Rob Cairns sits down with Ravi Jayagopal About His Book Dogpoo & Dosaa.
- What is Dogpoo?
- What is Dossa?
- Tips to help your business.
- Highlights of 67 Tips to Market your business that leads to sales.
If you want to increase your sales then you must read this book.
Hi All, Rob Cairns here. I’m here with Ravi Jayagopa today, and we’re gonna talk about one of his books. How are you today
Ravi doing great. How are you?
I’m doing good from Monday, as we record, it’s, it’s been a busy week. So we’ll see how that plays out. You wrote this really good book, which I’ve read, actually twice now, believe it or not and I’m going to throw some acronyms out there and get you to explain it. It’s Dogpoo, and Dosaa. And what do those acronyms stand for?
So Dogpoo stands for do once get paid only once. So the Dosaa stands for do once sell again and again. So yes, it created those acronyms to distinguish between one selling one time products or doing things once and getting paid only once like, you know, freelancing or some kind of a task or going to a job where you do something, you create something once and you only get paid once, versus creating something like a digital service or digital products, membership sites and online courses and then creating a recurring revenue based business so that you can get paid again and again.
Yeah, which is always the best way because anybody who understands marketing knows that to have a reoccurring client is cheaper from a cost of acquisition than acquire a new client. Correct?
Exactly. So yeah, first time, customers are really hard. Because you have to do a lot of marketing to get them in your funnel. And then you have to convert them and, and you have to make sure they stay around and they pay you again. So what but once somebody is already in your system, they know your the value of your product, obviously your product has to be your product or service has to be really, really good for them to keep coming back. But if that’s the case, then you’re better off marketing to your existing customers, then to New always trying to go in search of new customers, which you have to do as well. But you can focus all of your marketing only on finding new customers who only pay once and then now you’re back at square one, the next month, where you’re now looking for new customers. If they don’t come then you don’t get paid. Yeah,
so so true. And this is, and correct me if I’m wrong. It’s either your sixth or your seventh book you’ve written now,
how did you book Yeah,
it is a book. Okay, so you’ve written seven other ones? How did you decide to write eight books? And where does that knowledge and that background come from? Can you give us a little bit of the backstory before we move on?
Sure. So I writing is, I believe, is one of my biggest superpowers, because I have been a prolific writer for a very long time i n, it also helps that I can type at a very fast speed, like 105 words per minute. And I learned typing in college when I was in doing computer engineering, or actually way back in high school. That’s when I learned typing on a regular good old typewriter, and learn the basics and stuff. And then as I got into the computer, school, it was a lot easier. And then over the years, you know, I have refined my typing skills. And because I can, because I have the knowledge, obviously to write well, you not only have to have, you know, a decent hold over the over the language, you have to have decent language skills, which I was fortunate enough because I even though English was not my first language growing growing up in India, I still, you know, love my I used to watch a lot of Hollywood movies with my dad watch CNN, which was only foreign channel available to us. And, and then we just lost a lot of talk shows. And that’s when, you know, I got fascinated with the talk show format, which helped me launch a podcast, you know, many, many years later, which got me he fell in love with podcasting and the audio format and the long form discussion format. And then writing came because of reading a lot of books. And my father was also a writer himself in one of our native languages in India, and Canada. And so I kind of, I think I might have the writers gene in me. I don’t know if that’s true, but writers in getting passed on but I, maybe the love of writing was always there. And that helped me. And the more I learned and the more I wanted to share, and I wrote my first book in 2007. I took me about three to four years I think in total to write it because I was writing A page a day, sometimes page a week, because I had a full time job, I was commuting to New York City, I lived in Austin in New York, and I had to take two trains, and metro train, and then two subway trains to and then a 10 minute walk to get to downtown New York and then where I was working in different consulting jobs, and then at one point, I work for the city of New York. So while doing all that I would, you know, I had nothing to do on the train, it’s like a 4515 minute train ride. So I brought my laptop and I would start typing and it was actually a blessing that I did not have Wi Fi at the time. And even though I in fact, I did not know that I could get Wi Fi card for the you know, which I could train, which actually turned out to be great for me, because if I had probably I would have wasted time going online and websites and stuff, even though there was no Facebook at the time. So I used, I said, What’s the best thing I can do offline for 15 minutes, and that’s read a book or some technical book, I was still learning, you know, coding and everything else, I was always learning coding. And I started typing up unnecessarily, you know what I’m going to write my first book, because I thought it was very important to form to, to, for my, to be perceived as an authority and an expert, a book is very, very helpful. It’s one of the best business cards you can have, in terms of being an author. And at the time, self publishing was really becoming stronger. And the vanity publishing concept was slowly dying, that if you self published, that you’re a vanity publisher, that you just want to promote yourself kind of thing. So that Seth Godin, and all these great thinkers and bloggers, they were starting to change how people thought about publishing. And, you know, I said, I’m going to write my first book. And after that, for nearly 10 years, I did not write another book, because I was super focused on my business. And then, you know, 2010, my wife and I, we both quit lucrative jobs in New York. And we moved to San Diego once we became full time and got our green card and everything else. So and then for many years, it was about the business and focusing on it. And then my wife started taking over the company, the the technical aspects, the development and support and all those things. So that freed up a bunch of time for me, then that’s when I said, Okay, let’s branch out into New York things. I started coaching and consulting and wanted to write more books, and started a podcast, it’s all our 2015
There’s that, right, there’s a couple of things you said that really resonated with me. One is you were a coder. I don’t know if you know, but uh, Sharon, many of my listeners know, I am an old time COBOL programmer before I got into marketing and web stuff, so I was originally a PA by trade. The other thing you were talking about was when you started your podcast, you listen to talk radio. And it’s funny you say that because that’s what got me into podcasting. Originally, I was a growing up and I actually grew up in Montreal, not Toronto where I am now I was an avid am radio listener for talk radio so that you know you make the transition from am radio to listening to podcasts and audio books and then if you like that format that’s easy to start and and I really like the the book journey I mean that’s that’s so long journey that you did that on your way into work I mean a lot of people now a lot of these commuter trains actually have an in Toronto we do we have Wi Fi on them so needless to say, You know what I end up doing when I’m commuting right? Yeah, I work but a different type of work. So when you in your book, and you basically say write on a on a cover page, you have 67 proven techniques, hacks, ideas to help your business. What do you think is the most important idea in the book?
Um, the most important idea is the title itself, right? Dogs do not sell just one time products. And so create a subscription based business because, ultimately, you know, at some, someday you will want to exit the business. And the first thing a prospective buyer wants to know They don’t care about how much made you money you made in over the last five years, or how much money you made the last year or this year or this month, they want to know how much money if they buy your business how much money they’ll make next month without having to do anything new, without having to bring in any new customers? And if your answer is, well, all of our customers have paid up. So if you buy our business net, starting next month, you’re going to have to go out there and look for new customers, then you’re not going to sell your business, or you’re going to sell it for pennies on the dollar. So it will increase the value of your business, you will have to have some recurring revenue in your business, you know, monthly run rate annual run rate people, that’s what people look at when buying a new business. And then if you have a healthy monthly run rate, then or an annual run rate, then you can get several multiples of that, depending on what kind of business it is. What kind of external dependencies it has, does it rely on? Is a physical product, a digital product? How easily can it be delivered this there are a lot of work in delivery, there have to be a lot of people who need to do the delivery, or can it be managed automatically. So all these things come into the picture. But the critical one is the run rate, how much recurring revenue you’re getting. So that’s probably the most important part. And then I go into your so many other aspects of digital marketing, I get into like, you know, sell first create later, which is you want to you don’t want to create a go off and create a product or service, or a course that you know, takes six months, eight months to create a new course. And then you find out, you can sell it, nobody wants it. Right? You launch it and it’s crickets. So instead of going off and spending all the time and then coming back to selling it, why don’t you sell it first. So that will give you an idea as to whether you have the right product? Or the right product market fit? Are you in touch with the right audience? Is your social network filled with people? Who are just friends and family who probably won’t buy? Or do you have prospective buyers on it? Are you connecting to the right community. So it allows you to validate your product, your audience, and so many other things and your ability to sell because now you have to put an offer, put an offer together example offer a job, not just the product, right, it’s the whole package from the heading to the subheads. And the sales copy and the pricing table the different options. So you know the whole so it allows you to validate that. So that’s one of the big things that a lot of people have said that they found very useful.
I have a I have a mentor, who years ago, I took not years ago, nice 10 years, I took some digital courses through. And he was very much of that belief. When you create a course he’d say, if you’re creating a 10 week course or 12 week course, don’t worry about anything past the first week or the second week, because that will help you validate it and then create the content as you go if you have to the first time through LEED. He’d say don’t invest the money in it until you actually have the buyers and and I tend to agree with that philosophy. Very much. So I also agree with the recurring revenue philosophy. I mean, in my business, I’ve got a prime part of my revenue is WordPress security care plans. And right now, I have beyond all the consulting and everything else. I have over 150 websites and on security care plans. And that’s reoccurring revenue every month that comes in the door. And and my renewal rates are like 90%. So, you know, when you look at numbers like that, and look at what you’re talking about RACV people need to really think about creating something that’s reoccurring.
Right, and the offer has to you know, you have to also have to keep the offers pretty simple, right? You don’t want to confuse them with way too many options like your your business model is so simple, right? Your primary thing is WordPress security. And then once you have launched that, and once you have people coming in and signing up, now you can offer so many other products and services to them because now they’re already a customer, they trust you. They probably give you access to their WordPress websites. And so now there’s a different level of trust when somebody gives you access to their back end of the business website. So now you have the trust. So now you can say hey, we offer this additional thing. So those are upsells. And you can always add on services later on. And that’s another thing that I one of the most useful chapters from my perspective is also So a chapter called go deep, then wide, where I talk about, you need to go deep first, and focus on one vertical. And then you can branch out into several other areas and offer upsells. And everything else, just like Google, you know, started with search, and now they’re from everywhere from cars to space to everything else they want to do. But they all they always mastered the search first, and then try to go wide.
That is so, so true. And what people don’t realise is, if you can get that reoccurring revenue in place, it will take care of itself if you take care of your customers, and that’s the important thing. I mean, we were talking in the pre show, the cost per acquisition of an existing customer is way less than trying to acquire a new customer. And, frankly, it’s something the telecoms industry, in Canada in the US just don’t get the rollout. They’re trying to get new customers and offering them deals. Well, if they offered some of their, you know, existing customers, some deals, maybe their profits would actually go up, not down.
Right. Right. Exactly.
One of my favourite chapters in the book was a chapter, chapter type that you talked about was ad revenue is not a reliable business model. And I so love that statement. And from somebody that’s run a lot of Pay Per Click ads for clients over the years. I get that, do you want to touch on that a little bit? And where you why that’s important.
Sure. So that came out of me being deep in completely connected in the podcasting industry, where so many podcasters their holy grail is to build a large audience and then be able to get sponsors. And it’s the same with a lot of bloggers, it’s it’s gone down now. But earlier in the blogging years, the big deal was, you know, write a create a blog that gets a lot of traffic and then sell AdSense ads. And I’ve talked about, you know, how I had one, you know, baby names website, where I was making consistently $1,500 from AdSense, but it never cracked that the thing and it was, it wasn’t, and then it started going down and up and really unreliable. And same thing with podcast sponsors. Because when you have when your revenue model is sponsorship, that means you your product is your audience’s attention. And that is a very difficult thing to create. You know, for the average person, obviously, if you’re like a Joe Rogan, or a celebrity who already has a massive audience, and you already have an audience in a different platform like Tim Ferriss, he was he was, you know, he did, podcasting was not the first thing he did. He was a very prolific and popular and New York bestselling writer, who had written several books who had been building an email list for a long time he had he has he had a phenomenal blog, and he could leverage that into massive podcasts listenership and then the the sponsors come knocking, then you can dictate your terms, or even if you, you know, if you have 100,000 or million user listeners, then it’s a lot easier to leverage that kind of attention. And the same with same issue with donations as well. Right? Relying on donations or ads is a very difficult, it can be a supplemental stream of revenue, but it cannot be your main business. And if you are saying, you know, I want to start a blog, and I’m going to make money off of it using ADS, now then you’re in trouble, because it’s going it’s not as easy and you’ll have to have hundreds of 1000s or millions of views or page loads or, you know, CPM impressions and same thing with the podcast listenership even if you manage to grow your listenership to 5000 or 10,000 people which is really hard for the average person because you know, it takes many sometimes one to two years for a podcast to take off especially if you don’t already have an existing audience, an existing email lists that you can blast to and bring your people over from another platform like you have an Instagram following following or massive Twitter following if you don’t have an existing audience, starting with you know, I’m going to build an audience and then I’m going to charge for sponsorship is a very, very hard road to travel.
Yeah, it sure It sure is. You know, most people don’t understand and even doing stuff like doing the podcast in the first place like The average podcaster never gets past like 10 or 11 episodes, because most people who get into that model don’t understand how much work, they look and say, Oh, Robin, Ravi will jump on a call, they’ll record in 30 minutes to be done that stand event. And every time somebody says that to me, I shake my head at them and say, really, you know, it’s, there’s work. I mean, I, one of the things I do is, I don’t do a lot of editing in the conversation with a guest on a podcast. But after I had trailers, I have to add headers. Before the podcast, I do some research, I look at websites, I figure out where the I’d like the conversation to go. You know, there’s, there’s a lot of work. I mean, you know, in a 45 minute podcast episode, I would bet you it takes me probably four to five hours by the time I’m done graphing and most people, most people and you get that being a podcaster. I think podcasting, by the way, is a great lead generation tool. But I would agree with your running on ad revenue alone is not the way to go personally. In that discussion twice. And you were talking about Tim Ferriss who I know very well I’ve read most of Tim’s books, and I’m an avid podcast listener at Tim’s you talked about his large email list. I take it like me, you strongly believe in email list and how you can work your email list.
Yeah, absolutely. I think the if you’re going to build any kind of audience, the number one platform you should focus on is building an email list. You know, because social media platforms, you never know what’s going to happen. You never know. I see, you know, people posting all the time on social media, whether it’s on Facebook or YouTube, YouTube creators getting banned, or one of the videos getting banned because of some way big copyright thing issue or somebody complained or you’re always building your, you’re putting your content on somebody else’s platform and these companies, they have the right to, you know, control your your content. And you never know what silly thing might cause your content to go down, you might lose your account, you will your account may get suspended, your channel might get suspended your Twitter account, you could get suspended Facebook, same thing. So you don’t know what you know how your content is how long it is going to stay on these platforms. So your audience also, again, when you’re creating a YouTube video, I’ve seen a lot of YouTube creators. Obviously, they have great content, the biggest ones, but there’s so much focus on how long should the video be right? If I create too short of a video, will it affect my playing time? Will it affect my watch time? Will it affect my skip time, there’s more focused on worrying about Google’s algorithms and Facebook algorithms and Google search engine and Twitter, what is going to show my tweets to everybody because I have like, at this point, like seven almost 700 Twitter users, but every time I post, you know, I’m not getting 700 views on that. Because not everybody who you know, same thing with with Facebook, or post a video, I have almost close to 5000 friends on Facebook, right? It doesn’t, but Facebook is not going to show it unless it’s a controversial thing or some kind of thing that generates a lot of anger or frustration or whatever it is. So if you’re constantly having to play the algorithm game, then you’re not putting out your best content. And that’s where email comes in email list is so valuable, because if obviously, you cannot control whether everybody will will open your email. But for the most part, if email delivery is really, really good. So if somebody has actually signed up, and you have to follow some of the tricks to get them to whitelist you or reply back to you, you have to create some engagement but once the emails servers know that you’re not spamming them, then you will get a very high deliverability. And then whether they open it is up to your copywriting skills of writing a great subject line and then how you drag them in. So those are all marketing and copywriting tactics. But for the most part, if you have thought 1000 person email list, you can be reasonably certain that most of them will get your email and then from there, it’s up to you to get them to open it and read what’s inside and get them to click but you can at least know that what What You See Is What You Get in terms of your audience.
I would agree with the show with his story. We talk about algorithms changing and rules changing. I have been in the Facebook black hole for eight months. So anything I post off by business domain, and listeners to this show, or those who follow me on Twitter will notice gets rejected by Facebook supposably. My marketing site does not meet community standards, and that has been going on for months. So the game I play they get around it is when I post a podcast Casto says by podcast host I actually post the caster’s link, not the web link, because to get around it. And that’s the problem with dealing with what we call rented land websites. The only two things you really own in this business is one is your website. And two is your email us. So I would suggest strongly, Danny, buddy, as you said, concentrate on that email list. What’s your favourite email list? Platform reverie, since we’re talking about it,
I signed up for Aweber back in 2000 Something so early, and I’ve been with them ever since they’ve worked out great. For me, I’ve tried a couple of you know, once in the meantime, in the early 2000 10s, but you know, ever works fine. For me. There’s ConvertKit there’s, there’s so many there’s drip, there’s so many different email platforms. And MailChimp recently got a huge, you know, this sold and made a lot of money. So, you know, pick just pick one and go, but I wouldn’t, I would not recommend MailChimp, because they always had a policy, I think, if I’m not mistaken, that you know, you cannot promote affiliate links and stuff like that. So the beginning, you know, a lot of people were complaining that they cannot entrepreneur, but now, they might have changed.
Yeah, they were MailChimp was actually bought by a Canadian company called Intuit. And they were bought, I believe the price of a recall was $6 billion US, which is interesting. The second biggest buy that into its made their previous bigger buy was a company called Credit Karma did the states they paid 3 billion for and they’re actually based out of Calgary, Alberta. They’re they’re 100%. Canadian. And I’m still trying to figure out that by but I think I’ve got my head wrapped around that finally. But it’s I personally am a ConvertKit user, I have been for a while. But I mean, choose the platform that works the best for you. I think that’s the really key. And honestly, just do it and try it. That’s important thing, right? So
exactly. The key is to build a list, you can always move your list to a different, you know, if you find a fancy new email service provider who supposedly has better deliverability or whatever it is more features, you can always move, just like I say, you know, start your podcast doesn’t matter if it’s on Anchor, you can always move your RSS feed, you can redirect it to a paid host like Lipson or pod bean, people spend way too much time trying to get the the tools and the platform and everything perfect. And they procrastinate and they just go on, you know, go for months or years just research mode. And so just to get started with whatever it is, you could you could collect emails more spreadsheet, who cares? You know, if you can as long as your way to send out the emails, it doesn’t matter if you have a, you know, a self hosted email a software, but obviously you don’t want to do that. But I’m saying, you know, keep it minimal, you know, MVP for everything.
No, I Oh, I I agree with you. Because, you know, we talked about the podcast, I started on anchor, and I actually moved to cast votes after that. And I personally haven’t been happier. It’s not the platform for everybody. But it’s just, it’s just the start and figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. And it’s funny how you mentioned MVP, because I was gonna segue into that. And I think most people get into trouble. And I’ve been guilty of it in past life, and I’m not as bad anymore. They’re perfectionists and they want everything 100%. Right. And then they wonder why they don’t make any money. Okay, exactly. You know, and they and they, and they kind of don’t realise that a product doesn’t have to be 100% and I and I’m going to give a good example that’s going on in the wild right now is Windows 11. by Microsoft. That product, as far as I’m concerned, has some issues. But Microsoft has thrown it out there and said, Here it is. You know, if you want it, go get it. And and the reason they’ve done that is because they recognise that nothing is ever 100% Before you do it, because if you keep going for 100%, as far as I’m concerned, you will never launch anything as long as you live.
Right, the same thing goes for you know, podcasts, also a lot of new podcasters will hold five 710 episodes, they won’t release it, they won’t get feedback, and then they release it, and then they find so many issues with it. Now they have to go back and fix 10 episodes, which will be really hard to do. Instead, if you just launch with one episode, which was a pop, which is a very controversial thing that I’ve been, you know, promoting for a long time, because a lot of so called gurus, were promoting you know, a lot seven episodes together so that you will get a lot of juice, the search stuff, nothing matters, because people when they subscribe, only the latest episode gets downloaded automatically. So just launch with one, get feedback, get listener feedback, ask people for feedback, that’s the most important thing, whether it’s the first episode of a podcast, or first video, or whatever it is. And same thing with with writing a Kindle book as well, you know, there’s so many ways to just get started, you just open up Google Docs and start writing today, you don’t have to wait for anything fancy.
Now, it’s so true. And you know, use a podcast example. And the other thing to do is, while you’re doing any of this marketing stuff, is build your community and spend time in the community that you serve and be helpful to people like, people don’t. I think people don’t get that that if you be helpful. And then when you reach out to somebody and say, hey, you know, I think you’d be a really great podcast guest. And I’ll give you an example. I just recently did an interview with Brian Gardner. Brian, somebody who’s well known in the WordPress space founded Studio Press works for WP Engine. I mean, but but the thing is, the more you give back the more approachable people or and frankly, people by and choose to work with the people they like, not for the technology and not for the information. Right, exactly. You know, things to change. So I’ve tested a question, you’ve written a book. So you’re working on the ninth.
Now not right now, I know, the eight book is that position it in such a way that a lot of the new tactic tactics and stuff that that I come up with, I could probably roll it into the this one or I can wait for another two years and package another, you know, 20 3040 tips and hacks and everything else and come up with the second version or a second edition. Part two kind of thing.
Yeah, it’s funny, I had asked that question because in my circle RACV I’ve gotten a number of old time journalists and old time reporters and current reporters. And the thing about writers is writers never died, they they never retired, they just keep writing.
It’s yeah, I’m probably gonna come up with a few other different ideas, I already have something going on in my head, but going to take you know, a few months off because like we were talking about in the pre call down the pandemic is getting better and getting back to work and my my coaching business has started booming. So now I have to take care of my clients and, and so a lot of other things going on, but I will definitely you know, but I don’t stop writing. Even though I might not come up with a book in the next six months, I would probably ended up writing and podcasting and YouTubing and creating so much content, I’m creating so much content on a day to day basis on different platforms that I make a note of everything, everything is in a notepad all I have to do is just repurpose it and I can have a book you know, ready to go in, like within a week?
Yeah. if somebody wants to get a hold to you or find out where to find your books, where’s the best way read?
My website is https://subscribeme.fm/. That’s my podcast name as well. If you want to check out my podcast, just search for Subscribe me.fm as one word in your podcast app, and if you go to subscribe me.fm Then you’ll find all the details about me my books, my coaching, consulting, on the holiday product services, everything is there and my email is Ravi@subscribeme.fm
Thanks for your time revenue. Have an amazing day.
Thank you so much, Rob. Thanks for having me on the show.
My pleasure. Bye