A Decade's Worth of Membership Lessons in 52 Minutes, with James Schramko - Rick Mulready
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A Decade’s Worth of Membership Lessons in 52 Minutes, with James Schramko

April 20, 2022

Today I’m super excited to have James Schramko back on the show.

James is the founder of SuperFastBusiness.com, where he teaches you how to quickly make your business more profitable.

Before his amazing success as an online entrepreneur James was a very successful luxury car salesman.

After deciding he needed to diversify his income and seeing what is possible in the online world James decided to make his online side hustle his full-time job.

James shares how he runs his very simple, but highly profitable business. A big piece of it has been the membership he’s been running for so long. We talk about how it’s evolved and what he’s learned after working with so many high-level online entrepreneurs.

It’s great to have James back on the show, and I’m sure you’re going to learn a lot.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The right mindset for continuous growth in your business
  • How James attracts new members without big launch productions
  • The most important ingredient for a successful membership
  • A big reason customers cancel their memberships
  • Straight talk about acceptable churn rates
  • Tips for staying current with the latest trends in online business
  • Ethical strategies for getting undecided customers to make a purchase
  • How to stay closely connected to your members as you scale
  • Software and tools James uses to keep his membership running smoothly

Links & Resources:

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use and love and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

James Schramko’s Links:

 

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Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy:

Your Membership Questions Answered (Membership Series)

How to Use Play & Fun to Create a Thriving Membership, with Jeff Harry

What Would I Do: Optimizing a Membership-Model Business

 

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Rick:
Hey, my friends, if you are looking for a faster, better way to grow and scale your online business, you very likely do not need another course or to be reading more books about how to grow your business.

What you need is a personalized, cohesive growth strategy for your business, along with one-on-one coaching, and group coaching support and accountability to help you every step of the way. That’s exactly what my Accelerator coaching program delivers for you.

Accelerator is an intimate, ongoing open enrollment, personalized coaching program and mastermind experience for established online course creators and coaches who want to take the guesswork out of optimizing. Accelerator is all about growing towards a profitable seven—figure—plus business without more anxiety, without more stress and hours spent in front of the computer.

Accelerator is also about thinking differently and bigger about your business, about your team, your funnels, your ads, your vision, et cetera, so you can create more profit and more impact with less.

Accelerator is application only. Again, this is rolling, ongoing open enrollment. If you want to learn more and apply, just go to RickMulready.com/Accelerator.

So, James, I understand you’re a little bit nervous.

[00:02:04] James:
Yeah.

[00:02:05] Rick:
You’ve been on the podcast here before.

[00:02:07] James:
Tell me how it all works.

[00:02:08] Rick:
You’ve maybe done one or two podcasts episodes of your own. What number are you on for your podcast?

[00:02:14] James:
I’ve been recording in the 900s, up to 920-something. For the first time, in a long time, I’ve actually got quite a few in the bank. We do two podcasts a week. So, we’re putting out around a hundred a year. That doesn’t include the ones that I’ve done with other people.

I had four podcasts with other people. I’m sure I’ve recorded more than 1,000 episodes. You would think that I’d be way better at it by now with that many under the belt, but I’ve got plans. I’m innovating, and I’m going to step it up a notch. I think when I hit 1000, something’s going to happen.

[00:02:55] Rick:
You like to say on your show that this has been your apprenticeship.

[00:03:00] James:
Yeah, I feel like I’m ready now to start doing it for real.

[00:03:05] Rick:
After almost 900 episodes.

[00:03:07] James:
It’s the same with every part of my business. Really. I think having an apprenticeship mindset is quite helpful in business because. when you think you’ve mastered it all and you think you’re an expert, that’s when you start having problems like captain Smith from the Titanic, the reason the Titanic sank has a lot to do with ignorance and arrogance.

And those two traits are what brings a lot of people down. because I coach a lot of people whenever I see people starting to get a little. Too cocky, or feel like they’ve made it suddenly things start to awry So that’s really interesting. Yeah. I’m in my apprenticeship and I’m ready to unfold the next level, the next layer of my apprenticeship year and see if I can get better at it.

We’re constantly learning.

[00:03:55] Rick:
Yeah. And you’ve learned quite a few things too. Like we looked right before we hit record and you are one of the OJI. Well, you’re one of the G people in the online space anyway, but you are, you are guests number 30, or you are the guest on episode number 30, I should say. On the art of paid traffic. And I looked up the date April 16th, 2015.

So almost seven years ago, almost seven years ago to the date here you are back on the show.

[00:04:27] James:
Got some history. Thank you for having me

[00:04:29] Rick:
You do absolutely. So for people who have not heard that episode from seven years ago, let’s, we’re going to be talking about memberships, but I want to start off, have you introduce yourself and share a little bit about like I said, you’ve been doing this a long time, what your experience has been and what you do now.

And I will also share right after that. What makes you, what I think makes you so good at it?

[00:04:56] James:
It’s funny you say, oh gee, but lately I’ve been interviewing some of the OGs that were around when I came online. I don’t think I’ve been around for that long, but I remember being the new kid on the block, but certainly time has a way of just sort of slipping past. And I have, as it turns out, I’ve been doing a lot of.

A lot of the same things for at least a decade and online that is quite a long time. So did you want me to give the short version, save

[00:05:22] Rick:
Yeah, I give the short, yeah, the short version, but even a decade though, in the online that’s a long time.

[00:05:29] James:
Is isn’t it it’s like 50 50 he’s. look, I, I basically worked my way through sales in real jobs, selling luxury motor vehicles and, ended up in managerial roles. At a Mercedes-Benz dealership I was good at it and they kept leading me into new opportunities. So once, once I mastered the sales role and I was winning awards, like best sales manager in Australia, I was the best sales person in Australia.

And then they found, there were some dealers in their network that they weren’t entirely happy with. So they actually encouraged me to go there and to fix it. so I took on a general sales manager. role from there I grew into the, the last mission I had was, going to another dealership as a general manager.

And my role was to turn it around and it took a few years, but I did make some huge improvements. But at the time I was really concerned that I’m getting paid by one person. I felt like the only way forward from here, especially because I was getting pretty excited about some of the things I was reading–entrepreneurial books, people like Dan Kennedy and Jay Abraham.

I wanted to. Have equity. I want it to be a part owner. So I asked, but of course they wouldn’t give it to me. And, so I thought, I’ve got to do my own thing. I didn’t know what my own thing was, but I figured that it’s probably handy to learn about online stuff because I could see that being more than a fad.

And I taught myself very poorly how to build a website, struggled massively with it. in the end I found a way that I could, and I was so excited about it. I built a demo site. to share with others, how you can actually build your own website, if you even, even if you suck at technical skills and you’re not a coder other people like that.

And they started buying from me and I was an affiliate, so it was only commission. Every time I made a referral and I got so excited about that, I, I just thought, how do I ramp this up? And I just taught myself everything. The sales copy through to obviously building the site traffic generation content creation.

Link-building I made videos and I, I I’ve got my first go to webinar account. I think I got in 2006 or 2007, I did a webinar and I recorded and I put the transcript and all this stuff. And, and then, I actually started making real headway with that. And there was a moment where I thought, God, You know, I could actually just do this and not going to work.

That would be amazing. I started creating an information product and selling that all by itself. And I remember the first week I launched that I do it in this online forum back then, back in the day, there was this forum called the warrior forum.

[00:08:17] Rick:
Yeah.

[00:08:17] James:
I don’t even know if it’s around anymore, but, I made $1,000 that week and I’m like, gosh, you know, Well, that was a thousand dollars in it in the first day.

And that was, that was effectively what I was earning my job. it was on a $300,000 package and I thought this, this could be real. And, I got to about half my income and then, and I couldn’t figure out how to get past that. then I started selling agency services. So in 2008, I got a couple of clients to pay me a monthly retainer.

And that was enough to match my income, which was like, get out of here. it was really, a pretty hardcore, brave thing to do just to walk in and resign from a high-paid job. But there was so risky. I really thought every single day that I went to work for the last year of my job, I thought it might, might be my last day.

I had a lot of stress around it. huge anxiety, the only solution in my mind was to get paid by lots and lots of different. people And so I just got about it in, in that first six months after quitting I peddled, like crazy. I had some cashflow crunch when one of the products I was promoting didn’t pay me back.

They went broke, which sucked because I was buying a lot of paid traffic back then as an affiliate, like sometimes $3,000 or $4,000 or $5,000 a day in ads, I was advertising everywhere and. Then I thought I’ve got to fix this. So I went to, a better model and I started my membership in 2009. And I know, no, you want to talk about that today.

I’ve been running my membership consistently since 2009, and I’ve been, then I added a higher level of that in 2010. And that program is still running today as well. and that’s how you and I chat a lot these days, which is awesome. And, and in the last five years, I’ve moved to a newer model For the way that I can capture, you know, an income from my expertise.

And that is, a partnership-type model it’s called a revenue-share deal. that is still, still an effective, version of a membership. It’s just that I don’t get paid in the same way. So I still bring those people into my membership. and We still have collaborations. So all of the things I’ve learned about community-building Recurring subscription, finding that balance between, growing a business and it not taking all of your time has been a really interesting learning curve.

[00:10:53] Rick:
Now, just real quick on the revenue share. So just for the people that for people that don’t know what that means, you’re partnering with somebody and there’s a percentage that you get paid. It’s basically based on performance.

[00:11:08] James:
It’s a performance-based income. So, but it’s a more general approach. If you think of it like a normal affiliate program, you might promote a product and you get a percentage of your sales. The way that I structure revenue-share deals is I might help a business owner grow their business. And I’ll get a percentage of the whole business revenue, but it will be a much smaller percentage.

Clearly. I’m not going to get 40 or 50%, because most businesses don’t even make 40 or 50%. So I get a smaller percentage, but on the whole business and the way that I perform, could look different for different partners for, for almost all of them. Now, I choose partners who could utilize my audience so I can bring them onto my podcast.

I can send email promotions. I can cross-pollinate them with each other, which is great. I can find opportunities for them, for media. I can make lots of referrals, but I can also get under the hood I can help them in the areas and I tend to be, crossing this path a lot. And that is building a team Understanding the best business model and a strategic way forward for their business. and being a sounding board, someone they can chat to, it’s a lonely business, this whole entrepreneurial thing, a lot of your family and friends don’t understand what, what you do. I know in my case, normal outside real world people, they haven’t got a clue about this internet marketing, online business stuff.

So, you need to have people who can chat to, it’s they’re getting a silent partner and a mini board of directors. because I bring a lot, I bring a lot of information to the table too, because, because of how many people I’ve worked with for so long, I’ve got this supercomputer, Data bank of what works, and what doesn’t work.

I can come up with reasonable hypotheses and I can always see stuff they can’t see because they’re so deep into their own business and they’re only working in their environment. So because I’ve gone out of the environment looked around and then come back and said, Hey, guess what? just over there is, is this, pot of gold and it’s.

50 only 50 miles away and we can get there in three days. Let’s do it. they’ve got that confidence to know that I’ve already seen it. It actually exists. We’re not, we’re not running on hopium anymore. We know this.

[00:13:30] Rick:
That is what, and as I alluded to before, I think that’s your super power. James you’re my coach. So I coach with you and one thing that is, that is what, I love about you is that, and you’ll, you’ll say stuff and I’m like, how did you know that? where did that come from? But like that, that happens all the time.

And I joke about with Pat Flynn our mutual friend. And I was almost like Schramko said this. I’m like, I have no idea where that, how does he know those things? And he’s like this, he passes, you know, it’s the same way as like, I have no idea, but yeah, I hear the same thing too. That combined with how you run your business from a, you are, I think for everybody listening or watching right now, they can tell that you’re very even-keeled and you have such an amazing energy and you bring that to your business.

That’s how you operate your business. you have a very simple business, but yet highly profitable business. And. You know, you have a family, it’s your daughter. And your family first, you surf every single day you work, 15-ish hours a week. And like all that stuff is like, yes, yes. To that.

A big piece of that has been as you meet the membership that you’ve been running for for so long. I want to talk about that and just sort of. You, you alluded to it right there. You said, I get to see a lot of high-level you know, online entrepreneurs and their business behind the scenes.

And a lot of them have memberships and so forth. So what are some of the things that you see that work, you know, that make for a really, really strong and successful? Not just in the short-term, but especially longterm when it comes to.memberships

[00:15:29] James:
Well, number one is, and thank you by the way, for all those kind words, don’t even have anything for that. But,

[00:15:37] Rick:
I got nothing for you.

[00:15:38] James:
Number one, and this is pretty counterintuitive, but to get to the level of business that I have now, which I’d say is, a very stable, consistent, easy-to-manage business, and sustainable.

It’s, it’s a lot like raising kids, you know, I do have some older kids and. I just know how much effort has to go in up front for them to, because you know, they’re mostly grown up and out of home. like some of them, one of them is 26. I can’t believe that. so, you know, Then They are obviously a much lower maintenance now than a, than a small kid.

The same with my team. almost everyone in my team has been with me for over 10 years. So over a longer period, the re the relationship you have with your business model, can change a lot as it grows up and matures. But the number one thing I think a membership owner needs to have, is that they have to care You’ve just got to care if you plan to run a membership, but you don’t really care about your customers, you’re going to be doomed because the enemy of a membership is churn People leaving. when people realize that you don’t care about them or that the, you didn’t care enough about their experience or when they’re coming on or, or look after them when they’re there, they will leave.

If people keep leaving, you have to keep feeding the front-end And then that’s when the membership model doesn’t really work. You’re really running a quasi, information product. Instead, it’s back to sort of onesie sales, sell it, and then they leave sell it and then they leave then you have to do all the tricky stuff like paid traffic affiliates launches and all the things that just drain the energy, the lifeblood out of an entrepreneur, I’m saying there’s definitely a place for all of these things, but there’s not much of a place for that in my ecosystem.

The absence of those things is what’s created all that white space for me In my own life by, by getting a good product and caring a lot about your clients. If they stay on board for a long time, then it takes a lot of pressure off that front-end having to fill the funnel, like basically. Go in with the intention that this membership is to serve your client’s needs and for them to feel that they’re a part of it.

I had a really interesting case study around this exact topic. I mean, in speaking of getting access to data, I coach a client who has a membership. it’s in a fairly dry Space it’s in a business to business space. he had some feedback from one of his members that he was riding past me to give an opinion on.

The member was essentially saying, Hey, your stuff’s the best stuff in the market. It’s really good. but I want to downgrade my membership plan because I’m also a member of another membership. their stuff is not as up-to-date And it’s a little bit out of the platform is not quite as easy to use.

And, technically it’s not that good, but the people there are such community and such family. you know, they, they, the owners of the forum they’re really in there and getting involved they’ve basically created a personal connection. I noticed that with my longer term members and because I’ve been doing this for a long time, I, I, I actually have members who’ve been with me for more than 10 years.

They would feel like they’re missing a limb. If they’re not there, like they, they say, I want to be in this thing for life because they’ve created a space for it in their life and they, they would miss it if it’s not there.

[00:19:20] Rick:
How do you make that? I mean, this sounds like an obvious answer, but, but I don’t think. As obvious as we maybe allude to, but how do we make that connection? Like your churn rate is ridiculously what’s your turn rate right now? Or has it been.

[00:19:37] James:
So for the most part, my memberships run at 2.5 churn. It’s been as low as in the ones. if it gets up to 5 I’m super concerned. If you get to 10, you don’t have a membership. and just, just for simple math, if 10% of your members leave every month, then over a year, you’ve had a 120% of the members.

Leave literally everyone that was there at the beginning is gone, plus 20% more that you’ve added during the year. So, 5% churn per month would be 60% of your membership. So half so you make more than half your members leave every year. if you can get it down to 2 or 3 now you’re now starting to talk, you know, you keeping it, but I’ve, I’ve had, you know, the average membership length, was something in the region of four years.

At one point, it’s slightly changed because I’ve changed my business model. And this is another thing. This is probably point number two. If you commit to a membership, you must commit to a, reasonably dynamic business model. You will have to keep innovating the product. my example of this is I started memberships before Facebook groups.

Can you imagine the pressure that came on to me, when everyone’s got a Facebook group, it was the latest, greatest thing. it pretty much became the replacement for, for forums for the most part. Yet I was still able to maintain a forum environment that whole time. And I’ve never. I had a free Facebook group and I don’t have a paid Facebook group.

The only time I’ve created a Facebook group was for my Maldives mastermind. And that’s just because it’s an easy place to share pictures with the 10 people that are on the boat. and it’s not worth setting up a community for a one-time event like that. So, That’s the exception, but for, for, you know, It’s such a changing landscape, Everything is changing right now, we’re hearing a lot about web3 NFTs and tokens and, and you know, all the celebrities are pushing this hard selling their art songs and things like that I could see in the future, they’re there.

And they are already membership platforms that are trying. to Take a piece of this. That for me, that feels a lot like Facebook groups. It’s the new thing. It’s trendy and hip, but it will probably collapse or fade. 90% of the stuff going on now will not be here in the future, but some of it will stick and that will be the winners, but I’ll wait.

I tend to wait. So in that sort of, coming with the technical name of it, but that marketing chart, I’m not one of those super innovative. bleeding edge of the curve types, because if you do that, you make a lot of wrong bets. I’m more of an early majority sort of a guy when the rest of the market said, yes, this is how things are going.

And then it gets closer to the middle section, that peak that’s when I’ll switch and, and this sort of applies I’ve had to make decisions with platforms, shopping, carts, email systems, membership, software, and all of these things. where you host? I’ve had to change a lot of those things.

Many times since I started memberships, I’ve done six or seven or eight iterations. and. I’ve finally sort of the solutions that are available now were not available before. So over time. one of the things I’ve done is I try according to my owning the racecourse philosophy, which is about, control I’ve tried to get closer to the area where I can control what that looks like and then have a piece of it so that I can make sure that, it’s something I can build on for a long time.

And so, yeah, first one is caring and empathy. The second one is prepared to innovate ongoing because you’ll need different ways to sell the membership. You will have different cohorts come through. It’s kind of like you’re running a, a foster home and you’ll get different people coming through the house because the members, my membership has probably had.

I dunno, 500 different versions of it in the last decade, because you get different people coming through at different times with different needs. At one point we were strong with affiliate marketing. Another point we were strong with agencies. Then there was an e-commerce crew that came through and then we had a few SaaS people.

Now these days we have quite a lot of information, marketers and agencies. That seems to be the, the bread and butter of the membership now

[00:24:16] Rick:
You mentioned these other platforms and stuff like that. What, what comes to mind for me is actually going back to your first point of. The basis, the foundation of this in like caring, doesn’t change,

[00:24:30] James:
Yeah,

[00:24:30] Rick:
You know, re like that. So how, what are some ways that you do? Cause I know that you do that really well.

What are some ways that you focus on caring for the community and you do it at scale too, because you have quite a few members. So what are some of the ways that you do that?

[00:24:48] James:
I have this ability and I think it comes from my previous background to transport out of my mind and into the mind of, of my customer. And like, I want to, I want to know. What’s going on and I want to feel what they’re feeling. And I want to understand how things look from their point of view. I know it’s a sort of a throwaway line, you know, to walk a mile in the customer’s shoes and stuff, but so few people actually do that.

If you go to an entrepreneurial mastermind, this would be shocking to some people who, who haven’t, but they’re mostly just saying, what can I sell? You know, who can promote my stuff? I’ll promote yours. If you promote mine, what are people wanting to buy at the moment at no point, do they ever start the conversation with, you know, there’s a whole bunch of people out there who have this real challenge that I know how to fix, and I want to get out.

I want to get out there and I want to help. No, I wanna, I wanna make it easy for them to move forward. I want them to win that doesn’t happen very often. you know, and there’s all these exercises in understanding your avatar and knowing that basically reverse engineering, what you’d have to do to sell to these.

But if you just cared about them and you’re strong with something and there’s people out there who would really appreciate some help with it, a membership might be a good solution. So my technique is, to, to actually be present with them when I’m with them. When I’m thinking about them, I’m only thinking about them.

I’ve, I’ve suspended the rest of the universe. The truly a building could be burning down and I’ll be just so focused on what they’re doing. And over time you can get good at that. And I guess it’s, I dunno what you’d call that maybe it’s partitioning or, or whatever, but it’s, it’s like I’ve built this muscle for being able to step into where someone’s at and just remember what’s going on in their life and to be present with them.

And this can take place in a foreign post. Like it could be a private chat, I’ve got lots and lots of private chats running at once. And just being able to switch and, and hook into, you know, to know, you know, the whole history of what conversation we’ve had. I think it’s a developed skill. and it’s, it’s one that’s super valuable because most of these people.

I don’t have a trusted source that can just go and ask anything they want and get a reasonable response in a, in a, the other thing is the timeframe. I do make an effort to answer every post every day. And if you balance the number of members you have with, the expectations of, of what’s possible, it’s not always possible for me or for them, to, to get a perfect match.

I might leave a day or something and, and sometimes I need to think about it. If they send me a, a barrage of things or something that’s too dense, that’s a particular, sometimes someone will post me. I can’t answer that immediately, but I might acknowledge it and say, I’m processing this I’ll be back.

And I do, and it seems like when I’m surfing or I’m just doing something menial, like making myself a barista level coffee at home, I might, the answer might pop into my head and then I can go back to it. So I’ve been thinking about this in his, where.

[00:28:13] Rick:
Yeah. you’re not a big fan of launching. How do you get people into your membership? Because you talk about that, the churn, and one thing that comes up for a lot of our accelerators who have memberships is they’ll do a promotion. They’re bringing a whole bunch of people in, and then like two months later, their turn rate is super high.

So how do you, and how have you gone and the people that you work with, what do you see. Working really well to get new people in to a membership.

[00:28:46] James:
Well, basically, probably a lot of, a lot of the stuff we talked about in episode, number 30 on your show, it’s like the content machine of, I built a good content machine many years ago, and it’s still more or less the same. so the podcast certainly I think is a conversion tool. If people listened to you on a podcast and they like what you do, and they keep listening to it on your own show, then eventually they’re going to.

So take up one of your offers, whether that’s fire an email, an email promotion. I love email. I absolutely huge fan of email. I think it’s super strong channel. It’s where I get big wins for most of the people I coach, but most people have. Got not perfect emails. There’s some good email techniques that are just instant wins.

So if anyone has an email database, that’s a, that’s a great place to look for, converting people into a membership. And if you don’t have an email list, A good thing to do would be to do things that generate an email is. So for me, when we have podcasts, cheat sheets or transcription downloads, we’re collecting emails, like giveaway my book.

I wrote a book called work less, make more, had, had some help from a friend of mine, Kelly Exeter, actually. It’s like, she pretty much put it together. My idea. And, by giving it away, I’m collecting an email list there, but I’m not surprised that when you do a launch, you get big churn. Like the easiest way to get churn is to add a lot more people to membership because that’s actually also changing the dynamic of the culture.

It’s like, if you, if you were in a, I dunno, you went to some vacation camp as a kid and you were there for weeks. And then the last week, all these intruders come, that’s what they call them on. Like reality TV shows all these other, other leads, like, hang on, we’ve got, we’ve got, we’ve got a vibe here.

We’ve got a thing. We’ve got all these connections and relationships and you go from the group dynamic of performing back to the group dynamic of storming. So you’re literally throwing your existing. People who were comfortable because not everyone’s comfortable with change. That’s a big thing to recognize.

You throwing them under a bus, basically. It’s like, oh, here are all the new people that we’ve just been marketing to. That these are our new focus and attention right now. and they, they probably feel a little less special. so group dynamics is fast.

[00:31:11] Rick:
Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s it, I thinking about that right now. And I think that point is fascinating in that. So do you think that it’s almost better to have a slow, steady stream of people coming in versus that.

[00:31:30] James:
I do. And if you’re going to bring in a big group, it’s probably good to have them in a staging area to get them indoctrinated before you release them in. logic group. You do have to be careful about that. It’s like, you’ve got a bucket of hot water and then it’s just tip a bucket of cold water into it.

It’s just like the whole thing becomes lukewarm. Now you want to heat it up and get it at the right temperature before you introduce it. anyone who’s ever killed a goldfish would probably know about this, but you’ve got to be careful. Yeah, I do prefer it. so it’s not that I don’t like launches I’ve, I’ve done, did a launch in the car dealership, but they are high energy and I’m not, I’m at this stage in my life.

I don’t want to do high energy. And then there’s launch math. And what people don’t really talk about. when I was coming on line, there was this super legend guru called John Reese. and he’s, he was just so clever. And the one I resonated with the most, He’s very smart. He had great strategies and brilliant copywriter.

He’s a good friend of mine. Now we communicate is, you know, we’ve been fishing on Sydney Harbor together. We’ve spent some time, ever since like it was at the beginning though, he was like the untouchable girl. He was the first guy I’d sorted a million dollars in a day. And that was with traffic secrets.

Is this a bit of internet history? And there’s probably about 2004 or 2005. This is very early on. And that was inspirational me. I’m like, gosh, you know, I wouldn’t need to make a million dollars in a day, to, to, to survive online. so he gave me a real sense of hope that there’s something there in this whole online.

And, you know, but if you were to break it down, launch meth, what you’ll find if you took a million dollars in sales, there was an intense amount of effort to get to there. So for that, I think he had to record the product, of course, and they had to do a lot of promotion around it and get people to email for it.

They’ll probably be in a big launch like that somewhere around 20 to 30% refund. So you probably are already shaving. Let’s say you shave 300,000 off the top of that back to 700,000. You probably have to pay affiliates up to half 40, 40 to 50%. So you can take that 700,000 and bring it back to, let’s call it 400,000.

We’ll be generous. And then you’re going to have other costs, like, support, actual product fulfillment, you know, boxes of things and shrink wrap back then. but if it’s a digital product you’re going to have to have coaches or someone looking after these people and onboarding them and handling all the basic stuff like I’ve, I can’t get my.

Password to work or, you know, my credit cards, there’s changing, like basic stuff that people forget about, but actually is a huge thing. and then you’d probably have to pay a copywriter and then maybe an affiliate manager who got the affiliates and basically it all whittles down. But you, you might end up.

You know, maybe $200,000 net after a million dollar launch. And then you’ve just sucked the whole market, dry, like a vacuum cleaner, and there’s just nothing left. So then you go like, okay, we have to do it again. And this is why some people, their whole business model is launching and they just launch launch, launch, launch launch.

And they’ve never figured out the backend. Now, interestingly, when I was speaking to our mutual friend, pat Flynn, Back in, I think it was 2000. 13. I suggested to him, you know, he should be good for a membership. You really good at community building and nurturing people and stuff. and he was, he wasn’t really selling much at all back then.

Cause actually at one point he, he was resisting making sales. And, and he was very good at affiliate marketing, but he said, I won’t ever try and sell you anything. I like, man, you shouldn’t say that.

Yeah. So, so, you know, over time you can change your approach, but I would say to anyone who’s too launch dependent, there is another way.

And I dedicated a whole chapter of my book to that. About how it just wears you out. And I don’t want to be worn out. I don’t like the adrenal gland pressure of having that deadline. I mean, even when I run a live event and I did run live events every year, the last event I ran was at the same day that the United States basically shut the borders for COVID as I can March the 13th, 20, 20, she asked, got in under the curtain.

I still run my mouth retreat, but, yeah, even those things create the pressure of a deadline and having to do things and, and I’m, don’t think I’ll be running those sorts of conferences anytime soon. I I’m enjoying. a different business model, but find a business model that feeds your membership on an ongoing basis.

So that’s what my podcast and my little video snippets to my book, the occasional guest appearance, having great product to people not leaving is really the core of everything for us, because we don’t need a lot of members. to, to have a great business. And in fact, I don’t even need a lot of customers to have a good income because if you have, a good business model and especially this revenue share thing that I’m talking about, if you’re on a performance deal and you can perform a that’s absolutely critical, right?

Don’t do a revenue share deals if you’re not any good. then, then you can actually get paid really well, like a high leveraged amount. So. some of the revenue share deals could be equal to six or seven high ticket clients, or they could be equal to, I’m going to say. A hundred low ticket clients. Like there, they can be that good.

And so you don’t need many things. In fact, I’d venture to say, most people will listen to this podcast would be doing way too many things right now. That’s why your burnt out overloaded, frazzled, confused, anxious, stressed, and a good deal of those could go away. And I know even you, and I’ve had discussions around this, Rick, where we just

[00:37:42] Rick:
Yeah.

[00:37:42] James:
Off your plate and suddenly it just feels a bit like.

[00:37:46] Rick:
Yeah, yeah. Just real quick before I ask my next question. You I’ve never told you this before, but so for your book work less, make more, whenever I, as I’ve read it like three times, it’s on my Kindle. And whenever I think about your book, the memory I have is sitting in a bathroom in Paris, in a hotel that we were staying at re I was reading your book in the bathroom.In a Paris hotel.

[00:38:18] James:
Are you ready for some goosebumps?

[00:38:20] Rick:
Go ahead.

[00:38:22] James:
Okay. So, when I was putting this book together, because I don’t tie, I’m not a writer writer, I know a lot of, a lot of bloggers and creators. They love to write. I don’t write. So Kelly was going through all my material and my recordings and everything, and she would send me emails and say, I need you to record an audio and answer these questions.

So I’d get my phone and I’d put it on. I use an app called or phonic, which is great by the way, for any podcasts or whatever. or phonic, N a U P H O N I C it’s put together by some government sponsored agency in Europe and it’s, it does a sort of automatic leveling and equalizing and you can just save it and send it and stuff.

This is before tools like Otter and. Anyway, she sent me this thing and I recorded it a couple of the chapters. And you ready for it? From my hotel room in Paris, looking at the Eiffel tower.

[00:39:18] Rick:
Stop

[00:39:19] James:
Yeah. I’m not joking. Yeah. So some of that content was formulated right next to the Eiffel tower in Paris in a hotel.

[00:39:28] Rick:
Holy cow. And that hotel that we were in, you could lean out the window and it was straight to the Eiffel tower. That’s great.

[00:39:36] James:
Here. Wonder if it was the same room,

[00:39:38] Rick:
Dude. I know seriously. Well, as we start to wrap up here, one question, I know that that always comes up for people. And I don’t know the answer to this question. So when you have, you know, when you’re leveraging your marketing assets, whether it’s your podcast or email list or whatever, looking for that steady stream of people, joining the membership Do you use any kind of earth? Like how do you get them to act? That’s

[00:40:07] James:
Yeah.

[00:40:08] Rick:
Question that comes up is like, well, what kind of urgency or scarcity should I use?

[00:40:13] James:
That’s a great question. And, and, there’s no question deadlines and scarcity, good tools and there can be positive tools too. They don’t have to be negative. I really learned my lesson from John Carlton. Who’s a great friend of mine and a genius copywriter, but you know, deadlines are what does create a sale.

I’m going to tell you what I did do, and then what I changed to, and it’ll be quite informative. I have at times had a sort of open-close membership. That’s where you, you, you it’s always closed, but then you open it up. Occasionally I used to do it manually and then I wanted to simulate that effect. So I got some software that creates, deadlines, and then it automatically takes people through an opening and closing and that, that way it actually got, got it from instead of a big intake.

I’m now just having this trickle of new members, every single. Which is great. but the one thing I didn’t like about it, it just didn’t sit right with me. And I’m not saying it won’t sit, right. Like a lot of things don’t sit right with me. Like I don’t like the free book plus shipping model, for example.

Cause I think. sorry for my French, you know, like it’s not free if you can’t have it without one thing, then it’s kind of a, you tricking me. I don’t like being tricked. So I thought that deadline funnel it’s very effective, but it just didn’t feel quite right. So, I changed it to something much simpler and it almost sound too simple and, and you may not believe it, but firstly, I made my membership always.

Because if your memberships any good and you do good pre-marketing, you will be able to sell a membership it’s hard, but you can over time sell a membership straight up. it’s much, much, much easier to sell a membership off the back of something else. Anything else? Off the back of a book off the back of a one-time.

Any the higher, the ticket, the easier it is to sell. If someone buys a ticket to my live event for $700 and I include 60 days membership, and then they can pay to stay after that. That’s a really easy way to sell a membership. So giving away coupons. Coupons or like the secret weapon of the world, like give people a coupon, they go mental.

Like we don’t, we don’t really use coupons that much in Australia, but I became aware that it’s a big deal in the north American market. And when I started using coupons, it’s like, wow, I’m like shockingly effective. So now if someone gets my free book or they buy an information product from me, they will get an email sequence with a coupon.

For an introductory rate and I’m, I’m not a big fan of $1 trials, by the way, this is very important because I don’t want someone to buy my membership because it’s a dollar. I don’t want people to be dollar focused or budget focused. I want people to buy my membership because I can solve the problem they’re having.

But if it makes it a bit easier, if I give them a little bit of a, a grease the wheel starting point, like for example, my standard membership is $99 per month. If I give them a $70 coupon. and they can join an experience to my full membership for less than a dollar a day. Then that’s a really good coupon.

And the wording that I use in that coupon to be ethical is I, we recommend they use that coupon within the next X days. I don’t know if it’s five or seven days. I’m not using any software, I’m not using anything tricky. It still works a month later, but the only reason I’m implying that they should use it then is firstly, because that’s currently the offer.

I mean, it literally could change. It could be $200 a month later and they, you know, they could have bought it. Then if I did change the price, I’d allow a seven day grace or whatever that period is. So. there is a reason for it. but that’s what I’m prepared to accept right now. And I don’t put an actual date and I don’t send them 15,000 follow follow-ups.

I call that sort of the clubbing, the baby first seal method. I just don’t like that kind of marketing. It’s. Gross really just this pushy aggressive, these 15 emails on the end of the launch stuff. That’s not good for humans. It doesn’t fit my values filter. So, the reason I asked them to use the coupon in a certain time, it’s going to help them make a decision and.

If they make a decision, then I think there’ll be better off if they’re a good fit for my program. And, you know, I work really hard on making sure people know who this is for and who this is not for. Like, I don’t, I generally don’t work with startups, for example, because there’s just too many variables and so much learning curve for them to have.

And it’s pretty stressful for me. And it down the amount of work that I have when I’m really only dealing with people that are certain.

[00:45:06] Rick:
And you’re running at let’s we’ll wrap up here. You’re running this through 10 X pro, right?

[00:45:14] James:
I am now. So I’ve, this is a big part of the, it’s a big part of the migration that I have at the moment.

At the time that we’re recording this, I’ve set up a new site on 10 X pro, and I planned to take my higher level part of my program and put it there. And this has been a long time coming. This has been a gosh, I’m going to say six, six or seven years of working side by side with that platform to have them build what I want.

I’m in a membership. They already had some cool stuff before me, but so now you can actually have the whole thing. What I’m looking forward to is doing what we’ve just done pointing my domain to a fully hosted site that does everything from the landing page to the. The order page to the cart, to the back end, fulfillment of memberships in the products and the book funnels and stuff, and so fully hosted.

And we don’t have to mess around with that. That is, it’s been a long time coming, but that’s the migration underway. Now I already have got my information. My book funnel. And I had a membership on a 10 X per installation since the beginning of 2020. So I’ve already tried it for two years now. It’s pretty much exactly two years.

I’ve been trialing the platform and, and I’m pushing traffic through it, running the cart, testing the different ways to configure the products, to see how the membership works using the app, or even asked for the. icon to change color, which we did and it looks great. so I’ve got a heavy hand in the development.

Through my relationship with the founder and yeah, my old platform is still legacy, but it’s also very hard to, to migrate, such a mature platform with like literally half a million posts.

And so that’s not something that I take lightly, so I’m just scooping off, the Korean. Into the brand new installation.

And then I’ll see what I do with my old platform. But there’s a, there is an opportunity down the track where I might, decouple myself from that and sell it years down the track or something, not sure, but I’m keeping those people who want private coaching and want to come on a call with me every week keeping those people on my personal brand moving forward. And that is definitely 10 X.

[00:47:39] Rick:
Yeah. And that’s and people listening right now have heard me to, I want to be talking about a lot more, but you introduced me to 10 X pro last year. And I was like, where have you been all my life to next pro? Because it does everything right. And. you know, I host all my courses there. It has, already pre done.

I think there’s like 16 or 17 pre done sort of template funnels. If you will, like you click a quiz or your book funnel, right. You click book funnel and boom. It’s all right

[00:48:07] James:
Was a membership funnel modeled off my membership methodology. It’s like it’s a one-click installation to have my membership funnel installed in 10 X pro. I also asked for a book funnel to give away the book, or you could sell it either way with, with, the opportunity to offer people, to buy the print version or the audio version to pay extra.

And it’s all built in and, and yeah, those things when I asked for those things, if they’re not there and I want it, and if other people will find use from it, then it gets developed in, in, in the very, very severe.

[00:48:42] Rick:
Yeah. If anybody wants to check out, I am, I am, because I was introduced to it last year. I’ve moved everything into there and I only have a few more, few more months on one or two more platforms that we’ve been using that just sort of have to filter themselves through. And then we are entirely in. 10 X pro, where we have our, you know, our processing from, order forms and all that stuff to our, all of our training material, our opt-in forms, there’s a affiliate center built in all that stuff, dashboards and everything like that.

So I liked it so much that I’m, I am an affiliate for them. So if you guys want to check it out, it’s Rick mulready.com forward slash 10 X pro. And. I don’t even know what the offer is, but it’s a really good, it’s like, it is like a super small amount for what you get to check out. I tried it, I did the offer and I tried it for like 10 days and I was like, wait, like, where do I sign up?

Because that’s how that’s how much I like it. So,

[00:49:37] James:
We know the other thing it’s probably probably worth mentioning if you do want to run launches, and if you do like running webinars, if you do want to have a deadline style of promotion, it’s all built in, and it also does that. App push, push notifications and those sorts of things that all the different things that you should have to buy everywhere else.

That little thing on the bottom that lets, you know, when someone just bought all of those things are built into the machine. So it’s just, it’s incredible. Really?

[00:50:09] Rick:
So you don’t need six different six different tools that adds up really quickly.

[00:50:14] James:
I literally spend more on hosting in a month than the tool costs like it’s it’s cause they get the economy of looking after lots of people and being really good at it.

I’d be glad my team will actually be happy if we never have to update a plugin again or

[00:50:30] Rick:
Yeah. Seriously.

[00:50:31] James:
Thing, or like it’s just such a.

[00:50:34] Rick:
Thank you, my friend, for coming on the show—coming back on the show.

I want to make sure people can connect with you. They can listen to the podcast. We didn’t even mention your membership name, SuperFastBusiness. That’s the name of your podcast. Your book is Work Less Make More. It’s available wherever you can buy books. You can also get it for free.

So, where would you like people to go to learn more about you and get into the Schramko world?

[00:51:03] James:
You know, I reckon a SuperFastBusiness.com would be a good starting point. And thank you so much.

[00:51:09] Rick:
Absolutely.

Definitely listen to James’s podcast, to the SuperFastBusiness Podcast. I have a very short list of shows that I listen to, and I listen to both episodes each week. James says—just for everybody listening—James asked me for podcasting advice.

I’m like, what are you asking me for? You’ve been doing this for way longer. You’ve totally, up-leveled the game of your podcast through the help of our mutual friend, Charley Valher, who you introduced me to, and has been on the podcast here before.

[00:51:45] James:
Yeah, Charley’s like this secret podcast enhancer, no question. I mean, that’s why we sound so good. It makes such a difference.

When I do coaching calls, I was speaking to Tom Breeze yesterday and he’s big into videos, he said, “Man, what is that? That audio is so good.” I’m like, “Yeah, just ask Charley. He’ll tell you all about it”

[00:52:16] Rick:
Fantastic.

I’ll link everything up for James in the show notes for this episode; his podcast, his book, his website, where you can get a free version of his book.

I’ll also link Charley up, and Tom Breeze, because Tom has been on the podcast like five times. I’ll link everything up in the show notes for the episode here today.

But James, thank you again, my friend. Appreciate you.

[00:52:35] James:
Thank you, and Rick, I have one question for you.

[00:52:38] Rick:
Go for it.

[00:52:40] James:
It’s—hopefully it’s an easy one.

Are you going to come along and record a podcast with me on the SuperFastBusiness Podcast?

[00:52:47] Rick:
I mean, I thought you’d never ask. Absolutely. I mean, I would be honored, seriously. Yeah.

[00:52:51] James:
Cool.

Well, I’m super looking forward to that.

[00:52:54] Rick:
Awesome. Thanks man.

[00:52:55] James:
Thank you.

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