In this session of the Online Income Lab podcast, I welcome back Mike Cooch – an uber-successful serial entrepreneur – both online and off.
A few months ago, Mike launched a Warrior Special Offer (WSO) and got WSO of the day in his very first attempt! Consider the challenge in launching a WSO, getting the top spot in his first attempt was nothing short of amazing.
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He then decided that it would be a good idea to create a live training event for his new customers, and with just a single sales video, was able to bring in $10,000 – more than enough to cover the cost of the event – without even having created the product yet!
If you have yet to launch a WSO, or don’t even know what a WSO is, this is an episode not to be missed.
If you would like to discover Mike’s brilliant strategy for marketing and pre-selling a live event, this is also a podcast you don’t want to miss!
About Mike Cooch
Mike is a serial entrepreneur who has built and sold several companies. Having now built several multi-million dollar online businesses, Mike is a sought-after expert in the field of online marketing and sales.
Episode Talking Points and Links
How Mike got WSO of the Day
How much money he brought in
How he was able to bring in $10,000 from a single sales video
Total revenue from the WSO and the live event
Where most people go wrong when they think about product launches
Click Here to Read the Transcript
OIL 023: An Interview with Mike Cooch on How a Successful WSO Led to Over $100,000 in Revenue
Trent Dyrsmid: Hey everybody! It’s Trent here from the Online Income Lab with I think it’s session no. 24 of my podcasts. And in this episode I’m welcoming back a very good buddy of mine and a past guest by the name of Mike Cooch.
Mike & I actually met way back so many years ago in our old businesses. Both of us have now sold those companies. We started IT service companies back in our young and foolish days when we didn’t understand leveraging with business system have been. And Mike has gone on to have a lot of success with his new, or not so new now, firm Kutenda and he caught my eye recently with an email that he sent to me about a live event.
So Mike’s been doing 2 things that we’re gonna talk a little bit about in this podcast. We’re gonna talk about some of his success with WSOs because he’s been kinda killing it with those. But Mike sort of kills almost anything he gets into because he’s a smart guy. That’s right Mike, just slip the $10 bill through the computer monitor and I’ll keep telling everybody how smart you are. And I saw that he’s producing his first live, I guess it’s training event. We’re gonna talk about that in detail on this podcast because I’ve not done a live event before so I have a whole bunch of questions because I might wanna do one in the future and I thought who better to ask than my good buddy, Mike.
So with all that said Mike, welcome to the Online Income Lab podcast. Thanks for making the time to come on the show.
Mike Cooch: Absolutely, thank you Trent. Excited to be here.
T: Terrific! Well let’s, for those of my readers and listeners who have no idea who Mike Cooch is, and keep it short just who are you, backgrounds of career, what’s Kutenda and then we’re gonna dive in to WSOs and the live event.
M: Well, sounds good. Let’s see here, I’m an ultimate brat, father of 3, married, living in Colorado Denver Boulder area. Just have always, not always, I should say around the college timeframe started just falling in love with business and the idea of entrepreneurship and very quickly decided that that’s really what I wanted to do and be even probably before I really understood that. I’ve had a number of different businesses and the one that Trent mentioned that he was familiar with, an IT services company, we’ve both started a business in that industry when we realized that there were some changes on how that business could be run, marketed and stuff that we thought created big opportunities. So I run that business for about 7 1/2 years and run that and Kutenda in parallel for the last 18 months of that. And then sold that business and got out of it and now focused on some other things.
T: Terrific! So I guess for the purposes of talking about this live event the people needs, this is a Kutenda live event, correct?
M: It’s actually not a Kutenda live event. It’s a local income lab live event which is one of the brands that we built that word doing our WSOs and things like that. And that is focused on the market of entrepreneurs who are trying to get into building a business like Kutenda.
T: Okay alright. Terrific!
M: Is that clear?
T: Yes it is. Local income lab. Ah sounds strangely familiar.
M: We ripped off your domain name. Thank you to the pudge Trent.
T: But he did actually sent me an email and asked if it was okay and I didn’t mind so yeah ripped off is gonna be not the right word. It’s more borrowed. You know what though, I”m not getting any royalty checks yet coz I’m confused.
M: That’s true. Those are in the mail. It’s also served.
T: Alright so the rest of this discussion is gonna be about the local income lab and I’m sure I’m gonna flab that up and call it the online income lab at some point in time so just be prepared for that.
M: That’s alright.
T: So you got going with WSO so for the people who are listening who don’t know what a WSO is maybe explain that and then how many have you done? What are they all about? And I’m assuming that sort of segway doing into this whole live event that you got coming.
M: Yeah so WSO stands for Warrior Special Offer which is like the equivalent of like a daily deal, like a groupon type of thing but specifically to the Warrior forum which in case anybody doesn’t know about that is probably the biggest forum for people learning about internet marketing, online marketing, either trying to get into the business or connecting with people, learning new strategies and stuff like that. So they have this section of the forum …
T: Let me jump in there for a minute there. I mean offline marketing is now a pretty big part of the warrior forum. So let’s just make sure that people understand that coz if you are in an offline business you might want to check it out.
M: Exactly yeah and that’s the point. So these warrior special offers are effectively people who are providing some sort of training or services to the warrior forum members at a real discount from their normal price and this become an easy way to tap into the pretty big audience to get a product out in the market quickly, maybe get feedback from that product and test it before you take it out to a broader market, things like that. So I heard about this coz I’ve heard of a WSO 8 months ago or so. Heard somebody talk about it and looked into it and thought “wow, this seems to make a ton of sense” and just got started with them.
T: Okay so tell us with your very first WSO did you get WSO of the day?
M: We did. We got WSO of the day. What that means is just that you were kinda the hot seller of the day coz there’s a lot of warrior special offers that go out every single day. Most of them just like in any market place don’t get a lot of attraction or probably don’t make much of a sales and money. And then there’s the whatever the top 10% or so that really do exponentially better. And yeah we got WSO of the day on our first one which meant that we were kinda the hot one.
T: I wish I had one of those little applause buttons I could hit now on my keyboard and weeeeeh clap clap clap clap coz that’s pretty phenomenal to get WSO of the day on your first attempt. It’s pretty unbelievable. So we’re gonna move on to WSOs. Maybe I’ll have you on the show another time to go on more in detail into WSOs but just tell us how many units did you move? How much revenue did it generate? How many new subscribers or customers did you get from doing that WSO over and how long did it take?
M: So I think in that first one we sold nearly 2,000 copies of our product and that was probably somewhere in the neighborhood of $70,000 in total revenue.
T: Over about 3 or 4 days?
M: Yeah. And the majority of that was, not the majority, about half of it, a little more than half of it paid out to affiliate partners of ours who helped us promote the product which is kind of the common way of really getting movement really fast so you get other people that you recruit to promote for you and then you give them percentage of that revenue. So part of our strategy was to pay out a good chunk of that revenue to our affiliates to build our brand and to build our list as quickly as possible. We said that’s fine. We look at it as paying for our customer so that’s what we did.
T: And not only that, you know if you’re unfamiliar with WSOs there’s what we call the front end offer which is when affiliates are coming on board and they’re mailing. They mail to a sales page and that sales page is basically is by my stuff is $17 or $15. So it’s typically pretty popular front end prices. And then people enter your sales funnel and there’s any number of upsales that you can do on the back end which can significantly add to your revenue stream if you’ve got compelling back end offers and you got good sales copy and so forth. So and you don’t have to, you don’t necessarily have to share all the revenue with all the affiliates from all the back end offers. You might do a front end and a back end and only pay affiliates on that and then a month later you might start another sequence of 2 or 3 or more offers and you get to keep all that gravy for yourself.
So if you’re listening to this and you’re thinking, you know “hey I wanna go online and then I wanna start generating revenue, you know, sooner than later” you will definitely want to pay attention to the warrior forum. And if you’re thinking “I don’t know what product to make” just look at the WSO of the day everyday and just go back and you can get that, I think you can get them at warriorplus.com and you start studying what are people buying because that’s the no. 1 thing. I’m gonna be blogging later about an iphone app that I’m building and how I get the idea for that one on and then I look what are people already buying and how can I improve it. Now how can I just copy it and knock it off? How can I improve it? What attributes of that product made it so popular with people?
So Mike in your case, yours was an offline WSO, I believe if my memory serves me correctly. I’m assuming you went through some kind of similar research process to what I just finished explaining. Do you wanna talk a little bit about some of the attributes or how you identified what the critical success factors of that product needed to be?
M: Yeah. You know I think that what you’re talking about doing there is just good old market research 101, right? Trying to understand who are the people out there who are buying products already and what kind of challenges are they currently resonating less and kind of where are gaps that aren’t being filled. So I would totaly recommend as with the warrior forum as an example but of course there are lots of other ways to go and get this market research and offer products. But in this particular market it’s so cheap to go and buy other people’s stuff. Like you said common price points $15, $17, go buy a bunch of the most popular products and just understand “hey, here’s what they sold in their sales pitch. Here’s what they delivered. Here’s where I see some of the challenges that people are having and the gaps that they’re having that could be filled.” And that’s the easiest market research you can possibly do. Just go buy a bunch of these products.
T: That’s a great point because when you buy somebody else’s product it is as though they shared with you the entire process of what the product consist of, what the sales page looks like, what all the emails are and the upsales funnel, what the back end offer looks like, what the video on the back end offer was, the price point how they check out. You get everything when you spend a whooping $15.
T: So that can be some of the best, instead of buying other people’s courses per se to follow the course you could simply buy a truckload of WSOs to get a feel for what makes a successful WSO are now. For me that’s definitely something I’m starting to pay more of attention to.
M: So yeah that’s right. Currently I buy these products and I go through and I screen shot every step of the way. I can see here’s their sales page, here’s their upsale page, here’s their downsale page, here’s the email they send me afterwards. Now I can just go back and reconstruct what did they do that I think really went well and pop my eye and now I’d just have to incorporate that stuff into my sales process as well.
T: Yeah absolutely. Okay so as this isn’t gonna be the WSO podcast I do wanna make this transition so let’s talk about your live event. Where did this come from? I mean a lot of people do live events. I mean was it something in WSOs that led you to think you wanna have a live event? Or was it just knowing that live events can be very, very lucrative? Like why did you wanna do a live event? It’s a lot more moving parts. Lots more stress. Lots more cost and risk.
M: Yeah it’s a combination of things. Mostly actually I went to a live event just last year and well I go to a lot of live events. I mean as you know me Trent, you and I met really on the road out in live events in the previous industry. I get a lot of value on good live events and educationally get the connections that I make just even taking a handful of days to step back from my business and not be caught up in the day to day and get a different perspective. So I was on a live event just last year that I thought “man, I got so much out of this that I would love to be able to do something similar for other people in the space that I’m serving.” And I thought that there was a real opportunity for a different kind of event than was currently being put on in that space. So that was the big driver of this. I thought “man, I think that we should share a lot of great content and experience with some people and really have a good impact and make ourselves a premier event in the space to want to attend every year. That was pretty much it. And we just jumped and got started with it.
T: Okay so what space are you referring to coz I’m sure some people listening are thinking “yeah you know hey, give me more details here”.
M: So that offline marketing space that we’re talking about which is in the warrior forum offline marketing refers to people that are helping traditional mainstream mom and pop businesses, they call this offline businesses. Helping those companies with online marketing stuff.
M: So you go to a retail store down the street from you doesn’t know how to get a good website, how to use text messaging to drive people into their store, how to setup social media campaigns to attract people in their local market. That type of stuff is becoming this big opportunity that help those mainstream mom and pop businesses with that kind of marketing. So this whole, huge community of people are starting to build up around the country and around the world who are doing that for a living. They’re helping this other mom and pop small businesses. While as you know Trent, that’s the exact same customer base that we used to sell to. We used to sell to all the mom and pop businesses to help them with their IT services.
And my current business, Kutenda, that’s what we do. We help a couple bunch of offline businesses with online marketing. So I’ve got a lot of experience in that world and how you sell to those types of businesses. How you market to them. How you need to package your products and services to be profitable. How you need to setup your business to operate that doesn’t suck the light out of you and you can actually go on vacation and savor that. What I’ve been able to do is take that experience and help other people who are getting into this business to try and understand “okay here’s some of the business fundamentals I need to apply to build this business right and to grow something that’s beyond just me working everyday and have a team and stuff like that. So that’s the market that we’re serving with this event.
T: Okay, so these folks are, if I’m gonna boil this down I’ll make sure I understand this, they wanna be a mini Kutenda. I really dumb it down to one sentence. So the market for the local that we’re gonna attend this event they look at the Kutenda model and they go “yeah, that’s cool. I wanna help offline businesses use online marketing to get more customers. I’m gonna be a consultant.” Coz lots of people wanna do that. They just wanna run a little service business and have their 10 or 20 customers and make a hundred grand a year or whatever it is. And they’re as happy as peaches and cream running that business.
M: That’s right.
T: Okay. Now you do, I think you white label Kutenda, do you not?
M: We do not.
T: You don’t. Okay so this isn’t some kind of a higher level strategy of trying to get or is it? I mean are you doing this event to get more Kutenda consultants? Am I understanding that right or am I going to the wrong direction?
M: No. Well you’re not going to this in the wrong direction. We are not doing this for that purpose of this event. However, that will be a strategy of ours down the road here a bit. So they’ll certainly serve each other.
T: Sure. So there we talked again earlier the back end. You’re gonna have this people that attend the event they’re on your list, they’re in your database. If you come up with another offer down the road that’s what we call a back end offer and you’ll gonna be able to market it to them, okay?
T: So we now know who it’s for. And so I wanna make real clear on what the offer is and if you’ve got a URL of the sales page or something go ahead and throw that yup in there, just tell me what it is in skype, whatever. So what’s the hook? Why do these people, there we go I like you punched it up for me. Okay folks, so the URL is www.lilsummit.com as in like little summit. It’s a play off wards to little summit, is that the idea? Oh no! Local income lab.
M: It’s short for local income lab.
T: Yeah okay. Alright so June 7th & 8th in Denver, levied to a hundred registrants. And so we got our sales page which is a little bit about Mike’s secret sauce. Okay you guys can all check that stuff out. So
M: Everybody it’s Mike Cooch with…
T: Hey! Stop talking (laughing) One Mike is enough I don’t need two, okay. So dumb this down for me. What’s the hook? Why am I, why do I wanna go to this event? What’s the value proposition? In other words, what’s the offer?
M: Sure. So for the value proposition that we’re using to differentiate this event from others out there right now everybody that’s interested in the space is being sold on techniques on how you can provide services to your small business clients. So how do you SEO better. How to build websites faster and cheaper. How to setup SMS text systems for your small businesses. What they are not doing a good job of teaching is how to actually build a business doing that stuff. So there’s all kinds of people that go “okay, I think I know how to do SEO now but I just can’t get a stinking client. Or I got one client but that’s not enough to pay the bills. I need 50 of these. How do I do that? And how do I setup a service team to deliver the services coz I can’t do that all myself obviously.”
So the whole space is lacking what I would consider any sort of mature business skills. And you know Trent, you and I welcome businesses for various, I mean for 8 years I run a business with lots of employees and having to make payroll every 2 weeks. And having to pay the rent and having to put systems and processes in place for recruiting people and making sure they’re doing the right things. All that boring stuff, I say boring because that stuff is not so sexy to pitch to WSO because it sounds like hard work, right? And for the most part of the things that sell as WSOs are “hey, just do this little shiny object thing and all of a sudden you’re gonna have a bank account full of money. Where the reality is you and I know is that building a business is lot of work.
And so that’s my pitch. I went out to the market place with as I said “hey, I”m gonna be the guy that’s gonna tell you like it didn’t exist.” And all of this stuff you’re seeing out there and you got into and not making any progress with even though you were promised that you would, there’s reason for that. The reason for that is that you don’t have the necessary skills that you need to actually grow your business. And that’s what we’re gonna focus on in this event. So I’m not gonna teach you how to do an SEO. I’m not gonna teach you how to build websites. You can get any of that stuff from any number of people who are pitching everyday. What I’m gonna teach you is how to build a sales system. How to build a marketing funnel. How to develop operational systems that allow you to have other people do the work for you while you go on vacation and still make money. That type of stuff is what this market place needs. And that’s the value proposition of our event.
T: So for example if I’m some guy who I’m like the Facebook guy. I’m really good at using Facebook to get leads and through damn luck and random chance I got 3 clients and I’m scraping by. I don’t really have a good business at that point. I just know a bit about how to generate leads with Facebook. I’m gonna come to your event and what I’m gonna learn is how to take my little itty bitty micro marketing agency and turn it into a real business that’s gonna be sustainable and not 100% dependent on my personal output.
T: Okay. And there’s huge value on that and you’re right. Not a lot of people are teaching that. They’re teaching you how to use Pinterest and LinkedIn and Twitter and Facebook but nobody’s teaching all these stuff together in such a way as to say here’s how you build a business. Coz business there’s so many processess. There’s a big difference between being a one man consultant where you just sell your time. If you don’t have any time you can’t sell anymore. If you wanna go on vacation you can’t sell while you’re gone. These guys don’t make a lot of money and yet they all take a risk. Versus building a business like Mike and I both had before we became into the businesses that we’re doing now where we build teams of people to execute for each of us on a day to day basis.
With my old business much like Mike, yeah I could go away for a month and revenue wouldn’t dip at all. And customers wouldn’t be unhappy and nothing would fall through the cracks because there was a team in place and they were following processess that I created and helped and asked them to create so that things could continue to run smoothly.
Alright so that is an awesome idea and I’m sure that the event would be a huge success. However, it will only be a good success if you do two things. One, you fill the room. We’re gonna talk about that next. And you create compelling content. So those are gonna be the two things we’re gonna keep talking about here as we go forward. So let’s talk about filling the room. Mike, live event, filling the room. For me, I’ve never done one. It’s like “ooohh what if nobody shows up?” Put all this effort and then nobody shows up. That’d be bad, embarassing. And you don’t wanna have 3 people in the audience. So first of all before this goes to the tactic sheet let’s talk about what happened in your head for you. Coz I don’t know have you ever done a live event before?
T: Yeah but you’ve been to lots but you’ve never done one. What happened in your head for you because the psychology is so incredibly important and expressed to side by especially new entrepreneurs. They think it’s all about tactics but I’m here to tell you folks – wrong. It’s all about the psychology. If you don’t get the psychology right none of the other stuff is gonna make any difference.
So Mike, tell me about the internal conversation between Mike and the little voice that’s made you believe “yeah I can do this or we can do this” if the case may be, we being you and your team.
M: You know we wanna, I just felt like we have something quite valuable to offer to that market place. So I felt really comfortable that from a content perspective we’re going to be able to deliver something different and higher value than they’re getting in most other places that they could turn. Two, I think because we had so much success with that first WSO I mean now we have a list of thousands of people that are interested in hearing what we have to say.
T: But they’re not all in Denver. I’m playing devil’s advocate here. But they’re not all in Denver. They’re all far away. They’d have to fly and buy plane tickets and get hotels and …
M: Oh of course yeah and just about every is, you know, but that’s okay. I mean I fly to events. I invest that money. Why wouldn’t I expect other people to invest that money as well? So yeah no but I mean just having that list and having that prior experience with our previous products in the market place and knowing that we were resonating with our audience just made us feel confident that “okay we could do it.” And I think it’s important to note Trent, we were not concerned about having the biggest darn event in the world. I mean we very intentionally said “you know what, this is only going to apply to a small segment of this market place because only a small segment of this market place has even reached the point yet where what we’re going to teach will make any sense to them.”
M: Most of the people in this space have not done anything yet. They just want a couple of WSOs and they’re all hot and excited about it but they’re still working in their day jobs.
M: Haven’t done anything yet, right? So we knew that this was gonna appeal to a select audience and it was gonna be a small thing but we also say “hey, this is our first event, who cares?” Who cares if all we do is break even? Who cares if we actually lost a little bit of money? I’ve a ton of money obviously but if we lost a little bit of money but at the end of the day we can say “yeah, but we put on a great event. We learned a ton. We established even more credibility and next year now we’ve got a bunch of raving fans that are telling people in the industry “man, you gotta go to that event.”
M: We’re investing for the future. I mean not everything happens overnight. Not everything makes you a ton of money the first time. And we’re comfortable with that.
T: Wait a minute. You mean I actually have to put in real work? I don’t get to hit the easy button and just watch the cash come in? Come on.
M: This is to invest a few dollars.
T: This is the internet, man. It’s the money printing machine. It’s supposed to be easy.
M: Right. Now on that note you think we’re going to make good money.
T: Okay. We’ll get to that. We’ll get to that coz you know I leave no stone unturned.
T: So the success with the WSO was pretty key to your confidence level to put on this live event because you had a list.
T: Okay so folks the take away there was what does it cost to do a WSO next to nothing? Coz it’s your own ideas, you write them down, you shoot video if it’s the video to leverage the course or you just do an ebook and you build relationships with other people that have lists and if you have to buy them to get them to mail, pay them to mail your offer you’ve got a really compelling offer you’re gonna have success and then next time it gets easier. So that was the big thing. Having the list that the WSO led to have a list. If you’re letting your little nagging voice in your head going “well I don’t know if I could fill the room” then don’t ask yourself “could you fill the room?”. Ask yourself “could you create a WSO?” I think the answer to anyone listening to this podcast is yes you could.
I don’t know how to create a WSO. Go buy a bunch at $15 each, spend $200 on WSOs instead of a dinner out and you will at the end of looking through all those WSOs I promise you you will “I could do that”. And you’ll see all the jv pages and you just gotta start. Okay off my pulpit.
So you think “alright we’re gonna take a stub at filling, I think you want 100 people maximumâ€, right?
T: Okay so let’s talk about the financial risk here. You had to rent a venue so how much, when you decided that you were gonna go for this, what did the budget look like?
M: What the budget look like?
T: Yeah how much you have to spend? Let’s say that nobody showed up. Nobody bought a single ticket. How much of a pill are you gonna take?
M: It’ll be at a few thousand dollars.
T: Like a few like $3-4,000, that’s it?
T: So you’re basically looking at nobody showed up when you entered the room, you did some marketing. Are you doing paid media to drive to the sales page? Or is it all just receipt and it’s all in your list?
T: Okay so no paid media. Basically the cost of renting the venue and probably some graphics marketing clutter or we’re not talking about going bankrupt here by any stretch of the imagination. Okay.
M: No and I think so this all happens in the steps, right? I mean so step 1 is okay we’re gonna announce that we’re gonna have this event. Well one of the things that Trent, you and I have both learned as entrepreneurs is “hey, you only need to invest what you need to invest to prove that what you’re doing is gonna get some momentum and then when you see that momentum and then you invest more and then you invest more.” So we marketed the event before we have done anything. We didn’t rent the place, we didn’t do anything. Didn’t spend one penny. We just sent out an email with a video of me going “hey!” and I know it’s funny but actually the very first one literally was this Trent. I sent out an email I said “hey, it’s Mike. I think I’m gonna have a live event. Here’s why I think it will be different from what you need. So if you’re interested here’s a link to sign up.” I mean that was literally it and we sold, I don’t know, probably close to $10,000 in tickets when I did that.
M: And I figured well that’s with no thoughtfullness in terms of marketing process or marketing sequence and stuff like that. I figured well then that’s the proof I need to demonstrate that there’s a viable concept here.
T: I wanna jump in there coz I wanna make a super important distinction. You noticed that Mike did not say would you be interested in coming to my event? He put a buy now button and sold tickets to the event.
M: Absolutely. The proof is in the play.
T: Bingo! So you had, because you know what, if in the event you can’t do the event you can give their money back. So you had $10,000 come in right up front and you thought “okay, the market just told me they’re going to come to this event.” I’m assuming those early birds, guys got some wicked discount or some extra bonuses, there’s something.
M: Give them some bonuses. Yap there’s a VIP day at the front of the event. They get to come towards it’s gonna be a smaller crowd. It’s gonna be more intimate setting or I’m gonna really address any questions they have individually. We’re giving them a tour of our business. Stuff like that.
T: Killer value. Killer killer value. And from Mike’s perspective talk about eliminating the risk. He’s covered the cost of the entire event from one short little video and one little email to list of people that he got by creating WSO that essentially cost nothing but his time to produce. Are you connecting the dots here, folks? This is really cool. Well, Mike I’m thrilled that you’re sharing this coz I’m learning even if nobody listens to this podcast I’m learning a ton.
M: Sure. Great.
T: Alright so you got $10,000 in the kitty at that you think “oh we probably should book a venue.” Did you even have a date when you asked for the initial sale?
M: I do. We put out some dates.
T: Okay so you said it might be this weekend or it might be this weekend or it might be this weekend?
M: No I picked a weekend and said it’s gonna be this weekend.
T: Okay but you didn’t even know that you could get a venue for that weekend. Sure you probably knew that this venue’s available but you know Denver’s a big city you’re gonna find a way.
M: I figured yeah I’ll figure out something.
T: That quick.
M: We’ve been able to find so.
T: Can you fill a hundred people in your garage?
M: Yeah right.
T: Alright so you get validation. You get 10,000 votes, $10,000 comes in the door and you think alright time to wrap this thing up coz very clearly people understood and coming so you go, what happens next? You go through some more emails, some more launches, what do you do?
M: Yeah then what I did is okay let’s put together a thoughtful campaign, you know, as how we would actually promote this event. So I put together a series of educational videos where I went through some of the concepts that we would be teaching at the event to establish more credibility with my audience about what I was gonna be teaching and that there was real value to what we were to be going over at the event. So I emailed a sequence of those out over time and promoting the event and then got to a certain point where I put a deadline on the event for certain bonuses and pricing and stuff like that to try and really drive action. And then did a couple of follow up sequences after that. But yeah all are email based.
T: Okay so free basically. Just time and effort. No, like your videos I’ve watched I don’t know if I saw them all but you’re not hiring any fancy production companies coz you sit on your desk in front of your camera just like I do. Okay?
T: What about jv promotion? Did you go out, did you assign any member of your team to build relationships with other list owners to say mail our event? Did you create an affiliate program for example?
M: Yeah I did. We setup an affiliate promo. We got a couple of people that participated in that. It got us a bump in the registrants but really 90% of the registrants came from our own promotion.
T: And that was just a result of the list that you got from the WSO?
T: Fantastic. Okay so that’s how we filled the room. How many people you got sold in to these things so far?
M: I think we’re gonna have about 50.
M: Which is obviously we would love to have 100 but I think that 50 is actually a really good, that’s kinda, that’s like the okay if we had 50 we’re happy about that.
T: You know at 50 people who are gonna be bragging about you because you are gonna kill it at the event, 50 people, intimate setting, high quality content delivery, they’re gonna wake going wow wow wow wow wow Mike’s awesome. And they’re coming back next year and bring in friends with them. \
M: That’s possible.
T: That’s called building a brand, folks. You don’t need to crash it on the first time in terms of how many attendees. You need to crash it in the experience that those attendees have when they come to your event or when they read your blog or they listen to your podcast or whatever it is the first time they catch you you need to impress them.
M: That’s exactly right. Remember my objective at the event is we’ll spend all day and all night if we have to. Make it sure people come out there raving about what they learned. I mean if that means I have to sit there until 2 in the morning with every single individual, walking them through whatever to make sure they get it. That’s my goal. That’s exactly where you’re right. We’ll look at it as an investment in the future. We build something good now that people are excited about and just continues to pay off.
T: How much revenue to generate from those 50 people? What does that equate to in ticket sales?
M: Let’s see, probably total of about $45,000 or so.
T: Okay. So that’s the front end. And your event cost all in are gonna be what?
M: I mean 5.
M: Maybe no coz we’re gonna take people off for dinner and drinks when they’re there so let’s say 8.
T: 8. 45 in on the front end and 8 out. Not sure.
M: Even if you said 10 to be real conservative but.
T: I don’t have my calculator in front of me but I think there’s some profit there. Okay so now but now you also give a back end offer, give sales at the back of the room?
M: So what we’re going to offer at the event is we’re gonna offer a coaching program, a business coaching program where people are realizing I do need to execute on this stuff. This is what’s gonna make the difference between me growing my business and not. We’re going to offer coaching program which I don’t know, you know, Trent, if you’ve never invested in coaches I’ve certainly invested in coaches several times in my career and got a great deal out of it. Out of somebody who can hold me accountable and can share their past experiences where they’d connect me with other people who have some more experiences. Something I found very valuable in my career and so we’re gonna offer similar type of program for people that come out and go “yeah I get it.” I mean that gives him additional on going help between now and when I’m here in this event next year so they don’t just walk out and leave with some ideas and not ask you.
T: And what will they pay for the coaching? And how will it be delivered?
M: There’s a number of different packages. So what I’ve done is I’ve partnered up with somebody that offers really high end business coaching. And I think this package starts at like $15,000 and goes high like a $150,000. I’m not expecting anybody in my event to invest in a $150,000 coaching package if they did I’d be shocked. But at the same time as an entrepreneur myself I know that I certainly invested a thousand dollars a month in business coaching in the past several times so. So at $15,000, $25,000, $30,000 build over the course of a year. You know, you’re paying some sort of monthly fee or something like that for those coaching packages. And I think those are the right price points.
T: Why did you partner with the coaching company? I’m assuming that you personally are not delivering this coaching or are there?
M: There may be just very kind of small aspects of the coaching that I deliver but the majority of the coaching will be delivered by professional coaches who do this for a living.
M: And that’s why I partnered with somebody. I mean I certainly, one, don’t have the time but, two, don’t have the background and expertise to really be an effective coach.
M: And I know from being a coaching student it doesn’t need to be me that’s doing all this coaching. It needs to be somebody who’s a good coach. Somebody who’s good at holding you accountable making sure you get stuff done. It’s like people ask how do Tiger Woods needs a coach, he’s the best golfer in the world? Well the guy who’s coaching him doesn’t have to be a better golfer than Tiger Woods. He needs to be able to stand outside and look at Tiger objectively and say “hey, look, you need to be working on your swings and you need to be prioritizing working on these things than those other things you like to do better coz they’re easier for you.” And a good coach doesn’t have to do that regardless of who you’re coaching. And so I wanna partner up with somebody that has experience doing that and very good at that.
T: Put it in football terms I probably wouldn’t take there’s too many NFL who had coaches that can outplay their best player but they’re still fantastic coaches.
M: Yeah exactly.
T: Okay so you mentioned a $150,000 thing, you took one of my questions away for me you rotten dagger. I was gonna ask what your elephant offer is and I learned about this concept about an elephant offer when I was attending a Yonix Silver underground date event in Washington, D.C. I had the privilege to have dinner with a guy who’s been in radio for like 50 years, forever. And this guy was responsible for he created the campaign that put priceline.com on the map. So you could say he was sort of a smart guy. And his name escapes me right now. Do you remember his name? I just can’t think it on top of my head.
T: Something like that. So I’m having dinner with Fred, we’re sitting in some overpriced steak house and I’m crowning at how much I paid my plate coz like it was $70 just for the food but I wanted to be with Fred so, you know, “hey, I’ll pay it.” And Fred’s grilling me with all these questions and he said “Trent, what’s your elephant offer?” And I went “huh? I don’t have an elephant offer.” And he goes “how can anybody buy when you don’t have for sale?” I go “I don’t know.”
And his point was that not everyone is gonna take that $150,000 offer but if one person, one person takes it it’s very lucrative. And it takes your average revenue per customer coz you advertise total revenue over total customers drives it through the roof and therefore from a casison radio he’s just advertising and his whole world is cost of customer acquisition versus customer value. Having an elephant offer placed big time into customer value which placed big time into what you can pay to acquire a customer. In other words you’re not so smart if you don’t have an elephant offer. So good on you for having an elephant offer.
Okay the last thing we haven’t talked about it, now we know how you’re filled, now we know how you got the lists, we know how you filled the room. We’ve seen how cheap, sorry, inexpensive it was to do the marketing. So everybody’s sitting there you gotta deliver some content. Where’s that coming from? How that get created? Who’s delivering it? Did you partner up as it’s video written? Do you blabber on? What is it?
M: It is 90% me and my team sharing what has worked for us. We’re pretty good at creating content I think and you know me, I’m a business junkie and I have been for a long time so I’ve invested a ton of time and energy and money into my own education. And so I have a lot of, I think, experience and knowledge that I can pass on other people. So we’ve packaged up all of that into as much as we can and just sell it into the most important points and that’s what we’re gonna deliver. So 90% me and my team, we’re gonna have some guest expert speakers and guest expert panels at the event. So it’s not just a 100% me and my team but that’s it.
T: Okay so let’s talk briefly about the guests. Did you have to pay them? And if not, why not?
M: No because one, they are attending the event for free and they’re hoping to learn from it as well. Two, they are people that they don’t mind having their brand out there and getting more exposure for themselves as well.
M: And that’s it I mean effectively we don’t have to pay anybody.
T: Okay so the content that was internal, the event what is it 2 days? 2 full days? 1?
M: 2 days and then there’s the VIP day for the people who bought that soon. 3 days.
T: Okay so you got to create 3 days worth of content which is no small amount of content. That’s, I’m assuming most of these stuff is you on the stage with the powerpoint behind you and blah blah blah talking your way through each concept and then you got some breaks.
T: I remember years ago I’ve attended an event by a guy by the name of T Harv Ecker. His big thing was getting the audience not sit and listen but getting the audience do stuff. He says the more they stuff that they’re doing the less I have to talk. And the more time that goes by without me having to create content for. I thought that was good idea.
How much of your weekend is them doing stuff versus listening to you yak on about the smart stuff in your head?
M: We’re definitely trying to make sure that we mix that in there. I would say I don’t know maybe 20% of the time will be them doing stuff. You know we’ve got worksheets for them and handouts and things like that that we’re gonna be going through. We’ve got plenty of time for just kind of humane discussion and stuff to make sure that we’re addressing individual questions. So I think a fair amount of it we’re gonna make like I said for the VIPs we’re gonna be doing the tour of our business. So we’re gonna be coming over our office and going through and see how we operate all that stuff. So I think that there’ll be a decent amount of engagement and activity there.
M: I think I agree with you. I think that’s important. I don’t want people to come to the event and then just leave with a bunch of theories and stuff. I want them to understand “hey, here’s what you need to do to apply it.”
T: Now here’s the other thing I didn’t ask you about earlier I’m gonna bring up coz it’s important and I already know the answer to it. I’m willing to bet you that you did not create one stick of this content before that $10,000 came to the door, did you?
M: No we’re still working on it. I mean the event is a week from now.
T: So all of you would be product creators that are out there. Don’t do what I did. I created all of Niche Site Mastery before I ever offered a single membership for sale. Now I did it coz I was gonna be able to use it myself for my own team of VAs. So I sort of had a back agenda. But for 6 weeks when I first launched it back in May of 2011 I did nothing but write content, create videos, figure out how to build a membership site not knowing if anyone would buy anything. Dumb dumb dumb. Don’t do that.
Do what Mike did. Put up a sales page and say “this is what I’m thinking of doing and if you’re willing to and you think I’m a credible guy” which coz they’ve already had a brand experience from you by buying your WSO put your money up, I give you big discount and I will deliver and they’re gonna trust you coz they know that you’ve already delivered once. Now and again this is I wanna knock down those limiting beliefs “I can’t do this. This is too much work.” If you had $10,000 do you think you could hire some people to help you make the content? I’ll bet you could.
M: Yeah and Trent on that I’ve learned this tremendous somehow in this process is you can imagine and that such an important take away for people to get. I mean look you’re not gonna be a pro by anything the first time you do it. I mean everything requires some work and experience, right? So the beauty of putting on an amount like this is that now that I’ve been doing it, talking to people about all types of stuff I run across vendors who literally will do everything for me. I mean I wouldn’t have to do a thing for this event if I wanted to just “hey, you actually do all the camera work and all the sounds stuff. You actually manage the entire event process when people come to the door. You set up the hotels and all the catering. You do the marketing of it.” And literally I could just collect my percentage of it. So there are all kinds of experts out there who put on thousands and thousands of events that can help you do this stuff and will help you do this stuff often times just for a percentage of the revenue of the event. So you don’t always have to just write a big check. There’s creative ways to get these stuff done so believe me now that I’ve talked to a lot of these experts I understand how big of a rookie I am in putting on this event. And man, now I know a thousand things I could have done better but if I don’t let that stop me 8 months ago I would have never got started. If I happen to know all of these a thousand things before I started I would have never gone anywhere. Sometimes you gotta be just ignorant enough and have just enough faith to just go and then you’re smart you’re gonna figure stuff out as you go.
T: That’s one of the reasons why Mike, I love to speak. I’ve got lots of stuff to talk about. But the only speeches I give is next to none. You know why? Coz I let fear stand in my way. And this podcast is a reminder to me that I’m an idiot for doing so. Thanks for making me feel like an idiot on my own show. Love it. You’re never coming back on my show again, Mike. This is it. You’re done.
Alright. So this has been awesome. This has been a really awesome podcast. I hope that everyone who’s listening has had as much fun as I had posting it. And you know I don’t think I wanna ask you anymore questions right now coz I’m out of questions to ask. Am I forgetting anything Mike? Is there anything more I should ask you?
M: Not that I can think of. Let me close it with one inspirational thing I just learned the other day. So one of the guys that I’ve been turning to for advice on how to do an event just completed one of his events. Guess how much money he made in this one stinking event?
T: It’s got 7 figures in it I’ll bet.
M: I’ll bet. $3 million in one event.
T: In a weekend?
M: Yap. Can you imagine that? So well anyway people I think one of the things that we’re realizing more and more as everything becomes more digital and online and all that kind of stuff, people will pay a premium for experience.
M: When they feel like “hey, I’m not just connecting online. I’m actually getting real human interaction. I’m actually going somewhere, doing something, experiencing something unique they will pay a real premium for that in a lot of events like this but in every other area of business. So obviously these guys who are honing these events that really know what they’re doing and really are appealing to the big audiences and stuff. Hopefully they’re doing much greater level than I am. There’s real, real opportunity there. I think it’s a cool school thing to be part of so.
T: Hey everybody had a first time though. I mean even in your first event you only had 10 people you had 10 raving fans about that.
M: You gotta start some place.
T: Yeah. You gotta start somewhere. I think I better do an event. My goodness! I feel aweful now.
M: It’s good. Good idea, right?
T: I’m feeling stupid on my own show. This is horrible.
Alright man, thank you. The URL again by the way if you’re interested is lilsummit.com, right? Is that it?
T: lilsummit.com. I better go and register my own URL here pretty quick before I publish this podcast. I better see if lilsummit is available.
So Mike, thank you so much for making the time and really sharing. Folks, I did this podcast for me. I really wanted to know how this is gonna work coz I kinda thought I kinda be doing these things. And the fact that I needed all the info I thought I better record it and share with everyone. So I hope that you all enjoyed it. If you did please take a moment and go to iTunes and give me 5 stars feedback or 4, whatever you feel the appropriate number is. If you’re on the page that’s hosting this podcast which is probably onlineincomelab.com/session024, I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s gonna be, take a moment and tweet the page, facebook the page, go on your roof and yell about it if you think it’s worthy and all above because I’m obviously trying to get as many people to get to the Online Income Lab as possible coz I really love getting smart guys like Mike on my show so we can have stimulating conversations like this about how to go and get it happening. How to make your life better. How to create value for other people. And how to get rich in the process. Because that is what capitalism is all about. That’s why I’m a capitalist. That’s why I do what I do. That’s why Mike does what he does. And in the words of the esteemed Gordon Grecko “greed, ladies and gentlemen, is a good thing”.
So Mike, thank you very much for being on the show. It’s been a pleasure. We’ll get you back on again. Maybe we’ll talk more about WSOs next time and to all my listeners I’m lucky to have every one of you listening to my show and coming to my blog and leaving comments for me. And I love it. Keep it happening. And we’ll talk to you again in an episode soon.