Kaiser Serajuddin: Hey. What’s up? This is Kaiser and you’re of course listening to me on Super-Trainer and today my guest, he’s probably one of the smartest guys in fitness online and he’s really showing trainers how it’s done, how to make money online and how to get your message across and really just how to approach getting your personality and your information out there. It’s Mr. Craig Ballantyne. What’s up, Craig?
Craig Ballantyne: Hey, thank you very much. I will tell you one thing though. I’m definitely not one of the smartest guys but I probably just am more persistent than most people. That’s all that is. It’s definitely not smart.
Kaiser Serajuddin: Oh, OK. But I mean something must have rubbed off on you because I know you hang with a lot of the other top dogs in this business. Those are the people you learned from. So you got some good mentors, right?
Craig Ballantyne: That’s huge, man. A mentor is one of the keys to success. I mean I was actually on the airplane yesterday. I was coming back from Vegas and I was reading Dan Kennedy’s stuff who I recommend to everybody no matter if you’re online or offline and he was talking about you got to have this one big thing that is the secret and I kept on thinking, “Well, what is the number one thing? What is the biggest thing?” It doesn’t matter if it’s online or offline. It all comes back to that, having a mentor, having a mastermind group, having someone who has been there and done it and cuts years off your business life cycle. I mean that [0:01:43] [Indiscernible] with these folks, it sounds like – because you’ve kind of gone through it all and you’re showing people how to do it by being a mentor to them and that is essential.
It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to do. Obviously we all went and got certified but someone knows more than us and so you just have to think about your business the same way you think about your training skills and …
Kaiser Serajuddin: Yeah, absolutely man. Yeah, you hit it on the head. That’s really the purpose of my site. When I first started as a trainer, I was just stuck. We don’t have any mentors in that environment and anyone we do have is very negative. So that’s really the purpose of my blog, to show people the top people in this industry, to show them a different side of training and fitness and yeah, I’m glad I could have you on here to really help accomplish that.
Now what you’re really known for is – I don’t know if you like this title but you’re kind of the father of the modern ebook online especially for the trainers and for the really – the serious fitness people, for people that are actually doing it. Yeah. So how did all that happen? How did that transition happen? How did you get online?
Craig Ballantyne: Well, that’s a great question and I know we were talking about transitions a little bit last week by email and it really sprung out of two things.
One, when I was back in university, that [0:03:00] [Indiscernible] site came online about 1998 and I saw them putting out content every week and I’m a pretty opinionated guy about training so I was like, you know, I can do this too. So I started running a newsletter. I didn’t have a website or anything. It was just an email newsletter going out to all my clients and some of the coaches I’ve worked with and some of the trainers and some of my friends and I was still – I think I was still an undergraduate at the time and then – so I started writing. I started getting my feet wet online there but really fast forward to like 2000, 2001 is when I kept getting the same email from all my friends. It was like, “I’m done with school now. I don’t have time to work out as much because I’m working fulltime,” and so they wanted a program and I realized I was [Indiscernible] the same program that whole time.
So I just decided to put it all in a big manual and it was probably like 2002 I started selling an ebook for PayPal and then went through a couple of versions of it and finally got it on a cheap website in 2003 and started selling it a lot better that way and then finally ClickBank around 2005, early 2006 is when it started to take off. The reason it started to take off in addition to a whole bunch of things I was doing – I was looking outside the industry for contacts and I was looking at some people to see how things worked. I copied an idea from [0:04:30] [Indiscernible] who was emailing more frequently.
So I started doing that and the sales jumped up and then I started doing a little bit more stuff for Men’s Health online and that jumped up. But the number one thing probably in 2006 that really brought me up was working with a mentor and I started working with Tom Venuto who was selling a lot more ebooks before me. So he would definitely get that title that you suggested there.
I mean he was like a phone coach for me for three straight months and helped me put the website together, the best way to sell an ebook online and I really owe him that debt of gratitude because he showed me the ways and continues to show me quite a few things even to this day. So he was the guy that really catapulted me to a higher level.
Kaiser Serajuddin: Yeah. It’s a good story. What’s funny is it relatively happened pretty quickly for you but in internet years, it’s kind of like dog years where like four, five years is actually like 100 years online so it’s pretty funny.
Craig Ballantyne: Yeah. I mean I wouldn’t call it fast. I mean it was always growing and it was always getting better and better but it really leaped up after 2006 and continues to leap up with a few key things here and there but people can – they don’t need to take eight years to do it like I did.
I mean they can do it in eight months these days. But the biggest thing – and you’re learning it from the Entourage DVDs. The biggest thing is to be remarkable and have something that not everyone else has because these days, everybody has got 20-minute workouts, three days per week, full body stuff. I mean the world doesn’t need another one of those as far as I’m concerned and it’s going to be very tough to try and cram your product in the marketplace if that’s what your hook is.
So we need more hooks. We need more specific niche markets, people going after that type of stuff, such as my business partner Holly Rigsby who goes after moms. One of my coaching students Isabelle De Los Rios had an amazing year last year because she took – I guess you would call it like Paul Chek type nutrition and kind of softened it a little bit for the female market more. I don’t think there was really anybody in that space and Isabelle has had incredible success with that.
So you need to have something that is different and it fills a hole in the marketplace. Otherwise, it’s going to be a struggle. So the great thing is it doesn’t take too long to put together something and I think there’s still a lot of opportunity out there. My newsletters, I’m always listing. You know, here’s the three to five things that I think are underworked and could create niche markets for people so lots of opportunities …
Kaiser Serajuddin: Yeah. Some good info there and yeah, you mentioned a newsletter. It happens to be one of the best in general marketing newsletters out there. I’m going to be sure to put the link to your blog in the post and also yeah, you mentioned some of your products which I own.
I own Entourage Marketing. I own your OSP stuff and yeah, I got to say to everyone listening that it’s very good quality stuff. If you want to get into the nuts and bolts of how to – really how to approach the whole online thing. I mean Craig breaks down the entire mindset mentality which is one of the key parts.
So yeah, I mean I’m not getting paid – an affiliate link to recommend your stuff. I think it’s good stuff, Craig, so good job with that.
Craig Ballantyne: I appreciate it. Thank you.
Kaiser Serajuddin: And on that subject, it’s kind of funny how things have turned out. You started as this fitness guy selling fitness info and now you’ve made like a ton of money off it and you have all these disciples all over the world doing the same thing, making a ton of money off the info and the inspiration you’re giving them. How does that feel that now you’re like kind of one of these online gurus?
Craig Ballantyne: I certainly enjoy helping people. That’s one of the things that drives me and like you, I enjoy helping people that are really frustrated. You and I kind of sit back and go, “If we just did X, Y and Z and follow this path.” It’s quite easy for us to say that but the other people on the other end are – they don’t see those dots connected so it’s really, really great to do that. I mean I could do it all day. I have to stop myself from working too much because there are still many opportunities to help people and to take some time off.
What I actually prefer the most right now is doing these small group seminars and I’m going to try and do another one here in Toronto where it’s kind of a half mastermind meeting where there’s teaching one day and then everybody gets an hour the next day.
I will tell you in that hour, we’ve really changed people’s lives in that hour where they get 12 people all brainstorming about their business and we saved some people a lot of the headaches and problems because a lot of people don’t have the right niche markets and we were saying right before we started recording this call how important that is to be very specific in who you’re trying to talk …