Pat: Greetings, everyone. Thank you for joining us for the webinar today. We have another exciting webinar planned with Mike Mann. Mike Mann is an entrepreneur and author who recently wrote the book, Make Millions Secrets to Business and Personal Success. I’m especially excited to speak to Mike today because of some of the recent happenings with Mike. As some of you may know or may not know, Mike has had a lot of success in the domain market over the years. He came early to the domain market back in the 1990s; and since then, Mike has been buying and selling—collecting, if you will—Internet domain names. He’s had a couple of really interesting transactions this month that I would like Mike to talk about. How are you doing today, Mike?
Mike: I’m doing great, Pat. Thank you.
Pat: I appreciate you being with us, sir. Thanks for taking some time to talk to us about some of your recent business deals. I think people are going to be really fascinated by some of your stories. I was really fascinated when I learned earlier that you sold domain names. It was an amazing story. Some of these domain names you bought just a month or a few months ago for just pennies on what you made for them. Would you mind talking to me about some of these events over the last few weeks as it relates to some of the different domain names you’ve sold? I’ve highlighted a few here in the presentation: ChinaDiscovery.com, BoatOutfitters.com, a couple bigger ones: Women.co, WaitingRoom.com was a recent one. Can you talk to me a little about these domains and just how these deals took place, Mike?
Mike: Sure. We buy and sell domain names constantly, and just recently, we’ve just been working on some good quality transactions, so I’d like to highlight the transactions that are the most exceptional that we’ve sold for the most amount of money and have sorta propped up the quality of the DomainMarket.com marketplace.
Pat: Now, maybe you could talk to me a little about some of this. I mean, some of these domain names, didn’t you pay just $69 for the name in the last couple of months? Like ChinaDiscovery.com, for instance—you’ve already sold it for $13,000. Is that an accurate description?
Mike: Yeah, that’s accurate. And I’ll tell you what else is accurate: all those sales prices are too low. All those buyers got a huge bargain.
Pat: Really? Why do you say that?
Mike: Absolutely. Each one of these is perfectly contextual, perfectly sold .com domains that will last forever, and they’ll be indexed and Googled, they’re easy to spell, they’re powerful brands. They’re all perfect.
Pat: I agree. Tell me, Mike. How do you know to take a domain name like ChinaDiscovery.com or WaitingRoom.com? I’m wondering if you can tell us a little about what kind of websites these domain names will be attached to?
Mike: Well, I don’t know. I can predict it, but I don’t really care. We’re kind of agnostic; we’ll bill anyone with the money.
Pat: I got you.
Mike: But I know WaitingRoom.com went to a doctor. I know that much.
Pat: Awesome. Wow. That’s excellent. So you owned WaitingRoom.com at one point. What made you buy WaitingRoom.com? How did you know that it was going to be so profitable to you eventually?
Mike: Well, I didn’t; I suspected it. I worked with a number of them and sold some of them at a huge profit.
Pat: So has this been a—
Mike: But I didn’t know which ones would sell on any given day. It’s just a roll of the dice.
Pat: Mike, when did you start buying domain names and selling domain names?
Mike: I’ve been doing it for awhile. We started a company in 1998 called BuyDomains.com, which is to this day the world’s most successful domain trader. I sold my interest, though, like five years ago. I actually owned—I sold the majority of the interest five years ago, and now our competitive corporation is called DomainMarket.com.
Pat: This is so fascinating. Obviously, you jumped into the game several years ago—quite awhile ago. Is there still money to be made for newcomers who want to become domainers and sell in the domain market?
Mike: It’s probably too risky unless someone really knows what they’re doing.
Pat: Very interesting.
Mike: You could invest a lot of money on domain names you never sell, and you’d have to pay the registration costs forever.
Pat: Now, I wanted to bring this up and talk about this a little bit because I think it’s a good lead-in to our presentation today. Today, we’re going to talking about technology. We’re going to be talking about leveraging the Internet, using websites, and marketing tools. We’re going to be talking about some of the tools and some of the opportunities that are very accessible to small businesses. A good place to start, Mike, is with: what is a domain name? In Chapter Four of your book, which is what we’re discussing today, you told some of the details of what a domain name is. Can you talk to me a little about those details?
Mike: Sure. Domain names are a company’s unique identifier over the Internet. It allows them to do all of their web traffic and build their website around that brand name. They can also use it for their email address or any other Internet function—Internet branding—really, it’s the brand for the corporation as a whole—the very ability to use a .com. So for example, my corporations are something.com, other.com, Phone.com, SEO.com, PRMarketing.com, PurePPC.com, BrightFuture.com (now proHR.com)…
Pat: Sounds like a pretty straightforward approach. Do you have any tips for people? Obviously, whether you want to be a domainer or experiment in the domain market, which is kind of beside the point here, having a domain name for your business is the most important first step for getting a company on line, is it not?
Mike: Yeah. I think corporations need Internet web traffic, and if they want to do it professionally, they should have an excellent, easy-to-spell dot-com domain name that they can use forever, so it’s essentially the first step. Otherwise, you can’t secure the right domain name, you couldn’t name your company that name.
Pat: So, where do you start? If I have a domain name that I think will be a great label for my business on the Internet, where do I go to purchase that name?
Mike: Well, you can look a lot but nobody pays for it. You can register it at a place like GoDomains, for example—it’s a domain registration company, a domain registrar. However, most of the domains that have any commercial value or significance have already been registered by somebody else.
Mike: And the best collections in the world are at DomainMarket.com and BuyDomains.com. These are the places professionals and marketing people around the world will go to get the world’s best .com domains, pay cash, and walk out the door.
Pat: And to this day, you own many domain names, do you not?
Mike: Well, I own the corporation DomainMarket.com.
Pat: So I might be buying my domain from you? Is that right?
Mike: I sure hope so.
Pat: Excellent. We’re going to jump through a few different topics today during our webinar. One thing that’s great about Mike’s book is that it addresses many different aspects of starting your business, marketing it, selling it—and it does so in a very simple, easy-to-understand way. Today we’re going to be discussing some very complex topics. However, we’re going to break down the basics. And the next thing we’d like to discuss which dovetails nicely with domaining is search engine optimization. Mike, once you have your domain name, it’s not going to do you a lot of good if people can’t find you on the Internet. Is that correct?
Mike: Right. So I’m a big proponent of search engine optimization because, using Google, it allows people a more accurate method of doing their advertising and marketing as opposed to a radio broadcast ad where it’s more difficult to measure the results of your campaigns. Therefore, I highly recommend that people use Google for their marketing and advertising. Two ways to do so are through search engine optimization (by getting yourself to the topic of the organic search ranking) or by paying Google to get you to the top of paid advertising. That’s called pay-per-click (getting to the top of paid advertising). That’s called PPC: pay-per-click. Google runs a pay-per-click called AdWord. If they’re selling it, it’s called AdSense; if you’re buying it from them, it’s called AdWord. It’s really important to optimize your site or you’ll have random information on the Internet that no one will ever see.
Pat: So to break it down even further for folks, what we’re talking about is that search engine optimization works. When they go to Google, they search for your company using certain keywords that you identify. Then when people use these keywords to search for your company, the idea is that your website shows up (or ranks) as highly as possible in those search results. Is that right?
Mike: Right. It’s a highly competitive and dynamic marketplace, so the words that are affected constantly change, business prices constantly change, your competitors constantly try new strategies, Google changes its algorithms to optimize their own search engine constantly. If you really want to be good at search engine optimization and have your website and domain ranked near the top of Google, it’s a constant effort to upgrade and organize it accordingly to meet the Google robot algorithm in order to get to the top. Or you can just do a prudent method, which is paying for pay-per-click. I recommend both—I try to do both on all my sites: search engine optimization on every site, and then test keywords and pay-per-click to attempt to make conversions through the Google search engine.
Pat: Now Mike, do you do search engine optimization on your own, or do have a firm where you hire professionals who are experts at SEO?
Mike: That’s a great question. Yeah, I started SEO.com and I’m the principal CEO and owner of SEO.com, and Ash Buckles is the president of SEO.com. Our company has almost 150 employees that help my corporations do their search engine optimization.
Pat: Very interesting. For some business owners, SEO might seem out of reach. We think of SEO and sometimes we think of giant companies—Yellow Pages, JCPenny—companies like that. Are these services accessible cost-wise to the small and medium-size business owner as well?
Mike: It’s supposed to be, but it’s advertised that there’s an element of risk to it. The good news is that there’s a quick, accurate feedback cycle from Google that tells you exactly how many people click on each various thing.
Pat: Yeah, well said. It sounds like you have a lot of experience and expertise with search engine optimization. In fact, in your book, Make Millions Secrets to Business and Personal Success, you even provide folks an SEO checklist. I have just a sample of the SEO checklist on the screen right now, but there are many other bullet points included with that checklist. You can get the entire list by going to Mike’s website, MakeMillions.com, where you can download a free copy of his book. You can check out the entire list, and it has some very helpful tips for those just embarking on search engine optimization campaigns.
Now, let’s move on, Mike. Chapter Four is very interesting because it discusses ways to use new technology to dominate your marketplace. We can spend a little bit of time on some of the different aspects that you break down. Some of your methods for dominating the market include:
- Managing your reputation
- Data manipulation
There are a lot of –tions, there. Where would you like to begin, Mike? What do you think people need to know? What will they find most interesting?
Mike: Well, give me one at a time, and I’ll explain.
Pat: Might as well start with globalization. You talk a lot about how we are no longer just doing business in our immediate area. With a properly optimized website, you can really venture into markets where you never could before. How important is this to the small- and medium-size business owner?
Mike: Well I think this really ties into the idea of Internet marketing we were discussing before: getting a great domain name, an easy to say, easy to spell .com. Then we were talking about search engine optimization to get you near the top of Google and pay-per-click to get you near the top of the page portion of Google. At that point, you’re already ready to globalize because the Internet by definition is an interconnected network for the entire world where everybody can get your information. If you’re already online, optimized, and ready to go, you’re prepared to get outside your local market space. The type of product or service you’re offering determines whether it makes sense for a global marketplace to purchase from you. You have to offer the types of products or services they would want.
For example, at DomainMarket.com, I sell domains to people all over the world every day. People all over the world buy .coms. I have some .coms in French, Spanish, German—things like that, with excellent keywords in them. Again, people all over the world can get to my website and purchase with PayPal or whatever method if they have an international credit card. So globalization quadruples the revenue of DomainMarket, for one example. Any business with a global product can attempt to do globalization, and it’s probably easy compared to the olden days.
Pat: Wow. It sounds like it. That’s some great advice. Not only do you write about it, but it sounds like you’ve globalized in your business efforts, obviously.
Mike: Some of them.
Pat: The next item that you discuss is communication. Now this section seemed a little bit simple to me, like you were just talking about common sense. You were talking about the importance of returning phone calls quickly and communicating respectfully with people. Mike, are these techniques that you discuss about communicating really that simple, or do you really need to work to implement these?
Mike: Well, each individual idea is relatively simple, but obviously you want to put them all together and get them timed correctly and organize your communication in such a way that you’re going to profit effectively. You’ll have some compounding growth over time if you do it the right way by setting up your contact manager correctly, your Internet correctly, your webinars correctly, your conference calls correctly, etc. There’s plenty of technology to support you, and it’s all relatively inexpensive. The issue is whether you can have clean, inexpensive, available communication and add more and more business people into your communications network. Then you can scale your corporation with them—whether they are customers, vendors, your coworkers—and all of that enhances long-term business value.
Pat: Very interesting, and it kind of moves nicely into reputation. You’re a big proponent of reputation. “Reputation is extremely important,” you state in your book. You boil it down to something as simple as keeping your word and dealing with people in a straightforward and honest way. Again, it seems like a no-brainer, but I’m sure there are a lot of businesses out there that don’t necessarily adhere to all of these standards.
Mike: Right. So, again, these are relatively simplistic ideas, but there’s a lot of them that have to fit together on time and on budget, and then it actually has to all work out properly in order to profit. So, if you look at—let’s say there are ten items. If one company did all ten of those simple items correctly, then they’re at 100 percent efficiency in that respect. But if another company skips three out of ten of them, then they’re at 70 percent efficiency in that respect. So, they’re going to lose a 30 percent margin on that set of concepts each year, and they’re going to lose a 30 percent compounding each year. They’re falling way behind—whereas the optimized company gets 100 percent efficiency in those aspects, plugging along and getting more compounding growth year after year at the expense of their competitors whose customers they’re stealing.
Pat: That’s excellent. I’m assuming that moves nicely into co-opetition. You talk about the concept of co-opetition in your book. You describe it as this: “Co-opetition is the concept of simultaneously engaging in competition and cooperation within your market.” Woah—seems a little complex. In fact, you even cite a few examples, like Apple and Microsoft working together, or Peugeot and Toyota building stronger ties—but those are big companies. Does a concept as seemingly complex as co-opetition really relate to the little guy—the small- and the medium-size business owner?
Mike: Yeah, well, it really makes a lot of sense because, again, this is a dynamic market space. There’s lots of business and growth in different areas, if we’re talking about the Internet here. And everybody can’t cover all niches, so even though they may be competitive in some respects, they can also prop one another up. If it’s done correctly, the idea is that one plus one equals three, whereas if they’re separated, they can only gain a certain amount of value while together, they get more than twice the value.
Pat: Well said. Please pick up Mike’s book, Make Millions Secrets to Business and Personal Success, to learn more about his ideas on all these different concepts. He expands on these different ideas, and you can download a free copy of that book at MakeMillions.com. Let’s move on, Mike. You talk in the book about harnessing the power of the Internet for your business. I think this is one section that a lot of people are going to be interested in because they’re realizing the importance of having a strong website. You state in your book that a website could be one of your best marketing tools. Why is that?
Mike: Well, one thing is that a website can be updated and upgraded every day. You could and should make it sort of a live interactive experience with video, chat, e-commerce, and databases. If you go to InternetApplications.com, we have a bullet-point list of all sorts of ideas one could do on their website. But the idea is that you can make it a live interactive experience, unlike brochures that corporations used to use. You can distribute it all over the world everyday immediately for almost nothing once you’ve created it.
And the other point is that you can get exact, scientific, mathematical, analytical data about what people click, what they click on, what they paid for, how much they paid for it, how many people came, when they came—data that is extremely valuable for your marketing. You can constantly adjust your marketing in order to get the best results using this data, whereas if you’re using old-school broadcasting: radio, TV, banners on the highway—you can’t extract analytical data. That’s why Internet marketing is better, especially if you’re offering local, home-grown, stable services.
Pat: Now I understand what you’re saying about analytics and being able to track that information, and I can understand the value of that. But you refer to television, radio advertising, billboards—I think you just called those old-school. Are there that many people really looking for my product or service on the Internet these days?
Mike: Every situation is unique, but when people are starting new businesses, they set right up and build their products and services so they can sell them internationally over the Internet. That opens up a large amount of dynamic possibilities with respect to marketing them.
Pat: And you have some great advice in the book. You have another checklist (which is very handy) in which you say some of the basic elements that a strong website should include:
- A strong domain name
- Effective logos
- A description of the products and services you offer
- Your corporate history
- Some contact information
Did I leave anything out?
Mike: Well, yeah, there are all sorts of different models and ideas for what you’d want to put on them. If you go to MikeMann.com, you can see how we built and laid out that site. Also, there are links to 20 of our other sites which all have their own design, layout, content, e-commerce, communication—every site’s unique. So, MikeMann.com has lots of good information that’s all free, and from there you can look at all the websites we build, my book, my other book, InternetApplications.com; you can find Aux.com—it’s really cool and it links from there.
Pat: Sounds like you have a lot to offer. Most of these resources that you’re talking about here are available for free, are they not? A lot of information.
Mike: It’s all free, and it’s all linked from MikeMann.com.
Pat: Excellent. And Mike, I also want to ask you, just taking your website a little bit further—eventually you could even branch into doing some e-commerce on your website?
Mike: Yeah, absolutely. You want to be able to sell stuff over the Internet if possible, so if you can enable your website with e-commerce, that’s a great idea.
Pat: I’m sure people pick your brain all the time, Mike, considering your background, about some of your views or predictions for the future for technology. And perhaps that’s what persuaded you or influenced you to address that in your book. You talk in your book about the future of technology a bit. You speak about how all these new electronic devices that we’re using are going to be connected even more, and that all these different mediums that digital technology will be delivering. Again, we’re kind of rushing through some of the sections in your book. I always feel like we never have enough time because there is so much information in there, but I’m wondering if you want to elaborate. I have a slide here that takes some of the ideas in your book that you mention.
Do you have any predictions you would like to offer the folks, Mike, that maybe you didn’t put into your book? Is there maybe something you’ve been thinking about recently? Any tips that will help somebody hone in on, or be ready to capitalize, be a first mover when some sector opens up or some new product emerges. Is there anything you know that’s coming out that we should know about?
Mike: Well, it’s pretty general. The cost of this stuff constantly goes down. It’s easier, cheaper, and more accessible. There are other countries that are left to develop that have millions and millions of new entrants to the Internet that Americans and everybody else in the world can attempt to sell products and services to. Again, they’re going to get phones for cheap, they’re going to get computers for cheap, they’re all going to utilize e-commerce, they’re going to have PayPal. And millions of people already do, but we can expect that millions more will be able to leverage all these items and to move forward with their sites.
Pat: We might not even need an office—a physical office, that is. I know you’re a strong proponent of virtual offices, Voice Over Internet Protocol technology, and different types of faxing and text messaging technologies that are going to make people’s professional lives better and really streamline the way they do business.
Mike: Right, and it already does make them better. It’s just a matter of more people adopting simpler and less expensive technologies, and then leveraging all the applications that we’re putting out on top of those technologies.
Pat: I like in your book, Mike, how you’re discussing all these very high-tech gadgets. We’re talking about Voice Over Internet Protocol and different ways to make phone calls without even having a physical phone. And then you go into an idea that really hit me, since I’m a former journalist. You also say that you also need to have a notebook and a recorder handy so that, when ideas come to your mind, you can jot them down. You might not have your smart phone. Do you really carry a notebook with you, Mike, or do you often have a recorder in your pocket, so if you have an idea you can dictate that to yourself?
Mike: Well, the answer is that I don’t carry a notebook or a smart phone, but actually that’s probably the correct way to do it. For me, I write on the back of napkins and product labels, so I have all kinds of tiny notes and I shove them in my pockets.
Pat: Excellent. And how long do you keep those notes? I’d like to check out a few of those napkins.
Mike: Oh, I just bring them over to my computer and then type them to myself.
Pat: Great stuff.
Mike: But I don’t carry a recorder or a notebook, actually, when I leave my desk. When I’m at my desk, I put the ideas in the computer. If I’m not at my desk, I write little notes on everything and shove them in my pocket.
Pat: So you’ve scribbled down a lot of notes in your time.
Mike: My house is covered in notes.
Pat: How’s your penmanship?
Mike: It’s horrible. Nobody can read it except me.
Pat: That’s a good thing sometimes, right?
Mike: Especially given what I write.
Pat: Nice, nice. Hey, we have quite a crowd attending today and I appreciate the audience being here. People are faxing and sending in questions already. We’re nearly through with the presentation, and we’re going to have some time afterward to answer a few of these questions. I’m sure Mike would like to hear whatever you have to ask.
Hey, Mike, let me ask you: You also talk in the book a lot about the importance of research. Throughout your book—throughout all of the chapters—it seems you are preaching the importance of staying ahead of the trends, staying on top of developments in your industry, and knowing where to find information. In Chapter Four, you specifically address finding information online. Before we close out the presentation here, do you have any helpful tips about ways people can find information? And maybe even further, there’s no problem these days finding information online. In fact, you usually find too much information. How do you go about boiling down that information, or sifting through and filtering out what might not be the most important for your objectives?
Mike: Yes, well, the good thing is that information is free, just like most of the things we’re talking about here that are free ways of leveraging your business in order to make more profit. Knowing more information about:
- Your industry
- Your competitors
- Your potential customers
- The technologies that operate your business
- Business Best Practices
That stuff is all accessible at your fingertips. The vast majority of it is free, and it could be profitable. The issue is in finding the right information and trying to absorb it and leverage it. I’d like to think of my book as a head start, and it references lots of other sources of information that one can read, absorb, bookmark, etc. The best way to do your original research is right from Google under the advanced search feature, where you can filter things by date, filter by certain keywords, and filter out other keywords. You don’t really want the regular search results. Usually Google does a good job getting the best stuff in the top, but if you’re really looking for special or detailed information, you want to use a more detailed search. So, on the Google site, there’s an advanced search tab you should use.
Pat: Excellent advice. We’ve cruised through some of these topics today because we have limited time during these webinars. If you would like any more information about anything we’ve discussed here, I would strongly encourage you to get Mike’s book. Mike Mann’s book is Make Millions Secrets to Business and Personal Success. You can go to the website MakeMillions.com. You can learn more about the book there, you can learn more about Mike, you can read some reviews, and you can download a free copy of the book. You can read the book for free. Go to MakeMillions.com and check that out.
Now, we have some questions coming in, and it’s funny because everybody wants to know about the same thing, and perhaps it’s because of some news that broke recently, Mike, that no doubt you’re aware of. In fact, I wanted to ask you about this today and the audience beat me to it. I’m just going to ask you, Mike. It has to do with the developments we’ve heard earlier this week. Jason asks, “What do you think is going to happen to the market now that the domain extensions are expanding?” And I guess he’s asking about this whole dot-anything discussion. No doubt you’ve thought about that, Mike.
Mike: Right. There are a couple of sides to it. It’s a scam, essentially. The group that put it out—iCann and their friends—are going to collect enormous amounts of beef, so that’s the reason the whole thing exists. There’s no other actual reason for it. So having said that, some other people may profit creating these extensions, but they’re going to be deep in the hole to iCann on day one. They’re going to have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars just to get started. But in any event for the consumer, they’ll be able to register those other names, but there’s already about a hundred DLVs out there. Every country in the world has its own DLV, and in the U.S., they already invented .biz, .info, .us; and we have the original .com, .net, and .org, obviously. This issue is that the more of these alternative extensions that are developed, that just makes the .com more valuable and more relevant so it won’t confuse people any more.
Pat: Very interesting.
Mike: So that makes my collection more profitable. People invent all kinds of weird stuff, and there’ll be a flight to quality, and people will want the .com. It just makes the .com more and more valuable.
Pat: Huh. Wow. Okay. Did you ever foresee this development in the past? Did you ever see something like this coming?
Mike: Uh, yes. It’s hard to predict the actions of racketeers in advance.
Pat: It’s hard to predict the actions of racketeers in advance. That might be the quote of the day, Mike.
Pat: So we’re out of time for today’s webinar. Again, it always flies by. We had a good audience today and, I think, a very interesting presentation from Mike Mann. I want to encourage you all to check MakeMillions.com often. You can not only get a free download of Mike’s book, Make Millions, but Mike blogs at MakeMillions.com and there’s information about Mike and about his next book that hasn’t been released yet. You can also visit MikeMann.com to learn more about Mike and the different companies he operates and has operated in the past. There is a lot of information at both of those websites.
Mike, we’re out of time for today. I really appreciate you being with us. Is there anything else you’d like to add or sum up?
Mike: Uh, yeah. I’d just like to add a few things. At MikeMann.com, it also has the charities we operate: Grassroots.org and the Make Change! Trust. And also, my new book, Applied Evolution—there are parts of it online at AppliedEvolution.com even though the book isn’t finished.
Pat: Excellent. So you’re encouraging people to get a sneak peek of your next book, apparently.
Mike: Yeah, you can get a sneak peek at AppliedEvolution.com. You can go to MikeMann.com and click on InternetApplications.com, which is really cool; Aux.com is really cool. Then they can move into Grassroots.org if they want to see some of our charity work, for example.
Pat: Excellent. Now we usually try to have a couple of webinars each month with Mike discussing different aspects of his book, items that are in the news, just anything that’s on Mike’s mind, and it’s usually an interesting discussion. So again, I encourage all of you—I thank you all for attending today, and I encourage all of you to check back with MakeMillions.com often. You’ll find information about upcoming webinars and other news. Mike, we need to end this discussion today. I appreciate you being with us, and we’ll see you next time.
Mike: Thanks a lot, Pat.
Pat: Thank you, Mike. Have a great one.