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I got a great email a couple days ago and decided to post it here in my blog.
After the email I’ll point out a few great lessons.
Here’s the cool email I received (edited for clarity):
I gotta give you credit for my story. You are the one who showed me eBay and how to harness it by driving traffic to my site as well as YouTube etc. My efforts have now spurred a great cult following of my business. My thanks to you.
I use to be an indie filmmaker, it was my dream since I was a small kid that I wanted to see my work up on the big screen, I wrote, directed, edited, and produced 10 films all on my own. I did them all on my own because I just did not have the $$ to hire people, so I made them dirt cheap.
I got into the Tribeca Film Festival, won numerous awards, and even had a feature action film go international. All was great! But there was no income really, I worked odd jobs to make a buck. Late twenties hit and I said I needed to make some money. I couldn’t keep bumming off my folks. But I did not want to work for anyone else either. I knew I had the talents and the skills to do my own thing.
All through my college and filmmaking years I had a classic VW, but I knew nothing about other cars. I only knew the bug. I am an artist so ya gotta have a bug. I grabbed a 1968 beetle rotted to hell for $350.00 and I wanted to restore it. My father thought I was crazy but we did it together. I knew nothing about restoring cars, my dad had some mechanical skills when he was young working in a Brooklyn garage, but we had never worked on a VW.
Thanks to the internet, there are many resources to learn any craft you want. If you have a drive and a desire to do something great and be independent, there’s never been a better time to be alive than now!
I learned these skills from you Mr. Cockrum, and sold that Bugger on eBay motors! We made money! My father and I looked at each other and said, “we gotta get into this!” So from a one car garage to now a 2000sq ft facility, we are kicking butt! We developed a nice track record on eBay and we are now taking orders for my “Build-A-Bug” program. We are running our business with a year and a half wait time. People want us to build a bug just for them!
What made me stand out from the crowd is that I used my filmmaking skills to shoot my bugs with music, titles, FX, you name it. No one is doing what I am doing when it comes to selling on eBay motors. All bidders are exposed to over 50 pics of my cars and FULL HD video professionally shot.
I also do ‘How To’ Tips on Beetle restoration thrown up on YouTube (id is brighteyefilms), that lead me to sell a full two hour DVD on Headliner installation, (I sell the DVD using Kunaki.com like you showed me). I answer two hours of fan mail in the morning and two hours at night just for the bug biz.
Sorry this is so long winded, but my example shows if you have a passion to be success ful with a product you love, you can do it. Every resource is available out there for you. I am always learning and staying up to date with the trends, this will give you the edge and make you stand out from your competition.
HoP into a BuG
Independent Film Producer
My response to Chris (and some lessons for YOU):
Thanks for the great email Chris. There are a few great lessons in there and I have a few observations that I want to expand on. By the way – we just recently bought a ’68 VW bug for my wife (pic below) so your email really jumped out at me.
Some great business lessons for my blog readers:
- Chris is using youtube to grow his audience. The goal of using youtube shouldn’t be limited to only showing a video to perspective buyers of any one item though. Youtube is “viral” and your message can spread. I hope you are growing an email mailing list (using aweber.com etc.) As interested prospects stop by to see your vids they’ll love to join your email list if you give them a reason to.
- If you aren’t growing a following or a mailing list yet the best way to do so is by GIVING AWAY great advice and information and requesting an email address in exchange for it. Check out my listbuildingclass.com course for all the details of getting into simple (yet VERY powerful) email marketing.
- The value of an email list is huge, but the biggest immediate benefit is that you can easily announce to your audience when something new goes up for sale, or you can sell high profit affiliate offers, info products etc. Remember, at least 70% good solid content and no more than 30% “selling” to your list. Remember email has a 50:1 R.O.I (return on investment) – no other advertisement strategy in the history of business even comes close.
- While it’s true that Chris had some great skills to start with (his filming ability), it’s simply not necessary to posses skills like these yourself. Producing simple video is 90% as effective as fully professional video, and as for the car building skills he could have just as easily partnered with a local custom builder that wasn’t using effective online strategies. The partnership would be a great win/win and no new skills would be needed by either party.
- Notice that Chris incorporated information products that he can sell with HUGE profit margins to his eager customer base.
- I love the way Chris “used” eBay as a tool to grow his “off eBay” business. That’s what I’ve been teaching for years and I love hearing success stories.
- I loved the “no excuses” comment you made. I completely agree that RIGHT NOW is the best time in the history of the world to be an entrepreneur. The Internet makes it all so accessible. We have NO excuse not to pursue our business dreams.
I’m writing a book right now that includes success stories like Chris’s. Leave a comment on this blog post if you have a story you’d like to contribute, or leave a comment or any question about this article.
To comment click the “comment” link at the top of this article.