John Lee Dumas: EntrepreneurOnFire, Weekend Jam Session, Episode 4.
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: Well, alright, Fire Nation. Welcome back to another Question and Answer session. I’m so glad you’re joining us today. As always, if you want to jump in on the fun, go to EOFire.com, jump on Fire Nation’s email subscriber list, and then send me a question. Anything. These weekend jam sessions are dictated by your questions, so don’t hesitate, and I look forward to hearing from you.
So let’s launch into the first question. This is from our friend, Andrew Seeley from Best in Health and Wealth. His question is “What is the most effective tool you have used for marketing your site and engaging your community before you had a large active following? Example: Facebook marketing, MailChimp, email marketing, blog collaboration.”
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Great question, Andrew, because we all have to start somewhere. So the number one tool that I used was the podcast, EntrepreneurOnFire. That is how I initially reached out and was engaging with my community before I had a large and active following. I always had that email opt-in form which I have been improving every single day since I started. I use AWeber. There’s a link on my site on the resources tab. I definitely recommend them, although I do know that MailChimp also has a great product. So whichever way you go, you probably won’t go wrong, but you really just need to realize that the most important thing to engage your community is to capture their email address. That needs to be your primary focus because that’s how you’re going to reach out to them on a weekly basis. So for me, it was my podcast was driving people to my site that was capturing emails, and then I was engaging the Fire Nation community.
Again, it is all about engagement. It’s not just a one-way street. It’s not just you sending emails to your community. When your community responds, be honest. Be open. Be generous with your time. Be generous with your responses. Work with people one-on-one. They won’t forget it, you won’t forget it, and you’ll build a great reputation that way.
Our next question comes to us from our old friend, Michael Cheney of Business Lizard. His question is “Is it legal to have different affiliated companies and also have Google AdSense on your website? I’ve tried to contact Google and read their policy, but it’s hard to understand. I just don’t want to do anything illegal and get caught.”
Michael, that’s a great question. Any time you ever try to read anybody’s policy from a company like Google, it’s going to be long and very difficult to understand. So I definitely see you there. Let me give you my two cents on this. I think using affiliate marketing is a great tool. If you go to my website, I definitely promote AWeber. I promote HostSkater. I promote Carbonite for online backup. I promote Thesis Theme for a theme on your WordPress. These are all companies and programs and products that I have used and that I stand behind because they are great products.
What’s great about affiliate marketing is that you actually get a decent commission on everything that you refer their way. I definitely recommend anybody to read the “5 Ways to Make $500” blog post that I posted up on my website. It’s at EntrepreneurOnFire.com/500-dollars. It goes really in-depth into affiliate marketing and why I do believe it’s a great way to go about starting to build a revenue. However, I will also give my two cents about Google AdSense. I personally think it is by no way, shape or form worth it. This is a personal opinion. I have no Google AdSense on my site. I never will. Some people will definitely give you a different opinion and say, “Go for Google AdSense. There’s some value there.” I think that you are getting pennies on the dollars’ worth that you’re wasting as far as with the annoyance and just with the detraction of the look and the feel of your website. I don’t like Google AdSense. I think it’s a way that Google uses us to pay us pennies in return for real advertisement. So I’m negative on Google AdSense. It doesn’t mean you should be. That’s my two cents.
As far as answering your question about using them at the same time, I personally don’t know. If I had to guess, I would say that it’s not an issue to use them both at the same time. I don’t see why it would be, but that’s just a guess. So unfortunately, you’re going to have to go out and consult some other people who might know more about Google AdSense than me. Best of luck in that venture. Go get them.
Our next question is from Patrick [Mathern]. He has a two-part question, so I’ll just address the first one first. “John, when giving a business presentation, how should you dress? I’ve seen people from suits to blue jeans. Is there a reason to choose one or the other?”
Well, Patrick, know your audience. If you are going to present in front of an Internet company that’s a very laidback and chill environment, you’ll know that ahead of time and dress appropriately. You don’t want to put on a suit and present to a bunch of people in blue jeans. The same works vice versa. If you’re going to go to an insurance company or a financial company to give them a presentation and you know that everybody there is of the corporate environment, you’re not going to want to go in blue jeans when everybody there is watching you in a suit. They’re just not going to take you seriously. It’s a fact of life. So dress for the situation. That’s always safe and sound advice. It’s going to take a little bit of due diligence on your end, but it’s worth the time and worth the effort.
The second part to your question is “To get yourself noticed, is it wise to start arguments with people who are considered to be on the A list even if you know you might win and make them look bad?”
Well, Patrick, this is kind of a loaded question. I’m not against controversy. Controversy can definitely be a good thing. If you get people on both sides of an issue riled up, that can really cause a lot of engagement and a lot of people focusing on that conversation. If you disagree with somebody, you really just make them want to prove their point all that much more, and they’ll put the effort in to do so. Now, do I think that you should go around and pick arguments with A list bloggers to get yourself noticed? No, I don’t think it’s really a wise decision because to be honest with you, the online community is a very small community. It may not seem like it, but there’s not that many A list bloggers out there. Most of the A list bloggers really pride themselves with promoting a warm community, and picking fights and trying to start controversies is really not along that same line. So I would recommend don’t pick fights. Definitely go there and bring up good points, valid points, in a very non-confrontational way, and you can try to engage them in that manner and see how far they go with it. Then if they do go far, continue that engagement, but if it’s obvious that they don’t bite on your point of view, don’t push the envelope. It’s a small community and you don’t want these things to come to haunt you.
My next question is from Jodi Flynn, the founder of Luma Coaching and a Mainer. “John, in your Question and Answer session over this past weekend, you mentioned that you had three fulltime VAs on your team. How do you divvy up their tasks? I imagine each one focuses on different aspects of your business, but I would appreciate it if you could list out specifically what you have each one of them working on.”
Jodi, this is a great question, and I would love to address that. I do have three fulltime VAs. Each one of them work exactly 40 hours a week. One of my VAs is purely my social media manager. So her name is Marie, and she literally spends every working hour specifically on my social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, G+ – you name it, she’s on there. She’s interacting. She’s making sure the community’s engaged. I’m on there with her. We definitely work together, but she’s there putting 40 hours a week into my social media to make sure it’s as engaging as a place to be, and to make sure that I’m on there as well to continue to engage with everybody that needs to be engaged with. So she keeps me in line. She keeps me on social media. She makes sure nothing slips through the cracks there, and she does a great job.
My other VA, JM, she does a great job with all my admin stuff. She makes sure that my blog posts are scheduled correctly. She makes sure all of my posts go live when they’re supposed to go live. She has my calendar. She checks my inbox. She does all of the admin tasks, and that’s a fulltime job and she keeps me on my toes. My third fulltime VA is Sinta, and this girl is a transcribing queen. She’s been a transcriber for over seven years now in the medical field so she loved the fact that she got to come over to EntrepreneurOnFire and actually transcribe something that she enjoys. So she literally transcribes between six to eight podcasts every single week. Each podcast is taking approximately four to five hours to do. So that’s a fulltime job for her to transcribe every single podcast that I’m completing on a weekly basis.
Those are my three VAs. They’re a part of Fire Nation. We’re a team. We all work together. Great question, Jodi. I’m really glad I had the opportunity to introduce them to the rest of Fire Nation.
Alright, Fire Nation. This last question is kind of a long one, so stick with me. I’m going to read through it right now. “Hey, John. Thanks for the awesome content you are working so diligently to bring to Fire Nation each and every day. The Q&A sessions last weekend were really great and I think it’s wonderful that you’re dedicating your time, knowledge and expertise to help fellow entrepreneurs, or those who aspire to become entrepreneurs in their journey to the top. During your Question and Answer session last week, you answered a question about whether or not you’re monetizing right now, and you explained that you’re lucky to be in a situation where immediately monetizing isn’t crucial for you. One question I have for you is this. For those of us who are out there who monetizing is crucial for, do you believe that someone can work a fulltime 8 to 5 job for a paycheck so that they have an income to support themselves and their family and simultaneously build a successful business of their own? If so, what are the not so obvious implications of trying to do both? For example, it will certainly take more time to build a successful business of your own if you’re not committing 100% of your time and energy to it, but are there other important implications you can think of? Maybe more simply put, what’s your advice to someone out there who desperately wants to be an entrepreneur, but just can’t live without a paycheck? Thanks for your inspiration. Fellow igniters unite. Kate Ericson.”
Wow, Kate! That’s a great question. It has a lot of implications, like you said, but it’s so spot on as far as what I’m trying to bring to the table here for the Question and Answer sessions. So thank you so much for asking this specific question and I look forward to tackling it right now.
So to answer the first part of your question, do I believe that somebody with a fulltime job can start to build their own business? The answer is absolutely yes. You just need to be realistic with your time and with your expectations. By far, the majority of people need to have an income on a monthly basis. That’s just a fact of life. So start small. Start making steps and get your feet wet into the marketplace. One great resource I would look into is called MasonWorld. Just google MasonWorld. It’s about a guy who’s the head of his household. He has a family, he’s the sole bread earner, but he really wanted to start his own business, but he couldn’t give up that fulltime day job. So he started building his business slowly but surely in his free time in the evening. After he spent time with the family and put the kids to bed, he spent a little bit of time, and eventually he built it into a very large and successful business.
Now, what’s great about MasonWorld is that he still works his fulltime job. So he’s very relatable to your question. He’s an absolute inspirational story and someone I always point to when people, “But I’m working 8 to 5.” So check that out, Fire Nation. Email him. Tell him I sent you. Ask his some questions. He’s very responsive. Email me. Let me know what you think of what he has. I’d love to get some feedback on that.
Now, to the second part of your question. What is my advice to someone who desperately wants to be an entrepreneur, but just can’t live without a paycheck? Here’s my advice. Simply put, Kate, just start. There’s a quote I like to refer to. I’m paraphrasing, but it basically says, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” You need to take that first step and just keep those small steps going forward whenever you can. Be consistent. Set a schedule that you’re going to stick to where you’re going to learn something every day, where you’re going to make progress every day. I can assure you, after six months have gone by and if you stuck with this schedule, you will be amazed at the progress you have made on your thousand mile journey.
Fire Nation, this concludes another weekend of questions and answers. Thank you so much for joining me. Please, go to EOFire.com, subscribe to the email list, shoot me some questions. I want to promote your questions. I want to give you answers to your questions. I want to promote you and/or your business and what you’re doing. Fire Nation, 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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