When you have a podcast about internet marketing and making money online, of course the whole reason that people listen to your podcast is because they too want to learn how to make money online and work on internet marketing. We’ve been talking about that a lot over the last couple week and we’re going to talk about it some more today.
One of the funny things that happens to you when you do a podcast like this is that you have a tendency to tell people about the stuff that works – at least that’s true for. That’s the exciting stuff, right? Even more valuable is the stuff that doesn’t work or the stuff you screw up really badly, but that’s not as much fun to talk about. So I think a lot of times people think that the way you get authority in a space like internet marketing is to talk about all your successes, hold them up in front of people, and not spend nearly as much time talking about your failures.
The truly great guys in internet marketing and other spaces are quick to talk about their failures because they’re very helpful. I want to be like that, so I have a recent failure that I thought I’d share with you that you might enjoy.
I’m sitting at my desk just minding my own business and I get a message from Aweber, “This lead unsubscribed,” and it gives the email message. This particular email was from a guy named Stephan, or at least that’s the name he uses in the email. Stephan was unsubscribing because he had just signed up and he looked at the documents in my member’s area – if you’ve ever looked at my opt-in it’s ancient, it dates back to 2007 and it says, “Subscribe now to get immediate access to the free member download area and exclusive weekly tips delivered straight to your inbox.”
When I set this auto responder up one of the ideas that I had was I’m going to go around the internet and collect stuff that I can give away, create stuff that I can give away as well, and put it in a member download area so people will want to opt-in to get the free stuff. After all, I needed a reason for people to opt-in. They wouldn’t be opting in juts because they wanted to listen to me or hear what I had to say, so I needed to create something.
That was years ago and I’ve known for a long time that I needed to get rid of that or update it, or do something because the stuff in there is really not to the standard that I try to hold myself to today. Well, Stephan detected this immediately. By the way, if you’re listening to this now, the member area is nuked thanks to Stephan pointing this out. The first thing I did was delete all this junk finally.
He says, “I looked at the documents in your member area and I couldn’t help but get the impression that your principles are not in line with mine.” He quotes some of the things out of the stuff in there and I felt so terrible about it. From the License to Print Money product to “find a product on Clickbank.com, buy a domain name and redirect it to your affiliate link, and set up a mini blog and post a highly positive review about the product, and do a traffic assault and watch the money roll in as if you are printing it.” Stephan says, “Really?”
He found another one. “How to create an e-course in one day. Find a bunch of articles about whatever, bundle them together, get permission to distribute them, put your affiliate link in the resource box, and watch the money roll in.”
Stephan says, “I believe in genuine value creation and building relationships based on trust,” which of course is what I talk to you guys about. “This is not to say you don’t share these values, but what I saw in your member area doesn’t resonate with me. No offense, but that first impression turned me off.”
Shout out to Stephan. This is exactly the kind of great feedback that I really appreciate.
Stupid mistake on my part. Putting the stuff in the member’s area to begin with, like so many people in the internet marketing space looking for a shortcut to figure out how to make money online – guilty as charged back in 2007.
Even dumber, leaving it in there. I’m frustrated with myself for doing that. These are the kind of mistakes that normal people make. I thought I’d share that with you guys so you can know that just because you can hear the sound of my voice doesn’t mean that I don’t stumble and fall on my face every once in awhile, maybe even more than every once in awhile.
Also, to let you know that you’re going to get negative feedback from people and if you can be patient enough to listen to that feedback and get what the meaning is rather than react to the fact that someone doesn’t agree with something that you’ve done and get all defensive, you can really learn a lot from people who have something to say to you. Even people that aren’t as incredibly polite as Stephan was, he was more polite than I deserved. You can really understand some things about your business through the eyes of other people like this.
That’s my advice to you. Pay attention to what you’re doing, because if you don’t other people will and they’ll catch you on it.
Dallas Area Meetup
For those of you that have been listening to the podcast you know that last week we had the first ever Mason World meetup at a pub in Allen, Texas. It was totally cool. I got there early and I was sitting there by myself waiting on 8:30 to come wondering if anyone was going to show up. After all, there are thousands of listeners to this podcast all over the world, so how many could there be in north Texas?
Sure enough, nine people showed up. I was blown away by that. Very humbled to have nine people come and talk to me about what was going on with their internet marketing business. We sat around a big table and just chewed the fat for a little while and talked about internet marketing and drank some really cool Belgian style beer, at least in my case we did.
I wanted to give a shout out to those people. I hope I remember everyone. We had Aileen, Jose, Jason was there, Mandy showed up – I’ve known her for a long time from Internet Business Mastery – Tammy and Jackie were there, Damon was there, so was Shawn, and Jeff was there.
These people are just great regular people. By the way, if I forgot you, slap me. Tell me you were there and I’ll give you a shout out on the next episode.
I took absolutely no notes, I just kind of sat around and chatted with people. We went around the table and everybody told me what they were up to and I told them what I was up to. It was just a good time.
We had people who were thinking about getting started with a website, we had people that were making money online, we had people that were looking for some change in their life and looking to internet marketing to maybe provide that change. It was a really good discussion.
I just want to say thank you again to all those people that showed up. I’m sure we’ll do it again. I don’t know when, but it was fun and I really liked it. Thank you so very much for all of that. I’ll let you know when the next one is going to be, because we’re definitely doing it again.
Listener Feedback About Making Money Online
Finally, it’s feedback time. Let’s get our first piece of feedback on this issue of whether or not it’s okay to make money online, whether or not I’m a bad guy, whether or not Pat Flynn is a bad guy. Let’s hear our first piece of audio feedback from listener Jeff…
Hey Mark. I’ve been a listener for about four or five months now. I was listening to your recent podcast concerning comments on Pat Flynn’s website. I’ve actually been listening to both of you and I’m an avid follower of both of you, though this is the first time I’ve talked to you – or talked to your machine.
I tend to agree with, 99% of the time people will not understand giving anything away for free and the concept of getting something for free.
The clarity that both of you have spelled out for people like me on how to do something is extremely helpful. Anybody spending any time trying to look for that quick fix or that quick buck can discern that you’re the real deal.
I just wanted to say thanks and I appreciate the things that you guys put out there and I look forward to hearing more. Thanks.
Hey Jeff, thanks, that’s really cool. I love being the real deal. I’m trying to be the real deal. It’s hard to be the real deal in a fake deal kind of world, but I’m doing my best. Thank you very much, I really appreciate that feedback. That’s very positive and I tend to agree with everything you have to say.
By the way, you should consider talking to my voicemail just the same as talking to me, because I’m going to try and respond to you in exactly the same way. I really appreciate you calling in. Thank you very much for that great feedback. I appreciate the part of your comment about clarity, because I work on that. Thank you very much.
Let’s skip to our next piece of feedback. This next piece is from Matt from the Northeast who challenges me to give him some unfiltered about the Foundation. Let’s listen to what Matt has to say…
Hey, Mark. Matt again. I wanted to get back to you about Episode 33. Here’s what I think about the whole profit thing. I think it’s totally fine. That’s why the majority of listeners are listening to these podcasts anyway, we’re looking to make a little extra money in addition to our day job and whatnot.
Pat’s success is so great, I think what he could actually do is start a small charity – just a small portion of his salary – and this would deflect some of the envy that’s coming his way that you shared. Make it about something that is larger than him. Then he would be pretty much untouchable in terms of the negative press.
Secondly, I just want to say I really enjoy your podcasts. There’s a lot of similarities that you bring up and I’m not sure you realize that you’re pretty funny. I think you’re easy to relate to for anyone out there who has a decent job and is looking to make some money on the side and doesn’t believe they’re going to be successful overnight to quit everything that they’ve gone to school for and suddenly become a millionaire. But, it’s really realistic to look forward to something like a vacation in Mexico and things like that with a side income.
Third, that Foundation guy, I’m really curious to see what you thought of that, the unfiltered Mark Mason version. That guy just seemed so unrelatable and arrogant. He just oversimplified things. It looks like if you disagree with his method he’ll just label that a self-limiting behavior. The guy just oozed of narcissism. I’m just not sure why Pat put him on, because he’s so un-narcissist. I enjoy listening to real ideas that don’t include traveling to a foundation for six months with a bunch of dudes trying to solve the pain of the world or whatever.
So my question. I wanted to know the unfiltered answer to what you honestly thought of that Foundation.
That was cool. A couple things in there. First, thanks for the compliments. I really appreciate that. Maybe it’s narcissistic of me, but when people tell me they like the show I really appreciate it. Thanks for thinking that I’m funny. I need to get you to tell my wife, sometimes she’s just all eye-rolls over some of my dumb jokes. I really appreciate it, thank you very much.
Two things that I want to address out of that. One is what did I think of Dane Maxwell and The Foundation – we’ll get to that in a second. The second thing was about Pat Flynn creating a charity and doing that sort of stuff.
To be honest with you, I don’t really know what Pat does in terms of charitable contributions. Pat’s a pretty great guy, so nothing would surprise me. Whether or not he chooses to make that public is an interesting idea. I hope that if Pat were to do that he wouldn’t do it just to allay critics. I think that’s the wrong reason to do stuff.
If it’s on Pat’s heart to do charitable things maybe he’s already doing those things, I think that’s cool. If he wants to talk about it as a way to inspire people to do similar things in their life, I think that’s cool. But if he wants to do it just to make it seem okay that he’s making money, I’m not sure that’s the right motivation.
I know that’s not exactly what you were suggesting, Matt. A lot of those things can be a double-edged sword. There would be a lot of debate about how much money and so forth. I think it’s really a tricky thing.
I’ll tell you what I’ve seen that’s cool. I live in north Texas, I mentioned that a couple times already, and one of the towns close by is Plano, Texas and there’s a train museum that has been here for a long time. When the economy turned down in 2007 they had a hard time paying the bills, they were going to have to shut this train museum. You can imagine the train museum is really popular with the local kids and elementary schools take field trips there.
My buddy Jon Leger bundled together a bunch of his products into a giant $250 bundle and over one weekend he sold that bundle with the commitment to donate 100% of all the revenue to that train museum to save the train museum. I think he ended up raising $40,000 that weekend for this train museum.
I’ll have to see if I can dig up that post for you. I love that kind of thing. I think that’s genuine spontaneous and direct.
If Pat does move in that direction I think it would be great. I personally am involved in a lot of charities myself, through my church and also through work. I’m very involved with The United Way and I do a lot of those kinds of things. So I really resonate with your comment, Matt. I think how it’s presented is going to be tricky for Pat. I’ll pass it along to him, I think it’s a neat idea.
The other question that you raised was about Dane Maxwell and The Foundation. For those of you that didn’t have a chance to listen to Pat’s podcast, I think it was session 46 over at The Smart Passive Income Blog, it’s a very interesting approach to making money online through software.
Let’s break it down a little bit.
First of all, Dane Maxwell’s premise is that the best way to make money online is by writing software. I think there are probably lots of ways to screw that up, but in general I agree with Dane. Most of the people that I’ve talked to that have written software would tell you that it’s very lucrative, particularly if you can set up something that has a recurring revenue stream. For example, the software that Dane talks about where businesses are paying on a monthly basis to track their employees so they can prove they were at job sites. That’s one of the things that he talks about in his interview.
I know a couple of people that know Dane. The Internet Business Mastery guys know Dane, they’ve actually spent time one-on-one with him and have done projects with him. Pat knows a little bit about Dane, I think. The people that I know that know about Dane seem to feel like he’s the real deal. The other guy who seems to know Dane and have a high opinion of him is Andrew on Mixergy. I don’t know Andrew, but I really love his show and I think he’s a legitimate guy and a really tough judge of character.
Dane seems to be the real deal, and I think software is the real deal.
Now, I do get a creepy feeling the same way you do about “let’s go to this retreat at The Foundation for six months and do our thing and think deep thoughts.” I think that would be really cool if I was 22 years old or if I was a 50 year old retired engineer, but I’m neither one of those. I think for me personally, and probably for you, Matt, The Foundation is not so practical. That’s off-putting, I agree with that.
I also tend to agree with you that this process of cold calling people to find deep burning problems that you can then go solve seems a little unusual. I’ve done some cold calling, I used to sell Cutco Knives in college. I made a lot of money doing that, but I made a lot of cold calls and quite frankly I would rather have sharp sticks stuck in my eyes, maybe hot sharp sticks, than cold call people and try to get them in the middle of their day to tell me about their deep dark secret problems that need a software solution. That would be really hard for me personally.
I do think is unrealistic of Dane to believe that most people could do that. My personal experience with cold calling is that it’s very difficult, rejection is hard for people to take, and it takes a really special kind of person to be able to make 100 phone calls to get three answers, or whatever it ends up being.
I honestly believe, completely believe, that Dane was able to coach some people through this and get good results. In one of his Mixergy interviews he talks about the fact that some people don’t get results. My sense of Dane is that he really wants to help people and that he’s a good guy. Maybe we can get him on the show to address some of your questions, Matt.
I think the main thing that I would say is that it’s clear to me that The Foundation is not for everybody. To Dane’s credit, he has an application process on the frontend of The Foundation. I think part of that is marketing, but I think part of it is a legitimate attempt by Dane to screen people out that he doesn’t think have the right mindset to do this kind of thing.
That’s all complete and total speculation on my part. I don’t know Dane. I have mixed feelings about it as well.
To your final question as to why did Pat have this guy on, I think this is guy is generating real results and Pat wants to get those kind of people out there. I think because of the fact that this was Pat’s most popular podcast episode ever it’s clear that people are interested in this kind of thing. I don’t think that’s the same as an endorsement of The Foundation on Pat’s part. I’m certainly not endorsing The Foundation, I just don’t know enough about it.
I will send Dane an inquiry and see if we can get him on the show, maybe he’d be willing to come in and talk about that. I hope that helps. That’s about as unfiltered as I get. Thank you for that question, that was awesome.
Let’s see if we can get another piece of feedback in here before we run out of time…
Our next piece of feedback is from James. He’s a small business owner in Illinois with an awesome product over at HeadsUpBillboards.com. You’ve got to go check that out. James, thanks for leaving this feedback. Let’s see what James has to say about my buddy Pat Flynn.
Hey, Mark. I was just checking out your podcast about if it’s okay to make money or not. I think it can go both ways. Ideally if you’re making money you should be doing it in a way that benefits both people – the people that you’re making deals with, a deal is two people being happy with the result and preferably both making money or at least getting something out of it.
I’m always looking for ideas that are win-win for everyone involved. When it comes to Pat Flynn, I don’t really see who’s not winning in that relationship. He does great work, he puts out dynamite material, he’s honest and genuine and helpful, and he’s on top of his game. More power to him. He’s inspiring and he helps people.
Don’t dwell on the haters. It’s perfectly okay to make money as long as you’re honest and no one is losing in that situation. That’s just my two cents.
That’s a great two cents. Thank you for that feedback, James. I couldn’t agree more with a couple of points in there that you make. One point in particular that you make about win-win situations is something that I’ve talked about on the show before and it’s something that I learned from Zig Ziglar when I was selling these Cutco Knives that I was telling you about.
I’m selling these knives and at that time in the 1980’s the guy who was teaching selling was Zig Ziglar. Zig is from Yazoo City, Mississippi, he talks funny, and he’s awesome. He lives here in Dallas, his son Tom is running the business now. One of the things that Zig has been teaching for 40 years is that you can get everything in life that you want by getting other people what they want.
I really believe that this is exactly what Pat does. It’s certainly what I try to do. Pat is trying to give people what they want, which is a shot at making money online, a shot at passive income, a shot at financial freedom. He’s doing it in a way that has integrity where he’s trying to be transparent and honest and open. That behavior, that willingness to help people, that creates value, and people are willing to pay for that value.
In this case they pay for that with their trust, they give Pat their trust, they intentionally go out of the way to buy products through Pat’s affiliate links. Pat has handfuls of emails where people say, “I want to buy this product, but I don’t want to buy it until I find your affiliate link. Will you please send me your link?” because they’re trying to pay forward or pay back Pat for all the help that he’s given.
I really believe that doesn’t just work for Pat and it doesn’t just work for me in my life here on the internet. It works for me in my life in my engineering job and it will work for you in your life in your marriage or in your business, or whatever you’re doing on your affiliate marketing website. If you create value and you do it in a way that’s with honesty and integrity and transparency, if you help people get what they want you’ll get what you want. That’s just the way the world works.
I highly encourage you to really behave that way, because I have direct evidence from all around me that says that’s really the way to win in business and it’s the way to win in life. I couldn’t agree with you more, the win-win situation is exactly what you want to go for. That’s what I’m going for here.
The sermon is now over about that whole thing. I feel pretty strongly about it. I talk about following your passion and that’s one of my passions – I think you should be trying to help people in the world. Everything will be better if you just do that.
That’s the lion’s share of feedback that I got on making money online. If I didn’t get your feedback in on that topic, I’ll try to work it in on a future episode. I don’t want to totally bury everybody in this topic and I don’t want to beat it to death. I think we got a good sense of some ideas about what people are thinking on this topic and I really appreciate the feedback.
I have some other excellent feedback that we’re going to get to next week where we’re going to answer some actual internet marketing questions. One of the things that I’d really like to turn this show into is a show where people call in and they have specific internet marketing questions that they’d love to hear answers to, because I’d love to answer them. In cases where I don’t know the answer, I’d love to do the research to go find out the answer and answer them right here on the show.
I encourage you, if you like this idea and you’ve got questions, bring them. Even if they’re simple questions and you think they’re too simple for the show, bring them. If you’ve got the question, I guarantee you, I absolutely promise you that there’s no question that other people have exactly the same question.
Thanks for being here, I really appreciate it. Until next week, thank you very much and we’ll talk to you soon.