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Most people are focused on the today. Most people aren’t long-term thinkers and they aren’t able to map out how the future is going to unfold and how they’d like it to unfold. The marketers that do kind of map it out and plan things out and make some odds based on testing in the past—the marketers that do all that, the testing and create their own map of the future, they’re the ones that excel.
Michael: Let’s get into it, now you told me you’ve made a couple million dollars, built a couple million dollars worth of stuff and you’ve done it all through the Internet.
Jason: It’s amazing. All my money, I’ve paid cash for my first house. I’ve paid cash for two cars. So, I’m one of the guys that you know you hear these guys talking about all this stuff that they’ve bought and their fan mails. I’m one of the guys that actually prove that with bank statements, if necessary and my account. I tell people that I deal with, my prospects, customers I truly am living that Internet dream.
Michael: Where are you located?
Jason: I’m in Redding, California.
Michael: How old are you?
Jason: Thirty-two now.
Michael: Thirty-two. Are you married?
Michael: Do you have kids?
Jason: I just got married two weeks ago.
Jason: Thank you.
Michael: So you don’t have kids yet.
Jason: Actually we kind of put the cart before the horse.
Michael: You got one coming?
Jason: Yes, well we had one actually before and decided to try before we buy to get married.
Michael: How old is your child?
Jason: Ten months.
Michael: Congratulations. Do you have a little boy?
Jason: A little girl.
Michael: A little girl, okay. My youngest one is 15 months now.
Jason: Actually, I read and heard a little bit of your story.
Michael: Tell me how did you get started in all of this? What were you doing before the Internet? You’re 32, how long have you been doing the Internet stuff?
Jason: I really dug in deep in early 1996, late 1995.
Michael: How did this whole thing start? How did you get involve with the Internet?
Jason: One of the first thing when I first plugged in my computer, my first experience was getting spammed right away in my email box, my AOL box I think it was. It was someone selling information on how to make money using your computer part time and all of that. And I just right away dug into that and they wrote a piece of compelling sales material and I was just fascinated with the whole concept and I could see what their angle and what they were getting at.
Michael: Do you remember who it was?
Jason: No, I don’t remember the exact name. I mean I literally purchased more than a hundred or maybe in the area of two hundred different money making systems, courses, programs, whatever you name it. So I can’t remember the exact name of it. But it was inspiring enough to make me see how easily I could duplicate that. It was basically just a person doing the classic deal where they tell you about this great business, hype it all up with really good sizzle and then pretty much tell you to do the same thing. Hey, sell other people how easy it is to sell information and to a niche market. I pretty much just starting doing that. I started finding little niche markets and creating little niche products and moving them out. Mostly my favorite niches, though, has always been the business opportunity seekers because I’m one of them. So, I know what they like and I can relate to them.
Michael: When you first started with it, did you have a job at the time?
Jason: I was kind of rebelling. I couldn’t handle having a boss, that’s one of my weaknesses I say in life is that I just can’t take orders and I can’t handle being bossed around or having a boss. At that time when I was first getting started back in, whatever, late 1995 early 1996, I’d get a job and I would just quit it, walk off. I would usually go home and tinker around on the computer and just struggle and say somehow I’m going to make my money on this computer.
Michael: What’s the longest job you’ve ever had?
Jason: I’d say the longest would be probably a year for Circuit City.
Michael: So, you’ve had an interest in computers for a while?
Jason: Yes. Actually it’s kind of funny. Back then I actually didn’t know much about them when I was selling them. I was really good at selling them just because I understand the principles of sales. But my real interest in computers kicked on once I bought my first computer after that Circuit City job.
Michael: Did you buy into other biz ops stuff when you were younger 13, 14, 15—off line business opportunity stuff?
Jason: I don’t think that young. But I was doing stuff that was, I think, anyone looking back at my life would say they saw it coming what I’d be doing today because I used to do little crazy things like you know those little x-ray glasses and all those little novelty things they had in the back of like Boys Life magazine. I used to be obsessed with the fact that these guys are advertising. I’m just kind of realizing right now at this moment, it’s kind of how weird it is looking back and interesting that I was so fascinated on these companies and who these guys were and where they even worked out of. I loved ordering their little products, these little gadgets and these magic tricks, the soap that turned black or whatever it was, or the x-ray glasses. I was just so into that stuff as a kid and I figured every kid had to be into this stuff. And I just thought these guys are the greatest guys in the world. They’re my heroes. They’d have catalogues and I used to order those catalogues from these companies. One of the things I would do that probably, like I said, would show that I might be headed in this direction was that I would block out prices in the catalogues and I would Xerox them and have my own prices over those. So, I took orders at school and I would pass those little catalogues around and all the kids would get so excited and say,”oh I want one of those!” I had the company address and everything blocked off.
Michael: That’s awesome
Jason: Isn’t that funny? I just remembered that right now, too. I haven’t thought about that since you just asked about stuff as a kid. And it’s true, there’s something telling me. I would have all these kids saying I want that, I want that and they would ask me even, and I feel kind of bad because it was actually a kind of greedy thing to do in a way, but it’s just business though really.
Michael: That’s right.
Jason: They would want to know who is this company or whatever and I’d say, you have to go through me.
Michael: That’s great.
Jason: Like a mini Trump, I guess. You have to deal with me for this. And probably some kids would go off and say I remember seeing some of that in Boy’s Life or whatever. But a lot of people would go with the flow and just say, oh I’ll take an order. And so I’d collect all these orders and I had little order forms I made up and things and I would kind of be like the Avon person in the little kid world.
Michael: Do you remember how long you did that for?
Jason: It wasn’t long. It was just a little thing I thought was kind of cutesy to do to see if it would work. I don’t think I was even trying to make money back then. It was more just I wanted to appear like an adult, that I was doing something adult. I would say I probably didn’t do that for more than a month or something. I mean it was a quick little thing I did a few times. I think honestly what happened is I got in trouble. The teachers obviously don’t like you out marketing products in their classrooms.
Michael: I’m sure it had an impact on you to see that God, this is easy all I did was take a catalogue, copy it, block off where it came from and the prices and put my own pricing and that was just like easy money. It probably gave you the bug.
Jason: Yes, it probably did. Like I said, I started working for these other jobs later on in life. I attending a few Zig Ziegler seminars and things and I would hear the saying over and over that when you’re working for someone else you’re working for someone else’s dream in life. I kind of always had that in the back of my mind that at any job I was at I was always picturing who is the guy collecting all the money. Who is the top, top, top dog that is in the best position here who’s making the most money? And I just always thought I am working for his dream. I’m making his dreams come true, his or her, let’s be politically correct here. I had this really desperate desire to cut out the middleman and to not work for someone else’s dream. So, that’s why I think I started buying Entrepreneur magazine and just really studying what it is these guys have in common that do make it happen for themselves.
Michael: When you first started getting all this spam, when you first got your computer and you were getting all these, you said you started doing what they were doing and selling stuff to little niches. Be specific. Give me one or two different things that you did when you first started making money online.
Jason: The first thing I ever wrote was a little guide; I don’t even remember exactly what I had called it. But it basically taught you how to write. I just thought it was so fascinating the fact that you could sell paper and ink. The fact that there was the same thing you might throw in your trash that was 10 pages long, or the sales letter that you might get in the mail that’s trash if it’s a sales letter and if it’s done wrong, it just gets tossed in the garbage can. I had seen where I had purchased courses from people that are money making systems where that same 10 pages, it just had different ink on it, where I was paying $14.95 or $19.95 for that 10 pages of paper and ink, and yet this is treasure now. I can’t wait for it to come, it’s so exciting, it’s on the way. That whole thing that is this going to be the big one and that when I get it it’s just literally 10 Xeroxed pages of paper and ink stapled together and stuffed in envelope, I’m not even disappointed when I get it. Normally a book fetches at lease $15 or $20 and here I’m paying $15 or $20 just getting some Xeroxed black and white paper. I’m excited still and I’m reading it and I’m just thinking this is so cool going through the whole thing. This one it kind of taught you to do the same thing that you can just sell paper and ink and that’s kind of what I was teaching people. My product, again was just a 10 page little report or information package, kind of like what I’d received that just teaches you how easy if you know anything and have any special skill or just any hobby that you’re really focused on, how easy it would be to write something to help others. I’d seen that to be the common denominator in kind of get rich quick schemes and marketing systems, money making systems that seem to be that everybody was saying free information products and focuses them to niche groups of people. So, I thought why is everyone saying this if it doesn’t work. So that’s why I kind of tested it out for myself to see if you can indeed make money by just creating little paper and ink products and selling them or marketing them to niche groups.
Michael: How did you market it to a niche group? Give me an idea. Was everything you were doing all online or any offline marketing?
Jason: I didn’t do any offline marketing. It was pretty much 100% marketing through mostly searching. Back then and what early 1996, you didn’t have to pay for any search engine listing. You probably remember the times, the good old days where I would be number one on Yahoo under something huge like online business, make money, or work at home. I would be number one listed on Yahoo with other big ones at the time. Or like AltaVista, Lycos, Hotbot and they were all separate. They weren’t all sharing the same search results. I would be number one or at least in the top five across all these major search engines and not paying a dime for that advertising at the time. I don’t even know if it’s useful, but I hardly discussed that these days because I don’t think anyone is ever going to see that happen again.
Michael: So you had learned how to get at the top of these search engines?
Jason: I don’t even remember trying. It just seemed like…
Michael: Back then it just happened.
Jason: Yes, it just seemed like I just lucked out or I wasn’t sure if it was luck or there was skill. I would try to say I have a special knack for it or something. But when I think about it, the only thing I remember doing was making my web pages very dense in keywords, which is now a days common practice, and in fact, search engines now are actually penalizing people for doing them too dense in your keywords of choice. But that’s the only thing I could think of that I was very aware that the search engine robots were coming to look and to see how many instances of the word that has to do with your product was on your website.
Michael: So when someone came to your website and they clicked on that number one ranking and they went to your website, what did they see? Basically a sales letter about what you were selling?
Jason: Yes, basically it was just something that I just sat down and I hadn’t really studied to heavily at that point. Yet, I was just kind of using any natural instincts I might have had and just kind of thinking what are people looking for. I just really took a look and thought to myself what do I know about people at that young age of around 18 or 19. What are the pains in life and what are the biggest frustrations and what do people what most as far as making money. And I just looked at myself as what I would want to hear and I kind of wrote to myself. I think that’s its own unique ability if you can write and while you’re writing know how others are already going to be reading it and what if they’re going to think it sounds fake or made up or it’s too good to be true. And I would write, I think really good copy even looking back at it now; it looks better then what I would expect from a beginner 18 or 19 year old.
I remember my very first headline, I don’t know it exact, but it’s very close to “Find out the Secret to making $2,750 part time from your home computer.” That headline, in conjunction with all those searching enlistings, ended up selling me close to 10,000 of those little information packets I was selling. What I called my book or my course.
Michael: 10,000 of them? That was the headline that showed up on the search engines and then people would click on it, then it had your copy and then how much would you sell that little information for?
Jason: $14.95 for each and every one of them.
Michael: Wow. How were people paying? Did you have a shopping cart set up?
Jason: That’s the funny thing. I was so beginner back then, I thought taking credit cards was just way beyond me and too big of a thing. That’s like something real companies did and I was just like a kid working at home. I would have made a lot more money if I had known better, but I just simply said at the bottom of my web page to get your copy right away, send a check or money order payable to…first I just used my name and then later I set up a company name.
Michael: So, you sold 10,000 of those. You must have been in heaven.
Jason: Well yes, at that age especially after having my parents tell me that hey look, you need get like your brother, you’re sitting around here at home you should be moving out, you should be doing something with your life. My brother went to college and got the five year business degree. He always was the guy that was on the right course and everyone was always concerned about me, what’s Jason going to do. I was bordering on dysfunction I think. I was sitting around and my dad would get all ticked off and say, get out there and get into school. You’re not going to sit around here anymore. And I told him one day what I was working on and he would tell me come out and rake leaves or something. And I was trying to tell him, I got something real big here I’m trying to do right now and I think it’s more important than raking the leaves. He just thought that was my little persuasive tactics of avoiding raking the leaves. But I truly was working on some stuff that you’re hearing that was pretty big for a guy my age. So that day he, even with my trying to get around it, I had to rake the leaves. Later on I did tell him when the checks started coming in. It wasn’t credit card, it was all check and money order and some people even would stuff cash in an envelope.
Michael: And they were coming to the house?
Jason: They were coming to the house and they were opening the mail. It was just a couple of weeks after my dad was yelling at me about raking the leaves and sitting around and why don’t I get like my brother and not be so lazy and all this stuff. They started seeing all this foreign currency. A guy ordered from a village in Africa that ended up calling me because I even put my phone number on stuff, I had my own phone line. And he called and said I’m on a pay phone at an outskirts of an African village. I just cannot believe that a guy like this is ordering this. All this weird money is coming in and so it wasn’t just American. My parent’s weren’t just seeing that I was getting successful and that something actually worked here, but they were seeing—for the first time they probably ever seen—that this is something seriously global.
Michael: That is hilarious.
Jason: They well knew that even though they thought I was just off in my own little la-la land, my own world, they knew that I believed in my own mind and what I was doing that I liked to help people and that they always said that I was the wiz kid. And so, I guess it was a little shocking, but it was mostly just the incredible thing for me was to have them finally not look at me as a joke. It’s kind of like that line show me the money.
Jason: The only thing that could have done—what it did for me and to make it now instead of all my parents’ friends asking, “What’s poor Jason doing now? Is he still depressed?” I had like depression back then. It’s like what’s he going to do. I was fighting with the parents and everything. So, it went from them kind of having always to explain to their friends I’m still clinging at the house and not doing anything, and kind of being dysfunctional. It went from them having to explain that, which they hated, from that to telling their friends, calling them up and saying, I would just hear in the background when they were on the phone they would be like saying little details about how much money I’m making and how successful I’ve become. And that was the most satisfying thing that I probably ever experienced in life.
Michael: You know you always want please your mom and dad.
Jason: Exactly. But it was the single most satisfying time in life and even these days as I become more successful, nothing really comes close to those beginning moments. It was such a strong contrast to disrespected and my parents having to make excuses for my odd behavior and stuff to actually bragging about me. They actually bought me a plaque that I still have sitting right on my desk. It just says, “Son, I’m so proud of you.” It’s a little gold plaque, kind of a picture frame deal. It’s probably not expensive or anything, but it’s just the fact that they took the time to go out and get something like that. Yes, it’s one of the best things in life.
Michael: I’m proud of you are some of the most important words you could ever say to your kids. And I always tell my 4-½ year old, the little one is still too young, but I always tell him how proud I have of him because so few people hear it when they’re growing up.
Jason: Yes, exactly.
Michael: Another note, people will work for recognition harder than they will for money.
Jason: That’s very true, too.
Michael: And that’s a perfect example. So that’s great. So, you started making some serious money doing that. Was this just with that specific report with that headline you read me?
Jason: It evolved. That was the very first one, but I would go on to write more. Keep in mind; I would literally print these things off at Kinko’s. I would just go down the street and print them off literally product on demand type deal. That was one of the buzzwords I was hearing, got to get into products on demand. And it worked. In answer to your question about the main product, it kept getting bigger and I added to it. That’s the beauty of product on demand, I would add a few more pages and the next time someone ordered, that person would get the totally up to date version. So, it’s another thing I liked is that you don’t have an old stale product sitting around like I had bought things from other marketers that I could just tell was they wrote it once a long time ago and they just decided that that’s their product for life. It’s like never going to be changed. I think the beauty of once computers got bigger and everything and everyone got used to how easy it is make a revision on a disc and bring it down to Kinko’s. My information that I was selling was almost like a newsletter or something and it was so fresh. And that’s what I think kept people actually coming back, customers coming back for more, which surprised me too. At first when I created the thing, I think a lot of people sort of doubt how worthy your information is. And so, I was thinking maybe this isn’t great. Maybe I’m going to get refunds or something, but it was like the opposite. It was another satifisfaction came in to seeing that someone that bought it not only did they not call me up and say this horrible, they did the opposite, they said do you have anything else. They wanted more. And that’s a great feeling too when you need to come up with more info products to satisfy your past customers.
Michael: At that time did you understand the concept of backend and marginal network?
Jason: I had heard terms a whole lot. I think the name backend and cost marketing and targeting, a lot of these things just took a long time to really sink in. I don’t’ think it was, probably until even a couple of years ago where I really fully understood what those word meant ending in cross marketing and targeting things. And that’s when I started using them and I’d find out that there’s no end to this marketing stuff. That’s why even I think most of the greats don’t proclaim themselves like I’m done, I’m a genius, I am the ultimate marketer. They’re always studying too because there’s no end to what you can learn. You were saying earlier that you tend to find that it just never ends. You become a sponge for more great tips and secrets and concepts.
Michael: I agree. Take me more into the progression. You had sold 10,000 of those little books, then how did you business progress from there?
Jason: I began at that point recommending certain software programs in my marketing materials or in my little course that I was selling. I started making certain recommendations for people and I realized that they would ask me for more specifics and how to get in touch with a person to buy these products and these things that I liked. I realized there’s a little money there too. I could develop contracts with these people instead of just referring everybody over and missing out on that. I quickly saw that I could contact these companies and I guess when I was a little kid with the little magic books, I could become my own little reseller for these things. So, I started to contact these various companies and especially the ones that I liked. I didn’t just want to recommend products that I didn’t feel weren’t truly great. I wanted to only recommend the best stuff. And if a company that had the very best products didn’t need resellers or declined to accept me as a distributor, I would still recommend it. It wasn’t like I was going to sell something or recommend something just for money. But a lot of them ended up wanting to work with me and I told them what I was doing and that I had a little book and that I recommend a lot things and a lot of people trust my decisions and look to me for advise. So, I ended up making all these little deals and throughout the book, I would tell people how to order those things through me, they did.
Michael: Give me some ideas as to some of the stuff you were recommending and making money on.
Jason: Like website, commission software, HTML, builder stuff that would help people that don’t know how to build websites very easily. That’s a pretty complex issue for a lot of people. So, I quickly saw that the beginners out there wanted something that can put a professional looking website together on their own PC and just kind of drag and drop, and just point and click. So, I would find programs that did just that and that’s something I would recommend; usually the ones that I was using. That’s what I intend to do, even to this day I tell people to get what I’m using. Usually in most cases, I spend way too much time at the computer and I try everything in a given market or the whole product line, I’ll try them all. I’m big into reviewing. On a couple of my sites what I do is just review things. And so that’s partly why I get this following of people that look to me for what’s the best.
Michael: And what kind of money could you make of those? What would some of that software cost?
Jason: They all vary. If you had an average piece of software that I would recommend would retail out at $79 or $99, that’s what it would cost the customer.
Michael: You could make maybe half of that, 50%?
Jason: On a good one. All these companies are different, there are some really greedy ones that would only give you 10%. On great products, I would still go ahead and do that because I figure well you’re getting a great product and I’m still getting something. But yes, some of them are real generous and I still have deals with some of them today that pay 50%. I’ve never gotten more than 50%, I don’t believe. But yes, 50% was real nice when they do that for you.
Michael: That’s great. This is a great story. So you sold 10,000 little booklets of the information product. You’ve built their trust. You’ve delivered because they’ve gotten their product. They’re happy with it. They come back and they look at you as a mentor and as a consultant. If they’re serious about what they’re reading in that they’re going to want to do more and they’re going to need tools to do it. And you refer them to the tools. You make a little bit on some, more on others. How else were you able to generate income off of a new customer?
Jason: Later on it evolved to where I learned a lot more how to do that. But back then I’d say that was one probably one of my weaknesses that I was just kind of done. Like I said, I didn’t fully understand back ending and cross marketing and all this stuff back then and up selling. So, I would tend to sell them once and especially after they bought maybe a couple programs and software that I would be recommending in my original book, that would be it. I wouldn’t really do much and I always did kind of feel like I was missing the boat there, that I should be. I would always hear people say that your list is gold, your list of past customers is gold and that was something that I always felt I was neglecting, that list, and I was wasting money. So that would later turn into something that I really focused on. I’m almost anal retentive about my list. My list of customers these days is like I feel like I really have to baby that list and really nurture them and take care them and be in good contact with them because that’s something I never used to do. I used to just bam, make the sale and it was like if they wanted help, I’d help them, but I wouldn’t follow up enough I don’t think to try keep an ongoing relationship back then to sell more products.
Michael: So let’s talk about that because that’s something I’m actually guilty of too in some aspects. I have a lot of series of autoresponders where I keep in touch, but I always feel like I need to be keeping in touch a little bit more. Gary Halbert teaches that most people who think that they’re communicating with their list enough probably isn’t. And it’s really important for anyone who has a list. Before you felt like you were neglecting them. Tell me some of the differences that you’ve found when you made that change from when you’re more like neglecting them to where you really started babying them, taking care of them. Did you see…
Jason: How I made the changed or what…?
Michael: How you made the change and what changes did you see? What results did you see from making that change?
Jason: Well, to start out in making that change, I subscribed to a number of Internet marketing newsletters and business newsletters. It started to get ingrained in me to reading over and over that lists are a big common denominator that you better be following up. I guess it was an article that I originally read that talked about the cost of your advertising. It was an article that was talking about how you can afford to advertise or spend a lot more on advertising if you know how much you’re going to get out of a customer long term, how much that customer is worth. If you’re only getting a customer or contacting a customer once and going for that one sale, you can’t really afford to spend much in advertising. It was this article that really hit me that yes, if you’re just selling a product for a $100, that truly means you better not be spending much more than—at least you shouldn’t be spending more than $50 to get them. Am I right? So it just made sense. It was talking about how over the long haul if you knew that customer was going to be worth maybe $5,000, how much could you afford to advertise to get them? So, I started getting into email software, looking into programs that I could plug everybody into that has a database that I could merge their first name. I’m real big into that. I believe most emails get deleted because they don’t contain the recipient’s first name in it. And so, I found a couple of different programs that would easily allow me to put in all my customers and to send them follow up even kind of by hand doing it. It wasn’t really as good as autoresponders in some ways. There’s pro’s and cons and other ways it maybe a little better. I like the hands on approach and having a program that allowed me to at the click of a button contact all my customers and have their fist name in the subject line. That was important to me and it works.
Michael: Can you share that software what you use?
Jason: Sure. There’s been a couple of them. One of my favorites is actually a program called Infacta Group Mail. You may have heard of that one.
Michael: How’s it spelled?
Michael: Infacta Mail?
Jason: Infacta, they call it group mail. It’s by the company Infacta. Another one of my favorites is Post Master.
Michael: And they’re real easy to use?
Jason: Oh yes. If you’re accustom to using autoresponders you might find them easier. I think it’s just what you get started with. In my case, I’m a software junky. I love software. And so, I’ve never gotten into autoresponders yet. I have marketing friends that autoresponders are all that they use and they look at what I do is not the way to go. I think it’s just what you got your start in.
Jason: Yes, but that’s what I like best and I recommend it to all my students because it’s something that I can teach and that I can relate to a little bit better. We can talk about managing a list or how to load in a list easier. With autoresponders, some of them don’t allow you to load in your list of customers. They kind of think that’s spam. So, they kind of limit you or they make a lot of rules. I find a lot of autoresponders set up rules where you have to do double opt in meaning everybody has to receive a confirmation email and then agree to accept your mail, which is to me a lot of hoops and hurdles.
Michael: I didn’t know that, but I’d imagine that’s probably true. I use a pretty good autoresponder I’m pretty happy with called
Reply2It.com and you don’t have to do that double opt in.
Jason: Oh really. Okay because a couple of the big ones I’ve heard that get Response and AWebber are pretty much both going into the whole thing where it’s got to be double opt in. I’ve seen some of my friends get away from that for that reason. So, they think that’s a good thing. That’s just a whole other debate to worry whether double opting is a good thing or a bad thing. I think ultimately it’s going to cost any marketer money doing double opt in. But there’s these people that are just so into helping fight the war against spam that they think that’s a good thing. That’s fine, to each his own.
Michael: Well, Reply2It is $29 a month and you get unlimited autoresponders. Now, I had five or six different autoresponders with AWebber and it was quite expensive.
Jason: Well, that’s the thing about software I like too. I guess I’ve never really liked the idea of ongoing fees. I like the idea of software, you buy it once and that’s it. You don’t have to pay anyone anymore. Granted, you pay a little bit more up front, but I just like owning things. I’ve never been a leaser or a renter.
Michael: No I don’t blame you.
Jason: I started going down this software route and learning to really get into lists and learning all the terms of that whole email marketing aspect and learning how to not spam. I had to learn that there’s a very fine line there that sometimes even when you’re marketing completely legitimate and in a very responsible manner, you still get accused of spamming. It’s like there’s people they forget that they contacted you or that they were on your website. So, I had to learn how to finesse that and how to be sure to not be considered a spammer. Anyway, once I kind of mastered it all and learned all the rules of how that all works in the email marketing world, it really did help out. What it did is, I was used to paying postage and after you’ve had a past history of paying postage to keep in touch with your past customers and things, it’s really just amazing when you really think about what email does for you. I still get excited when I think about the fact that it’s basically free for me to zip out an email right now to the 70,000 customers of the past. A lot of those email addresses are probably no longer valid--bounce, but, in fact, when they do bounce some of them, so that’s why I shouldn’t say they might, some of them do. But out of that 70,000, I probably have about 40,000 that are all good.
Michael: And think what it would cost you at 50 cents a piece that’s $20,000.00.
Jason: Well, right and the fact that I could contact them twice in a day. If I make a mistake, as you probably know you make a mistake with paper and ink it turns into whatever a $10,000 or $20,000 mistake. Whereas I can make a mistake and it’s just such a nice thing that I can just make a quick little notation and hit the whole list again and say oops you know, sorry about that. You’ll notice that I misspoke when I said such and such and it’s just no big deal. And yet that whole new knowledge about how powerful email marketing is and how to do it right and to avoid the whole spam issue, it changed everything. It’s definitely, at least, double my income. I’d say that’s the end result of the whole thing. I now tell people if you’re not following up in email regularly and trying to do back ending and cross marketing from different, if you have different niches, you are just throwing away dollars and you’re wasting your advertising dollars. People often ask me how I can afford to buy such expensive advertising. Sometimes I buy some really expensive ads. I’ll put an ad in a magazine these days that might cost $2,000 for not even a quarter-page ad. People ask how do you do that. Well, it’s all about I know I can a lot of long-term income or cash out of these customers of mine. I can continually keep new products coming out to them and it pays for it.
Michael: You know what a customer is worth over the lifetime.
Jason: I’d say that’s what I’m trying say.
Michael: And that’s what Jay Abraham teaches. Learn the lifetime value of what a customer is worth instead of generating customers. If you know you can make $2,000 on a customer over the lifetime you have them, you know you could spend up to $1,000 or $1,500; anything less than $2,000, you know with certainty because of testing that you’re going to come out ahead by the time those two years are up.
Jason: Well, yes and it’s neat because people will look at you and like I said at your ads if you’re following those Jay Abraham principles. It’s funny to watch people that are just blown away. They think you’re an idiot or something. They don’t realize that maybe they’re the idiots. You might know something there. To me it’s very satisfying to be able to pay more for advertising than most of my competition. I look at them and they just can’t keep up with that because they just don’t know that.
Michael: They just don’t know. They have no clue.
Jason: Most people I noticed are focused on today. It’s just the nature of people that they’re focused on what’s going on today and most people aren’t long term thinkers. They aren’t able to map out how the future is going to unfold and how they would like it to unfold. The marketers that do kind of map it out and plan things out and make some odds, what the odds are that things are going to unfold and based on testing in the past, there’s some marketers that do all that, the testing and kind of create their own map of the future, they’re the ones that excel.
Michael: How often is enough? How often do you keep in contact with your list?
Jason Well, that’s a great question because I struggle with that. I used to keep in too much contact and that can be a big problem. I used to email people on my list up to once every two days and that’s almost to the point where they get annoyed, and you can actually hurt your reputation. I’m kind of looking at just from reading at what is acceptable in newsletters, like I said I’m a subscriber to many marketing ezines and I know there’s kind of some guidelines and it’s been said by many a great marketer that you should be contacting at least once a month, but not more than once a week. And that’s kind of what I like to adhere to. I like to be sure that I reach them at least once a month, but not once a week.
Michael: What signals did you see when you were mailing once every two days? What hints did you get that you maybe mailing too much?
Jason That’s the biggest problem really. You don’t get a lot of hints, I don’t believe. I didn’t get a whole lot of hints. The only thing I got was that my “remove” requests went up and I guess that is definitely a hint. I took notice that definitely more people wanted off the list. So, I guess you can say there’s no hints. You kind of got to be paying close attention because there’s definitely an amount of people that always want to be removed, it’s just the nature of things on your list, you’re going to have people who want to be removed. You have to have a close watchful eye for when it’s rising, but I don’t think I really noticed from that. That’s why I say it was kind of illusive. The way I picked up that I was doing too much was because I was reading in all these newsletters and from some of my favorite marketing gurus that that frequency is proven to tick people off and you’re going to look needy, like you’re begging almost, cyber-begging. I looked at it myself and I thought about some of the lists I’m on and some of the people I look up to and I just asked myself how I felt about each one of them. And I thought what do they all have in common, what do they mostly do, and I realized the ones I couldn’t stand were the guys that were doing exactly what I was doing. Emailing as often as once a day, or every two days, whatever, that was just too much. I would, a lot of times, elect to be removed from their lists and wouldn’t really have much respect for them anymore. To me they became like a pest, where I started to look at them as a pest. Whereas some of the guys out there that I really had a lot of respect for, like Dan Kennedy, I noticed in my mind he was one of the greatest marketers of all times, and this guy only—I’m getting an email once a month and I realized that I do respect him. And you know what? I used to look so forward to that email. I still get it, but I think it’s change—the newsletter may have changed names or something I don’t know, but I used to look so forward to that. Usually I couldn’t wait and it was partly the anticipation and I think he knew that by doing it once a month, you would look forward to it and it would give it value. To get a newsletter every other day, it just becomes a nuisance and something you’ve got to start deleting, because you can’t keep up with reading that fast.
Michael: That’s very valid, and I agree. So what are you doing today that’s really exciting?
Jason: Since I de-proclaimed myself as being an ex-business opportunity junkie, who bought over 100 different business opportunities or money making systems, I have at least not so much anymore but when I was younger I mean I had entrepreneur and small biz start ups and all these magazines laying all around and I’d sign up for anything and everything in there that, and I’d buy all these marketing gurus courses and things and eventually I realized through studying how things get recycled and I could use all my knowledge, some of my failings and bad experiences to show other people what to avoid, and more importantly what to go to. So that’s why I put those sites together. I have basically just written a one page review on each of these business opportunities and marketing gurus and I just give you my opinion, my take, on it. I like to look at myself as kind of like Siskel and Ebert or the equivalent of a movie critic for business opportunities, what the sites are designed to do, and I don’t charge anything for that information. Anyone can go to either of those sites and read up—it’s all free. And that’s again, one of the concepts were we talking about before, just like you do on your site that I know gets results. People have a lot of respect for you when you give them something of value for free.
Michael: That’s true. Do you get a lot of traffic to your site? How many hits do you get on there a day?
Jason: I’ve never been really big on hit counters for tracking in that way as far as how many people per day. I know that’s another one of my weaknesses, and that one is I would have to say my biggest weakness that goes right up to this day. I couldn’t tell you and some of the people I work with are totally laughing, saying how can you call yourself a marketer if you don’t know how many people are going to your site a week, a month, a day. I just never cared about how many people are going there. All I care about is how many sales are coming in a day.
Michael: And that’s important too. I guess what I’m asking is how do people get to your website? How do you market your website? Is it still search engine strategy type stuff ?
Jason: It’s a little mix of a lot of different things. I put together a course actually that teaches how all the different ingredients I use. I kind of liken it to a recipe and that there’s a lot of ingredients to achieve a good end meal. Whether you’re baking a cake or whatever, it’s going to take a mix of different good ingredients. I don’t use just search engines. Search engines definitely play into the mix. I mix in some ezines, I do a lot of research and studying. Ezines are the most popular and again it all comes down and goes back to that whole thing about knowing and keeping tabs on how often ezines email their lists. Again, I focus on ezines that don’t hound their lists. So, I market in some ezines that are really responsible, chock full of good information. Those are the ones I like to read and I like to advertise in. So, I do the ezines, I do some offline magazines, and I’ve learned how to negotiate. Like I was saying I spend some pretty enormous amounts of money on ads in magazines, but these days I’ve learned some really good features on how to get better prices, and how to make it so you’d be foolish not to advertise in some of the business magazines or whatever it is in your niche magazines.
Michael: What are you selling in the magazines?
Jason Mostly I’m not selling. That’s part of again, the whole point, like a lot of these great teachers teach, don’t sell. I don’t sell, kind of like you’re not really at your site. Basically my whole goal is to educate. That’s what makes me stand out in those magazines. In fact in a lot of them, everybody’s selling. Everybody’s back there talking about buy this, make this, and here I am just saying—it’s like just a freebie and basically I phrase it in a way that tells people are you kind of curious, a little skeptical about all this stuff back here that sounds a little too good to be true. Come by my site. I’ve studied these magazines for over 10 years. Come by my site and I’ll tell you for free and give you just tons of data about which ones worked and which ones didn’t. So it’s a real helper, I believe. I make money off of it, yes, and that’s my goal. It’s not like I’m Mother Theresa.
Michael: That’s great. This is what I wanted to know. So, you’re using a lot of off-line advertising in moneymaking type magazines where that’s the market you want to attract. People who want to make money, but you’re offering them something of real value and directing them to your website for this information. And that’s your business model.
Jason: Showing them that you are the expert of your industry. And by sharing with them that valuable information for free, they gain respect for you and they know that they get to see, before they buy anything from you, they get to see that you are, what they believe, the expert of your industry.
Michael: Are you advertising in mainly business opportunity publications?
Jason: Mostly. I’ve done some testing in some more broad magazines like USA Today and some things, but I find that you really do have to get back to the basics of niche marketing and that’s where the advertising dollar works best.
Michael: Give me an example. One magazine that you had an experience with, maybe a success. What do you do? A full-page ad? A half page, or…?
Jason: I don’t like full page very much. There’s a lot more risk involved in that. My favorites are still pretty small ads. I don’t like to go much than more than a lot of times, 1/8 of a page, which a lot of my colleagues and competitors they go real big and that can work. But I believe in covering more magazines with smaller ads.
Michael: Do you have different ads running in different magazines, or do you pretty much use the same one?
Jason: No, I test. I’m always testing. I really do believe, and I know from again all the marketing greats wouldn’t be telling you that testing is everything if it weren’t. It plays in as part of the fun. It’s kind of like a hobby to me. I like to try to keep an ad out on anything. If nothing else, just a small classified if I want to do some experimenting. I have fun with just the classified sometimes. People think that’s all just a bunch of quick schemes. But there’s a whole market for that. There’s stuff they’re looking for and if it actually works, and does make them a lot of money, then it’s not a scheme really, it’s a true business opportunity.
Michael: There are millions of dollars being made just with those tiny little classified ads.
Jason: It’s like that one guy says, those tiny little ads.
Michael: Did you hear the recording with John Edger on classified ads from my site? It’s a great one. It’s on classified ads by John Edger who’s from the Bill Myers boot camp. You can listen to it up on my site. I think it’s on the first page of the audio clips. And this is the only guy I’ve ever seen who did specific teaching on just classified ads. It’s really good. I’ve got a whole course of his.
Jason: I’ll have to listen to that when we get off here.
Michael: You’ll really like it. I’ve got some more stuff of his. I’ve kept it for myself. If you want, I could lend it to you.
Jason: I’m surprised I missed that one. I’ve listened to most of your site. I’ve been glued to it for the past couple weeks I’ve been listening to all those guys. There’s some great stuff on there and I must have missed out it.
Michael John Edger. Just do a search.
Jason: I’ll check that out.
Michael: Can you give me a headline in one of your 1/8 page ad? What did the headline say?
Jason: One headline is “Find out the truth about the guys that are advertising in the back of these magazines”.
Michael: That’s great.
Jason: Again, that’s kind of a keyword that people tee off on is finding out the truth. You’ll see I have ads out there that say just that.
Michael: Do you have a phone number in the ad?
Michael: Does it lead them to a 24-hour recorded message?
Jason: No. I know that works, and I know a lot of the people I’ve learned from teach that technique. For me, myself, I really believe that the website itself is going to serve as much as that recording would serve. I know there are people who still love to listen to recorded messages. I know there are definitely people that like that. Maybe it’s something I should consider doing, but my style is just to show my website address and put my phone number there and that way—actually some people can’t get on line. It’s one of the amazing things I’ve learned is that a lot of the people that buy these magazines actually aren’t online yet.
Michael: That’s true.
Jason: That’s something that at first was a little disappointing. I’m paying for advertising for people that can’t buy or have no use for what I’m selling. Took that and turned it around, because now what I do is I actually take the time to teach those people too and let me tell you when you teach someone, you become their Internet geek and a good buddy to help them get online and learn what they need. Just two days ago took an hour and told the lady where to go, what computer to get, what Internet service she should get, everything that she needs to get on line and I felt like I was wasting my time almost. The arrogant side of me thought I was just doing too much or doing something beneath me, but when I got done with the phone call, I realized I felt good about helping her. I thought what if that was a lady like my mom or something, I felt really good helping her out and then—not only that, but she’s now online. She acted pretty quick and got all set up and she’s ready to start buying some of my stuff.
Michael: That’s great.
Jason: She’s so thankful. She keeps saying how thankful she is and how grateful she is. I just keep having to saying, don’t worry about it.
Michael: So it will come back to you.
Jason: That’s the thing. It really is true. What you put it, it comes back. What you sow, you reap. So now I do that. These people call up, and a lot of them, again if they don’t have a computer yet, I still help them out. That’s why I put that phone number there. It’s for the people that can’t get on the Internet, or their computer’s broken. I get a lot of calls from people. The website, for me, I think serves the same purpose as having an 800 number. I’ve always looked at that 800 number with the recorded message as kind of like the old world Internet. It’s on line, yes, you’ve got a message online, and you’re going to listen to it rather than view it, and the only reason I can think of maybe to test that out a little bit because there are some people that do tend to be very audio oriented and they really just enjoy listening rather than looking.
Michael: If you start getting inundated with calls and you can’t handle it, you want to rev up your marketing and make sure that you can service all those calls, you can have a 24 hour recorded message and ask them to leave their name and address and mail them an audiotape. Once you get this Modem Spy or your recording device there set up, anytime you’re on the phone with someone helping them, you need to start recording those conversations and you can put tapes together. Let’s say you had recorded that conversation on how to get set up on going online with your own computer, step by step. If you had the recording of that conversation that you spent all the time with that lady, you could just put that on an audiocassette tape and send it out to someone.
Jason: That’s the greatest thing that I’ve learned and you’ve inspired me to do through your hardtofindseminars site is that it is so powerful to me the way you put those together. Just today, as you saw, I set up a recording system so that I can do something like that. I’m still fascinated by how you’ve done that, and it’s probably the most unique thing I’ve ever seen an Internet marketer do. That’s why I came to you.
Michael: Well, you’re doing it today and this will be your first recorded message and all you’ve got to do is do it. You’re doing one, I’ve got maybe 80 of them, but you just do it over and over again. It’s so simple. So, we’re sitting here also talking about a lot of different things and because we both know we’re recording it and maybe we’ll use it somehow on each other sites, we’re giving our best efforts, so we’re on our best behavior. We’ve captured it and canned it and cloned it forever to benefit people for many, many years to come.
Jason: This reminds me of back when I used to order just gobs of marketing courses and money making systems and often times one of the bonuses that I would get really inspired and cause me to order today—pick up that phone and dial—is they would say you’re going to get this confidential recorded conversation between such and such and such and such. I didn’t even know the names of the two people, just like some people may not know our names who are listening to this, but all I knew was that sounded like a good bonus to me—a confidential conversation between two highly experienced marketers. So that’s why this kind of excites me what you’re doing with these recordings and things because I remember how valuable those were to me. You can’t go down to like Blockbuster and rent conversations between two marketers very easily. It turns into a great possible product, even.
Michael: It is a great product, but here’s the thing. There’s an element to it that is really powerful that you don’t get with say a tape set that you get from Nightingale Conant where you have a professionally produced six tape program where the speaker has got a sharply edited and perfect sales presentation or speaking presentation on a subject. Some of those things are really hard to listen to. You fall asleep. It’s just one person spewing out information. But when you have the dynamic of a live phone call with two people going back and forth, there’s like a voyeurism element. It’s like a third person listening on the phone in another room without the other two people knowing.
Jason: Right. Well I look at it too; it’s obviously a big trend. If you look at television, all this reality TV is such a big thing. Well, I think it’s the same in the world of marketing and learning to market.
Michael: That’s right, it is.
Jason: Reality marketing.
Michael: It’s reality marketing. That’s a great term.
Jason: It’s so much more interesting to hear people talk off the cuff because—I guess candid is the biggest word that comes to mind—because you’re saying things that are pretty candid. I’ve actually said a couple of speakers that normally I charge a great deal of money for people to hear and they’ve just slipped out during this conversation. That’s what I like when I listen to a presentation or to a recording like this is the fact that people don’t have time to put up filters or to censor information. It’s just free form, free-flow and you can pick up some really good tips that way.
Michael: I know. I totally agree. It’s really powerful and it’s such a great way to leverage and with the Internet too, more people getting online and having them online. It’s like you say, you were getting those letters from people all over the world. I have people from all over the world listen to my recordings and I get emails from them, and there’s no boundaries now.
Jason: Yes, it’s very inspiring. Like I told you earlier, I don’t think I’ve been more inspired by any marketer, hands down. That’s why I called you today; I just had to say kudos, hats off. That’s like really good stuff. I’ve learned more at your website, and I’m a guy who considers myself normally a marketing expert, and I picked up all sorts of good stuff at your website, your www.hardtofindseminars.com site, and I’m going to tell other people about it.
Michael: That’s great. I appreciate it. Anything else you want to talk about?
Jason I was going to ask a few things like how much editing you do of the material on your site with people’s conversations?
Michael: That’s a good question. You know it depends. Like our conversation, it’s gone pretty smooth. You speak very well, there’s not too many ums and ands. Now we had some interruptions, I had to say, well, where were we? Things like that, I’ll edit out, and I’ll smooth it out. So, I’ll put it this way. I have a guy in Italy doing all my editing now. I’ve worked with him really closely and kind of trained him and showed him really exactly what I wanted to do. And he’s telling me for every hour of audio, it’s taking him about four hours to edit.
Jason: There’s no language barrier or anything?
Michael: No, he’s actually from America, but he lives in Italy.
Jason: That’s amazing. On your website earlier, I was looking at a portion where you were saying you have people in all these different countries doing work for you.
Michael: All through Elance. I met them through Elance. I posted an ad on www.elance.com . I need someone to edit 40 hours of audio and he won the bid. I talked to him, we communicated, he told me—I had criteria—you must speak English and you must have a good command of the language and you must be diligent and all that.
Jason: Do you ever get concerned though that they don’t what you want? I know you said you tell them instructions, but I’m the kind of person when I’m working on editing something it’s like I want to—I don’t know, I just don’t know if I can trust someone else to know what parts are the best.
Michael: Well, here’s what I do. What he’s doing is, he’s basically doing the hard work. He’ll go through this entire recording and get rid of the obvious stuff, like the phone beeping and me saying hold on, wait a minute, maybe long pauses, maybe when you say uh, uh, uh, or I say, you know I stutter in my words. I’ve given him specific things to edit out. So, in the samples he’s been sending me, he’s done a really great job.
Jason: I see. So, you’re just really having him clean it up, not necessarily take a bunch of content out of it.
Michael: You’re not allowed to really take anything out unless it’s obvious and we’ve gone over it. Then he’ll send me all the edited versions back in a WAV file. I’ll put a front part on it, I’ll put an ending, I’ll go through and listen to the whole recording and I’ll look for that headline—maybe something you’ve said, or something I’ve said—that encapsulates what our talk is about. That’s almost like the headline on a letter. And I’ll move that to the front because that’s the first thing someone’s going to hear and I want them interested. I want them to stay with the recording. And then if there’s stuff that really isn’t pertinent towards where the recording is going, I’ll edit that out.
Jason: I like how you did that; it’s so professional. It reminded me of what the big news, radio deals do when you listen to a big radio station that has news alerts or even on TV when filling up their—like you said, an encapsulation.
Michael: Exactly, like on the news, they through a headline that says “new way to lose weight. On at 11:00” and then they go to more programming.
Jason: Or even on real big broadcasting radio stations, I’ve heard them do exactly what you do on your site which really makes yours look professional. Just listen to the radio and you hear some sort of blurb—just like all of a sudden someone like the President just saying something, a quote and that’s the headline of what you’re about to listen to.
Michael: Or just like when a major movie comes out, the trailers are nothing but tight edits of the entire movie.
Jason: Exactly, another good point.
Michael: Because those little trailers sell you to the movie theater.
Jason: Right. Are you able to talk about what that guy in Italy charges you to do your edits?
Michael: Sure, I’ll be glad to talk about it. We actually agreed 40 hours. It ends up with the time he’s putting it—he’s not making very much at all—but we agreed on it, he’s trying to build up credibility on Elance. I actually sweetened the deal for him. I told him I’d send him $500 worth of Jay Abraham stuff because he emailed me back and said Michael I must have admit, after listening to these recordings, I want to start learning this Jay Abraham stuff. I said well you do a good job on these 40 hours and I will send you $500 worth of Jay Abraham stuff. I wanted to sweeten the deal because I was doing all the editing myself. I’ve got a family. It’s absolutely grueling work. It’s so time consuming and so tedious and I know I’m not going to get through it. I have another 35, 40 hours of audio I want to get up on the site. And if I did it all myself, I’d just be killing myself. I knew I had to find someone to do this if I ever wanted to see this stuff up on the site. And that’s real important. You have go to let go of control of some of the things that are wasting your time. Like I sit here and it’s killing me, I get people filling out the form at hardtofindseminars for my free audio CD and many of them are all over the world; you know, Egypt, I have one from Italy, a lot of them in England, a lot of them Australia. I’m filling out these stupid labels to these things, and I also have to fill out a little customs form. It takes a lot of time. I used to have a nanny who had real good handwriting and I had her do it. But now the nanny I have doesn’t have real good English and handwriting, so I’ve got to farm this out. You’ve got to get rid of the busy work that you can farm out or pay someone else to do it because there are only so many hours in a day. I need to concentrate on what I do best, and that’s doing interviews, you know.
Jason: Farming out – my biggest lesson in learning how to do that was website design. That’s a huge mistake I see people make. They think they’re going to have to build their own website, and they have to learn HTML. I do exactly what you’re talking about farming out with website. I’ve got over 20 websites, and people just expect that I should be doing that myself. I’m just very adamant—to me and it’s a personal thing—I consider it a total waste of my time, it’s very frustrating for me and I’ve managed to negotiate a deal where since I’m in the business of getting new people online and helping them to start their businesses, they need websites, and so I send them to my web design guy. And, of course, I basically negotiated a deal where I get all my website work done for free. Like why wouldn’t you do that? And anyone can do that. There’s so many web designers all over the place that are starving. It’s somewhat sad. It’s such a hurting kind of profession, unless you really know what you’re doing. And anyone could do that. Get a web designer and basically just make a deal. For this amount of work I’m going to send over to you, can I expect to get all my web work done for free.
Michael: Yes, that’s great. You’re right, time is money. And to answer your question about the editing, I do a lot of editing on this stuff because it’s almost like crafting a sales letter. If you were to sit down and write your copy, you do a lot of thinking. You remove words, you add words, you can change the position of a paragraph, it’s no different. It’s just in the audio realm rather than the written word realm.
Jason: Yes, which makes it a little more complex in how you do that.
Michael: Yes, it does.
Jason: I’ve tried. I’ve dabbled in it, and there’s a little learning curve on that. Even that little piece of music you’ve got at the beginning of your audio clips, your conversations, where’d you get that from?
Michael: A previous guy who was doing some audio work for me from the East Coast. It was just royalty free music. He gave me a choice of four or five different ones and that’s the one I picked.
Jason: Oh, really.
Jason: So, that’s something that’s considered royalty free? Does that mean I could use it at the beginning of this?
Michael: Oh, absolutely. Go search royalty free music on the Internet and you’ll find sites available.
Jason: Oh, all sorts of different stuff online. I really like that, the way yours comes across. That little snippet just kind of commands your attention.
Michael: It’s almost like a jingle; like when you hear the NBC News or one of the news (da, da, da, da).
Jason: That’s exactly it. When I heard it the first time, it was like it really sounds super ultra professional and there’s nothing cheesy about it.
Michael: And it links you. When you hear that news thing, you know the news is on.
Jason: Right. When I hear that, I think Michael Senoff.
Michael: That’s right, www.hardtofindseminars.com recording. It’s almost like an audio branding, or an audio trademark in a way.
Jason: I guess the only problem with it is if it’s clipart type deal, someone else could be out there using it.
Michael: Yes, that’s possible.
Jason: Your niche and my niche are distant enough that it’s not likely. Very unlikely, but it’s just a thought.
Michael: Actually, I’m thinking about investing in some very high-end audio stuff. If you go to the Internet audio guy, a guy named Mike Stewart. He’s speaking at a lot of the marketing conferences, but he was a recording studio for rock and roll bands out of Georgia. Go to his site. He’s got some great equipment that was used in sound mixing boards and stuff like that where he can show you how to set up real professional quality sounds. Much better than what you hear on my site. Now, I don’t know if that’s going to be a good thing or a bad thing. But it’s stuff I’ve looked into and you might want to check it out.
Jason: What do you use? I know you said you have a guy in Italy who kind of cleans up your recordings, but what do you use if you ever want to take out a big block, do you do any of that yourself or do you always have him do that?
Michael: Oh no. I’ll take that out. I use GoldWave.
Jason: Oh, GoldWave.
Jason: That’s a piece of software.
Michael: Yes, it’s a piece of software. It’s just editing software. You could use SoundForge. What I was going to say, SoundForge you can buy it on his site for a couple hundred dollars, and I think it has a whole library of royalty free music that you can use.
Jason: Oh, really. So when you purchased these products, GoldWave and SoundForge, are they available in stores?
Michael: GoldWave, you can buy online and download it. Just go to
download.com and search for them both. You’ll find them.
Jason: Which one is the easiest to use?
Michael: Well, I’ve only used GoldWave. I have SoundForge and I just never took the time to use it because GoldWave was doing good enough for me.
Jason: Is it one of those deals like I used one, I think I told you a little bit about one. I went down to Best Buy and I bought this program called Music Creator. It’s meant for bands to record their different tracks on. I just use the audio link or audio track to do all my recordings when I do a presentation that’s going to go into my course. I speak right into that and I make some really good sounding audios and I can easily edit them with that thing.
Michael: That’s all you need.
Jason: Okay. Well, I was just wondering—I like to compare different products and wondering if GoldWave, is it like where you see the little lines of music.
Michael: Yes, you see all the lines; they’re in green. When you press play—you’ve got a little play thing, play, stop, pause, fast forward—you see the line going across. And as the line goes across, that’s our conversation progressing. And you could stop it and then you could move the line an inch ahead and highlight it and delete it. No different. Just like a Word file.
Jason: The one I’m using, it works pretty good. But, I’m just thinking it could get easier because it takes me to like to punch something out if I make a mistake and to punch it out or to start over and have it seamless, like it never happened, it can take me up to like a good 10 or 20 seconds to get that done, which may not be a lot of time to a lot of people, but when you have over 200 different mistakes to correct…
Michael: Yes, I agree. Here’s what you want to do. When you do your editing, you want to do your editing in WAV format because when you’re deleting a little something, it has to delete that little chunk, but it has to go through your whole recording. Also, let’s say, we’ve been talking I don’t know how long, maybe an hour or so; I’ll save this recording from my Modem Spy into a WAV file. And then what I’ll do, before I do the editing, it’s a lot of information, I’ll break it into probably three 20-minute chunks. So, I’ll call the file recording A, recording B, recording C. And then I’ll edit them in chunks. I’ll do the pre-edit in chunks because they’re smaller chunks of information. So, when you’re deleting a little beep in the phone or an interruption, it goes much quicker because it’s only going through 20 minutes of the recording rather than all 60 minutes. A lot of your time is wasted for it to reset and delete that one little nugget of data. Are you with me?
Jason: Even with that technique, it’s got to be a little tedious because you still farm it out.
Michael: This was when I was doing it myself. I told him to do the same thing, break the recordings up because it will go a lot quicker. And then, once you’ve done your main editing of all the little things, then you could piece it back together, then you have one big WAV file. Then you can do your larger edits and your larger chunks.
Jason: How did you originally find out about these?
Michael: I don’t remember how I found out about GoldWave. I had a buddy of mine—I actually paid him $15—he was really good at finding things. I go, find me some software that will allow me to record online. And he found me these two pieces of software, and Modem Spy was one of them. And then he also recommended GoldWave and I just downloaded it and I learned it myself.
Jason: That was one of my biggest challenges when I got started doing recording and I realized that selling information and having audio is a good part of selling information. When I started trying to record, it was quite a tedious process just finding a program that works and that you can get to work. That can be a huge chore.
Michael: Oh yes, it was a chore. I remember I had to take my computer and I tried to get it set up and I didn’t have the right modem and I had to bring my computer and go buy a special modem and then I came back and it didn’t work and they put the wrong modem in and I had to go bring it back and put the right modem in and I finally got it to work though.
Jason: Well, I’ll have to look that one up because even though mine is all right, I still feel like there’s probably an easier way to cut and paste out certain things.
Michael: On my site, one of my recordings, it’s on the CD and it’s also on my site—I think page 3 or 4. And if you search the name Rich Chadwick it will take you to a recording. I think it’s in the 50’s and we did an hour on the phone. He took me through the entire GoldWave program. So, get GoldWave and download it and go through the whole recording. We went through everything it does, every single option, everything.
Jason: Does it have an ‘e’ on the end of GoldWave or is this just a WAV file?.
Michael: I’m not sure. Just go to Google. GoldWave. It will spell it right for you.
Jason: And how much did that one cost you?
Michael: Actually, there’s a link on my recording. In the description of my recording, there’s a link that will take you to it.
Jason: And how much does it cost?
Michael: I think it was $40 or something.
Jason: That’s not too bad either.
Michael: I think there’s a trial and you can try it for free.
Jason: I’m kind of looking forward to that then. This recording and that what I love about how you do it so well and how I see you saved yourself time on certain things on your recordings.
Michael: Oh yes. It’s a pain in the butt to get set up, but once it’s set up, I’m telling you it’s great.
Jason: Well, even the way, like I noticed, you used sound in a way with ease, like I use like cut and paste with Word, I noticed you took where you have your ending you kind of have a little plug where you’re saying—spell out your name and your www.hardtofindseminars.com . You’re kind of like a news anchor wrapping it up for the evening and it sounds real professional. And I noticed you just paste that on the end of all your recordings. Why record it over and over.
Michael: That’s right. Just paste it. It’s an audio file just like it would be a selection of words and you just paste it.
Jason: You literally did what you said. You canned it, it’s done, and you don’t have to go through that spiel again. I thought, wow, another thing just learning how to be efficient. I never knew you could do all this with sound.
Michael: You can do the same thing with an audio recording as you can with a Word document. You can cut, you can paste, you can move, it’s the same thing. It’s just in the realm of audio rather than visual words.
Jason: That’s what makes the learning curve a little higher is just the fact that even for me, I’m someone who’s pretty computer savvy, just looking at little squiggly lines and cut and pasting is not as easy and clear as doing it with Word.
Michael: It does look daunting. But can you remember back to the first time you used the computer and tried to type a letter? I remember I couldn’t figure it out. It was just crazy because you had never done it before.
Jason: Yes, this is true. There was a lot of time on tech support calls.
Michael: Exactly, on how to use just simple text.
Jason: Yes, that’s one of the things I teach people too. I get these people who call themselves stupid and say I’m so sorry for being so dumb, I know I look like an idiot here. I just have to tell them, reassure them, you’re not an idiot, look everybody goes through this boot camp of learning.
Michael: I want to thank you for listening to www.hardtofindseminars.com . If you want to get in touch with any of the people we interview, please contact Michael at www.hardtofindseminars.com by email. You can emailor you can call (858) 274-7851.