Monthly Archives: August 2011

checklist

Your Simplified Social Media Checklist…

I’m not going to throw out statistics and tell you at this point you MUST so some type of social media marketing for your business. That’s a given at this point.

But, keeping with the theme of this site.. I’m going to make it super-simple for you.

A common question that floods my inbox is “hey Ryan, what type of social media marketing should I do?”

Here’s my answer and checklist all in one…

__ Just pick ONE type of social media outlet and concentrate on it.

Pretty simple huh?

Seriously, that’s it.

TOO MUCH NOISE

It’s just not possible to stay updated and current on dozens of social media sites.

Sure, you can find software to help automate it. That’s fine, but trying to do unique posts for each site is a fruitless venture.

OR you can “outsource” someone to do it for you (BIG mistake).

But my suggestion is just find that one platform and become really good at it. And right now, the biggest player (by far) is Facebook. It’s not even close.

However, don’t be surprised if that changes. The web changes everyday. Today’s Facebook could become yesterday’s Friendster (geocities anyone?).

It doesn’t have to be Facebook. Lewis Howes has built a 7-figure online business by focusing on LinkedIn.

ONE FINAL TIP

While we’re on the topic of social media invasion. Please, please… I’m begging you…turn off those annoying cell phone alerts every time you get a tweet, facebook message or email. That is a sure way to remain unproductive.

Just pick one time during the day to work on your social media marketing.. and the rest of the time concentrating on your profit generating activities.

What’s your next step?

Pick that one social media outlet and start getting connected.

QUESTION FOR YOU…

What type of social media outlets are you currently using? (answer in the comments below and you can plug your profiles and get some FREE exposure!)

P.S. Here’s another marketing blueprint. It’s my 21-day program.


line-drawn-in-the-sand

The Line in the Sand (Which Side Are You On?)

Make no mistake about it, the line in the sand has been drawn.

If you were fortunate enough to attend Clickbank Exchange last weekend in NYC, ALL of the successful information marketers (including yours truly) discussed the big shift in marketing. Gary Vaynerchuk, Joe Polish, Joe Sugarman, etc.. The same basic ideas was echoed over and over again (and there’s a reason all of us have had longevity in this insane world of information marketing).

In the “old” days (and by old, I mean 6+ months ago), you can still get away with putting out a sub-par offer and fill it with lots of hype to disguise the low quality of your product. And that campaign could run for months and months without much blowback.

Those days, my friend, are officially over. Gone. And never coming back. NEVER.

Do it JUST ONCE, and you’re done. Seriously, I’m not joking. It’s over before it even began.

Just try to pull one of those offers in Clickbank now.

First, you’d NEVER get approved.

And if you did happen to get approved, your refund rate would hit 50% and your account would get shut down in a flash. With a good chance of having you banned from selling on Clickbank in the future.

Plus, there’s zero chance of getting a merchant account if you want to sell products on your own.

Think paypal is an option? Just a few complaints and they HOLD your money.

And even if your account stayed up – once just a few customers saw how terrible your product was, they would tell EVERYONE about it.

I’m talking blogging, facebook, twitter, warrior forum, ripoff report and just about everywhere you can imagine.

So that means no sales anyway.

Like I said, game over.

THE OLD WAYS

Yesterday I held a mastermind meeting in my office with a handful of ethical marketers and I told a story of another “marketer” I met at a seminar.

As you may know, if you have a chargeback rate of over 1%, you’ll lose your merchant account. And since he provided almost zero value, terrible products and no customer service, he would get chargebacks. A LOT of chargebacks.

So to keep the PERCENTAGE of chargebacks under 1%, he would buy thousands of one-time debit cards and buy his own products. This means more total sales – and thus, the percentage of chargebacks would stay under 1%.

Seriously. That’s how he ran his business for years.

Needless to say I was shocked.

If you have to buy your own stuff just to keep chargeback percentages under 1%, you are doing something VERY wrong.

And now, that stuff would never fly. Not even for a minute.

THE NEW WAY

First, I have to admit I’m not perfect. I’ve done some stupid things in the past and will continue to screw up on an almost daily basis (just ask my wife!).

But one thing I’ve always done is try my hardest to put out real quality advice at a great value. It’s a pretty simple model. And by following some basic principles you probably learned when you were 5, it’s afforded me a great business, lifestyle and longevity in a fickle industry (going on 12+ years online and haven’t had a full-time job since 2001).

So I am laying down the gauntlet.

Let’s all stick together and vow to end the bullshit online, once and for all.

Let’s vow to create GREAT products.

Let’s start putting people BEFORE profits.

Let’s be transparent in our marketing and just be real.

Let’s think LONG TERM business instead of just a short term “one and done” product.

Let’s feel good about our products and hold our heads up high when people ask us what we do.

There’s a huge shift happening and now it’s time to choose a side.

And if you only care about lining your wallet, well, just ask some of the “gurus” who are struggling mightily right now how that’s working out for them…

Let’s bring some f*cking INTEGRITY back to marketing!!!

ARE YOU WITH ME?

Tweet this. “Like” this. Blog this. Spread the word…

(And add your comments, question and thoughts below)


beer

Drink Your Way to One Million Dollars

I just got back from an incredible event called “Clickbank Exchange”. It was Clickbank’s first ever live program and the entire weekend really rocked (big shout out to Beau Blackwell who did a great job organizing the event).

In addition to being one of the keynote speakers on Saturday, I also attended every session. (NOTE: if you think you know it all, you’re in big trouble!). And since it was a “no-pitch” event, I knew I’d get actual content from the sessions – not just a big sales session.

One of my favorite quotes was by Jeff Siegal. I met Jeff a few years ago at one of my Continuity Summits with his partner Isabel Del Los Rios. They have really kicked butt during the past 2 years and I’m so happy for their success.

About 15 minutes into his talk Jeff dropped this bomb…

“How I Drank My Way to One Million Dollars”

Huh?

What he meant was he established so many incredible affiliate and joint venture relationships by attending events and networking after hours. In the lobby bars long after everyone else has gone to sleep.

And let me tell you – it works.

(NOTE: You do NOT have to drink alcohol.. you can just have water! The point is to get out and socialize).

At the event, I spent HOURS meeting people in between sessions and at the networking party on Saturday night.

I have the names and numbers of over a dozen people who will add, AT LEAST, six figures to my business over the next 2 months.

I was working that room like it was my Bar Mitzvah in ’85!

And here’s the kicker.

Off in the distance, you’d see people on their cell phones or checking email during the breaks. Or worse, going back to their room to “get work done”.

Big mistake. Huge.

As I’ve been saying for the past few years (very subtly, I might add), is it’s all about relationships. And there’s nothing more powerful than meeting a person face-to-face.

You want to know the REAL secrets of the gurus?

They’ll all tell you the same exact thing.

It’s about RELATIONSHIPS.

When you get that… you win.

Get off the computer. Forget the stupid ‘auto-blog’ garbage and one-click software crap.

Nothing beats good old fashioned relationships. Nothing comes close.

Your Checklist

I love to give action items, so put this on your “to do” list.

Make sure to attend at least one event in YOUR NICHE market over the next 3 months. Find out who is speaking and attending – and create your “hit list” of who you want to meet.

When you meet them, simply say.. “How can I help/support you and your business?”. Then, shut your mouth and let them speak.

Interview them for your site (you do have a blog, don’t you?).

Email for them.

Show them you do what you say you are going to do.

Rinse and repeat with your “hit list”.

And when YOU become THE go-to person in your industry… just cut me a check for 10% for my advice :)

(or, just buy a copy of my book and we’re even!)

Rock on!

AS ALWAYS, YOUR COMMENTS/QUESTIONS ARE ENCOURAGED! LET’S KEEP BUILDING THIS COMMUNITY OF LIKE-MINDED ENTREPRENEURS READY TO CLEAN UP THE INDUSTRY.




policetape

The System is Broken.. It's Time to Fix It!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you know the world of “internet marketing” is going down and it’s going down FAST!

Why is this happening?

INSIDE PERSPECTIVE

First, I have a unique perspective inside this strange world.

I’ve been online since 1998 (before youtube and before facebook!) and I personally know just about every big “player” in the industry. Some are good peeps who really care about helping their clients. And others…. well – let’s just say if you have nothing nice to say about someone, don’t say anything.

I’ve spoken at dozens of big marketing events and have been behind the scenes of multi-million dollar launches.

So everything I’m about to tell you is from first hand experience, not from someone just sitting on the sideline and making bitter accusations like a jilted lover.

Also, just a quick disclaimer. I am not perfect. Never claimed to be. I’ve screwed up so many times I’ve lost count and will continue to screw up. So this is not a way to say I’m better than anyone else – it’s just an inside view from a guy who’s seen it all and just tries to do the right thing.

SHORT TERM THINKING

Many “gurus” built their business with a short term perspective. It made sense – the more offers you mail your list, the more money you make. So, you keep hitting your list over and over again until they either buy or unsubscribe.

And it worked – for years.

After all, it was easy to refill your bucket with new leads.

Google didn’t mind squeeze pages. Clicks and leads were pretty cheap.

But things started to change…

Suddenly Google didn’t like squeeze pages anymore and just about every niche market started getting more competitive.

Leads was quickly becoming more expensive. And the lists were getting burned out quickly.

And in order to make the math work for the more expensive leads work, you had to create more expensive products.

THE $2K PRODUCT

During the heyday, the $2K product became the norm in the online marketing world.

Just have a bunch of your buddies mail your $2k offer, you get $1k and he get’s a $1k commission. Life was great.

UNTIL.. people stopped buying the $2k products. The economy changed and people caught onto the game.

What used to be a $2 million dollar launch is now $100K (still good money, but not when you hire 20 staff and spend the rest like MC Hammer in the 90s!).

Oops!

NO TRUST

Now, your list is shrinking and you can no longer rely on the big launch paydays.

But you’re in really big trouble because even your subscribers no longer trust you.

They KNOW you only mail offers because you either owe someone a reciprocal mailing OR it pays a good commission.

It doesn’t matter if the product is good or crap.

But, your customers care. And if you don’t look out for them.. your in BIG trouble. So now, even your “internal launches” bomb.

And since these guys are “teaching” so many other people how to copy their “success”… it’s no wonder why so many people are struggling to make money online.

THE FIX IS SIMPLE

It’s amazing how simple the fix is.

And it has nothing to do with bullshit push-button software, automatic blogging, or automated comment posting.

It’s getting back to basics and it takes a little bit of work (I know, that’s a dirty word!).

Here’s a simplified blueprint…

  • Find a targeted niche and be the best in that market
  • Create a blog with really good content (never be boring)
  • Be open, honest and transparent. ALWAYS.
  • Create irresistible offers (digital products, continuity programs, etc.)
  • Build relationships and continue to market every single day
  • Never choose short term profits if it will ruin your credibility (in other words, STOP promoting crappy products just for a commission!)
  • Protect your subscribers like you would protect your own children.

Don’t just email your list when you have something to sell them.

Don’t stay away for a month then suddenly start mailing them with a “pre-launch” they can see coming from a mile away.

Trust me.. when you start to actually CARE about your subscribers.. marketing becomes very, very easy.

It’s the reason a “new breed” of marketers (like my friends Marie Forleo, Chris Farrell, Lewis Howes, Jason Fladlien, David Risley, etc.) are thriving while so many old-school marketers are dropping like flies.

STOP thinking like a marketer.. and start communicating like a trusted friend (yes, you can quote me on that one!)

P.S. Want my 21-day blueprint. Grab my book here. (you didn’t think I’d forget a little plug for myself, did you?)

P.P.S. I have, what might be, my final program coming in a few weeks. It’s a game changer and one that will make all the other marketers who are on shaky ground even more nervous. There’s nothing more dangerous than someone who has nothing to lose :)

As always, add your UNCENSORED and UNEDITED comments below.


Keepin' It Real: Your True Blueprint for Online Domination

When I worked as a teacher in the South Bronx over a decade ago, lots of my students would say things like “keep it real” (they also had lots of profanity-laced phrases that I can’t repeat here!).

Think about that phrase for a minute.. KEEP IT REAL.

In your marketing, are you keeping it real or are you just spitting out lame-ass sales copy that you *think* works.

Are you truly being yourself?

I was speaking to an old college friend a few weeks ago. He said when he reads my emails or watches my videos – it’s amazing how I haven’t changed at all. It’s just like back in college before I was “selling” anything.

And I told him I am just being me – and that’s why it feels so natural (and why it works!). If people stopped trying to pretend to be someone else, marketing would be so much easier.

Here’s a prime example of what I’m talking about…

SPEECHLESS

I remember a coaching call I did about 6 months ago. Instantly, I could tell on the phone the woman was a really sweet, caring person. She was a psychotherapist who helped other woman overcome obstacles in their lives.

She put up a web site and I was shocked when I opened the browser and saw it. Literally speechless.

She had this big, outrageous headline. The kind of headline some hack internet marketer who’s selling push-button crap software would use . And the rest of the copy was worse.

It was aggressive. Pushy. And a hard sell from the beginning.

And her results?

Zero sales.

Not surprising at all.

DISCONNECT

There was such a disconnect between her, her message, her market and her sales copy.

I told her to take down all the copy and just do a simple video.

Nothing fancy. Just her and a camera.

And talk to your subscribers just as you would in person. Be you and be sincere.

She had incredible success “offline” and for some reason, she thought selling “online” was different.

It’s NOT!

People are people. Just take what is working in your in-person business, and translate that online.

It’s pretty simple.

When I told her it’s ok to just be yourself – she said it was like a weight was lifted off her shoulders. I could hear her take a deep breath and I knew from there she was going to market her services in a way that was congruent to her soul.

THE TAKEAWAY

Think about the real you and the message you want to convey to the world.

Find your mission and never, ever stop trying to spread your message.

Don’t try to be me. Or any other marketers.

Just be you.

LET’S HEAR YOUR COMMENTS, QUESTIONS and FEEDBACK BELOW.

P.S. Here’s THE handbook for finding your passion and turning it into online gold.


Continuity Summit 3 – YOU Set the Price!

This morning, I spent some time getting the recordings from the Continuity Summit 3 ready for release.

I was re-watching some of the sessions and it’s DEFINITELY the best event we’ve ever put on (if you were there, you know what I’m talking about).

Seriously. The session about creating membership sites (and keeping members) by Stu McLaren itself was priceless.

Yanik Silver’s session on creating raving fans.

Lewis Howes going deep into free social media marketing.

Matt Bacak showing how he broke Clickbank’s all-time sales record by having thousands of affiliates promoting his product.

Chris Farrell laying out his entire 7-figure membership business model.

Marie Forleo detailing how to sell premium products and coaching services.

Over 13+ hours of 100% pure meat!

YOU DECIDE!

So, dear subscriber, I leave it in your hands.

I will release this as downloadable videos.

What is all this continuity content worth to you?

I want you to set the price!

Other marketers wouldn’t have the balls to trust their clients to set the price.. but I trust you will make a fair decision.

Put your price in the comments below…


My "Retirement" Event?

It’s been a great run.

Back in 2001 – I launched my very first paid membership site. And since then, I haven’t slowed down.

Literally hundreds of products, workshops, seminars, webinars, teleseminars, and the list goes on and on…

Now, it’s 2011 and the 10-year anniversary is bringing reflection on my business and life.

As I’ve always taught, your business will change over time. It must. You have no choice.

And while I will still continue to blog at ryanlee.com, my business will become even more simplified (you’ll soon see what I’m talking about) as I laser-focus on just a couple of my core businesses.

When I started my first free site for my personal training business, I was in my 20s and not yet married.

Now, I am married, have 4 young children and just 14 months away from 40! If you are even close to my age, you’ll probably agree that life moves very fast.

MY FAREWELL EVENT!

I love putting on live events – but they are a lot of work and take a ton of time.

So I’m considering doing ONE FINAL EVENT.

A celebration and a farewell at the same time.

One event to bring together all the great people who love marketing and love to do it ethically.

There would be tons of networking, marketing and lots of fun!

If I do this – it will be a 100% pitch-free event. Zero selling, just all content.

But since it does take quite a bit of effort to put it together – especially on short notice, I need your input.

The event would likely be in either September or October (yes, about 4-6 weeks away) and in Stamford, CT.

If I get enough people who REALLY want to attend – then I’ll put it on.

Just post here in the COMMENTS if you would like to attend (yes, I know there are no dates or real details yet, I just need an idea on how many people are interested).

Tell me if you’re in below – and I look forward to hearing from you…


The Truth About "List Building"

Go to any marketing event – and you’ll hear people asking the same question..

“How big is your list?”

But there are a few BIG differences between a list of BUYERS and a list of PROSPECTS.

Prospects vs. Buyers

Prospects are people who come on your list and haven’t bought anything.

It might be a free report or a free video – but they never took out a credit card and made a purchase.

Having a big list of prospects is great, however it’s not nearly as good as a LIST OF BUYERS!

This is where the gold is.

That’s why I always recommend having some low-cost front end products.

The affordable front end products will attract BUYERS – and that what’s most important.

Why do you think I wrote 2 books that sell for less than $30? And why do I recommend creating low-cost $5 per month membership sites?

There’s a HUGE difference between someone who spent $30 for a book vs. someone who just opted in for a free report. Ask any “coaching floor” and they’ll tell you the same thing.

Front-End Checklist

Here are some ideas of low-cost front end products you can start creating to build a list of BUYERS today…

  • eBook
  • Print book (hardcover or softcover)
  • DVD
  • Downloadable video series
  • CD
  • Downloadable audio series
  • CD-Rom

In general, you’d want to keep this product under $30. That seems to be a good place to start with less reluctance to purchase.

So get out there and start creating buyers.

Post your questions, comments and feedback below.

P.S. This is my 21 day system to creating low-cost front end products. And yes, it’s just $29.95 :)