In this episode of the LMScast podcast, Ryan Lee shares his experience and knowledge running a simple, successful, family-friendly microbusiness that focuses on providing information to customers or clients.
Ryan Lee is a skilled entrepreneur, and business coach with over 23 years of expertise in membership sites, coaching, online business, and internet marketing. You may visit him at RYAN LEE. To get his renowned daily (ISH) Newsletter, anyone can sign up.
Through his coaching, training courses, and membership websites, he has assisted innumerable company owners and entrepreneurs in starting successful and lucrative companies. Ryan Lee is renowned for emphasizing simplicity and creating enterprises that are enduring and satisfying to manage. He just sold his nutritional firm, Rewind, and is now concentrating on assisting business owners in streamlining and expanding their operations.
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Hello, and welcome back to another episode of L m s Cast. My name’s Chris, and I’m joined by a special guest. His name is Ryan Lee. He’s been in internet marketing, online business, entrepreneurship, coaching membership sites, all these things for approximately 23 years. I was just reminiscing on how I heard Ryan on a podcast that I was listening to in my early days of entrepreneurship back in the late two thousands. And I was I was very new to entrepreneurship and this was one of the first times I heard words like continuity and membership site and all this stuff. And here we are, like 15 years later and he’s on my show. Welcome Ryan, to the podcast.
Ryan Lee: Thanks, Chris. Yeah, I mean, I’m just on this show because you’re blackmailing me so you know, I’m gonna, I’m doing this under duress. No I thank you. I, I love coming on and just talking about business I’ve been on for a long time. I love teaching, I love helping people. And it’s cool cause I didn’t even know this was gonna be live, so it’s even more exciting. I love live stuff, so anything that’s real and just authentic and unedited, I’m ready to rock. So just bring it, let’s bring this stuff and everyone live. What’s going on?
Chris Badgett: All right, awesome. Well, let’s, let’s help the people out there, the course creator, the coaches, the community builders. I want you to define some terms. So if I were to say a one person family friend, friendly micro information business, what is that?
Chris Badgett: I’m kind of combining some of your concepts.
Ryan Lee: Yeah, yeah. That’s, that’s like all, all of the stuff I say. You know, it’s, it’s really, if you could define it, kind of all that with like one word, it’s just simple, right? It’s just ha we, I think there’s a lot of, of marketers and coaches, especially lately, maybe the past five years or so, that obsess over this word of scaling. Like everything is scale, scale, scale. And they’re putting a lot of pressure on people who have not hit a million dollars a month.
Like, oh my God, I’m failing. We’ll get everyone scaling and, and you, you just scaling is, means different things to different people and you have to do what feels right to you. Like for, I’ve had some of my most popular my most well-known clients, like this guy Jeff Cavalier, he started a, a YouTube channel called Alene X years ago.
And we, I was there, he was there in the room with me, like when we came up with the name and the concept, and he’s scaled to tens of millions a year. But there were some other people like, look, if I could just get to an extra two, 3000 a month, that, that’s great. So you have to kind of define what it is. And I’ve taken, and I’ve been down that road. I was there where I was trying to scale and working my butt off, and I grew, I had two different companies each hit seven figures a month in sales. Now here’s the thing, when you hear someone say, seven figure, seven figures a month, here’s the reality. I didn’t keep seven figures a month, okay. About, and not anyone. Most people can actually get to seven figures a month if you spend enough, right?
Like you could spend $2 million a month and make a and get to a million in sales, you lose a million. But and, and at the time though, I was growing the team. I had, I had a A C O O, I had a c e o, I had all this stuff and this operations, and it was killing me. And it wasn’t a ton of profit because you have a lot of bloat. So I’ve gone through this whole journey over these years and I’m back to, and I just sold as of this live recording, I just sold my most recent company, which is a nutritionist company called Rewind. I just sold it 10 days ago. So it was nice to kind of exit that company because it started to get that feel where I’m like, I’m waking up, I’m kind of getting stressed.
I’m like, all right, let me get back to simple. And I’d rather have a company run by me. Maybe you got a virtual assistant, maybe you don’t, that can do a couple million a year and keep most of it and just enjoy life. I have fourteens now not 14 kids, four teenagers, 13, 15, 17, and 19. And my oldest one’s a sophomore in college, and I just turned 50 and I just, I wanna enjoy life. Right? so that was my very short definition for what you said. I’d like to speak very short and to the point
Chris Badgett: Awesome. you mentioned that the Alene X guy, I was just talking to aspiring fitness coach who’s already doing it, kind of one-on-one and is looking to scale and, and just have more impact online. And I know he l he looks up to the Alene X guy as one of his like, kind of role models. What helped, what are the key variables that helped? Jeff, is that his name? Jeff? Yeah, Jeff. Jeff like launched that and I mean, I see him on YouTube. I, I end up on his videos. Yeah. And like, how did he pull that off? Like what’s the secret sauce or the, the special ingredients there?
Ryan Lee: The secret sauce is there is no secret sauce. Yeah, the secret sauce is that he picked one. Okay. So from the very beginning he said, look, I wanna build this business and I wanna build one brand. I want to build something that’s just beyond my name, that’s more of an actual brand that I could build products and services around this company name. That was the one thing. And the other thing was what’s my strength?
And his was just like, let me stick to YouTube and just do a video a day. He did it consistently for like 10 years straight, almost every day. That was the secret. He didn’t stop, he didn’t get distracted. He also, when he started to like, it was slow, like. And if you look back at his original videos, they weren’t that great, and he admits that, but he got better by doing it.
He got more comfortable. But he’s very, very disciplined. He’s very focused. And he just said, this is all I’m doing. And when other people say, oh, could you promote my product and I’ll promote yours, and, you know, I’ll be an affiliate? He said no to all that opportunity, even when they were bigger than him at the time. And he just stayed in his lane and was consistent and never stopped.
He’s so dis I, I mean, I’ve never met anyone that disciplined. We were, we were out at lunch and we were just talk and he’s, he, he’s just about my, I think he’s maybe a year or two younger than me. And he’s ripped 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, which is not normal. Most people diet for, so we’re talking about food and dessert. I said, what’s your favorite dessert? And he said, oh, I love carrot cake.
I said and he said, yeah, once a while, I’ll treat myself once a while, I said, how often? I thought he was gonna say, like, you know, once a week. He said, like, he said, I’ll have a piece like once a year. I mean, that’s the type of discipline. Now you don’t have to be that extreme like Jeff, but one thing and just never stopped. And I know everyone wants, what’s a sexy thing? Is it the titles of the keyword is N seo, it’s consistency is showing up.
I think the reason I’m still around alive and kicking is because I’ve been emailing like 20 years straight. Like just every day. Just non just you. And you get good at it. You just gotta keep doing it. I know we’re all looking for the shortcut and the hack, but the consistency is, is big. And just showing up day in, day out for your tribe and saying, this is me. This is my position. This is how I’m standing out in the world, and let’s just go, let’s just stick with it.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. And we’re gonna come back to Ryan’s newsletter in a little bit, but go to ryan lee.com and sign up for it. It’s one of the few emails that I move from my promotions tab to my primary,
Ryan Lee: Because
Chris Badgett: Because you do it, you do it well, and it’s just such, and I get so much out of the content, it’s so well done.
Ryan Lee: Appreciate it. R y A n l e e.com for those who, who couldn’t spell it. Anyway, keep going Chris. That’s why I’m here. I’m here to plug.
Chris Badgett: All right. So you’ve been in the, you know, the online business information, product coaching space for 23, 25 years, something like that. A long time. What’s different now? And I know things have like changed the whole time through, and, but what if, if somebody, even if they weren’t from back in the day, like right, what’s, what’s, what’s kind of different today?
Ryan Lee: I think, well, a few things. Number one, the tools make it so easy. Now back then, I remember when I launched, I, I was, I was writing articles. I couldn’t do, there was no YouTube, you know, back in the late nineties. So you couldn’t do video, you could barely do any audio, even pictures. I remember they would, they’d go, it would take like five minutes to just see a picture. So now av the, the, the speed, the tools, your, your software, like, everything makes it so easy to build. It’s, there’s no excuse. And you could build for like very inexpensively. There’s also, there was really no social media back then either. So you can get, you could start up with YouTube, you could start up with Facebook and Instagram and TikTok. You could do for free, no cost to get started.
Obviously the big thing is mobile, right? Back then, no one really had mobile phones. Now everyone has smartphones and you could check everything. So everything has to be mobile optimized. So with all the good, there’s the other side of the coin. Because, because there’s such a low barrier to entry and there’s really no cost to get started, there’s now dozens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands competitors and just about every market.
So it is get, it is de it is definitely getting more competitive, which means, my advice on that is you gotta be a specialist. You have to be like micro, micro niche. You have to, you can’t just say, oh, I help people get fit. That’s not enough. Or I even, or I just help baseball players become better. Better. That’s not even enough. Like you have to say, I help baseball players become really fast on the field, you know?
And then on the other side too, there’s, there’s also, there’s just a lot of content. There’s millions of hours every month uploaded to YouTube. There’s just so much content, which, so when I started my first me paid membership site in 2001, back then it was about the fire hose. Give people as much content as possible and they’re gonna keep signing up cuz they, they couldn’t get enough.
I’ve almost seen the opposite. Like I think it’s not just about if you’re, you’re only positioning and the reasons to sign ’em shouldn’t be, here’s 1,001 webinar videos. Like that’s not gonna get people excited. That’s just gonna add to the overwhelm. You’re better off offering higher quality and less quantity. Right? Be really super specialized. Give people like direct answers, do curation, do summaries. Just give them really specific benefits as opposed to trying to throw a hundred things.
No one wants 500 run fricking worksheets. Like it’s just, it’s too much. So that’s what I’ve seen kind of over the years from back then to now. It’s also gotten more expensive to advertise. I remember I used to do paper click advertising. It was a penny a click, and then they raised with like two or three pennies a click, and people went nuts. Oh my God, no one’s ever gonna pay three or 4 cents a click now. I mean, you know, you’re paying a few dollars a click. So you got, so you gotta know your numbers.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. What one of the things I liked about you is you had a background in fitness and business. You weren’t like an internet marketer talking about internet marketing. You’ve, you’ve proven across like different niches and stuff like that. How is creating courses or coaching and in the fitness world different and the same as teaching business online?
Ryan Lee: Yeah, and I mean, the people who’ve known me since the beginning knows that I didn’t start out teaching business. I my like I got a graduate degree. I put myself, I, I worked for six years in a children’s hospital at, at, at a college. And I was a recreational therapist and then I put myself through night school to get a master’s in excess physiology. So that’s what I taught online. I taught sports training and I was, I ran track all through college.
So that was like my thing. I didn’t start teaching the business of it till years later when I started having success in other personal trainers and fitness pros. Who’ve now like Jeff Cavalier become household names. Back then, they didn’t know any business and they’re like, Ryan, could you teach me? I’m like, sure. I didn’t know. I didn’t, I even took a business course.
So, and I’m still active. I still, even though I sold one of my nutrition companies just a week and a half ago, I still own another one called Bone and Brew. So I’m, I’m still active in the health and nutrition and fitness space. So I, cuz I love it and I think it’s really, it’s hard to teach business when you only make money teaching business, right? It’s kind of like this, there’s like, coaches make money teaching coaches how to be a coach. It’s kind of this incestuous kind of thing. Like I’m not judging, but I want, if I’m gonna learn, I want someone who I know can apply the knowledge over multiple markets. Because it’s one thing to tell people how to make a million dollars online. It’s another to try to sell ’em how to lose 20 pounds. So there’s, there’s some commonalities.
Look, the, the, there’s the old saying, I don’t remember who came up with the original phrase is people can never be like too rich or too thin, right? like those, you’re pretty much gonna, those are usually the easiest to make money in. In, in terms of health and fitness in general, you’re going to charge a little bit less than you would anything that gives a return on investment. Like if you, if you say to someone, okay, you pay $500 and then it’s an internet marketing course, how to make 10,000, well, that’s a good deal. But if you’re saying, I’m gonna teach you how to, you know, lose 20 pounds to pay 500 bucks. So like it’s, it’s a little bit tougher. So you just, it’s a, it’s a harder sale, especially if you’re going direct to consumer and going, like mass population.
The, the numbers are a little bit different be because with internet marketing, you can charge higher numbers. You can charge $5,000 for like a coaching program, no one’s gonna blink. It’s very difficult to sell a $5,000 virtual health program. Not impossible, but harder. So the economics are different, meaning you can’t usually pay as much to get a customer. So it’s trickier, but you can do it. It tends to be in the health space, it tends to be lower per, per item ticket amounts, but higher volume. Even though we think internet marketing is a huge market, it’s not, there’s a lot more people that wanna lose weight than, you know, built an internet business. There is. And I’m sure as well as your company is doing, there’s a lot more people like in Beachbody than there are learning or Whole 30 or whatever platform.
Yeah, yeah. Or, or Whole 30 or whatever, or, or the keto group. You could start a keto group and have a million nuts, right? it’s, it’s just it’s a larger market, but in general, but again, generally speaking, lower price, just higher volume and, and you have to you gotta be a good marketer. Like use your personality. You can’t be gen, the generalists are, are struggling. You know, the whole here’s my six week health program.
Okay, what, like, how is it different than the 4,000 other six week health program? Well, I have my ACE certification, well, sort of 2000 others. It does, it doesn’t matter. It’s not enough. You gotta, you gotta come up with something. I call it like, what’s your really good sexy front end offer? It’s gotta be unique and different. It’s, it’s better to be different than better at this point. It, so we gotta find that something that’s unique.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. And speaking of health and fitness and really just health and given your longevity in, in the industry and I know you, I heard somewhere a ways back, you lost some weight or had an autoimmune thing, or had a bunch, had some challenges with stress. How do ed, the education entrepreneurs out there, the internet entrepreneurs, what advice do you have in terms of managing stress and, and staying healthy over the long term?
Ryan Lee: Yeah. well first it, it kind of comes back to what we were talking about earlier with like, stop putting this pressure that you have to scale, right? Like, you gotta build a business that feels good to you and just know what you’re going for. Like, that’s number one is stop un unfollow everyone who doesn’t make you feel good, right? If they, if everyone’s holding up their, oh, here’s my nine figure trophy thing, and that you just feel like crap all the time, then, then you don’t have to follow them. Not saying you shouldn’t have nice goals to go for but I think figuring out what’s most important to you to, to me, it’s always been my family. I build, I’ve always built my business around my family. That’s it. Family comes first no matter what. Nothing, nothing is even a close second.
So getting your priority straight and then being, being super focused and productive so you can get stuff done quickly and then get moving. With all my background in fitness, here’s what I’ve learned. It doesn’t matter what the heck you do, j break a sweat. It doesn’t find something that you enjoy and It shouldn’t be tortured, It doesn’t have to be torture. My workouts are 25 minutes a day. I do it in my bedroom. I have a treadmill, a pull-up bar, and I do pushups and, and core stuff. That’s it. 25 minutes a day, probably five, six days a week. That’s it. I don’t need to spend three hours in gym. If you wanna spend three hours in gym and you love it or you love CrossFit or orange stick good. It should be something that you enjoy doing. And drink lots of water.
And in, in, again, in general, we eat too much. We just, there’s so many calories and every, and it doesn’t matter what, and I don’t want to talk, you know, everyone gets nuts with when it comes to their nutrition philosophies, oh, you gotta be, you know, you could only eat meat or you could only eat vegetables or you, you, you only have to inter intermittent fast. Just all that stuff has to do with the end of the day. It’s like your calories. So just eat less. It really is like, we just, we’re so used to eating all day. I tend to not have breakfast. I’ll have one of my companies bone and brew. I have the, the bone broth in the morning. Go to Amazon Bone and brew.com. Or it’s not bone and brew, just go to just type bone and brew on Amazon.
But I have that in the morning, so I tend not to have breakfast. And then I have, I have the same lunch every single day. And I, people think it’s disgusting, but it’s the greatest thing in the world. Mixed vegetables. It’s a combination of rice, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots. It’s like a frozen thing. I, I heat it up and I put sardines in it. Nice. Every day, every single lunch. And it’s like my secret sauce. Like that’s the, it’s the gr it’s so good for you. The protein, the good fats fiber I’ve, everything. It’s just, I have that every, every single lunch. And I’ve been able to, I, so my autoimmune is called psoriatic arthritis, and I got it. I think I was diagnosed about seven, eight years ago. Thankfully because I’ve been t taking care of my, I exercise almost every day.
I eat well. I never had to go on medication. I’ve kind of, like, I could years I couldn’t even, I could barely walk. I remember I was limping. I couldn’t even snap my fingers. But now, like, I can move, I, I feel great just by taking care of nutritionally. But the nutrition is a biggie because if you’re eating crap all day, you’re gonna feel like crap. And you’re just not gonna be as feeling as good. And sleep. Get a lot of sleep. There’s no, you know, oh, I, I only slept two hours a night. That’s not a badge of honor. That’s actually, you’re, you’re doing more harm than good. Work hard, you know, do your burst of, of focused work. Stop screwing around on Facebook, expect, except if they’re watching your live things. But otherwise, like sit down and do the most important things first.
If I’m telling you, if you are really super focused and, and know what the biggest levers in your business are, you could work like an hour or two a day. Like, I’m pretty much done by like 10 in the morning. I really am. If I just want to kind of keep the status quo, keep as is, couple hours a day done, and then I could just freaking watch Netflix or coach my kid. Like I can do whatever the heck I want. So I, you don’t have to work 10 hours a day. Anyway, I’ll, I’ll get off my soapbox.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. I was reading your newsletter again. That’s it. Ryan lee.com. And you mentioned the, the getting started with courses coaching and community and like using that, thinking about that trifecta. How do those interact with each other? And do you have an advice on where to start? Or you know, you talk about micro versus mega courses, like yeah. How does the beginner kind of ease into it if they’re kind of new?
Ryan Lee: Yeah. And you were close. It was actually the three I I was, I was trying to simplify cuz I, people were getting overwhelmed, like, oh my God, there’s so many products. What do I create? So I I came up with these three Cs, the courses. Well, I I if you were talking about there were three Cs of continuity income, and I’m talking about like, you’re, you’re, you’re probably talking about the one I just mentioned where it was courses coaching or continuity programs. Oh, okay. Yeah.
But I was thinking about it. There’s actually a fourth, although I didn’t wanna overwhelm people. The fourth would probably be commerce, like e-commerce. Okay. Right? Like more like Shopify type sites. I, I like the idea fir first. If you kind of take a step back and look at it from a wide lens, you say, okay, in a perfect setting, the ideal world, you’d, you’d have multiple products in each. You’d have a nice suite of products, right? Multiple streams of income. But I would say out of those, you gotta focus on one, right? So again, there’s coaching, there’s courses, and there’s continuity.
Chris Badgett: Can you define continuity for somebody who doesn’t?
Ryan Lee: So, so continuity is recurring revenue, right? That’s the marketing term for recurring revenue. So membership sites is a pretty common thing. If you are paying Netflix, you’re, you’re 10 or $15 a month, that’s a continuity program. That’s a membership site, right? That’s recurring revenue. So that’s the type of thing I’m talking about. For, for mo for a lot of people that’s really highly desired.
We wanna create recurring revenue. We don’t want just one-off things, but here’s the thing, they are, they usually take a little bit more time to create than a one-off, right? And they’re, they’re in general tougher to sell because if people don’t really know you well, they’re like, well, am I gonna keep getting billed? Do I wanna have another subscription? I already have 15 subscriptions. I don’t think I want another one. So, and if you, and not everyone wants to coach, right?
Coaching was another C cause some people are like, I don’t wanna trade hours for dollars. So out of those three, I would say if you had to choose once to start, I would probably do a course, right? And when I say course, it’s, it’s in kind of a general thing. It could be, you could even say a one-time thing. You could maybe even say a book or like an ebook. There are full fledged courses. I I like to do what I call micro courses where they’re just smaller. They’re less in depth. They are not a six month, 350 webinar, you know, mammoth thing. So what most people do, Chris, is they say, okay, I want to create a course. So is there, are there some people on live now or do we could kind of like, if not,
Chris Badgett: We do have some people, we have some questions about paid advertising actually. So for someone who’s like, good at organic and, and, and word of mouth, is there a framework to kind of get into paid advertising? That’s one of our, our questions. Yeah.
Ryan Lee: So in terms of paid, well, I just want to say one quick thing though about the courses is that I would still, cuz I didn’t want to forget this point, I would still start there. And I, I, I would, I’d caution you to, to avoid the mistake of the someone, let’s say whatever. So Chris, gimme a topic. Any topic, any market keto, okay, keto. They say, okay, keto, I love keto. I’m gonna create a, I dunno, a 12 week keto course, right? It’s a 12 week keto course. And you’re gonna l and they’ll use words like this.
You’re gonna learn how to do, you’re gonna learn every nutritional thing, and they forget who they’re talking to. It’s like the end user. The end user. So maybe it’s a 30, 38 year old housewife in Indiana. She doesn’t want a six month course on like key. She just like, just tell me what to eat, right? So then you’ll end up spending months and months creating this course, maybe thousands of dollars, creating this course. Then you put it out, then you’re like, now what? And no one buys it. I don’t understand. Everyone said I could sell the course from 9 97 and you get no buyers.
So instead create like smaller versions of it. Create you know, how do you put, put the a number on it and how do you condense that? How do you get from a six month to a three month to a one month, to a one week? How do you create like this shortest version so you can get people some, some small wins. And then you get, you know, just test the waters. Let’s see if people like your headline, your hook, the, the differentiator between your keto idea and everyone else’s.
So that’s, that would be my advice for people looking to kind of start, just get started. We don’t know what’s gonna work. I think I might know based on all my experience and hundreds thousand hours of doing this, but I still can’t predict the future. So I would say give it a shot, but, but mitigate your risk and your time expenditure as much as possible. Put it out there. Put together a one hour training, record it, and let’s see if you could sell it for 50 bucks. Oh wow, I sold 50 of ’em. Great. Now I could start expanding. Now I can start looking at other things. In terms of paid traffic, paid traffic is really all about finding that offer. It’s the, because the, you could do paid traffic on Facebook, you could do it on Instagram, the same platform really.
You could do it on YouTube, you could do Google, you could do Google Display. You, there’s, there’s a million platforms you could do banner ads. But it’s all gonna come down to the quality of your offer. And I’m gonna ask you this, everyone who’s on live and everyone watched a recording, is your offer a no-brainer? Is it truly a no-brainer? And everyone is alive? I’m gonna ask you right now, whatever offer you’re thinking of, say, is it a no-brainer? Is the offer so good that if you saw it, you would run and take your wallet out and be like, I need this now. Most people, it’s not.
And Ryan, people say, well Ryan, you know, here’s my thing. Do you think it’s a no-brainer? And I say, if you have to ask, if it’s a no-brainer, it’s not. Most are not, they’ll like put together some half-assed course and like $97 and there’s nothing exciting. There’s nothing different. There’s nothing unique, There’s nothing sexy. It’s just like reiterated stuff that everyone else did. So the offer is everything. What’s that thing that’s gonna hook ’em in and make them go, oh my God, that’s different. That’s unique. And that, and that’s, to me, they’re speaking directly to me.
So, so you start there and then it’s about math, right? Paid advertising is math. Here’s my advice. Don’t try to make money. Okay? Here’s what I mean. If you have a front end course, let’s call it let’s say it’s, it’s a keto cookbook, okay? And you’re selling it for 20 bucks or let’s say $30. You’re selling your keto cookbook for $30 or your package of keto cookbooks for $30. Don’t do ads no matter where they are with the idea that, oh man, okay, I just need, you know, I only wanna spend $10 to get a customer so I can make 20.
That’s not the way you look at it. Your goal if is to spend as much as possible to get a customer to, so you can keep getting new people with the idea breaking even, right? If you can get a customer to, if it costs you $30 to get to, to make a $30 sale, you’re a millionaire. Because every single thing you sell on the backend is profit. You have zero customer acquisition cost. That’s the goal, right? Get, get there. Don’t try to make money on the front, cuz that’s really, really hard to do. Very, very few. The best marketers in the world don’t do it. They usually go negative. So try to break even. And by breaking even, it often means you have to do upsells and bumps.
So you get the $30, you, you get the $30 Keto cookbook. Maybe when they’re about to check out, hey, for just $10 more, you know, you get the audiobook. All right. So now if 20% buy, you increase your average order value a couple of dollars, now you have a couple more dollars to spend. Once they, once they check out one, after they buy, they put the credit card in. Hey, congratulations, this is Chris, I’m here recording this on the moon with your nice little background there. You just bought the Keto cookbook because you bought that. I have five more keto book, book cookbooks.
They’re normally $20 each. You can get them all five of ’em for just one payment at $29, right, you get 30% of people to take that. You just increase your average order value by almost $10, right? So now you could spend up to $40 to get a customer. That’s the game. Like, it’s really that simple. It just takes some time to crack that nut. But once you do, and you’re, you’re break even on the front, you could spend every dollar like I would.
And, and people are just so, it’s not that, I’m not gonna say they’re shortsighted, they just don’t know the economics of it. And they think, I spent 30 and I only made 30 back. I’m not making any money. You are gonna make money on the back end. And then they stop their ads or they don’t know their numbers. They’ll, I had one person I did a coaching call at, I said, okay, tell me about your last offer. She said, oh, it was, it was terrible. I only made three sales. I said, what’d you sell a $300 course? Okay, so you made, so you brought $900, it was digital, it’s all profit, $900, you know, minus some credit card process fees. I said, okay tell me about the ads you ran. Well you know, I ran the ads, but I only got three sales.
Okay, how much did you spend? Well, I only spent like 10 bucks a day for, you know, 20 days. Then I stopped it. I’m like, all right, so you spent $200, you, you spent $200 in ads, how much did you make back? 900? I said, okay, so you spent two and you got back nine. I said, if someone, if I said to you right now, give me $200 and I’ll give you 900 back, would you do that? She’s like, well, when you say it like that, well, how the hell else am I gonna say it? I mean, taking the emotion out, why would you stop that?
Because she only got, quote, unquote three sales. So you gotta know your numbers. If you hit something like that, you keep going until your break even. And just keep, just the, the way to quote unquote scale is to find an offer that works, or at least break even and just take every dollar and keep putting it back in. And eventually you have a list of 5, 10, 15, 20, 50, a hundred thousand buyers. You, you, hey, hey guys, I just, you go to your email list of a hundred thousand people. Hey, I just came out with a new thing. It’s my new, you know, ultimate remote.
It’s just $30. You get, you sell 3000 of ’em. Like you’re, it’s a hundred thousand dollars in profit. I know I’m making it sound simple, but it really is. It’s a, it’s, it’s simple, but it’s not always easy because the tough part is the strategy. Everyone wants the tactics, Chris, they’re all like, well what’s the, you know, what’s the I don’t know what autoresponder, yeah, what autoresponder or even something like, you know, what color should I make my button? Or you know, should I use ClickFunnels or cjab or your blah blah? Doesn’t freaking matter. Doesn’t matter. They all can work.
They all, I mean, I’ve done things where now, cuz once you have a list you can sell any way possible. So I have the last four offers I tested to my own list. Here’s what I used to sell it. You’re gonna love this. I know it’s against you cuz you’re like, oh my God, I’m the m l m S guy, I have the software and I get it. That’s awesome. But I’m just saying, if you wanna just test something quickly, if you don’t, if they didn’t have your software, now I put it on a Google doc.
I just wrote a sales letter on Google Doc and I, I connected it to my, to my yacht, to PayPal. That was it. Yeah. and they each brought in six figures. So, but that’s the key. That really is the key to advertising. That’s it. That’s the whole ballgame. There’s a lot of nuance in that. But that’s the, that’s the big overview of how it all works. Hopefully that, I know I just went through like five years of stuff in like a two minute rant, but hopefully if you guys run live, does that kind of make sense?
Chris Badgett: That’s resonating. We’re getting some questions from the audience. Kurt’s asking, how do you make your no-brainer front-end offer more understandable to your intended audience? So it sounds like there’s a little bit of a miss and maybe is it, you know, is it, how do we know if it’s like a copywriting issue or an avatar issue or when we are, or, or when do we reali when do we give up and be like, all right, I need to pivot and do something else.
Ryan Lee: Yeah. that’s a great question. You know, you can never get emotionally attached to like your product, your idea. And I think that is, you know, we, we listen to you know, Gary Vaynerchuk, just keep going. It’s gonna work. And, and that’s hustle. That’s not, yeah. You’re gonna hustle yourself into the grave. That’s not true. Because if you’re, if you’re hustling the wrong idea, it doesn’t matter. You could do it for 20 years, it’s not gonna work. You got, it’s got you gotta be hu like with Jeff Cavalier, his stuff was really good. Like he, he has a master’s degree in physical therapy. Like, his stuff is solid. If it was crap, he’d put out consistent crap and he wouldn’t have the following. Do you
Chris Badgett: Remember what he had for Signal in the early days? Like, oh, I think we got something here. Like, was it like, you know, video views or shares or comments
Ryan Lee: Or, yeah, he was getting, he was definitely getting more more views and it just kept going up. He’s like, oh my God, I just, you know, I have like 500 subscribers. Now he’s got like tens of millions. But and then he started selling. We, we took his ideas and packaged it as like, workouts and he started selling them and like, okay, now, now the money’s coming in. But in terms of like with the, no, what was his question again? In terms of like the no-brainer how do you know, what was the, the exact phrasing of it again,
Chris Badgett: How does he help his market understand? So it’s like, it’s missing? Yeah.
Ryan Lee: Yeah. It, it’s, it’s often we’re not, we’re not using their words. Here’s what happens. We start working on a page or copy, and all of a sudden we turn into someone we’re not, and we start sounding like a copywriter, right? We start saying, who else wants to blah, blah, blah, who else wants to lose 20 pounds and do, and we sound like just a bunch of dbags. My, the way I write and the way I do everything has always been just more of a naturalistic approach.
It’s like, I, you should write a imagine, first of all, imagine you’re speaking to one person. Because even if a million people are seeing it, only one person’s reading it at a time. So don’t say, hi everybody, or Hey y’all, if you’re from the south, I’m a New Yorker originally. So we don’t say y’all, but talk to one person and speak exactly how you would if you’re sitting at a coffee shop, if you’re sitting at the bar just having a conversation and just speak from the heart and just say, this is what I have.
This is what I believe in. I think it’s gonna help you use words that they use though, that, that’s why you have to talk to people. You shouldn’t just sit in a lab and try to use these scientific words. I remember you know, when I was deep in the fitness industry, I was, I remember I was training and there was a trainer standing next to me and he’s talking to the clients like, yeah, you gotta work your, you’re sartorious and you’re, you’re subscapularis. And I’m like, she doesn’t know what the hell, like, you’re trying to sound smart, but you sound, you’re j you’re losing her man. Like, this is gonna work your arms, right? Like, say that. So dumb it down. Stop, stop trying to market, stop trying to talk like you’re marketing to your colleagues unless you’re trying to sell to your colleagues.
And sometimes we get embarrassed because we’re like, oh, I sound like an idiot. It’s not sound like an idiot. Just, just talk and use their words. And it’s funny, the more you talk to people and you listen, not listening with the intent of, I hope they say what I want to hear, but actually truly listening. They’re going to say words that you’re gonna be like, oh my God, I never re or it’s gonna, it’s, it’s gonna hit. You’re gonna be like, that’s the word. It should be. So in terms of when to give up in term for, for pay traffic, what, what we’ll do is we will do one ad and we’ll spend the amount, whatever that cost is. So let’s say I’m selling a hundred dollars product. We’ll spend up to a hundred dollars and see if we can get one sale.
And if not, okay, the ad’s not working, let’s try something else. It’s usually the offer, right? Sometimes there’s a, there’s a lot of things you can tweak. Don’t tweak a hundred different things because then you don’t know what the problem was, right? If your thing isn’t working and you change the headline and the hook and the avatar and the price, and now it works a little better. Well, what was it, what was the change? We don’t really know. If you had to only change one thing to start, I would probably say like the headline slash hook, cuz that’s like the biggest thing people see. So that would be the first thing I would start. And sometimes the rest of your offer can be exactly the same, and it’s the hook. That’s the difference. And then I, after that, I’d probably say the pricing.
But if I ask you, who is this for? And you say, well, it’s really for everybody, you’re done. You’re, you’re just, you’re toast because try to speak to everybody. You speak to nobody. You, you, you’ve got to speak to someone specific and they have to say, oh my God, that’s for me. Right? If you’re teaching internet marketing, it can’t just be how to make money online. It has to be very, now it’s like co now it’s not just how to be a coach now, it’s how to be a high ticket coach, right?
And then soon it’s gonna be how to be a high ticket coach, how to sell high ticket coaching with chatbots. Or the next big thing right now is ai, right? How to create for, and it’s, it always starts, it’s funny, when there’s a new market, it always starts really general and gets more specific.
It’s gonna be how to make money with ai. And then it’s gonna be how to create a course with AI and how to create a membership site with ai. How to create a fitness membership site with ai. Like, it’s gonna get more narrow. So the, so the quicker you can get to that specialty, the better your chance of success. You’re speaking directly to a person. There’s, it’s, you know, the, the phrase that’s been around forever, I don’t know if Dan Kennedy came up with it or whoever did, but it’s, there’s riches and niches and there absolutely are. So get, get as specific as possible. Don’t worry about being narrow. I know we get nervous, we’re like, oh, we’re leaving money on the table. No, you’re not. You’re right where you need to be.
Chris Badgett: We got a question from Will in the audience who’s asking about failure. He’s launched eight offers, seven of them failed, one of them worked, and he just would like to be more efficient going forward. What would you say?
Chris Badgett: Or is it, or is failure part of the job? Like,
Ryan Lee: Yeah, I say congratulations. Okay, because you gotta hit, all you need is one, right? Like, what did you learn from the seven that failed? Why didn’t they fail? I, I think you’re doing great. Will most people would give up after like two or three fail, one failure. You know what, no, I’m gonna correct me. They give up before they even get to a failure because they’re freaking scared. And I get it, like, we’re so fearful, like, oh my God, what if it doesn’t work? What if no one buys it? What if no one likes it? You know, what if it just, I launch it and no one cares? So getting over that fear of not giving a shit is a biggie, but I think it’s great.
Like, you found a winner. Awesome. Hey, you strike out seven outta 10 times in the, in the major league baseball, you’re in the hall of fame, right? You get three hits outta 10, you’re doing pretty damn good. All you need is one hit. You need one hit. And then you take the emotion out of it and you just look, why did this work? Like, what’s the secret? What was so good about this? It works. Do it again. And depending on the type of offer, you either put more money into it or you say, okay, how do I replicate this and keep this going, keep the momentum going.
And if I’m, if I look at any mistakes I’ve made over the years, it’s getting distracted or bored too quickly and giving up on something that was like, I had these events that would get hundreds and hundreds of people and Damon John, like all before all my friends, and I just stopped. I’m like, eh, I’m gonna do something different. The hell was I thinking?
I mean, I had a, I had a newsletter. There was like 2,500 members and they were paying $97 a month. And after a while, like, I’m like, eh, like we get bored of our own stuff before other people do. So I would say find that whatever that’s working and keep doing it, I, I work with one client. I took ’em from zero and I was having him do these summits in a, in a cinematography niche. We got it to six figures and then he just stopped doing ’em. I’m like, why? He’s like, I don’t know, I’m gonna just keep doing it. So keep going. Will, I think that’s great. I think you be proud that you got that hit. Keep going.
Chris Badgett: We talk a lot about courses and coaching on this podcast, but not as much about continuity. Can you inspire the people with some ideas of recurring revenue opportunities? Particularly like, you know, some kind of niche expert, like what can, what else could they do for continuity?
Ryan Lee: Yeah, I mean,
Chris Badgett: Particularly from a WordPress website, but not necessarily just from that
Ryan Lee: Well, with a WordPress website, you’re talking about like within your software, it’s, it’s password protected type stuff, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Now, so years ago, so some of my biggest hits were like, I was, I was mentioning that newsletter, right? So I went from newsletter and then I created kind of big bulky sites and they both worked. But I would say
Chris Badgett: Like content sites, niche content sites. Yeah,
Ryan Lee: Exactly. Yeah. but I would say if you’re doing continuity and using WordPress, which I love, I love WordPress. There’s so much stuff you can do with it. If you’re going for like a full-fledged membership site, be as specific as possible. Offer like one good deliverable a week. You don’t have to update it every single day with stuff, because the reason pe most people leave is because they’re just overwhelmed and they can’t keep up.
So don’t try to be Netflix. I had a Netflix type site and you get high churn because people can’t keep up. But I would say the big trend right now that I’m seeing and that I’m doing is you doing a continuity program where you’re embracing less, you’re embracing lean. It’s about curation. It’s about, Hey, welcome to this, welcome to my membership, or welcome to my newsletter, and I’m gonna take all that stuff out there.
I’m gonna take the 200 podcasts in our market and the 5,000 YouTube videos and all these books, and I’m gonna give you exactly what you need, you know, every week, every other week, every month. Like hand wrapped right to you, right to your right, to your door. And I think there’s something about like, people just being able to take a breath and be like, that’s exactly what I need. Because we keep so many are just like of the more, more, more mentality. And when I, like, I have a membership right now, it’s just, it’s like once a month, just one, one virtual training and people love it.
They’re like, okay, I’m not over. And retention went down. I mean, retention went up, churn went down because they weren’t feeling overwhelmed. That’s the biggie. So I would say if you could wrap up some really good stuff in a newsletter, whether it’s a one voice newsletter, just your voice as the expert, or you’re curating and giving opinion and insight into other things that are happening or you’re summarizing there’s a lot of opportunity there. In just about any market
Chris Badgett: Newsletter, paid newsletter, or both, do you recommend you recommend?
Ryan Lee: Well, I do a free email newsletter. Yeah, right? And then I also have a paid one as well. It, if you’re gonna do a free newsletter, then there needs to be something you need to get paid somehow, right? Yeah. So if, if you, if your paid backend continuity program is a membership site, then okay, maybe you could do the free newsletter on the front. But I don’t know if I would necessarily do a free newsletter, I would do more free I mean, unless we’re just using the same word, different words for the same thing, I consider like a daily email, not necessarily a newsletter. I call it like an email newsletter verse, you know, like a, what feels like a print newsletter, you know, 12, 16, 18 page type thing that I give away free.
Chris Badgett: Any other creative continuity ideas even off the website that you see out there working?
Ryan Lee: Well, creative, not really. I mean, the, the basics, the stu obviously software. Look, software is, if you can get a good software program, that’s, that’s the greatest continuity program, especially something with a high a high paying and disconnect. You know, if you’re, if you’re all, if everything’s tied up in your email system, you can’t leave. It’s really hard to leave. There’s a lot of pain. But there, you know, be, because I think of keeping with the theme of people feeling overwhelmed, they’re just looking for answers. Small group coaching, you know, just getting them into a group.
So maybe if they had your system for the content and then there was a private group along with it, like, I don’t know if you have something built in or a WordPress private forum or even a Facebook group, something where you could be there and asking questions and there’s like a live type of group setting is a good ride along cuz you build in that community. That’s a good way to be sticky. If you are friends in this group and you’ve been in the group for a year, you don’t wanna leave, right? Even if you’re not even going through the content.
Chris Badgett: As a coach, do you have any kind of advice for somebody who’s kind of new to it and they’re coming to Zoom, they got their monthly group coaching call, like how do you get organized or framework for the call? Like what, what do you recommend there?
Ryan Lee: De it depends if you are the expert or you are more of the host. So it, it really does depend. If, if you are, I would say if, if you had to pick a structure or a format, I would, I would, if I would keep it really simple, I would not go live. I would do a live training. But I wouldn’t do it every week. I found every week live trainings. It starts off great. Like the first first 1, 85, 90% people attend. Next one 70%, you know, after two months you got like three people are like, hello. So I would say testing out the, the, the number I would either go every other week, so twice a month or once a month. It’s usually gonna be one of those.
If you’re going twice a month, then I would either structure it, you do a training. So, so there’s a few ways you can do it, Chris. Let’s say you’re doing it the first Monday and the third Monday of every month. The first can be pure Q and a where you’re just asking questions, right? Answering office hours, right? And the, the third Monday could be a pure training or flip flop. First one’s training, next one’s q and a or a hybrid where both of them are, the first 20 minutes is like a short training on a very specific topic and then q and a about that.
So you do the same thing for both. Or the first Monday is just you either workshopping or answering questions or a combo. And the third Monday is you have a guest on and workshop slash q and a. So there’s a lot of permutations you can do. It’s going to depend on where your market is and, and what’s resonating with them. And you’ll see based on feedback and just ask them, Hey guys, what do you want? And they may say, and, and if you’re really quick on your feet, like I, I think I’m, I don’t know, maybe I’m delusional. I think I’m pretty good live and thinking on my feet and answering questions. So people tend to like that first when I do a canned presentation.
But you might be much more structured and like maybe your, your workshops are really good and very, very specific and you love doing that and people love that. So there’s no right or wrong. It’s going to be based on you and your personality and kind of the vibe you’re setting and your audience and where they are. And the to, to reduce the stress right now because this is what’s gonna hold people up. They’re like, well, I don’t know what to do.
And then they end up doing nothing. No, it’s, I I use the analogy of cause I, I grew up, I just love tv. There’s pilot season, right? So with TV shows, they film a pilot and they know this is probably not gonna be what you’re gonna see later on, right? Like the first, the pilot of Seinfeld didn’t even have a lane and Kramer was called, I think something like Cosmo, I don’t remember what the heck his name was. But it, it changes and knowing that the first iteration of whatever you create, continuity program, of course whatever, it’s going to change. And that’s okay. Like be okay with that. Know, know that what you do right now, day one is not going to be even day 30 or or month five. Like, it’s going to change and be okay with that and say, you know what?
I’m coming in and tell your people. Look, let’s do this together. Let’s go in. I like, we’re gonna play. I am here to serve you. I’m here to help you. We’re gonna start with this and we might increase it, we might change it, but I promise ’em to do everything I can to help you and people are gonna go along for the ride. You are not locked in. They’re not locked in. It’s a very fluid relationship. It’s a give and take, and that’s, and it takes the pressure off saying, oh my God, it has to be perfect. It ha like, everyone’s like a robot. Like it must be one workshop every Monday and every Thursday is, it’s like, it’s not like that. It’s not, that’s not the real world. So that’s my philosophy. Awesome.
Chris Badgett: Well, Ryan, thank you for dropping so many knowledge bombs. I must say. I do get a lot of fun and value out of your gen X Entrepreneur Facebook group. I’m oh, thank you. Also a child of the eighties. So I dig it. And you’ve got ryan lee.com. How can the people connect with you? What’s the best stuff?
Ryan Lee: Yeah, if you like this, just go to my site. Go to Ryan, r y a n l e e.com, and just sign up for my newsletter. I call it a daily ish newsletter, I go on there pretty often. I mean, I, I email usually four or five times a week, but it’s all, it’s all content. Like, it’s just, I’m not pitching other stuff. I don’t do affiliate offers. It’s just me teaching. And then go in my Facebook group facebook.com/groups/entrepreneur. You could X P R E N E U R or X P R NR works as well. So awesome. Check me out.
Chris Badgett: Thanks for coming on. We really appreciate it.
Ryan Lee: Thank you, Chris, and, and everyone on and, and will with the, the one hit. Keep going man. And please, please sign up and let me know, like you could email me, Ryan Ryan leave.com and just say, Hey, I saw you on Chris, and I’m always up for little public shoutouts too.
Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMSCast. Did you enjoy that episode? Tell your friends and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. And I’ve got a gift for you [email protected] slash gift. Go to lifterlms.com/gift. Keep learning, keep taking action, and I’ll see you in the next episode.