Ryan Lee Interview…
Ryan Lee Interview – Creating Huge Recurring Income Online
Ryan Lee has a really cool revenue model which allows him to earn money day after day from work he did months and even years ago.
After this interview my head was buzzing just with the new ideas and the money I could be making.
I have just started to implement some of Ryan’s tips and advice so that I can work now and in the Summer, still be earning from it so that I can be down the beach with no finacial worries at all. Recently, Ryan put together the first and only 3 day super-summit dedicated entirely to the topic of creating “continuity income”. Some people call it residual income or recurring revenue or passive income. Instead of trying to sell products one at a time, “continuity income” brings you guaranteed money month after month He used every contact he had to bring in A-List presenters and guest panelists to open up and share their secrets…
Last year I got to spend some time with him over in LA, along side Yanik Silver and others. Here is actually a picture of us:
We really were not faking it, that night rocked! Although the transcription of the interview below, you must listen to it, I have had it professional edited and it rocks! Just click the play button at the top or start reading now.
Well the first thing I want to really mention is you have got this new website called Ozworth, and I think definitely my readers would be interested in hearing more about that, because it’s a sevenminute speed coaching, I hear.
Right. I find the best coaches in the world, whether it’s teaching how to make more money, save time, organize, marketing, success, self improvement, we just spend exactly seven minutes in a real intense speed coaching program. I find that in seven minutes, I just get the meat of the content, really, really good stuffall practical useable strategies. And it’s all free.
I interview them so people can listen to all this online.
Michael: Oh really? Great. So you can check that out. That’s ozworth.com, definitly worth signing up for if you enjoy success storys and interviews like this one!
You’re pretty much known as the continuity king. You’ve got, as I mentioned, over 50 active recurring revenue programs. Would you like to share with us how you achieved this and how we can do it ourselves?
Sure. The thing is with recurring revenue there are so many different types of programs you can create. When people think of recurring revenue and continuity programs, as we like to call them in marketing, and they think of it online, they automatically think of membership sites. And they think of these big huge sites with discussion forums and thousands of members and content. And they just get overwhelmed. Obviously that’s one way you can create it, with these full-blown membership sites. I have a couple of those and that’s how I first got started. But there are also a lot of other opportunities.
There’s also what I like to call micro-membership sites, where the content is released on time intervals. So every week or every month or whenever you plan your lessons the content is delivered to them automatically. The easiest way to do it is by email.
There are also continuity programs that are offline. Instead of delivering the content online, every month you could send out a newsletter, an actual print newsletter. Remember that, where you actually go to the mailbox and open the mail? So a print newsletter, an audio CD of the month, a DVD of the month, I have those kinds of programs as well.
The key is just finding a topic that first obviously you are passionate about and a topic you want to continue to write about and really delve deep into, just as you’re doing with success interviews. This is something you’re really interested in and it comes across. So that’s number one.
And number two is figuring out what it is about your market. What are their biggest wants? What are their biggest desires? What keeps them up at night? Then you figure out a way to solve their problem and put it and this is an important step put it in the format that they want to consume information.
So just ask them. They may want it delivered as a print newsletter. They may want it as an online membership site. They may want it delivered as an audio CD. Or maybe your audience wants it as a DVD. So you have to ask them.
And then just take action. It’s really not hard to do. All the tools are done for you. When I first started back in 1998, there wasn’t software like Member Gate available. I hired a college student to do all this stuff for me and it was a nightmare. That’s nothing against college students.
But I remember there was a technical issue and I called him up and his roommate answered the phone. He was like, “Dude, he’s not here.” I’m like, “OK. I think I need a professional solution.” So that’s it. That’s kind of the formula.
Can recurring revenue programs be included in blogging and other platforms?
Absolutely. Blogging really lends itself well to it. I know you write and you do a lot of programs for bloggers. Think about it like this. You can take your content, and without even creating new content, you can create recurring revenue. So let’s say on your blog you do these interviews. And maybe the interviews you publish are all free, so people could just listen to them online with a Flash Player.
But if they want to maybe have the mp3 downloadable version and the transcript PDF files, maybe you could just take those specific things and then put it on a hidden page, a password protected area of your blog, and call it the Michael Dunlap VIP area.
And then you offer that format and charge maybe $5, $10, or $20 a month, whatever the market will bear. You can do some research with it. But that’s an easy way.
People want coaching. They want more access to the “guru,” so you can easily turn your platform into monthly group coaching where maybe every month you do a telephone seminar for your lists. They pay $29.95 a month and they get access to this teleseminar with live guests. And maybe you give them access to the program on audio CD as well and you ship it to them. There are a lot of ways to turn your blog into recurring revenue.
Another easy way is just to create a separate forum, like a private coaching forum where they can ask questions and you can charge access to that. People want to have a connection. They want to feel like they belong, so there are a lot of ways to turn your blog into a recurring avenue.
That’s some really good advice. I think I’m going to take some of that myself and work out a few ideas. Thanks for that. So you’re going to be actually holding your own summit for building continuity programs and recurring revenue. Would you like to tell us more about that?
Michael, I’m glad you asked. I would love to tell you about it! [laughter]
It’s going to be, depending on when people listen to this, it’s going to be May 15th17th in Stanford, Connecticut. It’s three days of nothing but the type of information I’m talking about now, building your continuity program. It’s going to be myself, and I have some really incredible guests. Mark Victor Hansen, who is the author of all of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books. So you might want to listen to somebody who has sold over 130 million different products.
Then we have Robert Joiner, who is considered the godfather of Internet marketing and my first mentor. He’s the first guy who created ebooks and squeeze pages. He never speaks and He’s flying all the way from New Zealand to the US to speak at this event.
Then we have Russell Brunson. He’s like a wonder kid. He’s like 28 years old. I don’t even know how many millions He’s making with continuity programs.
Matt Baystack is going to teach how he had over 14,000 people paying $30 a month and he got them all within a week. So there are some really incredible things.
Andrew Lock is going to be talking about pimping your Internet television show and then backend the continuity program, similar to blogging. So there will be a lot of really cool topics. And it’s three days. The information is all at continuitysummit.com.
Should we be going out to sites with banner ads and Google AdSense or should continuity be the thing we think about first?
That’s a great question. I don’t want to try to skirt around it and say it depends, but it really does depend on how serious you are about your business and the kind of traffic you are getting. Personally I think it’s much easier to monetize it on the backend with your own products and with continuity than it is with AdSense. You know as well as I do, to make any decent money with AdSense well, decent has different definitions for different people. You might think $100 a month is great, where with me, if it’s not bringing in $50,000 a month I would be disappointed.
So there are definitions. But, look, if you want to make a couple hundred bucks a month, then yeah, you’ll probably find it with AdSense and some affiliate programs. But if you want to make big money, the six figures a year, the six figures a month…
I saw recently on your blog, I think you had a list of the top bloggers and what they are earning per month. With my recurring revenue programs through my blog, I earn more than all of them and I don’t have one ad. I don’t do AdSense at all.
So I would definitely figure out ways to monetize with your own program, because think about it like this: that is the beauty of continuity. With AdSense, you are only as good as your last day.
So let’s say yesterday you had 50,000 visitors and you made $100. Great. But tomorrow you are starting at square one again. But if you have continuity, let’s say out of all the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that visit your site, 1% of the hundred thousand people join your continuity.
So 1% percent of 100,000 Michael, come on. I’m going to quiz you right now. What is 1% of 100,000 people?
1,000 people. So 1,000 people paying you… Let’s say you have a really good program. You include transcripts and mp3s. You do a coaching call and you include some cool bonuses. Let’s say you get 1,000 people to pay you $30 a month or $29.99 a month. Right there, every month, you are going to be doing $30,000 a month. Plus you can still do upsells and crosssales, and backend, and backend affiliate programs. But that is $30,000 a month every month as opposed to, “Oh man. What am I going to make this month with AdSense?” That’s the power of it.
That’s why some of these bloggers are doing well, but they could be doing so much better. It’s amazing to me how much money they are leaving on the table, some of these bloggers with the audience they are getting. It’s mind boggling. Millions and millions of dollars. And you mentioned before, where I met you at Yanik’s, even Yanik told me during our conversation, that he estimates he has lost at least $4 million by not doing this stuff that I’m talking about earlier.
Wow, yeah. From that, I think everyone is going to realize that they need to take their monetization in a completely different way, because a lot of them… I speak to a guy quite often, and he’s doing nearly a million visitors a month to his web design related website. And he’s only pulling in about $4,000 a month.
Oh, my God.
I’ll just throw up in my bathroom.
If you take a million visitors a month, if you’re only doing $4, 000… You have to try to not make money to only get $4,000. You have to try.
I’ve been… Well, I’m not reading, I’ve been watching your blog. You’ve been doing a lot of video blogging. Why do you see video blogging? Do you think it’s better than writing out your posters yourself, or what’s the benefit to doing video?
I found it works well for me and the big reason is it allows you to connect on a really personal level with the people reading your stuff. Because what I see is, look, even when you look at your list of the top popular blogs, most of them have to more with the techy world. The Tech Crunch and those type sites. Life Hacker, so it’s a little bit more of the techy stuff. But there’s also a lot of people who want to create blogs on softer topics. Whether it’s parenting or raising your pets or cooking, so I think that personal interaction is just going to separate you from your competition.
Because most people, to be honest, are either too lazy to create a video, which is just… I think it’s easier to create a video than to write a whole fivepage blog post. Because it takes two minutes to create a video and to upload it to YouTube and copy and paste it on your site.
So it allows you to connect and people feel like they know you. I have people now who come to my events and they say, “I’m so happy you started video blogging, because before I only saw you through the email and I didn’t really get a sense of you.” And now they feel like they know me. And with me, my personality is people tend to relate to that.
Look, if you’re the most boring stiff in the world and you’re like, “Hello, my name is Don.”
You might not want to blog. And maybe you’re a better writer, and that’s fine. But if you have any type of personality and energy and passion, then I think it’s best that you do video. And maybe you don’t do it every day like I do, but maybe once a week do a video blog, but have a little personal story, have a sense of humor with it and let people connect and get to know you, because they’re going to be much more loyal and you hook them in.
You started back in ’98, I believe, and you’ve obviously made a lot of mistakes yourself, so have I. But what do you think, apart from the monetizing a site without recurring revenues, apart from that, what’s the big mistake everyone is making right now?
There are a couple of big mistakes. One is, there’s no differentiation in the marketplace, meaning they’re copying everyone else’s site. They’re using someone let’s say the fitness industry, teaching people how to lose weight. They find every other site and they make it look exactly the same. It doesn’t stand out. And on a related note, there’s no big hook. That’s a huge mistake, is people create these products and they are a carbon copy of everything else and there’s nothing outstanding about it. There’s no hook. You’ve got to have a hook. You’ve got to have a reason, what people are going to buy online.
The other thing and I could spend probably three hours talking about mistakes. Some other big mistakes are not looking at things from your customer’s perspective. They look at it from, OK, I want to make $100,000 this year. And they just look at it from: how can I make the most amount of money?
Instead of saying, OK, here’s this client. Here’s what they really need and here’s what they want. How can I create a product that’s really good that I’m going to build this longterm business, this longterm relationship with them, instead of trying to just suck as much money out of them as possible?
When you look at it from that perspective, and treat each client and customer with respect, then every person, every email you send, is an actual human being on the other end of it. It’s not just, hey, I have 10,000 people, I have 50,000 people. It’s each person gets an email and reads it.
And I have on my list, my Dad reads every one of my emails, my sister, all of my friends, so it kind of makes me think twice before I send an email. Like is this right? Should I be saying this? But if you think of it like that, if you think of, OK, your Mom is reading every one of your emails. Or your Dad or your sister or friends, would you still send that email?
And if no, why not? And how can you change it so that you feel comfortable sending it to everyone? So those are a couple of big mistakes.
Other things are not spending enough time learning about the right way to write sales copy. And I’m not talking about overthetop, his blood dripping money with it. I’m not talking about really overthetopcrazy copy. I’m just talking about writing, talking about benefits, giving people…
Here’s another reason, another big problem too, is they don’t give people a reason to buy right now. They just say buy it. There’s no reason to act now, whether it’s limited number or whether it’s special bonuses.
So those are some of the big mistakes. Oh, another one is not taking action and not working fast. There’s no speed. They suffer from paralysis by analysis. They overanalyze everything. You talk about a website and they’re like, “I’ve got to write a business plan and go raise money,” and blah, blah, blah. It’s like just take action. If you have an idea, just get it out there . Get something out there.
Start the process, because once you get out there and you start making your first dollar, you’re going to gain momentum and you’re going to start taking that momentum with you. So just take action and act quickly. If you have an idea, act on it right away. Don’t over analyze.
Yeah, I tell all of my readers that on so many occasions. That’s brilliant advice. And what you said about your family and your friends reading your emails. My dad and my mum usually read all of my emails I send to my list and so I always make sure it’s all clear for them and there’s nothing bad in there. So that’s good.
You start off, “Dear Readers, first I made sure I had my good breakfast this morning, right, Mom?”
I have one of your books, “Millionaire Workout,” and it’s sold out right now, isn’t it? I just wanted to ask a question about that, because it’s about not just making money online, but your lifestyle and your health and stuff. Do you want to speak a little bit about that, quickly if you don’t mind?
Sure. The “Millionaire Workout” is a program that I put together because it basically teaches you how to make money online, but also take care of your health and your well being, because the two are connected. You can’t reach your highest level of success unless you are healthy too. You ask anyone on the deathbed, or anyone who’s rich, they’ll say you’re nothing without your health. And it’s true. And it doesn’t take a lot. It’s really simple choices with what you are eating. Instead of having coffee and donut for breakfast, have a higher fiber cereal or some egg whites, just simple choices, and just get active. I’m a big fan of highintensity workouts. My workouts take 10 to 15 minutes, tops. And that’s it.
But you really have to take care of your health, because you’re never going to reach that highest level of success, because there’s also all the physiological benefits. There’s reduced stress, there’s improved energy, there’s better concentration, and you’re going to see your business grow as you get healthier as well as take care of yourself. So that’s a brief overview.
Michael: Brilliant. And will you be selling that book again?
I might be. We do have some copies still in the warehouse, but I’m holding them for my event, I was going to give people copies of them.
We might do an updated one of them.
So you’ve done a book, you’ve done a load of products, what would you say to other Internet marketers, considering they have this following and they want to make their own product. What would you say to them?
There’s so many different types of products you can create. If you’re going to create your first product, probably the easiest one is an ebook, because it’s just a… And when you think of ebooks, you don’t have to think of starting right actually physically writing 100 or 150 pages. It could be something as simple as “Interviewing an Expert.” Like if you interviewed my about recurring revenue for an hour, and then got it transcribed and now had the mp3, all of the sudden you have a digital product. You have the mp3 and the PDF file. And that’s a program and you can sell that as an “ebook.” So it doesn’t have to be starting from scratch. But that’s the easiest way to get started with a digital product.
Another way to get started quickly is to do a live event. Whether it’s a telephone seminar and have it recorded, or do an inperson event, invite some friends. Rent a space, a conference room or a hotel room and hire a videographer to record it. And now all of the sudden, if you do an eight hour seminar, you have eight hours of content and footage.
And that could be a five, six, a seven DVD series that you can sell, depending on your topic, for $100 bucks to $1,000 bucks or more. So, creating product is easy, it’s just that you’ve got to have that idea and you’ve just got to get started. Before I created my first product, which was really like a telephone seminar, for about two years I contemplated what kind of product. Is it audio, is it going to be cassette? Is it going to be a seminar?
At that time, it was cassettes and video tapes. No one was doing DVDs and CDs. So just think of the product, whether it’s an ebook or a seminar, and just get it done, like now.
By the time you finish listening to this, get it done.
All right, that’s good. Yeah, I like that. OK, so you mentioned you make money pretty much while you sleep now, because you’ve got recurring payments and you’re healthy. So is that the Internet lifestyle for you or what is the Internet lifestyle?
Well, for me, it’s all about freedom. I’m married, we have three little kids, a fiveandahalf, threeandahalf, and oneandahalf, all little girls. And we’re actually expecting our fourth child in a few months. So for me, it’s a question of being able to be home every day. I have an office outside of the house, because I cannot get anything done with an office in the house. I tried, and it lasted a day. So being able to be home every day at 5:00 and have dinner, and I haven’t set the alarm clock in years. We wake up when our youngest one, a yearandahalf, she usually wakes up at 6:00. That’s our alarm clock. But every morning I give them I make them lunch, I give them baths, and being able to spend all that time with them. And we just got back from a vacation, we spent a week in Florida and we went on a cruise. That to me is living the Internet lifestyle.
It might be different for someone else. Maybe for you it’s hanging out with your friends, you’re going out, or for someone else it could be maybe they’re a musician and they just want to play music, so this is going to supplement their lifestyle. I’m not here to judge. Whatever is your priority and your life, that’s what the Internet lifestyle is, but it’s giving you the freedom.
It’s not having the boss, and asking permission, say, “Oh, can I have off this week?” I’ve done that. I did that for about eight years, and I could never do that again. So it’s just freedom, freedom to do what you want.
To finish off this interview, I’ve got a few quickfire questions for you, just to get to know you a little bit more. OK, so first one is, who do you look up to? Who do you model yourself on?
That’s a great question. Someone who I’ve always admired and look up to, but not in well, I guess in a business, is my father. We talk every day on the phone. So I just admire… He’s just a great person. Everyone loves my dad and he’s just showed me how to live a really good, honorable life. So in terms of just living a good life, he’s someone I definitely look up to. In terms of business, that’s a really tough question, because a lot of the guys who I kind of model myself after, I’m friends with. So it’s weird to kind of look at it that way.
Yeah, but there are some… One of just the greatest guys in the world, we mentioned him already before, is Yanik. Yanik Silver, I’ve known him for years, one of my good friends. And he’s just a guy who does everything ethically, legitimately, honestly. There are some guys who are well known gurus who, I think they’re smart in business, but they have no balance in life. And they’re divorced three times, they have no relationships with their families, they’re miserable, they’re cranky, and it’s like, do I really look up to them? Do I want to model my life after them? No. Maybe my business, not my life, though.
So my next question is, how many hours do you actually work in a day?
Depends on the day. Like today, after this interview I get my massage.
I get a massage every week. And it’s not just a wimpy, froufrou massage, it’s like deep tissue, which is just so good for your body. But I won’t even get into that. Here’s my schedule now. I get in the office about 8:00 in the morning. I work on my big projects, I don’t even check email. And I work until usually like 11:00 getting the really big stuff done. Check email, have lunch, and then in the afternoon, I’ve already done my big stuff. So, sometimes I’ll get a massage. I usually go to the gym each day at 3:30 or 4:00. Or, I’ll go to the bookstore and do some reading or watching marketing videos, so I probably put a good six, seven hours in.
Maybe, sometimes three hours. I like to usually see a movie once a week, too. I just get out of the office and I’ll go for a couple of hours just to see… I love movies. Again, that’s the Internet lifestyle, freedom. It’s being able to go to a movie at 2:00 in the afternoon and not look like a serial killer.
There’s a lot of cool things. And then I coach. Later today at 4:30, I coach my kindergarteners soccer team. So some days I’ll put four hours in, some days I’ll put seven. If it’s a big launch, I’ll put more hours in, yeah.
If the incident had not existed, what do you reckon you’d be doing right now?
I’d probably be doing what I was doing before. My first career was as a recreational therapist and a gym teacher.
I would still be working with kids either as a gym teacher or working in the Children’s Hospital and doing some fitness training, and I still love to do that kind of stuff. So I would be doing that. But, I still had the entrepreneurial itch, so I definitely still have my parttime business. I was actually, before the Internet came around, back in ’93, ’94, the business I was looking to start was going to be a print newsletter. So it’s kind of funny that even 15 years later, I’m still doing a print newsletter. So, I probably would have done something like that as well, but I definitely would have been working with kids or in the school system.
All right, that’s good. OK, what do you like best about the Internet?
The amount of people you can connect with. Making all of these connections. Interacting with people that I never could have met before. Before the Internet, you’re still relatively young, so you probably don’t remember really much before the Internet. But you had your group of friends and you went out and you had a circle of friends. But now, the fact that I can send an email and reach 200,000 people is just amazing. And the amount of research you can do. If I want to look up hotel reservations or we want to go on vacation, you could just click a button and see the rooms and see pictures of hotels. In the past, you’d have to look in the yellow pages and call information and ask for brochures and it would take two weeks to get there.
And if I wanted to go to a movie, you’d have to call up or open the newspaper. It’s just so convenient and it’s hard to imagine life without the Internet now. And obviously, what it has done for me and my family, it’s just given me, like we said before, the Internet lifestyle. It’s just been incredible.
My last question here is what do you like least about the Internet?
What do I like least? Obviously, the predators. The people who prey on… Whether it’s they prey on children or they prey on people who are innocent. And the scammers. There are so many legitimate ways to make money online, and to have to do something unethical or illegal or scam people, I just don’t get it. So that really gets me crazy. And the other thing is you have to be careful, because it could become addictive. You don’t realize how many times you check your email. So it definitely has an addictive nature to it, and just the shady stuff gets me a little annoyed. But the positives more than make up for those negatives.
All right, that’s great. I really appreciate having you on today, Ryan. Is there anything that you’d like to share with us, personal business, future plans, goals or anything?
Yeah, I’ve got some really cool stuff happening. If you want to learn more about me and the stuff I’m doing, definitely check out my blog. It’s just my name, RyanLee.com.
So, go to RyanLee.com – I’ve got some cool things I’m working on, some new products. I’ve got the seminar, and just trying to simplify life, and focus, and spend more time with my growing family. And continue to do more interviews with Michael Dunlop.
Brilliant. Thanks very much, Ryan. It’s been a pleasure to have you here today.
It’s been my pleasure, and best of luck and keep doing what you’re doing.