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Nathan Chan is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Foundr, a digital magazine for entrepreneurs. He launched the magazine in 2013 on Apple Newsstand and the Google Play Store. He has interviewed top entrepreneurs and business leaders today including Sir Richard Branson, the Founder of Virgin Group, Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank and Tim Ferriss, Author of The 4 Hour Workweek.
“Nathan is a serious go-getter, making a huge impact on the entrepreneurial space. He’s built a well-respected brand from the ground and continually growing it at a rapid pace.” – Aaron Fifield, Podcast Host of Chat with Traders.
Currently based in Melbourne, Australia, he previously worked as an IT professional in various industries such as publishing, travel, and accounting.
TOPICS OF CONVERSATION:[00:15] Introduction
[00:34] Company Background
[02:01] Plans for the Next 12 Months
[05:45] Invited People on Board
[08:09] Front Cover Design
[12:44] Booking Process for Guests
[16:08] Strategy for Booking Guests
[19:29] Sell Courses
[21:00] Types of Readers for Foundr
[35:47] Outsourcing Talent/Systemization of Process
[41:36] Tool Recommendations
[44:57] Contact Information and Conclusion
Reach Out To Nathan Chan:
- Twitter: @NathanHChan
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
[00:15] Stephen: Hey guys, Stephen Esketzis here from Marketing on the Move. And I’ve got the Founder of Foundr Magazine here. How are you doing?
Nathan: Good, thanks.
Stephen: It’s a bit of a tongue twister, that one. Isn’t it?
Nathan: Yeah, it’s always good every time.
Stephen: Yeah? Is that how all the interviews started with ‘founder of Foundr’?
Nathan: Yeah, pretty much.
[00:34] Stephen: So tell us, what have you been up to? How’s the magazine coming along? What’s it all about?
Nathan: Yeah, so Foundr is a digital magazine on the tablet and mobile devices, so App Store, Google Play Store. And it’s targeted at young entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, and novice stage entrepreneurs. And really, what we’re trying to do is just show people what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur, and really solve that problem where I guess the other big magazines don’t really solve, where it’s you’ve got all these big-time entrepreneurs, the top 100 billionaires.
And they don’t really deliver actionable, tactical, strategically-based content. And just putting my own kind of spin on what it takes to be, you know, create a magazine and publish content. And I guess you just help people.
So that’s essentially what Foundr is all about. And I started it two years ago from my bedroom with under $3,000 while working my full-time job. And then from there, turned it two years later to a profitable six-figure business. And we have aspirations to build it into a seven-eight figure business.
So we start off as just as a magazine. But now, we’re a fully-fledged media brand. Just like you, we’ve got a podcast. We’ve got a high-traffic website, social channels, the magazine, and building an e-mail database. And we’re doing all sorts of things.
So it’s a fully-fledged media company now.
[02:01] Stephen: I love that. Yeah, that’s awesome. We’re going to be passing the mic around in a little bit.
So hopefully, it comes out alright. We’ve been mixing with our technical difficulties, but we’ll get there. Yeah, that’s awesome, man. So now that you’ve obviously started as a magazine delivering a whole lot of value.
You’ve built up that listener base content. What do you see going from here, like a media agency where, I guess, you’ll be sort of advertising other entrepreneurial courses and things? Or is it going to be just keep delivering value as well? Where do you see it going in the next 12 months?
Nathan: So it’s funny, because I guess one of the reasons I got excited when you told me about ClickFunnels, because one thing I’ve identified with Foundr is it’s essentially like an entry-level product. And I actually didn’t know this, and you probably wouldn’t know this. But a lot of magazines, like Entrepreneur for example, they have a ton of courses that they sell.
They have a ton of events that they do. And they have all sorts of upsells and higher premium-level products. And that’s I guess in the next 12 months, I plan to have a decent-sized product suite, a decent-sized e-mail database, where once we service someone that comes to Foundr and they like reading the magazine, there’s so much more that we can help people with.
So one thing that we’re doing right now is launching an Instagram course, because we build that from zero to 120,000 in under five months. And its super engaged. We’re building a massive e-mail database from that just alone off from customer acquisitions. So that is one of many courses that will roll out to further serve our community.
So I guess in the future, 12 months from now, we will, I guess, have a lot more products and higher selling products at higher selling tiers. And I think from a business perspective and on growth revenue side of things, that’s definitely going to help us. Because lifetime value of a customer—it’s a $2.99 a month magazine.
It’s probably around near $40-$50. So we could raise that a lot higher. And this is what our community is asking for. So higher selling, more products.
And I think that’s probably down the route that we’ll go. Maybe a little bit more sponsorship-type packages, like I’m getting a lot of people contacting me and they want to do a plug on the podcast, a plug on social, a plug in the magazine, a plug in a sponsored blog post, maybe we’ll play with that kind of stuff.
But to be honest, one thing I found is it’s difficult. Like I don’t want to chase people. I need a broker to go and chase people for that kind of stuff. And it takes a lot of business development to close 20 to 50 case sponsorship deals.
And it is even difficult to even find—because I only promote products that I believe in, like a lead page or something that we use.
Stephen: Something ongoing as well.
Nathan: Yeah. A lot of these SaaS’s, they just don’t have that kind of budget. So look, I haven’t gone down that route, I might in the next 12 months. But it’s definitely not our biggest focus.
Our biggest focus is to really hammer down the marketing automation. Really hammer down having a decent-sized product suite. And yeah, just keep doing epic interviews, providing as much value as we can. And yeah, just having fun on the way.
Stephen: Yeah. I love that, man. I absolutely love that. I mean, that’s the best way—I think one of the best ways to monetize that sort of content as well.
And you said time after time, whether it’s like a blog or a magazine, they start with full content driven like, John Lee Dumas, who did his, I think, his blog for 18 months or something like that, pure content or something before he sold or anything.
And you just see all the value and the buildup it provides. And there, you’ve got the opportunity to monetize it and not flip, but start introducing some areas where you can start profiting on a higher level.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s right.
[05:45] Stephen: I was just going to say, we spoke before we started filming and everything. You started telling me about some of the people who’s got on board coming soon. Are you allowed to give any spoilers away?
Nathan: Sure, sure. Yeah, sure. We just launched with Barbara Corcoran, who’s a shark of the American Shark Tank.
Stephen: I love that show. It’s phenomenal.
Nathan: Yeah. It’s awesome. So we’ve got her. We just launched with her. She’s the April issue. In the May issue, we’ve got Tim Ferriss.
Stephen: Whoa. Big names.
Nathan: Yeah, that was—these are Skype interviews and the amount of value they share is amazing. And then we’ve got Seth Godin for the June issue.
Nathan: We’ve got Tim Ferriss for the—no, so we’ve got Tim Ferriss for the May issue. We have to edit that—we’ve got Tim Ferriss for the May issue, Seth Godin for the June, Daymond John from Shark Tank for July.
Stephen: I think he was presenting-
Nathan: Oh, really? Yeah.
Stephen: -in San Diego. So yeah, he delivered a lot of value obviously getting into that entrepreneur sort of industry.
Nathan: Alliance stuff. Yeah.
Stephen: Alliance stuff, true.
Nathan: Yeah, because he started FUBU, as you know, and that was—yeah, he’s got a lot of other ventures and stuff like that. So yeah, we interview him and then—so that’s July.
Then we’ve got a girl called Michelle Phan, which you may not have heard of, but she’s got like a massive YouTube presence and she’s got a very big startup that’s doing—it’s on track to do $70 million this year.
Nathan: Purely from, like you said, building the community. So she builds to–she does makeup videos—she built up the community-
Stephen: Oh, I’ve heard of her. Yes.
Nathan: She built up the community on YouTube, had millions and millions of subscribers. And then, she monetized it by having this gift bag, where it’s like makeup samples in $10-a-month. And she’s got like, in the hundreds of thousands of paid customers.
Stephen: That’s awesome. I love that model.
Nathan: Yeah. So she—you know, it’s a subscription, so It’s her business model. So she’s on the August front cover. And then, we’ve got Tony Robbins for September.
Stephen: We love Tony.
Nathan: Yeah, he was really great to interview. All these interviews are killer interviews. And then, we’ve got for October, we’ve got, I think—you got me on the spot, but we’ve got Steve Blank, who was Eric Ries’s mentor. He’s like the godfather of Silicon Valley.
Stephen: Wow, yeah.
Nathan: He was kind of the big driver of The Lean Startup Movement. And we’ve got Guy Kawasaki and then also Vishen Lakhiani from MindValley.
Stephen: This is awesome.
Nathan: And that’s 2015 done.
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[08:09] Stephen: That’s 2015 wrapped up. I’m looking forward to it. You know what I loved there out of all of it? I loved the designs in everything that you bring to the front covers.
Every time I look at it, it just melts. And just anyone who gets on their makes them look ten times more beautiful and sexy and more attractive to read about.
So you’re killing it in the design front. Do you guys do that in-house or get someone else to do it or something?
Nathan: Yeah, great question. And we actually are—like often comment in our design and we’re trying to go for something a little unique, where it’s kind of like really colorful, cool and kind of funky, edgy, kind of feel for all of our branding and our designs.
So he’s my good friend now, his name is Kuhran and he’s a graphic designer out of India. And I met him and we connected over Elance. And we’ve become great friends. I went to his wedding in December.
Stephen: Wow. In India?
Nathan: In India. So he got married. And we’re actually going to the States together in a few months.
Stephen: Hopefully closing deals?
Nathan: Yeah, we do all sorts of stuff going on, do a few interviews and stuff like that.
Stephen: Cool, yeah.
Nathan: So yeah, I just need a lot of people because-
Stephen: Great networking.
Nathan: That’s right. And our audience is mainly based in the States.
Stephen: The US.
Nathan: That’s why all the people I’ve interviewed for the front cover, they’re all in the States. So yeah, he’s the person that does the design.
He’s got his own creative agency based out of—they were in Delhi, but now they’re moving to Bangalore.
Stephen: That’s awesome. Yeah, I love that. Everyone starts, I think, I don’t know, you as well have been the same, but on oDesk or on Elance or Freelancer.com, whatever it is, to start.
Especially when you’re on that tight budget at the beginning, and then you find all these people and you get connected, and you do all this. And it starts growing and the quality gets better and better, and better. Have you found that with your business as well?
Nathan: Yeah. So the reason that we went on oDesk, Elance, kind of that path, was because I was bootstrapping from the ground up. I think if you’re not looking to get funding and you don’t have the big budget, this is kind of what you have to do. You have to utilize overseas talent.
And yeah, I think if we compare the first issue of the magazine, and the Barbara Corcoran was issued 26th, I think. That’s what two years and one month, a couple of months, yeah. Like it has gone a long way, just as like my designer.
His levels of skills have developed because he’s got such a passion for design. And between two years ago to today, he’s done all sorts of courses. He’s met all sorts of A-player designers. And he’s got experience under his belt. And I obviously pay him a lot more than I used to pay him. So he’s-
Stephen: He’s stepping up.
Nathan: Stepping up. That’s right. Like with these covers, right? You complimented the covers—this is just something that people might find interesting—is he said to me, ‘if you want to create a really great cover like as good as Wired Magazine’—whatever, like I love Wired Magazine’s covers.
They’re amazing—or Time Magazine or whatever. What it comes down to is no doubt about my designer has, like he’s the art director in his team. They have a very good skillset.
But a big part of it comes down to how long you spend on that cover. So you could spend 10, 20, 30 hours just looking at all of this, all changes.
Nathan: And you’ve got all these things. So that’s the level that you want to get it to, where—yeah, that’s right. They’re spending so much time on. And that’s how those covers like Wired/Time; I get just like a team. And they’re just spending-
Stephen: Level, level, level.
Nathan: Yeah, and they just spent so much time on it. So if we wanted to take it like a cover up in another level, it’s just man hours, really.
I’m just paying for that time. I’m quite happy with the level and I’ve been definitely as time goes on, I’ll keep increasing his wage, and keep moving that and keep building that momentum.
Because eventually, people will come along and where there’s always people in the space that are just trying to imitate what we do, copy what we do.
And how do you maintain that competitive advantage? I’ve got that hunger, and that’s one competitive advantage.
But how do you maintain that competitive advantage? So this is stuff you have to do.
[12:44] Stephen: Yeah. I think like—and it’s great because you guys are taking that into such a high level so quickly.
I mean, what, two years is nothing, and already like at stellar level, looking at some of the names you guys are bringing on. It’s incredible. And I think you’re not even competing there.
You’re sort of just dominating. And that’s what you want to be. You want to be in that spot where it’s like, you focus on your goal and you got your path.
And then, you know what you want to do and you’re just going to crush it, which is awesome.
So I love that, yeah. So with the names that you got on board. If we track back a bit to some of the other guys, you’ve had some huge names.
I know, I’m just sure everyone asks since your brand is probably one of the biggest, how did you get guys like them on board?
Do you have sort of a script that you follow when you reach out to them?
Obviously, there are gatekeepers and PR people you got to get through, and schedules you got to book in advance? What’s your sort of process?
Nathan: Great question. So first things first, it was never easy to start off. Like the first issue, we didn’t even put a successful person on the front cover, like I had a stock image.
Stephen: Did anyone realize?
Nathan: There was a guy like—there’s a buy who’s like he’s got this shirt and it’s like he’s ripping it off.
Stephen: Oh, like Superman.
Nathan: Like Superman, yeah.
Stephen: That’s perfect. It’s a good story.
Nathan: It’s not like I’m going to change it. It’s all humble beginnings. And so yeah, look, it took time.
We say two years isn’t long in business terms. But for me, that’s a long time, man. It is a decent time.
And I’ve just kind of worked my way up and built momentum. And it’s another thing also to build like a decent reach and being able to provide value on the other end.
You know, like anyone that’s looking at this, the ones listening, that wants to start a magazine and wants to start a podcast, even if I told you the tactics and strategies that I used right now to get Sir Richard Branson, to get to interviews with Tony Robbins or Tim Ferriss.
It’s not something you can do out of the gate, to be honest. You have to build up your audience and have a decent-sized platform, so you can provide that value.
So you can say, “Hey Tim, we’ve got 25—close to 25,000 active monthly readers. We’ve got a social platform currently between Twitter, Facebook and Instagram of quarter of a million.
We’ve got—we’ve had Sir Richard Branson on the cover. And we’ve done a feature with him. This is what it looks like. He’s an example-“
Stephen: And that’s the number.
Nathan: “-I know you’re looking for press. You’re just about to launch your TV show again.” Can you see how I’m going with it because I’ve built up that credibility for the social proof? I’ve built up that community where I can provide value and help push something.
That’s one of the biggest things I think that people need to take away is if somebody is looking for press, it’s really easy.
If I try to pitch Tony Robbins and he didn’t have a book out, I think it would be—he probably would say ‘no.’
So yeah, you’re right. You have to find the gatekeepers. That’s spot on.
You can’t just go on pitch your Sir Richard Branson call. You have to find that person, that go-to person where he’s the Head of PR. Or it’s an agency.
Stephen: So a lot of them are managed by this.
Nathan: That’s right. So one thing you’ll find and that’s how we got interviews with the CEO of Elance, oDesk, Fabio; the founders of Eventbrite; the founders of Indiegogo. Yeah, so they’ve got agencies that are going out and they paid them a significant amount of money to go out and get press.
Stephen: That’s great. They get a lot of-
[16:08] Nathan: That’s right, because that makes it even easier, because you make the agencies look good. So that’s a tactic in itself.
Stephen: That’s a good strategy.
Nathan: So it’s not just even finding the gatekeepers like Sir Richard Branson’s PR person. Find out where their agency is or who they’re paying to get them press. So-
Stephen: And they just serve it to them every single time.
Nathan: -that’s right.
Stephen: And I think like you’re saying. You just tick boxes. I mean, you go through and say, “It’s like a groove thing.” You’ve got like, these are our views that we have got bang. We’ve got—what’s he got coming up?
What press-insert-here-bang? And as you tick those boxes, the agent just keeps reading and keeps smiling, and smiling and smiling until the point where he’s just like, ‘yup, let’s go.
Let’s do it tomorrow. Let’s get it going.’ And I guess that’s right in how you’ve gotten all these incredible names in the past and coming up?
Nathan: Yeah. So I think that’s—yeah, all of those elements, you know, knowing the gatekeeper, finding that key person, whether it’s an agency, whether it’s a person. Building up a community. You know, looking where you can provide value by having that community.
Looking what they’re looking forward. They’re launching a book. They’re launching something. They’ve got a new product or service or something out.
Look for a fair exchange in value. I think that’s really important. And then, another hack that people might like is Amazon who actually—like if you’re going to launch your book tomorrow, you’ve got to do a lot of prep for that into the whole campaign, right?
One of the things that all these big publishing houses do is they register with Amazon that their book is coming out. So like for example, I know for a fact that Eric Ries is launching a new book he crowdfunded it, it’s about leadership. You can to Amazon right now.
It’s nowhere near being released, but you’ll see, you might not see, but there’s a good, high chance that he’s going to estimate a date that it’s coming out.
And you can go to Amazon and you can run searches in the “entrepreneurship/business” category books that are coming soon. Books that are coming soon six months away from now.
Stephen: That’s awesome.
Nathan: So that’s how you can work out. You can attack it really, really early. That’s right, because once that person launches their book, you’re too late.
So if you prepare and you catch them early and you find the right stakeholder that you need to speak to, all they’re doing is lining it up, getting all their ducks in a row.
Yeah, we’ve got Business Insider here.
We’ve got New York Times.
We’ve got Entrepreneur Magazine, and then, we’ve got Foundr.
Like you just line up for them. And then these people stack up the interviews. And then you’re just one of those people. That’s exactly what I did. That’s what exactly what I do with a lot of these interviews.
And that’s another way I’m getting and finding out pre—before I find out from—I heard these interviews somewhere else. You know what I mean?
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[19:29] Stephen: That’s awesome. I love that. That’s such a good technique to use and such a good opportunity. I don’t know if you’re familiar with DotComSecrets, Russell Brunson.
He’s in internet marketing and he just launched his book. He did a massive affiliate offer, like a free plus shipping for his book.
And you see all the people that had interviewed him leading up to that interview, interview, interview, interview, and interview.
They’re all just like tools just to get that press out there, like you were saying. I think, especially these days, a tool like a book to get your name noticed happens so often.
Like people are releasing books every single day. And they’re all big names, big entrepreneurs. They’re using it as a tool to build their authority. And you guys get to use it as a tool to build your own authority.
So it works perfectly. I love that. So I guess moving away from the whole magazine side. You said you’re looking to courses and build some value, and obviously sell something on the back-end as well.
What type of courses are you looking to sell? Is it going to be something like yourself at a webinar or you’re looking to just sell it straight to your readers? How are you going to be going about that?
[21:00] Nathan: Yeah, great question. So I’ve tested this channel, like the e-mail channel. And I tested it on a very small scale.
And we had quite a large amount of success selling a beta version of an Instagram course. And I’ve identified, there’s a few things here. I think in order to move forward, we have to know our audience so extremely well.
We have to know what their problems are. So I’ve identified from speaking to my audience every single day, you know readers of the magazine, when they’re not a reader, just people getting in touch with me. I’m asking questions like,
“What is your biggest struggle right now?”
“What is your biggest frustration?”
“What is your deepest, darkest desire?”
Answering those questions and like when I get the responses from those questions, I find out exactly, like commonalities from getting so—like I go over a couple of thousand data points and answers to these questions that I can refer back to for copy, that I can refer back to for commonality or potential products and courses we can sell further on, different topics for the magazine.
So I have all this customer data on hand. And I’ve identified three different types of people that read Foundr.
The biggest, in fact it’s probably—yeah, I find that there’s two sorts that skewers pretty close, like a lot is there’s people that want to start a business but they don’t know where to start and they’re kind of interested in entrepreneurship. So probably-
Stephen: And they’re probably like 18 to 24-year-olds.
Nathan: I couldn’t tell you the age, but I can tell you that there’s a need. There’s a need that-
Stephen: People often jump from their day job and maybe get into entrepreneurship of some sort.
Nathan: So there’s an interest. They’re looking to start something. They don’t know where to start. They—
Stephen: And that’s the biggest-
Stephen: I’m sorry.
Nathan: So that is not the biggest. It’s probably even with, there’s people like that, and then there’s people that have just launched something and they’re just getting something off the ground or they’ve been doing it for a couple of years.
And between those two, that’s the biggest proportion of kind of people that read Foundr.
But then, there’s also like a decent size, like a common—not as much as the other two that I mentioned—but it’s definitely a presence of experienced entrepreneurs that are making anywhere between half a million to $10 million a year, like super savvy, super experienced entrepreneurs that I wouldn’t expect would read the magazine.
But they read it to stay on the cutting edge. Because we talk a lot of tech stuff.
And they want to hear what Barbara Corcoran has to say or what Tim Ferriss, what he’s doing for his productivity self.
Because that kind of value isn’t just for those first two segments that I described. So in saying all of that, I’ve identified problems that both of the first two segments are having, that I can cover all those three segments.
So there are courses that I’ll be launching. And how am I going to do that? Mainly, through e-mail marketing, just building up a massive backend.
So I think Foundr is the frontend. It’s the brand. It’s what everyone sees. And we’ve got a cool, funky website.
Our branding, I think, is quite strong. And, I guess, we differentiated ourselves on the entrepreneurship scene.
That’s all the frontend stuff that people find value from and they love, and they connect with, and they can build a relationship with.
And if people want to delve further with us, they can either sign up to our e-mail list, and we can take them on the process.
And I think we can find out what else they’re struggling with and we can serve them with a course on how to get more customers—yeah, or a course on how to start an online business, or a course on productivity hacks.
So pretty much, that’s how I plan to roll it out. And would you like to get technical on the tools that I want to use?
Stephen: Yeah, of course. We’ll post it after the show.
[23:51] Nathan: Yeah, so the tools that I’m looking at using so e-mail marketing, Infusionsoft. I was on MailChimp. But to do it properly, I need something quite powerful.
And this is what I got excited when we first met because you do a lot of sales funnel stuff. So essentially, I’m going to build a lot of funnels.
Stephen: Exactly. That’s one solution
Nathan: Yeah. So I was looking at doing this system. I’d love to hear your thoughts. I was going to use SamCart for the shopping cart. That really excited me.
And I was going to use MemberMouse to just deliver the course content, Infusionsoft.
And then also, I was going to use for the sales page, like OptimizePress and could use LeadPages. But OptimizePress is a little bit more flexible.
But then, now, like I’m still working on putting the course together because I’ve done the beta version now.
I’m going to write a proper version. So I’m recording all the stuff again, make it super professional in line with their branding.
So now, I’m looking at maybe doing ClickFunnels instead of scrapping all that and just doing that ClickFunnels.
So keep Infusionsoft but just do ClickFunnels because it keeps all the same technology. I’ve got the shopping cart.
I can use the membership site. I’ll use the sales pages with them. I can use the upsell pages. And it just doesn’t make things so complicated. Because one thing I found when I wanted to roll out this backend system-
Stephen: All the different things.
Nathan: There are so many different tools. There’s no one tool that handles everything. It’s so difficult. So I’m looking, I’m more leaning towards ClickFunnels now.
I’ll just make the call in the next week or so once all the content’s ready, because I’ve got to roll it out. I’ve got to ship, because we’ve got a massive waiting list for the relaunch of the Instagram.
Of course, people are dying for it. And this stuff’s really hot. You know, why am I waiting on it?
You’ve got to move fast. That’s one of the biggest takeaways I have is it’s all about the speed of implementation.
The most successful entrepreneurs move extremely fast. So that’s what I’m all about. Does that answer your question?
[25:55] Stephen: Yeah, so I’ve got a few questions back and forth to that. First one is what are you looking to price the course?
Are you guys looking to do something like $4.97, $9.97, or is going to be something, $97, $95, $99?
Are you looking to get most of your readers on board? What are you looking at?
Nathan: Yeah, so look, we’ve segmented our e-mail lists, like we’ve heavily segmented our e-mail database.
Stephen: That’s something a lot of magazines don’t do as well.
Nathan: You know the difference. Yeah, that’s a great tip right there. But so we know. We kind of collect a small portion of people that subscribe.
So the small portion, like not a 100%, but small portion of people that have paid subscribers. And there’s a big difference between a paid customer and not a paying customer.
And then we’ve got certain segments where people come in from the website, where they come in for Instagram, was coming for a competition we’ve run. All these tactics to build our database.
So we’ve heavily segmented it. And in terms of pricing, probably more to, I’m going to go, like when we launched the beta version of the Instagram course, we only sold it for $97, purely because one, I was testing it, I sold it before I created it, and we rolled it out just through webinars, like five webinars.
Nathan: And just people attend the webinar, record and send it to people, -simply done. You know, pretty ghetto-like delivered course.
Stephen: That’s the best way to do it though.
Nathan: It’s fully tested.
Nathan: And people loved it. And then, that’s where I seek all the feedback to make it a lot better.
Stephen: Clean it up, tweak it, and get it right.
Nathan: Exactly. So find out what the real pain points are that people are struggling with for Instagram. Because the course, I’ve realized, it’s less about Instagram and more about marketing, and how to get customers, and how to position yourself.
Nathan: And how to get exposure for your brand and all those kinds of things, copywriting. All those kinds of marketing tactics. And Instagram is just a channel. But that’s a whole other story. So I’m going to keep raising the price, to be honest.
Nathan: I’ll do the next-
Stephen: At least probably double, triple, you’re thinking?
Nathan: $2.97 probably, maybe $3.97. Probably $2.97, I’m comfortable with. And then we’ll set up a sales funnel.
So once I’ve launched that course, I’ll do a launch again. Then, I’ll set up a sales funnel.
And then I’ll just keep doing mini launches in between that. And I’ll use Infusionsoft to know who’s in between a funnel that they’re getting pitched to and then they’re not. And a lot of that kind of stuff.
Stephen: Manage all that?
Nathan: Yeah, manage all that and then I guess we’ll look to roll out our next course. Once we’ve got the sales funnel in place, then I’ll do launches, probably once a quarter. And then we’ll keep upping the price, just like what a lot of these Instagram marketers do with these courses is you go from $3.97 to $4.97. And you keep raising the value. And that also-
Stephen: It has to be. I was just about to say that.
Nathan: Yeah, exactly. That’s right. Yeah, so it adds a scarcity and scarcity encourage people to buy.
Nathan: So we’ll keep doing that and then we’ll keep moving on to our next course. And yeah, by this time next year, I hope to have a decent, got quite a few sales funnels and quite a few backend products.
And yeah, Foundr’s just a frontend. You know, we’ve got the podcast. We’ve got the blog. We’ve got the social channels. But the real money, I think, will be made of the backend because we’ve got, essentially, an entry-level product.
And it’s funny because a lot of people you’re looking, because you’re in Internet marketing, do sales onsite. You’re looking at what I’m doing as an Internet marketer, but some people could look at it as just like a media brand which is exactly what Entrepreneur Magazine do.
And they probably would have a number of years’ amount of savviness between sales funnels, and all upsells, and all that kind of stuff. But they’ve got higher tier products. And they’re selling other things.
Nathan: So, I’m in this Internet marketing world too. But at the same time, on the outside, we would be perceived not from as Internet marketers-
Stephen: No, it comes from a different way.
Nathan: Yeah, so as a media platform, an education platform-
Nathan: There’s so many different ways. People view me as a journalist, an Internet marketer, an online entrepreneur. Yeah, so.
Stephen: I think it depends on who you present yourself too as well. I mean, when you’re going to these interviews, Tony Robbins, whoever, you say, “Yeah, we’re a media agency. We’re this. I’m a journalist. I’m an editor, whatever.”
And then when you take backseat and you go home, you think, “Ah, now it’s time to start getting products out the door. Tom did step into my Internet marketing shoes.”
So it’s really cool. And I think it’s funny because a lot of the guys that I speak to—I speak to a whole array of clients—and some of them are really savvy.
So some of them know. But a lot of them don’t realize, they’ll come to, for example, they might see the magazine, and they’ll say, “Oh, yeah. It’s a cool magazine.”
You might be making a little money, $3 a month, obviously, it’s doing alright. He’s got maybe a couple of hundred thousand people or so in the list. But yeah, a lot of people, like the amateurs realize, and I heard this from Russell Brunson.
He gave it in a quote. It goes, “Amateurs make money on the frontend, and the pros make money on the backend.” And that’s really a way of summing it up.
Like, you think of Groupon as well, that these guys offer maybe $37 or a $27 instead of a $97 carwash or something. And people will come through the door, but the money isn’t made on the Groupon.
It might get a thousand people through the door, but then 30% of those will take the next offer to an upgrade to a supreme wash or something like that.
And people don’t realize that’s where everything, all the money is made in every industry. I mean, you could offer, say, a free bonus with your course. That’s the frontend offer, but on the backend, you’ll upsell 20% who went through to another end offer.
You maybe might want to do a “How to Start a Magazine” course, something like that. Who knows? So I think it’s really good that you’ve realized that now, especially quite early on. And you can start getting the ball rolling.
And I think a lot of people sort of go through that level of build a community, number one, establishing audience now, start looking to monetize, build up the backend, and then just keep going wide with all your products and deep with all your upsells.
So you can start getting higher and higher and whatnot.
Nathan: Yeah. Look, that’s spot on. I love how you’ve described that with Groupon. And they’ve got millions and millions of people in their database—tens of millions, no doubt. Hundreds of millions, I don’t know. So that’s very, very spot on.
And I’ve just got a different approach where I’m really trying to position Foundr, all that frontend stuff, as really premium. And it would look like we’re an Internet marketing or doing Internet marketing stuff.
And I always want to keep it that way, because there’s a lot of dodgy, spammy, Internet market-
Stephen: Yeah, it’s got that reputation, especially after the last five or ten years, people are doing dodgy things.
And I think the way you’ve got like, not concealed, but it’s just structured very well. Like you said, Entrepreneur Magazine, people don’t know that they have an e-mail list automation going crazy. You guys do the same thing.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s right. It’s so true. That’s the game plan; really just keep that high-level of premium positioning. And we can probably price accordingly. Once I do that with higher confidence with our products, and we have so many case studies-yeah, that’s right.
[33:11] Stephen: And one question that you mentioned is once you build up your own confidence, with Foundr Magazine, I’m still going a bit off point, but have you found that once you started it, you’ve got all of this people following you as well?
I mean, obviously, massive personal reputation goes straight up through the roof.
Did you have people like me coming to you for an interview and sharing your thoughts?
Has that helped you build your own brand or are you looking to keep Foundr for the rest of your life?
How are you looking to build your own personal brand?
Nathan: Yeah, that’s a great question. I do try and get myself in front of Foundr as much as I can.
And I do try and position myself as like we’re not a big company quite often. Because I think that’s really important because people buy off people.
Nathan: So I do try and do that. And of course, nowadays, I don’t know, whatever I’m doing, it seems to be working because it is spreading. And a lot of people ask now to contact me.
And I think that’s the best way to grow the brand is coming on podcasts like this. The more podcasts you get on, it’s massive because people spend 30 minutes, 20 minutes, 40 minutes, an hour, and you build that connection.
And that’s another thing that is so underestimated. And I really like podcasts. And I believe they’re a massive, an amazing channel to build trust. And yeah, for sure, people are asking me to come on.
That’s one of the reasons, like I’m going to the States and I’m being, I was asked to go beyond like a national live radio show in LA.
And the e-mail was addressed as ‘we want to interview the founder of Foundr.’
They didn’t even know who I was. They didn’t look up anything. They just thought-
Stephen: Just the ‘founder of Foundr.’
Nathan: Yeah, that’s really heavy to come through. And then, there are some people that just find my story and I go to an interview like this or whatever, and it seems to be working.
So I do have a focus on my personal brand, where I have my own personal blog.
And I’m focusing on being a thought leader in the digital publishing space, or the online entrepreneurship space.
As time goes on, I do want to do that though. Because I think it’s really smart, like what Neil Patel would do with his Quick Sprout blog.
And then off the backend, he’s got KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg. So I think that’s really, really smart. And I will definitely do that. It’s just, for now, I need to keep building Foundr.
And I just got to keep finding more leverage with the work that I do, so I can find more time to focus on my personal brand. For now, my heaviest focus is on building Foundr.
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[35:47] Stephen: Yeah, awesome. I think that’s the really smart way to look at it as well. So you can really focus on what you’ve got now and keep building it. Like obviously, as you build Foundr, your name will get built as well in the background.
So that’s a really cool way to look at it. We’ll wrap it up pretty soon. So I want to tell you—and it’s really good actually. Maybe we should catch on Melbourne. So there are not many people in Melbourne.
That’s why we’re filming it, that we actually have to, we’re able to get in and have a chat with. So it’s great to have you in the office. But yeah, so now that you’re building out your team, what does that look like?
Do you have an assistant? I saw you interviewed Chris Ducker, I think, in one of the past magazines. He was on the cover. How do you look at outsourcing? You mentioned you got your designer in India.
Do you focus a lot on this stuff yourself?
Do you Infusionsoft all the tools? Or do you like to delegate to certain people and get it done? What’s your sort of process?
Nathan: That’s a great question. So, like for example, Instagram is an example. I can’t really outsource that because I have so much, like I’m so ingrained in it and I have such core business development relationships with other high traffic accounts.
I can’t really outsource that. But I can outsource my social media, and to answer your question what does my team look like, I have a very, very ad hoc virtual system.
I’ll bring someone like literally this week. I’m going to the process of bringing someone at a more regular basis, like at least five to ten hours a week. I, to be honest, do too much and I need to take a step back and find more leverage with my time.
So I use all the tools to give me a lot of leveraging in terms of automation which helps compensate for not having that decent-sized team. But I do need a full-time virtual assistant.
I’m bringing someone semi-casual, a little bit more than I’ve got, to help alleviate some of the stuff and that would be this week.
But before I could even do that, I need processes in place. I need all that documentation. I hate all that stuff.
Stephen: That’s the worst. I definitely don’t like it.
Nathan: Yeah. I’ve got an intern working with me at the moment that works ten hours a week, it comes on. And then also, I’ve got my design team. I’ve got a graphic designer team in India to do the magazine stuff.
And then, I’ve got my web guy actually in Brisbane who does all that web stuff and a bit of other stuff like just random stuff. And then, I’ve got a massive team of writers. I don’t do any writing, so I leverage all that.
Stephen: You mean for the blog or even the magazine?
Nathan: Everything. So the magazine, blog, all of that, I don’t touch it. Even like, I guess, blog posts are probably ghost written. I’m not a very good writer. And that’s another reason why I need to have my own personal blog and start contributing myself.
That’s a whole another thing in itself. So we got a big editorial team. I’ve got an editor for the magazine and stuff like that.
We got feature writers for the magazine. We’ve got blog writers and content writers, all sort of stuff like that.
And then, we’ve got a virtual assistant that manages all the podcast stuff. He’s an AV guy. Many audio-video stuff, he manages. And then, yeah, to be honest, that’s about it.
Stephen: It’s a pretty big team though. Like I think from your end, it doesn’t look like it. But when you come down on the outside, I mean, you’ve got your writers, editors, graphic designers, there’s a fair bit there.
Nathan: Yeah, there is. But you have to keep in mind it doesn’t feel like it because I’m not paying them a regular—like I’m paying them a regular wage, but it’s not a salary. It’s a contract.
Stephen: It’s not a salary, it’s a contract-
Nathan: Yeah, and so it’s like pretty much per project. But it’s all regular work. Like I have an editor that I pay every month to edit the magazine. And I can do other stuff.
And then I have feature writers that I pay every month to do features. And then, I have content writers that I pay every month to do a couple of blog posts. So I have like quite regular expenses for the business, or regular wages.
But it’s not like I’ve got to sign a contract or anything, same for my designers. Like my designer in India, he has to create a magazine every single month or two a month, or whatever.
He’s not on a wage or anything, but he is part of the team, but it’s not official.And he has other clients. So I just kind of really utilize freelancers.
But definitely, how my team is going to look in the future, I’ll need like a full-time social media content/community manager to cover all that stuff, so manage the content for the website to, I guess, blog posts.
Also community management, because we have a lot of engagement going on, especially with Instagram. We can get thousands of comments on one post, all sorts of things that I can’t keep up with. And then, also, we need someone to just manage the social in itself.
But a lot of it is automated for tools like Buffer and Zapier, and all that kind of stuff. So our virtual system can do a lot of that stuff too. But yeah, I want to get big on Google+. I want to get big on Pinterest and focus on that.
So our team’s probably going to look like—I need someone that position filled.
I need a full-time virtual assistant and then I probably need a project manager or someone that I can go to, have an idea because I’ve got all these crazy ideas all the time, and I just want to roll them out, test them, whether it needs a metric or not, that it’s a viable idea, then we’ve got to roll it out, or whatever.
And then, yeah, that’s probably-
Stephen: It’s a lot to do.
[41:36] Stephen: I think you’re hitting in that direction now like critical mass. So you’ve got all this stuff going on. Now, it’s just time to delegate and systemize.
And it’s the same. I mean, I mentioned on other podcasts as well. I’ve got a personal assistant now as well, a virtual assistant, who works three, four, five hours a day, every day.
And she’ll take care of like editing this podcast. So as soon as it’s done, it’ll jump on to Dropbox. She’ll edit it and she will send it to a transcriptionist, it will come back, like it just happens. And I think that’s what you’ll get to as well with Foundr where as soon as—well, I think you’re already there—but it’ll just happen once the next audio interview comes through with Tony Robbins, bang, it’ll just happen.
And it will just flow really nicely. And I think, obviously, those things like Instagram which your business relies on, and you’re going to be using a lot in the future with courses and things. You want to have your finger in, so you’ll make sure that it does the same way you want to go.
So it doesn’t disappear off the map with a VA or you don’t lose that touch in communication. But I really love that. Do you want to share maybe three or four tools that you use in that, and then we’ll wrap it up?
Nathan: Yeah, sure. So one tool that I’m using to do all my processes is called ‘SweetProcess.’
It’s a SaaS. And it’s just really cool because you put all your processes in and then you could just invite people. And it’s just global. It’s on the web. It’s in the cloud.
Stephen: I haven’t heard of that one.
Nathan: Yeah, it’s pretty cool. So we’re using that. And then people we bring on to brief, we can just invite them.
Stephen: So like Basecamp or is it more like-
Nathan: Kind of like Basecamp? Yeah, kind of like a Basecamp, but it’s purely built for processes.
Nathan: So you have one process and it’s really easy to stack them up. And then also, you can embed videos. So you can have a screencast and a process where it’s written step by step with images.
So if your virtual assistant or whoever doesn’t have very good Internet, you can just send them a ScreenFlow. And it’s like a manual. It’s a nice way to have a manual for your business, but easy to bring people on and train them up.
You don’t have to send them all the documents or share it with them on every note, you know what I mean?
Stephen: Yeah. Well, it’s funny because I’ve got training modules for my assistant as well. And they’re just virtually folders on my computer. It’s literally like a manual, like you said.
After I jump on—I can’t remember the name of the recording software—but I jump on and I create a video recording for about five minutes showing how I do it once.
And then, she can always go back and watch it again and fix it. So that sounds like a great software.
Nathan: Yeah, so I quite like that. We use Basecamp for projects. What other tools are? I love my tools, man. So it’s hard to say-
Stephen: You need tools so that’s alright.
Nathan: Yeah, I really like my tools. What else am I using at the moment that I really like?
Stephen: I noticed on the website, you’ve got that [inaudible 43:14] I think, player?
Nathan: Yes, my present podcast player, whatever. That’s really cool. One tool that I really like at the moment to work, a press plugin called ‘Revive Old Posts.’ So what it does-
Stephen: Sounds nifty.
Nathan: Yeah, it’s awesome. So what it does is it’s for WordPress. And we’ve got like a hundred blog posts on the website. And pretty much, what it does is it’s on automation and you connect it to your Buffer or whatever, and your Facebook, your Twitter, your LinkedIn, and it just revives the post.
So you don’t even have to schedule it up anymore. It just keeps on automation. You can tell Revive Old Post and-
Stephen: Into your social.
Nathan: Yeah. And you can tell it to post every two hours. So like, for example, Twitter, we’re reviving old posts, all those hundred posts every two hours.
So every two hours, I don’t even have to think about it. All that blog posts and podcast episodes, blog posts are just going out on automation.
Stephen: That’s really cool.
Nathan: For Facebook as well, obviously not as—we’re doing a spam build for Twitter. It’s quite hectic. And then, also, we use tools like Zapier for automation, all sorts of things like that.
And this is really nifty tool. So they’re probably my top three or four that are on my radar at the moment. I probably use like at least 50 different tools for the business though.
[44:57] Stephen: Yeah. Alright, that’s fine. I’m like a business tools whore as well. That sounds really bad probably, but that’s definitely me as well.
I mean, there’s so many out there. I’m just trying to keep the goods one at the top and try to cut out a lot of the others.
Like you said earlier, there’s no one tool that does all your Internet marketing. There’s no one tool that does all the product management.
There are always like the top four or five. So it’s interesting.
We’ve got to keep up to date with these tools. Otherwise, we get left behind. But that’s good.
Look, it’s been a pleasure having you on. I really appreciate it. What’s the best way our audience can reach out to your or anyone watching the interview?
Nathan: Just “foundrmag.com”, “F-O-U-N-D-R,” mag – “M-A-G” dot com. That’s probably the best place you can find us. Or you can follow me on Twitter; @NathanHChan is my Twitter handle. You can reach me on e-mail: email@example.com.
[45:18] Stephen: Fantastic. Awesome to have you on, Nathan. And we’ll speak to you soon.
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