EFP 96: Your Blog Will Never Be A Business

Justin Cooke May 29, 2014

Have you ever decided to start a blog with the intention of building a business from it? Plenty of people do, and some are successful at it, but the odds of you striking gold is slim.

Why Blogs Typically Don’t Become a Real Business

Today, Joe and I talk about why most blogs will never become businesses. A lot of bloggers who are hoping to generate profit don’t focus on the right things that matter and as a result, find themselves in a vacuum. Hit publish, sit back, drink beer, and just let the cash flow in, right? Nope!

If you want to start a business and you’re looking to blogging to help do it, check this episode out first:

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

 Direct Download – Right Click, Save As

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Short-term cash-flow tunnel vision instead of focusing on building an asset.
  • Benefits of allowing readers to grow with longer, higher value content.
  • Focusing on the wrong target market.
  • Thinking more about conversions and sales and not vanity metrics.
  • Common fears many bloggers have that hold them back from becoming a business.


Help Us Out:

  • “A blog is a marketing channel. It’s not a business.” – Justin – Tweet This!
  • “Get the deal done or get them out of your pipeline. Potential sounds good but that’s not money in the bank.” – Justin – Tweet This!

What are your thoughts on building a business out of a blog? What would you tell a beginner who wants to start a business? Leave your thoughts on SpeakPipe or comment below to start a discussion!


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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? Worried that e-book you bought for 17.95 won’t bring you the personal and the 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 96, the Empire Flippers Podcast. I’m you’re host, Justin Cooke, and I’m here with Joe Hot Money Magnoty. What’s going on, buddy?

Joe:                        What’s up everybody?

Justin:                   We got a great episode lined up. This week, we’re gonna be talking about why your blog will never be a business. We’re gonna get in some of the details about what we mean by that.

                                Before we do that, let’s do some updates, news and info. First thing is, we’ve got a new apprentice buddy.

Speaker 1:           Who is it?

Justin:                   We’ve got Mike Brankovic, that’s totally not right. Rankovic, no dude, I don’t know. Serbian name [crosstalk 00:00:57]

Joe:                        It’s Serbian, you’re never gonna be able to [crosstalk 00:00:58]

Justin:                   Really cool guy, he’s out of Chicago, has some financial, industry experience, I think is really sharp, hungry, and I think he’s gonna do amazing things for the Empire Flippers team. We’re expecting him to come out here in July, we can’t wait.

Joe:                        Yeah, between his sales experience and his financial background, his ability to follow up, I think he’s gonna be a great market place manager, good customer interfacing for both buyers and sellers.

Justin:                   So, the other thing is we’ve been doing a whole lot of process, creating and documenting and flow chart making and all kinds of things, really looking to lay out our processes. We’ve changed our support team, you can now go to support.empireflippers.com and check it out if you’re interested, but we’ve been working with our team, so they’re able to handle all different kinds of buyer and seller inquiries and requests, and we’re going step by step over everything with them over the last couple of weeks, and it’s been quite a journey.

                                Before, we had it kind of limited to only a couple of people that would handle certain areas, and now, we’re kind of opening it up, so we want to make sure that everyone is able to handle all of the different questions and inquiries and deposits and dealing with sellers and helping them kinda through the process.

Joe:                        It’s a great exercise, but man, is it tedious.

Justin:                   It is. And we spent a good what, six, seven hours today, just really kinda hammering out some stuff. We’ve been doing a lot of this lately. Other thing is we’ve got a design meeting, our designers are actually coming out here to Davao City Philippines, next Tuesday. We’ll meet with hi, and finalizing some of the changes, it’s been kind of a long process. It’s funny too, ’cause this is the thing we tell everyone not to do. Not to get caught up in these crazy long drawn out …

                                You know, just slap something out there, get a fiver logo, I think that works when you’re bootstrapping and just starting off. Where we wanna go and where we wanna take this does require a bit more, and that’s why we’ve built a cashflow, we’ve built an asset, I think that is ready for phase 2 of our company.

Joe:                        Agreed, I think we’re really ready for the big time here, we couldn’t afford to do this redesign in a cheap manner. We have to [crosstalk 00:03:00]

Justin:                   That’s too expensive, cost us too much money, right?

Joe:                        Yeah, I mean, we have to make sure this relaunch and this rebranding is top of the line.

Justin:                   Otherwise, we’re losing out on business, we’re losing out on opportunities and I think that would hurt us in the long run.

                                Alright man, enough with the updates, news and info, let’s get right into the heart of this week’s episode.

Speaker 1:           This is the Empire Flippers Podcast.

Justin:                   Alright, so let’s talk a little bit about why your blog will never be a business and this episode is really prompted by episode 76, where we kind of controversially got into the subject of what actually makes a business from our perspective. And we talked about things like having people in there, having process, scalable processes, we talked about having customers are well.

Joe:                        Yeah, we touched on like a nerve there, for a couple of people, they were definitely a little unhappy.

Justin:                   What are you talking about I don’t have a business? Okay, maybe you’ve got a great solo-preneur thing going on. You’ve built yourself an awesome job where you’re not spending a bunch of time. But as we defined it, some of those wouldn’t be considered businesses.

                                And we want to do kind of a follow up to that. And talk about why the blog that you’re building or you’re creating will never be a business. And so, we’re gonna go through 4 main points here, we have some sub points on those, and then talk about some of our answers to why or how to answer those problems or those reasons why your blog will never be a business.

                                You know, the first thing I think, to keep in mind is that a blog is a marketing channel. Right? It’s not a business. And I would say there are few exceptions to those, but you’re not the exceptions. Huffington Post, things like that, yes, they’ve definitely, they are full on business, and they did start off from a blog, but it’s not likely that you’re gonna hit that. I mean, you’re just not gonna do that. It’s like people say, I’ve got a start up going, I’ve got a social network, it could be like Facebook, well, yeah, it could be, but it probably won’t for you. It probably won’t for me or Joe.

Joe:                        Yeah, it’s disappointing, I mean, ’cause you see people fall into this trap, not a lot, but often enough, where they think that, yeah, they can just kind of, they don’t look it as the marketing funnel and the lead in to their products or services. They just look at it as, well, I mean, you know, they New York Times just makes money through advertising. They don’t realize how much traffic they really need to attract and how difficult that is.

Justin:                   Yeah, and I think … don’t think that we’re disparaging blogs in any sense. I think blogging is a fantastic platform. I think it’s a great connector with you, your audience, your potential customers and your actual customers. I think it’s a great channel. It’s just that, it’s a channel. Right.

                                So the first reason your blog will never be a business is because you’re treating it like a cashflow and not an asset. And you see this a lot from people that, saying look at smart passive income. Right? [inaudible 00:05:40] over at smart passive income, he’s crushing it with Blue Host. I’m gonna put my site up there, I’m gonna slap some key words on, I’m gonna look at Blue host reviews, whatever, and I’m gonna put a bunch of advertisements on my blog for Blue host, and whip, bam, boom, I’m gonna be Pat Flynn. I’m gonna make my 40,000 dollars a month with Blue host.

                                No, man, it’s not likely, and in fact, a lot of times, if you’re starting off with just kind of putting it up as just advertisements, as a short term cash flow, that kind of short term thinking is gonna hurt you in the long run. You’re not building an asset, you’re building something that makes a bit of cash along the way.

Joe:                        Yeah, I can see why people fall into this trap, you know, it’s easy to make that first 500 to a thousand dollars and all of a sudden, they start saying, oh whoa, I could build a little business out of this. But, it’s not really a business, right? You don’t really have any plan, all you’re doing is building around someone else’s products or services.

Justin:                   Yeah, and some of the gurus say to do this to, so just hey, just slap up some affiliates, and that’s how it’s gonna work.

                                And, I’ll tell you, to be clear, we do this with some of our niche sites, this is something we’ve done, we’ve put ad sense on them, right? But those websites on their own, those niche sites, are not a business. None of them are businesses. Our business is around the niche site, not the actual niche site itself. I think that is an import thing, or an important distinction to look at.

                                Another thing is that you’ll have bloggers that are thinking more about kind of the one off sales, their e-book, rather than the life time value of a customer, so, if they’re able to solve someone’s problem with an e-book or a particular problem, they’re not looking at the add on problems they can help solve. They’re not looking at what some of the other needs, wants or issues their buyers, their ebook buyers are having. Right, the other problems they have.

Joe:                        Yeah, I think this is a common error as well. Because, again, you fall into that trap of the easiest, lowest common denominator, appealing to the largest crowd, the kind of entry level people, solve their problem, and get some sales coming in, but you really don’t think much beyond that.

Justin:                   And you also gotta think about how expensive initial customer acquisition is, right? If you’re just doing one offs, it’s really hard to spend the amount of money profitably with a profitable RY, to attract those initial clients and have it make sense with your one off product, whereas it makes a hell of a lot more sense if you’re attracting long term customers that have good lifetime value.

                                It’s one of the reasons, going back to it, why companies like Blue host, are willing to give you commissions that are well above what their initial payment from the customer is, ’cause they’ve already worked all that out. Host gator, GoDaddy, all those guys have already worked out what the lifetime value of a customer is, and they’ve got, once they’ve got them into their circle, their circle of trust, they now that on average, my customer’s worth $1,286, or whatever it is, and it’s no problem for them to give away fifty bucks, eighty bucks, a hundred dollars, up front, even when they’re not earning that in the first month. They’re losing money, they’re willing to pay a ton on customer acquisition, because they’ve really focused on life time buyers.

                                The other thing is you’ll see a lot of blogs that try to focus on like the early stage, stage one of the problems, and they don’t really allow their readers to grow. They don’t grow with their leaders, they kind of are like a launching pad for everyone else. So, people are coming along, maybe they buy that kind of one off product, and there’s just not enough meat left on the bones when they want to start advancing, so let’s say that they’re looking to, let’s use one example. They want to get started with blogging, right, they’ve never really blogged before. And you’re a blogger that helps other people get started blogging.

                                And all you do is you offer kind of an intro level product. Well, they’re gonna come to you, and then they’re gonna find these other advanced blogs that are giving more advanced courses, and maybe charging a heck of a lot more, and they’re gonna move on from yours because they see these others as kind of the next phase, whereas I think you could do a much better job of offering some intermediate, or even advanced level of content.

                                To bring it back to Pat Flynn, he has, he targets a lot of newbies. So a lot of people that are new to the business. But he also has content in there that I think is like an intermediate level, so like an analytics dashboard. I know how to set up and adjust an analytics dashboard, but I’ve read some of Pat’s content that helped me look at some other relationships, like I could basically match up on a dashboard, to make our dashboard really good.

Joe:                        Yeah, I think we learned this lesson too. When we first started out, we were appealing more to the builder crowd, and maybe the entry level kind of people who wanted to buy ads on sites and we learned as we developed a business and not just the blog, but the business, that we better offer more higher end products, so I think that …

Justin:                   Otherwise, people are gonna leave ’cause they’re gonna go somewhere else. They’re gonna advanced along and so as you grow, I think you need to provide content that allows your audience to grow as well, I think that’s really important.

                                So, some of the answers to treating your blog more like an asset than a cashflow is to look at the long haul strategy and what you’re looking to do. Any asset that you’re gonna purchase or build requires some level of investment, right Joe?

Joe:                        Yeah, I mean, definitely time and money, so you have to set aside some time and money for this thing to become a business and not just a blog, and whether that means going out there and spending 8 months building content and getting involved in the community, and really getting some authority as well as building a product that has service of some sort, having a support team on the back end. These kind of things that you can’t just whip, bam, boom together without any time or money. It’s something you should set aside from the beginning.

Justin:                   And, we’re not saying you shouldn’t have a buy now button on your site, you need to wait 8 months to build out some content strategy. No. That’s not what we’re saying, you can have that up there, but if you’re only looking at it from just that perspective and not looking at the long haul strategy, you’re gonna hurt yourself.

                                The other thing you can do is to reinvest as much as you can, into the business, and the blog as you can to start, whether you’re working another job or some other income stream, or you’ve saved up enough cash to where you can re-invest any cashflow you’re getting early on, back in the business, that’s gonna get you’re business and your blog to a level that is reasonable, rather than going, month three, let’s see you make a hundred and fifty dollars, and month four you made a hundred and eighty dollars, and like this slow growth.

                                If you’re able to re-invest that into the business, you’re gonna get more of a hockey stick type growth because you’ve put so much money in, so much effort into the business.

Joe:                        Look, I know this hurts, I know this hurts, you could use that extra two or five hundred dollars a month and you’re really just thinking, hey, I would just like to go off that and make that beer money kind of thing. But if you don’t re-invest, if you don’t use that as a tactic and a mindset in order to develop your business, it’s just never gonna happen.

Justin:                   Yeah, I think you can make money a lot sooner than 9 months, 12 months down the road, but you’re blog isn’t gonna be a major channel for your business inside of 3 months. That’s not typical, so it is gonna take that long for your blog to be an effective channel, so you’re gonna have to know that you’re gonna have to put the time, effort and energy, and cash, into building out this asset. It’s a long term play, not a short term play. You want a short term play? Go to ad words.

Joe:                        Right.

Justin:                   Go buy some paid traffic. This is your long term asset. And the other thing, Joe, you mentioned before the show, was that at some point, you have to determine a long term vision or strategy, once you’ve actually got some traction, you’ve got a bit of cash coming in, you need to to really kind of set where you’re going, set that vision of kind of what you wanna become. Our buddy Damon calls it the big harry ass goal. And you wanna set that down the road and you wanna start putting goals in place and time lines to achieving it.

Joe:                        Yeah, I think this is so important and we see a lot of bloggers make this mistake. They go ahead, they get in, they make some quick money and they just, you know.

Justin:                   See, what happens, kind of go with the flow and they’ll pivot or change, and they don’t really have any long term vision going on.

Joe:                        Look, I love the adapting piece, I love the [inaudible 00:13:40], I think it’s great, but I think there can be a little too much of that sometimes, especially when you get caught up in just the day to day of it. You need to have some sort of long term vision and goals, in order to bring your blog to be a business.

Justin:                   So, the second reason your blog will never be a business is you’re focused on the wrong target market. And, you’ll see this, I think, with blogs, when they’re content is kind of all over the place, so they’re not focused on a particular problem or issue or niche. And so, there’s nothing tying their readers together. They don’t have like a common bond, a common issue, a common problem, they’re just kinda like, oh, yeah, I love you’re kind of packing video, right, for travel, and then oh, I love when you’re talking about problems with your mom, you know, there’s nothing really tying them together.

                                Some people have made this successful by making it their personality, they actually tie it together with their personality, some people go to the similar route, where it’s like the guru kind of thing, like look at how amazing I am and blah, blah, blah. But that’s not common. It’s not a good approach to be taking, but you see a lot of people trying to copy that and it’s problematic, because they think they’re writing kind of this random content and they’re not solving a particular problem in a niche. Right.

Joe:                        Yeah, I think we see this a lot. Definitely, I’m surprised at how often we see this. Because people start a good business blog and then sort of divert and go into the personal travel habits. I’m always curious as to what they were thinking with that. And so, it’s interesting when you see something like that, it seems like a big mistake.

Justin:                   Another issue it might be that you’re solving the right problem, but you’re solving it for the wrong audience. So, let’s say that I create this amazing tool plugin or theme or something and I’m trying to sell it to bloggers right? Say, oh, bloggers are gonna be my target market, I want there to pay me fifteen dollars a month. And you find out that the bloggers are broke.

                                You’re average blogger doesn’t have any money, they don’t want to spend any money on your tool. Come to find out, you’ve got start ups, funded start ups willing to pay 300 dollars a month for what you’ve built. ‘Cause it’s amazing, and provides them a ton of value, so you spent 9 months, 18 months, 24 months, trying to focus on building out your blog. Trying to target the blogging community when you really should have been targeting funded start ups and that would have made you a ton more money.

Joe:                        Yeah, I love your example here.

Justin:                   Well, this is a real one, there was like, I forget what it was, [inaudible 00:16:03] I think that had, there’s a whole story behind it, where that’s exactly what they did and they tried to build it out for bloggers, and ended up turning around, charging a hundred, two hundred bucks a month to funded start ups and they started crushing it.

Joe:                        And, yeah, could absolutely see this being the case. Important to make sure that you’re audience is right for whatever you’re doing. Otherwise you’re gonna wind up short changing yourself.

Justin:                   The other problem it could be is that, you know, the bloggers are not getting any feedback, so they’re just kind of blogging in a vacuum, so they’re just kind of writing, you know whichever way the wind blows, they’re not actually getting feedback from customers. They’re not finding out about their problems, they’re not hearing how they’re solving their customer’s problems and so they just kind of blogging without a particular focus and they don’t have that feedback to kind of help guide them.

                                You need to be careful about feedback, we’re gonna talk about it in just a second, but the right type of feedback can really help you grow your blog. And the business behind it.

Joe:                        Yeah, I Mean, we learned this lesson again, point back to  ourselves, in the first couple years we that were here in the Philippines, not only [inaudible 00:17:05] entrepreneur island, but we were bloggers on an island as well. So, and I think was part of our problem.

Justin:                   So, if you’re focusing on the wrong target market, here’s our answer, is that you need to define your customer avatar, so you want to have your highest value target customers in mind. Who is he, what is she struggling with, what kind of issues are they having, how can you help fix them, what is their life situation look like, talking beyond demographics, like, how does their problem make them feel? Right?

Joe:                        Yeah, when we focused [crosstalk 00:17:35]

Justin:                   Sounds way too touchy feely, how does their problem make them feel, I think that’s really helpful.

Joe:                        Yeah, and when we first started doing this for us, it was so helpful for me to bring our business to the next level and I really think it’s such an important thing for marketing, is going out and defining your avatar well.

Justin:                   So, here’s the grind, buddy. This is where like business and your blog, I think, becomes a grind, is that you have to stay focused on that target customer avatar. You have to stay focused, so if you wanna kind of go off the rails and you wanna do kind of a rant post, or you just wanna talk about travel, you want to talk about something that’s totally unrelated to your niche, that’s fine. Create a personal blog, some hobby blog, and Tumblr, and get it out there. But really, you need to keep your blog especially early on, very finely focused on your target avatar, the highest value customer you can think of.

Joe:                        I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come up with a topic where you just shut it down and said, “how does that …”

Justin:                   What does it do, how does it help our customers, how does it help our listeners, I mean, it’s cool, I like it, it’d be actually fun to write but, yeah.

                                So, here’s kinda the best case scenario you can find, I think, and really helps you focus on the right target market. Is you’re gonna find that right target market, that target avatar, that target customer you had in your mind, you’re gonna find them in real life and you’re gonna get some feedback from them. Not the people that hate you, not the people that promised to, I would have bought from you if you would have done this, this and this. ‘Cause who knows, right? But these are the people that actually did buy from you. And appreciated the content and the stuff that you’re providing. And then, what you wanna do is you wanna do the things that Paul Graham talks about, do the things that don’t scale.

                                Give these guys some loving, give these gals some loving, make sure that they know how special they are to you, and you’re gonna wanna make them brand ambassadors. So, if you can do that, if you can make your perfect customer avatar a brand ambassador for you, they’re gonna go out and tell other people like them that are in a similar niche, or have similar problems about you and how you solved it. And that you can’t buy word of mouth like that.

Joe:                        When we first started tracking brand ambassadors, I was so impressed, I really came on board with the whole thing, because before that, I use to think that those were the kind of, you know, the super fans were, a little bit something off, there. Right? But, no, it’s actually a great thing for your marketing and it’s definitely the proto type for what you want for your audience.

Justin:                   So, the third reason your blog will never be a business is your chasing popularity and not wealth. You see, I’ve had issues with this, you and I had discussed this before, where there are things that we’re looking at that aren’t as important in the business and what this really comes down to is someone that’s more worried about how many blog comments they’re getting or page views they’re getting to their site. And they’re not really focused on conversion’s sales and actual engagement with their super fans.

Joe:                        Yeah, I would say in 2013 we saw a little bit of a down turn in blog comments, and I was a little bit, at first, I was a little bit saddened by that.

Justin:                   Yeah, and what happened, are we doing something wrong, or anything? But we didn’t necessarily see a drop in traffic, we didn’t see a drop in engagement, and we didn’t see a drop in sales, so, that tells us that for whatever reason, people are less engaged, but that might be because I think, when you’re just starting off, or when you’re showing people how to get started, they’re gonna have more questions. It’s more tactical, rather than strategy. And so some of those tactics are, kind of highly discussed, it’s also maybe a case of shiny new object, where someone comes along and asks a bunch of questions and they move on to the next think.

Joe:                        Yeah, I mean, this is not to say that you know, if there’s crickets on your blog, that could be a sign of a problem too, but yeah, definitely focusing on the wrong numbers could be a big issue.

Justin:                   Another thing you see people doing is they’re trying to appeal to the largest audience, so they’re worried about turning some people away or like, they wanna feel like they’re including everybody and they’re not looking at a very focused or targeted audience. They haven’t done that customer avatar profile that we’re talking about in the last ep.

Joe:                        Yeah, it drives me crazy that you still see people not niching down in this day and age, but the fact that …

Justin:                   This day and age, you sound like an old man, back in my day, right, but yeah.

Joe:                        But it is true, you see people, no I want to go after the social media audience, what? Like, what everyone? Like 8 billion people?

Justin:                   Yeah.

Joe:                        I don’t understand. So, it’s very funny, and then they say, well, how much money do you have to go after them? Well, I have fifteen hundred bucks. Well, good luck with that, yeah.

Justin:                   I think the answer to this one and chasing popularity versus wealth is you need to decide what you really want. Right, so it maybe be you sit down and say look, I’m using this to boost my personal brand because I want to sell more books or I want to get speaking engagements or something and that’s fine, so you want the popularity, popularity’s more important to you. Maybe you’ve got other cash flows or other businesses that are, you know, paying the bills, right, so, you’re cool with that. But, if you don’t want it to be that, if you actually want to build a business around your blog, and you want your blog to be a marketing channel from your business, you need to start measuring what actually matters.

                                The things that you’re measuring are the things that you’re gonna actively work on and you’re gonna see up ticks and because you’re focused on them, with some singular focus, rather than the things that are gonna make you popular. Another thing you can do is you can actually discourage some readers, and this sounds odd to talk about who’s not your customer avatar, and the reason that works is if you’re talking about who’s the perfect avatar or perfect customer, is not, the people that, it’s kind of like a soft cell for the people that are the perfect customer, so they’re gonna realize, yeah, I’m not that guy either, yeah, I don’t like those people either. Or no, I don’t want those people around, and they’re gonna realize, they’re gonna feel closer to you and more connected to you as a potential customer, actual customer, when you’re pointing out all the people that they’re not.

Joe:                        Yeah, and us versus them kind of mentality, right? I think …

Justin:                   Tribal.

Joe:                        Yeah, it’s gonna work and it definitely encourages your brand to be a powerful thing.

Justin:                   And the fourth reason why your blog will never be a business is that you’re fearful, really fearful of losing customers, losing readers, losing audience. In fact, you’re so fearful of that, you’re scared to send out too many emails, ’cause you’re worried about the unsubscribe rates, right? You see, oh my god, I sent this email, I got 15 unsubscribes, or why are people leaving my lists what did I do wrong, right, so worried about that.

                                You’re also worried about if you niched down and you say who your perfect customer isn’t, that you’re gonna be turning away people, or you maybe be losing audience. This actually reminds me of a problem called sales reluctance. Right?

                                So these are sales guys, let’s say that you’re, you constantly have like a 3 month sales cycle, right, and you’ve got a pipe line of potential deals, right, and they’re sitting in your 3 months sales, so then you’ve got this nice pipe line. And you’re doing it to the point where you’re looking at your pipeline, you’ve already spent the money in your head, right? Like, aw, I’m gonna do this, I’m going on vacation, I’m gonna buy this and this and this, and you get to the point where you’re like scared to call these people that are in your pipelines, ’cause you don’t wanna ruin the deal.

                                Like you have this fantasy in your head, that all this potential is there, I might just be able to close it all, if I can just not call them and ruin it, right?

Joe:                        Yeah. That was me when I was a sale guy, right.

Justin:                   Ah, I don’t wanna ruin my pipeline. It’ll make so much money if I just leave it there. No, no.

Joe:                        I think you have to be actively going out and pursuing your audience through whatever channels that may be, and don’t be afraid to be a little risky, you know, especially early on, you kind of have to well define that audience. I wouldn’t be emailing people everyday, but a couple times of month is definitely well within the means of anybody.

Justin:                   Joe has no idea, right now. He doesn’t know, he has no idea how many emails we send out through our email system, he’s like yeah, a couple times a month, I guess, now, but probably a couple of times a week.

                                In fact there are guys that send out one email a day, five to seven emails a day, and it really depends, again, on your target customer or your perfect customer and how many emails they would be cool with receiving. How many emails they want from you. In general though, the people that are gonna be buyers from you, want to get more information, I would send probably more emails if I could come up with … [crosstalk 00:26:01] Yeah, better things to say, but I wanna make sure that the value stays high, that’s why I have to leave it.

Joe:                        If we had more sites to sell, we’d send more emails.

Justin:                   Yeah, that’s true. That’s helpful. So, another thing I think that people do, and this is fairly common, is that people worry about selling out, or offering a crappy product or service or testing through a crappy product or service. And I get that, they’re thinking look, I started this blog or whatever, I wasn’t gonna make any money with it, my plan wasn’t to, what if I start selling a product, are people gonna call me a sell out or whatever?

                                Look, if you want to build a business, you gotta sell something, right? I mean, you just gotta sell something, so you’re gonna get hate. If you sell anything at all, you’re gonna get haters. You make any money at all, you’re gonna get haters, you just gotta deal with that. And you gotta get over that fear. So, I think the answer to being fearful of losing these customers, readers or audience, is that you want a yes or a no, you don’t want maybes.

Joe:                        Yeah, I would also say, you gotta add something here, in that the product or service you’re gonna offer doesn’t have to be perfect. You know …

Justin:                   It likely won’t be, when you start off.

Joe:                        Eighty percent is better than not shit. So, I think that that’s an important thing to remember when trying to offer a product or service to your audience, and because if a large portion of people say not to your 80% probably a large portion were gonna say no to your hundred percent product anyway. Right? At least you know and now you can go back to the drawing board and come up with something different.

Justin:                   So, think about this idea of getting a yes or no answer, and avoiding [inaudible 00:27:34] the maybes are that pipeline that you’re scared to call, right? I’d rather get a yes or a no, it’s better to take people out of your pipeline, or get the deal done. Right? Get the deal done or get them out of your pipeline and that’s, I think that’s really the way to look at it.

                                That can be scary, it can be frightening when you’ve got all this potential and the potential sounds good. But that’s not money in the bank, that’s not growing your business. The only thing that’s growing your business is getting those deals done, or cleaning out the pipeline so you can put more in. I mean, it’s one of the reason people that sell a car dealerships, or whatever, right. Inventory on the lot is a bad thing. If it’s just sitting there, clogging up there pipeline, clogging up their retail space. It is a waste of space, they start discounting, dumping it, so they can move new inventory in, so they can clean up the pipes man, clean up the funnel.

                                And like you said Joe, if people don’t like your stuff, then they probably weren’t gonna be buyers anyway, so get a yes from them, get a no from them, but make them choose a side. Make them pick what side of the fence they’re on and roll with it.

Joe:                        Yeah, and it goes back to what were talking about before, about feedback. I mean, how are you gonna get feedback with maybes, that’s not gonna be helpful, you want people to pick a side, yes or no, are you gonna buy it from me or not? And if there are more yeses than nos, than you know you’re on the right track. And if there are more nos than yeses, you’re not on the right track. And adjust, so you know, put something in front of them, let’s get it out there and put that price tag on it.

Justin:                   Word. Well, I hope you found that helpful, let’s give them our tips, tricks and plans for the future.

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

Justin:                   Alright, we got a great one for you this week, this is something that we’ve been knee deep in for the last couple of weeks and we want to share it with you.

Joe:                        Yeah, I have spent way too much time with this program and service, sweetprocess.com.

Justin:                   So, what we’ve been doing is we’ve been switching over all of our old SOPs, to sweetprocess.com and adding a whole bunch of new ones. And basically, what this is, is it’s a very clean, very clear way, to lay out your standard operating procedures. So, step one, step two, step three, step four, all the way down, as many steps as you need. You can easily add videos, add images, edit them up and it looks fantastic, it’s a great way to organize all of your SOPs in one place.

Joe:                        Yeah, I’d also say that it has a little bit of an advantage ore something like Google Docs or Evernote, because I had a friend, my friend Nathan, well, why can’t I just put that in Google Docs, and I don’t have to pay you know, forty dollars a month for access?

                                But, here you can assign the tasks to other people, it has some kind of management that way, it makes a little bit easier for them to track how many times they went through the SOP, if they checked all the steps off, that kind of thing, and Google Docs can’t do that, as of yet.

Justin:                   I just like it ’cause it’s clean man, in terms of like, just having the process laid out, plus it’s just all in one place and Google Docs can get a little messy, ’cause you get different folders. I got so many Google Docs, too …

Joe:                        It’s definitely prettier, it’s definitely easier to use and when [crosstalk 00:30:31]

Justin:                   Is it that simple? Is it just a UI thing for us? I don’t know, it might be.

Joe:                        It might be.

Justin:                   It is a thing, that’s one of the reasons we went with Slack over Hit Chat, was we really like the the [inaudible 00:30:40] it was just sexy …

Joe:                        If you have a lot of SOPs, it’s a hundred percent worth it, I mean, if you’re the kind of company that has many step processes and different processes for different parts, which, honestly, any online business has, this is a good program.

Justin:                   Alright, that’s it for episode 96 of the Empire Flippers podcast, thanks for hanging with us, make sure to check us out, on Twitter at Empire Flippers, and we’ll see you next week.

Joe:                        Bye, bye, 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. Yeah.


Photo Credit: Owen W. Brown


  • Brian says:

    Hey Justin,

    Things I loved in this episode: 1. Have your HIGHEST value customer in mind for your long-term business strategy–everybody goes after entry-levelers and doesn’t move up the value chain. 2. Empathy: might be cheesy but it’s essential. What does my target customer really need? 3. Love that you’re harping on building brand ambassadors–doing things that don’t scale and built-in remarkableness seems to me like the only way to do customer acquisition these days (without being a millionaire first and blowing it all on ads).

    https://empireflippers.com/ultimate-guide-for-expat-entrepreneurs-in-davao-city/ This pushed it past the tipping point: I’m heading to Davao to get into the scene in two weeks. Let me know if you want to meet up for an evening jam session. Thanks for providing huge value.


    • Justin Cooke says:

      Hey Brian,

      Awesome – glad you dug it! You’re heading out here? Definitely happy to hang out and meet up! I’d have to say that some of the people there have recently left, but that’s always the way of it – people coming and going. 🙂 We usually do dinners or meetups on Thursday evenings and may get together one other time during the week for a coffee shop type work. Let us know when you’re in town!

      • Brian says:

        Hey Justin,

        Arriving in Davao this Sunday night. Would love to meet the entrep. fam and make any meetups happening next week. Do let me know! Disqus or brian.bistolfo [at] gmail.com. Cheers bud!

  • NinthCrown says:

    Hello Justin & Joe. I love that you went over this subject on your latest Podcast. Spencer at Niche Pursuits was debating on whether or not he should continue pod-casting. He ultimately realized that it is not a way to earn, but to connect with his audience. You hit it on the head when you stated that it’s a marketing strategy for your business, but not a business itself. Thank you for another great podcast! -Esteban Nina

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