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You don’t need a huge following or digital audience in order to start an online business.
That is a way, but it isn’t the only way.
There has been a rise in popularity in thinking you need to be internet famous before you can make a great product or service that is internet based and that is 100% false.
In this week’s podcast we dig into why that isn’t true and how to go about it without needing to be internet famous first.
Ryan: I’m Dr. Ryan Debell. Welcome back to the Health Fit Business podcast. This is episode number. I don’t know what episode number. In this episode, Anthony and I talked about the idea “Do you need to develop a large following on the internet? Either your Facebook page, Instagram page, whatever it is, before you can solve problems and before you can make products and services that would serve the 10,000 people that we’ve been talking about throughout these episodes? So, I think it is a common idea that you have to have some huge following. You have to be internet famous. Everybody needs to know who you are in order to make things that solve these problems, that will help a lot of people. We do not believe that it is true. That’s the topic for this episode. Let’s listen in.
Anthony: Welcome everyone to another episode of the Health Fit Business podcast.
Ryan: You did the whole thing!
Anthony: Podcast. This is episode number 582.
Ryan: Oh my gosh! I don’t like to say it’s episode number while…
Anthony: I don’t even know where we are at. Somewhere in the 30s, 40s, 50s. Are you good?
Ryan: Yeah. Just making sure my microphone works.
Anthony: We’ve been having some technical difficulties.
Ryan: We had so many technical difficulties recording a podcast especially with you and it turned out the solution is actually just both of us restarting our computers.
Anthony: Yeah. The old fashioned way.
Ryan: Make sure everything is playing. I remember when I was like doing tech stuff and they were always like first thing you always make sure that everything is plugged in. And it’s amazing if you just check to make sure everything is plugged in and you restart everything. How often that fixes all the problem.
Anthony: So, we checked stuff number one was plugged in and yes indeed both of our computers are plugged in. Step number two was did you restart it or pull the battery?
Ryan: This is why you guys listen to this podcast, to get this real good piece of advice.
Anthony: Challenge of the Week is…restart.
Ryan: Are we done with the episode?
Anthony: Yeah. Restart.. Anyway, what are we talking about here buddy?
Ryan: This episode we are talking about why you don’t need an audience before you start making a meaningful product or service or whatever that you want to do. There is this idea that “I can’t sell anyone anything or I can’t make anything that people would want unless I first have an audience of 100000 people or 10000 people.” I know our thing is 10 or 10,000, right? Are those shirts made yet? Do we have those shirts? 10 or 10000 shirts?
Anthony: Yeah. They are in the mail.
Ryan: Are they in the mail? Although we say 10 or 10,000, you don’t have to have a blog that has 10,000 readers in order to make something that solves the problem for 10,000 people.
Anthony: Yup. People get stuck in this chicken or egg phenomenon of “Oh! I should get started but I should get audience. I can’t make a product unless I have audience.” Right? And so it is a cycle of like having thinking about “you can’t get started because you have to get audience or the audience is what keeps you from getting started.” It’s like it’s not that hard. You can do whatever you want. Solve whatever problem you want and step away from more service-based space thing either that stream of people at the gym or being a chiro or PT and start solving more problems without having an audience. You do not need to build an Instagram. You do not need to build a Youtube channel. You do not need to build an email list. You do not need to have a blog with a thousand readers on it. Email is literally as easy as creating a product. Having a one page landing page and buying some traffic to on eitherGoogle or Facebook.
Ryan: But that’s cheating!
Anthony: It is not cheating.
Ryan: That’s what people think!
Anthony: Maybe we should chat with our listeners here about the options that they could do if they have zero audience. The way I like to think about this is will either the paid media or anything that’s free. Not everything have to be paid but one of the thing you should think about when you are running if you think about getting a Facebook or Google ads is that this can also start building your audience for you. Right?
Ryan: Oh yeah.
Anthony: And so if you have, for instance, I was sharing with a buddy this evening about let’s say making an automated email sequence that publishes once a day for thirty days that tells people how to move better at work. Right? And let us say, at the end of that you have a $99 up sell for a program that you could sell on that that teaches them how to be more specifically for issues that they have going on. Okay?
Ryan: That’s little funnel to me!
Anthony: Let us say you have a $99 product and if you want, what you can do is you just put it up in Facebook and you will probably cost 80 cents to a dollar to get an email and people opt in to that email list. You will have double functions. You’re going to get likes on a Facebook page from that and you are also going to get emails from an email list. And on that email list, you can tell people to follow you on Instagram. If you have 100 people opted in to that ad and if 1 person buys from that, you break even and you just for free built your email list to a 100 people and hopefully your Instagram, Facebook, and whatever. So like,it does not need to be “Oh! I need to post on Instagram every single day to build this audience to launch a thing.” If you literally use the price of our product to build your list and you build your audience for free.
Ryan: Yeah and I think people hear that sometimes online where like learn the funnel hacks to build an email list without spending any money and it is like bull sh*t! But that is really how they do it. They spend money on the Facebook ad for $100 that gives you a hundred email and one person buys a $100 product you literally just got a hundred emails for free. So, that is actually real. It would have save you $2000 course right there.
Anthony: Yeah. No funnel hacking needed.
Ryan: No funnel hacking needed. You know, you make a great point. For example, there’s a lot of people who have 50 or 100,000 Instagram followers but they don’t have a business that’s selling to those people and then providing them with value. And there’s people who have 1000 Instagram followers who were killing it business wise. So, that is not an indication at all. I actually ran an ad like this where I had an opt in for a guide that went along with my Move Every Joint Everyday video and so I paid to have that video show up in people’s feeds and then it would ask them to opt in to get the guide that goes along with it and they there will be a couple other emails and then there’d be an email with an offer to buy an online course on squatting or something like that. Yeah, it cost me at first it was like 8 cents for email address. Crazy!
Ryan: I was getting 8 cents per email address.
Anthony: Oh my God! Are you still running that?
Ryan: Well, after awhile, it started to get up quite a bit higher but for the first week it was like 8 cents. I got to 500 email addresses for like $50.
Anthony: Yeah. Talk about building an audience. 8 cents an email?
Ryan: Yeah!I know it’s crazy, I could not believe that.
Anthony: If you don’t have money just get credit card and put it on there and make a product and sell them. If you are in the health and fitness business and you can’t with 500 people survey them and figure out what they want to buy and problems that you could solve. You need to go back and take some extra courses and like learn a specialty because the thing is you just don’t have the skills to solve problems but with 500 people ? 8 cents a piece? That’s ridiculous!
Ryan: Yeah! So, let’s say I had no audience and I could make something that was valuable like that. Make a little pdf and then you set up an email autoresponder. Alright, you can google on Youtube how do all that stuff. It’s all out there for free. Drop some cash initially, get an email list built, then ask them what problems do they have and what’s the product or something that they would like to have or what problems are they looking to solve. Do they want mobility? Do they want a training program or do they want something else and then make that and then sell it to them. And you just made a profit and you started with no audience
Anthony: There is another way for no money. No money down. What you can do is you’re already working with people probably on one on one basis.Ask all of them to follow you and ask them to share it and then post on Facebook for your friends and ask them to share it and then email every single person you know that you have an email with and say “Hey! Im sorry Im in this new channel. It’s going to feature step by step.” Then have them share if they think it’s valuable and ask for that and you are on your way to 500 to 500,000 followers.”
Ryan: Yeah, it doesn’t… Trying to build a purely organic online presence is just… I mean, it is kind of naïve.
Anthony: There is this myth like “If I want to build an Instagram following, I should just go post on Instagram.” That is like saying “If I want chiro patients as a chiro, I’m just going to open up a chiro shop and sit there.”
Ryan: Yeah that’s not the strategy on how to actually grow it. Just having an Instagram account and posting to it isn’t what makes it necessarily grow.
Anthony: Right. How do people become aware of it? Where are the people that you want to be looking at that content and how do you reach those people? So, that is why I recommend if you have a zero audience, using a Facebook audience to market to because you can so clearly define on Facebook ad. Own a target 24 year old females that leave in Carlsten who would like to play basketball and have played tennis in the past and just purchased this many thing online and also follow this page.
Anthony: You can set this type of parameters and then that way you can build your audience so specifically without having to go find all these people.
Ryan: I just bought something off Facebook ad like two hours before this podcast.
Anthony: What did you get?
Ryan: I got the kiwi thing.
Anthony: Ah targeted you!
Ryan: And I’ve never heard of them before by the way. So, I wasn’t…
Anthony: That’s targeting.
Ryan: Yeah! I wasn’t already on their email list. I wasn’t already on any of that stuff and in my newsfeed was the thing that was like talking about how you can find Gmail and Google Drive into its own program to increase your productivity and stuff and I watched the video I went “Oh that looks freaking cool. I think I want that.” So, I bought it. And I bought it like 5 minutes after I saw the ad and it was $10 and I bet it didn’t cost them $10 to get me to buy it.
Anthony: Exactly! That’s what’s great about having especially digital products because you can literally have, make it once, and from then… Like, let us say the product 10, 100, $1000 you can have that amount of money in ad spend to be profitable and so you could pay $99.99 to acquire a customer to buy that product and then if your product is $10 and you just made a penny. You can do that a billion times.
Ryan: Billion times. Right. I want margins better than that but it is still profitable!
Anthony: Right. There is no reason not to do it. People think if you think if you spend money on ads, you just spend money it’s like well if you don’t have a product if you don’t have a solution for something to buy in that case. Even the down side, even if you spent a $100 and got for 8 cents a piece you’re getting emails that is still huge amount of money.
Ryan: Right! That is why you have to do it backwards. You don’t build the audience and then build the products. If you build the product and then you can spend money to build the audience to sell them the product.
Anthony: Here is another thing that you can do, let’s say you get 400 emails and no one buys a product “Oh shit! I should just go quit.” No! What you do is you ask those 400 people.
Ryan: Please don’t quit. Please.
Anthony: You ask those 400 people “Hey guys! I am trying to make something that is really cool for you. What do you think you would like?” Get a little survey about whatever you think they should like or whatever make it open ended and have them fill out and tell you exactly what they want and then you make that and then you get 4000 more email people and then you get 40,000 more. Keep surveying and keep asking them and that’s how you make products.
Ryan: Yeah. I can speak first hand about growing an audience organically which is what I started with where I really got first probably like 20,000 Facebook followers. It’s organic. That was much longer and harder than it needed to be had I done it where I built a product that people wanted and then spent money advertising to get their email address and then sell to them. That would have been like, it would have saved me like…
Anthony: Two years maybe?
Ryan: Two years and making a hundred videos for free each week.
Anthony: Which is not bad like serving a lot for a long term purpose but
Ryan: Yeah. I mean it is so great. It is great to do that! That is one strategy, a content marketing strategy, but it is not the only way. If I have done both at the same time, it would have been way faster and way more effective.
Anthony: Yeah. I started with zero followers for Equip which is pureWOD at the time. No audience. I started that at the time and it turned out to be very successful. I was saying Perfect Keto had zero audience, six months ago. Zero people following.
Ryan: You didn’t make a hundred blog post for Perfect Keto and then made the product.
Ryan: You made the product and then marketed the product. People bought it and then they grew that way.
Ryan: I don’t know why we think about it backwards.
Anthony: I think that was sexy! Being this hot shot on social media and portraying this. I think that’s what’s all the cool entrepreneurs are being these days right?
Ryan: Yeah. You have to become super well known to then sell people’s stuff and that was just really not true. Okay! Here is a great example in the movement and fitness world. On one hand, you have mobilityWOD. Everyone knows that’s how Kelly started right? He did it the way where you become super popular yourself and then on the other hand you have ROMWOD.
Anthony: They launched a product. I will estimate doing much more revenue and have many more recurring customers than MWOD list or whatever the hell it is. MWOD’s premier whatever.
Ryan: Yeah! I don’t know who the people are that did it.
Anthony: There wasn’t a huge ROMWOD Instagram before they launched product.
Ryan: Yeah. They just had the product and then they grew the product and then they grew the service.
Anthony: Yeah they did a good job. If you look at the source code of in their site, they are using all the right tools for growth. So here is a quick tip for people who are listening so far in this episode, if you are on the website and if you want to know somethings that they use, there are plugins that you can download in Google Chrome or you can just right click on a page and go view source, and then you can see usually in the top there is what’s called header code where people put all the tools that they use to track you, to serve you ads, to do all these re-marketing stuff where you can just go in companies that you think are doing a good job that killing at a lot of followers, a lot of engagement look at all the tools that they are using.
Ryan: Yeah. They are using Google analytics. If they are using ads, Facebook pixels, ad rolls, whatever, you know that they are like serving people Facebook ads, what are the ones that you are looking for there?
Anthony: It’s like Kissmetrics some of the things like high end software, start up growth tools. Most of the companies that are crushing it are using a lot of the same things. Then you can go on there and see what everyone else are using. Most of these brands again did not start with audience before.This is a much more rare scenario.
Ryan: It is not cheating. It’s being smart. That’s just the smart way to do it.
Ryan: Like to not do it that way…
Anthony: Who says it’s cheating?
Ryan: I don’t know. I think there is a general idea “Well, if I use ads and stuff like that it is not pure.”
Ryan: I don’t know. That’s why we are doing this podcast to say that you should do that. That is like apple being live. We’re just going to make blogpost that says spending millions on TV commercials and ads on billboard and everything like
Anthony: Thre is a reason people… So, advertising like that and buying ads, you are essentially buying the attention of your perceived target markets and tools like Facebook and Instagram ads make that incredibly easy to do. Where’s in the past people were like “Oh! People who are this age whatever, they typically watch these TV shows based on Milson ratings so we’re going to do a TV commercial.” And then spend all money in productions like that whereas now technology allows us to spend a dollar if we want to be very specific and test something instantly. So, take advantage of that opportunity.
Ryan: It’s like me buying that Kiwi thing. I saw I got tricked and if it makes me more productive and I enjoy using it, I’m glad they did the ad because it helped me.
Anthony: Yeah. Ads, sales… Like you are exchanging values and solving problems. There is a shitty way to do it if you’re this scheming person and there is plenty of examples of that but you don’t have to be like that. Those sales and marketing is actually just providing value and letting people know that you have a solution to their problem.
Ryan: Yeah. Let’s say somebody made that stretching program and then they paid for ads and then that led to someone buying it who would not otherwise buy it and then they do the program and then they are better of like that’s the goal!
Ryan: It is just a faster better way to do it.
Anthony: If you think that you need to start building an audience so like “Oh! I got to start. I got to make an Instagram account. I don’t know what to put on there. I don’t know any content but I really have this project or program or this idea.” Make the damn program, make the product, and then from that go on and use our favorite tool Ad Espresso (we don’t get paid or get share from them) or any other Facebook tool or any other paid ad or any other way you want and don’t think about starting an audience first. Think about product that then find some audience. Survey them if they don’t buy and ask anything about the product. Solve their problems.
Ryan: And you know what, if you spend $200, $400 on the ads and no one buys you learned more about ads than if you bought a $400 course on ads.
Anthony: Yup! Tuition!
Ryan: Yeah. That’s the best tuition. So, it’s so cute. I was hesitant spending money at first. I was “What? How do I know if it’s going to work?” You don’t. You have to do it and then learn. That’s just part of the process.
Anthony: Someone asked me earlier who my mentor or my mentors have been? I said my businesses and spending money on them.
Ryan: That’s right.
Anthony: Those are my mentors. Doing sh*t is what my mentors have been.
Ryan: And it’s okay to spend money and have it not work out.
Anthony: Oh, yeah. That happened with me a lot of times but I learned how to do a better copyright that way. I learned what worked and what does not work and you will not going to learn that any other way. Even if you take a course on all the top tricks, you’re still going to fumble and you’re going to lose some money. Sometimes you going to hit it big. Sometimes things are going to be successful. Sometimes things aren’t. It is just the way it goes. You can’t hit a homerun every single time.
Ryan: Look at the Microsoft Band.
Anthony: What the f*ck is that?
Ryan: When they came out with the Microsoft Band? Watch thing?
Anthony: Google glass.
Ryan: Gosh! We could probably say Apple watch to be honest.
Anthony: Yeah. I just surveyed people on Facebook.
Ryan: I know. I saw that and I said “Don’t do it!”
Anthony: I have a look at the responses.
Ryan: I’m sure you haven’t. There are tons of flops in every industry like they spent money and it doesn’t work because they have to. Because some of them are home runs. If you never swing, a gesture but that’s not recorded.
Anthony: What’s the COW then? We are getting enough a lot of tangents. Swing for the fences or what are we…?
Ryan: The Challenge of the Week, the COW, is the… Let’s say, okay. There has to be a couple of scenarios
Anthony: So, it seems that people are using it for notification and in responding to their stuff more frequently and if that’s case I’m not going to get that, of course.
Ryan: Are you looking at the watch thing right now?
Ryan: I was talking about the COW? Alright, so the COW, they are like “Oh yeah! It’s really good for notifications,” that is why I said “Don’t do it!” Why would you want more notifications.” So, here is the Challenge of the Week. If you are spending time currently on trying to build an audience and you do not already have a product, spend time building the product without trying to grow the audience first until your product is done. How is that?
Anthony: It’s good. It’s good. I like that.
Ryan: So, get the product done first and then…
Anthony: Get after it!
Ryan: Get after it!
Ryan: Thank you guys for tuning in to this episode of the Health Fit Business podcast. If you found it helpful, please share with someone that you think it would also help and leave us a five-star rating on iTunes. Make sure also to go to healthfit.biz and sign up for the email notifications to which you can find right on the homepage so that you get all the updated podcasts and blog posts sent directly to you. Until then, we will see you next time.