How a 26 Year Old Guy Built a 6 Figure Business While Traveling The World
In this interview, you will find out how my friend Sebastian made hundreds of thousands of dollars while traveling all around the world and working online on his business.
Here’s what Sebastian’s life looks like:
He began traveling last year, he’s been all over Asia, stayed in the most amazing places. Now he’s decided to go to Mexico because he’s a bit tired of Asia now. Soon, he’s off to Australia, LA and then back to Europe for Christmas. In terms of business, he’s made millions of dollars for his clients and netted hundreds of thousands of dollars for himself using product launches.
Sebastian is in the binary options/forex markets. They build and sell software in the niche.
His second company, Online Growth Lab, consults small and medium businesses about their online marketing.
How To Build Your List
Sebastian used to own a video sales letter production company, he started producing videos for all kinds of different niches.
He was basically working with internet marketers and ended up working with forex/binaries marketers for most of his time.
After a while, he started doing anything and everything for them.
Soon he realized he can do what they’re doing. Coupled with his good relationships in the niche, his first product launch in the niche went really well. It was a $200k launch.
The main traffic source for the business is affiliate traffic. If you get a well converting offer, you will be able to do a big launch. Of course that only works if you get your friends in the industry (affiliates) to promote.
So ultimately, his whole list is built with affiliate traffic.
For his consulting company, his whole list is built through cold traffic. In fact, he recommends this over affiliate marketing. The best cold traffic source currently is Facebook traffic.
The main lesson for building a list is having something to sell. You have to know, 1-2 months from now, how much is a lead worth to you. That way you know how much you can spend on traffic.
People think that you need a big list to launch a product, but it’s even possible to launch a product with 100 people on your list. It all depends on the quality of the list.
While talking to him about my own cold calling business coaching company, he brought up his girlfriend’s branding company, and her way of converting cold traffic into sales.
Her niche is limited to Dutch companies only, and her funnel is Facebook ads that provide the prospective client a free report. To access the free report, the client has to put in their email address.
Over email, rather than go straight for the sales pitch, she sends tons of free content for 6 days, and only then will she contact the prospective clients through a personal message via email or Facebook.
This personal message is not a sales pitch, but an attempt to set up a one hour free consultancy call where she creates a branding strategy for her client to follow.
After creating this plan, she gives the option for the client to try and implement it themselves, or she can implement it for them. Only then does the sales pitch start.
The closing rate for this process is really high, at around 30% according to Sebastian’s estimates.
The key takeaways from this particular cold traffic process is that she does not go straight into a sales pitch. She turns the cold lead into a warm lead by offering tons of free content. Furthermore, she personally messages them and sets up some face time talk to build more rapport.
This face time talk is not the sales pitch, but a free consultation which adds even more value on top of all the free content via email.
By the time she has finished her consultancy call with her prospective client, they have received so much free content that they will not mind at all being pitched a product or service to.
How Do You Learn Affiliate Marketing And How To Do Product Launches
The way Sebastian learned the hard-to-get skills that you need to make it in this industry, is reverse engineering.
He took the top performing launches and learned from them. Along with that, he looked at the failures in the industry.
Furthermore, Product Launch Formula by Jeff Walker is a great resource to learn about product launches in general.
How Can a Beginner Find his Niche?
When talking to Sebastian about starting your own business, he was adamant that you have to “treat a business like a business”. Not as a project or a fun new thing you can tell your friends about.
To focus on your business, he said, you need to visualize where you want to be 3 months from now. From that point, you have to work backwards at what you have to do to get there.
Another key point he made was the need to start executing. You need to educate yourself on the processes you need to perform in your particular industry, and then pick a “niche of hungry buyers”.
A niche of hungry buyers would be a niche full of passionate people, who are desperately looking for a solution to their specific problems.
On top of that, it’s not enough merely to pick a hungry niche: you need to deliver a product that is a huge opportunity for them. When you combine the two, you get massive success.
Sebastian learned that to improve the quality of your list, especially when you get started, its important to ask them directly what their needs are. Build lists of 100 people, get every single one of them on call, and ask them questions about their business.
For his particular niche, Sebastian creates huge lists, and surveys them about their business.
Sebastian highlights the utility of finding a “passionate niche”. In such a niche, it will be easier to find an influential person that will be really happy and flattered to provide their input to someone who asks for it.
Then, he explained that different niches require different types of product launches: some you should go straight to big ticket items, as Sebastian did with his Online Growth business, while others have niche specific limitations to an approach like that, as was the case for FX Lab Launch.
Before we moved on to another topic, Sebastian laid out a quick formula for an entrepreneur who is just starting out : have something to sell, build a list, look to sell them the product, have a look at what the ROI is, and then calculate how much you can spend on any given lead.
How To Target Your Niche
In this topic, Sebastian made a very good point that business owners are skeptical: they have been pitched to a million times.
Simply put, you have to be seen as a guy who knows what he’s talking about, and not just another guy trying to pitch a sale to them.
He learned this the hard way, when his unsubscribe rate rose dramatically following his attempt at introducing cheap back-end offers in his emails.
A back-end offer is an offer made after the consumer either buys a product from you, or straight from introducing the lead to your list without necessarily having bought from you already.
Doing that made him appear to be another guy just trying to sell them his product without giving value in return or caring for their needs.
When it came specifically about how to target your niche, Sebastian talked about his Customer Avatar Sheet.
This method consists of him creating an imaginary customer with a name, age, family status and hobbies. The point is to immerse himself in what the customer’s needs are, and how he can address them effectively.
This idea of really getting to know your niche is hammered home by advising you to scout the forums where the community that belongs to your niche goes. Its very important to find the topics and videos with the most views, and understand the issues that they address.
From that knowledge, you can create free content to give out on these topics, and thus obtaining new leads to put up in your email list.
Sebastian made a very important point that it is important to have 6 to 9 days of free value emailed to your list. Rather than immediately pitch a sales to them after that period, send the leads into a new list until you have a product launch.
Sebastian’s way of targeting a niche focuses on 3 aspects: celebrities, events and books.
He provided an imaginary example of targeting the golfing industry. The celebrity he would target would be an underground yet well known golfer. He would stay away from Tiger Woods or another such high end golfer.
For his event, he’d pick a specific event such as the Abu Dhabi Invitational, or the USA PGA tour. And for his books, he’d pick a well known golf magazine.
The point of this process is to be very specific and clear at what you target in your niche.
Sebastian also touches on the topic of other marketers sharingstealing your leads.
The first point he makes in this regard, is that especially on Facebook, one of his preferred marketing platforms, the amount of traffic is really
high, so scarcity of leads is usually not a problem.
The main argument he makes, however, is that consumers are bombarded with so many shit offers and affiliate marketing crap, whereas you are giving free content that can benefit them even without buying your
course, product or whatever. You are giving a lot away in advance.
Which Platform To Use
In regards of which platform to use, Sebastian warned to be careful in this specific topic because people are constantly bombarded
with shit all the time. Its crucial to plan for each platform.
The example he makes is comparing a video platform such as youtube with email. The nature of your free content has to be different for each,
because your email will become redundant: people will open your emails just to check the new youtube video.
I asked him if it was best to learn about all 3 platforms (email,Facebook,video), but his advice for newcomers is to “start by mastering one”.
Sebastian warned that if you plan on using Facebook as a platform, you have to take into account that a lot of the Facebook audience are just bored, disengaged and only scrolling through the homepage to look for a funny video.
Youtube and email will have a much more engaged and attentive audience, even though they won’t have as much traffic as on Facebook.
An interesting point Sebastian made is about the potentiality of twitter as the new marketing platform. As of now, it is as cheap marketing there as it was on Facebook 5 years ago. Facebook today has gotten really expensive to use as a marketing tool.
Sebastian then moved on to the topic of checking lead quality, and ways to retain leads: he encourages you to run small, inexpensive tests for your leads.
His preferred way of doing this is checking their Facebook accounts, their businesses websites, their LinkedIn to see what their goals are and so forth. If the lead seems solid, he will up scale things and move on to the next step.
How To Seize Market Opportunities For Beginners
This is where it gets really interesting for a lot of 20 something entrepreneurs struggling to find opportunity, a niche.
A perfect example of this is a recent issue Sebastian was having with Online Growth. Some small business owners could not afford to employ him as a consultant, but they wanted his help in creating ads for their business.
This led him to create an ad company targeted at these small businesses, this passion project became a great way for him to retain leads. Sebastian turned an issue into an opportunity.
He laid it out there that most business are really uneducated about marketing: completely unprepared for the new economy, and still operating like its the 1980’s.
So don’t look too much to invent something new, grab the opportunity in your local area: there will be tons of businesses that can benefit from your expertise and knowledge of marketing.
You have to literally tell the business owners to work one month with you, and if their ROI is less than your fee, you don’t get payed. Make it impossible for them to have anything to lose by working with you.
Another important point is that its unnecessary to make huge changes to these businesses: often, small quick fixes could triple their ROIs. The only problem is that they are living in the past.
At this point, I realized I haven’t heard much from Sebastian about cold calling, so I asked him about the subject and his thoughts on it.
What he had to say on the topic is that it all depends on your personality. Sebastian describes himself as more of a marketing guy: long term, strategic planner. The thought of being on call all day did not appeal to him at all.
However, when it comes to generating leads, preparing product launches he is much more at ease and thrives on it.
It comes down to the question: are you a marketer, or a seller?
His next advice for 20 something entrepreneurs is the need to hustle now and use all the energy available to you at this age, rather than get caught up in these grand, long term planning strategies.
Nobody in their 20s knows exactly what they are doing, the important thing is to hustle hard, and find out by action.
Being a Coach and Getting a Hold of One
One of the last topics we touched on was about coaching others, something both him and I are involved in.
Sebastian emphasized the need to fill an expertise gap, rather than an age gap. Basically, it’s more important to be ahead of your client in the area you are coaching him, than being older than him by x number of years.
While age is irrelevant to an extent, don’t be presumptuous and overcompensate for lack of knowledge with arrogance.You have to be able to back it up.
I then asked him what would it take to get his attention and input. He took a moment to think, and replied:
“Message me a very specific problem that doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to answer”.
Too many people message Sebastian with questions such as “I want to learn product launching what do I do?” If you want advice from a coach, you have to know what you need help with to begin with.
Successful coaches like Sebastian simply don’t have the time to helpyou find out what your problem is when they have their own business to run.
The Importance of Time Management
Sebastian remarked that he works 7 days a week, day and night, 6-7 am wake up. He is only starting to think about relaxing now that he has a mid 6 figure income from his two businesses.
He echoed an idea that I wholly agree with: this is the best time to start a business. Marketing is so cheap and results are so easily trackable now that everything can be done online.
If you want to start a business of any kind, Sebastian really stressed the need to make plans and stick to them, keeping yourself to deadlines and
avoid losing focus.
The biggest distraction he talked about was the thrill and validation an entrepreneur can get by chasing project after project, each seemingly better than the previous one, and in the end none get finished.
You have to stick to your goals no matter what. When Sebastian did that is when his business really took off.
Sebastian made it clear you have to be able to say no to a lot of stuff. As your business grows, more people will notice your success and want to learn how you did it. But at the same time, you need to invest more and more of your time growing and taking care of your business.
When I asked him about what he would tell his old classmates and friends in their 20s, he made it clear he wasn’t against people getting jobs or going to uni, but against having a “shit life and not taking action”
Interestingly enough, he thinks uni is a great time to start a business because you can keep experimenting and failing without pressure. He started his business at uni.
Another point he brought up was how uni taught him how to do things he hated, and in business, there are a lot of things you have to
accomplish that you will hate.
His struggles with his thesis at Stanford university taught him many invaluable lessons in regards to time management, and gives him a lot of credibility when dealing with American customers too.
The concluding argument he made was the need for the successful entrepreneur to master the art of time management.
It is essential especially when you travel all the time. You must stick to a schedule and achieve the goals you set for yourself.
Read books on time management, and develop it as a skill.
My view is: travelling and working is staying at least 3 months in one place, knowing exactly when to work, when to call and when to relax and take care of your health.
If you do intend to travel and work, Sebastian emphasized a very important point: you need to develop habits and a schedule you can do everywhere in the world and stick to it. This is how he can be productive even by jumping around place to place every couple of days.
Thanks for watching and reading the article, if you have any questions andor suggestions comment below. For more free videos make sure to check out my channel and subscribe at vitkin.net/youtube.