Recently, I had a chance to meet with Mr. Marc Ofstrofsky, a serial entrepreneur, business innovator and author of a new, awesome Internet money making guide, Get Rich Click. This book is packed with almost 300 pages of insightful, actionable money making content and bonuses that will boggle your mind.
His business success stories and online millionaire mindset is something you can learn from.
Marc is perhaps most familiar to the online crowd via the purchase and subsequent sale of the business.com domain (sold for a whopping $7.5 million dollars in 1999). He re-invested in the company via a deal he made with the buyers on top the sale.
In fact, when you listen to Marc speak, you can hear a tremendous energy and passion for the online game, learning (and earning) more, but also how he helps by giving back. He owns several businesses, and blinds.com and cufflinks.com are two highly trafficked, massively profitable Internet assets.
And, in this first book (of several), “Get Rich Click”, you’ll learn how to make money on the Internet with easy tips to get started. He calls it “The Ultimate Guide To Making Money On The Internet”. I believe he’s correct.
Let’s discover a few of his secrets next, and what you should consider doing as well.
“Marc, thanks for taking time today in your busy schedule. I have some questions about how to succeed online, let’s dig in? Sure, sounds great!”:
First, when we think about a small business owner, or entrepreneur starting out, what are some of the guiding principles that have helped you? And, what do you suggest they look for in building theirs?
TIP #1: Know what you don’t know.
Lots of people don’t know what they don’t know, as the saying goes. It’s one I live by, fully. As you discover it, you’ll learn there will be some things you can do to find the people that DO know. It’s very important. In Internet retailing, for example – there are so many things to learn, you cannot do it all. I realize the are many things I don’t know. I mean, think about some of these: mobile commerce, order management, rich media, search engine marketing, security certification, etc. Find the companies or people who do know. It’s free to begin. Based on new findings, you might ask: what are we doing for mobile marketing? What are the best of the best doing in this area? And, until you know, you don’t know. Internet is an evolving never-ending creative solution, but it’s the future of business, and you must be aware of what you don’t know.
TIP #2: Hire your weakness.
If you don’t know online mobile payment security for example, get somebody who knows it. Pay them, buy their knowledge, and ask questions. Find the brightest people, and get them to help you. Or – you can become the GURU for one of those niches yourself! Look for the best of the best, don’t skimp because you want to save money. “Wow, I didn’t know there was a special category for live chat and click-to-call”, for example. You can call them, interview them, find the top 3 – figure out what you don’t know.
Jon: How do you figure out what to do with so many choices?
If people are playing in the business game, advertising there, they are already doing it, which means it’s very likely that you should. The other day, I saw something new around “Wikis”. I saw people providing different designs, different strategies, different angles for integrating with Facebook, etc. That means, YOU can do BETTER with this stuff. You might ask: “That looks really interesting”. “How I can get that into my situation”. Then, do some research, but the easiest way to find out — call them and ask – what metrics exist, and why to consider that as an added benefit to your business. What is the x% of closure rates, what does it cost, etc. It will work for some, others not. Try it for 60-90 days, and see if you get more clients, monitoring along the way. Here’s a question most folks don’t know the answer to: “What is a client value to you today?”. What is it short term, long term? 99% cannot answer the question about client value. You must know it. The cost for social media is minimal, but you don’t know the absolute value. But, if you are selling something, and have a profit margin, and track them, recommendations, etc– you can find out the value and how much business that person is bringing to you.
TIP #3: Learn more, earn more(tm).
It’s my mantra, and it is the TM for the company, and it’s in my book. Learning more is equivalent to earning more. If you know where money is made, and you know PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising), for example, and the different games – you’ll find a way to make money. People that know more than you in a specific area can teach you. You can be good generalist, or a specific player in the market. I say, learn a lot about subjects, but – hire people that are better than you, and encourage them to learn more.
Jon: What success can you speak to from your learning?
Well, I have income streams from many places, and investments outside of publishing. But, the current business is around the book. A new book coming out “Word of Mouse”™ will be used for PR, sales and traffic. I have several businesses and investments in cufflinks.com (in-house management in Dallas), another company in Houston (Blinds.com), which looks to turn 80 million dollars this year. I also have e-tickets.com, and about 300 top level domains, which I hope to build out or sell.
Finally, a little off the “beaten path”, but some interesting tidbits about you that we don’t know about?
1) What drives you on a daily basis?
I love learning about people, and teach people. The family is the teaching business – I love that field.
Knowing the subject…and knowing I can help others learn it. I’ve always had that “internal get up and go”….I love to learn, see, touch….you can’t go into an APPLE store and not learn something that makes one say “wow, that’s amazing”….
2) What will be your legacy, or what do you want people to know?
If I can help other people. For example, every website is a production, and you don’t get there on your own. I can help.
My legacy….hmmm….. I have 5 daughters so that’s kind a tough one. :=) But, the books could open folks’ eyes to becoming an entrepreneur and become more financially “self sufficient”. That’s big.
3) How do you define success?
Family, Health, Friends, Live Life to the fullest – then Wealth…in that order.
4) Your biggest challenge to overcome, and what you learned?
A bit personal, but – horrible divorce. My ex-wife would not allow me to see my kids and I had to get the courts involved to force her to let the father to see his own kids. The divorce system in this world (and this country specifically) is really screwed up when you have to hire lawyers to see your own children. Had to get on with life and learn that even when you are right, things don’t always work out. In business, I like to have control of my business and rarely let others oversee it to the point that they can have THAT much oversight on the bottom line. Kind of like an investment. You diversify your money and the control in a company.
5) If you were starting all over (or lost it all) – how/what would you do to get back up?
Learn as much as I could about a subject where I want to play. I think Affiliate Marketing has the biggest upside these days w/o having to come into a business with money. You do NOT need money to make money with Affiliate Marketing. There’s more information about AM in the book too.
6) Anything you’d like folks to know, that nobody knows? (fun / interesting tip)
Great ideas find money. Money invests in smart people, consistent cash flow and not just “a great idea”. Proof that you and your “team” can implement an idea is the biggest value to an investor.
Jon: Yes, I get a lot of great ideas across my desk. I say “what I don’t need is another great idea” 🙂
7) Biggest new trends or things to watch for in the next 12-24 months?
Mobile ANYTHING. Mobile Marketing is big and going to explode. Interactive TV is about to be big. Imagine watching a TV, stop the show, click on the ladies Louise Vitton purse and one click later, that $1500 purse is on it’s way to your home. That is a reality and is about to hit…big. LOTS of opportunities in that concept.
Finally, I’m curious: how did you have the incredible foresight to get business.com domain so early in the game? Well, a bit of luck & intelligence there. I set up a competitive bidding model. Got two folks to fight over it, and I knew what to do next.
Thanks Marc for your time!
You can also get a copy of Get Rich Click (the book) on Amazon.