Today’s guest on The Membership Site Success podcast is Jules Watkins.
Jules is a former TV producer & director for hit shows on the BBC in the UK. He went from overworked wage slave to kick-ass online marketer by leveraging his expertise in the video arena and turning it into a successful information product business.
Jules started out with a blog devoted to Flip camera phones and monetized it with the Amazon Associates program. That was his first taste of online cash.
At the same time Jules built up an email list and took a chance on creating his first information product. Since then, he hasn’t looked back!
Connect with Jules by visiting http://videohero.com
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Narrator: You’re listening to the Membership Site Podcast where you learn from successful entrepreneurs how to build and run a profitable membership site so that you too can generate recurring revenue for your business month after month. And now, here’s your host. Membership expert, Vic Dorfman.
Vic: Jules Watkins from videohero.com is a former mtv and bbc tv producer and director who has directed global hit shows such as the Biggest Loser and Pimp My Ride. For the past three years he has worked online coaching business owners, experts and marketers on how to leverage the power of online video for their businesses via his training courses and membership site. Welcome Jules.
Jules: Thanks very much how are you doing?
Vic: Not bad at all. So let’s jump right into the first question which is, “How did you get into online entrepreneurship?”
Jules: Well, that’s a great question. I got into it because I was looking for an escape hatch. An escape route out of the crazy world of TV. where I was selling my time totally based around you know what hours I worked was when I got paid, when I wasn’t working I didn’t get paid. I was running around trying to get freelance contracts jumping from one to the other and never really had a breather in between to kind of think what I was doing. I found it really hard to plan anything. So, as much as I enjoyed it, and it was fun and it was glamorous and I was getting to meet crazy people. On the other hand I was getting older and kids came along I thought, “ You know what, I’m not really sure I can stick in this forever. What else is there that I could do to leverage my time a little bit better? And so I stumbled, like everybody, where do you start with? You start with Google. I started looking around seeing what other people were doing by the people who had similar skills perhaps and I just stumbled upon people leveraging their skills and their talents and teaching those online. And that’s how it started.
Vic: I really I really resonate with your situation because I was doing a job that I loved which was seeing opera back in the U.S. and even if you’re in a job that you love just the fact that you’re trading your time for money and that you’re always chained to how many hours you work. It really makes you hate a job that otherwise you might enjoy as leisure activity. Was that the case for you?
Jules: Partly it was, partly. It’s really hard to explain. You never worked in TV production (blurred portion) reality TV. The hours you put in it’s like insane you know. I leave home at around about 7 a.m. might have been a little bit under. So I would get on the crowded underground you know couldn’t get a seat you know. An hours journey into London because of the cheating schedules I could be wouldn’t get home till 9 p.m. at night. Even later sometimes. And also there would be a lot of traveling and cause you know you’re already following what the characters are doing in your show or wherever the show happens to be located. So I would be up and around the country of the U.K. and across Europe quite a lot. And so it was just really it was crazy so it was a time factor but it was also something else as well. I felt that TV which tries to give people knowledge and you know whenever you watch a show there’s always some kind of factual information. Some kind of teaching going on often in reality shows. Take for example a business reality show right? It’s about entertainment, it’s about fun, but also there’s some teaching. You learn some tips from the people in the show.
Jules: But I felt that it was so lightweight. In the respect that we were trying to pack in one tip in half an hour. And the rest of it was just a bit of fluff. And also some of the teaching was made to fit the format of the TV show. So if it kind of worked in TV terms, if we could achieve that or we could demonstrate to somebody, something but if it fit with the TV show then it went on air. If it didn’t fit, it didn’t go on air. So I find it a little bit frustrating that we were trying to educate but it really wasn’t we didn’t have the time or the freedom to do that. So I was a little bit unsatisfied with the whole kind of medium of TV. And I just noticed that people jumping on YouTube crediting their own content without the restraints of how long should it be you know. It didn’t have to fit into a perfect TV half an hour, which is about 24 minutes doesn’t have to fit in that it can be whatever evidence you want. You don’t have somebody breathing over our shoulder saying, “No you’ve got to get rid of the. It’s too long winded for TV.” So I felt like, a little bit like TV wasn’t giving people the greatest service and I thought you know it could be done better online in a different medium.
Vic: So Jules, you were tired and dissolutioned sounds like and what’s the very first thing that you did once you started to sort of make sense of all the – well first of all how did you even overcome the information overwhelm when you were just starting out and what did you do to finally take action on your first project that made you some money?
Jules: I, well I made a load of mistakes that’s one thing. But I also, the first thing that I did was I think I made a good decision was to start something very very small, tiny, niche and fun that I could actually do whilst I was still working. Because I was still working with acting keeping the income coming in and I already had no clue whether any of this stuff works. So I guess a good decision that I made was to start very very tiny very niche and very affiliate method. I, when I was googling around as I mentioned earlier I spotted a guy in America who had a flip camera. Flip camera was this portable pocket camera no longer made anymore but at the time it was a really hot little video camera. And I, I was on this guys site and his video the video there was about him going to the dentist filming himself with a flip video camera. And I thought, “What the heck is this about? Why is he doing this even?” But it was quite funny and the fact that the camera was portable he could still keep filming even if he was on the dentist’s chair. And I looked on the links and I realized that basically he was affiliating with Amazon and basically promoting this camera which people could then sign up and buy on Amazon he’d get a tiny bit of commission. And this guy talked quite a lot about flip. And I thought, at first I bought that camera and I thought what a cool little camera having dealt with in my job I was dealing with huge cameras all the time and you know ten boxes of equipment just to start filming. This little camera I bought, I thought this is really cool. And it wasn’t that well known in the UK, so combine that with thinking you know, thinking about blogging and tings like that. I thought why don’t I just I must of read an article about being really niche at the beginning and you get more traffic. So I started a blog, which was entirely about the flip video camera. Every article I wrote was about either different flip models or accessories or showcasing peoples videos. And it was something I could do really easily. I could literally in bed – somebody else’s video, write a paragraph and bang there was a blog post. Or I could get about free photos of some accessory and write a few bits about it and it was a very simple easy thing to run. And then I put a page up my for accessories, a run down of the different flip models so like a comparison because there was so many models. And it started working I started getting very focused targeted traffic and people started – well I can remember the day that I got I looked at my Amazon I looked into my Amazon and I had the first sale of a flip camera which costs in the UK about 90 pounds I got about 4 pounds about 6 dollars commission. Six dollars was my first ever bit of money. But when I got that one I thought you know what, if I could scale this more and more I could get more of this and it did scale up and it started to get quite popular. And that’s where I also started to build my list. I wrote a free eBook of flip video tips that’s where my first list came from and just started growing and growing until I was getting more and more visitors and making quite a lot of sales for that blog. And in fact I think about one year I think I made about 30,000 dollars off of Amazon sales. But having said that, the commission was tiny, so I wasn’t making a load of money from it. But it kind of proved to me that people visit websites, people buy stuff and people buy stuff off your site. So that was a kind of way of proving that there was something in this world of making money online which I didn’t really believe beforehand.
Vic: That’s interesting. So you basically took something that you already had expertise and I don’t want to use the word passion because it gets thrown around so much but let’s say you had interest in it and you sort of just went in that direction and built your website based on video around these flip phones specifically and you sort of validated the fact that people do spend money online and you can make money online and then you started creating your own products? Is that the next step that you went to?
Jules: Yes. Well, what happened is that I I regret it now but I didn’t create a flip product see now I was sort of – again every step I’ve taken which is probably like most people you think, “Could this work? Should I do it? Would people buy it?” You know really way with it. And I way with it a little bit on whether or not the flip audience who are mostly not business owners there was business owners but a lot of them were more family casual owners. And I had this dilemma when people buy a product and of course they would of done, but you know what I got up one morning and had an email from somebody saying do you know what the flip camera has been axed basically the company that created it had sold it onto somebody else and decided not to run with it anymore. So overnight, people got angry about this camera that they invested in it and there were no longer going to be any new ones so that kind of threw me a little bit. But I didn’t give up at that point I knew that my blog you know the days were a little bit numbered as people would slowly move away from it. But I didn’t stop there I fought – again reading information online a little free information free eBooks out there that these blogging experts write. I read a few of those I realized that yes a product is the way forward as opposed to a tiny percentages of affiliate income. That was going to take too long and it was per carrier so yes a product I broadened out a bit. So I noticed that I bought my first iPhone around that time and I recognized that it had a fantastic camera also there were other cameras coming out pocket cameras so I thought, “ You know what I am not going to waiver on this I’m going to go ahead and make a product going to broaden it out a little bit away from just the flip so I’m not tied to the brand one brand so I’m going to cover various pocket cameras. Flips, Kodak’s, the iPhone which was on the rise, and I’m gonna create a training product. What I did then was again I took advice about going more niche not just right here’s how to shoot great video but focusing on a particular audience. So I’m really glad that I looked business owners and marketers, entrepreneurs thinking people there have got more money to spend. It’s not like a luxury buy it’s more like something that is (blurred words) has grown huge now, massive so I thought you know when you’ve got money to spend, and the other thing prior to launching it is I jumped on to a lot of forums Facebook groups, wherever, and noticed people talking about pocket cameras. Specifically about the cameras I wanted to cover asking questions, which ones to buy, what lighting to use, what audio do you have to have to get the best audio, and I could just see people chatting about it. So I basically put all these factors together and thought surely, there is people that will buy this product. I still wasn’t 100% sure but I thought yeah let’s do it. So to answer your question I created my first product, which was an online training course. And it was four modules long about seven videos in each so it was quite a lot of work. And I kept building this list from my flip site and by started building a new list on this new site and basically and there you go I just basically one day pulled the trigger and what you might want to find out what happened next. Do you want to ask me that?
Vic: What happened next Jules?
Jules: Okay I thought you might. So what happened next was I sat there I thought right from the gates of this first product which is very very exciting and just getting to that point is so fantastic when I opened the gates I literally had these dreams that everybody on my list was going to buy it and my financial future was going to change forever and I was going to go on holiday and I’m going to buy a new house and all this stuff. I think I’ve been waiting too many a days for these reports…and things. And I sat there I opened the gates; I didn’t have a huge list. Probably about 400 right, which is small and I sat there and nothing happened. For hours I sat there waiting until about four hours after I launched it I got the first sale of it. And I was like jumping up around punched the air and I think I even filmed myself on my flip camera. I was determined to capture the moment on video I don’t know if I got it somewhere but I filmed myself jumping around with this first sale and then another one came and another one came. And I only had very few on the first day nothing like the percentages I had hoped for but then the second day I had a couple more and the third day another one, and it sold in circles. It was not one of these module launches where you get this big influx in the beginning and I didn’t I have to say I didn’t launch it perfectly, I didn’t have any scarcity on the office so I wasn’t like you know seeing yup the price is going up or you know I’m you only have so much time to sign up to it. I would never launch like that now. There’s a little tip. Never put out scarcity of some form. So I did often made a lot of mistakes but the fact that I started getting this trickle of sales that’s where it all started forming I mean really in terms of product creation. Because I knew now once you get to that point you know that if you could get more people more traffic more people to opt in and see your offer then you can increment our sales and keep a steady flow and you know once you can get a flow of sales then you’re starting to think that you’re a business and you can start to think wow you know what I can actually replace my income using online information products.
Vic: And where did your traffic come from? Where does the bulk of your traffic come from? Because I think a lot of people they will create some sort of product or membership site or what have you and then they really have no marketing funnel. Or they have no streams of traffic coming in and so they’re not really capturing any sales. And only after the fact that they build those out.
Jules: Yeah great question I mean traffic is pretty key to all of this (muffled) I get it it was it’s a snowball effect really it’s people that buy your products then go and tell other people about them, that’s one way. Affiliate, having affiliates is fantastic. I had an affiliate program pretty much very early on with my first product and I contacted a few people that I knew. I made sure that people inside it knew that they could become affiliates for the product so your members become affiliates and then they might want to earn some money from it. Essentially they get the training for free if they sell a couple of courses. So, that snowballs you can put it on affiliates platforms of course. So affiliate traffic is very useful but I sort of I did that but also I did things like I wrote a press release, sent it out to, well I still do that, I sent it out to relevant websites and blogs. For example that’s the benefit of being niche. Is that you can find those people more easily. So you know you can find Apple blogs or iPhone blogs or people told me about video marketing. You know it’s easier to find these people if you’re more targeted. So you can do press releases you can contact people. But I would say really when I started out I did it like literally one customer at a time. So I would go into forums and be helpful to people and obviously in forums most forum owners allow you to have a signature where people can click through. So, not going out and spamming and things like that, but more like going out and being useful. Get your name around there, get your link around there. Volunteer yourself for hooked costs. I run a clea, so you know wherever you can find people who want to talk to you. And you know don’t forget that at the end of the day, a lot of bloggers are not making a lot of money off their site. They want to monetize their site. If you can be, if you can proactively approach them and help them monetize their site by offering them content or guest posts or be available for ( ) costs. Then a lot of them are going to say yes. I wait off on this almost like a publicity drive. It was not a magical process. And I did not am not the greatest blogger. I’ve never had a blog that has had masses of traffic then suddenly I’d get a stream of traffic. I’ve always had to go out and work for it and find these people. In the beginning it was literally like, wow could I get another 10 people on my list and or 20 or 30 and could I get another sale from that. It was literally a slow process.
Vic: Yeah that’s been my experience too and pretty much everybody who’s what you would call successful online that is people who have been able to replace their nine to five jobs maybe become location independent. They all pretty much say the same thing, which is that you have to hustle your ass off for your first customers ad to build your reputation. To build your good name. And even after you have some momentum, it’s still work. You have some money to play with maybe you have some relationships you can leverage but it’s still hard work and you still need to stay sharp and cordial. You know. And do the whole beat everywhere strategy. So Jules, how does the recurring model of membership sites and income streams fit into what you do in your business?
Jules: Yeah great question I mean. My biggest lesson right now would be to say I wish I started recurring earlier right from the get go you know. I think, well recurring income to me on membership sites with a recurring income as oppose to a one off product with extremely scary thought, you know. And I think a lot of people feel that. Because recurring to me is like commitment. It’s like a marriage isn’t it? And is when I first launched I launched without any recurring platform or any recurring offer at all. And I was scared a bit I was scared for several reasons. One: I felt such freedom having one-time products, I didn’t have commitment to keep adding new content okay? And that was a kind of nice feeling. The second reason was I was a bit worried about community because if you don’t get a big – a lot of traction when you first launch it you could end up with – if you’re going to offer any form of community like the forum of Facebook group, you cold end up with like ten people which obviously is not going to be the greatest group and it’s going to look a bit embarrassing right when the next lot of people join and they see that there’s only ten people. It doesn’t really make them want to stick around either. So, I had all these fears and I imagine a lot of people have that. So I kind of put off any notion of recurring and I also wondered, did people really sign up for those sort of sites? I mean I could see successful membership sites but I thought would they really do it for my kind of products? Like one of my successful products is iPhone Video Hero which is I even niched down what I talked about previously to just a single product to buy iPhone after a couple of years. So that’s been a pretty good product for me. And I was wondering, well would people really pay extra for around that particular topic. So anyway, I put it all off. Looking back now, if I was launching a product now I would put a recurring income a recurring product into it. What I’ve discovered is that when people buy your one time product, people – if you grabbed them in your funnel in your marketing and you got them really excited about buying that product when they buy it like a low end sort of front end sort of product when they get offered their recurring they’ve just paid for something and they do like to join a recurring site. If you offer something that compliments the front end product maybe it’s the community maybe it’s contact with you or some live element. What I found is that people at that point are most, fairly likely I should say, to sign up for something recurring as opposed to putting out the product and then going back to them six months later and then trying to ask them if they want to become a member of a recurring site. So, in Heinz site I think you should try and put something on a recurring in at right in the beginning and don’t make it overly complicated for yourself in terms of content. So don’t over promise what you’re going to deliver. Make it feasible don’t create hundreds of videos before you launch it but make it more like you’re going to get a new module some new content every fortnight or every month something like that. So don’t wait and create hundreds of videos. So personally what I have right now is I have some single products which are as I mentioned a wheel, a hub of the wheel I’ve got my continuity site, recurring site, the hub, I’ve got the various products. So when somebody buys one of my products now, today, you will be offered an up sale to another product and then you will offered an up sale for trial fourteen day trial of my, what I call my video hero VIP membership. So, I do have that model there I do tend to focus a lot on my front end products. But I do have regular people signing up to my inner circle so to speak.
Vic: My question is what is the inner circle? I think for you know your particular field it would be hard to come up with a continuity where people would feel justified in paying a monthly fee. So how did you sort of combat that, you know that objection is was probably more of your objection more than the clients right, in your mind. You know, what is the VIP what’s a good example of a recurring continuity product?
Jules: Yeah well there’s so many different formats and models and I made a little bit of a shift so let me just explained. So when I first introduced recurring I introduced it inside of just one product. So inside of my iPhone course you bought the course and then you were offered more content related to iPhone video and specifically inside of that course if you became a VIP you’d get access to a different area would unlock and you could get some more regular content. I launched it like that and that really kick started it all. It was a very low cost but it kick started it and I went with that for a while and then I realized, well you know what it’s actually taking me quite a lot of work to create these new edited videos to go inside of it. And then when I started bringing out new products I thought you know what I’m not going to be able to create really relevant recurring products for recurring memberships for each and every product otherwise I’ll end up with five or six memberships sites. Which I know some people do but I wasn’t prepared for that and I didn’t want to have to be creating tons of content for all these different products. So I made a shift and I said you know what I’m going to move this away to it’s own sort of site and I’m going to change it a little bit. So, right now my VIP’s is not based around me editing lots of new video tutorials it’s based more about lives. So what people get is each month we have a live training session which is either me or quite often I get a guest so I approach somebody who is an expert and it’s broader. It’s not just about iPhone it’s more about video, video in general video marketing specifically. It’s not specific to any one bit of equipment or software. It’s more about – well strategy because in my courses I do tend to teach quite a lot of the practicalities the production side of things the hub the VIP is more about what to do with those videos. Once you’ve made them or what kind of videos to make, a bit more about for example scripting and strategy. So, basically I often I would say out of every ten sessions, probably about six are guests. And I approach people who are experts in areas that I’m not within the video. Rum for example I’ve got somebody coming up very soon talking about YouTube video advertising. Right, that’s not my specialty. But that’s a hot topic right now for people who want to promote their courses or their products using video on YouTube, so I’ve got him in to give a session so I use guests, they also get things like free music. I’ve got a composer who creates original music just for my VIP’s. I do a monthly video which is a twenty minute video screen recording basically what I show behind the scenes of my business. How I’m selling my products and techniques I’m using with video to sell things so that’s like behind the scenes with me. That’s a video there and I also do hot seats which is a recording where people send a video to get appraisal of it. So, but it’s not a ton of content you know it’s like free videos a month really, plus the free music track and I’ve got a Facebook group. Now the beauty of that is that that VIP site, whatever product you might buy from me, you might buy an editing course from me. I’ve got a very successful screen flow-editing course you might buy that. You might buy my iPhone course. I’ve got an information course. How to make information products course. Anybody who takes one of those would find value at something that compliments it inside of my membership site. So, that’s the way I’ve gone with it. I mean there’s so many ways with big membership sites. That’s the way I’ve got it. It’s worked pretty good. I’m pretty happy with it. But if I were to say what I should do next is I should do a lot more promoting of it maybe promote it maybe outside of the products. Even if you don’t buy one of my products I should be more marketing it to a bigger audience. But, that’s the more that I’ve got and you know I think it’s really important to find out what’s going to work for you and how you want to work.
Vic: Now, do you have a team helping you with any of this stuff or are you just a solo printer at this point?
Jules: Right now, solo printer I use, I didn’t have anybody on staff, I use freelancers as of when so freelance, graphics, freelance, word press, etcetera, etcetera so I just hire in by the hour I probably at the stage where I could have people, but I’m too mean.
Vic: For sure. I wouldn’t know about that I’ve never worked for you.
Jules: Man, you know that. I’m I’m I’m a I don’t know I’m sort of managing as is and I think yeah down the road perhaps staff. I just find I don’t know it just reminds me of TV where I had to like, I worked with big teams you know crews of twenty people or forty even sometimes and just all that kind of explaining things and that whole kind of management side of it. I’ve kind of enjoyed not having to deal with teams so that’s where I’m at right now. That’ll probably change in the future.
Vic: I absolutely empathize with that, I think there’s probably a ceiling to what you can do if you don’t overcome your resistance to giving up control and having to train a team and pay a team, and deal with all the hassle and pain in the ass that comes along with that but I guess you’ll cross that bridge when you get there. But, one interesting thing that you brought up was that you often bring aboard guests to help you with your content, which is sort of a win win because they get to promote their stuff, you get content, your members get valuable content, and my question is, how do JV’s and affiliates factor, you talked about affiliates but specifically JV partners and people with big lists how do they factor in to your business?
Jules: Yeah, good question, well two points to that. One: in terms of the guests, one thing is with my guests is I ensure that they don’t promote their stuff because with live training and these days the culture is everything’s live and webinars a lot of it. Tends to be promoting. So you go on there and you get a couple of, you get a few good tips but really, the real golden nugget is not in the webinar. And then you get pitched at the end. That’s the way a lot of webinars were. I’ve had it’s quite hard to get people you know to really work to get really good guests who don’t mind not pitching. I have this zero pitch rule. They have to give fantastic content, their best content. Course they can mention at the end where to find them. But really – and I’ve had really good comments from my members saying wow, this seems so fresh! This seems fantastic! There was no pitching. I’ve got ten things, ten fifteen things I can go in in action and I feel really good about it. That’s the only way I think you really if you’ve got people paying for your content to be able to work it out that way you know. So I’ve had to work hard at those relationships. That’s one point. The second point yeah JV’s an affiliate you know we touched on that a bit earlier. I think that if you want to go from a trickle you know like a steady sort of growth to escalate it then literally one fantastic affiliate or JV however you like to call it can totally alter the course of your business. The reason is, that it’s a bit like getting onto for example the Oprah Winfrey show. You know, in your niche there are Oprah Winfrey’s right? People who are really well known who’ve got very dedicated fans, followers, and a big list. Okay? So imagine if you went on to a national TV show and talked about your product. You know what would that do for you. You would get this effect, sudden massive traffic, you’d get more sales and that effect wouldn’t go away because once that’s done that’s there for history. That’s on YouTube that’s on their website And that has grown your awareness. Those people have heard about you they’ve told people about you you’ve started this snowball that’s growing bigger. So, I would say when you’re creating your when at the beginning creating your products or your membership sites try and think about where can you fill a gap in your market. And what would be attractive to those so-called super affiliates or those big people in your niche? What is something that their not doing or that they didn’t have time to do or they haven’t gotten their portfolio that you could do. Because those guys also want to make some more money. They want to increase their income. When they’re not creating products in the times between they want other products to promote and many of them can’t find the right products. That’s my experience. They can’t find people they trust. They can’t find high quality products that they’re comfortable sending their tribe to. So if you can try and fill that and then you can show the benefit to that person. Why they should promote you. And that can be huge so. For example, when I launched my iPhone course, there wasn’t anybody doing that at that point and I knew there were certain people that had big lists that were very busy doing other things. They were being like YouTube experts or they were in different areas, or doing lots of conferences, or whatever there might be. Or creating softwares to an audience of people he would be interested but they didn’t have the time or the inclination to do my particular product. So, that gave me leverage to approach time and say guess what this is hot, I’ve got some stats to show you about how well it’s going. I think your audience is going to love it. And you really got to be kind of direct about it but also show them the benefits. Once that happens, you get ideally if you do it to a free gift like a free opt in you know, they hit you up they hit their list. I mean I’ve got like a thousand subscribers in a day through a promotion sometimes. New subscribers. So, imagine if you go from a list of four hundred and suddenly you’re adding a thousand in a day. You add like eight hundred the next day. And five hundred the next day. You know suddenly you get a lift off. And then suddenly you get a whole bunch of sales and low and behold you’ve made – I mean I’d say that probably one of my best promotions I made about, oh the total sales I should say was about $17,000 in ten days. That was on a 97-dollar product. With no up sales. At that point I had no up sales at that point.
Vic: I bet you were kicking yourself for not having any up sales at that point, huh?
Jules: I was I was and I thought right, I learned my lesson I thought I will never do that again so they next time I pout up sales and you know things improve. But you know on the other hand I got those new customers and a lot of those ended up buying things down the road but absolutely yeah. Hub up sales have as I’ve said hub up sales have recurring options. You know people can only say no right? But you know unless you put the offer up there in front of them you know you’d be surprised if you put the offer up and when people are excited they really need what you’re doing and if what you’re doing is really beneficial to them and good solid product you know people will take it. So, but yeah so that’s how you escalate it. You get suddenly this huge jump and suddenly expands your mind to what’s possible and then you can start looking for other affiliates. I’m not saying it’s easy to find these particular super affiliates. It’s not easy in my case, but you know that down the road you can find more hopefully. And also then you can start reciprocating so I would say a fair chunk of my income let’s say 20-30% of my income, now comes from me promoting other people. Because once I’ve built up this list of very specific people, I can then look for other products and now it’s funny I’m in the opposite situation. Now I get people approaching me, this is now 2-3 years down the road 4 years down the road now I get emails to me saying hey I can see you’re doing really well and I’ve got this new thing coming out. Would you like to check it out, I think it’s a perfect fit, so now I’m on the other side of the fence as well. But anyway, yeah it’s an exciting thing basically you’re leveraging other people’s audiences that would take you a hell of a long time to build up yourself.
Vic: Yeah, I was just thinking Jules, listening to what you just said about your JV’s and also about how you sort of approached building your business from the ground up. Sounds to me like pretty much everything you have done and do, if you extract the principle from it, it’s about relationships. And I mean that in a sense that everything you do is listening to peoples’ actual problems, finding where those people hang out, interacting with them, helping them, being being truly helpful, giving value, not abusing your relationships. Like no pitching on your paid course. That makes sense right? Like nobody wants to pay a monthly fee to see a monthly webinar and then be pitched. Like aren’t I already paying? And just sort of basic you know common decency and just building relationships and. Like I know for me I’ve always ignored relationships in my business up until a year ago and guess what happened? My business started growing. Very significantly.
Jules: Absolutely. I think, look a lot of the quite a bit of the stuff out there particularly in the marketing niche business niche, well not a lot of it but some of it I just I just, it’s a big turn off to me. A lot of the – well obviously there’s the kind of scammy scammy looking products but also just the attitudes. You know I buy a few products. I buy them. It’s good to buy products to just see how they – final work- and see what the products are like and things like that and you know get very very disappointed with the whole process and some of the copyrighting the language they use and I don’t know some of their mutualism of it all as well you know I don’t know it’s it’s particularly amongst well obviously male marketers. But I get petrified I think this is not really speaking to me. I just don’t like it. And then, I get very disappointed if I don’t get you know responses if I have support issues things like that or if the course isn’t updated and they just sort of, they take your money and they kind of disappear or the product doesn’t work. I’ve bought all of these these things have happened to me. I’m sure they’ve happened to people listening. I just feel bad, maybe I have a lot of guilt I don’t know what it is but I feel bad about this. If somebody buys my course and they have troubles with it, I like to reply swiftly I obviously like my products I have refund products. But sometimes I give people a refund in one minute.
Vic: For sure.
Jules: Because I get the email, and they’re asking me for a refund which I have a refund policy and that’s (muffled) and sometimes you know I thought why wait? I’ll just send it to them straight away and they send an email back saying, “What I’ve never had a refund so quick!” It’s because I don’t like stuff in my inbox. I didn’t get very many refunds, I should say that but if I do I like to process it speedily, you know definitely within the day. I don’t like this whole kind of having to email people five times to get a refund. I don’t like – I don’t feel good, I wanna sleep well at night. And I know, I’ve had struggles before with money and I’ve got kids I’ve got a lot of expenses so I basically like to treat peoples money with uttermost respect. As you said you know giving value, just being totally above board and doing something useful. You know I think what I do is useful because I think that really video is soaking now to online work to working online to marketing. If I can get a result if somebody takes a course and creates something way better than they would of done without me and then they get a long going result because suddenly more people are buying their products or their services because they made a video following my course. And that’s what I’m looking for because I’m helping them with grow their business and their change their lifestyle and I’m growing my business at the same time. So it’s a win win.
Vic: That’s beautifully put Jules and I think maybe like you know you get to a certain level, maybe it’ll happen to us who knows hopefully we’ll get to that level but maybe some of these guys get so much money you know and they’re so disconnected from the people who are putting food on their table. And you know I ‘ve been there too, I lived in a car. You know I’ve been out in the street before for days at a time. And it sucks. And when you finally have your business going and people are sending you money into your account for the value that you give them, and they’re literally feeding you. You know if you can remember that if you have that experience you’re never going to want to treat your customers like shit. You’re going to want to treat them like friends because that’s what they are. They’re giving you a way to live. Because, you know we’ve gone I think almost 40 minutes here so, I just want to ask you a few kind of questions to wind down with this podcast without sort of abusing the listeners attention here. So my last few questions is a one is: what are few tools and apps that you use in your business that are really essential? Like maybe your top three tools.
Jules: Top three tools would be: Optimize Press 2.0, Digital Access Pass, and A Webber.
Vic: That’s interesting I would say those are my top three tools as well. And a real quick since this is about membership sites can you sort of describe the role that Digital Access Pass has had in your business and sort of you know your use of it, your experience with it?
Jules: Okay, well in case people don’t know what it is Digital Access Pass is DAP for short it’s a membership script so you basically install it and use it in a word press environment so I’m using the Optimize Press C I’m using DAP for the membership site so it’s what enables you to send out logins to your members and create different course levels and give people access to a whole load of other things. So yeah I mean you know what I find all of these scripts totally unsexy you know these are like engines inside the car you know they just like do the job. I was probably obsessed for weeks and months about which one to get. It becomes the biggest thing that stops them from doing anything. So, I would say yeah. I mean obviously I have a rough idea of what you’re planning to do with our business and your sites and you know how they’re gonna work and are they going to be under one site and different modules and different levels. Thinking, have an idea of where you’re going before you choose a script that’s for sure. But, I just found it had, it had everything I needed when I was starting out and now I find it’s got you know more features than some of the other scripts. That can be handy. For example, it’s got the affiliate module in it, so you can actually run an affiliate program using that particular software. And some people like it, some of my affiliates prefer it because they’re not too keen on for example Click Bang Call, JV Zoo, places like that which are other affiliate platforms. An affiliate module I’ve used find it successfully, and people can you know log in and see their sales and things like that or they went inside of your area which is pretty cool. What else? Drip-feeding. I had my first– of course I’ve had my first drip-feeding so like releasing a module every week, after a period of time it can do that, which now other scripts can do. It’s jus sort of there. It’s just (muffled) and you know what I find quite good about it is I’ve been able to – I find the support pretty good and I’ve found that the people who own it are working on it you know creating new actions or adding new things to it for the near future so. I quite like their attitude to their product. They seem to really love it themselves, which is really good.
Vic: Yeah I agree. Robby and Aveena the developers of Dabb, I think they’re outstanding they, you can tell they put a lot of love and a lot of energy into their product and they really listen to their customers basically. So one other question for you Jules is what advice would you give to people who are sort of starting out and getting into online marketing, product creation, membership sites, that kind of thing.
Jules: Yeah starting out. I would say do not do not spend weeks and weeks worrying about scripts and what word press thing to use and all that kind of stuff and I think people and I’ve I was probably the same actually you can not fall in love with the idea of having an info product or a member ship site and it sounds really cool and oh my goodness wouldn’t it be amazing if I could have that. And you read all those stories about people who have massive membership sites with thousands of members and it’s just seems like incredible. And you can kind of get caught up in that dream like state where nothing ever happens and you spend like weeks researching all the different things but don’t take the action. It’s that. It’s hard work you know, at the end of the day, it’s hard work it’s like getting down and actually creating the thing is is hard, it’s like, I imagine it’s like writing a book but you’ve got lie a blank screen in front of you and you know chapter one. Imagine you know writing the first sentence of a novel you know. I don’t write but you know it’s like hard work. And at the end of the day it like, makes you sweat, so you’ve got to be prepared to actually sweat and do the work and create you know create the product, become a producer not a consumer. Learn not to just consume but produce and producing is hard work. I’d say, take that action, take that action do some research but limit yourself to how much you’re going to do. And be very careful. Put time into researching the niche. Put more time into that the niche and the exactly what product you’re going to create and how it’s going to fit into your to your business and the bigger picture side of it. Put some time into that once you’ve kind of justified that and verified that, then create it. Then just literally knock yourself away, create it and just do it, that’s the best I can offer on that.
Vic: Just do it. That’s great advice. Alright I think that just about does it Jules, so where can people find you online?
Jules: Sure, well my blog now it’s at videohero.com, videohero.com that’s where I blog, and also there’s a link up to my training courses and there’s also free reports so there’s free reports about editing and about shooting on an iPhone and I also have occasionally competition’s. I recently had a giveaway camera competition and things like that so lots of fun stuff going on at videohero.com.
Vic: All right, thanks a lot Jules.
Jules: All right thanks for having me.
Narrator: Mmm mmm. Wasn’t that scrumptious? Thanks for listening to the membership site success podcast with membership site expert Vic Dorfman. For oodles of free tips, tricks, and tutorials on crashing it recurring revenue go to www.vicdorfman.com. It’s what all the cool kids do, and you do want to be cool, don’t you? See ya next time!