Jeff Steinmann: Hello, and welcome to the How To Quit Working show. We have got such an awesome show this week. I’m talking to John Scherer today. Now, John Scherer founded Video Professor back in the 1980’s. And the thing that he is going to show us is how even though today in 2014, as we record this, things are very, very different than they were in the ‘80s.
But the way that we create a business, the way we market a product, the way we find our audience is fundamentally exactly the same. The only difference is that we have a lot of really, really awesome tools available to us today that John did not have available to him back in the ‘80s when he started the multi-million dollar Video Professor that you probably have seen commercials for on TV. But he’s going to teach us those fundamentals that have not changed that you can apply to your business today. And it’s even easier than when John Scherer did it. John, welcome to the show.
John Scherer: Oh. Thanks for having me, Jeff.
Jeff: John, I’m so glad to have you on here because you are a guy who has had some success in business, I think, to say the least. You built the Video Professor company which was a very big, successful company and I think most of us listening saw you on TV telling us all about Video Professor and all that you could teach us with that. Tell us a little bit about how did you get started creating that company and where did things go from there?
John: Well, it just happened. These things, sometimes, you try and sit around, think of ideas and nothing comes to you and then you stumble on something. But we were building IBM computer clones back in the ‘80s when computers just came out and we were trying to do a deal with Charles Schwab to package something for his customers and his new softwares, investing software that he had.
So, I know that would be a great thing for us. We were selling to ma and pa computer stores all over the country. That’s what they used to have back then. And I wanted something bigger and so we said, well, we’re going to have to make a video to show his clients how to use his software. We’ll make it easy on his clients. And then somebody said, well, we’re going to have to show the people how to run the computer. And I said, well, that would be easy. Just go out and find something on a bookstore, a video in a how-to store, or maybe a library or somewhere there will be a how-to that we can package with it.
And lo and behold, there was nothing. And I bet you, the time we had that conversation until the time I started shooting our first video was probably two weeks. I moved very quickly and everybody thought I was out of my mind. And I may be. But it just… it was the right thing. It felt right. And so we did that. We started making videos in a very crude way. And then, we just grew. I was just more or less testing to see if there was a market for it. And so, we started making them better and better and better and more sophisticated shooting of the videos.
Believe it or not, I tell you, I was just flashing on the first one. We took a tripod and we set it. We set it over a keyboard and had a camera on it facing down. And the camera was a little home camera. And we showed the hands on the keyboard and a voice was talking. That was kind of our first video. And they got very, very sophisticated from there.
But that’s how I came up with it and then, you just crept along. You like to test to see if there’s a market for something. And sure enough, there was, and we started doing a little more, doing a little more and I think our first year with how-to videos, we sold about a million, about a million and half, a million two or a million and a half dollars worth. And so I saw life. I saw life. We kind of went along at that level for about five years.
Intel, somebody talked to doing an infomercial. And television jumped us from a million and a half to five million dollars the year after we did it. And then it just climbed from there. I think our next year was 18 million. And we went on up, we went as high as 130 million dollars in one year.
Jeff: Wow. Wow. That’s really impressive. What I think is so interesting is, now, this was back in the ‘80s when you started this company, right?
John: Yes. Right.
Jeff: So, a lot of folks are trying to video online and they’re really getting stumbled up with oh my gosh, I got to do this and I got to do that. I got to have all these fancy editing. And you started this multi-million dollar company with a little home camera on a tripod in the 1980’s. So that’s really cool. Now, the thing that I also heard you say a couple of times is you were testing. You were testing to see if the market was there. Tell us a little bit about that. Why did you want to test things first?
John: Well, it’s just the way you do it. And you test, you just test a little bit. Even if what you put together isn’t what you envisioned as your finished product, you do it just to see if there’s life. Before you spend a whole bunch of money, you test these things and you experiment. Now, you see that there is life and then you do a little more and then you see—if your listeners are familiar with my commercials, I held up a CD and I said, try my… what do you have to lose? Try my product. But that product that I was holding up, for all intents and purposes, could have been blank. It’s nothing on it. The people weren’t buying what was on it because they didn’t know what was on it. What they were buying was my presentation and my representation that they will learn.
And it just so happens that we did have a lot of stuff on it that wasn’t blank. What I’m just saying, you take it in stages. You’re selling and if they’re doing a video or a presentation, just put a presentation out there to see if people will bite on your idea. And don’t be so concerned about the content or what the idea is, is there a demand? And the public will tell you. They will tell you if there is. You’ll get response. Hey, I’d like to know more about that. These days, it’s different. If we talk the internet, which most people are using to market these days, so you put it out there and you see what kind of traffic you get. You see what kind of response you get to your idea. And build it from there and get better from there.
Jeff: Awesome. Well, what if nobody’s interested? What if nobody bites? What if there’s no life?
John: Keep your regular job.
John: I mean, well, okay. I mean, I’m being a smart-aleck. And I’m going through this right now with one of the companies I have. What you do—we’re testing on television. So we put this commercial out there. The first thing you want to be doing and it’s no different than if you’re doing this on the internet, you’re trying to see if you could drive phone calls on television. When I speak of driving phone calls, phone calls are internet traffic. It’s the same thing. You want to see if you can drive traffic to your site. So you test that.
Now, if when you put it out there, if no one bites, then your message could be wrong. Maybe your idea is wrong. Maybe I’m trying to teach people something they don’t need to know. They don’t want to know. You just have the wrong thing. If I had put out computer learning—believe me, I asked plenty of people. I did a lot of asking and thinking and researching. Research, we didn’t have the internet to research. Now you do. You can find out, is anybody teaching that? And if somebody is teaching that, then find out, maybe you see—you can go to Google and see how many times people search for something. So, oh, people are searching for this all the time. And then you see what else is being taught. Maybe you think your way is better. And then you cut the streams of traffic that are not bringing in, that are not paying for themselves.
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We used to just draw a line on our print out sheet. And this sheet would be literally 20, 30 pages and we might have a line on the first three pages. Just column or row after row after row of television stations. We draw a line and we say, everything below that line, call them up and stop it. You see? So it’s no different than what’s done now. When you get things in, you see what your cost per click is. You see that and you cut the ones that are over what you’re looking for. I mean, I think you follow me and I’m sure your listeners are following me.
So, it’s no different. It’s just when I talk about how we did it, it was kind of Neanderthal compared to today. And I remember when we started, Marketing started talking to me about how we’re going to be able to track things on the internet. I’m like, you’re kidding. You’re kidding. That’s a dream. That’s a dream. You see exactly where coming from.
Jeff: Yeah. Yeah. Well, that is fascinating perspective. And you’re reinforcing the fact that it’s not different, it’s just easier in many ways today and we have more tools. The consistent theme that I’m hearing you say, in everything that you’ve said so far is, try it. If it works, you keep going. If it doesn’t, you try something different.
John: That’s it. You just try up but don’t, don’t go out and buy t-shirts with your company name on it and buy hats with your company name on it and fancy business cards and do all that so you can show your friends. Because that is not going to make you money. Spend the money, the money—I’ve seen so many people do that. They will look at my car. I see, how much do you spend on all of these? I mean, phenomenal designs but that doesn’t make you any money.
Spend your money on marketing. Spend your money on driving traffic. Spend your money—marketing is everything. If you don’t ring the phone, in my case, if I run a television ad and the phone doesn’t ring, I have nothing to work with. If you have an idea and you put it out on the internet and you’re expecting to drive traffic to your site and it doesn’t happen, you have nothing to work with. You can’t tweak your offer. You can’t do anything.
But here’s kind of the way it works. So let’s say you put your idea out there and you drive traffic to your site. In my case, I drive calls to the call center. So then, but the calls—I’m getting calls but I’m not getting conversions. Okay. So on the internet, you’re getting hits but you aren’t converting.
Well, what you do, first of all, you thank God that you’ve driven—your idea is driving traffic. That is a first, big hurl, and if you do that, then it’s just a matter of tweak your offer because you have come up with it. You will figure out the offer. Your price is too high. You’re selling too much. It’s too complicated. The people are confused. There’s something that’s keeping them from converting. But the biggest battle is driving that traffic. If you solve that, in whatever idea you’ve come up with, if your idea is driving traffic but you’re not converting, stick with it because you got to stay with it because you’re almost there. Once you figure out how to convert them, oh you just turn on the gas.
With Video Professor, it took us probably a month. And literally, the president of my company would sleep at the office, sleep there, answer phones in the middle of the night, and she would talk to the people and ask them what they need. And we figured out how to package our videos back then. In other words, what was it we were selling? What made the most sense? What made the people call up and say I’ll take it? And we figured it out and all we had to do then is spend more money.
So, we started spending money and we dumped the money we made right back into more television. Now we made money and we dumped it right back—we just kept pouring the money right back in. Even if we were late on our bills and something else, we just kept dumping the money because it was working. We figured it out. And all of a sudden, we’re going, Holy smokes! Look at this. Instead of spending 10,000 a month, we were spending 100. We were spending two. We got to where we were spending two million dollars a month on television advertising.
Jeff: Wow. And it was making you considerably more than that which is why it made sense, right?
John: Once you have it, you just pour the coals to it. Just spend the dollars on it. The trick is figuring out what drives the traffic and figuring out what makes sense for the conversion. And when you hit those two things, you get those two pieces, you’re there and then you just spend the money on driving the traffic.
Jeff: So figure out what drives the traffic and what makes the conversion. And then just spend the money to drive the traffic.
John: That’s it. Once you get there, once you figure those two things out, it’s kind of… I am not saying that it’s your uneasy streak. I don’t mean to create that picture but I’ll take that streak all day long. Because you’re cruising. You go into the office in the morning. You go, look at all these orders that came in overnight. Look at all of these. Or during the day, you’re sitting there going, look at these orders coming in over here. I found the right stream of traffic. I found the right place to spend my dollars. We used to say that all the time.
Back then, the cable—we were with Turner and W.G.N. and wherever else and we would go, I mean, some did better than others. But as long… if it made sense. Let me give you the formula. Back then, if we spend a dollar, we expected to bring in a minimum of $2. And anything above that, some stations we would literally spend—imagine, spend a dollar and bring in $10.
Jeff: Now, that’s a pretty good turnaround.
John: So, if you spend a hundred grand, you bring in a million dollars. That’s phenomenal. Those days for television are gone. Don’t get excited. Because the stations figured it out and they make all the money but it used to be that. It was that high of return when infomercials first started. And so now, if you spend a dollar and bring in two, you’re really doing well because you also develop what you call the back end. You develop the back end. When we first started, we had no back end. Nothing. Because we made so much on the front end, we didn’t think about it. I don’t think I knew what a back end was.
Jeff: John, I’m not sure that our listeners all know what a back end is. Can you tell us what that means?
John: Oh. Okay. The back end is, imagine that you spend a dollar and you bring in a dollar. So you just broke even. Essentially, you broke even. So, but you’re driving all this traffic. Well, okay. So, figure out what you need to go back at them with another offer. You want to offer them something else because you’ve captured them. Got that email. In this case, you’ve got an email address. You didn’t make any money on it but you captured it. So you’re at zero. You’re broke even.
Now, offering something that something to them that they’ll buy because you got them essentially for free. You can’t all those people for free and now offer them something that pays dividends. That’s a back end. And then that you offer them back and you offer multiple things and you see what works there. And you feel your way through that. I don’t know, but in this day and age, if you spend a buck on the internet and you get a lead, and it paid for itself, well, now it’s just figuring out what do I sell them? And I can sell them multiple things. Maybe I sell them my stuff or I sell them somebody else’s stuff. But I built—I’ve got traffic coming my way.
Jeff: So I think a lot of people would look at that and say, oh I spent a dollar and I only made a dollar. And they would might consider that to be a failure. But you have a very different perspective on that. You’re saying no, that’s success. That’s a case where you’ve figured out how to get the traffic and you figured out how to convert the traffic. Now, what you got to do is do it again.
John: And you’re branding yourself. Think of it this way: imagine that you see a television commercial. You see me on television, right? And you see me everywhere. I’m just everywhere. And you find out that I’m spending a dollar and I’m only bringing in a dollar and I’m breaking even. But those commercials are everywhere. Am I not winning the game? You’re seeing me, aren’t you? You see my name. You see my product. I’m winning.
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Now, behind the scenes, behind the scenes—and we never sold the names but I’m just talking. So let’s say, everybody that I capture, I sell their name. I sell them multiple times. Just that is making me money. Just that would make me money. I’m capturing tens of thousands of email addresses that now I go and sell and I sell them multiple times. That’s my business model. Nothing wrong with that.
So all of a sudden, everybody knows my product. I build a brand. I build a brand. I broke even on it but I’ve got all this information, I’m selling other stuff over the year. And I’m selling multiple things. Think of it that way. I sell them, if it’s women, I can sell them dresses and perfume and jewelry and everything else. Guys, I can sell baseball caps, too. I don’t know. But you understand. So you’ve got this audience and you can sell them all kinds of stuff. That’s the back end.
Jeff: I got you. I got you. So it’s about building a list of people and a group of people who are interested in what you’ve got, who know who you are and then sell them stuff. That’s amazing.
John: Truly, people—for me, for example, if I go on television right now and I sell something, they’re more than likely going to call because they know what I used to sell was good. They may look at what I’m selling, what’s he doing now? That’s interesting. And so, I branded myself years ago. It’s no different now. And it’s not necessarily branding, you, your face and all that. But if you have the opportunity, do it.
I was not a genius. The reason I was on television, not because I have this desire to be on television, but I was free. I knew my product and so, when I put together our first commercial, here’s how we did it. I couldn’t read a teleprompter for anything. I was terrible. I was not in. I’m not trained at this but so what I did is I would just talk about my product and they turn the camera on when I was doing it. And then the production department took that footage and put it together in a commercial. And it worked. And it worked. It worked.
So, that’s kind of how I got started. But when I used to come on my commercials, I would say my name and I was just telling people my name because I wanted them to know I’m John Scherer, CEO and founder of Video Professor. I said that on every commercial. And what that did was brand me. So if you have that opportunity, so you know that years ago, I wasn’t thinking about that. It just happened. People ask me, was that planned? And I’d like to say, oh of course. I was a genius. I didn’t plan that. And all of a sudden, I wake up one day, years later, going, everybody still knows who I am.
Jeff: Well, it’s fascinating, John, because when you just said that, it almost kind of gave me a chill because you said, I’m John Scherer, founder and CEO of Video Professor. And I remember that just like it was yesterday. I remember seeing those commercials on TV.
John: Yes. So it sticks with you. But what you’re doing on the internet, if you have the opportunity to have your face with what you’re doing and driving traffic, you’ll become recognizable. Don’t do it from a vanity standpoint. Do it if it helps, if it lends credibility. But if it doesn’t hurt you, I mean maybe I could have been hurting my sales but I wasn’t, fortunately. But if you can add your name and your face to it, and brand yourself as a trusted source, a credible source for something, that’s the best of both worlds.
Jeff: That’s awesome. John, what’s one of the bigger mistakes that you see people who are less experienced making in starting businesses?
John: I see people get into business for the wrong reasons. I see them get in to business so they can go to the beach, so they can hire some people to do the job, so they can relax and that isn’t going to happen initially. You get in the business, all that will happen but this happening overnight stuff, I’d like to tell everybody, all your listeners that oh yeah, overnight, it’ll happen. It’s over many nights. Many, many nights. It’s when you hear these success stories, it took me five years. Five years of laying awake, of working, of working weekends, of working long hours. And I happen to love it. It’s in my DNA. It’s just part of me. If you don’t like working, then don’t start your own business because you’ll be working.
Now, I see people do this. And this is one of the best things I could recommend to anybody is, if you have a regular job but you want to do more, you want your own business, well, start it. Start it. Do it on the weekends. Do it at night. See if you have that in you. And if you do, keep going. Keep getting it started. Do all your testing while you still have another job. Test this, test that. See what’s out there. That’s the best world you can be in. Unfortunately, with the internet, you can do exactly that.
Jeff: So this is awesome. To go back to your initial advice, it was figure out how to drive traffic and then how to convert that traffic. And you’re saying do that while you’re still working a job. And you don’t have to drive a lot of traffic and you don’t have to do a lot of conversions while you’re doing your job. You just have to prove that you can do it, right?
John: That’s right. So you’re not running that risk like you would if you just said, you know what? I just can’t do this. I quit. I’m going to go try and start a business. Whoa, that’s scary. That’s scary. Even if you saved up a little money, that’s scary. Don’t do it that way. Just see if you have that in you to work weekends on a business idea that you have. If you do, if you can discipline yourself and you do that, then you’re probably cut out to have your own business.
If you find, I’m going with the guys this weekend. I’m going with the group. My wife wants to do this. My husband—then the chance of you making it in your own business… because there’s always going to be distractions. You have to be able to focus. It has to come first. I know that’s stuff. I was never married. So I can say this: there’s a lot of wives out there that would like to choke me hearing this. What’s this guy saying? What do you mean? Work comes first. They want all the success can bring you but sometimes, it’s difficult for them to sacrifice. But I’m not—and there’s a ton of wives out there that will sacrifice. They will go that extra mile and they will help their husband and they do understand them working at night, working weekends to follow his dream. They really do. I would say, do it that way. I wasn’t that fortunate. I just kind of dove in to everything. I kind of just said, I’m going to do this. I started making computers and then I started doing the videos. I just jumped into it.
Jeff: Did you ever work a regular job?
John: Yeah. I did for four weeks.
Jeff: Four weeks?
John: I did that for my mother, really. She said to me one time, she said, John, could you please? My business I had didn’t work out. And I was stuck down in Houston, Texas and I needed $200 to get home. Not home to mom and dad. Back to Colorado. They were in Wisconsin. And I remember calling my mom and she said, You need to talk to your father. And I got on the phone with him. It’s like, $200, Dad, I need gas money to get from Houston to Denver. I went through the ringer. That was a loan, John. It’s a loan. It’s blah, blah, blah.
So the deal was, with my mother, you get back to Denver and you get a regular job. So I, for four weeks, I worked a regular job. In that time, my car got repossessed. I made about $400 where my car payment alone was that. And I quit my regular job and started something else and made a bunch of money to get my car. It never officially got repossessed. So yes, I worked a regular job for four weeks.
Jeff: Okay. Okay. So you’re really… it sounds like you’re really an entrepreneur at heart.
John: I am. I just love it. This was my thinking. My buddies in college said, John, are you going to… well, the recruiters are on campus. And I said, guys, I can’t do it. I cannot do it. And here’s my thought: I would go to work for a company. I would have all kinds of ideas. My boss, I would talk to my boss, whoever that was, and he would take my ideas to his boss and he’d get a raise, he’d get a promotion.
I go, wait a minute, I’m smarter than my boss. What am I doing here? So I just didn’t even go down that path. Anybody that’s listening that has a regular job and you’re smarter than your boss, you need to figure something else out. Because that’s a nowhere street. When you have more brains in your little finger than your boss has in their whole body, then you know it, then you know that, you got to do something different.
Jeff: And I bet that is most of our listeners are in that exact situation. So you guys, you’ve heard it from John Scherer. So, John, tell us about what you got going on today? Well, I don’t mean like today today.
John: John, what’s happening in the next hour? No. I know what you’re saying. Jeff, while I’m thinking of it, I’d like your listeners, if they want, I’ve got an e-book that I just did last week. It’s about the first five years of my Video Professor days. I think they’ll find it kind of interesting. It’s absolutely free. I’m not selling anything.
So if they’ll text the number 77948 into their phone, and then in the message slot, put News1. N-e-w-s 1. The number one. Hit send. They will get a text right back showing them how to get the e-book. It’ll be sent right to their email. I think they’ll find it interesting. It’s sort of a reiteration of what we’re doing. But me right now, I have two things. I have a company called Canless Air. If you know what canned air is, it’s the compressed gas that clean your keyboard.
Jeff: Yeah, it’s a blast to—it’s a lot of fun to play with.
John: Yeah, it’s fun to play with but—yes, you’re right. It’s dangerous. It freezes up. It can hurt you. It’s not good for the environment. I don’t want to bore you with all that. But an inventor came to me and I’ve taken that product to market. And the consumer part of it can be seen on o2hurricane.com. It’s kind of a cool product. If people go there, they’ll see a commercial that I did for it. O2hurricane.com.
But the other thing I’ve started to help people who have a product, they think they want to be on television. They don’t know how to do it. I’ve got a television show called Products in the News. If they go to productsinthenews.com, they will see it. They’ll get it. They’ll understand just what it’s about and they can see that we put them on television and they get national exposure.
And one of the things starting out for people, Jeff, is like it or not, if you see two companies doing the same thing and one says, as seen on TV and the other one doesn’t, immediately you feel that that one that’s seen on TV is bigger, better, I think I’ll go with them. It’s a fact of life.
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So what our show does, it gives a mad ability to say that. It gives them a commercial that they can use, they can put on YouTube. They can email it out. There’s tons of stuff they can do with it to help get them more business. So, and we—and it gets into about 200 million households. Yeah. So I’m using what I learned over the years to help these people figure it out and get some TV exposure. That’s productsinthenews.com. And that’s kind of what I’m doing. If people wanted me to endorse their product or they wanted my help with stuff, they can always contact me and talk to me.
Jeff: Awesome, awesome. John, I know you’ve had a lot of success over the years but everybody who has success has that success because they also have failures and they make mistakes. What’s the biggest mistake that you’ve made over the years?
John: Biggest mistake that I made over the years. Whoa. Whoa, that’s a long story maybe. But probably the biggest mistake that I made, the transition was terrible from television to the internet. My company, I have 350 employees, okay? To say that was a mistake, it wasn’t, but I should have scaled it down. As the internet came in, I should have been outsourcing things instead of building internally. I should have done things differently. It’s easy to look back. Monday morning, that player was wide open in the end zone and the quarterback didn’t see him and it’s so easy to see. But short of that, I truly… I don’t look back.
That question you asked, I’m not one that says I made a mistake. I wouldn’t do it the same way again. I learn. But I don’t look at it as a mistake. I look at it as learning. So the company I have now, the O2 hurricane company will not have more than five employees. And I’m going to build this into a multimillion dollar company. But because of what I learned from Video Professor, I will not have employees. I will outsource it. And outsourcing just because… it’s not so much just because I don’t want all the employees but I’ll have more input. When you outsource, you get companies talking to you. Imagine this. Do we have a second? I can tell you something.
Jeff: Yeah. I’d love to hear it.
John: Okay. When I would have company meetings, imagine that I got the heads of media, I.T. department, production department, PR department. We’re all in a room, right? We’re having a meeting about how to better our company and everything else. So, we’re all talking about what we should do. Do you think anyone in that meeting would then tell me that we don’t need another person? In other words, these people work together. They become friends. And that’s what you want. You want to build a family.
But my PR department would never say, John, we can do it better if we don’t have this many people in production. That will never be said to me but here is… now, picture it this way. Pretend I outsource all those different departments, all right? I’m paying those companies. Those companies, I’ll get them coming to me saying, John, we can handle all these for you. Why do you have this company over here and this company over here? We’ll do it all for you. You get a different… you get more advice.
It’s not a family. You’re building an external family, but you get more sound advice. I firmly believe. I see it now. I see what I’m doing by outsourcing and I’m getting… it’s just way better to say nothing about the overhead. I don’t have the overhead. I had a million to two million dollars a month overhead. Nobody wants that. So imagine you have the same revenue but you don’t have a million to two million dollars an overhead. That goes right in your pocket. That’s kind of a long answer to your question, but that is something I’ve learned. So build your company but always look at outsourcing first. Look at outsourcing. You need employees, don’t get me wrong. But anything you can outsource, do it.
Jeff: These days with the internet, it makes that so much easier. Have you ever used services like oDesk or eLance?
John: I haven’t personally, but yes, I hear what you’re saying.
Jeff: Yeah. And that’s something that you can outsource a task for as little as five dollars. It’s not like you have to enter into a big, multi tens of thousands of dollar-contract with a big company.
John: You’re right. No, you’re right. It’s just all changed. I remember when we built our first website. It was like, you got to be kidding, how much is this going to cost? Oh, and you know what you’re doing it for now?
Jeff: Yeah. You can have a website up in 10 to 15 minutes right here.
John: I know. It was crazy. And so, yes, and all these services, all these stuff that’s there, you can buy it right off the shelf. You buy a shopping cart. We made our own. Oh, please shoot me. Shoot me! It just was not there. There was not all that development. I couldn’t go and buy off the shelf technology. Now you can. So, look at that first. Save yourself the headache. Why reinvent the wheel?
I was talking to somebody the other day about how funnels work, how all that stuff works. And there’s software, there’s companies that have that that just do it. Why try and figure it out? Just go to this company and get it. They’ll let you try it sometimes free for a month. So always look to do it that way first.
Jeff: Excellent, excellent advice. John, what’s the biggest marketing lesson that you have learned in all of your years of all this great success that you’ve had?
John: The greatest marketing lesson. If you don’t market, nothing will happen. Okay? That is the biggest lesson. I’m telling you. When you don’t pound marketing, when you don’t—for me, if I’m not pounding television or I’m not pounding the internet, I’m not spending dollars on marketing, nothing is going to happen. And that is a lesson.
People, they don’t get it. Especially if they invented a product. Oh, it’s just… oh, everybody’s going to want this. Everybody’s going to want this. Well no, they aren’t. No, they aren’t. It’s not going to happen. It’s just… you can have the greatest product in the world and I’ll bet you there are some great products sitting in basements. There are great products sitting in garages right now that the world will never see because they didn’t market. They didn’t know how.
The greatest lesson I’ve learned is spend the dollars first, first on marketing. When you come up with an idea, the first thing you want to do is test it, spend some dollars, see if it works. See if there’s a demand for it. Because if there isn’t a demand, you can create the coolest product. You can have the neatest packaging. You can do all that but if it’s not going to sell, if there’s no demand, forget it. So spend the dollars on marketing.
Jeff: Awesome, awesome advice. And again, with our theme of we can do, things are so much more accessible now. So just to go out and do a little bit of marketing in the ’80’s, John, you had to have a significant chunk of change. I could run Facebook or Google ads for five bucks right now just to do some testing and to see if I’ve got a market there.
John: That’s right. No. You had to have money then. It was like, you just had to have money. It was… yeah, you just had to have money. And I didn’t have money. I didn’t have it that’s why I say, we watch our dollars. We rolled our stuff right back into—we poured it right back into advertising. It’s just what we did. And so, I can’t impress upon everybody enough. You just got to pour it back in.
Jeff: Amazing, amazing advice. John, can you give us the code again, the text to get your e-book?
John: Yes, I can. Just type in the number 77948. In the message box, put News1. News1. The number one. Hit send. And then about 10 seconds—this is cool technology. In 10 seconds. I just love watching that work. In 10 seconds, they’re going to get a text and they just hit it. And they put in their name and their email and boom, they hit send and it sends it right to their email. It’s not something new, but so many people don’t have this and for me, it’s just fun. It’s fun to watch, and people can get this just as quick as they do it. As quick as they hear me say it, they will have my e-book. And I hope they enjoy it. I hope they gleamed something out of it.
Jeff: I know they will. And in fact, I can verify it works. I tried it. Right as you were giving it, I did it and I’ve got the link to the e-book back. So definitely, everyone text 77948 and News1 and that will give you a link to John’s e-book that you can download and read and get more of this amazing advice from John. He’s had a ton of success in the business world and has lots of great lessons for us.
By the way, if you missed any of that, there will be links below the show to get that as well as go to any of other websites that John mentioned on the show. But again, thank you so much, John, for being on the show. Thank you for sharing these amazing lessons with us. I mean, this is—the stuff that you’ve shared with us is stuff that there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears that went into you learning and figuring out all of these stuff. And you just shared this with our listeners requesting absolutely nothing in return and I can’t thank you enough for that. I appreciate it. I know our listeners appreciate it. And I wish you the best of luck with everything.
John: You’re welcome and if I can ever help you, let me know.
Jeff: I certainly will. Thank you so much, John.
John: Thank you. Thank you to your listeners.
Jeff: Wow. What a great episode of the How To Quit Working show with John Scherer, the founder of Video Professor. I had a blast talking to him. That I liked so much about it is I really enjoyed looking back at how did we do things before the internet, and what are those really, really basic fundamental things that you have to understand to start a business? And John shed a lot of light on those things. The thing that I think is so important to remember from what John had to say is that there’s really only two components to making money. It’s number one, can you drive leads? And number two, can you convert those leads to paying customers or can you sell them? Right? So can you get somebody to click on the link because what you’re saying you have to offer is of interest to them. And number two, once they click on it, do they want to buy?
And the other thing that I thought was so cool that he said is once you can get people to clicking—or in his day, it was ringing the phones, but today it’s clicking. Once you can get those leads to actually click, then it’s just a matter of figuring out what it is that you’ve got to give them and at what price point you got to give it to them in order to make them want to buy.
And the advantage that we have today in the online world is that our cost are generally so extremely low that we have a lot of pricing flexibility so we can price that wherever we need to to make the conversions. So great stuff from John Scherer. So text 77948 with News1, N-e-w-s 1 to get his e-book. I have done it. I have read the e-book. It is awesome. And it expands on all this great stuff. John put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into figuring this stuff out over the years. Not only did he share it all with you on the show for free, but now he’s offering to give you even more in this free e-book. So take advantage of that. 77948. News1 in the subject of the text and you’ll get instructions for how to get ahold of that e-book.
Now, if you want more information about creating a business so that you can quit your job and live an awesome, awesome life of freedom doing something that you really care about instead of working for somebody else’s dream, go over to howtoquitworking.com. Again, that’s howtoquitworking.com. In the upper right hand corner, you’ll see an orange box where you can enter your name and email for a free training series that will show you how to do just that. So again, go over to howtoquitworking.com and click, enter your name and email in the upper right hand corner. And until next time.