Ryan Lee – Online Business the Non-Sleazy Way

Entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, success coach and the founder of ryanlee.com - Ryan Lee

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Ryan LeeRyan Lee packs it with what he would do if he were starting an online business now:

  • How to niche down and separate from the competition
  • Exactly how to create a product FAST
  • How to make money online without being SLEAZY
  • He even walks you through exactly what to say in a sales video

Check out his Conference the DotComXpo THIS WEEKEND! I’ll be there, and Daymond from Shark Tank will be speaking!

If you are in the Connecticut area you have to check it out. (and hang out with me!)

Make sure to tell him Happy Birthday on the 9th too!!!

Go to RyanLee.com for more info!

Thanks so much for listening!

Any questions or comments on the podcast let me know!

Transcript:

Welcome to the Eventual Millionaire podcast. I’m Jaime Tardy and today we have Ryan Lee on the show. I am really excited. He’s an entrepreneur success coach, bestselling author, a whole bunch of really cool stuff. He actually has an expo coming up on October 11-13 called DotComXpo and a good friend of mine, Derek Halpern, is actually speaking and also someone who I wish was a good friend of mine, Damon from Shark Tank, is speaking there. So I am super excited. I’m really excited to have Ryan on the show today. Thanks so much for coming on, Ryan.

RYAN LEE: Thanks for having me, Jaime. I am excited and ready to rock the mike!

JAIME TARDY: You must be so busy right now, so I really appreciate the fact that you’re coming on. The first thing I really want to get into though is how you started. Not necessarily the online business stuff, but what was your very, very first business that you ever had?

RYAN LEE: Well the first business I ever had not online, I was 12 years old and baseball cards. I was obsessed with baseball cards. It was the greatest business model; whether it was my birthday or Chanukah, whatever, that was what I got as a present, it was baseball cards. I started collecting so many cards that I actually started my own business and I’ll never forget I actually took out my first ad in a magazine I was 12, it was 1985 or so and I said send a self-addressed stamped envelope and I’ll give you a free pricelist. I would send it through the mail.

I would type it up. My parents would take it and get a photocopy and I would send them out in the mail. Literally people would send me cash. They’d send $50, $20, $100, in cash and I’d take the cash and I’d send the baseball cards in the mail. It was pretty cool and I used to have people then come to my house. Looking back now it’s kind of weird. I remember my mom was like don’t, because all of a sudden I brought this like 40-year-old man would come to my house and I’d go down to the basement with him. She’s like, Ryan, I don’t know if I like you doing this business.

It was fine. It was legit. It was baseball cards. I would sell cards. That was my first business. Fast forward, I always had the entrepreneurial spirit but I never knew I could really make a real legit business out of it. And then forward I was working at children’s hospital. That was my first job out of college. I started a personal training business on the side. So the end of ’98, early ’99 I had built a little simple website with the help of my neighbor, who was 12 years old at the time, and it was just to promote my sports training business. I started writing training articles. It was mostly training athletes and that was the kind of beginning of it.

It was always on the side, part time. I left the job at the children’s hospital and I ended up, I tried to do internet full time. A company hired me. This was right before the big dotcom bust happened. Said we’ll give you all this stock options. I made double the income. I think I made like $60,000 a year which, at that time, for me, was a ton of money. They said, “These stock options, we’re going to go public and you’re going to be rich.” Two months later it all fell apart and I was all alone.

JAIME TARDY: What year was that?

RYAN LEE: That was 2000.

JAIME TARDY: So that crashed.

RYAN LEE: That crashed. I had just gotten married. We didn’t have any kids yet and I got hired by another internet company. I was there about seven months and it was awful. I was in a cubicle and I wasn’t used to that. I was used to working with kids and running around in sports and fitness and this was just terrible. It was the first time I was ever actually fired because it was not good. When she hired me she was like the NOH came out. I was like oh of course. I barely knew NOH at all. I’m like I’ll do whatever it takes and it was just awful.

JAIME TARDY: What made you not go into personal training? Why did you go and just get a job instead of going back to being a personal trainer?

RYAN LEE: Because I needed a job quickly and they gave me one because they had seen my site and it was a lot of money, well a lot at the time. It just seemed to be the right move at the time. It wasn’t. After that, I was like all right I got to go back to my roots and that’s when I got a job as a gym teacher, in the South Bronx, really tough area, alternative high school. On the side, I said now I am going to get serious about building my internet company and that’s when I started to really work hard.

You know, during all of my breaks when all the teachers were sitting around the lounge and taking naps, I would walk over a couple blocks past the drug dealers and the prostitutes, literally, like I am not exaggerating, to go to the public library to work on my site. I did it at night and on the weekends and I launched my first paid membership site in 2001. I made a little money on the internet before that. 2001 was when I really got serious and that’s when it just kind of took off.

I stayed at the job as a gym teacher probably six or seven more months until I had enough income. I told my wife hey we don’t have kids yet, now is the time where I can do this full time. I was making $5,000 or $6,000 a month doing this internet thing. I’m like if I could do that few hours a day, imagine what I could do full time. Now here I am, 2012, helping a lot of people build their business too. So it’s that and fun.

JAIME TARDY: It was a different world back then. I was in computers then. It was a very different world. How did it take off? We hear take off, it just took off, it was great; I made tons of money.

RYAN LEE: I had also put in a lot of time before that building relationships. I would hustle. I made a deal with the largest sports training equipment company called Perform Better. I said, “I’ll come to your events. I’ll have a little booth there, we’ll host.” I made a deal with this association called the National Strength Conditioning Association. I’ll said, “I’ll post the sites for your members for free.” I did these deals. I hustled. I went to events. I spoke.

I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it and I just gave away a ton of content. I was writing articles. I was networking at events. I had other people write articles for me and then I just basically made the decision and I was building up an email list and I was studying. I never studied marketing. One of my friends, when I was working at the hospital, still learning this stuff and my friends had their days off and they were going to the beach and hanging out, watching TV, I was either at the library or Barnes and Noble like reading books. I couldn’t afford to pay $1,000 for a training program.

So I got my list and then in 2001 I basically put all that content that I was giving away for free behind a pay wall. I think it was like $50 a year, at the time. That’s what happened. I literally made it live and then I just never stopped marketing. I was constantly promoting the site.

JAIME TARDY: You’re one of the very early creators. Back then there wasn’t a lot of membership sites or anything like that online at all.

RYAN LEE: I was like the first in strength and conditioning by far and I used Click Bank and I remember I was like the first in the new category called Sports Staff Training. This was 2001. There was hardly any competition.

JAIME TARDY: How hard was it though to try and get people that didn’t really know what a membership site was to decide to do this way back when?

RYAN LEE: It wasn’t as hard as you think because I had been proving myself for two years putting out content. I was always there answering questions and it’s funny because, in a way, it was easier, at the time, because there wasn’t really any competition. It was little bit more difficult because also not many people were online. I would speak at trade events, for fitness professionals. That was my niche. I’ll never forget one of the first talks I gave. I said, “Okay, how many of you personal trainers have an email address? Raise your hand.” It was like 30 percent of the crowd.

I’m saying have an email. Maybe two people had a website, maybe. There was no You Tube. There was not Facebook. There was none of this stuff. Google was just starting. It was just a different time. Now it is much easier to create the site. Back then it was really hard. I used Front Page. I did literally everything manually literally typing words that were in there. I couldn’t post video. Audio was too slow. It was mostly articles, because even the images would take 10 minutes to load.

JAIME TARDY: I remember that.

RYAN LEE: It was easier, in some ways, that there was less competition but it was difficult. I remember when I made it live and I remember getting emails from people saying, “This is ridiculous. Why should I have to pay? You used to do it for free.” I’m like well it’s a business. You don’t have to. There is no law that says you have to. You can go out and try to find all this stuff yourself and it’s going to take you a lot of time or for $50 a year you have it right here.

JAIME TARDY: That’s awesome. Way back then you were doing emails because that’s huge. I was in the internet space and nobody was talking about emails. Now it’s, of course, everybody knows that you need to do emails. But let’s fast forward to now. There is so much stuff online and it’s so overwhelming, especially someone who doesn’t have internet background or an IT computer background.

What do you suggest people that are just sort of starting and just getting into it and hearing about all of the amazing opportunities online and yet maybe dabbling and falling flat on their face because there’s so much stuff?

RYAN LEE: Yes, there is so much stuff. I’m still old school in a way where it’s the fundamentals still work. Everyone gets carried away. I blame a lot of “internet marketers” because they’re always trying to make money and it’s fine. Look, I’m a capitalist. I’m all for making money, but they’re always trying to throw the next big shiny object in front of people and they’ll go I have to make money on Twitter. I’m going to make money on Facebook. I’m going to make money on Pinterest. Oh my gosh, what’s this and You Tube videos and You Tube ads. It’s just crazy.

For me, it’s still about the relationship. It’s about connecting with people. I like to look at it as we’ve got to build that platform first and, for me, a platform now, as of this recording, is a blog. It’s just a Word Press based site and that’s your platform. Then you’ve got to find your niche and you have to figure out what is it you really want to talk about. What do you want to teach? You have to educate people in whatever that niche is. What I like to teach is kind of narrow your market twice. I don’t know, Jaime, name any market entity. Just name anything, a general market.

JAIME TARDY: Yoga.

RYAN LEE: Yoga?

JAIME TARDY: Yes.

RYAN LEE: For example, yoga is already niched down once. You might have said there’s a lot of personal trainers. They may say, “I want to be in the fitness market.” Well what area of the fitness market? There is strength and conditioning, improving your vertical jump. There’s weight loss. There’s muscle gain. There’s all these different things. Maybe it’s weight. From there, how are you going to lose weight and you can target by the type of training?

You could target by yoga. You could target by spinning. You could target by kettle bell. So that’s the type of mode; by sex. I want to weight loss for men. I want to do weight loss for women. I want to do weight loss for women using yoga. I want to do weight loss for men using kettle bells.

JAIME TARDY: What, men don’t want to do yoga? I’m kidding.

RYAN LEE: There actually are people who niche yoga for men. There’s a couple books. You could niche then by, all these different combinations. You want to keep niching until you could be number one. So maybe yoga right now is too busy. So you know what, I’m not going to do yoga I want to be yoga for women. You know what, maybe that’s too busy so then you could say I want to be the yoga person for women over 50 or I want to be the yoga person for women who just had a baby or I want to be the yoga person for women who are pregnant or the yoga person for attorneys who are stressed out.

If an attorney is looking to get fit and do yoga, you’re the person. You are the solution. You wrote the book about yoga for attorneys. You have workshops. You have all these things and now all of a sudden you can be number one and your competition becomes almost nonexistent. You build your platform. You find that thing you are passionate about. You narrow it until you can be number one and dominate and then you figure out monetization and there’s so many different ways to monetize what it is you do.

There is recurring revenue programs called continuity, which are membership sites, software, CD of the month, DVD of the month, newsletters. You’ve got big ticket products, $500, $1,000 workshop seminars, certifications, boot camps, coaching, you know, the entry level products. You’ve got the books, the DVDs, the eBooks, the audio programs and basically everything in between. So there is a lot, but I think if you at least start with your platform and you figure out what it is you want to do and then, you know, people I think they try too hard. They focus so much on the money they lose track that they’re actually trying to help people.

If you get, if you stop thinking about the money, and I did this with one of my guys. He was working with high school basketball players and he was so focused on the money and the dollars. I said, “Here’s what I want you to do. For the next two weeks, don’t even try to make a sale. All I want you to do is get out there and try to spread the word about your training and help people. Help as many basketball players as you can over the next couple of weeks and don’t even think about, I don’t even want to hear the words selling a product. Just get out there and help people.” He did it for a couple of weeks and he was like oh my God, the response was incredible. I got more comments on my blog, people started to subscribe to my newsletter.

People, they don’t care about you until they know you care about them. Get out there, care. Go on Facebook. Just answer questions. Help people. You don’t always have to have a link or a hidden agenda. Just go out there and help and people will notice. It takes a little bit more work that way, a little bit more effort but it pays off because, when you take care of your customers and you truly care about them and help them, I mean I have customers who have been with me for over a decade. In the world of the internet, people hop from one “Google” to the next.

For ten years people have been with me and still coming to my events so I think I am doing something right. I hope I am and that’s what I try to teach other people that you can do it and you can still be a good person and do it the right way and do it ethically and hold your head up high and not some sleazy internet person selling them crap.

JAIME TARDY: That’s huge because nobody wants to feel like that. I mean that’s sort of the thing. That’s what we get for the online market and no offense to any internet marketers or anything like that. It’s about pushing their agenda instead of trying to help the actually customer or the people on the other side. It’s not about them and so I really like the way that you talk about it being about them and actually helping them. What a marvel concept.

RYAN LEE: They should take offense because some of these people it’s just a game for them. It’s literally like what’s the hot thing? Okay the hot thing now is, I don’t know, Kindle. Okay let’s create a product on how to make money with Kindle even though they’ve never made money with Kindle. Let’s say it’s $200 or $300 or $99 and then we’ll charge $7 and we’ll put them in a $20 a month Kindle program and interview authors. I’m like you’ve never even made a dollar from it. That, to me, is just wrong.

I’m trying to show people that you don’t have to do it that way. That’s one option but that’s shortsighted, that’s short term. That’s thinking okay I’ll do this crappy product. I’ll sell some people into it. Refunds are going to be 40/50 percent. I basically scratch, no one is going to trust me anymore so now it’s going to be even harder and then it’s kind of this wave as opposed to come out with a great product, a great program, do it the right way and it might be a little bit slower but you are going to see your business grow and grow and grow and it’s going to stabilize and you’re going to build real wealth as opposed to a hit and then down and up and down, which is why all these people keep launching new products. You could go on stable income.

JAIME TARDY: That’s awesome. Let’s talk about yoga for women over 50. I do yoga and now I wish I talked about karate. Karate sounds so much cooler. So yoga for women over 50; I’m just starting. What do I do, Ryan Lee, give me your best advice. I don’t have a ton of time. I’m doing it on the side. I’ve already got my job. What do I do? What’s the focus things that I should be doing?

RYAN LEE: First thing, like I said, get your blog and start creating really good content. When I say really good content, I am saying not the boring seven best yoga poses or what to have, make sure to have a towel. If you could read that crap in the magazines, on the newsstand, like these generic articles, then you shouldn’t be writing it. What I tell people to do, okay so you’re going after yoga with women over 50, take a stand. What is it you are going to be against?

I like to say draw a line in the sand and people are going to rally behind you. There are going to be some people who don’t like what you have to say and that’s fine. You will never ever ever please everybody and if you try you are going to be in trouble and you are going to be very disappointed. So just go for the people who it is going to resonate with. If you’re passionate about it, you are going to know why people do yoga. I don’t do yoga but I am going to assume that people who do yoga want to do it because it is going to be easier on your joints and they don’t like the big global gyms.

Maybe that’s one of your “enemies” is these gyms and all these people who do this high training and kind of who you attack in a way. Not viciously and don’t go to World’s Gym they blow. Like hey you want to do these other kind of workouts and hurt your joints, you’re going to get osteoporosis and then I would start to break into certain blogs about that stuff. Hey here is a You Tube video I found about someone doing a clean and jerk and cross fit. Look how much that’s hurting your elbows, you know, you could do the same pose in yoga doing this stuff.

Find that person who you’re kind of against and you rally. Start creating that really good content. Do some videos. Make it personal. Really connect. Build a Facebook fan page. Start joining other Facebook groups, start commenting and start helping people. Start going on forums and go to Google. You can do Google alerts, which is free and every time they mention the word yoga or yoga training or yoga exercise, yoga tips, you’re going to get a message and you go to the forums and you start answering questions. Someone says, “Oh man, what’s a good yoga pose to do?” Hi, my name is Jaime, I definitely recommend you do this yoga pose. Hey I actually just did it in a video for you. Check this out.

I would just start there. Then you figure out, so that’s kind of phase one and then phase two is kind of well phase more 1A and 1B. You want to go where people are. So where are those 50 year old women going? What sites are they on? Where are they at in their life? Maybe there are specific sites, there’s going to be specific yoga sites. There are going to be specific sites that are just for women like, I know iVillage used to be popular. I’m not a 50-year-old female.

JAIME TARDY: I can’t think of things either. We should have picked a different niche.

RYAN LEE: My wife wrote a book for, my wife is a psychologist, and she wrote a kids book for feelings and a daily journal and I said well where are the moms going to be and she went to a blog where the moms are and offered to give away free copies of her book and she got so much good press and promotion just by doing that. So there’s going to places they go and just go where they are and then find those sites, find the blogs and offer to be a guest blogger. Say, “Hey I noticed you have a site for empty nesters, right, women who are 60 and older and it’s general. I would love to write an article for your readers about yoga.”

All of a sudden now you’re kind of leveraging their audience. Maybe she gets 2,000 people a day or 3,000 people a month, whatever. Now you have a guest blog and maybe you only get 100 people to visit your site but that’s 100 new people and you’re now entering into a dialogue with. You put some kind of incentive to get their email list and then you start reaching out and connecting with them. That’s it. You start there and then instead of trying to force your program down someone’s throat saying, “Oh I know what my program is going to be; it’s going to be 101 Yoga Workouts or 101 Yoga Moves.” Ask what people want because you will be surprised at what they tell you.

They are going to tell you I really want to do this with yoga or I really want to find yoga outdoors or on the beach. I don’t know. What I am saying is this is where you do the research and you just ask people what they want. Here’s a really cool strategy – I learned this from Jay Abraham years ago. Go to Amazon. This is all free research. You don’t have to do, you don’t have to hire someone to do this research for you. Go to Amazon. Everyone has heard of Amazon. Have you heard of them?

Then using the yoga example I would type in yoga, yoga book, book for yoga, all these different keywords and I’d look at all the different books about yoga and then, here’s the big one, Jaime, check out the reviews. Look at all the reviews of those books but here’s a twist. Instead of paying attention to the 4 and 5 star review look at those 1 and 2 star reviews because the 1 and 2 star reviews are going to reveal what people don’t like about the book, what’s missing and that’s where you fill in the gaps. So if there is a yoga book that you start seeing, if you look at 30 or 40 books and you start looking at all the 1 and 2 start reviews and all they kept saying is it’s great but I would have liked more workouts.

I wanted more workouts. I want to see more routines. I wanted more routines, there you go. Here we go. Here’s the next program. It’s a six-week yoga system and it’s all routines done for you. It’s just being resourceful. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. This is all free. It just takes a little bit of time but you’ve got, and just to kind of piggyback off that, you can tell I talk about this for a living. I love this. I get so many products and have been behind the scenes with so many, I just love this, but the big trend now and I mentioned before 101 yoga moves, the big trend now is just people want systems.

Systems, systems, systems, systems; everyone wants a system. So instead of just throwing out a bunch of stuff, you know, 30 ways to make money with Pinterest or 101 yoga moves or 10 ways to get your baby to stop crying, think about the 3 week system how to [blank] in just [blank].

JAIME TARDY: What I am really curious and I love how you’re old school. So you’re like just do this thing and it’s not, no offense again to internet marketers, we’re going to just rag on them. A lot of people want to become really successful overnight. Who doesn’t? That’s fun, sure, yeah. So listening to your stuff is like oh wow I have to comment and I have to do this stuff and I just wants lots of traffic and people coming to my site and not the simple things and stuff like that. What makes you say just go out and comment and do some things and just sort of get out there and talk to the people instead of like do Facebook ads and get 1,000 visitors coming to your site in a day?

RYAN LEE: Because you have to have a foundation first. When you do that and I am not saying you can’t do a Facebook ad and get 1,000 visitors and do Google advertising and all that type of stuff. Absolutely; but that’s like putting the cart before the horse. You can do that but if you’re product is not good, if your foundation is not good, it’s going to be weak and you might make a little bit of money, but I guarantee you it’s going to go down pretty quickly.

I like to and most people that come to me, not most, it varies, but a lot of people just don’t have a lot of money to spend. They’re like I’m doing this part time, I have two kids, I’m doing all this stuff, I can’t spend, these gurus tell me just throw $500 at an ad and they’re like $500? I know when I started there was no way I could have afforded $500, not a chance. I understand that. I’m saying you can do it slowly, you know, the Gary Vanerchuck way, which is just putting the stuff out there. It’s a little bit slower, but you can still do it.

What I am saying is there’s no excuse. If you are confident and you’re writing the blog and you have the good stuff and you have good product and you want to go out and put money in Facebook ads, then go for it and go test it and do that. I just tend to teach a little bit different method and I try, because what I can do is pretty easy to replicate. You can just do it. You can just be passionate about it. There is definitely more than one way to do this. It does drive me crazy though when they try to sell this oh I have this software that I created and it makes me $200,000 a month and you can get it for $27. Man, if it’s making you $200,000 a month why the hell would you sell it for $27? The reason you make $200,000 is because you sold 10,000 copies of a $27 product.

JAIME TARDY: It’s funny because one of the things that I want to say on that too is I know a lot of new business owners, if they have money, they would rather just throw money at it, which is kind of funny. I always tend to tell people even if you have money don’t just throw money at it because people feel like they are getting stuff done when they throw money at it even if they don’t have a clear idea of what they are doing yet. So I think sort of the tactics that you’re talking about is really good.

You put your toe in the water and see how things are instead of trying to throw $1,000 on a Facebook ad or whatever it is and then go oh I probably should have thought about that a little bit better, because people feel like they’re doing something when they throw money at it, which is why people buy all these things, because I want that $27 thing to make $200,000, because I feel like I’m working on my business when I buy that.

RYAN LEE: It’s crazy. Look the sales tactics are very persuasive. They study copywriting. They know how to push the buttons. They have read all of the persuasion techniques and Robert Chalveny and they know NOP. It sounds very real and they show proof and all this stuff but the reality is that it’s going to take work and effort and I know I could make even more money by kind of playing into that and saying oh it’s so easy. You just do this in five minutes, but I just can’t do that. It just doesn’t feel right. I know I lose sales. Even if I speak at an event, I say look if you want to click, if you think you’re going to be able to click a button and make all this amount of money then please don’t buy my program whereas the other guys would never say that.

They’d be like it’s as easy as clicking a button and you’re going to make all this money because they know they’re going to run to the back of the room. You know what, I’d rather make less money and be able to sleep well at night and be a good role model for my kids because, at the end of the day, you have your legacy that you leave and I don’t want my kids to be embarrassed. They’d be like oh who is your dad? Ryan Lee. Oh that guy was a scam artist. I know I don’t want to leave that kind of legacy. I just want to help people do good and do my share and still make money at the same time. Look I like nice things too but I think you can help people, in your market, in your niche, do it the right way. Do it with integrity and I am trying to lead the way to show that it’s possible. It’s absolutely possible.

My best students, like when I started out in the fitness world, they’re still doing it ten years later and they are at the top, if you ask any fitness professional people like Alan Kosgrove, Mike Boyles, Zack Evanesh, Eric Kresley, all these people who the fitness people know, they’re really well respected and they make a lot of money and they’re doing it the right way. They don’t have to resort to tactics and tricks.

JAIME TARDY: That’s actually what I was going to ask you about, some case studies and stuff like that, especially any sort of recent case studies not like those guys who started when you started. Do you have any recent case studies that you can talk to us about too?

RYAN LEE: Sure. I mean there’s some obviously I can’t mention the names just because of confidentiality but one he just put a video testimony on my site so I can mention him. He also does a blog, David Garland.

JAIME TARDY: David Siteman Garland. Everybody needs to check out his stuff too.

RYAN LEE: His site is Rise to the Top and he took one of my programs called 1K Per Day Formula and it basically taught him how to take this knowledge that he has and his is setting up a real web show and turn it to a premium product and the whole goal of the program is to make $1,000 a day and his program in the first 30 days made $1,000 per day so that was $30,000 in the first month. That was just recent he sent that. There’s another guy in the real estate industry who just put a testimonial too, just wrote on my blog, he commented, that he made $15,000. He’s in real estate and he created a premium product with his real estate teaching technique.

I get those kind of things all the time. So many fitness professionals, like these two women – Carrie and Alicia – and I came up with a really good hook for them called The Boot camp Girls and they teach people because they were running successful fitness boot camps. Take that information, package it and teach other trainers now and now they sell other products.

JAIME TARDY: See, okay, I do boot camp. I just did boot camp yesterday, you know what I mean, I was just telling my **** at karate, she’s a boot camp trainer and I’m like you need to do this thing where you teach other people how to do this too because she has her own little system and method and it can’t get anywhere farther than where she is right now unless she’s online. That’s really cool.

RYAN LEE: Those are some recent people who have been going through, another guy Billy Beck who is another fitness professional, he basically had all these products that he had created. He had this one big training system and I looked through it and I said well the big thing people want right now is the nutrition. So I said pull out that nutrition component and just sell that as its own separate thing and I think in three days he made like another 56 or 5,800 bucks.

JAIME TARDY: You’re like I’ve got success stories.

RYAN LEE: Just by taking that little thing and changing it he was able to generate $5,000 or $6,000 in profit where he didn’t have that before.

JAIME TARDY: Did these people have platforms already? I know we talked about platforms and how important platforms are. Did they already have a platform so all they had to do is go out and send to their email list and that way?

RYAN LEE: David had been building the platform. The Boot camp Girls had built a new platform for this. The real estate guy had a different platform. It wasn’t like the online platform and who was the one I just said? Billy had a platform but he wasn’t doing it the right way. He wasn’t really building his email list so we basically we redid the platform.

JAIME TARDY: Okay, so foundation though platform first. So you started building that up. So what is the next step? Is after you sort of know what the product should be, how much time should people be spending on a product because people go oh my gosh now I have to create this whole product. I’m creating product right now. It takes a long time. Tell me about like your system. Give me all your advice so that way I can do it too.

RYAN LEE: All right, now first thing is it is going to depend on the type of product. I am known in the marketplace to be able to create stuff really, really fast because I get hyper-focused. I’m always distracted but when I am focused I just zoom in. First thing I recommend is you’ve got to get focused. You’ve got to put yourself in an environment where you have the ability to just super focus and not get distracted. So turn off the phone, turn off Skype and just take that whatever, half an hour, hour, two hours a day, to just work on that first thing in the morning before anything else, before you do email. That’s the most important thing.

In terms of product creation, there’s different types. What I have done in the past and I recommend and I teach this in one of my systems is if you want to just, it’s a little bit more effort but it’s a great way to put kind of pressure on yourself and I’ll explain it. Let’s name another market, Jaime, give me any target market and we’ll come up with a kind of a product.

JAIME TARDY: Can I pick karate now? Does that count?

RYAN LEE: Let’s pick karate. All right, karate. So tell me a little bit more. Are going to teach other people how to become better at karate? Are you going to teach other karate instructors how to open up a karate school?

JAIME TARDY: Actually, let me tell you, I love my karate teachers and what they’re actually doing is creating a system for kids, one of the kids has cerebral palsy and so they’re teaching actually a whole thing for him and he’s doing amazing. What they want to do is sort of replicate that.

RYAN LEE: So they want to teach other kids with, I worked with so many kids with CP so I used to love working with the kids with cerebral palsy. So they want to sell a system teaching people how to train kids with CP or the actual end user kids with CP?

JAIME TARDY: I think both eventually but yes.

RYAN LEE: Let’s just say it’s going to be a product how to train a kid who has cerebral palsy with karate. You’re going to sell this to parents and you’re also going to sell it to physical therapists, fitness professionals, occupational therapists, whoever. To me, that’s a very physical product because you can’t do that on PowerPoint. You have to have someone there. You have to be able to demonstrate the exercises and all the different movements. There’s got to be video. There has got to be a video component.

What I would say, so here’s the way I would do it. Here’s exactly what I would do if I had that skill set. I would say okay I’m going to make it a one-day workshop. First thing I am going to do is outline. I’m going to sketch out all the components, all the modules. Maybe module one is going to be assessment then maybe we can talk about warm up and dynamic flexibility. Then we can talk about strength training and then we can talk about anaerobic and aerobic conditioning and then we can talk about cool down and then we can talk about programming.

I just kind of made that up. I used to be a fitness pro, as you can see. And maybe one is nutrition. So let’s say there is six components, six modules. Now each of those I breakdown. Let’s just call them an hour chunk. So 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. is going to be the assessment and then you just break it down into those specific chunks. I would then find a space and it’s so easy to find space. You can go on Craigslist, you can rent out a gym, you can go into the public library. You can do it in a hotel conference space. You can get the stuff really, really inexpensively and probably for free, especially if you know anyone who has space – the local YMCA, the local high school, anyone or you could do it outside. I wouldn’t recommend outside for this though.

I would then, now there’s two options, you can either charge for the workshop or you just invite some people for free. So let’s say you don’t even want to start setting up charging. I would find a couple of people who I know are interested in it. So I would call some local personal trainers and physical therapists and say, “Look I’m going to do this workshop. It’s going to be a full day 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. I am going to go through the whole system of how to train a kid with cerebral palsy karate. It’s going to be great. You’re going to love it. Come dressed in sweatpants ready to do it.” They say, “Okay, great.”

Got my space. I would literally, like that’s the first thing I am going to do. I am going to get this, before I even have it outlined, I’m getting the space so in two Tuesdays from now I call this space, I get the space, hey in two weeks I’m going to book the workshop 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Okay it’s $100 deposit, fine, I send the money. Now all of a sudden it’s out there.

JAIME TARDY: Deadline.

RYAN LEE: An external deadline. Now I have no choice. I got to hustle my ass off and I got to get this done. I contact the people and then I find the videographer. I go on Craigslist. I look at wedding videographers and I basically give them all the specs. It’s going to be this time to this time. Here is the schedule how we’re going to film. I’m going to need two cameras. I need a two-camera shoot. I’m going to need the audio person there, not just, I don’t want someone filming with their frigging iPhone. We want good audio. We might need a light kit setup. I am going to need a screen because I am going to do PowerPoint too. Give me your price. Give me your best price all when done edited. They may come up with $200, $500 whatever it is.

Now, you go ahead and you do the workshop, you kick butt. Now you’ve got a 6, 7, 8-hour training system. Now you’ve got a system to sell. Now you can sell video and it could either be, you can do this online or offline. If it’s going to be online, you’ve got the online video. You tell the video person hey I want you to also take out the audio and I want people to be able to listen too if they want to listen in the car. You’ve got audio, you’ve got video, you can get it transcribed. You’ve got all the handouts and PowerPoint’s as a PDF file and you can do even worksheets and all that kind of stuff and sample routines. Now you’ve got an online system.

Or it can be physical. You can do DVD, CDs, workbooks, three-ring binder and now you’ve got a system that you could sell for $300, $400, $500, $1,000, right, depending on if you’re talking about ROI or not enough they’re going to be able to make money with it and there you go. So now, two weeks from now, I’m ready, I’m locked and loaded and I’ve got a product. Then you go out and sell it. That’s it. We talk about easy product creation, again it takes a little bit more work but the other alternative is for people to sit down, now I am going to do this and it never gets done. Oh I got to record this. Oh I can’t do it. I have to watch the baby today and I’m on diaper duty and all this kind of crap happening.

JAIME TARDY: I have two small children. I get that too. Having that external deadline is huge.

RYAN LEE: To me, external deadline is everything because once I get that external deadline, I have no choice. I’m making it happen. I know I have the space so I have and when you see that clock ticking you can’t procrastinate. You can’t say okay I’m going to answer email for three hours today. You don’t have time. You’ve got to get this thing set and that’s the way I’ve always done it. When I’ve taught my other students about setting that external deadline, they always get it done. It’s a great way to do a premium product because now you have a home study kit. You have a workshop. You have something that’s a system and there you go. Literally two weeks from now you can be done.

JAIME TARDY: I love that. Thank you for the inspiration too because you’re right. It’s funny because I had a deadline scheduled and my video guy for this thing and we had to reschedule and now that I don’t have that deadline again I am so pushing it into the future. It is one of those things where once you have something it makes sense. You do what you have to do but until you do and I talk about that a lot with fear because whatever it is it will fill the time space that you have. So if you spend a month on this course going oh my gosh I can’t believe this course blah blah blah and fearful of it I don’t really want to do it, that’s just going to fill whatever space you have and, if you set that deadline, it’s going to chop that and you can actually get it done, which is huge.

We don’t have too much time but I keep wanting tons of questions from you. Say you have the product. Give us a short overview of now what, because people have made products before and have a lot of DVDs in their garage or whatever it is. So once you have the start of a platform building, you’ve got your product that you think is going to go really well, what’s your best suggestion for actually selling it?

RYAN LEE: For actually selling it? Now you’ve got to sell the damn thing, right? So you have to figure out, how am I going to sell it? Is it going to be, what’s the sales process? What does a sales funnel look like? Am I going to go with a long copy sales letter? Am I going to go with the video sales or how is it going to work? You can do a couple ways. You can obviously hire a sales copywriter and some of them tend to be kind of hype-y. You know, how to walk again and not have cerebral palsy like all these kinds of hype.

What I say, if the person is even somewhat decent on camera, if they’re doing the workshop hopefully they are, honestly, the best way I found and the easiest is just to have video and just speak into the camera like you would talking to a parent or a physical therapist selling them that. You can even have, when the videographer is at your workshop, you can even have them stay after for five minutes and just record you in the workshop and say something like:

“Hi, I am Ryan Lee, thanks so much for watching this video. This workshop is called The CP Karate Workshop is a labor of love. It has been ten years in the making. I’ve trained 38 kids with cerebral palsy with karate and blah, blah, blah and here’s how this program works. Here are the modules we’re going to take you through and this was filmed at a live workshop. We took physical therapists and trainers. They spent all day. We went through everything from start to finish to warm-ups to this to that to that. It’s seven hours. It’s video you can be able to download it and watch it online anytime you want. You’re kids are going to feel better. They’re going to be able to have more range of motion. They’re going to have more confidence. It might help their gait and all this kind of stuff. If you wanted to hire me as your trainer or as your karate instructor it would be $300 a month or it would be $200 an hour or $59 or whatever. The thing is you can get this right now, this entire workshop for just $299 or three payments of $99. That’s it. Just click the button below and you’ll have instant access to it. It’s right there delivered. There you go, just click below and you can have it. It comes with a money back guarantee. There’s no risk. Click below and I’ll see you on the inside.”

JAIME TARDY: Your whole sales video right there. Nice.

RYAN LEE: If you’re building a platform and you’re building a relationship, you rely less and less on copy. I can just do video now and say, “Hey I’ve got this cool thing. It’s $5,000.” People are going to sign up because they trust me already. That’s why it’s so important. You don’t have to rely that much on the copy when you do that. Honestly, that’s the easiest way to do it. You just get a video and just explain the benefits of it and what it is and you will sell. Will it have the best conversion in the world? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s easy and it gets people over that fear of oh my God now I have to learn.

What they’ll say is I got the product now I have to learn how to write copy. They take these copywriting courses and sound like a jackass. I’m going to eliminate cerebral palsy off the face of the earth with karate. Dripping sweat with blood. It’s just come on. Like that’s not you. That’s not what you’re trying to do. Just be you and people are getting tired of that hype and the crap.

JAIME TARDY: It’s funny, I hired a copywriter when I very first started and he was like be as hype-y as you can because Jaime you cannot be hype-y at all. Like even your max hype-yness is really pitiful so don’t worry about trying to be too hype-y and I’m like oh good I guess that’s good. So it is one of those things. It’s good to hear though that people that are really successful don’t need the hype, because you see all the things that are various triggers for psychology and stuff like that and a lot of newer people doing this stuff don’t know that stuff and are intimidated that they don’t know this stuff.

RYAN LEE: Then they think oh man, well I can’t afford a copywriter for $5,000 so I’m going to have to take, then they go online, what books do you recommend for copywriting? What courses? Then they spend $1,000 on a copywriting course and they spend two months learning copywriting and they still can’t do it because look I’ve been writing copy for over a decade and I’m still learning. Just film a video.

JAIME TARDY: Be honest. Who knew?

RYAN LEE: Transparent and say look the video wasn’t recorded, it wasn’t a Steven Spielberg directed video and that might be a little editing issue here and there but you know what, it is what it is and if you’re okay with that, it’s about the content.

JAIME TARDY: That’s awesome.

RYAN LEE: Just be honest and people appreciate it.

JAIME TARDY: That’s huge. I want to ask you more about the DotComXpo in a second but the question that I always ask, for everyone at the end of this, is what’s one action that listeners can take this week to help move them forward towards their goal of a million?

RYAN LEE: Man there’s so many actions they can take.

JAIME TARDY: You have to take 12, you can’t take 1.

RYAN LEE: What’s one thing they can do? Okay, one thing they can do is wrote more blog posts that they’re passionate about and really pour your heart and soul into it and let’s see what happens. Like one really, really killer, if they find that enemy, draw that line in the sand and just go out there and let it all hang out. Do that.

JAIME TARDY: That’s awesome.

RYAN LEE: See what happens.

JAIME TARDY: Awesome. Tell us more about the DotComXpo and stuff like that. I know it’s short notice. I know this is going to be released on Monday so it will be that week. It’ll be kind of crazy but tell us about, especially for people that are sort of in the New York City and stuff like area.

RYAN LEE: Well DotComXpo, I usually do a big event each year. DotComXpo is going to be a lot of fun. We’re going to have 20 guest speakers. It’s probably the first true online marketing event that there’s no pitching. No selling from the stage. Just people there just to share. So you come, leave your wallet up in the room and just come and learn and network with a couple hundred people. Our keynote speaker is Damon John from Shark Tank, my favorite show.

JAIME TARDY: Me too.

RYAN LEE: If you’re interested just go to DotComXpo.com. My site RyanLee.com, I’m always blogging. I always answer each blog post good or bad. I just like sharing, giving and educating. Go check that out.

JAIME TARDY: Awesome. I love how approachable you are and how easy it was to get an interview with you and stuff like that. It’s really, really cool to actually have a real person on the other side. Good. So I’ll definitely link everything up. If you guys are listening on iTunes you can check it out in the show notes and have links and all that fun stuff to check out Ryan Lee’s stuff. He has got some amazing stuff. I know him and I’ve checked it out for a long time and he provides tons of really awesome content. What a surprise, right? So thank you so much for coming on the show today, Ryan. I really appreciate it.

RYAN LEE: It was my pleasure. Thanks for having me, Jaime. This was fun. Anytime!

Just to note, you can download the top ten tips from these millionaire interviews on the blog.

Thanks for listening. You can find out more great information like this on EventualMillionaire.com.

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6 Responses to “Ryan Lee – Online Business the Non-Sleazy Way”

  1. Tiago Simões

    Hi Jaime!
    Thanks a lot for this interview.
    I really apreciate it.
    Best wishes from Brazil

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