Here are the episode’s highlights:
00:00:02 – Introduction of Miles Beckler from Ask-Angels.com and TheAngelSolution.com
00:01:06 – Talk about the business and how it works
00:03:21 – Talk about the initial setup of the business
00:04:07 – The non-technical side of the business
00:04:48 – Decision making and realization
00:06:31 – Email marketing technique and how it helped the business
00:08:47 – Connecting with your Audience
00:13:00 – The challenge
00:13:47 – Working with IntegratePro
00:17:20 – Filtering through audience for a more targeted email
00:19:00 – The challenges facing system migration
00:22:45 – The Colby Test
00:23:54 – Fun Fact from Miles
00:25:05 – Wrap up and Miles’ Youtube channel
Dave: So it’s a go. Hey it’s Dave Wooding from the IntegratePro show and I’ve got Miles Beckler on the line with me today. Miles, how are you doing?
Miles: I’m wonderful Dave, how you doing?
Dave: I’m doing great. We’re here having winter in Boise, Idaho.
Miles: It is summer here in New Zealand.
Dave: (laughs) That too shall pass.
Dave: We are kind of in the midst of our, I guess, biggest winter ever here at Boise. Just the amount of snow and cold weather and I know you’re on the opposite side of the earth. Probably pretty close to the ocean if I am not mistaken.
Miles: Yeah we’re on the beach I’ve been chasing summer for about four years now. I’ve had about five or six days of winter in the last four year.
Dave: Excellent! Nice. This year’s been quite the one for us though. It’s interesting. So Miles, I want to get you on the show because we’ve known each other for a bit and we’ve also done some work recently. But, you know, let’s talk about you. What do you do? What’s your business? And then what kind of move on to the work we’ve done together. So fire away. Let’s hear your story.
Miles: Awesome man. Thank you very much for the time and for all your help. You do wonderful service. So as of this recording it was January 2017. My wife and I started an information based business in the meditation and spirituality niche in about 2009-2010. We started doing all content marketing all organic search engine type of marketing as well as organic social media marketing. And we ran with that for several years and we never really kind of crossed that threshold. You know there’s that like six figures a year five figures a month. They’re really targets.
And we had good months and we had bad months, we weren’t in control. In about 2013, I took a course with Mike Dillard, and he taught me how to create my first funnel and then he taught me how to run Facebook pay per click to that funnel. And it was a very simple funnel. It was opt in for a free thing. The next page after they opt in it says “hey, great you’re free things on the way, by the way, do you want to buy this” which was the upgrade version if you will. And at that point with running the traffic, our business really changed and everything got consistent.
Our numbers got consistent and that’s when we built the kind of, I would say, business and lifestyle income that give gave us this kind of location independence which we’ve been taking full advantage of since 2013- 2014. Until now we’ve been consistently focused on growing our audience, growing our lists. We still do the organic side of marketing.
Miles: We also do a lot more paid and I’m always playing with the funnels. My wife’s kind of the face and voice of the brand, I’m kind of behind the scenes pulling strings and conversion rate optimization and a lot of the geekier, nerdier stuff, and we love what we do and we’re helping people. We’re getting meditation’s out there we get somewhere around 650000 visits a month to our website got 90-ish thousand people on our email list something like 10 – 12 – 15000 customers and we now have a membership program where people can kind of get everything we’ve done and we do for one monthly price and that’s what we worked on together.
Dave: Cool! Thanks to the explanation. I know you talked a little bit about this already. One thing I’d like to know more is, you know, when you got that funnel or that initial set up, there was a bunch of work involved with that. True?
Miles: Yeah. So you get the first funnel going. It’s a little abstract to think about. There was a series of pages that needed to be linked together in the right way and then the check out and get that e-mail follow up sequence to pause for a moment to give them the opportunity to purchase. I wouldn’t say it was it was terribly technically challenging. We did it on WordPress ourselves. I like being in kind of like the nuts and bolts of it a bit but the words were significant.
Dave: OK so what about the non technical stuff for saying you know, kind of understanding your customer?
Miles: That said, to me that’s the more difficult side and going one step beyond that to the sales copy is what are the words that you can put on a page. They’re going to compel a human being to take action. And this has been a life study of mine and my wife as we go to a lot of events around the world and we’re always just really reverse engineering what all the smartest people and smartest marketers in the world are doing. That’s the trick. And that’s really the 20 percent that gets you the 80 percent results.
Dave: So going back I think we said 2013 you kind of like, “alright, I’m doing this”. So what was the impetus. I know there was you know maybe looking for some more consistency in your earnings and or lifestyle. But was there like one little thing that’s like I’m doing this and I’m all in.
Miles: Yeah, you know, it was the realization that our email list is really a distribution system. You know if you think about like what is Starbucks right when we think of Starbucks is it a coffee brand. Is it pastries Starbucks. Is it a distribution system that has the ability to distribute tons and tons and tons of coffee beans and other products through its distribution system.
So it was that realization that my email list is my distribution system for my digital products that got me to realize the importance and the downright necessity of growing that list and not just growing a list based on numbers but also strengthening and nurturing the relationship with every single person on that list.
Sometimes we can get caught up in it all. I’ve got 70000 people I got this many subscribers and like their numbers but they’re not they’re humans they’re real people they have needs they have wants they have desires they have challenges and really kind of honoring that and actually truthfully trying to help them. And that was that was a big shift. And there was a real correlation to consistent email open numbers and monthly income. And as you get both of those going up and up and up it’s you’re doing the same amount of work and you can be making two three five ten times what you were before.
Dave: But I think, we, you, also highlight, it’s not just the fact that you’re sending out e-mails. It’s that you care about those people, you know about them, you understand their wants, needs, desires and you are serving them. True?
Miles: Serving, that is, literally, you’ve got it, it’s to be of service and so I’m putting out some YouTube videos now, recently; personal challenge on how to do marketing and I get these comments from people and I can usually tell in the comment if someone’s going to make it or not because some people are chasing money and they’re like I got to make the money I got to make the money and other people are coming from this point of I have this message inside of me or I have this thing that I’m like blessed with. And I have to get this out to the world. How do I get this out to the world. And it’s such a stark contrast and approach and the people who are trying to get something out of the world or give to the world those are the people who create true long term success.
Dave: Yeah, that’s true.
Miles: It’s a it’s a real philosophical difference and you know I think we all kind of approach the internet game from like, “Ah! I want to make some money” right out of some freedom, some time freedom but it’s that shift to “OK let me be of service to an audience” that really it’s a powerful shift. It’s subtle but it’s very powerful.
Dave: Yeah. And then I think that makes it so much easier just to be congruent with yourself. You know there’s no question you don’t have to remember why you’re doing something. That’s why, this might sound kind of silly, but I don’t lie because then I have to remember what I said but if I just, you know, do what I’m supposed to do. It’s like, it’s easy.
Miles: It is.
Dave: But if I have to keep track of oh this is why I’m doing it or this is what I said. It’s more I can think of oh this is what I probably would have said. So, I’m just going to continue to act that way because that’s who I am. It’s not inconsistent with who I am.
Miles: And it’s almost like running everything through a filter. The idea of a vision statement or a mission statement is what I’m going to mail my list today going through my filter of offering service to them. Is this going to be of service to them or is this really for me to get something from them? if it’s for me to get from them, it doesn’t pass my filter, it doesn’t get mailed. if it’s for me to be of service for them? Boom. it goes out and it gets mailed and it gets sent off.
Dave: Interesting. So with that said I guess you know how do you know or I guess what does the type of stuff that your audience is more responsive to I guess than something else you might say. Is there something specifically that you know works very well with your audience when you send information out?
Miles: Yeah and you know about a little over a year ago following a guy named Ben Settle who he’s like that e-mail every day. Russell Brunson talks about the daily Seinfeld e-mails. That’s Ben Settles idea. We decided to start e-mailing our list more often we were e-mailing maybe once a week once every two weeks and it was pretty much only e-mailing when we had offers. And it worked. We would make cash flow but yet it just it was difficult to e-mail. So we started just mailing more. And this forced us to look for things in our daily life and come up with these things to share. And we started sharing more about our life more about where we’re at with things and just kind of like where our hearts on our sleeves a little bit more.
The result has been astounding. It people feel like we’re friends. We get thank you emails from our marketing e-mails. People are saying wow thanks for sending this to me and we’re drawing this picture up. It’s a new year and all this scary stuff going on here is a meditation to help you with that. Good. Thank you so much I needed to hear this message from you. And it was like that was a marketing offer. Like I just think it’s easy for marketing to you that’s amazing. But it’s habit because we try to appear as a friend. We send plain text e-mails. We don’t. No banners no H.T. mail it just looks like an email I’d send you Dave, you know, like just a friend sending a friend an email.
Miles: It bypasses those filters and everyone in our world is like people are bored. People are. They commute every day. They live monotonous lives they drown out hours of their day on average in front of the television like they want something exciting or entertaining in their inbox and if you can be that spark of positivity or something different and uplifting in their inbox you really can kind of nurture that relationship quickly and get that no light trust meter to kind of go in your favor relatively quickly.
Dave: Excellent! That’s good to hear Miles.
Miles: It’s fun.
Dave: Yeah. you know one thing I’m doing in this for me is going to be a little difficult is actually getting in front of the video more than I have in the past. It just it is a little difficult we’ll just be straight up in saying that. But I think people, and I know people appreciate it because I’ve got the same type of emails you know when I hear stuff like that but kind of wearing your heart on your sleeve does make a difference and it does show that you care.
Miles: And you’re real you’re not you know especially in our niche in the spirituality niche there’s a lot of quote unquote gurus on the mountain I’m up here I’ve reached enlightenment. This is what you need to do. You’re down there and I’m up here. And for us to send e-mails of like OK I was getting out of bed this morning that I stubbed my toe and then I tripped and fell and all of a sudden crying oh my life is a mess. And what is it all about. And then I remembered I’m in control and I can shift my energy and here’s how I did that.
People were like oh my gosh you’re a real person. Like, wow I can relate to you. And on yours Dave, I saw your video. It was great. Like I watched I know you I’ve hung out with you in Boise and in Australia and like I watched the whole thing and I’m like, “woah! this Dave!” like “he’s got a beard now. How cool. Look at that.” It’s like Old Man Winter coming up here. (both laughs)
It was very fun and it really really does something. And, if I may, just offer you, maybe a challenge or something. Is do it more. You know if you go to the gym and you hit the weights one day you’re going to walk away like oh you’re sore. Oh its creeky that kind of hurt. That was really awkward. But if you go every day for 30 days if you go every day for 90 days you strengthen those muscles you get more comfortable. It becomes a habit.
Miles: And at the end of it you’re not only putting out better content but it becomes this thing that you need to do. And that’s, we did a 30 day – mail everyday challenge that’s how we shift at that. I’ve done a 120 day video challenge that now has a budding little platform for me on YouTube. And it was awkward at first and it got a lot easier as I did it more and it’s just condensing that learning curve and that kind of like discomfort curve.
Dave: Well ironically enough, I was at the gym the other day and I lifted weights for the first time in a long time, when I was, actually there to go use the rowing machine but it was busy, so man you’re right, I totally ached the next day and today which is two days later. But you know hitting that consistency definitely makes a difference. So yes, I’m going to do that.
Dave: It’s a constant reminder. So, yeah, cool!
Miles: So why don’t we fast forward a little bit and get into what you and I worked on here.
Dave: Yeah. So Miles you reached out to me and what I got was kind of funny was you know, you were describing what you wanted to accomplish and the fact that I have the word integrate pro as my domain is like well of course Dave can do it. You know. So I thought that was kind of funny. And of course that was you know the appropriate name that’s why I came up with it because that’s the kind of stuff I and my team do and we love to do so.
Miles: Right. You know for a lot of people like me moving systems is incredibly difficult. I would even say like for us to move our membership site eight hundred active members, we are running probably like 10-ish new members coming in a day. So it’s like a complex machine that’s running.
And the thought of me moving it from one system to another is beyond overwhelming. I reached out to two people before you and they literally wanted hundreds of dollars to talk to me. Not. Not alone. Like give me an idea of what it was. And then I just had an idea like oh my gosh Dave. Like that’s what he does. I googled you, found you. You were willing to get on Skype for 15 minutes and chat and you’re kind of think about it and like I was just oh my gosh and that that feeling of having a team behind me as like the marketer in charge.
Dave: Well you know I’ve heard from people like you before so a lot of times when you tell me what you want my head is kind of churning and I am thinking a lot of times out loud with you on the phone like OK here’s what he wants to do. Here are the concerns we should have here is probably the time line just kind of seen how it’s gonna work and the fact that you know we’ve done a lot of that type of work before.
So it’s more than likely possible it just to matter understanding your needs. What are your priorities? What’s important to you? And then kind of mapping out the plan and as you saw I’d like to put Google’s spreadsheets out there and keep track of what we’re doing so in case something messes up we’ve got a back-up plan.
Miles: Right. For our move it was not just a content management system it was not just a new membership plug in. It was not just a new email service provider system it was all of them at the same time.
Miles: Right. Like, let’s add some insult to injury here so it was important and like we went from so all of my funnel marketing and then my first membership marketing was on Aweber which is literally just a linear follow up sequence and you helped me see the value of getting on to something that’s tagged based and has automations to be able to really step into the 21st century of digital marketing.
Dave: Yeah welcome to the 21st century. You know we’ve talked about this too is I think you’ve got the ability especially with the list you have of really getting personal or
really addressing as many people’s wants, needs, desires, the way they want. You know if you find out you’ve got people on your list that really want to hear from you once a month you can do that. That’s not difficult. There’s other people that are very responsive. You can up the volume you can send to them every day and they will be super happy but you can keep all those people happy and on your list. But separate. So you definitely have a lot of upside.
Miles: We do and the idea for us is instead of like “OK here’s a new subscriber Let’s take them down our one and only follow up sequence”. Now we get to turn it into a choose your own adventure.
Miles: People can base on our actions within and I don’t have to do anything other than set it up. They can lead themselves down a unique follow up sequence based on their likes and interests based on what actions they take or don’t take. Mind blown.
Miles: So that’s like customizing Starbucks. Knowing when someone enters your distribution network like oh this person is a latte with two pumps before they walk in the door. Wow you make that feel when a local walked into the coffee shop got like hey the same thing for you get today like yeah buddy I’ll have it again. Boom and it’s out. They love that place even more and we get to give that kind of experience.
Dave: Right. It can be creepy if you’re not careful. Be careful but you don’t wanna let people know that you’re stalking them effectively but you want to anticipate you know what they want based on their actions. It’s one thing for them to tell you, you know, you might give somebody a survey and collect that information. Additionally you’ve got the capability now of observing behavior and then acting on it based on what they do for you. So you know it’s in you the world’s your oyster here now I guess is really what I am getting at.
Miles: It is really exciting. It’s really exciting.
Dave: Yes, So you know the process went through, any major concerns you had like “oh God this is going to fall off” or fall apart or I know you expressed concern about this seems overwhelming. But we obviously got through it.
Miles: We did. And honestly I wouldn’t. I don’t think I would have been able to make it through myself. I consider myself an intelligent person. I’ve been doing this kind of stuff for years and I don’t think I would have actually made this transition. The biggest thing for me and my wife we’ve been doing what we call adaptability training for several years now and we do this with our lifestyle.
We’re in New Zealand now we were in Thailand before we sometimes get to an area that doesn’t have internet and we like everything’s an adaptation and just approaching this kind of a transition or a migration from that mindset of here’s our ultimate goal. We think that’s where we want to go. But yet we’re willing to adapt because sometimes articles don’t fit within the framework of the software that we have to use etc. I thought at first we were going to migrate to different systems together. It turned out that we had some billing things that were unforeseen at first that didn’t work.
So the idea then shifted over to let’s just go all in on this new system. If I was rigid in that process that might have become difficult but since we were flexible. Now that I’m here I’m like I see the light. This is actually far superior than duct taping two systems that were ok together where we’ve ended up here and its flexibility throughout the process was just massive.
Dave: Yeah, that’s good to hear because you know there they are. There was some pretty significant changes for you. You know kind of like the landing page, your billing system, your e-mail, your course protection, if you will, all that changed in you know when I look at it from my perspective it’s like OK what is the worst thing that could possibly happen when this transition occurs. OK. Now we know what is. No what can we do. If it does happen so that if something blows up, and Miles, remember, I blew a couple of things up in your database a few times, remember? At least twice.
Miles: (laughs) Yes, at least twice. Well it felt like some inopportune moment. But anyone who’s been building a business online and gone through that, that’s kind of the norm. Right? Like that’s why we do daily backups that’s why we do hourly backups sometimes on demand. What we’re going to try something new. And that’s why we work in development environments.
Dave: And that’s why I think it worked out because we know we knew we could blow something up. And I said All right. I’m just going to back up right now so in case it does. And I also knew that your hosting provider was doing daily backups so we had a contingency plan in case something did go south, it did a few times but nothing that we didn’t get out of and that’s awesome. So I’m curious, go ahead.
Miles: Well, it is. And the other thing that was awesome was when we set our timeline or timeframe of you committed to our timeline you were all in for us. I mean you were like I think there were times I was on the phone with you at about 10:00 or later and I was getting up at 5:00 AM my time which is like eight nine o’clock your time and you put in some like full days for us.
And I’m like, I’ve worked with other kinds of service providers who are quote gurus and it seems when things get close they start to shift their attention towards that next client because they see that this gig is about to end and they’ve got to get that next client. And the follow through is where you get all the power and everything and you were there for the long haul and you follow through with excellence and like, that was just… (does a holy blessed sound effect and both laughs)
Dave: All right thanks Miles. Appreciate that.
Dave: You know like I said I enjoy doing this stuff. So to me it’s not necessarily work. It’s kind of like play.
Miles: We talked in an earlier conversation you said that in the Colby test you know a lot of entrepreneurs like myself were the fast start kind of people and my attention to detail and wrapping up projects. Numbers are pretty low. And you’re the exact opposite. Right. Like you’re kind of the slow methodical test everything track every test every time meticulously. We’re going to spend the time we need to get it right so boring like I think every entrepreneur who one of those like let’s go get them, and who cares if it blows up we’ll figured it out along the way, needs someone like you in their back pocket because it’s just such a powerful compliment.
Dave: And likewise I need a little motivation to get my ass in gear sometimes or else you know I won’t release something for four years type of thing and that’s not good either. But I said, you know, what I do it’s going to be pretty darn solid. And it’s good to be around people like yourself that have that energy like just raid and make changes get going. And then I’m kind of looking at like “OK what can blow up. OK it’s safe. Let’s go forward.” and definitely get things done. So yeah you’re, there is really some compliments there.
Miles: Fun fact this membership we migrated it started with zero content in the members area and a sales letter. And we sold the idea of a delivery schedule and we said we’re going to write it we’re going to throw it out the list if people buy it we’ll do it, if nobody buys it we won’t.
People bought it and we had to figure it out and that was like 2014 we did that and we’ve been growing this membership ever since and now it’s like 300 different things. They get over the course of a 24 month trip sequence. It’s insane. And we literally sold something we had not actually created yet it worked. And we’re like cool the market wants this let’s go in that direction.
Dave: Awesome. And you know, that’s a question that people ask me sometimes how much content Do I need to have to get started. As you just proved you actually don’t really need…
Miles: A really good sales letter is the one thing you actually need.
Dave: And then after that if you’ve got demand you’ve got to hustle. So yeah it can be done.
Miles: And we did and we went straight in and we actually created the first month I think we created it essentially like three or four months worth of content that first month just to kind of like that initial urge to respond to the demand.
Dave: Cool! Awesome, Miles anything else we should know about you or your wife before we call it a day here?
Miles: If I may plug my YouTube channel. OK that it be happening from that. So we talked about the challenge right? The 30 day challenge, the 90 day challenge.
We started our blog, our WordPress blog initially with a 30 day blogging challenge and I did a Youtube challenge where I’m teaching funnels and Facebook Pay per click in a very granular, hands on, over my shoulder, nuts and bolts, kind of way. It’s at youtube.com/milesb and I mentioned that like if you want more help on the funnels or in the Facebook Pay per click like the information is out there for free. You don’t need a higher guru or you don’t need it buy a thousand dollar product.
But also if you’re wanting to take your business to the next level committing to doing a 30 day, 90 day, 120 day challenge is powerful and you can see what it did on my channel. I’ve got analytic reports at the 30 90 and 120 day 150 day mark showing how I’ve gotten like some like a hundred thousand views over the course of a few months from just pushing these out.
Dave: Wow. Amazing. And then if you don’t mind finally, What is the name the website you and your wife have?
Dave: Ok. Cool, Miles thank you very much.
Miles: Dave, Thank you it’s been a pleasure and thanks just for all your help you’re doing a great service my friend.
Dave: My pleasure. All right. Thanks!