This is a guest post by the Video Boss Andy Jenkins.  Andy Posted this last week on his own blog but I thought it was such a great post I asked him if he would not mind posting here.

People have asked me this question a LOT over the years I’ve been teaching online business:

If you had to start all over from scratch, what would you do?

Well, I’ve got a really good answer now, and I actually did the whole thing in public over the course of the past several months. After I left StomperNet, I bascially WAS starting over.

And now, after a really successful and gratifying “Video Boss” launch, I think it’s safe to say that I’m “back” in the game. I’ve got paying customers, I’ve got a list, and I’m good to go!

I’m sure you want to know what I did to get from there to here and WHY I did it so I made a short list of things I knew I needed to get started with right away. I’ll share those with you now:

1. Blog – The first site I built once I was on the west coast and settled in was AndyJenkinsBlog.com. I needed a place for people who knew me to find me again. And I needed a place for people to discover me.

Having been on the web since before blogs existed, I have to say it’s my preferred “personality platform” nowadays. I can post my content, get comments, branch off into social sites like twitter, and build my list, right from the same site.

And you DON’T have to get fancy, either. Sure, I’m using a “premium” theme, but it’s hardly personalized at all. It’s about making it WORK not making it PRETTY.

2. List – As I mentioned above, if you want true leverage in an online business, you can’t depend on traffic sources you don’t control directly. They always say “the money is in the list” and dang if “they” aren’t right in this case.

The very 2nd thing I did on my blog was to add a list opt-in and start getting subscribers. I didn’t have my eventual product ideas for Video Boss finished or even fleshed out, but I knew I would need a list when I did, so I started early.

But since my product wasn’t ready, I needed something to engage my visitors and viewers with in the meantime. That’s why I needed:

3. Content – Obviously, a blog is no good without content. So I did a couple of rock-solid freebies that proved VERY popular out there on the web. I posted them to the blog, and I emailed my list to come and get it and share it.

It worked. Bigtime! I’m talking about a list of 10K subscribers built BEFORE I ever got ready to launch Video Boss, built entirely on the strength of the content on the blog.

If you want to see the kind of conent I mean (and if you’re new here) I recommend this Post.

http://www.andyjenkinsblog.com/2009/09/04/oh-hai-i-mind-mapped-ur-biznezz/

It was important that I demonstrate 2 things to my audience: First, I know what I’m talking about. Second, establish my core values so that people know what I’m all about.

That’s because it builds up reciprocity and responsiveness, which is where the “making money” part comes in.

4. Offers – Now as I pointed out earlier, Video Boss was far from ready all these months ago. I knew I couldn’t just build up an audience based on freebies because without offers being made periodically, people would resent being marketed to later.

Of course, selling stuff and getting paid is a good reason to make offers, too. 🙂

Without anything ready in my own product line, I promoted some rock solid stuff that was in line with the values I’d already estabilished in my free content.

There are things that I know to be important in online business, and I promote products that will help my students reach those ends. I promote the BEST ones I can find.

But there’s an ulterior motive there too. The people with the best products being offered ALSO have high-quality lists filled with customers who care about quality… and are willing to pay a premium.

In other words, the folks who I was an affiliate for were all ideal affiliates for Video Boss when it was ready. So again, you can look at this as a reciprocity “pay it forward” strategy rather than a typical anonymous affiliate relationship.

I got in touch with those partners and STAYED in touch. I even helped with some of their launches, supplying some BOSS-style video. So OF COURSE those guys were going to promote.

They knew “Video Boss” was going to work because they’d worked with me, and I helped them out. They saw what I could do. So once I was ready, I knew THEY would be ready to help ME.

5. Product – If you’ve been paying attention this month, you’ve seen me launch my “Video Boss” coaching program. I’d been developing this in the background the whole time I’d been doing the other stuff.

But you’ll notice I didn’t start with the product first. I began building an audience, and a JV promotional channel, and a list building platform SIMULTANEOUSLY.

The interactions I had with partners and their launches, and with my blog and list subscribers HEAVILY influenced the development of Video Boss. So much so that if I look at it now and compare it to my first notes, you wouldn’t even recognize it.

And this is VERY IMPORTANT because I listened to my market and my affiliates and actually created my course to conform exactly to what people NEEDED, packaged in a way that gave them what they WANTED.

And that worked on the affiliate side too because the product was built to appeal to them as well. Big payouts, solid reputation for quality, happy customers, and they already knew I’d been a good affiliate for them, so they knew they weren’t just going to LOSE subscribers to me.

6. Repeat – That’s really all there is to it. I’m going to take care of this class of Video Boss members, and while I do, I’ll keep posting great content (like this) to the blog and email list.

I’ll keep engaging you in conversation, collecting comments, and thinking about what my next product will be. I’ll keep looking for tools and offers that you can use to grow your business.

I plan to keep helping you, and in exchange a lot of the people I help will support me through checking out my offers. It’s not rocket science, and I deliberately tried to keep it simple her because it IS simple.

Don’t get bogged down in the technical side of things choosing the best blog software or the best list software at first. You can always improve down the line – it’s about getting started and getting some momentum.

Once you have that, keeping that momentum going gets easier and easier. Especially if you’re treating your audience as well as you should. I’ve got a secret formula for that too! 🙂

7. Be a good guy – This one isn’t required, sadly. There are lots and lots of fortunes built on slimeball tactics and leaving others worse off than you found them.

I just can’t operate that way knowingly – there’s WAY too many bad guys out there. Be a good guy. Strive for it. Bend over backwards for your customers. Be good to your partners.

Are you going to make mistakes? YES. Work hard to make them right, because that’s what a good guy does. The harder you work to make things better for everyone around you, the more and more rewards life will send your way.

I don’t mean to get all “wishy-washy” with “The Secret” style stuff on you. But I’ve found the truest of those kinds of sayings is that in order to get what you want out of life, help others get what they want.

Steps 1 though 7 above are how I try to do that every day, and I think I’ve been pretty successful at it so far. Most of the people whose success I admire have done pretty much the same thing, though maybe with different tools.

The underlying skeleton is the same, but there’s enough room in this model for you to put yourself into it completely, and if you do, I have no doubt you’ll succeed.

Until next time,
Andy

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

43 thoughts on “If I Had To Start Over…”
  1. This is extremely good advice and as I am currently in the middle of this process I have picked up quite a few tips!

    1. Hey Tom,

      Do you think one of these steps just stands right out to you, as in the one you feel is the most powerful one?

  2. First of all Andy, glad to see you writing such a great article with steps in place. You state

    “help others get what they want.”

    Very true in general because taking this route is so full filling and you will get things back in return. You got to admit though Andy, that learning all this stuff would of been a bit different if you wouldn’t of had to fight your way up hill to get where you are. All this fighting made you one smart cat in the fields you had to learn a lot about.

  3. This is an excellent article and Andy seems to know what he’s talking about.

    I’m really sorry the Video Boss is sold out.

  4. ugh…I think if I see the words “video boss” one more time I am gonna be sick…wayyy too much lately.

  5. Blah! Blah! Blah! We are being pitched another product to purchase. The Ole Boy Network is alive and well.

  6. Even though “Video Boss” is being discussed yet again – there’s some good stuff in this article.
    Thanks for the tips..

  7. If I Had To Start Over…
    I love this idea. I’ve been asking myself that for a year. lol I actually want to start over. I have a static website and want to switch over to a blog, but I’m getting good rank and good traffic. I don’t want to lose any of it. But, after reading this, I see it’s quite possible in a short time to get it all back, with a lot of hard work that is.
    The line that sticks out the most to me is It’s about making it WORK not making it PRETTY. Thanks for the advice.

  8. Hi Andy,

    I like your thoughts about if “i had to start over” and have often been tempted to do that myself. Times and times I find my self even wanting to start a new blog entirely.I am really working on point 6 from now,I feel I am lacking there.Thanks for sharing this great Idea.

  9. I like how you say it’s all about making it work, not making it pretty. I think that can be applied to a lot of things. Some of us have a tendency to stall and over-plan and constantly deliberate over things that realistically are “ready to go” right now. Keep it simple, you can always improve on it later.

    – Gillian

  10. Epic Post Andy!

    You know – I think it would good to post more about your past (like more about stompernet).

    Although I know it because my dad has followed you, Brad fallon, and others very closely, I think a lot of people would benefit from that story.

    Thanks again for this post. Good stuff. (And feel free to make a guest post on my blog any time. 😉

  11. #8) Get Shoe and John Chow to do some email marketing for you.

    All these emails, I feel like I’ve known you for years.

    😉

  12. Do you feel at all that the launch of Andy’s product interferes with the launch of the Shoemoney System at all?

    1. Not at all. This is a big difference as a whole in the info marketing/jv space … vs the like affiliate space.

      Everyone in the jv space wants to help eachother… atleast the guys I have run into. Andy invited me to hang out with him and some of the biggest marketers in the world and they really help me build the ShoeMoney System. All just to be cool guys.

      I think the video boss is one of the best products I have ever seen and if you check out our latest sales video you can tell a huge difference and that is largely due to andy.

      1. That’s the one thing I notice in the internet marketing niche, it’s such a tight community, that Frank Kern once compared it to the Academy Awards (Oscar). Everyone is competing and yet supporting each other.

        I can’t imagine if you, Andy Jenkins, and Frank Kern team up and create a product… It’s gonna be epic!

        1. I think the Internet as a whole is a pretty small community. There is a lot of noise at the lower levels, but if you make waves, people notice. Good (Missy Ward and her fight for boobies) or bad (Dennis Yu and his shadiness).

          1. Very true. Although enough bad publicity can put you out of business. What ever did happen to Dennis?

  13. I have been working on building my list for quite a while I couldn’t imagine having a list of 10k especially full of people who had control of their own list. I like the fact that you threw offers into your blog early in order not to irritate people later and lose readers. They already knew you were going to market products to them.

  14. Email list, blog and social media is something a business owner cant live without today.

  15. Andy kept his process short and sweet. That says a lot about its effectiveness given his success with Stompernet.

    I’m sure there was a lot that went into the backend of product development but great post reminding us about the importance of the basic steps we all need to take.

  16. Old School Andy taught me a lot about SEO and he really knows his stuff. It’s great to see that you’re expanding to bigger and better things Andy, although I thought nothing could out-do the stompernet empire you created!

  17. I really dug Andy’s promo videos. I actually learned so much from the first four free promo videos that it will keep me busy for a while just practicing with what I learned there.

    I thought it was genius to make such good first promo free videos, get people like me all pumped up, and then when I went back to learn more from them, they are turned off. I would actually pay, just to be able to watch the free ones again. Trust me Bryn, you will be cranking out your own video’s soon. Do I see BrynVideoBoss.com ?? LOL 🙂

  18. Be a good guy is the last of all? I should think that a good guy is the first and foremost success factor.

  19. Good artice, you know, what you are talking about. To be a good guy is very important, i made a lot of experiece.

  20. Some of this is right in line with the book “Crush It”. I imagine it’s because Andy was really rebranding himself outside of stomper that there are parallels.

    just my 2 pennies…

  21. First of i would want to congratulate the writer on the courage to start from the scratch, it saddens me to see large the number of people who simply give up, and refuse to try again. Secondly your highlighted comeback tactics where great, i however would like to recommend being a nice guy,it may not immediately look so, but in the long run being nice always pays.

  22. If I had to start over, I’d grab as many generic names as I could and start building content.

  23. Andy, what gets me about this article you wrote, the same article you sent to your list, is that you’re not actually starting over.

    Starting over implies that you’re starting from scratch with nothing. It’s like saying “here’s how i started over with nothing and made it from scratch again and how you can too”

    You already had a massive reputation in the internet marketing niche. You’re pals with all the guys who have massive lists. And you can use lines like “ive sold millions using video and now i’m going to teach you how to use video to do it to” etc. That’s not exactly starting over. You’re just rolling with the momentum you already had.

    That’s different from starting from scratch. You didn’t start over at all… you launched another product. Plain and simple.

    I don’t get the whole “if i had to start over” angle?

    If it’s to make people think that all they had to do was what you highlighted in your article and they can make a killing…i strongly disagree.

    Without your already establish marketing contacts and reputation… you’re video boss launch would have been dismal.

    I think you’re a good marketer… you walk the talk… but saying you “started over” i don’t know about that?

  24. I followed Andy’s Video Boss pre-launch videos as I’m on his “list”. I didn’t buy the Boss because I’m not there yet. The videos he sent out were very informative and provided some tips on video marketing that anyone can use. Most smart marketing people like Andy are saying “people buy from people” they like and trust. Provide something of perceived value and gain the trust of your audience than whatever you offer, people that need it will buy.

  25. Thanks, these types of ‘if i had to start over’ posts are great for newbies like myself.

  26. This is a great post. This should be the official guide to making money online. Literally!

    But I would have to say that it is alot easier for someone who has ‘been there and done that’ to start over and come back so fast.

    Quality and Hard Work…

  27. Great tips I agree totally everyone was right gurus and all when they said money is in the list. Content part you mentioned is dead on the more content to your blog, or website the more money you will inevitably earn online. Good post Shoe!

  28. Great to see someone spell out the steps! I particularly liked the idea of signing up the people for whom you are an affiliate to be affilites for your own product.

  29. This is a great post one that I think experience gives more thought to. Thank you Andy!

    One thing that I have learned through this whole process is that there is no one way to make money online. There is not a blueprint this is guaranteed or a scheme that works every time. It’s hard work plan and simple that gets you where you want to go.

  30. Nice post. I’m not much of a marketer, but in case I become one in the future I’ll keep these tips in mind. Btw, I’m loving Andy Jenkin’s blog layout. Really simple and clean.

  31. Really helpful post. I’ll save this on my bookmarks so I could come back later and read this again! Thanks Andy!

  32. Really great advice. This is what I love about Shoemoney.com, that there are loads of things about marketing that I can learn. I’m not in the online marketing business, but I appreciate the tips. Especially the seventh tip about being a good guy. There are a lot of people who are willing to cheat customers. For any business people out there who want to be successful, you need to gain trust from the people. I think that’s the most basic thing.

  33. I’m sort of a newbie when it comes to reading affiliate marketing blogs, but I agree with some of the comments above. I’ve noticed the marketing blog community is tight. There’s a friendly competition going on. In fact I haven’t read any online/affiliate marketers bashing other marketers on their blogs yet. Personally, I think it’s great. Makes me think that if I start doing what you guys are doing, become an affiliate marketer too, I’d be welcomed with open arms.

    Btw, great post, Andy!

  34. Andy sounds like a really good guy. Someone who does business how it should be done. I’m glad there are people out there that don’t do things merely for profit. Cheer, Andy!

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