Listen to the full interview.
Hello and welcome. Joining me this time is Nick James, who’s arguably one of the UK’s most well known and experienced internet marketers. He’s certainly one of the most progressive and has won numerous awards, and I’m sure we’ll talk about that during this session. Nick, it’s great to connect.
Hey, it’s great to be here. Thanks for inviting me.
Now for those who aren’t aware of you or your achievements, maybe you could just start by telling me a little bit about your background and how you got started.
Yeah, sure, because I’m certainly not somebody that’s gone to university or had any kind of marketing degree or anything like that. I’ve come through from what I call grass-roots or the, I guess, the gorilla style of marketing. I had to make something work from the beginning. But listen, I knew nothing in 2000, 2001. That’s when I actually had a chance meeting with somebody that was already making money online, making money in a completely different way than I’d ever heard of, or seen before.
And it was a chance meeting with this guy, and he basically just told me that he was making money by offering people things that were for sale. And I know it sounds really obvious now, but back then I was told that you had to give people your time. You had to have a job, you needed to go out to work in order to get a wage. And that was a real turning point in my life because for the first time I had this huge illumination of this light bulb telling me that my income was no longer related, or index-linked to the number of hours I was working a day for a boss, who, well, pretty much didn’t like him and he didn’t like me.
So I guess the first question then, off the back of that is, what made you want to do this in the first place? What was the thing that tipped you over the edge, that made you want to embrace this new way of working?
Okay. So, the position we’re in now is, I run a business with my wife and we turn over literally millions of dollars a year selling information products and software online. And we do that in a variety of different ways. We can go into it a little bit later.
But the thing that really got me started with this, was the fact that I’d actually gone through a breakup with my partner, my little boy’s mom. We split up, we went through a bad separation. And it was at this point I think, somebody first introduced me to a self-help guy. You probably know him as well, Brian Tracy. And I was listening to a cassette tape from him called The Psychology of Achievement. And I remember he said to me … Oh well, said to me. He said on this tape, you need to learn to love yourself and you need to learn to educate yourself.
Now listen, I’m not into one of these … This kind of high-five, happy-clappy, self-help kind of mattress, okay? But he connected with me. He said something, and I thought to myself, I’m 20 years old and I fell out of love with educating myself. I didn’t have a good secondary school or high school education, and here’s a man that’s telling me that I should put my energy into something because I’m in a very bad place right now. I should learn to forgive everybody else.
And do you know what? When I was coming out of that bad place and listened to him at that time, it was almost as if that saying of, when the student is ready, the teacher appears, actually happened, because I threw myself into something that I knew nothing about, and really just embraced all of this new information that I was being given. Things like, there’s another way to earn money. You don’t actually have to have a job and work for somebody else. You could be your own boss. If you want to be your own boss, there are lots of models you can follow. You don’t actually have to be somebody that’s selling time for money.
And I was in such a bad place at the time. I didn’t want to think about my personal life. I wanted to throw myself into something new to stop thinking about a breakup, to stop thinking about my money worries, to stop thinking about all the things that I didn’t have anymore. And so, I think I’m an avoidance of pain guy, and I did everything to avoid the pain that I was feeling and threw myself into this wholeheartedly. And that could’ve been a huge difference as it regards to the difference between an also-ran and somebody that really did want to hit the ground running.
So how hard or how easy was it for you at that point to actually get started? I mean, you’ve got the motivation, but how difficult, how easy was it for you, right at the very start?
Well, I think a lot of these things, it comes down to consistency. And actually, when I actually think back, all I did was copy exactly what I was shown. I had a mentor who taught me how he was making his money, how he was selling his products, how he licensed them, how he marketed them. And I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t find it difficult in the sense of the word I didn’t know what to do. And I didn’t find it difficult in terms of motivation. So actually, I think the process for me was actually quite systematic, quite methodical.
And what I did find out was if I did what I was told … And I think this is really important for everyone to take away… If you do what you’re told by your mentor, you follow instructions to a T, you should get what you were shown. I think sometimes it’s when we go off track and we change the recipe, we change what we’re told because we think we know better. I think clever people change what they’re told because they think they know better than the person that’s teaching them.
So in that regard, it took me a while to set up my first business, my first internet business. I licensed my first product, I put some marketing together. And I was quite fortunate enough that by following those steps to a point of what I call, releasing the marketing products, releasing the marketing, and I got sales very quickly. And then I had this learned behavior that, Oh, if I do this again, I’m going to make more sales. So I’ll just keep repeating what I’d originally done to make my first sale.
So Nick, what advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out in this business?
There are many things, but I think there’s one key thing that I did actually write about recently when I was putting together a new book, Six Figures a Year in Info Publishing, and I go in-depth in this, right at the very beginning, because of its importance. I think on page 16, we spell it out. But essentially, it’s the aim, okay?
Essentially, what we’re trying to do is, we’re trying to make sure that we’re always going to be adding value to people’s lives. We’re making a difference. And as well as adding value, making a difference, we’re enriching people’s lives so they get what they want as well. So it’s a win-win situation for both people.
And if you can actually be the person that others think of in a favorable way, that each time somebody does business with you, they think positively about that, then you’re going to be top of the mind for the future. It’s far better doing that than conning somebody, scamming somebody, and trying to think that you pulled the wool over somebody’s eyes and you’ve got something over somebody. Don’t do that. Be the white knight of your industry, and be the person that … I don’t know, God, love thy neighbor, and love your customers. Don’t be the person that people think of and talk of in a derogatory fashion.
And I say it is an important part of business because profits in business come from the lifetime customer value. And if you set up the foundations of your business correctly, the ethics of how you trade online correctly, then it’s going to come back and it’s going to reward you tenfold, hundredfold, in the future.
As I say, we talk about it a little bit more in Six Figures a Year in Info Publishing, and I’ll tell you a little bit later on, how I can make sure you get a free copy of that book as well, with my compliments.
Now you do a lot in product licensing and PLR. Why is that so important to your business, would you say?
I think you can get your first product to market 10 times faster if you license it than if you create it yourself. And I think if we start creating things, we want to start perfecting things. And to make something perfect, it never ever reaches that hundred percent perfection. So we don’t release something.
And I remember hearing Marlon Sanders, a very long time ago, wonderful in-step marketer, product developer, saying, “Half done, ain’t done.” So you have all these half done, half-finished projects, but if it’s half-finished, you haven’t sold one. You can’t sell any of 10 half-finished products.
And that’s what I realized about product creation. You tend to start something and not finish it. But with licensing, the thing’s already created. All you need to do is make it look a little bit different. Put another wrapper on it, rebrand it as we call it, give it another title, change the marketing out a little bit, and it’s ready to go. The customer’s waiting. I hadn’t actually created a product until I’d licensed at least half a dozen products from other people. And I think that, again, was really useful.
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