Business Building Basics

10 Second Overview

This book is a transcription of an interview with Mike Filsaime. Mike has made over $38 Million online. This interview was done several years ago and contains links to websites that no longer exist. The information, however, is priceless. Just one of these business models can make you a very comfortable living.

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As a special thank you I’d like to offer you the original audio for only $9.99. You can pick it up from

http://www.TerryTelford.com/business-building-basics

And now, let’s get to the interview.

Terry: 

Hi!  You’re listening to Terry Telford from TerryTelford.com, and today we’re very fortunate to have Mike Filsaime with us.  Mike’s been online since 2002, and he really knows how to build and run a profitable online business.

Today, Mike’s going to take us on a step-by-step tour of how to build a successful online business. We’ll start at the conceptual idea development, move through the initial building phase and work with advertising and marketing. Before we begin though, I’d like to say thanks very much for taking the time to be with us today, Mike.

Mike: 

Terry, it’s a pleasure to be here.  Thank you very much.

Terry:

Thank you.  Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you ended up getting to where you are today.

Mike: 

Okay sure.  Back in 2002, I was the sales manager for a Toyota dealership – we were a large volume Toyota dealership – and I was doing a lot of training for the organization.  At that time, I was doing some surfing on the Internet trying to find some free resources that I could put together, print out, and make a manual for the training classes that we were going to be holding for the students.

I was working on this for about three weeks, and everyday, with all the spam you get, whether it’s “You won the lottery,” or porn, or the secrets to wealth, or whatever, I just kept seeing the same thing come to my inbox at MSN.  It kept saying “The secrets to online profits” and I’d delete it and the next day it’d be there again and I’d delete it and the next day it’d be there again and I’d delete it.

One day I looked at it, and there was a little image in there of a guy with his hands in the air.  I still remember it today, because I copied the image and used it when I tried to get online.  I clicked on it, and it went to a sales page, and it turns out it was Frank Kern’s, “Instant Internet Empire” which was very successful back then, but then it had a little problem, we won’t go there.  But, just to let you know the effect that it has on a non-Internet marketer when we see a sales letter like that, I actually printed it.

You know, we see these things all the time that say, “Print this page” and we never print these sales letters anymore.  But at that time I actually printed it, and I don’t know, maybe it was about 14 pages, and I sat on the floor and I read it and it said, “You can have your own website #1, you can have your own website #2, your own website #3, and then you get your very own copy of this site, and you can keep all the profits and all the videos to show you how.

I remember being so excited that I got up and said, “This is my chance to finally make it.”  I’ve always been that type of entrepreneur that always saw a little bit of opportunity, even when I knew it was too good to be true, and I wasn’t afraid to try it.

I ordered it, and continued working at the car dealership.  For the first four or five months online, being a real newbie, didn’t know how to get traffic into my site, joined all the different traffic exchanges and stuff like that.

One day it hit me.  One day I went to the site called autoresponseplus.com.  I had heard of these things called autoresponders, but I didn’t really know what they were, I thought they had something to do with someone clicking a link on your website and you get an e-mail.  I didn’t fully understand how it worked and I thought it was just about sending out automated e-mail series.

I studied that page and there was something on the page that said, “The average person comes to your website 4 to 5 times before they buy, so you need to concentrate on capturing their e-mail and not making the sale.”  That was probably January or February of 2003 when I stumbled across Auto Response Plus.

When I installed it, everything started to change for me, and I realized that I needed to be in the business of list building.  So, my background was in the car business, and I just stumbled, by accident, onto Internet marketing.

Terry:

Excellent.  So what was your first business?  It was Instant Internet Empires?

Mike: 

I never sold one of those things.  I put the website up, I think I sold one on eBay for $1.99 once, and I was really excited but I think it cost me $2.05 with the fees and everything to list it and sell it, so I think that was a loss.

I still wanted to build a list and the only way that I had access to people was through free traffic exchanges that the newbies use.  When I first got online I said, “Okay great, this is what I’ll do.  My wife has these recipes, so I’ll put the recipes up on the Internet, then I’ll go out and I’ll buy e-mail lists.”

So one of the first things I did my first week online was I put in e-mail lists in the search engine and I purchased a million names – a million e-mail addresses, I should say.  Then I put into the Google search engine, “e-mail software,” and I found all these cute little e-mail software that let you send e-mail right from your desktop.  I uploaded the names and I sent out a million e-mails and then I went to bed.

The next day I’m at work and my wife calls me and says, “I can’t get online,” and I said, “I’ll take care of it when I get home.”  So I get home and I can’t get online at all and then I see that my website is shut down.  Then I called up my Internet provider, Optimum Online, and I said, “Hey, I don’t seem to have a connection.”  They said, “We’ve received 33 spam complaints.”

So I learned in my first week that you can’t just go out and buy e-mail addresses and spam the entire world (I didn’t even know it was spam at the time).

So I didn’t have a product, but I started getting affiliated with all different types of other promotions and ClickBank.  Then you very quickly understand affiliate marketing.

What ended up happening at that point was that I realized the only place I had to go was using a safe list.  I realized that in the safe lists, a lot of people advertise and also own safe lists.  In order to get people to join their safe list people would offer free pro memberships for the first 250 people.  And then I noticed when I joined the safe lists  they ask you for two e-mail addresses, your admin and your safe list e-mail.  As soon as you enter your safe list e-mail, the first thing that happens is they send you to a page that says, “We just sent a validation e-mail to this address.  Please go to your inbox and click on the validation link, and then you could start using our mailer.”

But what ended up happening, and I’m sure you remember this if you joined, sometimes you didn’t get those validation e-mails for about five minutes, sometimes an hour.  So what ends up happening is, if you start using a lot of safe lists, your inbox starts getting up to 5,000 or 10,000 e-mails a day.

So what I started doing was the next day, I would just do all the validations at one time and I would sort my inbox alphabetically and scroll down to the “v” section, or I would just type in the filter, “val” and then all of a sudden I would see all the validations.  That’s when it hit me.

I said to myself, “If all these other people are getting 10,000 e-mails a day and using a one click delete option and not reading everything, what if I put the subject line ‘validation’ in the subject of my ad?”

So at that time I got a course from Mark Joyner and he said something about target, tie in, and collect; you want to target your audience, tie in a free offer, and collect their e-mail addresses.

So basically what I did at that time, just to speed up the story, is I created this little membership called “Powerless,” and I took about 15 of the biggest safe lists on the Internet and I just created an ad for them.

I also made a free membership area around it and I said that Powerless will give you access to e-mail millions of people each month spam-free, 100% double opt in.  Then, I tied in some free offers.  I said, “If you join now, you get the safe list directory eBook, and this web army knife”  They got four or five different gifts just for giving their name and their e-mail address.

Then submitters started coming out. You could join about 500 safe lists automatically and the submitter would automatically send out an email once a day.

The subject line on my email said “Validation for Powerless starts here.”  When they clicked on the ad, it looked like a validation e-mail and it said something like, “To validate your subscription for Powerless, you need to click on this link.”

Then, when they went to the page, I had a little thing that said, “Current status: not joined,” making them think there was some type of mistake, so they had to enter their name and e-mail to get their free gifts again.

So, what ended up happening is, once that software came out and I started doing that, I started getting about 75 to 80 opt ins per day of these safe list users.  As far as building a list for Internet marketing, I’ll tell you that the safe list members are probably the best people you can have on your list.  On a scale of one to ten, one being a newbie and ten being the top Internet marketer, they’re on level three or level four.

You don’t want the number ones. You don’t want the guy that sends you e-mails all day long saying, “I don’t understand where my control panel is” or “What’s the start button you keep talking about on my task bar?”  You don’t want those people.  And you certainly don’t want me or Terry Telford on your list. You want me and Terry as your JV partners, because the bottom line is, Terry doesn’t buy anymore. He gets everything for free, because people ask you to become a JV partner, and they say “Hey Terry, here’s my new product.  Take a look at it.  Can you get a promotion out for me next week?”

So, the people that you really want are these level three and level four marketers, because they understand affiliate marketing. If they’re in a safe list, they’re obviously promoting something with some type of affiliate URL.  Or, better yet, they’re promoting their own website, which means they have a newbie type of website, but they’re not big enough yet that they know how to get traffic other than using a safe list.

So if you’re getting 50 members a day, in ten days you’re getting 500, so you’re getting 1,500 members a month.  This means you could build a list of 20,000 people per year of a highly targeted people you’d want on your list.  Using this method, I started building up a list and loading up my autoresponder with different types of content and offers and stuff like that.

Then I started getting more affiliate programs when new products would come out, I think at that time Stephen Pierce’s, “The Whole Truth” came out, and different things like that.  I used to sign up for affiliate programs for new products and send it out to my list and I would make $200 or $300 and the next e-mail it would be a little bit bigger.  There was one point in March of 2003 (I was online about six months) where I made over $5,000 strictly in affiliate commissions.

Terry:

Wow.

Mike: 

So that’s when I said to myself, “You know, this is pretty easy.”  Terry, I know you’ve done this before; you look at your list when you have X amount of members, and you pick up the calculator and you say, “Well if I’m making this now with this many members, what would happen if I had 50,000 members?”  And you multiply those numbers and you see the numbers on the calculator and you’re like, “Wow, this would be great if I could just keep growing my membership.”  I had a quest at that point to just continue to just find different ways to build my list.  I said, “This is easy.  I could teach people how to do this.”  So I wrote a book about it, and I was very impressed by the way Frank Kern did Instant Internet Empires.  I think he had five categories of videos.

So I did a video course with my eBook and I produced 41 videos for Carbon Copy Marketing.  It walked you through how to register a domain, how to get a host, how to get free FTP software, how to design a site, where to get the autoresponder, and how to get the HTML code on your site. It fully walked you through everything that I knew at that time.  That’s why I called it “Carbon Copy Marketing,” so you could carbon copy everything I did and start having results like that.

I have a lot of friends today that started out as newbies that got that book and have pretty decent sized lists today that still talk to me and say, “Mike, I’m still using that Carbon Copy method 18 months later and my list is up to 25,000.” and stuff like that.  It’s really made a difference for a lot of people by doing that.  You get your site design and website up, with your product and digital image of a box and you established that you’re a marketer with a product.

It was very funny, I was online for six or seven months at this time when this product was released, and I was getting e-mails from people that would say stuff like, “It was easy for you experts or gurus or top Internet marketers, but for the average guys like us it’s not that easy.”

I was still working at my job at that time and I would e-mail them back and say, “Hey look.  Two weeks ago I was just like you, nobody had ever heard of me.  Nobody knows who I am now, I just created a product and put it up there.”  That was a revelation for me. You become a somebody when you have your own product like that.  By doing that, things started slowly changing for me just by having my first product.  A little long winded there I apologize.

Terry:

No, no, that’s fantastic.

So if you just started online now, would the process you used with the safe list, still be a viable option for building a list?

Mike: 

Yes.  If I was to go back and redo Carbon Copy Marketing, I would keep the safe list, and that would probably be 60% or 70% of the focus of driving the traffic.

I didn’t know a lot of traffic exchanges back then, things like Traffic Swarm, No More Hits, and even my site, InstandBuzz.com or listdotcom.

I’m friends with one person who’s popular in some of the forums who goes by the name Sam Freedom. I know his real name and we talk on the phone a lot of times, but Sam is the type of guy who’s built, just in the past six months, 25,000-30,000 opt in members. Basically what he does is he just drives traffic to squeeze pages.

For those that don’t know, a squeeze page is a page where you’re not selling anything. Every sales page should have a call to action, and the call to action would be to make a sale or to make an opt in, and sometimes both. But what he does is, drives traffic to these pages and just gives away free gifts and captures names and e-mail addresses.

Basically, it’s a form of Carbon Copy Marketing.

Interesting story about starting out. I did a teleseminar with Sean Casey when we were promoting “Info Products Fortune” and I think the product sold for $1,497. I said, “If it’s in your means to get it and you’re not where you want to be, you need to buy this.  Keith Wellman posted on my guestbook something like, “Here’s another course about an Internet marketer who talks about how he makes it online, but the way he makes it online is by selling how he makes it online.”

I said, “Keith, you really don’t understand, Info Products Fortune is about niche marketing, but if he has an opportunity to make $500,000 selling how he does it and it can really work, it can help people.”

So I wrote about it in my newsletter, and I didn’t put his name in the newsletter, but I said, “Here’s a person who just didn’t get it.”  He replied back to me in an e-mail and said to me, “Mike, I read that in your newsletter and I know it was about me and I feel like a total jerk, you really put it into perspective for me and I guess I just wrote that to you out of frustration.

I said, “Look, why don’t you give me a call and we can find out where you’re at.”  He called me and he told me that he’s been online for about a year and a half and he can’t do this.  I asked him to show me his site and in his site there was no place to opt in, and I said, “How many people do you have on your list?”  He said, “Don’t laugh at me, but I’ve got about 180 people.”  I said, “Well here’s your problem, number one, you’re in the business right now where you’re trying to sell things to people, and you don’t want to sell anything to anybody, all you want to do is get their name and their e-mail address and build a relationship with them.  One day, you will sell something to them or they will be your affiliate and they will sell something for you.  If the only thing you’re concentrating on right now is driving traffic to a page, then if it’s an affiliate program, you’re building a list for somebody else, and if it’s for yourself and all you’re doing is making a sale, you’re killing your opportunity.”

So, I took him on as his mentor. We started having a workshop, a weekly call.  I told him some of the first things that he needed to do were to get keithwellman.com.

I told him to put a blog up on his site and then I said, “Now what you need to do is to join these safe lists and some of these traffic exchanges and start building your squeeze pages and he sent me an e-mail last week that said, “Hey Mike, I joined this thing called “I-Post Ad” and I submitted my ad about three hours ago and I already got 17 people on my list.  I can’t believe this, it’s so exciting!”

So now he’s up my butt sending me e-mails everyday, “Hey Mike, what do you have that converts well?  I want to send it out to my list.”  And I got an e-mail from him about two hours ago that said, “Hey Mike, I just made a sale from my one time offer technique I’m using from you after they join my opt in list.  To me it’s exciting, because I did it and it worked for me, but there’s always that thought in the back of my mind, “Did I have a little bit of luck?  Was it a fluke?”  But when I’m able to show other people and see the excitement that they have and get them to the next level, it’s vindication to me that it really works and it’s good techniques.

A lot of people are embarrassed to talk about these things or even teach these things, because once they reach a certain level they don’t want to talk about the safe lists but as you said, Terry, you’ve used them in the past and when you’re new you don’t have any other place to go.  I could tell you to put an opt-in form on your site, but where are you going to get the traffic?

Terry:

Exactly.

Mike: 

And there’s free traffic exchanges out there.  It’s hard work at the beginning.  You can go to the free advertising forum, you can spend your day posting and you’re going to get one or two clicks and those clicks will turn into opt ins, but that’s what you need to do at the beginning. You need to concentrate on building that list.

Once you have that list and you hit that magic number of 5,000 people on your list you become a good affiliate.  Nobody knows about you at that point, but when somebody checks their stats one day and they say, “Who is this guy G. I. Joe?  He just sold 13 copies of my book.”  And then you e-mail them and say, “Hey I just wanted to let you know, I saw that you sold 13 copies of my book, I just wanted to say ‘hi.’”  And they say, “I’ve been online for about a year.  I have a small list but it’s responsive and I’ve been following you for a long time.”

And then maybe I’ll talk to my friend Mike and he’ll be like, “Hey, I’m going to be launching this product, do you have any JV guys?”  And I’ll say, “You might want to talk to this guy, his Clickbank ID is G. I. Joe.  He can make some sales for you.”  And all of a sudden these guys start getting products for free and they start getting known as a potential affiliate or JV partner to be used on a launch and stuff like that.  That’s when things start changing for you.

With the list comes power and leverage. You can use that list to launch your next product, or you could ask them to become your affiliates and then it keeps growing from there and it gets easier and easier as the list grows.

Terry:

A real step-by-step process.

Mike: 

Yea.

Terry:

If you were just getting online now, would you develop a product first, or start out as an affiliate marketer?

Mike: 

Affiliate marketing.  I would concentrate on list building.  I would go out and buy myself some resale rights products and hopefully find the ones that have giveaway rights as well, there’s plenty of those.

I would then drive traffic. I would get my own domain, put up a page that asks for an e-mail and name, I would use my autoresponder software to capture their name and e-mail address and give them free gifts just for joining.  Try to have some kind of backend service that’s offering some type of free directory of traffic exchanges or forums. Find some type of niche related to Internet marketing.

There’s a lot of people who would tell you that you can’t make money in Internet marketing, and that you need to go out and make money in the niches selling pet supplies and stuff like that.  Those are great niches and there are a lot of people who make a lot of money like that.  I’m just here to say, don’t give up on making money online. It can be done.  If you know what you’re focusing on which is building a list and promoting affiliate programs in the beginning. After that, if you’ve had success, just do a new version of how you’re making money online and teach people how to do it, and that will be your first product.

Terry:

Excellent.  Do you have any resources that we can go to, to find resale rights or autoresponders?

Mike: 

For autoresponders, there are two ways you can do it.  You can send the e-mail from your own server, which is usually a one-time fee, from autoresponseplus.com.  You buy the license for the software and you send an e-mail from your own server.  There’s good and bad with that.  The good is that you control the list and if anything happens you can move it to another server or another host.  The bad thing is that the e-mail that goes out comes from your IP and if you ever do get a jerk that cries spam even if he did opt-in, it goes back to your domain and you have a problem.

If you’re going to use an autoresponder and you want to use a monthly hosting, there’s aweber.com and getresponse.com and emailaces.com.  Those are the types of places you pay $9.95, $19.95 or $29.95 a month, depending on the amount of mail you use, and they let you have all the same things and they let you send the mail from their servers.  What was the other resource?

Terry:

If we were looking for somewhere to find resale rights products.

Mike: 

For resale rights products you can go to my website, mikefilsaime.com.  I have a product on there, where you click on “my sites,” called “the-best-deal-ever.com.”  What I’ve done is I’ve collected resale rights products over the years and I just keep adding them to this one collection.  If you get that thing I think you get nine different packages of resale right with 11,000 different products in there that you could sell individually or group them together.

Terry:

(Laughing) That’s enough of a selection.

Mike: 

(Laughing) Yea.  That should be enough.

Terry:

So then use the resale rights products as an enticement for people to sign up for the list?

Mike: 

Correct.

Terry:

And then have a series of autoresponder messages in that list.

Mike: 

Yea, that’s what I did in the beginning.  I’m not using autoresponders anymore. I shut them all off and I basically just sent my list one or two welcome messages and I sent them about two e-mails a week.  So they’re getting e-mails from me through my broadcast and my newsletter.  So I sent them content or promotions on a regular basis.  As soon as they get into my newsletter, they’ll start getting real e-mails from me that are up to date.

Terry:

Okay.  Why did you change from using an autoresponder to doing broadcasts?

Mike: 

Because my subscribers ended up getting both, and then I’d get an unsubscribed.  So say you joined (opted-in) today Terry, and I had one e-mail go out today, one tomorrow, and one to go out on Wednesday and one to go out on Friday.  And, in the meantime, I e-mailed you on Wednesday and Friday.  Sometimes you’d get two e-mails a day from me and I didn’t want my members to feel that I was e-mailing them too much, because I didn’t want to lose members in the beginning thinking that they just joined someone who is just going to be e-mailing them all the time.  So, I decided to move away from the autoresponder series unless specifically they signed up for something like a seven-day newsletter, where they know they’re going to be getting free content for seven days.

Terry:

Okay, excellent.  If we could just step back for a second, you’ve gone through the safe list method of developing a list.  Is there anyway you could use the traffic exchanges in a similar manner to develop a list?

Mike: 

Yes.  There are sites like trafficswarm.com and nomorehits.com that you can use.  Those are what they call start exchanges, and I’m sure you might be familiar with those.  That’s where you join and you set the link they give you to your homepage, so every time you open up your web browser the first page you see is another members site.

But, a lot of people make the mistake of promoting their affiliate programs. They may be good converting websites, but they’re not necessarily made for a traffic exchange. When somebody in the traffic exchange opens up their browser, they know they’re going to see someone’s website.

So what I would recommend for someone to do is create a splash page.  I even provided those resources for one of my sites listdotcom, specifically to use in traffic exchanges.  A splash page should just be a very compelling sign up page.

You need a compelling headline like, “Who else wants to see the secrets to building a 5,000 member opt-in list in one week?  Click here!”  It should not look like a webpage.  It should be, almost like a welcome mat, to have them click to go to the sales page.  A lot of the people who use traffic exchanges just plug in their affiliate link and they’re driving traffic to a website that has links that say, “about us,” “frequently asked questions,” and all these navigations.  If you’re a member of a traffic exchange, and you’re constantly opening up your browser, there’s nothing compelling when you just see a website and you’re just going to type in your normal Yahoo homepage and you’re going to be on your way.

So I would definitely tell people to create their own type of website that will be compelling that will break the person’s attention when they open up the webpage to see that.

Even with my site instantbuzz.com, we were doing a training call the other day for the members and we told them that they don’t want to use a subject line or an ad on the bar that says something like, “Earn $10,000 a week with this incredible opportunity.”  Because Terry, you’re not going to click on that and I’m not going to click on that.

I sometimes might take ten minutes just to find the right subject line to get people to open up my e-mails or headline to get them to take an action on my site.  To me, that’s more important than the e-mail itself, because if I can’t get them to open the e-mail, they’re never going to click the link and they’re never going to go to the webpage.

So even those little ads that you’ll see in instant buzz, I told them to be compelling.  I told them to use things like, “Guess what happens if you click here?” or, “Who else wants to take this website and make money online?”  I’m a big believer in the “who else” headline.  A lot of people say it’s overused, but I use it a lot, because it just works.

Usually the questions seem to be a little more compelling.  It’s human nature. We need completeness.  Even though we know we’re going somewhere to be sold, we want to see something complete.

So, if you ask a question, sometimes a lot of people have to click on your ad just to see the answer.  That’s the next step in the process, getting them to the sales page.  And let the sales page do its job to let them opt-in or make a sale.

Terry:

Excellent.  Now you keep mentioning instant buzz. Is that a traffic exchange as well?

Mike: 

Instant buzz is a traffic exchange and it’s a free site to join (instantbuzz.com).  Basically, the way that works is, when you go to the site, it’s free to join, and you download a toolbar, a Google, a Yahoo, or an Alexa toolbar on your Internet Explorer, and every time you surf a webpage, there will be a little ad that shows up on your toolbar.  The more your surf, the more credits you get, and the more credits you get, the more times your ad shows.  And when somebody clicks on the ad, it goes to the website you’re promoting.

Terry:

Excellent.  You have a real knack for using these systems that everyone else would consider garbage traffic, and actually converting it into something useful.

Mike: 

A little later, Terry, we’re going to get into outsourcing.  What I do is outsource my advertising.  It’s free advertising, so I’m going to take advantage of it.  I don’t care how much money I’m making, if it has helped me get to where I am today I’m going to still use it.

I have a girl on my support staff whose job it is to send out my ads for me on a daily basis, and post my ads and links and drive traffic to those pages.  She cleans out my e-mail boxes for my safe lists and stuff like that, because if I’m going to continue getting 50 or 60 or 70 new members a day for safe lists, even though I’m having success with my other membership sights, it’s still a free opportunity for me to be building 1,500 members a month in my opt-in list.  That’s about 18,000 people a year.  Do that over five years and that’s another 100,000 people added to your list.

Terry:

So are you creating one master list or do you have several segmented lists?

Mike: 

I have a lot of membership sites.  For instance, I have my very first traffic exchange, which is called donttouchmyads.com, then I did a site called myviralads.com, then we did listdotcom.com, then we had thejvnetwork.com.  I did a couple of promotions as well.  I had a site called thefreeadvertisinggiveaway.com and several other sites.  I saw this problem coming, but I took care of it before it became a problem.

Have you ever gotten four or five e-mails from a marketer?  They’ll send you one from their affiliate center, then they’ll send you one from the e-books that you’ve purchased, then they’ll send you one from their membership site.  Sometimes they’ll promote their own product or seminar, and you’ll get a few e-mails from them.  Has that ever happened?

Terry:

Yup.

Mike: 

So, we forgive them for that.  We understand. I’ll use Armand Morin for example.  I’m a member of his “my affiliate center,” I’m a member of “the big seminar,” his list, and I’m a member of his “audio generator.”  So sometimes he’ll have an important message to get out, and he has the right to go to these different lists that he has and mail them.  Some of us are on two or three of these lists, so it’s going to happen.

In my case, there were opportunities for people to be on 11 or 12 of these sites. So what I did, since I have a dedicated server, all of my domains can all talk to each other and they all connect through the hosts.  If you sign up for one site, I put you into the autoresponder for that site, but I also have a main newsletter site.  So at any time I could go to the J V network and I can send out a members only e-mail, but you opt-in in two different places.  You opt into the newsletter at mikefilsaime.com and you also opt into the J V network.  I basically consolidated all of my lists into one and, if I send out an e-mail from mikefilsaime.com and you click on the unsubscribe link, it takes you to a page that asks, “Are you sure you want to unsubscribe?  Click yes or no.”  If you click yes, you actually see it parsing the database for all my sites and it will say, “Mikefilsaime.com found unsubscription successful.  Listdotcom not found in database.  J V network found and unsubscribed.”  And it lists all 16 sites, it takes about ten seconds, and you’ll see that you’ve actually been unsubscribed from all of my sites.

If I send you an e-mail from my newsletter from mikefilsaime.com, and you unsubscribe, you’re basically saying that you don’t want to get e-mails from me anymore.  So, if I go to listdotcom and I want to do an e-mail update, you’re not going to get it anymore.  I really struggled with that a lot. I was like, “Do I really want to unsubscribe this person from the membership site as well just because they’re unsubscribing from my newsletter?”  But, I did because I didn’t want to have any problems with spam complaints.  They said they don’t want to hear from me, and I honored that.  I don’t delete their membership; they still have full access to the membership to use.  It’s just the newsletter they come out of.

Terry:

Is all this mail management handled through auto-response plus?

Mike: 

It’s a yes and no answer.  I have my own programmer, and we had to do a lot of customization, so basically, all the opt in and the database is handled through auto-response plus, but we’ve created our own mailing script that sends out and manages all the databases.  But basically we’ve enhanced our auto-response plus to suit our needs better as we were growing.

Terry:

Okay.  You’ve touched on a couple of different people you’re using now for outsourcing.  Maybe we can talk a bit about outsourcing, because I think we’ve brought people from the level of “how do you develop your list,” which I think is the most important marketing tool online.

You’ve given us a lot of extremely useful information on developing that list.  Now, we get to the point where we have that list, things are starting to roll, and suddenly, you find that you just don’t have the time to do everything anymore.

Mike: 

Okay sure.  Outsourcing is something you want to pay attention to. I have a coach, Rich Shefren, and he helped me realize a lot of things.  I’ve been outsourcing a long time, but he broke it down for me in ways that I never really looked at.

What he said is that, number one, you have to see where you are in your momentum.  If you’re just getting started online, you want to design your own website and you want to learn the basics (HTML, FTP, update software, auto-response plus, an eBook cover etc.) because you’re not making much income right now, so you don’t want to spend your regular income on outsourcing if you don’t even have your product built yet.  But once you start having success, you need to gauge your momentum and say to yourself, “Is this something I should be getting somebody else to do while I’m concentrating on my marketing?”

The way I run my online business is to begin with the end in mind.  Don’t just go at it and say, “I want to make money on Google.  I want to make money on eBay.”  Picture yourself and where you want to be and be careful that you don’t create a job and that you actually create a business.

Terry, if you had a job that was making you $200,000 a year, but all the orders were coming in through a fax machine, and you had to manually respond to these things and phone orders were coming in and you had to wake up and go to a warehouse at 6 AM and you had to package and ship and then call UPS and track and take phone calls, because this guy never got his package and everything like that.  Of course it’s $200,000 a year, but is that something that you would eventually see yourself wanting to do?

Terry:

No.

Mike: 

No, because basically all you’ve done is, created a job, you didn’t create a business.  You can’t walk away from that job.  The orders are going to come in and come through the fax machine.  How do you go on vacation with your wife and family when you create something like that?

So you need to begin with the end in mind. And make sure that you never create a monster that is going to take you away from growing your business somewhere else.  It can only get so big at one point.

Another friend of mine put things into perspective. He said, “If I was to drop you in the ocean, two miles away from land, there are two things you’re going to need to survive.  Number one, you need to tread water and number two, you need to keep your head above water.  But you need to swim forward, so you can get back to land to survive.”

Your business is like that too.  There are some things that your business needs to survive.  Some of them are treading water and some of them are swimming forward.  What I mean by treading water is answering e-mail, doing support if you have a help desk, maybe it’s sometimes writing e-mail copy, maybe it’s getting your site designed and things like that, but especially things like support and a help desk and helping people who have lost their passwords or people who lost their download links; those things are crucial for your business to survive.  You can’t just ignore those people.  That’s treading water.  It’s crucial for your business, but when you’re treading water, you’re not swimming forward right?

Terry:

Yup.

Mike: 

So, if you’re building a nice business and you don’t recognize that this is happening, you wake up and you have 83 e-mails and 16 tickets at your help desk, and then you go to your help desk and you start responding and more e-mail comes in.  You’re answering those e-mails and all of a sudden you started working at, say, 12 PM and you work until 9 PM (like me). If you’re doing all this treading water, and then it’s 5 o’clock and you go eat and you get back online and it’s 6 pm and you have three hours to work, how much do you have to swim forward at this point?

The way Rich Shefren has broken it down for us is, he said, “How much money do you make online per year right now and how many hours do you work?  Divide that and see how much money you’re making an hour.”  If you’re making $25, $50, $500 an hour, you have to say to yourself, “If I’m spending three hours answering e-mails, helping people on Yahoo messenger or MSN messenger, or answering my own support at my help desk, if I’m spending three hours doing that and I’m worth $100 an hour, then basically it’s costing me $300 to do this for myself.  What if I was able to get somebody that I could pay $200 a month to do this for me full-time?  Well that frees up your time to become a businessman and to become a marketer.

If you could start leveraging your time and creating products; tweaking and testing your results, looking at your Google ad words campaigns, and hopefully one day you could start outsourcing those things and not have to micromanage everything.

The best way that I could explain it is, if you look at Bill Gates, when he first started, he was his own programmer, he had to do the meetings with the IBM guys to sell them on Microsoft. He wore all the hats.  He had a vision where he was going to take this business, though.  If he decided to do all the support and still write all of his code and all of his marketing and everything like that, his business never would have grown.

You have to do a momentum check every now and then and say to yourself, “When is it time that some things I’m doing are actually costing me money, because I’m not marketing and I’m not running this like a business?”  That’s when you want to start outsourcing and if that made sense to you then we can start talking about the things you should outsource and where you can get it done.

Terry:

Absolutely, yup.

Mike: 

Okay.  One of the things that I outsource is certainly my support.  Nancy does my support and then I have Ralph who does my support over at Instant Buzz.  I have another person who monitors my forums and stuff like that, and I pay them through subscriptions for PayPal.

I’ve stripped all the e-mail addresses off of all my membership sites.  I’m not saying there’s no way to contact me, but I’ve replaced my e-mail addresses with a link to the helpdesk.  So when you go to the helpdesk it says, “pick the site or the eBook that you have a question about.”

There’s also a link that says, “personal contact for Mike Filsaime.”  So they could reach me through my help desk and when Nancy gets it, if it’s a standard JV that says, “Mike, I just purchased resale rights to the “Free to Sell” package.  Can you send it out to your list,” she has a standard reply of, “I’m currently not doing joint ventures right now.”  If there’s a personal reply to me, it gets forwarded to me, so that allows me to continue to run my business and market.

Terry:

Can I just stop you for a second?

Mike: 

Sure.

Terry:

Just on the support side of things, is there special software that you use for that?

Mike: 

Yea, great, thank you.  I was just about to go back and mention that.  I got two great resources where you can get a help desk.  You can go to perldesk.com.  That’s the software that I use.  Fifty percent of people who use help desks like that.  The other real popular one is a site called kayoko.com.  They have nice, different help desks, so someone can submit their question first before they open the ticket.  Then it says, “Based on the question you have asked, here are tickets that have been answered.  Please look at them.”  The person can click on it and see, for instance, someone said, “I want to uninstall Instant Buzz.”  It finds the keywords “uninstall” and “Instant Buzz,” and it will see that we’ve already replied and it will give that person a reply.  If they’re happy they go on, and if they’re not happy, they submit a ticket.

So, it also saves you any contact, because sometimes you can help them without them having to wait for a reply.  So those are two good help desks that I would suggest.

Terry:

Okay.  You’ve got a person dedicated to support, how much does somebody like that cost?

Mike: 

What I will say, because I don’t want to give anybody’s salaries out, is that you can go to elance.com and you can post that you’re looking for support.  I don’t want to say this the wrong way or come across the wrong way, but in countries like India, people will work for less than the minimum wage here in this country.

Somebody in India could be the president of a bank and he’s making $150 a month, and that can take them very far, where some people are making $20 or $40 dollars a month.

So if there’s a young lady willing to work for your help desk at $200 a month and she can put in 2 hours a day in the morning an 2 hours a day at night, just so your customers don’t have to go too long, and you pay her $200 a month, I look at that at a win-win situation.

You’re giving somebody the opportunity to make more money than someone who runs the bank, and they’re grateful to have that job.  It’s very affordable for you, because as we were saying, if you’re getting them to work three hours a day, five days a week, that’s 15 hours a week, which is 60 hours a month.  We said before that if your income is $100 dollars an hour, that’s $6,000 per month that it’s costing you to be away from your business that you could outsource for $200 a month.

I’ve had this conversation before and I’ll say the names cause they’re good friends of mine, Gary Ambrose and Michael Rasmussen.  They both didn’t do a lot of outsourcing.  Gary is a programmer and marketer by trade, so originally he wanted to do all the programming himself.  It’s a fear of losing control.  Gary’s turned his business over to some programmers and he’s got help desk support.

I had to convince Michael Rasmussen, I said, “Mike, you’re spending three hours a day doing e-mail and you have so many different products, just outsource it.”  He got a girl that’s doing it for $75 a week, and she’s completely ecstatic to have this extra income. She got it down so quick, she can probably do it in a half hour, twice a day.  He has never felt freer because now he can run his business.  She may send up one or two e-mails to him a day that need his attention, but it allows him to run his business and not be a slave to his business.

Terry:

That is one of the biggest keys in any business, to not be a slave to your business, because that’s the same as having a job.  You need to run the business so you have the freedom to go about doing what you want to do.

Mike: 

Yea, absolutely.  Think about it.  If he wasn’t tied up doing e-mail for three hours, he could send an e-mail to Terry Telford and said, “Hey, my name is Mike Rasmussen, and I own this or I own that etc.”

Occasionally Terry, what I do for my members,  “Do you have a product that sells for $97?  Maybe you could do a special for my members and sell it at $67.  I have 50,000 members.  I’ll e-mail it to them and we’ll split the profits.  So, it will be a win-win for you, for my members, and for me.  Terry, you would say, “Yea, sure!  Thanks for contacting me.  Send it out to your members.”

That’s growing your business.  That’s what I try to stress to people.  Either, you could spend more time with your family, or take the kids to Baskin Robbins, or relax a little more, or step away from the computer and take a break and watch television for a while, or grow your business with the time it frees you up.  But, you can’t be doing these $5 an hour things in your business when you’re making money.

Certainly at the beginning, if you’re selling three products a month, you can do the e-mail support, because it’s not going to kill you.  But again, begin with the end in mind.  “Where do I want to be in a year from now?  I need to recognize when the momentum is kicking in and when it’s time to start outsourcing.”

Terry:

Right.

Mike: 

So some good things to learn for people who know they’re going to take their business to the next level.

Terry:

Absolutely.  That’s perfect.  So what other than support do you outsource?

Mike:  

Well, I can design a site, and I got the AdSense scripts that I purchased from the Warrior Forum special.  The truth is, I can probably design a good-looking site in about two days.  If you take two days, again, that’s 16 hours that I’m away from my business when I should be either enjoying myself or growing the business.  I can outsource it and I can outsource it to, let’s say, Hyper Cover with my friend Anthony, with hypercover.com.

He does great work.  His prices range from $97 to $147 depending on what you need.  He’ll get you a professional header, footer image, the box, the scripts, the CDs, whatever it needs to look like, a report, the backgrounds, the opt-in image boxes, anything that you need.

Depending on his workload, he’s gotten stuff back to me in four hours. There are sometimes I send it to him and he’s upfront with me.  He’ll say, “Mike, I can get this to you tomorrow, but I’m working on a project.  How soon do you need it?”  And I’ll say, “Oh this is an idea that just came to my head, Anthony.  I don’t need this for two weeks.”  He says, “Okay, great.”

We work together like that and he’ll get it back to me in four or five days.  Again, I concentrate on working, and when it’s all said and done, I get all these beautiful images.

I can build a site and make it look good in 2 days, he can have it beautiful in four hours and it’s better than great.

I’ll look at the investment of the site. I’ll say, “Well, I expect this site to make me $1,500 a month, so a $97 investment to make it better will be worth it, because I’ll have a higher conversion.”  You’ll make more sales throughout the year, it will pay for itself.  You can’t be pennywise and dollar foolish. It’s better to outsource.  Sometimes people get caught up in this thing, “I’m not going to pay somebody $100 bucks. I can do this myself.  This guy’s no genius.”

But, to me, it’s just a matter of, sure I can do it, but I’m going to pay somebody to do it, because they can do it better and faster, and it allows me to concentrate on doing other things.  I could probably paint my house and mow my lawn, but if I happened to be my full time gardener and stuff like that, then it would pull me away from my business trying to save $20 or something like that.

Terry:

Exactly.  So what else?  We have support, we have web design.

Mike: 

Okay.  Other things include e-mail copy, sales letter copy, and autoresponder copy.  For instance, I have all these different sites, and I don’t have an autoresponder series.

Quick story, I had a member call me up and he said, “I can’t believe you live in Holbrook.  I live in Ronkonkoma.”  And basically, Terry, if I walked out of my house and threw a rock I would hit Ronkonkoma.  He was literally two blocks away from me.  And he was like, “I can’t believe that I have a top marketer here on Long Island.  I hate to bug you, but can we get together for Starbucks?”  And I e-mailed him back and said, “I hate Starbucks, why don’t we get together for Little Vincent’s Pizza?”

We ended up meeting at Little Vincent’s.  He’s a 25-year-old kid, and I asked him how long he’s been online and he said, “About six months.” I said, “Okay great.  Tell me what you do.”  And he said, “Well, I’ve got this website from Plug In Profits, have you heard of it?”  I said, “Yea that’s Stone Evans.”  He said, “Yea.  You join up for Six Figure Income and GDI” and he’s giving me all these multilevel two tier affiliate programs that you join up for and promote your site.  I said, “Okay, well how are you promoting it.”  He said, “There’s a site called Traffic Swarm, I use that.  And I use Instant Buzz.  It’s this toolbar exchange.”  And he keeps going on about it for about a minute and I interrupted him, and I said, “Jason, you know I own Instant Buzz, right?”  And he goes, “Yea, get out of here.” I said, “No.  I thought you contacted me because you knew that.”  He goes, “You’re kidding right?”  I said, “No.”  He said, “Get out of here.”  I said, “No, I own it.  Let me ask you a question.  What do you know about me?”  And he goes, “Um, well I know you have that site mikefilsaime.com.  And I know I get e-mail from you.  And I know you got other stuff, but I don’t know it off the top of my head.”

That’s when I realized, Terry, that I have JV Network, I have listdotcom, I have My Viral Ads, I have Instant Buzz, I have different eBooks I’ve written, I have a site called paydotcom.  I have all these different sites, and my members might be with me for three or six months and they don’t know all my other products.

So, I thought to myself that I need to go back and reverse market myself back to my members, because maybe I’ve grown a little fast at one point and didn’t realize that I need to tell people about my other products.

Corey Rudl, God rest his soul, he passed away a couple of days ago, but if you take a look at the way he marketed, Corey never sent out affiliate programs every week.  I don’t remember ever getting an e-mail from Corey about anything else but his own products.

He has a great affiliate center designed around his products.  I started looking at that and saying that I need to start getting my members to know me a little better.  But let’s get that back to outsourcing.

I said to myself, how can I get my members to know me?  Somebody joins listdotcom or JV Network, or Instant Buzz, but how do I get them to know me?  I posted a project at elance.com and said, “I’m an Internet marketer, and I need you to look at mikefilsaime.com/mysites.htm and you’ll see there are about 22 different websites, membership sites, products, eBooks, and stuff like that.  What I want you to do is write an article review on every single one of my products.”

Now, Terry, it doesn’t have to be that good, I mean, I just want them to get an e-mail, open it, see something about the product, have a link and let the sales page do the work.  I don’t want it to suck.  I could write it, but imagine me writing 22 different articles and then loading them into my autoresponders?  I just don’t want to do it.

So, I got all different types of ads.  I got this one person who showed me all this beautiful copy she had written in the past, she had a very good rating at elance.com, and she’s willing to do it for me for $300.

After meeting her, I realized that she’s a very trustworthy person, so I said, “I’ll tell you what.  I’ll give you $600 if you write it for me, and I’ll give you access to all my autoresponders for every one of my membership sites, and all you have to do is log in and set up.

On day one you do this and on day five you do this.  So I sent out a schedule for her, so she’s going to write all these articles about every one of my products, and anytime anyone joins one of my sites, they’re going to go into this 15-week autoresponder series.  Once a week it’s going to have a product of the week talking about my own products.  If I can get you into listdotcom, maybe you like the site but you don’t love it.

Maybe, you’ll find Instant Buzz and you’ll love that site and you become my best affiliate.  So, it pays for me to get people to have exposure to my site.

So, to bring that back to outsourcing again, I could have written all that e-mail copy but I decided to outsource.  You can go find a copywriter or you can go to elance.com and find someone who will do copy for you.  I write my own copy that you see on my sales pages, I’ve written every one.

Michael Rasmussen and I did the free advertising giveaway, and it was a joint venture, and I was working on another project, but he asked me if I wanted to do that with him, and I said that I would, but I don’t have time to do all the copy.  So, we paid about $600 or $700 for a guy who does pretty good work.  He wrote the sales letter copy, and the joint venture sales letter copy (one sold you on the free advertising site and one sold the joint venture partner to work with us).

So, we also needed promotional tools for the affiliate when they joined the site, to have a teaser copy, e-mail copy, and stuff like that.  They can do your e-mail autoresponders, your sales letters and certainly your affiliate copy.

Terry:

So, you can actually get one person to do the copy for the whole site so it’s all written in the same style.

Mike: 

Yea, some of them have packages.  I don’t remember the name of one person, but one guy has a package where he’ll write you a PDF, e-mail copy, affiliate copy, follow-up copy, teaser copy, it’s like a whole package that they do for $497.  To me it’s worth it, because these people know what they’re doing. Some of them do a really great job.

Some of us don’t know copy very well, and to be able to get a package like that, and just have to copy and paste it into your sales page, is really good.

I’ll give you some other things that you could outsource like bannersmall.com.  I think for $20 or $30 they’ll do a banner.  I always go for the $97 package.  They’ll give you two verticals, two horizontals, one button, one this, one that. You get like seven banners for $97 or $107 or something like that.

These guys do the flash banners, it will rotate, it will animate, and it has professional quality, but the banners are not in your face and not annoying.  These guys are really good.  I’ve even had Anthony at Hyper Cover, who is my outsource guy, tell me use these guys.  That’s a good place that you want to bookmark.

Another good guy, I don’t remember the name of his site, I think it’s ultimateminisites.com, is run by a good friend of mine, Dave Mizrahi.  This guy is to fonts and graphics like Michael and Michelle Fortin are to copywriting.  This guy is the guy who, if you’ve done your own copy, or you’ve had people do your copy for you but they didn’t know the formatting, this is the guy that will give you the right fonts, he’ll redo your site with the right header, the right margins, the tables, the testimonials, the right arrows and buttons, the right MasterCard logos etc.

He doesn’t do the sales copy, but, let’s put it this way, if he did junk copy with good format, he’d probably outsell good copy with bad format.  He formats a site to look really, really good.  He’s worked for a lot of people that you probably know.  He does really good work.

Terry:

That’s ultimateminisites.com?

Mike: 

Yea.

Terry:

What’s his name?

Mike: 

He’s got one of those names.  Dave Mizrahi.  I’ll find the correct spelling of his name.  But, another thing you could outsource is the design of your site.

Let’s say you have an idea for a membership site, you could go to freelancer.com, elance.com, or vworker.com, and post your job saying, “I want a membership site.  I want it to be just like Mike’s Instant Buzz.  Or, just like JV Network, except I want it to do this and that, and I don’t want it to do this.”

You give the details and those people will usually join the site and get an idea of how it works.  Then, they’ll say, “Okay.  I’ll do it for you for $400 in 21 days.”  Another guy will say, “I’ll do it for $1,100 in 30 days.  It’s like eBay, you look at their feedback and people who will tell you that they’ll do it for you for $200 in seven days and have six feedbacks and three of them are bad, you certainly don’t want this person.

You don’t always have to use the $1,500 guy, but usually the $700 guy can do it for you in 21 days to the first beta and nail it right on the head.  You usually work with them on messenger and you work with them on a day-to-day basis.  They ask you if it’s what you want, you look at it, and let them know.

Terry:

On a daily basis, Mike, if you outsource almost everything, what’s your main function?  What do you do?

Mike: 

What I do is I manage my products.  I have three programmers that work for me full-time, one part-time programmer, and my support staff as well.

I work with them and I improve my sites.  One guy may be working on Instant Buzz and I might tell him, “We only have a browser right now that works with Internet Explorer.  Let’s get one developed for Firefox.

We work on our sites, and I do joint ventures.  I might work on the phone, get people to promote my products, or I’ll promote other people’s products.  I actually do a lot of the grunt work as my sites are being designed and developed. I put the sites together.

Anthony will send me the images and I’m the guy who loads them up onto the sales page.

I work with sales copy, make my thank you pages, set up the payment account processing, and that kind of stuff.  I’m the George Lucas of my own business.  I have my outsource people all over the place, but ultimately, it’s me that has to get everything coordinated.

I’ll stay on top of them, follow up with them, and find out what’s going on with this program or this design.  Once it starts getting close to completion, I’ll start writing the sales copy, start contacting my joint venture partners and tell them what’s coming up in two weeks or something like that.

Then I’ll start getting my pre-launch ready.  I’m not going to kid you, Terry, I was talking to Mike Rasmussen about the mode you get into when you’re launching a site.  After three or four days when you’re working 18 hours a day and you get everything done, you hit that zone.

Then, you do a launch with a seven-day sale, and you make, say, $50,000. After that, you hit that ten-day lazy period.  You go to the How To Forum, you go to the Warrior Forum, you check your e-mail, you go to ClickBank, you go to PayPal, and then you talk to this guy on messenger, and then the phone rings. You go through ten days of doing nothing.  I do hit those strides sometimes.

I don’t want anybody to think that I’m this intense guy who’s always working and pushing people and getting stuff done.  I go through my lazy spurts too.  Sometimes the paths of income will come in and you don’t feel like working as hard, and then all of a sudden you start approaching that time where you think, “Okay, it’s time to get this project going.”  Then, you hit your stride again.

Terry:

So, a lot of what you’re doing is really project management.

Mike: 

Project management.  That’s exactly what I consider myself, a Project Manager.  I’m a director.  That’s about it.  I outsource a lot.  I manage a lot of people and put them together.  I do it in ways where I’m not a slave to anything. I’ll never create anything that will take up too much of my time and stop me from growing another business in the future.

Terry, a lot of people talk about residual income.  There’s another term that we’re starting to hear a little more.  I heard T. Harv Ecker talk about it and Holly Carter has a program called Passive Income Profits or something like that.

My sites aren’t residual income.  A few of them have subscriptions, very few though.  My sites are what I call “passive income.”  I want people to understand that passive income is a great thing.

Basically, you set it and forget it. It doesn’t consume you.  You basically set up a site and you put it into motion.  You put some viral things into place to let the site continue to grow.  As a member comes in, they buy your services, but you also give them incentives to promote your site.  Then, a new member comes in and gets exposed to the same process over and over again.  It creates a passive line of income.  I have some of these sites that make about $800 to $1,500 a month, and some are doing very well like Instant Buzz, listdotcom and JV Network.  Those are our moneymakers.

We have other sites like firesalesecrets.com, which makes $1,500 a month.  I never even e-mailed my members about it.  I spoke about it in an article in my newsletter, but I asked 20 of my joint venture partners to promote the site for me, and later we can talk about joint ventures and I can tell you some things that I did there.

That site was launched less than 60 days ago and it has about 7,000 members.  It gets about 45 new opt-ins per day.  It’s set it and forget it. I never do anything with it.  Every time somebody joins that site, I give them an incredible offer, I call it the one time offer, and it’s where they can get an incredible package of all different types of products and different top level memberships to some of my sites for $97 and that converts at about 4% conversion.  So for every hundred people who come to that site we make about four or five sales.  I’m making one to three sales a day of a $97 product just from that site.

Terry:

And you don’t have to do anything with it.

Mike: 

I don’t do anything with it.  I’d like to talk about that site.  It’s a very interesting site.

Terry:

Yea, absolutely.

Mike: 

Are you familiar with it?

Terry:

No.

Mike: 

Okay. Let me tell you where it came from.  I’m friends with Carlos Garcia and he has a pretty good list.  I was shocked when he told me the size of his list.  I said to him, “How’d you get a list that big?”  And he said, “What I did, Mike, was I created this great article that promoted my site Wealthy Secrets, and I created it with a PDF.  I have this brander, that once the affiliate gets it he or she can brand the article with their affiliate ID and they can send it out to their list, but they have to opt-in at my site in order to get the article.”

I loved that idea.  It was an amazing number of people that were on his list.  But to me, it seems a little bit 2002, to be using a viral PDF brander, because a lot of people don’t know how to use those stampers and stuff like that.

Terry:

Can you repeat the website before we begin?

Mike: 

Sure.  Firesalesecrets.com.

Terry:

Firesalesecrets.com.  Okay.

Mike: 

I’ll talk about the product for three seconds.  I’ve done a couple of these things called fire sales.  After hearing a call about Fire Sale Secrets, my friend Mike said to me, “Dude, I have to do one of these things.”  I gave him the script that I use.  He posted in the Warrior Forum recently and said, “How I made $80,000 in ten days.”  He followed my tactics 100% and did everything that Jeremy Burns and Russell Brunson and Josh Anderson and I spoke about.

The four of us have done fire sales.  A fire sale is basically taking all your products and having a sale for three or four days for a ridiculous number, whether it is $67 or $37, and you set up an affiliate program for it.  The price goes up each day and then you shut it off after four days.  I’ve had success.  My last one I did for four days, and that brought in over $60,000 in sales and ended up grossing me $37,000 in four days.

Terry:

Wow.

Mike: 

Yea.  Jeremy Burns’s usually last about a week.  He made over $50,000.  Russell Brunson made over $30,000 in three days with his sale.  It’s a pretty good course.  It’s free for anybody who goes to firesalesecrets.com and listens to those audios.  They’re about an hour each.  I did interviews with these guys and we’ve laid down a step-by-step process.
We let out some secrets that got people pretty excited.  People were doing real well with them.  But this was my thing.  Basically what I did Terry, I create products sometimes just by doing audio and then taking the phone call and, here’s another outsource place, escriptionist.com.  I take the audio and give it to escriptionist.com and they charge me $97 each hour, and they get it back to me in two days.  It’s amazing.  They send it to me in a Word document file and a PDF file.

Terry:

Wow.

Mike: 

So, in two days, I have an eBook.  You could take this call and turn it into an eBook.  And when we’re done, I can give you an example of how you can use this call to get people into your membership site using this tactic.

What I did is I said, “I can create an eBook.  All I need to do is get Jeremy Burns, Russell Brunson, Josh Anderson, and my friend Ron who created the software that handles these things, on the phone.  I can do these great calls and have great content, and get them transcribed as reports and give that away as the bonus.

I could sell these things for $47.  What’s the problem with a $47 product?  The problem with a $47 product is that, it’s hot when you first launch, it does great in sales for the first 45 days, and then it sits on the shelf until you either really train your affiliates about the product or you do Google ad campaigns.  I could say, “Hey Terry, want to send out an e-mail for Fire Sale Secrets?”  Terry would say, “Eh… I have to check my schedule.”  That’s the joint venture world sometimes.

So instead of getting joint ventures and selling it, I gave it away and the one time offer they received after they opted in was converting at 6% or 7% on a $97 product

Would I rather try to sell something for $47 dollars by driving traffic to the page with a 1% average conversion, or if it’s a good selling product, it’s 3%?  Why would I want to sell this thing for $47 when I could give it away for free and as soon as they opt-in to get it for free, I hit them with a one-time offer of an incredibly converting $97 product.

There are all different types of tactics, but a one-time offer has a higher conversion than a static sales page that people can say, “Well, I’ll just come back here tomorrow.”

The one time offer, Terry, if you join firesalesecrets.com or anybody listening does, you can see it in action.  It has an audio from me and it says, “This is a one-time offer.  You can get $4,000 worth of products today for only $97 dollars.  If you pass on this opportunity, it will never be made available to you again.”  By doing that, and listing all the products and having a couple of ways that we can control this on the bottom of the page, the way they say yes or no, this thing converts at Fire Sale Secrets at just under 5% at $97.  So, what have I created?  I created a sales page that converts at 5% for $97 rather than 1% or 2% for a $47 product.  And, it will never die.

If you go to firesalesecrets.com, it looks like a thank you page.  What it says is, “Private Members Area.  Congratulations, you now have access to this $97 product.  This is what you get.”  Then, it lists pictures of me and Russell Brunson and Jeremy Burns and everything like that.  At the bottom, where there would be an order button, it says, “Get it now for free.”  They enter their name and e-mail address and then they see that one time offer.

One of the things that they get for free with that is they get free rights to the package.  I tell them that they could use this package as a way to tell people, “Join my seven-day newsletter and you get Mike Filsaime’s Fire Sale Secrets for free.  It’s a $97 value.”  It truly is.  This thing has made a lot of people a lot of money.

I also give them e-mail copy that they can copy and paste and send out to their opt-in list that says, “Hey, I just got a copy of Mike Filsaime’s Fire Sale Secrets, it’s a great product.  He’s given me permission to send you the product for free and allow you to bypass the sales page and go straight to the thank you page.”

A lot of times, a marketer will have a membership site developed.  Marketers are marketers and programmers are programmers.  Have you ever seen an affiliate URL that says cgibino/affiliate=0997adminID=19962?  That’s a programmer thinking.  You tell them you want an affiliate program and they make you a link that says affiliate=162.  Those things can be controlled.

What I did was I told my programmer that I want the affiliate URL to read firesalesecrets.com/thankyoupage/thememberID.  So, if you joined, your member ID would be firesalesecrets.com/thankyoupage/7012 if you were member 7012.

So, in this e-mail that you are sending out to your members, it looks like you sent them to a thank you page.  When they arrive, I told you that the sales page looks like a thank you page.  So, they see private members area and they opt-in.

On a side note, this is a mistake that a lot of people have done with resale rights products.  It’s the biggest mistake anyone can make when they create a product and they give people resale rights. Don’t give the people the PDF file and then tell them to load up the file on their server and then give them the thank you page to load up on their server.

After you make a sale, provide them with this thank you page.  Excuse my language, but it’s moronic.  What you want to do, if you have a product and you’re going to give people resale rights or giveaway rights, you give them the product, but make them download it.  That way, if you gave me resale rights to a product, Terry, you would say, “Mike, you can sell Conversations with Top Marketers.”  I would sell it.  I wouldn’t provide them with the PDF; I would provide them with your domain thank you page.  So, as I make sales, you get the opt-in.  Remember Yanik Silver did Million Dollar E-mails years ago?

Terry:

Yup.

Mike: 

How many of those things do you think are lying around?  Probably 250,000.  What if he would have provided them with a link that you had to download instead of the PDF file?  Everybody would have still had rights to give it away, but he would have built his lists on the registrations as people would have had to opted-in to get it.

So, that’s something I did with Fire Sale Secrets, but here’s where it gets even better.  Remember when I told you it was $97 for that one time offer?

Terry:

Yup.

Mike: 

Well, I just made you my affiliate after you joined.  There’s a page on there that says, “Make Money.”  It says, “Hi Terry.  I told you that you have rights to this package and you can send this link out to anybody that you want.  What you need to do now is enter your PayPal and/or your Storm Pay e-mail address below, and send out this e-mail to your opt-in list.

Number one, they’re going to love you for giving them a $97 dollar product for free, but if you noticed when you joined, there was a $97 dollar product for an up sell that converts at 4% to 5%.  If you enter your PayPal e-mail address, when they buy that, it will split the payment two ways.  It will pay you $48.50 to your PayPal and then they’ll pay us $48.50 to our PayPal.  What ends up happening is that someone signs up and sees the product and thinks, “Hey.  I have a list of 15,000 people, there’s a free gift I can give to my members and after they download it there’s another offer?  If they like it, it’s going to pay me $48 and then they pay Mike Filsaime $48?  Hell yea.

Remember I was telling you before that I get 45 passive members per day and passive income?  That was something I put into motion and what ended up happening is that people get the product for free, and as soon as they get into the members area, I tell them, “Not only do you get this great product, but you can share it with people.  And by sharing it, I’ll pay you.”

Two things happen with this. I build my list, and it’s a passive income earner.  For instance, you take a look at your membership site.  If you were to create a separate site, take one of the best interviews that you have, tell Anthony to do a Hyper Cover and design a site, have the call transcribed by escriptionist, (it will cost $200 to have the site designed and transcribed) and then you create a thank you page with an up sell to your membership site.  Then you tell everybody that there’s an audio call with so and so, and that you can easily sell the call for $97, because it’s that good of a product, but I decided to give it to you for free.  They go, they download it, they see your offer to join your membership site at a discount or a bonus that they don’t normally get, and it gets them to convert at a higher rate.

In the meantime, the person who referred it, put their affiliate ID in it, so it also grows their site as well.  You put that into motion, and you have everybody giving a product away.

What I did with Fire Sale Secrets is, I created dynamic HTML code that you can just copy and paste.  I told people, “Here are some things you could do with it.  You can use it as a fast action bonus on your sales page.  If you’re selling carbon copy marketing, let’s say, and you want to give away a bonus, fast action bonus number one is Mike Filsaime’s Fire Sale Secrets.”

One of the sites is live right now, I just haven’t told anybody about it.  Those hearing it on the call will be the first to hear this.  It is a site called prelaunchsecrets.com.  It’s the exact same model.  Russell Brunson and I did a telephone call on things you need to do to pre-launch a site to have success, get your JV partners and everything like that.  I had the call transcribed and I had the site designed, and I’m going to launch that the same way.

I recently did a call with Carlos Garcia on outsourcing, and now I’m going to have a site called outsourcesecrets.com.  People can have all types of fast action bonuses or different things they can give away to people for free.  Then again, this is passive income. I set it up once, I launch the site, and I let it go forever.

It will continue to build me a list, and it creates income, because people are buying those one time offers and then they’re becoming my affiliate.

I’m not greedy, I pay people on the one time offer using that split pay script that we developed for the site.  So I’ll have three of those little sites that I’ll build a list in the background.  They’re low maintenance, and a very easy type of site to launch.

One day six months down the road, I’ll look and see that ten members signed up for the day instead of 45.  At that point, I’d re-launch the site again. I’d send out an e-mail to my list and say, “Hey guys, a lot of you may know, but most of you don’t, that I have a site called Fire Sale Secrets for $97.  I was going to sell it, but you can have it for free.”  Then, 1,500 people download it and the site takes off again for another six months, because they’re going out and promoting it.

That’s a good lesson in viral marketing; if you’re going to give away resale rights, make sure you maintain access to the download membership area, and let it build your list for you.  That’s a big mistake that a lot of people make; they provide access to the PDF file and let people serve it themselves.

Terry:

You’re just full of these amazing, little techniques that will explode people’s lists.

Mike: 

Yea, and the nice thing about it is that they can see it in action.  They can go to firesalesecrets.com and look at the sales page.  They can see how it looks as a thank you page. It’s not just a bunch of theory.

These people listening to this call can go there, go into the membership area, and see these tools that I’ve provided, so it can inspire them to understand that you don’t always have to sell something to sell something.  I’ve made my living online with free services. Instant Buzz is free, listdotcom is free, JV Network is free, and Fire Sale Secrets is free.

What I do is, I let you join for free, and I give you an offer after you join.  I know it’s easier to get someone to give you his or her name and e-mail address than it is to get his or her credit card.  After I get your name and e-mail address, I’ll make you the offer to have you buy something.  If you don’t buy today, you’re still on my list.  Hopefully you’ll buy in the future.

You’re going to do one of three things, buy, unsubscribe, or become an affiliate.  One of those three things is going to happen sooner or later.  Chances are, they’ll buy or be your affiliate for something.

Terry:

That’s fantastic.  You mentioned as well that you use joint ventures.  How do you start a joint venture?

Mike: 

So the call doesn’t get too long, I don’t want to bore people, I’ll try to make this one short and exciting.

Terry:

Take your time Mike.  We’re just all sitting on the edges of our chairs now.

Mike: 

Okay, great.  What I do for joint ventures is, guys like you, Terry, who I’ve built relationships with, whether we talk on messenger or through e-mail, I’ve done a promotion for you or you did one for me, or we met at a seminar, or something like that,  we start building that relationship. You’re more than just that person I did a joint venture with.

Some people become your true partners; the type of guy who will say to you, “I’m launching this site on Friday.  Can I count on you?”  And you’ll be there for them, because they were for you or vice versa.

I have a file on my desktop that says “JV.TXT.”  It has names and e-mail addresses of 25 people who I talk to on messenger and by e-mail.  Those are the people who I will say something like, “Hey guys, it’s Mike Filsaime. In all fairness, this is a blind carbon copy to 25 of you that I know very well, but I just wanted you to know that next week I’m going to be launching this, and will I be able to count on you?”

I track the people who reply and who don’t, and the ones who don’t I go back with a single e-mail and say, “Hey Terry, I know I sent you something last week, I apologize for the blind carbon copy, but I just wanted to let you know that Fire Sale Secrets is launching on Friday.  Here’s the deal.”  And I always make something special for my joint venture partners.

For Fire Sale Secrets, what I did, is I contacted these 25 people and said, “Please sign up for the site, it’s free.  When you do, please reply back to me because I’m going to upgrade you to JV partner.  What that means is for the rest of your life, if you promote the site, it’ll pay you $97 and it won’t pay me anything.  I’ll give you 100% commission on any sales that come through your affiliate link.”

So let’s say, you had done it, you could send it out to your subscribers, and everybody who joined the site and bought that one time offer, they would have paid you 100% commission of $97, and I wouldn’t have gotten anything out of that.

I wouldn’t have gotten any cash out of that, but it helped me build my list and all those people who joined would have become affiliates.  Now, they’ll start promoting the site and I’ll get the 50% from their efforts.  It’s basically the catalyst.  If you think about it, it’s kind of dumb for me to launch a site with my own list, because I’m just getting my own members to opt-in.  That’s why I said I never did much of a promotion for it.

It’s good to let my own members to know about it, because they tell their members, but I really wanted my joint venture partners to get the word out first.

The first thing about looking for joint venture partners, is always make sure that you’ve done something for them first, before you ask them to do anything.

So, if you’re going to approach somebody, approach potential JV partners who are at the same level as you.  There are the original internet marketing guys, then the second level guys, top gurus, mid level, and high level, and you know where you fit in.

You want to keep your joint venture partners in the same category.  Of course, you want to look up and down a little bit, but if you’re a brand new newbie starting out, you can’t always reach to the top guy.

Deal with the people you know in the forums, that you’ve sent private messages to and maybe this is when you want to approach somebody and say, “Hey.  I was an affiliate for your product, and I’m not sure if you know, but three weeks ago I did a promotion and I sold 11 of your products.  I have a new product coming out next week.”  You don’t ask them to become a joint venture partner right there.  You say, “What I’d like to know is, can I give you a complimentary copy of the product?”

Hopefully you get a reply. That’s what we call the ‘foot in the door.’  As soon as they reply, you’re going to get, “This is an automated response…” or you’re going to get, “Hey Tony, it’s Mike Filsaime, I’ll take a look at it and I’ll let you know.”  Then, you follow up with that person and say, “Great, any ideas that I should do on the sales copy?”

Maybe the person will respond and then you can say, “Great.  I hope you like it.  I know you’re busy, but I just wanted to know, I’m launching the site on Friday.  I’m not going to e-mail my members until Monday (I always want to make sure my joint venture partners make money before I do), can I count on you to send it out on Friday?”

Don’t get upset if the person says no, sometimes people are going to say no and maybe one day you’ll figure out why.  If they do get onboard, maybe you contact 100 people and 15 or 20 people say “yes,” that’s all you need to get started.

There will be a lot of people who say “yes” and don’t send it out.  Don’t get upset at them.  The truth is they forgot, or got in a fight with their husband/wife, their kid fell and scraped their knee.  Everyone always has bigger issues going on than what we think, so you have to be sympathetic to that.

You should always send a follow up reminder e-mail saying, “Hey, the site’s converting at 3%, just wanted to let you know in case you forgot.”

One other thing that I like to do, Terry, is to tell people that I’ll sign you up.  If they’re already an affiliate of mine, I’ll take their information and sign them up right away.  I get the e-mail copy for them, because if you’re busy, I think you would love for me to say, “Here’s the subject line, here’s the copy.  I know you may not be comfortable with copy and paste, but at least you have something to modify.

I also put your link in there for you.  Please tell me your PayPal e-mail address so I can update it.”  If somebody does that for me, I can guarantee that I’ll help him/her a lot better on a joint venture.

It’s not that I’m that busy, but sometimes it’s just tough to go in and set everything up and get your affiliate link.  If someone can just hand it to you on a silver platter… “Here’s your e-mail, here’s your subject line, send it out on Friday at 10 AM, and if you want me to remind you I will.”

It helps me help them, and I like to do that for my joint venture partners.  I found out I get a much better conversion when I go that extra step and supply them with the e-mail copy and their affiliate link and everything.

Terry:

Excellent.  That’s a fantastic point. A lot of people jump right into, “Can we do a joint venture?  Can you send this out?”

Mike: 

Yea.  I hope the person’s not listening, I certainly wouldn’t say their name, but they were sending me a joint venture e-mail and I deleted it three times and I didn’t even know it was them.  They finally got me on messenger and they said, “Hey, why didn’t you reply?”  And you know the reason why?  You know what the e-mail copy said?  The subject copy said, “Earn $5,000 in one e-mail.”

You know what it is?  It’s not about money for a lot of people.  I’m sure it’s like that with you, Terry.  I think I would insult you a little bit if I sent you an e-mail that said “Earn $5,000 in one e-mail.”  You don’t want to know how you’re going to earn $5,000.  You want to know what’s in it for your member, what’s in it for me, what’s the program?  Is it something good?  Are we selling them snake oil?  Or is it something they can really use?  And the fact that you’re saying, “Earn $5,000 from one e-mail,” dismisses everything else.

I just thought it was junk e-mail from a list I joined and I deleted it.  I found the best subject line is, “Hey Terry, it’s Mike.”  That’s it.  They always open it.  If you see that, you’re going to open it and I’ll say something like, “Hey Terry, it’s Mike.  I really enjoyed that call we did last week.  I just wanted you to know that in two weeks I’m launching X and I just wanted to know if you’re interested.

I’m not even going to tell you how much it pays, because I know that’s not really a concern to you right now.  If you are interested, we can get into those details further.”  I think, when you see something like that, you probably appreciate that more, that it’s not about the money.

You might e-mail me back and say, “Mike, I’m a little bit busy right now, but why don’t you give me a quick phone call and we’ll see.”  Again, you have to appreciate if someone says, “I’m doing something that week,” or, “I’m working on a project like that and think I’m going to do it in four months, and I don’t want it to conflict. I don’t want to give up any potential customers.”  I’d say, “Hey, no big deal.  I understand.  How are the wife and kids and are they still speaking English?”

People take it personally, I’ve seen people say, “I promoted that guy’s site and he won’t do the same for me.”  Hey, you know.  It happens all the time.

Terry:

So it’s about building relationships then?

Mike: 

Yes, that’s it.  Speaking of that, if you have the opportunity to get to an offline event, and by offline I mean a seminar or something like that. Try to make it.  There’s all different price ranges, but if one comes around to your part of the country, or in England or Australia or wherever you are, and you can make it, I’d recommend you make at least one a year if you can.

I know that not everybody can afford it, but if you know you’re getting a vacation and you see a seminar is coming up in three months, tell your boss you might need that week off.  Save up for it, because that’s where relationships are made.  The best thing about seminars is not sitting in the seats, it’s what happens out there in between during the breaks.  I think a lot of people don’t even realize that until they go.

Terry:

So you actually meet these people that you’re e-mailing all the time, you actually meet them face-to-face.

Mike: 

Yea.  It’s fun to have somebody walk right up to you, say I walked right up to you, Terry, and I said, “Hi, Terry,” and you look at me like you’re unsure.  I reply, “It’s me, Mike Filsaime,” and you’re like, “Oh, hey!  What’s going on?”

There’s something magical about meeting someone face-to-face and it takes it to that next level.  You find out who the real nice guys are out there, and who the jerks are.

Terry:

I think we’re fairly lucky that we don’t have too many jerks.  There are a lot of very nice, helpful people.

Mike: 

Yes, absolutely.

Terry:

Something else I’d like to just touch on is branding.  How could someone effectively brand a website with so much noise out there?

Mike: 

What I would do, Terry, is a couple of things.  Number one: get yourname.com.  If you don’t have terrytelford.com or mikefilsaime.com, get it, because one day somebody will have it and once they have it you will never get it.

What I would recommend to do at yourname.com is set up a blog, because a blog is dynamic and constantly changing.  People will always want to come back and see what your latest article is.  If you set up a static page, and static means that you’ve seen it once and you don’t need to see it again, because it’s not going to change, people see your site and they don’t feel a need to come back.  So, what I would tell people to do, is create your site, make your index page a blog, and use movabletype.org, wordpress.org, wordpress.com, blogger.com, to integrate into your own website as well.

Also, create nice content.  You can do promotions, but create content.  At my site I have links that say “about me,” so people can learn more about me and my family.  Then, they’re “my sites,” “affiliate programs,” “newsletter,” “forums,” “contact me,” and “news page,” which is the index.  Put a picture of yourself up on your website and let people know who you are.  If you take a look at mikefilsaime.com at Alexa, it was at about 7,000 which is a tremendously high Alexa ranking for just a person’s name.

Terry:

Yea.

Mike: 

There are a couple of things that I do to get traffic. It’s definitely not all just from people typing my name into a search engine.  I keep my newsletter at mikefilsaime.com.  If the e-mails keep coming from mike@mikefilsaime.com, people start to recognize your name. I always tell people to brand their name and not their website.

If your website is internetmarketingsuccesscenter.com, that’s a great name, but you end up being known as Joe from Internet Marketing Success Center.  You should be known as Joe Williams, if that’s your real name.

What I tell people to do is to e-mail from their own name’s website, so people are always seeing your name.  The other thing I do is, I have a tool that I recently promoted called powerlinkgenerator.com, and basically what that does is it allows me to create a folder on my directory (server) at mikefilsaime.com and I call it “recommends.”  You can call it “presents,” “introduces,” “recommends,” or something like that.  I can take an affiliate link and I create a campaign.  I pop the link in and, let’s say I was promoting the Mega Seminar.  The Mega Seminar link was one of these things that said something like, mcc.fs.cgibin, like we were talking about before, one of those ugly links.

People don’t like to click on them; certainly not if it’s like infoproducts.com/affiliate=1174, or affiliate= anything like that.  People have this thing that, “Okay maybe I’ll look at it, but if I buy it, you’re not making money off of me.”  And they remove your affiliate ID and it drops that cookie.  Even without that, what my software does, and it’s what I used to do for a long time, is it just creates a redirect URL, but it also increases the click through.  My URLs will say something like mikefilsaime.com/recommends/infoproductsfortune or mikefilsaime.com/recommends/megaseminar.  So now it looks like I’m either recommending, introducing, or presenting, and it also removes that affiliate link.

The other thing that happens is, when they click on it, it goes to my domain and redirects.  This means that it also increases the traffic to my site, which also increases my Alexa ranking as well.  So, that’s a great way to start branding yourself.  It’s a very simple thing. Just get out there with your domain name, set up your newsletter on your domain and put a blog on your domain.

You could have something instead of Power Link Generator, it doesn’t have to be that, but the bottom line is it creates a very good-looking link that says, “Mike Filsaime Recommends _______ (fill in the blank).”  It gets rid of those ugly affiliate links.

Everybody seems to be using their own type of server based affiliate program and all these ugly cgibinphp affiliate links that just look horrible.  When I started using this, my click through started skyrocketing and my affiliate commissions stopped getting stolen and I didn’t seem to be insulting my affiliates, because they knew that I was recommending it.

It’s okay to be recommending it, but to be an affiliate is bad news, because the affiliate link shows that one way or another, you’re making money on the person.  We’re all in the same business. I just found that these links work a lot better.

Another thing I would recommend for branding is, if you’re going to sign up in forums, don’t sign up with a nickname like Scooby Snacks or something. That’s a mistake I’ve made when I was in the car business.  My business was signanddrive, so I used that in the Warrior Forum, but I would probably be better off being known as Mike Filsaime.

In the forums, make sure you use your own name and that will help brand you.  You definitely want to get out into the forums and that helps people know who you are.

If you go to listdotcom.com, I got a new signature that I just put up there.  It’s just a quick little trick that I can teach people how to make a signature like that.  I just went to Microsoft Paint, and I clicked on “blue” and I clicked on “thick marker”, and with my mouse I just wrote out my name, and I saved it as an image (a gif file).

So, if people are wondering how they can get their signature to look like an image, they can do that.  I found out that blue converts better than black, so use the blue color.  Put your pictures up on your websites also.  I’m notorious for having terrible pictures online and I think I have to come to the realization that I’m just not that good looking (laughing).  But yea, get your pictures online.

If a forum allows you to upload a picture, do it.  Make sure it’s on your website, make sure it’s on the bottom of your websites next to your signature and let people start getting familiar with your name.  It’s a great way to start branding yourself.

You’ll notice that some people do it better than others.  You start saying, “How come I see this guy everywhere?”  Well, he’s conscious of it and he’s making you see him everywhere.  Then, people start getting more comfortable with you.

You’ll start hearing things. I used to hear it at seminars, someone would say, “Hey, do you know Mike Filsaime?”  And they would say, “I see your name all over the place, and I see your picture, but I’m not sure what website you have.”  That’s not a bad thing to hear. That means you’re doing a good job getting your name out there and you can establish a trust when you do have an offer to make with them.

Terry:

Exactly.  Oh, that’s fantastic.  It’s a recognition factor.

Mike: 

Yea.

Terry:

That’s beautiful.  Last thing I’d like to ask you about, Mike, is about setting up a membership site.  If somebody is going to attempt to set up a membership site, where would you start?

Mike: 

Scriptlance.com is where I started.

Terry:

Okay.

Mike: 

There are a couple of things that you need to know.  What I would recommend you do is to really study the site the way that you want it.  I wouldn’t try to do a two paragraph description; I want a site that does this, integrates blogs, allows members to have an affiliate link, and e-mail each other.

If you do that, you’re going to get a piece of garbage.  You really need to make a mind map; get away from the computer for an hour, get an old legal pad, get your pen out, and create every page on the site and how they’re all going to work.  Then, get that description over to scriplance.com and make sure that you put something in the description like, “This is not the complete site, but I think it gives you an idea of what I want.  I may make some small changes as we go on.  If you’re going to charge me for those small changes, please don’t bid.”  That’s very important.

Some of these guys are good guys, but they’ll start nickel and diming you. They’ll take the job for $400 and you’ll be at $900 when you’re done, because you wanted to add links or something.  These guys won’t try to take advantage of you, but if you give, they’ll take.  So, stay strong in where you want to be, and you can get out in $400 or $500 with a real nice product.

Like eBay, I can’t tell you who to pick, but the better the rating, the better the chance you have of getting somebody good.  You can even see some of their sites that they’ve done.  Sometimes you can go to a site and within three seconds realize if it’s quality or not.

Script Lance I like for a membership sites. You can go to elance.com – you’ll pay a little bit more, but you’ll probably get better quality.  Rentacoder.com is good too, but I don’t really like their interface, it’s a little intimidating.

If you find a good programmer, in Romania or India or somewhere like that, and they’re that good, make him/her your partner.  My partner gets 15% of my income, because this guy is a genius. Without a doubt, he makes more money than the president of Romania.  A lot of people might think that I overpay him, but I don’t think so, because I’m nothing without this guy.  I can launch membership sites or any script and just tell him, “Do me a favor.  You know how we have this at J V Network?  Copy that script onto this domain that I just registered yesterday.  I need you to set up a split payment and a thank you page.”  He understands perfectly.  We work so close together.

It’s kind of like that car dealer mentality. The car dealer’s wife says, “You’re paying your general manager $200,000 a year.”  Well, go out and get someone who gets paid $100,000 a year.  The bottom-line is you pay them some of your profits.  You’d want to pay your general manager $1,000,000 a year, because he’s making you that much more money then.  It’s the same thing with my programmer, the more I pay him, the more money I’m making.  I’d love to pay him $10,000,000, because then I know I’ve made myself $150,000,000.

Terry:

That’s right.  If you have that attitude, it’s a beautiful thing.  I believe it was David Ogilvy, who said in the advertising industry, normally you’re paying your ad agency a 15% commission.  As a customer, if you tell your ad agency that you’re going to pay them a 16% commission, you get 100% better work for 1% and it makes no difference to your bottom-line.  You’re keeping the exact same thinking.

Mike: 

My wife used to say that to me.  We’ve had some good months, and we’ve launched some sites and done some one time offers.  I’ve spoken about them before so I’ll say the numbers.  We’ve had a $33,000 day.  One time we had a total sale of $75,000 in a day.  We’ve had a couple months that we made over $100,000 in a month.

There were times where I had to go to my bank and wire transfer $15,000 to Romania at one time just to pay this kid.  His father is the president of a bank and he makes $500 a month.  A schoolteacher in Romania makes $150-$200 a month.  It didn’t hurt me at all to send him that money.  Any time I’m paying him, I’ve made the 85%.  My wife at first was like, “How could you send him $15,000.”  But she doesn’t understand, because he’s part of my team. I can’t do this without him and he can’t do it without me.  We’re the perfect yin yang together.  He’s the programmer and I’m the marketer and together we can work very fast.

That’s another type of outsourcing.  Say I knew how to program and I spent my time doing a program, I wouldn’t have time to do the marketing.  If anybody gets to that point where they get a good programmer keep him/her.  If you can think it, it can be done.  All you have to do is get somebody who knows what they’re doing.  I had to grab this guy when I saw him.  I sent him an e-mail that said, “Your life is going to change today.”  He always jokes about how it really did.

We had such a good relationship that in January I got on a plane to Amsterdam, then to Hungary, then to Romania and spent a week out there with him and we became good friends.  We’ve been together over a year now.  We plan on going places.  We keep creating some really good membership sites.  We’ve committed to not just creating membership sites just because we can. We’re slowing down a little bit, trying to keep the quality up and working on the sites that we have.

We’ve gotten so busy that he’s gotten two other Romanian guys that I pay.  I told him not to tell the other guys what he makes, because I pay the other two guys $500 a month and they’re doing cartwheels in the street.

Terry:

That is absolutely fantastic.  Just before we wrap it up Mike, do you have anything else you’d like to share?  Any other quick, little points?

Mike: 

Yea.  This really isn’t a plug, because the site is not out yet, but if anybody is interested in what we spoke about today, in August I’m coming out with a product called butterflymarketing.com.  What it’s going to be is a report or manuscript of all the ways I’ve taken viral marketing, outsourcing, branding, one time offers, and everything we talked about.  I’m going to put a manuscript together of all the case studies of all my sites.  The site is also going to come with four things.  It’s going to come with three scripts; the script that I use for the Fire Sale Secrets, so anyone could have their own viral product that they can give away and have an up sell on the backend and pay affiliates.  I’m also going to give away a script that I use for split sales, that Mike Rasmussen used recently to make $80,000 in ten days, and that I’ve made over $50,000 with.  This basically runs your affiliate program for you and has a membership area.  Your affiliate gets paid half the money and you get paid half the money instantly, which is a key for some of those sales, because instant gratification is great.

If you make people wait 60 days and wait for refunds and all that type of stuff, they’ll send the promotion but they won’t send the second one.  When someone sends out a promotion and sees that they made ten sales at $98 so they just made $1,000, they’ll send the e-mail out again tomorrow as a follow-up.  That script will be included, to run a fire sale.

I had a script that we made for something called the freeadvertisinggiveaway.com, and that allowed us to get 120 advertisers together to give away free advertising.  They’ve launched the site with us.  Michael Rasmussen and I made $80,000 that we split with that site over 28 days.  We also made a list of 21,000 people.

That script is going to be included, but the biggest charm of all is going to be the Butterfly Marketing script.  It’s going to be a wizard. You’ll be able to create a membership site in a box.  It will ask you, “What do you want to collect?”  And you’ll check off, “first name,” “last name,” “address,” “phone number,” “PayPal information,” “e-mail information,” etc.

It will also ask you if you want an affiliate program, if you want it to be one level or two level, if you want to split or do mass pay at the end, and if will you take PayPal or Stormpay.  You will be able to make up an entire membership site and all you’ll do is write the sales copy and pop it into the template.

It will install itself onto your server, so, if you wanted to have a site like J V Network or listdotcom or No More Hits or Traffic Swarm or something like that, you could have the membership made, probably 90% or 95%, and then you could go to Script Lance and get someone to do the personal modifications for like $100 or something.  So, that will be out in August; we’re just finishing up with that right now.

Terry:

Wow.

Mike: 

Yea, that’s going to be a nice package.  For the people that know they can take their marketing somewhere with their ideas, we’ll take advantage of that.

Terry:

And just to put that in perspective, Mike, when I first started to put together the membership site for the Business Professional, I went about it backwards. It was the first time I’d built a membership website. So I bought my scripts, then I went to get a programmer to put them together.  This is obviously backwards. You shouldn’t do that.  But, I had three separate scripts, and I went to get a programmer to get all the scripts to talk together, and it didn’t work.

Mike: 

What he probably ended up doing is saying, “Let me custom design one exactly the way you want it.

Terry:

Yup.  That’s how it ended up working out.  I ended up getting a programmer from freelancer.com and he put it all together using the concepts that I’d come up with.

Mike: 

You know what happens?  Each of these scripts is 90% of what you want, and the other 10% renders them useless.

Terry:

Exactly.

Mike: 

And like you said, trying to get them to talk to each other is not easy, because they use different databases and affiliate links.  So, we get frustrated, because at first, we see the membership site and think that it’s very professional, and say, “No, no, no.  I like it, it does what I need.  But I’d really like you to modify this code.”  They say, “Well, I could do it for you, I’ll start from scratch.”  Which scares us, but when you put your trust in these guys, they know what they’re doing. Most of them at least.

They can really get you the product the way that you want it, so sometimes it’s better.  That’s the good thing about Butterfly Marketing – the shell will help you have a membership site up on your server in ten minutes.  And, it will function for 100% of the people who just want to have an affiliate program with a member’s area.  It will have banners, it will ask about the type of tools that you want to provide to the people with.  You can create e-mail campaigns, banner campaigns, safe list campaigns, tell-a-friend, and everything.

All the viral things we have in Butterfly Marketing will be there.  If you want to actually convert this thing into a traffic exchange like Instant Buzz, No More Hits, Traffic Swarm, or something like that, certainly it can be taken and customized from that point.  It will just give you that shell where it’s very easy to customize, and I think people are going to be really excited about it.

Terry:

Absolutely.  That’s fantastic.  Just to get my software in order, before I paid for programming, it was at about $1,000. Then I started to get the programming done, and by the time I realized that it was backwards, I was up to about $3,000. So, if you can start off with something like the Butterfly Marketing, you're way ahead.

Mike: 

Yea, it’s not going to be cheap. Cheap is a word you never want to be associated with.  It is, however, going to be a great value at $997.  We’ll probably sell 1,000 or 1,500 of them, I haven’t decided yet.  We’re not going to let everybody have one. It’s not going to be out there forever.  We’re going to do a big joint venture, kind of like John Reese did with Traffic Secrets.

Everybody’s going to know about it for two or three days and hopefully we can sell it out.  It’s going to be a lot more than just those four scripts and the book. I’m going to be doing some camtasia videos, and there’ll be DVDs of me on stage at some speaking events.

I’m also going to do some top interviews. I can’t name the people right now, I haven’t asked them yet, but some top names and some of them I’ve mentioned on this call.  This includes top traffic people who know their stuff, a top guy in copy writing that has a very similar name to me, Mark Joyner, and names like that.  There will be five bonus interviews that will be on CDs about different Butterfly Marketing techniques.

I refer to it as Butterfly Marketing, because it has to do with the Butterfly Effect in weather. A butterfly flapping its wings can have a small effect on the weather today, but in time, actually change a tropical storm into a sunny day half way around the world.

Butterfly Marketing means that the small things you do to your business today can have a dramatic effect on your income in the long term.  That’s the term I wanted to coin, Butterfly Marketing.

When I do these interviews with these other top marketers for the bonus CDs, we’re going to be talking about butterfly effects that you can do in copywriting, traffic tips and stuff like that, so we can make it a really good course with these scripts.  I truly believe that this will be one of the best values out there for the person who knows they have what it takes to take it forward.  Again, butterflymarketing.com is coming soon.  Hopefully, everybody will hear about it by then.

Terry:

Absolutely.  Well thanks very much for your time Mike; it’s been an absolute pleasure.  You’ve just packed our time together with so many “secrets” which are really just ways that you organize your information.

Mike: 

Yea.  It’s only a secret when you’ve never heard about it.  So, anybody who has never heard this before, I’m glad that they got to hear it.  I’m one of those guys that gives you everything I know.  If it’s 15 minutes or an hour, I’m going to give you the best 15 minutes or hour I can.”  I’ve been blessed, you’ve been blessed, and we just want to help people along the way.  So, I’m glad we were able to do that.

Terry:

Absolutely.  Thank you very much Mike.  You’ve been listening to Mike Filsaime from mikefilsaime.com and myself, Terry Telford, from TerryTelford.com.  Thanks very much for your time.

 

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