The Power of Story-Driven Content
with James Schramko
James Schramko is a renowned business coach, veteran podcaster, and best selling author. Simply put, James is the real deal.
When I heard him speak at CopyChief Live in 2019, the advice he shared had a major impact on how I think about online business. His insights about succeeding online are clear, practical, and based on extensive first-hand experience.
Join as James and I discuss copywriting, content marketing, and how to build a scalable online business that lasts.
“If you’re prepared to put yourself out there instead of sitting back, the audience will appreciate it… you want to get more emotional and stir people more and share more.” – James Schramko
In the Podcast:
- Tips on having more freedom in your own business
- The influence of copywriting and direct response marketing to his work
- James’ own workflow for copywriting, sales pages and email follow ups
- Mistakes that people do who offer complex services in their businesses
- Podcasting work and his core philosophy in business called ‘Own The Racecourse’
- Recommendations to start out strong with podcasting
- The different ways the podcasting has changed over the years
- James’ perspective on social media on lead generation
- James thoughts about recurring subscription businesses and creating his own subscription service business
Links and Resources:
- John Carlton
- Joe Sugarman
- Dan Kennedy
- Drayton Bird
- Bob Bly
- The Gary Halbert Letter
- Bond Halbert
- The Halbert Copywriting Method Part III
- Bryan Tracy ‘Psychology of Selling’
- Maxwell Maltz
Brad: Today I’m talking with James Schramko. James is one of the most well respected business coaches in the industry. He’s the founder and CEO of superfastbusiness community, as well as a podcaster, author and mentor to entrepreneurs around the world. I’m super excited to have James on the show. And James, I can’t wait to get your perspective on marketing and entrepreneurship. How are you doing today?
James Schramko: Thanks, Brad. Thank you for having me.
Brad: Definitely, really fired up to have you here. And like I mentioned to you earlier, James, I’ve made a list of some of the top people I’d love to have on the show. And you were at the very top of the list. So definitely fired up to have you here. And I actually just read your book in the past couple of days, work less, make more. And I thought that was an awesome book, with some really great ideas and principles there. And I wanted to ask you about maybe the overarching theme of the book that I saw, James is that most entrepreneurs are working too hard, too many hours for not enough of a return on their efforts. So why is that? Why are so many business owners basically running in place, instead of having more freedom from their businesses?
James Schramko: Maybe they just haven’t focused on leverage yet. I think that would be the one word I would describe the book as leverage. And it takes a little bit of understanding to be, you know, firstly aware of the concepts and then to implement them. And so few people are out there talking about it. There’s a couple, and I suppose some people would have heard of the four hour workweek. And maybe the 8020 principle, says there’s a couple out there on that topic. But I think there’s a lot of entrepreneurial struggle talk, there’s a lot of hustling and grinding chatter, and it can probably trick people into thinking that they have to work hard to be really wealthy. And often they cite examples of billionaires etc. And it’s probably an unrealistic benchmark, because we’re all in our own unique situation. And I’ve reached the point where I just didn’t feel like I could work anymore.
So I had to look for other ways. And I’ve been really fascinated with the concept of leverage since and constantly finding ways that I can get good results from small inputs. And it just keeps proving itself over and over again.
Brad: Yeah, I think the first time I’d really heard somebody speak about that, especially as it relates to a services business was when I heard you talk at copy chief live. And that was, was definitely a lightbulb moment for me, where I started to kind of see beyond just being a services provider solopreneur and think, Hey, this, this could potentially be scalable, you know, building a team. My dream had always been to just kind of be a solopreneur and do work I was interested in and I was like, This is scalable. This is a real business.
James Schramko: So that presentation is actually the foundation for my book, which is on that topic of scaling.
Brad: Yeah, it was an awesome presentation. awesome book. For sure. James, I’d like to talk about copywriting. And I’m a copywriter. And I know you have an interest in copywriting as well, from the very beginning of your sort of entrepreneurial journey. You were reading some greats like Gary Halbert, John Carlton, and other guys, in what ways has copywriting and direct response marketing influenced the way that you build your business?
James Schramko: Well, it’s obviously essential. If you were to break it down, look, the words on the page, significantly important. Even more so than design. And I came from a sales and marketing background. So I didn’t actually know what copywriting was. Even in 1995 or six, I’d never really heard the phrase beyond what you’d hear about in a marketing agency, where they were a copywriter there is someone who’s just, you know, putting words on a webpage or, you know, filling in brochures with words, a different meaning. But I did see when I went online, people capturing my email address and there was all this bold and italicized and highlighted words and it was very compelling and it intrigued me like why, why is this information so compelling? And then I realized I found that definition that it’s essentially salesmanship in print. And it’s kind of like, okay, that’s what they call this.
This is what they call what I’ve been doing. But it’s basically selling online. Because in the old days online,you weren’t there, you couldn’t be there to have a conversation with the customer. So he had to let the words do the message that you would have if you’re in person. Of course, even that’s changing a little bit now with social media and interactive chat bots and so forth. But it was definitely a pillar. It’s probably the single most expensive thing I pay people to help me with now is good copy. Because it will make a big difference between selling a little bit or a lot. And it’s one of the first things I suggest people reinvest back into once they find their offer that converts is to churn their offer and make it even more compelling because that’s where you’ll get the most growth initially.
Brad: Mm hmm. That’s what we copywriters like to hear. Do you write your copy yourself in the early days before you started to hand it off to specialists? copywriters?
James Schramko: Yeah, absolutely everything probably until last year. And the only exceptions were early on, a friend of mine who was a copywriter gave me a couple of chin ups on a sales page. That was my core affiliate offer, like I’m talking about right back at the beginning, gave me a couple of ideas, he suggested I write a claim, claim my bonus, instead of, you know, get or whatever. So, he did a little bit of cheering up, it definitely helped the sales. And that was the first awareness I had someone with really good skills can make a difference. Beyond that, it was just me. And then people in my team, I’ve been teaching them frameworks and just rewording things when they’re putting blog post calls to actions or email broadcasts, we came up with a sort of a way of doing things that they’ve absorbed. And now I get professional copywriting help with sales pages, and email follow ups. I can write copy, but I would definitely not self classify as a copywriter. And most definitely not a copywriting nerd. There’s plenty of those out there. Who can, you know, talk very deeply and intricately and and about it in every possible facet. But I do have a massive respect for what good sales that I can do for your business.
Brad: I think I dabble in that world a little bit of going deep into the copy nuances. I just find it endlessly fascinating and there’s always more to learn the psychology, customer psychology.
James Schramko: You never finish learning. And I’ve got old books, I’ve got books printed a hundred years ago that you know, contain gems, it’s worth looking up the classics. Almost all my copywriting mentors are no longer living, except for John Carlton.
Brad: Any particular favorites for copywriting books?
James Schramko: I actually like a few. A few that maybe aren’t as, as mainstream, like I found this style of Joe Sugarman quite easy. Dan Kennedy, obviously was quite interested in it and assimilated stuff from other places like Drayton Byrd style as well. He’s really quite interesting. And, of course, Ogilvy and then the scientific advertising of all the classics. Bob Bly. So I’ve got a pretty big library now. And I find each time I read one of them, you just pull out something new or interesting. But you could never really override them. I imagine you should be going back to the well, repeatedly, because you’ll never master it. Of course, the Gary Halbert letter was one of the biggest ones for me, because it was accessible on the web. And he was still living at the time. So I had ongoing content. So it was like interactive was still happening.
Brad: Yeah, it’s an amazing resource to have all of his letters for free and access. It’s like copywriting and marketing masterclass, like free to the world.
James Schramko: Pretty incredible. In fact, His son Bond put out quite a good book on editing, which I thought was super useful. And I read it fairly recently, he asked me to have a look at it before he published it. And I learned a few things in that, like the D, that technique taking that where it’s superfluous out of the copy. I’m teaching my team simple things like writing for a lower level Hemingway score type writing, and removing the first paragraph or sentence, they usually get punched up the copy a lot more because they’re putting shorter and shorter sentences and making it sort of flow better.
Brad: Yeah, yeah, that I’ve seen that book as well. It’s a great book. Bond actually came by when I was at Golden Hippo media in Los Angeles. I worked there for a couple of years. And bond came by and gave a presentation on that book kind of right. described his editing process.
James Schramko: So I think that’s, that’s where I do most of my stuff. Because my team is preparing the raw material, even when my copywriter sends me stuff, or the lady who helps me with my books, I’m tuning the words to be my words. And as john cartons told me, I’m lucky because my background and selling means that I have a good sort of predisposition for the copy stuff. So I never really entered into the copy world via the copy front door. I’m really an outsider who just glances over the shoulder and picks up a few things here and there.
Brad: Yeah, it’s a good way. It’s a good way to do it, for sure. So James, you’ve coached a lot of entrepreneurs over the years, including copywriters, and other service providers. What kinds of mistakes do you often see people in that kind of role who are selling complex things for your services? What kinds of mistakes do you see people like that making in their businesses?
James Schramko: Well, complex is probably a big clue. Tried to offer too many things, undervaluing their services, having a business model that’s selling time. So it’s hard for them to scale, not having a team. So they’re doing absolutely everything, including their bookkeeping, and building their website. They’re really stretched thin, bad customer selection. So they’re like just working with people because they’re desperate, and they need the money, but they’re going to have a very bad relationship with the client or not even get them a good result, which can be detrimental to their future. So there’s some of the classic ones.
Brad: Yeah. All those sound pretty familiar.
James Schramko: They’re gonna hit some spots, I’m sure. Yeah. But I’ve, I’ve had enough conversations to know that. That’s, these are things that come up a lot.
Brad: Yeah, yeah, definitely. And I think the first thing that you keyed on the complex in my situation, I know a lot of other copywriters that I talk with, and that I work with, on occasion, we enjoy doing that kind of complex work, like being in the weeds, you know, thinking about and having these big sort of interesting projects, interesting questions to work on. But it can be really tough to find a way to scale those and have multiple those projects going on at once. So it’s definitely like, that’s part of the process of figuring things out for services business.
James Schramko: You can get big money for big problems to solve. Big problems depend where the complexity is, if the complex thing is the problem is solving, that’s probably good. If the complexity is the customer trying to understand what you’re actually selling, or you trying to deliver it to many moving parts, then it’s bad.
Brad: Right? Yeah. It’s got to be easy to understand. A clear solution to what they’re experiencing. Yeah.
James Schramko: So Joe Sugarman actually makes complex things sound easy or simple. And you have to make simple things sound complex.
Brad: Yeah. Yeah. James, let’s talk a little bit about podcasting. And one of your core philosophies in business, which is something called own the racecourse, which is basically content marketing, and being sort of present everywhere using content marketing. So at this point, I think I looked at your site, and you’ve got 776 episodes of your podcast, which is really incredible. And you’ve been at it for over a decade at this point, I believe. So James, how did you get this idea? Uh, originally back in 2009 2010 to start podcasting, and how do you stay motivated today in 2020, to keep doing it to keep putting episodes out there?
James Schramko: Well, prior to that, probably in the mid 90s, I was listening to audio cassettes. And I realized that information in the audio format is quite useful. I still listen to cassettes in my car driving to work. It sounds so corny when you think about it, actually. But it’s, that’s the truth. I literally wore out, Brian Tracy psychology of selling cassettes. And I listened to Maxwell maltz. And, you know, like real classics. So I realized that, that was something that was valuable to people selling those things, I paid for them, to what people sold at the back of the room, those big motivational type events. So sort of audio is good. And before I went down the podcast route, I started making information products in the audio format, I would interview people who are good at what they did, and I’d sell that information, sort of emulating the things I’d purchased.
And when I had a chance to chat with john Carlton, when we’re both speaking at an event, I had an audio recorder leftover from when I was doing my information marketer product, on Pay Per Click marketing, which is funny to me now, because I haven’t been in that world for at least 10 years. And I interviewed John Carlton and that, then I published that on my blog, but not published to Apple or as a podcast. As such, it was just audio you can listen to on my blog, which back in 2009, was kind of still hard to do the technology compared to now I had to put a player and so forth. And then, about two years later, I think it was one or two years later, I’ve been a guest on someone else’s podcast. That was the first time I went on a podcast, I didn’t know how it worked. They said we’ll record it. They’re in a studio. I asked if it was live or pre recorded. They said it’s pre recorded.
And then they published it all up. And then they got a lot of people interested in me and my product. And I saw the power of it straightaway. And the guy who interviewed me said, do you want to do a podcast together? And I said, Yes. So we started a podcast called freedom ocean. That was my first podcast. And then I retrospectively added what was then internet marketing speed to iTunes, and it became an apple podcast, and then it really changed names to superfastbusiness later. So that’s how I’ve got an extensive back catalogue. I’ve been recording audio for a long time. How do I stay interested? Well, it’s really one of my only jobs. Now, my main job is to create some content, and then deliver or fulfill on the coaching. Now with a bit of strategy and leadership thrown in there, you know, RND learning, thinking that I’ve lots of thinking time.
And so the podcast pays me well, literally, for four to half an hour episodes a week, and can run a seven figure business. So the leverage in it is insane. The fact that a few thousand people will listen to it today, while I’m doing whatever I do, it’s still hard to imagine when you think about what 2000 people look like in a stadium. I imagine most people went to school with less than that number of people in it, you know, like, everyone at the school has 1100 students in that packed a hole. So think about the leverage that you can create something and then people can listen to it later. It’s such good leverage. And I don’t mind talking, talking is probably the easiest way for me to communicate. I don’t have to type. It’s natural for me to have an interesting engaging conversation with someone as a guest. I don’t have to do much homework. I do have a researcher who checks things for me in advance, which is good to do.
Consider it for your audience. And I do think you get a better output. But beyond that, it just works for me, something I’ve been able to maintain. And it is truly also a case of getting in early enough to build momentum before the big rush, because I believe this must be 800,000 or more maybe a million podcasts now. So there’s a lot of noise, even as of last week it is still like 49th in Australia, which is good. I used to read much saturation. However for us, it still works.
Brad: For somebody who’s thinking about jumping into content and creating a podcast specifically building their own Racecourse, so to speak. What recommendations do you have to start out strong, especially when there’s so many, you know, podcasts out there today? So many people creating new ones?
James Schramko:Probably Don’t do a podcast. Don’t start with a podcast, start with short videos and leave them to your own page. So that’s the only race cost thing. And the right cost is not about being everywhere. That’s someone else’s strategy. And that’s a bad strategy because it takes a lot of resources for that. Its underwriting cost is about owning your own asset and controlling what you can. So it’s good to have your own domain name. It’s ideal to build your landing pages and your premium content on your own website and, and go, I have my own membership on my own site. And that’s important to control a don’t build my membership on Facebook. I’m not a YouTube channel star. I’m not a not just an iTunes guy. So it’s important to build on your own platform, that’s the control concept.
It’s also secondary to that is only being where your audience is or where you can afford to be, only going to a few places where it really matters. For me, people do listen to my podcast, so it’s good to be on the podcast. But the thing I’d say is, it’s just too small, short media videos that you can natively upload to wherever to Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. I gotta be at the top places, maybe Twitter, and probably your own website. But it’s, it’s not even essential. What you want is a really amazing piece of content with good copy on your website that you can send people to from all the other places. And that’s how you put your content on other people’s platforms. That’s like sending your race horse off to race in other people’s race tracks. But you’re handing out flyers to say come back to our race check next weekend.
And when they come to your website, you’ve got a lot of options, then you can collect an email address, you can tag them and remarket them with advertising on different platforms and drive them back into your webinars or your free courses or your training or paid products, depending how warm they are.
Brad: I like that. I like that a lot. So it’s more agnostic towards the medium.
James Schramko: It’s not saying don’t worry about the platform, and get on other people’s shows. That’s a quicker win than having your own show in the beginning.
James Schramko: When you start your own podcasts, you’ll have no audience. No one’s gonna listen to the first few episodes that really only starts later. Unless you have a big email list or you’re ready to promote your podcast exceptionally well, which you can, you can buy ads on Twitter, you can send out emails, you can do PR, you can do SEO, you can do a lot of things to promote your episode. But just don’t expect much. In the beginning, you might get 17 people listening to it. And after you take out your mom and dad, and your brother and sister and your friend next door, there’s like seven actual people. But with short videos on media platforms that are popular, if you go and dangle a video in front of your Facebook feed, you probably have a lot more views. And you can draw out your buyers. You get on other people’s shows they’ve already built up their audience so you can step straight in front of it.
Brad: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So what you just described is, is pretty much where I’m at. I’m Yeah, I did and I’m still excited.
James Schramko: Just be realistic. It’s a long term play. You don’t do a podcast. Firstly, don’t do podcasting to get traffic. A lot of people think you do a podcast for traffic. But that’s not what a podcast is good at my friend in Jackson Rams this point home, it’s really a conversion piece. It’s what you send people to after they know about you to learn about you and then want to buy from you. The second part is you just have to, you know, you’ve got to be aggressive in growing a podcast if you want it to get traction in 2020 and beyond.
Brad: Yeah, which means keep creating content, I would imagine.
James Schramko: It’s only a part of it. You could create a lot of content, but it could be crap. So you’ve got to create really relevant content that rips these out of the listener like they’re so fascinated by it, they want to share it. They want to keep coming back, they want more. And you also need to promote the episode you spend as much time promoting it. And that’s what we’re doing now is writing better copy to support our podcast episodes. And we were probably not far off spending some money on ads for our podcast, keep driving it because it reliably sends us buying customers. So we just need to get people into the podcasts. And we’re still doing well all these years later.
But I imagine that the marketplace keeps getting more saturated and the slope gets slippery. You have to keep tuning and refining and I’ve adjusted my podcast a lot in terms of publishing cadence. In terms of guests, in terms of topics in terms of premises, I’m starting to identify what works best for me. But it is a work in progress, you’ll never be finished with your podcast.
Brad: What are some of the ways that it’s changed?
James Schramko: Well, I think interview guests are commoditized. You know, just chatting to someone, a book author or whatever, it’s just been done to death, you know, from the mixer, geez through to Tim Ferriss, to Entrepreneur on Fire probably was the big bullet in the market that just wore everyone out. It’s got a lot, he got a lot of noise, but not much signal. So as there’s a lot of episodes a second, basically, if you can listen to the same person on 50 other episodes and they have the exact same content, then your podcasts will become commoditized. That’s why even as a guest, I always look to offer something custom for the audience, or unique to that podcast episode, as a courtesy to my host, to make sure they’ve got something useful to go out to the market with you know, you want to choose guests who are going to deliver, if it doesn’t meet your standard, you should cut it and don’t publish it.
If you can come up with a formula that works well for your audience. That’s not the same as everyone else’s, that would be ideal. So for me, the thing that works particularly well as case studies with my customers, because for most of those, my customers are not famous in every case, they’re not no one’s ever heard of them before. So they’re not listening to it, because they’re anamod with Richard Branson. They’re listening to it, because there’s case studies relevant to their situation, and they could probably learn something that could help them be better off. And those episodes sell well. So it’s good. I love putting a spotlight on my successful customers, because it makes me feel good to see that they’ve succeeded and that they’re able to proudly share it. It’s inspiring for my other audience who feel like they would like to have a similar victory for themselves.
I also do solo episodes where now I’m more vulnerable and putting more stories. And going a bit deeper in the personal and my audience, I love that. They’ll take as many of those as I can get, they get much more listeners. And I get lots of emails back when I do that. So if you’re prepared to put yourself out there a bit, instead of sitting back, then your audience will appreciate it. Even if you don’t please everyone, you’ll not resonate with everyone. But you want to get more emotional and stir, stir people more and share more.
Brad: Yeah, it makes total sense storytelling and sharing that kind of vulnerability, pulling back the curtain, so to speak, showing like the real person and the copywriting world that’s people always emphasize that’s one of the main sort of focuses, especially these days is more storytelling than ever.
James Schramko: In fact, there’ll be hardly any marketing without a story in the future. That’s why I was doing documentaries eight years ago, for my customers in markets where they find it generally hard to market. Because I’m talking about markets like Injury Law, no one wants to know an ambulance chaser unless they’ve just slipped on a banana peel. And car dealers, car dealers have a terrible reputation. You know, people dread going to the car dealer that experiences the same physiological experiences when they go to the dentist to have a tooth drilled. And the story can break through that. So I use stories in documentaries, and build up an audience for them in a really great way that was super rare at the time, but it will become the normal.
Brad: Yeah. James, you touched on this a little bit earlier, social media, but what is your perspective on social media as a lead gen strategy. These days, some pretty influential people are sort of keying in on Facebook as the all in one platform, so to speak, to build authority, and start conversations with prospects and even message people to start, you know, sales prospecting conversations, one on one. Any thoughts on that kind of approach?
James Schramko: That sounds fun. That is a great platform because everyone’s there. It’s easy to have a conversation. It’s easy to draw out your perfect prospect, you can advertise on it. I’d be cautious of that being the only place of course, because I’m extremely against being single source dependent. We will do it on the basis that we have a plan in case Facebook doesn’t like us anymore. When those ban our ad account. Well, they block you from the platform because they don’t like what you’re doing which they will probably do at some point because countries do what most people think they’re not very important to Facebook. Unless you’re a multinational, spending millions of dollars a month on ads, you don’t even blip on their radar. So, as long as you’ve got a back up plan, that sounds like a great strategy.
Brad: Okay, interesting. I wasn’t expecting you to, I thought you’d have sort of a different perspective from that. So that’s, that’s cool to hear. The reason I was interested is I’ve tried it a bit myself, and just for me to sort of get a little distracted inside Facebook, because there’s so many conversations, so many notifications and things going on.
James Schramko: Well, you put me on the filter of for business, if you ask me the question, is Facebook a good place to be to learn or to spend your spare time, then I’d be quite against it, maybe to learn, and maybe only if it was included in part, of course, however, social media requires massive self discipline, or you’re going to be spending four or five or six or seven or 10 hours a day on it. And it’s going to rob your money. Facebook will stick its hand. I’m talking about a metaphor here. So hopefully, the legal team and Facebook aren’t gonna think that this is literal, but that they you know, the time you spend on social media will reach into your wallet and take money out of your wallet from you unless you’re effective with it. So it is a hit and run approach.
I don’t keep any of those apps on my computer, I just log in via a browser manually, do what I need to do, and then get out. But more importantly, my team posts my videos to my pages and stuff. I’m not spending a second there that I don’t have to because it is a massive waste of time.
Brad: Have you seen the movie on Netflix called the social network or the social dilemma is social dilemma? Yeah, I think that’s what it’s called.
James Schramko: Yeah, that was a real eye opener, though there was nothing new or interesting to me in that, because I was already aware of it. Having done the research on it already. No, it’s not good. Because the people I coach get sucked into it. The other one, they get sucked into their inbox. That was probably the pre social media death. Social media has taken over. In people like Gary, they will say that’s not social media. It’s not bad. It’s the user. That’s how you use it. It’s a tool, however, that that documentary pretty much highlights that, you know, was started off innocently and for good purpose. Everyone’s experiencing their own little bubble that no other person is having the same social media experiences you. And if you don’t realize that, you start to get a warped picture of the world.
And I’m lucky because I’ve got activities like surfing, and I spend a lot of time away from my office. I’m really I’ve cut my workweek down about nine hours a week now. And I don’t want to waste my life on social media. So you won’t see me there all the time. And I’m also fortunate that my business model gets people to send me emails instead of messages that are unlikely to answer messages on Facebook, but I’m definitely going to answer their email.
Brad: Okay, yeah, that’s a goal for a nine hour workweek. That’s pretty amazing. That’s something to strive for, I dare?
James Schramko: Well, it depends. Some people just live for the energy burst of working all the time. And that’s okay. If you want to do it, and you love it, and it’s your life’s purpose, then go for it. So I’m not judging anyone for working longer. I’ve done it. I’ve worked hundred hour weeks or whatever. People in Japan, some of them take it so far, they’ve even created a term for it. karoshi is death from overwork. So those people are in the grips of someone else’s control. If you don’t control your life, then obviously you fall into someone else’s control pattern. And same with your own thoughts. If you don’t consciously control your brain, then you’re just fitting into someone else’s. You know, control patents, what they’ve told you, you have to do this and do that some people are doing a university degree because their parents thought it would be a good idea.
They never even thought about it, whether it should be a good idea for them. So how much of our life are we living the way we want? And how much are we living just because we never thought about it or because someone else dictated it? And that’s really a question worth answering.
Brad: Yeah, yeah. That’s, that’s really what it’s about. Ultimately,
James Schramko: I think, do you get to deathbed saying I wish I spend an extra five hours a day on Facebook?
Brad: Right. I have one more question for you, James. And that is about recurring subscriptions. I know you’re a big proponent of that business model. You actually devote an entire chapter in your book talking about recurring subscription businesses. Aside from the sort of the normal or maybe standard version of that model, which is building a community, like an online community, whether it’s Facebook on your own platform or some other place on the internet, have you seen any offers that are that are different from that?
James Schramko: Yeah, I would even contest the word stand off. I mean, if you look at your credit card statement, how many subscriptions would be on there?
Brad: There’s a bunch on my business card.
James Schramko: There’s a lot, right? How many? And what are you paying subscriptions for that aren’t memberships? I bet you’re paying for hosting. You’d be paying for probably amazon prime, maybe iTunes Match or or one of the other sound providers, the names escaping me at the moment, you would have maybe a mobile phone subscription, possibly a car subscription, maybe a bank payment, there’s lots of subscriptions we sign up to and pay ongoing then they’re not memberships. So I built an SEO business that was a subscription service business, it was almost all subscription, 90 something percent subscription to provide services. So there was no information. It was done for your service.
The only information was an audit, which was $20, it was a one time fee. So there’s that.
You could send out a book each month, there’s all sorts of things that you could do that don’t rely on having a membership. I like memberships because they suit my style. And I do them well. And I don’t mind having even an extension that is the forum or the community side, that’s, that’s my sweet spot. I can comfortably post to forums for a living. Not everyone can do that. Some people would hate that. So they build business models that don’t rely on the fact that you could have an evergreen product that is infobase. That’s drip fed on installment plans in micro continuity. If you sell a big, lumpy product, you could have it on pot payments that are effectively turning your one time model into a mini subscription model with time for you to sell something on the next cycle. So I think there’s a lot of ways to approach subscriptions, even things you wouldn’t expect like florists, dentists, etc.
You can buy a lot of things on a subscription now where you just pay a monthly fee. And then you use a certain portion or allocation of service.
Brad: Great. Yeah, one. One example that I’ve seen in the copywriting marketing world that I thought was really cool. It’s called copy out, if you ever heard of that, that offer where they send out a piece of copy like twice a week. It’s old, it’s like a winner piece of copy from you know, however many years back in the day, and basically, the people who sign up for it, they hand copy that piece of copy, and to train their copywriting skills. And basically they’re just selling a subscription to already existing content. I thought that was pretty clear.
James Schramko: Yeah, I helped a copywriter create something similar to that it was like breaking down a winner. And that’s the subscription. So it’s all based on previous test control winners. And of course, I help Kevin Rogers with copy Chief, which is my ultimate copywriters subscription model. You know, to build a million dollar business from a strung out Freelancer was a dream for him. And at times difficult for me, but we got there. And it was great to go, you know, to attend the copy chief live, which was an imprint of my own live event. It was like a version of it, a variant that’s been customized for Kevin, but that was the original source of you know where the blueprint came from. So you can take an idea a long way if you have the right business vehicle.
Brad: Yeah, so copy chief live was the event itself was modeled on your live event.
James Schramko: Based on Superfastbusiness live? Yes. Interesting.
Brad: Yeah, that was a lot of fun. I enjoy that. I’m looking forward to the next one.
James Schramko: Yeah, it would have been a year ago, you know, just about and hopefully we can have another one sometime.
Brad: Yeah, yeah, definitely. James, that was all the questions that I had for you. Is there anything that you wanted to add that we didn’t talk about?
James Schramko: Oh, no. You know, I think your questions are really well considered and I’d expect that from a copywriter. Because that’s something I noticed they do good research and just recognize that the skill skill of a copywriter can be parlayed into many other vehicles, whether it’s writing good emails that sell or helping people tune up webinars that can convert or going broader on on sort of funnel overviews, or getting specialized at paid traffic and being paid traffic copy specialist or spinning it into a story. specialty. There’s lots of ways you can do it. So I think it’s great what you’re doing here, so I appreciate the opportunity to come on and share some ideas.
Brad: Definitely, it was great having you on the show, James, for people who want to learn more about you and what you do. where’s the best place for them to go?
James Schramko: I’m gonna say, James.co
Brad: James.co? That’s a great URL. That’s awesome. It is a good one. Cool. James enjoyed it so much. Thanks again for stopping by. And hopefully we can sync up again at some point in the future and talk more.
James Schramko: That would be my pleasure. Thanks, Brad. Thanks so much.