Monthly Archives: Feb 2013

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Costco Marketing – Part II?

Last week, I wrote a post about former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal and how he embraces competition (you read it here).

But wait, there’s more! (yes, I love that awesome infomercial line).

You can learn a lot from a multi-billion dollar brick-and-mortar empire like Costco. Seriously.

Here’s something very interesting about Costco…

Costco is a massive “warehouse” and you aren’t familiar with their business model, here it is in a nutshell:

-Their products are never marked up more than 15%
-You must be a paid member to shop there (currently $55/year for regular membership and $110/year for executive membership)

But here’s something you might not realize.

Only around 1% of all their profits come from products sold. Most of their profits come from MEMBERSHIP FEES.

That’s right, membership fees account for virtually all their profits.

So the next time you spend $100 on 10 gallons of laundry detergent, realize only about $1 of that $100 is profit.

HOW CAN THIS HELP YOU?

Think about how you can apply the “costco” model to your business.

Perhaps you can create a membership and then offer discounted products?

When I go to any store (or visit any web site), this is EXACTLY how I think.

I look at the layout. The graphics. The pricing models. The checkout. The copy/advertisements. Everything.

And with each part of the business I see, I ask myself this simple question…

“How Can I Apply This To MY Business?”

Yes, it is that simple.

I’ve been thinking like this for as long as I can remember. Now, it’s automatic – and it’s the main reason I believe for my ability to create innovative business and products.

As a kid, when I was out with my dad – we always played that game (actually, we still do it when we’re together!). Every open storefront we see, we brainstorm what kind of business would thrive there. What could they open in that spot that will service the community?

When we’re at lunch, we look at the menu. At the ordering process. At the lines in the restaurant and we discuss how we could make it even better.

Now, I play that “game” with my kids. My 9-year-old Jordyn now knows everytime we see a “store for rent” sign, we start rattling off ideas of what would go well in that space (ok, she still says a “candy shop” or an “arcade” about 80% of the time, but we’re building her business muscles).

Seriously, it’s really, really powerful.

Don’t just do this for retail stores you visit, do this for EVERY web site you go to as well.

It’s NOT about getting on 100 “guru” lists and copying their headlines. That’s amateur hour and your stuff will look exactly like everyone else’s. That’s not where breakthroughs happen.

Breakthroughs happen when you look OUTSIDE your industry and ask “how can I apply that to MY business?”

Open your eyes. The world is your playground – go ahead… it’s ok to play.

DO YOU DO THIS TOO?
YOUR COMMENTS/FEEDBACK ARE WELCOME BELOW!

P.S. This program was one of my biggest “breakthroughs”. I think you’ll agree.

P.P.S. If you like this post, please “like”, g+ and tweet the heck out of it!

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Can You Learn Internet Marketing from Costco?

One of the best CEO’s on the planet was Jim Sinegal from Costco (he stepped down recently after a 30-year run as co-founder and CEO).

During a recent interview with SmartMoney when asked why he opposed a proposal by California to keep out Wal-Mart but allow Costco – he said…

“I always oppose these kind of things. Competition makes us better. Some of our best stores have a Sam’s Club next door.”

Let that sink in for a minute.

He not only embraces competition, he WANTS he wants them right next door.

Jim knows he will beat the competition because he is obsessed with one thing.. offering the lowest price. That’s everything. It’s in their DNA. In fact, they still offer a hot dog and soda for $1.50, and have kept the price the same for decades. They now manufacture their own hot dogs to keep the cost so low as other costs continue to rise.

Low prices is their competitive advantage, so I’m not saying YOU have to undercut your competition. But you do need something to differentiate from your competitors – and WIN.

So the next time you get scared about entering into a market with strong competitors, think about Costco – and embrace them.

In fact, you should want people to compare your products and services to your competition because YOU will win. And if you’re not confident you have a unique advantage, strengthen your advantage even more until it becomes crystal clear.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go to Costco and buy 300 rolls of paper towels.

Coach Lee.. out.

QUESTIONS? COMMENTS?
DO YOU EMBRACE YOUR COMPETITION?

P.S. Here’s one program that has a clear advantage for marketing training.

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Stop Holding Yourself Back

I recently had a free strategy call with a super-nice guy.

He has his own training facility and is trying to transfer that “offline” success to “online” success.

When I look at his blog, I was surprised.

Here it was, 4 or 5 months old and virtually zero content. And ZERO hint of him trying to promote it.

I asked, “how come you are not promoting your blog?”.

He replied, “because I don’t have an opt-in form.”.

Naturally, I said, “why not? it’s been months!”.

What do you think he said? Of course, “I’m trying to figure out how to do it myself.”

I yelled back (a supportive, loving yell of course), “4 MONTHS TO FIGURE OUT AN OPT-IN FORM????!!!”

UGGGGGG!!!!

INSANE

This is the kind of stuff that gets me insane.

You can find any half-decent web guy to create an opt-in form for around $20 tops.

So instead of spending his time MARKETING – he did nothing.

What’s the point of this rant?

Stop focusing on the small things and get resourceful.

If you are a personal trainer and don’t even have $20 to spend on a opt-in form, the barter a friggen personal training session for a form. Or sell some crap on craigslist or ebay to generate some money to put back into your business.

Creating a true lifestyle business is about one thing… MARKETING.

Get out there. Hustle and start making some sales.

Money loves speed.

Get off your butt and start moving. Start taking action – and stop making excuses.

Do you think I’m spending all day learning how to do CSS? Or HTML? Heck no!

You are the CEO of your business, even if it’s just you. And your role is to market and generate business. Period. End of story.

QUESTIONS? COMMENTS?
DO YOU AGREE? ADD YOUR COMMENTS BELOW

P.S. Want the blueprint for a 6-figure online business? Click here.

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Got a Goal?

During the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of free strategy calls.

Some of these entrepreneurs are making a rock-solid 6-figures and some have not made anything yet.

One of my first questions is “what are your goals?”.

It’a amazing how the answers are all over the board. But here’s the interesting thing.

The people who are making MORE are very specific about how much they’d like to ramp up to.

For example, I recently spoke to someone who is making around $150,000 per year. When asked about where he wants to take it to, he said, $750,000 within the next 36 months.

And the very next call was with someone still struggling to make their first buck online. I asked the same question, and his reply was “enough to pay the bills.”.

There are so many issues I could go into with that answer. Here are just a few…

  1. There’s no specific goal. How much do you need to “pay the bills”?
  2. There’s no specific timeframe. Do you want to reach that goal in 2 months? In 2 years?
  3. They are settling for mediocrity

If your only goal is to just “get by and pay the bills”, then that’s likely what you’ll get (enough to scrape by).

Don’t get me wrong, you don’t need to have my goals (to build a 9-figure business), and I’m not trying to push my agenda on anyone else.

If you are happy living paycheck to paycheck, then I’m happy for you. I’m not here to judge you.

However, I do believe there is a BIGGER issue with the perception of wealth – and far too many people purposefully set their goals low.

Like somehow if you have a million bucks in your bank account, you will become a snob or a jerk. Or everyone you know will suddenly resent you.

It’s not true. Does money change some people? Yes, but I think it more likely brings out an exaggerated version of yourself.

Let me put it this way…

If you were a jerk BEFORE you made money, you’ll still be a jerk AFTER you make the big bucks.

If you are a good person BEFORE you made it, you’ll still be a good person AFTER you make it.

THE KEY

What’s the point of this rambling, semi-incoherent post?

First, set a goal that is SPECIFIC (exactly how much do you want to make). It’s amazing how your brain starts to come  up with solutions when it has a specific goal to reach.

Next, set a goal that is MEASURABLE (when exactly will you achieve your goal). You must set timelines to achieve your goals – it’s mandatory.

And finally, when you do make it, keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.

Be humble (I’ve had issues with that in the past, and I’m still a work in progress). Be giving. Be caring. And help RAISE the spirits of everyone you come in contact with.

(oh yeah, and keep buying my stuff too!)

Rock on.

 

AGREE? DISAGREE?
DO YOU SET SPECIFIC FINANCIAL GOALS?

P.S. Let’s talk. Schedule a free strategy session here.

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Premium Continuity… (Your Ticket)

There’s been a lot of buzz about my “Premium Continuity” model. (if you don’t know what premium continuity is, please read the last post here).

After spending some time on the phone with a student of mine, he made some changes to his program and re-launched it following my “premium continuity” model – and within hours already had 25 people paying $99 PER MONTH (that’s $2,500 per month in recurring revenue in less than a day. I predict he will hit $37,000 per month during the next 3 months).

What was the secret to his success?

He offered less.

Premium Continuity (programs charging $99/month – $500/month and up) is NOT about overwhelming people with content. In fact, it’s often the opposite.

It’s that delicate balance between too much and too little.

For decades we’ve been conditioned to believe we must MORE is better.

If selling them one book is good – why not sell them 13 books?

But as a society, we are drowning. We are getting too much information and we need someone to help simplify things. And this is where premium continuity fits perfectly.

MY DILEMMA 

As I’ve said in previous posts, I will NOT turn this model into a “product” that people ripoff and sell a cheap $50 version of – as it will ruin it’s effectiveness. So I have decided to do ONE workshop teaching my system.

No cameras. No recordings. And no product.

It’s the ONLY time I will do this workshop in 2013. I will not be travelling or speaking or creating products about this model. And if you want to attend, you must sign an NDA agreeing not to disclose this content. In other words, you can’t come to the workshop and create your own program to resell. I am deadly serious about this.

This one-time 3-day event will show you exactly how to create your own premium continuity program. I’m talking step-by-step. Everything from choosing the exact amount of content to include. My pricing formula. How to drive traffic. How to sell it like crazy. And the secrets to a 97% retention rate (even for a $100/month program!). Litearlly EVERYTHING, step-by-step.

Me. You. One room for 3 days of the most intensive business/marketing training you’ve ever experienced. It will change your life.

However, here’s where I’m stuck

I was going to charge a lot for this workshop ($10,000.00 per person).

Yes, I know if you launch your premium continuity program following my steps, you can make that many times over PER MONTH.

But after speaking to so many people who desperately want to attend but simply can’t afford the $10K pricetag, it really hit me. It wasn’t that long ago when I was working full-time for $26k per year and would have done anything to attend a workshop like this. But even getting creative, it would have been way out of my league.

And I’m not one of those sleazy guys who says things like “well, just max out your credit cards” or “tap into your retirement account” to pay for it. That’s just not in my DNA and could never rationalize that type of selling.
Screen shot 2013-02-04 at 10.05.51 AM(on the right) A pic from one of my events… my workshops are 100% hands-on and pure content.

So here’s the scoop.

The workshop will be March 13th – 15th, 2013. It was supposed to be in the ultra-exclusive Ritz Carlton in White Plains, NY – but I might move it to a different location in either White Plains or Stamford, CT that is more affordable for attendees.

Like I said, I’m only doing this ONE-TIME and put a pricetag of $10,000.00 per seat.

If you really, really want to attend. I mean you’ll do anything to attend, let’s talk.

Email me directly at ryan (at) ryanlee.com with the SUBJECT = PREMIUM and please include the following…

1. How your idea for premium continuity is going to help your customers
2. How the money you can potentially make will impact your life
3. What can you reasonably afford to pay knowing the value of this workshop.

I’m serious – you name your price.

Now, please don’t insult me. If you say you can pay $1, I won’t respond.  I want attract people who REALLY, REALLY want this. And I’m also not doing the “let me come for free and when I make money I’ll pay you” email. You must have some skin in the game.

This is something I’ve never done before so I don’t know how it will go. But I’ve always been about putting myself out there and taking a chance.

I look forward to reading your email.

You rock.

ADD YOUR QUESTIONS/COMMENTS BELOW.
AM I INSANE FOR DOING THIS?

P.S. If you would like to attend on March 13-15th, email me at ryan (at) ryanlee.com with SUBJECT = PREMIUM going over the 3 things I outlined above in the post.

P.P.S. DO IT NOW! This workshop will be limited in numbers, so it’s first come, first serve.

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