When I first got started, I was just a pure affiliate. I was just asking Mark questions about how do I scale my business as an affiliate. He gave me some great advice and I took my business as an affiliate marketer from $15,000 all the way to making platinum status within the next year under Mark’s mentorship.
From then on, I decided that, hey, if I could teach this stuff to someone else who could really make an impact, why not? Then I decided to create a whole product out of this and how to make money for affiliate marketing. And that’s where I need Mark more, because he is a vendor, super successful, and I just needed someone to guide me.
Question: What made you decide to get into internet marketing?
Shawn: So I always knew that I’m not suitable for a corporate job. So I did an internship back when I was, I think, 18 or 19 years old. I did an internship with the bank, one of the banks here in Singapore, and I did a six-month internship. So every morning, I’m just commuting with the rest of the working adults on the train. It was so packed, so squeezed. Afterwards, we have another big commute back home. Every single time it took me so long, I had to stand up in the train, squeezing, perspiring. It’s just not a very pleasant experience! And in the office, there are tons of politics, and that kind of stuff just doesn’t sit well with me.
Although I did ace my internship because I just really wanted a great one, I knew inside of me that I’m not made for a job. I guess the biggest factor from that is actually when I first got started, I read the book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I think a lot of people have read the book. So I have learned that I needed to be in the investor category.
I’m in the Business Quadrant. And I knew that I needed to do something. From then, I’ve been searching for ways to make a living without having to work a job. So I have been paying for causes. I’ve been saving up money paying for causes.
I invested over five figures in causes. Some of them succeeded, a couple of them failed. But what I realized is that as we pick up a brand new skill, there’s always a hidden cost at the back. And the hidden cost is always more than what you paid on the front end.
Yeah, take, for example, affiliate marketing. The cost that’s at the back of it is you having to invest in the business to acquire and buy traffic. Then you have to build that email list. And that is not told to us at the start of any program. That’s not taught to you because all the experts out there just want to teach a skill, make you make money from the front end – that’s how they build their wealth.
Same for investing and trading. You pick up the skills, you still have to have some capital to be invested for you to grow that cash. So for me, I didn’t know what it takes. But after learning different models, I realized that email marketing is one of the business models that I can really scale with. And so what I did was to take my final $12,000 that was left in the bank.
Back then, I was a student and that was the final amount in my bank. After picking up that cost, paid a couple of thousands. I asked my girlfriend, who is now my wife, hey, if I would invest $12,000, because that’s what it takes, right? Are you okay with it?
And she’s like, if you think that’s going to work, just go all in and don’t look back. Basically.
And of course, I did my prayers and then I invested all in to ads. So I basically bought solo ads to start.
And my ROI from my ad spend is about 10%. So just imagine putting in $12,000 and getting back $1,200. It doesn’t make investment sense, isn’t it? We are all looking for one is to two or one is to one. But this time around getting 10%.
But what I know in foresight is that the money is in the list. We are not only making back the front end, ROI in like 10% kind of thing, but we are looking at monetizing that list even more for you to continue to build that capital back and then reinvesting back into that list. So that is what I know. The money is in the back end.
So it took me about seven to eight months to break even, to make all my money back.
But, hey, but from then on, the business doesn’t start from ground zero. It starts from whatever your list size is. So that’s where I see that. Hey, this business is powerful. If I could just scale this to the moon, I wouldn’t have to worry about the job.
So that’s basically how I got started.
Question: What was the hardest part of making the first sale and then scaling it?
Shawn: Once you buy a solo ad, let’s say you purchased 500 clicks – 1000 clicks, chances are you will get one sale. That is because the ad that you are buying from someone (from your seller) is super targeted because you have already chosen that niche.
So that seller is in that niche, whatever that you are buying from the back end, like your ethical bribe, your free ebook, your free mp3, or your free training or whatever it is, the back end offer is very congruent with what you are going to purchase. So you will definitely get a sale. But the tough part is seeing the ROI. I would say the ROI is going to be way less than what you’ve expected.
Especially when I first started, I was in the personal development niche. That’s where the ROI from solo ads is about 10% to 20% at most. Let’s say you put in $10,000 and say that you only make $2,000 – I think that is the biggest hurdle to climb or the biggest hurdle to overcome.
But nowadays, because I’ve moved into the e-business space, I realized that my own students, they are getting solo ads return of 50% to 100%. It’s crazy. Solo ads are not dead. They are very much alive. I would say that the biggest hurdle to overcome is your mindset – to know that when you buy ads, you are building that list.
Even if you’re running Facebook ads, Google ads, you are buying data and you have to be okay with losing money at first. But there will be a break even point for you to recuperate all your investment back. So that mindset you have to know what you’re getting into before the start of you playing this game.
Question: What do you see in your future?
My future after this is more of creating an even better software than Perpetual Income 365. Because buying traffic, getting your list up, running solo ads, getting a stable, consistent income is mediocre, just average. But if you want to take your business to the next level, that’s actually a way for you to get unlimited traffic and it’s literally unlimited traffic. Now in order for you to do that, there must be a bridge. Someone has to bring you there, right?
And so that’s what I see myself doing. I want to be that bridge to anyone who wants to take their affiliate business to the next level no matter what you are, whether you’re a perpetual income member, whether you are just affiliate marketer, I want to take it to the next level. That’s when I’ll be creating my next program. That program is going to be, of course of a higher cost, because it’s of a higher value. I plan to launch it start of next year. So that’s going to be the next step. That’s basically me servicing clients of a higher level, clients who are really serious in their business. And I see myself being that bridge, being the coach, being that mentor for these guys. So it’s going to be exciting and it’s going to be one level up, Perpetual Income 365.
Question: What advice would you give for those who are starting out and for those who are in the middle of the grinding process?
Shawn: So for someone who’s just starting out and someone who is in the grind but not making it.
For someone who’s just starting out, my advice to you is do not be afraid to try and do not be afraid to fail. Because if you do not try, you’ll never know. The biggest regret that you’re going to have is five years later you see that people who have tried made it and you’re like, I have not tried yet. Right? So that is going to be your biggest regret. So never be afraid to try. For me, I’ve paid over five figures in fees to learn skills – investing, trading the stock market, the forex market, internet marketing, creating books to sell on Amazon. All this stuff I’ve tried I paid. But you know at the end of it you’re gonna find one that you really like and you’re going to succeed big time in that one. But if I don’t even try, if I play everything safe, I get a job. right i’ll be slogging off I might not even be home now because I have no flexible time.
So for those who are starting out, if you are financially not able to start anything, then the question is are you resourceful enough to raise that fund to get whatever you want to get. Because there’s no problem with getting money, the problem is in being resourceful. You can take a loan from a family, banks with low interest rates and then calculate your budget, your ROI, then plan out how you want to return it back. So it’s never a lack of money. I would say don’t be afraid to try, don’t be afraid to fail, just go all in even if you fail, you just found another way that doesn’t work then go to the next one and try again.
For those who are in the grind in your online business and badly breaking even, you need to remember your end in mind. You need to remember why you first started this entire thing and if you were to give up now that means it’s over. Everything is over. Now what I’ve trained by my members to do is to give them an overview of where their breakeven point is gonna be. I have a graph for that. I basically created an entire chart to show them if you were to invest this amount of money into solo ads, you’re going to get this amount of return in average and you’re going to get this amount of subscribers. I projected downwards to show them that your breakeven point is going to be from around the 6th to 7th month. Then in that chart, I show them where’s the point of the greatest cost that means the greatest expenditure and that point is usually on the 3rd to the 4th month. If you are to give up right now that’s the biggest point of loss so what are you gonna do?
I show them that graph so that at the start they know that the end in mind is to reach their breakeven point, to know how many subscribers they need to earn $1,000 per month. With that in mind, they are able to plan and they will be able to know how much time is going to take for them to reach that goal and then their mindset is going to be different. It will be “I’m going to continue to work on my business so I get to the breakeven point and along the way if I don’t get sales it’s okay because I’m building my email list.”