Joan Stewart Knows the Internet. . . a Website,
Email and Products Are What Will Make You Money
Joan Stewart, a newspaper editor for 22 years, started her own coaching business in 1996 to teach people about publicity. She met Tom Antion after joining the National Speakers Association. Tom was a guest speaker at one of the events, speaking on humor and Joan later hired him to help her work humor into one of her presentations. She was very pleased with the outcome and became a fan of Tom.
Tom was just starting to get into Internet marketing at that time and she watched him carefully. When she noticed he was starting to sell information products online, she thought, “I could do the same thing.” She did and Joan now has 120 information products. She also took notice when she received an email from Tom offering a birthday promotion. When her own birthday rolled around, she sent an email offering her clients a birthday discount. Much to her delight, that one email brought in nearly $15,000. She now does a birthday promotion annually and her customers love it.
Joining Tom’s mentor program in the late nineties, Joan says, “To this day, I used the notes and information from that program. I use it constantly.” She confesses, “I didn’t follow all of his advice right away. For example, he advised me to have someone develop my website, but learn to manage and update it myself. I continued to pay someone to do it for me for a while, which cost me a lot of money, but now I do it.”
She recalls another instance when she resisted Tom’s advice. Joan was all set to publish a print newsletter, “Publicity Hound”. She already had a number of subscriptions when Tom told her not to produce a print newsletter. She went ahead with her plans for the newsletter and now says, “I should have listened. The newsletter was in the red for months before I switched to an e-zine.” Joan now brands herself under the name “Publicity Hound”. She defines branding very clearly: “It’s the way someone feels in their gut when they see the name of your company.” She emphasizes that the level and quality of customer service you give is extremely important in building your brand.
People kept telling Joan she should write a book. She decided she would start by writing reports. When she had 20 reports, she would compile them into a book. She wrote her first report and sold it for seven dollars. Her subsequent reports were well received and eventually she raised the price to eight dollars and then to ten. When she had 20 reports and was ready to assemble them, she realized it no longer made sense to group them into a book because she could make $120 selling them individually and it would be hard to sell a book for $120. She later co-authored a book, How to be a Kick-Butt Publicity Hound, with Tom. The book pushed Joan’s name in front of the public, enlightening many people about her expertise in publicity.
Because of her connection to Tom, people thinking about joining Tom’s mentoring program often call Joan to ask about it. She gives them an honest assessment and warns them not to sign up if they aren’t willing to do the work, or if they don’t have the time to commit fully. She has little patience with those who claim to have been in Tom’s mentee program for over a year without the results they want. She knows the technique work if you work.
For those who call asking about the mentee program, she says, “Sign up.”
- You are going to work your butt off. Don’t think for a minute you can hitch yourself to Tom’s star because you can’t. You have to work hard and participate.
- You get to go to Virginia Beach and see Tom face-to-face in his mansion. This really helps you learn his techniques.
- Don’t question Tom. Resisting managing my own website cost me money.
- It’s not for everyone. Some people are not willing to do the work.
Joan remembers an episode that occurred when she was participating in the mentee program. “When I was in Virginia Beach at one of his retreats, the phone rang while we were having lunch. He answered. The call was from a woman having trouble downloading an e-book. Tom talked the woman through the download process and stayed on the phone with her until he was satisfied that she had the e-book. When he hung up, he turned to the mentees attending the retreat and stressed the importance of answering your own phone and of giving good customer service.” Joan adds, “To this day, I answer my own phone.”
Joan emphasizes, “A website, email and products are what will make you money. As soon as I got these three things in place, my market expanded past Wisconsin. My market is now the world.”