Monthly Archives: August 2012

onair

Video? Yes or No.

There’s a part of me that is satisfied the way things are going here at RL Headquarters.

I crank out some written content from Starbucks. Add new programs to FounderFly. And still work “behind the scenes” on my other businesses.

But there’s that other part of me. The part that is never satisfied and always looking to make things better. Lots better.

I really do value your feedback. After all, this site and all my programs are FOR YOU. Without you, my loyal subscriber, I’d still be working as a gym teacher in the Bronx (nothing wrong with that.. it just wasn’t for me).

So here’s my question.. and you can answer with a simple “YES” or “NO”. You can, of course, give a reason why you feel strongly either way.

Should I create new VIDEOS on this blog? (or, do I just stick to written content).

I was thinking of something fun (and something to feed my enormous ego like “The Ryan Lee Show”). And, like all my information, it would be short and to the point. Definitely less than 10 minutes “per show”.

Again, if you can just take 5 seconds and let me know if you’d like to see me crank out videos (or, just stick with the written posts).. that would be sweet.

VIDEO? YES OR NO?
PLEASE LEAVE YOUR FEEDBACK BELOW

P.S. On a completely unrelated note, click here.


mysteryguest

Win a FREE Ticket to DotComXpo…

Tomorrow, I am going to announce another keynote speaker for DotComXpo.

This person is the founder of one of the hottest marketing companies on the web. The growth has been unreal during the past year or so.

He is not a well-known business celebrity like my other keynote speaker, Daymond John (founder of FuBu and star of ABC’s Shark Tank), but the guy has serious marketing chops.

Here the contest…

You get ONE GUESS who it is. Just enter your guess below.

CONTEST ENDS AT 10AM EST on Wednesday, August 29th.

For everyone who guesses correctly, I will randomly choose a name out of a hat and that person will win 2 FREE TICKETS to DotComXpo (a $1,000 value)

Even if you already have a ticket to DCX, you can still guess – and if you win, give the tickets to a friend.

GUESS BELOW TO WIN FREE TIX
TO DOTCOMXPO 2012

P.S. DCX 2012 is the HOTTEST business and marketing event in the world. Great content. Great people. And no pitching. Oh yeah.. it’s gonna rock. Get your tix today.


generallee

The Mini-Cliffhanger: How to Reduce Refunds Part I

Last week, I talked about the overall strategy to reduce refunds. Now, it’s time to get into some specifics.

One of my favorite shows as a kid was the Dukes of Hazzard. Man.. Bo and Luke Duke could do no wrong in my eyes – and don’t get me started about Daisy Duke!

If you ever watched the show, they always broke to commercial with an action shot. It was usually the General Lee (their car) flying over a ditch just as the announcer would say something like “well folks.. I don’t know if Bo and Luke will survive this one”. And then, BAM, commercial.

I was hooked and couldn’t turn away. Of course, that was before we had a remote control so getting off the couch to actually turn the channel is a whole different story.

MINI-CLIFFHANGERS

I like to use something I’ve coined “mini-cliffhangers”.

These are small teasers I use within my continuity programs.

For a fitness site, it could be something like “coming next week, my all-time favorite ab exercise that you can do while standing in line”.

Or, for a marketing site it might be “coming on Wednesday, you’ll see the trick I used to bring in 3,196 new subscribers in one hour.. for free”.

These are simple and keep people interested in what’s coming next — especially if you are selling content (membership site, cd of the month, etc.).

You will be AMAZED at just how powerful this tactic is and so few people do it correctly.

They just throw out new content without a hint of what’s coming.

If you did nothing else but concentrate on thinking just one week or one month ahead.. you’ll see a huge surge in retention.

But…

 

DELIVER THE PROMISE

Just like the Dukes of Hazzard having the General Lee land safely… when people come back, you must deliver on your promise.

If you tease them about a new tactic to bring in 3,196 new subscribers – you better give it to them when they stick around. If you don’t deliver, you will be rewarded with a flood of angry members, refunds, cancellations and chargebacks.

Now get out there, put on a pair of Daisy Dukes and create your own mini-cliffhangers.

Your coach has spoken.

DO YOU USE MINI-CLIFFHANGERS?
HAVE SOMETHING TO ADD? GET INVOLVED BELOW. 

P.S. Want to see the hottest club for entrepreneurs that has people sticking around… click here.

P.P.S. If this resonates with you, please like, tweet or +1 below.

 


Screen shot 2012-08-24 at 9.06.00 AM

How to Get Virtually ZERO Refunds

I recently heard a story about a well-known marketer who told a group of people that “information marketing” is dead and the days of kissing your customers ass for 60 days in order to reduce refunds is over.

I knew the first part was just to get attention as he prepares to sell another product to “solve that problem”, but it was the second part that really got my attention.

You have to kiss your customer’s ass to reduce refunds? Really?

I’ve been selling information online since 1999 – and I don’t remember ever having to kiss ass to reduce refunds.

 

THE PROOF

First, I’d like to show you actual PROOF I live what I teach and don’t just make up theories.

If you know anything about the world of “Internet Marketing” (and especially selling through Clickbank, which I LOVE – but is very easy to receive refunds), it’s not uncommon for refund rates to hover between 13-40%.. and I know of some who hit the 50% REFUND rate.

This is a screenshot of my refunds for FounderFly taken this morning:

 

That’s right.. 1.69%.

Yes, it’s a new site but we have A LOT of FounderFlyer’s who have joined.. so we are working with pretty good data.

Now I’m going to reveal my big secret on how I keep my refunds so low. A secret so powerful (yet so simple), it will change the way you do business forever.

It comes down to just 3 little words.. are you ready?

“GIVE A SH*T”

That’s it.

Please pardon my language but I haven’t found a better way to say it so you really, truly get it.

You MUST “give a sh*t”  about everything.

  • Give a sh*t about your customers
  • Give a sh*t about the quality of your products
  • Give a sh*t about your customer support system
  • Give a sh*t about delivering on your promises you made during the sales process
  • Give a sh*t about delivering MORE than what you promised
  • Give a sh*t about listening to your customers
  • Give a sh*t about showing your customers you are in it for the long-haul (not just a launch)
  • Give a sh*t about your graphics
  • Give a sh*t about your customer experience (packaging, downloads, dashboard, etc.)

Seriously.. is it that hard to just care?

And no, you DON’T need to shell out money on a product about “how to reduce refunds”.

Just show your customers or members that you truly care about their success by treating them with respect.. and you will be rewarded with record-low refunds. It’s how I’ve always run my businesses… and it’s worked out OK for me.

OR… maybe you should just keep pounding your new customers everyday with an aggressive, hypey 79-step autoresponder sequence you learned from some jackass “Internet marketer” about how to suck all the money from them.

AGREE? DISAGREE?
ARE YOU WITH ME?

 P.S. Go here and spend just $1 to see EXACTLY what I do in my business that blows people away (and model it in your own business)


unplug

The Power of Unplugging

My wife and I just got back from a 10 day vacation in Paris, France with our 4 children. And I made a vow to her, to my kids and to myself that I will not go online during the entire vacation.

And I held true to my word (except for taking a peek at my email one time for 10 minutes on the 3rd day just to make sure there were no emergencies). But other than that, it was over a week of no Internet. No email. No facebook. No skype.

Let me tell you.. it was amazing.

Maybe you are thinking that is crazy. You could never spend 10 days being completely unplugged, but it was so refreshing…

I was able to TRULY enjoy being “present” with my family without feeling the impulse to glance at my iPhone. And my “mental batteries” are now fully recharged. I also never realized how often I would glance at my iPhone like a reflex (the first day I found myself just pickup up my phone for no reason.. then I simply put it down).

THE CLARITY

It’s hard to explain just how much clarity I had in regards to my business just be being disconnected. All I had was my handy-dandy composition notebook and a pen. And when my children went to sleep for the night, I started writing down all my ideas like a madman.

Copy. Hooks. New business models. Graphics.

You name it, the ideas couldn’t stop flowing even if I wanted them to.

Perhaps it was partly being inspired by the environment. The Eiffel Tower. Seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. A boat tour on the Senne. Seeing all the artists at Montmarte. And even spending 3 days in Disney Paris cleared my head while eating one too many ice creams.

I truly believe if you want to unlock your creativity and your innovation… you must take time away from the computer.

My biggest ideas, with companies like FounderFly, always come to me when I’m AWAY from my computer.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION

Hey, I understand not everyone is able to hop on a plane to Paris to get “inspired” – but you can take mini-breaks in your week.

If taking a week away from the computer is too scary of a thought for you.. then start small.

Schedule in a 3-hour block of time once a week. No computers. Turn off your cell phone.. heck, leave your cell phone at home and commit to unplug.

Go for a walk in a park.

Take a long drive.

Go explore a town or neighborhood you haven’t seen before. Walk into the local stores and start conversations with the merchants (I love doing this). I’ll ask questions like, “hey, how’s business treating you?”. You’d be surprised how much small business owners love to talk about their business.

And once you can handle the 3 hours being “offline”, work up to a full day once a week.

Then eventually, a full week of no Internet.

It was one of the best things I’ve ever done for my family, for myself and yes.. even for my business.

Now it’s time for you to unplug, get inspired and change the world.

You with me?

HOW OFTEN DO YOU UNPLUG?
COULD YOU GO A WEEK WITH NO INTERNET? COMMENT BELOW

P.S. Make sure you see why everyone is buzzing about FounderFly

P.P.S. Did you get your ticket to DotComXpo yet?


superfly

Become a Category-Killer: Part IV (How to Become Unbeatable)

Let’s keep rocking with this ongoing series that is a true “behind the scenes” of FounderFly.

In Part I I revealed my 3 steps for innovation. Part II was the system for creative naming. And Part III addressed the idea of simplicity.

Now, it’s time for Part IV… finding your DOMINANT, unbeatable position in your market.

STEP 1: DETERMINE THE “NORM”

First step is to see what everyone else in your marketplace is doing.

This is pretty simple and doesn’t take focus groups or an MBA.

Block off a few hours, fire up “the google”, and start searching.

Look at all the other players in your market and write down their offers.

Pay attention to things like the product format (ebooks, membership sites, live events, webinars, etc.), sales process (video sales letters, squeeze pages, long copy, upsells, etc.) and the pricing models (expensive, free trials, low-price, continuity, etc.).

After just a little bit of time, the trends will become clear. Very clear.

How do I know this? Because many marketers are just lazy and blindly copy the “leader”… that’s a good thing for you since you are willing to put a little bit of work in to dominate, right?

STEP 2: TAKE THEIR PULSE

The next step is to simply observe the customers.

Go to discussion forums. Facebook groups. Blog comments. Signup for google alerts. And see what the people are saying about the marketplace.

You’ll pretty quickly see more trends and 2 or 3 BIG issues that continue to come up over and over again. It might be discontent with your competition. Or the copy is too hypey. Or they are tired of membership sites. Or it’s too hard to learn the material.

Each market is different – but mark my words, you will see it.

Another big tip… get off your ass and go to events in your market. And TALK TO PEOPLE! It’s funny how you can feel the “pulse” of the group just by attending a live event.

Pretty simple, huh?

STEP 3: GO INTO DOMINATION MODE

Now that you found the trend and you can clearly see the discontent in your market… it’s time to put your head down and go to work.

Create an offer that does two things at the same time…

1. Is a complete 180 degrees of what your competitors are offering
2. Truly addresses the needs/wants/desires of your customers

With FounderFly – one of the main selling points is that it’s a 100% clean offer.

WTF does that mean?

It means since EVERY other person in “IM” does upsells. And levels of membership. And is constantly trying to “monetize” every step – FounderFly was built on the opposite.

NO upsells. NO levels. It’s truly “you get EVERYTHING” in one place.

This sounds easier said than done but it was a struggle. I know how much money I am giving up on the front-end by not having upsells. I also understand that by not having upsells, it could have potentially lowered my “EPC” – which means many affiliates wouldn’t mail for it.

But it was a risk I had to take – and one that has paid off and will continue to. Not just from a business sense and a customer perspective, but an “industry-wide” movement.

It’s a position that was aligned with what people really wanted as well as the OPPOSITE of all my competitors.

ARE YOU READY?

If you were looking for a magic button – I’m sorry to burst your bubble. It doesn’t exist.

If you really want to create a long-term business that can dominate, that can help your customers AND give you a great lifestyle… you have to be smart, strategic, think of your customers first and take inspired action.

Now get out there and change the world, will ya?

AGREE? DISAGREE?
ADD YOUR COMMENTS BELOW

P.S. Seriously? You haven’t joined FounderFly yet? Get over there now… See the FREE TOUR here..

P.P.S. If this resonates with you, please like, tweet and +1 it below.


meditationrocks

Become a Category-Killer: Part III (Less is More)

In this ongoing series, I am taking you behind the scenes of EXACTLY how I came up with (and built) FounderFly. It’s been fun to show you what was going on in my crazy brain during the process.

In Part I of this ongoing series, I shared my 3 steps for innovation. And Part II was about coming up with a creative company/product name.

Now, let’s get into the art of “simplicity”.

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Apple. No, I’m not a psychopath who sleeps out to get an iPhone on the first day or any of that craziness, I just love their products and marketing. But most of all, I love the “feel” of the brand and how it relates to SIMPLICITY.

A few months ago, I went deep into what really makes Apple tick.. and as I read every book I could about Apple & Steve Jobs — the core message I read over and over again is reducing the clutter and making things simple.

So I knew my new membership site had to be simple, simple, simple.

PROBLEM WITH MEMBERSHIP SITES

The first thing I did was look at membership sites I had created in the past and all the other membership sites in not only my category, but other markets as well.

Even though I thought my former “Ryan Lee Inner Circle” was very simple with a clean dashboard, it still got confusing. Some content was dripped. Other content wasn’t organized enough. There were navigation links on the top and on the right.

And now, with this new idea for a site to have over 30+ products (with more added all the time and the eventual goal of over 500+ products), how do I create it without it become an unruly beast?

Plus, the “community forums” were going to be a major part of the site – and most forums require separate passwords. It never truly feels integrated.

So I went back to the drawing board and thought.. how could I get EVERYTHING on ONE PAGE.

That was my goal.

ONE DASHBOARD. ONE PAGE where everything is at your fingertips. Products. Community. Updates. Videos. And more…

I looked at layouts. At plugins. I looked everywhere.

I went back and forth with my programmer. I think my programmer was going to have a heart-attack if he heard me say “No … it’s gotta be even MORE simple” even one more time.

And then it hit me.

Just keep everything in one simple “forum-based” dashboard.

This way…the forums were there. The products could be delivered there. The groups. Instant messaging. The “News”. The new weekly videos.

Everything in one place.

My programmer even tried to twist my arm to go with a really, full-featured forum. Something with hundreds of features (expanded profiles, multiple-pages/categories, and more). But I knew that wasn’t the right way to go.

I told him we must find the most simple, non-elegant forum layout. Something you can start using in seconds and doesn’t require any training. The less features the better. What I left out was just as important as what will be included!

SO SIMPLE

I think when members first logged in, they were a bit shocked.

They didn’t understand how it could really be that simple. Was it just a forum? Where were the videos?

Then, after about 10 seconds.. they “got it” and dug right in.

Since the official release last week, we have put A LOT of new members into FounderFly – and I can count on one hand the number of questions we had about navigating the site. Maybe 1 or 2 emails.

Compare that to other sites with even 1/100th of the content of FounderFly. Heck, even the Inner Circle would get dozens of emails from confused members.

Why make things more complicated than they need to be?

YOUR “KEEP IT SIMPLE” CHECKLIST

OK, I’m going to make it easy for you.

This is the one question you must ask yourself about your product (ebook, membership site, online training course, etc.)…

Does your product require a “training video” to understand how to use it?


If it does require a video to use it.. then make your product delivery more simple. Keep paring it down.

Eliminate the unnecessary. Get rid of the clutter. And make it simple for your customer to consume.

You (and your customers) can thank me for it later!

Stay tuned for Part IV coming soon…

DID YOU ENJOY THIS ARTICLE? SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!
IS YOUR PRODUCT DELIVERY SIMPLE ENOUGH?

P.S. See for yourself why FounderFly has changed marketing forever.

P.P.S. If this resonates with you, feel free to like, tweet or +1 it.


tm

Become a Category-Killer: Part II (Winning the Name Game)

In this ongoing series, I am going to take you behind-the-scenes of how I launched FounderFly – and how you can duplicate my success. Some of the things I have done are innate and a little hard to explain, but for the first time, I’ll try and dissect what was going on in my head when I decided to go in this direction.

In Part I, I talked about innovation and looking outside your industry for inspiration.

Now, I’m going to tell you my process for creating a memorable name.

Your name is so important and should never be just an afterthought.

I like to go with my gut, and I have to be excited about name before I use it.

In fact, I had another name I was going to use for FounderFly.. but it never felt 100% right to me. So I went on a mission to find a better one – and didn’t nail it until about a week before launch.

We moved quickly to create a new logo and branding – however I knew it was worth the extra effort and last-minute panic.

So here you go.. my 3 steps to create your own branding, ass-kicking company or product name…

STEP 1: BRANDED VERSUS KEYWORD

I knew immediately the site should be a unique name. I didn’t want it to be called something like “Make Money Online Club” or “Internet Marketing Weekly”.

To me, they just sound a bit too generic. And it would be hard to stand out with a name like that.

Can it be done? Can you make a program like that successful? Yes, but it wasn’t in my vision of creating a program that transcends typical “internet marketing”.

I also didn’t want a completely fictional name like gozootality or motakizroo. I wanted a name that was unique, but still had some grounding in the true meaning. In other words, when someone hears the name – they will have some idea what it might be about.

STEP 2: LOOK FOR THE “ONE” HOOK WORD

The next step was to find that one big word I could hang my hat on. The “hook”.

There were a lot to choose from. And while “entrepreneur” seemed like the obvious choice, there are major issues with not only potential confusion with Entrepreneur magazine – the spelling is a nightmare.

Other choices were to go for the benefit. Works like “lifestyle” and “profit” were considered, but I didn’t feel like it really nailed what I was trying to get across.

So after literally spending a week or so going through every possible name, I finally decided on FOUNDER.

It just felt right.

I wanted this to be a place for people who want to become independent. And a “founder” of a business sounds like they are building a real business – which would keep away the “bizop seekers” (and I did NOT want this site to attract the lazy, get rich quick people).

So FOUNDER it was.. now, it was time to find another word to complement it. On to Step 3…

STEP 3: LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION

As a recap, I knew I wanted a unique name. And “Founder” would be somewhere in the name.

Next, it was time to find some inspiration.

I love, love, love words that have alliteration. So ideally, I wanted a word that started with an “F”. But what could it be?

First, I went to thesaurus.com and checkout out all the possibilities… however I didn’t find anything the really resonated with me. There were words like “freedom” and “first”, but they weren’t the right feel.

So next, I went on the search for inspiration.

This new business should feel like a company that will be mentioned in the big magazines like Inc and Fast Company. And a company that could have received millions of dollars in funding just because of the name and idea.

If you heard “The Make Money Online Club” received $15 million in funding, you’d never believe it. The name simply doesn’t match – it feels too gimmicky. And my new site is all about being real, honest and transparent.

So I headed over to a site where those type of well-founded companies are featured.. techcrunch.

After spending about an hour searching through their posts and looking for recently funded companies – I found a company that had the word “FLY” in it. The company had nothing to do with entrepreneurship (in fact, I can’t even remember the name of the company off the top of my head), so using “fly” would not lead to any confusion in my market.

I take the word I already wanted to use FOUNDER and combine it with FLY and I came up with…

FOUNDERFLY

I kept saying it. FounderFly. FounderFly. The feeling in my gut was immediate.

It was a brand I could create. Something I could own. And something that still gets across my mission while having the appearance of stability – along with all the fun ways I could play with the word “fly” (my title is officially the Chief SuperFly).

The moment I combined those to words, I rushed over to see if it was available as a .com name.. I did a Trademark check. It was all clear and I immediately bought it.

And the rest.. is history.

Think about what other sites and blogs you can visit for inspiration? It’s like a jigsaw puzzle with moving parts. Your job is to put that puzzle together.

I hope this post gave you some insight to my thought process.

Get out there and don’t be lazy picking the right name.

WAS THIS HELPFUL FOR YOU? READY FOR PICK A ROCKIN’ NAME?
SHARE YOUR QUESTIONS/COMMENTS BELOW

P.S. If you found this valuable, please help share the love by clicking “like”, “tweeting” or “+1″.

P.P.S. If you want to see what all the buzz is about.. go to FounderFly.com right now.