Ken Krell is a serial entrepreneur who’s mastered the “lifestyle business”. In this interview he reveals profound lessons that he’s learned through the highs and lows of his journey and some of the key tactics and strategies he’s used to create his online lifestyle business.
To learn more about Ken’s content marketing tools: iboostify.com
Transcription: Starting a Lifestyle Business
We’ve got a really special guest that I’m thrilled to announce today and this guy for nearly a third of a century has been teaching people all over the world some incredibly powerful techniques starting a lifestyle business to create wealth, prosperity and happiness in their lives.
He’s the founder and executive director of the Institute for Totalpreneurship where he helps entrepreneurs starting a lifestyle business and he is the producer of World Love Week. The legendary online event that inspires entrepreneurs to do business with the attitude of service not selfishness.
He’s been respected for decades as an expert in niche marketing, in real estate, mortgage financing business, he’s owned and operated several successful real estate investment and mortgage brokering businesses and that he’s a guy who practices what he preaches and he lives what he preaches.
He’s lived all over the world in exotic places, starting the lifestyle business from St. Croix in the Virgin Islands to Central America to now in Bangkok. He’s now on some really exciting adventures, developing some really incredible software that we’re going to talk about a little later.
Without further ado, I would like to welcome Ken Krell to the show today.
Ken, thanks for being here.
Hey Derek, it’s great … I want to hear this guy, who is he?
He sounds pretty cool, right? Now you’ve got a lot to live up to.
I know the pressure. I can feel the pressure.
That’s right. Ken, before we get started and I start grilling you with all my questions, could you just take a few minutes and expand on my introduction and more specifically, from one entrepreneur to another, share your journey as an entrepreneur that led you to starting a lifestyle business. I’m looking forward to your definition of “What is a Lifestyle Business.”
How did you get started, what was your path, starting a lifestyle business in Bangkok with development teams in Philippines, developing cool software stuff. How did you get here?
It’s a great question because as I look back, and it’s funny, I don’t ever think about the journey until someone asks me the question like you are.
I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was in my early teens. I used to sell tape copies of old radio shows, like The Shadow on the Lone Ranger and Gang Busters, way back when people listened to radio. Before television, before the internet. That was what I was doing. I began this when I was 15, 16 years old and I was designing with label makers and all the sort of stuff way back before Al Gore invented the internet.
I was kind of wired for that and then gradually when I went to school got my degree and everything, but I was never … I don’t know how it was but I was I was never wired to be an employee of anybody.
I always found ways to do things better than the boss would and that didn’t work very well. I remember I worked for a computer company, Digital Equipment in Philadelphia and I worked for a guy who was so nice but he was so stupid. He was the nicest guy ever but back in those days, all you had to do is take orders if people bought computers.
I was so demotivated by his lack of smarts that I called our company, I said, “There’s a problem, our whole morale is down because this guy is just not a leader.”
Their response was really brilliant, they said, “Ken, if you’re not happy, why don’t you go someplace that will make you happy?”
My being fired from that company sent me on my entrepreneurial journey. I started a chocolate company and went bankrupt at 24 years old. My first bankruptcy happened because I started with my credit cards and I didn’t learn …
I had the personal problem of wanting to be liked so much that I made bad decisions based on what people would think of me rather than what was best for me.
The entrepreneurial journey needs to be about your company and about you first as opposed to everybody else.
Sort of like that airplane thing, when they give you the safety announcement, they say when the oxygen masks comes down, who do you put it on first? You put it on you so you can help other people after you’re saved.
I didn’t operate that way, I was so codependent that it drove me into bankruptcy. It was a really expensive lesson and after that whole thing was over, my dad told me to go find myself a house and I ended up getting in the real estate business.
I was really always an entrepreneur and started with ultimately no money, then worse than no money and then had to leverage other people’s credit, other people’s cash and that’s been the whole journey.
When people tell me that they can’t succeed because they’re broke or any of the other BS excuses, it’s like, “Wait a minute, if I could do it, you’re lying to yourself.”
That’s really been my whole journey, when even coming at the software business, I know nothing about writing software, but when I want to get something done it just gets done, because intention is really clear.
The journey itself really comes down to being dedicated and directed and being willing to do whatever it takes and that means sometimes working holiday, weekends, 24 hours a day, baking cakes for free but on a contract basis which I did on the Fourth of July, God knows how many years ago.
Even now, we’re releasing some new software and it means spending time away from home in foreign lands to do what needs to be done because it’s part of the thing, but it’s exciting, and we do it as entrepreneurs, you’re in the same boat as me.
We do it because we love it and because there’s no other way to live.
That’s so true. I think I said to my wife a few months ago, we were talking about jobs and stuff and I said I’d rather be mowing lawns and just barely making it by than ever have a job again.
Oh God, yeah. It really is the lifestyle and it’s funny, lots of people are like, “Your life is amazing.” They don’t know that for years I was living in exotic lands and all the stuff, but I was like sucking wind. I was broke and struggling and stressed out by all this madness, but yeah, I had a lifestyle.
I was living near the beach and all of that stuff but yet it was hard. People don’t always see that.
Let’s talk about lifestyle entrepreneur for a second. Because that’s a term that’s thrown around a lot. On the internet, I think the term lifestyle entrepreneur gets this stereotype of the young guy in the Ferrari and the fancy yachts and sort of that kind of whole visual that’s used in marketing stuff but I think it goes so much beyond that lifestyle entrepreneur definition and it’s kind of different for everybody.
How would you define lifestyle entrepreneur? What is a lifestyle business?
That’s a great description Derek because when I see people with the Ferraris and all that stuff, I want to keep my language clean, but that’s all BS to me.
If you’re running around with Ferrari, all this new money stuff, it’s because you’re insecure. It’s because frankly, if you take a look at even the book written on your peers called The Millionaire Next Door, the average millionaire at least in the US studies, they drive a Ford F-150 pickup truck.
They they don’t need to impress anybody else. I run around Bangkok wearing a tank top and shorts and flip flops. I don’t need to impress anybody. I don’t care what you think about me and that comes with years and years of wisdom.
All the new people, they’re also making themselves broke because they are buying the Ferraris and they are doing all these things that are coming out of that level of “I got to impress people.”
No one’s impressed except the car dealer on the day you write the check and then after you’ve left he’s laughed at you because you lost all the value of that car inside of four minutes. I do want to describe that and those who’re listening to us that have done that, get over yourself because you nobody cares, nobody needs it and neither do you.
I say that because my second bankruptcy … Gosh, I’m a high achiever and one bankruptcy isn’t enough, the second one which took me down quite a bit, it was a few years back. I lost everything. Theoretically everything.
I had a giant 6000 square foot house in the middle of Atlanta, an amazing property, I had a house in Fort Lauderdale, I had the cars, I had all this stuff and all of that went away.
The car got repossessed, the most humiliating thing ever.
What happened was, Derek, having lost all those trappings of wealth, I went to Thailand with a suitcase and a backpack and had the best time ever because I didn’t have to feed the multiple mortgages, I didn’t have to worry about the car, I didn’t have to carry all the debt and worry or do anything. That’s what it meant to me, starting a lifestyle business.
I had nothing to worry about, there’s nothing else to lose. I had all the freedom in the world because I didn’t have all the attachments. To me, the lifestyle piece has changed and definitions change because not having all those trappings to manage, gives me the freedom to be able to go wherever I want, whenever I want to.
I’m getting rid of my apartment Thailand in a few months, I’m heading to Israel for three or four weeks with my mom and then Barcelona and Portugal and God knows where else, it’s just wherever I go, is wherever I go. That to me is lifestyle entrepreneurship. That is why I personally chose starting a lifestyle business.
It doesn’t mean they have to travel. If you’ve got kids and a family, my friend Michael Stephenson, he doesn’t have a home anymore, he just travels wherever he goes with his wife and his family and they pick a place and they stay for a while.
If it means that you spend more time home with your kids and you haven’t moved but the lifestyle is you’re staying at home or you’re working out of your house or the coffee shop or whatever.
The lifestyle piece to me is what you want to define it as and it’s got to be your definition, not some 22 year old or some 34 year old or even me. It’s what turns you on. It’s whatever makes starting a lifestyle business worthwhile.
If you love skiing, then to me lifestyle entrepreneurship is going to be on the side of the hill at Whistler in the winter time in Canada and then going to be in Peru or whoever in South America is skiing summer. That’s hot and that’s exciting as hell.
Lifestyle doesn’t mean a whole lot if you’re dead or having a stroke or living in a hospital.
I 100% agree with everything you said. I think one of the key messages to take away from this, because I’ve made this mistake and anybody who’s been in business for a while has made this mistake, is constructing a business that supports the lifestyle that you want to live and not making the mistake of building yourself a job. Starting a lifestyle business takes some planning that way.
That in my books is key because I used to have a large company, I had a hundred employees, I had an office in Vancouver, an office in Texas and I had no life. My health suffered.
It’s great to make lots of money but …Some people, they want to build big, I get it, if you’re wired that way, great, but we’re at this time where we can create these incredible businesses using virtual teams and staff and I can spend my summers up at Whistler and travel with my family whenever I want and have a life that I enjoy and make more money than I ever could with a job. That’s what’s so cool about starting a lifestyle business today.
You know what else too? You don’t need that much money to live anymore, at least for me, living in Thailand of course is cheap anyway, but you don’t need that much money to enjoy a great life and if you want to be an empire builder, that’s fantastic, that’s great, there’s people that are totally wired for that.
I was talking to my friend, Roland Frasier from Digital Marketer and Roland’s going to do this and this and this all these things and it’s busy and it’s a lot of work and I said, “Why are you doing it?” He said, “Because I love it.” That’s the reason to do it, not for any other reason other than because you love it.
Because at the end of the day, after you’ve got a few million dollars coming in or having a net worth of a few million dollars what, is an extra million or two going to do for you? It’s not hell of a lot.
It’s funny, I was reading Tony Robbins book, this is great, I was reading a Tony Robbins book on the beach in St. Barts and in the book … I was depressed by the way, I was not in a great mood.
Read Tony Robbins when you need to kind of get uplifted, he’s talking about these guys that are multimillionaires that are miserable. They’ve got the most successful jobs ever and they’re just, they’re on antidepressants and they’re totally fucked up. Pardon my term, but they’re miserable.
They’re totally messed up and I want to give you the listener now just a little bit of sobering advice and that is, that it’s almost seven and a half years now that … I had a heart attack. I was 52 years old so you can do the math now. I was 52 years old and I was on the way to pick my mom up at the airport and had chest pains and literally drove myself to the hospital. They loved that.
The doctor goes, “Yeah, you’re having a heart attack sir.” I’m like, “Excuse me, I’m what?” I asked later, I was two hours away from being dead.
The good news, it was a plumbing job, I had a 100% clog, a blockage in one part of my of my arteries. They did a plumbing job, they clean up the pipe, put in a stent and the story is done. I think it was an hour and a half later. I was in perfect shape again. That was a giant lesson to me. I didn’t discover until years later that it was because of the stress, call that denial.
Now it’s like I have a second life and I’m not willing, even though I break the rules all the time, I’m not willing to mess that up. The lifestyle piece needs to be for every one of you listening to me, it needs to be about giving your heart what would make it happy, giving your family what will make it happy, giving yourself the balance that you want to make it happy.
It’s not always about the money, because again, at the end of the day, money ain’t going to buy you back if you’re dead and if you have a stroke and you lose the motor control of half your body, it’s not pretty. I really want to hit that home because so many people that I know, they’re all wrapped up on the wrong purpose.
That’s really why I’ve changed the way I do my business, I don’t do coaching anymore. I don’t do a lot of trainings anymore. I’ve got tons and tons of content out there and we can talk about content marketing, but I went into the software business because it’s something that I can run and I can provide support and I can take ideas and solve people’s problems, that I love to do. That’s why I chose starting a lifestyle business.
I can go to the beach. I’ve got a team that works would be all over the world, and I don’t have to be the guy out front on the stage. I don’t have to be the guy that does the 84 coaching calls at all.
I inspire the direction the company goes into, but I don’t write code. I define some of the user interface and design the experience because I want people to be having fun with
Starting the lifestyle business that you want to have, really depends on what turns you on. If you love to teach and training and coach, then build the teach, train and coaching thing. But if you’re like me and you want to travel, I got to tell you, I had to do a coaching call when I was in Australia and I was traveling that day and I had to get to the airport three hours early just to do a call and then my people didn’t show up because they were like, “I didn’t get that.”
That’s like, “Excuse me, but bullshit to that.” Mind you, they were paying me. It was like, you don’t want to show up, that’s fine, I’m happy to make a lot of money and I get paid either way but that was annoying as hell because even though people who pay me good money and they weren’t showing up, it was like there was no fun to that.
It’s not about the money, it’s about the fun although money is nice. I ultimately cancelled the whole program because it was too much hassle and it was no fun.
I got paid but still, I could have stayed in the middle of Sydney. You pick the lifestyle that will facilitate the way you want to live. For me now, it’s providing services and value outsourcing and leveraging other people’s experience and talent so that I can still do what I want to do and get paid well for it and that’s given me a whole lot more freedom.
That’s so key and to summarize that for the listeners, when you’re starting a lifestyle business, don’t build a job. You have to create what I always call scalable income. Which means your income will scale irrelevant of the time you put in it once it sets up.
Obviously you need to put in the time to get it set up, to build the software, to build products, whatever that is, but it needs to scale.
That’s where, I look at all these people that are there are flocking to some of these Amazon businesses, they have to go source cheap products from China and they are going to sell those on Amazon and Alibaba and stuff like that. I’m like, “I can’t think of a worse business.”
Just the headaches that can come along with that and don’t get me wrong, it’s a viable way to make money but it doesn’t scale. It is not going to give a lifestyle.
What people don’t think about is, Amazon’s doing everything they can to protect their equity, which is their customer and so they’re trying to prevent you from finding out who your customer is. It’s their platform, they can turn you off tomorrow.
I’ve got people that are paying their mortgage with it. I don’t want to beat it up because it is viable to some degree, but that’s going to be just one piece of what your master plan is. I was looking at importing some fans. I like those fans that don’t have the blades, they’re super cool.
Oh my God, I love them and of course they make them in China but without the Dyson name. Two years ago, I found the manufacturer or one of the many manufacturers and I was like, “Okay, let’s bring one to the States.”
By the time all was said and done, I was looking at the risk of putting out thousands of dollars to get the order made, to put them on a container, to risk the breakage, to have to warehouse them, all that stuff to deal with… No, it’s just too much risk.
Being in the information business and now being in the software business, so much easier. That’s my definition of starting a lifestyle business.
The cautionary tale here for everybody watching and listening is the bright shiny objects syndrome. You’ve got to stop it and it’s so easy to get caught up and I still do. I see opportunities and I see possibilities but holy mackerel, there’s just enough hours in a day and I think the most important word you can say these days is no. At least no thanks.
I was reading something the other day, that the number one thing the millionaires will say is, No. That they continue to turn opportunities down because you can’t do it all. Being single minded about it is the way to create wealth.
You don’t become a master without those 10,000 hours. How can you get the 10,000 hours if you’re doing 8,400 things? You just can’t.
Derek, you became successful because you followed one strategy and you helped one market primarily and that gave you that strength.
The people who are trying to do everything, and hey, I love of people love to buy everything, especially when they are on my webinars. But at the end of the day, I got to tell people, “Guys, don’t buy anything unless you’re going to use it.” Half the stuff that people buy, they shouldn’t be buying.
You don’t need to buy a product to learn how to make videos, you hire someone to make the damn video for you unless it’s how to do a better video of your own that you’re starring in, you shouldn’t be editing your own videos. You shouldn’t be doing it, that’s what you hire people to do.
You want to create the content and then leverage it out.
People make that mistake when starting a lifestyle business and that’s where they create the job. Michael Gerber when he talks about the e-myth, says lay out the foundation of your business, put in the the rules and people’s names and if it’s your name for everything right now that’s fine but make sure you fire yourself from those positions as quickly as possible.
Which is super important. That gives us the ability to go play and that go play piece is the most important thing.
Say no, I think No is a great word, absolutely a great word.
Absolutely. I’m so guilty of it. It’s so easy to get the shiny object syndrome, here’s a new opportunity, here’s a new opportunity. It’s hard to say no. It just is.
Even in the software business. Today I’m in my yoga class this morning and I’m thinking, we could do this and we could do that and I’m like, “Wait a minute, we’ve got to finish one thing first.” It’s the same audience so it fits the product line, but yeah we can’t eat that elephant.
We have to do one bite at a time. You can put it on the list, you can put it on a list of things you want to accomplish, if you want. Or dream list so as just to get it out of your head, so it’s there but if you’re like me, you’ve got the get it done list which never seems to end, none of the shit ever gets done.
Less really is more and if you put the focus in and you excel at it, you are just going to be good at it. Look at LeadPages, they are a 30 million dollar company now, over 40,000 customers for what really is a page designer, for God’s sake?
Now there are in more things of course, I don’t want to belittle because we use them and they’re great but really that’s all it really was but they focused, and holy mackerel, they created massive wealth: 175 employees and coolness.
Figure out what you want to do when you’re starting a lifestyle business and just do it and at the end of the day if you don’t love what you’re doing then change it.
People have said to me that I’m flighty and they’ve said I lack focus and all these other BS but the end of the day, they’re doing shit that they’re not happy with and I’m not unhappy.
Think about this you guys. Starting a lifestyle business can be like going to the buffet and you try all sorts of different things in the stuff you really like, like the shrimp, eat a lot of it or when you get to the chocolate part, you eat all the chocolate.
I’m looking for the chocolate and the shrimp, and the lobster. I’m not looking to eat all the bread and so yeah, taste things, try things with understanding that, if you’re not happy with something and you’re not just quitting because you do not want to commit.
If you don’t want to commit, it says two things, either it’s not for you or it’s too hard or whatever, you should stop. That’s my sense of it. Give it a shot, test it out, if you’re not happy, but commit to something. Then make something that is sellable, so you can always sell it and get out of it.
Exactly. Very, very sage advice. I want to shift gears from starting a lifestyle business and now I want to talk about content marketing because I know you’ve been using content marketing before I think content marking was actually a term. You’ve leveraged that, I think in numerous different areas to grow your businesses.
Let’s talk about that. I know you have a very high end content marketing service that really leverages content. Let’s start at the beginning. How are you using content marketing, what value is that providing to your business?
Tell you what, when we talked about this just before we went on, you brought me back in time to when I was in my early 20s, just going to the real estate business.
I’ve been through the bankruptcy and I was selling real estate because I guess that’s what everybody does after they go through hell and so I was no exception. I was like 25 years old when I got my license and I didn’t know how the heck was I going to stand out in the city of Philadelphia.
At that point I think it was the fourth largest TV market in the US. How was I going to make my name and be known and promote myself without any kind of advertising budget at all?
Somehow I just knew that what I needed to do was write a real estate column for the local paper and I found the paper inside the city, it was called The Welcome Mat at the time, and went to the editor and said I’d like to do a column on real estate. They didn’t have anything at the time, thank goodness.
He said, “Okay, great. You can write for us.” I started writing this thing called On Real Estate, it was a very creative title. After two weeks he called me and said, “We have a problem I said what’s the problem.” I said, “What’s the problem?” He says, “I have to pay you.” I was like, “Okay, it’s 25 bucks a shot.”
That was nice but at the end of the day, Derek, I think I wrote it for a couple years, it paid, it fed me for years and it fed me for a couple of reasons, and this is very important to think about.
Number one, Because in the column I could write about anything. As long as it was real estate I could write about anything. I got controversial at times if there was a discriminatory thing going on in the housing department, I talked about it. If there was a problem with a law I was talking about it if … Whatever.
I would also talk about my clients and because I talked about to my clients, people already perceived and recognize that “he has clients and he’s in the paper which means he must be an expert.” People would call me and when I needed business, it came, and when I didn’t need business, it stopped, because I stopped talking about the clients. That was Content Marketing before Content Marketing was a buzzword. The way to leverage that today would be to take that column, turn it to a podcast, turn it to a video, put into a book, put it into a blog and leverage the hell out of it.
Put it into a SlideShare, interview other people.
Kind of what you’re doing now too. The evolution of that, was I was doing Content Marketing long before it became a buzz. These days, Content marketing of course is YouTube videos and SlideShares and between podcasts, audio and video, you name it.
What it does when you’re starting a lifestyle business, is it gives you incredible credibility in the marketplace. It really does. Even if you don’t know anything about anything.
For example, the podcast you’re doing, you’ve entertained a whole lot of great people on the podcast, you do a hell of a good job, you don’t need to know anything about internet marketing at all. Because if you have people on that are good, you will inherently be attracting and being compared to their expertise.
When I first left I was doing real estate training for years and I was the guy at the Russ Whitney organisation. People would line for some of my trainings, literally I had sold out courses because I was like the rock star in their company, and that’s not ego, I’m proud of it.
When I left there … I was I was a rock star at Whitney but I was an unknown everywhere else. What the heck that I do? I had start off from zero again like I did in the real estate business.
What I did was I created a series of webinars with 10 real estate experts that were known throughout the industry and then I hosted them. The good news is that when they were talking, I could add value to what they were saying because I knew more than they did but no one else knew that.
I gave myself a built-in list and that was all content marketing by running webinar series. Did the same thing in the in the in the stock trading thing too. I know nothing about stock trading, I have a 100% record of losing money. But because I was hosting it, people look at me like I was an expert.
You can do the same thing even when starting a lifestyle business if you don’t know anything. Bring on guest speakers and people are looking for a way of communicating people, would love to do interviews. You may not get everybody but you’ll certainly get enough people that you need.
Content marketing is easy to do as far as I’m concerned and if you do it you just start posting the heck out of it.
We developed something called Content Leverage Lab where we help people take just a few pieces of content, whether it be in an e-book or webinar or even a transcript of a podcast, we re-position that into, oh gosh, 20, 30, 40, different elements so whether we turn that into a into a SlideShare or infographics or videos or whatever and then we post them up to about 65 different channels. It’s almost like Traffic Geyser for content.
We’ve worked with people like Cisco. Our group has worked with people that have turned ideas into best selling books, all because of the ability to leverage that content and expand it so much.
It puts you everywhere all over the web and when people see that and they see you everywhere in every different modality, automatically, Google picks you up. Links keep coming back to your website and you become a rock star. It’s amazing. We’ve created a business around that.
Even if you’re starting with no money, because Content Leverage Lab is not an inexpensive foray. If you want to make yourself a seven figure income, we’re your guys.
We will get that done for you because we also have an engagement piece where we actually talk to people on Facebook back and forth, with real humans doing that not non-engagement with like Fiverr friends.
It’s pretty sophisticated. We developed it for that reason, for people that are serious because I’m moving my game to a higher higher level, I want to deal with people that are so committed that they will do whatever it takes.
Even if you’re just getting started like I was, you can start by interviewing people, you can start by doing research by taking the top 10 things from other people and leveraging that and giving them credit and creating a “Best Of” or an “Ultimate Guide” to a document or blog post or whatever.
Again, your position, we created through our Smart Mail product, which allows people to send email by time zone and geo target, their email content all over the globe. It’s an amazing product we’ve re-written for the people at Infusionsoft.
We created the ultimate guide to when you can send … the best time when you can send e-mail. It wasn’t my content, we want on the web and we researched everybody that did a study on when the best time to send an email is. We put that into a white paper into. Now we are the expert of when to send email, but it’s not our work ,it’s the work of so many other people.
The positioning is super easy, and by the way I leverage that too. We did a Google search, we gave it to a writer we said, make it work. The value is totally still there but it wasn’t something that I had to create from scratch. I edited it absolutely because I wanted to have my stamp on it but the legwork was done by the people.
You can still leverage that and still be an expert. Content marketing, I think, if you’re not doing it, you’re missing the boat. It’s funny because I was just on a webinar with Lead Pages and that’s how they built their business was by doing a ton of training, which they still do.
One of the points I really want to highlight there is, one of the key things that you just pointed out that stops so many people who are just starting a lifestyle business, is this fear that they have to create every piece of content themselves and that everything they post needs to be this unique original thought that they’ve come up with.
What I’m hearing from you is that’s not the case at all and you’re still creating content even though you have the expertise – you’re creating content by aggregating other people’s content and that’s brilliant.
One of the directions I want to go here now is, once you create that content, in the service you offer, you’re really talking about leveraging a single piece of content and pushing that out across a lot of different platforms.
That’s a pretty premium service, obviously you’re working with the companies but for the guy that is just getting started, when you say pushing it out over different platforms, what are the platforms you’re using? How are you taking one piece of content and turning it into something that can be pushed out over these platforms?
If I tell you I have to kill you. LOL. It’s the Colonel’s secret recipe. It is really no secret and what we do, everybody could do. You can all do this yourself. It’s just a matter of combination of who’s got the time, who’s got the energy and what should you be doing.
At the end of the day you, should be swimming with dolphins with your kids. Not be pushing content out, for heaven’s sake. I’ll give you an example, we had an author in Australia who was a sales manager at some company and he had written a book and had not launched yet and had a couple blog post and a Facebook fan page.
That’s all he had. That was it. That was only asset he had. We took parts of the book, we took some of the blogs stuff and then we repositioned that. We made some videos out of it, we did some info graphics out of it and we took some SlideShares out of it and we can go on and on of the different things, forum postings and so on and then of course all those pieces can be posted all over the web.
Video is not just Youtube, videos can go to Vimeo and other sources as well. That make sense and going into different niches so we’re able to … I’m trying to remember the exact numbers, but I think we took we took his four pieces and turned that into like 50 or 100 different pieces of content to put them out over 65 different channels and ended up coming up with five or six hundred different points of contact.
Within a month he was everywhere and within six months he was doing about half a million dollars a year in aggregate and then within a year was over seven figures.
People look at our service and they are like, “Wait, this is a lot of money.” We’re like, “Yeah, you want to make a lot of money or you just want to talk about it?”
But even if you started with one piece of content and turned that, the re-purposing of your YouTube video into a transcript of it that you post someplace and then you turn into a Powerpoint and then you take the top 10 hints or top three whatever it is that you discuss in your video and turn those into an infographic. Now you’ve spun that into four or five different things just of one little video.
It’s not rocket science. It makes tons of sense, it’s just a function of who the heck has the time to do it. The good news is, we know how to do this, we know how to do it effectively and we built a team of people that do this professionally and there’s just no way … the thing about it is that this whole group’s been doing it for such a long time that you can’t duplicate it effectively in a cost effective fashion.
Work with us, save money and get it done. But for the beginner, do what I did for heaven’s sake. Write a column for somebody’s blog, guest blog or whatever.
Which technically, since I was a columnist in a newspaper, that was what I was doing, I was guest blogging in their paper. Do that for heaven’s sake. The whole idea of curation, to me it’s genius.
It’s not my idea but gosh, whoever created it, it’s just common sense. You don’t need to know everything, and I thought you did. I’m sitting there in front of typewriters before the word processor that I’m typing this stuff out. I’m totally dating myself. It’s awful. It really has been over 30 years. I’m typing this stuff up and then had to physically (we didn’t have fax machines) bring it down to the newspaper. I had to create it myself.
Now, you can create something almost instantly by just going online, picking up some content on the web, picking out a few pieces of tools out of that, crediting the people that you stole it from. I’m using the word steal in the nicest fashion, as long as you are crediting them, it’s not really stealing. Do it properly of course and you’ve got a great piece of content people can use.
Curation has so much value because frankly, we don’t have enough time to read everything that comes our way. If you can give value to people, to give them the top 10 things on Internet marketing this week, or the top the things on pet grooming this week, there’s a benefit to it.
One of things we’re going to do for our list within the next few weeks, I’ve just got to find the time to set it up, is I decided that there’s so many cool tools that are coming out now that I’m seeing between Warrior Forum and JV Zoo and other things like that.
Some are junk of course, but others are fantastic so if I could curate some of those, tell people what is good and why and give them the top three or four things of the week, that saves people a lot of aggravation.
We will make a few dollars from it but the value for them is that they don’t have to look anywhere but at what we talk about.
So understand that even though you may think that no one wants to hear from you, they do.
What’s fascinating and Derek, I know you have experienced this probably more than me, because I think you’ve been out there longer than I have, at least in terms of the bigger sphere of influence, is when I go to places like Traffic Conversion Summit or going to other events people come up to me and they are like, “Ken, I love your stuff. I love your webinars, I love your emails.”
I’m like, “Really? Wow. Thank you.” It’s really cool. So the fact is people really do want what you’ve got and those who don’t subscribe, they don’t know any better. You’re not going to get everybody and sometimes they unsubscribe because they just can’t take so much. You can’t drink from a fire hose all the time.
Understand that even though you may think that no one wants to hear from you, they do. As long as you’re working with integrity and you give people information that really is designed to help them, you’re cool and people appreciate that.
Again, if you’re aggregating, make sure you’re just giving credit to sources. I see my content aggregated and as long as I got a link back to me, I’m a happy guy.
Hell yeah. I want you to aggregate me. Oh my God, please quote me, send people to iboostify.com all day long. It’s the best thing ever.
Absolutely. Before we wrap up, we’re almost out of time but I just want touch on a point that you kind of glossed over. I want to dig into it a little bit more and that’s when you said with the content, specifically in your service, you’re not just throwing content out there but there’s a almost an outreach component that goes with the content, where you are marketing the content, getting people to engage with the content.
Talk a little bit about that for a second and what the beginner in starting a lifestyle business needs to be doing. Is it just a case of throwing content up and hoping people find it or do you work a little harder to get it in front of the right people?
You got to be strategic. It really have to be strategic. Part of what we do, aside from the fact that that we’re keywording things appropriately and you’re not going to keyword for the sake of BS keywords like people used to do two years ago, now it’s writing things that are relevant.
We have a team of people that literally monitor the comments and respond, I cannot use the word instantly because that would be inappropriate, but quickly. Really quickly because the quicker you respond to comments, more people are going to respond back.
Once people see that you’re actually engaged and having a dialogue, they’re into it. They respond. That leverage is really important. We call that Facebook ROE, Facebook Return on Engagement.
We measure results on engagement and builds fans … We are building fans in numbers from 900 to 3000 new fans a month depending upon the client and these aren’t those Fiverr fans, those are people that actually are getting engaged and happy.
And the value of a fan, oh my God, their value is huge because those are the ones that will buy from you and if they’re engaged and they know that you’re talking to them, they get to know you and that’s the most important thing.
We literally do that hard work and it takes time and you don’t want to be the person … your family is not going to let you be the person, that’s sitting on the computer all the time talking to everybody else, because that’s not a life.
We do have a team that does it, they’re based in the US at the moment and that makes a difference, it really does. That’s kind of our secret sauce which is also why it’s not a bargain basement $29 service because of the value there.
We believe Derek, that just as you and I are communicating the way we are and having met at the Marketer’s Cruise and and developing that personal relationship, that’s where the value comes from. People have to have that as well.
I totally agree. For someone just starting a lifestyle business, managing your comments and stuff like that, you can do that on your own and then scale up and then hire Ken. That’s the right strategy.
It’s funny, It really stood out to me, it was a few months ago and I was running a Facebook campaign and I was replying to people and I like to get in there and still talk to people and reply to comments and stuff like that.
Then I was reading, I can’t remember where I was reading it, but somebody was asking, “What’s up with this Derek guy?” As they do, people ask about you online from other people’s opinion.
There was a couple comments, good comments and they said, “He actually engages and replies on his social pages.” They were shocked that there was actually people engaging and replying to them on the social pages, and that went a long way.
And I think what you’re saying there is key. Whether using a team or you’re doing it yourself, it is not just to push stuff out there on Facebook and hope people like it and not engage with them.
Because one of the things I’m seeing is, there’s so many people out there right now just throwing ads on to Facebook, throwing crap out on Facebook, hoping people click on it and not actually engaging with the people that are engaging with them.
They’re missing so much of the value that could be created that you’ve obviously already realized so you have teams doing this for you. That’s a critical message for people listening here, when people are commenting, you need to be replying back to them and engaging with them and like you said, it doesn’t have to be instant but it’s got to be quick.
I’m going to cut you off, but It’s interesting that Facebook is now recognizing that and you’re starting to see that on people’s fan pages. In green type, it’s talking about how quickly you respond. They’re rewarding you for that now.
When you’re small and just getting starting a lifestyle business, do it yourself. As you scale up, there’s ways to outsource that, whether it be you or if they’re not ready, because you’re definitely a higher end package. I think that’s probably a step between using someone like yourself and just starting out. Just hiring a VA to help you with that, there are so many steps in there.
We’re running out of time. My last question for you Ken is, if people starting a lifestyle business want to follow you, connect with you, see what you’re doing with some of the very cool software that you have, where do they go, what are some of the tools that you recommend they check out?
I thought you’d never ask. Here comes the shameless plug. To reach me these days, iboostify.com, it’s I-B-O-O-S-T-I-F-Y .COM.
There there will be an opt in, if there’s not already, there will be an opt in page or an opt in link so you can actually get on our list.
We have a couple of things that are fantastic that you guys should know about: Number one, if you’re using Infusionsoft, we have what we have a tool called SmartMail that allows you to send email by time zone. Which Infusionsoft couldn’t do until now, and that’s really important because for those of us that are world wide companies, getting email delivered at 9 am should be delivered at 9 am whether in New York or whether you’re in Tokyo.
People are so excited about having that tool and it allows us also to geo-market. The thing about running a ‘get-off-the-beach’ promotion to the Gold Coast in Australia and to Miami at the same time you’re running a lunchtime sale in New York for a freeze because they are having a blizzard.
You can do all that geographically. It’s really, really cool. It’s fun but also at the same time follows that engagement with your audience because you’re talking their own game. That’s the SmartMail program.
If you’re not using Infusionsoft and most, depending upon our audience today, a lot of you aren’t because you’re at the early stages of starting a lifestyle business. We created something a few years ago that is fantastic and we’re actually adding more features to it, we’re coming out with version 2.0 of what we call SiteWrap.
What Site Wrap does for any blogger or affiliate marketer, this is your dream come true. I kid you not, it’s amazing. When you are running an affiliate offer, you usually get the affiliate link, you send in that affiliate link and that’s terrific except for the fact that you sent all of your people someplace else.
We’d rather have you send them to your website and keep them on your website. Wouldn’t you rather have them on your website since Google looks at who comes your website? That’s where where your analytics are.
What Site wrap does is it allows you to actually wrap your branding around the other people’s pages so that people go to your site and you can retarget every one of those ads, but all of those affiliate links, are literally on your website.
So you have an increased time on your website, you have your own branding, you have more pages that people are seeing on the site and Google looks at time on site and page views as a way of giving you the Google juice that you need.
If you’re a blogger especially, holy mackerel. I’ve seen so many smart bloggers. In their blogs they give resources, go click this link to learn more about X, Y and Z. What happens is, you provide great content and then you send people away from your web site. That’s not so smart.
SiteWrap allows you to keep them on your own website just on a different page. Which is fantastic and then they can come back to the page that they were at just by just clicking the return to a previous page button that you create on your own branding.
SiteWrap is super cool, we’re coming up with Version 2.0 and you’ll be able to learn about that at iboostify.com also.
Plus, Content Leverage Lab, which I talked about a bit earlier. You’ll learn more about what we’re doing there. It’s a pretty site, we like to keep things fun and light and we’ve got more content coming out that will be kind of fun too, so you may get to watch some of my pool videos.
I’m known for my pool videos and I do want to add something about that real quick because this is important for everybody to think about when it comes to starting a lifestyle business. I do a lot of my videos in my pool here in Bangkok. It’s a gorgeous pool and I want to demonstrate to my audience the lifestyle so if I can do it, if I can do a video on the beach or I can do that in the pool, I will do that.
I actually got some heat for doing some videos wearing a bathing suit in the pool because people said I was almost naked. Last I checked when you’re in a pool you should be naked. They said, “You should sit outside the pool wearing a shirt.” I’m like, “Maybe in your videos, idiot.”
My point everybody thinking about starting a lifestyle business is this, be who you are, screw them if they can’t take a joke, do what’s right for your brand and be who you are and by that I do have more videos outside the pool wearing a shirt because I decided I would do a little bit of that but I still do videos in the pool because guess what, you don’t have to get dressed up for it.
People see the lifestyle and it’s demonstrated so what the heck. If you want people around you to get fun, give them fun videos. I want people to be as light and fun as they can and be like Richard Branson, be irreverent and give the quality content that’s there, you can still be fun and give great value. I just wanted to mention that.
That’s so funny because here’s the reality, and people need to know this. When you start doing business online, there’s going to be trolls and there’s going to be haters. You just can’t please everybody. Be yourself and you’ll appeal to the people that you want to do business with
Absolutely. People say, “We love your pool video so much.” Who else does it? Nobody else does it but me, not that I’m aware of. Do the things that are so uniquely you.
Ken, I want to thank you for sharing so much. Your story, overcoming adversity, the content marketing, starting a lifestyle business. You’ve given us a lot, so thank you so much for being here today.
Derek, it is a thrill, it’s a pleasure and I want to thank you for doing what you do because you inspire people. You’ve been doing this for a long time, you’ve changed a lot of lives you have been on my bookshelf for a long, long time. Just so you know.
I really want to hand it out to you for the good that you do and for the people you inspired and if you love what Derek’s doing you guys, give him some love, he needs to hear that.
Thank you so much, I appreciate it.
Derek, thank you I appreciate it too.
Fantastic. All right everyone, that was Ken Krell, and as always, any links mentioned in that interview, and there were quite a few will be included in the show notes along with the entire transcript for this episode
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It’s time to take the tips, tools and strategies that Ken has so generously shared with us today and apply that final essential ingredient to making it work and that ingredient is action.
Go forth, take action, apply what you’ve learned.
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Bye for now everyone.