I’m doing a membership series where I talk to entrepreneurs in the space about how they built their membership sites.
If you’re considering creating anything online and selling it online I will make this interview very useful for you. The heavy lifting in this interview is going to be done by my guest Amy Porterfield.
She’s a social media consultant who created a membership site for people who want to learn about Facebook marketing. She’s also the author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and her membership site is called Facebook Marketing Profit Lab.
Amy Porterfield, Amy Porterfield
Amy Porterfield is a social media consultant who created a membership site for people who want to learn about Facebook marketing.
Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of mixergy.com, home of the ambitious upstart. You know I’ve got a sponsor here, but you can probably tell by now that sponsorship isn’t where the revenue is for Mixergy quite frankly.
I decided that Mixergy will be member supported. That it will be all about revenue just coming from the people who hopefully like it and benefit enough that they want to be members, subscribing, paying members of the site.
If that’s a direction I’m going in, I want to learn as much as I can about it from the people who are in the space. That’s why I’m doing this membership series where I talk to entrepreneurs about how they built their membership sites.
Now I’m in the space. Chances are good that you are in the space, too. You the viewer, the listener, or the reader of the transcript, but it’s not 100%.
I will make sure as we go through this interview if you’re running a web app, and essentially, web apps are like membership sites in that you still have a product that’s all digital that you’re still trying to sell access to off [??] basis. I’ll make sure this interview applies to you.
If you’re considering creating anything online and selling it online I will make it very useful for you too. It’s not just me who’s doing this. Frankly, the heavy lifting is going to be done in this interview by my guest Amy Porterfield.
She’s a social media consultant who created a membership site for people who want to learn about Facebook marketing. She’s also the author of “Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies” and her membership site is called Facebook Marketing Profit Lab. Here’s the URL fbmarketingprofitlab.com.
One final thing before we officially start. That sponsor that I told you about? His name is . . . Do I even need to tell you? I just need to give you guys the syllables and I bet that you know that it’s Scott Edward Walker of Walker Corporate Law. If you’re looking for a lawyer go check out his website.
Amy: Thank you so much for having me.
Andrew: Thanks for being on here. One of the reasons why you said that you wanted a membership site is that you had, before a membership site, you had a bunch of mini bosses. What do you mean by mini bosses?
Amy: Oh yes. This was something that I didn’t expect. When I left my big corporate job I decided that I was going to create online training programs. That was my main goal. When I left corporate, I didn’t realize that I’d need to make money a little bit faster than I thought.
What I started to do is, a lot of people have this experience where they leave corporate and people start asking them to consult because you have this skill set and now you’re out there kind of like a free agent. Now everybody starts coming to you, can you help me do this? Can you help me do that?
I started saying yes to everything. What happened was instead of creating my online programs and instead of having one big boss, I worked for Tony Robbins so he was literally a really big boss, I have a bunch of mini bosses now.
This was not how I thought my first year was going to be. Now I was answering to a bunch of people instead of one big boss. It still was stressful. It wasn’t anything like I wanted it to be. Those first two years were really tough because of that.
Andrew: Do you have an example of what you were doing for these mini bosses?
Amy: Yes. I would do social media marketing. I’d literally get in the trenches, build out their Facebook page, build out their Twitter page, and then learn more about the company. I would be tweeting or posting as the company for them.
Sometimes I would create their Facebook marketing plan or their social media marketing plan, and then help their team execute. I was really the worker bee in this situation. When I left Robbins, my whole goal was to stop being the worker bee and doing all the work for everybody else. It just didn’t work out that way as I thought.
Andrew: I read on your site that you burned your boats after you left Tony Robbins. You said that’s it. I’m done. I’m going to go do my own thing. I’m not going to halfheartedly work on my own thing while I’m also working for Tony Robbins. I’m curious about what you did for him.
Amy: Yes. I was the Director of Content Development. Basically what that mean is Tony is a really creative guy. He’s coming up with ideas all the time. I mean it feels like 24/7 he’s coming up with these ideas.
What happened was my department was basically his link to getting his ideas to actually come to fruition. In CDs, or any kind of digital products, or books, or whatever he did, a lot of online programs near the end is what we started to create.
All of that content would be filtered through my department. We’d make it into something that would make sense to his audience and then get it out there. A team of writers, designers . . .
Andrew: Give me an example. What’s a product that you put together for him?
Amy: I was involved in the Money Masters. That was like my very last product I did before I left.
Andrew: What’s Money Masters?
Amy: It was my favorite product because it’s why I’m in internet marketing today.
My last year I was with Tony Robbins, he decided to get into online marketing even more so. What he did is he brought us to this table, my team and a bunch of internet marketers. Frank Kern, Evan Pagan, Brandon Bruchard, Jeff Walker, people I didn’t know at the time but looking back, holy cow, these were the big heavy hitters.
So he started to talk to these guys and learned how they ran their business online and he was kind of in awe. Like, he’s on stage every day it seems and it’s hard on his body, hard on his voice. So this was just another way to get the content out.
So after we learned everything we could about creating online programs, Tony decided to [??] a program about how online marketers build their business so he invited like Dean Jackson and Frank Kern and Marie Forlio onto his platform to actually talk about their businesses.
Andrew: Wait, they were talking or was he interviewing them the way that he did that old interview series?
Amy: He interviewed them, which is really cool.
Andrew: So essentially like I’m doing right here he did with these people, packaged it all up into a product and said All right, Amy. Can you make it something that people will understand, want to buy and continue to learn from it so that they can see some improvement in their lives. That’s the thing.
Amy: Exactly and what we do is we do all the research before it got there so he really understood his audience and who he was interviewing and then worked on all the product and packaging after the fact.
Andrew: Let’s break that down. Beforehand, what kind of research did you do?
Amy: So Tony is researcher like to the hundredth degree so what we did is we would want to learn where this person got his start, what they did before they started to make money in online marketing, how they make money in online marketing but really we looked for quotes in their philosophies and their messages and really who they are at their core and how that relates to their business.
So we like to get into those types of stories. We like to find stories of these peoples that have talked about different things online and pull it out of them during the interview and also what makes them tick or what makes them unique is always really important too.
So before Tony goes into any interview and I’m sure you totally can relate to this, he wants that personal side. Like what makes this person, you know, this person, what makes up this person. So we get really in that personal side but related to business. It’s really neat how he does that.
Andrew: What about the research that you do or you did on potential customers?
Amy: Yes, so we would find out obviously who is the customer for this type of product. So all the time when we were working at Robbin’s we would survey the audience, every product they actually purchased we surveyed afterwards, every live event they went we would survey afterwards.
We had a huge sales team so we would get information from all of them as well and we would learn that these people are looking for something bigger and they wanted to get inspired and excited about what they were doing and they felt kind of dead inside, a lot of them did. And so looking for a new way to build a business was very exciting to them.
And this is a time where, this was a good four-five years ago, where internet marketing was still very new to so many people.
Andrew: And so before you even created it, you would say which of our past customers would be interested in this and survey them and understand why they are interested in it. What else would you ask that I wouldn’t know as an outsider, that I wouldn’t anticipate even as an outsider?
Amy: I think that, let me think back. We would ask a lot about their relationships and who they’re close to and maybe even also, definitely also, where they’re having challenges in their lives, what’s keeping them up at night, what do they worry about. Also what is their biggest goal or their biggest aspiration they were going for and why haven’t they gotten there yet?
Really understanding where their roadblocks were. Was it that kind of a-ha moment for us when we got to that information.
Andrew: You know Amy, I can totally see why you would be doing this, studying this and saying I can’t wait to go out and do this on my own.
Amy: Yes. So true.
Andrew: Right? Is that the feeling that you had?
Amy: I’m sorry, what?
Andrew: Is that the feeling that you had?
Amy: Oh, yes. It was like bubbling up inside me. I couldn’t leave fast enough to go out on my own and try all of this. So I definitely stayed on, you know, I have a great relationship with everybody at Tony Robbins’ and I didn’t want to burn bridges just yet.
So what I did is I stayed on a little bit longer than I probably wanted to just to make sure everything was taken care of but like you said, once I left I was so excited to do this, I just burned those boats, not the bridges. There’s a difference here. I burned those boats meaning there was never ever an opportunity for me to go back to the corporate life once I went out on my own and I’m so glad I did it that way.
Andrew: I see. So how long were you working for Tony Robbins while you started building up your reputation and building up your business?
Amy: A good year and it was really cool because the way Tony Robbins works is that they’re very, very willing to let you learn on the job if you’re someone that’s kind of showed that you actually have what it takes. So that last year I moved from the creative department, what we call the creative department, it was the content department, to the online marketing department where I got to work on online marketing programs that we had never done before. I actually moved myself in a new department so I could work with the Frank Kerns, the Jeff Walkers, and everybody on the team that was learning from them.
Andrew: What’s one thing that you learned about marketing that someone who’s listening to this program might not know?
Amy: I learned, in terms of online marketing, I learned that people still like to get things in the mail. Frank Kern really taught me this that whether it be a little present like, here’s a cookie to eat while you go through my online program, thanks so much for buying, or here’s my online program in a packaged product. People like that physical aspect of something.
I actually haven’t really done a lot of physical products since, but I do like the idea of sending something out when someone bought a product. We did that. We sent out popcorn one time when they bought Money Masters. That was kind of fun.
Andrew: I wouldn’t have guessed. I guess I get it now though. The understanding that I have is most of the stuff you get online is so digital it kind of all gets lost together and blurred in.
Something that I buy is on a tab sitting next to something that’s available for free, sitting next to something that’s free and trying to catch my attention. If I have popcorn in the mail, it makes it more real. If I have even a cookie. I love that idea.
Andrew: Already you’ve made this worth my while. All right. You talked to me about marketing, what about one thing that you learned about content creation or content delivery that we wouldn’t necessarily know as outsiders?
Amy: Let’s see. One of the things, my favorite thing that he ever taught, was that you need to do three things, maybe not all at once, but three things every single time you create content.
I started teaching this in terms of how you post on social media sites as well. We called it Ecubing. Entertain, educate, empower. The three Es.
Tony did this with everything. We made a manual. There was some type of entertainment, always education, and always empowering people. When he got on stage, he’d make sure there’s those three aspects.
Every piece of content I create, those three words are always in the back of my mind. I think it’s allowed me to be a better writer, be a better marketer, just all of that.
Andrew: What are those three words again? It’s education, of course.
Amy: Educate, entertain, empower.
Andrew: All right. Do you have an . . . no, I’m going to go into all of them. How do you entertain in your membership site?
Amy: One thing I do, and I’m not, this is kind of funny, online I’m not the most silliest person. If you asked me to tell you a joke I could never even think of one right now. I really need to get better at that.
In terms of being entertaining, it’s more my silly personality where I show my flaws, or I tell people a story about how I missed my anniversary, or anything like that. My form of entertaining is, come into my life. Sometimes it’s messy, but I want you to see kind of what goes on here.
That to me is more entertaining in my style. That’s how I do it.
Andrew: All right. I think I’ve got to get better at the entertainment part of it. I’m so like, all serious business.
Amy: Oh. Hear you.
Andrew: I think someone might have tried to tell a joke in a past interview and I said wait. Let me cut you off there. You can tell it somewhere else in the comments. I’ve got to get right back into the business.
Amy: I think it’s because we love work so much. Truly, I tell my husband this. I have a hard time being funny and silly and all that because I really am serious about the work I do. I can relate.
Andrew: Yeah. I want to sometimes just jump through the webcam, get to the other person and say tell me more.
Andrew: I got a business to run here. I need to see results from the people in my audience. That would be entertaining. If I could somehow find a way to grab some of my guests by the collar.
Amy: Oh yeah.
Andrew: I see you’re learning. It’s time for you to go out on your own. You didn’t start actually creating this membership site until about two years into your own business, right? Until you got to about 20,000 people in your audience, right?
Andrew: Those two years . . . Sorry?
Amy: I built up my list a little before I went for my own membership site.
Andrew: How big did your list get before you created your membership site?
Amy: What I did is I actually created a $97 what I call an intro product. In those first few years, so I technically left in 2010. 2010 and 2011, I didn’t really have much to sell except some small efforts of trying to do something.
My big win was at the end of 2011, and I sold a $97 product that really took off. It was all about Facebook marketing. I partnered with two guys that already had a solid list. At the time I didn’t know what a gold mine it was. It was such a great thing because my list was probably 600 people at the time. I started out with a $97 product, and did tons of free live webinars.
The free live webinars is what built my list. Not those tons of sales of the $97 product, although that was solid. It was more so all of this free content that I put out there behind an opt-in page. I did that for a good year. Then I set up my online membership site. At that time I had about 20,000 people on my list.
Andrew: Is this with Sean and Lewis?
Amy: Yes. Sean Malarkey, Lewis Howes. They were two guys I met at a live event. We say get yourself out there when you can. We just started talking and they said what do you think about creating a Facebook product and partnering with us. Really good decision.
Andrew: Okay. And the webinars was, I saw that they emailed about your webinar a lot actually. I went to search for your name in my inbox’s to see about our interactions, other people’s interactions with me about you. First of all, people suggested I have you on for a long time.
Amy: Oh, nice.
Andrew: I’m glad I finally did it. Second, I saw Shawn McLarkey’s emails about your webinar with him a lot. Did you guys have a following out or something?
Amy: No, we didn’t at all. We’re still partners actually. So what happened was Shawn, kind of, took over the marketing more of it and I do automated webinars for him but we are still totally partnership.
Andrew: Okay. I tried to read my guess. I thought as I was saying Shawn and Lewis. I thought I saw something with your eyes. The fact that you didn’t say Shawn and Lewis’s name made me think maybe there are some issues
Amy: You know what, I was thinking in my head, am I allowed to drop names right now or keep it general.
Andrew: Oh yeah. You’re allowed to do anything. So what did you do to get your, actually, I guess it didn’t matter really. You weren’t so much drawing on your audience as you were drawing on your own knowledge and they brought in their audience. I
I remember, actually I think Shawn telling me we have this expert, Amy Porterfield, knows about Facebook marketing. She knows social media. We partnered with her. So they had the audience and marketing. You had the understanding, right?
Amy: That is exactly how it worked.
Andrew: So how did you build up such a understanding of social media and Facebook that these guys at this point, or that point, could have just gone out to just about anyone and created a program with them.
Amy: You know, I, it was a little bit by accident but now when I teach my own students, I really teach them in this type of work. When I left Tony Robbins, I did, I mean a total immersion. Every single morning, even before I left Tony Robbins, every single morning at like 5:00 a.m., I would dive into anything social media training. I took courses. I took all the free content I could find. I paid for it, whatever. I learned how to use social media.
Before I left Tony Robbins, Mike Stelzner, our social media examiner, kind of took me under his wing and acted as a mentor and started letting me write for his social media site. Well, once he started to like me and my writing, he said why don’t you create a Facebook page for us so that we can really see if we can get more traffic to our website through our Facebook page. Well that Facebook page exploded that first year, from zero to 30,000 fans the first year. It was a huge money maker as well as a great community.
Andrew: So my Facebook page was a money maker for them?
Amy: Yes, in terms of they started doing all these online programs, and they would promote them through Facebook. They had such an amazing community that so much traffic came from there. So that was when a light bulb went on and I thought this Facebook thing is kind of cool. There’s something here. I started to write more and more about Facebook marketing on social media examiner’s Facebook page.
Well, long story short, I met a friend at a networking event. She remembered me later when she was asked who do you think should be the lead author on Facebook Marketing All In One For Dummies. So Wylie called me and said would you help write this book. I had two coauthors, Andrea Ball, Phyllis Care. What was so great about this, I finally got niched. I didn’t mean to niche myself but being niched, now people knew Amy Porterfield – Facebook marketing. Everything changed when that happened.
That’s truly how, why Louis and Shawn start thinking about me for Facebook. They knew I wrote the book. They knew that I was doing more and more on Facebook. So it was a really good fit.
Andrew: Okay. And then it’s time for you to start creating your own product. How did you pick a membership site as opposed to a CD that you send or a different product that you sell. Why membership of all the different options?
Amy: Well, I had been reading up on what people were using. What I noticed is that is it very confusing to some people where they were going to get their content. had taken a lot of online courses. Some I loved, some I didn’t love so much. I watched, kind of, where they would send me from the moment I purchased until I started really diving in to that content, that whole process.
Sometimes it was really messy. The ones I really liked actually sent me to membership sites where I got to create my login and I could go whenever I wanted. Because of the time I was still working at corporate, I needed to be able to access that content any time of day, anywhere, anytime kind of thing. I loved membership sites right from the beginning because it was kind of like it was all mine. Whenever I wanted to go in there, it was waiting for me. It was a huge draw for me.
Andrew: All right. I want to talk about the content that went in to it. I want to talk about where you got the customers for it. I want to talk about the software that you built it on. First, let me do plug for Scott Edward Walker.
You know, I did an interview with a founder of RideJoy who told me that they created a page at RideJoy for Coachella, where anyone who was going to the Coachella Music Festival can find someone who could potentially give them a ride to Coachella. That way they could share a ride and go over there cheaper than if they each one drove. As soon as they did that, Coachella’s lawyers emailed them and said, “Hey, you can’t do this. You’re not allowed to use the Coachella’s festival name in order to promote your new software.”
At that point, most entrepreneur software would be freaking out because it’s a new company. What do you do in a situation like that where a big festival starts to tell you to shut down? Well, what they did was they went to their lawyer who also happens to be Y Combinators lawyer and a startup lawyer too, and they said, “Here’s the problem.”
In my experience, you go to professional lawyers who are really respected who work with companies and they say, “Who are you, little punk, you startup? Just stay away from these guys and go do something responsible,” and they’d blow you off. Well, Ridejoy’s lawyer said to them, “Coachella can’t do this for multiple reasons, including the fact that Coachella is a place. The Coachella Valley is an area. You can’t just start saying that you own the name, Coachella, more than any more than someone could say they own the name, New York City. Go on and tell those lawyers to shove it.” Ridejoy did it. Maybe not “Shove it,” they said it a little nicer, but they backed off and Coachella went their way and Ridejoy was able to continue to grow.
The reason I tell you this story is you can’t…unless you go into Y Combinator and get that kind of treatment directly from a lawyer, from Y Combinator’s lawyer…what you can do is find a startup lawyer who understands the issues that you’re going through, who understands that when you sometimes push the envelope it doesn’t mean you’re trying to rip someone off. It means that you’re trying to figure out where your business model is. Someone who understands it down the road, you’re going to want to raise money, want to sell your company, need some kind of help that only a startup would need.
If you need that, you want to get yourself set up quickly with a lawyer who understands the startup community, who understands where you’re going, and who understands how to set you up for it. My recommendation is that you don’t go to one of these big guys that’s going to try to get a piece of your company, but you go to Scott Edward Walker, a lawyer who understands about your process, who is there for you, and also prices, frankly, his services reasonably.
If you want to get started, go to WalkerCorporateLaw.com. Software, you’re not a software person. I love software, but even I’m not that crazy about it. You want to get something up and running quickly, what software did you pick?
Amy: My first choice was Kajabi and I used Kajabi for a few years, but I have to be honest. It didn’t give me the flexibility I was looking for, so for Facebook…
Andrew: What did you like about Kajabi?
Amy: Oh, go ahead.
Andrew: Sorry, I interrupted you. I shouldn’t be doing that, but I’m so curious. I like Kajabi also. I had the founders on here. What did you like about it?
Amy: What I liked about Kajabi is I found it really easy to find all your information. I loved that you could click a button here or there and it looked really good in terms of here’s the information you need, click here, get it. That part was really simple, so I got to say, the guys there did really well, but then I met Stu, Stu McLaren and Stu McLaren has Wishlist member.
Stu and I became fast friends, so I have to say I was a little biased because Stu is such a great guy. Stu started to tell me what his product did and what it could do for my own business and I instantly knew it was just a better fit for what I was doing, so I switched over to Wishlist a few years ago and that’s what I’ve been using.
Andrew: Okay. I should say, I worry sometimes that I do my audience a disservice by only talking about Wishlist and I do it because I use Wishlist. I do it because so many other sites that I know have used Wishlist and I think it’s the leader in the space, but it’s not the only option.
Andrew: There are other options and Kajabi, I think, for getting started is a really good one in the sense that it allows you to quickly, as you said, upload quickly, get started, you don’t have to really integrate it with your site and you can keep customizing it as you develop. The downside of Kajabi is it’s not integrated in your site, so it’s almost a different experience and some people are willing to do that.
I saw someone run a membership site where Kajabi was the platform for delivering content, Vanilla Forums was for forums. There was no merging of the two, which was fine if you just want to get up and running quickly. When you want to integrate…
Andrew: You need different product, I think. Okay, so Kajabi was the first thing that you used. What did you price your membership at?
Amy: The membership was a…the very first time I went out it was…let me think for a second. I get my numbers mixed up because I’ve change it so much, which is why it’s become a success, so I can’t way to talk about that. I think the first time out it was 497.
Amy: Four hundred ninety-seven and it was only going to be the Facebook Marketing Profit Lab. You know, I got to back up a little bit. Facebook Marketing Profit Lab has always been on Wishlist, but I started some other products kind of leading up to it and that’s why I wanted to give them their fair share. I wanted to give them their fair share and say, “That is really where I started,” but Profit Lab has always been on Wishlist.
I started with 497 and I had to limit it to only about 50 to 60 people because I offered free one on one calls in the very beginning, so they actually got to get on the phone with me two times throughout the six-week process, and so I had to be careful how many people signed up.
Andrew: I was wondering what that meant. So, for how long would they get on the phone with you?
Amy: They would get on the phone for about 20-30 minutes each time we would do a call.
Andrew: I wonder why you did that. Was it because you didn’t feel confident enough in content, and you felt like, well, “I need to do something a little bit more,” or is there another reason for it?
Amy: That’s such a great question. There was a little bit of lack of confidence, not on my content but more so this is the first time I sold something so expensive, in my head it was a really big ticket item, and I was really concerned that if people were going to pay that much, I needed to give more and more. Which is something I’ve been able to teach myself to step away from a little bit, just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean you have to give all of yourself to everybody. And it killed me.
Those calls were a lot of stress, because it just was a lot of calls for a few times during the program. But it definitely was a little bit of a lack of confidence.
Andrew: I know what you mean. I now understand that 4.95 is not that much, or 4.97. But it does when you’re just getting started feel like a big amount of money.
Andrew: Did you do payment plans or anything like that to make the 4.95– what was it 4.95, or 4.97?
Amy: Four ninety-seven. And I did a two-part payment plan, and that definitely helped. A lot of people took me up on the payment plan.
Andrew: I’m learning that that’s a big thing to do. So Kajabi first, then Wishlist, pricing 4.97 for this. You said you had another membership site before, another membership product before. What was that?
Amy: It was a social media – let me just think for a second – social media formula, I can’t even remember the name. It was a little small blip in my early years. So it wasn’t anything I really talked about a lot because I didn’t sell tons of them, but it was my first time trying to create something on my own.
Andrew: So, the 4.97, how many of those did you sell?
Amy: So the first year I launched it a few different times, and I had anywhere between 30 and 50 people, maybe as many as 60 people, in the program at one given time. So it actually did very well. I hit my goals every time, I was very pleasantly surprised with that. It was just a lot more work than I thought because I was doing those one-on-one calls.
Andrew: Did you allow everyone to have access to all the content at once, or did you start to drip it out?
Amy: So that’s why I loved working with Wishlist, although you could probably do this in Kajabi, I felt it was a really seamless process inside Wishlist, and what I did is I actually dripped my content. And this is probably why I love membership sites so much. My biggest passion ever is teaching content. If I could just do that every single day, I would be one happy girl. And I love to create the content and deliver it in a way that unfolds as they go through the program.
So they’re kind of stacking their learning. And I probably learned this through Tony Robbins. The way he teaches is so cool that he takes you through a process. So because my content takes you through a process, I didn’t want to have it all at once. It would be overwhelming, and it would be very, very confusing. So I would drip the content.
So what I did is I had a six-week live program, I call it live because I did a live Facebook group, we did those live calls, so six weeks they went through this program with me. Every single week I sent them an email, and I would say, “Okay, your module just opened up. This is what you can expect.” So I got to go through the process with them which I think is a really big selling point, when you tell people, “I’ll be going through this process with you every step of the way.”
Andrew: And the way that you do it is, the email that’s a note that’s it’s available, but Wishlist allows you to say, Give Module 1 three days after they’ve joined, give Module 2 six days after, and so on, but not before I tell you it’s okay to give it to them, right?
Amy: Exactly. So the way I set it out is that Wishlist did all the work for me. I knew when everything l was going live. All I had to do was program my emails.
Andrew: I see. Did you get all your customers just from your own mailing? Your own mailing list?
Amy: No. I’m a huge fan of Facebook ads, but I didn’t use Facebook ads to sell directly into the program. The way I used Facebook ads is I create an ad to drive people to my webinar. And so they would go to a live webinar and they’d get to know me and my personality and if they liked my content, it was easy to say, “Okay, if you want to more of this, come join me in this program.”
So a lot of my sales throughout the years come from Facebook ads where they recall they never even had heard of me before my webinar.
Andrew: What’s one tip that you have for someone who wants to start buying ads on Facebook for a membership site?
Amy: Oohh. One tip, you’re killing me. So I would definitely say, “Use Facebook ads to drive traffic to a free give-away before you try to sell your program.” You can do it both ways but I’ve seen here huge success with driving to a free giveaway. To me, page post ads in the newsfeed is the way to go.
Andrew: What’s a page post ad in the newsfeed?
Amy: A page post ad is when you go to your Facebook page and you actually create a status update, like you would any other status update, where you’re going to have a URL where people can click. When you add a URL to a status update, a picture gets pulled through. Hopefully, because it’s going to turn into an ad, you have a picture that’s big across the width of the actual status update. You create a status update, just like you’re posting to all your fans.
Then you go into the ads dashboard and you choose that status update page to turn into an ad that runs in the newsfeed. Now your ad looks like a regular status update. The conversions are so much higher.
Andrew: It has that sponsored note. It has sponsored in gray on it when people go to your page where you introduce them to the Webinar.
Andrew: By the way, I can almost spend a whole hour with you just on Facebook marketing. I know that you have more than an hour’s worth of conversation about that. I feel kind of guilty that we’re just doing membership site when I want also to understand how you’re marketing on Facebook. I see the value of it, but maybe what we should do is just tell people to go to amyporterfield.com for now, if that’s what they want.
Actually, we probably shouldn’t send them to the membership site that I talked about earlier, right? There’s no value in them going over there because…
Amy: Yes, because you have to log in.
Andrew: … that’s not what you’re introducing them to. Or will you have a page introducing them to what this product is and maybe introducing them to the Webinar by the time this is up?
Amy: Yes, by the time this is up, you probably will see a sales page for it, but you won’t get to see the Webinar. Usually, if you go to amyporterfield.com, there’s a Webinar link there. When I do live Webinars, that will lead you right to a live Webinar. I appreciate you asking.
Andrew: Let’s continue then. Do you remember how much revenue you got from the first batch? Was it just 50 times 497?
Amy: Yes, that’s how the first one worked. And then a little bit more besides payment plans. Then I decided that I’d cut back a little bit and I did 30 people. Something else was going on in my business, so I needed to focus on something else. Throughout that first year, I was able to go bigger or a little bit smaller, depending on what was going on. It works the same way every time. I’ve had between, like I said, 30 and 60 people that first year in the program. The revenue was really good.
I’ve done really well since then but when I was making $30,000 a launch that was a lot of money. Still it’s a lot of money to me. At that moment, I will tell you, it had been almost two years since I had left Tony Robbins and this launch happened. I can’t remember if it was the $30,000 or the $50,000 launch. But I remember thinking, finally, this is really, really working. It was an exciting day for me for sure.
Andrew: So the finally part I should address. It does seem to take a long time to get things going, doesn’t it?
Amy: Yes, it definitely does not happen overnight.
Andrew: Because a lot of it is just putting stuff out there to a world that almost doesn’t care. And putting it out there to a world where only one person cares. And then ten and then it snowballs. But at first, it’s very slow.
Amy: Yes, it really is. That’s why I think a lot of people don’t get that momentum. They think that it’s going to be huge. I will tell you, because I worked on Tony Robbins’ launches, and we’re talking millions of dollars on online programs. When I went out on my own, it was depressing at first to realize that, wait a second, this doesn’t work the same way when you don’t have a huge corporate business behind you. I had to really work on my mindset right away to know this is going to be a long haul. When I got on board with that, it all started to come together.
Andrew: I see your old post here. It’s basically just a WordPress blog. Here’s one. “Why I Eat Up Everything My Favorite Bloggers Think Up (Blogs That Rock, Part 2).” I’m guessing that was your collection of blogs.
Amy: Please stop looking at those! Those were from very early years.
Andrew: I’m guessing what you were doing is you were hunting for a way to bring people over to the site. I’m guessing that post was, if I talk about other sites, they might be willing to talk about me.
Amy: A hundred percent. Pay it forward, get it out there before they even know who I am, for sure.
Andrew: That really does work. I always get an alert when someone writes about Mixergy. I notice when they tweet about it. I notice when they blog about it. I guess we should leave how to get people to your site in the early days to other interviews. For now, you’ve got your audience. You’re selling to them. You’re bringing in some revenue. Let’s talk a little bit then about what you give the people who’ve paid you. You learned a lot about content delivery. What are some tips you can give us about what to put behind a paywall?
Amy: I love this question. Content’s my favorite topic. What I learned through my years with Robbins and in experimenting with my own business is that you first need to make sure that you have a very structured outline for how you’re delivering content. And, of course, you need to know your stuff and do your research, that’s a given and hopefully everyone’s doing that, but how you deliver content is going to be how people perceive your program in terms of, is it good or is it not good? It’s not necessarily all about just what that content does, it’s like a first impression.
Andrew: What do you mean by how you deliver? You mean the video quality?
Amy: A great question. I mean in terms of how you actually unveil the content so that it’s not a rush of content that they’re super overwhelmed, but it’s also the quality of your materials. So I made sure that. . . Around this time when Profit Labs started, I started investing in video marketing. So, I had a guy come over to my house and we’d film videos. So now it looked a lot better. so I kind of went pro in that respect. I also started to create different pieces of content so that they didn’t have to just watch videos.
So I am a huge fan of doing checklists and handouts and cheat sheets and all that good stuff because some people like to learn that way. I also added transcripts to all my videos so that they could go through all the transcripts. And one thing that’s really big with my audience is I would give a PDF of my slide deck. My slide decks are pretty step-by-step how-to and so I think that that’s the most valuable thing to them is if they could just get their hands on my PDF of the slides they could go through it on their own. So I made sure that under every video there was a lot of supporting material and I think that’s why it was a huge success.
Andrew: So we got video, we’ve got slides, which are also presented as PDFs and transcript and checklists.
Amy: And audio too. I would give them the audio.
Andrew: I get that. I always prefer audio and if someone doesn’t make their program available by audio I will convert it into audio and put it on my iPhone so I could listen to it on my runs.
Andrew: Okay. What did it cost you to have a video production company come in and shoot your video?
Amy: So it’s funny you call it a video production company because it’s a guy and his name is Luke and I love this guy. He lives in San Diego, which I’m in Carlsbad so right near me. This is something I learned from Brendon Burchard. When I met with Brendon one time he told me that he hired a wedding videographer for all of his videos because wedding videographers know how to tell a story.
So I went out and started asking people, “Do you know any wedding videographers?” A good friend of mine happened to know somebody and he was just a perfect fit. So, he comes over, and if it’s a short video; let’s say, “Hey, come join my webinar” kind of thing, like a two or three minute video, it’s $250. And he’ll do the recording, the editing, all that good stuff. And then if I get into my longer sales videos, anywhere between five and $1,000 depending on what we’re doing.
I don’t do really, really fancy videos. My good friend, James Wedmoore [SP], puts me to shame with how great his videos are. That’s not usually my style. It’s more just people see my personality more than anything so I don’t spend tons on it, but it definitely put me at a different level.
Andrew: Two cameras or one?
Amy: One camera when it’s something simple like join my webinar. Two cameras when it’s a sales page.
Andrew: I see, okay. That’s a really good price by the way.
Amy: Yeah, I feel really lucky and I feel like a lot of people listening could find something like that out there in their local community. I mean this guy lives in San Diego and he’s not an internet marketing videographer. It’s very different world to him, but he’s great.
Andrew: You just get them from, I guess, Craigslist, referral, or I like Smart Shoot for that.
Amy: Ooh, I don’t know that one.
Andrew: Smart Shoot allows you to find photographers and videographers, kind of like matchmaking for them. You just go on the site and you say, this is what I need. This is my budget and then they. . . Hopefully, people start bidding.
Amy: That is great. I love that.
Andrew: Yeah. My wife used them for. . . She did a charity event and wanted someone to document it so that they could give it to the organization that participated with it. She went on there and no one responded to her post because I guess there wasn’t enough time. So, someone from Smart Shoot went down and hunted people who were local and said, ‘Here there’s a match.’
Amy: Okay, that’s cool. I love companies like that.
Andrew: What else do I need to know? Oh, I know, teaching the content. You started saying that the production quality is important. By the way, before we continue from that Amy, I suggest that when you’re starting that’s something we could let go of. We don’t necessarily even have to hire a video production company.
Amy: Oh yeah.
Andrew: We could just do what a few entrepreneurs have told me they’ve done, which is use Screen Flow or the PC equivalent of it on a computer and teach that way. What do you think of that?
Amy: Oh, I’m so glad you brought this up. So I should really clarify, I hire Luke for my marketing videos. I do everything Screen Flow inside the program except maybe the welcome video. That’s something that I think a lot of people miss out on. If you have someone spend money for your program and they get in your membership site, I think you should always have a welcome video where they see your face and you’re friendly.
And you’re excited for them but that’s where it stops in terms of video. I do everything else or direct to camera video, I do everything else screen flow and I have since the day I started and it’s my favorite way to do it
Andrew: I like the quality of the video but I see also how I’m locked in now to that presentation of the material where if I would just do it here on camera with, I got like $1,000, $2,000 worth of lighting, I don’t remember how much, at least I own the lighting and I own all this equipment and the mike and I can come back in and say I don’t like module 3. I can edit it or delete it and reshoot. I get the benefit of it, especially for you because you’re showing Facebook, you’re showing your computer screen and teaching people how you do it.
All right, so that’s quality, that’s video production. What about the first win as Stu likes to talk about, give the customer first win. What do you do for that?
Amy: So I usually have a bonus if they don’t expect that they’re getting. So on my welcome video I tend to say welcome, so glad you’re here. Let me take you around the membership site really quickly and so I’ll probably show the membership site not myself while I take them around and then I say I have decided to give you a bonus right away and it’s a quick training about xyz and it will help you do whatever it is you’ll do so dive in there because we don’t start for another week and I want you to start going right away.
And it’s usually a bonus that will help them get organized or help them understand the big picture of what I’m going to teach, something like that.
Andrew: Give me an example, I’m not sure I follow.
Amy: Okay, so the bonus I give away in ProfitLab, this has changed so I won’t be giving away to the new people next month but the bonus I give away in the ProfitLab right now is how to organize your day and how to organize your social media posts so that you’re not stressed out. And so I actually give them a handout of what I use every day to organize all my action items and then I take them to a process of how to schedule your Facebook and Twitter post in advance.
So it’s really just let’s just set it up so you’re not overwhelmed as you go through my program because that’s the number one challenge that I hear every time the program opens up, I can’t get it all done on time, I’m so behind now. Everyone thinks they’re behind where you can go at your own pace which is why I love membership programs but you really need to reinforce you’re never behind when you have a membership site.
Andrew: When you say go at your own pace, you’re also dripping out the content so that they can’t get content ahead of time. Is it go at your own pace as long as you don’t exceed our speed limit here which is a post at a certain point?
Amy: yes, that’s a really great point. So I tell them to go at your own pace and normally it’s because people are feeling overwhelmed. Rarely do I get somebody that says I want to go all at once but I do have a place inside the membership site where I explain why I don’t give it to them all at once and there’s probably one or two people every program that ask for it that way but I do say go at your own pace in terms of do the best you can to get through the program.
And what I also do is, and I learned this from Marie Forlio, I built in two weeks that we’re not actually delivering new content and I’m encouraging them to take action. So my modules, there’s only 4 modules in a six week period, but every email I send them I remind them we’ve got an action week coming up so you can catch up.
But yes, the dripping really helps slow things down for them a little.
Andrew: [??] that so much, the catch up week or in your case you’re talking about the catch up two week. I get the value of that.
First year of the site you remember what your revenues were?
Amy: So, okay, let me think about this. The first year and I had it written down before, I apologize. The first year I did 3 of them, so I think it was $130,000 that first year.
Amy: Yes. So it was a good year.
Andrew: $130,000 first year of finally having a membership site up.
Amy: Yes. And this was a big win for me because I had done that $97 program with partners but it was a bigger deal to do my own thing. Like this was mine so I was really proud of that.
Andrew: And so that means 100% of the revenue was yours.
Andrew: And then of course you have expenses personally but there’s no affiliates, there’s nothing else there.
Andrew: There is of course advertising expenses but that’s [??]
Andrew: I like the idea actually the catch up week, I like the idea of the first win which is hey, understand how to set up your tweets and Facebook posts in advance.
What else can you teach us about teaching a new member on a membership site?
Amy: That’s such a great question. I think you need to look at your content and first find out what’s the number one thing that they’re going to be stressed out about or confused about or complain about. Really find those wounds inside your content meaning there’s always going to be something. Address that right away and if it means you can address it through a bonus like I did.
That’s always a really big win, but I would find out that one thing that’s going to kind of derail them, because quite honestly a lot of the times when I create bonuses it’s to make sure that my refund rate is really low, and it has been really low, below four percent ever since I’ve been doing Profit Lab.
One of the reasons is that first bonus, I think, is just to get them ready, but I also in week three start telling them about a really cool bonus I’ve planned that will happen in week five, and so you’ve got to get through the first 30 day refund period. If you’re still there in week five I’ve something really cool for you, and that’s another thing I do, and I put a lot into that big bonus, and week five as well. For me, it’s always how I launched this program.
I know one time I read something of yours where you did a contest, and people really just wanted to know how you did the contest, and that’s how this launch goes as well. They want to just know how I launched it, the Facebook ads I used, the membership site I used, so I break it down for them in fifth week bonus.
Andrew: I love that. Yes, people do. I’m always fascinated by that.
Amy: Me too.
Andrew: When I join someone’s mailing list often, I don’t so much care about the product they’re selling as I care about how they’re selling it. I care about what’s going on behind the scenes.
Amy: Yes, me too.
Andrew: How do you know where those land lines are so that you can address them early?
Amy: Well, what I do is I survey my audience. I feel like I really know my audience now. I recently did another survey, every year I try to do at least one. I know going into it who these people are. A lot of them are very new at Facebook. I have a lot of baby boomers, which I love, and people that are just trying to change things up and get out of their corporate world, so I know where their fears are, “How am I going to make money online? Is this really going to work? I’m not a tech person.”
I think I resonate well with my audience, because I’m not a tech person either, so I walk them through how I get it done. Knowing your audience, if you have to survey them, great, but that will help you instantly see where their areas of stress are going to be.
Andrew: I signed up for Noah Kagan’s course on starting a company, and on the bottom of I think every single page he has an input box that says, “Stuck,” and you can type in where your stuck, what’s going on, and hit submit. On True Mind, we have on the right margin of every page a bug button, which I bring back from the idea of software where if your software is broken you don’t blame yourself and say, “There’s something wrong with me.” You say, “Hey, there’s a bug in the software.”
So I encourage people to click that and say, “Here’s a bug in the methodology here. This isn’t working for me because there’s a bug in the system,” and they report back and we use that to change the process.
Amy: That’s good. I might have to take that one. I love that.
Andrew: You do get feedback also directly from users, and you use it to figure out how to create content and what content to put on the membership site. How do you get that feedback?
Amy: Facebook has been really helpful to me. I take a lot of time listening to what people are posting. The questions that they post really lead me down the road of content, and specifically, the questions I get about Facebook, how to get more fans, how to use Facebook ads, how to grow my engagement on Facebook, I either take that and create free content with it, so I know I’m attracting the right type of audience, or I build it into my online program.
The questions people post on Facebook, because I’ve created a page where I’m like the go to source for them so they can ask questions whenever they want, those questions have been really valuable. Also, at the end of every Profit Lab we have a survey that goes out. It’s very detailed so I can understand where they were, and where they are now.
Not only does that really shed some light on what I need to fix inside the program, it also gives me some amazing testimonials I can use the next time I launch the program. That survey that goes out probably two or three days after the program ends has been really valuable.
Andrew: Oh, after each program is done, you send that survey out?
Andrew: You know you said something that I don’t want to skip over, I should underline it actually, which is you tell them ahead of time, give them a hint of what’s coming on later on. Yeah, tell me about that.
Amy: I think it’s really important that you let people know where you’re going to lead them, and I learned this really early from Lewis Howes in my webinars that for my first two minutes on a webinar, I tell people, “Here’s what you’re going to learn,” and I let them know right away. When people know what’s coming, they’re more likely to stay with you.
If they’re not exactly sure what’s coming down the pipeline, you’re going to lose their attention, so I make sure my audience knows exactly what’s included and what’s coming next. I think over-communicating the situation is really important, especially for a paid audience, let them know what’s coming down the pipeline. That’s been huge.
Andrew: When I started adding a membership site to Mixergy, I immediate went to Stew. I said, “Stew, I need to learn to you,” and I said, “Frankly, what I’m looking to do behind the membership site is have entrepreneurs teach something that they’re especially good at. Stew, will you be the first person or one of the first people to come in and teach, which you’re especially good at, creating membership sites and teaching behind those membership sites?” He taught, and he had a bunch of different ideas that he’s noticed people who use the software well implement.
One of them is open loop one session, close it the next, and then open another one so that every session…and if anyone who gone through my True Mind program just trying to figure out how is Andrew doing it you can now see. I always say what’s coming up, and then I tell you what’s coming up next time and how we’re going to use it so that I’m kind of opening up a loop to close it. I should say too that…
Amy: Oh, I love that.
Andrew: This dude is freaking brilliant. I think he should just spend some time teaching this stuff, but I guess he did on Mixergy. Why don’t I say this, if you want to see that, go to MixergyPremium.com. Sign up for Mixergy Premium where you’ll get tons of interviews. Of course, we have about a thousand in there, but you’ll also get over a hundred courses taught by real entrepreneurs who every day go to work doing the thing that I invited them to teach, and that’s what it’s about. They’re not trying to up sell you.
Stew does not need you go and buy Wishlist. It’s not just about Wishlist or it’s not just about the software that they have and run. They’re telling you what they do especially well, and frankly through that you often will want to do business with them. Stew is one of those people. He taught how to create a membership site. You’ll see I’ve used a lot his ideas.
Another person who I urge you if you’re a Mixergy Premium member to go watch is a man named, “Noah Fleming.” Noah teaches how to do membership sites. I’ve learned from him, and if you watch that course, you’ll see again, I’ve implemented a lot of his ideas. It’s one of many courses that we have by people who really build membership sites, who really know what they’re doing, who come and spend about an hour with us and teach us what they do especially well.
Every one of our courses, hand selected by us and our team is done almost…actually, it’s every single one that has a producer that will do the research, that will actually spend time with the guest, that will find the images, that will make sure it actually all makes sense, that it fits in together, and will find a way to gently say to the guest beforehand, “Hey, you know what, this doesn’t work. We should adjust it before we embarrass ourselves and Andrew.” It’s all highly produced, really well done, and I urge you to go sign up at MixergyPremium.com. I guarantee you’ll love it.
You know, Amy, I’m getting better and better at selling my own stuff. I used to really shrink from selling it. Did you at first feel like I have this audience of people who are my friends on Facebook, not just people who are hitting my site, but my friends on Facebook, and I’m going to try to sell them something? Did you ever have that hesitation?
Amy: Oh, yes. I never really enjoyed selling. One thing I love when you were talking about your program, I swear to you, I’m not just saying this, it didn’t feel like you were selling me anything, because you really believe in this stuff.
Andrew: Thank you.
Amy: That was like the big moment. You know, when you’re first starting out in business, I don’t know…you probably never felt this way, but I felt a little bit like I was a fraud because I hadn’t been doing it long and I wanted to start selling these programs, but I couldn’t see myself as an expert, so that’s why I probably had some incongruency with selling.
Once I knew my stuff and I knew that it worked, it’s not selling anymore. It’s like I’ve got this humongous amazing opportunity and you’d be crazy not to want to get involved with it. That’s a whole different conversation, so it took me a whole for sure.
Andrew: You know, I’ve got someone in my audience, Steve Young, who was thinking about doing a membership site, wanted to get to this level. I said, “Steve, just launch the thing. Just…
Andrew: Do it before you think you’re fully ready, because I guarantee you people want to learn mobile apps from you because you built a mobile app.” He just sent me an email today saying, “I’m so glad I took your advice. I’ve got my membership up. I’m getting orders coming in. People love it, and they’re going in.” That hesitation that you’re talking about is something we have to address. You didn’t know everything about Facebook.
There were people who knew more than you about Facebook, and still, you launched. How can we do that and not feel like frauds, because we want to feel like we’re doing good in the world? We don’t want someone to call us out and say, “Hey, you don’t know enough. Why did you cheat me and what are you trying to pretend that you know.”
Amy: Right. I think this is such a great question because one of my little secrets of success is that I just do it anyway. I get out there, and every day I feel like I’m taking action toward something that’s going to make a bigger impact and increase my revenue, so action to me is a really important concept to really get built into every single day.
With that, the way I was able to get past, “I don’t feel like I’m good enough and I almost feel like a fraud” versus “I’m just going to get this product out there…”as I started to use it for my own business and I knew that it worked for my own business, and that’s what I taught. I taught what I knew. “Here’s what I did guys with my own business. This is how it worked. You can do it too.”
I think the more how to I showed them step by step, this is what I did, the more confident I got because I knew those steps worked. You really kind of have to quiet the voice. Let it be there, but just move past it. Also, you have to look at what you’ve done. If this is working for you it can work for someone else.
Andrew: Brian Clark of Copyblogger, which is now like a huge company that’s way into software and…
Andrew: You know, content is the driver, but it’s a big software firm. He started out by creating a course called, “Teaching sells,” and I remember still to this day the ad that he ran. I’m pretty sure this is it. It was something like, “It is hard to write a book because you have to do it all at once but if you teach online through a membership site you get to do it a little at a time, you know. You created this week and publish it.
And then next week you do the next level and the next step and you get to kind of co-create with you audience.” Do you do that? I know with true mind we create it all ahead of time with a production company. But what do you feel about kind of creating it with your audience one step at a time?
Amy: So I have done this in the past, I did it a little different where I sold a product than started creating it after I knew people wanted it. And this is how I was taught in my early days. You know make sure make sure people are going to want it, than create it. Not a huge fan because I am a big organizer, and I like to have things really streamlined. It created a lot of stress for me and I felt like I was rushing it.
So these days now, I like to create all the content up front, load it all up to wish list, and feel really good that I know this is exactly what I am going to teach them. But I have done it both ways, it just doesn’t fit my personality to do it the other way.
Andrew: I get what you mean. When we did it, we actually tested a product out that way and it did put a lot of pressure. The night before it was due was, “Oh my god, I got to get this done.” In some ways it was very good pressure but your right it made the, it took away a lot of the polish that I would have wanted a lot of the professionalism that I wanted in there.
I accepted it at first because we intentionally told people this is beta we are going to test it out with you and you are going to have to understand that this is us figuring it out, and that was part of the deal. And they got a huge deal because of it price wise. But I get your point and it is, it can be pressure.
Amy: Yeah, for sure.
Andrew: Uh, I want to see what else we have on this list that we didn’t talk about. Oh, continuity. So April Dykeman, our producer pre-interviewed you, and she helped me understand how your business grew. And what we need to bring out for our audience. And she asked you what’s next and you said monthly. What do you plan to put into monthly?
Amy: So what I really love to teach, I mean Facebook marketing has been my bread and butter, but what I really love to teach is everything involved with creating an online business. Specifically, list building is a big topic for me. But also how this all came together. Again, I like to teach what I know and what I’ve done.
So I’m looking to create a membership site, a monthly membership site where I help people create their online business. And have a big focus on content because that’s where my skill set is, how to create content in training programs and get them online and all that good stuff. So I want to dive into all, and I thought, a membership site is a perfect place to do this. Because you’re able to give them content over time that just kind of builds into something bigger.
And I love that idea of let’s stack it until you really understand it. I don’t love the idea of pushing tons of content all at one time. So I’m excited for this, and it will be a great community of people who are just getting started or want to take their business to the next level. And I love talking to people like that.
Andrew: So you’re still in the figuring it out stage. why didn’t you go for the continuity right from the start? Where you say either, there’s an upfront fee and if you want to continue pay monthly. Or no upfront, just monthly. Why not develop continuity?
Amy: You know, I didn’t know the model. I do thing that a lot of people rush into membership sites without really understanding what model they want to create. And what I do know because I’m in a master mind with Stu and a few others, that have a membership site, they have always told me, “Don’t rush into it until you have a plan because it is a lot of work. In terms of getting that content out every month, every single one of them love it, and every single one of them are making solid revenue from their membership sites.
Andrew: I’m sorry I have a guest coming into the office, yes hello? Come on in. Hi, oh would you mind asking him to wait? I’m going to finish recording here. Thank you.
Amy: Okay I have a guest and it’s my dog. Hold on a second, hold on. Oh my goodness. Hold on.
Andrew: I’ll tell you guys out there that, let’s see who the guest is today. The guest is Hoegan, he is a part, actually he is a member of the true mind community. He happens to live in, I think, Hong-Kong, happens to be visiting San Francisco.
And I like to meet the people who are in my audience who are members, who are just fans of the work here. And I try to have them out to the office as much as possible. I’ve told them that I am going to be recording with you until 5:30, but I think he might have just been over-eager to talk or maybe there was a mis-communication.
But I want to say this to the audience you see obviously the receptionist just came in to tell me I have a meeting. I want to meet you. If you’re in town let me know give me some advanced notice and come on out. I do really small events, I’m not looking to pack the office full of people, but if I could get three or four. Last time we had four people from out of town over scotch. What a great conversation.
So, Amy, of course, if you’re in town, I’d love to get together with you. Anyone out there, if you’re a part of my community, I’d love to do it with– I’d love to get you guys to come in here.
Andrew: I’m actually expecting my first child. So, maybe after that, I might change things, but we’ll see.
Amy: Okay. That’s big time. That’s exciting. Congratulations.
Andrew: Thank you.
Andrew: So, let’s say this. If you like scotch, come before May. If you like diaper changing baby, after June. Come on, guys.
Amy: [Laughing] Perfect.
Andrew: Imagine if I changed scotch night to diaper changing night, and that becomes a thing that we do.
Amy: Okay. This might happen. So don’t get too sure of it. I think it might happen.
Andrew: You know what? I know I said it as a joke, but now that it’s out of my mouth, I bet I could make something like that work. I always– Whatever it is that I’m into, I like to integrate other people. So, if I’m going to do– If I was into mate, I had people come into the office to drink yerba mate with me. If I were into chocolate, I would buy three or four different special chocolates, and invite people to come over and do it. There’s something about getting to talk to people in person and explore a passion together.
Amy: You know, that’s so true. We do so much work online that everything is just so different when you remember, bring people in, and actually, in real life talk to them and meet them, totally great.
Andrew: Do you do that? Do you do any in-person events?
Amy: What’s that?
Andrew: Do you do any in-person events? What kind of meet-ups do you do?
Amy: You know, I do masterminds as some of my bonuses. So, I have done just two now so far, and I really like them. They make me nervous at first. I’m a little bit of an introvert, where I have to kind of push myself when I’m in those big environments. But then, every single time I do it, I remember how much I love it, just talking to people–
Andrew: What happens in mastermind for you?
Amy: Getting to know their business and all that. So, I like little intimate masterminds.
Andrew: What happens in a mastermind?
Amy: So, for mine, the ones that I did as a bonus, I would take people and do hot seats, right from the beginning. So, we’d all get there, and they would do a hot seat, probably four or five people, and then they’d get in small tables and do hot seats with each other. So, it was really masterminds in terms of everyone got a chance. So, that worked well. Then I, of course, would teach some Facebook marketing because I can’t help myself.
Andrew: Of course. I happen to be in New York, and you know whatever I’m passionate about, I invite people to join me. I did a post-up on Mixergy, saying, “I’m going to be in New York for just a short period of time. Who wants to come out for a drink?” Place was loaded. Derek Halpern came in. Ramit Sethi came in. Lewis House came in. I could see, not necessarily Lewis. Lewis was just kind of hanging out. I could see in Derek’s eyes, “Oh. This is interesting. You could be a celebrity for the night if you invite your friends. I like this idea.”
Amy: That is so Derek.
Andrew: And Ramit, the same thing, and I could see– Maybe I’m attributing my own ideas onto them, but I could see that they saw the possibility in that. I hope that you catch that. I feel like you’ve got– I’m on your Facebook page right now. I see the passion of your audience. I think if you were just to say, “Hey, everyone. Come on out for chocolate tasting or scotch,” I might even fly out to see you.
Amy: You know, I appreciate you saying that because Pat Flynn does meet-ups a lot, and Pat asked me to do one with him at an Infusionsoft event we both spoke at in Arizona. So, we did a meet-up together, and someone literally just posted on the Facebook page that that meet-up changed everything for him, and his business has skyrocketed since then.
Andrew: Why? Do you remember?
Amy: I read that, and I thought, “Okay. That’s the good stuff. That’s what I love.” And we both got to sit down and talk to this guy. So, you’re right. People came from far away. I couldn’t believe it. So, there’s something kind of magical in those meet-ups.
Andrew: I agree. There’s something magical in putting together not just– Everyone is going to tell you out there– I’m speaking to the audience, not you. You know this, Amy. I’m just going to wrap this up for the audience. Look. Everyone out there is going to tell you, “You should be blogging more. You should be creating more content.” They’ll want you to just do it away for free, on just a word press site.
Let me tell you something. When you install your first word press site or start playing around with it, you’re going to add a plug-in here and there, and you’re going to add a plugin for ‘Share this link’, a plugin that will allow you to collect email, a plugin for I don’t know what. I like the redirection plugin, all these plugins.
Let me suggest one other plug-in. Find some plugin to turn some part of your site into a membership site. Take the step towards selling something. Just get started. I know that it could be a little tough. We talked a little bit about the insecurities in this interview, about selling something of your own to your audience. You want to love them. You want to take care of them.
My suggestion to you is– One way to love them and take care of them is to bring them into a membership site, where you can actually, frankly, afford to give them more attention, to create more work for– Not more work. More work for yourself and your team, on their behalf.
So if you got excited about this, there are a couple of things you could do as a follow-up. Number one: check out Amy’s website. Amyporterfield.com. I’m not a visual person. I would listen to this interview if I were a Mixergy fan, and I am. But at the end, you have to go and take a look, whether it’s this interview or anything else. You have to go and take a look at what we talked about.
Otherwise, it’s just this theoretical idea. But once you go to Amy’s website, you get a sense of it as you look around. Oh. I see. This is how she runs the site. I see. This is how she engages her community. This is what her Facebook page looks like.
There’s no way I can tell you about how if you look at the top of her Facebook page, there are these buttons that take you to Facebook pages. There’s no way I could describe it all, but in an eye full, once you go to Amyporterfield.com or click on her Facebook page, you’re going to get a bigger understanding than I think I could do even verbally here.
So that’s number one. And what is number two? Number two, use it. Use it. Go out there and build your membership site and come back and tell me and Amy, Amy and I. I don’t think there will be anyone prouder of you for using this than the two of us.
So find a way to let us know that you’ve done it. We’re looking for this. We’re rooting for you. Congratulations to Steve Young, who today, emailed me to say, “Look. This email. You were right,” and he went, and he launched his membership site. Congratulations to Steve, and I hope we can congratulate many more people. How’s that, Amy?
Amy: Good stuff. I like it.
Andrew: Thank you. I’ve known about you for so long. I’ve been on your website for a long time. I’ve seen your photo. You’ve got this– I don’t know who took that photo, but they took a great shot, and it’s an iconic photo now in our community. I’m proud to finally have gotten you on Mixergy to talk about how you built your business.
Amy: Well, thank you so much. Truly a pleasure. I’m such a huge fan, and this was just a really exciting time for me. So, thank you.
Andrew: Thank you. Thank you all for being a part of it.