Noah Kagan on Growing An Audience

Hey, guys and girls, so this is the bonus episode, of course, it’s about audience building because I don’t think I’m super good at it. And here’s the guy who is awesome with audience building. He can build quite a few audiences. I’m sure you all know about it, about him. It’s the night gig and he’s the founder of EPSO Mossimo dot com king Sumar. And like pretty much every domain name in the world that has the words to win it. So let’s not waste time and start with some numbers, because I’m sure people want to know, like the size of your audience, like, can you tell us about the emails that you have at Sumar and some of that call your own email list at the OK, Dowrick, what’s the size of your YouTube following? What’s the size of your podcast like? Let’s start from some numbers.

One thing when. Hello, everybody. Good to see. Thank you for having me. Just just know I’ve not done no occasion or anything like that. One thing I just want to highlight, a lot of times when I hear guys that have more money than me or girls or people who have bigger houses or nicer cars, I think you always have to know what’s going on underneath. And you also have to understand what your own objectives are, because a lot of people might say, man, if I had a large mailing list or if I had this much money or if I had more hair, which I don’t know, everything will be great or a lot, I could give you every email that’s on our mailing list, but they probably wouldn’t do anything. They probably wouldn’t open your email. They probably wouldn’t respond to you. So what I like, I really encourage everyone, don’t worry about how big the mailing list is, worry about the quality. So worry about how many people straight up. And I’ll give you a good example. How many people straight up if you said, hey, I need your help, I’m working on this project, can you donate some money or can you contribute? How many people in your audience would give a shit? That’s the number that matters more, because I talked to a guy yesterday who had thirty thousand people on his mailing list, which is a lot of people imagine thirty thousand people in a stadium. That’s a that’s a soccer stadium or you’re I know you’re in your football stadium.

I think people are actually super close enough.

But, you know, his open rates for 15 percent, which is shit, that means that no one gives a crap about what he’s saying. And we can talk about strategies around that, too. The second thing is, like, I did a charity thing just as an example and. You know, I was able to raise thirty thousand dollars from very small amounts because, you know, I’ve spent 15 years giving out free content to people. And so when I finally said, hey, I’m doing charity, do you guys want to contribute? It was easy for me to actually make that effective. So just again, coming back, I just want to say we’ll talk about some of the stars because it is interesting. But what I’ve done as I’m getting older now, Tim, I’m thirty six. That’s less about the vanity numbers and more about the actual. It’s like when people talk about revenue, you should ask what profit is and people talk about their email list. You should say, what’s your like revenue per opens or what your open rate or something like that. More than actually just the size of it. So that’s a little pushback for people think when they’re thinking. I just think about the quality work at one by one, I think. And marketing people miss that. People like how many people? I’m like once you sell one at a time and get every single person who watches your videos respond to their comment or every person who’s joined your mailing list, email them are like with Kingsmead or anyone who buys. We personally email everyone who said something. We personally message and

agree 100 percent.

The sizes are there. I mean, Asimo, I think is like almost a million subscribers, which is one hundred thousand plus some dot com is a few hundred thousand people using it. So over. You know, we’ve been doing this for almost ten years and I’ve been doing my personal blogging for 15 years.

Yeah. So what about your your personal numbers, the YouTube channel. I think you have how many. Thirty five thousand subscribers or.

Yeah, there’s around thirty. You know, it’s funny, I don’t really pay attention to that Tim, but there’s thirty four thousand three hundred and twelve. I mean, I guess, I mean you know it’s interesting what the YouTube subscriber, same thing. And I see these guys, I’ve seen a two guys recently, one has one hundred thousand subscribers and one has a million subscribers. But then sometimes I wonder why when they put out a video are only a thousand or two thousand or three thousand people watching it. Hmm, yeah, people aren’t looking forward to their their emails or their videos or their articles, whatever. So I think it’s really trying to figure out, like, am I creating food or beverages or content or video or podcasts that people are looking forward to consuming?

Yeah, this is actually one of the last questions in the interview about the kind of content that you should put out, but let’s not force it in there. So there is email list, there is YouTube following. There is also a full on medium dot com. I started like posting some articles there because you can reach an audience. So like, what is what do you think? What’s the difference? Should people try to be present on different platforms that allow you to have following or should you focus on just one medium or just like e-mail list, which is classic? What are your thoughts on this?

So I’m I’ve done a bunch of experiment and I think there’s two things you do. And this is what I’ve this is my in my experience, I can’t tell which everyone No. One email list, number one number to find the medium that works for you. So what does that mean? You might be great on audio, so do podcast. You might be great in professional stuff. Do LinkedIn, you might find that your core is your is your medium. But I never build my house on someone else’s property ever, because Facebook is an algorithm. Like I talked to this guy, he said, oh yeah, Facebook, I get less traffic. I’m like, yeah, of course it’s their traffic. You’re getting it for free and they get the fuck they want with it. I don’t know. I could swear, I swear.

Yeah, OK, well,

OK, so I’d say experiment with different mediums and then find the medium that you’re actually getting people to respond to you and then that’s where you find people. But then you push them to your email list. Why email list? Even with Gmail changes or all the changes of an inbox, it’s still the only medium that I’ve ever found that I can directly control communicating with a lot of people. Even when LinkedIn have thirty thousand followers, when I post something, sometimes they see it, sometimes they don’t. YouTube video. I have all these followers. Sometimes I get a thousand. You sometimes I get thousand. With my email list, I get 20 to 30 percent opens every single time guaranteed. And so it’s the only medium that if you ever want to make sure that you don’t go out of business, I would build up and then use these other channels to have. This is where people find out about. Yeah.

Speaker 1: So you’re using your YouTube channel, your podcast. You’re following on LinkedIn to like reach people to spread awareness about what you do about yourself, about your brands, your businesses, and then you at the end, you try to funnel them in some email list of yours, like if it’s a business email list or personal email list, that would be the most relevant to them.

Speaker 2: I mean, to figure out the channel that works for you. So, for example, I tried Kaura for all of the year. I was nine months and it got me all these views. But I can never get people like to leave to follow me anywhere else. And think about this. You’re like, wow, you have all these followers. But if I ever say, like, I want to promote something cause that can change the rules on me, I same with the Facebook page. So for me it figure out your channel. So for me, the channels that I found work really effectively. Now I do LinkedIn because I actually find it helps me get new exposure and then YouTube because the size of the audience. So those are the two channels I’m looking to find new people and then push them into eventually so I can communicate them directly with animals.

Speaker 1: Yeah, I think that’s that makes no sense. OK, let’s talk about converting people to your email list. So you have small dot com, which is like a set of tools for converting people. Yeah, but I see a problem with Google is building with all those like halo bars, pop up, slide and whatever, that usually people would use some kind of magnet or some kind of PDF or some freebie that that would motivate people to sign up for their email list. And then which is quite obvious, when people get this freebie, they’re kind of no longer interested to receive any subsequent emails. And so they just unsubscribe. So, like, what do you think about this?

Speaker 2: I think you’re right. And the two things that I’m doing and our company is doing more in twenty, eighteen and beyond, number one is we’re actually asking for emails less. And I know that sounds backwards at this point, is to still ask for email, you know, a conversion on a website for purchasing is one to two percent. And so you have ninety nine percent not doing anything. So you have to ask for email. You have to get that other 10 percent and then you could build relationships them. But I’ve actually toned down if you go to OK, talk like I’m much less aggressive in how often I do pop ups or often I’m doing scroll box and this and this and this. Because you want to find people who want to hear from you, you’ve got to say, hey, do you want here for me? But people, you know, I think two years ago was super aggressive on it. So I would actually encourage you to tone it down. No. One, people still need to ask for it because it’s critical. The second thing the second thing I’ve been doing is how do you create tools or software that people want to give you an email address for instead of just just like, hey, I’m going to give you a shitty PDF. You know, or, you know, I think in some companies it’s a little dangerous to get in the discount train, which is like, hey, here’s a discount or here’s something that. So how can you give them a tool where they’re like, oh, cool, I want to use this. I actually want it. And I think people aren’t investing enough in it right now. And so it’s like King Sumo is a free thing for us. And people sign up, gives us an e-mail and then we can actually communicate with them. But it’s a free software that helps build an email list.

Speaker 1: OK, the way I found around this issue is that back on my personal blog, I was offering people to sign up for five five email free course. So basically they weren’t downloading any PDF, but I was sending them like one email every like two or three days. And this got them to a habit of receiving my emails. So, yeah, this work as well. But I’m totally with you on toning down the aggressiveness. That makes a lot of sense because I think a lot of people now even hate it. And they will be vocal on Twitter, on Facebook, on Reddit.

Speaker 2: Can I can I recommend to other things. Yeah, sure, I’ll recommend two other strategies, so one thing that I do with King, it’s one of our newer products for giveaway software is anyone who signs up. I say, hey, you know, use the email says, and everyone can try it and you’ll find out. It says, why did you sign up and when are you going to how did you hear about Kingsman number one? And number two, when are you going to run your giveaway? And it’s an autoresponder. So everybody a lot of people reply about 50 percent reply and I email every single person back. So that’s the thing I would recommend instead of saying, I’ll give you a shitty PDF, why don’t you say, hey, give me your email and I’ll personally reply to you. It’s shit there and stuff like, no, there’s no way Tim’s going to do it, and you’re like, well, it’s a lot of work. And I’m like, yeah, it’s a lot of work to build an audience.

Speaker 1: I think I know what people will going to say at this point. Yeah, it’s not everyone wants to get the response from Noah, but I’m just starting out. My blog is new, so, like, it won’t work for me.

Speaker 2: No, that’s actually even more important for you because I don’t really have as much time. I’m like, OK, OK. I don’t even know people, every single person anymore. But for the first thousands of people I emailed every single one like, hey, when you join, I’m going to personally like whatever people are specializing in. If I specialize in real estate, if I specialize in sales, if I specialize in account management and whatever it is, tell them what you’re going to do. Like, hey, if you’re a designer, hey, I will give you a free logo or I’ll give you a free site review. I’ll give you four things to do about your site. Second thing that most people should do, here’s another idea. I’m actually doing this one because everyone, if things get things, gets saturated right, it’s like it’s a good deal. Or when there’s a shorter line in the supermarket, everyone feels that line up. We all know that. So, yeah, actually, I literally thought of it today, not it. It’ll probably help me grow my email list. But a few years ago I started doing summer of marketing dotcom and one dot com and traffic. And so it was actually like a legit course. You know, it put a lot of time and money into it and really helped grow minimalist. One thing I’m going to start doing is a training programs. So actually like live training programs, as it wasn’t, I guess it wasn’t really thought to be an option. I just thought I’d be a good way to meet cool people. So whatever vertically like let’s take SEO. You could say I’m training junior SEO marketers, so junior SEO marketing, training dotcom and the opt in. And then maybe the first program you do live video training like live and you record that and that actually becomes a training of people. So I think this is a potential new way of adopting.

Speaker 1: OK, I’ll see you do it first and then think about it. But actually, I have to give you credit, because these courses that I’m really building right now, it was inspired by your courses, the email one K, the summer of marketing, the traffic one am, I believe, and they think that there’s also a talker on email. I’m going to put all the things that we mentioned in the description of the video below the video. There is also a video from MicroCon where I think the name is David Cadabby talks about this.

Speaker 2: It’s David’s idea

Speaker 1: that, you know, he talks about the strategy and it’s pretty cool. So, yeah, I’ll leave a link below so so that everyone could benefit from it. And you mentioned

Speaker 2: sorry, I want to add, David is designed for hackers. Dotcom, he is the original one who I copied.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Everyone is copying each other.

Speaker 2: Well, I think the point is I think. Yeah. So you happy you just have to you have to iterate it. So David did it and then I added more viral component. So if you go share it, I had like bonus things like a Facebook group. But you have to share to get in the group.

Speaker 1: Yeah, yeah. I’m doing it all video for example. So yeah, everything changes. You mentioned giveaways. So let’s talk about giveaways. And I think that with converting people to your email list with giveaways, the problem that they sign up for freebie only gets even bigger. So again, what are your thoughts about this? And since you have a King Sumar dot com, which is a giveaway platform, like how do how do we make sure that people get results and how do we make sure that people stay and pay you for your software?

Speaker 2: Yeah. So giveaways no one should ever do a giveaway more than once a quarter in my opinion. We’ve and I think if we suck for the most part because people are like, what are you giving away for free? Cool. I want that fuck you. Right. Like how many times have you been to an event you ever been to like a conference and they give out free food or something and you don’t even know who’s who’s sponsoring it or who’s doing it. So what I suggest is that you give away a good product. It doesn’t have to be expensive. That’s targeted to your audience. So, for example, like, let’s take a dress. I would give away a book around marketing something, a physical book. Maybe it’s all of Seth Godin’s books because your audience is targeted. Know a random person wouldn’t really be that interested and I wouldn’t do it too regularly. That’s just I don’t think it’s as effective if you do that all the time because only, you know, giveaways is one form of marketing you have to do. There’s ads, there’s content, there’s press. All these everything’s SEO giveaways is just one slice of the pie and so do it once a quarter. The other thing is I make sure people opt in and then I try to email them really quickly afterwards to be like, hey, here’s what we’re about. If you’re not interested, let us know or like unsubscribe because you want to get them to actually be engaged with what your businesses as quickly as possible. One other thing that I like to do is that we remove anyone from our email list that doesn’t click are open in three months. So we call like we get rid of people very quickly, it’s when it saves your your e-mail service provider Bill cuts it down by half, but as well, I hope it helps your open rates in your deliverability. And really, it makes it more effective. And so remove people who are innocent and that’s good for you who join giveaways and people who don’t. What I found data wise is that from a give away around 40 to 50 percent of people who join your giveaway that confirm their email will actually end up being a good customer. That’s what we found for Fraps when we were running a lot of giveaways with us.

Speaker 1: One other thing that I just thought about is that you shouldn’t run your give away to like everyone in your audience, but you can actually have segments. For example, here they say that we have some customers, some super loyal people who were with us for five years so we could launch a giveaway exclusively to them, like, hey, guys, you’re like our long term customers. This is why for you, we’re giving this opportunity to get all of this going in books like Share, just like share this link with your friends or something like this. So, yeah, I thought that it doesn’t have to be your full audience, but you can segment it by different like criteria and then launch different giveaways to these people. So I do think it makes sense.

Speaker 2: I love that I mean, two other things I would recommend is, one, I like giveaways where everyone wins. I like to give away where, you know, if it’s a giveaway, it’s like, hey, we’re giving these books and everyone who enters it, even if they don’t win, it’s like maybe the course for free. Maybe it’s like a training for free. Maybe it’s a discount if people are comfortable with that, but something where everyone who joins gets a benefit out of it. The other thing that we’re working towards is that and this is, I think, a recommendation. What is the point of a giveaway like the point that it is not for me to just give away something for free because I’m a nice guy. I think I’m mostly nice, but I do a giveaway because I’m hoping I’m hoping people will join the giveaway and then tell their friends to join because they get more a better chance of winning. So the whole point of a giveaway is to get new customers. And so what we’re moving towards with consumers is how do we use the same mechanisms of customer referral to help people grow their businesses? Because you guys have all these customers in months and everyone listening or watching has customers and they have an email list. Hopefully they have a few, even if it’s small. But those people have your other customers for you. So how do we create more tools that help people encourage that? And even if people don’t use consumer, think about that like you already have all these customers just work with them and try to always just go outside and figure out new ideas you make.

Speaker 1: Makes little sense. OK, we’re getting two from converting people into your email list or whatever medium you’re using to kind of keeping them engaged, building that loyalty and trust so that people would actually open your email. This is what you’ve mentioned. You may have like a hundred thousand emails on your email list, but when you send them an email, it would be like five percent open rate. So like, what do you do from day one? So from day one, when people when a person has signed up to email list, how do you make sure that this person will stay with you?

Speaker 2: All right, few things I’ll just give you tactics, I’ll just give people things they should do. Yeah. Number one, make your post subscribe page really cool. So after I give you my email and you redirect me to that post subscribe page, make it something that’s a benefit for me, like, hey, you’re already here, join my YouTube channel. Hey, you’re already here. Go read this best article. So that’s one thing most people don’t do remember to make a welcome message that’s either engaging so that they want to reply to it. Or something that’s very simple, like, hey, here’s with what I do. My goal is to get people to watch me on YouTube. So my welcome email is go subscribed to me on YouTube. Here are the three best videos I’ve ever done. I love you. Welcome. Welcome to come in to talk. So that’s what I do. So I either say engage them or show them your best thing right away because they’re most interested the moment they join. The second thing you have to do is you have to have an autoresponder. And what is an autoresponder mean? It means that it works in every email provider. So in your autoresponder, what I do is I take my best content or my best things, and I have it automatically send. So with OK, dork, when someone joins my mailing list, and this is true for all of our companies, different e-mails that each company. But when you join Dork, my first stimulus, YouTube, my second one is to follow my podcast. My third one, I don’t remember right now. My fourth one is I go check me out on LinkedIn. So it’s automatic every three days and the sooner you do it, the better, because basically what happens with e-mail open rates is first days, the highest 50 percent. Second is 40 percent, then 30, and then it flatlines 30 to 20. So what you want to do is in the first probably seven days, seven to 10 days, have three emails or you can figure it out, just do as much as you feel comfortable with. That is like showing your best stuff. Think of it as like if you come to a restaurant where you get your shittiest dishes or you’re given your best. And the best thing about Autoresponder is that when they come, every time they come, they get the same best dish. So that’s that’s the you have to do that. Now, once you guys got that on lock and if people are like, no, I don’t know what to put for my autoresponder, here’s the easiest way of figuring that out. Look, through every email you’ve ever sent, picking the three highest open rates you’ve ever had and then make those your autoresponder. Easy and it works for every type of business, e commerce, content, business, agency, business savvy business, they all should have orders on what people need to do. So the second thing is that I would say, number one, your e-mails should be something you’re excited to send. A lot of people send e-mails, they’re like, oh, yeah, I’m supposed to send e-mails and they send it, I’m like, are you excited about that? Because every time you send me an email and I don’t really like it, there’s a higher chance I’m going to not ever open it again or I’ll market it spam or unsubscribe. So with a lot of our emails, like emails are going to email, probably takes two to three days to write one email and our business makes 90 percent of our revenue through email. So it’s very important. But for other businesses, spend more time writing it. And the second thing that’s key is that you need to have a consistent cadence. A lot of people forget this, they sent an email because it’s like, oh yeah, it’s Thursday and I haven’t seen in a while, let me send one. But it’s like your favorite TV show. You want customers looking forward to you. So you want for me the way I do it and everyone has to figure out what they what they think is reasonable. For me, I think it’s reasonable to send to our customers every other week. So for consumer, for instance, every other week, all weekend is just what we’re working on. Because I think, you know, if I’m a customer, I just want to know what the hell is going on. Like, hey, what the hell you guys been doing for two weeks, and they feel a part of a community, they feel part of the process and they can respond like, oh, that’s cool or no, that sucks versus, you know, six months later or a month later, hey, here’s a new feature. And here shit that’s been going on or random e-mail, go buy something or here’s a special. So I would say pick a time frame and then just put that on repeat. So my personal same thing every two weeks, Zouma dot com or email marketing software, that’s every week they send an e-mail every Monday, new content, specifically content to help small businesses and e-commerce grow. So in two to three. OK, great. Yeah, sorry.

Speaker 1: I like that you mentioned King so much, so much because we’re kind of running out of time and they have my last question, like, what’s the difference between building an audience for, like, your personal brand because you have it on? OK, Doke. You have your personal email list. And what’s the difference between building an audience around the business? Like what are the tips there anything people should know?

Speaker 2: I think people like buying from people. That’s one thing when we talk to people and I don’t ever really try to build a brand, I just like sharing things. I think we people try to build their brand so hard, I think is when they don’t do so well, I think what it is, is like build your tools, build your software and go help people with it. I think the thing to remember is put a human voice behind it, whether you trying to build your personal brand, which actually a lot of people that use similar products have heard of me. Right. So there is benefit, but even the same products and some group, our family of products, all of them use human talk. And I think with every business, like when you send an email, it’s always like, Cheers, Atrius, but instead it should be Tim and the crew or whatever. I think just putting more human and how people can think about it is that when you’re writing emails or content or anything, think about it. It’s after sending an email to a friend. You’re not writing an email or you’re not writing a blog post for just random people. So you’d use the word you instead of they. Like you’re talking to. And I think that’s overall not about personal brand, but just being human in your market.

Speaker 1: So basically, in the general scheme, building an audience around your business and around your personal brand is pretty much the same. They intersect a lot.

Speaker 2: Yeah, I think they should blend. It’s an interesting thing. Right. But we only have so much time in the day and I’m very fortunate. I work with great people that run the the businesses. So I have time to kind of do podcasts or YouTube and things that I’m interested in. And then it lets me because of that, I can then mention the businesses that we work on. I think if I was if we were a lot smaller, I probably wouldn’t spend any time on talk or that stuff except like maybe 10 percent of my time or just as a hobby.

Speaker 1: OK, OK, thanks a lot. This was amazing. A lot of great tips. Thanks a lot for agreeing to do this interview and sharing so much knowledge with people

Speaker 2: that do the math. Whatever Tim asks, I do.

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