Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy.com, home of the ambitious upstart. A few weeks ago here, at home of the ambitious upstart, someone joined Mixergy Premium and when she joined our system asked her, “Why? What do you want out of this program?” Because that’s our goal, to not just give you guys interviews but to make sure that the work that I do here, and the work that the Mixergy team does here, helps you build your business.
So when we asked why, she said, “I want to know how to grow from $1.4 million in sales to $5 million and to create the products and automated funnels to do it.” We talked internally and we said, “Hey, we should have her on to talk about how she got to $1.4 million in sales.” And that’s what this interview is about.
Susan Lassiter-Lyons is the Founder and Chief Fun Officer of Lassiter Marketing Group, which develops, publishes and markets professional training and coaching programs for real estate investors. I invited her here to tell her story. This interview is sponsored by my new sponsor.
Susan, tell me what you think of this new message. This is a brand new sponsorship spot for me. I want to get it right for them. It’s for Toptal. Toptal is a company that if you’ve ever had trouble finding a developer with the right experience, who’s the right cultural fit for your company, you’re going to want to write down the name Toptal.com. They’re a company of developers and what you do with them is, you tell them what kind of developer you’re looking for, what language, what programming. What your company needs are. They go to their network of developers, they find the right one or two people who would be perfect for you and those are the only two that you interview.
But before you do, they test them to make sure that those developers have what it takes to fit the role that you need. Once you do that, you can hire them full-time. You can hire them part-time. And, frankly, if you have a team of developers or even one developer and all you need is a few extra hours of help a week, you can get that from Toptal, too. Toptal.com, that’s what they do. I use them and I recommend that you go to Toptal.com.
Susan: I think you nailed it. You know why I think you nailed it?
Susan: I think you nailed it because I kind of want an end to this interview right now and go to Toptal.com.
Andrew: Thanks. I appreciate you saying that. They really are a great company, especially when you’re looking for developers and you just need somebody to . . . I already said the message. Let me go to you.
I looked you up online. I looked you up on a website called Similar Web to get a sense of where your traffic is and how much traffic you have. You have less than 20,000 hits. How is that possible? You’re getting to $1.4 million and you have less than 20,000 a month?
Susan: That’s true. The less than 20,000 figure is to . . . I think what I refer to as our hub website, it’s our blog. The InvestorInsights.com, which is what you’re referring to, which is the final iteration of a newsletter that started years ago that I’m sure we’ll talk about. But the product sale sites are hosted on a handful of the other sites. Honestly, I think the message here is that it doesn’t take a ton of traffic in order to do that level of revenue.
For me, I rely on a couple of things. One, a really responsive email list that I’ve built over the years. A really loyal group of affiliate partners, who are always excited to promote my stuff. And Facebook advertising, which is working really well for us, luckily, knock on something that that doesn’t go away because that’s a profitable string for us, as well. Yeah, it doesn’t take a whole lot.
Andrew: Is the current process where someone might see you either through an affiliate or on a Facebook ad, see one of your offers, join your mailing list, get to find out more about you, then get introduced to your products like The Master Lease Option Method or Portfolio Loan Blueprint, or Getting the Deals, etcetera, and then they buy it? And if they don’t buy it, maybe they buy one of the products that you recommend that brings an affiliate revenue to you? That’s the main thing?
Susan: With a slight variation. I go straight for the jugular. I’m an instant gratification kind of girl. I’ve tried the model with my front-end products. We’re talking $97 to $197 front-end products. I’ve tried the model where people would opt in and I’d give them some drip content, and maybe lead them through the traditional product launch funnel with the videos and stuff. What I found was that it just delayed the sale for me and I had a lot of drop off in the middle.
So typically what we do now is one of two things. We either promote directly to a video sales letter. Even with affiliate partners, I don’t collect an opt-in. I let them go direct to our video sales letters. Or, for some of the higher priced products like $500 to $1000, everything is set up on an Evergreen webinar. So we do all automated webinars and they’ll promote directly to the registration page, which obviously is an opt-in.
Andrew: And then the registration page gets them into a webinar?
Andrew: The administration page gets them into a webinar, they watch the webinar, which you pre-recorded, and the webinar sells them along with some follow up emails. Is that correct?
Susan: That is exactly correct and then they go into our master sequence. We have some pretty detailed segmentation on the back end to say who attended what webinar. Did they see the offer? Did they not see the offer? Did they buy the product? Did they not buy the product? With our tagging system, in our shopping cart Infusionsoft, is what we use, then they get a series of customized emails based on their activity, that they took.
Andrew: I want to hear how you got here, but of all these different products, doorways and funnels. What is the one that is the most effective?
Susan: The most effective? I would say it’s a product that we have called Instant Private Money. It’s effective because it’s using the methodology of the splinter product. That is the term I heard from Ryan Deiss. He recommended if you have a large, deluxe version of a product at a high price, like, my getting the money program, for example, which is $997. He said there is an opportunity for you to pull out something really sexy. Like, a sexy tactic or a strategy from within that big deluxe version, and build a little mini funnel and a mini product around that.
So what we have done is created a funnel according to that methodology. So I took a really sexy tactic from my big deluxe getting the money program and called it instant private money, built a $97 video sales letter funnel around it. Then the upsell is an opportunity for them to upgrade to the deluxe version of the program. Then we have a second upsell where they have an opportunity to join our membership program. If I look across all the programs that we have, it definitely the most effective and I think that is because we have identified that one sexy thing and pulled it out. We get a pretty decent take rate on the upgrade to the deluxe version, as well.
Andrew: What is the sexy thing? What is instantprivatemoney.com?
Susan: Well, the sexy thing, see here’s the deal with raising capital for real estate investors there are basically three buckets of people that you can target. The first bucket is yours friend, family and your acquaintances. Nobody ever wants to talk to anybody that they know about borrowing money, or investing in their company because it’s scary. The second bucket is people who are already investing in real estate. There are a ton of real estate investing associations across the country, where they can go and network with people that way. The third and the sexy way, instant private money, is you have the ability to find the actual names and mortgage information, of people who are already making these private loans on real estate in counties all across the country, to investors. There are a couple databases online where you can go and get these leads, honestly, for as little as 17 cents a name. Then you can do a direct mail piece to them saying “I’m a real estate investor in this area, and I see that you have loaned on these properties. Lets get together and I’d like to share with you what I’m doing.” That is the sexy tactic.
Andrew: If you see my eyes moving around the screen as you’re talking, it’s because I’m looking this stuff up as you’re talking. I see instantprivatemoney.com is not available but there is a wait page before people leave if they… and I see that.
Susan: Yeah, we promote directly to the via sell.
Andrew: What is the via sell?
Susan: Its instantprivatemoney.com/viasell-main
Andrew: What does viasell-main mean?
Susan: Via Sells is just video sales letter. It’s our internal naming system for our files. We do that because in our video sales letter, in our messaging we use scarcity. It helps me ethically reconcile it. If I say that instant private money isn’t available to the public. So if someone like you goes to instantprivatemoney.com, its not available, you can’t get there. You have to have that special video sales letter link to get there. That was just my internal compass saying, “If we are going to use this scarcity. There has to be some truth in it.”
Andrew: That makes sense frankly what are the odds that someone is going just type in instantprivatemoney.com in the URL and want to go buy. So if someone comes in, they buy and then do you upsell them to the bigger product? Or do you wait till they try it first?
Andrew: Then right away you say, this is the bigger product.
Susan: I told you I wasn’t kidding I’m instant gratification. I want it right now.
Andrew: I really like that about you, and we are talking about this business sense, that if I knew growing up that there was someone like you in the world, I would have felt less alone in the world. Because most people wouldn’t feel comfortable saying what you just said out loud. Which is “I’m instant gratification. I want the order right away and I’m not looking…” Most people would at least say, “Well, I want to make sure that everyone gets a lot of value first,” and “I want to make sure that I’m doing the right thing.” But the right thing is sell the product if it works.
Susan: Right. That’s my philosophy. Sell the product right away if it works, because I’m going to have lots of other opportunities to offer them this program. And we do in our buyer follow-up sequence if they decline that upsell in the funnel itself. The one-click upsell.
Andrew: And where do you… so where does somebody come in the door for instantprivatemoney.com?
Susan: Meaning the landing page or where do we get the traffic?
Andrew: Traffic. That’s something where you’re doing also affiliates on?
Susan: Yeah. Affiliates love that. That converts very well. Our affiliates do really well with that. I usually promote to my internal list, each of my products on a rotating basis, every quarter. And we do a lot of Facebook advertising to that as well. Again, it’s a pretty sexy tactic. Click here to get instant access to private lenders in your area.
Andrew: But do you see one of the people who sends you traffic is Lou Costello or Castillis?
Susan: Yes. Yes, Castillo. He is one of my affiliates. Yep.
Andrew: Now I get a sense of your business. Let’s get a sense of how you got here and then how it developed into what it is. A little bit of back story on you, you’re someone who had an entrepreneurial bent even growing up. In fact, your friend, Leslie, had boxes of something in her garage that helped make you into an entrepreneur early on. What did she have?
Susan: She did. She had those stinky air fresheners. The car air fresheners.
Andrew: The ones that looked like trees?
Susan: Yeah, but they were like cherries and lemons. You know, with the little pipe-cleaner twisties where you’d hang them from your rear-view mirror in your car back in the ’70s. I don’t know what her stepfather did, but he had a series of interesting jobs and these were just kind of these cases of these air fresheners that were leftover from one of his endeavors. I was always on the look out for something to sell, primarily because I was very candy motivated.
Andrew: What do you mean?
Susan: I was motivated by candy. I wasn’t allowed to have candy in my house because my mom was always on Weight Watchers, so no candy in the house. Nothing sweet. My allowance was only 50 cents a week. That’s not nearly enough to buy the amount of candy that I was feeling that I needed. And so I was always on the look out for something to sell or some way to make money so that I could feed my candy habit.
Andrew: I see, and so that was part of it. You actually, literally even sold candy to make money to buy candy?
Susan: Yeah, actually, that was the second business that I started.
Andrew: What was that?
Susan: My friend, Linda. Again, poking around in her garage. This time her mom worked for a candy distributor in Atlanta, Georgia, which is where I grew up, in Stone Mountain, which is a suburb of Atlanta. She had all these boxes and I’m like, “What’s in all these boxes?” And she’s like, “It’s just stale candy.” And I was like, “What? Candy! A garage full of candy?” I was 12. Its like, “Oh my gosh.” I died and went to heaven, literally.
It was just cases and cases of York Peppermint Patties and $100,000 bars. I was like, “You’re literally sitting on a fortune.” And she’s like, “What, are you kidding?” She says, “Nobody’s going to buy stale candy.” I was like, “Yeah, a lot of people are going to buy stale candy.”
Andrew: And they bought it? And they were happy with it?
Susan: Oh my gosh, yeah. We sold it for 10 cents a piece. We had to test our model, right? So we had to make sure that it worked. I was like, “All right. Here’s how we’re going to start. We’re going to go to school, on the first day, and you’re going to have… ” You know those little brown paper bag that you put your lunches in? Just a tiny things. “You’ll take a paper bag with an assortment of the two and I’ll take a paper bag and we’ll sell them and just see what the demand is and see if we can prove this concept.”
By the end of the week, I’m not even kidding you, we were going to school, each of us, with a pillow case full of candy over our shoulder like Santa. Coming home, I would open up a drawer, a dresser drawer in my bedroom and all the change would just flow out of my pillow case into my drawer at the end of the day. It was crazy.
Andrew: You know what? I think there’s a lot of business, there are a lot of business lessons to draw from that. First of all, finding that stale candy that she didn’t think was valuable, that you weren’t even sure it was valuable. And second, testing it to see if people really did find it valuable. And third, actually having the confidence to go and sell it and bring home the money.
Did you ever have a stale candy product to date where you had something that you didn’t necessarily recognize the value of, that others might not have recognized the value of, but when you tried selling it you realized, “Hey, you know what? This is something that can actually increase revenue in my business?”
Susan: That is a great question. I would have to say that it is coaching.
Susan: Yeah, for me. And I think that I thought the programs that I have, they’re all online digital programs. They’re basically do-it-yourself. I thought that all the information that people needed was there. I tend to be the kind of person and it is… I tend to be the person who can take action on information that way and I tend to be really self motivating and I hold myself accountable pretty well for taking action. What I discovered is that not everybody is like me. And there was an awful lot of opportunity in my business to provide people with ongoing support, additional accountability and honestly just some mind set training to help them take the appropriate action and have the result and the outcome that they wanted.
People were telling me all the time that I needed to do that and I had to prove to myself that it was going to be something not only that A, they would get a great outcome from and they would be able to take the action and get the result that they wanted, but, B, that I would be able to manage it within my business and my lifestyle. I didn’t want to create something where I was going to be on the phone with people for hours and hours on end each day and so once I proved to myself that it was something that was valuable and that people would pay for and that there was a segment of my customer base that needed it.
Andrew: What portion of your revenue would you say comes from that, from doing coaching?
Susan: About 17 to 20% right now of that revenue comes from my coaching. And it has to do with the fact that I’m really selective about the people that I invite into the program.
Andrew: But that makes me think so for, say 20% of your revenue is it really worthy locking yourself down to a set schedule to being available to someone without having the flexibility to say, “Sorry, I just want to stay in bed. Or I want to do something else or I have this other idea I’m just in flow on. I don’t want to make a phone call.” Is it?
Susan: The answer to the question is no. It’s absolutely not worth it. But the way that I structured it, once I proved to myself that it was valuable and people would get great outcomes, the way that I structured it, is that literally and this is not an exaggeration. It takes two hours of my personal time ever week. And it’s a group call. The way that I do it. I don’t do any one-on-one calling…
Andrew: I see, so two hours is on the calendar, maybe a little bit before and for that you get 20% of your revenue and you get interaction with the real people and it keeps everything more or less theoretical. I’m imagining.
Susan: Yeah. Absolutely, plus we also have the opportunity to… One of the things baked into my coaching program is that we do a couple of retreats each year. So I, I’ll own it, I get to choose the fun place to go a couple of times a year. We’ve gone places like Hilton Head Island. I have never been to Sedona, Arizona. I’ve always wanted to go. So we are going to do one of our retreats in Sedona. So it’s actually worked out really well. I’m really enjoying it. But if I would have done it the way that you described then, hell no. No interest at all.
Andrew: Yeah. I fricking love doing these interviews. I love that every week I get to meet a collection of really smart, very accomplished entrepreneurs who I would never have an hour to spend with otherwise. And just get to know them and learn from them and at the same time some days I’m really in flow and to stop to go make a phone call is tough.
Andrew: You know what? You mentioned mind set. I’m wondering about your mind set. I looked at your history from the pre-interview notes that Jeremy Weiss did with you and you said all I wanted at one point of my life was to be the manager of the rental car place that I worked in. I’m thinking, why does somebody who sold candy as a kid, who had the potential to build this million dollar business, who later on built not a babysitting business but a babysitting syndicate early in your childhood, I mean after the candy, why limit yourself and say I just want to be a manager of this place?
Susan: My grandmother. Oftentimes beliefs are instilled upon us. Right? I was always entrepreneurial, obviously. I started three businesses by the time I was 13 and that was something that was very appealing to me. Even when I worked in corporate America, I still always had a little something cooking on the side. But my grandmother who raised me, was a product of the Depression and she was Irish. And she had come over and emigrated from Ireland and so there were other forms of scarcity associated with that. Her philosophy was you go to work for a company and you have a secure job and you work hard for them all your life, and then you will have a nice pension when you retire. And that was something that she had ingrained in me and ingrained in me and so it was a belief that was instilled upon me and I bought into it for a long time.
Andrew: And then what happened?
Susan: And then I basically worked myself up the ladder at Hertz Rental Car and I found myself in Park Ridge, New Jersey at the corporate headquarters, a director level position. I basically was travelling three weeks out of every month. I would leave New Jersey or Manhattan is where I lived, I would leave my apartment on a Sunday afternoon and I would fly to some destination city in North America. I would stay all week a in a hotel and I would come home Friday night and do it all over again on Sunday afternoon.
I did that for two years and I realized that it wasn’t where I wanted to be and it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. It kind of dawned on… I would say that I climbed the corporate ladder and I took a look around and decided that I did not really like what I saw and I climbed back down and said all right, I did it her way and now I am going to do it my way.
Andrew: You got into real estate and then 2008 happens. What happened to you in 2008?
I think by the way, for the audience, I want to get back into how Susan built her current business because I think that is what you guys are here to learn. How she got her customers, how she built her funnel. This is going to bring up an issue that I think keeps a lot people from either starting their businesses where they teach or giving it everything they have. I’ll explain why this is so important. But, what happened in 2008?
Susan: Well I mean the economic disaster, in my lifetime, complete mortgage melt down. The reason it affected me so greatly, was number one, not only was I a real estate investor and I had real estate holdings that rapidly declined in value, but I also kind of saw my area of expertise in real estate investing on the funding and financing side. And so I while I was investing in real estate I also had started a mortgage company working exclusively with real estate investors here in Colorado, where I live. At one time for a couple of years we were the number one mortgage company that worked with real estate investors. We did more investment funding in our area than any other mortgage company.
The usual mortgage company, is you broker loans and you sell them off into the secondary market. What I did with my ability to raise capital was I raised several million dollars and put together what is called a private equity mortgage fund. Which is basically just a hedge fund that we put together to become a hard money lender in our area. We were making construction loans to real estate investors. And I had about, close to $7 million out on loan when 2008 hit. So, not only did it affect me in my real estate holdings from an equity perspective and also a cash flow perspective. And I tried to liquidate as much as I could, and in full transparency we ended up giving one property back to the bank in what is known as a deed in lieu of foreclosure, on my personal side.
On my business side, my fiduciary responsibility was to those investors who had invested $7 million in that company to make those loans. And I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to get those loans paid back unless I liquidated them very, very quickly. So, we basically forced all of our borrowers into refinances in just a couple of weeks with local lenders that were still lending. And I, long story short, I was able to get all of my investors paid back. We never took a loss in that fund. I closed the fund. I closed my company. Laid off a bunch of employees and walked away from that business in 2008.
Andrew: Did you get everyone paid back and you still get enough to cover what your investors put in?
Susan: Right. So the way that the loans got paid back in the fund were either by a refinance, kind of forcing our borrowers to refinance with another bank and then the proceeds from that refinance would pay back the cash to my company that I would then pay back my investors with or they were going to be selling them to home buyers. It’s either retail sale or refinance was how my fund got paid back. And I had established… Nothing was selling because all the financing had been cut off. So, I knew that exit was blown. I had established some very strong relationships with a couple of lenders in town known as, what we call portfolio lenders. It just means that they get to set their own rules about funding and they don’t have to follow the set guidelines, so they were still able to do loans that other people weren’t doing at that time, right?
Andrew: So let me get then to what I was hinting at earlier.
Andrew: You don’t do that well in real estate. You had this great opportunity, but you ended up having to close up shop. How do you then create a business where you’re teaching people real estate and real estate investment when you don’t have this big history of having done it especially well?
Susan: So, I never said I didn’t do well in real estate. I said that there were a couple of holdings where, our residential holdings mainly like duplexes and triplexes that we owned that lost a significant amount of value. But my personal portfolio, the majority of it is in multi-family which is apartment buildings. Apartment buildings, well I could say on one hand they weren’t really affected by the mortgage meltdown and in hindsight they actually were helped because there were so many foreclosures that were happening to people who owned their homes.
Andrew: They wanted to go and rent instead.
Susan: Our occupancy rates in our apartment buildings went up. It affected mainly the residential holdings that we had, but it didn’t affect any of the commercial or the multi-family holdings that I had.
Andrew: I see. So, that’s why you feel confident coming in and saying “You know what, real estate doesn’t work. Or maybe, it does work. I know enough that I can show other people about it.”
Susan: Sure. As I mentioned I would hesitate to call myself, just kind of a blanket real estate investing trainer. Right? I don’t have a program that teaches people how to do rehabs, for example, because I have rehabbed before but I personally don’t like it. I’m a strong believer in cash flow as opposed to the transactional income that comes from rehabs. But, my niche within the real estate investing niche and my area of expertise or what some people call my magic, is in the ability to raise capitol and get access to funding.
Andrew: And that’s your focus then.
Susan: That’s my focus. You know, over the course of my career I raised almost $27 million in funds from individual investors for real estate projects. So, that’s what I teach.
Andrew: After the meltdown in markets you went to Mexico. What did you do in Mexico?
Susan: I drank and cried, in that order. A lot of margaritas, a lot of tears.
Andrew: When you’re crying at that point… Most entrepreneurs don’t talk about crying here, and I think it’s something we can get into. What goes through your head at that time? What makes you cry?
Susan: This is making me cry. No, I’m just kidding.
Andrew: I don’t know that I formulate it right. Here, let me…
Susan: I understand what you’re saying.
Andrew: What was it? It’s not just “this is bad” it’s something more personal.
Susan: No, for me here’s what it was. I owned a mortgage company for eight years. I managed and operated hedge fund. I mean, I was kind of a big shot in my town. It’s like hey, every investor in town knew me. I had to close my fund. I had to close my business and I had to lay off my employees. I honestly had no idea what I was going to do next. So, that was where the crying came in. The crying was mainly mourning the last eight years and something I consider to be a very successful entrepreneurial endeavor that I had to close because of circumstances that were not even close to being in my control.
Andrew: When you’re mourning it is it “Why did the world take this away from me? Why did the economy have to go south before I could cash out at least a little bit to pay off these years of hard work that I put it?” That’s what it is?
Andrew: Is there also any, “I thought I was somebody and now maybe I’m not. Who am I?”
Susan: Yeah. You know, it’s so common for so many entrepreneurs because our identities really get wrapped up in our businesses. So, when you don’t have your business anymore then you don’t have an identity anymore. Then what do you do? Who are you? Right? So, yeah, there was absolutely a lot of that going on.
Andrew: So who are you today without your business?
Susan: What’s that?
Andrew: Who are you today without your business?
Susan: You know I’ve done a lot of work around that. I have a ton of value without my business. I have my family. I have other interests. I have a local charity, a nonprofit, that I do a lot of work with that I’m really proud of. I’ve developed beyond having my identity locked into my business. But, I did it on purpose and it took work and it was from that experience.
Andrew: I did that too and for similar reason. I won’t know for sure if I do have anything outside of business unless something really big happens and takes away my business. Then I’ll realize, did that really matter or am I pretending that my hobby of running is so significant? We’ll find out. I hope I never find out. I battle every day to make sure I never find out. Here’s another thing it did. Having a tough period in my life reminded me that I am mortal. And now I will not rest.
I will not say “Hey, I’ve got this superpower and because I’m so good at business or because I’m so comfortable selling, or because, because because…” I’m going to do it. It’s “Yeah, because of that I’m going to do it.” I’m going to work like hell because it could be taken away from me because of a bad economy or because of a stupid mistake. I’m never going to let that happen.
Susan: Right. And that’s huge. It’s absolutely huge. It taught me really great business practices. I’m a stickler for my financials. I need to have my big cash cushion so that I always have that money socked away just in case anything happens.
Andrew: I do, too. So when you say you’re a stickler for your financials, how do you do it? What do you do to make sure you’re on top of it?
Susan: Well, obviously I look at them every month. I also have a kind of weekly score card that I pay attention to. It’s like four or five different metrics that I look at every Friday just to make sure that I’m on the right track.
Andrew: What are those metrics?
Susan: It’s our weekly sales. It’s our weekly refund rate. It’s the number of phone calls that our sales team is making, outbound calls to help scoop up some sales that might be left over from webinar attendees that didn’t purchase, or people that had inquired and wanted strategy sessions and who may be interested in coaching. So, you know, just some general metrics.
Andrew: Look at that operation you have. For a long time it was just a one-, maybe two-person operation. Now you have salespeople who are calling and a whole team. That’s impressive.
Susan: Well, it sounds really impressive, but it’s like one person.
Andrew: Oh, I see. I like the way you put it before.
Susan: The team is one person.
Andrew: I was imagining phone banks.
Susan: But for me it’s about paying attention to my margins. So I’m a real stickler for making sure that I’m always paying attention to that. And that I’m paying attention to the expenses and making sure that my net income is where I want it to be and that it’s always increasing.
Andrew: One of the things that you realized after you finished crying and drinking in Mexico was that you had a newsletter.
Susan: Drinking and crying. That was the order. Don’t forget.
Andrew: What was it about the newsletter that made it an asset worth building up?
Susan: That was interesting. So when I had the mortgage company, I had this newsletter that I called “The Investor Insights.” It was just a newsletter that I would send out to my clients talking about things that were happening. You know, new loan programs, anything that was happening in the market that might pertain to real estate investing, little tidbits and stuff like that. It was like the worst, ugliest newsletter that you ever saw. Clip art galore. I think I did it in Microsoft Publisher. It was really bad.
I wrote an ebook when I had my mortgage company, too. I called it the accidental ebook because really all it was was a giant list of frequently asked questions. So it’s very different qualifying and closing an investment property loan than it is a loan on your own primary residence with a home that you live in. And so we found that there were literally 46 things that were different that we just kept this long laundry list of and I used to just give it to my clients as a kind of welcome gift and a thank you for doing business with us. I ended up turning it into an ebook called “Mortgage Secrets for Real Estate Investors,” and one of my friends taught me how to put it up on ClickBank and sell it. So that was my very first product.
Andrew: Talk about stale candy, things that most people wouldn’t recognize as valuable and worthy of selling. You took this freebie, you turned it into a product worth selling. How did you do on ClickBank with this first new digital product?
Susan: Well, I sold my FAQ list, which is hilarious. It did okay. I priced it at $37.00 and I would say every month it was making between $300 and $600 a month. We’d get the check in the mail and I’d be like “Yippee. The book money is here.” So we’d go out and have a super nice dinner or I’d go out and buy a nice little present for myself or get a massage or something. It was just like free money. I loved it.
Andrew: You see it’s still here, it’s being sold on Amazon.
Susan: Yes, it’s up on Amazon now, “Mortgage Secrets for Real Estate Investors.”
Andrew: Is that what helped you realize “You know what, digital is something I can do, too. I can sell digital products. If this thing sold that I thought was just a freebie, I can do anything.”
Susan: Yeah, absolutely.
Andrew: So once you realized that, what’s the first thing you did? Was it the teleseminar?
Susan: Yeah. When I closed the mortgage company I went to… I closed it in October of 2008 and I went to Mexico and cried for November and then I came back home right around Christmas time and I decided I’m going to start this information business and see if I can do something with this and had the ebook. The book was 300 to 600 bucks a month just like clockwork and I was really trying to figure out, “Okay I’ve read all these things online and I’ve bought ebooks about how to start an internet marketing business,” and everybody said you had to have a list and everybody was talking about affiliate marketing.
So the very first big campaign that I did was one of the good old fashioned telesummits where I reached out to, I think we had, I think there were 11 or 12 real estate investing experts who had digital products and I convinced them somehow, like I have no idea how I did this, looking back it was the most uncoordinated effort ever, but we called it REI Summit. REI just stands for real estate investing and they would come on and I would interview them and they would chat for about 45 minutes about whatever and then I would allow them to plug their product for five minutes. Then the deal was they had to promote their interview to their list and then everybody opted in to my list and then we sold their affiliate products through the links and when it was all said and done I had, I ended up with, I think I had like 3,500 names on my list and we did something ridiculous like $12,000 in affiliate commissions.
Andrew: From this one even?
Susan: On that one telesummit event.
Andrew: I’ve seen a few people do it this way and let’s break down the process.
Andrew: You’ve got people who had a list, but probably not a huge list.
Susan: No, no these were not like Donald Trump or anybody. I mean this were like probably Z level players for sure. They were the people that I knew.
Andrew: They were new and you were new and you said, “Okay I will put together this teleseminar, this tele,” excuse me what is it called? A telesummit.
Andrew: “Telesummit and one of the things that we are going to do here is I will interview you so the audience can learn and at the end of it I will give you some time to promote your product. If you sell your product you get to make money I get a commission,” and then do they also get a commission if you sell anyone else’s product or is it just them selling their own product?
Susan: It was just them selling their own product.
Andrew: That’s it?
Susan: Yeah that was it.
Andrew: And the whole event was free, but if people wanted to buy one of the…
Andrew: All right and so how did you get your audience? You got your audience because you required each one of the presenters also promote it.
Andrew: That’s the thing.
Susan: Yes and I had a tiny list, I mean I didn’t think of it in terms as a list at that time, but I had a database of real estate investors that I had done business with at my mortgage company and I had a list of emails from ClickBank of people who had purchased my book. I honestly don’t know if they give that information anymore but I know back in the day they used to actually let you export an Excel file and you could have access to the email addresses of your buyers.
Andrew: That makes sense. This whole model I’ve seen people do it. I’ve seen it in a tech space as online conference. You don’t want to go all the way to Silicon Valley, you’re maybe outside of the US and you can’t get into the country, fine we’ll do this online conference and sometimes they charge, sometimes they offer it for free. The speakers help promote it, but in the tech start-up world they don’t do any of the affiliate stuff. They’re not comfortable selling.
You are comfortable selling, where did that come from?
Susan: I am comfortable selling. I like to sell. I don’t know, I was always walking around… I was selling air fresheners for goodness sakes when I was 10 years old. I have no idea it just…
Andrew: Do you ever feel like all this stuff is available for free somewhere online, shouldn’t I just let them go and buy it, or get it for free, why am I selling it?
Susan: I don’t, because I feel like I have done that in that in the past and I haven’t gotten the full story. It always, no matter how great your research is, there’s always something, there’s a “gotcha” that you’re not going to know or you’re not going to have access to and it has the potential to either hurt you in some way or keep you from making as much money as you possibly could.
I figure it’s this way for me. It could be looked at as a form of curation, I’m curating the best information that is readily available, you can Google it, but I’m also putting my expertise and my perspective into it and I think that what people pay for isn’t necessarily the information but I think it’s the curation, the distillation and the expertise that you bring to it.
Andrew: You know, Susan, I think you also don’t come from a software background, where I feel, frankly, having come from a software background myself, I almost have this sense of snobbery against anything that’s not software. And it goes even to hardware.
I see people in hardware start-ups, and a part of me, maybe in the past, not any more because I’ve done so many interviews. Part of me goes, “Well, that’s just more clutter in the world. We should just do software. We already have phones, computers. Why don’t we just do software? Software’s all that matters.” And that kind of thinking keeps people from creating anything new. Now I’m seeing entrepreneurs who are going back and recreating food businesses. You know, where it’s local organic food that they’re selling. And they’re getting funding for it, because they don’t have the same hang-up that I do about everything needing to be software. They’re saying it’s okay if it’s food. It’s okay if it’s information. You don’t have that.
Andrew: Anyway, I did a search for your name in teleseminar. And I came up with some kind of list building teleseminar and you’re part of other people’s telesummits and teleseminars now.
Susan: That is true. You know, I get asked to be part of telesummits and also video summits which are kind of popular now. And I’m happy to do that. And I put that out there with a little bit of fear because I have a feeling I might get a lot of requests. But, honestly, that’s what launched my information business.
And I feel like those people that took a chance on me, initially, those 11 or 12 people, didn’t have to do that, but they contributed something to me; time, expertise, energy, effort, a product that I could sell through a link. And it really launched this business as I know it today, and so I’m happy to return the favor.
Andrew: It’s not a big part of your marketing now, is it?
Susan: No. No, and it’s so funny, and I think I got this from Ryan Deiss, too. He said, oh, that worked so well that we immediately stopped doing it. Right. And it’s so true. Right. In our businesses, we often try so many different strategies and so many different tactics. And some things work really well, and some things work okay, and some things don’t work at all. And some things work really well but then we just never revisit them and never do them again. And I think this is one of those things. So I don’t know. Maybe in the new year, I’ll host a telesummit and see how it goes.
Andrew: I see. You’re saying we sometimes forget about the things that work so well for us.
Susan: Going back to basics.
Andrew: Not that you worked so well and we’re stopping because everyone else is doing it. This one, by the way, is being sold for $297.
Andrew: Do you promote that when it’s sold for $297?
Susan: I don’t know, you know, it would depend on the content that was shared, and how in depth it was. If there was, like, packaging up, kind of, you know, thinly veiled sales pitches, and marketing it as a product, I would have a hard time promoting it for $297.
Andrew: But the way it works is some of the speakers do promote it and then they get a cut of the sale that they make. Maybe it’s like 50/50. If they negotiate, they can get even more. That’s the way it works.
Susan: Right. Yeah.
Andrew: And, in addition, there’s both teaching and there’s sales in there too. And so you make money when you sell tickets to the event, and you make money when people who buy your tickets end up. I see. That’s the way the model works.
Susan: Yeah. Yeah. So for the promoter, you get to make affiliate commissions for the products that you promote from your experts. And then, typically, what you do is you package up the recordings and you sell the recordings. Because nobody wants to come to a live teleseminar every night for two weeks or whatever.
Andrew: Right. I was part of one of those. I don’t do those anymore because there’s such an expectation by the host that I have to do all the promotion. I want to be there and help you out by lending my name, lending my expertise. I’ll spend some time prepping.
Andrew: But because it’s not part of my model, and I’m not looking for revenue from it, I think they have an expectation that I can’t hit. All right.
Susan: Right. And some will, and some won’t. You know, it depends.
Andrew: Yeah. All right. We got to the first sale, and we got to your first opt-ins. We’re talking about roughly 3,000 opt-ins coming from that first telesummit. But that’s not the end of it. You then start to go into the next phase. And for you, that next phase was joint ventures.
Andrew: What kind of joint ventures do you do and what are you selling through them?
Susan: You know the joint ventures are basically affiliate promotions. And so what I did was I went out into kind of my niche, and decided, okay, who are the other information marketers who are ethical and have great products and programs, and who can I promote to my list. Who do I feel comfortable promoting? And then, in exchange, returning the favor, so to speak, and asking them to promote my products as well. And I think that’s an important lesson that people often miss when they reach out to establish these joint venture relationships is they lead with an expectation of the other person promoting their products first. And I did it the exact opposite way when I was building those relationships.
I went out and I really sourced the promoters and the products that I wanted to promote to my list of roughly 3,000 people. Just to kind of lead with that first and then after I promoted then I turned around and said hey that went really well or my list really liked you here’s a product that I have that I think would be great for your list would you consider promoting it. And I got a really nice reception by doing it that way. Very high take rate and some of those affiliate partners that you know I first started working with in 2009 are still some of my most loyal and fervent supporters today.
Andrew: What product did you sell at that point?
Susan: Well the product that I sold was a $97 program that I actually still sale today it is called Portfolio Loan Blue Print and remember I told you that when I closed my mortgage company I had relationships with a couple of portfolio lenders that were able to do some cool loans because they don’t have to follow the rules that the government sets for lending. That was a specialized skill that I had and at that time because as a real estate investor you couldn’t get funding from a conventional lender but nobody even really knew that these portfolio lenders existed or how to work with them.
And so I created a product that taught real estate investors how to seek out these lenders. How to prepare what we call a creditability kit to deliver to these lenders and how to build those relationships and get different kinds of loans that people usually say even today are like impossible to get or never even existed. Like the people who buy that product are actually getting those loans.
Andrew: How did you put that product together? Was it CDs, I see a lot of your stuff is CDs, right?
Susan: Actually everything is video. So we do it is delivered all with online video and…
Andrew: So those DVD cases are just cases for a show to give people an understanding of what’s coming up?
Susan: Exactly it’s just a physical like a graphic representation of a digital program.
Susan: So all of my programs I don’t do any physical products at all, I don’t ship anything to anyone’s home. Too much work and yeah no part of that. So everything is online video and I just put together a couple of PowerPoint presentations that walked people through the process and recorded it on my computer with Camtasia and uploaded the video to Amazon servers and off to the races, $97 thank you very much.
Andrew: How do you know what goes into it
Susan: Probably from an information product that I bought that taught me how to do it. You know for me one of the big realizations, when I went into this thing I was really bought into that whole concept of affiliate marketing. Where you can just get rich promoting other people’s products. And what I realized very quickly was that you can’t get rich just promoting other people’s products. So at least to the scale that I wanted to get rich I didn’t think that you could.
One of my friends his name is Alan he had his own products and he was somebody that I met at a networking event and we hit it off. He basically said look you need to have a nice mix of creating your own products and also doing affiliate promotions as well. And so I was kind of bought into it from that because I saw the success that he had with it. But it was tough right sitting behind a computer trying to figure out Camtasia and how to talk like a microphone the setups that we have now it’s like this was so advanced and far beyond what I was ever prepared for…
Andrew: Just talking to yourself with a camera. Talking to the camera is really tough.
Andrew: I think Camtasia at this point is relatively easy to figure out.
Andrew: The microphone is a pain in the butt. You and I spent some time just getting the right sound for this conversation.
Andrew: But the outline is really tough and the reading it into the camera by yourself is really tough. So the outline came to you from one of the probably from another digital product that you bought.
Susan: Yeah. You know and for me I just like to teach. You know I’ve always been a teacher in some form or fashion, sharing what I know. I think that teaching is a way of learning and I love learning. So if I am learning something I am always super excited to share it with someone. And coming out of the mortgage industry with the specialized knowledge that I had it’s like man this could work for people and it can give people an opportunity to fund deals that they would never have the ability to fund.
Andrew: I’m looking online on Mixergy premium for anyone who is a member there is a program by the Product Pros that’s what they taught, how people can create these kinds of products. And I remember… You know those guys?
Susan: No but I think it’s a great idea. I think it’s fantastic.
Andrew: He does such a good job that I actually got hate mail from people who said, “We don’t need any more information products online.” Why are you teaching people how to do it?” I said, “Yes, we do.” If you look at the software that sells online often is sold through information, where people teach the topic that the software helps out with. And they do their own webinars today, and they create their own ebooks today. And they create their own educational blog posts, events, etcetera and then through that they say, “Look, you’ve learned this topic. You clearly are a good candidate for the software that helps with the topic. You should sign up.” And that’s what Greg was talking about. Also he was showing people who want to do nothing but create information products, how to do it. I think the hate in the space is a little bit out of control. It’s not out of control; it’s unnecessary. It just stops people I think.
Susan: I agree. I can tell you, to circle back to the software topic, I mentioned one of my best performing funnels is that information product Instant Private Money. And the upsell is an upsell to a deluxe version of that program. Well, the take rate on that is pretty good, but I have another program Master Lease Option Method that you mentioned, that teaches people how to invest in apartment buildings. The upsell for that is a software that we had created that automates the numbers crunching and it automates and prints the contracts that they need to make offers. So, the take rate on the software product as opposed to the deluxe version is about three times greater.
Andrew: Who developed the software for you? It’s kind of interesting that softwares in upsells do really well. Crushes it.
Susan: It crushes. So, it’s a friend of mine; his name is Daniel Clayman. He’s another real estate investor. He had a numbers crunching software that he was selling and just through a series of discussions I said, “Could you modify this based on my specifications for this specific strategy and have it do some cool things?” And he was like, “Absolutely.” So, he has a team of developers and so now that I know where to get my own developers, I’m going to, hopefully Daniel won’t see this, but I think I’m going to bypass him in the future, create my own.
Andrew: It really is helpful to have a company like, this isn’t a sponsorship message, but Toptal. I’m using them myself.
Susan: Yes. And speaking of joint ventures, that’s another joint venture that I have which is the joint venture with Daniel for that software. So, the way that that works is he actually owns the software, and we just do a 50-50 split of the net on the sales of that.
Andrew: You can hire someone to create that for yourself, do it from scratch without having to pay him.
Susan: I know.
Andrew: All right, so affiliates, when you go out to get affiliates to sell for you, don’t get me wrong, but you’re a nobody when you’re starting out. Why would affiliates sell your product. Which level of affiliates do you go after when you’re just getting started?
Susan: The lowest of the low. The Z level people. Seriously. And I told you, I reached out first and said, I want to promote your stuff and I promoted their stuff.
Andrew: But if they’re the lowest of the low and you’re promoting their stuff, don’t you feel bad about that. Don’t you feel like, “Well, this is not really good.”
Susan: No, no, no. When I say lowest of the low, that’s not at all a commentary on the product or the program that they put out. That’s just usually a commentary on the fact that they’re just a bad marketer. We find a lot, especially in the real estate investing niche, is that people are selling information based on a certain level of expertise that they have in the market, but they’re primarily real estate investors, right? So, they’re focused on the real estate side of it. They’re not focused on the information marketing side of it.
Andrew: I see. So, you’re reaching out to people who don’t have much traffic, who don’t have huge lists, who don’t have a lot of people courting them and you’re promoting their stuff. Then you’re saying, “I also have a product. Its $97, it’s really good. Would you help me by promoting it?
Andrew: What software did you use to manage your affiliate program? Was it still ClickBank at that point.
Susan: No. I didn’t put portfolio blueprint up on ClickBank. The software that we got was 1ShoppingCart. So, I actually got a shopping cart software and a merchant account so I could start accepting the money that way. And of course, as we grew, we went to Infusionsoft and went to a more comprehensive solution, but the first one we used was 1ShoppingCart.
Andrew: It sounded like you were a little disappointed that you moved away from 1ShoppingCart.
Susan: Yes. Did that just come through?
Andrew: No. In my research, in your conversation with Jeremy Weiss in the pre-interview here for Mixergy.
Susan: It was. Looking back, and here’s a trap that a lot of us fall into and I know it’s something that plagues me, is that the shiny object syndrome, always thinking that the latest technology and the newest thing is going to be the best and always constantly like migrating and upgrading and changing. Honestly, we have Infusionsoft and I am not knocking Infusionsoft it is the Ferrari of CRMs and shopping carts, and for what we use it for we probably use it to about 15% of its total capacity which is a shame. The level of expertise that we need internally in order to like run it with that system is much, much greater than we need to be focusing on.
So, for me it’s like the lesson here is not to follow the latest greatest thing. It’s to stick with something that works, the solution that works, the proven solution and sometimes it’s not the sexiest or the newest, but it’s the simplest, and it’s kind of been my mantra you know for the last year or so and going in to the New Year it’s going to look for those opportunities to simplify, simplify, simplify.
Andrew: You know I get what you’re talking about. It’s really tempting when you hear everyone talk about Infusionsoft and how they have their if/then diamonds on their email list and all this great… It’s really cool, but it’s also maybe overkill at some point. I’m really happy with Infusionsoft, I was very unhappy with stand alone shopping cart software. The only thing that I prefer that’s, the only thing that I would like to be able to use is stripe with it that’s my big issue. And I love to have the order form directly on my site, but Infusionsoft won’t allow that.
Susan: Right, yeah. I hear you. Preaching to the choir, brother.
Andrew: We’re definitely over time, do you have a little more time here?
Susan: Yeah, absolutely.
Andrew: You hit a million in sales when?
Susan: We hit a million in sales in August, 2013 so that had always been my annual sales goal. In 2012 we did gross revenue of $592,000. In 2013 my goal was a million. We ended the year at 1.4, but I hit that million dollar mark in about the end of August, beginning of September.
Andrew: You say you remember the actual date, you look down I guess at your software.
Susan: Yeah, I don’t remember the day, the exact date in my memory, but I remember the day when it happened. I was logging into Infusionsoft for some random reason and on your dashboard you can have those tracking numbers. So on my dashboard I always tracked the year to date sales and year to date number of new contacts and opt-ins that we have. And I happened to log in that day and it was like $1,000,004.28. And that was like, stop everything. I did it, I hit a million dollars in sales.
I had my one employee in the office with me at that time, her name was Laura, and I was like, “Hey, Laura, guess what?” She was like, “What?” We just hit a million dollars in sales.” And real quietly she just goes, “Yay.” And then boom, I was off taking care of the tasks that I needed to take care of and that was it. It was like I don’t know what I thought was going to happen, some marching band was going to come through the office with the cymbals and Oprah was going to bust in and say, “A million dollars for you and you and everybody,” but none of that happened. It was just a real moment kind of like any other.
Andrew: Sounds kind of like a letdown the way you describe it.
Susan: It was a huge letdown, actually. It kind of put me into a little bit of a funk really after that. That was another lesson that I learned that I’ve been working on, when you get so focused on a goal that isn’t truly meaningful to you and kind of arbitrary, right? And a million dollars is like a goal that a ten year old set, the ten year old me probably set that goal. It probably meant something to me at that time and it was just something that I’d always carried through.
Of course if you make a million dollars you’re rich, that’s the most simplistic version of it. But when I hit it it was like two things happened. One, it didn’t really mean that much to me, it wasn’t fulfilling in any great way; and two, I felt like okay, now if I’m going to grow beyond this it kind of means that I’m going to have to work twice as hard and I’m not exactly sure that I’m willing to sacrifice my lifestyle in order to make that happen. So I was a little bit depressed on two different fronts which was kind of bizarre.
Andrew: How did you get yourself out of it? You seemed happy until I brought this question up.
Susan: I am happy. The way that I got myself out of it was by understanding that the goal has to mean something to me and that I don’t always have to be chasing an arbitrary revenue number. Here’s the bottom line, my life, exclusive of my business, is not materially going to change whether I make a million and a half in revenue one year or $3 million in revenue the next. I’m still going to drive the same car. I’m still going to live in the same house. I’m still going to have the same nephew, whom I adore and get to spend so much time with. My life isn’t going to change.
Andrew: I’m sorry to interrupt. We started this interview with the way you and I met, which is you signing up to Mixergy Premium and saying, “I’m here to take it to five million.” You do care about numbers.
Susan: I do care about numbers. I never said I didn’t care about numbers. For me, it’s about figuring out a way to grow in scale and still maintain the lifestyle because I want my company to grow and I want my company to continue to increase in value. I want the number of people that my information serves to grow. I can help people. I can have an impact in their lives and I’m proud of that. So I definitely want to continue to grow and scale that.
For me, the trick is not to just lead with that revenue goal. Sure, when I’m joining a program like yours and you guys say, “Hey what are you doing this for?” Well, I want to eavesdrop on other entrepreneurs to figure out how to grow my revenue, but that revenue goal is not at the top. It used to be, but not anymore. I have other goals and other things that are meaningful to me.
Andrew: You are also saying, “I’m not going to expect that whatever numerical goal I have set for my business is met, my happiness is going to rise in proportion to it. I’m not going to be five times happier with $5 million in revenue than with $1 million. I’m not going to have five times better anything. It’s just a business goal. For me to be happy, I have to work on things that make me happy outside of business.”
Andrew: The founder of I Can Has Cheezburger on soon to talk about that exact same issue. He had this incredibly thriving business and when things went bad, he had to separate himself from the business otherwise he wouldn’t have recovered. If your business is stinking and all you have is your self worth connected to the business and now you’re stinking, how do you turn that business around? I just talked to him earlier today. I asked if he was willing to talk openly about this on Mixergy and he said, “Yes, are you kidding me? Finally, somebody is asking.”
Susan: These are important topics. If I was to talk to a civilian person who isn’t in the business that we’re in or who isn’t a member of Mixergy and doesn’t understand entrepreneurial conversations, they wouldn’t understand. For instance, if I were to express to my mother how upset I was at making only one million dollars this year, it would sound horrible. You would sound like the most non-self aware person on earth. People would say, “Poor you. Let me play the world’s tiniest violin.” We have to talk about those things with each other, because honestly at this level, we’re not going to get a lot of sympathy anywhere else or help understanding what we’re going through and how we can move through to the next level.
Andrew: How did you get to this level? We went from you creating a telesummit and the people who are part of it helping to promote it, to you reaching out to Z level affiliates. Then suddenly, we jump to a million dollars. What was the thing that got you to the next level.
Susan: For me it was automation. That was the key. If you look at my business right now, I don’t have a ton of products or programs. I have about four front-end programs and they’re all inexpensive, ranging from $97 to $997, which is the most expensive program, exclusive of my coaching. What made the difference for me was being able to automate these funnels. When I put in the ability to one-click upsells, that’s when my customer value more than tripled. That customer who’s coming into that funnel and buying that $97 product is no longer worth $97 to me. They are worth almost $400 by the time they get out of that funnel.
Andrew: And that’s how the upsell helps you. So when someone comes in to buy something small, you give them the opportunity to buy something bigger. What percentage of the people who buy $97 products end up buying the $997 product?
Susan: It depends on the traffic source. So we obviously do much better at a high level. I’d say about 30% of my people will take it. Maybe 20, 25% of my affiliate partners, my warm market, will take it to cold traffic. It performs worse, so maybe 12, 15% if we’re lucky.
That’s why we’re playing around with things like software, which honestly, can have a take-rate we’ve seen as high as 65% in that same funnel. I mean it’s just, again, it’s one of those metrics that I pay attention to is my customer value. How can I always increase that? Because, obviously, the more that I can increase that customer value, the more that customer is worth to me. The more I can theoretically afford to pay for that customer. And that means I can do more marketing to attract them.
Andrew: So what I’m hearing is upsell. I’m also hearing going after bigger affiliates. You started off with Z. I’m imagining you’re not at Z anymore, creating more products.
Susan: It’s not at Z anymore. Yes, yeah, yeah.
Andrew: Right? And your list keeps growing.
Andrew: And you’d reached out to do other advertising. Facebook is what worked out of all those other things that you tried?
Susan: Yeah, Facebook works well for us and to a certain program that we have that speaks more to a more experienced investor, LinkedIn advertising is working for us really well.
Andrew: This has been fan-frickin-tastic. I’m so glad that we got to meet.
Susan: Me, too.
Andrew: You said that you’d like more about funnels. What’s your ideal course or interview about funnels? What would you like to see us create?
Susan: That is a really great question. We have video sales letter funnels. We have automated webinar funnels. I would just love two things. One, any other types of automation that we can apply to funnels. Kind of the what’s working now. And also, how people are optimizing those funnels. As people go through the upsell, downsell process, how are we optimizing that? And what are people seeing as working really well? For me, like what I just shared, we have a deluxe version upsell to another information product. And then we’ve tested software, which works really well. But there’s got to be other stuff that people are doing that they’ve had great luck in optimizing their funnels. I would always love to learn more about that.
Andrew: I do love when people actually show their funnels. Especially, frankly, in this case I do like when they have it on Infusionsoft because then I can see how it flows and what… did you see that Jermaine Griggs showed his funnel on Mixergy and walked peopled through it? Have you seen his? I’ll put it in Skype chat.
Susan: That is awesome. I’m going to look at it. I love Jermaine, first of all. I think he’s fantastic. He’s someone who I’ve learned an awful lot from. He helped me really understand two concepts. Number one, automating the refund process, introducing some automation there. And also helping me understand and improve my retention rates in my membership program.
Andrew: What’d he teach you that works for that?
Susan: The thing that he taught me that really helped me was the ability to put a membership on hiatus. Because one of the things that we were doing was when somebody said, “Hey, you know, I just want to take a break for a couple months,” it’s like, “Just cancel them.” Right? Which is like such a giant lost opportunity. So when we were able to take his idea of allowing them to kind of freeze the membership, or put it on hold or on hiatus for a couple of months and then come back, it brings a lot of money to the bottom line when you’re able to do something like that successfully.
Andrew: What a great reminder. I forgot that he did that. Yeah, it’s true. He does have a system for doing it and he showed me in that course that I just linked you to, but I forgot all about that.
Susan: It’s awesome. Yeah.
Andrew: One more reason why I’m glad I talked to you. Thank you, so much, for doing this interview. Thank you, so much, for being a part of Mixergy Premium, for joining. For anyone who doesn’t know, Mixergy Premium is a program where I invite people like Jermaine to teach one thing that they’re especially good at. Jermaine was on here to do an interview about how he built his business and everyone loved his funnel system and the way that he automated his business sites.
I said, “Hey, if you got a good reaction from that, would you mind coming in and teaching your automation?” And he came in and he taught it. He showed screen shot after screen shot to make sure that everyone understood it. So we have those courses, over 150 of those, and we have over a thousand interviews with entrepreneurs, like Susan, who teach, who talk about how they built their business step-by-step like Susan.
This is one of the best ones. I’m so proud to have you on here. Thank you.
Susan: Thank you, so much, for having me. I was so flattered when you guys reached out. I just thought I was going to be able to take advantage of all the great interviews that you put out there and I never would have dreamed that I would have an opportunity to participate and be a guest. So thank you to you for inviting me and I really appreciate it.
Andrew: Thank you to you and for people who want to connect with you, is the best site to tell them to go to LassiterMarketing.com?
Susan: Sure, they can go to Lassiter Marketing or they can just go to SusanLassiterLyons.com.
Andrew: All right. Thank you, so much. Thank you all. Bye, everyone.