Lessons From A Guy Who Gets Online Customers To Whip Out Their Credit Cards And Buy

In a world where everyone assumes that content must be free online, how is Gideon Shalwick getting customers to whip out their credit cards to buy his online classes?!

I invited him to come to Mixergy to talk about just that. I asked him to tell us specifically HOW he does that, and to teach how you can do it too.

Gideon Shalwick

Gideon Shalwick


Gideon Shalwick is an online video marketing entrepreneur and teacher. He’s the co-founder of BecomeABlogger.com, which offers blogging courses, and the founder of GetYourVideoOnline.com, which offers courses in online video. (Click here to say “hi” to him on Twitter.)


Lessons from this program

Don’t try to sell what you don’t know

Gideon told us why the first product he created and sold — an ebook called “Millionaire Drop-Out Secrets” — wasn’t a hit.

“When I wrote that book I was not a millionaire, so some people thought the title was a little bit misleading, because they thought, if you want to teach people how to make millions you’ve got to be a millionaire yourself.”

So he worked his butt off and made himself into an authority on blogging and now one of his most successful businesses is selling courses on how to be a successful blogger.

Your battle for revenue is won BEFORE you even launch

Gideon and I talked about several approaches to marketing online, but when I asked him about his most successful method, he said, “join up with someone else who already has a list that they built up throughout the years. And they also have, very importantly, a good relationship with that list. Of course we’re assuming here that the people on that list are targeted and they’re actually interested in what you’re promoting to them.”

He told me that before “every promotion we do now, every launch, we make sure we have team of affiliates or launch partners or joint venture partners to help us promote our product. It’s very, very powerful.”

Don’t ask for money right away. Do this instead

Gideon doesn’t get customers by asking them for their credit cards the first time they discover his site.

Potential customers might come across one of his videos on YouTube, and get a free lesson in blogging. Some of those viewers might click over to Gideon’s site, BecomeABlogger.com, and learn from a series of free videos. “Now there is no opt-in required for that,” he says. ” You can just watch them and that is it.

“If you want to take it to the next level and get access to a 72 page report that tells you a little bit more about how to pick your topic, how to get more traffic, and how to actually monetize your blog, and how to use social media to help you get more traffic, then you can sign up for that free report.  So that is all still free.  And that is what we are using for the initial emphasis for that initial contact with people to help build our audience, our list, and also the relationship with people on that list.”

From that, he ends up with a list of strong prospects who he built a relationship with and proved his value to before asking them to buy.

How your content is more valuable than currency

If you listen to the full program, you’ll hear Gideon talk over and over about giving away content for free. When I asked him why, he said, “my friend and business partner Yaro Starak talks about using content as your currency.  You can either get traffic from buying it, borrowing it, or giving a lot of free content away to be able to help you get that traffic to your site.”

When I asked him about whether he buys ads, he said, “I dabbled in Google Adwords a little bit to try and get traffic to the site.  But when people click on the link on Google Ads, they want to get something that is relevant and mostly free for them.

“If they click on the link and it just goes to a sales page, they probably get put off by it and just click away,” he explained. “So I found that is a really ineffective way of advertising my stuff, because people want to get a lot of free stuff on the Internet.  And they want to know that you are the expert in what you are doing.  And if you are simply sending them to a sales page immediately from your Google Adwords, it is not going to convert, and you are just going to end up paying a lot of money that is not going to turn into sales later on or even opt-ins.”

How you can use a giveaway to plant a profitable cookie

Before a big launch, Gideon says marketers might publish a report that their affiliates can give away to their audience.

“When they send their audience to that free content,” he explained, “they know that they are keeping their audience happy and that they are helping to build a relationship with their audience.  So that is the first thing, the first benefit that they get for telling their audience about our free resource.

“The second major benefit, and especially if you tie this in with a product launch, is that if they are an affiliate, their affiliate cookies will get set.  I am not sure if our audience knows what a cookie is.  But basically it just means that when someone clicks on our affiliate’s link, they will get credit for any sales that they make later on.

“But when we get the affiliates to promote the free resource, we allow them to set the cookies on their audiences’ computers.  And then when it comes to launch, whenever someone from their audience makes a sale, they get a percentage of that sale.  So that gives them that extra motivation.  I guess it is a monetary motivation to help promote this free stuff as well.”

Try this if you want more people to pay for membership

“One of the key things we are doing,” Gideon explained, “is, instead of saying that we have a membership site where you have to pay a recurring amount of money every single month for the rest of your life and for the rest of the course, we say, ‘Don’t worry about it.  Our course is only six months long, so your payments will only be for six months.  And then you get a lifetime access to the rest of our course.’

“And that is really powerful, because human beings struggle dealing with stuff that is infinite.  It is impossible to get your mind around that, right?  So when you present something like that to someone and say, ‘Here.  Join my membership site.  And guess what?  You are going to be paying for the rest of your life into infinity,’ that doesn’t go to well with the human psyche.

“So works much better is if you can say, ‘Look.  This is only a six month course.  You only have six payments.  And from then on you get access to any op-eds we ad to the videos and to any of our ongoing membership stuff we have like our teleconferences or our member’s only forum area, or any of the new comments people make inside the membership site.’

“So that is really powerful.  And it is especially powerful for when people start going through the course.  So they are in month three and they say, ‘Hey Gideon.  I have checked it out.  I am not sure if I want to continue.  Can I please stop my payments?’

“And often we would say, ‘Are you sure that you want to cancel because you have only got two or three, or maybe even one, month worth of payments left before you get a lifetime access?’

“And nine times out of 10, people go, ‘I didn’t realize that.  I am happy to pay for the rest of those months.'”

Full program includes

– Why you can’t sign up for Gideon’s classes right now. It’s part of an effective sales technique that you can use too.

– How much money Gideon is making with his online classes. He tells you what he charges each student and how long they stay members.

– Find out which 2 affiliates send him the most paying customers and how you can find your most valuable affiliates.

– Learn how Gideon is getting customers to pull out their credit cards to buy content. He’s using simple techniques that you can use too.

– Hear (a little) geeky conversation about the *specific* tools that Gideon uses to 1) manage his affiliate program, 2) send out his emails and 3) process his sales. Surprisingly, he’s using basic tools that everyone has access to. (And I use many of them here on Mixergy too.)


Who should we feature on Mixergy? Let us know who you think would make a great interviewee.