Joel Comm is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, public speaker, social media evangelist, and mobile marketing innovator.
I have to say, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I fired up my computer the morning I interviewed him as he’s kind of a big deal! But I’m happy to report what greeted me, was a happy, laid back, easy going chap. Happy to chew the fat about life, work, spirituality and what it takes to succeed!
Jo: Hello, ladies and gentlemen. How are you doing? Jo Barnes here. Welcome to Mind,
Money, & Marketing.
In a slightly different format this week because, obviously as you know, it’s normally a hangout and today we’re using Skype because I had a small connection issue, but it’s not a problem because the wonderful world of technology means that you can do it on all sorts of different media.
So you should never let anything stand in your way, which is just a little message there for you. Anyway, I have an amazing guest today. I’m really excited because this chap is a bit of big…
Joel: I’m wondering where he is. Hello, amazing guest.
Jo: This chap is a bit of big deal, guys. We’re talking about a New York Times bestseller.
He’s a consultant. He’s a speaker. He’s been on the internet since he was in short pants and before we actually had Wi-Fi and things like that… Sorry, Joel. I don’t want to show your age or anything.
Joel: And here he is with you today, Yoda! Use the internet, you must. You have officially
lost control of this interview, Jo.
Jo: Oh, God. That’s funny. That’s a really good Yoda impression, by the way.
Joel: Thank you.
Jo: Lady and gentlemen, without further ado, here he is, the Yoda of internet marketing
and online marketing, Mr. Joel Comm. Hello, Joel.
Joel: Hi, Jo. How are you?
Jo: Brilliant. That was a great intro.
Joel: You did rather well and I just show up.
Jo: Fantastic. Thank you so much for joining us today, Joel. I’m super happy that you’re
here. I’ve got lots of questions. On my little notepad here, I’ve got lots of questions.
Before we dive into the questions, I was on your blog and I urge people to head over to Joel’s blog and read the whole section on his life story. It’s under the tab, Entrepreneur, I think. It’s joelcomm.com.
Go and check it out because what a fascinating timeline you’ve created and I’d love you just to spend a couple of minutes and just give us a quick précis of how it all began and what’s got you to where you are now.
Joel: Actually, I created a biographic which I believe is the next thing in… It’s not a resume
because I’m not looking for a job and it’s not an infographic in its traditional form. It’s a history of me because people always ask me what do I do. It’s an overwhelming question because over the last 20 years, I’ve done so many different things I don’t where to start. So I say, here, look at this biographic.
I actually got into the internet, building my first website in 1995. That makes me one of 18,000 websites in the whole world that were live that year, which I still can’t believe it. I wasn’t particularly smart. To do this, it just seemed like fun thing to do.
I liked computers. I was online for many years and the web was the next logical progression. Had I really been paying attention, I would have had a website in 1994 but I created some content, ended up licensing some of that content to a Japanese firm and then, created a multiplayer game site with a programmer from California, which ended up getting acquired by Yahoo! in 1998 and it became known as Yahoo! Games.
As the years followed, I created a number of sites. I’ve written a lot of books, I’ve done video production, blogging, podcasting, affiliate marketing, app creation and the list goes on. I had the opportunity to play in a lot of different sandboxes and I’ve just had a really good time.
I’ve met a lot of fantastic people and I get to speak around the world in front of large audiences that are eager to learn how to make money online, how to do social media, how to use mobile and it’s a lot of fun.
Jo: Oh, it’s a great business actually. I love being in this business. It’s super, super fun. The
ability to be able to work from anywhere in the world, as well, I just think is fabulous. Some of your books, we’ve got the AdSense Code, we’ve got Twitter Power, KaChing, Click Here to Order and please correct me if I’m wrong, your latest one is So What Do YOU Do? Is that the connecting with the genius next door? Yes. Discovering the genius next door.
Joel: That’s it right there.
Jo: Yeah, So What Do YOU Do?
Joel: That’s the latest book right there. This one was a little different for me in that I have 46
co-authors. I believe everybody has something special to say. We are all created by God with unique passions, talents, skills, abilities and personalities and I think we’re here by design. We’re not accidents. We’re all supposed to do something.
I think when we’re tuned into what that something is at any particular stage in our life, we bring value to those around us. We have an opportunity to make an impact. In this book, I have recognized that we are literally surrounded by geniuses.
You might not know what your neighbor does, but the odds are they are brilliant at it. When we tap into that genius, there’s a story behind it and an impact can be made. So, So What Do YOU Do? is the first question we inevitably ask each other when we meet somebody for the first time and usually, we ask it expecting a nice pat answer so that we can move on and tell what we do, right?
We’re not really listening. I think when we listen to what the other person says, it’s almost an invitation to hear what their soul is saying because this is what they’re really all about.
So this book is, it takes the chicken soup for soul concept of inspirational stories, but it adds the entrepreneurial element to it, so that not only are people inspired by the stories that they read, but they also learn something along the way.
Jo: I’m so glad that you started with that subject. I’ve noticed through looking at some of
your videos and reading around your stuff that you do have quite a strong spiritual element to a lot of what you do. Is that something that guides you? Is that something that, kind of, keeps you centered and focused?
Joel: It does. My faith is at the core of who I am. I think any spirituality that does not go to
the core is kind of a weak spirituality. I’ve been in that place before, as well. So, I’m not judging. That’s just for me. I believe that everything I do and say and produce comes from who I am and I find my identity through my spirituality.
This body is here for a season and the older it gets, the more I realize that it’s a very short season, but ultimately our spirit, I believe, lives on and I want to be true to who I am and that means being true to what I believe.
Jo: I always say to people when I’m talking to them, students and my community and
people that I’m very lucky to speak to on a daily basis, that really, business, being an entrepreneur, running a business is 90% mindset and 10% skill. What’s your thoughts on how important our mindset is to what we’re doing?
Joel: Let me get my scales so I can measure it and weigh it. What part is it? I don’t know. To
me being entrepreneurial is about going with your gut and it’s about following your passion and what that still small voice inside you tells you you’re supposed to go after. It’s about being willing to take risks and to fail.
I don’t look at failure the way lot of people in the world do. I’d like to try things and I’m totally willing for it to not go as I want it to go. It happens. It’s happened many times. My infographic, my biographic tells you about all my successes. It doesn’t list out how I lost $100,000 here, had a bad hire here and this website that failed.
That would actually be funny. I could do that as a follow-on. I think I have an idea. I think I’m willing to take a risk on that. Maybe create the dark side biographic. Here’s all the things that went wrong. Because those are some of the best lessons, right?
When we succeed and customers come and the money comes and we’re profitable, we celebrate, that’s fantastic. Mission accomplished. When we fail at something, that’s where correction comes in and that correction is not just business correction, often it has to do with our mindset or our spirituality, where we are in our lives.
It has a great deal of impact on whether or not we succeed in various projects. There’s a lot of lessons to be learned from that. I don’t remember what the question was, something about weighing at 90% and 10%. I don’t know. It’s all magic as far as I’m concerned.
Jo: Absolutely. There’s never any right or wrong. I was talking to a guy recently who said to
Me, there are no shoulds. There’s no right and wrong. There’s no, you should do this.
Joel: Yes. In fact, I’d like to tell people don’t let anybody should on you.
Jo: That’s a good one. I think Tony Robbins has got that one as well. Not the same as that.
He talks about shoulding all over yourself or something like that.
Joel: Don’t should on yourself. It’s exhausting when you do.
Jo: A lot of the guys watching this, Joel, are trying to get businesses off the ground. They’ve
got their online idea.They know what they want to do. They’re trying to just get their business off the ground. A lot of comments I get when I talk to people and say, what’s holding you back?
A lot of people say, myself. I’m kind of standing in my own way of success. What kind of advice could you perhaps give to people who want to get their business off the ground, but for some reason are really hesitating in moving forward?
Joel: I would ask them why they’re hesitating. Fear is a great demotivator. Fear keeps us
stuck. Sometimes people will over-analyze and over-think things and they want to have every T crossed and every I dotted before they move forward. Entrepreneurial means good to have a plan, but sometimes you just got to jump.
You just have to take that leap of faith. I look at this way. Our time is limited and we don’t know how long we have. If I don’t do this, what might I regret for not having taken that risk? Will I look back and go, you know, I played it safe and I did okay, but I really wish I had taken a risk and done that thing. What’s really standing in the way?
We have control over what we do to the extent of the law and gravity and the laws of the universe and how much money we have, but even with that, there are so many stories of people that have started with nothing but passion and an idea and the drive and desire to see it through.
So you can be your own worst enemy in which case I would tell you, get out of your own way and just do something. You have to be willing to take a risk. If you’re not willing to take a risk and you’re not willing to fail, then you’re not ready to be an entrepreneur. Find a job that pays a salary and perhaps some benefits so that you will feel secure in it. If you’re not ready to take a leap, then perhaps you’re going down the wrong road.
That’s fine. I have nothing against people who have traditional jobs or salaries. We need that as well. That might be a better fit for somebody. If you’re thinking, boy, I really want to do that thing, but I’m scared, then you probably really do want to do that thing and you have to overcome your fear.
The only way to overcome the fear is to push through it. The only way out is through. That’s it. There’s no other way. So what I’d like to tell people is if you’re going to be afraid, take a few seconds to embrace the fear.
Just cuddle up next to it, feel the fear of, oh my gosh! What happens if this fails? What’s the worst case scenario and feel that, experience that. Then go, okay. Still can’t get any worse than that. Let’s do this thing.
Jo: Actually, there’s a really good book. It’s an oldie, but a goodie by Dale Carnegie called
Stop Worrying and Start Living and he chunks down how to deal with your worries or fear and how to chunk it down and move through it, so a great piece of advice there.
Talking about online business and I’m going to start grilling you about social media soon…
Joel: Oh, oh. I’m going to get grilled.
Jo: Lots of our guys like talking about social media, but talking about online businesses.
What would you say are some of key things that people must be doing all the time on a daily or weekly basis to be growing their business and growing their audience?
Joel: I think the main thing has little to do with social media and all to do about your own
website. You need to be creating your content, developing products, writing, blogging, creating audio, creating video. Whatever it is that your strength is, you need to be creating content in a way that it brings value to people.
It might not be a blog. It might be a PDF, a report that you created. It might be a physical book. You need to be doing something that’s going to transfer the information that you have, the value that you bring, the product that you’ve created, to be able to deliver it somehow to those that will benefit from it. Your blog, your website, your member site, this is your home base.
This is ultimately where you want people to come to. Social media then, are the tools in your toolbox that are going to drive people to your home base. You don’t own Twitter. You don’t own Facebook. You don’t own Google Plus. They own those platforms. The best thing you can do… It’s kind of like going to a networking event and a place that’s not yours. Somebody puts on a big business networking event and they bring in 100 people. It’s your job to build a relationship with those people. This is Twitter or Facebook and then, get them to come back to your home, to your place, right?
So social media, all the different sites, those are all tools to engage, to bring value, to show people what it is that you want to do for them, how you can add to their lives, how they’ll benefit, so that ultimately, they’ll want to know more about you which they’re going to discover on your website.
Jo: That’s great, actually. I know that quite a lot of people ask the question, do I really need a website? Now there is Facebook and Google and all these places. Do I actually need, you know, my own website? I think it’s super important that you do have that home. You have that place that people can go to and find out more about you?
Joel: Right. You’ve got to have that website and that should define your brand. Then, your
social media profiles are an extension of that brand. If you’ll look at my blog at joelcomm.com and then, go to my Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube, you’re going to see the continuity amongst all those, so that when people see me in any of these arenas, they’re going to know, oh, there’s that Joel Comm guy. He’s kind of silly, but I can tell from his brand that he is an author, speaker, entrepreneur and consultant. This is what he does.
Jo: Yeah. Absolutely. What’s your thoughts on…Obviously you’re a massive content
producer, Joel. You’ve got your podcast.
Joel: I’m not that big.
Jo: You’ve got your… Not anymore. Not anymore. I really need to talk to you about that. I
want your tips. You’re so right about us sitting on our backsides all the time in front of our computers and snacking and, oh, my God, I don’t want to talk about how much weight I’ve put on over the last couple of years, but you’re looking really good, really trim there.
Joel: Thank you. I feel good.
Jo: You’re even managing to mix it up because you’re doing your walks, aren’t you?
Your daily walks, your exercise and you’re recording videos for people to get inspirational messages from you, as well.
Joel: Yeah. I thought as long as I’m walking… The whole weight loss and fitness thing I
started back in September 2010 and I went public with it because I wanted first of all to hold myself accountable, which I knew I was going to do it anyway.
I didn’t really need the accountability, but I thought it can’t hurt and I wanted to inspire people. I thought if they could see somebody like me drop 50 pounds or so and begin taking better care of himself, then maybe they would as well and it’s very rewarding. I still hear from people today that have done that.
I walk almost every day, but I just started a week or so ago, pulling out my web kit, my iPhone and I just hold it up like this as I walk and I face it to me and I share for a minute or so and then, I upload it. It’s just one quick thought and hopefully, somebody gets something out of it.
Jo: Absolutely and a little bit more content out there. Just talking about content, that’s
where I was going. I digressed. Actually before we do go into content, I am digressing, but what difference has it made to you and your business getting slimmer and fitter? Do you feel it’s made a difference to what you do?
Joel: It wasn’t just physically getting well. I went through a number of changes in my
business. I ended up, over a period of time, letting go of a staff that had just grown too large and there were changes in the business atmosphere. Over a period of a year, I let go of everybody and scaled back to one employee, which is me.
I love it, working at home again, love it. I don’t have the rent. I don’t have the big payroll. I don’t have all those expenses. I’ve got a lot more freedom. I sold off a couple of my larger sites.
I went through a period of transition in my personal life and so I took a time of about a 2-year sabbatical, a semi-sabbatical. I didn’t pull away completely, but I really focused on taking care of myself. Physical was just part of it. Taking care of myself emotionally. Reconnecting with family, with friends, taking a good hard look at areas of my own life that needed to be under a microscope.
I dealt with a lot of issues personally and then, spiritually, really connecting with God in a way that was meaningful and significant for me. I think all of that together. We’re three-part beings. We can’t expect to neglect one part of it and somehow, have the others prosper. I think there needs to be balance.
So physically, emotionally and spiritually, it all worked together and just overall, I feel like a healthier me. Certainly, that’s going to impact my business.
Jo: Yeah, absolutely. That’s great to hear. I’m sure lots of people will appreciate the advice
there on ensuring that they get some balance because it’s something that we’re all really bad at. We all do tend to… Where the focus goes, that’s kind of where we stick. I’m going to focus on the business, so everything else goes out the window.
Or I’m going to focus on my relationships and then, everything else goes out of the window. So getting that balance right is fantastic. So well done, congratulations!
Joel: Thank you. I’m a work in progress. I haven’t arrived. There is a lot of work to be done.
I’m by no means the guru on top of the mountain in the lotus position. I have my own daily struggles, physically, emotionally, spiritually, in business. I’m like everybody else. Having had successes I can’t’ rest and go, well, I’m just going to live off that the rest of my life, because, A: financially I can’t, right?
It costs money to live and there’re bills and there’re things we have to take care of. Who wants to not work? This whole idea of retirement is completely foreign to me. I want to keep producing, but I’m not going keep doing the same thing I did in the past. I want to do new things.
There’re new adventures to have. There’re new places to go. There’re new people to meet. There’re new products and services to create and new value to bring. I turn 50 next year and I’m looking at, okay, I want the next 20 years of my life to be the most productive.
What is yet to come to cast a shadow over what’s been because what’s been I’ve already been there, I’ve done that. Let’s do something else.
Jo: Looking good for just turning 50, Joel, I have to say.
Joel: Thank you.
Jo: Anyway, back to content, which was my original question way back when. How
important is it for people to be producing content in their business?
Joel: I think it’s essential to be creating content. Even if you’re producing a product, right, a
physical product, maybe water bottles, right, that’s your business. There’s definitely a science to this. Why this type of bottle? Why is this superior to another brand? What can you tell me about plastics and sustainability and recyclables?
I know that’s a weird example, but I just picked up the first thing I saw. Everybody has something to say. When we go to websites that are just brochures, there’s nothing fresh there. We know what a brochure looks like.
We pick those up in the store and thumb through them. We want content. We want information that we can use and apply and learn something about what it is that you do and the value that you bring.
So whether it’s blogging or some video, or audio or e-Book or forums… whatever it is, content is key and I think that everybody needs to be producing it in a form that is most natural for them.
Jo: I get asked this question a lot. Marketing has changed a lot over the last few years. I’ve
been in marketing now for 20 odd years. It used to be that you would have a very static website and it would be more of a brochure than anything else. There was no interaction, nothing like we have obviously today with Facebook and Twitter and all that kind of stuff.
People will say to me, Jo, at what point…? I want to produce content. I can see that you produce lots of content, but at what point do you say, okay, that’s enough of my free stuff? At which point do you begin to monetize it? Is the old adage of wow, if the quality is this good for free, what am I going to get in the product? Is that actually true or do you think that you could go overboard with your free stuff or really, is there no limit?
Joel: I don’t think you can ever… The way I look at it is, we’ve been given so much.
Whatever our status is, I think that the fact that we have life, it’s a gift for us to begin with and I feel like whether or not we see it that God is good to us. Because we’re given so much with really nothing expected in return, mirroring that can never be a bad thing. I don’t think you can ever out-give.
It’s funny because on the plane back from my trip to Chicago with my family is, I just finished rereading Bob Burg’s The Go Giver and again you give without expectation. It doesn’t mean you don’t sell your products.
It means that by giving people will be more attracted because they like you, they know you and they trust you and they’re prepared to pay you for whatever it is that you have to offer. I don’t think you’re ever going to get into trouble by giving away the farm. I think there’s always going to be business that comes as a result of it.
Jo: Absolutely. Yeah, and that’s a great book. It’s a wonderful book. Read it, guys.
Joel: It’s fabulous.
Jo: Not only that book. Bob Burg is super approachable nice guy. I was just on Facebook
recently and went and had a chat with him. Yeah. He’s just one of these lovely super approachable, nice people. I think actually with public figures now, as well, Joel, you find that that’s really happening more. Because of the interaction now on social media sites, there’s less of a gap.
It used to be that, gosh, this person was this huge kind of celebrity and very revered and unapproachable and you couldn’t really get past the gatekeepers to get to them. Whereas now, I think people are willing to go out there and just talk to everybody and strike up conversations.
Joel: I think that we’re all people. Maybe Lady Gaga isn’t. I don’t know if she is an alien or
not. No. We’re all people and a lot of people having fame, it kind of locks them away. They lose the ability to connect because people always want something from them and physically, they want to be close and their personal space gets invaded.
There’s something about the internet that allows them to have that connection with their fans and their customers in a way that isn’t so intrusive. It creates a safe zone, a buffer for them to do that.
I think what we’re seeing is not necessarily that people are more willing to… They’re changing. I just think that there’s a channel that allows them to be the way they’ve always wanted to be.
I just made that up, by the way. I think it made sense.
Jo: Oh, it did. It made total sense. I think that’s wonderful. With social media, it’s such a
transparent world that it’s actually very difficult, I think, to go on there and not be who you actually are. It’s getting more and more difficult I think.
Joel: People see through it. Why not just be who you are? Look, this is me, warts and all,
although I don’t have any warts, but I have plenty of flaws. You know what? Maybe it’s the older you get, the more willing you are to just accept that. Okay. So this is who I am. I snore or I smack my gum when I chew or I’ve got a foul mouth or whatever it is, which I don’t.
There’re people who do and I think you learn to be less judgmental because I would rather somebody be authentic about who they are than put up a show for me and I discover later that that wasn’t the real deal. I’m not paying for a performance. I want to be in relationships.
Jo: Absolutely. Yeah. Don’t be frightened of your own voice. Have you ever seen Kris
Carr? Have you seen Kris Carr who does all the health and everything? She’s a lovely lady and she does all the Crazy Sexy Diet and Crazy Sexy… She is a cancer sufferer and she does Crazy Sexy Cancer and all the rest of it.
I saw her being interviewed recently, and she said one of her most liberating moments was when she just said, you know what? I’m going to be me. I’m going to use my voice, and I’m not going to be frightened of, you know, using my own voice.
I think lots of people get frightened because they think they’re going to be judged. They think people are going to say, oh, God. Really? Is that what you think?
Joel: There’s always going… They’re right. People will judge you, but you have to get to a
place where it’s like, okay, there’s no way that I can please everybody. Look, Jesus walked the earth. He did miracles and he healed people and they killed him. So how can we expect that we’re going to get somehow a fair shake from other people? I’m not everybody’s cup of tea and that’s fine. I don’t need to be.
I’ve got my family that loves me and cares about me. I’ve got friends that care about me. I’ve got a circle of associates. I’ve got customers that like me and then, I’ve got those who don’t. There’s somebody else that they like to listen to and that’s fine. Boy, all you got to do is take a look at the leaders of our country. How many of them ever have approval ratings that go over half?
It’s not just that the others disapprove, it’s that they vehemently disapprove. They might really hate that leader. So, hey, take me as I am. This is all I got to work with.
Joel: This is the only raw material I have. I got nothing else.
Jo: And I can guarantee you’re not going to get nailed to a cross for using your voice today.
You might get metaphorically nailed.
Joel: Yeah. It’s happened metaphorically, but, fortunately, not physically. So pass.
Jo: Just talking about building relationships, striking up conversations, using your own
voice, what are some of the things that you’re doing right now, Joel, bearing in mind you’ve got rid of all your staff? So you’re now on your own. A lot of people I know really struggle with time.
Joel: I’m alone. What have I…
Jo: A lot of solopreneurs, as the old buzzword is these days, are working alone and they
struggle with time and how do they improve their exposure on the social media networks and yet be able to fit it all into a day. So what are some of the things that you’re doing right now to build your audiences and reach out and create those conversations?
Joel: I just do what I can. I just do what I’m able to do and what I want to do. For me, that
means Facebook primarily. It means Twitter. It means making connections on LinkedIn. It means shooting videos when I want to, but I don’t have the set schedule of, oh, no, it’s time to tweet. Have I done four tweets today? It’s time to get on. I don’t work that way.
This will be really freeing for a lot of people that are going to hear this. I hope it will be anyway. You have a lifestyle, but a lot of people adapt their lifestyle to what they’re told they should do on social media and all of a sudden, they become a slave to the tyrant that is the never-ending stream of social sites and social content.
I prefer to look at it this way. I have a lifestyle and oh, here’s these social sites. I want to make the social sites and how I use them, fit my lifestyle. I use them how I want and I’m not going to apologize for it. I’m not going to do what everybody else says to do just because they say I should be using Pinterest.
I rarely, I mean, once a month I might pin something on Pinterest. It’s not my thing, but it’s fine if it’s your thing. It’s fine if you spend all of your time marketing on Pinterest. I lose business because I am not more active, but I get to maintain my sanity and my lifestyle, which I hold is more dear to me than making more money.
Jo: Yeah. Good. Very good advice. You used that word should again. There is no should.
There is no should in what you do. There’s no right or wrong.
Joel: No should. There shouldn’t be. Did you see what I did there.
Jo: I did. Yeah. Very good. Very good. Do you do list building? Do you still use emails to
connect with people as well as social media?
Joel: Email is still the best way to connect with people. Building your list and presenting an
ethical bribe, something of value that people will say it is worth trading my email, my personal information for what you have to offer. I still offer free reports and other content and enjoy communicating with people via my email list. I don’t send out very many offers.
Typically, I will tell people about conferences I’m going to go to or every week, I come out with my podcast, the Joel Comm Show, and I’ll mail about a new episode when it’s out. I’ll share about other blog entries that I have and occasionally, if I come across a product that I think is worth sharing, I’ll promote that as an affiliate.
Jo: How do you monetize your business, Joel? I know you’ve got the books, obviously, for
sale and you’re a speaker… Do you have products? Do you send out training courses and products, things like that?
Joel: I have not developed any new courses in a few years because I was on my sabbatical.
Recently, I produced this book. I do go out and speak and I offer consulting. I’ve got some high-end clients that are willing to pay five figures a year in order to tap into my mastermind.
Most recently, I started an inner circle which I’m actually having the page redone, but I’ve got a few members in my beta program at joelcomm.com/inner circle where people can join me each month and they actually discover what it is I’m working on right now.
I’m opening up the kimono, if you will and revealing, here’s what’s taking place, here’s why I’m doing this and here’s why you should pay attention, rather than in the past it would be I would do something and then, I would share how I did it or what I did.
They’re able to walk through the process with me and in doing so, people have told me that I have a bit of a vision for what the next big thing is. So they get to tap into what I’m thinking right now. I’m really encouraging people to join me on that journey because the entrepreneurs really want to know where things are going. I’ve been on the frontlines of different industries.
I’ve probably been the first to 10 to 12 different projects [market initiatives] over the last 18 years and I’m not done by a long shot.
Jo: So watch, Joel Comm, ladies and gentleman. Keep your eyes on wherever he goes and
I’ll start heading in that direction, too. That actually brings me beautifully to my next question, though, about the future. I was literally going to ask you, could you get your crystal ball out for us, Joel. I want to talk about…
Joel: Will a plastic mug work?
Jo: That’ll do. That’ll do. I want to talk about social media because, obviously, there have
been some changes in the last few years with Google Plus, kind of, hitting the stratosphere. Obviously, Facebook has been a massive place for marketers over the last few years.
What’re your views on where social media is going and whether we should be on Google Plus now in order to benefit from that in the future?
Joel: I don’t use Google Plus a whole lot. I’ve no doubt that they’re going to continue to
grow. I’m not sure that they’re growing in the direction that has been easy for many of us to adopt. Facebook clearly has no sign of slowing and Twitter, if you can get past the noises, is very valuable, but I think that commerce is not being served properly in any of those venues.
It’s very difficult for brands to gather a following and then, reach that following. So my prediction for the last few months, I’ve been beating the strum, is that there will be another new site that is going to rise up, that is going to have a consumer and a commerce focus to it.
They’re going to bring those two together in a way that makes it friendly for business to do business and for customers to be able to interact with the brands that they know, like and trust. I don’t know what it looks like yet, but I feel like it’s coming and it’s going to shake things up in the social space.
Jo: That sounds like it’s going to be challenging now because I think the magic of Facebook
is that you’ve got this entire massive audience that aren’t actually on there to buy anything and actually, don’t want marketing messages shoved in their faces.
Therefore, as a marketer you have to be incredibly creative when you’re doing your adverts and stuff to try and grab their attention and pull them into some kind of free offer or free content before obviously you go and make a sale.
A site that has that commerce element, do you not think that actually a lot of people will just get turned off just simply because they know that there’s going to be a lot of marketers on there and they’re going to get marketed to?
Joel: Here’s the thing. People don’t mind being marketed to if they have permission. They
want to be marketed to by the brands that they know, like and trust and with Facebook, you can have 10,000 likes on your brand page, but when you go to post you might only reach 1000 of those people.
So the people who have already said they’re interested in what you have to say, don’t get to hear from you. Those obstacles need to be lifted, but that’s not going to happen on Facebook. It’s not going to happen on Twitter. It’s just going to get worse. So it becomes increasingly difficult.
Brands don’t want to have to fool the consumer in order to get their attention. So when we talk about being creative, there’s a difference between being creative and being deceptive. Facebook is presenting us with ads, but they’re not necessarily ads that we’re interested in.
They’re ads that are being targeted from other businesses that think we would be interested in them. What I’m talking about is being able to connect with the brands that we want to connect with and there is not currently a mechanism for that to be facilitated.
Jo: I love what you just said there about brands not wanting to fool people. I think that’s
marvelous. Over the last few years, online marketing or the term ‘internet marketing’ has really changed dramatically.
Years ago, it was all about fooling the customer, a lot of guys online. It was all about, how do we push the right buttons and say our marketing message and all the rest of it. Nowadays, I’m seeing it is a lot more upfront. People are being a lot more upfront and being very transparent.
Just going on with that, where do you think online marketing is going as a niche and I’m talking in particular here about info products and affiliate marketing, the real traditional internet marketing style?
Joel: I think the make-money-fast thing… There’re always those that are looking for the push-
button solution. That’s my little KaChing button.
They want it to be easy, though. They want it to just come overnight and the truth is this is hard work. People are looking for real quality. They want systems and courses that they know they’re going to have to work to implement, but that they can apply to their business.
I think less and less we’re going to see people falling for the, I made a million dollars in my underwear last week and you can too. It doesn’t work that way. It never has. There’s always a few that get lucky, but you have a better chance of winning the lottery in many respects than following those people.
Jo: So you think that consumers generally are getting much more savvy now and that
they’re actually willing to work hard. They’re actually willing to go out there and put in the effort to make this work for them.
Joel: I want to say that I hope so. I’m not certain. I think there’s always the element that
they’re unhappy with their job. They hear of others making a lot of money and they think it’s a quick, easy opportunity.
If that weren’t case, then those sites would totally disappear, but they’re still out there. I don’t know that they’re going to away. Hopefully, the consumer will get smarter.
Jo: Yeah. Where can we get one of those KaChing buttons? I want one of those.
Joel: Very easy. You can go to www.kachingbutton.com.
Jo: I want that for my hangouts and webinars.
Joel: I actually manufacture these to go along with my book KaChing. This is one of the
things that I tell people to do in your marketing. So, to go along with my book, I created these buttons and have a couple thousand of them that I have in my warehouse and people order them and we ship them out, but it’s unique to me.
When I made them for the holidays one year, I sent these as gifts to friends and associates rather than a bottle of wine or candies or fruit baskets or something and this was probably the best thing that they got that year.
Jo: I hope that it was. It’s totally unique. It’s something completely different. I love that.
All right, we’re heading towards the end of the interview, Joel. We’re getting towards the end of time. I would just like to ask you a couple of quick questions. First of all, what do you really think is the… It’s very difficult, there’s not really one thing, but what do you think is the key to people being successful in their businesses? What would you say is the main ingredient?
Joel: Main ingredient. Boy, there’s so many. I’m going to give you more than one. You have
really be passionate about what you’re doing and you have to have the deep, deep, deep desire to see it through. That includes taking the risks as an entrepreneur, being willing to fail at it and to get up and then keep trying.
What you’re doing has got to bring value to other peoples’ lives. It’s got to make a difference, even if it’s something as simple as making them laugh, like I did with my iPhone application.
Jo: iFart, is that what it’s called, your iPhone application?
Joel: Yeah. A lot of people bought it and it got a lot of press because it made people laugh
and it entertained them. Whatever you’re doing has to bring value. I think that those are the keys.
Jo: Yeah. Fantastic. Something else that I always like to ask my guests as we get to the end
of the show and I do kind of plant it on them, sorry about this. I really ought to give a warning, but…
Joel: That’s okay.
Jo: Inspiration. Along your journey, as you’ve gone on your journey, has there been a book
that you’ve read, a film that you’ve seen, a person that you watched, that’s just really inspired you? Perhaps there’s been a turning, and you thought, gosh, that book or that film, that made that happen and that you could share with our audience that will maybe inspire them too.
Joel: Absolutely. Mine came in, I want to say, 1989. I attended a Zig Ziglar Born To Win
seminar. It was a three-day seminar and it was tremendously inspiring to me. Ziglar is one of my heroes. Sadly, he passed this last year and his son, Tom is carrying the baton forward with the organization and sharing his father’s message and I’m really delighted to see that.
Zig’s message forever transformed me and I was so honored and privileged because in 2010, right before I went on my sabbatical, it was the last speaking engagement I had. I got to share the same stage that Zig spoke on at a marketing event in Texas. What a great privilege that was. The book is still relevant.
I think that Zig taught a balance between the physical, emotional and spiritual, tied business into everything and provided people with an outlook for approaching life that truly is inspirational.
Jo: Fantastic. What I’ll do is this interview will be put on my blog and I will put a link to
Zig Ziglar. He must have more than one book, has he? Was there one particular book that stuck out?
Joel: I went to his event and the book that I first read was called See You At The Top. The
conference was Born To Win. The book was called See You At The Top. As I got into direct sales, I read his, Secrets of Closing The Sale, which I actually bought the audio cassettes and when I would go on sales calls, I would listen to them again and again and again and again. I just learned so much from him.
Jo: Great stuff. I’ll put some links below. Also, I want to link to you, Joel. Obviously I’ll
link to your blog, etc. and to your inner circle. What’s the future for Joel Comm? You’ve had this sabbatical. You’re back with this new renewed energy. What’s the future for you over the next few years?
Joel: I rarely am able to look even a year ahead. That’s just the way I roll. I take things as they
come. Right now, I’ve got a few projects I’m working on, not prepared to speak about them yet, except for those that are in my inner circle and I’ll be sharing some of that. I’ve got a couple of book ideas. 2013 has kind of been the year of reconnecting, networking with people, seeing how I can bring value and I believe 2014 is going to be a really big year.
Jo: Fantastic. The best place for people to connect with you and follow your journey is over
at joelcomm.com, correct?
Joel: Right, absolutely.
Jo: What can I say, Joel? It’s been fun. We’ve had a few laughs. It’s been a brilliant
interview. Thank you very much for spending some time with us and sharing some of your insights. It’s been great to meet you and I know that the guys watching this are really going to appreciate this. I thank you very much.
Joel: Thank you for having me and I wish you the greatest success.
Jo: Thank you. Thank you, Joel. We’ll be watching you. We’ll be watching you.
Joel: Uh-oh, stalkers!
So what do you think about that? Pretty awesome right! Now’s the time for you to take some ACTION! Please comment below and tell me 3 things;
1. What was your AHA moment in the interview?
2. What one piece of action are you now going to take because of what you heard on the interview?
3. When are you going to do it by?