From the archive: This episode was originally recorded and published in 2018. Our interviews on Entrepreneurs On Fire are meant to be evergreen, and we do our best to confirm that all offers and URL’s in these archive episodes are still relevant.
Tom Antion has never had a job. He’s an Internet Multi-millionaire, “guy next door”, and founder of the only licensed, dedicated Internet marketing school in the country.
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3 Value Bombs
1) The main things you need to be successful are persistence, consistency, and copywriting. Increase your knowledge and you’ll be able to be successful with low risk and very high return.
2) The people who are successful are persistent and consistent with what they do.
3) You’ll hear nothing bad about you if you take care of people and if you do what you say you’ll do.
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**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: A 3-Prong Attack for a Seven Figure Income
[01:12] – Tom shares something interesting about himself that most people don’t know.
- He owned a ‘practical joke company’ where you could hire him and his team to pull custom-designed practical jokes around Washington D.C.
[02:57] – Is it possible for entrepreneurs in today’s world to create an online income generator in one hour or less?
- Find a piece of software that you like and enjoy using that has an affiliate program. That’s where you get a commission for recommending it.
- Use a screen capture software and do a tutorial on how great the software is, what it will do for someone, and how to use it. Then, put it on YouTube and you get a commission when somebody watches it and gets the software through the affiliate link.
- The 2 big affiliate websites are Clickbank and JVZoo
- The number one mistake is that people don’t do keyword research.
- You have to say your keywords in the video because YouTube has been using voice recognition to listen to what you say as part of your ranking structure.
- A lot of little stuff adds up to big stuff in the future.
- The people who are successful are persistent and consistent with what they do.
[13:34] – We all have hobbies. How do we make it legitimately tax deductible?
- With all the powerful tools we have available to us, you can put up a WordPress site for free and write about a topic you love. You don’t have to create a product if you don’t want to. You can create an affiliate relationship instead. You’ll start making money from that, blogging about it, and doing the things that you love. It’s legitimately tax deductible.
[17:06] – Piss off the other gurus in your market and FAIRLY take their business with an outrageously unique mentor program.
- When you get good at something, people notice and they’ll ask you to help them.
- You’ll hear nothing bad about you if you take care of people and if you do what you say you’ll do.
[24:44] – How can someone put together a video production studio for their business to create high-quality videos for only $3,000?
- If you’re in a decently populated area, you can go to your Convention and Visitors Bureau and they’ll give you all the footage they have that promotes your area. CVB will give you tons of stuff for free.
- Show your credibility. Do a video shot of any magazines or newspapers you’ve been mentioned in or articles you’ve been featured in.
- Use 45-degree testimonial (tune in to hear about what this is!)
- If you have a poor audio, you’re screwed. If you have good audio and your video is a little shaky, nobody cares. So you have to have good audio when you’re shooting video.
[31:45] – How did Tom figure out how to hire high school kids to help skyrocket his business?
- He writes really mean, rotten ads. It works like a charm.
- Call up a high school, preferably in a blue collar neighborhood. These kids will likely rather work with computers vs cutting grass or flipping burgers.
- The right teenagers can supercharge your business if you believe in them.
[38:30] – Tom’s parting piece of guidance
- This is the best time on the face of the earth to start or improve your business because of the extremely powerful tools that all these techno peeps are creating for us
- The main things you need to be successful are persistence, consistency, and copywriting. Increase your knowledge and you’ll be successful with low risk and very high return.
- Screw The Commute – Tom’s podcast
- How to Create An Online Income Generator in One Hour – Get Tom’s eBook for FREE!
John: Who’s ready to rock today, Fire Nation? JLD here with an audio masterclass that’s to be frank, I’m going to be sitting back taking notes because I’m curious to see if what Tom is saying is all possible because we’re going to be talking about how to make passive income fast. Now, I am a big believer, Fire Nation, in that if it was easy, everybody would be doing it, so it doesn’t say how to make passive income easily fast. So, we’ll sit back, and we’ll see what Tom has to share because guess what, he’s never had a job. He is an Internet multimillionaire who is the guy next door.
He’s also the founder of the only licensed dedicated Internet marketing school in the country. And we’re going to be going through some very interesting things today. And I’m going to be poking and prodding him to make sure that you are getting the knowledge that you need, Fire Nation, to take your business, your life to that next level, as soon as we get back from thanking our sponsor. Tom, say what’s up to Fire Nation, and share something interesting about yourself that most people don’t know.
Tom: Hey, Fire Nation. I’m scorched earth to do a great job for you today. You know what, John? I owned a practical joke company long before Punk’d. This was live where you could hire me, and I had a staff of 35 people who would pull custom designed practical jokes in around Washington D.C. We did over 4,000 of them in about six years. And the craziest thing was is we’d get the weirdest requests from accountants and attorneys, but they wouldn’t allow us to use their names on our client list.
John: Now, what year range was that that you were doing all that?
Tom: That was about 1988 to ’90 – right when I was really taking off big in the speaking industry, so ’88 to ’94, around.
John: So, a little bit before Instagram. Unfortunately, you weren’t able to quite go viral back then.
Tom: There wasn’t anything those days. The commercial Internet, John, didn’t start until ’94. That’s when I started the – that’s when I started selling online, but there was nothing back in those days.
John: Oh, man.
Tom: It was hard enough to sell your stuff across the street, let alone around the world from your desktop.
John: Well, that is something cool that we learned about you today, Tom. And now, I’m going to sit back and listen to some great things that you’re going to be teaching us today about how to make passive income fast. Now, a lot of people think those things might not go together, so we’re going to really be having some deep dive conversations on all of these topics. But first off, I just want to dive right in, Tom, with getting down to business. How can we as entrepreneurs in today’s world create an online income generator in less than an hour? A.) Is that possible? B.) How do you do it?
Tom: Absolutely, it’s possible, but you do have to avoid a lot of the hypesters that say you can do this stuff. But I usually come through with exactly how. So, here’s an exact method anybody out there could do. First of all, you find a piece of software that you like and enjoy using that has an affiliate program. For those of you – don’t know, that’s where you get a commission for recommending it. Then, you use some type of screen capture software. I happen to use Camtasia. It’s kind of the gold standard, but there’s others, and there’s free ones. And you do a tutorial of how great the software is, what it’ll do for you, and how to use it.
And then, you put it on YouTube. You don’t even have a website at all. And you get a commission when somebody watches it and says oh, I want that software. And they click through your affiliate link, and you get a commission. So, you can do that in an hour, I mean, if you just learn how to use a little screen capture software.
John: So, there’s only one thing I’m missing with this equation right now, and that is what are a couple of the websites that you recommend going to, to find that initial piece of software?
Tom: Well, you’ve got the – I mean, the two big kahunas are – Clickbank is the old standby forever and ever, since I first started, and JVZoo are the – massive amounts of digital products and online services. And it doesn’t have to be software. It could be an online service that you like. So, those are the two biggies, Clickbank and JVZoo.
John: So, Tom, I’m going to walk Fire Nation through this one more time here. Correct any of the things that I get wrong, and then let’s kind of dive deeper into a couple of different areas. So, No. 1, Fire Nation, go to a place like Clickbank or JVZoo. Peruse what they’re offering. Peruse what’s selling well. They have different indicator scores, like a momentum score and things like that. So, you can see what people are really talking about and what people are excited about and see what works. All the better, by the way, if it works in your current line of work, your area of expertise, or your passion, whatever you like to do.
That’s just going to help you overall, come across as more genuine. Then, No. 2, get a piece of software like a Camtasia. I personally use ScreenFlow. Those both cost a little bit of money, but there are some free ones out there like Jing, where you can do it for under five-minute video or recording, screen recordings of that, walking through why you like products, what are its pros, what are its cons, how you use it, and how you recommend other people using it. And then, just take that video, and put it up on YouTube.
And now, it’s going to be key here, and maybe we can dive a little bit more into this, Tom, is got to make sure that you’re using the correct title. You got to be – make sure you’re using good keywords, so that when people search on YouTube, which by the way, Fire Nation, is the second most searched search engine in the world behind Google is YouTube, which is also owned – owns YouTube as well. Second most searched search engine in the world, putting it up there. And now, if someone’s going to go to YouTube and be like hey, I need to use this piece of software, they use the YouTube search bar, search how to use blank, and your YouTube tutorial comes up.
And they watch it, down there in the description – and by the way, you should probably put it in the video as well with just some overlay text, say hey, if you want to actually utilize this, go to EOFire.com/blank, and that blank is going to be the name of that actual piece of software, or that your recommending. It’s going to forward to your affiliate link that you have for that, and then you’re going to get paid every single time somebody uses it. So – or goes to that and purchases that. You can get paid by the company. So, Tom, what am I missing there?
Tom: The one missing piece, and it’s the No. 1 mistake in all the years that I’ve been teaching is – that people make is they don’t do keyword research. And so, if you put – if you just throw it up on YouTube and cross your fingers, you’re going to hear the crickets chirping. So, you do need to do some keyword research in all of the things you do online because I call it a CSI, people come up with it. That’s the crime scene investigation.
John: Oh, yeah.
Tom: No, I call it crappy stupid idea because – and all ideas including mine, John, are crappy and stupid until I can prove they aren’t with real numbers. So, you do keyword research. You can use Market Samurai. You could use Google Keyword Planner for free. And then, you use those words strategically. And a guy that works for me has written three books on YouTube marketing. I mean, there’s a lot of little details to make yourself more successful on YouTube in the title, the description, a clickable link as the first thing, and cards because annotations don’t work on mobile.
And there’s – you have to say your keywords in the video because for the last, I don’t know, three, four years, YouTube has been using voice recognition to listen to what you say as part of your ranking structure. So, a lot of the things I teach – people say, oh, I got a YouTube channel, and I go, and they’ve got 100 views in eight years or something. So, there’s a lot of details to this, and the more knowledge you can get, the more successful you’ll be with all of this stuff.
John: You know what’s sad Tom is that people are going to listen to us right now, they’re going to rewind a couple of time, they’re going to go through all these different steps, they’re going to do one ScreenFlow video tutorial, they’re going to put it up on YouTube. It’s going to get crickets, and then they’re going to quit. And then, they’re going to say that didn’t work. And Fire Nation, hopefully I’m not talking about you.
Tom: That didn’t work.
John: I’m talking about a lot of people that are listening right now. They’re going to do all of this, and they’re going to say, it didn’t work. I’m not, all of a sudden, overnight rich. Fire Nation, you need to do this, and then do it again, and improve incrementally every single time. Improve those keywords. Improve your knowledge on YouTube. Improve your video skills. Improve your calls to action, actually figure out what products and services you should be recommending for different reasons. You need to learn.
And it’s going to be the 14th, or the 21st, or the 35th one that’s going to hit a nerve for – by the way, often – in very unknown reason, everybody that you talk to that’s made it big pretty quickly with certain things have been like, I really don’t know why video 64 worked when 1 through 63 didn’t. And by the way, 65 through 90 didn’t work either. It wasn’t like I just figured out some magic thing. You just never know. You’ve got to try. You’ve got to try to improve. You’ve got to try to educate yourself.
And then, boom, you might hit on something that then leads you down this path that before you know it, you’re waking up every morning to say oh, I made two sales from that video. Oh, I made seven sales from that video. Oh, I made three sales from that video. That is the process. So, Tom, before we move onto the next point, what do you really want to make sure that Fire Nation’s kind of getting from this process that, by the way, you can set up without a website?
Tom: Well, the big thing that – just to piggyback off of what you just said is it’s hard to believe, John, but I’ve been selling on the commercial Internet since it began in 1994. I have never done a launch, ever. I don’t believe in those, in fact because I see them as flash in the pan. And then, if it doesn’t – and a lot of them are hypes anyway, where they actually lost money because of all the affiliate commissions and all that.
John: Affiliate commission, taxes, prizes. You’re like, what is that – what is left over at the end? Sometimes, not a lot.
Tom: Exactly. My whole attitude is I’m in this for the long haul. So, if one video brings in a couple sales a week, great. I’m going to do another one, and another one, and another one. So, a lot of these – this is basically what the long tail was about. A lot of little stuff adds up to big stuff in the future. And, I mean, it only took me four years to hit multimillionaire status after I started selling online. But none of it was some big smash hit where – millions at once. It was all of these things that added up over time, and some went big, some didn’t go so well, but that’s exactly what you were saying.
You just have to go for the long haul and understand that you won’t know exactly why one of them hit, but they do. I had a eulogy book that I tried everything for a couple months, to get it to sell. All of sudden, boom, it went $42,000.00 a year for nine years straight, just for a little eBook on how to do a eulogy. So, persistence and consistency is the real way to success here. And I know that’s hard for a lot of young people that are ADD and going all over the place to understand, but the people that are successful are persistent and consistent with what they do.
John: Now, Tom, I’m not a young person. I’m almost in my 40s. But I also don’t like to –
Tom: You’re young compared to me. Give me a break. I mean, you were in diapers when I first started doing this.
John: Well, that is true, but I still don’t like to always just blame things on the millennials and the young people because there are plenty of old people as well, or I should just say older people as well, experienced people as well that have the same attitude, where they try one thing once. They’re maybe in retirement, or they’re maybe – seeing that end of their current career like, well, let me try this Internet thing out. And they try one thing, and it doesn’t work. So, it’s across the board. It’s human beings that do this.
Tom: No doubt about it. No doubt about it. It’s just that we are in a society that’s just – the younger you are, the more that you’ve been pummeled with. When we were growing up, or when I was growing up, there was none of this stuff. You went out and played outside.
John: You went outside, oh, woe is me.
Tom: If you found a nice stick, that was a lot of fun.
John: Well, one more thing I want to make as a point, Tom, before we do move on is how much better do you sleep at night because of your business model because you talked about how you don’t have one thing that’s responsible for 98% of your revenue. You go to bed at night knowing hey, guess what? 17 of the things that I generate revenue with could blow up in my face tomorrow, and it wouldn’t make a – I wouldn’t love it, but it wouldn’t make a huge difference because you have created multiple diverse revenue streams. And so, Fire Nation, those people that just rely solely on one, or two, or three things, I get it because you do want to focus on certain things, but at the same time, you are putting yourself at risk.
So, doing these things that Tom is saying, you are creating this nice, diverse, spread out basket of goods that are always going to be there for you. And speaking kind of like Tom of this spread out basket of goods, I kind of want to move into hobbies right now because we all have hobbies. And you actually have figured out a way to make hobbies legitimately tax deductible. Talk more about that.
Tom: I’ve been teaching this almost since I started teaching this in 1997 – is that most people that have hobbies just pay through the nose. They get no tax credit for it. They’re feeling guilty, or their spouse is making them feel guilty doing it and spending money on it. But you can easily – nowadays with these powerful tools we have available to us, you can put up a WordPress site for free, a responsive theme for the most, a hundred bucks for a world class one and about the topic that you love. And you don’t have to create a product if you don’t want too. You could do an affiliate link on there.
And if you start making money from that, and blogging about it, and doing the things that you love, it’s legitimately tax deductible. And I don’t give legal advice, but I cleared this with probably 40 or 50 attorneys that have been in my program over time. And they say oh, yeah, it’s totally legit, as long as you’re making money from it. So, you got to think in those terms. It’s so cheap to do, to get into that position. Even if you just break even, you’re going to take off of any W-2 income you have or any other business income you have.
So, I have a protection dog site and I got two $50,000.00 protection dogs sitting there, looking at me right now saying hey, what’s up? Let’s go play. Get that fire guy out of here. I want to go play ball. And then, I have the dubious distinction, John, of being the largest person ever to create and star in a tennis training video.
Tom: I’m a tennis fanatic. So, I have a site called Fatso Tennis, and I sell a DVD for 40 bucks, a DVD set. And it’s part funny because the whole idea is how fat people can run the skinny younger people to death before they drop dread. And so, it’s knowing the geometry of the court, and they types of shots you hit, and all this – so it’s serious, but it does have some funny stuff in it to, of all the gadgets. I don’t know if you remember that movie with Kevin Costner about golf, where he had all these gadgets and stuff. Well, there’s loads of those for fat people and tennis too. I can put a suction cup on the handle of my tennis racket so that I don’t have to go down and pick the ball up. I can just go down and – and so –
John: Was that movie Tin Cup by Kevin Costner?
Tom: Tin Cup, yeah. That was what it was, yeah.
John: That was it, cool.
Tom: So, anything you’re doing, archery, I mean, it doesn’t make any difference. There’s a – you can put an inexpensive website up about it and either make a product if you feel like it, or there’s always going to be an affiliate product you can put on there, and you’re enjoying stuff. And like I said, even if you – you just can’t go for years and not make any money because the IRS will disavow it as a hobby. But if you just break even and bring money in regularly, even if it’s a small amount, nobody says you have to be great at business, but you can definitely shield some of your income from other places, and the stuff you do can be legitimately tax deductible.
John: Or, you just move to Puerto Rico, and you don’t deal with the government IRS at all. That’s my decision.
Tom: Well, there you go. I guess so.
John: One thing I like about you, Tom, I’m not going to lie, is that you’re not afraid to piss people off when those people are warranted to be pissed off. And so, what if Fire Nation wanted to piss off other gurus in their markets, and fairly – keyword here – fairly take their business within an outrageously unique mentor program? Expound upon that.
Tom: Well, I did this back around – I always love to say this now – around the turn of the century. That makes me even older than ever.
Tom: But people start – I never really planned on being this big Internet guru guy. I was just trying to sell my own stuff. And – but I got – when you get good at something, people notice, and they ask you to help them. And that’s how it developed into all this teaching I’ve been doing about this. So, at the time, people at my level were charging 50 to a hundred grand upfront to try to help you. And I could sit back and see well, look. A little small business, mom and pop operation, solopreneurs, they’re never going to afford that. And then, what’s the incentive for that supposed guru to help you once they got all their money?
So, I said, you know what I’m going to – I’m going to take care of small business people because I’m not a corporate – I quit speaking in corporate environments 20 plus years ago. I like entrepreneurial stuff. So, I said I’m going to turn this on its head. So, I charged an entry free, which was 10 times less than what they were charging for their whole program, and then I tied my success to their success. And so, man, people started flocking to that program because they said well, first of all, he’s not going to dis – it’s cheap, I can get it and have access to a guy like him, and then he’s not going to disappear on me because he’s not going to get his big money if I don’t make money.
So, it’s been, I’d have to say, arguably one of the most successful mentor programs ever on this topic because it’s been running 1,700 students over 20 some years and not one lawsuit, no refunds, no nothing. And you’ll never hear something bad about me because I take care of people. I came from a small town, and I do what I say I’m going to do. And one of the things that – I backed off speaking quite a bit because everybody on stage is just lying bigger to sell more all the time, and I got – I actually started a TV program in Hollywood called Scam Brigade.
John: I would watch that. When’s that going to go live? I would watch that.
Tom: Well, they told me, don’t quit your day job because it – they said, we love the show, but they have to sell it. So, they’re working on it. You can see the trailer at scambrigade.com.
John: Oh, cool.
Tom: But anyway, that’s how you piss them off. You take customers away that they probably wouldn’t – I don’t want to say ripped off, but many of them would have. But they probably wouldn’t have serviced them like –
John: Yeah, let’s say that they would have undelivered.
Tom: Under delivered, yeah. So, like I said, people at my level will not even talk to you anymore, where I am happy to stay home. One of the longest running Internet seminars ever is my BUTT Camp. And I came from this comic background with the practical joke company and everything. And so, people started begging me to teach this. And I said, I’m not going to do a bootcamp. Everybody does bootcamp. And I thought, I’m sitting here on my rear end making all this money. I’ll call it BUTT Camp. So, it caught on, and I’ve done them in 11 countries around the world, but in London, where I think you just were, they made me call it BUM Camp. They wouldn’t let me call it BUTT Camp. So…
John: What about Booty Camp? Booty Camp would have worked too.
Tom: Booty Camp would – I actually had a bunch of women asking me to do a Booty Camp, and I’m thinking well, alright, I – that’s not a bad idea. Since I’m the largest guy ever to do a tennis training video, I’ve got plenty of booty to go around.
John: Well, Fire Nation, I hope you can tell that myself and Tom, No. 1, we’re having a fun time chatting with each other because this is the thing that we love doing. We love helping entrepreneurs. We love talking about things that work, talking about things that don’t work, and just really trying to provide you with different options, with different ideas because who knows what we are going to say today that’s going to ping an ah-hah moment for you? We really don’t know, just like you don’t know which one of your YouTube video reviews is going to go crazy, if any. You just don’t know until you do it.
So, we’re having a great conversation here. We’re going to keep having a great conversation here, and you are not going to want to miss the second half of this interview, so stick around. We’ll be right back when we thank our sponsor. So, Tom, we’re back, and something that I recognize, being in the industry for over six years now, and having recorded over 2,000 audio interviews is that I love doing audio interviews because guess what, they’re not super difficult. You can jump on Skype. You can get a program like Audacity or Adobe Audition. You can record. Not the same with video.
Video can really get out of control and out of hand, but at the same time, we are a visual species. I mean, we love listening. Everybody listening right now, I now you love listening to audio content like this. But we also do love watching video. I’m sure almost everybody watches some kind of show on Netflix or Amazon Prime at night. I mean, we love that visual stimulation. But if we want to personally shoot and edit videos, I mean, it can go upwards of $50,000.00 a video production pretty quickly. It can get out of hand. But you, Tom, have figured out how to do that for around $3,000.00.
And by the way, one of those videos that he shot, Fire Nation, has brought in over $6 million in revenue. So, Tom, talk about this in general. Just talk a little bit about videos, video production, and how you were able to do something that people do for $50,000.00 for as little as three.
Tom: Absolutely. And I was just – I was watching or listening to some of your podcasts, and I think it was Episode 2,060. And I – I started a podcast recently, and I’m on Episode 60. So, I’m bowing down to – oh my god, you are –
John: Not my first rodeo, Tom. Not my first rodeo.
Tom: But anyway, I’ve had a video production company since I got thrown out of a Catholic church about 30 years ago because I went up to – I came from a hick town. We didn’t have any kind of churches or anything around, but I was – I’m shooting a video in a Catholic church, and I pull all my stuff in, and there’s this big table up front. And I thought oh, perfect place to throw all my stuff to get ready. If you’re Catholic, that’s the most holy thing on the face of the earth, this table. And I’m throwing stuff on it. And the priest comes running out, screaming at me, and – but even worse than that is I was walking in, the confessional.
I didn’t know what a confessional way. I thought, that’s a perfect place to throw all my stuff while the ceremony’s going on. And so – then they threw me out of there. But anyway, video is – I mean, we’re a visual medium. Audio is great because it’s the only medium that you can do something else or learn while you’re doing something else. So, you want all mediums, but video kind of sets you apart, if you have a production like I’m going to tell you about. What I basically did is you shoot everything you can about your business. And nowadays, your cellphone is fine. I mean, we were using big honking cameras before, but not anymore.
I mean, they shoot TV shows on their cellphones nowadays. So, you shoot everything. And some of the things you can shoot are what we call candids, which you take people behind the scenes of your business to show them how you’re working with people. And they love that. Even if every other consultant or every other person does the same thing, you’re the one that told them about it, so use candids. You can get stock footage from places like Elite Video, which if you ever see my production, a lot of that is stock video with my words thrown on top of these beautiful transitions.
Now, here is a super fire, on fire, scorched earth tip right here. If you’re in any kind of decent population area, you can go to your CVB, Charlie Victor Bravo, that’s your convention and visitors bureau, and they will give you all the footage that they have that promotes your area. So, I went there. I’ve got this aerial footage of Virginia Beach, and the shopping, and all this stuff at the beach, and building sand castles, and everything for free. It would have cost me 10 to $20,000.00 to get that footage if I’d had to hire a plane and all that. So, that’s your convention and visitors bureau will give you tons of stuff to use for free.
Then, show your credibility. If you’ve been on the newspaper, radio, just make video shots of all the magazine covers that you’ve been on, or articles you’ve been in. Use 45-degree testimonials. Do you know what that is, John?
John: No idea.
Tom: Forty-five-degree testimonial. Well, when you’re getting testimonials from your clients, they go deer in the headlights if you stick a camera in their face. So, the best way to do this is to have the camera at 45 degrees looking at them, but they are talking to someone off screen. And I might say hey, John, what’s the best thing about Tom’s interview? And we cut that out, and you say well, the best thing about Tom’s interview was, and then we get a beautiful testimonial without spending three hours for people. So, that’s called a 45-degree testimonial.
John: I like it.
Tom: And they look nice. And like I said, you’re not putting people, deer in the headlights all the time, where they’re going to stammer around and be upset or nervous. Then, one thing for sure, all of the years I’ve been doing video, is if you have poor audio, you’re screwed. If you have good audio and the video’s a little shaky, nobody cares. So, you still have to have good audio when you’re shooting video. Now, the whole thing about this is you shoot everything, then you find an editor. We found someone on Craigslist that was a film school graduate, John, and just looking to build her resume.
So, she spent 200 hours at 15 bucks an hour, putting all my – because I’m not very organized with myself – all this footage, and put it into this beautiful production for me. It gave her 3,000 bucks, and it’s brought in millions of dollars, just because it says wow, this guy is the bomb. I mean, all these other gurus are just telling you how great they are, and I’m showing them this half hour production of my retreat center, and my school, and all the – the people that are here having a good time and learning. So, that’s what it is.
You shoot a bunch of stuff. You get some stock footage from your convention and visitors bureau or from Elite Video. And then, you good audio and everything. And then, you go looking for an editor. Put it together. You can put it on a DVD. In my contract, if I go to speak somewhere, my DVD has to be given out at registration. And then, all of a sudden, I’m way ahead of all the other speakers because people take it up to their room and say damn, look at this guy. And then, they come down and buy my stuff. So, this is very, very powerful, and it sets you far apart.
And if you time it correctly, John, you can play it on leased access TV. You could give it out. You can play it on your website. There’s all kinds of things you can do with it, once you get it down.
John: I mean, Fire Nation, it’s these little things that Tom has kind of put together over the years that you’re just able to now take advantage of. And maybe all of this stuff that we’re talking about doesn’t apply to you right now, or maybe it’s giving you ah-hah moments on how you can apply it to your life right now, but this is all the kind of things that Tom, myself, other successful entrepreneurs have pieced together to create successful online businesses. And one thing that you struggle with, Tom, that I’ve struggled with is hiring because hiring is so tough, but – and I’m really curious about this next part here because I was like, hmm.
How have you figured out how to hire high school kids to help skyrocket your business?
Tom: If we have a little extra time, besides high school kids, I have a hiring idea that is just crazy. But it’s worked like a charm.
John: Let’s hear it.
Tom: Everybody that works here right now, one guy’s been here 10 years, another guy nine years, a couple of them three, four, five years, one girl 12 years. And they all came from Craigslist. And you couldn’t get away with this ad anywhere else because they wouldn’t accept it. But I write really mean, rotten ads that say hey, if you’re a worthless slug, and you don’t care about the quality of your work, you won’t last here five minutes because if I don’t throw you out the door, all the other good people that work here will.
And now, I do sort of the other side. Well, but if you are great, and you really want to – you’re proud of your work, you’ve got a guy that’ll back you to the hill, and he’s an internationally known guy. And I give them all the good stuff too. And then, there’s a key phrase to put in the title because, John, I don’t want the 55-year-old MBA that is clueless about Internet stuff. I need people that are tech savvy around here. But I won’t want to age discriminate. So, I write in the title, paid internship. Everybody out there, write this down. This will really help you. Paid internship because no 55-year-old MBA that’s clueless about tech is ever going to apply for an internship.
But I get the best people and the ones that show up, the ones that are terrible are scared to come in and even talk to me because I told them I was going to throw them out, and only the good ones that say, you know what, I’m going to show this guy how good I am, and then here they are three years later. So, that’s your tip on regular employees. Now, a lot of you won’t have the guts to do that, but I’m telling you, it’s worked like a charm. Now, for young kids, these are great. I mean, in 1997, I hired my first 10th grader. I was at CompUSA, which doesn’t – I don’t think exists anymore. And this kid is running around answering everybody’s questions.
So, I slipped him a thing and said hey, call me. I’ll hire you and pay you double what they’re paying you here. And so, he called me up. And I brought him on. And everything just went faster and smoother. And I mean, he’d figure stuff out in two seconds that would take me two days, if I ever figured it out. So, that was my first one. But – and now he’s a millionaire, and he runs Pluto.tv in Los Angeles. It’s his third startup, and he’s a millionaire in Los Angeles now.
John: Good for him.
Tom: So, there’s a lot of tech-savvy kids out here. But if you – for the average person who wants to do this, here’s what you do. You call up a high school, preferably blue collar because if it’s a fancy neighborhood, those kids have more money than you do, and they don’t want you, and they’re little brats. So, get a blue-collar neighborhood, and these kids are thrilled to death to work with computers rather than be cutting grass or flipping burgers. So, you ask for the guidance counselor or if they have a computer club, for the teacher in charge of that. So, you can’t just go down, John, and say hey, I’d like to have some kids. At least, that’s what the policeman told me.
So, you got to prove who you are, and you say hey, look. I’ve got work, evenings, weekends, and summer because you can’t compete with the school year. And they know who all the little nerds are. We call them techno geeks or nerd – techno nerds or propeller heads. And one lady I said to do this, she – they ask her to speak to the computer club. She had 18 kids following here. She’s like the pied piper because they all wanted to do computer kind of work. And I tell you what, I’m known as the king of ka-ching. One of my students nicknamed me that because my computer goes ka-ching when an order comes in.
And I thought, I’d like to have that as a ringtone on my cellphone. But I’m thinking, I’ll never figure that out. It’ll take me all day to figure out how to do it. So, I handed it to a young woman in the office. She comes back, and it goes ka-ching. Do I know how she did it? No. Do I care? No. Does it go ka-ching? Yes, it does. And that’s the kind of speed that you’re going to have in your business for some of the things that are bogging people down. They get wrapped up in oh, I can’t. It’s too difficult to learn how to use WordPress. No, it’s not. It’s just, you didn’t try, and nobody tutored you.
So – but these young kids, in two seconds they figure it out. If I get a new piece of software, I hand it off to one of the kids. Boom, they come back, give me the CliffsNotes, and now I got a tool that I can use. So, yes, you can find these kids. They’re everywhere. They’re like little roaches around. They’re just crawling around everywhere. I mean, they’re tech savvy, and they’ll really rocket your business.
John: Politically correct Tom is not, Fire Nation.
Tom: Oh, yeah. That’s why I quit corporate speaking.
John: So, Fire Nation, couple key takeaways I want to make sure you realize is the power of the two words paid internship. That’s going to cut all the flack away of all the people you don’t even want walking into your door for that interview process anyways. And the No. 2, just remember, the right kids, the right teenagers, I mean, they can really supercharge your business if you believe in them because there’s a lot of other crappy summer jobs they don’t want to be doing. I look back to me. I was a copy boy in a courthouse. I was mowing my neighbor’s lawn.
I mean, I was doing all these things that if I could have been in learning soci – or applying my social media knowledge, and trying different things on the Internet, and computer, and business, and entrepreneurship, that’s cool stuff. Give them the opportunity, if it’s right for your business. So, Tom, you’ve given us a ton of great value bombs. I mean, Fire Nation, I hope you go back a few times and listen through that first section where Tom talked about how, with no website needed, just basically a YouTube account, you can go through that – what was it, four or five step process.
John: Yeah, and there’s another dozen of those that you can do, John. So, it’s not the only one.
Tom: And that’s just one of a dozen, Fire Nation. So, this is the thing that I hope opens up your mind, opens up your just ability to see the opportunities that are out there, start to get that revenue coming in, the diverse streams that we talked about, all important stuff. Tom, we could talk for a long time about those other 12 things we haven’t even mentioned yet, but just take a minute here. Give us one key takeaway that you want to make sure our listeners get from our chat here today.
John: The main thing, John, is this is the best time on the face of the earth, to start or improve your business because of the extremely powerful tools that all these techno geeks are created for us, so us marketers can make – get rich on them. So – but you have to keep in mind, when people ask me on success kind of things, what’s the main thing to be successful, 1.) Persistence, 2.) Consistency, 3.) Is copywriting. I mean, the No. 1 skill in my entire 41 years of formal business is being able to write words and say words that make people want to buy. So, increase your knowledge, and you’ll be able to do this with low risk and very high return.
Tom: Give us a final call to action. If we want to learn more about you, to engage more with you, how can we do that?
John: There should be a link in your show notes, but I started a podcast, and John was part of the inspiration for that –
John: – called Screw the Commute because I never had a job, since high school – actually, I owned five apartment buildings and a hotel before I graduated college. So, you can take action and do – like I said, do this. You can really make your own life, and set the world on fire, not just John’s podcast.
Tom: Love it all. Well, Fire Nation, as always, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and who you’ve been hanging out with today, you’ve been hanging out with TA and JLD today, the king of ka-ching –
John: Oh, and I forgot, they got a giveaway. I got a giveaway for them, John, if they –
Tom: Well, let’s hear it.
John: And I’m sorry. I forgot about it. The entire eBook on how to do – the exact details on how to do that income generated in an hour, I’m giving it away. There’ll be a page on my site, that’s screwthecommute.com/fire where you can get that.
Tom: Screwthecommute.com/fire. Head directly there, Fire Nation. Of course, as I’ve said in the past, the best show notes in the world are at EOFire.com, and if you go there, type Tom in the search bar. The show notes page for this episode will pop right up. But screwthecommute.com/fire will take you directly to that incredible giveaway. Get over there, follow the step by step process, start becoming your own king or queen of ka-ching. And Tom, I just want to say thank you, brother, for sharing your truth, your knowledge, your value with Fire Nation. And for that, we salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
John: My pleasure. Thanks, John.
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