John Lee Dumas: EntrepreneurOnFire’s Weekend Jam Session, Session 3.
VO: Thank you so much for joining us for EntrepreneurOnFire’s Weekend Jam Session with your host, John Lee Dumas. Prepare to ignite!
John Lee Dumas: Hey, guys! Thank you for joining me for Fire Nation’s second Question and Answer Session. I got some great feedback from the first session and the questions just keep pouring in, so please, Fire Nation, keep sending your questions and we’ll keep having these great Question and Answer sessions every single weekend.
Let’s start off with a little testimonial. “John, thanks for answering my question and the mention of MarketStreetSoapWorks.com on Saturday’s podcast. You have clarified some points I have not thought about. Also, my website was blasted with hits. Thanks again. Joel Hawkins.”
Joel, my pleasure. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you for engaging. Guys, listen to this testimonial. Please send in your questions. Give me your name, give me your business. This is all about helping out both you and your business by answering the questions and by promoting it. So Fire Nation, don’t hesitate. Send the questions.
Okay. Let’s launch into this week’s questions. Question 1. “Hi, John. I had to read your email twice. Wow! What a generous offer. My question to you is what is your biggest aha moment? What is the most useful piece of information you learned during your career at EntrepreneurOnFire.com that you would like to share with us, your listeners? My name is Kim Barr of Set the Barr, and I could be found on Facebook at Facebook.com/setthebarr. Thank you very much for thinking of us and helping spread the word about our businesses. Kim.”
Well, Kim, first of all, as I mentioned in my reply email, I love your use of your name in your company. I am not quite so fortunate to be able to do so, so I applaud your use of “Barr.” So Kim, my biggest aha moment has been a consistent best business advice from our entrepreneurs over and over again. Listen to your listeners, listen to your fans, listen to your clients, listen to your customers. Hear their pain. That’s one reason why I’m always asking Fire Nation to engage. I want to know what you guys want. I want to know what your pains are. I want to know how EntrepreneurOnFire can continue to grow as a podcast of free content for you, the listeners, to just improve upon what I’m trying to do, and that is encourage your entrepreneurial businesses, your journeys and your paths to success. So that is my biggest aha moment. Continue to engage the people who are engaging you. So everybody out there, Fire Nation, thank you for listening and thank you for engaging, and please continue to do so. It will help raise the bar for EntrepreneurOnFire. How’s that integration, Kim?
The next question is from Michael Cheney. “John, I really enjoy listening to your podcast. It really encouraged me to start my own blog. That’s what I just did. I have just barely created my website, which is at businesslizard.com. I started blogging about critical business principles. Is it okay if you give me a few pointers on it?”
Well, Michael, I went to your website, and first things first, I’ll mention a few of the things that I like about it. I do like your logo. It’s very clean and clever. I like your format. It’s very clean as well. You don’t have too many colors. It’s very basic and easy on the eyes. I like the fact that you have an email opt-in function, although I’ll say my first criticism is that you need to have a reason for people to subscribe. You just have “Subscribe here. Name and email.” Okay. Why would I just subscribe here? There’s no call to action. You need to create something that makes people want to subscribe. Give them a reason to. What are they going to receive for it? It’s extremely important to build your email list.
I’m always adding things to my email subscriber list so people get more and more value when they subscribe. It doesn’t have to be some awesome giveaway to start off with. Just like Eric Ries says in The Lean Startup, make a minimally viable product. Just make something, get it out there, and then start asking your early subscribers for feedback. Did you subscribe for this giveaway? What did you like about it? What else would you like to have as a giveaway? Really drive that point home.
Also, your website is lacking a little personality. People like to see a face with the name. So go ahead. Slap a picture of Michael Cheney up there. Get it going. Let us get to know you so we can see a face when we’re reading what you’re writing. Besides that, hey, this is a great start. Keep going, keep asking people for feedback, keep improving it. It’s not an exact science. And let your fans, your subscribers, shape your content and your look and your feel.
The next question is by Tyson Freer of TheSocialSketch.com. I definitely recommend to anybody checking this website out as it really puts a unique spin on comparing food and blogging. Very interesting. His question is, “John, how did you get connected to all these people in social media? How do you convince all these people to come and interview on your podcast?” Then the second part is “If you woke up tomorrow and your business was gone, what would you do in the next seven days?”
Tyson, turning my own Lightning Round against me. Very impressive, buddy! So I’ll deal with the first part of the question first. It’s kind of a trade secret, but since you’re Fire Nation listeners and I love you all, I’m going to share it with you. I asked. I literally went to their contact pages, found their contact info and asked them. I provided a very clear format about what I was doing, what I was trying to promote, what I stood for, and people responded in an overwhelming majority, positively. It was a very good experience. It’s a very warm vibe for the most part online. So guys, just get out there. Reach out to people in your industry, in your community, and engage them. Don’t just ask for something, but show them how you can provide value to them and how you want to make their lives better, and believe me, they’ll return the favor.
As for the second part of the question, I don’t want to sound like too many of my interviewees, but this is truly what I would do in the next seven days if my business completely disappeared. I would take one day and I would go for a long, long walk. And during this walk, I would really just be chewing over what it was that I wanted to be doing with my life, what was I passionate about, and then how could I turn my passions into a viable business. So you just can’t follow your passions to the end of the earth. You need to have a plan to turn your passions into a business so you can make it sustainable. So I would take those two opposing forces. I would smash them together, and then I would figure out what could I do that I was really passionate about that was also going to serve a great need in the community and help a lot of people, because if I’m serving a need in the community and I’m helping a lot of people, then that’s a business. So where do my passions fall in there? So then I would spend the next six days building my platform. I would read Michael Hyatt’s book “Platform” and really take it all in and start with a good base with social media with a blog with everything, and I would do it the right way, focusing on building a community.
So the next question is from – and I apologize if I get the pronunciation wrong – Adeline Salcedo. The first part of her question is “As I’m getting ready to launch a website and podcast, I have read that it is best to have my business as an LLC. What is your input and can you explain the benefits of an LLC?”
Well, first, as a disclaimer, I am definitely not a lawyer and I recommend anybody going to a lawyer who is going to set up an LLC. In my understanding of an LLC, which I do have with EntrepreneurOnFire, is it is a Limited Liability Corporation. It is basically created to protect your personal assets. So if you’re say 40 years old and you spent your life acquiring assets personally – houses, financial savings, etcetera, etcetera – and then you want to start a company, you would use an LLC as that company so you are protecting yourself in case that company goes bankrupt or is sued, etcetera. Then it’s on the LLC and that they can’t go after you personally for any kind of financial remuneration. Again, I would go to LegalZoom.com, I would google LLC, I would see a lawyer to get a clearer understanding of how an LLC would work for you because there are also other options such as an S Corp or a C Corp. So you need to know what would best fit your particular business.
Adeline’s second question is “What kind of setup do you use to incorporate Skype into your podcast and how do you get it to sound so clear? Looking forward to the bonus episodes.”
Well, thank you, Adeline. I really do take a lot of pride in the audio quality of my podcast because I know that when I listen to podcasts, that’s very important. Unfortunately, when you’re doing an interview-based podcast like myself, I can only control half of it. So Fire Nation listeners will definitely get used to hearing my side of the interview very crisp and very clear, and occasionally, my interviewee will just not have that same quality.
I’ve really drawn a line on the sand and I’m just no longer going to accept when an interviewee does not have the kind of quality audio that I’m looking for. So I am going to truly insist that all my podcasts are done over Skype because that’s VoIP, Voice Over Internet Protocol. That ensures a much clearer audio quality than doing one on Skype, one on cell phone, or both on the phone and recording through that.
Besides that, I do have a PreSonus FireStudio Project amplifier which I do use and that does a lot of good things with compressor, limiters and gates. But that’s a little technical. You don’t need to do that. I also use Adobe Audition to edit all of my podcasts and incorporate any kind of effects that I think will be of benefit to the quality.
The next question is from Sean Violette of VR Marketing. “Hey, John, love the podcast, and I’ve got a question for you. Where do you suggest someone start in terms of driving traffic to a new blog?”
Sean, this is a great question. I definitely have some great recommendations for you. I really like to employ Pat Flynn’s “Be Everywhere” strategy. Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income really advocates using every social means possible. So if you have a blog, you should also be on every social media platform – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest or what have you. You should also be on YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google, and if you are producing video content on YouTube, your SEO is going to improve, so people will find you organically a lot more often.
And hey, I might be a little biased, but a podcast is a great way to drive traffic. I know that’s how I drive all of my traffic to Enbm.2.0.trepreneurOnFire.com. Apple Podcasts and Spotify are becoming incredible places where people are going to organically find podcasts, subscribe to them, listen to their content, and then they’re driven back to wherever the host is based out of. Again, there’s no special sauce, but you need to try a lot of things and find what works for your industry. Guest blogging is always popular, but it’s tough. Try guest blogging outside of your industry, which is an example I used last weekend. If you’re a fitness blogger, try guest blogging with a big fashion blogger. You’re not competition, but you’re adding a lot of value to their clientele.
Okay. Here’s the last question for the day. “Hey, John, you really are on fire. How the heck do you keep up at this pace? Anyway, I would love to hear more about you. How did you save up before you started EOFire? Did you receive outside funding? Is EOFire your sole source of income? How much did you know about business marketing, etcetera before you got started? Thanks, John. I love your stuff, and I’m thrilled that I’m able to listen to your podcast on my drive since I don’t have an iPhone and iTunes. Regards, Erwin Dominguez.”
Well, Erwin, that was quite a power punch full of questions. It’ll be fun to end on this note. Let me start at the top and work my way down. How much did I save up before starting EOFire? Well, for me personally, I knew I wanted to have 12 months of savings lined up. So for everybody, that number is going to be different. I knew what it cost me to live on a monthly basis and I made sure that I had 12 months to do it right. To really build my platform, to produce the highest quality podcast, for what has now turned into seven days a week, was going to take me 12 months before I could turn it into what I consider a viable business.
Now, that is conservative because let’s go to your next question. Did you receive outside funding? No, I did not. It was very important for me to do the lean startup bootstrap method, and I’ve stuck with that. I’ve already been approached by sponsors – and my podcast has now only been live for a month – to advertise and to sponsor EntrepreneurOnFire. So that is already happening. Before I agree to allow any of the sponsors to advertise on my podcast, I need to make sure that it’s the right decision, not just for me and not just for EntrepreneurOnFire, but for the listeners, for Fire Nation as well. It has to be somebody that makes sense. It has to be someone that can also provide value, but at some point it does have to happen because if I’m going to continue to produce EntrepreneurOnFire for free to all the listeners, I’m going to have to create sources of income.
So how much did I know about business marketing, etcetera before I got started? Well, I’m 32 years old now. My previous careers were in the Army, were in finance, was with an Internet startup company, and was in real estate. So I definitely have a wide array of skills that I was able to use, but a lot of the business and marketing skills that I picked up that I apply to my business, I found online by going to people that already are doing it well, like RyanLee.com, like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, like Corbett Barr of Think Traffic. There’s a wealth of people that are out there providing incredible information on a daily basis, or at least a weekly basis, that is free for everybody to consume. It’s just a matter of getting out there and consuming.
So Erwin, I hope I answered most of your questions. Just to recap, I definitely bootstrapped EOFire. I definitely saved up enough to have a long runway, so to speak, so I could really do the business right and not be concerned about making money right away. I did not receive any outside funding. I’m looking to build a source of income with EntrepreneurOnFire, but I’m looking to do it the right way, and most of the business and marketing that I’ve learned, I’ve learned on the job, on-the-job training. Every single day, I look to improve my skills and my knowledge, and I’ll tell you what, Fire Nation, in this world, you are at a great place right now because technology is changing so quickly that if you jump in the mix right now and you really focus on learning what’s the latest and greatest, you’ll be at the same spot of people that have been in the industry for 10 years because what they learned 10 years ago does not apply anymore.
So get in, follow the best people possible. Those people are pretty much on EntrepreneurOnFire.com. Those are the type of people that I search out that I bring on the show. So Erwin, great questions. I hope I answered them. Keep listening any way you can. Rock on!
So Fire Nation, this concludes Saturday’s Question and Answer session. I really hope you got some value out of this. As I said in the intro, please, don’t hesitate. Reach out to me at EntrepreneurOnFire.com. Send me an email. Get on our email subscriber list. I want to answer your question. I want to promote your business. I want to help all of Fire Nation get to where they want to be on a success, wealth and health level. So Fire Nation, before I let you go, remember one thing. Prepare to ignite!
VO: Thank you for joining us at EntrepreneurOnFire.com. If you would like to submit your own question, go to EOFire.com, subscribe to Fire Nation, and prepare to ignite.
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