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464 – More small business tips: Tom talks Ask me a Question
From:
Tom Antion -- Internet Marketing Expert Tom Antion -- Internet Marketing Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Virginia Beach, VA
Thursday, July 15, 2021

 

Episode 464 – Ask Me A Question
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.

[00:00:24] Hey, everybody it's Tom here with episode four hundred and sixty four of Screw the Commute Podcast. Today, I'm going to do another ask me a question. I mean, I get so many questions here. I've got to tell you that I figured I'm going to put a lot of these in this, these past couple of weeks and and any time I get more of them, I'll just do another ask me a question. It gives you a lot of variety on the things you need to know to be successful in business. I hope you didn't miss Episode 463. That was all about survey. So you can get an enormous amount of media coverage and turn that coverage into cash by doing surveys correctly. And you don't even have to do a survey to use surveys to get money and back links to your website, which are very important and all that stuff. So that was Episode 463. And of course, any time you want to hear a back episode, you go to screwthecommute slash the episode number, slash 463. All right. How did you like me to send you big cheques or PayPal or gold bullion or whatever? You I don't understand crypto, so you might get rich if I sent you any crypto.

[00:01:36] I don't know. We have a very robust affiliate program. We're happy to send money to people to refer us. So check it out by email me at Tom@ScrewtheCommute.com and let me know if you're interested and we'll give you the details. All right. Grab a copy of our automation ebook. This ebook has saved me millions of keystrokes over the years, handled, you know, 60000, 65000 customers, one hundred and fifty thousand subscribers, and just just everything goes way faster with this book. So grab it at screwthecommute.com/automatefree and pick up a copy of our podcast app while you're at it. It's here, screwthecommute.com/app. And you can put us on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road. Now, I'm right in the middle of this big campaign to help. People with disabilities. Get through my school so that they can not only learn remotely, they can legitimately get hired remotely, and we'll we're going to hire people to help administer the program and we're going to have a job placement thing going on. So this is really something you could help change people's lives and to fund the whole thing. We're doing it. Go Fund Me campaign. So check it out at my school site IMTCVA.org/disabilities. And right at the top is to go fund me link. And then you can see some of the people already in the program and and all that stuff. So give us give us a hand and you'll be doing some great things for people that when I say hand they they got dealt a little tougher hand than most of us.

[00:03:30] All right, let's get to the main event, ask me some questions. Well, first question is how do I research potential affiliates for my products? Well. First thing is like the first episode of this show, this one hundred and 30th episode of this show, you do keyword research. And then you take the people that pop up on the first two pages or maybe three pages on Google because, you know, they have a lot of traffic if they're on the first page. Now, here's some things to check out. Do they have an opt in? For something, give away a freebie or a newsletter or something will get yourself a throwaway email address and sign up for all these these lists that people have. And see the kinds of things they promote in their list. Next thing, check, do they accept advertising? Do you see ads for different companies all over the place? Do they have blog postings and articles with bylines? A byline is like if an article was Screw the commute by Tom Antion by Tom Antion is the byline now.

[00:04:46] Would I bother to put that on my site, screw the commute if I wrote the article? No, but if somebody if Joe Schmo wrote the article by Joe Schmo, that means that I'm willing to accept articles from other authors see or blog posting. So. So you want to look for bylines with different names in them. And do they have an affiliate disclaimer somewhere which is required now by law that you disclaim or alert the public that you could get a commission on things that you recommend? Well, right there, it's telling you that they're they're interested in affiliate commissions. So I say start a spreadsheet. And also put on it whatever possible ways they want to be contacted, some of them only have a form. Some of them have email addresses, some of them have. Phone numbers, so contact them however you can to do your pitch on your affiliate's stuff. All right, so that's how you find affiliates for your products. Of course, you always have the big, big players like JVZoo and ClickBank share a sale that kind of plays.

[00:05:59] OK, next question, how do I lay out an e-commerce store? So there's two major ways I'll call them A and B A is a page on your website. Well, I mean, you're always going to start with a page on your website for for your store. And A would be by topic and B would be by format, so I'll explain that so a lot happens to be the way I do it. And the reason is, is because I have multiple topics. I have professional speaking, public speaking, that kind of stuff. I have entrepreneurship. This this podcast is an example. It's not a product per say, but so I have entrepreneurship stuff. I have tennis stuff. I have protection dog stuff. I have digital marketing stuff. You know, so many different topics. So I lay my store out by the first page they hit. They get to pick the topic that they're interested in and say when they pick the topic, they click a link and they go to a page with all the products listed on that topic. Now, not the full sales letters for each product, just maybe a graphic of the product and maybe a one or two sentence description of the product. And add to cart kind of button if it's a cheap product. And a more info link to take them to the next step. So if they already know they want, let's say, my book on viral marketing, they click on digital marketing on the first page and then they they click on Add to Cart for the viral marketing book. And bam, bam. Thank you, ma'am. There they go. But let's say they they're looking through my products on digital marketing and they say, I'd like to know more about that digital marketing book.

[00:08:01] So they click the more info button and that takes them to a full sales page on the viral marketing book, where then they can add to CART so they can add to CART in two places. If they're already kind of presold and they just want to quickly buy it, then they can buy it right from the the page. It has all the digital marketing products. If they need more details, then they go to the full sales letter and they can buy it from there. So that's laying it out by topic. Now BP is laying it out by format. So this would be more appropriate if you are all on one topic, leadership, let's say, or or golf or whatever it is. So in that case, all the products are going to be about golf in some fashion, so you have an option here and now. I do know there's lots of different things you could topics within golf so you could use a if you talked about putting or the short game or the mental game, you know, so that's that's a possibility. But if it's all on one topic, you can pick my format. You can. So the first page they come to, maybe you have ebooks. So they have a link that says e-books. Maybe you have a lot of audio products, audio printed books, membership sites, online courses, consulting, etc.

[00:09:28] So that would be what format they're interested in. So if they're on the road all the time, they might click on audio and look at all your audio products. Now, the audio product might be an audio copy of your e-book so you can offer them bonuses or up cells. Like if they bought the audio, you could sell them to the ebook of the same topic and vice versa. That's laying your site out by format. And again, it goes all the way down to individual sales letters for each product. Now. One other. Way to lay things out. I would say usually, in addition to what I just told you, is an abbreviated sales page with just the buy now or add to cart link. Now, this would be a page you would send people to from a webinar where maybe you were just on for 90 minutes presenting them and telling them how great the product was and telling them all about it. So you just want them to check out. Just go there and check out. Or maybe you're on to Facebook live or something like that. So they're pretty much sold before they get to the page, and you don't want to necessarily force them to read through everything to to buy now. I violated any of these rules on occasion. All right. But these are the best practices.

[00:10:57] And you can also put a search function on your store if you have a lot of products. All right, so that's laying out an e-commerce store. I this next thing is not necessarily a question, but it's it's something that came up the other day and it comes up quite frequently. So one of my students is going to go unnamed. Is a major, major expert in her field. Her book sold, I don't know, 400000 copies, something like that, and. And many other newbies in the field use her material not and don't necessarily give her credit for it. And they're they're great marketers, so they're really doing well, but one of the things you want to avoid is to compare yourself to people. Now, it's not a bad idea to see what other people are doing and, of course, take it with a grain of salt, because a lot of it is a bunch of B.S. So that's OK, but if you're susceptible to starting to feel bad and get depressed because it appears that somebody is doing better than you, especially if you were around long before them and they're stealing your material. OK, so it might not I mean, this this lady has been around so long, her materials become almost like Kleenex. It's like everybody knows it now that she invented it a long time ago. So she was showing me some of the Instagram accounts of these competitors and telling me how successful they are, and she was obviously feeling bad about it.

[00:12:37] So I started, of course, looking at the Instagram accounts and the first one she showed me had eighty eight hundred followers. So the first thing I'm going to do is look at their. Last four or five, six posts and see how many comments they had. I think between the last four or five or six. Post, she had maybe three comments among all of. All right, instantly, I think, impossible. There's no way you had 800 followers and only legitimate followers and only have three comments. So then she shows me one with thirty one thousand followers. The most she had was five comments on any post impossible. Then she showed me one with sixty five thousand followers and the most I saw on any of her posts was a 20 comment on one of them, most of them or about five. This is totally impossible. If those were real, then you'd have way, way more comments. And I mean, I can get one on one account. I got like 300 legitimate followers and I'm getting 30 comments. All right. So that's that's real. So it's possible that the principle that the competitor doesn't know any better and the people helping her with Instagram or I don't know if it's a he or she helping her. Just says, oh, I'm going to build the numbers up really high because the boss doesn't know any better about engagement or else even the person helping may not know about engagement.

[00:14:23] And so it's going to look really good and they'll keep paying me. All right. So so most of these are what we call ghost followers. They're they're either fake that they were just purchased. Somebody went to five or and purchased a bunch of fake followers or I mean, it really a ghost follower could really be your best friend from grade school. But if they don't engage on your channel when you make a post, they're hurting you. Now, you might feel bad about getting rid of them, but it doesn't hurt them to get rid of them other than their feelings, if they find out and ask you why you got rid of me, you have to explain. Well, the more people that are on the account. The less your engagement percentage is and it makes you look worse to Instagram, Facebook, whoever does these kinds of things. And so you must clean them out. And I'm going to tell you the way that I go about and it is a pain in the neck, especially if you let it get away from you, like the person that had 65000 followers, which probably 40000 of them are ghosts. So it take a long time to clean that mess up or, you know, and I'm sure she wouldn't want to start over again.

[00:15:48] And the reason it takes a long time to clean it up is because you shouldn't do get rid of more than 100 followers a day or that looks really fishy to Instagram and then they hate you even worse. So so here's what you do. You have to pull up your follower list. You just click on it, like, let's take Instagram. And. I'm going to tell you some ways that to instantly know that these people are ghosts, they're not they're not helping you first if they have no picture. Chances are it's fake account. Get rid of it. If their last post was more than a month ago, well, they're not active, so they're going to get rid of. Now, if they have an enormous number of people that they're following, let's say more than a thousand, get rid of them now, why they might be totally legitimate person? Well, if they have a thousand followers, what's the chance as those thousand followers? Put stuff up on Instagram that that person is going to stop and, oh, that's really interesting for each one and then engage with yours, know, the chances are they're never, ever going to see yours. It's going to go so fast. So if they have an enormous number of followers, get rid of them. They're never going to see your stuff and never engage with it. I got to put a correction in, folks, I meant to say if they are following lots of people, more than a thousand, I mean, even 800, 900.

[00:17:30] The problem is, is if they're following that many people, they're never going to see your stuff as it comes through their their interface, you know, you know, a thousand people putting up stuff and you'll they'll never see you. So one of the criteria is if you see. Somebody that's following tons of people, I've seen him in four or five, 6000 people they're following. Get rid of them. There goes they're never going to see your stuff or engage with it. OK, back to the show. If they have no followers and no postings. Now, if it's a brand new person and you know them and they're just getting started and they start engaging with you, great. But if you know you're going to if you go do what I'm telling you, you're going to see a bunch of people that have no followers, no postings and no nothing. And they're never going to engage with you. So get rid of. But like I said, you can't do more than get rid of more than one hundred per day. So if you had like for instance, I had thirteen hundred when I had to clean up one and I got it down to 300. So that was at least 10 days. It took me to clean it up 100 hundred per day.

[00:18:48] So if you catch this now and then once a week, check in on this, then you'll keep a really good Facebook Instagram account now. What good does this do you? Well, let's say you had a thousand followers. And you would get 10 comments. For her posting average, let's say. So that is a one percent engagement rate. Now, there's other ways to engage, OK, so they can like your thing, they can comment is worth more. Sharing is worth more. These are all in general and saving your post is is worth more. But let's just use comments as the benchmark. So you had a thousand followers and 10 average comments. That's a one percent engagement rate. But let's say 500 of those. Followers were ghosts. And you cleaned them out of their. Well, now you're still getting 10 comments from the good people. But your engagement rate has doubled to two percent. Which makes you look way better to Instagram. This is the case for Facebook. Or other places that do this kind of stuff. So you doubled your engagement rate, all right. That in itself is wonderful because now Instagram looks on you more favorably. Well, looking on you more favorably. What does that mean? That means that they're going to show your stuff to more of your followers, see, everybody doesn't see when you put something up. In fact, for most of you, if I looked at your account, nobody is seeing what you're doing.

[00:20:39] You're just kind of spitting in the wind because. You've got too many ghosts and not enough engagement, and so Instagram and Facebook and all these places do what they call a micro test. So as soon as you put up a posting, they put it in front of some of your followers. And if nobody engages, that's the end of it. They're not going to bother, you know, putting it out a bunch of other people if the post appears to be worthless because nobody engaged with it. So that's also means you should put your posts up when most of your people are going to be on. Don't put something up at 2:00 in the morning thinking that, oh, this I have some time to do this. No, you just totally wasted everything because nobody is awake to engage with it. And the micro test, you fail the micro test and that's the end of it. You made that post. You killed yourself to make it and then it went nowhere. All right. And that's a very common thing where people spending all this time making posts and they go nowhere. All right, so that's a little bit about ghost followers, so don't get whacked out when somebody appears to have be doing better than you, it could be all fake and you can check other people's, too. This is all public information.

[00:21:53] You can go to their follower list, see who is following them and check out their if they're ghosts or not with what I just told you, you know, so you and sometimes I do this when people ask me to, you know, work with, you know, like trade postings and not trade postings, but trade engagement with them. And I say, well, I'm willing to do that. You don't want to do a lot of that because it looks fishy to Instagram. But but sometimes I'm willing to do it, but not if they're full of ghosts, say, because I know that I'm not going to get much out of it. They're not going to get as much out of it. So I say clean up your ghosts and then we'll talk. All right. So that's enough on that. Next question I heard, there are legal aspects of prepublication sales, what are they? OK, well, first thing, prepublication sales are a good thing in that you can get money in to your bank account right away before your product is finished or even started. All right. Really? And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. It's perfectly legit. Where people get into trouble is that they promise a delivery date and then they run into some complication and they don't deliver on time. That's where you crossed in to be an illegal. So what do you do about. Well, if you are coming up on the promised delivery date and you realize that you won't be able to deliver on that date.

[00:23:34] You're obligated to contact the buyer. And give them an option to either get a refund or agree to extend your delivery date. And I'm just in the middle of one now where I'm going to do one on my new crowdfunding book ebook and the money is going to go all to the scholarship fund for the disabled people. But I'll get the money in faster and then I'll give a delivery date on the book and if if in fact something comes up that I can't deliver or offer to refund their money or ask them if they wouldn't mind if I took another week or something like that. So that's the legal ramifications. But don't avoid doing pre publication sales to help finance your projects and to get money in quick. All right, next question, you talk about screen capture video a lot, what is it and what can you do with it? Well, I've been using screen capture video for 21 and a half years now, so what it is, is for those of you who don't know screen capture is it's a service or a piece of software that will record anything you can display on your computer screen. And you can narrate over top of it with your voice of what they are seeing. Now you can have your picture in picture a call so you can have your picture over on the side if you wanted to.

[00:25:05] I hardly ever do it, but you could do that. But it kind of negates one of the big benefits is you can have a bad hair day and be naked and still do all the kinds of things you can do with screen cash. All right. So so I guess you could still be naked with picture in picture if you had watched show. Now, I happen to use Camtasia, which is the gold standard, but there are others, all you have to do is Google video screen capture, the screen capture also still images. You have like a clipping thing on the PC and I don't know what it's called on a Mac. So that's just capturing still images, video screen capture as you're just capturing any kind of thing that you can display on your computer screen. Now, here are some of the things I do with it and why I love it so much and have been using it continuously for 21 and a half years. So you can make affiliate money with it, so I teach people, you know, with screen capture, I bring up a software program or or an online service or something like that, and I teach people how to use it. And how wonderful it is and all the great things that'll do for you, but then to to do it, they have to buy it through my affiliate like.

[00:26:28] And so that's how I've made loads and loads of money over many years with affiliate marketing because, you know, I don't create software or software as a service, so I don't really have any of that to sell my own stuff. If you did, definitely you should use screen capture to show people how to use it and all that. But I just do affiliate stuff with that, so so that makes a lot of money. Now, I have made products out of screen capture video, I had 50 videos on a CD rom all screen capture and the way I said it was one hundred ninety nine dollars for the CD rom and I would use it. You know, I'm kind of an expert at selling when you're not allowed to sell. So when I were used to do corporate speaking, I would show maybe three videos during the course of a 90 minute speech. And then people will be saying, hey, where'd you get those videos? And I said, well, I'm not allowed to sell here. I have this DVD that's got this CD that's got 50 of them on there. So they would badger the meeting planner or the organizer. Hey, he said he can't sell us those videos. What's up? And then and then they would come to me and ask me if I would sell it to him when they already told me I couldn't sell.

[00:27:48] I love that. But one time I, I was a you know, it cost, I don't know, two dollars to duplicate this CD rom once all the videos were on it. I was speaking at this major event, this Wharton Business School thing, e-commerce thing in Washington, D.C. And so I said, hey, you know, I'm one of the main speakers. I'll be glad to give you a hundred of these CDs to give out as sign up premiums. Keep that in mind, folks. Any of you that do speaking at events offer a sign up premium so that they could advertise the first hundred people that signed up got a copy of this CD rom with all these great videos, so. Remember, this is a two hundred dollar CD rom only costs me two dollars to duplicate. So I give them a hundred, which costs me two hundred dollars. But at retail, it's a 20 thousand dollar sponsorship that I just gave to the event, so I'm up there with G.E. and Alcoa, a little little country bumpkin Tom is up there with Wharton Business School and all these other big sponsors. So anyway, that's something just a little sidebar. But one of the ways I did it. But but anyway, I made a product out of it. All right. Another thing it does is save tons of time.

[00:29:18] So I used to do remember, I'm the as far as I know, I'm still the biggest reseller in the world for Kickstartcart. One of the ways I became that is I offered a one on one consultation unlimited to help people learn how to use the card so they use all the fancy features and the upselling and the affiliate program and autoresponder and broadcast the email and all this stuff. And so the whole one on one consultation usually went to about seven hours, not all in one time, maybe seven sessions at an hour apiece. So this and I had 1500 users. So this was eaten up an enormous amount of time. So what I did is I recorded, I think about 44. I took I remember it was the July 4th weekend. Years and years ago I recorded. Forty four of these screen capture videos show and all the functions of the card. And I put him up on a website, it's still there today with some updated videos called HowtoUseaShoppingCart.com. Think we'll have that in the show. But then I had people watch them before we did the one on one consultation. And that cut my one on one consultations down to about two sessions of an hour instead of. Seven hours, so it saved me enormous amount of time. You can do training and support using screen capture, also save time on employee training.

[00:30:53] So if there was new employees that had to do some function that we always had to do over and over again, instead of me holding their hand or some other employer employee taking time to show them how to do something, we just showed them a video of it and then just supervised them to make sure they got it and boom done instead of sitting there for an hour teaching them how to do it. So it saves enormous time. And support sometimes. You know, instead of trying to type all the nuances to questions, I get to fix somebody's problem, one of my mentees, it's way faster and more understandable for me to just show them with a custom video for them. Sometimes I can use the video over again if it's same problem, but if it's some specific problem, instead of me trying to email back and forth, asking them questions and they don't really know what you know, maybe they're not experienced enough to know what the heck is going on. I just shoot a video camera video and say, here, click here, do this if you have trouble doing this over here, and then they can see it and replay it over and over again and then only call me if they have a problem. So just enormous, great handy thing for that. Now, here's one mistake that just drives people crazy.

[00:32:15] And I just watched a, I don't know, 40 minute video by a really, really smart engineer who was critiquing this building that collapsed in Surfside and down in Miami somewhere. And so they actually had video footage, surveillance footage that showed how, you know, the actual collapse of the building. So he's breaking it down like every little nuance. The problem was and this guy is brilliant. The problem was that cursor, every time he would refer, look over here and he'd move his cursor, but it was so tiny nobody could see it. All the comments were, hey, you're brilliant. But we couldn't follow this thing because we couldn't see the cursor. All right. So, Camtasia and probably some of the other ones has a thing that I use frequently where it's a translucent colored big ball around the cursor. And you can make it different colours, I usually make mine yellow, but you can see through it, but you see this big yellow ball right where my cursor is. So you can't you don't get lost when I'm trying to show you something. So that's a critical piece. If you decide to do this to make sure you make a giant cursor. Another little thing you can do if if your software doesn't have that capability is make little circles movement around where you're doing rather than just move your mouse there and stop making circles with it.

[00:33:49] So it makes movement that grabs the person's eye and jumps over to where the cursor is. But if you just move the cursor and it's tiny, you're just you know, you're going to get a lot of complaints because people can't follow you. OK, so that's my questions for today, so, hey, get over there and help out the crowdfunding campaign to help those folks with disabilities get through the school and get hired and get off the I don't know, I didn't ask them if they were on welfare rolls, but I suspect some of them are. Yeah, I'll take that back. I don't know any if that's any of that's true or not. I just want to help them get work so that they never have to think about getting on welfare rolls. And they can they can really make a lot of good living. And and a lot of these people I mean, the statistics show that there's four times higher likelihood of suicide. There's three point seven higher incidence of depression. Their unemployment rate is at an all time high. I'm going to do something about it and I really need your help. So check it out at IMTCVA.org/disabilities, click on the Go Fund Me campaign and anything you can throw in is helps. And if you're really flush with cash, get in touch with me. Maybe you can sponsor one person yourself. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. And we'll catch you on the next episode. See ya later.

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