on GoToWebinar with us having interactions with us, we’re creating videos, we’re releasing those every week, we’re putting it out, so they knew that’s what they were getting into. They were buying into a multi-week, multi-month experience with us where we’d be releasing the content to that, but it’s more of that lean startup interactive iterative…

Jason H:

Aerocrete, yeah, love it.

Jason V:

Aerocrete process of creating a product. It’s like, let’s get paid now and know that we actually have a market and a product that that market wants before we waste a lot of time something no body wants.

Jason H:

Right, yeah, good points, good points. How about product format, Jason? Online courses with learning management systems, doing webinars, audio downloads, or what is the market place kind of wanting? What I’m kind of looking for is the next evolution of info marketing when I ask that question. Forever it seems like they’re been audio products back in the days of Nightingale-Conant when they were huge. Audiable took a lot of that market just for regular book book type stuff, although I really did like the Nightingale-Conant format than just a big long unabridged audio books, because you can just a lot more information, but then you know, that all converted to digital downloads and so forth. The learning management systems, the LMS systems, they’ll pace the learner and not let them go ahead, test them along the way, there’s all kinds of stuff out there now. Technologies and platforms to do that, what do you see?

Jason V:

Well, it’s definitely very interesting to watch platforms like Udemy, Skillshare to see what they’re doing. They’re definitely trying to change that landscape of how that stuff is delivered. Something I think information marketers that we really need to be thinking about is not just selling the information, but selling belonging, selling community, because that is the huge piece of the puzzle, a huge fundamental need that everybody has, and a huge value that you can offer and probably double your prices.

You know, our most recent launch was a $6,000 product and certainly that came with a bunch of audios and videos and checklists that came with some access to us in the form of group coaching calls and some occasionally office-hour chats where they can ask us some questions, but one of the biggest things that people have responded to and I think one of the biggest values that everybody has gotten from this course is the fact that we really, really emphasize that by buying into this coaching right now you’re going to be starting a journey with a group of people just like you, who are working on the same things as you, week after week, and you’re going to be able to interactive with them very readily, not only to get encourage and feedback and inspiration, you know, answers to your questions, but just so you don’t feel alone in this process of what you’re doing.

I think anybody that’s not building that into their course, in their systems, is really missing out on stickiness to their products. It’s missing out on something that they can charge more for and the wonderful thing is, it’s actually relatively easy to add in little time for us. So, like, the way we do that with our couching course is we create a private Facebook group. Now, that’s not the only thing we do, but that’s the core of it.

Jason H:

And it takes all of 10 seconds to set that up.

Jason V:

To start one, right, and some people are doing this with forums on their site and I think that’s, it works for some people, I think it’s a big mistake, because if you think about it, everyone’s already got a Facebook habit, not everybody has a forum habit, right. Now, a lot of these forums are not mobile friendly. Facebook is mobile friendly. So, when we moved these interactions and communities to Facebook, our interactions went through the roof. Our feedback and like the amount of feedback being added by our users every day, it’s just like completely changed how that entire thing looked.

Jason H:

It’s, you know, it’s a funny thing that you say. I think your point is very well taken. The other advantage for the information marketer is that you have sort of, this phase that I’m about to use has about 60 definitions and that’s web 2.0, the most over used phase in human history quite possibly. *Laughter*. But, one definition of it is, the users provide the content. When you setup these forums and setup community, frankly your own users do a lot of the work for you, which is a beautiful thing. I notice that in the private forums and groups on Facebook that I’m in, they’re not asking like the guru all the time and bugging the guru for, “Hey, how do I do this?” Or, “What’s the best thing for that?” Someone else will just post it and one of the other community members will answer the question. That’s the basis of friendship and community, so it really works very well, it’s a win-win-win thing.

You know, I agree with you about using Facebook. Of course, one of the possible downsides is we don’t own Facebook, so they could change anything at anytime. We’ve got to always keep that in the back of our minds. Some gurus or marketers want to control that experience a little bit differently, so they really do want to use their own forum and some do both, a lot of them do both. Where they have a Facebook group plus their own forum.

If you had, you said it was a mistake, I know that and I agree with you, but if you had to recommend a forum product, do you have one to recommend?

Jason V:

Well, I think a lot of the ones that are missing the features. I mean, the most recent one that we use and it’s been a couple of years now is just something that easily tacts on to WordPress, which I think is called..

Jason H:

Buddypress?

Jason V:

Buddypress, yeah. Something like that.

Jason H:

Yeah, Buddypress, okay.

Jason V:

But you know, the people that be going, “Oh, I don’t know about..I wanna control the experience.” Really, I challenge them to think, why? I mean, here’s the thing, yeah, if Facebook shuts down our group tomorrow, oh well. Like, we’ve got all those people on an email list. They’re going to go where ever we tell them to go next. Nothing is lost really other than I guess all that content that’s been building up, but that’s not the end of the world.

Now, if we didn’t have an email list and we were relying on a group to be our primary way of communicating with our leads or our customers, that would be a big mistake for sure.

Jason H:

I agree. Just wanted to point that out and ask that question. You know, be a little devil’s advocate, but this has been a great chat Jason, give out your website, tell people where they can find you, you know, if you have any special offers or anything you wanna mention.

Jason V:

Yeah, so if you just want to check out more..if any of this stuff we’ve been talking about resonates with you and you wanna hear more about starting and growing an interest business, we’ve got the podcast Internet Business Mastery. It was just a podcast that I started 2005 when I made that decision to be a podcasting expert, I figured I better have a podcast, so I actually started 3 at the time and this is one that’s grown so immensely popular that it’s become my primary business and we just absolutely love helping people find freedom and fulfillment and purpose through entrepreneurship and that’s a podcast that comes out every week. InternetBusinessMastery.com

Jason H:

Excellent, good stuff. Well, Jason Van Orden, thank you so much for joining us today.

Jason V:

Thank you, Jason.