Recent Updates

059: A Tale of Two Traffic Sources: Solo Ads vs. Affiliate Networks

October 10, 2015

The good, the bad and the ugly about solo ads vs. affiliate networking...

There are many ways to get traffic. Some of the older ones include fads such as:

  • Joint Venture Giveaways: someone would sign up and have access to multiple giveaways that they could then send to their list. Everyone in the network would be cross-mailing their own lists, offering these giveaways, to attract traffic to their site.
  • Viral Reports: you have a special report (i.e. how to set up a basic WordPress site) and mail it to your list and the link back to your site is included in the report. For each of your subscribers that passes it on and gets a new subscriber to sign up, you could pay them a $1 per new subscriber.
  • Traffic Exchanges: this operates similarly to the JVG above where there's multiple people in the network. You would join it and then everyone is rotating through viewing multiple sites and each one you view gets you a credit. With these credits, you could then buy banner ads, etc. to drive people back to your site where they would hopefully buy your product.
  • Co-Registration: you would sign up with several other marketers and basically cross-promote. As subscribers signed up for your list, they were signing up for other lists in the same group as well.
  • Safe Lists: join an email-based community with several other marketers. It's really just marketers mailing other marketers each day.
  • Renting/Buying a List: you can choose parameters and order a list from a site like InfoUSA, to market to and pad your own list. Even if they don't opt-in, you can create retargeting ads that follow them around the internet.

All of the above have either gone "out of style" because they didn't work forever, or because they became illegal under the CAN-SPAM Act. Now, the major forms of driving new traffic are Solo Ads or Affiliate Networking.

Solo Ads

Solo ads are when you pay someone else to mail out your offers to their list. You are paying someone else, who already has an established list, for email leads. It sounds good in theory. What are the pitfalls?

It's a great way for the solo ad seller to make money, not necessarily you and probably not you. They don't have to expend any effort-they are not marketing their own product and they are not having to take the time to research affiliate programs.

Not everyone's lists are created equal. You don't really know where they got the names on their list from. Some are built from questionable traffic sources.

Example: AdFly. The traffic you get from using Ad.Fly is mostly from interstitial ads, the ads that are placed before you can see articles and videos, etc. It's very untargeted traffic because you can't enter keywords. There is nothing that you have that everyone wants to buy. So, in this case you'd be paying someone to send ads to a list where subscribers aren't even interested in your niche.

You could be paying $1 per click if your squeeze page is on target and converts at 50%, which is a good conversion rate. Tip: for a good squeeze page, see our Backup Creator squeeze page.

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Over a 1-year period, Robert purchased $1912 in solo ads. For that $1912, he got 3209 clicks, which resulted in 1059 email opt-ins and $502 in sales. This appears to be a $1500 loss but you can keep marketing to them (until and if they opt-out) and generate additional sales later.

The good news is that 3209 new subscribers quickly builds your list-if you have a big list, you'll be excited to send out those emails for potential sales, which is the name of the game in internet marketing. Sales!

Caveats & Advice

The best solo ad sellers that will bring you success are likely those that don't do it as their only income. They may just be doing it for a time while they are on vacation, have family matters to attend to, or are between projects. Robert's experience with solo ad ‘only'

You need to put back about 20% of your business income into ad spending so solo ads aren't the worst thing and you SHOULD experiment with new types of traffic. It's not going to be the huge payday you're hoping for but you can build a list that will earn you income over time.

Make sure you have a link tracker like AdTrackz where you can create subcampaigns for each solo ad. That way, you can determine exactly how much traffic you actually generated from each solo ad campaign. Ideally, you can and should also create a spreadsheet that keeps track of all of your solo ad spend, your clicks from the sellers, the opt-in rate for each subcampaign, and any sales.

Affiliate Networks

The best way to get loads more traffic is to create a paid product and put it a on paid affiliate site, such as ClickBank or JVZoo. Our Member Genius plugin supports both these platforms.

When you put that product up on one of those sites, anyone can sign up to be one of your affiliates. You can also immediately offer the affiliate program option to all of your buyers after they purchase your product by giving them the link to register.

You position it as, "Thanks for buying my product! Did you know you could have this for free if you become an affiliate and sell it just 1 time?!" When someone signs up to be one of your affiliates, you give them a special link. When one of their friends or subscribers wants to buy the product, it sends the traffic back to your site and your affiliate gets a commission.

You want to make it easy and profitable for your affiliates-give them a reason to market YOU above others. Have your email(s) ready for them, your banner ads, etc., so that they don't have to do any work for you. Give them a really good commission-50% and 100% are good.

Tip: to check out a good affiliate site, go to the Backup Creator affiliate program.

Today's Take-Aways

You need to build a list somehow. Solo ads and affiliate marketing can be part of your strategy in addition to: having a blog to take advantage of SEO, having a podcast, running Facebook ads, running Bing ads.

Tip: to learn to podcast like a pro, go to Podcast Crusher.

Affiliate marketing can also be a great option for you to bring in income if you don't have a product ready, if you're between projects or you need to be away from your business for a period of time.

Don't be afraid of Affiliate Marketing-it's not evil and you won't burn out your list if you deliver some really cool value along with the product that you're selling.

One Last Word of Wisdom

Don't be negative. Just don't. Negativity leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy and confirmation bias (choosing only to hang on to things that reinforce our beliefs). If you're upset and frustrated, turn that into fuel.

Ask yourself, "What's good about this?" even if it means you just learned 10 ways not to do something. Have an "abundance mindset." Know that you'll succeed.

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058: The Three-Day Window for Enhanced, Increased, and Amazing Productivity

October 2, 2015

It's very easy when you first start your internet business, working from home, to fall back into those habits that you have from working for an employer, where you have to fill up 8 hour days one after the other and no "project" really ever has to be done for you to make income.

Or, some of those very things that led you to develop an internet-based business, such as wanting to dream ‘big', form your own partnerships, etc., but all of those ideas will not make any money if you do not implement them.

It's easy to get pulled into "Scope Creep", where you continue to add more and more features or additional webpages, upsells and bonuses, etc., instead of just focusing on ONE thing and pushing it out there.

These are all productivity killers. Instead, you want to think in "Three Day Window" terms.

Principles of the Three-Day Window

What is it? The 3 day window is the time period from "idea" to "implementation." You have 3 days to get it to a stopping point that if you had to sell it right then you could.

It's okay if it's not perfect. You NEED to make some websites that you will look back on later and be embarrassed by. What IS important is getting in the habit of getting your ideas implemented and out there.

What if it's lacking some features? You still put it up for sale in its "basic version" at a discounted rate. Instead of your end goal of $97, you sell the basic at $7.

Don't sell your first version with multiple features. You can't be sure that your customers want all these "bells and whistles." What's exciting to you is quite probably not exciting to them.

It's better to put the product out there and get feedback of the most wanted features and use that to develop your "deluxe" version. As you continue to refine it, you can roll out "iterations" later and charge the higher price(s).

Iterations: these are releases each time the product is enhanced/improved, i.e. Version 1.0, 2.0., etc. When Robert created Backup Creator, it only took him 3 days from start to finish to get his first version out. In that first 3 day version, it did do the basic backups. Then, in future iterations, they added additional backup capabilities (i.e. to Amazon S3), cloning abilities, and other features.

Why Just 3 Days?

If you don't set yourself an "end" date, you will run into issues such as:

You spend too much time working on it and get burnt out or bored. Or, you end up doing a lot of things that are not productive or they're fun but they don't really increase your sales, such as spending 2 hours to make a 2-minute sales video.

You could have spent that same 2 hours doing at least 2 of your 4 Daily Tasks:

A better choice than a video would be to build a bigger list. Examples: contacting affiliates, running ads for traffic to your site, knocking out a great sales letter

For more information on 4 Daily Tasks, you can check out the Four Daily Tasks book and Facebook group.

You need to think in "milestones" and take a scientific approach. The scientific approach will help you create a framework or "Spec" for your project. Within that framework, you can then be creative.

For example, if you make a video: You need to set up how many segments it's going to be and the length of time for each. Then, within those measured segments, you can be creative about what you're going to feature.

Today's Take-Away's

Don't be the guy (or gal) that has a bunch of stuff on their hard drive without taking any action to put it out there. Use the "4 Daily Tasks" Method to be productive. Do something every day that will result in sales.

There's no point in pulling "all-nighters." You're fooling yourself with a lot of empty time. It's more important to have something imperfect that is functioning and earning you money because a lot of work with no income results in boredom and burn out.

Join Robert's "4 Daily Tasks" group
Get his course on time management: Time Management on Crack

057: 10-7-4: The Best “Mind-Hack” to Generate Unlimited Ideas and Master Your Content Creation

September 25, 2015

One of the best ways to make money online is to create content that solves problems but a lot of us struggle with writer's block. The answer to that "blank page" is to have a system.

Don't be afraid that using a system or a template will result in something that is bland and not unique. It's quite the opposite. The best thing about using a system is that you get the thing DONE.

Three Elements of A System

The system component-you can think of it as your approach, the actual "1-2-3" of getting words on paper. For example, if you're creating a 400-word article, don't say 400! That sounds huge.

Instead, break it down into: Title, Intro, 3 points, Summary, and a Call to Action. Now, what if each of these sections was 50 words? Sounds a lot better, right? You can make things even easier by turning everything into a question.

This is a really easy way to do it. Act like you're having a conversation with someone about your subject and think what they would ask about your subject. The answers become your text.

Example: What are the 3 things I need to have when playing the guitar? Instead of your title being "Guitar Basics", it becomes, "How Do I Play the Guitar Quickly?"

Another Approach is "So What?"

This is really helpful in a sales letter. If you notice you have a weak headline and bullet points, pretend someone is saying to you "So what?"

You are forced to answer back with something compelling and exciting and emotional. Now, you have script that will hold your buyer's attention!

Keep in mind that with sales letters (and with books), you are going to lose someone every 10 minutes. So, for every 10 minutes of reading, you need to have something really exciting and compelling to keep them engaged.

Make your buyer say "I don't know", with your email headlines.

This is the most effective approach for email marketing.

We want to present a question that arouses curiosity.

Ex: Don't do a headline like "Simple Guitar Playing."

Instead, your headline should be "Are you missing out on these 3 simple guitar tricks?"

Then, your buyer is saying, "I don't know. Am I? Let me click over to this link and see".

Type out sentences that are only 7 words in length. It sounds silly, but it forces you to keep your language simple. Outside of academia, you don't want to use complicated language and long sentences. It turns internet readers off.

Think of keywords if you're really stuck. If you are still really stuck, think in terms of keywords. Have one keyword for each of your 3 bullet points.

For example, if you're writing about webinars, your keywords are: "title, date, and time."

Then, your first bullet point is on "I create a compelling title for my webinar", the 2nd bullet point is, "The date is more important than you might think because of your demographic" and the 3rd point would be, "Consider your customers' time zones carefully when you're scheduling."

Time Management: Give Yourself a Time Frame

You really need to do this. If you give yourself unlimited time, the odds are you will sit in front of that blank page for 5 hours with no results.

At one point, Robert spoke out 100 articles in one day. How?!!?

If you try to think of 100 subjects that your business covers, you're probably going to get overwhelmed and walk away. Instead, think of just TEN subjects and then break those down into 10 prompts (or questions) for those categories.

For example, if your business is guitar instruction, your categories might be: equipment, beginner, advanced, starting a band, album recording, etc. Then, for equipment, you'd have "acoustic vs. electric" as a prompt. For starting a band, a prompt would be "how to book shows."

With this approach, Robert just started answering and recording the questions/prompts, one after the other and each one took about 3-4 minutes.

For this, he used his Logitech Headset and Camtasia for recording. He gave himself 1-hour blocks for each category. If each prompt = 4 minutes, you can do 40 articles and have about a 20 minute break.

That timeframe sounds really tight but if you force yourself to cram a lot into a little space of time, you end up with something better than if you had all the time in the world to blather on.

The Motivation: this one is simple. For most people, that's the money. You need to put content out there if you're going to sell anything.

The "10-7-4" Mind Hack

It's easiest to think of 10 things that people need and want to know about anything. This mind hack gets you trained to brainstorm quickly and then easily find the best to offer your customers.

It's super easy. Think of 10 questions. Write them all down. Cross out the weakest 3. Now you have 7 points left. Here's how you use them! For an e-book: You now have 7 chapters. Pick the best 4, which are going to be aimed at your beginners and basic knowledge. Put those in the front. Leave the rest for the remaining 3 chapters.

For more info on how to jet-fuel your e-book writing and publishing, go to Robert's course at Make a Product.

For a Sales Letter: you have 7 modules now that you can offer in your product you're selling. Your best 4 are going to be what your program actually is and the remaining 3 modules can be your bonuses.

For more info on how to write a great sales letter FAST, check out Robert's course called Speed Copy.

For a Webinar: compress your 7 down to 4. Most webinars should only contain about 4 in an hour's time. Then, those 4 can actually mirror the 4 modules of your product. You can use the additional 3 points to interweave throughout your presentation but you're focusing on your best 4.

For a great course on how to start and run your own webinars in no time flat, check out Webinar Crusher.

Today's Take-Aways and Some Extra Advice

You need to be excited about the content that you're creating so that you will finish it.

Don't use $10 words. Write the way you actually talk. If you write an "English paper", you'll lose customers.

If you can dictate your articles, etc., that's even better. Usually, the way you FIRST said something is just about right.

It's more important to have it all down and edit later than have nothing. If you keep trying to edit while you're writing, you will never get anything done. It's important to create and put out a lot of stuff because you don't know which is going to pan out.

You want to get to the point where you are churning out content in one-take and you have a pool of content. You need to have a system, time management and motivation working together.

If you love this show, please go give us a review on iTunes.

How to Create a Sales Page in WordPress

September 23, 2015

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056: Seven Web Pages You Need to Create for a Successful Product Launch, and Re-Launch, and Consistent Residual Passive Income (Plus 7 Additional Bonus Pages At No Extra Charge)

September 19, 2015

Setup Your Site the "Right Way"

  • Namecheap: Get your domain name at
  • HostGator: This is for web hosting. After you buy your domain name, your site has to "live" somewhere. This is web hosting and fou can get this at
  • AWeber: This is an autoresponder, your essential tool for building a list and keeping in contact with your customers. Get this at
  • WordPress: This is a free tool that you "place" at the front door of your site. It lets you edit your site and pages without having to know how to write or edit HTML code. You can just click around and create any extra webpages that you like using plugin's and tools that WordPress uses.

Once you get webhosting via, there's a special button where you can install WordPress on the front door of your site. Its' going to make creating all the pages we talk about today super simple.

Robert has a WordPress plugin called Paper Template that makes everything look like a plain piece of paper that you can customize. You can also buy Robert's course, Income Machine (, which includes Paper Template as well as Member Genius, which is a plugin that allows you to take payments on your site and is integrated with PayPal.

Must-Have Web Pages

"Front Door" of your site ( This is where your sales letter lives. You want to have a place for someone to buy something from you. This page, the sales letter, also has your buy button. Additional tip: when purchasing a domain, also buy a .com, not a .org or a .net.

Membership area of your site ( When people have purchased your product, they go to a page where they create an account and then get access to the members' area.

This is a protected area where they can download the product and intake any additional content that goes with the product, such as videos, etc. Also, if they ask for a refund or stop paying installments, their access to this section can be shut off.

Training Page ( This is where you put your 1-hour pitch webinar replay for your product/service. It makes everything simple and easy because you can use your webinar training as anything thing later on (i.e. a 'bonus') and just call it 'live training'.

Record your webinar using Camtasia, put it on YouTube, place that video code on this demo page, and then below that have a link that takes them back to your sales letter page/front page.

Demo Page of your site ( Here is where you can put a 5-minute demo of something you have in your product/course. This is where you'd put something exciting, such as 'before and after' pictures, evidence of your 3x income generation after flipping a house, or a trick that your software can do.

Just like for the training page above, record your demo using Camtasia, put it on YouTube, place that video code on this demo page, and then below that have a link that takes them back to your sales letter page/front page.


Opt-In Page ( This is where you have just some simple free gift so that people will opt-in to get it, thereby joining your list.

Download Page ( This is where they're redirected to download the free gift. You have a link below that download for them to hop back to your sales letter.

Contact Page ( An easy form for people to fill out to contact you so that you don't have to share your email address. This is where they can ask questions, ask for interviews, etc. They could send tech problems here but it's better if you have a Help Desk page, which we'll mention in just a few minutes.

7 Extra Pages For No Extra Charge!

Blog Page ( This is where you put any articles and/or videos you find interesting to your niche. There are places on this page for them to go to your Opt-in page (and get on your list) or go directly to your 'front door'/sales letter site and buy your product.

Affiliate Center ( A page that tells others how they can recommend your course and make a profit from selling it themselves. This is also where you'd have banner ads and swipe copy for your affiliates to use so that they can more easily promote you.

To see an example of how this looks, go to the Action PopUp affiliate page. The easiest way to have an affiliate program when you start out is through ClickBank.

Robert's Member Genius plugin functions with ClickBank. You can get Member Genius by itself or by joining Income Machine to get the complete system including the sales letter plugin, blog, autoresponder, and traffic training, and more.

Support Page ( This is your Help Desk page. We use ZenDesk for this.

Secret Door area ( When Robert and Lance do a launch the best way to fire people up is to announce that they will be closing the offer soon. But sometimes you want to experiment with cold traffic like FB ads, etc.

That means, you take your sales letter and use a WP plugin called Post Duplicator to make an exact copy of the sales letter where you've now opened the button back up to buy but you don't advertise that it's open to your list.

Essentially, you're trying to see if your ads work and the only way to tell that is if you have the sales closed to the public and so any sales you get that are from this Secret Door page you know are from ad driven traffic.

Welcome Page ( This is your upsell page. If someone buys Paper Template, they would be redirected to this page that says something along the lines of "Welcome to Paper Template, but do you want to buy Income Machine too?"

The cost would be the price difference between your large package (the upsell) and the product they just purchased.

Coaching Page ( Offer coaching that is specific to the product that you are selling. For example, if you were selling a course on playing guitar, here is where you would offer say, 4 one-on-one sessions for customers that are still having problems or want to advance even more in guitar playing.

Your copy would say something similar to "Are you stuck? You came to the right place! In just 4 sessions with me, we'll get your roadblocks taken care of."

Your coaching should have a large dollar amount attached to it. Even if you have no clients or just a few taking part, it's fine. It is just an opportunity. Provide a link for them to go straight back to your .com front door site if they don't' want coaching.

Application Page ( This is where a customer submits an app for your coaching program. You ask them specifics such as:

  • "What is the URL where you need help?"
  • "What is your monthly budget?"
  • "What are you looking to get out of the coaching? Is there anything else you need? "

You can use Google Forms to set this up. Once they hit submit, it notifies you. It will pile in the responses into a google spreadsheet.

Use a scheduler called TimeTrade to schedule a Skype call with them to discuss this further. The ones that you want to talk to, you then send them to your coaching page to join up.

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Podcasting Secret Training: What I’ve Discovered from Three Years of iTunes Podcasting (Using LibSyn and PowerPress) to Increase Sales and Traffic (And What You Can Do Too)

September 13, 2015

Just like anything in life, it's a good idea to know WHY you're doing something, as opposed to only "going through the motions"…

And if you're only dabbling, if this "internet marketing" thing is only a hobby to you, then it's likely you haven't found very much success because you rarely finish the things you start. If you actually want to make money, it's time to stop dabbling and actually create something. Don't "start" to create something. Actually make that single membership site, add that affiliate program to it, and get some traffic…

You need to go all-in. The first problem I see with people going all-in is that they keep changing what they're going "all-in" for, which really isn't going "all-in." You probably know what I'm talking about. Changing to a new niche every month. Only focusing on Pinterest marketing one month because "everyone's" talking about it. Only focusing on Kindle comic books the next month because "everyone's" talking about it…

Let's separate the forest from the trees: the only things you need to focus on in your business are your list (so setup an opt-in page and follow-up sequence), traffic (setup a retargeting pixel, run Facebook ads and have an affiliate program) and offers (promote affiliate products and sell your own products).

When it comes to list, traffic and offers, there's the MUST-HAVE's (sales letter, email autoresponder) and the NICE TO HAVE'S (blog, podcast, Facebook fan page, etc.)

You "could" run your business without a blog (the website you see here) and you could run your business without a podcast (an internet radio show where you post audio episodes on your blog and they also appear in places like the Apple iTunes store).

BUT, if you already have SOME kind of sales letter and opt-in page in place, your blog is the TRAFFIC method to get more clicks onto your webpages and a PODCAST is a really easy way to consistently update that blog even if you have just a few minutes every week…

I highly recommend our Podcast Crusher course to get your podcast setup. You use your existing blog (or setup a new one) and use a special plugin called PowerPress and a file hosting service called LibSyn. You don't want to host your podcast audio files on Amazon S3 or on your own web host for a number of reasons. The biggest one is that it's easier to look at your stats. You can tell which episodes get the most play and that tells you what kinds of podcast episodes to create in the future.

The Robert Plank Show premiered on September 13, 2012.
I'm not a super prolific podcaster but I've published 56 episodes with exactly 41 hours of audio content in those three years.

I want to get you into podcasting (or BACK into podcasting if you've neglected it) because the traffic is steady consistent, as long as you publish consistently which is probably the #1 most important thing when it comes to podcasting…

Podcasting is just audio blogging that happens to get listed on Apple iTunes. Let's just call it what it is. In the past, when I had something to say, I'd spend a couple hours typing out some big long post (kind of like I'm doing to you now). When I want to put out a new podcast:

  1. I spend about 10 minutes figuring out some bullet points (if that), and I hit record
  2. I speak out my podcast "episode" in one single take, about 30-40 minutes. The "ideal" podcast length is 20 minutes, but that's a little short to cover the things I want to cover, although I don't want to go over 60 minutes
  3. After recording the audio, I spend about 1 minute adding intro and outro music. Important: I don't edit out any "um's" or "ah's" or anything like that
  4. It takes another 1 minute or so to properly "tag" the file for podcast players and add things like my cover graphic into the file
  5. About 1 more minute to upload the audio file to the special hosting service (just wait for a simple file to upload)
  6. Finally, I go to my WordPress blog at, click Add New Post, paste in the podcast title and "show notes" – basically, the bullet points I created to structure the show. This is a 30-second process. More recently, I've hired a person to listen to the podcast and type more detailed notes that I'll paste in later…

It's a 6-step process that takes 33-and-a-half minutes. Most people don't have a podcast even though it's easier to create than a blog post. Just speak your thoughts and then go through the checklist to publish it.

What I Didn't Do Correctly In My Podcast

Getting "some kind" of podcast online, even with just one quick 5-minute episode with zero music (that's how we have you create your first podcast episode inside Podcast Crusher) is more than most of your competitors will do.

BUT! Since launching the podcast, I've noticed many other internet marketers start podcasts, and they've done what I can only call a "podcast launch." I'm not sure if someone's teaching it in a course, but here's what I'm seeing new podcasters do:

  • Launch about three 5-10 minute podcast episodes the first day, and then another quick 10 minute episode after two days, then another 10 minute podcast another two days later
  • Get about 200 reviews to their iTunes podcast that very first day. It's very important that all 200 reviews roll in within those first 24 hours
  • With any luck, this will get you in the New & Noteworthy section of iTunes and possibly in the top 20 of your podcast's category (internet marketers use the "Management & Marketing" Business subcategory)

Wait a second... how do you get 200 podcast reviews within a 24 hour period? The internet marketers I've seen have been paying for them on Fiverr which I consider a blackhat technique. I'd be worried about getting banned from iTunes, and it will set you back a couple thousand bucks to hire all those reviews, but that's how many marketers are doing it. 200 reviews in 24 hours.

The next thing I didn't realize until recently was that you should be checking your rankings in iTunes. Open up the Podcast app on an iPhone or iPad and click on the "Top Charts" button, then browse to your category.

It's huge if you get into this "top 300" in a category even if you're near the bottom. My podcast has steadily climbed the rankings, then fell back down, and I've seen others rise fall in the rankings as well.

At the very least, when you check out this list you'll know what a successful podcast looks like.

Mistake number three: I wasn't consistent at first with my podcasting. Here's my podcast posting frequency:

  • 11 new episodes in 2012
  • 17 episodes in 2013
  • 15 episodes published in 2014
  • 16 episodes published in 2015 (so far)

There were no new episodes between November 2014 and March 2015, but other than that, I've posted "just under" one new episode per month. In 2015, I've been posting weekly from July and now well into September.

What I Did Right With My Podcast

There are a lot of things I did correctly with my podcast that you can learn from. First of all, I didn't start posting podcast episodes every day and then burn out after a month like many bloggers. I recorded a handful (five episodes) and only published a few.

There's something encouraging about being a couple of weeks ahead on your podcast. I'm not saying you have to plan and film an entire year's worth of podcasts or anything like that. Actually, if you did that, you'd probably record a lot of bad episodes. But I want you to record podcast episodes close to TWICE as quickly as you publish them.

That means if you're planning on publishing a new podcast episode every week, record a quick one on Monday and another quick one on Friday BUT only publish one of those two. That way you can keep building up a "pool of content" and you have one in your back pocket if you don't feel like recording that week.

Next, hire someone to listen to your podcast and type up some shownotes. The "show notes" are the text that appears on your blog for that podcast episode. It's also viewable in most podcasting apps when someone listens to your show.

Posting "just" the podcast audio player alienates the readers on your list, but when I pay to get it transcribed, I end up with a transcript that sometimes 5,000-plus words… too long to put into a blog post. I put it all into a PDF document but that's still a lot for someone to read.

The answer: pay someone on (the cost is $15 to $30) to listen to your podcast, and not type up a transcript, but take "notes" so you can post your summarized content as your show notes.

Another thing I did right: recording one-take content. Just imagine if you left edit-points throughout a 20 minute podcast, or you spent 3 hours removing the "umm's." Treat it like a radio show. You're allowed to stop for a second and say "umm" if you want. It's your show. Record all your podcast episodes in one-take. It's great practice for future products and webinars.

I'm also glad I created a Facebook fan page for The Robert Plank Show which has now grown into nearly 15,000 fans. You should have a fan page for your podcast as well.

Something most people miss out on is SEO with their podcast episode titles. If you publish a podcast and your blog post title says something like, "How to Record a Video" … that's one thing.

But what if you titled that podcast episode, "How to Record Screen Capture Videos with Camtasia and Upload Them to YouTube?" Now when someone searches iTunes for the terms "screen capture" or "Camtasia" or "YouTube", you'll show up in those search results.

As far as I can tell, iTunes only counts your blog post titles in these results and not the contents of your show-notes. But it amazes me when people put out podcast episodes that are only one or two words long, when they could be showing up in more places.

I'm not the kind of person who wants to run an "interview show" where I have a new guest on my podcast every week, but this is why interview shows (besides being easy to create) are an easy podcast traffic source. If you interview a Michael Gerber type of celebrity, then that podcast episode where you interviewed him shows up when someone searches for his name.

Heck, even if you're too chicken to have guests on your show, review their products and books. You can create an episode talking about Seth Godin's latest book and show up in podcast searches, for example.

Podcast Format & Formula

Our Podcast Crusher course shows you all the fancy details, like how to record and properly tag your podcast episodes, where to host them, what settings on your WordPress podcasting plugin to customize, how to promote that podcast, and more.

When I first created my blog, I noticed a handful of people always reading the blog at any given time. With the rise of attention-stealing sites like Facebook and a few Google slaps, I noticed the traffic drying up. Good news: now that I've been podcasting consistently, I always see a handful of people browsing the site. The traffic came back!

Numerous studies show that 20 minutes is the ideal length for a podcast. I've listened to podcasts on a 5-minute format, and that's not enough time to make more than one or two points. 10-minute podcasts are a little better, but as a listener, I find myself waiting for 2 or 3 to pile up, and then I listen to all those in a row.

On the other hand, when someone pumps out 60, 90, 120 minute podcasts… it takes me at least 4 separate sessions to get through them all, and the number one reason I unsubscribe from a podcast is because too many unplayed episodes pile up.

20 minutes is the ideal length if you can manage it. Most of my episodes unintentionally last about 40 minutes, but I do my best to keep them from getting any longer.

My personal formula for the best podcast episode possible:
Three sets of three bullet points each.

Just like with any content you create, you should be solving a problem which means either answering a common question or explaining an obstacle you overcame. If you can channel the frustration of others doing the wrong thing in your industry, even better. It will be impossible to shut you up in that case.

What do I put into those three sets of bullet points? We have three bullet points about the problem we're setting up and the alternatives or solutions that didn't solve that problem. Then, three more bullet points detailing the steps you'd take to solve that problem. And then, three additional bullet points on the actual case study of yours that used those steps to solve the problem.

Here's how I mapped out my 51st episode of the podcast, "Rise Above Being a Geek"…

What Problem Are We Setting Up?

  • How to complete projects instead of "chipping away" at them and get "something" for sale?
  • How to avoid being an "upsell hell" marketer who sells at $17, $27, $37?
  • If you give a mouse a cookie problem, going down a long path where nothing is complete

What Steps Can We Take to Solve That Problem and Rise Above Being a Geek?

  • Avoid OR
  • Tell and show what they'll do once they take your training
  • Superhuman demonstration w/ easy button

What Does This Look Like in the Real World?

  • Checklist Marketing: WP Notepad
  • Internet Marketing Basics sounds boring: Income Machine is a better system
  • Real life demo: Podcast Crusher

(There are other types of podcasts such as 10-part and 14-part list posts, but those are simpler... just go through the list.)

When I actually talk during the podcast, the length of each section gets pretty uneven, which is okay, because I can spend more time on the interesting stuff.

Ideas for Podcasting Content

If you've setup your iTunes podcast using our Podcast Crusher training, and you're still stuck, here are some starters for your at least your next six episodes:

  1. Interview show: have a real conversation about something you genuinely want to know about, ask them questions they don't normally hear
  2. How did you get started online?
  3. What tools do you use in your online business?
  4. Compare two schools of thought (i.e. Dave Ramsey vs. Robert Kioysaki) -- which is the best?
  5. What's a common "saying" you can use to make a point? (i.e. The Mom Test, Self-Recharging Bank Account, Copycat Marketing)
  6. What have you been up to in the past 30 days of your business? (live case study) -- i.e. backing up your website and what tool you used (not a list of possible tools)

The bad news about all this is, the information I've just shared with you is useless unless you setup your own iTunes podcast using Podcast Crusher. The good news is that once you have a guide, it's easy to setup your podcast and you could be listed on iTunes by this afternoon.

If you want to win at the content marketing game, have something setup, keep it online and update it as often as you can, once a week if possible. What's also great about building your own website and creating your content is that you can do it on YOUR terms. If I decide I want to decode a 5-minute, or 40-minute podcast, I can.

If I type out a 200-word or 2500-word blog post (like this one) I can do that and no one can tell me otherwise. However, I'll use the TEMPLATE or the GUIDE for a successful podcast to ensure I knock that "nice-to-have" task out within one sitting, and get back to the "must-haves" that bring me all my online income.

055: Time Management Hacks: Install These Quick Computer Programs Today to Get Yourself Over the Hump, Complete All Your Projects, and Have More Fun

September 11, 2015

When we run our own businesses and don't have a "boss" to answer to, it can be easy to fall back into old habits of goofing off. It's easy to fall back into the habit of filling up time because when you worked at your "day job", the objective was to fill up 8 hours a day.

Today, we're going to talk about getting all that clutter that we're used to from a day job out of the way.

Quick Computer Programs Everyone Can Use to Improve Their Productivity

Online Stopwatch: Use this to time yourself doing a task so that you truly commit to getting it done in a certain amount of time, i.e. knock out a blog post in 10 minutes instead of thinking about it for an hour.

Camtasia: This software can record everything you're doing online. This is excellent software for recording tutorials, software walk-through demo's, etc. You can simultaneously record your processes as well as your spoken audio. We'll talk more in depth regarding Camtasia a little later in the episode.

Google Calendar: This is free and you already have it if you have a Gmail account. If you don't, you can just go to to get it. It's great because you can synchronize it to your iPhone and iPad as well as share it with other users, such as spouses and business partners. It will send you popups/emails for upcoming appointments. Don't schedule EVERYTHING you do on your calendar-you'll just end up creating a glorified to-do list. Use it for essential appointments, such as meetings and webinars, etc.

Don't forget to check out Robert's Book, 100 Time Savers for more useful advice.

Essential Software/Programs for Internet Marketers

Camtasia Studio (again): You can record a full video and save that but also have the option of saving just the audio portion. You could use the audio for doing something like a podcast.

You can even record tutorial videos or "helper videos" just for yourself. If Robert has a particular process he has to go through, that he doesn't want to forget, he can record the entire process and then post that video to YouTube.

Some examples would be how to convert a .wav audio file to an MP3 file:

Click Here to Play Video

... Or how to convert any graphics file into a JPEG thumbnail:

Click Here to Play Video

... Or how to upload a book to CreateSpace:

Click Here to Play Video

Now that you have this process, you don't have to write it down on a piece of paper or make extensive notes. Your entire tutorial is accessible anywhere you can access internet to get to YouTube.

Access Robert's video tutorials at his YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe too.

GoToWebinar: Use this software for setting up all of your webinars.


Most all other things that Robert needs to accomplish in his business can be taken care of through WordPress and various WordPress plugins.

  • He uses a plugin called Paper Template to create landing pages, opt-in pages, download pages, thank you pages, etc.
  • He uses a WordPress plugin called Member Genius to take payments in combination with PayPal.
  • Then, he uses a plugin called Backup Creator to back up his WordPress sites and if you back it up to another place (i.e. your hard drive, etc.), you've now cloned that site and you can use it over and over (with editing) to produce multiple sites.

These are all plugin's that Robert has created and you can get all of them in one package by joining Income Machine today.

Additional Software/Programs You'll Find Useful

GoodSync: Developed by the same creators of RoboForm, it allows you to synchronize your folders with FTP websites, Dropbox or Amazon S3 buckets.

Let's look at this scenario: When you record a video that you want to put online (like your membership site), first you have to record it, then you have to edit it, then you need to produce it and save it to a folder on your computer, then you would have to open up an FTP program (like FileZilla), then you have to drag the file over and wait for it to upload to your website, at which point you probably go create or edit a webpage and finally your video is there. It's A LOT of steps.

GoodSync automatically uploads certain files to your website. You specify which folders it syncs when a new file is added to that folder. So, essentially, as soon as you would produce and save the edited file from above, GoodSync would automatically recognize it as new and sync it over to your website.

It's skipping an entire step of you having to open the FTP website and wait for your videos to upload.

As part of Robert's sites, Webinar Crusher and Double Agent Marketing, he and his business partner Lance run monthly Q&A video calls. They record them using Camtasia, perhaps do a little editing and then save them. As soon as that step is done, GoodSync recognizes there's new files added to those folders on his computer and it uploads them to the websites so that the replay is always available.

RoboForm and LastPass. If you don't have Roboform, get it. You want to use the "Roboform Everywhere" option.

Roboform remembers all of your passwords and stores them, encrypted, in the cloud. If you ever have to reinstall your computer or certain programs, you can retrieve those passwords from Roboform. You don't have to remember your own passwords for multiple sites and you don't have to have them written down ANYWHERE.

There is also a RoboForm app for smartphones, tablets, etc. There is also a master password to RoboForm so no one can just get on your computer and have access to everything.

LastPass is great for for shared sites.

Jing is useful for capturing screen shots that you can then send as a file. That way, you don't have to send them an entire tutorial or video, etc., just the one piece that you're discussing.

You can then save that screen shot as a file to the public folder in Dropbox.

Dropbox iss similar to GoodSync in that you have folders that syncs up to the cloud.

It's good for sharing files with others but you can also use it between your own computers. For instance, you could edit a file on your laptop, save it to the Dropbox folder, and then it's the exact same version on your computer when you get home from a business meeting.

Dropbox has a public folder that you can save videos and documents to. No one else has access to it until you provide them with a link from that public folder and now you can share those certain files with them. It's also free (up to a point).

Google Sheets: The free Google equivalent of MS Excel. Just like with Google Calendar, you can share your "sheets" with or without editing privileges. It's handy for having documents that you share with your business partners, employees, and outsourcers/freelancers.

This is part of Google's "Google Drive" products which are free software programs almost identical to Microsoft Office products that are browser-based (instead of computer-based).

Google Chrome Bookmarks Bar: This is obvious but most people don't think to use it. Most of us are familiar with bookmarks but we have 100's of them in different folders that we never even use.

Instead, use the Bookmarks Bar for your most common sites that you go to EVERY DAY. You can also use it to bookmark certain docs that you're constantly using (like a Google Sheet) and editing and when you are done with that doc, you can just delete it off your bookmarks bar. The doc still exists but it's no longer a bookmark.

Additional Sites/Timesavers

Fiverr: A website for getting quick outsourcing work done at a fairly inexpensive rate, such as graphics, transcriptions, video editing, etc.

Backup! Backup your desktop, your files, etc. The time IS going to come when a computer crashes, you lose files, etc. Spending time on recovering files or creating new ones is a productivity killer! Here are some options:

  • Backup Creator: automatically backs up your WordPress sites. If you have a cPanel and/or dedicated server, use their backup options.
  • CloudBerry Backup: backup your desktop/any files you specify to an Amazon S3 bucket.
  • G-Safe: An external hard drive with 2 internal hard drives.
  • Amazon AWS Import/Export: You can mail an external hard drive to Amazon with specifications as to which S3 Bucket you want it saved to, they will do the upload for you, and mail you back your hard drive. It costs about $120 but it's worth it if you have a slow internet connection to get that "first" offsite backup in place.

Don't forget to relax! Give your brain a little bit of a rest and enjoy some podcasts (free at iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcatchers) or listen to an audiobook via Audible. Robert recommends you take in some fiction and turn off "marketing mode" for just a little bit!

Join Time Management on Crack to Claim Your
Productivity and Mindset Training Now

WordPress Post Snippets: Easily Templatize Any Part of Your WordPress Blogs, Membership Sites, and Sales Letters

September 9, 2015

When people talk about their favorite WordPress plugins, you usually hear things about SEO plugins, security plugins, or backup plugins. By the way, the best backup plugin for WordPress is Backup Creator and the plugin you should use to manage, bulk load, and mass update your WP plugins is Plugin Dashboard...

But anyway, imagine having "chunks" of text for your WordPress site that you could re-use where-ever you want. You use shortcodes for this. For example, I have a podcasting plugin on my blog that I use to post audio episodes of my iTunes radio show. (Podcast Crusher shows you how to use the PowerPress plugin in WordPress to create an unlimited number of podcasts)...

If I ever want to display the current podcast episode more than once in a post, for example, one player at the top in addition to the one at the bottom, I just have to add this code to my post:

[ podcast ] (Without the spaces around those hard brackets.)

That's a WordPress shortcode. You post the "code" anywhere in your posts and pages and when it's "rendered" for public viewing, people see the podcast audio player as opposed to that "short" code.

WordPress Post Snippets allow you to do this: create any number of shortcodes such as: [ webinarcrusher ]. I can set that snippet to display a huge headline advertising my Webinar Crusher product, a link to it, maybe open that link in a new window, even toss in some bullet points and a banner.

Now anytime I want to link to Webinar Crusher, I just add the [ webinarcrusher ] shortcode (the video below shows how it's point and click simple) into my posts anywhere I want to mention it:

Click Here to Play Video

I used to use the WP Post Signature plugin (also free) to display the same link and ads under EVERY blog post, but I now prefer using WordPress Post Snippets because I have more control over what posts link to what offers.

The first 9 minutes of that video show how I use it on my blogs and sales letters. But after the 9 minute mark, it gets REALLY crazy... because you can pass VARIABLES into Post Snippets!

What does that mean? Well, you can create a post snippet called "offsite" that takes in variables called "url" and "title"...

Then set your "offsite" post snippet to this in your Post Snippet settings:

<a target="_blank" onclick="return confirm('Are you sure you want to leave this site?');" href="{url}">{title}</a>

This looks a bit geeky, but it's some HTML code that displays a link on a web page, and when someone clicks that link, a pop-up appears asking people if they REALLY want to leave the site.

Whenever you want to link offsite but you want to display that warning that they might not want to leave, just add this "snippet" or shortcode into your posts:

[ offsite url="" title="Income Machine" ] (again, without the spaces)

Adding this shortcode will "plug-in" the "url" we passed (which is "") and the "title" (which is "Income Machine") right into that code I showed you a minute ago, into the {url} and {title} sections of that code.

As I said, this might be a "little" advanced for you personally, but I've found it very helpful for re-using that "repeat" code in my membership sites if I have to display a lot of graphics, video and audio players, and download links.

Enjoy using WordPress Post Snippets in your WordPress sales letters, blogs, and membership sites!

054: How to Sell on Webinars

September 4, 2015

Webinars are the best use of your time and the best way to make money. You've probably wondered out of all the things that you do, can you outsource some of that? Can you just be the creative person and do the few things that make the most amount of money?

When we're talking about webinars, we're not talking about a Google HangOut or a YouTube video or a Periscope broadcast or anything "fancy."

We're just talking about showing what's on your screen and saying what you're going to say in just 1 hour. It's that simple!

What if you could turn whatever you're selling into a mini-launch event for a week?

You could say, "On this Wednesday I am going to open the doors to my new course." Or, it could be your service, such as a package for consulting services on how to run your own business (i.e. set up sales funnels, etc.).

You can put the description of your product/service that you're selling on your sales page.

That's great if people read the entire thing but many of them won't and for some people, it can just be sort of dry and boring and they won't read it or at the least finish it.

What can you do to compress all the different things about your product (or service) that you want to get across to people?

You could make a video which makes it a little more entertaining to your audience.

But, what if instead you take the points you were going to make in your sales letter and your video and make it into a one-hour live show, at a specific time and date.

There's no showing of your face involved.

Instead, you are showing the screen. It could be a web browser, a piece of software or a PowerPoint presentation.

If you have a one hour webinar it takes you exactly one hour to create that and you make sales through that webinar.

If you were going to make a 1-hr video that wasn't live, how many days would that actually take you? You'd probably be tempted to start adding a bunch of 'fancy' elements like graphics and music. There'd end up probably being too much scope creep in that and you would drive yourself crazy. Just get it on the calendar, show up and get it done and knock it out.

Pitch Webinars

You want to run a webinar when you have something for sale. That's the most important part. We don't want to run a webinar "just because."

"Just because" includes teaching a big concept. For example, if you teach a one hour course on InfusionSoft and give them all these business ideas, you've created 2 situations:

Either they're going to be confused about what to do with all the information with no way to apply it and/or they're going to go to your competitor to actually buy it because YOU didn't give them the option to buy right now.

If someone wants to buy something, you want to give them the chance right then and there.

What if you've got the idea but have not actually created the course yet?

Then, in the sales letter you want to list all the things you're GOING to have and just put a future date of availability on it.

That allows you to still sell it and then deliver it at a later date. To see what a sales letter looks like, go to

This is a way to also present to your webinar attendees that since everyone is starting it together at a set date, that you're "all in it together" and everyone's participation will shape the way that the course is created.

Or, if you don't have a product created yet, you can go to (which is a huge site of affiliate listings) and see all of the products in your niche that you can promote as an affiliate.

Then what you would do is have your website, set up the webinar in GoToWebinar (included with Webinar Crusher), and send out emails/invites to your list about your webinar.

If you already have the product, you can look at the things that the sales letter talks about and think what sort of aspects you can make exciting for the attendees. What sort of cool demos can you do?

Don't be afraid of webinars! People who show up for your presentation have already make somewhat of a micro-commitment by setting aside time to watch your event.

You may have doubts about whether people will show up and stay for your 1 hr. presentation.

A lot of people WILL if you're at least somewhat interesting, if you can solve their problem, and if it relates to something they actually want.

Those that are the most desperate and need your solution right now will watch and listen to your webinar.

Running a webinar is a great little credential tool. You can take this presentation, record it and have it transcribed. Then, you can put it into a Kindle book, a Create Space book, etc. Now, you look even more professional.

Put the webinar replay on its own page. Why? Because there are some people who don't want to sit through an hour long video, they might only watch 10 minutes and decide then that they want what you're selling.

Install a button that allows them to go right to the sales letter/buy button.

During your live presentation you also want to mention the URL for the sales letter/buy button a few times through the webinar.

Don't Believe the Voodoo. Many people think that there's some sort of magic formula to doing a webinar "just right."

Some people watch these great stage speakers and write down everything that they say including the 'oohs and ahhs' and they completely overanalyze everything.

Stop looking at it like it's 100 steps or that you need to talk a certain way.

WWHW: Why, What, How-To, What-If

Instead, a good webinar can be summed up in 4 phases. This is the WWHW.

Look at your presentation and how you can break it up into these phases:

Your "why" is about 5 minutes. Why are you here? Why listen to me? You're setting up the frustrations of what led them to you.

Your "What" is about 15 minutes. This is where you explain your solution, how you're going to solve their problem. "Here's a couple of steps", "Here's what I want to show you", "Here's a 4 part process that I use to show you how to improve your sales funnel."

Your "How To" is about 20 minutes. This is your demo. If you can show software, that's great. If you can't, show your checklist(s), your system or some kind of before and after.

You're going to be moving slowly so you can show everyone exactly what to do. Even though a process might only take you a few minutes, you are going to dial it back to show them every single step slowly.

The more basic you are the wider appeal your webinar will have. We all want to believe that if we focus on the stuff that's fun for us, the more advanced stuff, that that your crowd will really love it.

Realistically though, in any kind of list you have, most of your crowd are going to be newbies or need to go back to the newbie area to improve what's not working for them or else they wouldn't need a 'solution.

Your "What If" is going to be about 10 minutes. Your "What If" is your offer and your closing.

"What if I could do this for you? Here's the package I'm offering that can improve your conversion rate by 70 percent!"

You want to be proud about the thing that you're offering and "introduce" it and remember to name the package that you're selling. You make it absolutely clear as to what you're selling.

You are telling what's in your product/package and how it will work for them. Essentially you are telling them what is included like you bulleted out in your sales letter.

If you do this webinar thing right, the whole 1 hour is set around demonstrating something.

Leave your hand OFF the mouse except as absolutely needed! If your hand is shaking because you're nervous or you're unconsciously playing with the mouse, your attendees are going to get distracted and annoyed and not pay attention to what you're saying.

"Avoid the Gap" between your "how to"/demo and the closing. Your demo wants to close with a solution so you avoid that awkward pause between your content and your pitching

Avoid "teaching" a concept. Instead, talk about YOUR product and how it solves their problem. If you're just "teaching" a concept instead of demo'ing your product, you end up having this really awkward transition from being a teacher to being a salesperson when you try and get people to buy at the end.

There are 4 pieces on how to effectively start, run and finish an effective webinar.

The Platform

  • Use GoToWebinar. Join Webinar Crusher today because includes a GTW account. GoToWebinar runs in its own separate software (and not a browser) so it's harder for attendees to accidentally click away and cancel by mistake.
  • Use PowerPoint for your slides.
  • Use Camtasia to record the presentation.
  • Use a $30 Logitech headset from Amazon (

The Mechanics

The "WWHW" we discussed above:

  • 5 minute Why: pattern interrupt & hook
  • 15 minute What: 100,000 foot view
  • 20 minute How: magic trick or "wow"
  • 10 minute What-If: pitch, irresistible offer

Your Closing

When you are doing your closing, you want to list out your package/product elements in the same order as your why's (i.e. problems being solved) and the same order that you showed them in the demo.

You want them to line up. In other words, if you are going to solve 4 problems than you want 4 modules in that same order.

The Stack/One Sheet

This is literally one page/slide where you reiterate everything that is in your package, your bonuses and all.

You want to keep reintroducing the One Sheet between every 3 or 4 module slides.

Bullet Drip

Have you ever looked at a PowerPoint slide where someone has listed 5 bullet points and you have to read through all of them? And they do more than one of these in a row?

What Robert and Lance do in their webinars is drip out the bullet points. This is where you talk about and release one bullet at a time. Now, your attendees can't read ahead and lose valuable information you're talking about because they're busy reading.

The Price Drop

When you come to the part where you ask for the money, that makes a lot of people uncomfortable but you have to make it fun.

If you added a dollar amount for each element through your presentation and came up with this pretty large amount (let's say $8K) here's where you say:

"The Good News is it's NOT $8000….it's not $1000, it's not $800…", etc.

You keep telling them what they're not going to pay until you get to your dollar amount and then direct them to your URL.

You can also have some more slides telling them reasons to go buy, such as a 30 day money back guarantee, other customer testimonials, etc.

And, since you are going to have your screen displayed to your audience, go ahead and go to the URL yourself too.

Avoid Q&A sessions. If your attendees have that many questions, it's probably something you should have included in your presentation.

Plus, there's always 1 or 2 people who ask really "out in left field" questions that you're better off answering privately.

Q&A's make your webinar end up in a whimper and not a bang.

The Cool Factor

You want to have an awesome title with a promise and solutions. Think of 3 really awesome things you can promise them.

In other words, you don't want to have a webinar called "membership sites."

Think more along the lines of "Have your membership site online today" or "Start making sales by this weekend" or "Drive thousands of people to your site in the next 3 days."

Don't use the word "learn", use the words "discover", "uncover", "breakthrough", etc.

Take a minute to think about: "what would I pile in on this if I had a magic wand?" Look at what you came up with and figure out your hook.

Is it exciting to just show people checklists? No. But, it would be exciting if you offered to record their first webinar FOR them. That's something really "cool" that no one else is probably offering.

The Push Button Software

If you don't have software, because you're in a niche where it may not apply, find a way to make it apply.

It makes your selling a lot easier.

Giving people guides and lessons is great but people like things that are interactive.

That way people don't necessarily have to 'learn' stuff and apply it they can just use software to get to the point where they want to be.

Webinar No-No's

  1. You don't need a slick, word for word polished script.
  2. It's better if you're "human" and come across as real.
  3. Don't worry about how many or how few attendees show up. Just promote it all week. If a lot of people show up great, if not, you'll get them on the replay.
  4. Don't mention the time and date on the presentation. Keep it evergreen. This way you can use it in future contacts with your list, put it on a membership site, etc. Don't go on for too long and don't run them on the half or quarter hours. People will get bored and drop off and people drop off at the top of the hour so they will miss part of your presentation.
  5. You don't need to get too fancy. Just have one presenter. You don't need a team of people.
  6. Don't go too long between webinars. Your webinar "muscles" will weaken. Run one a month and aim for 10% increase each time.

Closing Thoughts

Are your competitors running webinars?

If so, attend them. Check out which "do's and don'ts" from today that you now notice.

Check out Robert's course at Webinar Crusher to get all of this info and lots more useful how-to's on how to run your own successful webinars!

Join Our Webinar Crusher Program Today


053: Journaling & Documenting: The Amazing (And Almost Too Simple) Shortcut to Killer Productivity, Multiplied Results and Increased Sales

August 28, 2015

Most problems in Robert's business are not fixed by a crazy solution or a fancy piece of software. It's so easy to think that the reasons that you're not doing well or that you're not happy with your business is because you don't have one-click upsell, or because your website is not mobile-responsive, or your prices don't end in some magic number.

It's tempting to think that everything that has been ailing us and our business can be fixed with a magic wand. But, usually it's something really simple. Usually when you get tripped up or stalled/delayed, etc., it's typically because of these reasons:

  • Scope creep: you plan on something simple and the more you think about it, the bigger and more exciting it gets and before you know it, it's a huge beast of an undertaking and way more than what you intended. All of a sudden, you've gone from something that would take you one week to implement to an entire year.
  • Procrastination: there are a small number of activities that WILL make us money and an unlimited amount of activities that will not make us money and it's a lot more fun to sit around and think about all the non-money making ideas instead of just starting work on an actual money-making idea.
  • Distraction: letting yourself focus on a variety of things that keep you from our goal. For example, you might sit down in the morning to work on your e-book, but then you get an email about a product you must buy and next thing, you're reading about that product, buying that product, and hours have gone by.

How do you actually stick to completing everything that you've started? Today, we're going to talk about a real system to get you through the things that trip you up.

Journaling and Documenting

Have a Checklist. If you don't have a checklist, you're going to miss important steps.

For example, while recording and publishing this podcast, there are some steps that Robert has to go through each time.

It may seem silly to have a checklist for something that seems easy or that you do "all the time", but it's easy to miss a step which could affect your outcome. Sometimes, when you do something over and over and achieve mastery on it, you will blow through it faster and faster and take it for granted which can result in being sloppy. Adhering to a checklist will keep that from happening.

Most, if not all, of Robert and Lance's courses contain checklists. If you joined his podcast course, Podcast Crusher, there's a checklist for everything along the way, from setting up your first podcast to marketing your podcast and everything in between.

They also do this with Webinar Crusher. There's sections on how to create our PowerPoint presentation, how to find attendees, running and recording the webinar, and post-broadcasting/remarketing. They have a checklist for each part.

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is great because if you have that master calendar you can easily see things, delete them, move them around, etc. You can have multiple calendars (such as a family calendar, a business calendar, etc.) and you can share these different calendars with different people, but the screen YOU are looking at has all the different calendars in one place, in different color codes.

You can synchronize the calendar to your smartphones, tablets, etc. You can set it up to give you alerts/pop-ups.

But, there are a few caveats about using calendars to be aware of:

  • Appointments on the calendar are good until you start loading up to the point that when you look at today's agenda, there are 20 different things on it, which is entirely too overwhelming.
  • This is also what happens with the "To-do list." It also sounds good in principle but the same thing happens with the overwhelming amount of tasks. It grows faster than you are able to complete anything!
  • Some people swear by tools like Evernote, Dropbox, Gmail, etc. and if that works for you, great, but just in Robert's personal experience of meeting people who use these tools, they work for maybe a month or two before the system overtakes them. Too much time is spent managing that system as opposed to getting real things done.

Get a Help Desk

This is a real shortcut to efficiency and outsourcing effectively.

Step 1: If you're answering customer support queries over email, don't do that. Use a Help Desk instead. Emailing regarding customer issues is not efficient or effective.

From a customer point of view, if someone has a problem with one of your products, and they receive a response, they can always have it to refer to. They're not sending emails to an individual person where there is the back and forth of "I sent it", "It got lost", etc. Instead, they are posting the query/problem on a central help desk system.

Most help desk systems (Robert and Lance use ZenDesk), issue "tickets" whenever a customer initiates contact.

From the business point of view, you CAN have only yourself responding to tickets at first if you are a very small "outfit." But, if that becomes too much work later on because your business has grown, and you need to hire an extra person, you really don't have to do too much. You just have to create an account for them in the Help Desk system so they can access tickets.

If ZenDesk is currently out of your price range, there is a free option if you have a webhost that utilizes CPanel. There should be a QuickInstall button, you can install a free help desk solution called OS Ticket.

If you don't have CPanel, you can go to DoubleAgentHosting to get hosting that has the CPanel and OS Ticket capability.

Install the Help Desk solution in the "support" folder (aka page) of your website. If your website was, then the Help Desk solution would be at

For whatever external freelancers or employees you might add to your Help Desk, you'd want to have a process in place for answering tickets.

For example, the customer wants a refund. There is a "script" that you'd want your Help Desk person to go through before a refund was issued:

Every Help Desk program allows you to have "canned responses." These are just responses that are pre-written and can be chosen from an automated system based on what sort of customer query comes in.

Step 2: Don't just start creating "canned responses" right off. You and/or your business partner will want to answer tickets yourself for a little while to see what the most common questions are coming in.

Step 3: After a few weeks, take some time to sit down and group your messages.

  • Step 3A: Responses. Figure out 2-3 responses to your most common messages.
  • Step 3B: Assignments. This is where you hire your freelancer or employee. Some queries/problems they are just not going to probably have the answer to. This is where they can assign the complicated queries back to the correct parties (in Robert's case, he is the programmer for their plugin's, etc.)
  • Step 3C: Procedures. The follow-through on the request, such as a refund.

This is where a Checklist or a Procedure Document would come in. For example, you'd have a Document/Checklist that would say, "If Customer wants this-send this email. If customer wants that-assign back to Programmer, and so forth.

About 80% of the queries/issues that come in will and can be handled by your Help Desk personnel. The other 20% will have to probably be assigned to one of the business seniors/owners but this process cuts way, way down on the time that ownership has to spend working on routine tasks.

Journaling/Journal Entries

This doesn't need to be paragraphs long. It is just 3 quick sentences about something you did TODAY. What is the purpose of this?

You're doing it with the consideration that at any one moment, an emergency could happen and one of the business owners/partners could become unavailable due to illness or injury.

You need to have procedures and checklists in place that would be easily replicated by another so that the business keeps functioning.

You can use any word processing software but Google Docs is a good option because it's basically a Word document that you can share just like a Google Calendar.

Then, you go to your Google Doc and post 3 quick sentences about what you did today that you'll need to know about later.

Some examples are:

  • What steps would I need to take to record and publish a podcast?
  • Quick directions on how to get your text messages to display on your iPad.
  • Directions on how to get your Google calendar to display on your iPad.
  • If you're the programmer, it could be how you fixed something on your WordPress blog (like the "white screen of death").

If you're the accountant, it might be who you gave refunds to that day or whose accounts you fixed.

If you're in charge of marketing, it could be how many affiliates you contacted that day.

Remember, these are just a few bullet points about little quirks that you may forget several months down the road and will need again but more importantly, they are a documenting of what you've worked on or "secrets" that you know so that if something were to happen to you, the business could keep working because your partners can pick up right where you left off instead of guessing where you've left things.

Just a warning: Do not use this for passwords. For that, use a password manager such as LastPass.

Hiring Freelance Employees Efficiently

Many people want the ego trip of hiring a team and looking at themselves as just the delegators while everyone else does the actual work.

The problem with being just the delegator is that no one else is going to do the job as good as you.

You need specific procedures/checklists in place, so while you do get to the point where you cannot do everything yourself, you DO need to do at least some things yourself at first so that when you make the directions and procedures for it, they are complete and can easily be followed without you having to micromanage tasks.

A good place to hire freelance employees from is Upwork. Upwork freelancers install a program on their computer that will show what their screen looks like while they are billing you for time.

A mistake people make when hiring employees is in not requiring them to create "X" per day. For example, if you're going to hire someone to be your Facebook ad manager, hire them on the basis of them creating 3 new ads per day. That way, they're not just dilly-dallying for a month and then at the end, rush to make a bunch of stuff.

If you take Robert and Lance's Income Machine course, and discover how to make a Thank You Page, Opt-In Page, etc., what if you hired someone to once a day look at your site and create new ideas for free gifts/free reports, and created a new Landing Page and Opt-In Page.

Even if you only hired them for a month, at the end of the month they will have created 30 new reports and 30 new Landing Pages and Opt-In Pages. If you hire someone on a 30-day basis to create 30 items at X per day, then, you know after the first few days if they are going to work for you, and if not, you can move on to the next freelance employee. That's better than waiting for a month and they don't deliver at all.

Closing Thoughts

Robert uses a system called 4 Daily Tasks. What you did for your 4 Daily Tasks are definitely something that you could include in your journal entries to document your goals and productivity.

Checklists are a powerful tool for productivity and efficiency. Document all of your processes from your podcasting to your Help Desk procedures. Checklists ensure that no steps are missed.

Everyone thinks they can hire an exact clone of themselves and they're going to do exactly what you would do in the exact same way. It never works that way.

This is why having procedures in place that are the same across the board will be far more efficient for your business.

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