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EFP 56: Bouncing Back From Failure With Trent Dyrsmid

Justin Cooke July 18, 2013

How do you leverage offline business chops in the online world? When is it time to dump your current business and start in a new direction? Can you help others make money without falling into the Make-Money-Online swamp?

Introducing Trent Dyrsmid of Bright Ideas

These questions and more are what we set out to have answered by Trent Dyrsmid at After pouring blood, sweat, and tears into his offline business, he was able to sell it and walk away with $1.2M. Trent started looking at the online space to create a new business and, with a background in sales, he figured helping others make money online would be a great niche…until it turned into a $20K per month disaster.

Trent was crushed, but managed to pull himself back up and started his new company (BrightIdeas) which is having tremendous success when it comes to helping offline businesses with their online strategy. He’s now expanding his empire by adding multiple profit streams and streamlining his business through Infusionsoft automation.

It’s an amazing story and I was excited to sit down with Trent for an extremely candid interview about his experiences, struggles, and success in building an online business. You’re not going to want to miss this one!

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

Direct Download – Right Click, Save As


“I learned it sucks to sell stuff that doesn’t make people money…there’s no motivation to buy” – Trent – Click To Tweet!

“My idea with BrightIdeas was to get far away from the hater crowd and back to credibility” – Trent – Click To Tweet!

“Who do you blame, the people selling the magic pill or those asking that throw it away?” – Justin – Click To Tweet!

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Our answer on what to do with content from expiring niche sites
  • Converting brick-and-mortar business chops (systems and process) to the online business world
  • Advantages and disadvantages that come with Offline Vs. Online businesses
  • The downsides of targeting the Make Money Online niche
  • Dealing with struggles and haters from his first online business, OnlineIncomeLab
  • When should you head in a new direction?
  • Killing it with – Why is it working this time around?
  • Free Vs. Paid – Discussing the merits of both to get new customers through the door
  • Expanding the empire with the addition of new profit streams


– Check out the bottom of this page to watch the video interview with Andrew Warner from Mixergy – definitely worth it!

So…what are your thoughts on Trent’s successful pivot from OIL to BrightIdeas? Have a story you’d like to share? Let us know on Twitter, drop us a message, or leave us a comment below!


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Male:                    Welcome to the Empire Flippers Podcast. Are you sick and tired of guru, who have plenty of ideas, but are short on substance, worried that eBook 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 56 of the Empire Flippers Podcast. I’m your host, Justin Cooke and I’m here with Joe hot money Magnotti, what is going on, my man?

Joe:                        Just back from the beach baby.

Justin:                   We’ve got a fantastic episode lineup for you this week. This week, I sat down with Trent Dyrsmid from to talk about his journey from being an offline business guy to an online MMO guy, struggling, and then getting back up on his feet, and finding a good product market fit with It’s a really fascinating interview. I pulled no punches, and he gave some really honest, no BS answers. So, I think you’re really going to like it.

                                Before we do that, though, let’s get in to some updates, news, and info. First thing is we’ve got a new five-star iTunes review, buddy.

Joe:                        Hit me up, man.

Justin:                   We’ve got Zodiac. He says, “Yeah, buddy. Clearly, if you’re working on niche sites, and yes, some businesses are niche, this is a must-have podcast with no BS. You can tell they’re very real and willing to help where they cane. This podcast has saved me time, and money. Lee.” Lee, I just want to let you know, we really appreciate it, man. Glad we could save you some time and some money, man.

Joe:                        Thank you, Zodiac.

Justin:                   Next point I want to talk about is I think we figured out an answer to our expired site problem. Right, Joe?

Joe:                        Yeah. So, what we’re going to do is we’re going to find a relatively high PR domain, and we’re going to take our expired sites, and as the content comes out of the Google cache, we’ll repost that content onto that site. So, I went on, and I bought an expired domain that has a pretty good page like, a good back link profile. It wasn’t some spammy or porn site or something like that.

Justin:                   It’s a dot com. It’s a cool domain, too. I think it’s really awesome. So, I don’t think if you guys remember this or not, but we’re talking about what to do with niche sites where they’re done, right? They’re going to expire. They didn’t make us any money. We’re going to let the domains expire. We got all this content sitting around these sites. What do we do with them? It’s useful content. We don’t want to just let it get away. So, this is what we’re doing right now. We’re throwing it away.

Joe:                        Yeah. It could be a number of reasons, right? It could be that the domain got penalized or was penalized before we bought it, and we just never even checked that. It could be that we got some over-optimization penalty for that particular piece of content.

Justin:                   … or just unlucky.

Joe:                        Just unlucky. Maybe the competition for that particular niche was a lot higher than we thought it was, and we just couldn’t get it right. I think putting all that content on one good solid domain, it might help the ones that were on the edge of making money. Maybe they’re on the second page. Maybe we can boost them to the first page by having them on a high PR single limit.

Justin:                   Next one we want to cover is I don’t know if you’re working with any VAs in the Philippines or if you have a team in the Philippines, but I want to explain something. There’s something called a 13-month, which I’m sure my friends in the US right now are going, “I want a 13-month,” but basically, if you’re an employee for a company, it’s actually law to where by the end of the year, by December, whats’ the date? 20th, Joe?

Joe:                        December 21st, I believe.

Justin:                   By December 21st, you need to pay a 13th month of pay. So, here’s how it works. If you’ve been employed for six months out of the year, you owe one-half month’s pay. If you’ve been employed for the full 12 months, it’s a full month’s pay. So, what we decided to do as a treat for our employees is do a half-year distribution. So, we’re doing one-half of the payments right here in July, and we’re going to do another payment toward the end of the year at Christmas.

Joe:                        Yeah. It definitely hurts the pocketbook a little book, but I’m happy to do it, and happy to make sure our people get paid. Some companies here in the Philippines actually put it in as part of the pay. They do a 13-month distribution on every payroll. Some companies like us used to wait until the end of the year as an incentive for people to stick around and get that extra bonus. I think the way we’re doing it right now, we have the extra money, and doing a half 13-month. It works.

Justin:                   Yeah, and with the VA, if you have a VA in the Philippines, it’s not something that’s absolutely required. They actually assume that it’s part of their pay, but it’s a nice thing to do, and it’s something that most employees in the Philippines do. So, that’s something you might want to consider if you’re working with virtual assistant in the Philippines.

                                Our last bit of business, we need an affiliate manager. We’re looking to do a launch. We’ve been working on some of the products and features or the features in WP Rank Tracker, and we’re looking for someone to help us with an affiliate launch this time around or we might end up doing it ourselves. If there’s out there, if you’re a listener and you’ve done affiliate launch before, you’ve helped build up affiliates and would like to help us, definitely reach out and get in touch.

Joe:                        Yeah. Unfortunately, Mark Thompson was way too busy to take this one on. We would love to work with him again, but it wasn’t going to work out this time. Version 3.0 I think I’ll have done by the end of the month. I’ll have some cool, neat, little extra features, some graphing capabilities, and whatnot, but yeah, I want to make a big launch of it similar to the way we did in Teletheme, and I would love to have an affiliate manager be able to handle that for us. So, if you have the skills and have the experience, please reach out to us.

Justin:                   Sweet, buddy. Well, that’s it for the news and updates. Let’s get right into the heart of this week’s episode.

Male:                    This is the Empire Flippers Podcast.

Justin:                   All right. As we mentioned at the top of the show, I’m really excited to introduce someone today that we’ve followed for months now or actually a couple of years, following his content, checking out his stuff. His name is Trent Dyrsmid. He’s from, formally, Online Income Lab. He has a great story I really want to share with you today. It affects a lot of us that have gone through changes with our business, pivots, and basically, pulling yourself out of a funk. I think Trent did a fantastic job of this. This is why I want to talk to him and really dig into the details about he was able to do that. Trent, welcome to the show, man.

Trent:                    Justin, thank you so much for having me on. I’m stoked to be here, and hope that all of my war stories can help some folks to achieve success faster than I did.

Justin:                   I’m sure they will, man. I’m sure it will be helpful. So, let’s talk about this a little bit. You had some business chops. So, you had an offline business model, and I’m going to link to this in the show notes, but your Mixergy interview really goes through that, and some of the struggles you had with the partnership, but you were able to pull yourself up from your bootstrap, and get yourself up to a million dollar business, which you eventually sold for $1.2 million. What do you think you learned in the offline world that applied to some of the stuff you’re able to do when you moved online?

Trent:                    I would say far and away the biggest thing that I learned was the importance of having systems and processes way, way, way, way early in that business, and it was and is because it’s still in business today called Durand Systems. We read or I read a book called the EMS by George Gerber, I think is the guy’s name. I just became an evangelist of systems and processes as best I could.

                                So, that was something that I think maybe in the online marketing blogger infoproduct person space that is catching on now, perhaps. I’m not sure, but it was well, well-ingrained in me from eight years of running that other business.

Justin:                   Okay. So, you were running a business, and you ended up selling it for 1.2 million. What did you do right after? Was it, “I’m going to a beach for a couple of months”? What did you decide to do?

Trent:                    Yeah. I moved to San Diego. I bought a surfboard, and I retired.

Justin:                   Awesome.

Trent:                    I went out everyday and learned how to surf.

Justin:                   Now, you’re a pretty young guy, Trent. So, obviously, your retirement probably couldn’t be that long-lived. What made you decide to get back into business, and specifically, the online arena? What was the impetus for getting you back online?

Trent:                    It was actually somebody I met while I was surfing. I used to go out in the waves every morning, and there’s this girl named Haley, and I used to see her every morning. I’d surf at around six in the morning just because the waves were best at that point in time. By 7:30, everyone would leave for work, and Haley was even younger than me, and she would never leave. So, one day, I paddled over, and introduced myself and I said … I started to chat, “Don’t you have a job that you have to go to?” She’s like, “Well, not really.” She goes, “I’m an internet marketer.” I said, “Well, I know what that is, but I don’t really know what that is,” I said.

                                So, we talked about it, and she shared. She was doing niche sites, and she was promoting software products as an affiliate. She was making about 500 bucks a day, a day. I was pretty enamored because one of the things about that business that I had, as much as I got paid a whole bunch of money when I sold it, the first, man, that sucker took five years to get that thing to be even profitable. We were just burning cash for five years. Imagine that. Nobody does that. I did. It was horrible.

                                So, I looked at this girl, who is working two hours a day, making 200 grand a year with no overhead, no staff, no office, no nothing, and it just rocked my world. I thought, “Holy cow! I don’t know anything about this, but I want to know everything about this.”

Justin:                   You’re like, “This is the dream, baby. I want to do this.”

Trent:                    Well, yeah, because I had been retired by this point for six months, and I was really enjoying having all this time off to just ride my dirt bike and go surfing and hang out. I didn’t have any of the pressures that I had before. Like you said earlier, I didn’t have enough money to retire for the rest of my life. I could have maybe taken 10 years and smoked through all my savings, but that wasn’t really the point.

                                I thought, “I just want to figure out some business that I can keep this lifestyle.” That was the absolutely number one influencer on my decision on what kind of business I was going to get into.

Justin:                   Well, it’s not just digging through your savings, too. I mean, watching your savings deplete isn’t the best position to be, and especially when you’re young. You’re seeing this girl, you’re next to her on the waves going, “Okay. So, she’s making money while we’re out here surfing, and I’m blowing through my savings while out here surfing.”

Trent:                    Pretty much.

Justin:                   That seems like a pretty good gig.

Trent:                    Yeah. That was exactly it. As I’ve said before, I’m definitely the ready, fire, aim kind of guy. So, I think probably maybe a lot of entrepreneurs are. So, I just dove into it after that, and started making all these little niche sites and so forth. As people who are familiar with Online Income Lab knew it actually worked really, really well for a while.

Justin:                   Yeah. So, you started to build some niche sites. Did you start with the brand Online Income Lab or do you say, “Okay. I’m going to start with the sites first and figure it out, and then create the brand”? Which was, the brand or the niche sites first?

Trent:                    No, both at the same time. I made a decision to do that because in the beginning, I didn’t have any products or anything. I was just blogging about it. I read somewhere that the best way to learn about something is to write about it. So, I just thought, “Well, this is going to be my online diary, and I’m just going to write whatever thing that I’m doing, and share what’s working and not working for me.” The audience for that blog grew pretty quickly. So, I thought, “Okay. Let’s go. I’ll keep doing that.”

Justin:                   Well, I thought that was pretty effective because I saw you … It was a pretty small space, especially niche sites and authority sites, ad sense sites, that type of thing. It’s a pretty small space. There’s not a ton of us out there talking about it. So, I saw that you were running in the same circles, you were commenting on the same blogs. We kept bumping into each other. I think that’s how I came across you as a comment you’d put on niche pursuits, Spencer’s site or something, and I came across your stuff.

                                So, you had this cruising along, and you started, I think you had a membership site. You did some affiliate marketing with Online Income Lab. So, how was it out of the gate? Was it an automatic success or was it slow growth? How was your Online Income Lab growing from the start?

Trent:                    It actually grew pretty quickly to be honest with you. I would say within the … We were doing about over 20 grand a month in the first year. I mean, it’s like the hockey stick thing. The more people that find out about it, and the more people they tell, it just took off like that. It was like I said, for a while, it was really … I was like, “Wow! This is awesome. This is the coolest business I’ve ever been in.”

                                There were some things about it I didn’t like, but when you have 20 grand a month coming in that it’s not killing you to bring in, you look past those things that you don’t like because the 20 is pretty easy to like.

Justin:                   Yeah. You’re like, “Yeah, it’s good,” but why? Because there’s a lot of different online marketing that you can get in to, why was it the make money online niche? In fact, most people talk about that being, I’m one to talk, but most people talk about the make money online niche being awfully difficult. I mean, it’s more difficult to market to that market when you could have done eBooks about dog grooming or whatever. Why the make money online niche? Why was that one that you went after?

Trent:                    It goes back to when I was running my offline business, Durand. So, that company was we provided IT services. So, there are two types of things you can sell to somebody. Something that helps them to make money or something that’s an expense. So, in the IT space, nobody really makes money by hiring an IT-outsourcing firm. It’s like this necessary … It’s like a utility.

                                So, I learned back then that it sucked to sell stuff that didn’t make people money because they didn’t have as much motivation to buy it. They bought our services because they had to. It’s like why you have high drill, well, because you have to. It’s no fun. There’s no strong emotional greed factor to get people to want to buy stuff.

                                So, with everything that I do now, and even with Bright Ideas, everything that I do is teaching other business owners how to make money, not necessarily teaching, teaching or giving them tools or software or whatever because I have it all now, and because it’s easier to sell.

Justin:                   Yeah. I mean, if you’re helping to raise top line revenue, that’s helpful. I mean, you can also help them save money, but that’s not nearly as fun to talk about either, right?

Trent:                    Yeah. Nobody really gets excited about that.

Justin:                   Yeah. You can only cut so much, too. I worked for a company, and I had a mentor. One of my departments was customer service, and it was often viewed as a call center, and that mentor helped show me or explained to me that if you can reposition customer service from a call center to a profit center, all the spoils that come along with that for running now a profit center come along with it. So, he guided me through the process of turning customer service from cost to profit, showing a revenue we’re bringing in. We were saving the company, and it was phenomenal for I think my position in the company, but for our revenue that we’re able to recapture through the department was fantastic. So, yeah, I think positioning as far as bringing in money can be a really good thing.

Trent:                    Yeah. Absolutely.

Justin:                   So, you were doing Online Income Lab. You’re running that, and it was doing well. It was earning well for you. At what point did you start to realize that this isn’t really the niche for you or the fit might not be as good as you would hoped or that you’d want?

Trent:                    Well, remember I mentioned there was a few things about it that I didn’t like? One of the things … Here I was this, I’ll call myself a legit business guy, built this offline business. We had won all sort of awards. We had lots of customers, fastest brand company in Canada, blah, blah, blah, and big chunk of money at the end. Now, I was building goofy little niche sites. So, like I said, the 20 grand a month coming in from all the stuff we’re doing made it pretty easy to say, “Well, this is pretty good. I don’t have all this overhead. It’s a lot of profit. I like it,” but the thing that I didn’t like was there is a lot of haters in that space, man. Holy doodle!

                                There’s so much skepticism that people like me are just flat out lying. People, they’re nasty. They will eviscerate you on your blog or anyone’s blog because honestly, they’re just a bunch of pussies hiding behind computer screens. So, they’ll say anything. This was some experience I had never had in business before. Some of these comments, they hurt, man. I would read this stuff. It hurt, and I would like, “I don’t want to work today.”

                                After hearing it for a while, then I became really callus to it. I had a different response. I probably have a few comment responses out there on the internet I shouldn’t have written, but they’re there. Then as Google started to really go on the war pass against what Matt Cutts calls internet span, and let’s face it. Most of the niche sites that are out there, and surely, all the ones that I was building, they’re not changing the world for the better.

                                I mean, we were just taking advantage of the loophole in Google to make easy money. After the Google penguin and panda came out, and it really annihilated my business. I had dozens of sites on the first page, all doing very, very well, and of course, my membership site was rocking, and I even had VA team that was pumping out sites for people. Once my stuff stopped performing, I couldn’t sell anything anymore, and became conscious. I just turned everything off.

                                That was when the light bulb went on. I was like, “All right, dum-dum. You took this detour because you were trying to build a lifestyle business.” I really didn’t research or even think about enough the long … because I didn’t know how often Google change. I mean, I was so ignorant about so many things other than it was these sites were easy to build and easy to rank, so let’s just do that. I didn’t really think about the longterm of, “Hey, you know what? All my eggs are in the Google basket,” and that’s a stupid place to be.

                                Between that and all the hater comments, and we talked in the pre-show about how I got so annihilated on a blog post that Spencer put up. I wrote that thing with the best of intentions. People freaked out. I just was like, “You know what? Take it down,” and that was it. I was like, “I’m done with this space. If these people are more interested in bitching and complaining, I don’t want to have anything to do with it.” Plus, like I said, Google, it’s just stupid to put all of your eggs in the Google basket because Google doesn’t care about you.

Justin:                   I remember that being a culmination. I knew that you had built up some haters because I had seen some other blogs or whatever, where people were beating you up a bit. I remember that post on Spencer’s site. It’s really bad timing because now, you have the haters, and you took a hit, and you get the whole, “Oh, I told you so.” I understand how frustrating that could be.

                                So, you did this guest post. I remember reading it, and thinking to myself, “Okay.” I didn’t necessarily agree with some of your conclusions, but I thought it was a fair post. Then people were just slamming you in the comments. What did you talk to Spencer about regarding the post? What were you thinking at the time?

Trent:                    I don’t even really remember what the content of the post was, so you’d have to refresh my memory. I guess it was such a scarring experience, but I basically said to Spencer, I said, “Just take it down.” I said, “I’m not interested in this anymore. I don’t want to deal with this. I wrote this with the best of intentions, and people are hating it. So, just take it down,” and that was literally it. I just said, “I’m done with niche sites,” and I stopped.

Justin:                   Yeah. So, I remember you talked about another authority site you’re building. You said, “Look, Online Income Lab is an authority site.” I mean, you definitely built yourself a niche. You were connected with other people in the industry or in the market. You had commenters, you had readers. So, it wasn’t an authority site, but then you mentioned you were going to go to another authority site, and I wasn’t really sure where you’re going with that. It was interesting, but I wasn’t really sure what your plan was. At what point did you say, “Okay. I’m going to go with,” and at what point did you decide where it’s going to head? Because I think your original plan was different than what it turned out to be. Is that right?

Trent:                    Yeah, absolutely. So, I want to speak about that comment on the Online Income Lab. You’re right. Online Income Lab was a very successful authority site, but people would give you no credit for that at all. It blew my mind. I was talking about how I can teach you to build authority sites. Well, what have you built? I own an authority site called I doubled the revenue after I bought it, but people would give me no credit for that either, so like, “Well, you have to build it from scratch or it doesn’t count,” which was asinine in my opinion.

                                So, Bright Ideas came about as a result of my desire to get as far away from I guess the hater crowd, and is close to people that I already knew I had lots of credibility with, which was small business owners. I thought to myself, “When I ran Durand, I was a really good sales guy, but I didn’t know anything about online marketing.” We had a static website. I wasn’t building a list. We don’t have any marketing funnels. So, that means no free reports, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. We just made cold calls, lots of them, and that’s how we got customers and referrals.

                                I thought to myself, “Man, oh, man, if I would have known back then what I know now about online marketing, I could have 3x’ed or 5x’ed that business.” So, I thought, “I know there are thousands of small business owners who have legitimate businesses and cash flow, and they don’t know anything about this stuff, and their lives would be so much better if they understood what I spent the last two years learning.”

Justin:                   So, you’re looking back to when you’re in the Durand Systems, when you were there, and thinking, “God, if someone could have connected with me and pulled me, kicking and screaming on the internet, and showing me online marketing, I could have made so much more money, and I can provide so much value to those offline guys if I can basically show them what I’ve learned in building Online Income Lab.” Is that where you’re coming from?

Trent:                    Yeah, that was pretty much it. I really wanted to get back, and have an audience of mainstream businesses or people that wanted to build a mainstream business, as supposed to people … In the internet marketing space, I think there’s a lot of people who are looking for the get rich quick thing, the easy button, which for those of us who have succeeded, we all know that doesn’t work.

Justin:                   The biz opp crowd, right?

Trent:                    Yeah.

Justin:                   So, there’s a lot of that perpetual cycle of people buying the shiny new pillar bullet, and then moving on to the next one. It’s funny. Who do you blame, the people that are selling the pill or the people that are craving it, and asking for it, and tossing it away and go for the new one? I’m not sure. It really is a vicious cycle. I think some of that crowd, they miss out on the business.

                                We still have people … We went from ad sense for Empire Flippers, which is one of the reasons I want to talk to you about this. We still have people come to us and go, “I don’t understand. I don’t want to hear what you’re talking about with these different kind of profit streams. Can you just tell me what you’re doing with the niche sites?” It’s frustrating because it’s like, “Well, you’re missing the point. You know what I mean? You’re missing the business point.” I there were some of that going on with you as well. So, you decided to go with and you wanted to focus on the small to medium-sized businesses that maybe weren’t as savvy or as online as you were now. How are you going to reach out to them? I mean, how do you move from this different MMO online crowd to this offline small, medium-sized business crowd? What was that transition like?

Trent:                    Well, that’s the big reason why I changed the brand name, first of all. I thought Bright Ideas, because you’re right, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, and ultimately, what I built is different than my first vision. So, I wanted to have a name that was generic enough that it gave me that leeway to be able to do that, but yet was still pretty obvious what the site was about. I think Bright Ideas is maybe unbiased, but I think it’s really obvious that, obviously, it’s about good ideas, and it’s a business site. Whereas as the Online Income Lab, I don’t know, I just was so scarred that I have had that experience.

Justin:                   You’re just like, “I’m out of this space, man.”

Trent:                    Yeah, pretty much, “I’m out of here.”

Justin:                   “Get me as far away from MMO crazy as I can get.”

Trent:                    Pretty much, yeah.

Justin:                   Okay.

Trent:                    Pretty much. So, my original vision was actually, to answer your earlier question, was do something like Andrew Warner has done with Mixergy because at the Online Income Lab, I had a podcast, and I really enjoyed it. I like being on the mic. I like interviewing people. So, I thought to myself, “Well, I’m going to make a membership site where just basically a copy of Mixergy because there’s enough room for 10 Mixergy’s.” It’s like saying there’s only one interviewer on TV shows. Well, there’s a gazillion of them. There’s more than enough room. So, that was the original vision, but I actually changed it after a while.

Justin:                   Andrew is a great guy, amazing interviewer, but he had some of that previous success to build off of as well. So, I see where you’re coming from. You’re saying, “Look, I’ve had some success as well. I could probably turn this into something.” So, when you started getting going with Bright Ideas, though, what types of customers you decided to target from the small to medium-sized businesses? We generally tell people to go to where your customers are, and provide them value, and they’ll come to you. How did that look from your perspective? Where did you go? Where were you commenting? Where were you interviewing? How did you get in front of those people?

Trent:                    Well, it all happened as a byproduct of using Infusionsoft, and I had actually started using Infusionsoft I think before Bright Ideas. Yeah, I had, actually, before Bright Ideas was even created. Anyone who’s heard my stuff knows that I’m a raving fan of Infusionsoft. As a matter of fact, my wife, literally, as we are recording this, is at Infusionsoft’s headquarters getting her Infusionsoft-certified consultant.

Justin:                   Oh, Lord, Trent. I was talking to you before the show, man, we just went with the autopilot and I listen to your shows and I’m getting a little jealous, man. I get little Infusionsoft chills going on.

Trent:                    Just because it’s better.

Justin:                   You were using Infusionsoft beforehand, but were you fumbling your way through it yourself?

Trent:                    I wouldn’t use the word fumbling. The Infusionsoft and me got along really good. When I say Infusionsoft, I mean, the application and me got along really well right from the get-go. It was immediately obvious to me how to use it. I thought, honestly, it’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. So, how it affect the direction of Bright Ideas was I was like, “Well, okay. So, who should be using Infusionsoft, small businesses, marketing agencies, marketing consultants?” I started to do some surveys of the people that had joined my list, and asking questions, and sending out emails. It became obvious to me that there was what I’ll call a substantial opportunity to really get Bright Ideas focused on marketing automation because in the topic of marketing, that’s a pretty broad topic. There’s a lot of subtopics that you could choose, and I love software.

                                Of course, again, what got me going down this path? Lifestyle, right? I wanted a lifestyle business. If you’re using marketing automation, having a lifestyle business gets a lot easier to do because of the word automation, obviously. So, I just started interviewing more marketing agencies, and I started interviewing more people who were using Infusionsoft and had a lot of success. That seemed to resonate well. I would be remissive. I didn’t say that Infusionsoft has a referral, an affiliate program, and it was a goal of mine from day one with Bright Ideas is that we would position our content and our audience such as to make it more than likely that we would end up earning a decent amount of money, which we are now.

Justin:                   Oh, yeah, referrals. No. I totally get that, Trent. Actually, there’s a ton of reasons I think that’s a good position. Before we get into that, let me go back. So, you’re using Infusionsoft. Did you have any previous CRM experience, any software automation experience that made this a bit easier for you?

Trent:                    I did.

Justin:                   I know that you had your online, from Online Income Lab, you had experience with the marketing aspect. So, I see why you would get into it and be like, “Oh, this is cool. I can do this, this, and this now,” and you have all these tools, but did you have the CRM and technology experience before?

Trent:                    I did. So, just to put this in perspective, I’m 43 years old now. My very first real serious career was at 21 years old. I became a stock broker. So, that’s what? 22 years ago. I was using CRM back then. There was a program called Maximizer, and I used it to really systematize and run my business, and really make sure that the prospecting was as systematized, and well-oiled as possible.

                                Way back then, I ended up being the number one rookie in my training class of 30 people, and having I think 75 grand, and that 21 years ago or 22 years ago dollars, 75 grand in my first year. So, I was a 21-year-old kid. I made $75,000, which at the time, a house was only 150.

                                So, I was a very, very, very early adopter of CRM software. So, that wasn’t necessarily what drew me to Infusionsoft. I mean, I knew I needed that, but the thing that drew me to Infusionsoft was the whole marketing automation pieces, which is absolutely awesome.

Justin:                   So, if you put the CRM piece together with the marketing automation, and the improvements they had made over the last year, I know that Infusionsoft was called Confusionsoft, but it’s changed a lot since then from what I hear from friends of mine that use it. So, you decided to get it. You dive into it right away. The marketer in you goes, “Oh, my God! I can do some cool stuff with this,” and the tech guy in you goes, “Oh, I can figure this out. I get CRMs a bit, and I understand it. It’s intuitive to me.”

                                So, you’re working with it, plus, you have the added component of interviewing other people that have had success with Infusionsoft. So, where did you find those people? Were you going down the Infusionsoft blog or highlights and saying, “Okay. Here’s some people that use Infusionsoft successfully. Let me talk to them”?

Trent:                    Yeah, and then I went to Infusion Con, and that really opened up the doors for me as well. I mean, you just go to the Infusionsoft ultimate success stories page of Infusionsoft. There’s still a few people left I haven’t interviewed, and I emailed much of them yesterday because I’m going to interview them all.

Justin:                   Cool.

Trent:                    So, it’s not very hard to find your first dozen after that. It will get trickier, but there’s communities to be involved in, and we’re getting more involved into those communities to find the people.

Justin:                   Well, that’s one of the things I like about your interviews now is you’re not taking people, and I don’t like shows that do this, where they just take people that are making the circuit, that are promoting their latest book, and they’ve been on 10 podcasts in the last two weeks. I don’t know. That’s not so great, but I like theses real business stories, especially from people that aren’t … They’re not really trying to promote anything. They just want to … They’re happy to share your story because you asked them.

                                I think I get that sense from you, but you’re getting into the Infusionsoft market because you’re thinking, “Look. I mean, this software is fantastic.” You’re an evangelist, anyway, right? You’re using it in your own business. You see the application. You wish that you had it when you were running your offline business. You’re starting to reach out to these new customers, and you’re bringing other Infusionsoft people in. What are the growth curve look like? How did it compare to your growth with Online Income Lab?

Trent:                    Well, with Bright Ideas, I didn’t monetize at all for the first year. So, I would say the growth was slower, to be honest with you. There’s been some things that didn’t work as well as I had hoped they would. For example, when you do just podcasts, they are really good for building authority and engaging your audience, but they’re not so good for attracting new audience because people got to listen to them, and they don’t know who you are yet, and it takes too much time.

                                So, because I’d much rather talk than write, that has caused or up until what I did in June, I did a major product launch in June, which was a huge success that has obviously had a massive impact, but before then, I would say that my subscriber growth was less revenue. Like I said, it was nonexistent because we weren’t selling anything.

Justin:                   I’m not interested at the revenue numbers at that point at least. I’m more interested in what signs were you getting from the market that you were on to something. When did you realize with Bright Ideas that you said, “Okay. People are responding well to this. It has a very … I’m having a positive impact, and this is something I want to roll with”? There was something that kept you going at 12 months where you weren’t making money that at least gave you the signs that you’re on the right track.

Trent:                    You’re right. That’s a very good question. So, let me give you a specific answer to that. Number one is I knew that just innately, I knew that I was creating really good value because I had been my audience before became the person talking to them. As a matter, I’m still my audience because I still have … We’re just actually launching our marketing agency right now.

                                The other thing that came in was emails. People would write me, and I have a little file of these things and rave, and say the nicest things that you’ve ever read. It wasn’t like I was getting 20 of them a day, but if I just got two a week, I would read these things and I’d be like, “Wow! I got to keep doing this,” because for people to write me a three-paragraph email … I’ll give an example. One guy, Mike Worley is his name, I’ll never forget that. I’ll probably never forget Mike’s email.

                                He writes me and he says, “Dear Trent,” I should probably, if I could dig it up quick, I’d read it to you, but I don’t know if I could dig it up quick enough. He’d listen to every … So, he had this job. He commuted an hour and a half to work each day, each way. So, that’s three hours a day in the car. He was recently married, new baby on the way, which I think is born now. He was running the marketing department for some company.

                                He listened to every single episode I did, and he decided he was going to go out on his own. Before he even left his job, he put in his notice. He already had his new company set up, and he had five clients on retainer, and his income was not even going to dip. As a matter, he thinks that he was going to double it within six months. Holy, I don’t know if I can say the word, but holy cow!

                                When you get emails … He’s like, “Dude, you changed my life.” When you get emails like that, and the MMO guys, they aren’t getting any of those emails, but when you get emails like that, for me, I mean, I damn near cried when I read his email because I was sitting there with my wife at the table. She was my fiance at the time. We just got married two weeks ago. I was just like, “Wow! That was pretty cool.”

Justin:                   Yeah. That’s hard to measure. We talked about this on our show previously where you know that you’re heading in the right direction because of the impact you’re having, right? I mean, if you’re impacting other people that deeply, and enough of those people, and it doesn’t take a lot, really, because Mike I think his name was, I mean, that’s the kind of guy that’s going to be an evangelist for you. He’s going to go out and tell 10 people, 15 people, as many as he can, whenever he can about how amazing his transformation has been, and that’s a lead gen for you.

                                I hate to put it like in those terms. It’s not. You know what I mean? It feels so much more. It’s so much different, and so much more important, I think. Yeah. No. I totally get where you’re coming from with that. That’s I think always a great sign that you’re heading in the right direction. So, when did you decide to start monetizing, and how did you introduce that?

Trent:                    So, June was, I mean, I decided to start monetizing in March, but I didn’t actually get the product launched until June due to a whole variety of factors.

Justin:                   That sounds about right.

Trent:                    So, I spent the previous six months getting to know some people in the offline launch space because I knew that nobody knew me, and I knew I was going to need a really well-known JV manager. So, I ended up picking a guy who pretty much everybody knows, and came up with a product called the Mobile Lead Magnet, which was, I mean, a massively … He told me that I should launch the front end really, really cheap, so I got lots of leads, and then have upsells and so forth. So, I thought, “Well, he knows more about this than me. So, I’m going to follow his advice.”

                                So, I massively over-delivered on this product. It was a 38-paged PDF with a whole bunch of videos. I mean, it took me quite a while to make it. It drew upon a lot of my business experience in the past, plus some ways that you could use Google to find flash websites, and it was really intended to be a lead generation tool that someone who wants to get small business customers could use to get themselves some business.

                                When it comes to getting small business customers, whether it’s with flash websites or what, I mean, I’ve landed hundreds of customers. So, favorable, I know what I’m talking about in this area. Between myself and the people I had interviewed on my show, there was no lack of content in my head.

                                So, I put the product out and it was pretty good. We were the top selling product that day over the week. Launch week, we did 1450 units, which was not as many as I was hoping for to be honest with you, but it was a real … I built a plugin to go with it, and that was very lucrative to do. It was an interesting experience.

                                The first day, as I saw the orders coming in, I was excited, but then at the same time, I was super nervous because of the hater experience that I had before, and I knew-

Justin:                   You’re going, “Oh, the pain is coming on this one,” right?

Trent:                    Yeah. I knew that I was very, very … I was straddling the MMO offline divider, if you were, because his copywriting team wanted more hype in. I was like, “No, no, no, no. Take that-”

Justin:                   You backed it down.

Trent:                    Ultimately, it did have more hype than I wanted, which is why the sales letter that’s there now is dehypefied a bit, but you know what? If you don’t sell anything, and you don’t get any customers, you can’t help anyone. So, I was like, “Oh.”

Justin:                   Yeah. It’s funny you’re talking about this launch and I’m wincing a little bit. I’m like, “I don’t know. Is he going down the same path?” So, aside from just the hype and the letter, how did you avoid heading down the MMO path again? I mean, you can use I think not just MMO, but online marketing tactics without being scummy or sleazy. I know that you at this point didn’t even want to come close to that side of the business. So, how did you avoid heading any further down that path, and would have been comfortable?

Trent:                    I made sure the claims that I made in the sales letter I could back up, number one. For example, when I started Durand, our very first month, we did 10 grand. So, in my sales letter, I said, “Well, this is a business that within three to four months, you could get to six grand a month,” because I absolutely fully believe and know from experience that if you’re selling to small businesses, it’s not a $47 sale or a $17 sale. It’s a $2,000 or $3,000 sale or a $500 sale or whatever it is.

                                You don’t need as many customers to get that level of revenue. Durand, we did 10 in the first month, and it only went up from there. So, it’s a lot more lucrative to sell a small business.

Justin:                   Let me ask you a question, Trent, because you’re doing this as a lead gen. You’re getting people in the door for your business, and also drive them small to medium-size business leads themselves. Joe and I, we put a flag in the sand, so to speak, and said, “We think information should be free. We’re going to be the information-free guys.” You can sell information, but I think information is free is a better approach. We did this when we released our eBook and we got a ton of downloads out of it. It was really influential, I think, in bringing people into our brand.

                                I don’t know, but I think we would have gotten the distribution we got if it wasn’t free. Yes, we had made some money on it, but I think we lost on the longterm thing. Do you think it’s better to sell a lost leader or an entry-level product to get people in the door or is free a route you would take? Why would you choose paid over free?

Trent:                    Well, let’s leave my opinion out of it, and we’ll just look at the data because in my case, the volume of testimonials and thank you emails that I received over one week for a paid product vastly exceeded what I had received over a year for free products. So, draw your own conclusions.

Justin:                   Do you think it’s because they’re paying, they attach more value to it probably?

Trent:                    No question.

Justin:                   Whereas if they got it for free, it’s like, “I got a link on an email. That’s not really …”

Trent:                    Let me give you an example I think that sets this up perfectly. I just read this yesterday, and I don’t remember the dude’s name, but this guy is a violinist. He plays in places like Carnegie Hall, and sells it out at 1,000 bucks a ticket or whatever the hell his price was. They worked it out that for the three hours he played, he was making $115,000 an hour.

                                So, then as an experiment, and they documented this, he went out and put himself on the curb, opened up his violin case, pulled out his whatever, $500,000 vintage violin and starts playing, and he made 33 bucks in an hour.

Justin:                   Yeah, I’ve seen that.

Trent:                    It’s called the frame. So, when people pay for something, they have an expectation of value, and I also think that they are more likely to actually use it or read it. That’s not to say that a lot of people that will buy it and don’t use it because there are people who are just addicted to buying products, and sorry, I can’t help those people. I mean, I can give them a good product, but I can’t make them actually read the thing.

                                So, yeah, we’re going to be doing more … I’m not planning on getting on the product launch treadmill. I can tell you that because it is exhausting, and I can only put out … There’s only so much I want to put out in that regard, and there’s only so much I can put out on that regard. For me, I mentioned, I said on day one I had all this trepidation about whether or not this was going to be a good thing or not. By day two, when people had time to read the thing or at least part of it and start to write me all these testimonials like one from this lady named Shirley, had purchased a lot of courses, and software, promising to do this and that, and the other.

                                Honestly, I was pretty sure, of course, I’m sure your course will be more than same rehashed stuff. Read the entire PDF, watched all the videos. The quality of the presentation is awesome. The information is exactly as advertised, blah, blah, blah, blah. I got lots and lots and lots of those things, and I thought, “Wow! I charge people money for something, and they seem to appreciate it a whole bunch more.” So, yes, I am a fan of charging for stuff. However, with that said, I realized that free also has a place. So, I don’t know that you have to choose one or the other. I just think that you can use both.

Justin:                   Yeah. We did both, actually. So, within teletheme, we sold that, and we actually did a launch. We had a JV manager and everything for it. So, we went full on IM for this thing. It brought in over 1,000 sales. So, we had a bunch of new potential customers to introduce to our business and our brand, and everything. It was effective. I mean, these are people that paid money, and are now a part of our circle. We didn’t measure the difference between the two on which one ultimately like the LTV or lifetime value of a customer from the free versus paid, but that might have been interesting. Yeah, I mean, they definitely can both work.

                                So, you’ve now got products with Bright Ideas, but you’re also doing I wouldn’t call it consulting, but you are promoting the values of Infusionsoft. When people sign up, they sign up through your affiliate link, and then you can get a piece of that. One of the benefits is that it’s recurring, which is fantastic. You also are doing, helping people detailed actually, set up or manage their campaigns or a flow of information inside of Infusionsoft. Along that information, I see you’re providing for free. Are you also an Infusionsoft partner where you help them set up their system?

Trent:                    At the moment, no. So, let me clarify what you’ve explained so that everyone understands it. Infusionsoft is like a race car, but the content that does not come with Infusionsoft if the fuel. Race cars don’t go without fuel. So, Infusionsoft as a tool is phenomenal, but if there’s no content or campaigns in it, you have to create it all. So, I learned from the rep, the sales rep at Infusionsoft, ironically, whose name is also Trent, he said, “The number one way to get people to use your affiliate link is to offer them done-for-you campaigns.” He says, “We can just copy them over from your app to their app.” So, big light bulb. Ding!

Justin:                   Oh, that’s cool.

Trent:                    So, I just started to talk about that. I said to people, “Look, I’ve got all these pre-made, I got a yearlong nurturing campaign that marketing consultants and marketing agencies could use. It’s a lot of content, and I wrote it all.” It’s written in a generic enough way that you probably wouldn’t have to change anything, but if you wanted to change some things, it’s really easy to do. That has proven to be a fairly influential. I’m losing my words here, but it’s worked quite well in getting people to want to use my affiliate, I mean, not to use my affiliate link. I’ve had people who’ve write me who’ve already signed up without Infusionsoft saying, “Can I quit?” and they sign up again, but it doesn’t work that way.

Justin:                   I mean, similar to that, I’ve bought stuff from Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income. I did it because he was killing it with value. I would have felt guilty if I didn’t buy it through Pat. I think you’re heading down the same route with Infusionsoft, where you’re giving them so much information, and letting them really build up their campaign based on your model that some people are like, “I got to go through you,” right? That’s what you’re looking to do there.

Trent:                    Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m looking to do, but at the same time, I also upload free video every week, at least I have been, that shows how I’m using Infusionsoft or shows campaigns that do just that or the other thing, and that’s … You don’t have to use my affiliate link to get in that stuff. You just go to the YouTube channel, and you get to watch it all.

Justin:                   Well, I’ve been getting value, and we’ve been using Infusionsoft. We’re using this autopilot, but a lot of the principles from marketing automation are the same, so I can cross apply some of the things. So, now that you’ve been doing this, you have some products. I know that you work with both small and medium-sized businesses and agencies. Where do you see Bright Ideas going in the future? Are you going to work closer with Infusionsoft? How do you plan to spin profit streams out of that? What are your goals here?

Trent:                    Well, a byproduct of this launch that I just did was some introductions that happened behind the scenes. One of those people, actually, that’s not entirely true. I’m thinking of a different individual. So, this is a byproduct of my podcast. I ended up interviewing this orthodontist, who’s an Infusionsoft user. His name is Dustin Burleson. He’s killing it, just absolutely. He’s got four locations, 4.5 million a year in revenue, crazy profits, all the good stuff that everybody wants.

                                I got talking with the guy who does the company he uses to actually do all the marketing with Infusionsoft. So, here, I had this launch, and I had 1450 new customers. I had a couple of webinars, and I knew that from asking, from doing polls on these webinars that a much higher percentage of the audience that I expected on this one particular webinar, which had 600 people on it, 80% of them said they already had a business, which was a surprise to me because I thought maybe it would be half, the other half-

Justin:                   They’re aspirational or something.

Trent:                    Yeah. Correct. So, I was like, “Wow! All right.” So, I’ve got this audience, and these guys are, a lot of them had asked me in emails, “Is there going to be coaching? Is there going to be coaching?” I hadn’t decided yet whether there was or wasn’t. I thought, “All right?” At the same time, my wife, her business, she got a tutoring company, and she didn’t really want to do it anymore. So, she had been taking more of a role and helping me with Bright Ideas. I said, “Hey, why don’t we do this? Why don’t we start our own marketing agency?” In my course, in the Mobile Lead Method, I talk so much about picking a niche. So much of your success is dependent upon the niche that you pick. Some people don’t pick any niche. They try and be everything to everyone, and that’s just a horrible way to go.

Justin:                   That’s a plan for failure.

Trent:                    Yeah. I mean, exactly. So, I thought, “All right. I’ve already built a million dollar plus service business selling to small business, so I know it’s going to be pretty easy to do it again, especially now that I know more about marketing.” So, we’re launching an agency. We’re going to focus on dentists. So, my 1450 customers, I’m going to try and convince as many of those as I can to follow me, to literally copy exactly what I’m doing. Sorry if I’m rambling, but I forgot your question. I’ll finish the thought, then you can ask me if I didn’t answer it.

                                So, we’re going to be doing what we’re teaching, and offering the coaching on an ongoing basis to that group. Infusionsoft will be a big, big part of that, and through the agency, yeah, we will take actual clients, but unless they really beat on us, they’re the only ones that we’re going to pursue will be dentists. If people come to us and they’re willing to pay the prices that we’re charging dentists, of course, we would take them, but-

Justin:                   Really? So, you’re niching down to dentists that you can basically put inside the funnel of Infusionsoft, and provide marketing automation for them? You’re that niched down?

Trent:                    Yeah.

Justin:                   That’s cool. Are you going to do this through or are you going to have a specific, you’re going to have a separate marketing arm for those dentists probably?

Trent:                    There will be a different site, which is going to be the lead capture site, but the brand name is still going to be Bright Ideas. For everything that I’m doing currently, I don’t see needing another brand other than Bright Ideas.

Justin:                   I don’t know why I do this. Whenever I talk about niching down to people, dentists is my go-to. I have no idea why I do that. So, it’s just funny that you’re actually targeting dentists with this, but yeah, that’s pretty interesting. So, you’re going to do coaching for people with Infusionsoft. You’re going to be an agency, but you’re going to be specifically focused on the dentist niche.

Trent:                    Correct.

Justin:                   Anything else? What other plans you have coming out through the end of the year?

Trent:                    We have, it’s in development, a software, a SaaS app, Software as a Service for agencies. I have a partner that is working on this with me at this point because he’s in development. He’s pretty much driving the bus. I’ll be tasked more when it’s ready. That is for agencies because one of the things that made my old business so successful was that we generated recurring revenue from our customers. So, we didn’t have to start at zero every month like so many businesses do.

                                So, I looked and I started to study the agency space, and this is going back six months now. I realized that in reading some of the surveys that I had covered, their biggest challenge was onboarding new customers and consistent revenue. So, I thought, “Well, okay. So, I can do all these interviews and talk about Infusionsoft, and then I’ll help them with the whole onboarding new customers, but how am I helping them with generating a recurring revenue?”

                                Then I started thinking about, “Well, agencies should be and more of them are probably going to be producing blog content for their customers on an ongoing basis because that’s what you need to do if you want to get love from Google and traffic, and engagement and all these good things.” So, I started looking that agencies have a tool, a software tool for that, and I couldn’t find one. It was really in a good … Actually, I couldn’t find one. So, we decided to build one. It doesn’t have a name yet.

Justin:                   I love that.

Trent:                    We did a markup for 500 bucks. We used Twitter bootstrap and made it pretty. So, it looked really good, and then I showed a bunch of people. The response was, “Yeah, I’d pay $100 a month for that. That would really save me a bunch of time.” One guy that we talked to, he’s got six writers and I think 50 blogs that he’s managing for his clients. I said, “Well, how do you manage all the workflow for that?” He goes, “Email.”

Justin:                   Oh, God!

Trent:                    I knew. I was like, “Oh, that probably doesn’t work very well, does it?” He goes, “No. It’s a holy nightmare.” Then I met another agency that had over 100 and they said, “Yeah, this is so painful for us. We actually thought about building our own app.” So, I don’t know if it’s going to succeed or not, but that is another iron in the fire for the same tribe that I’m making everything else.

Justin:                   It’s cool. It’s interesting. I mean, Joe and I had a similar problem where when we first started, now this is probably first few couple of niche sites. I had a bit by email back and forth. I was like, “Oh, my! This is ridiculous. This is ridiculous. This is a mess.” I go on real basic, Google Doc, and then ultimately, we moved to a CRM with eTiger, but that’s definitely, definitely a pain.

                                Let me back up to the bigger picture for a minute. One of the last questions I want to ask you is … So, you went through this period of offline, struggling to success, to selling it, right? So, you went through the life cycle there. Then you went online, and you were like, “What the hell am I doing in this niche? Let me find a better match for me,” and you started hitting it. When you transferred from Online Income Lab to, how much of your audience followed you? I mean, do you think you retained some because they knew that you had some skills and some chops or do you think that audience is completely different?

Trent:                    Some, but I would have to only guess the number. I would say maybe 10%.

Justin:                   I’m one of them, buddy. I’ve been with you.

Trent:                    I appreciate that. I had built a list of about 5-5.5 thousand people from the Online Income Lab. Just before my honeymoon, so maybe three or four weeks ago, very periodically, I haven’t produced any content for those people, and I have done some affiliate promotions, but I was just watching the open rates, and the emails go down, and down, and down. So, I thought, “You know what? I’m going to stop emailing these people, unless they want to come over to Bright Ideas.”

                                So, I basically set up this campaign in Infusionsoft that had four or five emails in a row. Of course, if they click a link, then they don’t get the emails after that. That’s one of the cool things about Infusionsoft, but that’s a whole separate topic. I just thought, “If they don’t go and click the link that I wanted to click, I’m just not going to email them anymore.” So, I still think there’s over 4,000 of that 5,000 that probably haven’t opened my emails, and God knows how long and do not care that I even exist.

Justin:                   Well, Trent, from what it sounds like, good riddance, man. I mean, you’re on a good path now, and I really like the direction you’re heading. I think you’re in a really … We’re talking about this before the show, rising tide lifts all boats, and I really think the marketing automation niche, specifically around Infusionsoft, has a lot of growth to do. There’s a lot more growth to do. So, is there anything that you think I should have asked you in this interview that I didn’t really touch on? What would you like to share with us?

Trent:                    I would say the one parting piece of advice that I would give, and I have a YouTube video that I curated, and if you go to YouTube and you search for … because some of the people in your audience probably are aspiring entrepreneurs because we all have that segment. Those people are really dear to me because i was one of them many years ago. Back when I have that company and now I always get the same question, “How do I get started?” There’s a video on YouTube. If you search how to start a business with no money, if you go on YouTube, my video now comes up number one. We just passed 100,000 views or something. I explained what I call my Green Dot Theory.

                                So, if you’ve been following my stuff for a while, maybe you’ve seen that video. I essentially explained the biggest thing that people who are aspiring the thing that they get stuck on is they think they got to wait till they just magically think up this perfect idea. I have never thought up a perfect idea in my entire life nor do I ever expect to think up a perfect idea because my name is not Steve Jobs, and very few of us are.

Justin:                   It’s ridiculous. Any Empire Flippers listeners, hopefully, they know that that is ridiculous taking in. Really, it’s just another form or resistance keeping you from actually getting started.

Trent:                    So, my advice is just start. Pick something. Either start blogging about it or create a product, put up a sales page, start doing an opt-in, something, because until you get some other human beings to interact with, you’ll never find your bright idea. No pun intended.

Justin:                   Well, Trent, I really appreciate being on the show, man. It’s been fantastic. Thanks for answering all our questions as best you can. I think you had some really interesting and useful advice for our listeners. I know people are going to check you out at Where else do you hang out online?

Trent:                    That’s probably the best place to find me. I mean, I’m on Twitter, but my name is hard to spell. If you go to, you’ll find all of my other stuff from there. Also on the homepage, if you’ll allow me to plug it, I just recently launched what I call my conversion tactics toolbox. I got really good at conversions with Bright Ideas. Dan Norris formerly wrote about me in a post and my overall conversion rate is quite a bit higher than normal. So, I try to break down what I do in a four-part video series. It’s all free. So, if you go to, you can get it. Of course, then you’ll be on my list, and if you reply to any one of the emails, you’re going to end up in my inbox. I’m not a hard guy to get a hold of.

Justin:                   Cool. The last thing I’ll actually mention is I’ve seen you and Dan Norris partnering up a bit. I’m a big fan. I know that he is a workaholic. He knocks content out.

Trent:                    I know.

Justin:                   He has some really useful stuff. So, yeah, to put you guys together, I know you’re a sales guy, too, so with his great content, you’ve done some great content as well, but I think you guys pairing up is actually pretty interesting. So, I’d be interested to see what you guys come out with more in the coming six, nine, 12 months. Anyway, man, thanks so much for being on the show. I really appreciate you, Trent.

Trent:                    No problem at all. Thank you for having me on. Like I said, not a hard guy to get a hold of. So, if you have listened and you have questions, just get a hold of me. Happy to answer.

Justin:                   Sweet, man. Thanks.

Trent:                    Okay. Take care.

Male:                    The Empire Flippers Podcast.

Justin:                   All right, Joe. So, you’re back from the beach, buddy. What do you think about that interview? Pretty crazy, huh?

Joe:                        Pretty crazy. Sorry I missed it, man.

Justin:                   It’s fun really getting into it because it’s really exciting to hear about how he went from the make money online, which it was just not a good fit. It just wasn’t working, and was able to totally pivot, redirect himself into something that’s a much better fit for him, and it really allowed him to shine through.

Joe:                        Yeah. Sign of a good entrepreneur, right? Doesn’t give up, adapts to what he has, takes what’s working, goes with that, drops the other stuff. So, yeah, I mean, those are really good entrepreneurial qualities.

Justin:                   Cool, man. Well, let’s get right into our tips, tricks, and our plans for the future.

Male:                    You are listening to the Empire Flippers Podcast with Justin and Joe.

Justin:                   So, our tip for the week is actually about expired domains through GoDaddy. So, Joe was looking around for a domain we could use to put all of our content that we have from the expired niche sites onto a site, so we can reuse that content. Some of the cross started digging through GoDaddy expiring domains. They found some really sweet deals.

                                Now, there are a ton of ways you can find expired domains. Hayden over at Niche Pursuits went through a great long blog post or interview about it. This is a pretty quick and dirty one that you found.

Joe:                        Yeah. I mean, there are a bunch of different software out there. I mean, you could spend a lot of time, effort, and energy trying to find these ones, but if you just simply go on GoDaddy domain options, you filter for expired domains, and then you take those domains and check out their back link profile in or something like that. Go back to the way back machine. We’ll provide the links to all this stuff, and make sure that it wasn’t a porn site or something really spammy site or something like that, and then generally check if it’s still in the Google cache or something like that. You can really find some good deals.

Justin:                   You’re saying 20, 40 bucks, 50 bucks, 30 bucks.

Joe:                        Yeah, PR3s, PR4s, that are very reasonably priced. Even if you want them to have certain keywords, they are available. The great thing about GoDaddy is there are hundreds of domains, thousands of domains available that fit most criteria. So, I’m sure that there’s other big marketplaces out there as well, [inaudible 01:00:48] and these other ones that you could do similar things on, but we use GoDaddy. We have a GoDaddy account, and it was just easy for me to do.

Justin:                   I remember reading about this not that long ago, and it’s funny. You seem to come across a lot of political campaigns that expire because they get a lot of … I don’t know why this is. I’m thinking that they get a lot of traction. So, they’re getting a lot of links, a lot of publicity. When the campaign is over, you don’t need it anymore, so they drop off and so there are all these political domains available. Do you find that when you were looking or no?

Joe:                        Especially if they lose, I guess, that would happen, right? No, I didn’t really see any political domains. I mean, I saw a lot of SEO domains. I saw some adult domains that just neither one of those are ones that I would want to touch with a 10-foot pole, but yeah, there are plenty out there for most niches I would think that as long as you’re willing to be a little bit creative with the domain name, I’m sure you could find something.

Justin:                   Well, that’s it for episode 56 of the Empire Flippers Podcast. Thanks for being with us. Make sure you check us out on Twitter, @EmpireFlippers, and we’ll see you next week.

Joe:                        Bye-bye, everybody.

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



  • Joe says:

    Just listened to this, great podcast!

    I followed Trent from Oil to BI as his advice was always good, and worth following/listening to.

    His Mobilead product was really in depth and had pretty much everything needed to start your own web design firm in terms of finding clients.

    I don’t think his new product has been released yet but I’m sure its one to watch out for.

  • darren says:

    Great interview. I’ve heard a bit of Trent around that place. He’s obviously a very successful at B2B.. I can see why he got the shits with the MMO niche… he’ll do really well with the Bright Ideas.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      It’s an awesome turnaround story, which is why I was stoked to have him on the show to talk about it. It’s a great example of finding YOUR right niche and a good product/market fit.

  • Dan Franks says:

    Great stuff as expected from you two experts in your craft. I’ve heard the story before, but always have to laugh to myself when Trent just says “F it” with the niche sites.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      I know, right? In talking to Trent, I could hear/feel his frustration with the entire affair and get why he just wanted out of that side of the business. I’ve been following Bright Ideas and his appearances on other shows and continue to be impressed. His automation tactics are solid and I believe he really has Infusionsoft down…

  • Great episode guys.

    Trent I LOVE the Bright Ideas podcast, and the first question I asked Justin when I heard you on Dan Norris’s was “is this the same Trent Dyrsmid”? as if that name was common…

    Good to see you back in the B2B world and away from all of those nasty MMOers 😉

    • Justin Cooke says:

      It’s interesting to see his “miss” (A $20K/month miss…but miss all the same) turn around when he really hits the right market and his skills start to shine.

  • Steve Arnold says:

    Hey Trent,

    Congrats on bouncing back mate! I really enjoyed your podcast back in the day and it was one of the major catalysts for me jumping into online full time.

    It was a shame seeing things go south, not that I really know anything about your situation but it just seemed to me like things happened all a bit too quickly and got out of hand. That’s my outside impression anyway.

    Anyway, I’m glad that’s behind you now. Respect for being able to move past it and using it to become stronger.

    P.S I don’t remember if you coined the phrase or were quoting someone, but you were talking on one of your podcasts about how you felt that you had become “unemployable”… Anyway, that really stuck with me and whenever the concept of working for “the man” again crosses my mind, I can just hear you saying that word over and over in the back of my mind lol!


    P.S Great interview too Justin 😀 Kudos

  • Hey Trent

    congrats on the success of bright ideas.

    Justin great interview technique really balanced views aired.


    • Justin Cooke says:

      Thanks, Steve.

      Yeah, I really wanted to dig into the details on how he transitioned away from OIL to BI. It’s been an excellent transition for him (and for his new readers/listeners) in that it just seems like a really strong fit. I’m digging his content on marketing automation as it’s hitting me at just the right time.

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