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Episode · 10 years ago

From Artist To Medical Entrepreneur: How Jeff Barson Makes A Million A Year Online

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[ Download MP3 | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] Many years ago a new writer came on board a blog I used to own called SmallBusinessBranding.com. His name was Jeff Barson and his industry is business advice for cosmetic surgeons, at least that’s the best label I can apply. More recently Jeff and I reconnected as he wanted to tell […] The post https://yaro.blog/4230/jeff-barson/ (From Artist To Medical Entrepreneur: How Jeff Barson Makes A Million A Year Online) appeared first on https://yaro.blog (Yaro.Blog).

Hello, this is Yo dark and welcome toanother interview with an expert today on the line I have with me: Jeff Barson,hello, Jeff, hello, Yaro, now Jeff has been a touch with me, for I think along time actually do I'm not sure when you first got on my rate, I maybe youcan help me what we talking o well, you know at one time I was writinginitially years ago when you owned entrepreneurs, not entrepreneursjourney. What was this? The small business log I was in small businessbranding. I was guest writing on there for a few months, and I think that wasour first kind of connection okay. So that's at least four years ago, I'd sayby now yeah, probably something like that. Yeah now Jeff it comes from amedical background which has part layed into all kinds of entrepreneurialendeavors, which is what we hate to talk about today. Thankfully I don'tknow the full story about Jeff, yet which is fantastic for doing aninterview, because I'm going to learn just as much about jeff as listeners.Well, at the same time, however, I do know that Jeff has got some verysuccessful membership sites and website on the Internet as well as so offlingbusiness success in obviously a massive industry. So I'm looking forward tolearning more about that Jeff. Maybe you could start by telling us a littleabout your personal background. Like did you obviously studied something atuniversity to become what you are today? Maybe you could take us back to thatpoint? Well, I did. I was actually an art major, so I was for most of the S Aprofessional artist living in New York City. I was a realist painter and I had clients that ranged from mostof the publishers in North America through war and er brothers, and anddid you know, paintings and had galleries and agents around the country and, to be honest, art is a terrible,terrible business model, one where you produce all of yourcontent that takes potentially in my case months, and then you know,especially if you're talking about gallery paintings and you're,attempting to find people to purchase that. So I was successful at it. Fortunately, andI retired I, my goal was that I was going to retire. I bought a house inPark City Utah and moved out here where I still live in order to kind of skiduring the day, and I was going to kind of grow a beard and and paint at night,and you know do that kind of thing, but through happenstance I started amedical company, you know I saw an opportunity, and so Istopped I stopped my our career stop. How can an artist suddenly becomeinterested in a medical career? Well, at one time I was a pre med major to soI had a double major and I was a pre med, major and an nort major and thenone of my professors basically kind of pulled me aside, an art professor inthis case and said you know, you know how many are you do. You know how manydoctors there are in the United States and do you know how many good artiststhere are and don't you think you would be best, you know. Don't you want to dosomething you know that's going to make an impact. Is basically what he told meso so I dropped my pre med, major and you know focused on art and then Imoved after. I did not graduate I left seven credit short but then moved toBoston and then to Manhattan, which is the center of the art world, and youknow kind of started doing that. I was fortunate in that I was never one whohad either a lack of you know. I never thought that Icouldn't do it almost anything which is serving me well, because I think thatmost people think you know are surprised that they have success. I'vealways just kind of expected to be able to do things and, unfortunately, thosekind of within well. You know, I think it has a lot to do with my upbringingwhen I was a child, we moved to Europe and I so I grew up a fair amount of mylife to well three formative years in England and went to a you know: Beechwood Park PreparatorySchool for boys, and I was the only American there and so the environment was conducive to melearning to act on my own. I don't know how best to put it that way, but otherkind of family. You know things allowed me the support that I knew that I couldjust kind of God do anything in the kind of had a safety net in a lot ofways, at least emotionally and with family kid of support. When I was achild, and so when I decided I was going to be an artist. I was probablyabout thirteen, and I said okay, the first thing I'm going to do is go get ascholarship, and so I you know applied he and there was one school and ithappened to be in my state that I wanted to go to and at the time in thes it had one of the better illustration...

...programs in the country. Probably youknow one of the top three schools in the country really wanted to go there.So I went there and you know art. If you are an artist andI used to teach this to university students if you're an artist. The levelof competition that you are going to face is, unlike of just about any otherlevel of competition. It is it is. You know, everybody who goes to art schoolin at the university level was the best artist in their local school districtand some other kinds of things, but art is not valued. The same way that youknow finance is valued or other things there, it's very difficult to make aliving as an artist, and it's a very dif, it's even more difficult to make alot of money as an artist. You know so so I learned in a fact thatart is very kind of entrepreneurial, and I was always just better at thebusiness aspects of it and kind of seem to have a sense for certain things thatother artists, artist, friends of mine,didn't really have, and so I had a fair amount of success. That way I mean whatsort of stinction there is just a case. You know how to sell your arts. Well, I'll. Tell youwhat the distinction is. Is that the only criteria that you are valued uponas an artist is your ability to execute on a couple different levels? Now someof those are social levels? Some of those are other, you know kind oflevels, but the predominant one is it depends. It is entirely of meritocracy.If you are, you know deaf, dumb and blind, but you can still paint betterthan somebody else you will be able to. You know have success now. You knowthere are anomalies with that, and there are kind of cliches about that.That than some of those hold true, I mean it is the case that everybody, andliterally everybody, actually wants to be an artist. I don't know if anybodywho doesn't want to be an artist because being an artist has a certainkind of sense in their mind about okay, I get aware of bore, I get to go aroundand do things that other people don't want to do. I have kind of socialcapital that I can spend in various ways. All that is very true, but mostpeople don't want to actually do the art, because if you were an artist,your life is bent at two o'clock in the morning in a dark room by yourself, and that is where art is that itdoesn't mean. You know there is a couple fuck fun times around. Okaybefore you start a painting or start some kind of artistic endeavor, andthen when it is done and everybody's telling you how wonderful it is, andthere are things around gallery, openings and other things that are thatare fun, but most of the time I spend at twoo'clock in the morning in a dark room by yourself. That is the lie. If you,you know, if you kind of add it up, that's ninety eight percent of what anartist does and most people in the way the reason the O so many shitty artistsis because everybody falls in love with the first part, because it's the funpart and nobody, you know really likes paining leaves or you know somethingelse that is tedious or yeah doing the actual. The actual work you know- andthere are no barriers to entry, anybody can do it and it is all judged on meritas well. As you know, there are some other kinds of things, and I do I meanwe don't really want to I'd, be happy to talk about the art work, becausethat gets me really animated. I just have one in e Idin. He a pore move onto the the more I'm very curious by this now. Okay, so obviously you weredifferent a little bit in the sense that you are willing to do the workwhich is as a criteria for an entrepreneur and probably the mostimportant criteria as well. So this is obviously a patent that you know is inevery industry. I believe, but there's got to be more to it in terms ofselling your paintings as well or is it a case of no there I mean there's, yes,there's a tremendous amount of things that you learn is a successful artistthat help you in every other kind of business. I'll drop a couple of kind ofcliches about the there's, a saying in the art world, the big work sellslittle work, and that means that if I have and my work is pretty expensive,although I don't have any more to sell I've a sold it all long ago, so my work would range from about for agallery painting from about twelve thousand dollars up to about sixtythousand dollars. This is you know, one thousand, nine hundred and ninety seven.Ninety eight, that kind of every time. Now, how can you do that? Yes, where doyou get that number from you make it out it's what the market will bear? Youknow there are only two things that determine price and the price is wherethese two things meet: What you're willing to sell something for and whatsomebody's willing to buy it for those are the only two things you know, andnow you know so, if you know all art is an effect sold thisway, so I would say well, I will sell this for sixty sen dollars and I wouldwait until somebody would come along and their line would cross mine andthey say well. I will buy that for sixty sand...

...sounds awful scary for people untilthey can tell this as well, and you know it you know so so, and so so thatis that's. You know, leave that from day, one like until you sold a paintingin sixty thousand dollars. It's pure faith right that you're. Well, youdon't just say that, because nobody else's line will cross that until as anexample, big work has little work. So if I have a gallery show- and I havetwelve paintings that there and they're each twelve hundred dollars, I mightsell six or eight of those. If I have another to painting there that sixtythousand dollars I'm going to sell all the little paintings, because in theprospect's mind, they're looking and saying, okay, I'm going to spend twelvehundred dollars an twelve thousand dollars, but the art work that I ambuying is from an artist who sells his paintings at sixty sand dollars. Isthat making sense? So so you will put a big painting or some expensive things in in order tosell the stuff? Now Online, you tend to see that a lot with okay, here's theyou know. I have this ultimate package and it's three thousand dollars, butyou can get in at this Lolo level of Wu e n, ninety nine or two thousand andnine and ninety nine, whatever it might be, and the reason that is done is forexactly that same kind of purpose. It makes the the the medium price lookmore attractive and it makes them look reasonable. You know that you'regetting the content from somebody who sells his you know and everybody, especially if you're lookingat like how to make money on line that is kind of rife. With the e I spend youknow, my time is worth twelve thousand dollars, and but you can, you know, getit for two, ninety nine or what it whatever the kind of medium prices youtend to move more of those I mean, there's all sorts of things from theart world that actually kind of translate directly into business,because it is, you know, not necessarily personalitydriven, but it is psychologically driven by what you are doing to instillin the buyer's mind that this is a good purge for them, because you know brass tax. If you're dealing with things around art, it all has to dowith desire, and none of it has to do with need. You know, there's nobody'syou know it's not like medicine and one of the areas that I kind of deal withwhere okay, my explain is, is shutting down. I need to have that's a need.Okay, I've got to get something to get this. This fix an. I want somethingnice to hang on. My Wall is definitely a want, and so you have to get reallygood at if you're going to be very successful. At this about managingthose types of things, because people by art you know or design, have by desired things and they will spendmoney on those, but you have to hit the right triggers. Okay, so like anyway, clearly a naturalplayground for you to learn about business. To then begin what you do inmedicine- obviously, perhaps not, but there's there's a connection here, soyou were studying medicine and then a business opportunity opened that so Ibasically retired and I moved out to park city bought a place out here and Iwas going to you know, go snow boarding during the day and I have a hot tub.And now ever I met on the board. You know the slopes, the wanted to comeback and you know it was going to be my life ofleisure kind of thing and I'd still be painting was the idea and I ran across a opportunity which wasthat I had a family member who was a physician and he was trying to open upa cosmetic clinic. He was not in cosmetic medicine really at the time.He was just starting this and he was doing terribly at it and, in effect, asked for my help in a couple of ways I mean heneeded. He thought he needed marketing and some other kinds of things and I'dalways been around working for agencies and have been in advertising andmarketing and stuff as well for for a long time and looking at what he wasdoing. I realized that there was much more of an opportunity here that what he really needed was much morebusiness acumen, as well as driving patient flow and operational proceduresand a bunch of other things. Now, of course, I didn't have a background thatscreamed. I was the person to do this, but I did have a fair amount of capitalinside of my extended family. This is an extended family member. where Iwould go and say: Oh I'm going to go, do this and then I would actually do it,and so I approached this physician in my extended familyand I said look this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to give up my artcareer and we're going to start this business, and I will run it. You know we'll see where it goes now.To be honest, I don't remember exactly how I put it, but it was. It waspersuasive enough that he said Okay and so I stopped painting. I called upmy agents and said: Look, I'm going to...

...you know not be sending any more work,stop sending me jobs and I'm not going to say any more stuff, and so westarted this medical business and and in the United States, especially this is gets a little tricky here aroundmedicine because there's a a non physician. You cannot, for example,employ or partner it directly with a physician, and so you have to havecorporations set up in order to kind of do this in a manageable way, but westarted a cosmetic clinic out of his existing clinic, which at the time waspedong pain management, and we grew that. Well, you know, and in roughlythree years I think we had seven clinics in four states, his income when,from a full time physician who was doing pain management, he was probablytaking home about a hundred and thirty thousand dollars a year. His clinic wasprobably doing about three hundred and forty thousand or something like thatwith six employees to where he was able to. We had anotherphysician working in that clinic and he was able to call in sick and do someother things basically take time off and his within eighteen months hisincome went from thirteen Ella hundred say a hundred thirty Osada to aboutnorth of eight hundred thousand dollars. So everybody's pretty excited aboutthis, and we opened up other clinics for in this state and then Tennessee. We had one West VirginiaFlorida and while I was doing that was just about the time of about twothousand, a D, Two, maybe kind of getting in two thousand and three and Istarted an online community. I've always kind of been enamored a littlebit with technology and stuff as well. And so I started an online medicalcommunity for physicians in cosmetic medicine around providing them valuablecontent in order to have their ear when I needed it because, as we were openingup these clinics, I wanted to have the ability to go on my own site and say:Look I'm opening up a clinic in this state. Here's the you know what we'relooking for and have you know fifty or a hundred physicians wanting to come work there. You know that had beenfollowing what we were doing and some other things, and so in order to kindof build this community, I was providing valuable content. I mean Iwas telling physicians things that they could not get anywhere else because and I'm speaking specifically aboutAmerican physicians in this case, but it holds trew around the world for themost part in cosmetic medicine, it is unlike traditional medicine, cosmeticmedicine, and what I'll tell physicians is. This is like opening up a women'sretail shoe store inside of your medical practice. The clientele ispredominantly women. Ninety three percent of every client, you know allof your clients is going to be female. They're going to be they're going tostart at about thirty years of age, because that's when the Dinner BellRings for Cosmetic Physicians, you know is at birthdays, you know, and they areexpecting out there. They expect that they're buying outcomes, which is veryvery different than traditional medicine, where physicians are sellingeffort, in effect where, if you are, you know, if you'vegot cancer, you go to the physician and you hope that they're going to help youand you're willing to pay them for their time. If somebody is going in fora face, lift that's not what they, their expectation is, and so there's amuch different dynamic. Now, the classic surgeons in the dermatologist,who have been fighting over this market place cosmetic medicine since the S andnow had a new competitor, and it was brought about by the advent oftechnology which allowed medicine to be delivered through a technology platformthat we used to be delivered only through a manuale skill process. Sowe're moving right now from an environment where a physician who is incosmetic medicine, say a plastic surgeon very expensive to train and heis doing invasive surga procedures and Licosia and face lifts and that kind ofstuff. Now there are technologies, develop things around laser hair,remove all, and I pl treatments- and I can you know, get rid of you the agespots on the backs of your hands and other things that are not delivered. You know that are delivered through atechnology which makes them scalable replicate and a lot easier to kind ofdeliver, and so there's now, instead of just having plastic surgeons anddermatologist, there's now a third leg on this stool, which is these otherphysicians like we were? Who now are using technology to addressthis market that are not, you know, trained or board certified in surgerybecause we're not doing surgery and are not trained or board certified inDermatology, which is actually the diseases of the skin. You know thedermatologist, you know treat a lot of different things, but dermatology is,as a you know, as a medical specialty is really rave. Diseases of the skin,not cosmetic treatments, although that's you know so, there's been a themarkets use so there's been, and now...

...this technology is entered the marketand allows real business practices to take place. The analogy that I that Ioften draw is one of the family farm. So in the you know, the family farm iskind of going the way of the Dodo Bird, and rightly so. Now I come from a you know. I grew up in a fact. Mygrandparents had a family form and ended up losing that, and so I'm veryfamiliar with how that works. But if you look at it it from the market level,it is inefficient and it is in markets like efficiency. So was technology getsdeveloped, medicine is going to be more technologydriven, and so I started this blog. The time is more of a community now, but-and I would tell physicians- here's why you don't want to buy this IP treatment,here's how to negotiate here's, how to compensate your staffand it was as it was information the physicians can't get anywhere else,because they're all isolated and all in competition with each other. You know,and so we competed as a real business with physicians who were not used tocompeting at this kind of level, so we advertised in ways that they didn'tadvertise. We talk to our patients in ways that they did not talk to theirpatients. We offer treatments that you know that you couldn't find anywhereelse and we kind of rolled up into the marketswhere we were and we're very, very kind of successful. I mean one thing:explain to me here: Sure t e the difference or talking about cosmeticsurgery and Germal sts understand those to the what is the type of treatment? Well, yet technology likewhat is te sure, so it hasn't, it hasn't sometimes they'll be calledaesthetic physicians. The name of my salt of site is medical spind. Now wewere, you know by De Fall, the medical spot,but we were a hundred percent medical and offered no basically spot treatment.So you would come into one of our clinics and you could get both talks orwrestle, and laser hair removal photo facials, skin tightening treatments,all the kind of technology treatments and nothing like you know, massage or aRoma therapy or all that kind of stuff. You know the stuff that you go to a aspot: it's not invasive surgical technique and in vas it yet noninvasive. Surgical are not none. Invasive medical technologies was wherewe kind of Fonud in, and so I ended up with. I ended up exiting that businessand in about two thousand a d four, but I still had this community a physiciansand I always liked helping this kind of community, and so I continued to do soand for a little while I did kind of consultations with physicians who rightall the content with that site by the way or at the time. Yes, I was writingall of the content and most almost all the content. I still write so yougiving business training to cosmic surgens, basically well in effect, yes,and we deal with things that there they don't have access to in any other form,because there are no communities around this and he- and the reason is- is thatthe information that a physician has access to has to do with things liketrade shows with publications, trade, publications and those are all runthrough an advertising revenue model and when you run information throughadvertising, it gets filtered because so so, if you're going on to a into atrade publication or something for dermatologist, that publication cannotsay. You know this technology sucks, and this is obviously a better deal,and this is you know how you want to do that, because they have the personwho's, paying them. The reason they're making revenue is through advertising.They cannot give an unbiased kind of filter, so we became a lot more aroundlike the consumer reports of medical technologies. Now I have to saythat we were quite successful with this and it also hurt some people. In fact,I think I v, I think, I'm going through my fourth, the actual lawsuit right now now someof them did not end up in lawsuits, but you know I am being sued right now andbasically because somebody what happened was this is a little bit interesting andmight raises the hair on the back of my neck.I must say what happened West Public Omeme yeah.So what happened? was there were some medical? There was a medical spatfranchise. I won't name it just it probably of my blog by now already, butthere's a medical spot. Franchise that went out of business and the reasonthey went out of business was that their franchise es organized in effecton my site. They would leave comments and, through the you know, theinformation that they'd left on the comment. Other people would recognizeothers person owns a franchise and they were tried the franchise or wasattempting to kind of keep them all separate and sign on, and so theyconnected to each other and they started talking about. You know now:throughh email. They found themselves...

...on my side and then would you know postposed comments and connected to each other through email, and then theybasically organized and stop paying their franchise fee and drove thefranchiser into bankruptcy. Now businesses don't like that, and sothey tend to try and sue everybody, and so there's this time, they're doing allof the franchises and they kind of named me. Now they don't make anyclaims against me other than I'm just a bad terrible block. I think they callme something like that. You know nasty, bad, terrible, blog or something, butas a harassment. They in effect named me to the suit, even though we've notyou know, and and it's without merit and some other kindsof things, but it is possible to kind of, especially in the United States. Iend up in litigation that is less than desirable, especially in medicine Imean the US is a very litigious society to start. You think, though, thatyou're it's a legal manner, almost more because of the franchising. Thebusiness die not this well yeah, but I mean I have got nasty letters Nastyafrom other lawyers, because somebody will leave a comment and say you knowthese. This training program, you know sucks, or I mean they sometimes we'llget very kind of vocal in their outrage, and the truth of the matter is that ifwe didn't have the clout that we had in side of the the community, where the VPof sales knows that we're either moving product for them, because they've gotin a positive reviews on the site or were costing them because people areposting negative comments about them. It wouldn't be. You know if it was justmy personal block and nobody read it, nobody would care, but the fact that we are actually kindof moving the needle for companies one way or another makes them care a greatdeal so anyway. So that was that was why Istarted the site now at about the same time, I you know was looking to do someother kinds of things and and invested in some technology startups, and I nowwork with technology startups and you know so. I at effect at a day job, butthe kind of micro or Selo preneur part of what I do has expanded a great dealsince those days in that we do have products that we now sell. We haveselect partners that we now allowed to appear on the the site saying we effwho's. We well, I have a I say, wait just because I have a staff and so the the the business actuallystarted making money I mean. First of all, I didn't know what I was doing andfortunately Yares I've mentioned that just before we kind of started talking,I have purchased a number of your products, so you know that taught me a fair amount and Ilearned a fair amount in other ways and on my own, so I kind of had a feelinglook. You know I have this community, I'm getting. You Know Fifty Hsan pageviews a month and it's not it's not massively huge, but I'm in a very, verykind of desirable niche. When most people approach medicine, what theywill try and do as approach it from the patient side to try and aggregatepatients, and then they want to sell those patients in effect to physicians,you know or dentist or whatever, so they will build a side about diabetes.They will try and get a lot of people on their list and then they will tryand make revenue by either selling the patients, information or selling thepatients information to physicians, as leads or some other kind of a thing.Now, there's no barrier to entreat it. That way- and it's very you know,there's it's a tougher, it's an easier thing to do, because there's a lot ofcontent out there that I can just kind of go and find and build, but it's nota real business, meaning from my point of view, I want to have something:that's an asset that could be protected and that you know can't be duplicatedand some other things, and so I approached it from exactly the opposite.End of the spectrum, which I said I'm going to you know the place that I wantto attack is. I want to own the Valyou, which is the physician's thoughts,meaning you know their top of mind, awareness where they are because that'swhere that's, who is going to be spending the money and kind of thisvertical nation? You know I wasn't making any you know the blog doesn'tcharge. It's not a traditional membership side in the membership isfree. What we in effect do in order to driverevenue as we provide a tremendous amount of value, and then we take onpartners that have even more value and they charge you know for their products andservices and for some of those we are really. You know kind of a perfect nach otherthings that we thought were going to work have not, and once this once thesite started making money. You know, I know a fair amount nowabout out sourcing and about other kinds of things, so I have to jeffbefore you keep C building this story,...

...the the website is called what headdress Medica, so m D, e medical spydom com. Okay, now I started as ablog. It grew into a community site which I presume, but when you say thatyou did you add a forum to it. What's the community aspect. Yes, there were acouple things that that happened. First of all, I made some. You know over the years an afact. I started- and I thought oh I'll put some advertising on there. So I hada yahoo ad words than running and I would make maybe two or three hundreddollars a month with that, and then we were getting a fair amount oftraction, and so I added forums and kind of broke those apart and you knowthings kind of started, adding up just a little bit and then I switched toGoogle Edwards and immediately I went from about two or three hundred dollarsa month to making north of just you know around a thousand dollars aboutthem, and the only thing that I had changed was that I switched from Yahooto Google. Now I was with Yahoo initially just to irritate my brotherin law who works for Google to be honest, but then I realized. Okay, look. Youknow this is now it's kind of paying for itself. There's other opportunitieshere and I was getting a tremendous number of incoming requests that Icouldn't respond to, meaning that you know partner solicitations. So we havea product we'd like to get on your side, and you know I was working with a dayjob. So I work in you know I don't know not offling businesses, but technologybusinesses. So these are businesses that are silicon valley startups. Youcan kind of think of them. That way, you know. So I didn't have a so you'renine to five job is yeah and it's more like Yo know it's a yeah, so I do kindof technology start up as yeah, but this- and so I was getting this- I wasgetting this. You know incoming deal flow in effectby partners that are approaching men, saying we want to advertise on yourside or we'd like to do it. You know, will you post about US- or you know-and I just didn't have time to do that, and so I said: Okay, look, I'm going tobite the bullet, and so I heard my first staff member who is still with me.You've talked to Laurie and so Laurie's in California, and I kind of broughther on board and since that time, we've kind of grown to where I now have because we've expanded past this oneside, because to be honest, the content that we put on this site is so nicheand Naril focused. In effect, I have to basically write it. I can't you knowoutsource it. I can't, but but the community. You know we now have abouttwenty sand comments on the side. The community provides a huge amount ofvalue. That was something that you know I learned was was a huge benefit is if you couldengage the community where they were actually not only receiving atremendous amount of value, but they would actually provide the value aswell. So we have very, very kind of if people in the side and do searches andfind commands. I have one post that I did it has more than A. I think it'sgot more than a thousand comments, and you know that kind of- and these arenot comments like hey great post, okay, we're all familiar with that. These aremissives. I mean there's comments on there. That are, you know, a thousandtwo thousand words of detail: Here's how to do this procedure. Here's myexperience with this head from this one, certain Ip here'show to rebuild this part. Here's where to buy this kind of you know. These arenot things that you can necessarily find very kind of niche, and if you'relooking for information about cosmetic medicine and around technology, we ineffect became the default single source where you could go online and kind ofhave some sense of trust that you're not just being pitched to by one of themanufacturers right, and so these incoming deals that I waskind of getting. I didn't really have time to. You know, respond to them or anything,and I knew that I was losing revenue and I knew I was going to have to bitethe bull. So I basically you know hired a one full time, employee and that wasa big inflection point for this business, because now I had somebody that Itrusted and we you know, there's a fair amount of kind of you know I didn't gocompletely out sore. So, although I have employees now in India and thePhilippines, my first you know four rays were ineffect kind of local, so that I knew I had some kind of confidence, and you know the the English abilityand the kind of personnel personnel or those types of things thatI knew that real business could kind of get done because most of thesebusinesses that were approaching us were US based businesses right, andthis was not going to be conversatins...

...that were taking place, Bab, email andsome other things, and that was a big inflection point, because weimmediately started getting a traction and I didn't have to feel that everyphone call and some other things in and we can have a conversation every day atthe end of the day and say here's the stuff that I've learned- here's thestuff that I want. You to do and here's the cup where this, where this deal isright now- and here is how I want you to position this deal and what I wantyou to say, and this is what and most importantly, when you're dealing inthis kind of an environment where you're kind of negotiating throughsomebody which is an effect, what I was doing, what I want the recipient tounderstand this is this is our position, but the way that I want you to talkabout this is this is what this other partner should understand about, whatit is that we're doing, and we said I know, to be honest- we still say no,probably ninety eight percent of the time I get. We have a selection where you can kindof go in and contact us and apply to become a select partner and stuff, andwe get two or three weeks, and I think we have maybe eight partners total orsomething like that now. What are the partners perceive? Well, the partnersreceive they receive a couple of figs, so we build this as a it's a little bitof a novel and that all of our partners are in effect, kind of brick and morterbusinesses, they're, not just selling information products or other things. Some of our partners do really prettywell. You know in the millions of dollars inretail sales over the course of a year and they receive space on our side. Youknow we in effect vouch for them. I mean because the way that this typically works is ifI am a physician- and you know I am buying a product, I'mjust a lonely physician and I'm only buying five or ten thousand dollars aproduct a year. The rap that I'm dealing with he's got another twohundred physicians he's talking to. I don't have any real recourse ofsomething goes bad, I don't have any buying power, and so what we do is wetake our entire community and we aggregate the buying power. So you it'sfree to join. So as you join that we demand from our select partners pricing, so their pricing is lower than you canbuy by yourself and exemplary customer service because medical equipment yeahso medical equipment, we, you know, we have partners that sell things likeinjectable, so in pharmacies or they sell training, you know or they runconferences or they have some scription love. Almost it's a little bit like a discount club,but it's it's much more than that in thateverybody has recourse. So so, as a physician now I've joined medical spyMt. now I have not only do I have pricing power, okay, but I also have a venue that I have the microphone right,because if we, if you are a physician and you buy something from medical,spinds elect partner and you don't like it or they, you know don't carry thereinto the pargain. Not only can you go and post that on the side which I don'tlike, but you can send me an email, because I've said these are the guysthat you should be buying from, and I don't like that and so over the courseof you know. We've been probably doing this for two more than two years now,we've probably kicked four or five select partners off of the site becausethey weren't kind of upholding their into the bargain. So does that makesense? So so, as a physician, there is just like a no lose scenario. That wayyou know. Not only am I getting this discount on the services, but insteadof going from a you know a peon discount guy now, I'm right at the topof where they want their customer service to be because I'm aware,because we talk to our partners, you know we talked to our partners-probably pretty often once every other week, at least and they're. All aware that if this isa medical spind member, this came in through that phone number or whateverthat these guys get the you know kind of white glove treatments which ispretty nice for a physician, and so you know we end with something. That's a pretty. Youknow a workable model in that way. It's a nice sort of transparent credibilitymechanism that the crowd determines what to trust an you can get out. Well,they yeah because the because they will then go and post since they will sayeither. I had a very good experience, or he didn't have a good experience andyou know then we will not only can they go to the company, but they can go ineffect, US as well as the community and the companies are very very aware ofthis. Now, like I said, I've been sued a couple times, they're very aware thathaving negative press on the side- and this is not something you could justyou know- if nobody's going to your site- nobody cares to be honest, so youhave to have before you can put something into operation on this kindof a level you have to have a certain kind of traction inside the communityhave to be driving the rightkind of...

...traffic and people have to be hearingabout you a fair amount. Nor did it going to be that, but that is also kindof led to a number of other businesses in a fact, and so the mostrecent one is that we're breaking out of just the kind of coost area, a we've launched a site. Welaunched it in August, analyse November seventeenth of last year, two thousandand ten called freelance MDME, and this site is for all physicians and dealswith lifestyle issues, so everything otherthan the clinical practice of medicine. So things around okay, how you're going tonegotiate? How you're going to invest your money? How you're going to manageyour assets? How you're going to build additional revenue streams outside ofyour clinical practice, whether you want to leave clinical practice? You know what kind of jobs areavailable to a physician that wants to leave medicine which their growingnumber of, and I have a partner in in that business, a physician who's, anemergency met physician who was running conferences for exactly this kind ofstuff. He does wilderness medicine and what it's called adventure medicine. So,if you, you know you're going to if you're going to the you know, junglesof Borneo and you're going to be gone for three months and you taken aphysician along he's one of these guys that you want to take along kind of athing. So it's kind of this kind of a little bit more fun, and so the appealto physicians. Now, as I said, look you know, we've had success here, but thissuccess is entirely replicate to a broader field. So we've assembled onfree lance some day. We have about twenty physician authors right now, andthese include you know Harvard University professors. Authors filmmakers, you know people that are using experts in medicine, lifestyles,meaning not the katoda grind of digging ditches the digging ditches of Metta,but things around okay. How am I going to build well for how am I going toscale myself or what kinds of things opportunities are available to me and,to be honest, that site is doing much better than I ever even hoped. You know so we'll see where that kind of goesall right now, but we're getting towards the end of the interview here.Jeff there's a few things I just like you to share with us before we do wrapup in terms of revenue streams. It's I I kind of understand what you're doing,but maybe you could break down a little bit more about. You know how your wholeonline platform derives revenue, and what do all your staff do, because itsounds like you've got more now than just one full time employee as wellyeah. So I have one full time US employee. I have hadothers but have ended our relationship with with theothers. Then I have a staff of five in the Philippines and then I have onefull time developer in India and they kind of range there. They are kind ofsegmented. I have a system in which I use a well if you're familiar with product kind of management systems. Youknow our project management software like a base. One side yeah like a basecamp, I'm using active Collab, is what I'm using, but I like a base camp. Sowhat I did was, I was triggered on actually through one of your blog postson to the to some other kind of out sourcingthings, and while I understood exactly what they're doing and that'sincredibly beneficial, probably to a number of people, I knew that I wasgoing to have to actually build my own, because what we're doing is things thatare in some ways typical, so we're writing articles in some things orformatting or reaching out to people in another ways we are kind of you knowdoing complex negotiations that I, in effect, don't have time to do, and sowe have I've built basically modules about okay, here's how we're going todo this, and and so for my out sources, not my domestic, but my internationalausority team. They basically go through an entire training module thatsays: Here's how our businesses work. This is the range of businesses. Hereis the number of sites that we have here is the law, Gans and passwords,and so they are then assigned to a module that I have kind of created, andthis is typically through screen- casts as well as kind of written and has a task list, and it might beokay, we're going. You know, Face Book Marketing. We do we do. Youknow I kind of twitter marketing, although I'm less of a fan of twitterthan I am of some of the other social networks linked in you know, groups andhow we're going to approach individual physicians to alert them around aboutour products and then how that's going to that's going to happend once we havean incoming lead of some sort, because...

...with the way that I manage thesebusinesses these online businesses is, we just provide a huge amount of value.That's readily apparent once you're inside the space you can understandwhere the value is because there's you know whether you're making a decisionor you're we're helping you to not make a decision. These are expensive things.If I'm saving you a hundred thousand dollars because you're not buying acertain IP L or cosmetic laser, that has a super amount of value, becausethere's only three things that physicians in this space kind of wantto know what to buy. How to you know how to learn, how to do something andhow to kind of get more patience. Those are the kinds of three things, and so we derive revenue basicallythrough partner agreements, some of the products we build ourselves, and so Ihave some other ancella businesses that are not necessarily specific, but our technology platform or such,for example. I have a business called front desk so and you can see that infront desk Seco, and that is a technology play that provides a frontand a kind of a back in for people who are doing so for their own site andespecially for things that you're out sourcing and O. It's not specifically forphysicians, although we do, you know I'd, say probably fifty percent of ourclients with that business, our physicians and it really is justbecause okay, I already have this kind of target market that we will talkabout to two physicians in that space, butit's all kind of a tects. You know it's a universal thing, but because we havephysicians, we do kind of market it to them too, but anybody in effect can useit. And what happens? Is You go online and we have a it's a prettysophisticated, backed where we go out and we will find based on what yourkeywords are. You know backing so that you're doing directory listings and blog commentingand you know, find forums for you in order to raise your search, rankingover a period of time and it's a subscription model. You know so that isjust one kind of example of the businesses that we build, that mightkind of tie in, but they're also open in it. It doesn't matter if you're, arestaurant or if you're a loyal change is if you're, a small business. Thishas applicability to you and of course, then we provide the outsource services for that too. So we do haveadditional outsource employees so that when somebody comesand says okay, this is what I want to have happened, but I don't want to doit ourselves for this guy. It originally was initiated so that youwere front desk staff, meaning you are a receptionist and stuff. If she isjust a a she or he is sitting there with nothing to do, they can do yourInternet marketing for them. For you, they log in and they're, provided a set of tastes are not by road. Theseare based upon. You know the key words that you're targeting in the local areathat you're targeting these are for small recorder businesses, and they canactually be doing you're online marketing in their kind of down time.Now not everybody wants to necessarily do that, and so we do get a fair numberof clients that say: Okay, you know we want you to do all of thatand we charge them more, and then we have actually people that kind of go online and do that. But one of the things that I have found- and you know there'sa sing in in how to make money online, which is the money is in the list- isthat the community? You know, the relationship that you have with thecommunity is really where the value is. If you can make the meat needle move bymaking a recommendation- and that's you know why you have to have lists andthings in the first place, then you've got an asset that can kind of you know, be leverage into to areasonable amount of income and in in your case, a what's the total value ofthe business like. What's your turn over, I obviously, if you'recomfortable to stating well one of our you know, I probably won'tgo through the the entire rigmarole, but one of our one bit all park figureseconds. One of our businesses last, you did one point: eight million, that the online one yeah, so these areonline businesses, so these are. These are an and fortunately, that provides asystem that allows you to once you're making money. You can then scale andactually spend money. So you're not worried necessarily about you know taking on the additional riskof outsource employees and stuff, and it allows you to spend your time onworking on the business once you kind of get your head above the clouds. NowI had you know your your were. That is not normal income and one of the reason,meaning that even if you're doing online that's pretty decent andespecially if you're doing a part time online and- and you have basicallyemployees that are doing almost all of the work- that's pretty good and e. Thereason that I think that that is...

...achievable is the way that I approachonline. Businesses is as a real business, where you know we're actually feeling muchmore with taking brick and morter businesses and driving revenue to brick and morterbusinesses that are actually dependent upon revenue. So, as an example front s,so is it online business? Everything takes place online, but the benefit tothe business is. Somebody is actually doing a search or something else andthey're walking through the door in order to buy something- and I havefound that that is, as you know, a brick and morter business for a client has a client for a brickand morter business has more value than a client for an online business, typically because they kind of capturethose people and they're selling them stuff. That is, you, know, delivered insome kind of a way and they're willing not only to pay pay more, but they aredriving more revenue than it's possible to really do online, except if you'redoing some kind of expensive membership side or something perpose, okay, soJeff. I I think I'd like to wrap it up. We're almost going to an hour for thisinterview with with one question, really the probably the most importantone for everyone. Listening to this for a lot of people, they are brand new.With this, you sound like you've, got a lots of different sort of businessesrunning all derived. Perhaps you could correct I wrong, but initially fromthis community that you built like you've, sort of extended and added newcomponents to it, but always making sure the community is the derive andbeing paid lots of value, but going back to when you first started thiswhen you're, the only writer and you know not, soing people were using thesite. What was it that allowed you to buildthis community, like? How did you get the traffic and when what was the keyto the success right back at the start, then? Well, there's there's two things.One was that I was not building the community in order to try and driverevenue from it, and so I was able to operate outside of the kind of normalstrictures that are that happen. If this is you're trying to kind of replace your income immediately. Sothere's a couple of things. One is that the market that I was addressing wasvery, very large, not as a number of people, but as a as a dollar amount.The the market cap inside of the market that I wanted to dress was a big market,meaning cosmetic medicine or medicine in general. The other thing was that Iwas saying things that, because I had a lot of the main experience, because Ihave you know open seven clinics and I have talked to hundreds of physiciansand I've talked to conferences. I had a huge amount of domain experience andbecause I was not deriving revenue in the traditionalmanner, which was advertising, and that kind of thing I could say things thatother people weren't saying, and so it didn't matter to me, because I wasn'tdriving revenue from them anyway. I just wanted to have a good reputationand really kind of you know. You say it the way that it was that'sled to other problems, but those have been overshadowed by the successes Iwould say, and- and the third thing was I justkind of kept at it over a period of time. I think that that you know thisis a little bit like compounding interest that it is very very this isthis is like farming and not hunting. This is not something meaning buildinga reputation driving a lot of traffic. This is not something where you cankind of go and without a huge input in you know something to spend to drive a lot of traffic. You know I have listened to the to you,know all of your stuff and took a tremendous amount of value around that.So you know pillar content and in membership sites and some other kindsof things and I'm still kind of debating, whether to kind of start,some tricer traditional bevers Ip sides, maybe, but I think those kind of thosekinds of three things was that you know pressure over time allowed us to kindof incrementally achieve a certain level. Now there is kind of a tippingpoint that you reach, and maybe it's your first lawsuit. I don't knowexactly what it is, what it is where, let's hope, that's get it well you'llkind of find out, especially if you're in a larger market, where people haveheard about you a number of times and now the solicitations for partnershipsor agreements, or you know we'd like to be included in your outgoing membershiplist, because we think that this is to be good for those kinds of things. Kindof El you'll, they'll start to trickle in and then they'll. Then they willbecome significant. And it's probably at that point thatyou have the potential. If you do things right in order to kind of turn,turn it on into a real business. In some ways I mean you know, I was always fortunate in thefact that I didn't need their the revenue, and so it didn't matters to me...

...that much when you know if I was makingan extra two hundred dollars- and I did for you know like six years of this-This- because I didn't know quite enoughabout how I was going to really monetize this and keep the communitykind of intact and not become just another kind of me to product. So I don't know if that answers exactlywhat you're hoping for your O, but that's kind of my best shot at on themen. I think it does practically I'm sure, there's so many of the littlelittle things you did along the way that we could spend another two hourslooking at just the online marketing techniques you use, but I haven't gottime for that. Ye Well and let me just add one other thing, which is theoutsource component of what it is that you're doing almost anything thatyou're doing. If you're going to do it, a scale is going to involve multiplepeople in technology startups. If you're looking at a real kind ofcompany, one of the first things that you look at if you're looking is who's the team that is kind ofsurrounded, surrounded this and I kind of occasionally bump into people thatare, you know, doing online money, making businesses of some sort, andtypically they have a very kind of unfocused relationship with theiroutsource team. They might have one person or two people or they might beexclusively using elands or a desk or or something else is a kind of a termthing. If you're going to run a business, you're actually going to kindof have to run a real business, and that involves some of the headaches ofactually kind of managing people kind of day today stuff and that's one ofthe things that I ran into, and so I built an entire kind of system so thatI did not have to train people one after the other kind of athing awesome. So, okay E. Thank you so much for that. Onemore time website to check out your work and see this empire you've built. Well, there's there's probably a coupleif you're a physician, I'd invite you over to medical spy, M D or freelance MDcor. These are both sites for physicians anywhere in the world. Wehave physicians all around the world if you're looking for some other sitesthat we drive revenue from as an example, I would point you to frontdesk Scom. We now have a print on demand, site called print m d, Dot netand that's probably that's probably a good amount for this okay Aston. Thankyou very much for our taking the time. Thank you your. I hope you enjoyed that interview withJeff Barson if you're looking to listen to some more fantastic interviews withexperts on internet marketing, business, personal development and blogging,please visit my blog. It's at Entrepreneur's Hien Journey Com, whereyou can just Google, my name, which is Yaro y. A Ro and you'll find the blogthat way and you can find more podcast in the Audio Tab at the site of thepodcast tab and there's a huge collection there of over sixteeninterviews with experts that you can download a hundred percent for free.Once again, I hope you enjoyed that interview. I look forward to talking toyou again on a future call. This is Yaroto I'll talk to you soon by by.

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