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[E4C17] The Art of Visionary Leadership & Authority Marketing – Till Carlos

The topic of visionary leadership is fascinating to me – what inspires people to follow one person, over another? What motivates masses of people to follow a single person? What does it take to inspire the people who work for you to do it joyfully and enthusiastically?

I’m thrilled to have Till Carlos on this interview because he’s been trying to crack the code to visionary leadership, and he and I have many rewarding conversations about what it takes to be a leader. Till is a software developer who interviews successful entrepreneurs on this very topic for his podcast – Leadership Pathways.

What I’m even more amazed about is his entrepreneurial spirit and his superfast product creation. A while back I shared with him a key piece of advice, that I learned from many years as a blogger. I said to Till, “Stop blogging. Do video instead. Writing takes a lot of time. With video, you can create content faster, that’s more engaging, outsource the transcription of your video, and turn THAT into a blog post.”

He ran with that piece of advice and created his online course Authority Marketing School – in about a week. Till will share with us his secrets to leadership, superfast online course creation, and more. He’ll share:

  • His take on the startup scene in Saigon, Vietnam.
  • The key qualities of visionary leadership.
  • The secret to being a giver without burning out.
  • Why every thought leader needs to build authority through video.
  • How to test, validate, and presell your product idea – whether it is a web app or an information product.
  • And much, much more!

Mentioned in this interview

FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

2:48 Lorna: I’m so excited to have you in this interview, Till. We’ve had so many great conversations about visionary leadership and internet business and I’m glad to be able to just consolidate all your knowledge in one fantastic interview. So please tell us, who are you? What does your company do? And how did you get to where you are now.

3:05 Till: Thanks for having me Lorna. I’m Till Carlos and I build joint ventures. It came from the fact that I’m a computer science engineer. I graduated in Germany and while studying, I built a software development shop.

We worked for larger clients like the Bachen Festival, the world’s largest heavy metal festival, startups in San Francisco and we’re definitely the backbone of product creation for people building Software as a Service (SaaS), building custom products from A to B. We really didn’t have the specific niche to go to but we always built joint ventures with other clients who needed software products.

And now, what I did after exiting that development shop was to build joint ventures myself. Meaning, I take shares in the things that we build so I’m combining people in a market, we have a standing in the markets naming authorities and backed them up with product creation and in the process, I guide the product creation, I guide the business model and the marketing and so far it’s been a great success. We develop software as a service; sold it before it existed.

I’m also into digital products. So this is about the authority marketing school that we’ll probably come to speak of later on. But the main notion of me is, I build joint ventures, bring together the people and make it happen as a group, as a team. So that was what I did all the years and I finally found out that this is the thing I’m doing so I formed the personal brand Till Carlos around it and help people take their authority and monetize it.

4:52 Lorna: So essentially, you’ve been doing this all along for the software as a service market and now you’re parlaying your skills in joint venture marketing to the world of digital info products?

5:03 Till: Yes, you can say that. Digital info products but also software as a service. I’m just utilizing my software engineering background and the relationships I have there. Because software as a service is really attractive. Digital products are also really attractive, so I basically run several shows at the same time which is a struggle but it’s good fun and been great success so far.

5:25 Lorna: That’s amazing. Do you find that you’re stretched too thin or is it working for you?

5:31 Till: It’s working for me right now. It’s hard to stray true to this one notion of building joint ventures and bringing people together. It’s all about stepping away from each joint venture, just stepping a bit to the background and operating, giving people what they need. But this is the whole thing about leadership. And this is what leadership is all about, getting people together. During the first things, leading by example and letting them work and giving them all they need to operate.

6:06 Lorna: Giving them all they need to operate

6:09 Till: Yes.

6:11 Lorna: Great. So, gosh, I really enjoyed the time that I spent with you. I feel like we’ve been great accountability partners. We’ve shared some of our challenges and I think you’ve inspired me a great deal and I hope I’ve inspired you too.

6:29 Till: Yeah, of course. Likewise.

6:30 Lorna: I really (Inaudible) you took off from Chiang Mai and jet if off to Saigon, Vietnam. I’m curious to know, what is like to live in Saigon? What’s the cost of living there? I mean, in US dollars, how much does it cost to live a good life?

6:48 Till: I would say it’s about $1000. If you pay $500 for the apartment and then you get a good apartment and the rest is transportation. You can rent a scooter for $35 and then some gas which is close to nothing. I would say, not more than $35 per month. So probably about $70, you get a scooter, you have food and of course you could get the whole range. You can eat in a Western priced restaurant for western prices. If you are in the expats area it’s all more expensive. The food cost is about $500. Food cost can be from A to B. You can either eat in a Western restaurant for western prices or also on the street for really cheap, I would say, tiny prices.

7:39 Lorna: So how much is each meal cost if you’re eating locally?

7:42 Till: If you’re eating really on the street, you can get.

7:47 Lorna: I mean healthy, not really street food. Not really the crappy street food but like, you know, decent restaurant with fresh ingredients but local.

7:55 Till: But local, hhmmm. The really low end is like $1 but you should aim a bit higher. I would say for $3 you can get a really good meal. And then for $5 you have a proper restaurant. You can probably eat for that at price in the US as well. But here, the food is just amazing.

8:17 Lorna: Oh I doubt it. No. For that price like $3 you’re just only getting fast food. And that’s not healthy at all. I mean, you can get it down to $3 a meal if you’re shopping in grocery stores and making your own food but eating out for $3 bucks is really hard to swing. So tell me about the internet speed. What’s the average down, up speed?

8:47 Till: I haven’t measured it. But I would say it’s western speed. It’s really fast. I mean, we are here on Skype now recording video at the same time. It’s really fast. Sometimes Facebook is blocked so you’ll have to go to another DNS but you can get a fiber optic line for $30 a month. It’s really cheap. You can get up on good speed. They have, I think a cable in the ocean broken some weeks ago but since they repaired it it’s really a blast again.

9:25 Lorna: I think overall, the speeds are much faster than they are in Chiang Mai, Thailand. So that’s a good thing. I know in Danang, Vietnam where a whole bunch of the Chiang Mai Dynamite Circle crew migrated to avoid the burning season, they’re getting something like 25 down and 2 digits up or 10 up or something. So that’s really good. On average, in Chiang Mai in your local Wi-Fi cafe it’s about 10 down and like 1 up.

9:57 Till: Yeah, we are much, much faster here.

10:00 Lorna: So tell me about the internet marketing community in Saigon.

10:03 Till: This is exciting because Chiang Mai, all the internet marketing crew is there. Many coincidence as far as I’ve got to in touch with the community. In Saigon it’s a bit different. People seem to run other types of business. So for example, the Dynamite Circle founder, Dan Andrews, he’s here. People running SEO businesses, so it’s different. I would say more hustle here from the perspective of internet marketing, yeah, I would say maybe a byproduct. People know this, how it works here. They don’t make a great deal out of that.

10:48 Lorna: I’m sorry, the people know that living in Saigon is a hustle? And they don’t make a big deal out of that?

10:57 Till: Yeah and they know internet marketing.

11:00 Lorna: I see, okay. So the people here who are involved in businesses already knows something about internet marketing. Is that what you are saying?

11:06 Till: Yeah. And since the living cost is a bit higher here, there are people who know the run the business and it’s also cheaper and kind of productive to locals here. So they have great software developers. They have people speaking great English. I know two people who build offices here. It’s easy. You can hire local.

11:32 Lorna: Yeah, it sounds like it’s a good place to build a business. I think one of the challenges is finding local staff that are able to, that have a work ethic that’s kind of on par with like the western work ethic. I mean, one example being that, in Brazil, it’s really difficult to hire Brazilians. I mean, not to say that they aren’t hard working Brazilians that will show up on time and deliver on time, all of that. But the work culture is just not there. So it can be really challenging hiring local talent and I hear this from entrepreneurs, so many entrepreneurs that I’ve met in Brazil. So finding a locale where this a local talent that’s highly motivated, that has a strong work ethic and focus on quality as well as can, where it’s possible to kind of cross the language barrier, so to speak, if you find a local population of talent that actually has really good English. I mean, that’s golden.

12:35 Till: Yeah, that’s right. In Brazil also, I think you’re paying much tax in Brazil. And here, it’s close to nothing.

12:45 Lorna: Yeah, there’s a lot of tax and the cost of hiring a Brazilian is very high because, just the cost of the overall, like wage levels are much higher than many other parts of the world. Also, it’s very difficult to fire people. So what you see in Brazil is this kind of like, total lack of the customer is king mentality. Because once the person is in their job, they don’t ever have to worry about being fired. So then, they just slack off and they’re rude and they don’t really care if you, as a customer having a problem because they’ll never be fired. So the motivation to do well is just not there. Whereas in other economies, your employment is based on your ability to do your work and deliver quality. So if you’re not doing a good job, you can expect to be fired. And personally, I think it’s a good thing.

13:46 Till: True.

13:46 Lorna: So tell me, how do you make money online? Are you mostly generating income through consulting? Or, do you have sources of residual income?

13:56 Till: Right now, I don’t have source of residual income. So what I did, I took the money from the exit of my Dev shop and invested in personal learning also into the joint ventures I’m building. So we have a business plan that, you would put like, we expect good revenue in the middle of 2014. So there’s kind of a runway to go there. Still this thing also was validated. It’s an app for some B2B niche in the global mobility space. And this app was already sold before it existed. So this is the thing, we have market validation.

14:44 Lorna: So you are working on building a web app and you already sold it? So you pre-sold your product.

14:50 Till: Yes.

14:51 Lorna: How does one go about pre selling a product like this? Was it through your personal network? Did you approach people and say, “Hey what would you like us to build? Would you like to pay for it now and we’ll build it for you.

15:04 Till: It works all through relationships. What you do is you make a good offer and include everything. Basically take away the risk from eventually the customer not having anything delivered.

So you say, “you will get this app, it will fulfill this kind of problem. You have to address specifically the problem that the customer has and then you say, when you buy it now, you will get a lifetime discount of, let’s say 20% and you will get access to our beta list. That means you will give us features. You would dictate amongst the group of beta testers the features that the app eventually has and you will get consulting upfront. We will guide you through the whole process. You’re one of the first people using that and when you hit the market right then you can presell the product.

And this is actually crucial because if you haven’t pre-sold, like if your offer doesn’t come through and the person is not willing to wait, I would say, in most cases, the offer is not good enough. So we have a great offer. We really address a specific problem of the market and that made us pre sell about 500 licenses of the software. So it’s all about doing that. I had to learn that for some time. I’m a software engineer so like many software engineer that likes to build stuff. But if you can get away from that and say you are selling something that does not exist, you have a better validation. You know much better what you actually doing.

16:48 Lorna: Wow, that sounds like a terrific success story to build, to pre sell 500 licenses to a product that doesn’t exist yet. And so you basically retain intellectual property ownership of your product right? Because you’re not basically developing a custom product for one client.

17:07 Till: Yeah. I did this before with the development shop I had. We didn’t have shares in the products we built. I wouldn’t say a mistake. You’d probably ask that expression later on. I wouldn’t say a mistake. It was just an occurrence of that time. But right now I’m doing things differently. I set up a business exactly how I think I can run it for long term. And then I say, how much do I contribute to that, how much can I do. What can I not do? And then I form a team around it. So I actually set out. I choose the market for the relocation. The process was like this. Maybe I can clarify this.

It was last year. The journey began in June when I set out, I said okay I want to be completely location independent. What would be a market that fits? So I had two criteria of the market. One was customers worldwide. I wanted to visit customers myself and help them with the software. It should be software because I’m a software guy. And I wanted to have a market that is potent, that has good financial situation. So I found this local mobility space. What I’ve ended was (and I have to give props to the foundation). They’re doing a great job and have some good videos online. So I basically took their videos and learned and studied what they did. The foundation.io it’s by Dane Maxwell.

18:51 Lorna: Oh okay, can you tell us what the foundation does.

18:55 Till: This is exactly what they do. They have a program, I cannot tell anything about the prices because you better look that up. It’s a couple of hundred dollars per month. So I hooked up on that platform and they teach you how to find the market, find a problem, develop a solution for that without building it, and then selling it. And then you build the software and ship it later on, after you have some revenue. I tried that. I have a list of 100 companies in their mobility space and I called them. I was basically on Skype on the nights. I lived in Germany back then. I was on Skype in the nights and called South Africa, Brazil, South America, Asia, Australia and then I thought…

19:44 Lorna: So you basically did market research and pulled together this list of companies that you have no relationship with, whatsoever.

19:51 Till: Yeah, exactly. I didn’t have any idea of the market. And this was also the point where I found it’s really hard to connect to them.

20:02 Lorna: Yeah sure, I mean, you’re calling someone you have no relationship with. How do you get to the right person within the company that will actually share this information with you, tell us.

20:14 Till: Exactly. I can be open to that. I did not. I would say, I cannot fail in the endeavor of doing this with the foundation approach because they wouldn’t let me in. I know direct sales. I did this for my last company. I am pretty good at influencing people but it was just no way I could access them because they had other problems. They were so stuck in their daily activities but then I thought another way to break through that barrier which was building a joint venture. (Laughs)

I found this person in Copenhagen and she’s a consultant for that market. And she had access. She had an audience. She had clients who would listen to her. So I found her and we had a chat and instantly feel that we could do this together.

I told her, “You know what let’s build a business out of that.” So that was a different approach than from the Foundation does. But for me it fit better. I think it’s about finding a business model that fits your personality. And this one exactly fits my personality. So that was the first step to success in that regard.

21:31 Lorna: So what marketing channels tend to generate the most ROI for you? JV partners? or do you do other? Is there anything else that you do like online advertising or social media?

21:45 Till: No. JV partners. Yes.

21:47 Lorna: Okay. What is your typical day look like, Till?

21:51 Till: I get up at 7:00am. I hit the gym for an hour. I train every day. Then I study some Vietnamese, which is crucial for my personal development. I just don’t like to be the person who’s not able to connect to people. So this is crucial for me. I did this in South America and Spain, English speaking countries so it’s very important for me to connect with people. And after that, I do the most important things which is offering things. I actually took that advice from James Schramko. He said, more offers, more sales. It’s simple to do that yet most people fail in doing that. What I did was, I founded this accountability group, The Offer Hour. It’s a copy of the Coffee Hour. I don’t know if you know that. Please link it up.

22:55 Lorna: The Offer Hour?

22:56 Till: Yes, The Offer Hour. It’s just a mailing list. Every day, I write an offer and send it to at least one person.

23:05 Lorna: Oh okay, so where do we go to check it out, theofferhour.com?

23:09 Till: If your audience, anyone wants to join that, I’m happy to host you.

23:18 Lorna: I’d be interested personally, sure.

23:21 Till: Then you’re welcome to join us. What we do is we just throw you out when you’re having two days in a row were you don’t send an offer. And the great thing is when you write an offer and you put it out you will train yourself in offering things. You’ll get a clear vision of how the world looks like because the world, you can separate them by followers or leaders, by creators or consumers and everyone is both, but for your business you should be the person who offers. So this is the thing that helps me a lot.

23:59 Lorna: Help me understand. What is an offer? What does an offer look like and how do you put out an offer?

24:06 Till: One thing could just be “Hey, I would like to have a podcast interview with you. Please give me half an hour of your time and you’ll get reach to that audience and you get to talk about your business. You can educate other people.” That could be an offer. You send it out to one podcast interview, bahm. Then your mission of the day is fulfilled. Even better offer would be, take a landing page and drive traffic on it.

24:29 Lorna: So TIll, when think about offers, I think about your typical internet marketing offer. Where I see these come up all the time on Facebook where it’s a some kind of a promoted post and the person’s offering some kind of online marketing course and how to make your first thousand dollars online in one month. So when I think of offers, that’s what I think about. Are you saying that any offer can just simply be an invitation to connect over and do a podcast interview?

24:58 Till: Yeah, that’s probably the simplest thing you can do. Even better would be to offer product for a certain price and you ask, please give me the price. There are studies about asking for money for some kind of any offer you have and it’s about 10% just asking people buy from you because you asked. So this is really about training yourself making offers.

25:23 Lorna: But how do you get people to tell you what they would pay for your product if you don’t have an email list for example? So if I think about offering a product and I have an email list for example or I could potentially use my personal email list and send out to my personal contacts which actually isn’t the most targeted way since not all of them are going to be interested in what I’m doing for business. How do you get people to tell you, people in your target market to tell you how much they would pay if you don’t have a list or a following of those people in that market to begin with.

26:01 Till: You don’t ask people for what they would pay you because you will get answers that you either wouldn’t like or they wouldn’t help you. You make an offer and put whatever deal is on there.

You can say, give me money or give me time or do this action. Whatever it is. You make an offer and you see how the response is. And from that response, you will see if you have to address differently. Basically, that’s your conversion rate. The people will buy from you accept that offer. These are converted prospects. You have the conversion rate. I mean, you can have an offer, send an offer out to one client you know really well and when you know this client really well, you can say “Hey I’m offering you consulting {inaudible} this piece of problems because I really know that you have these problems and this is how I’m going to solve it.

You do basically normal copy writing. You have to catch their attention, you have to give them something of value so that they see that you know your stuff. Then you have to put a price tag on it. Don’t be creepy and say this is for free. Normally it’s not.

There is always some catch with it and then you do risk reward and say, if you’re not happy with it just give me back the money or if you don’t like the podcast we have a short call beforehand. If you don’t like me then it’s okay that we don’t record. Whatever it is that give them to possibility to feel safe in your environment. And then you send out this offer.

My offers for example are often just emails, emailing people. What do you think, I’m building this thing called the Authority Marketing School where I teach people how to promote their authority through video. Would you be interested in pairing up with me and giving this product to your audience basically making money without creating the product yourself.

The only thing that you have to do is send out this one email and you get percentage. Now this is basically affiliate marketing. The basic notion is, whatever offer it is, you have to train yourself sending offers. Because if you don’t do that, you’ll never make it rate. Send out an offer and get paid for it and then deliver the value. You have to train yourself on that. That’s what I do everyday.

28:36 Lorna: So you have a podcast about leadership, tell me what you’ve learned about this topic and what are the most common qualities that leaders share and how can we all become better leaders?

28:48 Till: One basic pattern I’ve found through all of my interviewees was that they lead by example. No one says, I have this vision and you should all follow me and then I don’t go with you. So it’s all about forming that group, that tribe, that team and going with them, helping them on their way to do every step and then also those basic things like working out a strategy, working out a plan then executing.

Great leaders always execute it. So this is one thing. The other thing is, I had an interview with Peter Shankman, he said “Leadership is selling”. There was also a pattern that came along so he said that, Tom Liebert said that. It’s pretty amazing, actually if you can sell, you can lead. Because then, you have power. You just have to ask people to do something for you. It’s not my notion of leadership. My notion is more like people driven. I try to get people to their individual goals inside the group but you still have to make it [inaudible]. You still have to sell.

30:01 Lorna: You know one of the qualities of leadership that always comes up on the top 10 traits of leaders. Posts and articles that come across my desk is, the quality of generosity and specially giving first without expectation of return. Bob Berg, the author of the classic business book, Go Give, Sell More presents the idea of giving as the key to stratospheric business success.

I kind of, have been on defense on this because I do feel like I like to give. I feel like everything I do, this podcast, the content that I create for my audience, connecting nonprofits with grant funding, volunteering for great causes, funding worthwhile projects is all oriented towards giving back to the world in some way. And I know a lot of my audience really does spend a lot of time, energy and resources trying to give back to the world as well. But, I have to be honest with you. There are time when I feel like I give more than I receive and I feel really depleted. How can a person be a go giver and not become drained?

31:14 Till: Yes, this is crucial and the basic principle is, give with the full cup. When your cup is not full. When you are depleted and exhausted, you don’t have energy to give to other people. There is a great podcast by Ezra Firestone and James Schramko, I think it’s the Think and Get and they talk about. They have this picture of the plane crash where the oxygen of the plane gets sucked out of the cabin. So who do you put your oxygen mask first? Is it another person or is it you?

Now when it comes to these basic things, you have to take care of yourself first. You have to love yourself first. You have to be of value to yourself first and then you can go for the next step and help other people. This is why depressed people normally are not entrepreneurs. I haven’t seen any depressed entrepreneur. I haven’t seen anyone being a good entrepreneur while at the same time being too much in the works within himself. This is the first step. This is also why I do training first thing in the morning because I’m taking care of myself first and after that my cup is full. After that, I’m pump up and I can give value to the joint venture I’m running.

32:39 Lorna: I’m really impressed by how much you are able to get accomplish so quickly especially, I recall our video blogging day at the Veranda Hotel in Chiang Mai where I suggested to you to stop blogging and just do video instead. And then from there, you created this whole course Authority Marketing Through Video and you already sold some courses. How long did it take for you to create this course and what was that process?

33:09 Till: I tried video for a long time. I would say, a long time is like from last summer on. That was about six months ago. Actually the most important I had to learn was to present myself. To be confident standing in front of the camera. And then the second thing was actually meeting you.

First I met the programmer of LeadPages, Simon Paine and he told me, you know what, just interview people. They love talking about themselves. So I have a video interview with him and I thought, well, it’s totally okay. I don’t have to be the star. I can just post other people.

Then I made the podcast. And then I found out, why not just stand in front of the camera. It’s possible. I have to thank you for that. So when we were in Chiang Mai, you told me, “Don’t write blog posts, go for video”.

And I found out, actually a video, when you do a video blog post, the transcription from the video is actually great content as a text itself. So all you do is shoot a great video for two minutes and two minutes is about one page of blog post. So the only thing you have to do is be natural and deliver great value in a video then have it transcribed and then put it online. And you’ll get fast with it. You can put out lots of content.

You can tell great stories in just one or two minutes of video. If you don’t cut too much, if you just trim it and polish the audio you can be as fast as generating a week of content in just three hours. And this is exactly from zero to published blog posts with transcription and everything. This is what I teach in the course. I have people who are afraid of starting a video blog because they think it’s too much effort but it’s actually not. You just buy a proper camera. I have this Canon DSLR there and after that, it’s just really easy to push out great content. So this is what I teach in the course and it’s been great feedback so far.

35:28 Lorna: I don’t even think you need a proper camera. I mean you could this off of iPhone but I don’t really know about the iPhone whether you can kind of set it up for timer. You can certainly get it on tripod. The camera that I use is a Canon Powershot G12. It’s an inexpensive camera, about $600 but it takes fantastic photos and videos and also if you wanted to, you can get underwater housing and it takes underwater videos. So that’s much cheaper than a professional SLR. But I think there’s a lot that people might already have that they can use. There’s smartphone being one of them.

36:08 Till: I would disagree on that one. You have videos from Gary Vaynerchuk, he uses iPhone and tells great stories. It works, yes. But if you want to be a bit better. If you want feel more confident with it and have a good quality video, just look at YouTube. The quality raises every month. People put great content in a great quality. Look at James Schramko. His videos are great and he’s using a video about $1000 DSLR.

When you have the iPhone, what happens is, one thing is, it just doesn’t look that nice. But also, it doesn’t give you great confidence which you would need in order to get it across. My DSLR is a Canon 700D. It has an autofocus, continuous autofocus. That means you can step away from the camera and it focuses. The iPhone doesn’t do that. So if you have the iPhone put up on a tripod, even on tripod, you have to fiddle around. You don’t have any idea how you would look like.

If you have the confidence, just shoot the videos and say, yeah, this is me. It’s all good. You’ll probably find the audience if you delivered great content but if you’re starting out, take a great camera. Set it all up for success and then deliver great content.

37:36 Lorna: yeah, okay, I’d say these high end professional cameras are quite an investment. And personally, I find as a location independent person, I want to have less stress around worrying whether this camera is going to be stolen because that has happened to me before in Bolivia. My high end professional DSLR camera got lifted out of my back pack.

Another thing too is that they are very heavy. What I use with the Canon Powershot G12 is I have a remote control and so then all I need to do is to set it up on a tripod and then sit in front of the camera and do some test shots and then it will focus on me with the remote and that pretty much resolves the problem.

38:19 Till: Yes, that’s true. That would also work.

38:23 Lorna: So how long did it take for you to create this course and what was the process?

38:26 Till: The course is built up on blog posts on the same fashion I run blog posts, which is, I take a video, transcribe it, either myself or through assistants and then publish it as a lecture on the course. So I rolled down the schedule of the course that goes about like an hour because I know pretty sure what my learning was so I could bring it across. And then I had shooting days, one at my flat where I shot the tech setup that I have and one for the stage itself where I showed how I setup the proper stage to have a good lighting.

If you watch this a video here, you see that my face is not lit up and the background is really light. This is not how it should look like. I could have done better in this job here but for my videos, I do that. I have a reflector that gives me great light. So those things.

I show how my setup is. And then I put them up on a WordPress. Lock it up with digital access pass. And then that was about it. The transcribing and putting the links to the blog posts, everything took about two days. I would say in total, four days of production time to go from zero to a complete info product.

39:49 Lorna: And how many modules did you have in this course? Some of these info products that I come across they are like six modules, eight modules.

40:00 Till: I call them units and they are five units. So if you digested evenly, you would have a work week and on Friday, you are setup and you can grind it out with your own videos. Everyday takes you about one hour to digest it and to execute on the exercises, another hour. So you would have 10 hours of learning.

40:25 Lorna: That’s not too bad. Did you validate this business idea before you went on to create this course? And how?

40:31 Till: It’s really simple. I wrote an offer. Put it on a forum on our forum on the Dynamite Circle and two people bought and some more were interested and so I gave away some copies for free to just validate that it’s good. I did this before even having the course. Because the thing was, when I did this, when I started out on that day I wrote the offer, I didn’t know that it was actually my skill to put up a video course. Another person told me, “hey you know what, you’re videos are good enough. You should make a course out of it.”

So I took my offer hour and put up this course, put it on the forum and put a price tag of it. By the end of the day, I had about $200 in my PayPal account. So I thought, that really works. I know I really have make the course because people want it, people need it. And I sent it over to some more people to just participate. I built the course. I ran the course. I put the offer on the forum and people bought it.

And then after that, I delivered. Now I’m in the process of – because in the video course, I don’t have an audience yet. Now this is the challenge. How do I get traffic on that offer?

My strategy is to do that affiliate marketing. This is also why I used the Offer Hour. Every day, I send out several offers for affiliates to participate on this. So meaning, a blogger who may be has gone video or who will go video has an audience and can resell this product. If there’s anyone out there listening to this podcast, please get in touch with me. I’m happy to give you this product to resell to your audience so you basically make money without doing anything.

This is a great offer right? Because no effort required and you get money. Who would say not to that?

42:39 Lorna: You’re not a video expert yet you created and sold a course in video marketing. How did you overcome the question of whether or not you were expert enough to launch the course?

42:47 Till: By the feedback. So, I have the camera now for six weeks. I bought it when I came to Saigon. I bought it the next day and I took a lot of videos. My Vimeo channel, I think is overflowing by 200 videos or more and many more I did not just upload. So I have a lot of experience in just six weeks. I really grinded it out, I would say. And for feedback I got from people was just amazing. People ask me like, “Oh I have this ecommerce site, I need a sales video for it, can you help me?”

So what I did was meeting up with people and shooting a video for them. And this is again, you ask me about the give mentality. Give with a full cup. Yes, my cup was full because I have the camera, I have the confidence. And I gave people free videos.

They didn’t know it was so possible. I knew it was. So basically, I gave them confidence and also the tools. This is really about delivering value before you ask for anything. So before I ask for testimonials or something in return, I gave them the video. I made them happy. The next step then was, I would asked the video testimony.

So this is the basic process; give people cool stuff, give it to them for free. Let them see that they can get one step further in getting into the end result which is more sales or authority online or your own software as a service, or a passive income, whatever it is.

Show them that you can get them to the next step and then you ask for something.

44:30 Lorna: Okay, so, we’re coming to the close of our interview. I’d love to ask, what is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your entrepreneurial journey that you’d do differently if you have the chance?

44:45 Till: It was external validation. And this is the thing that kills the entrepreneurial spirit. If you are doing something just to please another person, you are doing it wrong. You have to do it for yourself.

I would say, my biggest mistake, a failure is something if you set a goal and you don’t reach it. You have failed that goal. I wouldn’t call it mistake. It can be a failure. But this is now a question of how do you perceive failure? I perceive failure as a learning. When I fail in some, and I failed a lot of times and I will fail and I actually like the process of failing because it teaches me something every time.

I failed in not setting the things I really wanted to do which was location independence. And there was a time, two years ago after graduating with Computer Science in Germany, I set out to write a diploma in PhD. So I failed with location independence, meaning, I wanted to be location independent but I wasn’t admitting it to myself. I thought I needed external validation. I needed to have a PhD. So I applied actually for PhD program at my University and then I thought, Oh man, this will keep me over three years at this one spot. This is not what I really wanted to do. And I would have really failed badly with it because I wouldn’t have given with a full cup. And my way of filling my own cup was to go location independent, to do what I really want to do, but do it wherever I want. So this was probably the thing that took most of my resources to get over this thing which I really want to do. And after I had that, things were actually really easy. The next steps were easy.

46:39 Lorna: Is this business your life’s purpose? If not, what is?

46:44 Till: It is. My life purpose is to bring people together, build joint ventures, help them build businesses, either if it’s with my help, later, maybe with my money when there’s enough money for a VC program or incubator, but it’s all about people. I like to connect with people. I like to help people pursue their vision. This is all I’m living for.

47:09 Lorna: Great! I love that approach. Now, how can we best stay in touch with you?

47:14 Till: Thank you. Just go to www.tillcarlos.com you will find everything I’m doing. You can connect with me directly. Get on a Skype call with me. And also there’s a platform called www.sohelpful.me so you can book directly a time slot. If you want to get consulting from me, just book a slot over at www.sohelpful.me and you’ll get there immediately. Other things I would have to schedule a time for you. This platform is great, really check it out. It’s a great resource.

47:46 Lorna: Well, thank you so much for joining us today and sharing with us all your hard earned knowledge. You have a great day!

47:53 Till: Thank you Lorna. It is my pleasure. Thanks for having me.
[END OF RECORDING]

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