James Jones is another Internet marketer who has really done a lot to help people understand and build their buisness. Jame was was kind enough to do this interview with me last year where James reveals some of this key advise to being successful online.
James Jones is most know for his work with MiroNiche Finder, a great software tool for finding profitable niches. James also put together the Pratical Profits conferences in both Orlando and Las Vegas. It waa in Orlanda that I got a change to meet James in person.
Here is this Interview with James Jones
Get the entire interview series at http://www.RocketsToSuccess.com
Hi everyone. This is Joe Wilson from RocketsToSuccess.com in our continuing interview series on marketing breakthroughs and how to make $10,000 creating your own product that will rocket you to success. In today’s call, I am extremely happy to bring you this exclusive interview with the creator of Micro Niche Finder and the Ultimate PLR Article software as well as a whole slew of other things, James Jones. So James, welcome to the call.
JOE: Thank you. It’s my pleasure, really. The main topic of our interview series is “If you had to start over from scratch, had no list, and had three months to build a new product to make $10,000, what would you do?” What I’m curious to know is what advice you have for those who are beginning to create their own products? What words of warning or words of advice would you have about what they should do or what they should look out for?
JAMES: Don’t try to swallow the world all at once. What I mean is don’t try to go out and create something that’s going to be too difficult for you. If you’re looking at doing software, do something simple. Do something that has one feature. I was talking to one of the guys, one of my masterminds, and he’s a brilliant guy. He can program pretty much anything. He said that next year he’s going to focus on software that just does one thing and does that one thing very well.
So that would be my advice would be to concentrate on one thing. Go to the forums. Go especially to the Warriors forum. It’s good for doing research to find out what people need in their businesses. What kind of software they want. Not just software, pretty much anything.
JOE: E-books, software, no matter what; it’s a great place to get ideas.
JAMES: Exactly, it is.
JOE: I’ve heard that before. Jason Fly is another one that said something similar. He said “one problem, one solution” a target of your product, whatever it is you might be selling.
JAMES: Exactly, you just want to concentrate on the one thing.
JOE: So James, how did you get started creating your own products?
JAMES: I guess my first product was in 1996 or maybe a little before then. If you want to go way back, before the internet, I was selling products before the internet on bulletin board systems, or BBS’s
JOE: Oh yeah.
JAMES: One of my first products was “Ten Ways to Make Money with your Computer.” I sold that through BBS’s and classified ads in computer magazines. That came about because I bought a new computer and I thought that there should be some ways to make some money with this thing so I started researching and figuring out how to do it. Then I thought more people would like to know this. That’s not really the way I’d recommend that you create a product. You should do the research first whereas I did the research last but it ended up ok anyway.
JOE: It must have been a challenge back then because there wasn’t Paypal or easy ways to clear payments.
JAMES: I just took checks or money orders. That was it. Today, I rarely get a check or money order. Every now and then, I’ll get someone who doesn’t like Clickbank and they refuse to do business with Clickbank and so they’ll ask me if they can send me a check or money order. We used to see a lot more of those before Paypal got big. But now it’s just occasionally. To this day, I have never received a bad check in the mail. I’ve gotten checks from Paypal that didn’t clear but that’s different. The paper checks in the mail, I’ve never received a bad one. Just a little side note that shows you most people are honest.
JOE: Yes, it sure does. That’s surprising especially when you hear about when you create a product and then people ask for a refund. It doesn’t happen a lot but you kind of get the feeling that they were just trying to get the product free. So they buy it and then turn right around and ask for a refund in a kind of underhanded way.
JAMES: I don’t worry about it. I don’t think about it. Refunds are a par to f business especially on the internet. There are some people, Tim Casmos for instance, that advertise that they don’t offer refunds. That’s part of the USP really. For me it’s just a part of business. If you don’t like my product, I’ll offer you a refund.
JOE: What inspired you to move onto Micronichefinder? Was that the biggest product you’ve created so far?
JAMES: I don’t know if you could call it the biggest one I’ve created. Before I created Micronichefinder, I was more in the home business opportunity market and I had a lot of really successful products in that market. I got tired of that market. I saw that it was going in a bad way and I decided to get out of that market for the most part. I still have a few products in that market.
Micronichefinder is a big product. It’s a big part of our business. Really it came about because I was doing niche marketing. I was writing articles to promote products using long tailed key words and I needed a software product to do what Micronichefinder does. So I really had it created for myself. The initial version wasn’t even a desktop app. It was just a script that I had on my server, on one of my websites.
JOE: Did you write it?
JAMES: No, I farmed it out. I do have a background in programming. But I didn’t have the time or even the expertise to do that so I farmed it out and had the script written. I used it myself for about a year before I even showed it to anybody.
JOE: Depending on someone’s background of course, would you recommend someone going into creating their own software programs first as a product or would you suggest them creating an e-book first instead?
JAMES: I think probably an e-book initially, something a little simpler. Something that you can do yourself because if you do software and you don’t know how to program, you are going to have to hire someone to do it. Then you get into a whole other can of worms because you have to be a good manager. You’ve got to be your own project manager, and even with simple software there will be things that you probably don’t know that could come back and bite you. I know a top internet marketer had some software developed by a company that ended up pirating someone else’s software in order to build the software they were building for him. Then after he released it, he found out that a lot of the code in it was pirated code from another company. He got into some hot water for that. If you don’t know what to look for, if you don’t know how to hire companies that will do honest work, then you don’t want to get into software.
JOE: It’s easy to do; it’s easy to fall into that trap.
JAMES: It sure is. That’s why if you do software, I would recommend that you hire a project manager.
JAMES: Yes. That’s the only to do it unless you’ve got experience. You hire a project manager that’s then going to communicate with the programmer or team of programmers that you need to do the project.
JOE: What were some of your bigger challenges when you were creating Micronichefinder for example. You already had it created though, pretty much.
JAMES: I had an initial version of it that I was using myself. Then what I did was post a link to my software in the discussion board of a forum for a group of people that did niche marketing that I was a member of. Then a lot people there liked it and started asking if I could add this feature or that feature. So I just gave it to them for free. So I knew then that there was so much interest in it that I knew it would be a good product. So that’s when I contacted a guy that I used to work with that I knew to be a really good programmer, Kevin Bragedale. He now works for me full time. I contacted him to see if he would develop the software. That’s where it started from. He developed the software on a contract basis. Contract programming so basically he developed the software and that was it. The software is done. What I found was that there were constantly changes being made by the different places that the software accessed. Like Google. Google was making changes. So I’d have to pay Kevin more money to have him go in and fix the things that were broken. Then you have support and everything too so I finally just had to hire him full time. That’s pretty expensive when you have to do that, hire a programmer full time.
JOE: Especially in the U.S.
JAMES: I just don’t like outsourcing stuff like that. That’s why a lot of software that you buy or get for free on the internet, six months later it doesn’t work. So if you’re going to do it right, you’ve got to have a programmer. My programmer isn’t on site; he works out of his home in Tennessee. But he’s still full time and I can pick up the phone and call him any time I want to.
JOE: That’s the great thing about today, the internet age, you can be anywhere and still have a team.
JAMES: Exactly. I don’t have anybody working for me in the Philippines or any of those other third world countries. I hire American workers.
JOE: So you suggest though that people who are just getting into this business or maybe are starting to create their first product, to go with something simple like an e-book or something like that.
JAMES: Yes. E-book or what I really like for a first product is a video course. Even Fantasia is expensive but you can get a 30 day free trial. I’ve told people before to do video, download it and make enough money within the 30 days to pay for the software. I really like video a lot because customers love video.
JOE: You’re probably the third person in this interview series who’s said the exact same thing; video, video, video.
JAMES: Another thing that makes video so great is that you can really get three products sometimes four. You get the video, you can extract the audio and serve it as an mp3, and then you can get it transcribed and get a pdf. Then if you used a Power Point presentation to do your video you can use that PowerPoint presentation and include that as part of the product. So you’re really adding a lot of value from doing the work one time if you’ve got it structured right.
JOE: I’ve got to ask you something on the side. Not necessarily on the side because as we’re doing this interview series is get it transcribed. So do you have any places you recommend to do this transcription?
JAMES: I’ve used in the past Speakright, I think is what it’s called. Speakright.com. They do very quick turnover and very accurate work but they’re expensive. They charge per word or per minute. I had a webinar transcribed one time. It was about a two hour webinar and it cost me $400.
JAMES: But I had it done within twelve hours. I just needed it done that quickly. Now what we’ve been doing recently is using Fiverr. It’s a site where people will do pretty much anything for five dollars. There’s a girl on there that will transcribe an hour audio for five bucks. She does pretty good work. So just go to Fiverr and search transcription.
JOE: Will do. I’m definitely going to do that. What if you send your audio to someone and three days later, they still haven’t done your transcription?
JAMES: Know what you do, you send it to someone else. You find somebody else for five dollars. It’s just five dollars. You do it until you find somebody. What’s really a good idea on Fiverr, is to find five people on Fiverr to do the work. Send all five of them the file. Then for $25 you’ve done the research and you know who the best one is. So now you can send the one who does the best work all of your work. For $25 you’ve found the cream of the crop.
JOE: Sure, because some people who transcribe will transcribe every ooo, ah, um.
JAMES: You don’t want that. You definitely don’t want that.
JOE: That’s great advice. Thanks James. I appreciate that. I was looking just the other day because I want to get these audio files transcribed and I was looking at Google. I did a search and the pricing is all over the place.
JAMES: Another great place to look for people to do stuff is on Craigslist. I’ve got three people working for me right now in the office that I got off of Craigslist. One of them has been with me for three years.
JOE: Were they all local to you?
JAMES: Yes they are all local.
JOE: That’s awesome. Good to hear and I’m going to have to check that out. There are some great guys that are out there and I’ve tried to do the Philippines thing a couple of times mainly for article writing and stuff like that. It works ok but it’s not easy.
JAMES: I don’t have any in house writers so we do outsource our article writing. We generally will use a company that has a bunch of writers that they farm the work out to but it’s hard to find companies that do consistent work because one week you will get a writer that does really great work and the next week you get someone that does really crappy work.
JOE: And then you spend more time just doing proofreading to make sure the quality is good.
JAMES: Yes, we have that problem which is why we will probably eventually go to having our own in house writers. So that outsourcing thing sounds great on the surface but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
JOE: From a management point of view too. If you aren’t comfortable managing people, I’ve found that to be a little bit of a challenge. Or staying on top of them, are you really working full time for me or not. It’s kind of hard to tell.
JAMES: Right. Whether you have someone working in the Philippines or someone working in Tennessee or wherever they’re working, you’re not going to get full time. Because I know when I was working, I didn’t work full time even though I was paid full time. People do what they need to do to get by.
JOE: Unless it’s yours, unless it’s your baby, your company.
JOE: If there’s one thing that our listeners should do immediately after this interview, what should it be as far as creating a product?
JAMES: Go to the Warrior forum, I think that’s the most popular one, get out a pen and a piece of paper and write down ten different ideas or products that you could create. Here’s another way of finding out. Go to the Warrior forum special offer forum where you can pay $40 to offer your product and look to see the types of products other people are selling. See which ones are getting a lot of replies and feedback. See how you can develop a similar product. Not exactly the same but maybe a different format or a different twist. What I like to do is take two products and figure out how you can put those products together that have both elements in it.
JOE: I think kids are calling it a mash-up these days.
JAMES: Yes, that’s what it is, a mash-up.
JOE: I say kids because mine are in the other room and that’s what they do.
JAMES: I was trying to think of a quick example. One topic is Kindle; how to put books on Kindle and make money by selling e-books. Another topic is private label rights. How would you marry private label rights with Kindle? It’s pretty simple. You figure out how to take private label rights to create e-books that you then sell on Kindle.
JOE: That happens all the time. People may not know it, but they can do that too. That’s awesome. There was an e-class and we talked a lot about those ways of mashing things together and trying to figure out a way to take Facebook, Twitter, and something else that someone else isn’t doing. Everyone is doing the WordPress, Facebook, Twitter combo but do something different. Flip it around and make something unique.
JAMES: Exactly, that’s a great way of doing it.
JOE: So James, what have you been up to lately? What’s going on with you these days?
JAMES: We’ve been doing a webinar every week. We just launched our new seven buck-aroo site a couple of weeks ago where we sell a product for seven dollars every weekend.
JOE: The guy, Buck-aroo!
JAMES: Yes we hired a kangaroo from Australia. He’s a pretty good kangaroo. He likes to drink is the only problem. Don’t let a drunken kangaroo hang around the office. It gets kind of rowdy.
JOE: Keep him virtual!
JAMES: There you go. So we are getting ready to release some new software. I think it will probably be released next week. Initially we are going to release it for free. It’s a tool to find domain names. It does it in a little bit of a different way though. It allows you to have lists of words. If you can’t create your own list, we give you lists that we update. For instance if you were interested in creating a site to promote movie DVD’s. You could type in a word that is a movie or a TV show that might have a DVD that you could promote through Amazon and it will add on words to it that you could register as a domain. For example the DVD series True Blood; if you typed in True Blood into this tool and then selected the DVD list, it would add on words such as True Blood Season One, True Blood DVD set, True Blood Blue Ray. Then it would check those domain names to see if they were available.
JOE: That’s really cool. You’re launching it next week though, right?
JAMES: We are going to do a very small release to just our own list first and then we’ll release it to the universe later on.
JOE: I was going to ask you if there was a domain name that we could give out.
JAMES: There’s not. I don’t even have a domain name for it yet.
JOE: Ok. We’ll be looking out for it, that’s for sure.
JAMES: So long as you’re on my list, you’ll be able to get it.
JOE: oh, yeah, I get it all.
JAMES: Vnetresults.com is my main website so you can get on my list there.
JOE: James that’s great. I really appreciate your time. Do you have any last bit of advice for anyone who wants to jump into the foray of product creation before I let you go?
JAMES: Yes, just do something. Like what I said before, make a list of ten things that could be possible products and pick one out and do it. And don’t try to make everything perfect the first time out the door. Just try to get it out there.
JOE: Get it done.
JAMES: Get it done, run a Warrior Special offer, do something. A Warrior Special offer costs you $40.
JOE: Fantastic. Thank you so much for your time. You had some really great tips and really great advice. I’m sure our listeners are going to really benefit from this and they’re going to be taking action once they hear this.
JAMES: Ok, thanks a lot Joe: .
JOE: Thank you James.