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The Launch Campus: Learn to Start a Business | iPhone Apps | Ecommerce | Online Stores | Entrepreneur | Financial Independence
50 minutes | Aug 31, 2015
TLC 008: The Only Thing You Have to Know to Start a Successful Business
Randall Bennett has worked in the television industry for over a decade. He's had the dream of putting the expensive tools of television stations into the hands of the masses, to allow every day people like me and me to produce a show as well done as, say, CNN. With this goal in hand he was accepted into Y Combinator's 2014 Winter class and has been working away ever since. His company Vidpresso makes tools for television stations, and has now started making a software application to help people make podcasts much more easily. We even used it to make this week's episode. In This Episode You’ll Learn About Why not to focus on money How to give white glove treatment to your customers (and why it's important – not what you'd expect) How to stay motivated on a new project Why he's not worried about how his new project will make money Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode Y Combinator Vidpresso TechVi Show Ira Glass Quote Zesty Epishow Randall's Twitter Justin Khan podcast about making Justin.TV and Twitch Subscribe to the Launch Campus Podcast! Thanks for listening! If you liked the show, please rate and review it on iTunes. Please share this episode using the social media buttons below the post. If you have any feedback or suggestions, leave a comment below! Thanks Randall for being on the show!
24 minutes | Aug 28, 2015
TLC 007: From $212,000 in Debt to Making $45k as a Professional Speaker
Whether you're in debt or looking to overcome another big obstacle, Jen McDonough is person who inspires. With the help of her husband, she's not only gotten her family out of $212,000 of debt, but has also finished an Ironman Triathlon and trained to be a volunteer firefighter (that's over 200 hours of training for those keeping track). She's now turned her wonderful story into a successful and new career as a professional speaker. I was curious how she got started... who's the first person to call when you want to get paid to speak? How do you find clients? How much does a relatively new speaker make? Those and more are answered in this fun interview! In This Episode You’ll Learn About Going from Toastmasters to getting paid to speak The value of knowing who your audience is Getting over the mindset of “who would pay me to speak” How she made her first speaking dollar at the United Way How much she made doing her first speech The difference between what your audience thinks they need vs what they actually want Strategies to book your first speaking engagement Strategies to find budgets for speaking within organizations The value of directly asking your audience what they want How to identify locations that are actively looking for speakers How to use books as a “calling card” to book speaking gigs The importance of having a goal to run towards Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode Toastmasters Calendly Book offer (thanks Jen!) TheIronJen.com Subscribe to the Launch Campus Podcast! Thanks for listening! If you liked the show, please rate and review it on iTunes. Please share this episode using the social media buttons below the post. If you have any feedback or suggestions, leave a comment below! Thanks Jen for being an awesome guest!
41 minutes | Aug 27, 2015
TLC 006: From Laid Off to Building an Ecommerce Empire with Over 200 Employees
What do you do when the recession hits, you and your sister get laid off, your other sister gets divorced, and your dad's on the cusp of losing his job? Go into business together, of course. That's exactly what the Doan family did back in 2008. They didn't realize it at the time, but they were at the beginning of building an ecommerce quilting empire. Really. From a few YouTube videos they've now grown their company to over 200 employees, and turned their small town into a large tourist attraction. Their customers consider it a mecca of sorts, often traveling thousands of miles to pay their dues and see the Missouri Start Quilting Company in person. One group of women came all the way from Australia. The President and son in the family, Al Doan, was nice enough to talk to me about how they got started. He admits to not being the most creative person out there, but he proudly makes up for it with sheer hard word and tenacity. I think that's something we all should admire. In This Episode You’ll Learn About Why Al originally wanted to work in corporate America instead of being an entrepreneur How awesome their original launch went How to be interesting so you have something to talk to your customers about How Al went from getting completely shunned by the press to being featured on NBC Nightly News, in the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and others The value of finding the right story in your business Why Al says “the PR game is like playing a video game you can’t save” The value of asking for advice (probably not what you’d expect) Al’s “secret” about investing in new companies The best advice I’ve ever heard about what to do after graduating college (seriously) Why he avoids consulting How to overcome not being a creative person The value of “failing as fast and as big” as possible Why you shouldn’t try to be valuable in areas you don’t know about How to grow a fantastic and useful network Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode Missouri Star Quilting Company Missouri Star YouTube page Al's Twitter Woot.com Quiltersdailydeal.com Magento.com Kajiji.com Quora.com The hard knock MBA Small Business Person Year of the Award Subscribe to the Launch Campus Podcast! Thanks for listening! If you liked the show, please rate and review it on iTunes. Please share this episode using the social media buttons below the post. If you have any feedback or suggestions, leave a comment below! Thanks Al
50 minutes | Aug 26, 2015
TLC 005: From An Accountant Desk Job to $500,000 in Revenue with a Subscription Box Service
Learning to code to start a business is like “becoming a CPA before you can manage your own finances." Quotes like that are why I love today's guest, Rohan Gilkes. He inspires you to stop thinking so much, and just DO. Action is what wins business, not over analyzing and trying to get the perfect answer. Rohan has been involved in a lot of different businesses. Currently he spends most of his time on WetShaveClub.com, MaidsInBlack, and Launch27. That's in addition to the free guides, conferences, and books he's also had a hand in creating. The guy is all over the place. When I asked him what he thought about the conventional wisdom of picking just one or two things to focus on, he said "I do focus on one thing. My focus is life." What a great answer! In This Episode You’ll Learn About How Rohan bought a site he found on Reddit for $4,000 and did over $500,000 in revenue in just over a year The skills that are even more important than coding How to get your first small wins as an entrepreneur How to set up your first affiliate deal with a local business owner Strategies to drive traffic to a brand new website The mental attitude to provide more value for your customers (about things they don't even know about) How to get bloggers to drive traffic to your website Why Yelp traffic converts better than traffic from Google The single most important thing about getting traffic about Yelp How to overcome the chicken and egg problem of getting positive reviews on Yelp Why branding was the first thing he focused on after taking over WetShaveClub How to get out of a dead end job that feels like “a life sentence” The 2 simple things Rohan did to validate WetShaveClub Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode Launch27.com MaidsInBlack.com WetShaveClub.com Launch27's revenue metrics Book: How to Catch a Buffalo One Day Startup Rohan's Reddit Community IfByPhone.com Shoemoney.com Upwork.com Topsy.com Angie's List Thumbtack Whitepages.com Dollarshaveclub.com 99designs.com Alibaba.com Etsy.com Made to Stick Rohan's Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Rohan's Facebook Rohan's Facebook community Subscribe to the Launch Campus Podcast! Thanks for listening! If you liked the show, please rate and review it on iTunes. Please share this episode using the social media buttons below the post. If you have any feedback or suggestions, leave a comment below! Shout out to Rohan again for being a great guest. Thanks!
33 minutes | Aug 25, 2015
TLC 004: The Power of YouTube Marketing and TrueView Ads
It's hard to watch YouTube these days without seeing an ad. Some are annoying, but others can be pretty good... or even entertaining. That's what today's guest does. He's done video marketing work for tons of companies, including Netflix, Tivo, and others. But he also used YouTube video marketing to sell the initial run of his brand new product, FanPole. It turns out YouTube is an under appreciated marketing channel, so listening to Jake could pay off big time. In This Episode You’ll Learn About How to join exciting projects by investing in relationships How to get free branding from YouTube advertising The power of putting people before profit How to test your ecommerce product idea How to use YouTube marketing to get your product in front of the right audience How to find a business partner How to get your customers to do social media marketing for you How to know when to double down on a project The power of having a unique product on the market How to ease into the market and minimize your risk Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode FanPole.com The FanPole video Google Keyword tool Jake's video marketing site Jake's Twitter Subscribe to the Launch Campus Podcast! Thanks for listening! If you liked the show, please rate and review it on iTunes. Please share this episode using the social media buttons below the post. If you have any feedback or suggestions, leave a comment below! Thanks again to Jake for being on the show.
61 minutes | Aug 20, 2015
TLC 003: From $0 to $15,000 in Monthly Revenue, AND Six-figure Earnings on Ebooks
In this episode of The Launch Campus Podcast, I talk to one of the best product launchers I know: Nathan Barry. Nathan started small like the rest of us, using an email list of less than 800 people to do his very first product launch... that resulted in over $10,000 in 24 hours! He's since grown that email list to 25,000 people, and now has sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of his ebooks. He also talks to us about software company, ConvertKit, and how he's grown in from nothing to, as I write this, $16, 700 in monthly recurring revenue. I hope you'll be inspired to start and launch your own project after hearing from Nathan. In This Episode You’ll Learn About How to create an audience from scratch How to own the customer relationship How to become known as the person in your niche/industry How to maximize revenue by selling products in tiers Why not to be afraid of failure How to get the full attention and effort of the people you hire The trade offs of hiring cheap developers vs more talented (but expensive) people How to avoid risking a bunch of money on a new project What Nathan did when his new product dropped from $2,500 monthly revenue to $1,300 How to grow your email list to 25,000 subscribers from nothing How Nathan reacted when someone he trusted asked him “When are you going to admit that your product is a failure?” Why failure is better than mediocrity The worse case scenario he and his wife decided on Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode Designing Web Applications Authority The App Design Handbook One Voice (Nathan's first iOS app) How I Made $19,000 on the App Store While Learning to Code Christ Guillebeau on how to write 300,000 words in a year Amy Hoy's Freckle Web App Laura Roeder Edgar Social Media App What Everybody Should Know about Contracting Developers ConvertKit ConvertKit's actual, live revenue numbers Subscribe to the Launch Campus Podcast! Thanks for listening! If you liked the show, please rate and review it on iTunes. Please share this episode using the social media buttons below the post. If you have any feedback or suggestions, leave a comment below! Thanks again to Nathan for being on the show!
27 minutes | Aug 20, 2015
TLC 002: The Couple that Turned a $73,000 Successful Kickstarter Campaign into a Feature-length Documentary Film
I'm thrilled for Session #2 of The Launch Campus Podcast. Today we get to learn from Austin Craig, Coproducer of Life on Bitcoin, a feature-length documentary about living on the digital currency, Bitcoin. Austin's well known in the YouTube world, but didn't have prior experience with Hollywood or making feature-length films. He and his wife worked together and managed to figure out this whole world, including financing, production, and now distribution both in theaters and venues across the country and video on demand services like Netflix. Right click here to download the episode to your computer. In This Episode You'll Learn About: How Austin jump started his career with no entreprenuer background at home or from school The first thing you need to do when working on a big ambitious project How he came up with the idea for Life on Bitcoin The mistakes he made in launching his Kickstarter campaign and how to avoid them How he got interviews with big sites like Mashable How to get press for your product and story The “naive assumption” he made about distributing his feature film How he was able to premier and screen his film via independent meetups and theatres around the country How to get your film onto Netflix and other video on-demand services Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode Life on Bitcoin Kickstarter Campaign Life on Bitcoin site Austin's first video with Orabrush (currently with over 23 million views) Griffon Hammon on 5 Lessons he Learned from his Profitable Indie Documentary Distribber.com (video-on-demand aggregator) Sriracha Movie Austin's Site Pocket Film Fest Subscribe to the Launch Campus Podcast! Thanks for listening! If you liked the show, please rate and review it on iTunes. Please share this episode using the social media buttons below the post. If you have any feedback or suggestions, leave a comment below! Thanks again to Austin for being on the show.
11 minutes | Aug 20, 2015
TLC 001: Welcome to the First Episode of The Launch Campus Podcast. Here’s What to Expect from the Show.
Hello and welcome! After much internal debate, the podcast has arrived. I'm really, really excited. In this, the genesis episode, I go over what the show is about and what you can expect from future sessions, who I am and my background as an entrepreneur, and give some quick thoughts on the hardest part of launching a new business. Future sessions will have a guest. Each guest is someone who's launched something from scratch, and we'll learn from them how they did it. I have guests lined up who've done independent feature films, started ecommerce stores that have grown to hundreds of employees, people who've manufactured products in China... lots of different industries that we can hopefully get a better peak into. I hope you enjoy the show! Right Click to download the MP3 here. Subscribe to the Launch Campus Podcast! Thanks for listening! If you liked the show, please rate and review it on iTunes. Please share this episode using the social media buttons below the post.
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