RYAN LEVESQUE: “Quizzes can go viral, so you don't even need to rely on paid traffic because quizzes are one of these things that people want to share with their friends after they've taken it. So you can get traffic that's not even fifty cents a lead; it's free per lead because people are sharing it with other people. They say, ‘Hey, have you taken this yet?’ and it goes viral. And before you know it, you've built this massive audience really quickly.”
“The third thing that you mentioned, Amy, and I'll speak to this for just a moment, is you not only build your audience, but you learn so much about your audience in the process. And this is so critical when you're first getting started, to understand who you're serving, what their challenges are, what they're struggling with, so you can ultimately not just better sell—and this is the real sort of cherry on the top of the ice cream sundae—but it also helps you better serve. You win because you're building your audience and you're generating leads and sales. But most importantly, your customer wins because instead of selling to people in a one-size-fits-all way, you're taking the time to ask a few questions about who they are and what they're going through, so you can point them to the best resource, you can point them to the best product, you can speak to them in a way that is unique to their situation or their bucket. And so for all these reasons and more, quizzes, yes, are an incredibly powerful way, an incredibly effective way, for anybody who's in the early stages of their entrepreneurial journey, trying to figure out what market to go into, at the stage where you don't have a list right now and you're just getting started.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-million-dollar business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, money, and time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and helps you create a life you love, you're in the right place. Let's get started.
AMY PORTERFIELD: Raise your hand if you've ever taken a quiz online, from what celebrity you are most like to what eating plan is right for your lifestyle to what kind of skin type you have or, to my most recent quiz, helping my audience identify if B-School is right for them. Quizzes work and for good reason. Today, I have Ryan Levesque on the show, and he's a quiz expert. We're going to talk about how to use quizzes to grow and segment your email list, why they work so well, and the step by step for what it looks like to set up a quiz properly.
Now, Ryan is the Inc. 500 CEO of The ASK Method Company. He's an entrepreneur and the number-one national bestselling author of the books Choose. and Ask., which was named by Inc. as the number-one marketing book of the year. I love both of those books, for the record. Now, his work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, Entrepreneur, on NBC News and Fox, and over 250,000 entrepreneurs subscribe to his email newsletter offering business advice. He's also the co-founder and investor in Bucket.io, which is a leading quiz-funnel software for entrepreneurs that is used by over twenty million people each year—yeah, twenty million—which we’ll talk about a little bit later. I use Bucket.io for all my quizzes. Love them.
Now, you might be thinking that quizzes are a little too advanced if you're just starting out, if you're just starting to grow your email list, just getting your business off the ground. Well, I want to challenge you with that thought because Ryan and I break down how quizzes can benefit you, even if you're just starting out. In fact, we talk about how quizzes can be especially beneficial to grow your email list and better understand your ideal-customer avatar in the early stages of your business. So if you struggle to really learn about your audience, think about doing a quiz.
No matter where you are as an entrepreneur, you're going to walk away from today's episode with a clear understanding of what it looks like to create a quiz and how quizzes can help you grow your business and your email list. Plus, you'll feel less intimidated by the whole quiz approach to marketing, which I know is going to give you an edge in your industry and with your competitors. So I'm taking all the overwhelm, confusion, and I don't know how to get started out of quizzes with this exact episode. Are you ready? Let's talk quizzes.
Well, hey, there, Ryan. Welcome to the show.
RYAN: Amy, thanks so much for having me.
AMY: Oh, I'm so excited to have you. I'm excited to talk about quizzes today. But before we get there, you have a really great story. And I would love my listeners who don't know about you yet, tell them a little bit about you and how you got started with your business.
RYAN: Yeah. So like so many people, I wasn’t a born entrepreneur. I didn't go to school to start a business. It's something that I sort of evolved into. And so I was the first in my family to go to college. And I was accepted and attended an Ivy League school. I went to Brown. And at Brown, I studied neuroscience and East Asian studies. So naturally, after graduating, I worked on Wall Street because that’s, like, what you do. That's just a natural path. So I worked on Wall Street, just kind of finding my way through life, trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I worked in China for five years after that. My wife and I got married. My wife, we met in college. We're college sweethearts. We got married and moved to China.
And I spent five years in Asia, and I was working for the insurance company, AIG. So I was in insurance. I was working for the insurance company AIG. I was opening up sales offices across China. And I was there because I speak Chinese. I had a bit of a background in finance. And in 2008, I literally walked into my office one day, and the Wall Street Journal was sitting on my desk, and the headline read “AIG to File for Bankruptcy.” So this was in the middle of the world financial crisis, where the housing crisis happened. And I literally found out that the company I was working for was potentially about to go bankrupt. And so that day, I called my wife up. She was in grad school. She was getting her PhD in history, and she was going to school in Hong Kong, and I was based in Shanghai. We had this crazy, bi-country marriage. And I called her up. I said, “Honey, you got to check out the newspaper. Go to wsj.com and see what it reads.” And she said, “What does it mean?” I said, “Well, I don’t know, but I think this is the sign I’ve been looking for, that now is the time to start our business.”
And literally that day, I drafted up a resignation letter, walked it into my boss's office, turned it into him, gave my two-weeks’ notice. And two weeks later, I'd sold everything that I owned. I was in my late twenties. I sold everything that I owned, moved in, back with my wife, in student housing. We're in grad-school housing, in a tiny 400-square-foot studio apartment. And we started over.
We started our first business. It was in the most-obscure and weirdest of niches. My wife had come across a website, which was a brand new website at the time. It's a big website today. It's called Etsy.com, which I'm sure everyone's familiar with. But at the time, it was a brand-new website. Anyone not familiar with it, it's like eBay for handmade products. And my wife said, “Hey. I know you want to start a business. And I was just, what am I going to start? What is it going to be?”
And every night, we’re having this conversation at dinner. And she said, “Well, what about this?” And she found this jewelry that was selling like crazy. And it was this jewelry that used Scrabble tiles in combination with origami paper. And her logic was, “Hey, we're here in Asia. We have access to all the origami paper in the world. We have access to inexpensive labor in southern China. How about we manufacture this jewelry? We can import it into America. This is it.” And I said, “That’s a terrible idea. We’re not going to do that.” And so she closed the book on the idea and just totally dismissed it.
And then a few weeks later, I'm still kind of in this place of, what am I going to do? What business am I going to start? What's it going to be? And then once again, she showed me her computer, and she said, “What about the Scrabble-tile thing?” I said, “Honey, I thought we closed the book on that idea.” She says, “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Check this out. This woman is not selling the jewelry. She's teaching people how to make the jewelry. She's selling this little tutorial, this e-book on how to make the jewelry.”
Now, the cool thing about Etsy is you can see a person's sales history. So you can see exactly how many sales they made today, yesterday, the day before that. And this woman, who is selling a single e-book tutorial, was making over $10,000 a month.
So my wife bought the tutorial, learned how to make the jewelry. It wasn't very good. She said, “I think we can build a better mousetrap.” And that's exactly what we did. We built a better tutorial. We started selling a version of the training. We sold a few hundred dollars in our first month, and $1,000 and $2,000 and $4,000, $5,000, $8,000 a month. And I said, “Oh my gosh. We’re going to get rich. This is great.”
And then, it all came crashing down the next month, and our sales almost went to nothing. And Amy, that's when I realized that we had come across a fad market. It was like Beanie Babies or Pogs or Tickle Me Elmo or these things that just go crazy and then just disappear. And literally, the next month, our sales went down to nothing. We kind of burned through our savings at this point. And my wife and I had this moment where we looked at each other and said, crap; now what?
And we moved back to the States. And this time, we launched a second business. My wife got a job as a museum curator, which is what she went to school for, making about $36,000 a year on the Mexican border and got to work. And so started all over again. Had a mattress on the floor, two lawn chairs in the living room. Nothing. No money. We lived in the poorest zip code in America, in Brownsville, Texas, right across the border.
And this time, I learned my lesson not to go into a fad market. And I decided to go into the market that represented the oldest hobby in America, the longest-lasting hobby in America, which is gardening. We picked a sub niche in the gardening market and built a business in the orchid-care space, teaching people how to care for their orchids. Grew that business to $25,000 a month in a little over a year.
At that point, my wife quit her job. We moved to Austin, Texas, which is where we've been for the last ten, eleven years now. We proceeded to go into twenty-three niche markets, market after market after market, and grew our business to a million dollars a year and then a million dollars a month and landed on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing companies in America the last three years. Been interviewed by NBC and Fox and all these things, all while, basically, working from home.
And I remember when I first started my business, my big goal, Amy, was I said, if someday, maybe, someday, if I could make $10,000 a month online, that's all I'd ever want. And when we grew past $10 million a year, it was just sort of this surreal moment. It took us ten years to get there, so it wasn't like an overnight success or anything like that. But it's all using what we're going to be talking about here in our conversation. It's been using quiz funnel after quiz funnel in market after market and now shifting our focus to teaching other entrepreneurs who are in the same place that we were not too long ago, just struggling, trying to figure it out, to launch and grow your business, using this method that's been just incredibly powerful for us and now for our family.
AMY: Wow. What an incredible story. I'm so glad we took the time for you to share that, because it really does set the stage for what we're going to talk about today. And like I said, I'm excited to talk about quizzes. But before we get there, there are some people in my audience that are just getting started. They're brand new. And I know what they're thinking. They're thinking, “Amy, quizzes are way beyond where I'm at right now. I don't think that this episode really applies to me.” So what I'd love to do before we get into all the details about how to get started with your first quiz, I want to talk about these beginner entrepreneurs. Can they use quizzes to grow their email list and learn more about their ideal-customer avatar and kickstart their business?
RYAN: The answer is absolutely yes. In fact, that's exactly where I was really not that long ago when I was just trying to figure out this whole world. Again, I didn't go to school for this. I didn’t study marketing or business in school. I learned, like we all do, really through the school of hard knocks and just trials and testing along the way.
And there are a few reasons why quizzes and quiz funnels are an incredibly powerful way to launch your business if you're just getting started. And I'll share a few of them right now. So number one, and you speak to this a lot, really, the single most-valuable asset that you have in your business is your list. It's your audience. It's your relationship with your audience. If you have a relationship with your audience and you had to start all over again, you could make money with literally nothing but your skill and the audience that you have access to.
Now, the way that relates to quizzes is that quizzes help you generate incredibly cheap leads. In fact, you'll find that quizzes can help you get leads for anywhere from one-third to one-tenth the cost of traditional methods for building your list. And for example, if you're paying two dollars and fifty cents to generate an email subscriber, you can often get an email subscriber onto your list for less than fifty cents for building your list.
Quizzes can go viral, so you don't even need to rely on paid traffic because quizzes are one of these things that people want to share with their friends after they've taken it. So you can get traffic that's not even fifty cents a lead; it's free per lead because people are sharing it with other people. They say, “Hey, have you taken this yet?” and it goes viral. And before you know it, you've built this massive audience really quickly.
The third thing that you mentioned, Amy, and I'll speak to this for just a moment, is you not only build your audience, but you learn so much about your audience in the process. And this is so critical when you're first getting started, to understand who you're serving, what their challenges are, what they're struggling with, so you can ultimately not just better sell—and this is the real sort of cherry on the top of the ice cream sundae—but it also helps you better serve. You win because you're building your audience and you're generating leads and sales. But most importantly, your customer wins because instead of selling to people in a one-size-fits-all way, you're taking the time to ask a few questions about who they are and what they're going through, so you can point them to the best resource, you can point them to the best product, you can speak to them in a way that is unique to their situation or their bucket. And so for all these reasons and more, quizzes, yes, are an incredibly powerful way, an incredibly effective way, for anybody who's in the early stages of their entrepreneurial journey, trying to figure out what market to go into, at the stage where you don't have a list right now and you're just getting started.
AMY: Okay. This is so good. And I love that you said right from the get-go about the important asset of your email list. As you know, I've been saying that over and over and over again for years and years and years to my audience. And I love talking about that topic because social media will come and go and will change, and the algorithms cannot be relied on, but your email list can always be relied on. So I love that quizzes shine a light on that, for sure.
Now, you have some great results, especially when you were just starting out, with using quizzes. Can you share with me some of those results you've seen in the past?
RYAN: Yes, absolutely. So as I mentioned, we've gone into twenty-three different markets, all sorts of weird niche markets. It started with the Scrabble-tile jewelry market. Then we went into the orchid-care market. We went into, next, the memory market. So I had to make my parents proud and show them that I was using my neuroscience degree and do something with it. So we built a brand called Rocket Memory, teaching people how to improve their memory. And then from there, we went into all sorts of different markets, teaching people how to play golf, into the weight-loss market, selling high-end water-filtration systems, satellite TV, the list goes on. And in the process across these twenty-three markets, using quizzes, we built a collective email list of over 4.1 million people. Across all of our businesses, 4.1 million people.
Now, I know that sounds like huge numbers, but it's not even as big as it could possibly be. Literally just this week, as we're recording this interview, I was a little bit bummed out. And I don't if you have this feeling ever, Amy, when you have sort of a student, when the student passes the mentor. So I had a student this week that had the fastest-growing quiz ever, so brand-new quiz, literally just launched it. And they beat my personal record. They did over one million email subscribers from scratch in ten days.
AMY: What in the world. Okay, I need to know details.
RYAN: It’s not an exaggeration. It’s not even—so, a couple things. Number one, this is not possible in every market. If you're selling to left-handed dog owners of black and white cocker spaniels, there's just not enough of these people in the world to have a million people to take a quiz in ten days. But in this particular market, this is an entrepreneurial couple who serve parents, and this quiz was about, as a parent, you know your child. Now, the crazy thing is it's not even in the English-speaking market. So for anyone listening to this right now, wondering, wait, can you use this methodology if you're not maybe selling in America or you're not selling to the English-speaking market? Yes, you can.
And I spoke a little bit about my results, and I'm happy to talk about more examples in just a moment. But the reason why quizzes and quiz funnels work so well and why universally it spans cultures, it spans different languages, all has to do with this fundamental aspect of human nature. And that's this: the thing that your market cares more about than anything else—doesn’t matter what you sell, it doesn’t matter what market you’re in—is me, myself, and I. Your market cares more about themselves than anything else that you might be talking about, whether that's water-filtration systems or how to play better golf or how to care for your orchids or Scrabble-tile jewelry.
And so the powerful piece of a quiz funnel is it allows you to tap into the power of self-discovery. What that means is you give people the opportunity to learn something about themselves. So in this example, the parents that sell to, in the childhood education market that I just mentioned, they're tapping into this sort of innate human need to know more about ourselves and, in this case, parents to learn more about their children. Why are your children the way they are? Why are they behaving the way they behave? Well, have you ever taken the time to understand this aspect of who they are? Take this quiz to find out more.
AMY: Okay. This is great. And you touched on something that I learned initially when creating quizzes, which is people love to learn about themselves, and we love to examine who we are, and that's why, Enneagram and Myers-Briggs and all of those kind of tests are so attractive because they tell you all about yourself. So it's around that same concept.
Now, you’ve teased us a little bit with the couple that are doing the quiz to find out more about your child. Can you give me some more examples of some of the students you've worked with who have created quizzes in different niches and what that looked like for them?
RYAN: Totally. I'll give you a bunch of different examples because if we think about the types of different products that people sell—you have everything from digital courses to selling through webinars to selling books and e-books to doing launches to maybe selling high-ticket coaching and consulting programs—so I thought it'd be cool to kind of share a few examples from a bunch of different markets and talk a little bit about some of the results.
First sort of student of mine that comes to mind is a woman by the name of Alexis Fedor. Now, Alexis is in the art market. So she helps artists build their platform online. Alexis has a digital course that she sells through a quiz funnel. So she has a quiz, which is, what is your art-marketing type? Take this quiz to find out now. And on the back of that quiz, she grew her business from nothing to six figures in less than seven months. From there, she took that quiz, started sending more traffic to it, did a launch on the back of this quiz, and did over $200,000 in just seven days, using this process. She now has a second quiz that she uses to sell people into her sort of high-end mastermind that she sells for $12,000. She sold twenty people into her high-end mastermind, making $240,000 on the back of her quiz, all in a market that most people are incredulous about because we've all heard the story of selling to broke artists. Artists don’t have any money. And yet she's having a ton of success in spite of that on the back of that strategy. So that's Alexis.
I'll give you another example. So another one of my students, his name is Will Hamilton, and Will is someone who started his business in the basement of his parents’ house. He has a website called fuzzyyellowballs.com, and it’s a tongue-in-cheek name. It’s a tennis website, Amy. It’s not anything naughty. It’s a tennis website. But he has a business where he helps people improve their tennis game. And he built a quiz funnel, using the same strategy that we’ll be chatting about here today.
He’s built, in fact, multiple quiz funnels in his business. Just one of these quiz funnels, something that’s called Doubles Killers—so the Doubles Killers quiz—to figure out what mistakes you’re making when you’re playing doubles, like, with a partner. This one quiz alone brings in $63,000 a month and over 11,000 email subscribers per month in his business, on cold Facebook traffic, Facebook advertising. And on the back of that, he sells a playbook. He sells a tennis playbook. So he sells a book, a little bit of a workbook. So it's another example for anyone who has a book that you might be selling.
Another example that comes to mind, Morgan MacDonald. Morgan MacDonald has a small sort of publishing business. She helps small-business owners publish their book. And she has a quiz called the Publishing Path quiz. What publishing path is right for you? Take the quiz to find out now. And on the back of that, she sells a $17,000 publishing package to prospective quiz takers. She's built her business to over half a million dollars a year, using this strategy.
Another example, Deirdre Fay. Deirdre is a therapist. She built the quiz called the relationship-type quiz. And she used a quiz to fill her launch. She did her first six-figure launch on the back of this quiz.
I just got off the phone this morning with a gentleman by the name of Neil Gorman. He's a public speaker. He’s a speaker. It took him four years to grow his list to 19,000 people. So four years of hard work and slogging it out. He launched his quiz last month, and in one month added 10,000 people to his email list in less than one month. And today had his first six-figure month ever. He made over $115,000 in his business last month. And this is craziest thing. I didn’t even know this until I talked to him today. Amy, two years ago, he was driving for Lyft.
AMY: No way.
RYAN: In two years—now, just to be clear about this, $115,000 a month, not a year—he went from driving for Lyft two years ago to making $115,000 per month in his business on the back of his quiz. And I could literally go on with hundreds of examples of this, but this is just the power of what we're talking about here today.
AMY: What's interesting—and these stories are so great because they really just solidify what I've been saying all along in that quizzes are incredibly powerful—but I'm a little bit guilty of the fact that I think of quizzes just for list growth. And then from there, once you nurture your list over time, then you can put together a whole new promotion or a launch to launch your course or membership site or whatever. But it sounds like you've seen, and you've given examples, like, Will is a perfect example, teaching tennis, where you do a quiz and you can quickly move them into you selling something. You could move those people into actually selling them in return buying. Am I hearing that correctly?
RYAN: You’re hearing it exactly right. And so at the highest level, just imagine this—and I know this is an audio format, and so just kind of talk through the experience as if you were taking the quiz. So let's take the golf example. So imagine landing on a website where there is a video of a professional golfer, and the golfer says something to the effect of, “Hi, my name is Jim McLean, and I've been working with golfers for the last thirty years. And I found that every golfer, from the rank beginner to the seasoned tour pro, makes one of ten big mistakes in their golf swing. And we call these mistakes swing killers. And the cool thing is I can identify what any golfer’s number-one swing killer is simply by asking you a few simple questions about your golf swing. And the best part is this: you don't even need to be with me in person in order to figure out what your number-one swing killer is. In fact, all you need to do is click the button below this video, answer a few simple questions, and I'll see you in just a few moments and tell you what your number-one swing killer is and exactly what to do about it, minutes from this very moment.”
So just imagine in your mind, you’ve landed on this website, you’ve seen this video, you’re a golfer, and you’re interested in what this number-one swing killer is for you. So you click the button below and you answer a series of questions. These questions are designed to diagnose, just like a doctor, to diagnose that person's situation so you can ultimately prescribe the right medicine. So at the end of this experience, you ask for someone's name and email address in exchange for maybe a free report that outlines their results, along with access to a video explaining what their number-one swing killer is and what to do about it. So we fast forward through this process, we get to an outcome page—once again, very simple page—that has a video on it, and the video says, “Hey, this is Jim here again. And based on everything that you’ve told me, your results are consistent with what we call coming over the top, swing killer number three. Let me explain what that means exactly.”
So now you're having that conversation, explaining what swing killer number three is, but then there's that one final crucial step, which is, “Now, you might be wondering. So now that you know your swing killer, how do you hit with distance, consistency, and accuracy all the time? Well, the answer actually has nothing to do with your swing killer. It has everything to do with something else. It’s called impact angles. And I have a free training that walks you through exactly how this works and how to fix your impact angles once and for all. And because you’ve taken the quiz, I want to give you an opportunity to get access to this free training right here, right now, today. Simply click the button below, and I’ll see you on the other side.”
So what you've done is it sort of served as a pre-step, an interstitial page, a warm-up page, to whatever you want to put in front of them next. It could be a webinar, as you teach, Amy. It could be putting people into the first video in your launch sequence. It could be into an instant video that people watch right away, that talks about your product or service. It could be a written sales page. But the key thing here is instead of seeing that written sales page or video or webinar or launch cold, they're now looking at it through the lens of what they've just learned about themselves. They’re seeing it through the lens of a customized, personalized experience instead of that generic experience that most people have. And that's the reason why quizzes can oftentimes double or triple your conversion rates, because instead of selling to everybody in a one-size-fits-all way, you're asking them questions so that you can personalize and customize the experience.
AMY: And we know that marketing always works better when somebody feels like it resonates to their core. And now I'm really seeing how all these steps you just walked us through, every step gets more personalized and more personalized, so they feel like, “Oh my gosh, you are speaking directly to me. It's like you're reading my mind.” It's like, “Well, no. You're telling me what you're all about, and I'm able to learn more about you through that.” But that's the beauty of the quiz. So this is so fantastic.
And I know we have one other example I want you to walk me through, because my students and my audience, we always learn best when you give us examples and kind of walk us through the process. So I love that.
Before I ask the next question, though, one of the biggest compliments, Ryan, I get—this is totally off topic—is that people love my voice. And I think that's the nicest thing to hear. You must hear it all the time. You have the greatest voice ever for a podcast.
RYAN: I appreciate that. I don't know if that's true or not, but [unclear 30:02].
AMY: Do you get that? Do people tell you that?
RYAN: People have said that I've got a good podcast voice. And you probably have—just as a quick side note—I've learned that there is a certain octave range that represents sort of the optimal range for people to listen and to learn. And it's obviously different for men and women. Men generally have deeper voices than women. But there's an optimal range for both men and women. And the little I know about this, I would be willing to bet that you probably are right in that sweet spot. It's one of the reasons why, of course, in addition to your content, why your podcast is so successful. It’s just so easy to listen to. I'm a listener. I love listening to it. So it’s so easy to listen to. I think it just speaks to playing to your strengths. You have that. Not everybody has this. But you might be a gifted writer. I’m not the best. I’m a slow writer. I’m a good writer, but I’m a very slow writer, and so I’ve learned that, for me, I communicate well in an audio format, like we’re doing right now. And so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. There’s no right answer. But play to your strengths. If you're a great writer, well, inject more writing. If you're a great speaker, inject more speaking. And that all speaks back to this topic of self-discovery. The better you know yourself, the more successful you'll ultimately be.
So I appreciate the compliment. I’ll take it. I'm not going to turn it away. But right back at you. Right back at you.
AMY: Well, thank you. But as I’m listening, I’m like, I could listen to this guy talk about anything, so that’s always a good thing.
All right, so, let’s talk about some of the mistakes that you've seen people make when they're creating quizzes. Because I know right now, my audience, I'm very much like them, and so I'm listening to every word, thinking, okay, I already have a few quizzes, but I want more, after hearing how you're setting it up and just the power of it. So they're thinking, all right, I want to create a quiz. I want them to sidestep some of those obvious or not-so-obvious mistakes that a lot of quiz makers do. So can you talk about those?
RYAN: Absolutely. So, I'll talk about three of them. They're three big mistakes that people tend to make. The first big mistake is the wrong hook. So what do I mean by hook? A hook in any marketing context is the thing that attracts people to engage in that piece of content. So when it comes to email, you might have a hook in the email subject line that gets people excited about opening up that email and reading further. In a Facebook ad, it might be the headline in the ad that leads people to click on the ad and visit your website. Well, when it comes to the quiz, you need a hook that gets people excited. So I gave you a few examples of quizzes—art-marketing type, Publishing Path, Doubles Killer, relationship type, speaking type, things like that.
Now, when it comes to quizzes, there are really only three types of hooks, three, what we call, quiz frameworks that work well. I spoke to one of them just a moment ago, which is the type framework. The type framework is actually one that you used on the quiz that we kind of worked on together for your business, which is where you're putting people into one of several buckets based on their type. So this could be, what type of course is right for you? It could be, what's your public speaking type? It could be, what's your relationship type?
Now, this is predicated around putting people into one of several buckets. And the reason why this works so well is that we as human beings want to find a label. We want to find a label. Labels are helpful. They're helpful for our brain. It’s the reason why we have words to describe color, even though color exists across an infinite spectrum. There's an infinite spectrum of color, but we like to have labels we can use to differentiate between red and orange, orange and yellow. And the more sophisticated we become, especially if you are an artist or you’re in some sort of visual profession, you'll find words to describe the nuance in between those colors. You have crimson, you have maroon, you have brick, you have cerulean, you have aquamarine, all these colors, all these labels, that we use to describe different colors.
So we as human beings lean in and like the idea of labels because it helps take uncertainty and make it certain, this feeling that so many people have, walking around, thinking that they're unique, or the struggles that they have are just something that they've never seen before. It's the reason why when you walk into the doctor's office, and you have something wrong with your hand, and you're in pain, and you don't know what it is, when the doctor says, I know exactly what that is; it's what we call De Quervain syndrome, where immediately this anxiety is just sort of lifted. You know what that thing is. You have a label. You’ve been put into a bucket. You have a type that you've been ascribed. And so it leads us to the first type of hook that works well with quizzes.
The second type of hook, I shared an example of this just a moment ago, is the mistakes angle, or what I like to call the killer angle. Now, the reason why this framework or this type of hook works so well is that as human beings, fear of loss is infinitely more powerful than the promise of gain.
And I’ll give you an example of this. Imagine if your parents, or you've got young kiddos, imagine seeing an ad on Facebook that reads the following: how to raise a well-adjusted child who will be a contributing member of society versus the top five mistakes parents make that screw their kids up for life. Which of those ads are you going to click on if you’re a parent? If you’re like most people, you’re like, “I don’t want to screw up my kid. I don’t want to make that mistake.” And it speaks to why the killer angle is so powerful. So the golf example I gave just a moment ago, there are ten swing killers, things that absolutely kill your golf swing, that by fixing can unlock twenty-five to thirty yards of driving distance practically overnight. Take the quiz to find out what your number-one killer is, absolutely free. So that's the second framework.
The third framework ties back and stems back to when we were young children. It's the score framework. You see, we have this deep inset need as human beings to know how we stand up against both our peers as well as against where we should be at this point in life. When we were kids, we had report cards, and if you were a straight-A student and you got a B, that B was devastating. It led to an existential crisis because you were a straight-A student. You got a B.
And for many people, when I speak on stage, I'll often ask the question, I’ll say, “Raise your hand if you were a straight-A student.” And the straight-A students kind of meekly raise their hand, all coy and cute, like “Oh, that was me.” And I say, “Raise your hand if you were a C student.” And the C students are kind of like, “Screw you. What’s wrong with me.” They’re raising their hands, all boisterous and proud. But the reality is, even into adulthood, we carry this identity with us.
So, Amy, I’m curious. I’ll throw the question your way. What was your identity? Were you a straight-A student? Were you an A/B student? A C student? I’m curious.
AMY: I was all about the straight As. Were you?
RYAN: Of course I was. I mean, come on. That’s why we’re simpatico. That’s why we’re having this conversation. And of course you were. I think I knew the answer to that question before even asking. And I think anyone listening would know that, just in your style and the way you do things and just how high quality everything is. It just speaks to that straight-A high standards.
But the point of this is that people are obsessed with knowing where they stack up against both their peers and relative to where they should be at this stage of their life. So I’ll give you an example. A quiz that I didn't speak about earlier, a moment ago, built by Ronnie Nijmeh, was called the Authority Score quiz. So if you're an expert or a speaker or an influencer, how does your level of authority stack up against your competition? Take the quiz to find out now. So that's an example of wanting to know where you stack up against your peers.
I'll give you another example. This quiz that I'm about to describe is one that was taken by over forty million people. It's the RealAge Test. For those not familiar, the RealAge Test was a quiz that was popularized by Dr. Oz, that over forty million people have taken. The whole premise behind the quiz is your birth certificate might say that you're thirty-seven years old, but how old is your body? Do you have the body of a thirty-seven-year-old? the body of maybe a forty-two-year-old? maybe the body of a thirty-two-year-old? Take this quiz to find out now. And so that asks the question, how does your body stack up against where it should be right now?
So the first mistake is the wrong hook. There are only three types of hooks that work: type, killer, score. So that’s the first place to go when you're creating a quiz. And for anyone listening to this right now—hopefully, with a few ideas and examples, your mind is sort of starting—the gears are turning, and you’re starting to get maybe some ideas for what your quiz might look like—the first question to ask yourself is, which of those resonates most with you, for your business, for your quiz? Is it a type, killer, or score? The first kind of step in the brainstorming process.
AMY: Love that. I love it. Tell me this: when you had the great idea, and I mentioned this in the intro, to do the quiz about what type of course is right for me—and that was a huge success. I’m so glad we did it that way—but I also did a quiz during B-School, and the quiz was how to know if B-School is a good fit for me. And the quiz did well, but I'm just wondering, it probably wouldn't fall into these three types. Maybe I could do a better quiz next time.
RYAN: I love that quiz, I saw that quiz, and I was intrigued, so I went through it. And what I loved about that quiz is the fact that you are authentic. I answered the quiz in certain ways and found that one of the outcomes was, honestly, B-School is not right for you right now, which I thought was cool. And what's important about that, the lesson to take away with that, is if your product or service is not a fit for your audience, a quiz is a great way to use a diagnostic process to evaluate that and establish a ton—a ton—of trust. Unspeakable amounts of trust. And so when you do that, when someone reaches an outcome where your product or service is not a good fit for them, it gives you this opportunity to, number one, establish that trust, but number two, steer them in the direction of a resource that might be a better fit. So in this case, B-School may not have been the fit, but maybe there's another program or resource or even free piece of content that can serve that person and then help them on their way. So I love that about that.
Now, as far as the quiz itself, it doesn't really fit into any one of these buckets. Now, here's the thing. The context of that quiz was very specific. It was very specific, geared to a very niche audience: people who are considering investing in B-School, who are on your list.
AMY: Yes. We did the quiz really late in the promo as well. So it wasn't to capture a huge audience. It was—you’re right—very, very niched audience.
RYAN: Very niched audience. And when I talk about these three hooks as the three sort of choices on the menu, what we're talking about here is a quiz that has the opportunity to really explode your business, one that has the opportunity to build a massive list quickly, inexpensively, allowing you to scale your business, whether you're just getting started or you're looking to get to that next level. So quizzes can have all sorts of roles in your business. We do quizzes in our paid programs. So after someone takes one of our paid programs, we have a quiz to identify whether or not they graduate from the program. So we test them on their knowledge. Now, that's a different context. That's not the type of quiz or quiz funnel we're talking about here today. So there are all sorts of places that you can inject it. But really, what I'm talking about when I talk about these three frameworks is a quiz that serve sort of as the front end of your business and as a way to not only build your list and audience, but introduce people to your product or service and generate sales and customers immediately.
AMY: Okay, cool. I’m so glad I asked that question because it gives so much clarity around the three types. And if you want to attract an audience in the very beginning, you want type, killer, or score. Okay, cool.
AMY: All right. Tell me some other mistakes you see.
RYAN: Yeah. So the second big mistake—that's the first big mistake is the wrong hook. Second big mistake is the wrong offer. So we talked about the importance of selling something after people take your quiz, because otherwise, you run the risk of just building a massive list of leads, a massive list of freebie seekers, who are not necessarily going to become buyers. Now, that may seem nice on the surface. It's nice to have a big, large audience or email list. But the problem with that is having a large list does not necessarily mean having a large income. And so we want to make sure that we're selling the right type of offer, that you can grow your income and grow your business.
And so there's a framework that I want to introduce. It's something I call Band-Aid cure. And it looks like this. If you can think about—again, I've got two young kiddos, so I use a lot of sort of children metaphors because I'm at that stage of my life. I've got a five-year-old and an eight-year-old—and I want you to imagine if you have a small kiddo that either is your kiddo or you're watching a kiddo, you're babysitting, and the kiddo’s outside, riding their bike. They’re riding their bike, riding round and round in circles, round and round in circles. And then they fall off the bike, and they skin their knee. They run inside and they say, “Mommy, I need a Band-Aid.” Now, you know, we know, as adults that the Band-Aid is not going to make it feel better. We know that maybe we need to put some ice on it, maybe some Neosporin, maybe a little bit of child Tylenol. We know the Band-Aid is not going to make it feel better, but you can't, at that moment in time, say that to the young child. You’ve got to deal with the Band-Aid situation first. You’ve got to get on one knee, and you’ve got to say, “Honey, sweetheart, let me put a Band-Aid on it. Let me make it feel better.” And then when the tears sort of die down, then you can have the conversation. “You know, sweetheart, in order to really make it feel better, we got to put some ice on. Is that going to be okay?” or “We got to do a little bit of Tylenol. Is that going to be okay with you?”
Now, how does that map back to a marketing context? Well, it marks back in this way. The thing that you sell, your product or service, is the cure, but your market is not walking around, realizing or even thinking about the fact that they need your cure. You know that they need your cure, but they don't. They're walking around, thinking that they need a Band-Aid. So when it comes to your quiz, you want to give people a free result that serves as the Band-Aid, that then segues to your paid solution, which is the cure. Band-Aid; cure.
AMY: Okay, this is so good. So good. It makes perfect sense.
RYAN: And so that is the framework to be thinking about. The mistake that people make is they say, okay, I'm going to build a quiz, and I'm going to tell people about my cure. No. That’s step two. So in Deirdre’s example, she doesn't sell a product called relationship type. But people are walking around, thinking, gosh, what type of relationship am I in right now? Take this quiz to find out what type of relationship you're really in. Same thing with the book-marketing example. People are trying to figure out, should I self-publish? Should I publish with a traditional publisher? Should I do a hybrid option? What should I do? Take this quiz to find out what publishing path is right for you. Same thing with the doubles example. Do you constantly play with a new partner on the tennis court? Are you constantly struggling to play with that new partner? Take this quiz to find out what doubles mistake or doubles killer you're making on the court.
So you're meeting the market where they're at. It doesn't necessarily mean that that's your product. You're giving them the Band-Aid for free, but then you're selling them your cure for money. So that's the second big mistake is the wrong offer.
The third big mistake is simple. Once you kind of get your mind around these concepts and kind of how to do all this, the last big mistake that we'll talk about is the wrong technology. When I speak on stage, I have this sort of funny, but it's also a bit tragic, image that I put on stage. And if you imagine for a moment a woman who is holding a drill. She's drilling a hole in the wall in her house, but she's banging the drill with a hammer, banging the drill with a hammer. And you look at her, and you just feel for her. You just feel…
AMY: Why does it need to be a woman? Let’s make that a man.
RYAN: It could be anything. It could be a Martian, for all [unclear 47:43]. But this particular image is of a woman. It could be a man.
AMY: I’m just really bad with tools, so it really could be me. But keep going.
RYAN; Maybe it’s you. Maybe someone took a photo of you. It could easily be me, because I'm also probably the least-handy person on the planet. But it’s an image of a person who's using the right tool for the wrong job. And that's the big mistake that people make is they say, okay, cool, I got this. And they end up using maybe a piece of technology that they have sitting on the shelf. They use, for example, the big mistakes I see people make is they try to use survey software, which is really great for market research, like a SurveyGizmo or a SurveyMonkey. It’s really great for market research and asking these open-ended questions, but it’s not designed to build a marketing quiz that gets you leads and customers.
Or they use a form builder, like they're these beautiful form builders out there that build these very attractive forms, but they've been optimized for aesthetics and not for conversion. So they look beautiful on the surface. Everyone’s going to say, “Wow, it's gorgeous,” but you're not going to make as much money as you could or any money at all because it's not geared to give you customers.
Or they might use a funnel software, which is great for building a one-size-fits-all funnel. In other words, where everybody's kind of going through the same path, and they've got decoy questions in the quiz. But it's not really designed to take people down different paths and take into account their responses and customize the outcome based on that—it's what we call branching logic—and scoring and outcome mapping.
Or they use one of these sort of viral quiz builders that are all about getting those free leads that we talked about that don't end up converting into buyers.
And so I faced this problem for years because, again, my story is simple. I used this model to build businesses in twenty-three different markets. I then started teaching people this model. I wrote a book called Ask. It sold hundreds of thousands of copies. And after I wrote the book, the number-one question people asked was, “Ryan, how do I actually implement this? I love it. I get it. But what is the tech?” And you know the answer to this because it's the technology that you used for your quiz for your launch on what type of course should you create. I made the biggest investment of my life, and I invested in a company that created a product that generates quizzes that convert people into customers.
AMY: It’s insanely good.
RYAN: And that product is called Bucket.
AMY: Yeah. It’s called Bucket, and it is insanely good. I love it.
RYAN: And so that's the third big mistake. Now, when you've got the right hook, the right offer, and the right technology, you can do some really cool things. And I think that’s a good segue into that second case study that you were alluding to a little bit earlier and what’s possible when you put all the pieces together.
AMY: Okay, good. I’ve been waiting for this. So, you guys, you know how I love step by step, and so before Ryan came on, I asked him, “Can you get into the details, really show us what it would look like to put a quiz together the right way?” And so his example’s going to blow your mind. It’s exceptional. So if you’re driving or if you’re not somewhere where you can take notes, don’t worry. You can come back to this, but pay close attention. It’s really good.
RYAN: Cool. Awesome. So I was faced with a problem last year when we were gearing up to launch my second book. So my first book, Ask., is how to figure out exactly what people want to buy in any market. And I launched a second book, which is actually the precursor, the prequel to Ask., and that book is called Choose., how to make the single most-important decision before launching your business. And the reason why I created that book is that I found that there were people who weren't even sure who there who was, who they were going to ask, what their niche was, what their market was. And I mentioned I went into twenty-three different markets, and the big question people always want to know is, why did you choose those markets? There are a million possible markets; why did you choose these? And I have a very step-by-step empirical process for evaluating different markets, and that's what the book is all about. So that sets the stage.
The problem that I had last year is I don't if you've noticed, but there are a lot of books that people are selling. So if you've ever felt like you're in a market where there's so much competition, it's like, how do I stand out? How do I get my message out there? Everybody's already doing what I'm doing. How do I differentiate myself? Well, I went back to the number-one strategy that’s been more successful for me than anything else, and that is to build a quiz.
So we created this quiz called What Type of Business Should You Start? And you can actually see this quiz yourself. You can go through it at your leisure by going to the link choosequiz.com. So I'm a big believer in the best way to learn is to emulate success, emulate before you innovate. And so you can actually see this quiz in action.
Now, when you go through this quiz, you'll see that it begins by asking a few questions. Choosequiz.com, you click on the button, what type of business should you start? And the first question is, well, are you looking to start a brand-new business or grow an existing business? From there, I ask a series of questions like which of the following best describes you? Are you mission driven, passion driven, opportunity driven, or maybe undecided? How do you like to spend your time during the day? Do you like to spend your time on the phone, on social media, in person, with other people, or maybe in a room by yourself, writing a book? And so we ask a series of questions to uncover a person's goals, aspirations, a little bit about their personality, their experience, the resources that are starting with, and based on that information, we have sixteen possible outcomes, so sixteen possible outcomes to identify what type of business is right for you.
Now, it ends with a short video for me explaining what your results are, and at the end of that video, which is the Band-Aid, by the way, I say, “Well, if you’d like to go a little bit deeper in this process, I have an entire book that walks through a framework step by step. And because you've taken time to tell me a little bit about your situation, I want to give you a copy of the book for free. All I ask is that you pay a few dollars, shipping and handling, and I'll ship you a hardcover copy of the book anywhere in the world.”
Now, that's the premise. That's the quiz. You can go through it yourself. You can see it in action. What are the results? Well, we launched this quiz last year. And to put the results in perspective, we generate on average between sixteen hundred and seventeen hundred leads per day. Annualized, that's over 607,000 email subscribers over the course of the year. On the back of this quiz, I've sold over 50,000 copies of my book just on this quiz alone. That does not include Amazon. It does not include on our website. Just on the back of this quiz alone. And I've done that in less than nine months.
So I share that as an example of being in a competitive market, one where you're selling, gosh, a book in one of the most-competitive spaces and how you can literally start from scratch. And, again, you can check out that quiz for yourself so you can see what makes a good quiz and how you can emulate and model that in your business.
AMY: So good. And I love how you talk about the steps that people will go through because it makes this feel more feasible and just less intimidating. So thank you for doing so. And what's really cool is that you have a free training for my listeners so that they can really see what it looks like to put a quiz together the right way. And so if you guys enjoyed this podcast episode, you were going to frickin’ love his free training. So, Ryan, will you tell people a little bit about that free training and where they can find out details?
RYAN: Absolutely. So I know this is one of these topics where it's like you just need to see it. You need to see these quizzes in action. You need to kind of go through the process. You want to see examples. And sometimes you see examples in market after market, and that's when the light bulbs go off and you say, “I get it. I see how I can use this in my business.”
So I have a free training that you can get access to right here, right now, today, by going to the link bucket.io/amy. I'm going to share with you three quizzes that have collectively generated over $3 million in email leads. I'm going to walk you through that process. I'm going to show you example after example, some of the examples that I shared with you a moment ago, some of these entrepreneurs that you've heard from and what their quizzes look like. I'm going to talk about some of the additional mistakes, the top five mistakes, that people make when it comes to building a quiz. I’m going to walk you through two case studies that are going to show you the power of this, no matter if you're selling a low-ticket product, a high-ticket product, if you're selling through a webinar, selling through a launch, no matter what it may be. So that free training is available by going to bucket.io/amy. And it's the perfect next step for anyone who's interested in diving deeper and learning kind of how to put this into action.
AMY: And you guys, if you like my teaching style, you're going to love this free training because Ryan is really detailed, step by step. I mean, it's just such a great way to learn how to do quizzes, and it's free. So take advantage of it. So that's bucket.io/amy to check out this free training.
So, Ryan, thank you so much. Holy cow. You came prepared. Great stories, great examples. It's so very clear how valuable a quiz could be in my listeners’ businesses. So thank you so much for putting the time in.
RYAN: Amy, thank you so much for having me. It’s been an absolute pleasure.
AMY: So there you have it. I hope you loved diving into all things quizzes with Ryan. And if you're starting to think, “You know, I could do a quiz. This could work in my business,” then get on the free training because you'll start to see some of the examples which will make all of this more clear and more exciting, and you'll know which first step to take to get your quiz going. So get on that free training, bucket.io/amy.
I cannot wait to see you here same time, same place next week. Bye for now.