AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield, but I’m not alone today. I have my sidekick, Regis, with me.
His name is Rick Mulready but you know I like to be Regis and Kathie Lee.
RICK: I was hoping you would not intro this episode that way.
AMY: I can’t help myself.
RICK: But alas, you did.
AMY: I just love having you on the show and today’s episode is going to be so good. We are talking about you hitting a $1M year with a considerably smaller list. But we’ve got so much to cover.
Before we get there, how the heck are you?
RICK: I’m doing well. I’m a little bit nervous about this episode.
AMY: You are?
RICK: Yeah, you asked me to do this. We got to talking about this probably four months ago. I was like, “No.” We’re not talking about this.
AMY: He really did. He said, “No.” So what made you think maybe you would do it?
RICK: I just thought a lot about it. Number one, I don’t really love talking about the revenue and stuff like that.
AMY: It feels weird sometimes.
RICK: It feels weird. It’s like, “Look at me,” but I’m so not that way. The other thing was…Well, that was the big thing and why I didn’t want to do it. What sort of shifted for me is I really did honestly think about it a lot for the last couple of months.
You and I got to talking more about it and I think one of the things that happened was such a small little thing. I was doing a one-day workshop in London. It was a Facebook ads workshop in London when my wife, Amy, and I were over in Europe in January.
One of the guys there at the workshop said a random comment. He said, “I heard you talk on your show about how you sometimes record your intro and outro seven, eight, or nine times.”
I was like, “And your point is?” He said he felt so much better after hearing me say that. I was like, “Really?” That’s so normal. But it got me to thinking about this whole iceberg metaphor. I talk about that a lot where people only see what’s above the water. They don’t see what’s going on below the water behind the scenes.
That little comment that he made kind of struck me and I thought I needed to share more of this stuff. I need to share more of the behind the scenes because it is murky. It’s not always smooth sailing.
I’m not going to lie. I’m a little bit nervous about the conversation here today.
AMY: The reason Rick says he’s a little bit nervous is because we are going to talk about some shifts that he had to make in the way he approached his business, the way he looked at his business, the way he looked at himself.
He had to get brutally honest about a few things. So that’s the surprising thing about business. I love to teach the tips and strategies and all of that but I also like to look at how you are thinking, how you’re feeling, why you made those decisions, how they worked for you, if they didn’t work what did you need to shift?
We’ve got to talk about that because so much of being an entrepreneur is in your head. If you don’t recognize that and you only think about the tips and strategies and techniques those techniques will only go so far before they completely crash and burn.
You’ve got to get your head on straight around all of this stuff you’re working on in your business. So we are going to dive into specific shifts that Rick made.
But, because I like the techniques and strategies I also asked Rick at the very end to share with me his email reengagement campaign. What do you do when people are not responding to your email list and they have been there for a while? They aren’t opening your emails, they’re not engaging, what do you do?
He’s got a full-on campaign around that so we will get to the techniques. But, before we get there we’ve got to do the other work. That’s what this episode is really about.
RICK: And that’s what I’m nervous about because we’re going to talk about a lot of things I’ve literally never spoken about publicly. You and I have talked about this in the past in our own private conversations but I’ve never shared this publicly.
AMY: Well here you go. Regis, you’re letting it all out today. So get ready.
RICK: Before we dive in though I do have a quick question for you. How the heck is the new sauna? You got a new sauna and my buddy, Pete in Montana, DIY Pete, who I go visit when I go fly fishing up there, has one of these. He’s had one for years and I’ve used it before and it’s amazing.
Then you got one and because you got one James Wedmore got one. So, how is it? It’s in your backyard there. Is it amazing or what?
AMY: For the record, I got one because my friend, Gabby Bernstein, told me that I had to get one. So it kind of trickles down. I absolutely love it. I will link to the company I used in the show notes since you asked.
It’s something I do about three times a week, if not more. I sit in it for about 30 minutes. It’s a dry sauna so it’s infrared. It’s room for just about me. Hobie and I could sit in there together but I don’t like to be touching somebody’s skin when they’re sweaty just sitting next to me.
It would be kind of a tight fit because he’s got big shoulders. I just go in it on my own. Plus, Hobie doesn’t even want to go into it. But it is so great to clear my head, just be completely quiet, and it also helps with inflammation. I know with stress I’ve got a lot of that.
RICK: I was just going to ask you what are the big benefits of it.
AMY: To me, it’s all about inflammation and it is a great anti-aging tool as well. You know, I’m in my 40s now.
AMY: Yes. It helps with that. And, not to get to vain or anything, but you should see how many people tell me my skin is looking great and it is really partly due to the sauna.
RICK: Do I need to get a sauna?
AMY: You really do. It’s kind of the best thing ever. I highly recommend it. The next time you come over you’ve got to come into my sauna.
RICK: Alright, okay, cool. Yes.
AMY: I didn’t even know you were going to ask that. That is so funny. Yes, the sauna is doing great. Thanks for asking.
RICK: Glad to know that.
AMY: Yeah, so good. Here’s what we’re going to do. I’m kind of going to set this up for you, Rick. As always, we’ve prepared for this. We have our notes in front of us. But I want you to take me through this process of getting to $1M in one year.
Just to be really clear, 2017 you hit the million-dollar mark in your business. You made $1M in one year. With that how many people did you have on your email list to get there?
RICK: We have 17,000 on the email list.
AMY: 17,000 people. If someone told me they had 17,000 people on their email list, a student of mine, I would say that number is amazing. That is fantastic. That is a big number. I wouldn’t ever let you say that was a small list.
However, you’re playing with the big boys. You see other people’s lists, Rick. So I’m assuming you look at that list and compared to a lot of your peers you think that list is small.
RICK: Absolutely. It is. We’re going to talk about this today, FOMO…
AMY: Don’t get there. I’m not ready for it. Don’t go there.
RICK: Yes, to answer your question, all of my friends have huge email lists. In comparison it’s minuscule but I would look at the list size and say it is small but, holy cow, we did really, really well with a list size of 17,000.
AMY: Exactly. We’re going to get into that list size and your thoughts around it and basically what it’s all about. But before we get there I also want you to break down how you got to a $1M in terms of what you sold.
Let’s get down to the details. Give me a list of what you sold in 2017 to get to a million bucks.
RICK: Last year we launched our FB Ad Manager program, which is my Facebook ads program for people who want to be starting or have a Facebook ads management business. That teaches the Facebook ads side but also how to create a business.
AMY: How much was that program?
RICK: That is a $1,997 program. So we launched that in March and we actually launched it twice. It was brand new in March 2017 and then later in the year, I forgot when, we did it again. I also had a six-month group coaching program that I call The Intensive.
That was a small group of people we did group coaching for that lasted January to June. It was another one.
AMY: How much was that?
RICK: That was $10,000.
AMY: $10,000 per person?
RICK: $10,000 per person.
AMY: It was six months. Did they ever see you live?
RICK: Oh yeah, it was two different live events.
AMY: What else?
RICK: Then I did my FBA Live Events which are my live Facebook ads workshops here in San Diego. I did two of those. I do two of those in May and December.
AMY: Those are workshops. I’ve been there. People get into the nitty gritty of opening their Ads Manager and doing the work and learning new stuff. How much was that?
RICK: That was $2,000 but at the time we applied some stuff for students who were existing students and so forth.
AMY: So there were some discounts and some opportunities to shave the price down for certain people. I get it. Then what else?
RICK: We relaunched my two other programs, my flagship program, The FB Advantage, and the FB Advantage Local. We relaunched those, I want to say the FB Advantage was maybe twice. Local was once, for sure. I don’t remember exactly but we relaunched those two programs.
AMY: FB Advantage is your signature Facebook ads program?
RICK: Yes, for online businesses.
RICK: Those were $997, both of those. The last thing, and this was a big thing in December, I Iaunched a brand new 12-month group coaching program, which was The Accelerator. That was a big success at the end of the year so it really helped get us to the million as well.
AMY: And how much is The Accelerator?
RICK: That is $15K for 12 months.
AMY: Got it. Okay. So one thing that I love to do is look at what people are selling and how they are getting to the numbers they are getting to. One thing that’s very apparent with the way Rick does things is he’s got some premium pricing in here.
He’s going for some big plays and what’s very interesting about Rick that I know personally because we talk all the time, he’s not necessarily trying to go for getting 3,000 people into one program.
Instead, he’s got a six-month intensive. He’s has smaller workshops. But the price points are higher so he doesn’t have to get 2,000, 3,000, or 4,000 people into a program to make a million dollars in a year.
I feel like it’s more quality than quantity in terms of your business model.
RICK: The reason I do this is because people want different things. Some people want courses. Some people want more of my individual help or my team’s help. Some people want to go into a live workshop and bang this stuff out and implement and get right in there and be done.
Some people want longer term help so that’s what it’s designed to do. It’s basically wherever you are in your business and where you need help most that’s where we have and offering for it.
AMY: I got it. I like it. We went through the fact that you hit a million dollars, had 17,000 people on your list, we went through the different things you did promote. But here’s the real reason we’re doing this podcast episode, as I mentioned, it’s not about the promotions, it’s not about the list size, instead it’s about some core shifts that you made, Rick, to get there.
That’s what I want to dive into today because those are the takeaways that I think my listeners can apply to their own business as well. And, remember, at the end of this episode we are going to share with you Rick’s subscriber reengagement campaign.
If you’ve got people on your list that are not taking action he’s got a campaign that you can apply so you can get those people to either reengage or take them off your list. Were you going to say something, Rick?
RICK: I was just going to make a dumb little comment here. I have one of those little stress ball things when I do podcast episodes. I have it in my hand right now.
AMY: You’re killing me. Then I’m going to do deep because if you’re nervous then I want to make sure I validate that nervousness and really get to the hardest stuff.
RICK: It’s when you’re nervous that the best stuff comes out, I think.
AMY: For sure.
RICK: And that’s when you get the most feedback, it’s like, “I really appreciate that,” and I was the most nervous to be talking about that.
AMY: Exactly. It’s like my episode about my weight. I’d rather stick a pin in my eye than talk about that but there you go. Here it is. I get it.
I’m going to go through the shifts. I’m going to name the shift because I know what it is and then I want you to just tell us about it. First, you shifted how you were thinking about your own email list size. Talk to me about that one.
RICK: The business had been going for a little over four years now. When we first started I was no different than anybody else. I was still getting notifications when people unsubscribed and that was like a dagger in my heart.
It was like, “What? People are unsubscribing from my list?” That killed me. We shifted that really quickly to lose the notifications. As we started talking about before, we hear all the time people throw around list size and stuff like that.
You just never know. I’m, not questioning anybody, but you just never know what the truth about that is. For me, and I think we’re going to talk about this here today, my list size in the middle of 2017 was about 30,000 people.
But, in this reengagement campaign that we’re going to talk about, I had no idea that about half of that list size, about 16,000 of those people were unsubscribes or bounces and all that stuff that were still on the list. I didn’t even know that so we can talk more about that.
That’s the first thing, just be careful when you start hearing people throw a list size around, I’m not questioning their integrity like that, it’s just a matter of that being amazing for them. Where are you at in your own business?
I had huge FOMO when I started hearing people talk about big list size and all that stuff. I wondered what I was doing wrong. I started comparing myself to other people and realized that was not doing me any good.
The worrying and anxiety it was causing and comparing myself to others is not going to allow me to help continue to grow this business. I needed to stop worrying about that list size and just say, “this is what I’m doing in the business, this is how I’m helping people, and I need to stay in my lane.”
I need to do my own thing and I know the whole idea to stop worrying and stay in your lane and dropping the FOMO is easy to say but harder to do. I get it but that was really a big shift for me to happen.
Once I got things in perspective it really helped. It kind of took the pressure off. Also, remembering we can get so caught up in our business and where we are right now. Something that I’ve had to work really hard at is to remember how far I’ve come.
As I mentioned before, the business didn’t exist before January 2014. Four years ago I didn’t have a business.
AMY: Four years ago you did not have an online business. You just hit a million dollars in one year. I want you all to hear that because four years flies by faster than you will ever imagine. This stuff is doable.
RICK: Again, this is all perspective. When you stop and think about it like that, holy cow, that is amazing. Just being in that moment of accomplishment and recognizing how far one has come, and that is what I did.
The other thing I love to do, the gym I work out at downtown in San Diego looks in to Petco Park where the Padres play.
AMY: That’s kind of fancy, Rick.
RICK: It is kind of fancy except during baseball season. It’s a total pain in the butt to go to the gym because it’s crowded and everything. But I often think about this. This is how my nerdy brain works.
I often think about how many people Petco Park holds. I actually looked this up. It’s 42,445 people. To put that in perspective, how many people are either on your email list or you are reaching with your podcast or you are reaching with your videos you’re doing.
Whatever it is, think about standing…I’m a hockey guy and I’m a Washington Capitol die-hard fan. If I’m standing center ice in the Capitols arena that holds about 17,000 or 18,000 people.
Think about that being your audience you’re speaking to. You are speaking to an entire arena. I think that’s such a unique and cool perspective to think about that.
AMY: It really is. Taking this at a much smaller scale. Sometimes my students will say, “I have 500 people on my list, Amy. What am I going to do with that?”
I ask, what if tonight you had to invite all 500 people over for dinner. Would that feel like a lot of people then? It’s just a different perspective. Really the takeaway here is all about perspective and you really need to think about the fact that every single person on your list is a person that has actually raised their hand and said they want to hear more about what you have to offer.
We need to treat each person as though they really matter and, as Rick said, we’ve got to stay in our own lane. Who cares what somebody else’s list size looks like? All we really care is about our own and I think that’s what’s most important.
RICK: Just thinking about having a smaller list. It’s so much easier. We can have more personal relationships with people. If you ask for feedback, send out an email to your list and it’s got content and you’re asking them to hit reply and you ask a question or for a response or something like that, if you have a smaller email list size you are able to respond to those people a lot more easily than if you have a list of 50,000 or 100,000 people.
As you mentioned, you have a greater ability to have that more personalized relationship with people and to respond. It’s a terrible word to use but it’s much more manageable. You can have that greater relationship with them.
AMY: So true. The first shift, you shifted how you were thinking about your own list and you let go of any feelings or thoughts you had about other people’s list size.
The second shift is that you shifted your feeling around your $1M yearly goal. I asked Rick if he had a goal of hitting $1M in 2017 and he said he did. Okay then, what do you mean that you shift your feeling around it? Talk to me about that.
RICK: That was actually our goal. The goal was to hit seven figures in 2017. You and I talked about this. People asked why that was important. For me, honestly, so many people throw it around that they have a seven-figure business.
I feel that would have allowed me to say I made it. Whether right or wrong, that’s how I was thinking about it. That was sort of my mindset around it. It was a holy grail of a number I felt I needed to reach in order to legitimize (is that a word, legitimize?) what I was doing.
As the year was going on we got about six months in, the middle of last year, and I was not on pace at all to do that. I was working really hard. I was killing myself working really hard like I have been for the last several years.
I started to think about at what expense I was doing this. What does this whole million-dollar thing really mean to me? At that point I hadn’t really realized what I just mentioned, why I was really doing it. What is really the reason why?
Do I have to have this number to legitimize my business? Heck no I don’t. I realized it just wasn’t important to me anymore. I realized my goal is still a million dollars but if I don’t hit it it’s okay.
I also realized, and this is something you and I have talked about a lot and as I have mentioned before this is something I had never actually talked about publicly, the business wasn’t fun anymore.
About 2½ years ago I remember distinctly hitting rock bottom. I remember it distinctly because my wife, Amy… I always say, “My wife, Amy,” to distinguish because I’m always talking about you.
AMY: Right. What if you said, “Amy and I were in bed and we were talking…” Let’s just say “your wife,” I like it.
RICK: My wife, Amy, we were living in our original apartment in San Diego, the first place we moved when we moved down from L.A. It was a super small place. It was a one-bedroom place.
Both of our desks were in the living room area. It was a debacle. It was awful. I’m doing interviews and she’s doing stuff because she has an online business as well. It was awful. It was too close for comfort.
I remember one of the things I used to do a lot was work well into the evening. It wasn’t because I was doing stuff. I felt I was moving the business forward when it really truly wasn’t. I had been doing it for so long and it was causing friction with Amy and I just hit rock bottom.
I was super, super depressed. To be honest, I was in a very dark place. I was miserable. We were talking about skin earlier. I have eczema. I’ve had eczema my entire life. Stress and everything makes it worse.
My health started to deteriorate because of it. I was just super stressed out and very depressed. I just started questioning everything. What am I doing?
Kind of fast forward back to last year in the middle of the year when I wasn’t having fun in the business. I was chasing this goal of a million dollars. I wasn’t on pace. What am I doing? Something’s not working.
The whole shift happened for me there. We are talking about shifting. The whole shift happened. I kind of took a step back and I put things in perspective of what I just mentioned. Why am I truly going after this million dollars? What does it really mean to me?
When I realized it was just a number I had put out there because of what I heard in our space where the numbers get thrown around so much I stepped back and said, “You know what? The goal is still there. I’m never going back to that 2½ year ago feeling.”
I hit rock bottom.
AMY: You were miserable.
RICK: I was. You and I talked about that a lot from when I shared that with you and I decided that’s the alternative and it’s not the alternative for me. I’m not going back there. I’m going to have fun with this.
I’m going to do this from a sense of service and a sense of giving and the numbers are going to take care of itself, if you will. That’s what became most important. How am I genuinely adding value to my audience?
That sort of started the shift. It wasn’t overnight. It shifted in the last six months of the year. It took the pressure off. You and I talked about this a lot for these types of things and we sort of let go of these things.
It took the pressure off. I felt like it allowed my personality to kind of shine through more in my business. People were starting to comment on it. They were giving me positive feedback and stuff like that. That was awesome.
Whenever possible I was stepping in to help on a personal level for other people with the messenger strategy. I know you talked about it on your 200th episode.
Just a quick recap, on my podcast I would ask people to message me with their feedback about the podcast and what they wanted to hear with episodes, guests, and all that type of stuff. I would actually go in there and be talking to people.
People would be like, “No, this isn’t you, Rick.” I would have to tell them it was really me. It was just more of that personalized adding value to people and it took the pressure off.
The big takeaway for it, am I stealing your thunder with the takeaway?
AMY: No. Go for it.
RICK: It was that you can’t make it about the money. I know it’s so easy to say that when the business is doing well but you really can’t. When you shift that focus to how you are going to serve and help people the money will take care of itself.
That is sort of the transition I went through at the second half of 2017 where I wasn’t having fun anymore and I wasn’t happy with where things were at. I remember where I was 2½ years ago and I wasn’t going back there so something had to shift and that was what I went through the last six months.
AMY: I love it. Real quick, that messenger strategy you did, anybody can do it. I loved that strategy. Episode #200 at https://www.amyporterfield.com/200 is where Rick gets into all the details about that. A bunch of experts also talk about their own secret strategies they use so definitely check that out.
One thing I want to add to this before I move on to the next shift is that one of the tell-tale signs that you’re making it about something that’s not serving you is when you feel like you are white knuckling it.
Another way to look at it is like you are hustling yourself to the bone but when you’re white knuckling and you’ve got to meet this number, you’ve got to meet this number, how else are we going to sell, what are we going to do? White knuckle, white knuckle, white knuckle.
You know what that feels like. That is when you literally have to let go and say, “I’m going to do something different that serves me and my audience,” and what you are wanting to happen is going to happen naturally because of it.
You just have to tell yourself that.
RICK: And those ideas that something’s not working here and you should probably change things up and try something else, when you’re white knuckling it as you say, those ideas do not come to you as easily or as freely as when you take a step back and say, “You know what, I’m going to let go.”
AMY: Nothing flows.
RICK: That’s when the ideas come to you.
AMY: So true. Moving on to the next shift. These next two shifts are about building your team. Many of you ask me about building the team and how to know you’re ready and who do you hire first and all that stuff comes from team.
I did an episode all about building my team a few episodes back but these distinctions that Rick’s going to share here are so prevalent with so many of us online entrepreneurs. Listen closely here.
This first shift, and I literally watched Rick shift over the year with these two things. I saw it physical in conversations we had and in questions he asked and things he grappled with.
He did the work. You’ve got to do the work with these two things. First, Rick you shifted your mindset from lack to abundance as it relates to team. So talk to me about what that looked like throughout the year.
RICK: Kind of going back to what I was just talking about as far as going into the year thinking that if I’m going to hit a million dollars this year I need help. I can’t do this all myself.
I was already working more than what I felt I really, truly wanted to. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. I love it. It’s not like, “Ugh, I have to go do this,” or anything like that.
At the same time, again, this is another one of those things where I had people helping me on my team. I had a day-to-day assistant and then I had contractors helping me out on a project basis with launches and stuff like that.
That was there but I knew that if I really wanted to take things to the next level I would need to start to let go. I would do that by, not only what we just talked about with letting go from the mind perspective, but also letting go of control and bringing more people onto the team.
The hard part for me was that I wanted to know how I was going to afford this. Even though the business is doing very well my mindset immediately went to, “How are you going to afford this? You don’t have money for this.”
I come from a very middle-class background in New Hampshire and very much from a lack mindset. That has been the biggest thing I’ve had to work on over the past several years, shifting from that lack to abundance mindset.
With that I knew if I invested in bringing people onto my team that was going to help us grow bigger, help us serve more people, and then that would take the pressure off of me from having to do everything in the business.
What I realized was that in order for me to make this work and in order for us to do those types of things I had to shift from that lack to abundance mindset where, you know what, if I bring more people on we get to do all of these different things.
We get to serve more people, I don’t have to take all of the pressure and I get to support them because I’m supporting them as well. That was a huge step for me.
AMY: Huge. And as an online entrepreneur let’s not pretend that it is easy to say, “I’m going to bring you on and I’m going to pay your salary,” whether it be project fee, retainer, hourly rate, whatever it is.
Paying somebody out of an online business that you don’t necessarily always have consistent revenue coming in from is a fricking scary thing. I totally get it. I talked about that a lot in Episode #208 all about growing my team and my big fear that I am paying for somebody’s livelihood.
That’s really where Rick got to. In the next one he’s going to talk about what his team looks like today but he literally is paying for someone to live. That is their main revenue stream. That scares many of us. Rick would you agree? That is a scary thing.
RICK: Absolutely. I struggled with that. The whole idea of building the team has been a massive evolution for me from the mindset perspective over the past four years. It was not something that came easy to me.
This is something that I’ve probably sought the most help on in the business in addition to mindset, how to grow the team, how to be a good leader, and all that sort of thing.
A big part of that, because I’m a control freak, is that you’ve got to let go of that control in order to have a bigger impact on whatever you’re trying to do.
AMY: So true. So hold on. That’s going to be our next shift. One quick second. I’m jumping back in and saying that you learned to move from lack to abundance and also, I think the big takeaway, getting honest with yourself.
Are you not growing your team because you are scared to spend money? If you’re making money and you’re scared to spend the money to bring somebody on your team that is not a good enough reason not to move forward.
That’s where I want to get brutally honest and for you to get honest with yourself and ask yourself if you’re living in that lack versus abundance? It is something that Rick literally worked out over months.
He didn’t just wake up one morning and say, “I’m ready.” He had to work on this and talk to his friends about it, talk about it in our mastermind together. Definitely, start that conversation with those that you trust because you’re holding yourself back.
Moving into the final shift, this one is where Rick was going with that because it’s so important. It kind of leads right into it. Rick had to shift his mindset around control. Talk to me about that.
RICK: Like I said, I’m a control freak. I want things going out the way that I want them to.
AMY: Amen brother. Me too.
RICK: I have been challenged with perfectionism. I want things to be perfect. The evolution there was I had to let that go. I had to shift that mindset that perfectionism is only going to hold me back. If I want to have the impact that I want to have and help the number of people that I want to do I am not going to be able to control everything.
I’ve got to trust my team and trust in how you’re hiring people that when you bring somebody on you have hired them for a reason. Let them do their job. They are part of your team.
After I got past that hurdle of investing and growing the team I then had to learn to trust them and allow them to do their job. Basically, you don’t want to be the bottleneck in your business. For a long time I was.
I was the person that was holding us back. We talked about that a lot as well, right?
AMY: Yes, so true.
RICK: I have a small team. It is sort of like when people hear about the email list size but they also hear how big or small the team is. I have a very small team. What you like to say is that you have a small, but mighty team.
I have an executive assistant. Everybody’s local, by the way. That was a shift that I decided to do. I took a page out of James Wedmore’s playbook and hired locally. Everybody on my team, on a day-to-day basis, is here in San Diego.
I have a day-to-day executive assistant. He handles the day-to-day stuff as far as calendaring and email and customer service and that sort of thing. I brought on a project operations manager. I call her my integrator. She started in October.
Have we talked in the podcast here about the book Rocket Fuel?
AMY: I think a little bit but mention it. That’s a good one.
RICK: The whole concept of Rocket Fuel, it’s the follow up to the amazing book, Traction, by Gina Wickman. Rocket Fuel just talks about the two different roles in the business, a visionary and an integrator.
The visionary is pretty much just what it sounds like. It’s the CEO who has the ideas. You’re coming up with the vision of the company. The integrator is the one who’s making sure those things happen.
They are integrating those things into the business and basically running the day-to-day of the business and the team so that the visionary can do their job. Does that make sense?
AMY: For you guys that know my team well, it would be Chloe as the integrator and then me as the visionary. I did mention Rocket Fuel because I told all of you guys in a past episode (Episode #192) that I took the test inside Rocket Fuel and pretty much failed as the visionary of the business.
RICK: That’s right, you did talk about that. I remember that.
AMY: That’s when I knew I needed to step up so this year has been all about me creating the vision for everything we do. Yes, I love that book.
RICK: Cool. So I brought Skylar, who is my integrator, onto the team in October. That was another huge mindset shift for me because I was bringing her on to be that integrator, to be that project manager, and to run all of the day-to-day stuff in the business and make sure that everything’s getting done and all that stuff.
That was another forced exercise for myself in letting go of control because bringing in somebody to do this, I’ve got to let them do their job. She’s been amazing. Then, when we’re recording this, I literally just hired a marketing assistant a week and a half ago.
She is local here too and is working alongside Skylar, the integrator. She’s also going to be taking on our social media. Nobody is full time. These are contractors working in the business. That is it. That’s my day-to-day team.
I have three people and then I have contractors all over the world for copywriting and podcast editing and those sorts of things. But my day-to-day team is very small.
AMY: Let me break this down a little bit. As you heard, Skylar came on in October 2017, so she wasn’t there from January through October while Rick was making the money that he wanted to make to hit that million-dollar mark.
Really, it was Rick and then it was his executive assistant, Justin, and then it was contractors. Why I want to mention that, he didn’t even really have a solid team in order to hit that million-dollar mark.
However, would you admit, Rick, and this is where we’ve got to get really honest, that it was hard. You had a lot on your shoulders and that is why you said, “Oh my gosh, we need to get these people in place”?
What I mean is that you wouldn’t necessarily suggest not having a team.
RICK: Oh no, not at all. You’ve got to have a team. You’ve got to have a team to do this. Even if it is just starting out…With my coaching program one of the exercises we do is to track for seven days everything you’re doing in your business.
Then we start to categorize them in hourly rates. Just start with that. Identify what you’re doing in your business. But even if it is just starting out to hire somebody that is a VA or a local person, a local mom or something like. You’ve got to get help and it doesn’t have to be expensive either. It can be very affordable.
What you’re going to get back and, again, going from the lack to abundance mindset, yes you are paying money out. My suggestion is to do it before you think you need it because it just shifts everything you do and how you’re able to run the business when you have that extra help.
The whole goal for me personally, Amy (I know you and I talk about this a lot and I know this is for you too), is so that we can be focusing on what our strengths are and what lights us up the most. Everything else is getting taken care of.
AMY: That is so important. Because the final shift was that Rick shifted his mindset around on control of his team, the takeaway is that yes, you can do this (all the stuff we talked about) without a team. However, it’s tough. You will burn out and you’re creating a business that you do not love.
There is no way that doing it all by yourself is going to bring you massive joy. It’s really hard to scale that kind of work when you’re doing it all by yourself.
Before we get into the list-cleaning process that Rick’s going to take us through I want to basically go over these shifts one more time.
- Rick learned how to think about his own list size differently and put things into perspective and realize it really doesn’t matter the size of somebody else’s list.
- He made a shift around how he felt about his $1M goal. He still kept it as his goal but he said, “Look, if I don’t get there what’s more important than that?” He wants to serve these people. He wants to add value. He’s never going back to that dark place he was at 2½ years ago. If that means he doesn’t reach the goal but is still happy and serving then so be it. The funny thing is the money falls into place when you stop white knuckling and that’s exactly what he did.
- Rick shifted his mindset from lack to abundance. Many of us, I’m totally with Rick in terms of growing up in a blue-collar home and lack was very prevalent in terms of holding onto it tight so we have to shed some of those experiences we’ve had in our past to look at the abundance that is all around us. There is enough for everybody and I love that Rick said that when we were taking these notes. There’s enough to go around for everybody.
- Finally, Rick shifted his mindset around control. Now that he said he would pay for the team he has to let them do the work they were meant to do and he needs to step back and let it go.
Those were the main shifts that Rick made in order to get to a $1M year. I’m pretty sure you’d agree with me, Rick, if I said, “If you showed up with the things you sold (your promotions) and your list size that was not enough to get you to $1M,” these shifts had to happen. Would you give me a big amen on that one?
RICK: 100%. Yeah, for sure.
AMY: Okay. I think that is most important for you all to hear. The shifts needed to happen as well.
Now, because Rick and I like to keep our promises, we are going to walk you through a quick reengagement campaign. This is all Rick. I have never done this before. I do plan to do it soon so I’ll report back when I do it. But Rick, walk me through what it looked like, what you were putting in these emails, and the whole process around tagging and segmenting.
Let’s just be really clear, the goal of this list-cleaning process, also called a reengagement campaign, is that you want to look at your list and figure out how many people on that list want to stay there if they haven’t been engaging with you recently.
If they don’t want to stay there we want to get them off our list. If they do want to stay there we want to learn more about them so that we can give them more of what they need. Walk me through it.
RICK: I want to caveat this by saying not to do this exercise if you’re still hung up on the list size.
AMY: That’s a good point because it’s a blow to your ego.
RICK: It’s going to shrink. Exactly. This was hard for me even though I had already started to make the shift about the list size. I was okay with it but this was a big blow to me because I figured out, holy cow, I went from a list size of 30,000 people on the list, as I mentioned before.
I was like, cool there’s 30,000 people on my list. This is another thing where we’re always talking about stuff in our space and everyone started talking about cleaning their list and making sure you’ve got the most engaged people on the list and to ensure you’re cleaning your list out on a regular basis.
I hadn’t cleaned it out in two years. This was not a focus for me and then I felt it was time to do this so let’s figure out how best to do this. We’re going to go through the process here in just a second but I’ll tell you the results of what happened.
Again, the list size was about 30,000 people and when we did the reengagement campaign we cleaned it up and the list size dropped down to about 17,000 people. At the time, I know it’s not adding up because we added some people, but we lost about 16,000 people. We dropped about 16,000 people off the list.
I saw that and number one I was like, “Wait a minute! We did something wrong. Something is not adding up here.”
AMY: Those numbers are not right.
RICK: Yeah, let’s go back and check this, team. Come on. So there was my control kicking back in. Wait a minute here. But once we looked at it we realized it was a combination of people who had unsubscribed from the list previously, email bounces (you send emails and it bounces back because it’s a dead email address or a dummy email address so there were bounces on there), but there were also the group of people (and I don’t remember exactly how many people it was) who weren’t engaging.
We took a number of people who had not engaged with any of our emails. They had not opened them in the past 90 days. It dropped. That whole number, once we got the unsubscribes, the bounces, and the people who weren’t engaged, it was 16,000 people.
I was like, holy cow, what is going on here? Why is this number that I’m looking at (we use InfusionSoft), why is this number including unsubscribes and bounces? In my mind that shouldn’t be reflective of that number.
Would you agree with that?
AMY: I would, 100%.
RICK: I had no idea. I got on and started asking people. I went into freak out mode. I wanted to know what was going on here. I learned that email CRMs (not all of them), I don’t want to start listing them out, but not all CRMs treat unsubscribes in this way.
InfusionSoft does and I later learned the reason for it is because they are customers. If they are tied to customer information that’s why they are still on your list and it’s showing up even though they may be an unsubscribe, maybe they are a customer.
I don’t know why that would happen but that is a reason they keep it on the list. But you’re still paying for that number. You are still paying. You pay for the different levels of your email CRM.
We cleaned it down at that point to about 16,000 and then it raised a little bit to about 17,000. This is what that reengagement campaign looked like. The first thing we did, as I mentioned, we segmented the people on my list that had not opened any of our emails in the last 90 days.
We came up with that group of people. We also identified who those unsubscribes were and what the bounce emails were. Once we did that we looked at the people who had not opened any of our emails in the last 90 days.
Then over the next two weeks we sent our four emails. We did the first one at 8 o’clock on a weekday. It doesn’t necessarily matter what weekday. I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole too far as far as Friday versus Saturday. But it was a weekday at 8 o’clock in the morning.
The next email went out two days later. We tested at 11 a.m. in the morning. The third email went out two days later after that and we sent that out in the evening time to test that time. Then the fourth email went out two days later. So that’s about a week and a half or two weeks.
That last email went out at 8 o’clock in the morning. What we did there, if the person reengaged and opened the email then we wanted to segment them. The goal of the whole campaign was that we wanted to get people to reengage.
We also wanted to add value to people. The third thing, we wanted to segment people. If they are reengaging we wanted to segment them based on whether they wanted to start a Facebook ads business, are they managing Facebook ads already, do they have an online business running Facebook ads, are they a local business?
In these reengagement campaigns they all included links in the email to segment them. I forget what the exact wording was but we said, “Please click the link below that best describes you and your business.”
There were three different links. Depending on which link they clicked we were able to tag them with InfusionSoft and after that, depending on which option they chose, we followed up immediately with a value-based email that pertained specifically to them.
Based on what they clicked we tagged them (segmented them) and then we followed up with a value-based email for them. We also removed them from the reengagement campaign because they were engaging.
If they made it through all of the emails over the two weeks and they didn’t engage we removed them from our system after checking to make sure they weren’t a customer. That’s something you and I talked about.
AMY: Yes, so good.
RICK: That’s sort of the process. There are different strategies out there about what you can do with those people now that you’ve got a list. After these people go through, remember we are tagging them as they engage and removing them from the reengagement campaign.
Let’s just say you are starting off with a list of 5,000 people and that is people who are running through your reengagement campaign. At the end let’s just say 1,000 people have engaged again. Now you have 4,000 people and those people are not engaging. They haven’t engaged with you for 90 days and they didn’t engage with any of the follow-up campaign here.
You have a couple of different options. People talk about just dropping them after you check, of course, to make sure they aren’t a customer. Do you just drop them from your email CRM?
One thing you can do with those people who didn’t engage, remember we cannot do this from anybody who has unsubscribed. Let me explain this real quick. The people who didn’t engage, we can take that list because we have the segmented list of 4,000 people, and upload that into Facebook and as an email custom audience we can retarget them to try to reengage to get them back on our list.
Even though they are on our list they are not engaging. We are using Facebook ads to try to get them to engage again. Does that make sense?
AMY: It does. I love this idea of using Facebook ads because I was asking Rick when we were putting this together, “What about the fact that these people just aren’t opening up emails and now we’re just putting more emails in front of them?”
Tell me if you said this and I totally missed it. I think before even Facebook ads, the subject line is so incredibly important for your reengagement. I don’t know what subject lines you used Rick, but I remember somebody saying, “I’m going to take you off of my email list,” in their subject line.
That’s all their subject line said. Then you are like, “Whoa, wait a second.” If you genuinely care you’re going to open that email and say, “Please don’t do that.”
But if you don’t care you won’t open the email. I’m saying that really bold subject lines are necessary or it’s just going to be another unopen. So that’s one thing. But I also love that you brought up Facebook ads.
We’ve got to meet them in a different way just to make sure we can get them reexcited about the content. They’ve been missing out. We’ve got to get them reengaged so I love that you’re thinking about doing both.
RICK: Exactly. And just kind of set a time for yourself. Decide for the next two weeks you are going to spend a few dollars to reach this audience to see if you can reengage them. If they are not, okay, cool.
There’s the whole ego thing. When I had, holy cow, 16,000 people. My list was not 30,000. That was a big hit to the ego. Now, if somebody doesn’t want to be in my email list and unsubscribe, please get off the email list because I want to serve people and help people who want my help. That’s really how I think about that.
One thing I want to touch back on real quick about the Facebook ads, be careful about doing that strategy that we just talked about with your unsubscribed people. People who are unsubscribed on your email list cannot be uploaded into Facebook to retarget them to try to get them to subscribe again.
That is against Facebook’s custom audience policies. If somebody has opted out of your email list you cannot be uploading that list into Facebook to serve them ads. It’s against policy.
AMY: I love that you brought that up. That’s very important to remember. Okay Regis, I think we did a good job here. I think we went through all of the emotions and thoughts and feelings around what the year looked like and how you got to $1M.
I really appreciate you sharing some of those stories that you’ve never shared before. I hope it actually feels good to you because I know it’s going to be valuable to our listeners.
RICK: It does feel good and I just want to acknowledge you and thank you very much. You know how nervous I was about doing this and you obviously know that if I didn’t want to do it and wasn’t comfortable I wouldn’t have done it.
But, I felt if I wanted to talk about this I wanted to talk about it with you in this sort of setting to have a conversation and I really appreciate you and how you handled this by going through the conversation with me.
As you know, this was a harder one for me but I really appreciate how you handled it with me so thank you for that.
AMY: I’m so honored to do so. I’m so glad we shared your story. I think it needed to be shared, for sure. So here’s to many, many more successes.
Before I let you go, what are you working on these days?
RICK: At the time of recording this we just released the ROI Club which is a brand new membership program that I’m really excited about. You and I have been talking about this for a while.
AMY: That’s what I was going to say, we’ve been talking about you launching this for a while now. You must feel so good that it’s out in the world. So you’ve got to tell us what it’s about. I thought it was a brilliant idea so I’m so excited you’re doing it.
RICK: This came about and has been brewing now for a year.
AMY: Oh I love it.
RICK: I’ve had people in the mastermind saying, “Rick, you’ve got to have something like this.” I kept saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll get to it.”
Finally it was time to release this into the wild, if you will. The ROI Club was born in March of 2018. Basically, it’s two deliverables. We all know how quickly Facebook changes, right?
Facebook is making changes what seems like every week. You go in there and, holy cow, what is this thing? How do I use this? How do I use this update to make sure I’m getting good results with my ads?
One of the deliverables for the ROI Club is what I call a State of the Union. Each month I come on and do a live State of the Union on the very latest Facebook ad updates, what’s going on, what are the new updates, what are the new features, new policies, and anything that people need to know in order to ensure they are getting the best results possible from their ads.
The second deliverable is a funnel blueprint. I put a Facebook ads funnel blueprint together every single month where I share a funnel. I break it down. First of all, there are a few different elements to the funnel that I put together.
I give you the funnel then I break the funnel down step by step all the way through the funnel and then I also do a video walkthrough of the funnel that accompanies it.
It’s plug and play. Basically, my intention for this is for someone to get this funnel blueprint and be able to implement it in their business in a matter of hours if they want to and then they are off and running.
I’m really, really excited about this new membership program.
AMY: And you do this every single month, right?
RICK: Every month. Yep. The first of every month is the funnel blueprint and then on the 15th of the month is the State of the Union.
AMY: So good. Who do you think is a good fit for the ROI Club?
RICK: That’s a great question. Thank you for bringing that up. I’m getting a lot of questions around whether they are going to learn Facebook ads in the membership. No, you’re not going to be learning Facebook ads for the very first time.
I’m not going to be taking you through step by step how to set up campaigns and stuff like that. This is more so for people who are already doing Facebook ads or at least dabbling in Facebook ads and looking to take their Facebook ads game to the next level.
This is not going to be for somebody brand new who has never done ads before and really has no intention of doing them. However, if you are just starting out and this is something you’re going to be committing to and Facebook ads are going to be a part of your business then this is a program for you.
AMY: Perfect. Thank you so very much, Rick. That’s awesome. Congrats on launching the ROI, Rick.
RICK: Thank you.
AMY: You can go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/ROIClub if you’re interested in the ROI Club. It’s as simple as that. You will get all the details.
Alright Rick, take care and thanks again.
RICK: Yes, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
AMY: There you have it. I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I have. I really like that we started out this interview talking about what Rick sold in his business.
I’m always curious to know how people are making money, what exactly they are selling through the year, to reach those big goals like Rick did in his business. Hopefully you found that interesting as well.
Of course, we’ve got to get into the mindset stuff because being an entrepreneur is so much about the mindset, more so than it is about the mechanics, the strategies, the campaigns, the promotions, the funnels, and all that good stuff.
I like a mix of both and I feel like this interview had both so I hope you found that valuable.
I cannot wait to talk to you again next week. I have something extra special planned and I’m not even going to tell you what it is but make sure you show up for next week’s episode. I think you are going to love it.
Talk to you soon. Have a great week. Bye for now.