When you think about starting a blog, do you think it could lead to making millions of dollars per year? Well, it’s possible, and Jeni Hott is here to teach us how. Jeni turned her blog into a profit center, quickly becoming a seven-figure blogger, able to take off several months and even years at a time without hurting her income. She shares an important lesson-we’re working too hard, and not automating enough of our lives. Turning your blog into a real marketing channel is a possibility, and Jeni is going to tell us how.
Hello and welcome to another episode of Marketing Speak. I’m your host Stephan Spencer. Today, I have with us Jeni Larson Hott, who is a seven-figure blogger. I know, those two words, those two phrases may not go together, seven-figure and blogger, at least, in most of the world, but for her, she’s made it work, she’s turned blogging into a business. Not just a profession, but something that creates real wealth for her. She’s going to talk to you about how she can share some of that knowledge and experience with you so that you could create a lot of wealth for yourself using blogging and using that as a marketing channel that really turns into a profit center.
Jeni and I met at a Tony Robbins event. It was in 2010, right after I had sold my business. I had started going to Tony Robbins events. We were at Business Mastery 2. She had just finished up a Tony Robbins Platinum Partner Trip. She was still there, she was hanging out for an extra week. While us, the regular folks who are not in the exclusive Platinum club were going to Business Mastery 2, getting taught by Tony how to apply business tactics and strategies that he had learned through the course of decades. It was an incredible experience. One of the best things about that Business Mastery 2 event was meeting Jeni. She convinced me that I should join Platinum Partners too, which was a sizable investment, a six-figure investment, to be part of it. She really touted the power of the peer group and absolutely, peer group is everything. You are the average of the five people you hang out with the most. It’s just been an amazing journey. I did Plat for 3 years and at the same time with Jeni. It’s been mind-blowing. Thank you, Jeni, for opening me up to that whole world. That absolutely changed my life.
Jeni Hott is not only a seven-figure blogger, but she is a real guru when it comes to internet marketing and applying principles about things that you learn, maybe in self-help personal developments type seminars. Like the six human needs and applying that to business and marketing. We’re going to dig into that as well. Her blogs have achieved over a hundred million visits. Like I said, she makes seven figures off of her blogging and online marketing. It’s really great to have you here with us today, Jeni. Let’s dig in and let’s talk about blogging as a marketing channel. A lot of people thing of it as a place to get the word out and make some connections and so forth, but not as a place to make seven figures. Could you elaborate on what the distinction is that turns blogging from a sideline sort of thing into something that is a major channel and major business opportunity?
The best thing about blogging and using the blogging platform is that you have these incredible opportunities to connect with people.
Well, you know, I think that the best thing about blogging and using the blogging platform is that you have these incredible opportunities to connect with people. The way that I make seven figures, when people ask me how I do it, it’s because I am able to connect with people on a really multi-level way. To me, that is the biggest part of blogging, is that opportunity.
Yeah. Let’s talk about the six humans needs. Could you elaborate on what those are? Because, of course, I know them from all those years of indoctrination with Tony, but what are those six human needs for our listeners?
The six human needs is an expansion on Madanes’ six human needs, but he tweaked them to make them his own. My hierarchy–the idea behind is is that every person has the same six human needs, but in a different hierarchy. My hierarchy is number one-contribution. I really love to give, it’s the biggest joy to me. The way that I tend to use it is in a way that helps me to meet my other needs. It’s a great tool for me to be happy in general. The next one would be love and connection. That is how you interact with people. You socialize and you feel a connection with others. My next would be variety. Variety is just having different things so you are never really bored. Then you’ve got growth, huge-I love this one. Every person wants to grow, you always have to move forward. Tony says “You are either growing, or you’re dying.” You have to be doing something, whether it’s creating, learning, or just moving forward in one way or another. Then you’ve got variety, which one am I missing here Stephan, help me out here.
Right, so certainty is another one.
Certainty, I did that one, right?
Oh, certainty is my last one.
I’ll say certainty is when you have this security and this sense of safety and well-being. It’s the exact opposition of uncertainly and variety, but it’s one that you also need which is kind of an interesting juxtaposition. You’ve got significance, everyone has that need to feel special. Everyone has that need that they are making a difference, that they stand out one way or another. My idea behind this when I was listening to it at one of the many Business Mastery’s that I went to, was how can I apply this to my business. It was just a miraculous change when I started applying this, and not only have I applied it to my own business, I’ve helped others apply it to theirs. What I’ll do is I’ll take a brainstorming session and go through each one-how can I meet my readers needs for contribution? How can I help them to contribute? For me, a big one on that is letting them share their success stories, share a testimonial, or let them help other readers one way or another. That’s a huge one. Then there is love and connection-how can I help them meet their need for love and connection?
A great one for that is social media. Another one is forums, which that’s huge for me, I have forums that are very popular. Then you’ve got variety, you are constantly changing up your content, not just sending them the same thing, your website is not always the same, every marketing approach is different, you just stir things up quite often. The idea behind these, and those are just a few, but the idea behind these is that, what is it that Tony says? If you meet one of these needs you are doing good, you are on the right track. If you meet two if these things, you’ve got a fan. If you meet three of these things or more you’ve got a raving fan, if you meet more than that, if you can meet all of them, oh my gosh, you’ve got a love slave. You are set, they will just love you, they will constantly be back. There are just these unbelievably loyal extraordinary raving fans that you couldn’t shake them if you wanted to. And that’s of course what helps you to really serve them, and it helps you to make money, just as a bonus.
The four needs of the personality are certainty, variety, significance, and love and connection.
Right, so that reminds me of Kevin Kelly, wrote about 1,000 True Fans, it’s a great essay. You’re talking about creating those true fans by meeting all of their needs, as many as possible, especially the ones that are highest in their importance hierarchy. Tony talks about four of the six human needs being the needs of the personality. Then, two of those needs, being the needs of the spirit. The four needs of the personality are the certainty, the variety, the significance and what’s the other one? Certainty, significance, uncertainty or variety and love and connection. Then you have the two needs of the spirit that are not necessarily met by everybody, because some people just don’t live in that more evolved space. Those two needs of the spirit are growth and contribution.
Tony talked about how you can have somebody meeting some of these needs of the personality at a 10 out of a 10 and then, they’re hooked, they’re addicted. Somebody who’s a bank robber would get 10 out of 10 in variety, because every time it’s different. 10 out of 10 in certainty, because they know what they’re going to get by putting a gun to somebody’s head. They’re certain about what the reaction is going to be or how much power that’s going to give them, which also is a 10 out of 10, of course, in significance. 10 out of 10 in not love and connection, but just specifically connection, because the person they’re pointing a gun at is like the only person in the world right now. That moment, that’s super connection, in a very dysfunctional, evil sort of way. That’s an extreme example.
But when you build this kind of rapport with a prospect, you create these personas, avatars of who your ideal customer or client is and you don’t just do surface-level and now assess and looking at where their demographics and what’s their day look like and who they interact with, but what do they care about? What really drives them? What do they want out of life? That’s where you get to the human needs. That’s where you can really build a ton of rapport, if you meet those needs and, of course, serving those people at a whole higher level and make it very hard for the competition to break in and steal that customer away. How do you apply the six human needs to your blogging? When you’re writing a blog post are you thinking about topically what are going to write about that’s going to meet people’s human needs? Or you kind of categorizing your site around needs and wants?
It’s interesting that you brought up the negative side of the six human needs, because I feel that is a very strong point in marketing as well. I use it in a positive angle, obviously, but you can also use it with a negative angle and you have to be careful about that. You can just as easily turn your readers away by severing the connection between the love and connection. If you don’t meet that, if you do something that makes them disconnect from you, that’s when you’ve lost your fan. It’s interesting to keep those things in mind, I’m glad that you brought that up. It’s worth saying too that the most common need is love and connection. That’s almost everybody’s number one, so something to keep in mind too. If you want to just focus on a few, you always ask yourself-how can you provide them love and connection. That’s something to keep in mind. When I do my blogging, I actually go through my forums now, and I will identify different trends and see what they are talking about, interact with them a little bit. I am the bigger lurker, I have to say.
In my own forums, I am the biggest lurker. I have around 100,000 forum members and at any given time, there are probably around 1,000 people that are active on there, that’s even on a slow day. That’s probably on a slow day. It’s amazing what you can learn if you’re watching and reading what they are talking about, what they are asking for help with. That, to me, helps me to meet their needs. I can identify when somebody, or many people, are looking for support in a certain situation. That is a love and connection thing, I can provide that for them if they see me as somebody who is there to support them. If they can see me as somebody to connect with them and be there for them. That is a huge way of meeting their needs.
If you can meet theirneeds through understanding where they are coming from, it’s a whole different world when it comes to marketing and blogging.
And another one too is with contribution, I invite them to ask question, I invite them to submit testimonials, I invite them to share their stories-success stories, testimonials. I invite them but I invite them in a way that is letting them know that they are helping other people by doing this. That really inspires them to do it, rather than to just say “You know, I’d really love a testimonial, would you mind writing one?” Now I am saying “Would you mind sharing your story because I really think that other people can learn from this. It would inspire them and motivate them.” Doing it that way is just a whole other world. I’ve never had someone not submit this fantastic testimonial, to be honest. And I should mention too that my site is on health and weight loss, and that is something that a lot of people need help with and a lot of people are in pain with. If you can meet those needs through understanding where they are coming from, it’s a whole different world when it comes to marketing and blogging.
Right. It reminds me of Dr. John Demartini’s Values Determination process where he encourages people to really identify all the different ways that we prioritize what’s important to us, our values. Not just in how we spend our time, but also how we spend our money, how we invest our energy and multiple different ways. The kinds of things that we have surrounding us, the objects on our desk in our home, etc. We go through this process, prioritize our values and then our highest values are what drive us. If you’re to do this with, like say, a new staff person, you’re going to have a very clear set of their motivations that you can align their job duties and responsibilities with their highest values and get a ton more performance out of them. Imagine doing this with your prospect, your client. You have their value hierarchy identified and their values might be, like they’re either spiritual, the religion or spiritual pursuit number one or maybe it’s family that’s number one. Or maybe it’s travel or maybe it’s their business or whatever.
Then, whatever follows after that. Identifying those things and then lining up what you’re writing about, what videos you’re producing, what products you’re creating, all that sort of stuff, so that you’re speaking to those highest values. What you’re just saying, Jeni, about getting people to supply a testimonial, which … It’s such powerful social proof, not just a written testimonial, but ideally a video testimonial and to ask the right questions to get them to produce that testimonial for you. The timing and the way you formulate the request is everything. If you tie into those highest values and their highest human needs, you’re going to get that testimonial and that’s going to help you with your marketing. Have you had an experience, Jeni, with Dr. Demartini?
I haven’t, I haven’t.
Okay, that’s something to check out. I went through his breakthrough experience. It’s pretty cool.
Hey, you just met my need to go for growth.
I know we’re like seminar junkies, both of us. We love this stuff. Let’s compare and contrast blogging with forums. Because it’s not common, I would say, for a blogger to have a forum. Mostly they’re on their soapbox and they’re sharing their thought leadership. That’s kind of the whole point, oftentimes for blogging, is to establish thought leadership or to forward that thought leadership which, by the way, is significance driven, if you are talking in Tony speak, the six human needs. I was very significance-driven most of my life. I thought, oh, after this … It was a Date with Destiny seminar that Tony taught and I thought, okay, I’m finally now love and connection-based or driven instead of significance driven. That was my second year of Date with Destiny. No, I fooled myself. By the end of that seminar, and it’s a six day seminar. I’m like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe I’ve been lying to myself. I am not love and connection driven. I’m totally significance driven too, still. Just in a different way.” I had to really work on myself to become more love driven and not significance-driven anymore. It took another year. But then I met my soul mate at the next Date with Destiny, so it was definitely worth going the third time. Even though, it’s the same content, pretty much each time, you learn different things.
And isn’t it amazing how you can use that to help your business? It’s incredible.
Yeah, absolutely. You go to a self-development seminar that’s all about relationships and self-improvement and breaking through limiting beliefs and your own mindset barriers and your business takes off.You go to a self-development seminar that’s all about relationships and self-improvement and breaking through limiting beliefs and your own mindset barriers, and your business takes off. Click To Tweet
When did you start doing the Tony Robbins stuff, by the way? I don’t even-
2009, I believe. Well-no, the first time I did it was 2004, I think.
Okay. What was that? Was that an event?
Back in the day when I was working for other people, before I knew that I was unemployable.
Exactly, I’m totally unemployable.
Yeah, I was a UPW and two weeks later I was living down in Puerto Vallarta and I moved away and gave everything I owned away, and went and lived in Puerto Vallarta for a while. The next year, for the next year I earned about $1,300 for that year. Then I had this miraculous breakthrough where I thought I want to work for myself. I want to do this and I want to do that, I want to make endless amounts of money but I want to help people, I want to be able to sleep all day if I want, I want this. Then I just turned everything around and look at this-I’m still growing and everything I learned, I learned through self-development and I apply it to my business to help others.
Right. For our listeners who don’t know what UPW is, that’s Unleash the Power Within. What was your experience? I’ll share a little bit of mine in a minute, but I’d love to hear your experience with your first Tony Robbins event that Unleash the Power Within?
It’s funny because my dad is the one who gave me ticket to go. You have to understand, my dad is this-once a Marine, always a Marine, this rough and tough guy. The fact that my mother got him to go to an event, it still blows my mind, I just can’t even believe it. He sent me a ticket and I was so shocked, I was like I have to go because whatever happened that he is telling me to do something, like oh my goodness. I went, and I remember, like I said I was in a corporate job at the time, I was absolutely miserable to be honest. I remember going and while I was in the room, the first day about half-way through, I was like wow, everything that I have been told that I have to do in life is B.S. It’s just not how it has to be. I don’t have to climb the corporate ladder if I don’t want to. Everyone kept saying that I had to and I kept feeling like I just wanted to go a different route. I kept thinking I’m going to follow my heart, I am going to do what I want to do, and again, I ended up giving everything I owned away, quitting my job, quitting my boyfriend at the time, and I moved to Puerto Vallarta. Two years later, I was a six-figure blogger, three years later I was a seven-figure blogger, then I went on vacation for five years. Now, I am just getting back to work, in the last couple of years. So it’s been good.
But you still made money while you were basically-
Oh yeah, my earnings were still going up. I’m a master at automatic, everything I do-you know that, I have that rule that I’ll only work once every three or four months. Some of it was the forums, but a lot of it was the blogging, automating the blogging.
Right, so back to the forums and the differentiation between blogging and forums, because they don’t seem to really go together. Blogging is about thought leadership, forum is about user-generated content. I know a lot about forums from having founded some back in the ’90s. One of the forums I started was called Writers Net. That I sold for six figures. Not too long ago, maybe five years ago. Now, that was a very vibrant community and there was a ton of content. There were hundreds and hundreds of thousands of posts in there, maybe millions, I don’t know, I didn’t really count it. Very active community, but a lot of haters in there too and it’s just like-
That’s kind of a given, you’ll have some of those.
I’ll tell you what, it possibly doesn’t have much to do with blogging, but believe it or not, the reason that I started it, remember that I am a master at automating here, I am all about automating. The reason why I started it was because I wanted to give my readers a blog, I wanted to give all of them blogs so they could create more content so that I could better reach their needs. I wanted to let them contribute, to help each other meet their love and connection, they could all talk and have a good time. I gave them all a different hierarchy of leadership roles, some are new junior members, the basic stuff, but they love it. It just continued to grow, so so many of them have their own blogs on the forums, they allow you to do that. Then I would feed that into another blog on my site, that wasn’t my personal blog on my site but it was another, separate WordPress setup. Back then, that was brilliant, because Google loved it. Several times per day someone would put a new post up, so it was just constantly, constantly giving me new content.
Right. You were essentially outsourcing content development to your fan base.
Exactly, and it was great. They still do it, I don’t feed it into a new blog anymore, I have everything consolidated. It still works fantastic. Some of the articles that they write, I will go tell them “You know what, this is such a great article, would you mind if I put it on the main site?” They love that.
Kind of reminds me of one of my co-authors on The Art of SEO and first two editions was Rand Fishkin. He’s the co-founder of SEOmoz which is now moz.com and if you go on to moz.com and you look at the blog for a minute, it’s just such high-quality content about SEO, various forms of inbound marketing and so forth. They have these things called YouMoz, like Y-O-U-M-O-Z, which is a user-generated content, the best stuff that … The best submissions from their forums and their community gets promoted into their main blog on moz.com, but then, they have YouMoz as a community of blog contributions, which is also pretty good. You have incentive, as a YouMoz contributor that if it is such high quality that editors promote it to the main blog, you’re going to get a ton of use. You have a similar approach where it sounds like you’re doing pretty much the same thing where … cherry pick the best stuff, the best submissions into your site and promote it to your main blog. What would you say to somebody who says user generated content kind of scares me, because I can’t manage the quality of it and I can’t manage the timing?
It’s interesting. For years, I’ve had volunteer moderators, then I’ve had one person who oversees all of them, who is on my team and is actually an employee. Those volunteer moderators, they are so-again, it’s meeting their needs, they love having the significance of having a special title. They love being able to contribute, they love that they feel special sharing their knowledge. You’d be amazed, I’ve had one lady who has been with me for nine years as a volunteer. Nine years, and she is still on there. At least eight hours per day, at least. She checks in constantly and answers people’s questions. I’ve only switched over moderators once in this last twelve years now, I think that’s right. They are volunteers.
Wow. These are volunteers donating their time? Wow.
Again, it’s meeting their needs. I think it’s all about the presentation and giving them the tools to do what they love. This last week actually was when I brought on the first two new moderators that I have brought on in ten years. They’re great. I just provided them with a very thorough guide and it’s posted for them there to constantly refer back to. It explains what the mission is, how they get to serve, the different ways that they can serve, they love it. While they were reading it, they were like “Oh my gosh, I feel so honored.” They can’t wait. It helps me, it helps them. Then, you have those moderators in there moderating the general members, comments and blog posts. It is actually very controlled, but you would really think so.
Right. You’ve been able to create like, I don’t know, potentially maybe millions of pieces of content through this approach of delegating it out to the community?
I don’t know what the current user blog posts are right now, but I do know that we have well over two million pages across the site.
Yeah, that’s impressive.
Yeah. That wasn’t me, I didn’t write two million pages of content.
Right, right. Let’s go back to this idea of you doing a big reset on your life and giving everything away and then moving to Puerto Vallarta Why did you give everything away? Why was that such an important piece? You mentioned it a couple of times during this interview.
I just realized that it wasn’t the life that I wanted, I was so unhappy that I really just wanted to move forward. The fact that I could just give some things to people and a few people that I knew needed it, it just felt good. It just felt right, like I said I am very contribution-driven, extremely contribution-driven. I was more than happy to say, “You know what, you take all of this and enjoy. I hope it serves you well.” And I left, to get my life on.
Yeah. That’s pretty incredible. I’ve heard folks say that when you immigrate to another country, it’s like doing a complete reset and you look forward to, maybe, the next 25 years. You have a big vision, a big plan for your future. It’s not just like what’s next year is going to look like and then the year after that and kind of keeping a short runway. You are just resetting the clock and looking big picture at a much grander future. That’s immigrating. I know what that’s like from moving to New Zealand, just basically, never having been there, applying for residency, permanent residency. I got in and then I made a trip out to find where I was going to live with my family there and everything. We did it. We moved halfway around the world and maintained a US-based business, even though I was living in New Zealand and did it for almost 8 years. This internet thing, you really can do it from anywhere. The freedom and the purging of all that stuff. We did move some things, but we gave away and sold a ton of stuff. I’m actually just going through this process right now of pairing through stuff. My fiance Orion and I are doing this together. We are reading the Marie Kondo book, it’s called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s like three million copies sold, it’s a great book. Have you got any familiarity with Marie Kondo?
Yeah, I am. It’s funny, several of our common friends are going through the same thing. It’s very curious that you are doing the same book at the same time.
I know. I’m purging and it feels so good. You make space for more stuff, more creativity. I’m seeing this just spill over into other aspects of my life, into my marketing, into my client relationships and what I deliver to my clients, my SEO clients. It just is incredible. I’m more creative, I’m just more. I’m a huge book fan and it was kind of painful to do it, but it was really freeing. I don’t know. Three-fourths of my book collection is gone now, I just donated it all to the library. Only the books that sparked joy are the ones that are left on the bookshelf. Hundreds and hundreds of books went to The Santa Monica Public Library just this last week.
Aw, but think of all the people you just helped. Isn’t that amazing? I love that.
Yes. Then, I make room for the stuff that really sparks joy, so that I can have more things that spark joy and that’s just … A lot of books were just bringing me down, I felt guilty of-
Wait, you did keep The Art of SEO, right?
Yes, actually, many of those copies I gave away, but the third edition I still… Because I give copies out all the time, like I just saw Dave Asprey at the Metal Meeting this morning and I gave him a copy, because I always carry some in the car.
Oh, I give your book away all the time. I order them from Amazon, in bulk, and then I give them away.
They’re heavy! That’s a thousand pages.
I really wish you’d do them on CD, please.
Yeah, I’m not going to speak of thousand pages into a microphone, no, thanks. But to have that freedom of just purging through all that stuff that didn’t spark joy. I’ve got long ways to go, but start with your clothes and then you go to your books and then you go to papers. She’s got the whole formula and I’m just so excited because this just works.
Isn’t it so amazing, and it really help you in your business. It keeps you so focused.
It does. It’s amazing. I’m looking at my files and folders on my computer in the same way. Does this spark joy? What is this even doing in my active folder? Pretty cool, so-
You know what, it’s interesting that you say that, because that is how I approach business. I don’t do anything that doesn’t spark joy.
Oh, that’s good. That’s good.
That’s the part that keeps me working only once every two or three months. I will say, I do work absurd hours when I am launching something new. This week, I’ve been having my developers redesigning a site and I was so excited that it’s finally ready that the last three weeks I’ve hardly slept at all. I can’t sleep because I am so excited to get this done and have it out there for my readers.
Yeah. I love her terminology of sparking joy. In fact, that was her second book, Spark joy. If it doesn’t spark joy, why are you doing it?
Other than that, I just really won’t do anything that doesn’t make me feel good. Not just feels good, but really excites me. Yeah.
You love what you do and I don’t see you just sit on your butt and do nothing. I see you work on things passionately and then you turn your attention to things that are also very important to you, like your family, you got a great new addition, he’s just over a year old now. Same birthday as mine, that’s awesome. You’ve been working really hard this last couple of weeks to get this new site launched or the new redesign and I had a look at it and it looks great. It’s a really nice evolution of your site. You’ve surrounded yourself with a great team. You talk about automation, being really critical to your growth strategy. But the team that you surround yourself with, you even introduced me to one of your team and referred him to me, so that now he’s my systems administrator and web master as well. Thank you again for that, he’s awesome.
You know, we should give him a shout out. Patrick from thewebmaster.com.
Patrick Crampton, C-R-A-M-P-T-O-N. Let’s talk a bit about automation and what are the rules and responsibilities in teammates that will set you up for success with your online marketing?
When you have the right team, it just simplifies everything.
In the past, I did go through a period where I was working with a coder, or developer, that wasn’t particularly easy to work with-we’ll put it that way. I learned some very, it was so hard to work with him. It was a really good lesson, and now I know, in fact, I have made some decisions in the last year that have given me that perfect team. Now I have this amazing developer that I love, I have yet to ask him to do anything that he has not been able to figure out somehow. He loves, too, that I am, not persistent, but I would say determined. When I say, “You know what, let’s do this. I want this, this, and that.” He’ll find a way to make it work, or he’ll be like this plugin doesn’t do that, and then I will be like “Great, do it anyway.” He loves that. But, that’s made a world of difference, when you have that right team, oh my gosh. It just simplifies everything so, so much.
Right, so you had somebody who was technically adapt, who was just a problem to work with and you just tolerated him-
It came down to attitude, it really did.
Right, so what Tony Robbins teaches about you’ve got to raise your standards, that you get what you tolerate in life and in business. You tolerate people who have a bad attitude or are negative or are hard to work with, whatever. The skills and strengths that they have are immaterial. It’s painful, it’s not joyful to work with them.
Absolutely, and it’s interesting, I didn’t realize how much that hindered my business until I had moved on, until I said “Okay, it’s time to find somebody new.” You talk about settling, you know, that was exactly what I was doing. My business was still doing well, still making seven figures. To me, it was like at least I don’t have to deal with him besides a couple of times per year. But in the end, that is not how an efficient, growing business really thrives. To make that change and to move on and get somebody fantastic, it’s made a world of difference. Now, I know this year, my new goal now is-I really want seven figures a month, I am really trying to do that this year. I’m really excited about that, and I couldn’t do it without having a great team. Not just with my developer, but also with assistants, writers, graphic designers. Now I have such high standards because that was such a strong, powerful lesson.
Automation is not just about having tools in place, things like Infusionsoft or whatever, but also having the teammates in place who… The right people in the right seats of the bus, as Jim Collins said in Good to Great. You have to raise your standards and if you don’t, what happens is the poor performer or the person with the bad attitude brings everybody down. The whole team operates at poor levels of efficiency. If they see, hey, this guy or gal is getting away with murder, they just have a bad attitude or they show up late or they turn stuff in late or whatever. It doesn’t reflect well on anybody that you’re allowing that to happen in the business. What other automation tips would you recommend our listeners incorporate into their business, into their marketing? I just briefly mentioned Infusionsoft. I use Infusionsoft as backend CRM and system for managing my email campaigns, follow-up sequences, all that sort of stuff. It has shopping cart capability and everything. What sort of tools do you recommend for folks who want to automate?
Before I can even look at tools, I always ask myself-what do I really want? Then I determine, one: what is my goal. What do I really want in a big picture for my business? Two, on a personal level. What do I really want from my own lifestyle? Do I want to work everyday? Absolutely not. That’s just not for me. When I met Tim from Four Hour Workweek, the first thing that I said that was I would never, ever want to work that often. Who wants to work four hours a week? That’s crazy.
Four hours a week? The crazy talk.
The first thing I ask myself is what I want, what is my big goal there. How do I want to serve? What do I want to provide? Just the overall big picture. Then I’ll take that and ask myself on a personal level. What do I want? How often do I want to work? What are the goals for myself this year? If I want to travel a lot this year, things like that. Then I’ll say, if I want to do this, this and that, then I can really only work this amount of time. Then business-wise, if I want to provide this, this and that, How can I do that while I am still only working this amount of time? Then you just make a promise to yourself, no matter what, I will not sacrifice on this. I will find ways to automate this, so I only have to work X amount of times a week, or a month, whatever your goal is. I have a promise to myself that I will never implement any strategy that makes me work more than once every three or four months. Even if I choose to work more frequently than that, that’s fine, just as a goal-avoid working. I think that if you are constantly asking yourself that as well, how can I automate this, that’s my primary question everyday for everything. I think that really keeps me on track and I don’t sacrifice. The thing is too that there is always a way to do it. I have people come up to me and they say, “Do you have a way to automate this?”, and I’ll say yes. I don’t know what it is, but yes, there is a way. I have yet to find a problem automating some task that I want to do. Whether it’s outsourcing, whether it’s paying for some ridiculous software that somebody else wouldn’t of even thought to use, or whether it’s paying a coder to tweak something that it works on my terms. That is how you automate. It’s just having that principle in your mind at all times, how to automate this, and then asking yourself how to do it.
Because it’s not just about the time that it takes. It’s also about the attention and the distraction of it. It takes attention away, even if it’s a five-minute-a-week task. Let’s say that on your website you’re pulling in the latest podcast episodes from your show, which is on a separate website. You go in and you do that and it takes five minutes, you do it once a week for each new episode. That’s ridiculous, because what that… It takes up mental space, that little thing that you have to do, I forget the terminology, it’s attention residue. That is a definite a thing you want to avoid. Attention residue is when you move your attention from one task, particularly the one that’s not high intensity to another task. Your mind still stays partly with the first task. If you’re going to switch tasks all day long, your performance is going to really suck. If you allow things to not get automated that should be, that are kind of low level, low intensity tasks, even if they collectively don’t add up to a lot of time, it’s a lot of attention residue.
Absolutely, and for me, I’ll keep a legal pad next to my computer, my bag or whatever, and as soon as I come up with something like that I will immediately jot it down, then toss it back in my bag, so it’s captured for later. That way I am not thinking that I hope I don’t forget that, it’s not in the back of my head and I can let it go. If I don’t have a notepad on me, I drop it as a note on my iPhone. But there is always a way to do that, and if you don’t you get way too bogged down with stuff in the back of your head.
I like what you said also about there’s always a way, you just have to have the desire and the intention to make it happen. Like, okay, there’s no WordPress plug-in for that, no problem, find a coder on like upwork.com or through a referral. I’ve got a plug-in developer through a referral of a friend. The guy’s great. He’s 10 bucks an hour and he’s plugging away at-
Wow, that’s a bargain. I’ve actually been using Patrick for that, he’s amazing at that. I’ve had him tweak quite a few plugins for me already. Not only that, but I can have him tweak my forms for different things as well. I think we tend to think, if there is not a plugin for that, we let it go, and a lot of people don’t think, I can still do it. It’s good that we are bringing that up.
I have this really sophisticated plug-in I’m having developed. It’s a self-assessment type tool, instead of just a typical sort of personality test or quiz sort of plug-in, which you can find these online. A self-assessment tool is a different ball game, where you ask a set questions and then based on those answers that they select, then you ask an additional set of question and you’ve got all the rules and the admin is definable and tweakable and all that. Then, you basically provide a custom report PDF, to really take it to the next level, to create a PDF document that you can send them via email. Now, you’ve got their email address and now you have this incredible PDF document you’ve created for them automatically, based on your intellectual property, your creative thinking like, oh well, they’ve got this kind of a site, they have a forum and ask them all these different questions. What you really need is do this and that and it’s all automated. That’s a great way to start the conversation, give them massive value, as Tony Robbins likes to say, deliver massive value and do it in an automated way, so that they want to do business with you. You’ve already created results in advance, as Frank Kern likes to say. Let’s wrap up here with this interview. One last question I really want to ask you is about Google AdSense and how that was your primary engine for a quite a period of time. You were making a huge amount of money off of AdSense, but then, you shifted off of AdSense and now you’re pretty much getting significant amounts more than what you got through AdSense, through affiliate marketing and being an affiliate. Could you share a little bit more about the pluses and minuses of a system like AdSense versus being an affiliate?
Sure. I loved AdSense, it was so easy to automate that, you just put the code on your website and you are good to go. They do all the content matching, negotiating, they do everlasting. You’re just totally hands off, just focus on your content, and you’re good. I made millions of dollars doing that, it was just effortless.
Google loved you. They assigned you a special wrap and they were just falling over themselves to please you.
Yeah, when I decided to step up and do a little more grown-up programs there, I switched to affiliate programs. It’s been great, i’m making a lot more, especially for the volume, especially for the people that I have. On top of that, I am looking at creating my own products, and I don’t mean internet products, I mean physical products like nutritional supplements and things like that. It’s been a whole new world to me, after 10+ years on AdSense, it’s really fun actually. I am learning so much about importing and exporting, brand building, and it’s really cool.
Right, because let’s say that you’re sourcing products out of China, where do you go to get started without making all these expensive trips all the way to China and meeting with factories and all that. It can be daunting, if you don’t know what you’re doing, but if you have a mentor, you have a system that you’re following-
I decided not to go that route. It didn’t vibe well to do something that is coming from China, obviously it’s too much work for me, I don’t want to do the work. Mostly it’s something that I wanted to come up with, something that was really quality, something I really believed in. I’ll save that for later, because we can probably do another podcast on that. I ended up sourcing something in the states, and what I went through was, what is a product that I can create on my terms? Something that can be quality, something that I can really have fun with, I can be creative with. I did the same thing that I did before, I’m always working backwards and asking myself what do I want first. China wasn’t in there, so China is out. I ended up focusing on something that was tangible here in the states, and something that I can export to other countries. It’s been, I’m really excited.
Wow, that’s great.
Always ask yourself what you want, find something that sparks joy, and then create something around, rather than the other way.
Yeah, so hopefully people are getting that trend or that theme, always ask yourself what you want, find something that sparks joy, and then create something around, rather than the other way. A lot of people say “I’m going to start a business on this because it’ll make a lot of money.” Then they start, and they are miserable because it’s not something that they really enjoy.
Cool. It’s been fabulous having you on. I’m definitely going to have to have you back. We’re going to have to have you on my other show, which is called Get Yourself Optimized. You know about that show too.
I love that yeah, I love that name too.
We can talk more on there about how transformational Tony Robbins has been for you and different things that you’ve done to grow and contribute and build all sorts of automation and cool things, travel all the world and everything. We can talk more about… Yeah, we can just geek out about all of our seminars and things. Oh, I forgot to tell the listeners, my UPW stories, so Unleash the Power Within, just real quick. That was a life changing event for me. At the end of the first day you do a fire walk. This is a very inexpensive event, too, for what you get. It’s just a no brainer. It’s like 700 or 800 dollars. At the end of the first day, you do the fire walk and wow, you are so supercharged and your mindset is in a completely different space, because if you can walk on 2,000-degree hot coals, you can do anything. I’ve anchored this using a NOP technique, so that I could access that power, that certainty, that drive, that ambition, that desire to change my life, to do amazing things. I use that to fuel all sorts of personal transformation stuff for myself. I’m literally unrecognizable from the guy I was six years ago. If you compare the photos of me before and after.
You are even a different man since i’ve known you.
I’m always evolving. I’m a shapeshifter, I guess. We’ll definitely have to talk more about all this sort of stuff on Get Yourself Optimized, so I’ll have you back on there. Thank you again, Jeni, for joining us on the show. How would people find you if they would like to, maybe work with you or learn more about blogging? Is there a website or a course or something that you might send people to?
I do have a course that is coming out with Mark Ensing, he’s got a really cool charitable mission coming up and I’m going to voluntarily give my course to him. I don’t know if we are going to give it away for free, or if it will be all proceeds go to his project, but I can’t wait to do that. It will make me feel just amazing, because you know that I’m big on contribution. That course will be coming out later this year. If you want to sign up for it, it would be on blogbrilliant.com. You can contact me though there, or you can google Jeni Hott, i’m pretty easy to find. That’s H-O-T-T.
Perfect. We’ll catch you on the next episode. I’m your host Stephan Spencer and you’ve been listening to Marketing Speak.
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
☑ Head over to blogbrilliant.com later this year to find Jeni’s course that will either be given away for free or all proceeds go to charity.
☑ Decide what you want for your life and build your business around that. How often do you want to work?
☑ Build a marketing plan around the six human needs-how can you meet at least three of them each week?
☑ Set your to-do list for the time that you want to spend working, and automate the rest. Talk to a developer or research online tools that meet your needs.
☑ Participate in seminars and personal development to bring more understanding to your future goals, and awareness to the fact that you don’t have to climb the corporate ladder.
☑ Build a forum into your blog to allow for reader-generated content.
☑ Allow fans to apply to become moderators, volunteering their time and meeting their needs.
☑ Sign up for Google AdSense for an easy way to start building a revenue stream.
☑ Find the right team-don’t work with people that have a negative attitude or not appreciative of your work together or your mission.
☑ Hit on the contribution need from readers by asking for testimonials and success stories, in a way that helps them to understand that they will be helping others by doing so.
☑ If you have readers submit blogs, choose the best ones to be featured on your own blog.
About Jeni Hott
Jeni Hott, also known as ‘brilliant Jeni’, is a professional blogger at the top of her game. Jeni makes millions of dollars while only having to work once every three to four months, and traveling the world. Jeni is well known for her passive income blogging strategies. She has over 100 million visitors to her blog, has moved from Google AdSense to Affiliate marketing, and uses online forums as a way to encourage her fans to provide feedback on the engaging content they want to see. She loves to help others, and now enjoys teaching others how to design the lifestyle they dream of, using her genius techniques.