Inside the Mind of Mike O’Donnell – August 2013

Posted on August 11th, 2013 in Amazon, Business Development, Cave Tools, Couch Surfing, Efficiency, Goal Setting, Lessons, Management, Media Buying, My Story, Self Improvement, Shipping | No Comments »

This is more of a general update kind of post where I want to touch on a bunch of different things that are going on and also take a snapshot of what I’m thinking right now and planning for in the coming months.

Hyacinth Marketing

First things first, we have Hyacinth Marketing. The company is doing pretty well right now and I have been using almost all of the profits to support the growth of Cave Tools. If I didn’t have my clients at Hyacinth, I wouldn’t have nearly enough capital to be as aggressive as I am with Cave Tools. Right now the only sales I’m doing for the company is attending my breakfast meetings with the Million Dollar Marketing (MDM) group. In the past 2 months I’ve given 3 prepared speeches to this group of Doylestown business owners and these guys literally think I’m the smartest marketing person they’ve ever met. I share a ton of strategies and advice with them and they have been referring a good amount of clients over to me. It’s literally like having my own sales team working for me. They actually invited me to a golf outing next Friday with a ton of business owners in the area, so I’m really excited about that. Apparently the keg is tapped 2 hours prior to tee off so it should be a fun day.

Unlimit3d

The Unlimit3d project also started almost a month ago. I built a project management platform for this entire project and between my team and theirs, we have about 9 people communicating and sharing files every day. However, even with the ease of collaboration we are already falling behind schedule. As far as my estimates go now, I think we are between 10-20 working days behind where we need to be to keep pace. The problem is that we are still stuck in the graphic design phase and because Unlimit3d has so many people involved on their end, nobody is taking the lead on feedback because they are afraid everyone wont agree. This is causing us to have feedback response times of close to 48 hours sometimes and it is really slowing things down. I’ve had a bunch of talks with Unlimit3d and my development team on ways to improve efficiency with the feedback process. They’re getting better, but at this point we are already behind and there’s not much we can do about it because we don’t want to start coding and then have to do a ton of rework. The entire website is broken into 6 milestones, so the longer milestone 1 takes, the longer I need to wait for my milestone 2 payment and the less aggressive I can be with using that money on Cave Tools.

Cave Tools

Speaking of Cave Tools, we’ve gone profitable! Well…only for a short period of time. I described Cave Tools to my friend the other day like this, “I started out by digging a 2 inch deep whole with my initial investment. As soon as I filled it up to the surface, I decided to dig a 4 inch hole in the same spot. I’ve filled that up a couple inches so far, but then the other day I just dug another 6 inches deep.” Basically, due to such a lengthy supply chain (approx 2 months), even though I am making profit, I am not making enough to support growth on the timeframe that I need it. Therefore, I’m drawing money from Hyacinth to drive growth and hoping to make it back on the backend.

Right now I have another shipment of 2,000 grill brushes on its way to me now. Due to the money restrictions, I was late on placing my replenishment order in time to make sure I don’t stock out. It took 20 days to manufacture the next batch of brushes, but because of my tardiness I had to split the shipment into 400 brushes via air and 1,600 via boat. To put the cost in perspective, it costs me about $900 to ship 400 brushes via air and about $1,200 to ship 1,600 brushes via boat. That’s a ton of money I’m now losing because I don’t want to be faced with a stock out. This also counts as 2 separate imports, so instead of paying the fees twice, I decided to get a continuous import bond. Now, I’m a registered importer and can do as many imports as I want for a year without paying a fee each time. It’ll pay off by the end of the year, but for now it’s more money. The 2,000 grill brushes was my 4 inch hole. My new product line is the 6 inch hole…

Product Development

My next product line is a 3 piece grill set: Spatula, Fork, Tongs. From a money standpoint, this is pretty much triple my initial investment for just the brush because we have 3 new items. Depending on my cash flow, I may have to actually take investment to afford it, but I really don’t want to do that.

I haven’t paid to start manufacturing yet though because I’m waiting on my samples to arrive, hopefully this upcoming week. I’m super excited about this because I literally spent hours researching different sets and designing these samples. For the grill brush I just picked out a certain model, but the 3 piece set I actually designed. I also had a mold developed so I can brand them with the Cave Tools logo. Here’s a few pictures of what they look like:

 

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I can’t wait to get my hands on them and just hold them! My goal with this set was to make them incredibly strong and durable. I took the average steel thickness in the grilling utensils market and increased my thickness by 20%. For approximately $0.40 per unit extra in steel, I will probably be able to increase my sell price by about $4-5. I have 2 sample sets coming in right now. One has a strengthen slot, which curves the metal a little bit to make it stronger and the other is just flat steel. I’m going to be comparing the two and also soliciting feedback from people to see which they prefer more.

These sets will most likely retail in the $30 dollar range. The best Weber set sells for $31 so I’m thinking of charging $32-35. I have a bunch of marketing ideas planned for when I finally launch the set and I’m also going to be building an early bird waiting list primarily via facebook where people can get a 20% coupon. I’m also thinking of doing a direct mail campaign to all of my grill brush customers. Something like a teaser post card with a coupon code.

Sales Trends

From a trend standpoint, I have noticed that my week to week growth has started to level out. We’re still making solid sales numbers, but the growth has slowed down, which is not good at all. I think it is do to a combination of our promotion efforts slacking a bit (Because I am very busy with Hyacinth) and possibly the seasonal effect. We are getting closer to the end of the summer so people are probably just not buying as many brushes. I have a couple of solutions on my success list to keep my growth trending up and protect against a winter slump in sales. My success list is different from my daily to-do list in the sense that these are strategic business advancements that will take my business to the next level. Building my wholesale program for instance was something on my success list.

Success List

At the top of my list right now is utilizing Multichannel Fulfillment to increase my ecommerce footprint. So what does this mean? I’ve outsourced all of my warehousing and customer service to Amazon and yes, they charge me an arm and a leg for it. Since I’m already paying them for this stuff, I might as well use them for sales I make outside of Amazon. Basically, my goal is to get listed on as many ecommerce stores as I can and when orders come in from those channels, I pass them through to Amazon and have Amazon ship for me. This means I can now get listed on websites like Buy.com and newegg.com and the other big ecommerce stores on the internet. There are many benefits to this from a marketing standpoint, sales, brand awareness, etc. I’m in the process of compiling a list of sites right now that I want to target. Then I need to build the processes to automate order handling from the various websites. This creates more of a management aspect for me unlike Amazon where when I make a sale they instantly do all of the order management. If I’m late on passing my orders through, then I get bad feedback and pissed off customers. That can’t happen. I also need to build processes to track my profit and loss on each website so I can be sure to focus my marketing efforts at the high converting channels. Finally, I need to figure out how to simplify all of this so my assistant can handle everything for me and just give me a weekly progress report. Sounds difficult, but I get a chubby for business development work, so I’m excited to take on the challenge.

Next up on the success list is becoming an expert at media buying. Media buying scares the shit out of me because it costs a lot of money and I have heard tons of stories of people losing their shirt with poor purchases. In short, media buying entails building out a profile for my ideal customer (ex: Male, 21-35 yrs old, interested in grilling, etc.) and then running targeted banner advertisements on the websites that the person hangs out on. I could run the adds by going through an advertising network or by doing direct purchases from individual websites. In order to do direct purchases, I need to build my own ad server to rotate and serve my ads. This is cheaper in the long run, but to get enough test data I’m going to need to go through an ad network.

The ad networks used to be reserved for just the big brands like Coke because they have outrageous minimum budgets like $10,000. Just to get enough sample data to optimize a campaign, you need to blow through at least $5,000 and have enough money left over to make it all back. However, Real Time Bid (RTB) networks have become readily available in the past few years which makes it easier for someone like me to break in. Basically, I’ll be able to bid in real time on remnant advertizing inventory that wasn’t sold via the big networks. I’ll still have to blow through about $500 in a test budget, but then I can optimize my campaign for the highest converting websites and approach them for direct buys.

My strategy for Media Buying is to target websites with a large visitor base that matches up to my demographic and also target sites with a visitor base primarily in the southern U.S. states. This way I can keep my sales consistent during the winter time in the north. In order to do this the right way and not lose a bunch of money, I need to do significant competitive intelligence research to figure out what the highest converting offers are for the grilling industry (ex: Free Recipe books, discount coupons, etc.). Once I figure out what my offer will be, I need to create it and then drive traffic to an email opt in form where I will give it away. Then I need to convert email leads into product sales on the back end. It sounds funny, but I don’t want to do what Weber is doing because they are very corporate. A lot of their marketing is designed for branding, not direct response marketing. I’ll probably end up breaking down all of Grill Daddy’s advertising because they are more of an internet based company.

Retargeting is also going to be a big factor in boosting my conversions. Retargeting is placing a cookie on someone’s browser when they visit your site, which then shows your ads all over the internet and literally follows them around to make it look like you’re everywhere. The majority of people will leave my offer page right away without giving me their email, but if I retarget them I will reclaim a lot of those visitors at a later date.

To be clear, my experience with paid advertising is limited to just Google pay per click. I’m pretty good, but I’ve never run any type of campaign this complex before or built a significant email list. I have a shit ton to learn and I want to get this all set up by October so I can be ready for the winter. I purchased a media buying course the other day from some pretty respectable internet marketers and I also got my hands on some training documents from Gauher Chaudhry, who is one of the biggest paid traffic guys in the world. I’m trying to do about an hour a day of studying and then I need to start testing on a small scale so I can scale up. As scary as this is to me, I know that if I master Media Buying, I can scale the shit out of my company and start to become a big player.

Traditional Marketing

I decided I need to be doing some more traditional marketing for myself as well. Instead of just doing online press releases, I need to start getting featured in newspapers and branding myself as a young up and coming entrepreneur. This will bring publicity to both of my companies and will also help drive traffic online and give me back links from authority news services. Regardless of how much money I’ve made so far in my career (very little compared to if I had a job), my on paper resume sounds ridiculous right now: “23 year old entrepreneur who has started 2 companies in the past 2 years, conducts business all over the world, and has 8 employees in 4 different countries. Has never accepted any investment and has built everything from scratch with hard work, determination, and virtually no budget.”

I dropped a quick email to a reporter that covers the bucks county area and I have an interview coming up next week. My plan is to get featured in the business section for print and online and then use that credibility to approach larger newspapers.

Couch Surfing

I originally planned to leave for my couch surfing across America trip in September after our fantasy football draft in Atlantic City. There is no way in hell that’s a realistic option for me anymore. I have way too much shit going on to just pick up and leave. I’m also strapped for cash right now because of everything I’m working on. I’m thinking a realistic departure date is going to be sometime in March/April of 2014 because it will be getting warmer for my trip and that also gives me time to do test runs where I couch surf for say a week at a time and learn how the logistics are going to work.

Working From Starbucks

I had quite the week this week working out of different Starbucks. The only people that are in a Starbucks during the day for the most part are entrepreneurs and people doing business meetings. I always have my headphones on, but when I hear an interesting conversation going on, I turn the music off and eavesdrop with absolutely no shame. They think I’m working and listening to music, but really what I’m doing is qualifying them. For the most part, I listen for a couple minutes and then go back to work, but sometimes I find some gems. This week was a good week for me.

Early in the week, I overheard people discussing a business plan for some SAT tutoring service. They talked about SEO and the need for a website multiple times in the convo, so as soon as their meeting was done I introduced myself and gave them each my card. Later in the day, they both checked out my LinkedIn profile and then within a half hour I had a voicemail on my business line asking for a meeting with me. Easy Peasy.

On Thursday, I overheard a conversation between a real young kid and a business attorney. He’s only 21 years old and his business which I will not include here, has already done over $1 million in revenue for the year. He recently fired his cofounder because she blew 250K on bull shit and now she is causing legal problems for him. After the meeting was over, I grabbed the kid and went with the I love meeting other young entrepreneurs approach. We talked for 15 minutes about different stuff and exchanged cards. I’m planning on following up with him sometime this upcoming week and seeing if he wants to grab a few drinks. Surround yourself by smart people and build relationships with movers and shakers and somewhere down the line it will pay off.

On Friday, I was working out of a starbucks in Philadelphia. This old dude was working behind me and looked at my screen and asked if I was building a website. I wasn’t, but a conversation ensued and this guy who I thought was a kook, actually turned out to be incredibly interesting. He went from being a taxi driver, to landing a job from a passenger in his taxi, to becoming a self taught programmer, to designing one of the world’s first heart monitoring machine software’s, to becoming #1 ranked in the world at competitive air hockey, to having an asthma attack in which the doctors fucked up and paralysed him. Ever since the accident, he has problems focusing and he talks weird, which is why I thought he was kooky, but he is intelligent as fuck. We literally talked and exchange stories for 3 hours on Friday (which I made up by working until 8:30pm fml) and he has invited me to stay at his house in South Texas when I do my couch surfing trip. He also took my card and wants to introduce me to a bunch of business people he knows in Texas. During our talk, we got onto the subject of encryption and I got an entire rundown of how to encrypt devices and back them up. He was at Starbucks on Friday rebuilding a computer’s operating system and he had a bag of flash drives. Each flash drive contained its own linux operating system on it. He basically had 7 different portable operating systems stored on these encrypted flash drives that he could plug into any computer and boom he was up and running.

Based on what I learned from Joe, I set up a bunch of encrypted files on my computer today. With my level of encryption, not even the NSA could break into my computer to look at my documents if they wanted to. Seriously, and the NSA knows it, which really pisses them off. Not that the NSA would ever solicit my documents or anything like that, but if my computer were ever stolen like it was in Montreal, all of my information is safe. Furthermore, I now plan to back up my files everyday on my encrypted flash drive so I can be completely portable instead of having to drag my laptop around. Bad Ass!

The Calm Before The Storm by Michael O’Donnell

Posted on March 1st, 2012 in Goal Setting, My Story | No Comments »

Today is Thursday, March 1, 2012 and it truly is the calm before the storm. On Saturday morning at 5am I am leaving with my family to go on vacation to Punta Cana for a little bit of relaxation. When I return on March 6 I will be quitting my job and that’s when the fun begins. The following paragraphs explain the storm that is to come and the impending changes to my life.

If you read my previous post, then you know that I have started my own internet marketing/search engine optimization company and have partnered with another company in Montreal, Canada. Right now, I still am working with Millevoi Bros. Auto Sales in Philadelphia and achieving great results with helping them grow their used car business. When I go down to present the February report to Mark in a couple days, I will also be asking for a referral to meet with his friend who owns a jewelry store in Philadelphia. As far as Canada goes, I will most likely be moving to Montreal the second or third week of April for about 5-6 months. My “contract” (In quotes because I don’t have a contract per se. I will be a sub contractor being paid on a monthly basis for services rendered) is with Benjamin Beauregard from Convernet to manage the business portfolio he is acquiring from the Consumer Choice Awards. The Consumer Choice Awards is similar to the Consumer Reports in America, but they rank local businesses in Canada whereas the Consumer Reports ranks products. Historically, the Consumer Choice Awards (CCA) has had 3 service offerings to their customers. Each service offering revolves around the customer being able to use the CCA logo because it instills consumer confidence. The first service offering is a bill board for the company with the CCA logo prominently displayed on it. The second is a featured article in the CCA magazine. This is similar to having an article written about you in the Consumer Reports. The third offering is a video series, either TV commercial or YouTube video that can be used to promote the business. Back in October 2011 Ben approached Marcel, the owner of CCA, to inquire about offering a new service to the CCA customers, search engine optimization services. Ben had known Marcel for a couple years after meeting him at a Tony Robbins event and had done minor work with Marcel in the past. Marcel agreed to Ben’s proposal and Ben started crafting the SEO service offerings that we would be providing. In November 2011 I was speaking with Ben on the phone about how I was planning on leaving my job and he decided to bring me into the picture. He explained to me that we would be offering 3 tiers of SEO services to the CCA customers. Tier 1 would be basic link building, Tier 2 would be link building plus link wheels and link pyramids, and Tier 3 would include the services of Tier 1 and Tier 2 and also include local search optimization to the mix. Jumping forward to present day, CCA has just completed a launch in Calgary and received 100 opt ins for Tier 1 service and 3 opt ins for Tier 3 services. Ben is going to start the on-boarding of these 103 customers by himself and when I get to Montreal in April I will start helping out and taking more responsibility. Statistically, we are planning on providing search engine optimization services for anywhere between 500-700 customers by the end of this year.

Knowing that I will be moving to Montreal, I have started to teach myself how to speak French. I downloaded the French Rosetta stone and was diligently working through each module for almost an hour a day through December and January. At the end of January I went out to Austin, Texas for the Third Annual Traffic and Conversions Summit and have been too busy (You will know why by the end of reading this post) to make time for French since then. Today I finally started back up and spent about an hour and a half getting myself back into the swing. I plan on getting a French tutor when I move to Montreal to help me master the language.

While I was at the Traffic and Conversions Summit in Austin, I had the opportunity to join the Equity Investors Network. This network was created by Perry Belcher and Ryan Deiss during the weekend of the event because they wanted to try and crowd source investment banking opportunities. Perry and Ryan make a lot of money teaching people how to use innovative marketing techniques, but the majority of their income is derived from growing businesses that do around $2-3 million per year to around $20 million per year. Their idea was “Why should we as SEOers only charge a client 1k-2k per month for our services when our services can literally triple the customers business and profits?” Wouldn’t it be smarter to negotiate for equity in the business, say 30%, and then when we triple the business we have now made a boat load of money. So this is what they have been doing for a couple years now. Either buying businesses or negotiating equity in them and then growing and selling the businesses. The problem is, you can’t just go out to business owners and say, “Hi, I want to buy your business.” It just doesn’t work like that. With a limited amount of resources and deal flow, Ryan and Perry were doing about 10 businesses per year. However, they realized that if they taught their Digital Marketer followers how to do exactly what they do, then they could create a community of SEOers who are buying and selling businesses. This would bring much more deal flow their way and give them the ability to partner with people on the biggest deals because they have the most experience and credibility. So anyways, I am now a member of EIN and at the end of March, I will be flying out to San Diego for 5 days to learn and train on how to do what Ryan and Perry do. They will be covering soup to nuts on how to source products and raw materials from China, how to negotiate for equity, all of the legal aspects involved, etc. By being a part of EIN I now have a network of lawyers, CPAs, investors, you name it, at my finger tips and we are setting up regular meetings in major cities with other EIN members. When I first signed up and became a member of EIN, I didn’t realistically think that I would come home from San Diego and just start buying and selling business. I just wanted to get in because the knowledge and experience I would get would be invaluable. However, with Ben and Justin and Nitten from India and Heidi from Minnesota going, I will now have my own in network of Investment bankers that I can partner on deals with together. Ben and I have already talked about how we can go in on smaller deals together to minimize our risk and learn the ins and outs of doing equity deals.

Recently, a friend and mentor of mine, Mike Kruszewski started his own business. Krusz was the top salesman in SimplexGrinnell for both Canada and America for 5 years in a row and my personal mentor before he left the company to go to Waymans. He is only in his late 30s, but he is a veteran when it comes to the life safety industry and he has important contacts throughout all of Philadelphia. Krusz noticed the importance of electronic reporting for building inspections as a key differentiator for the top companies in the life safety industry. He also noticed that there were really only two major electronic reporting companies in North America that had a stranglehold on the market. So he decided he was going to start his own electronic reporting company. Of course I was the first person he came to because he knew that I was knowledgeable about search engine optimization and knew the steps he needed to take to get his business off the ground. So we met and I explained to him everything I have going on and basically positioned myself as the perfect asset he would need to grow his business. I discussed the EIN and how I want to start asking for equity and naturally, he responded that he wasn’t going to give up any equity. Yada yada yada, I’m not concerned with that right now. I gave a lot of free consulting at our meeting to build my own personal value and credibility and show him that I had what it takes to blow his business up sky high. He didn’t take any notes. At the end of the meeting I told him that I would source some programmers for him to build his database/website for a friendly fee of $500. I was giving him a break with the $500 because I could have charged much more, but I guess he thought this to be on the high side. I got in touch with 14 top programmers from around the world and scheduled some Skype interviews. Before I interviewed them I spoke with Mike and he told me that he was in touch with a programmer that said he could do the job. I told him I had interviews scheduled so he had to make a decision before I spent all of my time interviewing. His guy wasn’t the best communicator, so he said only do a few interviews and then get back to me. I interviewed the CEO of a major development company in Pakistan that had 50 developers on board and could offer Krusz start to finish support including web design. I also interviewed the business development manager and senior systems analyst at a huge development company in India that also had an office in California. These guys had 500 developers on board and full start to finish support including web design. They also just got done building an electronic reporting site for a residential inspections company. I guess you could say I blew Krusz’s guy out of the water. Oh wait, I also secured the services of these companies for $12 per hour instead of the $30-40 per hour that is customary for the United States. So yea, I wasn’t concerned that Krusz wasn’t initially interested in giving up equity because I knew that I could position myself as the ultimate partner in growing his business. As of today, he thinks he is going to contract me to do his SEO work once the site is up and running, but that is not the case. By the time we get to that conversation, I will be back from the EIN Summit in San Diego and ready to play hard ball. I don’t expect him to accept my initial offer, which is ok. I want him to try for 6 months to grow his business himself in Philadelphia without my help. I’m fine with him paying for an SEO company because I can offer what they can’t, a fully integrated, complete marketing solution to taking his company national. When I come back from Canada, I expect him to have made a small footprint for himself in the Philadelphia area, but that’s about it. Then will be the perfect time for me to strike.

While I was waiting in the airport for my flight home from San Antonio in September, I met a man named Paul Baer. Paul was at the LMASS event and had made his living from being an expert salesman and also selling his own oil additive to NASCAR teams. Paul was 65 years old and was accompanied by his assistant Jeff. Jeff was in his 40s and was recruited by Paul from his old job as a stone mason. Paul wanted to train Jeff to take over parts of his business. Jeff had access to all of Paul’s resources from membership sites to training courses and software programs. The world was at Jeff’s fingertips, but according to my conversation with Paul earlier this week, Jeff didn’t have the entrepreneurial spirit and couldn’t cut it. Anyways, I spent 3 hours in the airport with both Jeff and Paul discussing the event, our skills, personalities, goals, etc. We hit it off and really got to know each other well. Before we parted ways we exchanged contact information and have kept in touch since September. Around the time that Paul had to part ways with Jeff, he started pursuing me. I was a young guy with a ton of drive and ambition, educated, owned a small business, and was ready to make my mark. The perfect person for Paul to partner with. Paul is an older guy who in his words “can sell sand to a camel” or something like that. He is very long winded and throws a lot of metaphors in, but that’s his style. He is an expert old school salesman with years of experience and $$ to prove it, but he isn’t super strong when it comes to the internet. As an active member of the warrior forum under the pen name “Old Dog” he noticed that the majority of the people in the forum were the exact opposite of him. All of these internet marketers were just that, computer people. Very few of them knew how to actually sell and were terrified of prospecting by cold calling actual businesses. After a little more research, he realized he stumbled upon a great information product idea. You see, when people have real jobs, their companies pay for tons of training for them. For example, at my company, I have gone through both Acclivus and The Sandler Approach for sales training. However, all of these self employed internet marketers aren’t exposed to this sales training and need to learn it somewhere. Yea, there are tons of online sales training products out there, but each generation of internet users needs something new and fresh. Introducing “Old Dog Sales Training.” Paul has developed an offline sales training course and turned it in to 10 different modules to be sold separately on the Warrior Forum through WSOs (Warrior Special Offers). Each module will be a low end information product and will launch about 3-4 weeks apart from each other. After they have all launched separately, he will put together a WSO for the entire package. Remember how I said he has all of the software and resources under the sun, but he didn’t have a great grasp on how to utilize them? And Remember how I said by the end of this year I will be providing SEO services for close to 700 companies (AKA I will have proven systems in place)? Well, Paul wants to do a Joint Venture with me where I market his products through the Warrior Forum and elsewhere and we do a percentage split on all of the profits. More on this to come as we continue to develop our plan.

So the other day my friend Meg calls me and asks me to come to a business presentation at her house. I haven’t seen her in a while so I decide to go over. The presentation was for a company called ACN and everyone at the house was given the chance to start their own ACN home business.  You would think I had too much going on and would refuse, but I considered my options and decided to join. The only setback I could see was that the model was based on network marketing, which I am not very fond of. But with the connections I made thus far and those that were about to come, I decided what the hell, I can just talk about it and people will want in instead of me being salesy to my friends. The concept for the company is that they take away the marketing acquisition costs for all of your major companies like Verizon, Sprint, Comcast, Peco, etc. In short, I basically have my own franchise of each of these companies and can sell service plans at a rate cheaper than any introductory rate you could possibly get anywhere else. I haven’t gotten started full fledge with this company yet, but I plan to use these abilities to approach all of the business owners I am going to meet as a way to lower their electricity, gas, cable, phone, etc. bills. As long as they keep paying their bills, I make a small residual percentage each month. So I guess this is my long term strategy. However, I’m still not satisfied with using their network marketing business model, so I have something much bigger in the mix that I am meeting with Justin about in San Diego to discuss. I need to read over the ACN bylaws to make sure I can legally do this, but basically I want to create a national lead generation website for ACN home businesses across the country and charge a flat membership fee for as many referrals as I can give them per month. Basically, I would partner with Justin to get the membership site up and running and then utilize my SEO company to siphon traffic to a video page with a sign up form at the bottom. We would be targeting people who are looking to save money on their bills. This still hasn’t even been developed yet, so I will talk about this at a later date as things move forward.

Moving down to some of the littler stuff I am doing. I wanted to start running some experiments with channel SEO and Amazon was the top channel I wanted to utilize. So I bought the private label rights to a book called “101 ways to get started scrapbooking.”  Yea, I know scrapbooking is girl shit but I just picked a category at random because it doesn’t really matter. I did the research and found a niche keyword to target and I created my own graphic for the book. Now all I need to do is rewrite parts of the book so Amazon can’t target it as a PLR copy and I need to buy an ISBN number for the book before I can start selling it. The pain in the ass is that it’s a couple 100 bucks to get an ISBN number and I also need to pay a monthly fee to sell on Amazon. I’m just too busy right now and cash flows aren’t the best in the world for me to run this test at the moment when it is the only product I am going to be selling on Amazon. Going to revisit this after EIN Summit and will probably also try selling a physical product at the same time on Amazon.

This last little project came to me the other night at the dinner table. My mom lost her camera so my dad bought her a brand new one for the trip. Before she opened it, I told them I wanted to run a quick test. I did some keyword research and found that the term Samsung SH100 Review only had about moderate competition to it on Google. I decided that I was going to shoot an “Open the Box” video review of the camera and use video SEO to try and achieve a first page ranking. Then, I signed up for an affiliate account with Amazon so whenever anyone saw my video and then bought anything from Amazon, I would make a few bucks. Just made the video live yesterday so we will see how things go with this test. Hoping to make a couple 100 bucks or something for the 3 hours of work I put in.

Whelp, I’m exhausted from all of this writing. At least I have all of my thoughts down on paper now so I can’t forget anything. Time to eat some dinner and then I am playing Lacrosse tonight for the first time in over 11 months. Pretty excited, even though I will probably suck from being out of practice. Then of course, next stop is Punta Cana.

The Calm Before The Storm by Michael O’Donnell

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