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Recently I had my friend Don come out to my Secret Headquarters… we were filming a bunch of stuff for a cool new thing we’re working on (more details soon!). On a filming break, I thought it might be fun to do an Instagram AMA (Ask Me Anything)… and here’s what happened.

Video Transcript and Relevant Links

Jeff Walker: Hey, I’m meeting with my good friend, Don Crowther. Don came out to the HQ. We’ve actually been shooting a product – shooting video for a product in the last couple days. It’s crazy because we figured this out – in 2003 we actually created a product together, and here we are creating product number two, 16 years later.

Jeff Walker: So, welcome Don. It’s been great.

Don Crowther: Thank you.

Jeff Walker: So, while we were shooting on lighting, I did a little Instagram story about that and I said, “Hey, if you’ve got any questions, below ask me anything.” So we got a few questions in. So I thought we’d jump into these.

So we got a couple that were about paid traffic. You’ve done a lot of paid traffic. Let’s see, “What’s the most challenging part for you when it comes to running paid advertising?” And then a similar one was, “How has paid ad traffic changed over the years in your opinion?”

Don Crowther: Okay. So, to me the key is that you’ve got to get an offer that converts. So let’s say, for example, that you’re getting $10 in sales per person who registers for a webinar. If you can increase your conversion on that and get it up to $30 in sales, now all of a sudden you’ve got all kinds of freedom in paid advertisings to do stuff you never could before. Now you can spend $15-17 to get somebody onto it and still be very profitable in this equation. So that’s, to me, the core of success in paid advertising is nailing an offer.

Jeff Walker: Yeah. You had talked about the inventory, at least for Google and Facebook, there’s a limited inventory and there’s more people competing for the inventory. So, in essence really you’re not competing for the ad but you’re competing for the conversion. Because if someone else can out convert you they can outspend you and vice versa. If you can out convert someone else for your offer…

Don Crowther: That is totally right. As long as we take stupidity out of the equation because there might be somebody who’s willing to pay a whole lot more for a short period of time, but they’re eventually going to stop running those ads because they just can’t afford to do it. And so, you’ve just got to get your offer and your conversion high enough, then you can afford to run paid ads.

Jeff Walker: Yep. Okay. Here’s another couple questions I’m going to group together. “Over all those years, how many times have you had major pivots in your business?” And the other one, similar question, “What changes have you had during your journey?”

Don Crowther: (laughter) So, I’ve clearly had more than you’ve had. So, mine originally started off I was creating websites for people. And after a few years of doing that they started teaching HTML in high school –  so now everyone had a son or son-in-law or something like that who could do it for $500 and that became unprofitable. So then I moved into the traffic business.

In the traffic business, Google Ads were just starting to come into existence. There was nothing out there on how to do them. I sat down and wrote a book which I got printed out at Kinko’s and sold them for $197 a copy.

$600,000 later, I suddenly am in the business of helping people build their business online. That became my major pivot in my business –  is that I actually started helping people build their business online and developed a number of courses over time. I’ve had minor pivots, different products, staffing, those kinds of things. But, those are my main pivots in my business.

Jeff Walker: I had one very, very big pivot. So I started in 1996, teaching about the stock market, and I did that till 2005. Then I had a messy partnership breakup where… basically I had a partner who stole the business from me. You remember that?

Don Crowther: I remember that, that was not pretty.

Jeff Walker: Yeah. There was some heartache at that point. But that’s when I pivoted to teaching Product Launch Formula. Well, teaching marketing and that was Product Launch Formula. That was 2005, been teaching Product Launch Formula since then. Its gone pretty well.

Don Crowther: I would say so.

Jeff Walker: It’s been many, many evolutions in that process, in that time. I went from a physical product (CDs and books and DVDs) to an online product. I started doing live events, a mastermind, and coaching. I started doing video (there was no video in the first two PLFs). And on, and on, and on. I built a team (we’re up to like 30 people now). So, many evolutions but one great big pivot along the way.

Don Crowther: And I’d say that you nailed that one.

Jeff Walker: It’s gone pretty well. Gone pretty well.

So, here’s one from Cathy Hay, “How do we fight the fear of seeming less relevant than the kids coming up behind us?” And there was another one, I’m going to bunch this together… “When we’re starting out, how do we build authority?” So, there was a reason in my mind why I’m putting those two together.

So, we actually did some math yesterday, and together we have 48 years of experience in online business. Which is sort of nuts. You’d be hard pressed to find two other people that could sit down together and have 40+ years. So, this idea of staying relevant with people that come up behind you, or on the flip side, starting out, where do you get the authority from?

Don Crowther: Okay. So, let me just answer Cathy’s question directly about how do you fight the fear. Well, I don’t think you should be afraid of it at all. There are some who are going to be a flash in the pan, and they’ll be gone a year from now. You shouldn’t be afraid of those. The people who come on and they have a real viable offer, eventually you’re going to end up partnering with them and doing joint venture promotions, or maybe doing a product with them or all kinds of different things. So, you shouldn’t be afraid of them.

Jeff Walker: I remember you saying this years, and years ago. You saying you don’t consider that there’s competition, it’s just there are future partners out there.

Don Crowther: Right, there are partners who haven’t figured it out yet.

Jeff Walker: Yeah.

Don Crowther: Exactly.

Jeff Walker: So, I would say for both of these… I think about it, like a lot of people who are getting into this business, they’re trying to become influencers. They’re trying to get a lot of followers, they’re trying to get a lot of likes, get a whole bunch of people following them on Instagram or get a whole bunch of views on YouTube. They’re counting the wrong metrics, for one. It’s like rolling the dice. It’s like… if you’re young and female and beautiful ,maybe it’s a lot easier to get a lot of people following you on Instagram. I’m sorry if that’s sexist, but I have noticed-

Don Crowther: There are a few men who’ve done it, but not quite as many.

Jeff Walker: So, the thing is you could become an influencer. You could get a bunch of followers, then you’ve got to figure out a business.  But at the end of the day, if you’re doing that or you’re trying to create viral videos or funny videos, you’re rolling the dice. You might become successful, you might not. Or, you could maybe try to play a search game on Google and, again, you’re rolling the dice. It’s out of your control.

But if you can find a market and learn how to serve them and learn what they need and give it to them. A lot of people say, “Deliver value and they’ll come.” Well, “Create a great offer and they’ll come.”

Jeff Walker: That’s sort of coming back to where we started. But the traffic is like, if you create a great offer that helps people, that serves people, and that converts – now you’ve got some control. Because you can go out and get joint venture traffic, you can find affiliates, you can use paid traffic.

Don Crowther: You also end up, over time, building your own audience that you can serve so you’re not as at risk of someone else coming to the market place because you’ve got a group of people who admire you and want to buy from you.

Jeff Walker: Exactly. So, if you’ve built a tribe, and it could be partially on social, but it’s certainly a big part on email, and you’ve built that by converting people from strangers to clients. You’ve been paid to do that because you have an offer that converts, well now you’ve got this following and you become the 800 pound gorilla. All of a sudden, you control the traffic, you control the flow, you control the deals.

Don Crowther: Yep.

Jeff Walker: There you go.

Don Crowther: Well said.

Jeff Walker: Yep. So, wherever you’re watching this, scroll down, leave a comment. If you’ve got another question for us go ahead and leave that, and let’s go get ‘em this week.

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15 Replies to “The 800 Pound Gorilla”

  1. Thank you for the video. I love the thought that there is no competition, just future joint ventures. I never liked the idea of competing or beating another company out…leaving them in the dust. I am currently making videos highlighting businesses in my community to promote our town. Not charging for any of them right now so building a following and interest. Just a good feeling to do this with the prospect of making money soon. Also getting tons of experience and learning time.

  2. Thanks, Guys! I’m 52 years old. My take on “fear of those coming up behind me” is this: my goal is to teach them how surpass me and everyone else as a project leader. I’m grooming the next generation. The more amazing they can be, the better life will be for all the project teams they lead for the next 30 years. They can make a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers – how incredible is that? I’m happy to be the catalyst!

    • Amy Buttiglieri, awesome attitude.
      I often tell people my job as a mid-level coach is to get them to the place where I can pass them up to the high-level coaches!! (Training them for the bigger game, the major league “show.”) I rarely comment on other people’s comments, but you said you were a “Catalyst”…and I can relate first hand to that self-notion. Congrats on KNOWING who you are,…(at such a young age.)

  3. Great stuff Jeff, thank you for these tips. I especially liked when you said that just getting followers and likes isn’t enough. You stated that you’ve got to make a great offer! I joined PLF a couple of years ago, and last year you offered an extension of the program to folks who couldn’t get it off the ground in year one. I hope you offer that extension again for another year. I have not given up on getting my stuff off the ground. I’ve just had a lack of clarity, and I think I’m finally coming into what it is I want to be offering. Thanks for all that you do, and have done over so many years!

  4. You used the question I sent in about paid advertising right off the bat – so cool! Thank you Jeff for serving as a model for us to build our own businesses. I noticed the shot-across-the-bow in your PS this week! 😉

  5. I’ve pivoted, I’ve served and hopefully well. Now for the joint ventures. That’s my big challenge and takeaway!! What I do: Placing books by the bedsides in luxury hotels (biggest brands are my partners) and the media. How to reach authors. That’s my challenge.

  6. Thank you guys, great answer! It seems I’m on the right track then. They can help me, and I can help them! 🙂

  7. Awesome stuff….

    Jeff, I’ve been a member of your Product Launch group from the beginning (Thank you very much). And I appreciate how you keep us up to date!

    What is the name of Ryan’s book (what’s his last name?( and: I don’t see the links anywhere… Please point me to them!

    Thanks,
    Craig

  8. Nicely done, guys.
    Here’s a question to which (my) people need a “Mentor’s Answer(c)”…and, yes, YOU TWO are of the Mentor Level we turn to:
    All internet “gurus” talk about the importance of that LIST to your continued business, but no one ever seems to address the question of actually managing, maintaining, and backing up that all-important data.
    How do you two do it? How are Your Lists physically or digitally SAVED for your use? For those just starting out, I believe your learned opinion in this area-of-action is vital to them, both as far as learning “what” to do AND also “what not to do”…getting it right from the very beginning IS GAME-CHANGING in the long run.
    Also, what does one do when a platform “controls” ones access to ones “tribe”…? (In answering, please recall that a lot of newbies have no idea how to operate an Excel spreadsheet.)
    Thank you guys for offering your well-earned advice to those “future partners” who are still in their initial-growth or “Seedling” period!! Jeff Walker, you continue to THE BEST “out there”…much APPRECIATION and Gratefulness for that ongoing reality. Don, it’s been nice to get to know a little more about you and your success.
    Again, thank you both!
    –Your fan & friend,
    “Steamer”
    SS LeCarpentier

  9. I would like to buy another copy of Choose and get the bonuses – but the link is not on this page. Can you help me? I will share the book with another prospect for you!
    Thanks –
    Joan McManus
    214-793-3203

  10. Susan Farrell

    Reply

    Great watching two professional “successors”.
    Still teetering on the edge of the high diving board but, I shall eventually hold my nose and “jump”.
    Best regards

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