I first had the opportunity to meet and work with Dave Dreas on a very cold beach in Los Angeles. It was severely overcast and the temperature was (at the most) in the low 50s but realistically in the low 40s with the wind coming off the ocean. Yet there was work to be done and Dave handled the cold as much as possible to make sure we got the best shots we could. With that said – myself and my entire crew were huddling together with coffee to stay warm between sets.
Since that cold photo shoot years ago I’ve had the privilege of working with Dave on many projects from photographing pieces for his gym Arizona Training Labs, to portfolio images as he is a signed modeling talent, to a variety of editorial spreads including two covers with Max Sports & Fitness Magazine, a cover with Australian Iron Man Magazine, a cover with Scottsdale Health Magazine and multiple spreads in publications such as Fitness Magazine His Edition and Inside Fitness Magazine.
However what has really impressed me about Dave is his ability to take all these publications and features he does (which do not pay) and turn it into profit through his affiliate marketing efforts. Read to learn how he did it.
James Patrick: What was your first launch into the online sales and affiliate marketing efforts?
Dave Dreas: I launched a product called Shredded Abs Now. The domain is www.ShreddedAbsNow.com and it is still live and running.
JP: What lessons did you learn about your initial project?
DD: I took the approach of ready, fire, aim. My overall goal was to get an info product up and running in less than 30 days. It took me about 35.
The biggest thing I learned was the process. Once I launched and was able to see how it was done it got my gears turning. I was able to create a much more extensive product that will do much better.
I also learned that it takes a lot of work. It’s not an easy thing to do. My goal is to provide as much value as possible to someone who purchases my product. Therefore I want it to be extensive and worth it!
JP: Talk about the importance of collecting permission to market to people
DD: If you’re in an online business it is the most important thing next to writing sales copy. If you don’t have a list you don’t have a business!
JP: Describe how you approach your online conversion strategy and sales funnel
DD: I am learning along the way and I have a few things that I will be implementing in the near future. The key is to set up what is called a squeeze page that provides your customers with quality information. In order for them to receive they must subscribe and provide an email address.
The best advice I could tell you is this. If you want to grow an email ring sell more of your products. Every product you sell is a new email.
JP: How does this assist you in marketing to new clients and selling additional products
DD: Once a prospect is in your funnel per se, you have the ability to provide value to them. The more relevant content (based on your field/business) the more you can help your prospects. The more your prospects know, like and trust you the more apt they are to purchasing from you. It’s very difficult to convert cold traffic so to grow a list and provide quality information is only going to help convert when you have good offers.
JP: Talk about your background in being published
DD: I’ve been modeling in the fitness industry for over 3 years. I’ve landed covers both nationally and internationally. I’ve been in numerous spreads in major magazines along with a handful of advertisements .
I never really thought I would be a published fitness model but it’s funny how things work out. I will be honest though, you need to have other plans rather than just “modeling.”
You need to build a business and treat yourself as a business. Modeling is a very difficult industry and the worst part is the fitness industry pays the least. Build a business bigger than just modeling. Be more valuable than just taking pictures.
JP: Going further, how have you leveraged print features to benefit you and your business financially?
DD: You have the ability to grow a platform that people will begin to know, like and trust. Share everything that you know. Give tips, resources, value to everyone that follows you. I hear all the time that fitness people want to inspire others. If that’s the case then quit being selfish and really help others.
The more you do this the more you’ll be able to build a credible business that will reward you financially. However, you’ll get more joy out of seeing others transform rather than getting paid.
JP: What advice would you give to someone looking to put something out to market as some good initial starting steps?
DD: Six things...
1. Find a niche that you are knowledgeable in
2. Brainstorm 10-15 product ideas that fall in the niche
3. Find a domain name that is SIMPLE to understand like shreddedabsnow.com – it isn’t confusing you understand it just by reading it
4. Create the product
5. Learn to write sales copy. Study other success sales copies in the industry
6. Work your ass off.
I launched my first product in 35 days. If I had to do it again, knowing what I know now, I could get it done in 7 days. (and that’s even long).
Launch and let the market give you feedback on your product. You can always tweak it as you go.
JP: What do you feel separates a product that sells from one that does not?
DD: Good copy. There is nothing else. You could have the worst product in the world but if your sales copy is awesome you will sell more than you could imagine. Everything else is 1/100 as important as your sales copy.
JP: What are your upcoming plans?
DD: My new product The Art of Abs is launching at the end of August. I have put a lot of time and effort into this as it’s a much bigger and more in depth product. Once it launches I will get quality data which will allow me to do a major launch later on in the fall. At that time I should be ready to rock and roll! I’ll keep you posted!
Special thanks to Dave Dreas for sharing his insights on affiliate marketing and growing an online business. You can connect with Dave Dreas through his website Modestly Refined and through his Facebook Page.