Have you ever considered becoming an affiliate marketer? There’s no denying the appeal of using your influence to rake in a steady flow of cash. The reality, however, is that the majority of affiliates hardly make many money at all. Here to discuss the ins and outs of affiliate marketing is super affiliate Zac Johnson. He’s a super affiliate marketer and blogger who has made millions online. We dive in to the secrets behind creating successful landing pages, webinars, podcasts and more. This is an episode you can’t afford to miss.
Everyone, welcome to another episode of Marketing Speak. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer. I have with me today Zac Johnson who is a super affiliate and super blogger. He is an amazing guy as well. He’s going to tell us all about affiliate marketing, Facebook advertising, building your brand, and a bunch of other online marketing stuff. Welcome, Zac. It’s great to have you.
Hi, Stephan. Thanks so much for having me here. It’s going to be awesome.
Yeah, let’s just start by sharing your story of how you went from rags to riches and now you’re a mega affiliate. You’ve been making quite a lot of money online for a number of years now but didn’t start that way. You had to build yourself up to that place and now you teach others how to make a lot of money with affiliate marketing as well. Just share your story if you could.
Yeah, sure. I’ve always had that entrepreneurial and business mindset even from a young age. Instead of always worrying about school and carrying books around I’d actually be carrying cans of soda around and sports cards and figuring out ways to sell them. That was what I did mostly through middle school and then in high school the internet came around. That was great timing because I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. At the age of 15 I started using the internet, figuring out how to make money. The first way I made money online was actually by creating a banner for someone. A graphic banner in the AOL Web Diner chat room where a bunch of other site owners would talk about their sites. I said, “Okay, I’ll design a banner for you but you got to send me a dollar in the mail.” This was years before anything like Paypal was around. They actually had to send me a physical dollar in the mail. That was how I made my first money online but that actually led into a lot more where I would create my own websites and actually connect with Amazon and start using their affiliate program. This worked by if I sent someone to their website from my website I would then get a commission based off of any sales that would result in my traffic going to their site. Long story short, I would create my own sites, celebrity directories. They would rank pretty well in the search results and while I was still in high school I was doing six figures in sales with Amazon and I realized there was also affiliate marketing on a CPA basis which meant people could fill out surveys or sign up for different trial offers. I could get paid without somebody needing to take out their credit card and this would soon be my focus. Before I even graduated high school I had a nice six-figure business a year going and I was able to really establish myself, have things going and that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing in the past 15 to 20 years now.
Right. You’ve really grown since then. I mean, it’s impressive to be a teenager making that kind of money that a lot of people aspire to make doing the daily grind. Here you are working in your pajamas in between classes and on weekends and stuff building up your empire. Now, you teach others how to use affiliate marketing. Perhaps to even become a super affiliate themselves, maybe explain the difference between a regular affiliate because the vast majority of affiliates don’t make much money as a super affiliate.
Yeah, anyone can become an affiliate marketer and pretty much every brand or website usually has an affiliate program in some form. You could just sign up, you put in your name, email address, and the site and how you want to promote it and they’ll usually give you account access where you then get a tracking link and you can use that to promote the offer. That case you would be an affiliate. The word super affiliate usually means that you’re driving high volume through their site and one of their top affiliates. The word super affiliate has a lot of stigma around it. Some people don’t like it.
Over the years it’s been phased out but it was used a lot more in the earlier years of affiliate marketing because there was really a small gap between people that can really push massive volume and a saturation kind of increase over the years. Super affiliate can absolutely be now more like media companies that are pushing affiliate offers. The difference between the two is anyone can be an affiliate for a website but if you want to become a super affiliate then you would actually have to be pushing massive volume and really be like the majority of leads coming through you in comparison to all the other affiliates joining a network.
Right. It’s like the 80/20 rule, the Pareto principle. If 80% of the affiliates are only driving 20% of the value to the business there’s that magical 20% of super affiliates that are driving 80% of the value to the business. 80% of the leads, 80% of the revenue. It might be more like 90/10 so some super affiliates will actually win Ferraris and things like that. Have you won any major prices as being a top affiliate for a merchant?
Yeah, I’ve definitely been able to participate in a lot of these promotions and actually when I launched my blog in 2007 where I could help other people learn how to make money online, that’s when a lot of opportunities and new promotions came up such as winning a fully expense paid vacation with a few other top affiliates where we would go down to Miami and everything was just fully paid for. It was like experiences that you would never think of. It was like racing race boats over a 100 miles an hour and just doing ridiculous things like getting into areas that you would never have access to if you didn’t get basically get to participate in this program through affiliate marketing. Then, another opportunity was actually premiering in my own documentary in Hollywood, California with a bunch of other super affiliates and business entrepreneurs. Those opportunities would not be available to somebody that was basically just running a nine to five business or not putting themselves out there as an entrepreneur.
That’s amazing. I was actually at the movie premier where you were featured, John Cha was featured, Jenny Larson. Some really great super affiliates and bloggers who make money while they sleep, make money from their pajamas or from the beach or whatever. How did that opportunity come about?
That opportunity was funny because everyday you go online and you basically just have emails and people are pitching you different ideas all the time. This was one that actually came together because a lot of times you get opportunities but they’ll just fizzle out. This one was really interesting because I got an email and it said, “We’re doing this type of film. We want to see if we can get you take part in it.” As this was actually going on, my house was actually flooded because of superstorm Sandy. We had to work with them to try and find a time that would work for us and we actually did the in-home interview right like almost a week or two after we moved back into our house because it had to be fully reconstructed. It was quite amazing and as I mentioned opportunities come and go but this one was great to see. It really developed over time and then happened where everybody was out in Hollywood and really got to see what the end result was.
What’s the name of that movie again?
Right, okay, yup as you can .com it from anywhere. Pretty amazing. You started at what age? 15 or something with your –
It was about 15, 16, I don’t remember the exact date but I was probably around freshmen and sophomore in high school. I think it was sophomore year when I started to really figure out how to create sites and whatnot. Then, by the time I was a senior that was my full-time focus.
That’s amazing. My oldest daughter, she started blogging and doing SEO at 14 years old. She was making a passive income through Google AdSense by the time she was about 15, 16. She’s just really starting to make money and then she got to a point where she’d make maybe $1,000 a month just through AdSense. If she had figured out other forms of monetization she probably would have made a lot more but just that story alone is impressive to a lot of parents like, “I wish my kid would stop flipping burgers and babysitting and so forth.” And would instead be entrepreneurial and create essentially like a lemonade stand online so they can make money while they sleep or while they are at school through passive income means. Are there any kinds of resources nowadays because we all had to do self-taught stuff. I taught myself computer programming when I was a kid. I was programming in machine language and assembly language as well as Basic and so forth. If somebody who wants to do this as a teenager nowadays – there are a lot more resources available. What advice would you give a teenager nowadays if they are interested in building an empire like you did?
Definitely, as you mentioned just making $1,000 a month is a huge deal for someone that’s still in school because there’s really no expenses or cost that you have when you’re young. Your parents are already paying the mortgage. You probably don’t have a car yet. You really can get by with just $10 to $15 per day if needed. Being able to even just make a few dollars per day online is a great way to get inspired and really keep you on target versus when we were really the veterans and pioneers just trying to figure all this out. Now there’s so many resources out there where it actually walks people through the process and you don’t even need to invest a lot of time and money either because you can get your own domain name, a blog and start creating content for less than $10 a month.
What I’ve done through my blog Zac Johnson is actually create tutorials and guides that are dead simple for people to walk through and that’s actually resulted in over three million dollars in revenue that I can track through different ad networks. From people who actually started campaigns, went through the process I walk them through and they can just find success that way. There’s really no reason for anybody to think that they can’t do this, that they don’t have the right mindset or resources. Everything is out there right now and there’s never been an opportunity like there is today versus just going out into college, getting into a ton of debt and then getting a nine to five job and just really going through the grind that everybody else is doing.
Right. Once you figured out a system or you have the story of struggle that’s a rags to riches story of how you were able to create success then you can go out to the masses and say, “Here’s my system. Here’s my framework for creating this for yourself.” Now you have your ZacJohnson.com site with all these great resources and trainings. You monetize that training. I’m going to create a training regimen myself at scienceofseo.com. I’m going to be doing live events and have masterminds and so forth. Teaching and inspiring others I think is a logical progression, an evolution for somebody who is a hungry entrepreneur, figures out a market to serve and a system to provide a valuable service or product and then just the world is your oyster. You can then replicate that system elsewhere. You could teach that system to others and continue to make ongoing income. All right, are you planning on offering live events or masterminds or are you already offering these things or is it purely online training that you’re focusing on?
For the most part I’ve been focusing on online training and I have my guides through ZacJohnson.com which are mostly free but then I also have blogging.org which walks someone through the process to create their own site and get everything going. I also have a paid membership course and private community which is at blogging.org/members and it allows people to really access over a hundred different videos that walks them through the process of everything I’ve done over the past 20 years without needing to spend- just think about the first time you registered a domain name set up hosting in WordPress. That probably took you a day but for people to have walk through that process that really only takes just a few minutes and on top of the guidance videos it also gives people direct access to me through Facebook groups and a private forum. That’s what my latest focus is for helping others to really achieve success at a faster rate and getting the guidance they need versus reading 10 to 20 different tutorials out there that might be outdated or not even giving you the right information. While there’s a lot of free information out there, being able to connect with somebody who’s actually walked through the process and knows how to give you an exact answer right away, that’s just a huge benefit.
Right, just the knowledge of the right affiliate networks to associate with the right offers, the right ad copy to use and just the systems and technologies to use for tracking and reporting and things like that are so invaluable because if you try and figure this out yourself you’re basically reinventing the wheel. If you start affiliate marketing by for example just signing up with Amazon associates, that’s probably not going to make you a fortune whereas if you associate with other affiliate programs that have bigger payouts, larger percentages, higher ticket items that just sell like hotcakes. Maybe there’s something on like… What’s that affiliate network/info product network? ClickBank. There might be some really amazing product on ClickBank that just sells like hotcakes just knowing that little tidbit of information can make all the difference whether you make a few dollars a day or a few hundred dollars a day.
Yeah, something I like to talk about is how so many people are going in the wrong direction especially with blogging. There are over three hundred million blogs in the world today. People are really starting a blog, putting content out there, and then expect to get a ton of traffic and make money. That’s like the furthest example from the truth. You actually have to become like an expert within your niche whether you’re trying to brand yourself or create a niche-specific product that you can promote, you need to get backlinks to your website, focus on why people are coming to your site and then giving them a call to action where you can actually monetize that business because just creating content and putting it out there, that business model doesn’t work anymore.
Right. Back in the day, in the early days of the internet, the phrase build it and they will come was brandied about, that’s the biggest fallacy of all time. What was that movie?
Field of Dreams?
Field of Dreams, yes. It’s an old movie now. We’re getting old. Let’s say that somebody wants to create a content marketing plan and not just create regular blog post but go about this in a very strategic fashion so that they can get essentially viral spread to their content and then make money through backend, through affiliates, through promoting their own events or their own eBooks or whatever. Are there any secret sauce things that you’d like to share about creating that buzz or viral momentum?
Sure, it’s not really a secret. It’s just hard work and putting the process together but I’ll give you an example with jump training. This is one that I like to use. so people that play basketball and they go online to look for jump training, in most cases they are going to want to put in the effort and even money to achieve their goal. So they can go online, look for jump training. A lot of sites were going to pop up but if you actually wanted to build a site to cater to this audience and make money from it, you could join a jump training affiliate program. Like you said through ClickBank where you can earn 75% of each sale that you refer to them.
What you could do is create a jump training website. Look at all the different content that’s out there. See how you can do it better, provide it to your audience so let’s say ten training videos to help you jump higher in the next month or two. You can put all that content together, make sure you have videos, text, resources and maybe even a newsletter that people can sign up to. Then when they get to the bottom of each of your articles instead of just letting them leave and say, “Thanks for reading this post.” You can have a button and that says, “Click here to read the ultimate guide on how to increase your vertical jump by four inches in the next three weeks.”
Then have that link go over to the affiliate program where you’re actually promoting the book through ClickBanks. Now people will get inspired. They read all of the different content on your site. I see the jump training videos. Now it’s time for them to take action and when it comes time for you to promote this content so you can actually gain back links to your site. You can become an expert by writing on other websites, talking about jump training, top NBA players, best dunks, anything that you can think of them like a viral or be able to relay to the traffic on your site and bring new incoming links. When you follow this formula step by step that’s how you’re going to find success.
Got it. Okay. If I were to create a community around this topic and drive people to the affiliate offer on ClickBank, do I create my own page of content talking about the product? Do I drive the traffic directly to the page where that’s hosted somewhere else like on ClickBank or whatever? Basically am I providing any kind of editorial or review write up beforehand or do I just give them that offer of learn the stuff really fast and click here and then they go off somewhere outside of my website, out of my control, out of my purview and then hopefully take some action.
Yeah, in most cases when you’re linking out to ClickBank, you won’t need to create a landing page because the pages that are associated with ClickBank are like invested thousands of dollars to already make sure that they have the best ad copy out there. They already have thousands of people coming to the site and they are continually split testing what works best. I know in the jump training space almost all of the gods that are out there have excellent landing pages. In the matter of creating a niche site where you’re getting traffic that’s already interested, you wouldn’t really need to build a land in between. You could send directly to that ClickBank offer.
You mentioned split testing. For those listeners who don’t understand that concept of split testing and or multi-variant testing, maybe you could explain split testing multi-variant testing and how you might apply the tools that you’d use to do this and what would be some examples of the kinds of tests that would give you some insight into what works and what doesn’t?
Sure. There’s many different ways to split test and we can use a landing page for example. When someone hits your landing page you might have a green button that says click here to order. If you want to split test the results you could actually set it up so that you could have that button be green, red, multiple colors. Then as a lot of traffic hits your site you can actually have tracking in place that would allow you to see the different results based on what color that is. Because more times than that somebody’s going to click on a green button than a red one just like how when you’re driving down the street green means go, red means stop.Also, blue is another good color that people would usually click on. There are lots of different services out there. There are ones like ads bridge that allows you to actually build the software. Everything is built in where you can build the landing page and then connect it and do split testing internally. There are sites like LeadPages that allow you to easily create things and just split-test as much as you like. There are lots of different options out there and the days of actually hard coding HTML, getting a designer to create these pages, those days are over and that’s really the expensive and long process of putting this all together when you can really set this up within just minutes using any of the solutions that are out there today.
Great. Taking the LeadPages is an example. Why would somebody create a landing page within LeadPages instead of just doing it on their WordPress blog besides the fact that it’s got split testing baked in? Which you could accomplish using a third-party tool that allows you to add this overlay whether it’s a WordPress site or an eCommerce site using Magento or whatever. You can use visual website optimizer. You could use Optimizely. You could use content experiments within Google Analytics. Why LeadPages or something of that ilk when you could just do it yourself inside a WordPress?
In the example of LeadPages they have billions of impressions going through all their stuff every month. That’s actually dated that they keep on their backend and they can see what is performing best. In addition to tracking all that information and giving you the ability to have landing pages, they actually also provides you with templates that had been proven to work for themselves and other marketers as well. It’s an easy what you see is what you get editor where you just log in and if you want text in a certain area you just click it and start typing and you can edit it. Instead of having to deal with the hosting and making sure your databases are backed up and that you have different copy in case something goes down or you’re hosting might go down.
All of that stuff is really not an issue when you use outside parties like LeadPages and it pretty much just make the process easier and the cost of using these services is quite minimal. They are also great for implementing on to your blog for pop up windows and getting people to join your mailing list. Speaking about WordPress and integration where you can actually use it in house and not have to use an outside party. I recently updated my site to the new Thrive Themes which is great because it has really all of these built-in where you can manage all that within your site and not need to use a third party. You can just put up a one time cost for buying that theme.
Right. I haven’t heard of the Thrive Theme. I’ve heard of Genesis. What’s that competitor to Genesis? Thesis. How does Thrive compare with Genesis or Thesis in terms of it? It’s like a framework, correct? You can basically build a child theme on top of this whatever design you want. What makes Thrive different from many of these other themes out there?
Yeah, Thrive Themes was created by Shane Melaugh and it actually is quite advanced because it has the pop-up ability in there to track everything and split test from with inside like we talked about. It also has a content builder in there which allows you to create really amazing looking sites without ever needing to touch a line of code. I know there are other themes out there that say they can do this but I haven’t seen anything like Thrive Themes where you can actually drag and drop and pull things over where you can have video put in place or buttons or pop-down menus. Just things that I’m not a designer and the last thing I want to do is touch code and Thrive Themes has been one of the best things that I’ve seen since and I’ve recently moved over all of my sites to that platform. I simply haven’t seen anything like it.
Very cool. I have to check that out. One of the recent themes that I discovered through a recommendation of a friend is the BeTheme. Have you heard of this one?
No, I haven’t seen that one.
You got to check this one out too. Be, the word be. It’s got a whole bunch of different child themes with different kinds of designs for if you want a Parallax type design. If you want like for different industries whether you’re in an insurance or a florist or a pole dancer even. They have themes for all of these different types of industries. Really, really cool. A very contemporary, very good looking themes. It doesn’t sound like all that backend technology of the Thrive Theme would be in something like the BeTheme. It’s just that one looks really pretty. Let’s jump back for a moment to LeadPages because I use that technology myself and it’s not just about creating really cool landing pages that convert and being able to sort by conversion rate so you could say, “These are the top converting landing pages,” because all those billings of impressions running through their system, these are the top performers. Also, there are these things called LeadBoxes that you can implement. Are you using LeadBoxes?
Yeah, it’s a cool feature because I’ll just jump into it on what it does because when people come to your site and in most cases when they see a lead generation form they are like, “Another person trying to get my email address.” Now, when someone is engaged on your site and if you have a button that says, “Click here to continue,” then it would actually pop up with a form that you could fill out and then capture their email. It’s just been proven to convert so much more higher than having a form on the right side of your page that says, “Join my newsletter,” because all those sites they have that stupid, ugly box that just says, “Join my newsletter,” and has an email. Nobody is ever going to fill that out. If you have a button that says, “Get my latest free guide,” and it goes to that same process you’re just going to see conversions out the window.
Right. We’ve been talking about pop-ups a number of times. Are you using any particular third party tools like Engage A Fire to create optimized pop-ups or using any kind of templated system for essentially basically like the lead pages but for pop-ups?
Yeah, I’ve been using Thrive Themes because they have that feature built-in and I’m currently playing around with that on Blogging.org and different ways to engage with audiences depending on what page they’re in. Because another cool thing you can do is in the past you basically would add a pop up to your site and that would be universal throughout your site. Now, you can actually cater different pages or posts to show different pop-up windows. You can do the same with LeadBoxes as well where people come to your site and they’re expecting content, you don’t want to give them a generic message. Because if you have one catered to your content that’s on that page, you’re going to see much higher response.
Right. That’s a secret weapon, instead of using the same pop up across your entire site. A custom pop-ups that relate to the content of the page are going to be much more effective.
Cool. Have you ever tried PopUp Domination? I was looking at that one, I didn’t sign up with it but it looked interesting.
Yeah, I’ve used PopUp Domination. That’s one that’s been around quite a while and another great one is OptinMonster and I’m also using Thrive Themes. There’s a lot of different solutions out there and they’re not so expensive and I think most of them come with a 30-day trial. It wouldn’t be really a big issue to even go after all of them, test them out for a week, see which one you like best but they’re all pretty much in competition with each other which is good. Because they’re always really trying to stay a step ahead and do better.There's a lot of different solutions out there...and they're all pretty much in competition with each other because they’re always really trying to stay a step ahead and do better. Click To Tweet
Right. What would be the biggest competitor to LeadPages?
I think right now LeadPages, it’s on two different ways like there’s other companies that are on bounce. There are another one that are really for affiliate marketers and marketers. LeadPages has really sucked in most of the podcasters and bloggers mainly I think it also has to do with their affiliate program. Because once you join and you’re on a certain level you can promote it to other people as well and get a 30% commission. A lot of people are promoting it and I’m promoting it because it’s just a good thing but a lot of people are probably pushing it even harder because they’re going to make money off the process. LeadPages I would say they’re pretty much the leader in that space right now.
Yeah, I have an Enterprise account with LeadPages, I think I already have an affiliate account, I just haven’t been driving anybody through that. I recommend LeadPages all the time and, yeah, I don’t take any commission, maybe I should start. Have you tried ClickFunnels or heard anything about ClickFunnels?
Yeah, I’ve actually been using ClickFunnels as well and that one’s, let’s say LeadPages is a minimal version but works effectively for everyone. Then you have ClickFunnels which offers pretty much everything LeadPages does but then it also has the ability to create membership sites and built-in webinars where you can have people walk through a process. They put in their email address to your pop up window then they get signed up to your webinar. If they attend your webinar and they like what they see then they might actually walk through the process to join your membership program. That one is a little more expensive I believe but it actually has a lot more things in place if you want to do more than just collect data.
Right. That helps you build out your entire funnel, your sales funnel or marketing funnel where let’s say you start with the lead magnet. You drive traffic from let’s say a Facebook ad to your lead magnet which might be a tool sheet or tip sheet, a PDF download. They opt-in to get that, now you’ve got their email address. You then take them to the next stage in the funnel which is let’s say a tripwire or a webinar. A tripwire would be a low cost, high-value item like an eBook or a physical book that you could send in the mail for just free plus shipping and handling.
Then, on to the core product after you get them to buy this low cost, high-value tripwire. Then after the core product let’s say it’s an eight-week training module or something on affiliate marketing then you could upsell them with these profit maximizers like masterminds and live events and private coaching and so forth. That’s a sales funnel just in short form. Then the technology that ClickFunnels has allows you to create the different bits and pieces that go into the funnel in a more cohesive way. You’re using ClickFunnels now or have you been using it for a while?
I’ve had an account for a while and I’m still testing out how to do things best. Because right now I have my own membership platform type of stuff hosted through my own WordPress sites and I usually do my own webinars through GoToWebinar. I have different things all over the place and I’m finding out how to do it seamlessly through ClickFunnels as well. I’m always looking at the different options out there to see what might work best.
I got it. You’re doing your membership sites with WordPress and you’re using a plugin or an add on type of functionality or something like OptimizePress?
Right, I’m using WishList Member.
WishList Member, right. Got it. There’s also MemberMouse and Memberium, there’s a bunch of different really cool membership site options out there for the technology piece. Would you recommend the tool that you’re using or are you looking at maybe switching?
Yeah, I’ve used WishList Member and haven’t really had any problems with it but the annoying process was that I’ve spent probably six months of wasted time trying to figure out what solution I wanted to use going back and forth with the program or trying to get a custom design in place. What we’re seeing is sites like ClickFunnels is really bundling up all of this stuff and making it easy for anyone to setup and not need to worry about all these annoyances of customization and going back and forth with a programmer because they already have everything setup in the back end.
That’s why I think so many sites are coming out and seeing so much success because it would be hard for anybody that is just really … They know what they’re doing or they have a blog with a lot of audience. For them to create a membership-based site and actually a lead funnel process that may be like brain surgery to them. Setting up everything in separate different areas I think is going to be a thing of the past and using one system to integrate all of it seamlessly is going to be the future.
Yeah, that makes sense. Now you mentioned you’re using GoToWebinar, I use that as well but there are other technologies that allow you to more automate the webinar so that you could offer a webinar on the hour every hour so that you don’t have a long wait time. If somebody signs up on a Thursday and you give your webinars every Wednesday and they’re all live, that’s six days before they can show up on a live webinar. Chances are you’re going to lose that person by that time, right? What do you think about using technology like Stealth Seminar and automating the webinar instead of just purely doing it live? What your take on that?
Right, I’ve tried that as well and I have noticed a much higher conversion when you’re actually there doing the live one but like you said it also takes a lot of time. If you can split test to what you’re doing wrong, what you’re doing right and if you can automate that and really just turn traffic non-stop. Basically, if you’re buying traffic through Facebook and you know you can get 100 people everyday to sign up to attend your webinar and most people are going to want to watch it right away. Then as long as you’re making profit that’s a great model but if you’re waiting to get 500 to 1,000 people per week inside your one big webinar and you’re taking the time to answer all the questions live at the end, that’s where you’re going to convert most of your people into paying customers. Specifically when you have a higher-end product where you might be charging 500 or $1,000 they might be in your best interest to invest the time to actually do live webinars at least once a week so you can really answer all the questions that people have. Because if somebody’s going to invest 500 to $1,000 they’re going to want real answers at the end and if they see that a webinar is automated and that it ends without you answering their question, that might burn them in the wrong way and say, “Well, he didn’t answer question so I’m not going to sign up.”
Right. There’s also the hybrid model too where you’ve prerecorded the main content portion of the webinar and then the Q&A is live. That’s maybe a good middle of the road option for folks who don’t want to give that same seminar all of the time, multiple times per week but they can just jump in for a 15 – 20 minute Q&A at the end every time.
Yeah, there’s lots of great options out there and it’s just a matter of simply testing out what works best and seeing if you can automate it.
Right. You mentioned driving people to sign up for your webinar through Facebook ads. Let’s talk about Facebook. What are some of the secret sauce elements that have been very successful for you in terms of Facebook advertising?
When most people think of Facebook they think about using the main Facebook ads editor where you go and set up your campaign. The interest and demographics is really where the meat of your campaign is. If you wanted to target to an audience that wanted to start a blog or make money with a blog then you might choose people that have an interest in WordPress or Blogger or maybe another platform out there. That has worked really well in the past but now that retargeting has come out. You can absolutely set up ad campaigns to show ads only to people that have come to your website and maybe they didn’t complete a full task.
You can actually set up ad campaigns that are only shown to people that have already joined your mailing list. This works extremely well because you’re retargeting to them again. Most people aren’t going to come to your site and take action the first time or buy something. If you can show them ads later on that say, “Hey, come back to our site,” or show them a pair of shoes that they were looking at in the first place. It’s going to trigger that back in their mind and they’re going to be more likely to click on that ad and then even more likely to come back to your site and make a purchase.
Got it. If you’re doing effective Facebook advertising, you’re incorporating multiple elements into the equation. Things like custom audiences where you’ve uploaded your email list or you’re doing retargeting or both. You also have targeted their likes and interest, you’re using the power editor so that you can be more sophisticated with your advertising setups and campaign management. You’re also creating lookalike audiences of folks who are similar to your customer base and similar to people who have visited your website and similar, et cetera.
You can then also slice and dice that look alike audience to a smaller subset where it’s just that look alike audience in a certain geographical region in a certain income bracket and age range and so forth. How many campaigns are you running at anytime? I’m guessing you’re doing some testing as well. Any advice around setting up a really good system for just organizing all the Facebook ads that might be running at any given moment?
Yeah, I’d like to make sure that I have my campaigns very niche specific. You don’t want to set up an ad campaign targeted to a demographic audience and then have USA, Australia, France, Germany. You don’t want to bunch all of your countries together because that’s going to mess up all your tracking and it might actually cost you more money in the process. You’d want to actually break them apart because it’s going to cost you a lot more money to advertise to U.S. audiences than say India or Germany. When you break these apart and you set up separate pixel tracking for each of them, you can see which is converting the best for you and which is actually making money.
We were talking about the Facebook ads power editor and that can be really intimidating if you’re just trying to figure it out for the first time. There’s other great solutions out there like AdRoll or AdEspresso and they basically are just a what you see is what you get editor. When you fill in what you want to do, how you want to create your ad and the audience you want to target and they can actually set up the retargeting options and everything else for you. That’s another option and they all provide split testing and tracking and show your best performing ads. A lot of things that you’re not going to see inside the power editor if you’re not used to it, you can actually get a more visual and easy to walk through process by other services that are already out there.
Got it. What about using a tool like Perfect Audience if you want to do retargeting across a lot of different system YouTube and AdWords and Facebook and so forth? Have you looked into using something like Perfect Audience?
I haven’t scaled out to that yet. I like to focus in on the social advertising aspect but I am starting to do video so I’m moving into YouTube advertising as well. What I’ve seen work very well for me is the social advertising where I can actually re-target to them step by step. Where if they’ve already been to the site or if they came to the webinar I can go back to them and say, “Did you complete the webinar? Here’s a replay of it.” I know that the same people are hitting it that should be seeing it because they’re already interested in the first place.
Got it. What about using social site such as Pinterest to do your advertising? Are you playing with that, promoted pins on Pinterest or Twitter advertising or anything like that?
Yeah, there’s basically so many opportunities out there social wise that I want to get into that space but I haven’t done it because I don’t want to spread myself too thin. If I wasn’t going to go those routes I’d probably go to someone who’s more of an expert in that space. I know that in Pinterest wise that’s mostly an audience that’s always looking for interesting articles or clothing and it’s a more female-dominated audience. If I was going to jump into that space I would create sub landing pages and everything else that would cater to that audience. Because I know there’s massive traffic there but it usually has a lower conversion rate of people actually buying things at least from what I’ve seen and experience.
Right, right. You’re starting to go into YouTube advertising and what are you finding so far? Are you focusing more on the ads that start at the beginning of a video, like 15-second video clip? Are you putting the text ads at the bottom of people’s videos? What are you playing with now?
Yeah, right now I’ve just recently started with the ads that appear at the top corner of the page where you’re paying on a per-click basis. You get very, very cheap views but you can easily rack up like 20 to 50,000 views to your video but a very, very small minimal fraction of people actually click on that link and then visit your site. While you’re getting a ton of views you’re actually paying maybe 5 to $10 for a click when you can actually get those clicks to almost that same audience through Facebook advertising if you’ve mastered the process.
Everybody knows billions of views are being seen everyday on YouTube but actually getting those people to click on the videos, the link that redirect back to your website that’s the big challenge. You need to split test with your video ad copy and that’s something that’s not very easily done because video takes time. A lot of people don’t want to do their own video and then to make a simple change on the landing page between a green and blue button, that’s like you can do that in five seconds. If you want to do a new video and add a new call to action with making it look seamless, that’s going to take more work.
Right. Are you creating a lot of videos right now or just a few? What’s your video creation regimen look like?
Yes, right now I’m just using one whiteboard video that I had created for my own site and then I just add it to YouTube to see what type of response it would get. Basically it shows somebody had to walk through the process on how to start a blog and it’s a little cartoon. Because that’s going to grab people’s attention more often than just seeing somebody talking to them directly and that’s what I’m playing with right now. I like the video, a lot of people like video but it’s still a matter of testing to see how it will engage with general audience.
Right. You’re using animation technology – It’s not a video of you, it’s a cartoon animated video?
Right. Did you have that created by an agency something like ExplainVid? I think actually ClickFunnels’ Russel Brunson uses ExplainVid for their explainer videos. We’re actually looking at those guys as well and some of their competitors or you could use technology like XtraNormal, there’s no e in XtraNormal and kind of do it yourself, which approach are you using?
Yeah, for this first video I went with the company called wizMotions and we actually built up a script, went back and forth with them where they would show us the art that they would pull together. Then after about two weeks they had the video completed, had someone from their team do the voiceover work. It cost about $500 but it’s a really professional video versus what you would see on those other sites whereas like the hand quickly doing clip art designs and stuff like that. You can easily create quick videos at a much cheaper rate or you can go premium and have a script created professional and original artwork and they pretty much do it all for you.
Yup, and that’s where something like XplainVid would come in and that seems to be one of the lower cost of the high-end services in $3,000 for 30 seconds is roughly what you’re looking at for a starting point. Off from the videos let’s move on to podcast and then we’re going to wrap up here because I want to for sure let people know that you have a great podcast show. Maybe if you could share some tips and tricks for somebody who might consider creating a podcast show of their own, what works in terms of having guest or having a co-host or just doing monologues without guests and frequency and how to market it. Just whatever tips and tricks you might have and having done I think what 65 episode so far?
Right, yes. I have a podcast called Rise of the Entrepreneur and each episode I interview an expert. We talk a lot like we are doing in this one and you were one of the featured guests. Each week I come out with a new episode and it’s basically people that I’ve met over the past 20 years and built a good relationship with. In terms of advice for other people starting a podcast, the first thing I would say is don’t start a podcast to get rich. Because just like everybody is in the blogging space trying to get rich, without a business model and a massive following you’re going to have a lot of competition and it’s something that’s very hard to monetize.
If you don’t have millions of listeners you’re not going to get advertisers in there to pay a lot of money. That’s the first thing to consider. The second thing is once you release your podcast, spend a lot of time promoting it because those first eight weeks you can get listed in the new and noteworthy section. That actually shows the podcast on the main page of iTunes in the podcast section and that will send you the most attention. Also, when interviewing people make sure you have show notes that you can not only send to them but also keep for yourself because sometimes you might interview someone, They might give you a one-word answer and then you’d look at your clock and you see you have another 20 minutes to fill. You want to basically know everything about the person you’re interviewing because if they’re giving you the right information that you’re looking for you’re going to need to know what to talk about down the road. Also, it’s all about promotion, not only should you promote your podcast but also ask for the people that you’re interviewing to really share with their audiences as well. That’s the best way to really grow your following and build a relationship with people out there that might not be familiar with who you are.
Yeah. The one-piece about being on the new and noteworthy is so important. If you’ll launch your podcast show, you submit it to iTunes Store and you haven’t really thought through your launch strategy, you’ve blown it. Getting on that new and noteworthy section is so critical to your success, it will give you this whole platform for success. Any specific tips that you would recommend or resources for really getting a solid launch strategy in place so that you can come out of the gate really strong and hopefully get on that new and noteworthy?
Yes. If you already have a blog or an email list, you can start building up a list and real excitement for the podcast before it launches so that when you do launch you have a lot of people you can reach out to. If you have some money to spend you can use social advertising, like we’ve talked about with Facebook advertising, you can send people to a landing page to get ready for the launch of it. Also, when creating the cover art for your podcast make sure it’s something that pops out and really don’t go too detailed with it. Because it’s going to be probably an inch by an inch visually when someone looks at it.
Make sure it’s something that pops but also delivers the message of what your podcast is about. Get attention for your show those first eight weeks, save up about two to five different episodes and release them all within that first week. Because if people join and listen to your podcast they’re going to want to listen to more. Don’t just start off with one episode in your first week, actually have a few in there that you can send out right away.
That’s a really solid piece of advice. I wouldn’t even thinking about that one. I’m going to launch a new show myself called Get Yourself Optimized and I’ve got all these great biohacking episodes and things. Really cool stuff about boosting testosterone and using machines for building muscle density and bone density, all sorts of really cool stuff. I’ve got probably about 15 episodes in the can ready to go for launch. I wasn’t thinking of doing an episode a day for the first week or two. That’s really solid, thank you for that.
All right, that sounds exciting.
Yeah, I’m looking forward to launching that thing. All right, cool. We have a ton of great advice and content for our listeners. I think if we could just wrap it up with one strategic piece of advice around not spreading yourself too thin because there are so many tools, technologies, tactics and so forth. You could be running around chasing all these different things and people need to stay focused and very strategic. How does one avoid spreading themselves too thin and going after too many shiny objects?
Yeah, it’s funny you mentioned that because something I like to talk about is shiny object syndrome. That’s when you’re basically working on something but then you see somebody else making a lot of money with one direction and other people doing stuff in other direction. What’s important to remember is all those people that are having success that’s because they put in a lot of time to focus on simply just doing that. Like I said over the years I’ve done a lot with affiliate marketing and now I focus on Zac Johnson, the brand. Everything I do today goes back to that Zac Johnson brand and that is my main focus. Remove the clutter, if something is taking up too much time and it’s not helping you get ahead just close it out, delete it, let the domain name expire, you’re going to be so much better for it. Just focus on what’s working best so you can get to that end goal.
Yup, that’s great advice. Zac, thank you so much for joining us today. For our listeners if you want to learn more about Zac’s awesome just tools and trainings and everything, go to his website ZacJohnson.com, it’s Z-A-C, there’s no H, Z-A-C Johnson, then there’s an H in Johnson.com. Also, if they want to follow you like on Twitter or follow your Facebook page anything like that, where would they go?
Yeah, everything is pretty much Zac Johnson. If you Google my name Zac Johnson, I dominate that whole first page so you’re going to find all my social profiles as well.
Cool, all right. Thanks again, Zac. Thank you listeners, we’ll catch you on the next episode.
Thanks. It’s been awesome.
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Your Checklist of Actions to Take
☑ Take the steps to become an expert in your niche – guest blog, interview industry players, attend conferences.
☑ Try animations instead of a talking head video to attract and keep your audience’s attention via video.
☑ Build a list, and then target those people on FB Ads.
☑ Split test your FB ads using Adroll or AdEspresso.
☑ Try a hybrid theme to your webinars that necessitate you to only be present for a short Q&A.
☑ Be ready to give away a lot of great knowledge in the effort to get people to sign up for your premium content.
☑ Create a podcast cover that attracts the eye and doesn’t look too cluttered.
☑ Promote the heck out of your podcast, especially in that first 8 weeks to get into the New and Noteworthy Section.
☑ Release several episodes of your podcast at once during your launch so you can get people hooked right away.
☑ Don’t get caught up by shiny objects syndrome – the passion you put into your work will eventually pay off!
About Zac Johnson
Zac Johnson was practically born a businessman. By high school, he was already racking up millions in the early days of the Internet. As the market and web has continued to change, Zac understands that what may have worked for him then doesn’t work anymore, and he’s established himself as a man who is constantly at the cusp of discovering new methodologies.