The 800 Pound Gorilla
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.
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.