Ryan McLean : Slightly Unconventional

Did I Make A Big Mistake Doing Video?

iniartworksmallI’m starting to think that maybe I made a big mistake trying to do so much video. Should I just have been doing audio instead?

I’ve just driven home after listening to the StartUp Podcast on the way home as well as some Invisibilia which is a pretty cool podcast and it got me thinking as to the medium in which I present the information that I give.

The way that I like to learn is I love listening to things. I love listening to podcasts in the car. I love listening to podcasts while I work.

If you look at my habits on YouTube a lot of the stuff that I like to consume are talks where you can watch the people talking but you don’t really need to in order to get the information across. It got me started to thinking.

I decided to invest more in video because I know that largely that is a big way that the internet is going to go and that’s a big way that people are going to be consuming information in the future.

However, on questioning myself as to whether that is the right decision because I’m not as good at video and I feel like I could potentially be a lot better with audio only than I could be with video and audio.

Therefore I’m actually exploring the idea of doing a lot less video and instead focusing on audio but making it better, making it more engaging because when I’m doing video I’ve got to think about so much more. It’s definitely not as natural to me. My editing skills are not there.

I don’t really have the passion to edit things in a good way like someone like Casey Neistat who is a famous YouTube vlogger. He does these amazing edits of his daily vlog and that’s something that I’m just not interested in. But when I listen to the StartUp podcast, when I listen to well-produced audio content it really gets my juices flowing, it really gets me inspired.

Therefore I’m not sure whether I’ve made a big mistake. Say that I made a mistake obviously it’s going to be good to create video content and good to get that sort of exposure. It’s good to try that.  And it also created audio content for me as well so I haven’t lost anything in doing it.

However, if I want to put pursue some sort of passion project that is not just to make money but something that I could do to try and have an impact, try and push my skills to the next level then I feel like maybe it’s going to be an audio. Maybe audio is going to be my thing maybe it’s not going to be video after all.

It’s kind of annoying I guess to just go through this process and to say well actually I’m pretty passionate about audio. And even though there may not be as big an audience in audio as there is in video if I can do audio well then chances are I am going to reach more people through audio that I am through doing videos that just aren’t that good.

So this is something I’ll continue to think about, something I’ll continue to explore moving forward because there are some video things I still want to do. I tried streaming for the first time today so I play a game called super smash brothers melee I want to become top eight in Queensland within the next six months. Currently I’ll kind of top 20 and so that means I probably need to do about an hour practice a day – the goal that I set for myself. And I thought you know what I might just stream while I do that practice.

That’s a video that I’d probably still like to keep doing. There are a lot of great reasons to do video in different scenarios. However I’m just thinking if there’s something that I wanted to do that will really push my skills and that would really force me to create something high quality then audio would probably be it. So I’ll keep thinking about that.

I’ll keep you guys updated and if I ever release anything that is audio content that is going to be top quality I’ll be sure to let you guys know.

It is quarter past eleven and I’ve just pulled in home from being out playing Melee all night. Sometimes inspiration and insights just hit you at the weirdest times.

That’s it from me guys. Until next time if you want instructions go and buy some furniture.

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#70 Welcome Back To 2016

iniartworksmallThe first episode of 2016 and my new site has already made over $50 in income.

Hey, and welcome back to Instructions Not Included where you follow me as I try and generate a decent income online. And let me tell you, it’s not as easy as I would have hoped. I have been trying to do this for a number of years – basically, since 2006.

I discovered it when I was 18 years old and been trying to do it. I’ve been working full time online for the last 2 years now and still haven’t quite made it, I wouldn’t say. So I’m earning enough that I don’t need to go back to work, which is great, but we would always like to be in a better position. So, welcome back.

It feels like forever since I did my latest post and a lot has been happening.

December was a pretty tight month for me. December tends to be my worst month of the year. The property market in Australia doesn’t dry up, but people lose interest in investing property over the month of December with Christmas and New Years and Holidays and everything happening.

There’s just not a whole lot of action in people researching and thinking about investing in Australia. So, cash flow did get very, very tight in December, early January. We’re talking I basically had a week or less than a week left of income before I was going to run out of money and need to pull from savings.

This is because I pay myself every single week. So the business is always profitable every month, but it doesn’t necessarily pay what I need in order to support my family. So I got to the point where I was basically a couple of days from running out of money, but cash flow has since improved and we’ve sold a lot of memberships to our membership site.

We’ve had some commissions come through so all is good. So we’ve got months of income in the bank now so that should be fine.

One of the things that I tried that failed last year was trying my evergreen launch funnel sequence again, which worked great back in May, June, July of last year. But when I re-did it, I had over 1,000 people go through it. Usually, we’re talking anywhere between $5 and $10 per email subscriber, I was making in this launch funnel. All of a sudden, I had over 1,000 people go through it and I think I did one sale of about $300. So it wasn’t doing very well, wasn’t generating the income that I needed and so, I shifted gears again.

I re-marketed my product, setup a sales page without a sales video and setup 2 tiers – one property only and one a full membership for $300 a year and property only was $99 per year. Sales of that have been going good and going fairly steady and hopefully, they continue into the future. So that is good.

I have also started another site called pelt.co where I’m doing a lot of education videos around how to do certain things in internet marketing, like how to setup an evergreen launch funnel or how to create a membership site. And that’s going to be my big project of 2016. So I look forward to working on that more and sharing more details with you guys on that.

I started working on that the very end of November and a couple of days ago, we got our first income from that – an affiliate sale that was worth about US$40 and then we got another affiliate sale that was worth about US$9. All off, in the first 2 months, it’s made US$50, which isn’t stellar, isn’t going to fund my lifestyle, but hey, progress is progress and any income is better than no income at all, so I’m happy with that.

Also, I’m going back and learning about how to build niche websites. So I’ve been following Spencer over at nichepursuits.com and so I’m following the Niche Site Project 3 and re-looking at that and looking at apply the things that I learn to existing sites that I have or even potentially launch new sites into the future. I’ll give you guys updates on that as they go around and as they happen.

I did spend a day or two creating one article that was almost 3,000 words in length to target a specific keyword that was low competition and I think it just had 70 views a month or 70 searches per month. Within 1 day, I was ranked within the top 120. Within 2 or 3 days, I was ranked in the top 40 in the Google search results, but I kind of hovered in the top 40 for that last 5 days or something like that. And so, this is quite low competition and a lot of the people ranking in the top, they’re good websites, but they’re not targeting that keyword, not answering that question.

I really want to rank for this so I did some stuff today to drive some links back to it. I created a Youtube video, which will also go out as a podcast on Soundcloud. Both of those will link back to the website.

I did some internal linking on my website as well and I am thinking about doing some Pinterest post or social media marketing to link back to the site as well just to give it a little bit of juice, a little bit of love and hopefully push it into the rankings a little bit faster. I also adjusted it so it had less affiliate links in there. I think I had about 20 affiliate links going out, which sounds like a lot, but it was one image and one link per item that I listed.

There was 10 items in total, which equaled 20 links. I basically removed the links from the images except for the top 2 recommendations because I figured they’re the ones that’ll be clicked on the most. So, I’ve got 12 links now instead of 20 links going out. Also did an external link in the post to a reputable source and so I’m trying some on-page SEO as well as some minor, very minor back linking – very minor white hat back linking. Linking from Youtube back to the post, etc. And so, we’ll see if that can boost rankings and if we get into the top 10, I will definitely record an episode and let you guys know about it.

Writing a second article now on the same website also targeting a low search volume. I think it was about 40 searches per month, but low competition as well. So we’ll try and rank for that one and both of these searches are trying to make money through Amazon associates or Amazon affiliates. So linking people over to Amazon and basically getting them to purchase over there. We’ll see how we go.

I would like to make a little bit of extra income from Amazon. I would like to diversify my income away from On Property. I think my goal is really to get On Property earning 50% of my income by the end of the year and earning 50% of my income from other sources – 50% or more. Whereas, at the moment, it’s more like 95%-98% of my income comes from On Property, so we want to change that.

That is my quick update of what I’ve been doing in the last couple of months. I hope that your business has been going well. Go out there, work on it. Even if it takes you 7-10 years like it’s taking me, know that in the end, it’s going to be worth it. So, that’s it, Ryan out. Until next time, if you want instructions, go and buy some furniture.

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#64 I’ve Lost My Niche

iniartworksmallAfter feeling like I had no idea how to move forward I have decided to refocus in on my niche of investing in positive cash flow properties.

I think I have worked out the solution to my problem. I am not 100% sure that I have worked out the solution, but at least I’ve got something to go with now. So if you have listened to the last episode or if you haven’t, go back and listen to it.

Basically, I am struggling at the moment because revenue has decreased in my business and I don’t know what I did wrong, and I don’t know what to do. So it has been laying very heavily on my mind as to what exactly I need to do to get myself out of this rut and to transform my business, get my business healthy again and keep it going.

On the bright side, I have spoken to Ben and he was saying that there are some good leads coming through his buyers’ agency. so in terms of cash flow I don’t think I have anything to stress about. But in terms of the longevity of my business that’s what I have been stressing about and I don’t really have a solution.

And then I was just thinking about it and thinking about it, talking to my wife about it, thinking about it some more and I came to the realization that I used to be the positive cash flow guy and everything I would talk about on my site would all be around investing in positive cash flow property. And then the issued that I had was that I had kind of tapped out that market in terms of organic traffic, in terms of search engine traffic and SEO because only so many things you can write about how to find positive cash flow property which is really the problem that I solved.

And so what I then did was I started to create content that was just about general property investing. So, I expanded my niche.

But I think the mistake that I made is that I should have still remain the positive cash flow guy and still focus on that niche but my free content is just more general in nature in order to reach a larger audience. So what I did and the mistake that I think I’ve made is I went from the positive cash flow guy to the property guy.

And being a property guy in a space of thousands of property advisors, buyers, agents, property marketers – all of these sorts of people, I’m just one in a sea of thousands. And so I think the mistake that I made and again I could be wrong on this and I could need to change my mind, but the mistake that I have made is I’ve gotten away from my core message which is investing in positive cash flow property and helping people invest in positive cash flow property.

And so I was thinking about my products. I was thinking about my offerings. And the way that I came upon – I guess, this discovery that I had lost my niche was I was wondering with this problem – Is it a product problem?” “Do my products suck and I need all new products? Is it a pricing problem? So my products are overpriced or under-priced or just not priced correctly? Or is it a marketing problem and I’m not marketing my products correctly? And I do feel like it’s a marketing problem – that I’m not marketing my products correctly.  Because I’ve got a lot of people that signed up for my services and my products and are happy with them.

Therefore, I’m pretty sure that it’s not the products. I’m pretty sure it’s not the pricing. I’m pretty sure that it is nothing. So I’m thinking along this train of thought and then came up with I guess the idea that I’d lost my niche.

As a result, I was rethinking through my products and what I have to offer and how I can position them and I only got back to being the positive cash flow guy or on On Property to be all about finding positive cash flow property. So what I’ll have is On Property listings which I’ll probably might even change the name to Positive Cash Flow Listings just to make it more obvious. I’m not 100% sure about that but I have the listing so that’s a service that I hope you will find real positive cash flow properties.

I’m going to merge my courses into one which I’m going to call Positive Cash Flow Boot Camp. This will be a three-part course. Therefore, the three courses that are selling as individual units will now become one boot camp. And I really feel like when you say boot camp it makes you think about an intensive something that you go through. You can chew on the content quickly. You build up the skills quickly. To me, that’s exactly what a boot camp is. Therefore, to take the three products that I have, packaged them together into positive cash flow boot camp I can show people how to find positive cash flow properties, how to research an area and also how to evaluate individual properties. So I’m confident with that.

Also, property tools I think I may need to put – not on the back burner but just not a huge focus on my site.  Nevertheless, there are property tools I’ll be marketing as tools to help you invest in positive cash flow properties. So I’ve got all of that same sort of products – a tiny bit of repackaging with the boot camp, but basically the same. I’m just changing the marketing around it and changing my focus back to my original niche which is helping people find positive cash flow properties.

I also wanted to record this episode quickly because I’ve listened to something and I don’t want to forget it. I was listening to The Fizzle Podcast which is great. It’s an awesome bunch of guys over there at Fizzle and they were talking about finding your true voice and there were two things that they’ve talked about in the podcast episodes. It’s episodes one and two of that podcast if you want to go check it out. But two things that they talked about that resonated with me around this topic of finding your voice, finding your niche – all of this sort of stuff. And one thing that really resonated with me that was really cool was when they were talking about choosing the niche or choosing the market that you go into.

Often we talk about passion. We talk about our calling. We talk about all of this sort of stuff and that can just be so overwhelming. I know I’ve been overwhelmed at times thinking about, “Am I passionate enough about this market, about this business to pursue it for the next five or 10 years? Am I passionate  enough? Do I feel like God is calling me to work in this business?” And I have really struggled with that.

But reframing it – they reframed it as, “Is this something you care about?” And by reframing it to building a business around things that I care about just makes it so much easier. Do I care about the property market and helping people invest in property? Absolutely. But then I also care about helping parents with night terrors and I care about a whole bunch of other things and I could add those into my business.

So by changing the language to what we’re passionate about, to what we care about has really inspired me in terms of choosing my niche, feeling comfortable with it. Even though it may not be my biggest passion in the world or my biggest calling in the world, it’s something that I care about, it’s something in an area that I want to have an impact and so that’s important.

And they also talked about finding your own voice and a lot of them have gone through this passage – I guess you would call it, of starting with very generic content or copying someone else that they had seen, some guru in the market or something like that and just not getting a lot of traction. But then, they found their own voice, start putting their personality into things and then things really took off. And they interviewed one of the guys – the guy who started a [inaudible7:28] fitness.

He was saying he was writing five articles a week for nine months and he got no traction or generic articles. And then what he decided to do was to move back to two articles a week but to really inject who he was – really inject his new newness and his passion and family guy references and style was references into his blog post and that’s when things started really taking off for him.

So when it comes to finding my voice, I guess what I want to do is find what is my voice, what makes me different in the property market. Because I’m not just a property guy, as I think if I’m just going to be a property guy then there’re other guys who are better. I therefore need to find my specific angle; my specific voice and I’ll be trying out a whole bunch of things. I’ll be trying out how to podcast. I’ll be trying out high quality videos with more editing. I’ll be trying out longer podcast episodes potentially when I’m doing rants and going on rants and things like that.  What I’m going to do is try a whole bunch of things to see what resonates with me, what resonates with my audience and to try and find, I guess the voice that I want to have in the market.

So I was feeling very stuck. I’m feeling a lot less stuck now. I’m passionate to get back to work tomorrow. I took Friday off so I’m going to be working on Sunday and I’m passionate to get back to redo my homepage to focus on positive cash flow property. I’m also excited too I guess, to redo my products, to put a much larger emphasis on finding and investing in positive cash flow properties and then moving forward into the free content things I’ll be creating.

Then I will be looking to find my voice, trying a few things and I guess, injecting up as much of whom I am into things. And so that may be like so much about these references. That may be my new newness that I have. That may be just me being quirky or whatever. I’m not 100% sure yet but I’ll go ahead and I’ll give it a try.

There were emails that I sent out and I’ll just give you a quick update. I did make four new sales for property tools so I got four new members for that. I think I got three new annual members, one monthly. So that was good. However, that was four emails sent out to like a database of 10,000 people. So it’s definitely not a massive conversion to make $155 on a database of 10,000 people over four emails.

Actually, as I’m recording this I just got a new customer – let’s open this up and see if it’s from property tools. That takes it from four to five. Actually, they have spent $99 so they must have bought a course – “How To Find Positive Cash Flow Properties Course.” As I said, I will be selling them individually again so take that $155 up to $255.

All of the way that I receive my payments and stuff, I use a product called Snappy Checkout which I have an affiliate relationship with which you guys can check out. They’re sponsoring this podcast in a way because they are an affiliate deal. They are something that I absolutely love and recommend. I’m looking to do a whole bunch of videos around how to use them and some of the cool things you can do with Snappy check out now that I’ve got this affiliate thing. So that’s another thing that I care about -helping people sell their products and helping people do things well. I think Snappy Checkout is an awesome tool and that’s something that I’ll consider creating some episodes about, some tutorials about.

So you can check out Snappy Checkout – just go to www.pelt.co/checkout  and you can go straight through to see that product. It’s absolutely awesome and will help you sell your products or subscriptions, memberships, all that good sort of stuff. So go ahead www.pelt.co/checkout  and I’ll get a small affiliate commission if you end up using them.

I absolutely appreciate you guys listening. I appreciate you taking the time and letting me vent what I’m feeling and the conclusions that I’ve come to. Hopefully as I get to work this week we’ll start to see some results and we’ll start move things forward.

So until next time if you want instructions go and buy some furniture.

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#61 Never Be Afraid To Hit The Reset Button

iniartworksmallWhen running your own business you often need to change strategies all the time. You need to never be afraid to hit the reset button.

Sometimes in business and in life you just get an intuitive sense of things, and I have often found that if I acted on those intuitions, acted on that feeling, then most of the time good things will come about. Occasionally, you would believe something or believe that you have felt something and you would realize to discover that it was not true. But the majority of the time, you get a sense of something without fully understanding the entire picture, and that is what happened to me today.

I understand the importance of sending out email broadcast to my list. It is not something that I remember to do on a regular basis. I am trying to do it consistently on Wednesdays, but today is Friday and I had not done one yet. I was listening to a podcast or something and they were talking about email marketing and I am like, “I have a list of 10,000 people. I need to send something out to them. I need to communicate with them, and I need to market my product – my suburb research course.”

I am in the fortunate position now that I have been paid by Ben and I am not in a cash-strap position, and so I do not need to send a thousand-dollar worth of this course within the next week in order to survive or to not have to pull from savings. So I am in that good position, so I decided – I wrote an article, I did an episode about what really drives capital growth or the appreciation in price of a property.

And so I just created an email broadcast about that with the marketing message at the in saying, “If you want to learn how to find areas that are likely to grow, and then check out my course.” And also, if they actually went to the article or went to the episode and watched it, then there is a call to action in that as well. And I sent it out and you know, fairly decent response in terms of opens and click-throughs and stuff like that. But how many sales? Zero.

I got a sale for the suburb research yesterday I think that kind of came out of the blue that may have come from one of my episodes. But all in all, not many sales for this course and I sent out this email, and within a couple of hours I had this intuitive sense that this course is not going to do as well as I have thought. This is not something that I can just market to my list and they will automatically buy. And this is something that is very specific to their situation. And then I have an idea.

I had an idea to reach more customers with my courses because I feel like these courses focused on a particular aspect or particular skill of investing in property, and by keeping them single courses I am only appealing to people who are looking for them right then and there. So if for example the suburb research course, I am only appealing to people who want to go ahead and do suburb research immediately because they are looking at buying a property right now.

So the people who are researching and looking to buy a property right now, that is going to be a small segment of my population, of my user base. So you have property owners, people who have invested in a lot of property, who feel like they know how to research suburbs, they do not want to pay a hundred dollars for a course. And then you have people who are not quite ready to buy yet so they do not feel like it is worth signing up yet. So really, it is just not appealing to enough people and so I had this idea and I realized I was not going to sell this course as much as I thought.

So I decided to do some data diving, which is looking into the data and traffic for my website to begin to understand why are people coming to my website; what do I need to create to sell to people who are then going to buy this suburb research course.

I discovered that a large percentage of my audience were coming to my website looking at things around building a property; and something that I learned through a video series with Ben, who is my buyer’s agent, and we talked about the ins and outs of building a new property. At the end of the course, there was a call to action to getting contact with him and organize a strategy session. And for all the people who went through that course, we discovered that not many people were actually ready to buy, ready to take action, ready to invest; that a lot of these people were actually just in the research phase of their journey and just researching about building a property. They were not necessarily ready to buy one. So this means there is a lot of traffic coming for this particular term, but there is not a lot of money actually being spent by these people, so it is a very small portion of the audience that actually wants to go ahead and buy property.

So I was thinking, “Okay. We have this audience, a large audience that is researching this topic. I know there is not a lot of good information out there because I have written some of it and I have also done the series with Ben. I just know my space, so I know there is not a lot of information out there. So I was like, “Maybe I could take what I did with Ben and create an eBook out of the key aspects of what we talked about and what I learned: so the ins and outs, the most important things to know when building a property.” And so I was like, “Okay. Yeah.” Create an eBook. I could sell this for maybe $9.95 to these people, and I have thousands of people coming each month around this topic. And so I thought $9.95, this is a great thing that I could market.

I could probably sell a couple of these a week. I was not really thinking about how many I would sell, how much I would make for a year, but I was like, this could be something. And I was thinking about what would I include in this eBook, and I wrote down an outline and I was like, I could create a mini-video course, not as high production as I usually do, but that would actually create the content that would then get transcribed, which I could turn into an eBook.

That would be the fastest and the easiest way for me to do that. And so then I am going down this avenue and I am thinking I will sell this eBook with a free course attached to it because that is a value-add. The course will be available for free anyway, but I will package it up and say, “You get the eBook and you get a free course.” And then for some reason – I cannot actually remember the exact moment, but I had the idea in my mind that this course is an extra course that I want to create. All of a sudden I am starting to get quite a lot of courses! I have How to Find Positive Cash Flow Properties.

I have the Suburb Research Course. I am about to create a Property Evaluation Course. I will then have this course and I was thinking, what other courses could I do? There is one on Saving a Deposit, which I get a lot of traffic from, and there is a bunch of other courses that I have thought of; mini courses like How to Increase the Cash Flow of Your Property, How to Do Renovations. There are just so many things that I could create courses on.

And so this is how my thinking is going, how my thought pattern is progressing. And then I am like, this could be a really good membership site in the way that James Schramko talks about it, which is a membership site is kind of like a supermarket. You go to the supermarket and you are never going to buy everything in a supermarket in one visit. However, you know everything that you need is at that supermarket and you often go back to that supermarket over and over again to get the things you need as you need them.

And so in the same way you can create a membership site that is a buffet, that is like Netflix, that has all of these potential things that you could want and you can then just go in as a customer and you can just access the things that you need. And I was thinking about this and thinking about the courses that I wanted to create and I am like, this would be awesome to get people over the barrier, who do not need a course in their specific situation right now. So I am thinking, people who do not need to do suburb research right now might not buy the Suburb Research Course but they might buy access to a membership site that has a whole bunch of courses in it including Suburb Research.

So Suburb research adds to the value of that membership site but they are not buying it for that specific situation. But then you also have people who want specifically to learn about how to do suburb research, I can say. “Look, this course is available inside this membership site. You just sign up and you get access to the course that you want.” So it kind of reaches out to people who do not necessarily want that exact course right now. And then also, it serves the purpose and the need of the people who want to get access to that course and want to solve that problem. So that is a massive plus.

And then I have also been thinking about the thousand true fans theory, which you guys may have heard of. If you have not, simply google thousand true fans, and this is the idea that an artist, that a creator does not need a massive global following in order to generate a decent income. If they have a thousand true fans, and these are the people that would come to every one of their shows, buy every one of their albums or artworks or whatever it may be. If someone had a thousand true fans that they could get to spend $100 a year with them, that would be $100,000 a year, and that would be a decent income. It is not a a multi-million dollar business but it is a decent income for a lot of people.

And so I have really been inspired by these thousand true fans, and my passion really does lie around providing high quality, low value products to the market. I get off being generous. I get off on pricing my products low. I get off on people saying, “Why are you charging so little for your products?” And I get off on just shocking the market because I can and because of who I am as a person, that I can give generously and I can do it because I do not need the money. And so in an ideal world for me, I would offer everything that I offer in On Property, the listings, the tools, all of that sort of stuff.

In a perfect world, I would love to offer everything for just $10 per month, and to have a thousand true fans and $100,000 and bygones be bygones, and then that would be it for me. I do not have the ability to do that at the moment because of the revenue needs of my business as well as the revenue needs of my family. But definitely if my site scaled to a point where I could do that that would definitely be something that I would want to do.

But then I thought, “Hey, if I tack this course onto Property Tools, which is my Property Calculator, where people are already paying $5 a month; and I have about 75 members that I have built over the last 3 or 4 months in there. If I added the courses onto this, change of pricing from $5 a month to $10 a month, then that is the exact amount that I would need to work towards that thousand true fans. And so that is exactly what I did. Today, I changed my sales page. I changed my pricing, and I set up the membership site to also contain these courses. And I launched the new version of Property Tools.

I did not tell anyone about it. I updated my homepage; just put an announcement on my homepage announcing the new version of Property Tools where you get access to all of these. And I am happy to announce that I launched it, as I am recording this – it is 8:30 PM; it probably went live about 4:00 PM. I have made my first sale within a couple of hours. My first $9.99 per month from one of my one thousand true fans has come through.

That was super exciting to see, super exciting to get that feedback and to get that instantaneous customer. And also, I just feel like I am passionate about this. I feel like this is really valuable. I feel like I know what I am offering is awesome, and as I build this up and as I build up more and more courses, really, you do become like the Netflix of the property industry. That would be something that could be really, really exciting. Netflix in Australia, I would not go with anyone else because Netflix just has such a wide variety of things. They have awesome documentaries. They have awesome Netflix show.

There is no point going with anyone else. I think if I can build up this repertoire of property information at such an affordable price, eventually people would be subscribed and they would be, “Why will I go anywhere else when I have access to all these information from Ryan at On Property and all the courses in there for $10 a month. Why would I pay $2,000 to do a course? Why would I go somewhere else when I can stick here?”

So within the space of a day, or a couple of hours, I went from trying to promote a course to completely changing the pricing model and the way that I am selling my products. And really, it is a move back to what I previously had in On Property where everything was bundled in there, which is a bit strange because I just moved away from that a couple of months ago and unbundled everything. And now I am bundling it all back together again. The listings are still separate but everything else – the teachings and the tools, are now bundled together.

So maybe in the future I will unbundle them again, once I add more and more courses, and if the community grows, then I could unbundle the tools again. But at the moment it is good to have the tools bundled in there because it is just  a better excuse for people to stay subscribed for $10 a month because that is the only way they could get access to that calculator. They cannot just go in, download all the content, and then leave because then they will not be able to use the calculator. So by having the calculator in there is encouraging people to stay and as I have said, like eventually if I get enough courses in there and it is Netflix where there is this buffet of content available, then maybe I can unbundle it again in the future.

But that is where I am at now, I am very excited, hoping to drive this forward. I am glad I do not need revenue straight away, and so I can work towards getting more and more customers at this $10 a month price range and work towards eventually getting a thousand true fans and a thousand customers at $10 per month and make about $100,000 a year. I will be very, very happy with that. I could go on and live my life and would not have to worry about things. So that is where I am at.

I hope things are moving forward in your business. One of the things me and my wife always say to each other is to never be afraid to hit the reset button; and in a way that is what I have done today. So I just want to encourage you, no matter how far you have gotten down a path in terms of your pricing strategy or the products that you are creating, never be afraid to hit the reset button, or to backtrack, or to change strategy. So I wish you the best of luck in your business and until next time, if you want instructions, go and buy some furniture.

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#57 Update On My Strategy To Market My Course

iniartworksmallI’ve decided to make the month of November “suburb research month” as a way to market my suburb research course. Will this help me get out of my cash-strapped situation?

Hey guys, Ryan here from Instructions Not Included. I just wanted to give you a bit of an update on my strategy to create content and to market my suburb research course. What I did was I created a bunch of content today. I did my list like I talked about in yesterday’s episode and I created outlines for 12 or 13 of the articles. I mean, of the videos that I’m going to create.

What I decided was – I had like 24 episodes, anyway, and then a couple more and I thought, why not just make the month of November suburb research month? I’ve wanted to move towards daily podcast episodes, anyway, and this is just the perfect excuse.

What I’ve done is the first episode is going to go out on the first of November, which is in a couple of days. Basically, I’m going to create podcast episodes so every day in November an episode goes out about suburb research marketing my suburb research course.

Now, I only did $200 in sales when I sent out my email, which is definitely not ideal. Money is going to be tight so I am a bit concerned, but we shall see how it goes. See if I can pull something off. I’ve got a computer to sell. I’ve got some other stuff that I can do. I am getting new customers to On Property Listings and On Property Tools, but these new customers are coming in at $50 a month, $5 a month, $50 a year.

So, I’m getting these small amounts of money. These small amounts of money will probably tie me over for another week or so, but it’s definitely getting tight. I don’t like it. I don’t like being in this situation where I need to work my way out and it’s quite difficult. I like being in the forward-thinking situation where I’m just like, okay, how can we move this forward? What’s the best step to take? I don’t like being under the gun.

That’s all right. Sometimes you need the pressure to move your business forward. Oh, yes! I forgot. I was just thinking. I’m getting 2,000 visitors a day to my website, which is massive for an Australian property website. And I’m just thinking, what I can do is I can put a title bar at the top talking about my course. There’s one called Hello Bar, I’m just googling it now. Maybe I could go ahead and use that one and create that and I can market my course to the website visitors and hopefully get some sales.

Maybe I need to do a sale on the product? No, we’re not there yet. If we get stuck and we’re legit running out of money, then let’s do a sale, but for now, we won’t, okay? All right. I’m going to go ahead and setup a Hello Bar. I’m going to put that on the website.

I created 5 videos today – nowhere near the 12 I had planned to create in a day. I can not do 12. It is too difficult. It is too mentally straining to create these videos. So, 12 definitely unachievable, but 5 today and I actually edited them and uploaded them as well. Well, they’re processing now and I’ll upload them overnight tonight. So, 5 done in a day – edited and uploaded. I’m pretty happy with that.

All right. I’m going to put this header bar up there and see if that helps at all. Wish me luck and I’ll keep you guys update with how everything goes. So, until next time, if you want instructions, go and buy some furniture.

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#52 What Is More Valuable Than Collecting Someone’s Email Address

iniartworksmallThe whole goal of marketing to date has been to build an email list. However I think social media has changed the landscape and it has changed my strategy moving forward.

The money is in the list – or so they say. But will the money always be in the list? That’s something that I’ve been thinking about quite a lot lately. I touched on it briefly in a previous episode, but I’ve actually changed my strategy in terms of how I’m marketing OnProperty and how I’m marketing… Yeah, I guess, more OnProperty because that’s my biggest source of income.

A lot of marketers talk about the “money is in the list.” And so the whole goal of marketing is basically, you create content, you drive people to a website, you convert those people into some sort of free content in exchange for their email address in order to be able to market to them over and over and over again – and that’s super effective.

I think that will still be effective in the future. However, I think there’s something that is more important that’s at play and I think it’s kind of being caused by this whole social media revolution and the changes in social media.

So, social media started, we had MySpace. We did MySpace, yeah, it’s all well and good. But then, we changed to Facebook. Okay, so, we move across to Facebook. Facebook – biggest social platform in the world. Over a billion people use Facebook, it’s absolutely massive. But then what happens? Then, Instagram comes along. So, then, we shift from Facebook to Instagram and we start consuming content on Instagram.

Then Snapchat comes along, so we start using Snapchat. Then there’s something called “Jot”, which a lot of high school people are using because it uses their phones to create a network, so the schools can’t lock it down. So, they move from Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat to Jot and all the while, we’ve got Pinterest happening in the background, we’ve got LinkedIn, we’ve got all of these sorts of things.

So, what used to happen is that people used to consume content on the internet. You’d go to Google. Google is your homepage. You’d search Google to find content and you will then go from there. And so, it was very linear in terms of the way we use the internet was we go to Google and then we’d go through to our website and then we use their email as well. And so, email really was key to get people back to your website.

But now, there’s even more valuable, I think, than someone’s email address. And that’s someone’s – not just their trust, but their “admiration” is probably the best word I can think of at the moment or their gratitude. Yeah, probably their gratitude. That is that you provide so much value to someone that they recognize you as a person, they are grateful to you as a person. They want to follow you and consume the things that you have.

The reason that this is so important is that we’re always going to be jumping from one social network to another. Things are going to be changing. I still use Facebook, but nearly as much as I used to. I’m on Instagram a lot more. I’m not that much on Snapchat just because not many of my friends are on Snapchat and I don’t need to Snapchat teenagers – that would just be super creepy.

Things will constantly change, but if you can get the trust, the admiration, the gratitude of someone, they’re going to follow you across different platforms. So, if they’re on Facebook, they might look for you on Facebook. If they’re on Instagram, they might follow you on Instagram. If they’re on Snapchat, they might follow you on Snapchat.

What’s going to happen over time is that you’ll build trust, you’ll build gratitude with these people and when you market a product or when you finally comes time to ask for something from them, it’s probably going to be pretty easy to convert a whole bunch of people. Because we’ve got a whole generation growing up that don’t really use email. Email is something now that is corporate. Something that old people use in the workplace. Young people, if I want to get in contact with someone, let’s say I want to play Super Smash Brothers with someone on the Gold Coast. I don’t call them. I don’t even text them.

I put a thing on the Facebook groups or I will instant message someone through Facebook Messenger and that’s how we get in contact with people now. I don’t email anyone. I don’t even know any of their email addresses. I don’t need to know any of their email addresses. So, things are changing.

So, the money is in the list – yes, at the moment, but I think as this generation grows up, as the millennials grow up or whoever is below the millennials grows up, things are changing. The way we use the internet is changing. What I’m finding is that my content is going to stay there. There’s still always that process of people going to Google and they search something. Or, maybe they might go to Youtube now and search something. Or, they might go to Pinterest to search something.

So, there’s still always that sort of avenue, but people are subscribing to you in different ways. And less and less are people to subscribing to you via email.

I follow a guy called Pat Flynn and I subscribe to his podcast. He’s got 2 podcast, I like one of them. The other one was a bit too basic for me. So, I subscribe to one of his podcast. I subscribe to his emails as well, but I don’t really give a damn about them. I also know he has a Youtube channel and I visit it from time to time. So, my relationship with Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income isn’t through my email list. And if he sends me an email, yeah, I’ll probably read it, but if he mentions something in a podcast and does a call to action in a podcast, he’s actually more likely to reach me that way than he is through email.

So for me and my strategy, rather than focusing on the email marketing – I’m not ignoring email, I’ll still be using email. I have Funnel setup to email people. It’s still an element of marketing, but it is not “the money is in the list”. Its email is the be all and end all because email is changing. I think content is the be all and end all because you can reach someone over and over and over again.

You can reach them at a precise time. And that’s why I’m trying to do content with a call to action that is related to that content and a call to action to one of my products. And so, rather than it being like a hardcore call to action, trying to get someone to sell. It’s kind of like a side note at the end of each video. I’m doing, “Oh, by the way, there’s this that you can do. Just go to propertytools.com.au to sign up.”

So, they’re getting this good content. They then get a call to action at the end and they probably act, but what’s going to happen is they’ll then do another search. They’ll find me again. They’ll do another search; they’ll find me again. They won’t go on to social media, but they might go on to Youtube and they’ll find me.

They might subscribe to my podcast and listen to 10 episodes, or something like that. And then, eventually, they’re going to come to a point and say, “I need some help in finding positive cash flow properties.” They Google it, I come up. They’re like, “Ryan. Sweet. I know him.” They watch it. They see your call to action go to my course or to go to my site and they’re like, “You know what, I’m in a situation in my life right now where I need help with this. And so, I trust Ryan and I’m willing to purchase his products.”

So, I just think the whole buying process, the way that we use the internet is changing. And the way that you interact with your customers is changing as well. And if you’re so focused on email, I think you’re going to miss out on the way that the internet is changing and the way that people relate to internet celebrities, would you call them, or internet personalities. The way that people relate to them is changing. I think the leader in this is Gary Vaynerchuck. I follow him on Youtube. I used to subscribe to his podcast, but not anymore.

I just subscribed on Youtube because it’s the same content. I’ve been following him for a long time. I’ve got his books, I’m his friend on Instagram. If he launches a new book, he doesn’t need to send me an email for me to buy that book. I’m going to find out about it. If he launches a new book, he’s got the #AskGaryVee book coming out.

I know he has the #AskGaryVee book coming out. I’ve already decided to purchase this book ahead of time because I will just purchase anything that he makes. I know that this is coming. Because I’ve been following him, I know that’s coming. He hasn’t even sent out an email. He hasn’t even done a call to action, but I know that there’s a book coming in the future that I’m going to purchase.

So, all that needs to happen – he launches that book, I’ll find out some way. I’ll find out through his Youtube channel or through his podcast or through some other podcast that I listen to that he gets interviewed on or maybe I’ll just see it in Instagram – it’s probably what’s going to happen. As soon as it comes out, what do you think I’m going to do? I’m going to buy it. Did he email me? Did he do a sales Funnel with 4 videos in order to sell me something? No, he didn’t.

He’s just out there putting out content. I trust him. I admire him. I’m very grateful to the advice that he has given. And so, therefore, I’m following him and I’m going to take action based on that. And I’m not the only person who’s doing that. He’s not the only personality that’s doing that. So if you’re thinking long term about selling something.

If you’re thinking about long term about marketing something – yes, email is powerful. Yes, if you collect someone’s email now, put them through a sales funnel, you will convert a certain percentage. But, I think, long term, there’s going to be so much power in being – not being everywhere, but just being where people need you to be and helping them in the way they need you to help them.

Like for OnProperty, for example. If we said, yeah, there’s a “Be Everywhere” strategy. So if people are on Facebook, I need to be on Facebook. Are people on Instagram? I need to be on Instagram. Not really – not in the property space. Facebook, there’s definitely opportunity for videos and content on there, which I haven’t explored – which I probably should. But for me, to do Instagram and to run an Instagram channel – yes, I will reach some people.

But most people, when they’re thinking about property and looking at property, they’re still just googling stuff. Or they’re going into Youtube and they’re searching for stuff in Youtube. Or, they listen to a daily podcast or a weekly podcast or whatever.

In terms of my market, I don’t need to be everywhere. I just need to be in the most important places that matter the most to my potential customers. So, for me, that’s Google, that’s Youtube and that’s podcast. Because people want to consume content, learn about property investing so I need to be there. Could I get more sales by being in Facebook? Yes. But it would take away from the most important areas that I need to be.

If Facebook was the most important area, then I would be on Facebook and not be in other places, maybe not be in a podcast or not be on Youtube or something. But because the most important places for me to be are Google, Youtube and podcasting, I need to put my focus on that. And if I look at Facebook, then I’m taking away from that.

So, yes, there’s going to be avenues that are good. But then, there’s avenues that are the most important and I guess you need to work out can you impact people more? Can you build more trust, admiration and gratitude by re-investing and investing heavily in the places that are most important or can you get it by going into some social media avenue like Pinterest or something like that? I used to do Pinterest and Pinterest I don’t do anymore because people aren’t searching in Pinterest for property tips. For me, it was just a little tactic to try and get back links so it’s not the most important place that I need to be.

So that is my rant on the changing landscape of the internet. I think it’s going to be years before we really see a lot of people doing this. And before we actually click in our minds and day, “Oh, yeah, this is what’s happening.” And this is the way the internet is changing. And so the reason I think I’ll be successful with OnProperty compared to the other property blogs out there that I’m competing with, compared to the people that have affiliate programs that I’m competing with, compared to the property magazines that are still in print, the reason I think I’ll be more successful than all of them is because I understand how the internet is changing – how the internet is progressing.

And I’m building a relationship with my potential customers that’s based on trust, that’s based on admiration, that’s based on gratitude that will permeate multiple different platforms. And as the internet changes, as people’s behavior changes, then I will change my focus based on that and invest more heavily in where people actually are. And so, when I look at like the podcast space for example, I’m the only daily property podcast.

I made a video on the 10 top property podcast, there wasn’t even 10. There was like 8 and then I had to put through some finance ones in there. A lot of the once that were in there were just really bad or they released a couple of episodes and they were done.

If you want property information in Australia, there’s probably about 5 or 6 podcast, maximum, that you could listen to. And if you want content on a regular basis, I’m the only podcast that offers that. Everyone else is weekly, monthly or every 2 weeks. And so, I am in that space where people are looking, people want this sort of content and I’m over-delivering compared to everyone else.

I guess I encourage any of you guys who are trying to market, find out what is the most important to your customers. How can you build trust, admiration and gratitude – in what areas? How can you over-deliver and just make them so grateful for what you have done that they end up buying all of your products and become your best customer ever. What can you do in order to do that?

I am going to explore some sponsorships for this podcast in the near future, guys. So, if you see me talking about any sort of stuff, I may have secured some sponsorships or I may just be marketing affiliate programs. It’s just something that I want to try to let you guys know some cool tools that I used. Or, I just might recommend products that I like and enjoy that I think you guys will benefit from, even though there’s nothing in it for me – no payment in it for me or anything like that.

Alright guys, that’s it for me. As you can see, I have opinions about the way the internet will change. They could be right; they could be wrong. But I’m pretty certain that this is the way it’s going to progress and I’m pretty certain that everyone is going to be focusing on what worked years ago, instead of focusing on doing the things that are going to pay them dividends 2 or 3 or 5 years down the line.

I think if you start this stuff now, you get a massive head start on people because there’s only so many people in my life that I will trust and that I will put in that sort of “mentor” status. And so, if you get in there first, you kind of lock that down for the future compared to everyone else who might try and do it 5 or 10 years from now.

So, best of luck, guys. If you want instructions, you know what to do, go and buy some furniture.

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#51 My Best Customer Ever

iniartworksmallOf all the customers you have in your business what is the absolutely most a customer can make you. For me it was previously $400-$500, but that just got increased.

What is your best customer worth? Of all the customers that you have in your business, what is the absolute most a customer can make you or has made you? For me, with OnProperty, my best customer – up until a couple of days ago, made me probably somewhere around maybe $400, maybe $500 or something like that.

They might have purchased an annual subscription to OnProperty Plus for $300, maybe some eBooks or courses up to the value of maybe $500. Or, I could have had some that was a subscriber for $300 subscribed to 2 years. Okay, maybe $600 is my best customer ever.

Well, there was actually a customer the other day, on Sunday – a day when I wasn’t even working, that beat that record and spent somewhere around $800-$900. Almost $1,000 and this was absolutely awesome to see. I through phases where I get a bit worried about money.

Last month was really good in terms of I closed down OnProperty Plus, changed it to OnProperty Listings and as a result, increased the prices. So, I got a big influx of income – about $4,000 or something like that from that promotion and people signing up as a result of that promotion.

So, I’m going into this month, into October, thinking, “Okay, a bit more stressed about this month.” I don’t have $4,000 automatically coming in. I’ve got about $1,000 revenue from Property Tools as well as OnProperty Plus/OnProperty Listings monthly subscription. So I’ve got about $1,000 coming in. I’ve also been working closely with Ben Everingham, recommended a few people to him. So, it might be $2,000 coming from him, but it’s never certain with buyer’s agents.

They’re working with a couple of clients and if they can’t find the property, then, Ben is so honorable, he gives the money back. So, that could potentially result in no money coming in. So, I’ve got about $1,000 guaranteed and I’ve got about $2,000-$3,000 a month in expenses now. Things just go up as you become a more profitable company.

So, going into the month, just a little bit more stressed about how much money I’m going to make. What am I going to sell? How am I going to do this, blah, blah, blah, blah… And then, I get this customer on Sunday who spends $900 – almost $1,000 with me. And I go, “What am I stressing about? I’ve got people who want to spend this amount of money with me. I must be doing something right.” And anyway, there was one offer – I had 2 conflicting offers, one for $50, one for $80. So, I emailed this customer, I said, “Thanks for being the best customer ever. I just want to let you know there was an offer on this for $50 for people who bought this other course.

I’m going to honor that and refund you $30.” emailed them, blah, blah, blah… I got an email back from best customer ever yesterday and they said something really interesting to me over the course of this email, which was quite long. But they said, “Ryan, don’t underestimate yourself.” He said, “I wanted to buy everything that you had and it was a lot of work for me to go through and to find all your products and to purchase all of your products individually. So, don’t underestimate yourself and why not have a ‘buy the lot’ option as a way to convert every customer into your best customer ever?”

I was like, “Oh my goodness! You are a genius! Thank you so much. You’ve just gone from best customer ever to absolutely best customer ever because you’ve given me an awesome idea.” This customer has shown me that the buying process that I have isn’t ideal for my customer. I create videos, audios and blog posts so customers can consume my content in whatever way they want. But when it comes to my products, I haven’t exactly made it easy for customers to purchase everything.

I guess part of that was I wanted to break things down for customers and service their needs. So, kind of like a supermarket where you go to the supermarket and they’ve got thousands of items and they never intend you to buy everything in one shop, but what you need is there for when you need it and when you need something else, then you come back.

I guess my product strategy was the supermarket sort of strategy where I’ve got a whole bunch of different things there that service different needs. Come and purchase this product when you have that need. And when you’ve got a different need that I can serve, come back. But I never thought that maybe there’s customers that are passionate enough they just want to purchase everything all at once and I need to make their experience better. So, definitely going to add a “buy the lot” option to my products page.

At first, I was like, “Well, how am I going to do this?” Because OnProperty Listings has monthly, annual and 2-year options. Property Tools only has monthly and yearly. How am I going to do this? But I think the way I’m going to do it is I’ll scrap the monthly because if someone wants to buy everything, then they’re pretty keen on spending money and I’ll just offer a yearly and 2-yearly options. Yearly for OnProperty Listings is $480.

Yearly for Property Tools is $50. So, that’s $530 plus everything else. And then, the 2-year option for OnProperty Listings is $720 and then I’m just going to leave 2 years for Property Tools at $100, so no discount for getting property Tools for $100. So it goes $720 to $820 plus then I’ll have 3 courses at $300 each so that’s $1,120. Plus I’ve got the eBooks that’s $7 so it’ll be like $1,127. So, I could, eventually, once all my products are out, I could have a “buy the lot” where someone could spend $1,127 with me in one go.

All of a sudden, I only need 4 customers a month in total in order to achieve my income goals that I set for the year. Obviously, not everyone’s going to do that, but maybe get 1, 2 or maybe 3 of those customers a year and that’s a nice little kicker. Definitely, big thank you to my best customer ever who has now spent the most money ever with me and has also given me a great idea in order to improve how much my customers are potentially worth. That was a really cool breakthrough for the week.

Bit of an update from last week, when I worked 25 hours a week, took me a little bit to get used to it. The first 2 days I think I finished the day and I was a cranky shit. I was like, went down and I was just cranky for some reason.

I was quite rude to my family. I don’t know why exactly, but I think it was just the stress of it. And the mindset of working less and feeling like my family is taking away from my work time, which is not the intention at all, you know. I value family over work, so I don’t know why I was thinking that. But I kind of felt like that and I was like, “Oh, well, this is crap. I don’t get to work” So, the first couple of days were hard.

Third day, I had about half an of being cranky after I finished work. And then, by the fourth and fifth day, I was quite happy with the work schedule that I had and what I was doing and I was less stressed. So, I had a great day on Friday with the family. I had a great weekend. And then, Monday was a public holiday up here, it was super hot. So, we ended up going to my mother-in-law’s place to swim in her pool.

Even though technically, I’m not doing 25 hours a week anymore, my stress levels – oh my goodness, have they gone down so significantly! Because I was like, “Yup, absolutely. Let’s go for a swim in the morning.” We went for a swim. I started work at 11:00 and then I finished work at 3:30 of 4:00 or something. I actually wasn’t feeling very good that day. I had a super sore back and ended up passing out asleep at 5:00.

My stress levels have gone down significantly. So, Tuesday, I did 8:00-4:00, that was yesterday. Today, I’m doing kind of 7:30 until 3:00-ish because as soon as the kids come home from school, we’re going to go for a swim because it’s hot again. Then, tomorrow, I’m going to see The Martian, which is an absolutely awesome book that I read and apparently, it’s a good movie, too, so I’m going to see that. And then, hopefully, got Smash Brothers tomorrow night. We’ll only work a few hours on Thursday, which I’m fine with. And then Friday I’ll probably do a full day there.

I think the 25 hours a week, definitely something that I want to move towards. It was great to that example and to do that week. As well, to work with my wife and to be able to help her out more with the 3 kids. Because having 3 kids and taking care of 3 kids is really hard. Not just for her, but just in general. And so, being able to help her more reduced her stress levels, leads to a better family balance, better emotional health; which leads to a better relationship that we have together. Definitely something that I want to pursue more is work less and be more focused.

Another thing that I realised about working 25 hours a week is I’ve got more important shit done! Often I’ll spend a day and I’ll just fat ass around. I’ll get some emails done. I’ll do some admin stuff. I’ll get stuff done, but it’s not stuff that’s super important. When I got 5 hours a day, I lean on my virtual assistant more. I’m like, “Okay, I’ve got 5 hours. What am I going to get done? Alright, I’ve got to get some videos done.

Let’s get these videos created, let’s get these videos edited and uploaded.” Bam, they’re done. Off to Dipti in order to manage them and publish them. So a lot of work that I was doing was more valuable work. I can actually potentially achieve more working 25 hours than I could working full time. Because I just do less stupid tasks that I probably shouldn’t be doing anyway. So I’m going to have to think about this.

We’ve got school holidays again in about 8 weeks. The kids have 9 weeks off or something like that. So, I think, over that Christmas break, I’m probably going to do 25 hours a week for maybe 8 weeks or 9 weeks or something like that. In Sydney for a week, so that’ll be a holiday. Probably have another week of holidays, but I was thinking and talking to my wife and we’re saying, “Yeah, well, let’s just do this.” At least we know if I run out of money or we start running out of money or I’m not making enough, I can just increase my work hours again and find out ways to make more money.

So, yeah. That’s where we’re at. That’s where we’re at. Enjoying my Smash Brothers, practicing that pretty heavily and getting into that. So wanting to become good and, eventually, would love to be able win some competitions, win some tournaments in Smash Brothers as my Peach player. But that’s another topic for another day.

That’s it for me today, guys. Until next time, stay positive.

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#50 We Are Not Drinking Beer Today. Zero Sales :(

iniartworksmallSometimes you just get lucky first go…and sometimes you don’t. This is an example of me not getting lucky.

Sometimes you just get lucky first go, and other times, you don’t. I remember, it would have been 3 or 4 years ago, I was still working as a pharmaceutical rep and I had a property blog and I had a little over 1,000 email subscribers, over 100 articles, less than 120.

Were getting a decent amount of traffic and I thought, you know, I need to make some money from this – I want to make some money from this. And so, I decided to create and launch a membership site where I would teach people how to find positive cash flow properties. So, what I did was I created a single page.

Literally, a single webpage that was password-protected. That was it. It’s a functionality within every single WordPress page or WordPress post – you can set a password on it.

So, I created that and I put a video on it or a couple of videos or something like that. It wasn’t even complete, the product. I sent out an email to my list saying, “Launching this product.

Here’s a 50% discount.” or something like that and I sold it for $50 and I had $2,000 in sales in the space of 1-2 days. Before then, the most I’d ever seen in terms of a month was maybe $300-$500 in AdSense revenue. So, for me, this membership site was a big kicker for me.

This membership site, eventually, over the course of a couple of years evolved into OnProperty Plus, which is now OnProperty Listings, which makes me a good 4-figures per month and means that I can work from home and I don’t need to have a job.

That was striking it lucky. I was very lucky to launch that and to get so much success off the bat with that. Just really struck a cord with the market and what they wanted. One that’s not so lucky is my public speaking course. Yup, no sales. We are not drinking beer today. We are not celebrating and getting drunk together because there are no sales for my public speaking course.

I sent out an email to my list of about 700-800 email subscribers talking about the course. Had a bit of traffic to the page, but absolutely zero sales, nada.

I was thinking that maybe today I create some free videos for outspoken.co, but at this point, I just don’t see the point because I’m not making any money from the site. I haven’t “nailed the coffin” so to speak. I haven’t given up on outspoken.co or given up on this product.

I will still give it probably a month to see do people go to it? Are people interested in it? Do I get any sales? All I need is one sale to really encourage me to push this site forward. But I know this is my first product that I’ve ever created and it may not be aligned with the market, it may not be what they want. It has a good learning experience for me, but I definitely did not strike it lucky with this course.

It’s not something that I just launched and I sold a whole bunch of copies to this course. So, I don’t know if that means it’s a dud course, I don’t know if that means that public speaking is a harder niche to monetise. I’m not 100% sure what it means, but definitely didn’t strike it lucky. So, I’ll wait a little bit longer and see what happens and then, maybe go again and create another course or try and market it in some other way.

So, yeah, I was hoping to strike it lucky. Hoping to get a little bit of traction with this course so I could then justify working more on oustpoken.co, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. So, I’m back to just focusing on OnProperty, focusing on creating more marketing materials for that. So, more free content and driving people to my products.

I am thinking about the long term and longevity of OnProperty and me and this business and what it’s going to look like moving forward. And something that I’m doing is at the end of each of my videos, I’m doing a call to action to one of my products. So, rather than just trying to get more and more email subscribers now – which I actually think is becoming less and less relevant, less and less valuable over time. But the content is going to hold it’s value and so I really have this sense that the value is in the content. The value is not in the email list, as people say.

Obviously, collecting people’s emails are very important. But when you’ve got people who are so segmented online now, so many people surfing the web through apps. So many people go into a lot of different websites using Facebook and stuff like that. But you still develop a relationship with the person.

So, whether you’re watching someone on Youtube or you’re watching their video on Facebook or you’re interacting with them on their website or they send you an email, it’s all the same person. And I think that as I grow this brand, as I build up this brand, I think email will become less and less important over time.

I can’t remember the last time I actually bought something from an email that was sent to me; which is really interesting. But I do know that I follow people like Gary Veynerchuk, I love all the stuff that he does. I follow his podcast or his Youtube channel. And he’s the same person there. He’s the same person on iTunes as he is on Youtube and when he has a book out or a call to action, I find it through the videos he does and I then go ahead and take action.

So, I’m thinking that emails aren’t as important as they used to be. Still important, but they’re not the be all and end all. And so, what I’m doing, because I believe the content will hold value for longer into the future than collecting email subscribers, I’m actually marketing my products at the end or within each of my videos. So, I’ll do a subject like I just did one about the biggest mistakes that people make when doing suburb research, when investing in property.

So, at the end of that and throughout that video, I was talking about I’m launching a course on suburb, which you can get at onproperty.com.au/suburb. So, I’m integrating it into the videos. I did other videos and marketed other products, like my course on how to find positive cash flow properties or my membership site, OnProperty Listings.I’ve been doing more of this free content with a call to action.

So, we’ll just see how that goes and see whether that’s going to work. But I think in terms of long term strategy, I think that’s going to be the most successful way to do it, is to just have in-content discussions about my own products. I think that’s going to be pretty cool.

I am considering moving back to daily videos. I did this back in 2014, so last year. What I did was I release a new video, podcast, article every single day. So, the video gets transcribed into a blog post. It also gets converted into an MP3, into a podcast. And I saw huge growth over my site in that period of time and I’m still seeing upwards of 1,500 people visit my site every single day from the content that I produced partially during that period. Some of the content was before that.

I have noticed that as I release articles talking about the courses that I’m creating, like I’ve released some of my videos are sales videos, I’ve noticed that I’ve had sales that I feel are related to that – not to the emails that I sent out. And I know this because some of the people who purchased my product weren’t even email subscribers of mine. So the only way they could have found out about it was through the actual episodes themselves or through the menu tab on my website.

I think that it’s powerful. I think that getting people in the routine of listening to me, I think the idea of getting more and more content out there and just smashing my competitors in terms of how much content I have, how much I can be found in Google and have people find me is going to be super valuable. And I think the long term strategy of absolutely owning this space in terms of the market and getting people to come to me really allows me to have a more positive impact on people’s lives than if I was to do affiliate deals to try and sell my products and stuff like that.

I want to be like Apple and basically be fully integrated. Everything from my marketing to my products. I don’t want to make money selling other people’s products. I don’t want other people acting as affiliates for me. I want to do everything myself, which is, I guess, less like Apple, more like James Shramko and what he does over at SuperFast Business where he doesn’t have any affiliates marketing his stuff, but he just does it all himself. And I think that’s going to be the best long term strategy for me and for my business. And if I’m creating all these free content now and I’ve got the backend, like my virtual assistant Dipti, she’s absolutely awesome.

She can get all this stuff up. So I can create 3 videos in the space of a couple of hours. I then upload them, let her know about it and then, bam! She’s away, gets everything scheduled, gets everything ready and published on time. So I don’t have to worry about all that backend stuff anymore. It’s not sucking my time. So, I think it’s more achievable for me to do daily videos now than it used to be.

So I’m excited about that. That’s going to be good. I think we’ll move towards that I was doing 2 videos a day for a while and I’ve just started moving to 3 videos a day. I’m going to get my way up to 5 videos, so Monday to Friday there’s going to be a video every single day. And then, as soon as I have enough content and I feel like I can keep it up, then I’ll go ahead and I’ll do fully a video every single day.

I think that’s going to be exciting because then once I’ve created this course on suburb research and then I’ve created the course on how to evaluate an individual property, then I can just focus on marketing those courses.

The free videos could be all I do. That could just be the only stuff that I have to do on my business. It’s just, I do free videos and I do customer service, like emails and stuff like that. And then I could definitely work 5 hours per day. Working 5 hours a day has been pretty rough.

It’s been getting difficult to get into the habit. But I think now that I’m starting to do it, starting to get used to it. I think there’s massive value in it for me, for my family, for my wife – to help her out. But then, also for me, in terms of socially, I will then have more time. My wife will be less stressed, so she’s okay if I go for a surf or if I go to someone’s house and play Smash Brothers or something like that. I think it’s going to be good, I think it’s going to be long term.

I think I can definitely make enough money – if not more money doing just 5 hours a day than doing 8 or 9 hours a day. So, it’s definitely something that I’m going to be working towards and it’ll probably happen faster than I expected.

Anyway, I have rambled on enough. I’m excited to get on with the day to go ahead and make some videos. I’ve got 4 hours until I finish work. So, let’s see how many videos I can get done. If I get 3 done, I’d be happy. But why not push for 4 and then I’ve done 7 this week, hey? Well, we’ll see how we’d go. Hope you guys are having an awesome day. I hope that you are working on your business. I hope that sometimes you get lucky and you get a quick win like I did when I first launched my membership site for OnProperty.

Sometimes you just don’t get lucky and you need to re-evaluate and think, “What did I do wrong? What can I do better?” And also, I want to encourage you, it’s not about doing the grind and working 12-16 hour days. It’s about achieving what you want to achieve, having the biggest influence that you can – positive influence on people’s lives. And then living the life that you want. Living the life that you want is super hard to work out. So hard to work out what kind of life do I actually want. What I want to do for work? What I want to do with the rest of my time when I’m not working? But it’s totally worth it if you can work it out.

I’ll keep you guys up to date on that. Until next time, if you want instructions, go and buy some furniture.

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#49 Hoping and Praying To Sell A Copy Of My Course

iniartworksmallI finished my public speaking course but it took me 4 attempts to create a sales page for the product. I also added a sales email to my autoresponder.

Hey guys! Ryan here from Instructions Not Included. I just want to give you an update on my week. I had Monday off which was great. Working today, doing a shorter week this week and today I was just focusing on my course on Outspoken.co on How To Become A Better Public Speaker In Private. You want to check that out, just go to Outspoken.co/private, if you want to see the course and the sales page over there.

So basically I spent the day finalizing that course. So once they purchase it, there is a page that they go to that has all the videos; I had to set that up. And I have also gone ahead and created the sales page for the course which actually took me 4 attempts to create the sales page.

First I did a text-based sales page which was pretty average. And then I started writing an email to send out and realized how bad it was. I then created a second sales page and while I was creating that I realized it is probably better if I create a video or an audio for this. And so I recorded an audio for it. And then I created a page on that. And then I realized that this is just overkill, the audio went for 7 or 8 minutes for a $30 course.

It was not even an awesome audio either. And then the last thing that I did was just create a products page at Outspoken.co/products and just have a little description of the course, a little square image like a title cover for the course and then a buy-it-now button down the bottom.

And so I decided to sell the course for US$30. I just thought US$20 was not enough and made it sound like a cheap and crappy course so I upped it to US$30. I would like to go for $50 or $100 but I just do not have a good enough relationship with my readers and stuff. I do not think to charge $100 for a course. So I thought $30, happy medium.

I also went ahead and added like a salesy sort of email to my order responder for Outspoken.co and so that will go out to everyone who signs up for my course which is probably about a person-a-day or something or maybe even less than that. I do not actually know. I have never tracked it.

And then I have just sent out a broadcast email as well to my subscribers and I have 750 email subscribers for people that are interested in learning more about public speaking and who have signed up for my public speaking crash course. So I am hoping and praying that one of those people actually buys the course. And the next time that I am recording, the next time that I am talking to you guys, I will have a beer in hand.

I will be drinking the beer and we will be celebrating the first sale of this course and also my first US dollars in a long time. And if this course sells and i this course is something that people are interested in, then that all of a sudden makes Outspoken.co a profitable side project and will make me more inclined to invest more heavily in that site because at the moment the site is in shambles. It is a bit buggy.

It is missing a lot of things that need to go on there but I just have not done anything with it because it does not make me any money. So if I fix it I might get more traffic. People might stay engaged longer on the site but it is not going to result in any profit for me and so it has not been worth it.

But if this course proves profitable, if this is something that people are interested in then I will go ahead and invest more in the site. And I will also try and think of some other courses that I can create that I could sell to people and try and make this site profitable.

I would definitely like to diversify away from On Property because at the moment 99% pf my income is coming from On Property and if the Australian property market was to crash then that would severely affect my income. Or if something was to happen to this site, I am too exposed and I would rather spread my risks across the 2 sites. And as well, if I can make money from Outspoken.co then I feel like I could then teach how to make money from a podcast through PodcastFast.com.

So we will see how it will go. That was what I was up to today, not as many hours to work today which I am finding a little bit difficult, a little bit stressful. But I will get whatever I need to get done this week.

There is nothing urgent that I need to get done so it is no big deal. But I am working less this week. Spending more time with the kids and doing my test for working 25 hours a week. So we will see how we will go. We will see how I can handle it, not working as much. Can I do it? We will see how it works with the family and stuff as well. So I will keep you guys updated on that.

I am bout to finish. I am about to go pick up the kids from kindergarten in about 20 minutes. They just have vacation care today. I will pick them up soon and hopefully we will sell a copy of this course. Come on! Let us sell a copy! Hopefully tomorrow you will be hearing from me that I sold a copy. Or you will be hearing that I have not. But hopefully I will have.

Alright guys, that is it for me today. Until next time, if you want instructions go and buy some furniture.

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#47 Creating Something From Nothing

iniartworksmallIf you have nothing and try to make it twice as good you will still end up with nothing. This is the problem I have been having with my public speaking site.

What is a 20% improvement on nothing? It is nothing right? What is 100% improvement on nothing? it is nothing right? So if you have absolutely nothing and you try and make it twice as good you are still going to end up with nothing because you have not done anything.

And I think that is the problem that I have been having with my public speaking site which is now called Outspoken.co. I cannot improve it because it is not really making any money. I do not have any products so I cannot create a product and see what the feedback is and kind of improve upon it. I do not have anything on there.

I think a big part for me about getting On Property to the place where it is at was simply constant improvement. I launched my first membership site, my first product, in April of 2014 so it is about 18 months ago. So I launched it, it was a membership site where I taught people how to find positive cash flow properties and I was going to list some positive cash flow properties in there but it was pretty infrequent that I was listing those properties.

What I found out as I started selling this site I then adjusted the sign-up forms to say which part of the site did you sign up for? Was it the courses? Was it the tools? Was it the properties? And 90 plus percent of people said they signed up for the properties.

And so I started learning as I ran this site, as I created this site that this is what people want. This is what people are willing to pay for. And then also I was getting feedback from people saying “you are only charging $200?” like there is something wrong with this like I am undercharging. And so I began to understand what is this actually worth to people.

I was only charging $20 a month or $300 per year and so people are thinking, “it is worth more than this, what are you doing?” and it was kind of like people were hesitant to buy because it was cheap and so I was learning about that.

I was then learning more about how to teach people about finding positive cash flow properties as I got more customers and different things that I could sell. If you have been listening for any point in time you would have known that I talked about creating and selling eBooks which sold pretty well but they were so cheap that it is not worth it.

And then I kind of graduated onto creating and selling these courses that are going for $100 each and I have sold probably $1,200 worth of courses at the moment which would take me hundreds of eBooks to sell and I only have to sell to 20 or so customers. So, pretty awesome there.

What has happened with On Property is over time I have been invested more into it because it is making me money. And I have also adjusted my courses, adjusted my products, adjusted the things that I sell and slowly improved upon them.

So what started out as pretty crappy, as a membership site that was not super awesome slowly became better and better over time as I made progress to that and as I improved it. And so one of the things that I think is holding me back from expanding into other niches like into public speaking, into podcasting, is I do not have any customers. I do not have any products to improve and I have not actually gone ahead and done it.

So why am I talking about this? Why am I saying all these? Well, I have decided that I am going to create a course for Outspoken.co. It is going to be a course on how to become a great public speaker from the privacy of your own home. So one of the things that has really helped me in my speaking ability over the years was just simply talking and creating videos and doing a lot from the privacy of my own home.

So I have done a lot of videos and if I go back to the first videos I did on public speaking, well the first videos I did here on On Property, I definitely cringe at them. They are very cringe-worthy for me because I see what I used to be like and how I used to present. How stiff I was. How unnatural that was for me and how poor the quality was and I have come a long way. My quality is still, in terms of the video image is not awesome but in terms of my speaking ability, my ability to talk impromptu, my ability to come up with stuff on the spot, be confident enough to do that, has really grown.

It used to be really emotionally straining for me to create videos and the more and more that I do it, the less straining it is; the less emotionally straining because it is kind of like a subconscious thing that I do now like riding a bike. And so I am creating this course on How To Become A Better Public Speaker Without Leaving Your Own Home. So you can actively do it in the privacy of your own home to become a better public speaker.

And so the goal of this course is not to be the most awesome course that I have ever created. I think something that has held me back from creating a course for Outspoken is I see the quality of stuff that is out there and I just think I cannot match that. I cannot be as good as Patricia Fripp who is a famous chick who teaches public speaking, probably makes millions of dollars. I am not as good as her. My quality is definitely not as good as hers.

I am not as well-dressed as her. I do not have makeup that is as nice as hers. Of course I do not wear makeup. But I could wear makeup. I could have cats.

Anyway, something that has held me back a lot is that too scared to sell something, too scared to even create something because I feel like it is not going to be good enough. But if I create something and I try and sell it and I see how it goes and then I can improve upon that. If this course is going well; it is resonating with people, I can improve this course and make it better. I could re-record it down the road so it is more professional if I wanted to. Or I could go ahead and create another course. What I want to do is I want to get out there and I want to get this course created.

So that is what I am doing today, I am recording this course. So I have done 4 videos. It is a 7-part course but it has an introduction video which I have done and I will probably have a conclusion video as well.

So let us say I have 8 videos that I need to create all up. I have done 4. Ideally, I would love to get them finished by the end of today, by the time I finished working. But what is the time now? It is probably like 4:30. It is 3 o’clock and I finish work at 4:30 so can I get another 4 videos done in an hour and a half? Probably not.

But I can get some of them done and what I  am trying to do is just get all these recordings done because I feel like if I do not get them done quickly then I am not going to get them done. It is a scary thought for me so I am motivated now. I want to just go ahead and do them. And then it is easy for me to just have a cruisy day and to edit the course and then to put it up for sale.

So I want to get a course out. I want to get it created. I am halfway through. Give me some encouragement. Hopefully I can do it by the end of today or at least some time tomorrow to get this completed.

That is where I am at, creating a course for Outspoken.co. I am really excited to get my first course out for this. We might sell one copy and I am going to be over the moon and I will definitely, definitely share that with all of you and let you know. We can celebrate together. We can crack some champagne or a bottle of water, whatever it is that you want to drink. So wish me luck and we will see how it goes.

So until next time guys, if you want instructions go and buy some furniture.

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