We have another Ask me a Question session. I get hundreds and hundreds of questions a week and hundreds of thousands over the course of my career. So I've got plenty of material for a lot of little things that can make a big difference in your success online or just in business in general.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 471
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[00:23] Tom's introduction to Ask me a Question [02:59] Using a paper calendar [04:19] Taking backups and where to do them [08:41] Recording in hot climates [11:21] Selling free webinars [12:59] Making an expensive video for pennies on the dollar [18:00] Using headshots on your website and bio [20:13] Using subdomains to help with SEO [21:51] Getting return visits to your website [26:24] Retargeting ads
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
Screw The Commute Podcast App – https://screwthecommute.com/app/
College Ripoff Quiz – https://imtcva.org/quiz
Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a Roku box? Find Tom's Public Speaking Channel there! – https://channelstore.roku.com/details/267358/the-public-speaking-channel
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program – https://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/
Disabilities page – https://imtcva.org/disabilities/
Amazon Mechanical Turk – https://www.mturk.com/
Beginner's Guide to a Customer Loyalty Program – https://blog.hubspot.com/service/customer-loyalty-program
Glue Loyalty – https://glueloyalty.com/pricing/
Candy Bar Loyalty – https://www.candybar.co/pricing/
Smile Loyalty – https://smile.io/pricing
Belly Loyalty Program – https://www.bellycard.com/
LoyalZoo Loyalty Program – https://www.loyalzoo.com/pricing/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Julio Gonzalez – https://screwthecommute.com/470/
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Episode 471 – Ask Me A Question
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey, everybody it's Tom here with Episode four hundred seventy one to screw the podcast. We're going to do another Ask me a question. I got hundreds and hundreds of questions I can give you then, and that's what we're going to do today. But I hope you didn't miss Episode 470. It was our first ever billionaire on the line with us, and he's a tax expert, a small business expert, and he's got a thousand employees around the country helping small businesses. So check that out. That was Episode 470. And of course, when you want to get to a back episode, you go to screwthecommute.com, slash the episode number that was 470. Well, how you like me to send you money? Well, probably won't be a billion, but it could be anywhere from eight dollars and fifty cents to over 5000 dollars for just one referral and everything in between. So email me at Tom@screwthecommute.com. If you like information on our affiliate program, grab a copy of our automation ebook at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. You will thank me for it. It saves me millions of keystrokes and allows me to to work way faster and get done sooner and take care of more customers faster and make more money. So grab it at screwthecommute.com/automatefree and while you're over there, pick up a copy of our podcast app. It's at screwthecommute.com/app. Now, please, please, please. We're in the middle of this great program to help persons with disabilities get scholarships. We've got to go fund me account set up. It's going great. We're getting money in so that we can hire persons with disabilities to help run the program. We've got to. Well, we've got someone just started a couple of days ago, so we've got three people out of five in this. And you really help change somebody's life. So check it out at IMTCVA.org/disabilities and click on the Go Fund Me link. Please contribute anything you can. And if you're really flush with cash and you want to really change somebody's life, you can sponsor one person yourself. How about that? So check that out. The link will be in the show notes and anything you give is great. But you can see the people are in it, how they're progressing and all that stuff. So click on Go Fund Me at the top of that school page.
[00:03:01] All right, let's get to the main event, Tom, why do you use a paper calendar? Well, I got to tell you, in the 44 years I've been in business and then even before that. Not once has my paper calendar ever crashed, ever, never lost it. That could be a problem with paper calendars. But I'll tell you what. And in the 400 and what is this, 70 episodes of Screw the Commute and over a thousand interviews I've done on other shows, not once or I mean not once is my paper calendar ever crashed, but the only three times in those, what is it, almost fifteen hundred events. The only three that ever got messed up were using Calendly. Now, I'm not against Calendly or for Calendly. I'm just telling you, those three got messed up for some reason. The booking showed up in the Eastern Time zone and the confirmation showed up in Pacific Time Zone. Well, there is no reason for that. All right. It's on the same computer, same IP address. I don't know how they track it, but those are the only three that ever got messed up. And they were big mess ups, too. So that's why I use a paper calendar.
[00:04:21] Now, this next one is not really a question, but just yesterday, someone lost two days worth of work because they didn't back up stuff and. And I always talk about back ups, the importance of them, and I'm a fanatic about it. But it it reminded me, I mean, and we're talking iCloud and thumb drives and back and portable hard drives, but you definitely should take advantage of cloud stuff nowadays. And quit crying about, oh, I could get hacked or you could get hacked on anything, so if you're just going to live your life trying to protect everything on Earth with a machine gun, this well, the chances of you being highly successful are slim.
[00:05:07] You have to take a little bit of risk there, and you can encrypt stuff too, don't worry about that. But the reason I bring it up is because there's different kinds of backups that you may not have thought about. And this happened to me, and it's just perfect timing. On a Friday afternoon like two weeks ago, I heard a major lightning strike right behind the house or I don't know exactly where it was, but it was darn close and the electricity didn't even flicker like the lights didn't flicker nothing. But guess what? It zapped a whole bunch of stuff of my. And it's a Friday afternoon. And it zapped the TV, it zapped a couple for port switches, it zapped a 16 port gigabit switch. These are just things that send my Internet all over the place and on a Friday afternoon, guess what? You are not going to find locally a 16 port gigabit switch, OK? And you're not going to I mean, Friday night or Saturday morning or Sunday. Now, the small switches, the four ports, I could have gone to Best Buy and pick them up, no problem. But the 16 port, there's no way there's only one place in all of Virginia Beach, the biggest city in Virginia, that carries them and they're not open on Saturdays and Sundays.
[00:06:39] So that what I'm talking about here is backing up your hardware. That's hard to get if it's some simple stuff that you can pick up at Best Buy, not a big deal, no problem. But if it's something that you can't get easily, you better have a backup. So I would have been screwed all weekend just limping by with. This, that and the other, because this major switch got zapped, I would have had to sit back in my well room, my pump room to have a cord long enough to try to get to the directly to my Fios router. Right. So so look at your system. If you don't know what you're doing, get a geek to do it for you and say, OK, what are things that would be hard to replace if they died on me? And then get it back up, put some money aside, get it back up, I don't know, cost me ninety dollars, I think, for that sixteen point switch now. It's good to have other stuff, too, that you don't have to buy locally because the switches that went bad were twenty nine dollars. At Best Buy and the exact same switch was 11 ninety nine or eight ninety nine on Amazon, but again, Amazon would have had to wait a day or two to get them. So, yeah, I'm still harping on your regular backups. I'm a fanatic. If I get up out of my chair, I back up what I'm working on.
[00:08:16] If I just go to the bathroom, I do a backup, I just drag the file into the cloud, Dropbox or wherever, iCloud or whatever, and then I go to the bathroom. So that way if the dog knocks over my laptop and kills everything, I didn't lose all that work, you know. So back up your hardware. In addition to getting more serious about backing up your your other stuff.
[00:08:42] All right, next thing, Tom, it's summertime and I live in Arizona, it's just too hot to record for any length of time. What can I do? Well, the guy didn't say whether he was talking about video or audio does make a big difference if it's video you've got sweating involved. OK, that people will see if it's audio, then you don't have to worry about that. So couple of things. Maybe you could record in the evening or super early in the morning. Now one thing if you can learn, which is not I mean, I literally I could teach you in ten minutes to learn what is called noise reduction on your recordings. So that means you could put a fan on yourself that's got kind of a constant hum to it, not hum, but constant noise to keep you cool. In fact, there's one on me right now. Yeah, because I don't light up the air conditioning on this big freaking house when I'm sitting in one room all day long.
[00:09:51] So in this case, I've got near my podcast thing. I got a little tiny is fairly quiet, but still the good microphones here it. When I go to edit this, I just highlight a portion and I'll make sure I leave a thing at the beginning that just records room noise, then I can highlight that and take what's called a noise print. I capture a noise print. So the software is listening to what the room sounds like. Not my voice, but just the room when I'm I have a quiet section at the beginning, so I highlight that capture and noise print and then I say, hey, remove all this noise from the whole recording. And so it cleans it all up for. Right. So so you can have a fan on you as long as you learn how to use noise reduction. Now, another method that we use sometimes over in the studio, which is upstairs of my garage, the whole thing is our TV studio. It can get really hot in the summer up there, so. We run to air conditioners up there to get it freezing and then turn them off, and that gives us a half hour to 40 minutes or so to shoot with normal temperatures before it starts to heat up again. And then we turn them back on for a while, take a break so that we'll do it and you kind of rinse and repeat. So between those, you ought to be able to get by, buddy.
[00:11:22] All right. What's next, Tom with all the free webinars, can I sell a webinar? Well, yes, you can. Absolutely. You have to give great value in it and be able to convey that in your sales letter for it or video sales letter for it. But yeah, I sell webinars all the time. I have for webinar course on how to run a mint, you know, a seven figure mentor program. I have a three and a half hour webinar I sell on how to be funny as a speaker. Yes. So yes, you can absolutely sell webinars. You just have to make it clear with good copywriting, which that's now that's a free webinar that sells my copywriting course. I have one of those, but copywriting901.com will teach you everything you need to know and you'll probably triple your your sales if you really, really took to learning copywriting better because it's used everywhere, all kinds of purposes. Just it'll drive more people to your your website and your products. And then when they get there, they'll want to buy them more because of what you learn. Copywriting is a very specialized type of writing. I don't care if you're a New York Times best seller, you're not a copywriter. OK, that's a different skill. And if you learn it yourself, I mean, it's the number one skill in my entire career, 44 plus years formally. And then even before that, when I was a kid writing flyers to sell stuff.
[00:12:59] OK, so, yes, you can I heard on a podcast that see you talking about making a 50000 hour video for only pennies on the dollar, that's brought in about 13 million dollars. How did you do that? Well, first thing is, is with today's cell phones, the whole thing can be done on a cell phone. We had a pretty nice video camera at the time to shoot part of it, but part of it was shot on cell phones and cell phones. Now they're shooting TV shows on them and tablets. So what I was taught by two Hollywood guys that worked for me after they retired from Hollywood, one of them was Emmy nominated. The other one was a celebrity promo producer, worked here for a year, taught me all kinds of tips and tricks. Just shoot everything you can about your business behind the scenes and in front of the scenes and and customers and working with customers and and building their products or working on their products for your customers, all shoot everything. And don't always worry that it's not perfectly still on a tripod. The Emmy nominated guy told me that a good editor will take that movement of the camera and make it exciting. It could be a quarter of a second. They find a cool shot that they fly in and fly out or do whatever they do. So shoot everything. Now, one thing you got to do is get good audio. So if you if you are shooting from anywhere six feet or further, you must have a wireless mike.
[00:14:40] I mean, you can use a wire, but it's just so unwieldy. And a problem with iPhones is it's hard to get a wireless mike into them that works. So make sure that if you buy one that it's certified or or guarantees it works on iPhones. And if it doesn't send it back immediately. But once you get one, then you got a lot of flexibility of how far away you can be. But people will put up with poor video, but they won't put up with poor audio. What we did is we shot all this stuff and then. The one the guy that kind of was the producer of the thing, he said, OK, write down everything you can think of you want to brag about for your business. And then he sat me in front of my fireplace. You can see this if you go to greatInternetmarketingtraining.com and click on the monitor, it'll take you where you can see the whole production. He said, OK, just talk about, you know, I had a little piece of paper on the floor with each point that I wanted to make. He just said, OK, tell me your points. And and I recorded them all and I just sat there. OK, then with all this footage I had, we found a film school graduate on Craigslist that was charging fifteen dollars an hour just to build resume stuff.
[00:16:03] So we hired her and I said, here's all this footage, here's what we want to accomplish. You got to go through all this footage and pick out scenes to match what I'm trying to do here. And so she did it took 200 hours, OK, for her to finish this film at fifteen dollars an hour. So that's, what, three thousand dollars it cost. But I had gotten quotes. The reason I call it a fifty thousand dollar video. I had gotten quotes from anywhere from thirty six to fifty four thousand dollars. To do this, people would have had to be here hanging out and videotaping on the retreat's, which only happened once a month in those days. And then and then videotaped me take it back and rough out the film, have me check it all this stuff. So that's why it cost so much. It would have cost so much, but just shoot it myself and hire my own editor. Got it down to three thousand dollars. She had her own Mac computer, her own editing software. And there there it was. Now there's a lot of details to this. I have some full training on that somewhere. I can't remember where it is, but there's certain ways you shoot testimonials so that people that aren't camera savvy can, you know, give you a good testimonial without taking all day. We call it a 45 degree testimonial where they're not looking right into the camera. So it makes it much easier on them and you because you don't have to shoot fifty takes to get something decent.
[00:17:39] So anyway, shoot it yourself, find an edit there. There's a lot of little details. You can get free footage from Convention and Visitors Bureau if you live in any reasonably big city, a reasonable, reasonable sized city that wants people to come in and have meetings there. So they have a bunch of footage that you can get for free. There's a whole bunch of details to it. So anyway, that's how we do it. All right, Tom. I can't decide which head site head shot to put on my website and by my friends are split on the issue. Well, there's a thing called MTURK.com. And this is a place where you can put up a query like that and offer two cents for somebody opinion on which picture they like best or something like that. And thousands of people will come on in for a couple pennies throw there, too. I was going to say throw their two cents worth and you you threw your two cents worth in to get them to do it. So there's a bunch of workers all around the world that just sit there and do this kind of stuff all day long. And so you could get thousands of people to tell you which picture they like best. Now, the thing is, they're not going to be in your target market.
[00:19:09] I mean, you can do this for like book titles. Which title do they like best? So they're not going to be in your target market. So you have to use what you learn there as a data point. OK, you know, out of 3000 people, random people, 2000 of them like this book cover and a thousand of them like the other book cover. So that's just one data point, because like I said, they're not in your target market. If you get a chance to check your book cover or book title out to your target market and eight of 800 of them, like the other one, well go with the one that the the target market liked. But Mturk is a way to get a data point from thousands of people. It's really easy. So you just go to Antion.com, sign up and you'll be a. Now you can make money that way too, but there's not much. You have to kill yourself to make the money, but it could be fun to do for a while. OK, so that's mturk.com. It's owned by Amazon.
[00:20:16] OK, let's see, I heard using subdomains can help me with SEO. Well, here's the thing. You know, I'm not a big fan of SEO and the more advanced SEO stuff because it's just a lot of work and cross your fingers that it actually works.
[00:20:35] You know, I've got a lot of experience in this field. And so, yes, subdomains can help you with SEO. But there's a big if involved. OK, it's if each. Well, first of all, a subdomain for those of you who don't know, it's like it's like something dot before your main domain. So I could have publicspeaking.Antion.com. Antion.com is the domain name. Public speaking. is the subdomain. I mean, the daughter is part of the subdomains, public speaking is the subtheme, so the big if is this can help you if. That section of your site is extremely substantial. If you're just doing it to try to get a key word in your domain name and tell Google that you've got a section all about public speaking, but it's got like two pages on it. You it'll hurt you, Deseo, they'll think you're trying to trick them, which actually you are if you if you have a subdomain with nothing on it or not much on it. So answer is, yes, it can help you, but only if it's very substantial. OK, here's one I get all the time, how do I get return visits to my website? Well, one way, I mean, first of all, you got to have regular good content, so people want to come back. You can't put a blog post up once a year and figure and the people are going to remember it and come back and look at your next great blog post.
[00:22:19] Now, do I do this? Yeah, because I don't like to keep writing a blog post every couple of days, so I write a great one and then I drive traffic to it with other methods. OK, but if you want natural return visitors, you got to have regular good content. Now, there's also something you could put on your site, and I tried this once, it didn't work for me, nobody seemed to care. But I had a what's the general idea is what's new in your industry, a section of your site, so that people will come back to you for news in that particular industry. I did it for what's new in the professional speaking world. Nobody came, you know, they didn't care. So and I had lots of traffic, but it did not work. So I took it off. But if you have an industry and you like keep it up with the news, you could be a resource. And that could be a way. Now, another method that's very popular, you're probably in some of these programs is called a customer loyalty program. This is where your customers I mean, you might have done it in some small coffee shop where they give you a punch card. And every time you buy something, if you get enough punches, you get a free drink next time or something. So that's just one kind of loyalty. But there's plenty of online loyalty and in store loyalty programs.
[00:23:48] And it's, you know, an example would be customer earns points every time they they purchase something from you and then they can trade the points in for products or services later, that kind of stuff. So they they're more encouraged to buy stuff from you and build up their points so they can get freebies. People like this kind of stuff. I mean, the airlines do it. Everybody does. So I spent I'm going to say you're welcome again, because I spent half the morning today looking through hundreds of these services that help you put loyalty programs on your side. But here's here's an extra bonus tip for you folks. All right. If you get to a website that's promoting a service and they have no pricing on it and they want you to sign up for a demo, you can be sure you can afford it. As simple as that, if if it was affordable for small business people, they would have the prices right on the site. But no, these they really want the big dummies from corporations. It's not their money. And they don't know any better to suck them in and sell them their their service. So I get that. So I went through at least a hundred of them today and came out with one. One, two, three, four. Or you look at my notes here. Far only five of them that showed prices now you might not like the prices are right, but at least they showed them and many of them had a starter thing that was very low priced and then, you know, more features and stuff for more expensive.
[00:25:30] And then they might have what's called an enterprise price, which that's for big companies. So in the show notes, I've got a link to a HubSpot blog posting. Telling you all about what you need to know about customer loyalty programs, and then I got one, two, one, two, three, four, what I say five ones that actually showed pricing. It was glueloyalty.com, candybar.co, smile.io, bellycard.com, loyalzoo.com. They all showed pricing and would be a reasonable way to get started free with free trials. And I think the cheapest one was twenty nine ninety five a month. So yes, you can get going on that and get repeat visitors with loyalty programs. And then the other thing is retargeting ads. Now for those of you who don't know, you've probably experienced this where maybe you looked at a product on Amazon and then you start seeing that product that all the different all over the web, wherever you go, it's like stalking. The goofiest thing it happened to me if my girlfriend needed this, I don't know, some kind of special bras for some event. I don't know. I just tell her, send me the link and I'll, you know, buy and have it sent it so. So I find this bra and have it sent to her and then bra ads start following me around the Web for months after that.
[00:27:17] Well, this is retargeting. So basically, when I looked at a certain thing or read a certain blog post or watched a certain video, all the major servicers do this now. They allow you to do what they call pixel you. And pixels have a different meaning in the world of graphics, but a pixel is it? Think of it like a cookie. They do something so that they recognize that you read that blog post. Now they don't know your name or where you live or anything, but they know that you visited that blog post. So how does that what does that got to do with the question here of like, how do you get repeat visitors? Well, if somebody read your blog post and got to the bottom and maybe you were promoting a product at the bottom, you can pixel them and Facebook and Google and just about all the places you can advertise will give you the the pixels to put on your Web site so that when somebody visit, they get pixel. And then. All those people add up into what's called an audience. And then you can send an ad to that audience and you know that they were on that page with the blog post, so you can target the ad to them. Hey, thanks for stopping by our site and reading our post on so-and-so. And hey, you know, since we've got a special on today for that product at the bottom, here's a coupon code for 25 percent off or something like that to get him to come back to your website.
[00:28:51] So so retargeting with pixels is another way to get repeat visits to your stuff. Folks, I really want you to help me out on this campaign I'm doing with my school to help persons with disabilities. You can really be part of something big here, because when I prove the concept that I can get these people trained and hired, then I'm going to roll it out much bigger to go for grants and foundations and big companies to sponsor this so that I can roll it out to tons of people with disabilities and and really, really change their life. And you can be part of something really, really big. So please visit IMTCVA.org/disabilities and then click on the go fund me at the top and you'll see the campaign. Give whatever you can. If you'd like to sponsor someone personally or anonymously, please email me at Tom@ScrewtheCommute.com and we'll talk about it. And the boy, you can really do some good things in the world. I kind of equate it to having your name on the side of a library that you helped donate and stuff like that. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Catch y'all on the next episode. See ya later.
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