EFP 51: 7 Action Items For New Entrepreneurs

Justin Cooke

June 13, 2013

Being a new entrepreneur probably isn’t as scary as having all of the US intelligence agencies after you, but it still can be rough.

Dealing with picking a market, defining your offer, and self-doubt are just a few of the issues that can weigh you down.

7 Action Items For Every Entrepreneur

In this episode, Joe and I wanted to break down some of the counter-intuitive realities we’ve faced in our business and share with you some of the tactics and strategies you can use to hit the ground running with your business. While this episode is for those of you getting started on your journey, some of you old-time entrepreneurs will find yourselves nodding your heads and smiling as we lay out some of our own personal challenges in building our empire.

Go on…have a listen!

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

Direct Download – Right Click, Save As

Quotables:

“In the online space, your market is the WORLD!” – Joe – Click To Tweet!

“You probably aren’t going to build the next spaceship…” – Justin – Click To Tweet!

“If they don’t understand what you do, they won’t share you with anyone they know.” – Justin – Click To Tweet!

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Narrowing Your Scope (FTW)
  • Singles & Doubles Are Fine
  • Clear Up Your Value Proposition
  • Taking Your Offer UpTown
  • Stop Hiding Behind The Math
  • Branched Profit Streams > New Profit Streams

Mentions:

Are you starting off on your entrepreneurial journey or do you have a new business you’re working on? Give us a shout on Twitter or let us know how you’re doing in the comments below!

 


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Speaker 1:           Welcome to the Empire Flippers Podcast. Are you sick and tired of gurus who have plenty of ideas but are short on substance? Worry that e-book you bought for $17.95 won’t bring you the personal and financial freedom you long for? Hey, you’re not alone. Join thousands of others in their pursuit of niche profits without the bullshit. Straight from your hosts, Justin and Joe from Empire Flippers.

Justin:                   Welcome to episode 51 of the Empires Flippers Podcast. I am your host, Justin Cooke, and I’m here with Joe hot money Magnotti. What is going on, my man?

Joe:                        I was hot at the poker tables last night, too.

Justin:                   Yeah, buddy, you won like a grand in one night, huh?

Joe:                        Yeah, it was good. I was just on the way home, thought I’d stop in and 7:00 A.M. later, I’m a thousand dollars up.

Justin:                   Boss. You look a little hungover, man. You’re a little beat from the night.

Joe:                        It was a long night.

Justin:                   All right, so we’ve got a great episode lined up for you this week. We’re gonna be talking about seven tactics for your business to hit the ground running. We’re gonna really dig into these, and some of these are kind of counterintuitive, so if you’re at the beginning stages of getting your business started, or maybe just moving into delivery for your customers, this will be a fantastic episode for you.

                                Before we do that, let’s do some updates, news, and info. First thing, buddy, we got three new iTunes review from the U.S., buddy.

Joe:                        Hit me up.

Justin:                   So let’s take a look.

                                All right, so the first one we’ve got is from Brian McGovern who says, “First on my list, so well structured and no fluff. These guys respect their listeners and consistently deliver actionable ideas.”

                                Next one, who’s got a great podcast from Will35010. A zip code?

Joe:                        Man.

Justin:                   Says, “I love the podcast and listen every week.”

                                Next one, oh my God, [Business Before Pleasure 00:01:38]. “This podcast is horrible, uh, oop- I mean amazing. These guys are the truth. They’re probably the best two-person podcast team.”

                                That is boss. Well, thanks, you guys. Really appreciate the five-star iTunes reviews.

Joe:                        Thank you so much.

Justin:                   Next point I wanna talk about is we’ve got a winner, buddy, for our niche site giveaway.

Joe:                        Okay, everybody, pull over because we don’t want anyone crashing. The last guys said he almost crashed the car, so please, if you’re listening to this, and you were in the contest, pull over.

Justin:                   So we got three potential countries, and the winner is from the UK, buddy.

Joe:                        Hit me up.

Justin:                   So our winner, Mark Burgess from the UK. Says “a must listen for business. Brilliant show, makes me laugh and has loads of online business advice. It’s like listening to two of your best mates.”

                                Well, Mark, two of your best mates are just giving you a niche site. Make sure to contact us via e-mail, info@empireflippers.com. We’ll hook ya up!

Joe:                        Yeah, we’ll get our team right on it.

Justin:                   Next point I wanna talk about is our podcast numbers are down in June, buddy.

Joe:                        Yeah, really weird. I saw that you se-mailed Libsyn about it, you thought maybe it was a tech issue, but they’ve looked into it, and that’s not the case, huh?

Justin:                   Yeah, so, here’s the deal. It was about 1/3 of the way through June, and I noticed downloads on our old episodes, 25, 26, whatever, were at like 1/10 of what they were in May, right? So that seems odd to me. They should be around 1/3, right? So I found out that someone else has the same problem, and they’re hosted with Libsyn, so I reached out to Libsyn, and they said, “No, no, no, our reporting is fine.” And then I asked a few other people, and they thought maybe it’s ’cause it’s summer?

Joe:                        That seems like a really weak argument.

Justin:                   Strange. But I went back last year, I noticed that April, we went from like 16,000 to May we went to 13,000, and June was like 11,000, so it did drop off. I don’t know, we’ll see, but if you guys are having trouble with deliverability or something, do shoot us an e-mail or leave us a comment, and let us know.

Joe:                        Yeah, we’ll jump on those Libsyn guys.

Justin:                   Next point I wanted to cover is we’ve got some great news. We sold our premium e-commerce site for sale buddy.

Joe:                        Yeah, man our first premium deal was pretty good. I’m very happy about it. There was a little back-and-forth over the contract, but once we got it signed and inked, it’s a done deal.

Justin:                   It took a little longer than we were expecting. Well, we were hoping it would go a little sooner, but I think with a deal at that price point, it’s gonna take a little more time. I mean, someone really wants to dig into it and really figure it out, and I think that’s a smart move. We’re looking forward to our next premium site, so if anyone has other sites that are premium that are full business-in-a-box or job-in-a-box type sites, do get in contact. We’d love to list [inaudible 00:04:12].

Joe:                        And Dan and Ian, if you’re listening to this, come on over to the Philippines, and let’s party party.

Justin:                   Yeah, buddy, it’s party time, man. Sold your site. We need to party.

                                Next point I wanted to mention, and this is pretty crazy, but you may or may not have heard about the whole NSA deal, where it’s recently come to light there’s a whistle blower who’s now in Hong Kong right now, hiding out. But he basically admitted that the NSA has been tracking everything, so they’ve got deals with Verizon tracking all the metadata from every phone call on the Version network. They’ve supposedly, allegedly, worked out deals with Google, Apple, Microsoft, and they’re tracking everything. E-mails, everything.

Joe:                        I know you probably did a lot more deep-diving on this than I did, but from what I understand, the guy was a subcontractor of the NSA. He worked as a subcontractor for only three months.

Justin:                   No, he worked for the NSA for four years before that, buddy. I mean, this is big. Here’s the thing: everyone knows the NSA’s tracking stuff. I mean, that’s not terribly surprising. But the depth to which they’re doing it and the amount of data, and the fact that these- Here’s one of the problems. Like, Google, they all kinda came out and said, “Look, we didn’t do it. We didn’t do it. We didn’t do it.” But the wording- Now they’re going after them for the wording, thinking that maybe they’re legally bound to say they didn’t do it.

Joe:                        Yeah, still, I’d like to see this law, this secret law that says that Google and these other companies have to give all this data over to the NSA, and if the law is that secret, then how are they gonna use this evidence against me in court? They’re not gonna be able to because it would be obtained illegally. So my point is, what good does it do?

Justin:                   Here’s the argument, is that they’re gonna be able to go back, because they’re storing it, a lot of it is encrypted, so they’re storing it for five years, six years, until they have fast enough computers to go back and break the encryption codes. The encryption codes today, they may not have the computer for that for ten years, but the encryption codes from five years ago, six years ago, they may have the computers here soon. So they’re gonna be able to like paint a picture of you at some point in the future, and go back and paint a picture. Either way, it’s an interesting debate between liberty and security, so-

Joe:                        It is, but I tell you, this kid, who, by the way, disappeared from his hotel today, I saw on the news, in the famous words of Charles Ramsey, he’s got some big testicles.

Justin:                   Anyway, man, so, another point we wanted to bring up, you had jury duty, buddy? What’s going on with this?

Joe:                        Yeah, what the? You know, I got a notice that I’m supposed to be summoned for jury duty in Las Angeles, so I don’t know how I’m gonna get out of this one. I mean, I told them I’m out of the country, but if they want me to show up, what am I gonna do? Jump on a plane and go over there and be like, “Hey, yeah, I live in the Philippines, and I wanted to do my civic duty, but I have to get all the way over there?”

Justin:                   You know it’s some crappy DUI case or something, too. They’re gonna be, “You fly back to the U.S., buddy, that’s so funny!” Anyway, let’s get right into the heart of this week’s episode.

Speaker 1:           This is the Empire Flippers Podcast.

Justin:                   So this episode’s all about seven tactics for your business to hit the ground running. We specifically wanted to do it for people who are starting off in their entrepreneurial journey, they’re just starting off building out their business, to kind of give them some actionable strategies they can use to build out their business, based on our experience. Now, we’re not gonna say this is the only way to do it, and some of these are pretty counterintuitive, and people tell you different things, but we wanted to at least share our experience and tell you how we’ve won it, and how we would go about doing it again, or are going about doing it again.

Joe:                        Yeah, and I think that you can again a lot from the experience that we’ve had starting businesses and failing, and then being a little bit successful ourselves, so some of these tips should be definitely useful, but pick and choose the ones you want.

Justin:                   So let’s get into the first point. The first point is narrow your scope. The point here is to really niche down further than you think is possible, right? Don’t do a business about selling apps, or building apps, for example. Don’t do that. Do a business about building mobile websites for dentists.

Joe:                        Yeah, and this is a Dan Andrews thing, right? He talks about this all the time, and [inaudible 00:08:10] love about us was the AdSense Flippers. What do they do? They create adsense sites and flip them. When we were the AdSense Flippers, but anyway. I think it’s very important to be very specific in picking your niche because that’s how you’ll be successful. Doesn’t mean later that you can’t branch out a little bit more, but in the beginning, you wanna be as specific as possible.

Justin:                   Let’s say you have an audience in the U.S., and you’re only targeting the U.S., but you’re gonna end up pulling in people from other countries, too, as well probably. Three-hundred million people. So you’re looking at 1%. That’s still three million people. You should go even further than that. 1/10 of 1% is 300,000 people for your target market. That’s plenty. In fact, you can go even deeper than that.

Joe:                        Yeah, I mean, if you have an offline business, like a car wash, I understand having to be general. I understand having to have a lot of different things in the store when people are watching their car get washed and stuff like that. You have a specific population you have to stick to, but in the online world, man, your market is the world, so you really do need to be very specific.

Justin:                   Yeah, another good example of this in the retail space, a silly example, but look at In-N-Out, right? In-N-Out on the west coast. They just kill it! Every time you go to In-N-Out, it’s just packed. The drive-through is like forever, right? But they sell amazing burgers.

Joe:                        I miss those burgers.

Justin:                   Amazing burgers, dude. That’s what they do. Now they’ve added a few other things after the fact, but they’ve made a shit-ton of money just selling amazing burgers, right? And not trying to compete with all the different product lines and that kind of stuff. Really nicheing it down is important, and I think a lot of people are scared. “Well, if I go too narrow, right, then am I missing out on a lot of opportunity? Am I totally stuck talking about that narrow field?” No! You can talk about other things.

Joe:                        Yeah, I mean, look at is, we were the AdSense Flippers. Now we became the Empire Flippers. We branched out, we changed a little, but I think in the beginning, the part that made us so successful was that we really stuck to our guns and were specific on what we did.

Justin:                   And even this podcast is not talking about building, buying, or selling niche websites, right?

Joe:                        Right.

Justin:                   It’s not talking about that particular profit stream. We’re branching out beyond that in the podcast, and you can do the same thing with your content, so just because you’re narrowly focused and do that in the beginning doesn’t mean that you can’t step outside of it later. Enough about that.

                                Second point. Singles and doubles are fine. I had a conversation with someone a while back that was kind of mad at us, buddy, was saying, “You know, it’s crazy that you guys are talking about building small businesses. You’re thinking way too small. You guys need to-” We, as in we, you and I, but them as well need to start thinking about how we can create the next Facebook or how we can do this or how we can do that, and honestly, I know what I think about that, buddy. I’m looking at your face. I know what you think about it, too. It’s ridiculous. I mean, sure. Sure. There are people that do that. We need the Elon Musks of the world to just go out there and build amazing shit, but that’s not us. That’s not most of you. You could do amazing things in your space, but you’re probably not gonna build the next spaceship, right? You’re probably not gonna be doing that.

Joe:                        Yeah, I mean, I love this tip, and it probably goes against what a lot of the gurus and a lot of the things you read in books out there say, but it’s so true, man. I mean, getting a couple of singles and doubles under your belt, successes early on, is just really important to getting your business going. And building up that momentum that you may not have later on.

Justin:                   Yeah, I want a higher chance of success, and there are plenty of funded startups [inaudible 00:11:35], but if you’re a boot strapper, if you’re building your first business, or maybe you’ve had a couple other attempts, but you’re looking to build another business again, you’re probably not gonna head down the road where you need to expand so quickly that you need $15 million worth of funding in the next 12 months. You’re not gonna build a $300 million company in the next 18-24 months. Some people do it, but that’s not us, and it’s probably not you if you’re listening to this podcast.

                                So your better option is to build a profitable revenue stream that’s extremely niched down. Speaking of this, this is going back to point one a bit, Joe, but when you niche down, you really wanna own the marketplace, and it’s hard to own, to be the guy talking about apps.

Joe:                        Right.

Justin:                   You’re not gonna be the guy talking about apps, but you could be the guy talking about apps for attorneys.

Joe:                        Yes.

Justin:                   Right? And let’s say you’re an attorney or you went to law school but you didn’t actually pass the bar, whatever, you have experience in that niche, be the app guy for that niche.

Joe:                        Yeah, and then when you succeed in that, you can use that, you can leverage that for something else for spreading out or finding another related revenue stream, which is something we’ll get into in one of our other points, that’s closely related to that success. But if you don’t do that, if you try to go too broad, and you have a failure, you’re gonna think that your business model is flawed, when it may not be.

Justin:                   Yeah. Here’s the thing, Joe. Tell me this, do you wanna talk, dude, do you [inaudible 00:12:52], do we want to have a conversation with someone who’s kinda this general app guy, or the guy who is the guy for attorneys in app space?

Joe:                        Absolutely the attorney.

Justin:                   That guy! He’s killin’ it! He is the guy. I wanna talk to the man in that space. You have a much better chance of being the man if you’re way niched down. It’s a single. It’s maybe a double, right? If you’re talking about that. But there’s enough money in that where you can branch into other streams, which is a later point, and we’ll get to that in a minute.

                                Our third point is have a clear value proposition. A lot of times, you hear people say, “Look, you know, I’m building the next-” And the [Voos Guys 00:13:27] joke about this all the time. “I’m gonna build the next. It’s gonna be like an Airbnb, but it’s gonna have elements of Facebook, and it’s gonna have some Craigslist twinge to it.” What the hell are you talking about? I have no idea what that means.

Joe:                        Yeah, if you can’t succinctly state what your business does in two sentences, you’ve got problems.

Justin:                   Yeah, drop-dead copy, right? I know exactly what he does. He does copy writing specifically e-mail chains. He kills it with e-mail chains. He is the guy in e-mail chain, e-mail marketing copy. I know exactly what he does. It’s a very clear value proposition. It solves a real and specific problem.

Joe:                        I think mission statements are overvalued and basically a marketing twist, but in this case, they do have some value. This is the kind of thing that you’re talking about. You should be able to sit down, and in a couple sentences describe exactly what you do, clearly and succinctly.

Justin:                   And here’s the thing: when you run across other people that may have opportunity for you, either to get you a new audience, new customers, they can share your information, and they might be buyers, if they don’t really understand what you do, there’s no way they’re gonna go off and share that with anyone they know, right? Because they don’t really know. I like to be able to say, “This guy edits podcasts.” It’s not sexy, it’s not this like, “Oh my God, Facebook and whatever and Twitter mixed with-” No, he edits podcasts, that’s what he does, but it’s very specific.

Joe:                        And when you need a podcast edited or you know someone that needs on edited, you’re gonna go to him because he’s the podcast editor.

Justin:                   Absolutely. So being very specific and having a very clear value proposition and be able to tell people what you do is key.

                                Our next point, our fourth point, is to go upmarket with your offer. There’s this lure, there’s this, I think suck, where people that are new, they’re just starting off in industry, and they’re trying to build up experience. One of the next steps they try and do is to sell down to the people that are right below them, so they’ve got a little bit of experience and they wanna sell downmarket, right? In the make-money-online bizops space, you’ll see this a lot with people that have read a couple of e-books and then decide to turn around and sell an e-book for $7 or $19.95.

                                First off, you don’t wanna be buying from these people who just read a couple other books and are now trying to sell you a book for $20. That’s why, if you’re listening to this, you know that we’re pretty adamantly against that, but the second thing is, you don’t wanna be that guy, either. If you’ve taken a step up, it’s seductive to be able to talk to people that are brand new, because you know a little bit more than them, you can sell to them, and that seems like the easy route, but it’s a weak-ass route. It’s not the path to take.

                                Your better option is to talk to people who are making waves in the space. Go way upmarket and see what kind of problems they’re having. Find someone who is killing it and see, like, are they having trouble with conversions? Are they having trouble with their podcast? Is their editing not great? Can you help them in that regard? Is there copy bad? The lifestyle business guys, you take a look at their podcast or site, one of their other e-commerce sites or whatever, and you find some issues, and maybe you can help them out with. These are guys you wanna work with.

Joe:                        I think this is a really great tip because if we had known that in the beginning when we started doing businesses, imaging in the mortgage business, if we had gone upmarket like that, and had tried to find solutions for high-end salespeople in the mortgage space, we would have been so much more successful than just trying to give out high splits an make a buck.

Justin:                   Yeah, those guys made it through the storm. The guys that were killing it that had been in the business a long time made it through the storm, so if we could have made it easier for them and better supported them with tools, with people, that kind of thing, it would have been way, way better for our business. That would have been a smart move for us. Anyway, go upmarket. Look for people that have the business that you’d like to have someday that are in a really good position, and see what you can do to better serve them. You’re gonna be so much better rewarded.

                                Our fifth point is don’t hide behind the math.

Joe:                        Paralysis through analysis. How often do we see this? People saying, “Hey, you know, we have to wait for the numbers to come in.” “Hey, it’s gonna take another 60 days to get those kind of numbers.” Oh my God, I mean, just make a decision already.

Justin:                   I think people rely too heavily on the science, and they don’t look at the art. Our big arguments, when we were working in the U.S. for the company we worked for, Joe, two big arguments, one of which was with one of the analytics guys. He would say, “Look, we nee to wait another nine to 12 months to really figure out how this plays out. We don’t know what our lifetime value of a customer is. We need to wait another year, and then we’ll have much better numbers to make better decisions.” Yeah, I get that, but we need to make decisions for our business now. We can’t just hang out for a year. Maybe if you’re fricking Microsoft, yeah, you have the time to play those games, but you don’t have that kind of time when you’re starting off. You need to make some estimations and go with your gut. Have an idea, have the best idea you can, and maybe it’s not statistically significant, but roll with it.

Joe:                        Data’s important, and I think you should be tracking it and collecting it, and using it to help your decision, but don’t use it as an excuse to put off an important decision. I think that’s out point here, and that’s really what you guys have to remember, especially when you’re small and starting out, sitting on data and just waiting for it to come through is not a right way to do business.

Justin:                   The second argument that I always have, this is pretty regular, is an argument about how many variables there are, whether you can make a decision based on too many variables. There are always too many variables. You can’t get it down to isolating one simple variable in a real business. It just doesn’t happen.

Joe:                        I would say we made this mistake a little bit with IntelliTheme, when were going to launch IntelliTheme publicly-

Justin:                   This was when we were beta testing.

Joe:                        Yeah, when we were beta testing, we kept saying, “Oh, we gotta test it again. We made some changes. We gotta test it again.” Well, it’s gonna take a significant amount of time period for us to have statistical data analysis, right? We just kept putting off the launch, kept putting off the launch, kept putting off the launch, until Google made changes and all these kind of things. Well, you know what? If we had just launched and said, “Here’s the product. Here’s what it does. It’s very valuable.” I think we-

Justin:                   We could have iterated quicker.

Joe:                        Yes.

Justin:                   Right. I know. I think that’s a pretty reasonable point, and I think we’ve done this a bit, hiding behind the Mac, but in general, sometimes, you just gotta make a gut check, based on the best available information, and then just choose a path, man. Go from there.

                                Our sixth point is to stop asking and start doing. You get this a lot. We get questions from people that are asking for permission. “Is it okay? Do you think I should really head down this path?” And it’s because people are nervous about their niche selection, they’re nervous about whether they should really get into this type of business or not. It’s understandable, but it’s much better to just start doing something and then figure it out along the way.

Joe:                        Really, two pieces of advice that I could give you, if you get from this podcast, is stop reading and listening and analyzing and trying to learn all this stuff, and stop asking permission, and just get out there and do it. Because once you start doing it, you’re gonna find out the actual problems and issues, and then you’re gonna go search out those answers.

                                So you start out, and you don’t know how to do keyword research, so you try to find out about keyword research, but then you do some more keyword research and get stuck at one point in the keyword research, like first page analysis. And if you ask me a specific question about first-page analysis, I’m a lot more likely to be able to-

Justin:                   Be able to help you.

Joe:                        … answer you.

Justin:                   Be able to help you.

Joe:                        Then you come to me and go, “You know, I was thinking about starting to do keyword research. Should I do it?”

Justin:                   Those are the worst, right? Oh my God, dude, yeah, absolutely.

                                Another example of this is we are heading off with the office autopilot, which is now Entroport. So they wanted to schedule a call with us, kind get us up and rolling, make sure that we’re ready to go, and transitioning smoothly. Well, instead of doing it early on, when I’d have all these vague, random questions, I figured it was better to delay the call, get in and start digging around and playing with it a bit, because then I’m gonna have specific questions.

                                For example, I know that I can put this smart form in here, but how do I add these particular pieces to the thing, and they’re gonna be able to answer that question a lot better than generalities or a vague question that may happen in the future.

                                Another point is if you start asking your friends, family, whatever, what they think about your idea, especially if they’re not in the space at all, they don’t really know the market, it’s a lot easier for someone to tell you they think it’s a bad idea. ‘Cause they don’t wanna see your dreams crushed, they don’t wanna see you end up as a failure, so it’s easier to say, “Yeah, no, you should be safe.” It’s easier to play the take-it-safe path.

Joe:                        Especially if they have an employee mindset and not an entrepreneurial mindset or a boss mindset or a manager mindset. If they’d been an employee their whole life, trying to ask for advice on how to start a business, or if you should start a business, from that sort of person, you’re asking the wrong person.

Justin:                   Yeah, by the time that they start agreeing with you and saying, “Wow! You really made it,” you’re so far beyond that, you’re so deep in your business that that’s when they’ll finally turn around, and you may be a year and a half to two years from that point, where they start to go, “Wow! You guys are doing some cool stuff over there.” So don’t worry about people that don’t have an entrepreneurial mindset or are too close to you. They’re probably gonna tell you, most of the time, it’s not a good idea, and that’s not the advice that you should necessarily listen to.

                                So our seventh and final point is look for branched profit streams, not new profit streams. An example of this is Spencer over at nichepursuits.com. He originally started nichepursuits.com as a way to test through different profit streams that were totally unrelated, totally different niche ideas, and he was gonna have people vote on what he should try out and just kind of see what happens.

Joe:                        My God, that would just be a disaster.

Justin:                   Oh my God, Spencer. Spencer, no, buddy!

                                You did a much better approach, in my opinion, and we’re gonna explain why we think that is. Originally, I know you talked about- or Spencer had talked about going after things like storage auctions, going to a storage auction and buying the stuff in the storage unit and then trying to sell it on Ebay or something. That is so outrageously different than his current business model. It might be fun as a hobby, and if Spencer wants to do that as a hobby, that’s great, but he’s got a money-making business, a money-making machine. He’s much better sticking with things that he actually knows.

Joe:                        Yeah, it sounds like a great TV show, you know, Niche Pursuits, where we go after different businesses, but for an actual business to just be switching and pivoting and doing all these different things, man, it would just be too impossible.

Justin:                   Hell, no. Could you imagine if you went after, if you said, “You know what? My audience voted. They want me to go after auctions, the storage auctions. I don’t think I’m gonna do long-tail pro. I think I’ll push that to the back burner, even though it’s in the space I know and something I do every day. I’m gonna go after the storage auctions.” That’s horrible, horrible advice.

Joe:                        Yeah, and we did this with Empire Flippers, when we switched to Empire Flippers and offered our [inaudible 00:25:04] services. If you can find little branches, little offshoots that are well within the realm of what you do, that makes good sense to stick to. Those are good revenue streams to have. It keeps you diversified. It keeps your business level, but you’re not spending too much time, effort, and energy learning something completely new. Like we’re not gonna go sell lamps and be a lamp manufacturer.

Justin:                   Let’s say we wanted to get into the product business, just to give you an idea. We already build niche sites, we do that. We have a marketplace to sell niche sites, we have an audience that’s interested in that type of content, we have products that are around it. So it’d be a really good idea to take a niche site and sell Amazon products, right? Those are actual, physical products that get shipped to the customer, and then, after we’ve got that under our belt, maybe move into drop shipping or white labeled products, where they ship in our name.

                                But for us to go from today, right now, to trying to design products, go to Alibaba and have them shipped to a warehouse in California. I don’t know anything about that space. I know nothing about that space. It’d be a horrible plan or horrible path for me to take.

Joe:                        Just the operational side of it right now gives me the heebie-jeebies. Really, the hair on the back of my neck is standing up, thinking about all the extra things that we’d have to figure out and how much money, time, effort, and energy we’d have to spend on that.

Justin:                   Yeah, but a slight change to our process. Let’s say we do 75-80% of what we already know, which is building niche sites, getting them ranked, targeting key words, having an audience, people that buy those sites, people that are interested in that content. All we’d have to change if we wanted to sell Amazon sites is change the content a bit and change the monetization. Really, it’s not that critical. We’d have to change our keyword research a bit, too. But it’s pretty similar, right, so it is something we could target, but trying to source stuff in China right now would be a horrible [inaudible 00:27:02]. You can head in that direction, but it takes time and you should step it out.

Joe:                        To find out what’s a good branch for your business, I think you could look at us as a model. Try to find things that are internal, maybe, that you could offer publicly. You business is your best customer, so if you’re having some sort of internal product or offering or something that you’re doing internally within your business that’s going well, then all you have to do is switch that to having customers externally.

Justin:                   Yeah, let’s say I do website design. I’m a designer. I can start offering a PSD to HTML service.

Joe:                        Right.

Justin:                   That’s along the same lines. And I find someone else that’s willing to do it, I can make some margin on it or whatever, kind of bring them in, that makes sense. For me to go off and build a shoe factory, that’s ridiculous. It has nothing to do with what you’re doing, so if you have a profitable revenue stream, it’s much better to branch off of that with maybe 20-30% variation, but still serve a similar market and use the skills that you put in place and in practice that are making you money today.

Joe:                        You’ll find that many successful entrepreneurs will say, “I had a problem, a business problem internally. I solved it, and then many other people were interested in how I solved it, so I started offering that service to them as well.”

Justin:                   Yeah, that’s such a common story in our circles. Everyone does that. They scratch their own itch. They had an issue, they find out a way to fix it, and they realize, “Oh! Other people are interested in that. Maybe I can help them with it, too.”

                                All right, well, let’s get right into our tips, tricks, and plans for the future.

Speaker 1:           You’re listening to the Empire Flippers Podcast with Justin and Joe.

Justin:                   So the first tip we got for you is another podcast. If you’re interested in podcasts, and you’re listening to this one, and you probably are, you should definitely check out [Tim Paige’s 00:28:54] theawesomepodcast.com. We were on the show a couple weeks ago. Fantastic show, by the way. He brings a ton of energy to the show. He’s had some really cool guests. I just listened to his interview with Spencer from Niche Pursuits, which was cool. Next on the list is his interview with Pat Flynn. So it’s cool how he approached niche sites. He went for all the different ways to monetize and build out niche sites to really kinda cover that for his audience.

Joe:                        Yeah, he has high energy, for sure. He definitely has a good podcast voice and the production quality over there is great, so.

Justin:                   I think he’s gonna be, I’m telling you, buddy, six months from now, he’s gonna have a pretty kick ass podcast with a really big audience. I see him as the next entrepreneur on fire, and I know the interview shows are a little overdone, man, I know Mixergy has that on lockdown. They kick ass with interview schedule, but there’s room, and the guy’s sharp, and I love his podcast.

Joe:                        Yeah, and he’s mixing it up a little bit, and he’s a hell of a nice guy.

Justin:                   Anyway, next point I have is Julian over at jjanalytics.com. So he reached out to us and said, “Hey, you know, I’m putting together-” This is very clear. “I do Google analytics. I can set you up, I can set up your goals, I can track where people are coming from an what they’re buying and everything. I can just do that for you.” Very clear value proposition. There’s no wishy-washiness about it. He knows exactly what he does.

Joe:                        And going upmarket, right? Very well. Reaching out to blogs that he knows have a good audience and may have the problem of they don’t know how to analyze their own analytics very well.

Justin:                   And to be honest with you, our analytics is all bonked up, dude. Since AdSense Flippers, I had a much better setup for that site, but for Empire Flippers, I really haven’t done much with it, so it was a perfect time to reach out. Totally happy to have him helping us out. He’s got a great sales page, too. Check it out: jjanalytics.com. If you need any help with Google Analytics, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Joe:                        I love that website name, too. It’s very catchy. Jjanalytics.

Justin:                   Well, that’s it for episode 51 of the Empire Flippers Podcast. Thanks for being with us. Make sure to check us out on Twitter at Empire Flippers, and we’ll see ya next week.

Joe:                        See ya at the tables, everybody!

Speaker 1:           You’ve been listening to the Empire Flippers Podcast with Justin and Joe. Be sure to hit up empireflippers.com for more. That’s empireflippers.com. Thanks for listening.


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Discussion
Leave a comment
  1. Iain Robson says:

    These seven tactics are pretty sweet.

    I was listening to this with my gf and I hope she picked up on the awesome tips.

    I hope no one crashed when they heard they won the niche site lol.

    Great job gents.

  2. Dan says:

    Yeah guys I was listening! Thanks for the help on the site and I’m looking forward to celebrating with you this summer! :D

  3. David says:

    Excellent PODCAST! You make my morning commute enjoyable. I’m 90% sold on your services. I can’t wait to take my idea to the next step.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Only 90%, David…what the hell?!? :-) 100%….we accept nothing less! hehe

      Glad to hear you’re digging the podcast on your commute. I’ve met quite a few entrepreneurs who started off listening to podcasts on their way to/from work – it definitely seems to be a first step for many of us!

  4. Mike says:

    I have a request for the next podcast episode: You guys should talk about the current state of seo and niche sites especially after the recent google updates plus you haven’t done a podcast about the subject in a while!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      That’s a great idea…thanks, Mike! I don’t know if we’ll be able to fit this into our next episode, but we’ll definitely get this episode out soon. :-)

  5. Hey guys, great episode and great points. I especially love the advice on narrowing your scope and clearing up your value prop and positioning. I started my business about a year ago as a broad service provider, and just recently niched way down into a specific target market. Hands down the best thing I’ve ever done for my business. I wish I started with a narrow focus from the beginning, but hey, sometimes you just have to learn by doing!

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Thanks, Joseph!

      I think it’s MUCH easier to have the (good) problem of having a succesful niched-down focus that needs to be expanded as opposed to trying to be successful with extremely broad positioning.

  6. Undergroundman says:

    Great podcast. One thing–I think it might be useful for people who process things better or don’t have the time to listen to a podcast, if you had a useful summary or transcript of the podcast. It’s easier for me to understand the info that way and makes me more likely to digest it at all. Because I tend to not like listening to podcasts, especially when they don’t get right to the point and give me stuff I can use. Just a thought.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Ah…so you think we beat around the bush, eh? I see what you did there! :-)

      Just kidding and you’re right…I’ve actually had a bunch of podcasts transcribed. Some of the transcriptions have been uploaded to the episodes, but I’m behind on quite a few…I’ll try to get that caught up!

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