How to Create a $4,000 Per Month Muse in 5 Days (Plus: How to Get Me As Your Mentor)

249 Comments


Photo: Stuck in Customs

Preface by Tim

This post is a follow-up to “How to Create a Million-Dollar Business This Weekend (Examples: AppSumo, Mint, Chihuahuas).”

The purpose of this guest post — written by Noah Kagan — is to show you exactly how a postal worker created a $4,000 per month muse. Included are all the tests, e-mail templates, and details you’d need to replicate his success.

Noah was employee #30 at Facebook, #4 at Mint, had previously worked for Intel (where he frequently took naps under his desk), and had turned down a six-figure offer from Yahoo. Since we first met, Noah’s helped create several multi-million dollar businesses, including AppSumo, loved by entrepreneurs everywhere.

For those interested in mentorship, don’t miss the end of this post.

There’s a time-sensitive chance to visit San Francisco for a week… to be mentored in-person by Noah and yours truly.

Enter Noah

The journey of Daniel Bliss is a telling one.

Our goal was to take his hobby — he was a full-time postal worker — and turn it into a real business making $4,000 a month so he could quit his day job.

We started working a few months before when he won the AppSumo Make a $1,000 a Month Business getaway to Austin to personally work with me for a week.

The preliminary call after Daniel won the getaway went well. Here’s what he told me:

He was solving his own problem. This is an easy way to figure out what business you should start.

Daniel’s a rock-climber and it hurt his neck to look up while he was belaying (standing on the ground helping the climber above him) so he wanted to buy glasses to make his neck hurt less.

Here’s me with a pair of glasses on and Daniel.

 All the glasses on the market were $99, so Daniel figured there had to be a way to make and sell cheaper glasses.

When we talked, he had already found a manufacturer through Alibaba.

Daniel first learned about using Alibaba to find a manufacturer in Tim Ferriss’s book The 4-Hour Workweek (page 175).

He searched suppliers on Alibaba and checked if they were a good fit by testing them on 3 characteristics:

1. How many years (if any) have they been considered a gold supplier?

Gold Supplier is a paid membership on Alibaba.com. All Gold Suppliers in China must pass an onsite check while those from other countries and regions must pass an A&V Check. Basically, this shows that they’re legit.

2. How is their website?

 Poke around to see if anything seems shady. Do they have any negative reviews or positive ones? Search their name/email on Google and see what kind of results you get. This should give you a good feeling if they’re legit or not.

3. Is their “minimum order quantity” reasonable for what I’m trying to do?

You want to keep your costs down and not worry about selling hundreds of items. Daniel originally targeted 50 minimum pieces to validate his business without spending a lot of money.

Once Daniel narrowed down suppliers he ordered a few samples to test in person. He took these to his climbing group. Always look at who you have easy access to when selling your product. A common pitfall is for people to look at everyone outside their network and get rejected.

 By himself, he sold 12 pairs. He sold 2 pairs to a couple he met while climbing and the rest to his climbing group.

So far, so good.

But then Daniel decided to spend valuable time creating a website: http://belayshades.com

How often have you bought a domain, imagining how large your new business is going to be? I KNOW you have. I have many times. You fantasize about how large your business is going to be instead of actually growing it. This is a common thing we help people with in our Make a $1,000 a Month business course.

Daniel’s been working as a postal carrier in Canada for 7 years, so expanding a business was foreign to him.

Daniel had gotten to the point where he was working without a goal so the first question I asked him was:

“To you, how much money is financial freedom?”

Once you know your destination, getting there is MUCH easier.

Tim’s written about figuring out your lifestyle costing, aka “financial freedom,” here: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/lifestyle-costing/

For Daniel it was $4k / month to be able to travel to Thailand and go climbing as he pleased.

Now it’s key to do the math to see how many pairs of glasses he’ll need to sell to get to that point.

$4,000 / profit a month

The glasses sell for $60 a pair with shipping

40% profit margins on every pair of glasses.

$60 * 40% = $24

$4000 / $24 (profit per sell) = 166 glasses a month.

Basically, 5-6 glasses a day.

That doesn’t sound so bad, right? When you take a goal and break it into daily targets, it makes the goal seem WAY easier and more digestible.

Competitors?

Before Daniel arrived to work with me, he started worrying about competition and patents.

BUT NO COMPETITOR CARES. Ever!

How many burger places are in your town? Cafes? Japanese restaurants?

Exactly, A TON. There’s enough for everyone and — fortunately for you — most people run their businesses like shit.

Worrying about others in the beginning is just a fear of starting.

Daniel’s focus on filing a patent was another aversion to starting.

The next week, he was worried about liability and everything except growing his business.

I’m not saying you should avoid setting up your corporation or take precautionary measures when it’s the right time. The key is to see what’s actually important for the time being and handling it.

Eventually, Daniel arrived in Austin and we had 5 days together to get his business to at least $4,000 in revenue. Here’s what went down:

 

Day 1 – Foundation

Now that Daniel knew his goal (sell 5-6 glasses a day) we used Quant Based Marketing to calculate how he could try various marketing tactics to grow his business and reach his goal.

Example of Daniel’s Quant based sheet

 See the actual marketing sheet here and feel free to use it for your own business.

What Daniel was previously doing for marketing was paying for Facebook likes and cold calling rock-climbing gyms to gain sales. It was going slowly.

The gyms said they needed time to see if they wanted to buy the glasses. When someone says they need time, it’s because you haven’t sold them properly.

For marketing, the key is to have a “lazy” mindset. With the quant sheet you can estimate the amount of sales you can get from all the different activities and then prioritize based on volume.

It’s critical to find the marketing activities that can scale and be repeated.

Daniel kept doing activities that weren’t producing, like submitting to PR Newswire. It’s not that it can’t work, but we wanted to get results faster.

So I asked Daniel, “If you could only use two of the marketing activities you’ve used before, what would they be?”

          1. Personal network + referrals

          2. Wholesale selling to climbing gyms / online stores

So we had our marketing sheet and planned to do 1-2 activities per day to see what worked best for his business.

 

Day 2 – Doing more of what works (personal network + wholesales)

Daniel searched Facebook for every single friend who listed climbing in their profiles and added them to a sheet.

Then Daniel individually messaged them. Yes, it’s work. To get The 4-Hour Workweek I’ve found it takes about 6 months of work to finally relax on substantial monthly income. [Note from Tim: This squares with reality; it usually takes 3-4 months to try enough that you can do a proper 80/20 analysis, then two months to design systems to scale what *is* working.]

Here’s the message Daniel used:

Hey <first-name>

Hope you’ve been awesome.

I saw you like climbing. Me, too!

My neck always hurts when I belay, so I created super affordable belay goggles.

Have about 10 available. Are you interested?

Climb on,

Daniel

A few sales came just from messaging his Facebook friends. SCORE.

Then we created a list of every rock climbing store offline and online in Canada.

1. Search google for “rock climbing vancouver” or search “rock climbing” on Yelp
2A. Go to websites listed and get the owner’s name (if possible), email, and phone number. OR
2B. Hire someone on fiverr.com or craigslist to go through every listing and add them on a sheet for you like the one below (if you’re a lazy ass).

 

Daniel was already calling and emailing but not getting the volume of sales he needed from wholesalers and gyms. I asked to see what he emailed,. He showed me this:

Damn, that is a bad e-mail!

Main things for you and Daniel to learn:

         a) Getting a PDF from a random stranger is never something I want to open.

         b) Make the subject line exciting to read.

         c) Sales emails should ALWAYS be about the other person. Make it valuable for them so they want to reply.

        d) Nobody’s name is Hello. “Hey <first-name>”. Work to find the first name.

Here’s an improved version that we worked on:

Subject: Helping you make an extra $1,000 at your climbing gym

Hey Colleen,

Hope things are amazing with you.

I’ve been working with climbing gyms like yours and wanted to hook up your members with my new belay glasses.

http://belayshades.com (people go nuts over them)

Was thinking, we can email your members with a special discount just for you and we split the profit evenly.

Be a great way for you to make a profit and hook up your members at the same time.

Can you let me know by this Friday if this sounds appealing to you?

Rock on,

Dan Bliss

And here’s the email for online retail stores:

Subject line: Best person to talk with for new climbing gear?

Hey John <store owner>,

Fan of your store and the fact your founder and I both do jewelry making:)

Noticed you didn’t have any belay glasses, which are becoming super popular with climbers.

Love to see if this makes sense for your store. Other climbing stores are seeing promising results with it.

How’s this Thursday 4pm CST for a quick 7-minute call to see if this makes sense for your store?

Belay on,

Daniel Bliss

http://www.belayshades.com

To actually get a response, I had Daniel use what I call the quad-bomb:

1. Search their name on LinkedIn. Send them a connect request as a friend with a CUSTOM message. “Hey <first-name>, Huge fan of your business and wanted to talk about some cool products for your customers.”

2. Email them.

I wait a day here as to NOT annoy them. If they don’t respond, then proceed to 3 and 4.

3. Facebook message them with: “Hey, just wanted to make sure my message got through”.

4. Tweet them. “Hey @twitter-handle. Love to see if we make some magic together. What’s best email for you?”

Why so many channels?

1. So many people are lazy and don’t put the effort in. You get out what you put in.

2. Sometimes people get busy, so your email may just get buried at the bottom of their inbox.

One of the key things that I drilled into Daniel’s head is to have a follow-up time with ANY person you are trying to work with. I use the line, “I have my calendar open, how’s X time to check in?”

Also I use followup.cc as a great free service to get reminders via email.

Rebuttal / sales sheets

Script out your answers to any possible questions during sales calls. This makes it easy to do your sales. This is also valuable so in the future you can have ANYONE do your sales a la The 4-Hour Workweek.

Here’s a sample of those sheets:

Rebuttals:

You guys are too small for us to work with

I feel we will work well together… we are small and you are big. Since we are small we can keep costs low and pass the savings on to you and your customers. Since you are large and have the reach for distributorship we can do business on a larger scale at smaller margins while still making a profit. Match made in heaven.

What about returns or defects?

We check each product by hand. If there is any problem, we stand 100% behind the product. We have a no-questions return policy for 30 days.

Can you guys do net-90 payment terms?

Yes, we can.

Where have you sold these glasses so far?

We are selling at local gyms and climbing groups all around Vancouver.

Can you give us a discount?

The price is the most affordable on the market. If you wanted to place a larger order, or can offer better payment terms, I’m happy to talk to my team to make it work for you.

Sales Questions to ask whosalers / stores / gyms

1. Something about themselves, a get-to-the-know-them question

2. What are your most popular items for climbers?

3. What are your favorite sites for finding out about new products? If tradeshows, which ones do you guys go to?

4. Do you guys already sell belay glasses?

5. How do you decide which products you want to sell?

6. [POTENTIAL TRANSITION] Well, it sounds like our glasses are right up your alley… (ONLY IF THEY ARE)

7. What’s your preferred amount for a starter order?

8. Is anything holding you back from placing an order of 30 with us today?

9. What are your preferred next steps to get this partnership rolling?

10. How’s x time for a check-in to make sure all is smooth?

 

Day 3 – Marketplaces + Groups + Advertising

Each day Daniel was in town, he allocated at least 3 hours to try a new method of marketing.

Who knows which will actually work? At the end of the week, we were going to re-evaluate and focus on the most effective ones.

Here are 3 marketing methods we tried out:

Posting on marketplaces

This involves posting your product to sites that already have your customers like eBay, Etsy, Craigslist or Amazon. All totally free, too. Done.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=321233764523

Messaging on Meetup groups

Try messaging meetup groups to do giveaways. No responses? Oh well, move on.

Facebook and Google Advertising

Here’s the exact FB ad we created:

Key things about this ad:

        – Target audience is really small (24,000 people)

        – Your target should be as NICHE as possible. The more unique — or direct the competitor — the better.

         – Newsfeed ads have been performing STUPIDLY well for me, so we chose that route. But what works for me may not work for someone else.

         – Limit yourself to your country and focus on just desktop computers, unless your page is very mobile friendly. Otherwise, you will waste a TON of money.

For Facebook ads, do NOT spend more than $10 a day while you are trying to figure out if you can make more than you spend from this marketing channel. DO NOT buy likes either — they are worthless. You have to rely on Facebook to communicate with your customers vs. having direct access. Get people to buy your product directly or give you an email.

Daniel tried Google Adwords with no success. Luckily, he used a free credit he got from starting a new account. You can get bonus AdWords credit via eBay.

 

Day 4 – Giveaways / Google / Random ideas

On Day 4, we continued trying new marketing techniques to find which would work:

Giveaways

Daniel reached out to various Facebook pages and bloggers related to climbing. Search Facebook for “rock climbing” or whatever your product is, and you should be able to find a few pages related to your audience.

Here’s what he would message them:

Subject: Free Belay Glasses for you and your <group name>

Hey <club leader>,

You guys look awesome! Glad to see the climbing community growing in <location>.

Wanted to let you know about these cool new belay glasses for rock climbers http://www.belayshades.com

Love to send you a pair to try out. If you like them, I’ll happily give you guys a special price you can share with your members.

Easy enough, right? Just email me by <two days from when email is sent> with an address we can ship to, and we will send a pair out to you.

Belay on!

Daniel

This did not produce any results😦

A better approach would be to mail out glasses to climbing writers and group owners and focus on building long-term relationships.

Google Top 20

If you were your own customer, what phrase would you search on Google?

For Daniel it was “belay glasses”.

In a non-spammy way, go through the first 2 pages of results on Google and leave a helpful comment or see if you can sponsor or get involved in that page. Way easier than trying to immediately rank for a keyword through SEO.

Daniel found a lot of forums and blog posts so he promoted himself on these pages. By looking at Google Analytics, we saw this drove a decent amount of traffic and sales to his website.

Posting on Reddit

There’s a decent amount of people in the /r/hiking or /r/climbing subreddits so posting a discount or asking for people’s feedback is a good test.

Daniel’s partner posted this thread and was able to sell a few glasses:

This sold 10 pairs, which is awesome for Daniel! But posting on Reddit and hoping to get responses isn’t predictable, and we want predictable.  Can’t run off to Thailand unless you know cash is coming in consistently, right?

Updating his website

His site wasn’t bad, but he had a video that did not explain his product, as well as a random banner slide show that didn’t speak to visitors.

Before:

 

After:

 

Day 5 – Bringing it all together

The key takeaway from the whole week: looking at what drove most sales so we can scale it up big time.

So from all the days activities, Day 2 seemed to be the most effective (reaching out to personal network and wholesale retailers).

Our goal for the five days was to grow Daniel’s business. By reaching out to his personal network and wholesale retailers and focusing what had already worked, we managed to make that happen.

Daniel got an email from a large online site named Sierra Trading saying they were interested in the glasses.

HOLY CRAP! He’d been waiting weeks to hear back from small local stores. Now an online provider is finally responding within a day. The store buyer originally responded via a Facebook message.

The order placed was for $4,200!!!!!

WAIT WHUH?!?!?!?!!!!

Lesson of the week: You never know what’s going to work when it comes to marketing. Try new things and then focus on what works until it stops working.

Daniel and the Amigos. Thanks to Anton + Robert for helping with this article.

Big thanks to HomeAway for sponsoring Daniel’s great loft in Austin, Texas.

A Week of Mentorship in San Francisco — An Opportunity

If you want help starting your own business, and if you’re a US resident age 18 or older, Tim and I have a special opportunity for you.

Take the following steps no later than 5pm PST on Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, and you could get an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco to work with us on starting your business.

Many surprises await the one lucky winner. Big time. Seriously.

Step 1 – Create a video (2 min or less) on YouTube explaining why you should be chosen. Start the video title with “Tim Mentorship” so we can find it.

Step 2Fill out this form. Be sure to include a link to your YouTube video (from Step 1) in the “Tacos or burritos?” answer! This is to ensure you know how to follow directions.

That’s it!

If you’re like Daniel and want the blueprint to start your own business, personal support, and access to a community of 3,000+ entrepreneurs, take a look at “How To Make A $1,000-A-Month Business.”

Posted on: October 28, 2013.

Watch The Tim Ferriss Experiment, the new #1-rated TV show with "the world's best human guinea pig" (Newsweek), Tim Ferriss. It's Mythbusters meets Jackass. Shot and edited by the Emmy-award winning team behind Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Here's the trailer.

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249 comments on “How to Create a $4,000 Per Month Muse in 5 Days (Plus: How to Get Me As Your Mentor)

  1. I’m excited to see you two teaming up on this! I’m in Noah’s class and it is rocking my world. I learned a ton about my own obstacles, and how to just knuckle down and focus. And there’s nothing more humbling than being accountable to the Taco Master himself.

    I’m in service delivery and am designing a productized way to deliver what I’m currently hand delivering – step by step guide to launching a crowdfunding campaign.

    Validation is key! Listen to this guy Noah, he knows what he’s talking about!

    Like

    • Geoff

      That’s awesome to read.

      Yea, I was shocked when we started helping people and realized it wasn’t more biz hacks people needed but overcoming fear practice.

      Looking forward to more success from you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great article. I really like the way you’ve stripped away the BS, and focused specifically on finding what works within a short timeframe. 5 days for those results is highly impressive.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Noah,

        After your help our revenue has increase by 60%. I’m not sure if you’d remember me but it was all due to your help. Our email blast generated over $1250 in a day!!!!

        Thanks,
        Kaivan

        Like

      • Tim, please, the images link are broken, I’m in love with that article, can you(or someone of your team) fix that!? I need to check it the full content of it. I’m going to dive deep into that model. Want to make sure I’m not missing out something really important. Thanks! =D

        Like

      • HI, Noah. I have just left a religious community after 18 years. My wife and have both experienced our life stifled. Now having left with our 2 children, having no financial help, I’m needing help to create this type of online business. I nothing about computers, web site building etc. Though to create the lifestyle needed to grow with my family I believe I need help. We d love to have property with small house and garden space ASAP. I’m sorry for feeling so desperate but if I can build a business in 5 days I feel you can help. I’ve been reading what you’ve written and love it.

        Like

  2. Awesome article! I feel like anyone could wipe their week free and sit down and systematically work through Noah’s marketing program to see what gets the best results! Well done on the great results and a great article:)

    Like

    • Thanks Kevin.

      One of the crazy things is Daniel doesn’t really use a computer that often and doesn’t even own a laptop. First world problems?:)

      Anyways, it was a great experience for me too, taught me a lot about how people learn and the importance of patience.

      Like

      • So, you are telling me that Daniel, wanted to launch a “Muse” product based business, had read Tim’s book, and he rarely was on a computer? Are you sure he actually read Tim’s book?:)

        Leaving the cynical comments to myself, that part is probably the most shocking to me.

        Great article, and great step by step strategies for people with limited sales experience and confidence to pursue their dreams. Specifically the “quad bomb”. I use a very similar strategy every day (linkedin, email and phone call) when cold calling customers.

        Like

  3. I am always impressed at how fast Noah is in getting things done and validating ideas! A question about the mentorship: Is this for people who haven’t started their businesses at all, or is this also for people who are one step further and might already have a product to sell?

    Like

  4. Thank you Noah for that inspiring five day journey! I love the mufti-tiered approach you and Tim used to market Daniel’s product. I would love to apply for the mentorship but I don’t suppose a Canadian willing to fly out of a U.S. based airport exactly fits the criteria. I’m excited for the winner of this amazing opportunity and I hope Daniel enjoys climbing in Thailand.

    Like

  5. What can I say? Noah’s right, “You never know what’s going to work when it comes to marketing.” Very grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from Tim Ferriss and Noah Kagan’s teachings. Feeling blessed.

    Like

  6. Hi Daniel and Noah,

    Congrats on the huge order from Sierra Trading Post! Awesome.

    A couple of questions…

    1. How many months were you able to replicate making $4,000+ per month?

    2. I’m confused about the math in terms of profit. Shouldn’t the profit margin only be calculated on the $45 website selling price, not the total price with shipping? Will this then change the math in terms of the number of glasses that need to be sold per day?

    3. And I’m wondering when you were emailing wholesale retailers and rock climbing stores about your product. What was the response rate percentage from those emails? This post just mentions the one order.

    Just wondering what I should expect using Noah’s model.

    Congrats again!

    Ellen

    Like

    • Right, not to be a “Debbie Downer” but the article is “how to create a $4,000 per month muse” and NOT “how to create a $4,000 for ONE month muse”. The order from Sierra is fantastic, but how repeatable and scalable is it?

      Also, to properly calculate profit, I believe you have to factor in all the time spent on product / service development, prototyping, testing, marketing, and actually selling. I’ll grant you that *gross* profit may be “retail price minus cost” but *net* profit must consider the time investment, no?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have a Pilates dvd on my website that I’d like to figure out how to get sales…
    I also teach private sessions and some group classes.
    Can I apply to have you mentor me? Coming to Maui any time soon?

    Mahalo,
    Mabelle

    Like

    • Get on youtube and start posting tutorials – link tutorials to sales page. Post 5 tutorials a week for 10 weeks and you’ll have a 1000 dollars/mo business.

      Like

  8. Thanks so much for sharing. Earlier this year I had to go through unexpected emergency surgery and after three months of recovery I ended up losing 80% of my marketing business revenue.
    I’ve been scrambling to find a way to replace it but also realizing that I need to get out of performing personal services and into selling a product or services that don’t depend on my having to be personally involved to keep revenue flowing.
    Now that I think about it, I’m another example of why people need to embrace Tim’s personal freedom manifesto. I have the vivid personal reminder right down the center of my chest.
    This blog post really helps me clarify my thinking and I’m truly grateful for your help.

    Like

  9. Hey Noah,
    Seems that you failed big time😀 But then again, changing and experimenting tons of approaches will guarantee that you can and will find a way to go through.

    If you’d had stopped at the first refusals, Daniel’s inventory would still be full by now.

    Makes me still trying different approaches and never giving up. Too bad I’m not a U.S. Resident.

    Keep inspiring Noah. Sincerely, Chris!

    Like

  10. It’s great to see case studies that don’t start with “send an email to your 10k+ subscribers that you’ve built over many years.” Knowing a little marketing is all that seperates working a job you hate all your life vs. doing what you want. Keep up the good work bros.

    Like

  11. Wow! Inspirational!

    I really liked the way how the whole process was done in 5 days! For so many people (including myself) can be a limiting belief that you can not start your business right away and make it happen so quickly!

    I am also a member in the Wantrepreneur course, I can only highly recommend to take the course, step to the next level and create your own business with a support of a great community!

    I am not an US resident, but I really wanna join! How would it be possible?;-)

    Have a great day!

    Like

  12. I’m submitting my video as I write this. Will the “How To Make A $1,000-A-Month Business” program work for a frozen food product?

    I don’t get enough fruits and vegetables in my diet and want to produce something along the lines of what the Soylent folks are doing, but it’s gotta be a frozen food item.

    If so, I’m in!

    Like

  13. Thank you once again Tim Ferris! While I do not have a single muse (I have tons!!) that I would like to progress with, I do have a comment/complaint. Why only US citizens? As a Yank currently living in Australia, shouldn’t I have the chance to win too? I am sure that there are plenty of other fans and future Tim Ferris’ around the globe that are probably saying the same thing and I for one think that they should be given the same chance to win a mentorship/meeting with you. Just saying…..BTW when’s your next book coming out and what is it about?!!:-)

    Like

  14. Awesome, Noah.

    This seems like a great follow-up to the Beef Jerky experiment.

    Down the line, do you expect Daniel’s business to eventually become passive, or will he be constantly marketing?

    Like

    • Hey Radhika

      Great question.

      ALL passive income businesses start out active.

      The key is manually validating that people want your business so you can begin automating different pieces to help make it more passive.

      Like

      • this is a very helpful comment. for too long I mistook Tim’s book for “create your business in four hours using automation and pa’s” ignoring the pages that outline the beginning steps all done by hand.

        I’m taking time off from wantapreneurship for learning, but when I get back to it I know it will be:

        *network
        *grind sales
        *try out different direct sales channels to see which work
        *do more of what works

        I’ve tried mlm in the past and this is exactly what they do. If I did more of that then I probably would have been successful because I actually had paying clients… (don’t get me started on my excuses…)

        thanks for being so blunt, love it.
        Daniel, UK

        Like

  15. It was very exiting to read this. Really appreciate the step-by-step explanation and info on google credit on eBay.
    I am very happy for Daniel that he overcame all of the obstacles and that his idea worked! Reading about Daniel’s success really put a spring in my step. Thanks guys!

    Like

  16. This is a great case study and a really practical step by step example of how to use marketing to launch a new product. Thanks Noah and Tim.

    About the mentorship, would you guys consider mentoring someone from outside the US if they paid their own airfare to get there?

    Like

  17. Noah – thank you for yet another awesome concrete example of how you are helping wannapreneurs become entrepreneurs. Both you and Tim are constant sources of great information, actionable tactics and strategies and awesomeness in general.

    Question: there is a limit to your personal network, why not focus on retailers and/or wholesalers from day one? Is it more of a validation thing?

    Like

  18. This looks awesome! Thanks for taking the time to write all of this out – super helpful and a great read. Will be submitting my video soon!

    Best,

    Estelle

    P.S – I’d be interested to know how many people follow directions properly once everyone has submitted!

    Like

  19. Great guest post by Noah.
    Will there be an opportunity for non US residents to enter in the future?
    It would be great for you guys to hack into overseas’ minds.

    Like

  20. Application submitted.

    I’m currently a student of Noah’s and I honestly consider you two to be two of the most brilliant individuals on this planet. The chance to work side by side with both of you is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever heard of.

    Thank you so much for the opportunity.

    Like

  21. Nice!

    This is a super informative post and definitely shows how important the hustle is from so many different angles.

    As a climber I don’t get neck pain (lucky me) but I can see how I would hang a pair of these next to my chalk bag just in case.:)

    Like

  22. Looking forward to learning! It would be so much damn fun to work and learn with you guys! Stoked to move forward.
    Thanks again!
    ~Aaron~

    Like

  23. Awesome case study. I really enjoy how he tested out all those different traffic sources. And ACTUALLY tested them instead of thinking about it like so many entrepreneurs (Wantrepreneurs as they would say). Getting to results as quickly as possible is the lesson here. Noah is a great mentor to have on board. And Sierra Trading Post is an awesome gear site so major success there as well. Congrats to Daniel.

    Like

  24. I think for a lot of people, the hard part is coming up with an idea/product in the first place. If you haven’t trained yourself how to become an idea person, it can seem almost impossible to get started. You can have all the energy in the world, but without an idea to work on, you aren’t going anywhere. What I would like to see are more articles about learning how to spot problems that need to be solved, and working those into a product or service.

    Like

    • Hey Cory,

      The best way to come up with an idea is to start looking at the goods and services around you, and find where they’re lacking. There are many, many products on the market today that could be vastly improved with a little tweaking.

      Next, if you have a passion for some type of gear or hobby, thats a huge step in the right direction. Start thinking about things you wish you could buy for your hobby, that don’t exist yet, and then go make them.

      That’s how I created my first few products that are in my pocket now, and I have detailed sketches of the next 40 that I will be rolling out in the next year. They were all created with that basic, “I want this, lets build it” formula.

      Like

  25. Nice article. I’m really impressed with what you and Noah have done in your careers. I will enter this contest because I could use your help. My question is, what criteria will you use to choose?

    Like

  26. I enjoy reading stories like this. The ideas are dead simple as well as the implementation. The plan is as close to one-size-fits-all as possible.

    On a similar note, I’d be interested to see what your thoughts are on marketing music. I feel getting a break (Sierra Nevada) like the one in this example might be more difficult to achieve in music, but I could be wrong.

    Like

  27. Great post and congrats to Daniel! This comes at a perfect time for my startup as we start to try new marketing ideas. I’ll be submitting a video and crossing my fingers:)

    Like

  28. F#$king Awesome post!! Thank you so much for giving not only the concepts but the complete, transparent, nitty gritty details of exactly what you did. Very inspirational post and a prime example of why I love Tim Ferris’ blog.

    Tim…how does one score a quick skype or phone chat with you?

    Like

  29. As an up-and-coming personal trainer, I’ve created a blog/website that is catered towards a holistic fitness and lifestyle approach. In this technological age, it seems like the trending ideas and most of the new ideas fall into apps and software. Is it selfish to say the product is myself, providing a tangible service?

    I recently attended a seminar by Larry Smith here at my school and he gave me one massive reminder. “You don’t have to be an entrepreneur, to think like an entrepreneur.”

    I feel by networking, marketing my services, putting myself out there and constantly being on the lookout for novel ideas and problems to be solved, it seems like I may be doing something right.

    Now I just need a way to test it.

    Like

  30. Hey there – just wanted to leave you a quick message to let you know I absolutely loved this informative post. I really enjoyed reading about the quant based marketing approach as well as reading the email templates you provided.

    Just one thought – I took a look at the website and think you may find a huge boost in your conversion rate by putting your call to action “buy now” button above the fold.

    Thanks again!
    Kameron Connor

    Like

  31. What a great article guys!

    I do love a detailed case study, made all the better by the success story in the end.

    Would be good to see a follow up in 6 months or 1 year’s time to see how the business has grown in that time.

    Like

  32. Love this! I’m on Noah’s course but still struggling with what to do next with my idea.

    Not mentioned here was the Noah’s idea of Failure Olympics. Practice failing so you stop getting scared. I feel like I need to revisit this as I’ve got paralysed into not doing anything, due to the overwhelming amount of suggestions about what you should do when trying to start a business.

    I like the way Noah gets to the point quickly! Top stuff and well done to Daniel!

    Like

  33. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for that breakdown of Alibaba. They have so many symbols that aren’t explained, and you hear horror stories of people trying to find legit companies and getting burned, that you just stay away from the site.
    A site to find local (in the U.S.) manufacturers is Maker’s Row as well (http://makersrow.com/).
    Now that I have the code key from Alibaba, I think I will check out both sites and see if I can get crack-a-lackin’ on my own idea. Thanks Noah!

    Like

    • Thanks Gigi! I wasn’t aware of Maker’s Row and have been lost trying to figure out where to start with finding manufacturers. Many thanks!

      Like

  34. This is great stuff. I love the concept of trying a bunch of stuff until you can really nail down what works.
    Tim’s comment added in was really helpful: “it usually takes 3-4 months to try enough that you can do a proper 80/20 analysis, then two months to design systems to scale what *is* working.”
    It’s often tempting to do the opposite – set up systems, put all eggs into one basket and expect it to all work perfectly.
    Thanks Noah!

    Like

  35. Wow, this totally brings me to a deja vu moment. I remember building a golf consulting business, in Brazil. I totally just had to go out to the driving ranges, golf trade shows, and network! I used my laptop and built a website, but there was really no point. At first I did it to kind of reach out to people in other cities.

    That all said, this brings perspective to the whole point of being an entrepreneur, and Noah always does a splendid job of making it clear – people need to take action and get testing and interactive with their ideas. If you do not do that, then you’re dead in the water, or worse you’re suffering from delusions of grandeur in the comfort of your own imagination.

    Great post Noah, I think it makes it simply blunt: Get to work! In other words worry about how to do it, after you’ve done it!😉

    Ryan

    Like

  36. Hey guys

    Im non US Resident, I´m from Monterrey Mexico, but I do have tourist visa and I´m english fluent and I really would love to try on the contest.

    I do really have an interesting story to tell plus a big challenge to solve where I would love to have your help.

    What do you say? I´m ready to publish my video.

    Like

  37. Wow, what a great article! And really helpful information for someone like myself just starting a new business. Just wondering…Did Daniel have UPC codes for his custom glasses when he started the business? Are UPC codes required for products that are sold wholesale to companies, online included? Thanks!

    Like

  38. Love this!! Similar to the collaboration from CREATIVE LIve! really helpful and loved this blog and the step by step process.

    Thanks for the inspiration to put my perspiration to work..

    MC

    Like

  39. Good go Noah…

    Great to have teamed up with Timmer on this to get it off the ground! I hope it really takes off for you. I’m trying to get something like this going with a few hockey skill related products that I have been sourcing out on Alibaba… Guys like you provide that small spark of enlightenment when everything seems cloudy!

    Like

  40. A gem of a post! I’ll share my take on the likes campaigns… likes for likes are useless but one thing you should def test is reaching out those people with personalized messages about how you’d like to help or whatever… there’s plenty of scripts on this post for your inspiration. Just sharing a twist to try out.

    Thanks Chief and Tim!

    Like

  41. Great post guys. I have been following Tim since the first edition of 4HWW trying to apply everything I have read.

    However, most of the presented cases here are from people starting a product based business or a app based business, but what do you have to say about information based business? And, also with some other limitations or difference like language? (Most of the people from english speaking countries are used to buy on internet, but no so on the Spanish speaking countries)

    I would love to see a study case with this two components or at least that you give a shot to a mentorship to people with a business idea from a non english speaking countries.

    If you want to try this as a challenge, I’m up to be your study case.

    Like

  42. Thanks for the article. It’s inspiring to see it laid out so clearly and structured and with success!

    I am wondering if this opportunity is good for those of us with existing businesses not making that consistent income? Or is it specifically for those starting from scratch?

    thanks a bunch.

    peace + blessings

    Like

  43. Hi There!
    Loved the article, very useful to me.
    Got a QUESTION though: I’d love to participate but I am a French resident.
    What could we do? I am ready to pay for my flight if I’m selected.
    Cheers,

    Like

  44. Great post. Thanks, Noah. I’m curious about the glasses themselves. Did Daniel work with a manufacturer on implementing his own glasses, or did he buy some “off the shelf”? I ask because I get no results when I search Alibaba for “belay glasses” or “rock climbing glasses,” but do see a fairly common reading glasses product when I search on “periscope glasses.”

    Like

  45. I’m so juiced by this success, great job Daniel. Love the product also, I’ve been plagued by neck pain but cycling… it’s my first year on the road.

    Quick story, as I was reading and highlighting this story clipped to Evernote, I did a quick search for my own product ideas and one of the first Google hits was Sierra Trading Post, only to get the punch line at the end…$4200 order. Just awesome!

    Thanks Tim and Noah, you help us greatly with our belief – it can be done!

    Scott

    Like

  46. Noah,

    Your course has been rocking my world and I tore through tons of it in a weekend (next thing I knew it, it was Monday and time to go back to my job!)

    I’m in the marketing section and it has helped me crush so many preconceptions about “playing business” that I’ve had wrong for years. Within in a few convos, I’ve locked people down and sold them (even while drunk at a party!) and now I’m in the process of stepping up my game and getting it out to more people.

    I would be beyond thrilled to work with you a Tim, talk tacos, and maybe get some yoga tips too.

    Like

  47. Firstly huge thanks for the article have just finalised a webpage and information product and was doing the slow and unproductive approach and getting rejected which was seriously making me doubt what I have done and then this post came along…speechless to be honest and really has given me something to shoot for…just need to get my head around adapting to info product?

    Quick question would you do anything or have you done anything differently for information products?

    Like

  48. Hey Noah thanks a bunch man this was a great article:) As usual you provide relevant and clear advice that can help anyone with their ideas and businesses.

    On another note I wish all you participants in the Tim Mentorship best of luck, you have some great videos so far! If you want to checkout my video and let me know what you think here it is. I had a ton of fun making it LOL!

    Like

  49. This was super inspiring! Perfect timing too. Friday is my last day as a full time employee before I start a 3 day/week consulting gig with my old company. I’ll be using my two extra days a week to focus on my art business and this case study is great to get the marketing juices flowing!

    I just submitted my video for the mentorship too. Good luck everyone!

    Like

  50. Was nice reading it, but actually most of the work was done before and afterwards. The marketing tools are of course great, but the work that had to be done was stretched over weeks, I guess.

    Anyways, it’s a great success story.

    Like

  51. I just submitted! It was nerve wracking and uncomfortable making my first video but that’s why it’s called growing:)

    Thank you for the opportunity, someones life will be changed and that’s cool.

    Like

  52. Another possible market for these climbing glasses is the competitive sailor … you are constantly looking up to see the windvane on the top of the mast and looking at the tell- tail ribbons up on the sails .

    Like

  53. Great article, you make it seem so easy even though there is clearly a lot of work.

    You have a great system of contacting people, and writing form emails to market. Is this pretty much the same procedure you use for every product launch? Once you have completed these steps how do you guarantee that you will have the income continue so that a person can be comfortable leaving their job? I see eBay, amazon, and other marketing procedures that are sustainable and predictable, but it seems to me once you are done exhausting your Facebook friends it will only lead to one time sales. Or is the Facebook/twitter contacts just to get you started so you can concentrate on contacting distributors and retailers to establish an ongoing income stream?

    Like

  54. Thanks for the very precise and practical guidelines on how to do marketing. Most articles keep it general such as : “make a short-term and long-term goal” or “3 tips on marketing” etc. This is one of those very few articles that give real advice that can be immediately implemented, thanks!

    I like the part on “contact everyone on your Facebook that has the same interest in what you’re selling”. Soooo obvious and easy, yet nobody thinks about it!

    Like

  55. This is such an awesome example of what can be done with hustle and focus! Thanks Noah and Tim! I’m stoked about this mentorship!

    I uploaded my “Tim Mentorship” video to Youtube but, for some reason, it’s not appearing in the search results. I’ve uploaded it from multiple accounts and read Q&A forums about this issue, but still no luck. Anyone have any suggestions?

    Like

  56. From the ideas you touched upon in this article, I would prioritize the creation of mobile apps. If you have a good idea and can draw the apps architecture, you can easily find someone to do the coding for you without investing a fortune. An interesting, encouraging article.

    Like

  57. I saw this post 10 minutes ago…scrambled to get a video and form turned in…my clock showed 4:58 but the google form said it was “no longer accepting responses”

    did i miss it?

    Like

  58. Oh no! I missed the form submission time by 8 minutes. Well here’s the youtube video link regardless:

    Please let me know if there’s still some other way to submit it.

    Like

  59. As Abraham Lincoln once famously-said, “If it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.”

    Or maybe it was Richard Simmons. I digress.

    Anyway, got my video submitted with 3 minutes to spare.

    Let me know when it’s time to start interviewing groupies.

    :::a

    Like

    • And Omar – as long as it’s set to public, it will show up. Takes a few minutes for YouTube to process the new uploads and return them in general search results.

      Like

  60. Don’t want to be spammy. Just want to be considered. I still can’t get my video to show up in Youtube search, so I’m posting it here.

    Like

  61. This is another awesome case study, really inspiring Noah & Tim – congrats Daniel… the theory is so simple – just do it, validate it, if it works keep doing it then scale it, if it doesn’t work then change it and do the other stuff later when you really need to…. just add “action”!

    If you’re not already doing Noah’s course, just do it!

    Like

    • Hi Omar, I’m having the same problem. I submitted last night, and it showed up on page 2, and then this morning it doesn’t appear in the “Tim Mentorship” search. However, when I search “Tim Mentorship – Gearward” it can still be found.

      I really hope they’re looking at our applications, and not just searching through youtube.

      Like

    • So, got this email today, 10/30/13 at 9:04PM Central Time, for the first time?

      “Take the following steps no later than 5pm PST on Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, and you could get an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco to work with us on starting your business.” ?

      So, that’s 7 my time, right?..why am I getting this email past the “no later” deadline?

      Like

  62. What are you doing full-time now?

    Since graduating college, I’ve been working as a purchasing coordinator at residential construction company. I also put in upwards of forty hours a week at my family’s convenience store. This is in addition to working on several side projects.

    Have you ever started your own business? If so, what did you do?

    Yes. I created a new design for a plastic pump bottle. I obtained a provisional patent, but had to shelf the project after determining that it was going to be too expensive to manufacture. I recently developed and launched my first iPhone App, “Game Up Alarm Clock.” I’m also in the process of launching a digital design company, http://www.mymainfan.com.

    What would be the ideal outcome after working with us?

    While I’d like to get some help getting my design firm up and off the ground and reformulating the marketing strategy for my iPhone app, my ideal outcome is simply to learn as much as I can from Noah and Tim. Ultimately, there’s only so much you can learn through reading. I think that by spending time together, I can absorb a lot by simply by seeing how they think, how they approach problems, and how they work. I think developing a better understanding of their processes would help me to see where and how I can improve my own

    Like

  63. This article is gold. It shows how focus on effective marketing can make a significant difference in success or failure of a product.

    I will be using the Quant sheet for my own business.

    Thanks for sharing Noah (and Tim)!

    Like

  64. Tim! I’m going nuts because I uploaded the video for the contest 6 hours ago but it doesn’t display on the search results. I verified it was public and it is but I just can’t figure it out.

    Here’s the link you can verify the upload time. I promise I did it before 5 pm PST

    Thanks

    Like

    • Tim because I couldn’t find the video on youtube I did not include it in the form! I hope you still review my entry. Thanks so much!

      It’s easy to figure out which form is mine, I’m the Duke student who is relocating employees to central america. There’s a link to an article.

      The business is http://www.beatadmissions.com

      Thanks!

      Like

      • Tim and Noah,

        I tend to be very good at keeping a low information diet, but in the past days I’ve been obsessively checking Tim’s blog in hopes to learn that you chose me! Please do!

        Like

  65. Another high quality post from Noah through the most informative website on the internet:) I just made my video an hour after I received your email then saw that your form was already disabled! I’ve uploaded it already and hoping you will still include it. Video title: Tim Mentorship – Brad Rasmus – Health Pro with 2 current health muses

    Like

  66. Tim! Please please please PELASE accept my late application! I am in northern Afghanistan and did not get your new blog post in time. Thanks!
    T

    Like

  67. Hi Tim, Noah, Daniel,
    Thank you for sharing this, it is a ‘gold’ article for people like me who love to learn and improve.
    Personally, I am constantly looking for better ways to do things so I can help more people. When I learn I want to share. This article I will send to a friend right away so he can enhance his success.
    Continued Success to you all,
    David

    Like

  68. Lucky guy Daniel! What an experience!

    Noah, I think most of the marketing ways you used can be done at the same time when scaling up (emailing wholesalers, shop owners, personal network, etc).

    Then, things like posting to Top 20 Google results for your keyword, marketplaces and groups are quickly done and there is no need to scale up, just so some research once in a while to see if there is any new lead.

    Cool experiment! I will apply some of the things explained here

    Like