Pat: Hey everybody what’s up? Go bears and welcome to the fifth session of the smart passive income podcast. I got a quick announcement before I get into the featured content today, featured interview actually with someone who is very inspirational, has a very inspirational story, makes a lot of money and reveals exactly how he does that, doing something he loves. So we’ll get into that in a second but before that I just have a quick announcement and that is we’re only four sessions in to the smart passive income podcast but we are already approaching 2000 subscribers on iTunes. Thank you so much for your support. I can’t believe we’ve already reached that point this early in the series of podcasts that I’m doing. So thank you so much for those of you who are long time followers of the smart passive income blog to those of you who have just found me through iTunes which I know a lot of you have. Some of you emailed me which is really cool. Feel free to check out the blog and just email me and just say hi cause I’d love to know if you just found me through the podcast. But to all of you thank you so much. You’re really keeping me motivated to keep doing this and I don’t plan on stopping so thank you for that. So today I’m actually really, really excited to bring you a guest who I actually hold responsible for bringing you the audio that you are listening to at this very moment. Our guest is none other than Cliff Ravenscraft of podcastanswerman.com and GSPN.tv. Cliff, thank you for coming on the show. Welcome.
Cliff: Hey thank you very much Pat for having me on. I love your new podcast.
Pat: I appreciate it. Well for you listeners out there Cliff and I first met a few months ago when I was actually getting interested in podcasting and when I was asking people who should I go to? Where should I get equipment? Cliff’s name was being thrown around and I checked him out at podcastanswerman.com and we ended up doing a really, really awesome consultation together. Really opened my eyes to exactly what was possible with podcasting and he hooked me up with exactly what I needed to get started and Cliff just thank you so much for all you’ve done for me in the podcasts so far. The quality is top notch and that is not coming from me. That’s coming from the mouths of some of my listeners and some emails that I’ve been getting. They just really love how good the podcast sounds and I attribute that to you and your help. So thank you again for that.
Cliff: Well thank you. I’m glad to hear that it’s going that well for you and I mean I can’t tell you how much of a blessing it is to wake up in the morning and absolutely get up and do what you love for a living and I love it when a client comes along and says hey I want to do a podcast but I want it to sound great too. And when I hear that I love working with those sorts of people. So I’m very excited about the content that you’re producing. It’s something that I think is going to be very worthwhile to a lot of people.
Pat: Well thank you. The only thing I wish I did, was start earlier but I was lost in the beginning but you definitely got me on the right track, so thank you for that. As I got to know Cliff a little bit better and going around his website and seeing exactly what he did. I discovered a lot of really cool things about him and what he does. He oh gosh, he is just a prime example of someone who makes money by doing something they are totally passionate about. Something they really love to do. Taking a passion and just going all out with it and he’s making good money online from doing something he loves. And his passion is of course podcasting. Cliff are you into, why podcasting? Where did this all start and why do you love it so much?
Cliff: Alright. So here’s the deal. I’m a technology geek. I took my first computer apart, a Commodore VIC-20 when I was eight years old and I have been into technology and computers and gadgets since then and when I learned about podcasting in mid 2005 from Leo Laporte. I fell in love with the idea that I could actually find content that was geared around things that I’m passionate about. Being in Northern Kentucky, going to high school, everybody’s into sports. I’m not into that. Everybody is talking about this. They’re talking about that. I’m not into any of that. But nobody wanted to talk technology and geek stuff. So I was one of those guys whenever you go to a little social gathering at a conference, I was an insurance agent and run into people, it was like nobody ever wanted to talk about anything that I was talking about and I didn’t know anything about the things they were talking about. So it was real frustrating and when I was introduced to the world of podcasting, it’s like there was a podcast about everything. And so I started to consume podcasts about topics that I was passionate about and one of those things was the TV show Lost. The TV show Lost was something I already blogging about this. I had screen captures of things that I’ve found that were hidden inside of this show as Easter eggs and I saw my blog just explode. Personally when I started blogging about that stuff and I was already listening to couple of other Lost podcasts out there and they said hey you really should start your own Lost podcast. And I’m like yeah, who’s going to listen to me? Although the idea and the thought intrigue me. So I asked my wife if she would join me and we recorded our first show in December of 2005 and well within a couple of short weeks we had tens of thousands of subscribers.
Pat: That’s awesome and I love Lost. I’m so sad that it’s over. But you actually did have an awesome win right at the finale. You had actually a lost party is that correct? And that all came from your podcast?
Cliff: Absolutely. During the years we’ve always thrown a Lost series premier and finale parties in our home and in local businesses that would sponsor locations and we’ve had people travel from seven countries and 32 different states just to come to Northern Kentucky and hang out with my wife and I to watch the TV show Lost.
Pat: That’s so cool and these people just found you through iTunes and through your blog and through podcasting right?
Cliff: Absolutely. A majority of those people were looking to either buy the soundtrack in iTunes or they were looking to maybe download a single episode for a $1.99 of the TV show in iTunes and as soon as they did a search for those things in iTunes right below the results for music soundtracks and TV episodes were these things called podcasts and they were hah free and yeah thousands and thousands and thousands of people. My daughter is ten years old and when she was eight she launched the Hannah Montana Fan Podcast, 32, 000 subscribers for an eight year old.
Pat: That’s amazing. That’s so cool. Wow. So you’re doing podcasting and all this full time and this is exactly how you support your family and put food on the table right?
Cliff: Absolutely. The first two and a half years it was just a hobby. It started out as a hobby. I never dreamed in a million years that I could do this full time. I was working as an insurance agent in my family’s family run insurance agency. It’s been the business in the family since 1969. I was doing that for 11 years before I left and I was making $87,000 a year sitting, 25% of my income going into a pension account. I mean I had the life and in about five years before I left my dad would have retired if I would have stayed around and it would have been a guaranteed $250,000 a year minimum and nothing but upwards and onwards from there. But I hated my job. I despised it. I didn’t want to even wake up in the morning.
Pat: That kind of sounds similar to my story except I loved my job but then I just got laid off but when you made the choice to switch over to podcasting because of your lifestyle that you’re living that it just wasn’t for you. So that is really, really awesome of you to make that to make that leap and we’ll get into that in a second. But, so you make a living with podcasting. Now what is it that you’re involved in? Like what do you do when it comes to this world of podcasting? Like what do you have?
Cliff: Well basically we have a couple of different things. We have GSPN and then I have a couple of other brands that are under that umbrella. So I started a business called Ravenscraft Enterprises LLC which basically has the GSPN, it’s the Generally Speaking Production Network. It is a network of all of our shows. Since 2005 I’ve personally launched 24 of my own podcasts. And out of those 24 different podcasts that we’ve launched I’ve produced more than 2,200 individual episodes. Those are all shows that I’m in and that’s I’ve added it up once before just a little bit over 2,000 hours of content that is available online.
Pat: Wow. Okay so you’re really going all out with this and you love to do this. So it doesn’t really feel like work to you does it?
Cliff: It doesn’t feel like work at all. I’m not kidding when I say sometimes I wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning and just can’t wait to get started on my day. And sometimes it’s just not healthy and I had to launch a new brand called pursuing a balanced life which is another podcast that I have. And it’s basically, it was really difficult so I can get up at 5 o’clock in the morning and I’d want to work until three or four in the morning and it was, it got crazy cause I love what I do. I mean it’s not work its play. I play all day long. Well that’s not true. You’re going to ask me some other things down the road that I know about. So it wasnt all fun and games but now I’m at a place where it is so awesome.
Pat: So you’re really like as Gary Vaynerchuk would say, you’re really cashing in on your passion. Like you’re living proof like what he says in his book can be done. Because I would never have thought that anyone would be able to make a living off a podcasting. Just like how I’d never thought that I’d be able to make a living selling a study guide for this little tiny exam in the architecture industry.
Cliff: It is definitely possible. Guys if you haven’t done so go get Crush It from Gary Vaynerchuk. Read it and believe it. It is absolutely true. In fact out of that entire book, I actually decided at that time I was wanting to do a companion thing. I wanted to call it Cliff’s Notes On Crush It and I was just going to go chapter by chapter and just give my thoughts on everything he said why I believe with the exception of one thing he said that I totally disagree with.
Pat: Which is?
Cliff: And there’s one spot in his book where he talks about somebody says so Gary I need to figure out what camera should I get and he goes who cares about that crap your video quality doesn’t matter and I hate to argue with him. I believe quality does matter.
Pat: Yeah we’ve had this conversation before when I was starting out.
Cliff: yeah that one, that one is, that one’s the big one for me. I believe content is king. There is no question. You’ve got to have good content but man I believe quality is the queen and we all know especially if you’re married sometimes the queen will trump the king.
Pat: No seriously I mean some people they listen to podcasts or they read blogs and if the content isn’t presented in an easily digestible fashion. They just won’t read it at all or listen right?
Cliff: That is absolutely correct and in fact if you have just a second I know this will come through for you what I’m going to do, I’m going to play just a little audio clip for you. Listen to this. Alright.
Mignon: I think I listened to them early on when they didn’t have their sound quality and I dismissed them because I’m really picky about my sound.
Cliff: Oh I love to hear that. Did you hear that folks?
Mignon: I won’t listen to a podcast that has bad audio even if it’s very interesting.
Cliff: There you go. That is Mignon Fogarty also known as Grammar Girl. One of the, arguably one of the more popular podcasters in the world.
Pat: Yeah. Quality matters, I mean like you say content is important but the way it’s presented is just as important. That I feel the exact same way especially coming from a design background.
Cliff: Very cool. I’m glad you agree and your show’s quality is amazing and I have no doubt because of the content matched with your quality and the fact that you have this thing called passion for what you’re talking about. I think you have a recipe that is literally impossible to fail with.
Pat: Oh I guess only time will tell but I’m going to keep going at it cause I just enjoy doing it. Even if it doesn’t go to extreme heights. It doesn’t matter cause I’m really enjoying what I’m doing. When you’re talking about Gary Vaynerchuk, you’re talking about belief in what you’re doing, in your passion and a lot of people don’t have that belief. They don’t really think they can do what they love for a living. They just don’t think it’s possible. And I remember listening to a recent episode of podcastanswerman where you talked about that leap of faith you took from working your nine to five job, your $87,000 a year job over to going to podcasting full time. Can you tell that story and how you made that transition and how it worked out for you?
Cliff: Absolutely. Do you mind if I plug two personal podcasts real quick in this?
Pat: Of course not.
Cliff: Alright. The very first one cause there’s two hours worth of content. That if you want to hear the full story here’s where you go. The first one go to GSPN.tv/passion. That will take you to episode 425 of Pursuing A Balanced Life which is called Pursue Your Passion And The Money Will Follow and then immediately after that go to GSPN.tv/passion2 and that’s going to forward you to a link that is Family From The Heart and I don’t remember what episode number but anyway it’s called Difficult Decisions and it’s where my wife and I sit down and talk about what the first year was like.
Pat: Yeah I would want to definitely listen to that.
Cliff: So check those two podcasts episodes out. But let me just give you the very, very short Cliff’s notes version of this one. The first year very scary. Lots of anxiety leaving $87,000 a year behind with no business model which I don’t recommend by the way and no business experience. I’ve always worked for other people my entire life so running a business, had no clue what to do. And really no idea of how I was going to earn any income. I just knew I was going to do it. I had the passion but it was very scary. There were nights literally I didn’t sleep because I was afraid that if I fell asleep I might die. I mean that’s how high the anxiety was the first year I decided to step out and do this on my own especially the first three or four months. It was really bad. And by the way I quit my job after I gave a 90 day notice and from that point forward I had nothing else other than the option to, it was kind of like they say hey did you hear about the commander who took his men to battle to this island and then he demanded that they burn the ships because there’s only two things. It’s either you die or succeed.
I went in with that mentality. And so lots of sleepless nights. It was very scary. Very difficult. I will, I’ll tell you, I was debt free minus my mortgage thanks to some insights from Dave Ramsey. We had completely paid down our debts. We were debt free minus my mortgage. I told you I had a very successful financial career in insurance which had a pretty sizable pension. I don’t believe in debt so I didn’t want to borrow any money. I did borrow $14,000 out of my pension account that first year just to make ends meet. It was tough. However, the second year it wasn’t as scary. The first half of it, it was a little scary. It was moderate. But the second half of the second year and I’ll tell you I’m in the third year now and well let’s just put it this way. This year I’m making more money than I’ve ever made in my life and it is out of this world. I work less than what I; the thing is though is I put countless hours into those first two years. Countless hours, I’m talking six days a week, 12 to 14 hours, kind of countless hours.
Pat: Yeah and that is exactly what it takes to get to this point. I mean the same thing for me and that’s why the tag line of the show is putting the hard work in now so you could reap the benefits later. That’s what it’s all about and it’s hard because during those first years or those first few months when you are on your own and you don’t have income coming in you’re putting work in but nothing is coming to you. No money is coming your way for those first few moments and it can be really scary. I know exactly how you felt.
Cliff: Especially if you get into that mindset of scarcity and you start, I mean people can smell that and they don’t want anything to do with it and I’ll tell you it’s a scary place but oh man…
Pat: Do you think that it was because of that scarcity, because your back was up against the wall that you eventually broke through and became successful?
Cliff: I think so. I know what your next question is, if you want to ask it cause it leads right into that.
Pat: Sure and that question is, knowing what you know now if you could go back into time and do it all over again would you take the same route?
Cliff: I get this question asked of me a lot and I’ll be honest with you. I really have to say I don’t want anything. I would not want to change anything. Now would I change things? Absolutely, absolutely because man I’d be rich today. Oh my gosh if I knew what I, today what I knew then but the thing is I wouldn’t know what I know today if I didn’t go through all that crud in the beginning. I made so many mistakes. I did, I had so many different mindsets that were completely wrong that needed a major transformation. I needed a what do you call that, I needed a major paradigm shift in the way that I thought about so many aspects of life and business and happiness and what success is and I failed in so many different ways but I needed all of that to make me who I am today and so I would never want to rob myself of those experiences. As painful as many of them were even if gosh I gained so much weight. I’ve lost in the last, since I started pursuing abalancedlife.com I’ve lost 60 pounds and that’s in the last year and a half.
Pat: Well congratulations that is awesome.
Cliff: Thank you but I’ll tell you what. Even what I did to my, I just, I learned so much about who I am and to answer your original question. Yes it was all of that stuff that really forced me to succeed. I remember it was like three weeks before I was ready to leave the family agency which by the way is ran by my dad. Okay. He owns, my dad owns the agency. And so I went to my dad and say oh man, dad I’m looking at this I’m getting a little nervous here. What do you think about me sticking this out, I’d like to work here for you for the next six months and I’ll work here Monday, Wednesday and Friday and I’ll build my business on Tuesday and Thursday and on the weekend and during the evenings. And he says to me no. He says listen you either got to quit that podcasting stuff or you need to go for it because you can’t serve two masters. And I’ll tell you what I literally thought that was the most evil, mean thing I’ve ever heard in my life but I am so glad he told me that. I’m so glad and I will tell you it was tough but he was so right. I think if I would have had, if for me personally if I wouldn’t have had to make it or break it I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t, I don’t think it would have driven me to the success that I’m at today.
Pat: I feel the exact same way about my layoff like when it first happened I was devastated. I didn’t know where my life was going, didn’t know what to do but looking back it was probably the best thing that has ever happened to me because it put me in that mindset that I had to succeed, that I had to actually build a business online and make it work for my family and for my, just for my life.
Cliff: It’s like young married couples who say we can’t have kids cause we can’t afford it, we can’t do it and when you get pregnant and all of a sudden guess what? It works.
Pat: Yeah and oftentimes they can afford having kids and they love it and they wouldn’t have taken it back. And it’s true the mistakes are important and a lot of people are afraid to fail. They are afraid to make those mistakes. They want to be perfect but we can’t, you can’t think like that because it’s those mistakes that kind of educate you to perform better next time. It’s like I like to use this analogy. It’s like in the dating world you date around and you explore the different characteristics of different people that you’ve been dating and you find out exactly what you like and what you don’t like and what mistakes you made so that when you eventually find that right person. You can treat him like you should and life is beautiful.
Cliff: Absolutely. The education from all of that stuff is invaluable.
Pat: Yeah. So lesson don’t be afraid to make mistakes just go out and do something and if it doesn’t work at least learn from your mistakes cause if you don’t learn from your mistakes then you’re really, really making a mistake. Awesome. That’s really great stuff. Now let’s switch modes a bit and get into more about how you’re actually generating an income from podcasting. Can you share with us, the different methods that you earn an income from podcasting?
Cliff: Sure. I remember starting out with donations. It would actually happen within the first like four or five episodes. Our audio quality was so crappy that one lady says I really love your content but man it’s hard to listen to. Can I send you a couple hundred dollars and you go out and get some nice, a mixer and a couple of microphones.
Pat: Oh that’s awesome.
Cliff: And I was like yeah you could do that. That would be great. So we started out with some donations and we had some good success with some donations but I certainly don’t recommend that route at all to anybody for any reason whatsoever unless you’re seriously just doing this as a hobby. And if you’re doing this as a hobby that’s really I don’t think that’s your target audience. So we’re not going to concern ourselves with that. But I really suggest that you not go the donation route. The next one that I did is I tried out some CPM advertising. This is cost for a thousand. So you get let’s say somewhere between 20, 40 dollars for every thousand downloads that you get of your podcast. This is a total rip off and it is so old media and it is I think, I mean I won’t withhold my opinion here. It stinks. I just think that you are really getting the raw end of the deal when you go to that thing unless you’re like Leo Laporte, you got 750,000 people downloading your show and you’re charging $80 per thousand then I think you’re good. I think Leo Laporte by the way podcasting full time, of course he still does the radio show but This Week In Tech three million dollars in revenue, I mean come on seriously.
Pat: Yeah I love Leo Laporte. My dad listens to him all the time. That’s how I was introduced. That guy just knows his stuff, that’s for sure.
Cliff: Yeah I love Leo Laporte myself. Aright so here’s the, I don’t suggest CPM advertising or donations but this is where I found some really good success. One is sponsorship so every now and then like if you go to virtualassistantpodcast.com, I felt that, by the way I always podcast about things I’m totally passionate about and I became extremely passionate about having a virtual assistant and how it can help your business. So after I heard about virtual assistant I was talking about it in Pursuing A Balanced Life and I’m like you know what I could do a podcast just about this topic and I got enough material and I’m going to be using my experience. I have access to people I could interview. So I went to the firm that I used to hire my virtual assistant and said by the way I’m only paying I was paying $380 a month for my virtual assistant and I will just say that it’s more than double that what they pay me for the sponsorship of my podcast to talk about virtual assistants for 30 minutes a week. So it’s a good deal and by the way I was able to work out that sponsorship with zero subscribers and I was able to do it in such a way that they signed up for a minimum of three month commitment right up front and they have renewed.
Pat: How’d you ended up, how’d you manage to get that done?
Cliff: I basically, what I did is I went to podcastanswerman.com which is the, my primary podcast for my business and I just told them, I said hey you guys like podcastanswerman where I answer all your questions about podcasting? If so, if you have any interest in what this thing is about having a virtual assistant I’m going to do the same exact format only it’s going to be virtualassistantanswerman but it’s just going to be called the Virtual Assistant Podcast. If you’re interested do me a favor and call on the voicemail feedback hotline as if you’re living a question for that show. I had I don’t know 20, 30 different voicemails that came in. I got on the phone with the CEO of a contemporary VA and I played all the questions. These are the things people want to know and they are desperately waiting for me to answer them and I have two options. One I can make this premium content where people have to pay me to get it or you can be responsible for giving it for free to everybody in the world.
Pat: That’s awesome.
Cliff: So she signed up. It only took me about 20 minutes to lock, to seal and deal that one.
Pat: So that would have never happened unless you had asked, just asked?
Cliff: Just asked, the other thing is I have a sponsorship with mardel.com. Anyway if anybody goes to M-A-R-D-E-L.com/GSPN, totally awesome, check it out. It’s my branding on their corporate website. I’m not kidding you. So M-A-R-D-E-L.com/GSPN. They have been a sponsor of familyfromtheheart.com for two and a half years and there is no doubt in my mind that this is an ongoing sponsorship. Also got that sponsorship with zero subscribers at the time. I launched the show for them and not only that but they actually sought me out. The person who approached me is one of my community members that listens to my podcast and he wanted, they wanted to sponsor the Lost podcast and I said it’s just not the right fit but I have an idea for a new podcast if you want to talk about it and that’s where we worked it out. So sponsorships, either one of those on their own would pay my mortgage every month and my mortgage is the only debt that I have. So my mortgage is covered twice just by doing two podcasts a week.
Pat: That’s awesome. That’s amazing.
Cliff: Now I have the premium membership for the other podcasts. I produce about seven to ten episodes a week. Sometimes as many as fifteen episodes in a single week. We do this on a weekly basis. most all of our shows are weekly and what we do is we give at least a minimum of one episode per month for free on the free feed and if you want every episode of every podcast on a weekly basis its only $10 and that’s a plus membership. And $10 a month gets you access to all of or shows every week and several of our shows every episode is available for free like podcastanswerman.com. That’s my business marketing, about what I have to offer and answering people’s question for free and there are some shows that I give away for free but premium membership by the way I’m just two people away from 400 people who pay me $10 a month.
Pat: Nice, that’s awesome.
Cliff: Alright. So I do equipment sales. I have podcastanswerman.com and I do equipment sales. Now this is not affiliate. It is not affiliate at all. I am an official reseller for a wholesale provider of professional audio equipment to all the radio stations and TV stations in the US.
Pat: Okay so you buy equipment kind of maybe at a discount price cause it’s wholesale and then you sell if for more?
Cliff: It’s even better than that. I talk with my clients and get a list of all the things they want to buy. I then charge them my rate for all of that equipment. I then call, put the order in to my supplier who then ships it out blind which means basically they ship it directly from their warehouse to my client without any of their advertisements or shipping and anything on it. It’s all as if it’s coming from me.
Pat: So it’s kind of like drop shipping.
Cliff: They drop ship it. And so they drop ship it and basically they charge me, you’re right the wholesale cost on it because I order so much. In the last two and a half years I don’t have it, you know what it will only take me one second to load it. I will tell you how much I’ve sold in equipment which is out of this world. Equipment orders one tab, $131,000 in equipment.
Pat: Geez. That’s awesome.
Cliff: So that is how much in equipment sales that I’ve done and again not affiliate marketing. Now I do also some affiliate marketing. One day I was watching geekbrief.tv. Cali Lewis talked about the Kodak Zi8 camera which by the way you can find at podcastanswerman.com/KodakZi8. Anyway…
Pat: That’s a small camera that has a little usb port built into it right?
Cliff: Yeah and it’s an HD handy cam that actually has built in audio input. So you can actually bring audio from your mixer and put it straight into the video instead of having that across the room sound. Totally awesome. So I saw this on geekbrief.tv. I went to best buy, immediately bought it. Within 30 minutes of actually seeing it on geekbrief.tv I went and bought. Came home within an hour of seeing on geekbrief.tv I had recorded my own video review of it. Put it on YouTube. Created a blog post at podcastanswerman.com/Zi8 and out a link to my affiliate with Amazon and I made like $300 that first day that I put that blog post online.
Pat: That’s really good cause I know I do some affiliate stuff with Amazon too and they don’t pay very much. Maybe like 6 to 8% if that, so getting $300 from doing something like that within an hour is just freaking amazing.
Cliff: It was within a couple of hours but it only took me about an hour of my time to accomplish it all and but within the first couple of days I made a couple hundred dollars and of course sizeable audience and people were retweeting this thing like crazy on twitter and facebook and it was just, I mean it got pretty good. Now if you do it. I think if you do a search on Google for Kodak Zi8 review I might even pull up pretty high up in the results and people are still buying it today as a result of that. It’s amazing and that was months ago. So also I do one on one consulting and I get paid lots of money to do consulting. I think you’ve hired me so you know and I won’t go into what my hourly rate is but anybody wants to know they can contact me and I’ll tell them.
Pat: It’s worth it.
Cliff: Thank you and then of course I also do webinars, teleseminars and various digital products and by the way I had just become convinced of mailing lists back in October of this past year. I’m not kidding I told you I made a lot of mistakes. I didn’t know about the power of email marketing. And I still do it all wrong compared to what everybody says I should do but I don’t send out like newsletters. I just say hey if you want to sign up for my mailing list please understand the purpose of my mailing list is to tell you when I have something to sell you and so basically I only get people who sign up for that list who are interested in finding out what I have to sell them.
Pat: Well, there’s your highly targeted audience right there for sure.
Cliff: Exactly, so from October through January of this past year and through January of this year 2010, I had only had just over a hundred people on my mailing list and I announced a seven week podcastanswerman boot camp webinar where I would do seven different two hour sessions, training people how to do the things that people hire me the most to teach them how to do. Adobe audition for podcasters. WordPress for podcasters. All of this different stuff and a hundred bucks a person for two hours and I limited the class size. I made $10,000 in one week this month or in January of this year. $10,000 with one email sent to that group of just over 100 people on my mailing list.
Cliff: So and then of course I do digital video training product. So I took that two hour video webinar where people were on the telephone, I recorded everything in studio high quality audio on my end. I used screen flow to capture the video, the full screen video but then I spent eight hours using screen flow doing post production. Eight hours of zooming in and panning and putting text overlays and explaining things. Eight hours into building these into digital audio products which if you go to podcastanswerman.com/products you see you can now purchase all of those for a hundred bucks a piece.
Pat: That’s awesome. That’s kind of what I’m interested in. I’ve written a blog post about that kind of method before where you kind of teach a class or webinar or teleseminar or something and then you can package it into something digital that you can sell for a very long time after, after the fact and…
Cliff: I have a virtual assistant who is transcribing word for word everything that was spoken in that digital training product and she’s creating an eBook for me.
Pat: There you go that is even more passive income right there. Now a lot of the methods you mentioned maybe not the sponsorships but equipment sales and some of the affiliate stuff you do and obviously the consulting, that takes up a lot of time so what I want to know is what would you say from what you earn, the methods that you earn income, what would you say takes up the least amount of your time?
Cliff: The least amount of my time overall but the most about of my time actually creating them is digital training products cause it takes, I spend a lot of time creating them, thinking them out in advance, marketing them for the live show and getting people to come and participate and then recording them and teaching them and then post production. I spend no less than 8 hours of post production on those things. By golly I will tell you this I have; I think I have eight digital training products on my site. I will say that anybody who has purchased one of them, eight out of ten of them have purchased three or more.
Pat: That’s awesome.
Cliff: So you buy one people come back for more and it’s because again it’s not just the content but by golly I go way overboard on quality.
Pat: And that’s what you have to do. I mean if you want to become successful and build a brand for yourself and have products that sell other products for you. You have to go overboard and that’s something I really believe in. Just giving away content whether its free, whether it’s paid just over delivering and leaving an impression on people, on your customers, who then tell their friends or who are happy to pull out their wallets and pay for something again because they know it’s going to be top notch quality. Now okay that’s good. I’m glad we talked about those digital training products cause I think that is probably the most passive form of income that you have even though you put in all this time and effort to put those things together like I said its putting the work in now so you could reap the benefits later. So we kind of had this conversation, I think it was like a week ago where you talked about how you set up your iphone using boxcar to do something cool and your kids really enjoy that. Could you just walk us through really quick how that works cause it’s kind of cool?
Cliff: it’s great. I’m using ejunkie for my ecommerce and so somebody buys me, buys a digital product. It’s all completely automated. I don’t have to do a single thing. You go to my site you click; you add it to the cart you process your payment through PayPal and you get immediate delivery. Then an email is sent to me saying hey you’ve just made a sale. Well I have this iphone application called boxcar and it has the ability where you can send emails to a specific email address and it will send a push notification to your phone. So I went in to Google and I said hey anytime an email with this subject line from ejunkie comes in I want you to immediately forward it to this boxcar address. And then boxcar gets that email and you can actually, it has various different ring, sounds that it will alert you with and one of them is a cash register going kaaa ching. And so every single time my sight sells a new product without me doing anything I love it. We were on vacation, we went on vacation. I just went on a four day vacation and we were driving on our way to our vacation just having a great time as a family and we were listening to some music off the iphone and all of a sudden the music would dim down for a second and you could hear ka ching.
Pat: Nice, while on vacation you’re earning an income. That’s awesome.
Cliff: It is. It is the coolest thing in the world and the kids were like hey dad can we go see this movie? Can we go? I said I tell you what kids if we make three product sales before tomorrow night we will go, we’ll just go out and we’ll see a movie. We’ll go see this movie at and it was a movie they wanted to see again. And so they were just waiting for the phone and every time the phone would go ka ching they were like yeheey. It was totally awesome.
Pat: That’s so cool. Oh God that’s its literally one of the best goings in the world I mean to earn an income without having to put real time work into it because you’ve already done the work and that happens to me when I was on my honeymoon actually on February of 2009 or actually in March of 2009. I was married in February 21st of 2009. We went on a honeymoon to Hawaii and that was my most profitable month ever. I had made more in that one week than I had made more in previous months of doing business online and I was on vacation too. So if you set things up correctly and you understand how to implement modes of automation and whether it’s through software or even using real people like VAs you can build a business for yourself that works on autopilot and it’s a wonderful, wonderful thing. So thank you for sharing all those techniques that you used to make money and your stories and stuff and I’m sure the listeners love hearing hearing about that. It’s really inspiring and hopefully it’ll get people off their butts to actually put some hard work in now even though they might not see money from it right away but to just believe in theirselves and crush it with their passion and eventually get to that point where they can be driving and hear their iphone music dim and hear that ka ching.
Cliff: Absolutely man.
Pat: So we’re coming up to the end here. Just one more thing I want to ask you or a couple things. First knowing what you know about internet business and how cash flows online now I mean you’re obviously really successful. What are three tips that you’d like to share with anyone starting out with trying to make money doing what they love?
Cliff: Alright here’s…number one. Give up on the myth of overnight success. It isn’t going to happen. People aren’t going to recognize you right away as a thought leader. You’re not going to immediately see sales. Honestly be prepared to put a minimum of six to eight even ten months of hard, hard work. Building yourself a brand and all of this other stuff before you really start to see any sort of significant return at all. And I’ll be honest with you I just share with people. Listen you think Cliff’s successful? I would agree. I feel like I’m successful as well but it really wasn’t until the second part of the second year of me doing this full time that I really started to see that amount of success and by the way I did it for two and a half years as a hobby before I went and did this full time. So certainly I am not an overnight success but today I love getting up at five, four in the morning and I can’t wait to start my day and I think creatively all day long about all the different things I can do for people and help them that make me money and I now am able to spend a lot of time with my wife and with my kids and I have more fun than I’ve ever had. I’m happier than I’ve ever been but don’t think it’s going to happen overnight and I seriously, I think you should recrush it because Gary Vaynerchuk was the first person I know that really said listen you’re going to be bleeding out your eyeballs. If you want to be successful the way that we build it you’d be bleeding out your eyeballs and I was willing to do that.
The second one is only do things that you’re seriously passionate about, seriously. You hear, it’s like oh my gosh his ten year old daughter when she was eight started the Hannah Montana fan podcast and because people were searching for Hannah Montana that was huge. Well let me tell you something my daughter was passionate about Hannah Montana. That’s what kept an audience of 32,000 subscribers to our podcast, alright? And in fact when she actually kind of she kind of got over Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus she completely hates her now. She actually, she didn’t change the feed at all but she just rebranded the podcast and now it’s The World According To Megan and she still has about 20 to 30,000 subscribers that still listen to it. So but now she only talks about things that she’s passionate about. So again only do things that you’re really passionate about. Don’t do things just to earn money.
And then the third thing that I will tell you is never accept, don’t ever attempt to do anything unless there is always a win win for everyone. So things, you’re going to be able to do a lot of things that will make you money online but the question is will what is making you money, that person that is paying you that money, is it a guaranteed win at least if they were to take the initiative to do with whatever they want to do with it. Is it a likelihood that they could experience a complete win that has value far beyond what they actually paid you for it? And if the answer to that question is no don’t get involved in it.
Pat: Yeah I wholeheartedly agree with you on all three of those things. It’s just making the internet and a better place and everyone’s a winner. And lastly, the last question I would like to ask you and I ask this to every guest here on the show. What’s working for you? What’s working for you right now? What’s the one thing that our listeners can take away from this, from you and your advice and your knowledge that you’re doing right now that they can apply to their online business blog, podcast or just life in general. What’s one thing that is working for you right now?
Cliff: One thing that has worked for me from day one is giving away lots of free stuff all the time with zero strings attached. Give it all, I mean it sounds crazy but give it all away. I encourage anybody. Go to podcastanswerman.com. What is there, I think 169 hours of episodes where every week I answer peoples questions for free. I understand a lot of people can’t hire me one on one so what do I do when they send me questions via email which I get 40 to a hundred plus a day. I send them an email back saying thank you very much unfortunately I can’t do consulting via email. I’m available for one on one consulting but if you can’t, if that’s not in your budget right now here’s the mechanism I use to answer people’s questions for free. Please give me a call on my voicemail feedback hotline. I would love to answer that question for you as long as I can not only give that answer to you but I can give it to a couple hundred other people or a couple thousand other people as well.
Pat: Right, who might be thinking the exact same thing.
Cliff: Exactly and so I have made a lot of valuable friendships and relationships of people who say wow this guy knows what he’s doing and in fact I will tell you in all the time, in the last two years that I’ve been doing this fulltime. Not necessarily, the first six months I spent a lot of time in the mindset of scarcity. So it was a hard time. I spent way too much time trying to convince people that I was worth my hourly rate. Not anymore but in the last two years I’ve never had to actually even had the conversation. In fact sometimes people email me and say hey I’ve heard that you’re the person to talk to. Can you send me, can you convince me why I should hire you and I wrote them back and say listen to the podcastanswerman and if you’re not convinced after two or three episodes then there’s nothing I can say to convince you. But I have had people who say I found you on a Google result looking for a mixer or mix minus information and I’ve listened to about 30 hours of your content and now I’m ready to hire you.
Pat: Yeah, it takes some people a little bit more to convince them but because you’re out there and you put all of this free information out there. You can hit people who are, who need 30 hours to listen to you.
Cliff: Yup absolutely.
Pat: Awesome. Thank you so much Cliff. I mean you are truly a genuine person. You know a lot about podcasting and online business and you’re just again a prime example of someone who’s just cashing in on their passion. If people want to know more about you, where can they find you? Where would you tell them to go?
Cliff: I’d say based upon this interview and the content that we’ve been discussing I think the best place to start out is just to go to podcastanswerman.com.
Pat: Very well, that’s awesome and do you have like a twitter if people just want to say hi.
Cliff: Sure. I would love to have folks follow me on twitter. Its twitter.com/GSPN. I couldn’t get podcastanswerman cause it was podcastanswerma. They wouldn’t let the n and I couldn’t get twittwer.com/cliffravenscraft cause it had to be cliff ravenscraf no T. So generally speaking production network GSPN. So twitter.com/GSPN.
Pat: Awesome. Thank you so much Cliff. This is some valuable information that I know my listeners will just really, really take in and really feel inspired to do some awesome stuff with. Thank you again so much and we’ll talk soon alright.
Cliff: Thank you man. This has been so much fun. We’ll talk soon.
Pat: Alright thanks Cliff. Everybody I hope you enjoy that interview with Cliff Ravenscraft from podcastanswerman.com. As a reminder you can always visit the blog at smartpassiveincome.com and check out the show notes for each episode that we have. That includes all the links that were talked about in every single episode. I know Cliff went over a lot of stuff today and all those link are available on the blog. And lastly before I let you go please visit Ebooksthesmartway.com to get your free eBook. An eBook that I created. I spend over two months creating it to help you create your own eBook and how to crush it and make it automated and market it and everything about creating an eBook which is exactly how I got started online and built my business and my brand. So check that out again. Ebooksthesmartway.com and yeah that’s it. Thank you so much for listening in and I’ll see you in the next session cheers.