I’ve learned something new every time I have ever listened to Rob, and this session was no exception. I also heard a few things that I really already knew — but needed to hear again (and again).
Here is a recording of that session, followed by a written transcript.
Interview with Rob Temple (December 5th, 2018)
Howard: It’s early this morning because the fellow I’m talking to this morning is in London and I’m in Tulsa, Oklahoma and there’s a significant difference and in order to get our schedules together, I ended up getting a little earlier start this morning.
Our guest this morning is Rob Temple and I’m very honored to be able to get this one because he’s a big name in the business. He started out as a stage hypnotist, which I thought was kind of interesting. I’m sure that, that gives him a leg up in the sales department but I’ll let him talk about that in more detail.
I do know that his current mode of operation involves some one-on-one coaching and I have a lot of questions about that. So I’m going to turn this over to Rob for a few minutes, let him give a general background of how he got started and how he managed to get from where he started to where he is now.
Rob: Cool. So it’s a pleasure to be here. I’ll give you the abridged version of the story. As you said, I am a stage hypnotist. This takes me back to being at school. When I decided that I didn’t want to have a job, I didn’t want to work for somebody else, and I fell in love with the idea of performance, I did magic, I learned hypnosis at a very early age. A very weird thing for a 14-year old to do but that’s what I did and so what happened was when I did this two sets of exams you do in the UK… There’s GCSEs that you do at 16 and then if you want to, you can go on and do on A-levels which is the bit that you do before you would then go on to university or what you guys would have as college.
So I did my GCSEs and at that point a lot of people leave school and they go off into the workforce and they get a job and a bunch of other people go into this further education. And so I decided that I wanted to continue my education and do my A-levels, so that would be the bit you do before a degree. But then I also wanted to pursue this idea of being an entertainer or having my own business. So I did those two things side by side. So I spent a couple of years whilst doing my a-levels and I went out and I was performing at pubs and clubs and events and weddings and things and loved it. And at the end of my a-levels, I had this choice now to either go on and do university education and get a degree or to go off and pursue this entertainment thing and my dad had said why don’t you go off and be an entertainer. Give it a gap year, see how it goes and I did.
So I would have been 18 going on 19 then and I’m now 31 and I still didn’t go back to uni or do anything else. So in that time I’ve never had a job, never worked for anyone else, never been to a job interview, don’t know what it looks like. Only been employed by my own company.
So I was performing as a hypnotist, I ended up going to Greece and spent 4 summer seasons. So about 8 months a year, I’d be in Greece performing for British tourists who would go on a holiday and loved it, had a real party lifestyle. Made quite a lot of money while I was there but spent every penny of it and whilst I was there, I was very conscious that I had let all of the clients I had in England go. I realized all the people used to book me were kind of off booking all the hypnotists now and I kind of realized when I came, when I was done, when I decided I was too old to keep doing this summer season thing, I wouldn’t have any client base in the UK and I began investigating the idea of having something that would create a passive income for me when I am at home.
So I wanted to be able to make $2,000 a month, so the British equivalent of that which would be about 1,600 pounds which was very optimistically, I thought was going to be enough to pay for my rent and pay for food and pay for clothes and pay for all the things I wanted to do but that was my kind of target figure. I realized now that’s a fairly unrealistically low amount of money to live on but I can probably get by with that.
So I decided to pursue this online business thing. Came across a guy in the UK called John Thornhill, who actually lives about a mile away from where my parents live and decided that I would follow what he was doing and he was teaching how to sell information products on the internet and so I started pursuing that and loved it and it took me to where I am now so it was a long hard journey to get to where I am. About three or four years of struggle and failure and messing it up until eventually sort of managed to make the pieces fit together and build a business that’s generated growing for four individual brands to over two million dollars in sales and yeah, where I am today.
Howard: What caused you to get that trademark red hair?
Rob: Hahaha! So the hair’s a weird thing. I remember… I don’t really know… I remember having a conversation with somebody once who has been to see my show and they said, “Oh, I saw a hypnotist once.” And I said, “Oh great. Who was it?” And they said, “I don’t know. It was some old guy with a mustache.” And I was like, umm, I don’t know who that is. They couldn’t remember their name and I realized people quite often, they’ll go and see somebody and they can watch you on stage for two hours and at the end of it they still won’t remember who you are and I thought, well, I need something that makes me stand out, I suppose. So one day, I was about eighteen… seventeen… eighteen…, I said to my flatmate at that time, I said, I’m gonna march into town and dye my hair bright red and I literally walked into town… we lived like a mile away from the city center and walked into town and walked into the first… literally the first hair salon I saw. I didn’t even research it and find a good one. Like I just went into the first one I saw. It had no customers. Yes, it probably says a lot. But I went in and I just said, “Right, can you dye this bright red?” And I got brown hair naturally. They said yes. Well, they have to bleach it blonde and they did. And so I was up again… 18 then… and 31 now… whatever that is… do the math quickly… but that’s how long it has been there.
Howard: Okay, so that’s now part of your brand?
Rob: Yeah, people really talk about it. I think I would struggle to get rid of it now, unless it falls out.
Howard: Now, I’m sure you didn’t just go from point A to point B. What kind of problems did you have in the process of getting established?
Rob: So the initial bit for me when I started out was first of all, I tried to learn to do everything myself and that was a terrible mistake. So… and I tried to do everything myself. So I tried to learn how to do it myself by trial and error and I tried to do it myself. So I realized quite early on that I had a product ready to go because after my hypnosis show, I used to sell “Stop Smoking CDs” and I realized that if I just put the CD in my laptop and I had this beaten up old laptop and ripped the mp3 back off the CD, I have a digital product that’s ready to go. So I put a CD, I opened one of the CDs I had made, I put it into my laptop, ripped the audio back off and there’s my product. I made an e-book to go with it, some worksheets and some videos that would help people beat the smoking cravings. So, I was like – great, I sell this after my… and what was quite cool was, I used to sell the CDs for 20 euros, which is probably not far off 20 dollars after my show. But now I had a product that was the mp3 and a workbook and some worksheets and I thought like, I’m gonna sell it for 67 dollars so there’s quite a jump in price. So I put it online, so that was a whole heap of learning curve there in terms of how to create a book. I learned how to use graphic design programs like Photoshop and I managed to build the graphics for the product. I learned how to write sales copy. So I wrote the sales letter myself. And I think, what should have taken a few weeks, actually ended up taking me 6 or 8 months because I tried to do everything myself without any skill. So I had to learn the skill along the way, get as good at it as I can get and then you know, I’m still not a graphic designer. I outsource all that stuff now because I realized that’s the right thing to do and so I managed to botch everything together, took about 6 months. And then what happened was suddenly I realized, well, now I’ve got to learn how to drive traffic to this and profitably drive traffic to this.
So I put it up on MySpace at that time and I sold a couple of copies. And I realized that people who bought them were like my mum, people who knew my mum. And I was like… this doesn’t count… this isn’t a business because my mum’s gonna run out of friends before long. But I realized I had to learn the traffic thing and that was the real struggle for me at that point. I realized, what I had was a product on the internet but I didn’t have a business. Like all I had was a product. So I had a potential income stream but it definitely wasn’t a business. It was just a thing that was on the internet and people, you can’t just build it and expect people to come.
So I think I then wasted probably another few years just trying to find ways of driving traffic to that and realized it’s not as simple as it sounds to just throw a product on the internet and hope for the best… isn’t gonna work. So that was probably the primary problem was trying to do everything by myself, which meant everything took longer than it should.
You know, somebody starting today with the right sort of blueprint, the right formula to follow should have a product up and running and actually physically selling in the next few weeks like it shouldn’t take even from a standing start. It shouldn’t take months and months and months, but it did take me months and months and months because I tried to do it all myself.
Howard: It sounds a lot like the path that I started on and probably still am. I’m a programmer as a… by profession, which means that I’m tempted to think that I can do it all. So you’re saying that basically, you really shouldn’t bother with any of that and concentrate just on the process of getting stuff out there and selling it?
Rob: So when you’re building a little business from home and you think about starting your online business, it’s really easy to see it as a “make money online” thing. I’m gonna sit and do these things and I’ll make money online. But actually, what you need to do from day one is to step back and think of it as like a business.
So if you think about yourself as the CEO of your business and that might be hard to do if you’re starting out and you don’t have a… you maybe don’t have a legally formed company… maybe you don’t have any of the stuff, starting out from scratch might seem like I’m not a CEO of anything. But actually, if you think about the CEO of an information publishing business, so people who would publish all these books I got on the shelves behind me, the people who own those publishing companies, they don’t know anything about the topics they are publishing books on. All they know about these topics is that those topics will sell. And people will pay money to get that information. But then they work with authors who create the information, they get designers to design the cover, they get layout artists to lay out the covers, they get somebody else to write all of the copy… in other words, the CEO of the business is designed to do strategy and forward thinking. So in theory, you could actually start an online information publishing company by creating and selling products and I’m not a big fan of actually writing and selling books because I think that most people who write and sell books use them more like a business card than an income stream. Most people use them to establish authority and credibility rather than to actually make money. I know people who are best-selling authors who actually didn’t make much money from that book after all the work was done and the other thing is, I put together an info product which when I broke it all down into text was about 80,000 words. Now that is comfortably a book but I could sell that as a book for $12.99, $15.99, $19.99… maybe but I sell as a product online for $199. So if somebody said to me, “why don’t you take all that amazing content turn into a book?” and I said, “Why would I do that if I can only sell it for a tenth of a price?” So for me if you take the content that you could put into a book of 80,000 words and put it into a video program or a webinar or even an e-book on the internet you can sell it for significantly more money and keep more of that money. So that’s why I’ve never gone that route.
Anyway, to go back to buy still draw the comparison between physical book publishing and what we do online. So from my perspective even if you are starting out and you’re in a build online business with information products which I think is the best online business model in the world what you can do is you can you could in theory hire a ghostwriter to write the book or to auto record the videos, you can hire a copywriter to write the sales copy, a graphic designer to do the graphics, a tech guy to do all of the or girl to do all the pulling together of everything and the technical infrastructure and then work with somebody who is an expert in traffic generation and you would literally just be the strategy. You would literally just decide, okay great I’m gonna have this product that’s gonna upsell into this product which is gonna down sell into this product. This is the traffic we’re gonna use… this is the angle of the advertising… you’re just the… you’re just the marketer… you’re just the advert… just the business strategist in the whole arrangement.
Now of course it’s unrealistic for most peoples starting out to outsource all of those things but truthfully, I think if you just have a hobby or a passion or something that you’re skilled in… Something you’ve got a bit of expertise about… Something you would enjoy and you want to create the content, you should outsource everything else. So in my world, I’m in charge of the content and everything else gets and the strategy and everything else gets outsourced… have a full-time designer does all of the design work. When you start out you don’t need a full-time designer you can outsource stuff very cheaply. $27 to get and e-book cover created rather than spending weeks of time and ending up with something that’s half-baked. So for me, that’s how I see it. You’re the CEO of the company and you should outsource everything that the CEO of the company wouldn’t do.
Howard: Oh, very good. I like that approach and I have dabbled with some outsourcing, which I’ve had mixed results with that. Sometimes you don’t get quite back the product that you’re hoping for. Now, your current business model… you have some products… do you do any joint ventures or affiliate programs or what is it that you’re primarily focusing on now?
Rob: So, my primary online business is actually in the personal development niche. So I create and sell training to do with personal development. So it’s kind of I suppose I always did when I started out with that “quit smoking” product that falls within that realm… but I’ve got a little bit more wide than that. So now, I create and sell products to do with confidence, happiness, stress, motivation etc.
So it’s to do with taking the stuff that I’ve learned about the human mind over the last fourteen years of being a hypnotist and apply a fifteen years of being a hypnotist and applied that to personal development and sell that stuff. So that’s the kind of primary business model I’ve got. It’s aimed at your every man, your every woman, it’s aimed at your average Joe who’s got a great life they’re enjoying themselves but they just want to they want to step up a level… They want to be happier… They want to be more fulfilled… They want to have more personal freedom… it’s not to do with business particularly… It’s not to do with wealth particularly all those two things do kind of creep into it. It’s to do with their inner game and being happier that’s my primary business. And the business model is I have a blog where we publish content every week… I have a podcast where we publish content every week… I got social media Facebook and Instagram and I’m gonna start a YouTube channel soon as well. And basically that little content hub of the blog, the podcast and social media is constantly just cycling around… it’s building an audience… it’s building a tribe of people who like what I have to say and my way of thinking, my philosophy of personal development resonates with them. Now equally if I was in the gardening niche, I’d do exactly the same thing. I’d have a blog maybe a podcast and social media. My post hints and tips and tactics that people can go out and use to build an audience. The same in the cookery niche, the DIY niche, the needlework niche, it doesn’t matter what it is, I have that same model and that that little thing is just constantly taking over. It takes a few hours a week… two or three hours a week just to keep this constant content machine going and just bringing in new people.
And then what happens is, I start to take those people and offer them the chance to join my list by getting free gifts. Getting them that… giving them the chance to jump on and buy products from me and push them through my product funnels. That’s the primary thing. there’s got and affiliate program associated with it so other people can promote my products… but in the personal development niche… but I don’t really promote other people’s products that’s just a decision I made I want to just sell my own stuff… so that’s the arrangement and then on the flip side of that, I have a coaching program called the Infopreneur Blueprint where I teach other people to build out the business model I just described. Because the truth, is I do… I’ve never wanted to be… and I’ve never been one of those people who only makes money by teaching other people how to make money online. there’s a lot of business coaches and internet marketers and their only income stream is by teaching other people to make money online who are going to go on and teach other people to make money online who are going to go on and teach it because they’ve got nothing else to deliver, and so a but because I’m in the trenches everyday actually selling information products in a sort of a real-world niche, that means I’m…we’re testing stuff all the time… we’re trying things… we’re split testing… we’re seeing stuff that works and stuff that doesn’t work… and I actually get a real buzz out of sharing that.
So as a sideline, we set up this coaching program where me and Jack, on my team, actually coach infopreneurs and wanna-be infopreneurs; people who want to build a business with information products to duplicate that same business model. So those are really the two major sides of what I’m doing.
Howard: So the… I’m assuming that you do the one-on-one coaching because mainly you enjoy it… Because that’s not scalable…
Rob: So I only do a tiny amount of one-on-one stuff there. The Infopreneur Blueprint is a group program so that’s taught as a group of… so people can study the videos but also attend a web if webinars every week. And so that’s a group program and I do a small amount of one-on-one consulting and coaching too. So if somebody has something I’m particularly interested in, I’ll get involved in their business on a slightly deeper level. Again, because I really enjoy doing obviously they pay for my time but actually I do those projects where they’re really enjoyable or it’s some sort of revenue share thing.
Howard: Super. Now we’ve already talked about the problems that you had and the… my takeaway from the thing that you would do differently if you were starting over, you wouldn’t do all the nitty-gritty stuff yourself but you would outsource most of the technical stuff and just concentrate on content.
Howard: So what are your plans from here on… how are you gonna scale… what are you gonna be doing 5, 10, 15 years from now? Same stuff or?
Rob: Yeah. I mean I have simplified my business in the last couple of years. There was a point of which we were growing out and I had a business running in four niches at the same time, which is four blogs, four partners… four blogs, four sets of social media, four sets of products, four coaching… and it was all just a bit insane.
So I’ve stripped a lot of that back now. So I just have the two major things. I got the personal development business. I’ve got the coaching program that’s kind of what… that’s all I’m going to do… just gonna scale those bigger. So, I have a plan for my personal development business to reach out, touch the lives of a million people around the world. In other words, that would be a million people who join my list or buy our products or whatever thing; that’s the outlandinsh massive goal for the next 5 or 10 years.
Aside from that, about a year and a half ago, my best friend and I launched a software business as well for marketers, which is all about how to use surveys as a marketing tool. So we started that… so that’s another massive plan and it’s gonna be a huge focus of mine going forward. And of course I still perform as a hypnotist as well. You know, I spend about two months of the year on the road traveling and performing. I get to do all the shows that I want to do in that short space of time and that two months and then the rest of the year I spend working on my online businesses and doing it.
So I think, build that you know… everyone has their why… everyone has their reason to want to launch a business online. Mine was to be able to explore my creativity, explore the things that I love and to be able to give myself the freedom to build the life that I want. So the life that I want and the life that I’ve got right now is I’m able to tour and perform for about two months a year and then sporadic gigs throughout the rest of the year. But mostly touring and performing for about two months of the year, and the rest of the year I am sat at the computer in our office here and running the business. And this really… as I said, three elements to that… there’s my personal development business, there’s my online marketing coaching program and then there’s the software business that we run as well. And I just intend to sit here and keep scaling it to the stars.
Howard: So you have any parting thoughts? URLs to reach you, encouragements or warnings that you’d like to issue to somebody who is just starting out in the internet marketing?
Rob: Yeah, for sure. I mean this whole game is not easy. It’s not easy but it is relatively simple. The processes that I’ve just described in the last… I mean, we’ve only been here for what? 20 minutes? 25 minutes? The processes I’ve described are very simple fundamentally. You create a blog, you post some content, you get some social media, you post some content, you start to build an audience… it’s all very simple. Doing it well, however, isn’t that easy. It does take… it does take work and does take focus. So my honest advice is don’t try and do it without a mentor of some description. Whether that was me or somebody else. I’m not selling my coaching programs specifically. Get somebody who really resonates with you and who you like and who you think… I like the way they market… I like their style… I like to be like them… So don’t try this without a mentor. It just won’t work.
And don’t try to do it all by yourself and don’t be frightened to think big. Don’t think… well I just want to make a couple of thousand dollars a month because the truth is, if you’re gonna put in the work to make a couple of thousand dollars a month… Honestly, by the time you get there, it’s only a tiny little bit more to get from two thousand dollars a month to ten or twenty thousand dollars a month. If you can get to two thousand dollars a month or five thousand dollars a month, the little bit of extra work you have to do to get to five or ten thousand dollars a month… ten or twenty thousand dollars a month is negligible.
So don’t be frightened to think big. You can make millions of dollars on the internet, sitting at home, selling information products if you’re willing to just push hard enough and so that would be my other advice.
If you want to find out a bit more about me and my principles, you can go to webclass.infopreneurblueprint.com. The rest is a bit of a mouthful.
Webclass.infopreneurblueprint.com and we run quite regular training webinars where you can join for free. You can learn about the principle… I’ll teach for like an hour and at the end of it, if it sounds like you wanna go ahead with it and you want to find out more, you can apply and there’s no big sales pitch but you can apply and get involved if it’s a good fit. So yeah, if you want to find out more, you can go and check out what we’re doing over there. But that would be it really.
Howard: Okay. I really appreciate having your time this morning and talking with you and I’ve learned quite a bit just from this. I’ve learned quite a bit every time I’ve talked to you. So I guess that’s just par for the course.