This is Ask Me a Question, so here's some of the questions I get. I get hundreds of them every week, so here we go.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 496
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 [04:02] The best way to build a list [06:26] Squeeze pages have fallen out of favor [08:41] Starting a retreat center [15:23] Making your hobbies tax deductible [17:27] Using signature files to speed up your work [20:01] Mac vs PC for recording a podcast [21:41] Make 30% to 50% more money every time you sell something
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
List Building – https://screwthecommute.com/listbuilding
Email Tom: Tom@ScrewTheCommute.com
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Upselling and Advertorials – https://screwthecommute.com/22/
James Felts – https://screwthecommute.com/495/
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Episode 496 – 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 and ninety six. Screw the Commute podcast. We're here still in Vetrepreneur Month. This is not a veteran today. This will just be me doing an ask me a question session again because I get so darn many questions and a lot of these things, you know, you might think you know what you're doing, but guess what, when somebody's doing this seven days a week for twenty seven years, they might just know a few things. Oh, so some of these things may seem simple to you. Oh, I knew that. Well, you know, I hear that all the time. I knew that. Well, how come you didn't do it on your website? Whoa. Oh yeah. So so don't poo poo these ask me a question session sections. I mean, sessions, episodes, whatever you want to call them. All right. Hope you didn't miss episode four? Ninety five? That was. James felt he was a company commander in Iraq and was awarded the Bronze Star for his outstanding contributions and sacrifices during combat operations. And on that episode that was four point ninety five. We saw how he's helping veterans market themselves in their businesses, and any time we want to go to a back episode, you go to screwthecommute.com and then slash the episode number.
[00:01:41] His was four point ninety five. All right. How'd you like me to send you big checks? Well, if you're in my affiliate program, I will do that. If you refer business to me, I always want to make people, you know the well, let me put it this way I want people to make money. Everybody's got to make money for long lasting relationships, not just me. So if you refer somebody, you get paid for it, if they, you know, spend money with me. So if you're interested in details on that, send to Tom@screwthecommute.com and say, I want affiliate program details and I'll get back to you on that. All right. Pick up a copy of my automation e-book at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. This was going to knock your workload down. You're going to steal customers ethically from competitors to slow, to get back to people and all kinds of great stuff. We sell it for twenty seven bucks, but it's yours. Free for listening to the show and go to screwthecommute.com/automatefree. And while you're at it, pick up a copy of our podcast app. It's screwthecommute.com/app. Has all kinds of cool functions, and we teach you how to use it. And you can put us on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road. All right, we're still in the middle of our pilot program.
[00:03:00] We're making good progress with the persons with disabilities. I want to get them trained in and highly in-demand skills, internet and digital marketing and get them good jobs and start their own business. But I need your help. We've got to go fund me campaign and think we're about twenty five percent of the way towards our goal. And so you can really do some good things with your money to help these folks out. So visit IMTCVA.org, that's my school website. Of course, that'll be in the show notes. Internet Marketing Training Center, Virginia. But you don't have to be in Virginia because it's distance learning and then go to the top of the page. Click on the Go Fund Me account. You can see updates from the people in the program and it's just amazing and inspirational what they're doing. And we're going to use some of the money to hire people with disabilities to help run the program. So something you can really be proud of helping out, and I'm super proud that I'm helping these people.
[00:04:01] All right, let's get to the main event. This is Ask Me a Question, so here's some of the questions I get, I get hundreds of them every week, so here we go. What's the best way to build a list? Well, this kind of kicks into I just happened to be let's see. Tonight is the third session of my book Mastermind or excuse me, email mastermind.
[00:04:24] We did the. We have a 12 week e-book mastermind. So this is email mastermind tonight. And first of all, you've got to get ready to buy to to build a list because too many people say, I just want a lot of subscribers. Well, there's a lot of things you got to do ahead of time, and I'm just going to give you a couple things. One of them is you've got to come up with good freebies or lead magnet. Sometimes they're called. And so I would give you a list of potential ones to white papers, videos, audios, e-books and the one I give away. I just gave it away to you. How to automate your business. At screwthecommute.com/automatefree. That's a list building technique. So everybody that listens to this and wants a free e-book, you know, goes and opts in and gets it. Uh, checklists are great freebie. Example would be a checklist of what to take on your next camping trip if you have a camping related email list templates. These are fill in the blank stuff. Jeff Herring, one of my students, has made a fortune selling templates where he teaches you how to, you know, all you have to do is fill in your stuff and he's figured out everything else for you. Those are templates E courses. Now E! Courses are a way to get a better quality list. And what I mean by that is see if a lot of people, including myself, you know, if you have a freebie to sign up for your list, I might use one of my worst email addresses that I never check.
[00:05:57] Just to grab that freebie, but for an E! Course that comes over time. Well, you might remind the people that say, Hey. Put your best email address in so you don't miss any parts of the course. And so they're thinking, Oh man, yeah, I never checked that other address, so I better put my good address in so you can get a better quality list with E! Courses. And an example of this would be great speaking. Com where you can get top 10 ways to make money speaking. Another it's a squeeze page. It's called now. Let's talk about squeeze pages for a second. Squeeze pages. Fallen out of favor with the search engines because they know you're just trying to grab email addresses, so even pay per click, which we do believe is a good way to build a list. That a lot of them won't accept a landing page, that's just the squeeze page. They say it's not quality content, so they won't even accept your money to send people to a squeeze page. So what came about years ago was called a reverse squeeze page. So it sends people to something with. Good content near the top of the page, but then it pushes hard for the email sign up, you know more towards the bottom of the page. And so that's a reverse squeeze page and that's a good way.
[00:07:22] And one of the the ways that we teach pay per click is one of the best if you do it properly because you can target so precisely. And then another one I'll give you here is ad swapping. With people that have lists of comparable size, you can't go to somebody with 100000 subscribers and you have 15 and say, Hey, let's trade. You know, though, that's not fair. Now if if they had one hundred thousand and you had 50000. Now they know you're serious and you could say, Hey, I'll give you two of, you know, promos for your list in my list for your if you do it once in your list. So two times fifty thousand a hundred thousand so. So that's kind of a fair deal there. So ad swapping for, you know, you're not paying anything, you're trading with some other list owner to promote you to their list and they promote you to I mean, you promote them to your list and they promote you to their list. That's what it is. All right. So there's a couple of things on it now. If you want the whole book on this, the ultimate guide, the list building go to screwthecommute.com/listbuilding. It's only 37 bucks and it's been worth millions and millions of dollars to me over time. Ok, next question. I'm thinking about starting a retreat center like yours to do leadership retreats.
[00:08:48] What do I need to know? Well, at first question I'd have to ask, You know, you didn't tell me enough details is like mine. Well, like mine is one of the most unique in the world where people actually live in the house with me. You know, we have this big estate home and and that's a whole different story than just using your house during the daytime and people stay at a hotel. So I'm wondering, do you really mean like mine or not? But anyway, if you do, or even if you don't? One thing you got to keep in mind is zoning or keeping it very quiet. So nobody and your neighbors, nobody knows what you're doing because operating a business in a residential area can get you in trouble. Now, so I've been doing it for 20 years, but I mean, at the peak, it was only once a month for a couple of days. So it was looking like I just had house guests in. And then in the for the past year and the pandemic, we haven't even had a retreat, you know, so. So but anyway, you got to keep it very quiet. You don't want a lot of cars and traffic. So we use a limo, so we pick people up at the airport in a limo, drop them off and so people see limos coming in and out. But there's no cars parked in the neighborhood, you know, taking up all the parking spaces.
[00:10:11] And I mean, we have a big cul de sac and I could park all the cars on the property. But anyway, you just don't want a lot of traffic coming in and out and causing crap in the neighborhood. Another. These are just some random things we actually have a whole DVD on how to run a retreat center out of your home if you're really interested. Go ahead and email me and I'll I'll find the link to it. We don't sell a lot of those because not many people want to do that. But you got to set limits if you know after a certain time, like the thing is over. I mean, you may have kids, you may have spouse to deal with or as part of it. And it's time to go to bed and people want to talk to you until 2:00 in the morning. You know, you have to set limits and usually that's done in the paperwork. So there's a lot of paperwork. We actually have a another product. It's a four webinar series on how to run a mentor program. So this has all the paperwork and all the the things that we make people sign to to create the proper expectations so they know I'm not available. Twenty four seven. They can't talk to me at three o'clock in the morning when I'm trying to sleep because I got to get up the next day and run the retreat, you know, so. So setting limits is important.
[00:11:30] Some people look at this like a bed and breakfast, but you know, that has a certain laws that go along with it. So I don't even charge people to come here. This is a freebie. As part of their mentor program. And so and they also sign a separate visitor's agreement, which again, we have it in the mentor product. But you know, if it's a bed and breakfast, there's laws that go along with, I think, sprinkler systems and all kinds of stuff like that that, you know, this is a residential estate. It's not going to have a sprinkler system. So things like that you've got to pay attention to in the paperwork and the legalities of it. And if somebody gets hurt, you know, I got them signed a waiver. You know, if they trip on the steps, whatever, you know, things like that, I'm big enough refrigerators. Have you checked with people on their dietary requirements? So you're going to eat all meals out? Are you going to have them catered in? You know, do people have, like I said, dietary things. We have a pre pre visit questionnaire that goes into all of that stuff because, you know, we're trying to run this thing, you know, efficiently during a weekend and get as much training is done as possible. And then if somebody says, Well, you know, I'm allergic to this thing, oh man, we got to run to send somebody to the store, you know, do just jump through hoops.
[00:12:53] So the more you can know ahead of time about your visitors and ask them all this stuff, the better you can be prepared. Another thing a lot of people don't think about is hot water capability. Like, for me, you know, you've got a bunch of people getting up in the morning. We have two massive hot water heaters and special thing on top of one of them that that just super heat. And then it mixes cold water and it gives you a higher capacity of hot water at the proper temperature and stuff. You know, you got to think of those things because the last thing you'd want to do is have everybody screaming at you because there's no hot water in the morning when they get ready. Let's see, you know, think how many people can you actually handle at your place? And some people will say, Well, I don't need the whole room. I'll just sleep on the couch. No, you got to have certain rules and regulations. You can't have somebody laying there on the couch and and somebody gets up to go to the kitchen and maybe they're there. I don't know. Balls are hanging out while they're sleeping. I don't know. I shouldn't have said that, I guess, but but you never know. So no, you got to have some kind of decorum and privacy for people. And privacy is another thing. So we have these door locks that are each door in the sleeping rooms have electronic locks, and then we can change the codes and give people their own code for the weekend.
[00:14:23] A lot of people don't even care about it because it's such a nice, you know, situation here and they can lock the door from the inside. And but anyway, it's a touch you got to think about and then amenities. We have a hot tubs, we have workout rooms, the tennis courts not really in good enough shape to play on right now, but we have a pool and, you know, stuff like that. So. And be honest with you, I could have fake holograms of all of those things because most people don't use them. They're here to learn internet marketing. And there's a heavy schedule and we we go out to dinner, we go to the beach and and we go to the next building to do our TV training and our TV studio, you know, so it's it's a pretty hefty schedule when they're here. And so a lot of the amenities don't even get used. So but having them is a big selling point, for the thing. So anyway, there's some details on it, but you know, I have two products the mentor. Program product and the DVD on how to run a retreat center. All right, let's see. I just got caught part of one of your interviews on another podcast. What do you mean by making your hobbies tax deductible? Can't you get in trouble with the IRS for that? Well, yes, you can get in trouble if it's just a hobby and you're not making any money as a business.
[00:15:44] So, yes, you know, I don't promote that at all. I'm talking about actually making a business with a inexpensive website that promotes a product about your hobby that you either created or if you don't want to create one, you just simply find affiliate products that are with regard to your hobby. And if people buy them and you get a commission, tend to be an attorney or an accountant. But you know, I've had hundreds of them in my in my programs over the years, and they all say, Yeah, that's the way it is. You just, you know, if you're bringing in money on this, there's no law that says you have to not enjoy what you're doing, OK? If it's with regard to golf or archery or camping or whatever you can think of, if it's your hobby, you can turn it tax deductible by either having a product and selling it online or an affiliate product. And the investment in doing it is just an inexpensive WordPress website and probably one hundred and fifty bucks. You can make a world class website if you know what you're doing and then promoting it and doing the things you know, like, for instance, my fatso tennis site, you know, I'm a tennis nut. And so it's tax deductible because we created a tennis DVD that we sell. See, but if you just like I said, if you're just doing your hobby and never bring in any money, well, that's when the I mean, not necessarily.
[00:17:15] We'll get in trouble unless the numbers are really big, but the the IRS will dis disallow the deductions because you're not really making any money or even trying to so. So that's that. Ok, next question in your automation e-book that you give away for listening to this podcast. Can you say a little more about using signature files to speed up your work? Yeah. So a signature file for those of you that don't know is usually a little thing at the bottom of your email where you can, you know, put your website link and your phone number and hours of operation or, you know, whatever you want to put in it. It's called a signature file, and it's put in automatically with your with your email and. What we use it for is especially if you do have to have a good email program that has unlimited numbers of these signature files, some limited to a couple of them, but. As part of our automation, we say, well, look. The signature file doesn't have to be just your promotional material. It could be an answer to a question that you get all the time. Now we have multiple ways to do this. Another one is called short keys. These are all outlined in the automation book Screw the Community Automate Free to get your copy. So when I get a question more than once, I don't go and find the answer that I created somewhere and copy and paste it and lose my train of thought whenever I was working on.
[00:18:53] No, I just either hit Insert Signature where I have made the answer to that question. And a lot of them come by email, so I go insert signature and then I pick the one that answers their question and I had insert and it changes from the default one that just promotes me to the answer to their question, plus the one that promotes me. So it really makes you screamingly fast to answer people. And the more you, the faster you are, the more people you cover, the happier they are because you're fast and they spend more money. It's as simple as that. So that's using signature files. So you just have to figure out in your program how many you're allowed or unlimited. I use outlook and it's unlimited. And then figure out, I mean, how to edit them. And and the thing is, as soon as you get questions all the time, make the answer a signature file and also put it in short, keys or or the other one is keyboard maestro if you're on a Mac. Ok, but the signature files should work anywhere in a good email program. Ok, I want to do a podcast, is it better to use a Mac or PC to record it? Oh, well, I'll tell you. I mean, there's a lot of answers to that question, but if you just use a Mac, you're going to be way better off in the long run.
[00:20:20] My thing was, is that I got a when I first started, I got a Windows 10 laptop thinking, OK, I'll learn Windows 10 and I'll just dedicate this laptop to my podcast. Oh man, what a nightmare. What a nightmare. The guy from the audio store hooked everything up for me. Everything is working perfectly. He leaves. I turn everything off. Come back the next day. Nothing's working. I call him back, he comes over. Oh gee. Windows 10 changed all your audio settings. He puts them back where they're supposed to be leaves. Next day turned on. They're all changed again. I was ready to kill myself. So in fact, I went to the Mac store and I said if I was going to shoot a Windows laptop, should I use a shotgun or a pistol? So, so yes, you can record beautiful audio on a PC, but if you're not super technical, there's so many audio settings that can screw with you. It's just not worth it for for the average computer operator. This Mac that I got used is the two thousand eleven Mac. I've had it three years. Not one glitch ever only paid nine hundred dollars for it to use refurbished kind of thing, and it's been perfect. So I would say use a Mac if you don't want all this hassle. Ok, let's see, I heard you say something about you make 30 to 50 percent more money every time you sell something.
[00:21:51] What's that all about? Well, that's the process of upselling, so upselling is when somebody makes a decision to buy a product. After they've made the decision, then you offer them something else to buy. It's not offering them three things or two things at once. They made the decision to buy the first one. Then you offer them the second one. We call it, Do you want fries with that? Ok. And if you structure it properly, 30 to 50 percent of the people will go for the upsell like clockwork. I don't, I don't think ever have I done this, that at least 30 percent did it, and it's usually between 30 and 50 percent. That's a lot of extra money. So here's a quick formula on it. I have I actually have an episode on this a while back, but. You've got to take the original purchase price that they planned on spending, I use the example of somebody is going to buy a suit and they allot six hundred dollars for the suit, so they go to buy the suit and the where they're buying. The suit says, Hey, anybody who buys a suit this week gets two for one on shirts and ties. So here's the formula. All right, the original purchase price was six hundred dollars. So if you put a cheaper product, shirts and ties that are cheaper than the suit and it's related to the original purchase, shirts and ties go with the suit.
[00:23:26] And it's a deal two for one. You will get without fail, 30 to 50 percent of the people going for it. Now if you tried to do it the other way, somebody goes in to buy a tie and you say, Hey, anybody buys a tie this week we got a discount on suits. It doesn't work that way. All right. So that's upselling. And we call it, do you want fries with that? Because they made a decision to buy? Then you offer them something else to buy. That's basic upselling theory. And then we have a lot more in the episode on this. I don't know what number it is offhand, but but we'll get it in the show notes. Maybe. So there you go. There's a bunch of ask me questions I get, like I said all the time, so I throw these in whenever they start backing up and I can't answer them all personally, then I'll do an episode on them. Now, please check out the Imtech VA morgue. Slash disabilities, that's plural and go to the top of the page, check out our Go Fund Me account. It's something you can really be proud of helping these folks out that kind of got, you know, dealt a hand much more difficult than most of us. And we're really going to get them employed and in their own businesses and help them out. So help me out with that. All right, we'll catch you on the next episode. See you later.