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I really don't understand. (People want it FREE!)

JasmineTheAuthor

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Hey there! I come to this site a little perplexed. I am a Magazine Editor and Sponsorship Associate at 716 Live. We run an multinational publication, radio station, and numerous podcasts and shows.

Each month we reach over 50,000 people from all over the world. We have a solid social media presence with stellar reviews from our supporters. There is only one problem: people want our services to be free!

We are not a charity, though we do believe in supporting those in need by providing our platform at crack head prices (for now). One example is our publication: 716 Live Magazine. Each one page slot comes with global networking opportunities, exposure to thousands, and a chance to win free commercial airtime on our Radio Station. Most other outlets will charge well over $2,000 (we checked rates from our competitors). We only charge $100 and people aren't even willing to pay that! They always try to bargain us down even more or just ignore us altogether.

What should we do? Is anyone else experiencing a similar problem? Thanks!
 
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JAJT

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people want our services to be free!

Yup.
That sounds like people.

In all seriousness it could be a million things. Maybe you are charging too little (folks willing to pay for $2k services are very, very different from folks who are looking for $100 services). Maybe the value proposition isn't very well established. Maybe you are targeting the wrong people.
 

I Am I Said

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Each month we reach over 50,000 people from all over the world. We have a solid social media presence with stellar reviews from our supporters. There is only one problem: people want our services to be free!

Are you basically saying that so far, you don't really have a monetization model?

Without allowing yourself to evaluate (yet) whether they could work, what are your options? What are the ways other similar organizations make money?
 

LateStarter

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I see that it's your first post and I think to myself "So she's come here for free answers..." :p

Traditional media is hard. I know, it's part of my day job too. The challenge is that the perceived value compared to digital is really low. I don't believe that's the actual case, but the industry at large is currently placing more value on digital primarily due to a belief that they can target and reach their customers better with digital ads than they can with radio or publishing. Your problem is not unique, but you're looking at it backwards.

Each month we reach over 50,000 people from all over the world

50,000/mo isn't big at all... but regardless, how does a worldwide audience help you? Are you getting international advertisers to fill your spots? National? No, I suspect like most radio stations your ad load is local. So this worldwide audience does nothing for you! Zero, zilch, Nada! Who is listening locally? How often? And for how long? How engaged and loyal is your audience?

If you want to increase your rates you need to focus on your audience, not your customers. You're a middleman and advertisers don't give a F*ck about you. They just want YOUR audience so they can make them THEIR audience.

We have a solid social media presence...

'Solid' isn't quantitative. Talk numbers. And 'presence' doesn't matter, 'engagement' does. Social media is an opportunity to engage with your audience and improve loyalty. How big is your following? What are you doing with that audience? Are you using that as a value add for advertisers? Or are you trying to drive people back to your radio/magazine? Or neither? Are you streaming content through FB? How many people tune in, from where, and for how long?

Most other outlets will charge well over $2,000 (we checked rates from our competitors). We only charge $100 and people aren't even willing to pay that! They always try to bargain us down even more or just ignore us altogether.

Are you really comparing apples to apples here? What's their audience size compared to yours? How does TSL or circulation compare? What are the demos of their audience and how do they compare to yours? You can't just say that you deserve the same rates unless you KNOW you deserve the same rates. That's why Nielsen and others have measurement services; to allow people to compare audiences and assign them real value.

Though it's likely not the case, I'll assume for now that the competing stations/publications are somewhat equal. Why would you offer airtime for $100? You've completely devalued your product. So, of course, your customers will look at it with the same (very low) value as you're promoting it. You're telling your customers that your service is only worth $100 and consequently it's not very good compared to those other guys. That's why they don't want to pay for it!

If you want to raise your value, you need to raise the value of your product. Both in terms of airtime and value to your audience (F*ck the advertisers). Be exclusive. Make your audiences feel important by offering them something they can't get elsewhere. 'Sign up to be an INSIDERS and get...special deal! Only available to XXXX listeners...blah blah blah.' You've got content. Leverage it to your advantage across channels. Get your publishing online and use it to bait and hook people by offering them a taste of what that content is... (ie upsell them the content) but make it sound exclusive. Make them feel special for getting that taste of what it means to be a part of your exclusive group. Build the audinece this way, then advertisers will pay more for the value of your audience because they are more engaged, more loyal and they really like you (and your advertising friends).

:fistbump:
 
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JasmineTheAuthor

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Are you basically saying that so far, you don't really have a monetization model?

Without allowing yourself to evaluate (yet) whether they could work, what are your options? What are the ways other similar organizations make money?

Our monetization model is already in place. Generate revenue by placing advertisers on our platforms. The "how" asset is multifaceted. By that I mean we have multiple avenues we utilize to generate profit: Word of mouth, social media, networking events etc.
 

I Am I Said

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Our monetization model is already in place

Okay.... but it sounds like it isn't working for you, right? Can you put into words what the reasons might be?

Generate revenue by placing advertisers on our platforms

What might be missing? I assume you're talking about real targeted advertisers, not adsense or some other uncontrollable channel.

we have multiple avenues we utilize to generate profit: Word of mouth, social media, networking events etc.

What is working, and what is not working?

I'm interested because small businesses in big spaces are fascinating and sometimes go very well.
 

JasmineTheAuthor

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By the looks of these comments you people have no idea what you're talking about. You are making assumptions then going off of those. Here are the facts:
1.) 716 Live is a multimedia company meaning we use different avenues to relay content to our audience.
2.) We are not a local company. Ten seconds on our website will show you that. Yes we support local but they are not our focus.
3.) I am well aware that advertisers are looking to get to our audience. That's not an issue. The issue here is that we lay the deal out to prospects, they agree to it, but then when we mention money they get cold feet.

4.) We are competing with any publication that reaches the amount of exposure we do. The multinational audience we have is growing everyday. To say that means nothing is ludicrous. Building a brand on such a large scale takes YEARS. Look at McDonald's for example.

5.) Currently, we do not have international advertisers because we just launched this plan last year. I am the sole person responsible for advertising. My focus has been building an audience, now it is time to complete the puzzle.
 
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Philip Marlowe

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By the looks of these comments you people have no idea what you're talking about.

Great start.

This is a terrific forum full of very sharp people. I'd honestly suggest altering the tone of your responses and being opened-minded to the feedback (you did after all come here and post). There's a very small window for you to turn the ship around...

Despite you already having a "monetization method in place" it's clearly not working (as @Steve F noted and you said). Can you describe why this might be? Again to Steve's post - do the ads make sense? If it's affiliates, have you built any sort of authority to recommend a product? Do your subscribers have any loyalty or trust to you so that your recommendation carries weight?

The mob is fickle, but there are no cosmic forces working against you. This is a problem you can solve.

At this point, I'm worried no one will even bother.
 
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JasmineTheAuthor

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Great start.

This is a terrific forum full of very sharp people. I'd honestly suggest altering the tone of your responses and being opened-minded to the feedback (you did after all come here and post). There's a very small window for you to turn the ship around...

Despite you already having a "monetization method in place" it's clearly not working (as @Steve F noted and you said). Can you describe why this might be? Again to Steve's post - do the ads make sense? If it's affiliates, have you built any sort of authority to recommend a product? Do your subscribers have any loyalty or trust to you so that your recommendation carries weight?

The mob is fickle, but there are no cosmic forces working against you. This is a problem you can solve.

At this point, I'm worried no one will even bother.

Let's not backpedal here. My original question implies it's not working. The responses gave irrelevant information because they know nothing about the company. People assumed we were local (even though I clearly stated we are not). They assumed that I was comparing us to local businesses (which I cannot. It's apples to oranges lol). Finally I never stated all the people here were not intelligent. If you leave what I said in context you'll realize I was referring to the previous commenters.

Back to the question at hand: why do people think things should be free? It takes blood sweat and tears just to get on our level. Do we not deserve compensation? Read closely: people agree to the services and are all gun ho. Demand is not the issue. The issue is finding people with enough funds.
 

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If you posted here, I assume it is because you need help? If you had your answers, I am sure you will be out there making millions killing it.

By the looks of these comments you people have no idea what you're talking about. You are making assumptions then going off of those.

Assumptions will always be made. When I decide to invest in a company that is not well-known, I make assumptions. I will use the same thinking process I use when I decide to invest money for the following. I apologize in advance for my assumptions.

4.) We are competing with any publication that reaches the amount of exposure we do. The multinational audience we have is growing everyday. To say that means nothing is ludicrous. Building a brand on such a large scale takes YEARS. Look at McDonald's for example.

If someone stops you and offer you an iPhone 8 for $50. Wouldn't you question it? My first question here is, why do you price your services at such a steep discount? Are you not believing in the value added by your services?

1.) 716 Live is a multimedia company meaning we use different avenues to relay content to our audience.
2.) We are not a local company. Ten seconds on our website will show you that. Yes we support local but they are not our focus.

This is not clear enough for me. Multimedia company, fine. You provide contents using various sources. But what is your focus? How do you add value? What is your coverage?
I wont go on your website, since so far you have not elaborated on what you do. (which is your role, not ours)

5.) Currently, we do not have international advertisers because we just launched this plan last year. I am the sole person responsible for advertising. My focus has been building an audience, now it is time to complete the puzzle.

What is your audience?

3.) I am well aware that advertisers are looking to get to our audience. That's not an issue. The issue here is that we lay the deal out to prospects, they agree to it, but then when we mention money they get cold feet.

They dont get cold feet. People vote with their money. From their point of view, the value you are offering is not enough for them to give you the money. That means either of the following:
a. You are not articulating it properly in terms of their needs?
b. It is not addressing their needs at all.

And so, let me ask you this; knowing your audience what is it that you are not doing?

I hope the above helps in identifying how you can improve your situation.
 

Philip Marlowe

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Let's not backpedal here.

Backpedal?! I (kindly) asked you to describe the problem you're facing in more detail.

My guess is that people think you're difficult to work with, but that you brush it off as their incompetence or inability to recognize your genius. You might have more fundamental challenges to deal with as it relates to this business. And that's not an insult - I'm serious - seeing as you've already managed to offend multiple complete strangers offering FREE advice.

I should have taken @LateStarter to heart.
 
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JasmineTheAuthor

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If you posted here, I assume it is because you need help? If you had your answers, I am sure you will be out there making millions killing it.



Assumptions will always be made. When I decide to invest in a company that is not well-known, I make assumptions. I will use the same thinking process I use when I decide to invest money for the following. I apologize in advance for my assumptions.



If someone stops you and offer you an iPhone 8 for $50. Wouldn't you question it? My first question here is, why do you price your services at such a steep discount? Are you not believing in the value added by your services?



This is not clear enough for me. Multimedia company, fine. You provide contents using various sources. But what is your focus? How do you add value? What is your coverage?
I wont go on your website, since so far you have not elaborated on what you do. (which is your role, not ours)



What is your audience?



They dont get cold feet. People vote with their money. From their point of view, the value you are offering is not enough for them to give you the money. That means either of the following:
a. You are not articulating it properly in terms of their needs?
b. It is not addressing their needs at all.

And so, let me ask you this; knowing your audience what is it that you are not doing?

I hope the above helps in identifying how you can improve your situation.
I'm new and don't know how to quote specific sections. Here is my summary:
1.) People do get cold feet. In the beginning, we were offering FREE SLOTS TO EVERYONE. People were psyched! But when we told them the scale on which we operate they got SHOOK.
2.) As for assumptions: it is kind of dumb to say we are local even though in the original question I CLEARLY stated we are not. Obviously the people making those assumptions did not comprehend what I wrote

3.) 716 Live has a lot going on. For the purpose of this thread and to save time I did not elaborate on EVERYTHING. This is not a sales pitch.

4.) No one has all the answers. Not even the people here.
 

JasmineTheAuthor

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Backpedal?! I (kindly) asked you to describe the problem you're facing in more detail.

My guess is that people think you're difficult to work with, but that you brush it off as their incompetence or inability to recognize your genius. You might have more fundamental challenges to deal with as it relates to this business. And that's not an insult - I'm serious - seeing as you've already managed to offend multiple complete strangers offering FREE advice.

I should have taken @LateStarter to heart.

The people here very much insulted me first. I asked a clear question instead received half a$$ generic responses that I HAVE ALREADY TRIED. That's what I mean by they don't know what they're talking about. Just regurgitating the same advice that doesn't work.
 

I Am I Said

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It takes blood sweat and tears just to get on our level. Do we not deserve compensation?

Well, no. You deserve compensation for the value you bring to people who need your value. Nobody deserves compensation just for hard work. Harsh, but true.

I'm sorry if it seemed I was stepping in where I didn't know what I was talking about. At the same time, I have to assume you want help and not people telling you that you're right! And at some level, all businesses are the same. You do something valuable (your product), you catch attention (marketing), you turn interested people into customers (sales) who give you money when you deliver value (operations) and you somehow keep it all happening effectively (administration).

Your points are very interesting because they may show an opportunity to better understand the market's desires. It's worth reading the books referenced on this forum as to the "Marketmind".

1.) 716 Live is a multimedia company meaning we use different avenues to relay content to our audience.

Yes, that was obvious from your website. On the other hand, the perception of the name is an AM radio station.

2.) We are not a local company. Ten seconds on our website will show you that. Yes we support local but they are not our focus.

Again, don't take this badly. I'm not an expert and so this is just my perception. The question is, what is the perception of your customers? Mine - based on a few minutes on your site - is a homemade site for a local show.

3.) I am well aware that advertisers are looking to get to our audience. That's not an issue. The issue here is that we lay the deal out to prospects, they agree to it, but then when we mention money they get cold feet.

Something about your deal or the way you lay it out does not bring as much value to your prospects as you think it does. Doesn't matter whether you're selling airtime, ads, plane tickets or machinery - so it doesn't matter whether I know your business or not.

4.) We are competing with any publication that reaches the amount of exposure we do. The multinational audience we have is growing everyday. To say that means nothing is ludicrous. Building a brand on such a large scale takes YEARS. Look at McDonald's for example.

The questions here are, how many people do you reach AND how many of those are valuable? Anyone with a pulse and decent intestinal flora can appreciate McDonalds' brand; but how many of your 50,000 people the right people for your customers, and can you prove it? One company I work with (I have nothing to do with their marketing, by the way) gets only 50,000 website hits per year but does over $70,000,000 in sales.

5.) Currently, we do not have international advertisers because we just launched this plan last year. I am the sole person responsible for advertising. My focus has been building an audience, now it is time to complete the puzzle.

I think you'll have to get feedback from people. It hurts when the market doesn't like us, but you can always find a group of people who do.

Keep posting about your company, it's an interesting study.
 
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JasmineTheAuthor

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Well, no. You deserve compensation for the value you bring to people who need your value. Nobody deserves compensation just for hard work. Harsh, but true.

I'm sorry if it seemed I was stepping in where I didn't know what I was talking about. At the same time, I have to assume you want help and not people telling you that you're right! And at some level, all businesses are the same. You do something valuable (your product), you catch attention (marketing), you turn interested people into customers (sales) who give you money when you deliver value (operations) and you somehow keep it all happening effectively (administration).

Your points are very interesting because they may show an opportunity to better understand the market's desires. It's worth reading the books referenced on this forum as to the "Marketmind".



Yes, that was obvious from your website. On the other hand, the perception of the name is an AM radio station.



Again, don't take this badly. I'm not an expert and so this is just my perception. The question is, what is the perception of your customers? Mine - based on a few minutes on your site - is a homemade site for a local show.



Something about your deal or the way you lay it out does not bring as much value to your prospects as you think it does. Doesn't matter whether you're selling airtime, ads, plane tickets or machinery - so it doesn't matter whether I know your business or not.



The questions here are, how many people do you reach AND how many of those are valuable? Anyone with a pulse and decent intestinal flora can appreciate McDonalds' brand; but how many of your 50,000 people the right people for your customers, and can you prove it? One company I work with (I have nothing to do with their marketing, by the way) gets only 50,000 website hits per year but does over $70,000,000 in sales.



I think you'll have to get feedback from people. It hurts when the market doesn't like us, but you can always find a group of people who do.

Keep posting about your company, it's an interesting study.

Please reread the comments I am not repeating myself again. Our "homemade radio show"?.Lmao. I'm leaving that one alone. I don't care about being right. I'm just after the truth. Yet, no one has answered my original question: why is the demand there but I can't reach people with the FUNDS?
 

I Am I Said

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I asked a clear question

Fair enough.

The simple answer, whether you like it or not, is "do a better job understanding what your customers really need and will pay for"

Yes, it's generic, but if you set yourself to figure out how to do that you will get different results.
 

I Am I Said

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homemade radio show

No, not "homemade radio show".

My perception, rightly or wrongly, was a homemade site for a local radio show.

Obviously my perception doesn't matter; but what if your customers think so too!?

Anyways, I'm sure the older guys are laughing at me for being a new guy sucked into a conversation with someone who doesn't want to learn, so I'm afraid I'm going to join all the obviously wrong people over there (points over there).

Cheers!
 
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JasmineTheAuthor

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No, not "homemade radio show".

My perception, rightly or wrongly, was a homemade site for a local radio show.

Obviously my perception doesn't matter; but what if your customers think so too!?

Anyways, I'm sure the older guys are laughing at me for being a new guy sucked into a conversation with someone who doesn't want to learn, so I'm afraid I'm going to join all the obviously wrong people over there (points over there).

Cheers!

You are missing the point. Our target market is small businesses that sell globally. From our market research we have discovered that many small businesses are struggling in this arena. They want to work with us but can't afford it. That's the point. How do we find people who CAN?
 

focusedlife

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@JasmineTheAuthor - If I may, and with as much sandwiching as I can, I commend you on what you guys have done to this point because lord knows not everyone can do it, however....

Rounding up 50,000 people to your site each month does not in and of itself constitute the promised land to successful monetization.

The market, itself, by definition can be a broke market, if you're not careful.

Not hard to round up a whole bunch of broke folks to rally for free giveaways.

Of course, not saying that's what you're doing, but by virtue of what you offer, you attract.

By virtue of who you attract, your tiered offers must appeal.

Hard to sell to a room full of broke folk.

Easier to sell a want to a bunch of qualified buyers with need, want, ability and desire to buy.

A few books that might give you insight on the matter, if I may, include:

  • Attention Merchants (the chapter about Oprah Winfrey was particularly amaze balls)
  • Propaganda
  • Crystallizing Public Opinion
  • Influence
  • Dark Persuasion
  • Pre-Suasion
These might prove useful to you.

Totally hope that helps you.
 

JasmineTheAuthor

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@JasmineTheAuthor - If I may, and with as much sandwiching as I can, I commend you on what you guys have done to this point because lord knows not everyone can do it, however....

Rounding up 50,000 people to your site each month does not in and of itself constitute the promised land to successful monetization.

The market, itself, by definition can be a broke market, if you're not careful.

Not hard to round up a whole bunch of broke folks to rally for free giveaways.

Of course, not saying that's what you're doing, but by virtue of what you offer, you attract.

By virtue of who you attract, your tiered offers must appeal.

Hard to sell to a room full of broke folk.

Easier to sell a want to a bunch of qualified buyers with need, want, ability and desire to buy.

A few books that might give you insight on the matter, if I may, include:

  • Attention Merchants (the chapter about Oprah Winfrey was particularly amaze balls)
  • Propaganda
  • Crystallizing Public Opinion
  • Influence
  • Dark Persuasion
  • Pre-Suasion
These might prove useful to you.

Totally hope that helps you.
Thank you! This is perfect. I'll research this further.
 
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I Am I Said

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You are missing the point. Our target market is small businesses that sell globally. From our market research we have discovered that many small businesses are struggling in this arena. They want to work with us but can't afford it. That's the point. How do we find people who CAN?

Okay, I love it! Now you're making a clear point! So back I come...

So if your target market is struggling with something where you can help, but your target market apparently can't afford your help...

Then are you asking:

How do we find people who can IN OUR TARGET MARKET?

OR

How do we find people who can IN A DIFFERENT MARKET?

Am I wrong in thinking that it has to be one or the other of those two questions?
 

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Jasmine. Seriously. This is painful.

You are chasing money instead of focusing on providing VALUE.

Do you REALLY think that if you had an excellent value proposition, that a small business couldn't come-up with $100 for your services? A forum member just paid someone $150 for a dang cheesecake. It's not the money, it's what you're selling.

Convince them of the value and that their $100 invested will turn-into something much larger.

Look at the value of the Fastlane. It's so compelling that I'm here at 10PM evangelizing the words of Saint MJ for free! And you can't put a price on my time.

Open your mind. We won't judge you. We'll never meet you. Just sit back and really think about what's being offered here!

@MJ DeMarco
 
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focusedlife

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I have a past client that specializes in Keloid treatments.

The guy is a modern miracle worker, but for the fact that this is a huge problem for a market with NO MONEY.

He wants to create an awareness movement but is having some doubt and hangups in getting it underway.

Why?

The guy is not getting support from peers.

The reason is it's considered a cosmetic problem.

Keloids, if you don't know, are scar tissues that have gone "out of control."

It's usually a problem for us darker folk, but the psychological trauma suggested by it's effects should qualify this thing for medical coverage but for whatever reason, at this point, it doesn't.

So, what does that mean.

It means, as a mass market issue, insurance won't pay for it's treatment unless it's apparent that the keloid is more than costmetic.

Good grief do we all know what it's like when the problem you're having is minimized by those that are not affected by it AT ALL.

That's the hardship to overcome and the cross he's willing to bear, BUT, it's okay because once he rallies, once he figures out how to garner support, glory is his.

Democratized problems sometimes get their backing and support once someone smart starts emotionally appealing (aka persuading) those with funds to aid their cause.

Hope that long winded analogy made sense.
 

jsk29

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Website looks like it was made 10 years ago.

9NgJVTS.png

As a first time viewer the homepage is extremely confusing.

A random video on top, images in an unclear hierarchy competing for attention, shopping cart for t-shirts, instagram feed, etc...

Also, are your magazines physical prints out of the pdf files on your site?

If so, they need better design too.

Spacing is all over the place, too many uncorrelated font families, background images that clash with the text, etc. (no consistency == no brand).

If I were a potential client looking to advertise on your site or magazine I would be turned off by the quality of presentation.

edit:
Some examples of similar sites that have better execution:
Hip-Hop News, Rap Music - XXL
Vibe
 

Nigel B

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Hey there! I come to this site a little perplexed ... We are not a charity ... We only charge $100 and people aren't even willing to pay that! They always try to bargain us down even more or just ignore us altogether.
Early comment was that people who spend $2K are very different from people who spend $100 - if it's apples to apples, then you are not presenting your value to your clients or talking to the wrong clients. Someone spending $2K per month will not perceive that $100 will get them the same results, so why bother investigating. If the people you are talking to are not the ones paying $2K, then it's not an apples to apples comparison.

Out of interest have you read either of MJ's books (intended to be a prerequisite to participation here) - nothing in life is free as you know, and the intended cost of participation here is simply to have read one of the books. I ask as much of the detail about listening to echoes from the market will help as will the entire delivering value not chasing dollars theme. You perceive you are delivering value, but do your clients perceive you are - what are you doing to articulate that value in the sale process?

Good luck.
 
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biophase

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I don't understand, I go to your FB and Twitter and I don't see a huge social media following. I downloaded a few of your magazines and they are 20 pages with huge font. How many people download your magazine?

With the businesses that I run, I get calls and emails all the time asking to place ads in magazines. The biggest reason I won't pay is value. If I pay $200 for an ad in a magazine, print or digital, am I going to make $200 in profit? If your magazine gets 1000 downloads, what are my chances of getting 10 sales from it at $20 per sale?

It all comes down to value and when I look at your magazine, it just doesn't look polished. The photos are great and some of the articles are laid out great. But overall the magazine does not piece together very well. All the fonts, spacing and font sizes are different. There are no margins. It looks like a bunch of different people just appended a bunch of PDFs together. Hard to attract savvy magazine advertisers that way.
 

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