Gideon Shalwick is one of the biggest stars of video and YouTube marketing. He is passionate about everything to do with online video and using it to grow his online businesses. He is a video marketer who loves teaching people how to become better video bloggers.
Gideon has founded numerous online businesses including Spasheo, which helps people make their videos look professional, with the help of tools such as intros, outros and animated logos, etc.
Gideon’s latest business is Veeroll.com, a platform which enables people to get traffic from Youtube Video Ads.
Gideon Shalwick – who is based in Australia – shares so many great tips in this interview – including how he learnt about online marketing, getting traffic, SEO, etc – plus he explains the importance of using video in your website.
Easyspace was delighted to arrange an audio interview with Gideon – listen to the interview by clicking play below, or read the audio transcript below, into which we have added a select number of videos from Gideon’s YouTube channel:
Hello. I’m Jonathan, and thank you for joining me on the Easyspace.com blog interview. Today, we’re interviewing Gideon Shalwick, who is one of the biggest stars of video and YouTube marketing.
He explains to us how he started his online businesses and how he created successful websites. He is passionate about everything to do with online video and using it to grow his website visitors. He’s a video marketer who loves teaching people how to become better video bloggers.
Gideon has set up numerous websites including Splasheo.com, which helps people make their videos look profession with the help of tools such as intros, outros, and animated logos. His latest business is Veeroll.com, a platform which enables people to get traffic from YouTube video ads.
Gideon Shalwick, who’s based in Australia shares so many great tips in this interview, including how he learned about online marketing, getting traffic, SEO, etc. Plus, he explains the importance of using video in your website.
So, let’s join Gideon, because I know you’re going to enjoy what he has to say…..
Gideon, welcome to the Easyspace.com blog interview. Thank you for joining us.
Jonathan, thanks for having me. I’m looking forward to the call.
Q1. Gideon, tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to start trying to make money online.
I guess my journey started about 2006. My wife and I were both in pretty good jobs, well-paying jobs, great jobs by all status, but we felt like we needed something more. We thought we wanted to create our own business for three reasons. One was that we felt that we were building an asset for someone else. So, the day we stop working would be also the day that we wouldn’t be able to take that asset with us. Also, our income would stop immediately when we stop working.
One of the biggest things for me was that I really struggle to really just live out my passion within the business. While there was some flexibility, I always felt like I had to kind of ask permission to perform, ask permission to do something. So one day, I just told my wife, Tina, I said, “Hey. Let’s quit our jobs, immigrate to Australia.” This is from New Zealand, “And start a new business, start a new life,” and luckily, she was keen and just said, “Yes, let’s do it.”
About a month later, we ended in Australia. I looked at a bunch of different businesses. I actually applied to jobs in Australia. I couldn’t get a job. Nobody wanted to employ me just as well. Tina on the other hand, she got a job really quickly, doing architectural drafting, and so she was paying the bills in the first two years or so while I was trying to figure out how to set up the business. It took me about a year and a half to two years (maybe even longer) to really just figure out the game, and I think to become profitable.
Those first years were pretty tough. We didn’t have a car. We didn’t really go out for dinner. We hardly bought any new clothes. So we went from pretty well-paid employees to pretty poorly-paid entrepreneurs.
But eventually, we found success. I teamed up with a friend of mine, Yaro Starak, which I think you’ve interviewed as well.
Yes. We’ve interviewed Yaro in the past.
Yes. And we launched ‘Become a Blogger’ together. The video training course taught people how to create their blogs. Within two weeks, we had about 10,000 people join our email list, and within a month, we had about 1,000 monthly-paying members. That was just life-changing for me, going from zero income to right about $20,000 a month, which is fantastic.
So that was really the start of my journey. Since then, I’ve really moved a lot into the video marketing space. Well, recently just been focusing a lot more on building software and building software companies – still in the video space. I really just love everything to do with video.
So it’s treated me well. I’ve really loved video. It’s made a lot of money for me. It’s given me a lot of exposure, and I think it’ll continue to do so in the future.
Q2. So it was about a year and a half before you actually started making enough money turn a living off. What mistakes were you making in the early days?
Oh, I probably made every mistake you could imagine, Jonathan. I guess some of the big ones were that — let me think. It’s quite a while ago now. It’s like eight years ago now, right?
Some of the key things I did wrong is probably maybe not something that I did wrong, but it’s just something that I did inadvertently without really knowing. That was maybe more thinking like an employee, rather than thinking like an entrepreneur.
I think it’s quite a subtle difference. It’s not something that you can very easily spot, especially if you’re coming from the one world, and you’re trying to move onto the next. You can see it clearly once you’ve been through it, but while you’re in it, you don’t really see it as well.
So, I think there are some key differences there in attitudes, and the way you turn up to work every day, what you focus on. As an employee, you’re very much focused on pleasing your boss and kind of doing work so that you get on with your buddies and your colleagues. Whereas an entrepreneur, you don’t have a boss. You’ve got to please your customers. It’s a very different mindset just for starters there.
Another thing is what you focus on. I think I focused on a lot of the wrong things. They weren’t terrible things to focus on, but they were just maybe not quite the right things to focus on to help me get to success faster. For example, I would focus on a lot of the technical stuff and building the websites and things myself, doing customer support all myself, even with ‘Become a Blogger’. I did everything, I did everything….
Yaro did the promotion. He was travelling around the world. I created the website with his guidance. I created the course videos. When we launched, I did all of the customer support. I would even get on the phone with people and help them set up their blogs for them. It was just insane. Great learning, very great learning, but kind of foolish if you want to get some leverage.
So there’s are a few little mistakes that I made I guess, but if I’d do it again I’d probably do it differently for sure.
Q3. When it comes to web design and programming, how experienced are you at that? Are you quite technical?
No, not at all. I mean I do have an engineering background. I’m qualified as an electronic engineer, but seriously, that’s from way back before the internet really existed. We had internet, but it wasn’t the big deal.
So you’re proof that you don’t have to be that technical to be successful online.
Yes. I shy away from technical stuff. Nowadays, if I see any HTML kind of stuff, my eyes is closed over, so I pass that on to some technical folks who can do it much better, much faster than me. Certainly, I think it actually counts against you if you want to get into the technical stuff for growing a business.
I think it’s good to know the basics, and it’s good to know what needs to happen to get a website going and some of the basic behind-the-scene stuff, but as entrepreneur, you’ve got to look for leverage points, and one of the key leverage points is building your team – building your team of people that can make your vision a reality. That’s one of the things that took me a long time to learn, but I think I finally started to implement that in a good way.
Q4. In the early days, how did you learn about online marketing and getting traffic? Was teaming up with people, like Yaro Starak, a big help, or were there other people that you were influenced by, or did you have mentors?
Yes. There were certainly a number of different mentors. My first mentor showed me how to create a product, and how to set up a website and a sales page, and copywriting, and that sort of things, and get it to convert. He actually promoted for me for that product that I created and did very well.
But then, I completely ran out of traffic, so then I had to get traffic. While he was great at teaching the product creation side of it, and the copywriting side of it, and the conversion side of it, I think he lacked a little bit of the training on traffic. Perhaps because he doesn’t know himself how to do it. I mean he’s a different guy now. He’s very good at that, but back then—or maybe I just didn’t listen well enough. I can’t even remember what he taught exactly.
I think through trial and error, I had to learn a lot about traffic from different people. I started interviewing people after that experience. I started interviewing some of the world’s top internet marketers at the time. I wanted to find out from them what it was that made them successful. It was more of a psychology kind of interview that I did with these people. It was more of a mindset thing rather than technical or tactical traffic strategies.
It taught me a lot about video, and from there, I became really good with video and product creation with video. And then I teamed up with Yaro. I learned a lot from Yaro for blogging, applied some of those ideas to YouTube and got some amazing results. Basically, I went from being a blogger to a video blogger, and the results I got from YouTube was just incredible.
One of the channels I helped set up (FreeMagicLiveVideos) is sitting at about 270,000 subscribers. Now, it gets around about 1 million views a month, and it’s going really strong – a nice, little channel. It’s the number one channel for its niche in the world!
We started from nothing, and it’s number one now for free magic tricks. If you search for “free magic tricks” on YouTube, you’ll find it.
I learned a lot from YouTube. Just through trial and error, I learned a lot.
I read a ton. My first biggest success or the biggest success that I really had with traffic was with joint venture promotions. The first, big one was really with my mentor and then with Yaro. I kept on building that, and then I built the organic traffic through YouTube mostly. And more recently, in the last year and a half or so, I’ve really been focusing on paid traffic, especially YouTube video ads, and that’s really kicking – kicking some serious butt.
Q5. So before you start a business or a website, how do you decide whether there’s actually a demand there for what you want to offer, or what sort of research are you doing beforehand?
Back when I was getting started, it was more certainly trickier than it was today. For me, it was more, “Hey. I’m interested in this topic. It seems like there’s a bit of interest on it on a place like YouTube, but let me just create some videos and see what happens.” With the magic channel, what we literally did was we had an idea, we thought it was cool, and we just waited for it, and it got a lot of traction really quickly. Within the first month, we knew. In some other cases, it’s not as obvious.
But I think, today, it’s a lot easier. There are some great tools around that you can use for finding demand. You can just apply some common sense. If you go to a place like YouTube or Google, you just do some simple searching and very quickly see the activity in that particular niche or industry and see whether there’s interest, at least in the topic.
For me, there’s this thing called the ‘hedgehog concept’ that really helps me hone in on that because there are three things: an area that you’re passionate about, an area that you can become the best at in the world, and an area that you can also make money from. Jim Collins talks about this in his book, Good to Great. When you cover all those three areas, you’ve got much better chances of succeeding because it’s a topic that you’re passionate about, it’s an area that you can become really good it and build a really good skill in, but you can also make money from it.
Now, the money side, you can break that down further. It really comes down to whether there’s a market for it or whether there are enough people out there who would be interested in this thing that you’re creating, and also whether they have money. It’s not enough to just have a lot of people interested. You got to make sure that they actually money as well to spend with you and to and buy your product or service. From there, it really comes down to just looking for problems that you can solve as an entrepreneur.
For entrepreneurship, the way I look at it is that you’re a problem solver. You just look for problems. You look for pain points in the industry that you’re passionate about. And then you create solutions. Once you got the solution, you just go market the heck out of it. That’s how you succeed.
Q6. When you first started out making videos, how difficult did you find it actually creating them?
Oh, extremely difficult. Back in 2006 or 2007, YouTube was just getting started – just to put things in perspective. So there’s no training on it. The equipment wasn’t really appropriate for creating videos online back then. Offline video was easy enough, but doing it for online was a real challenge.
I remember, we decided not to use YouTube for ‘Become a Blogger’ for the promotion because YouTube had terrible video quality back then. You upload your video, and it just looked awful. We decided to go for a service called Blip.tv, which I wouldn’t recommend these days anymore (they treated us terribly in the past). They would just go in to delete our accounts and stuff like that, that were really shocking. But we used Blip.tv back then because they have better video quality.
Nowadays, things are totally different. Just with your little mobile phone, you can create incredible-looking videos. The videos you can create now just with your phone is like 100 times better than what I was able to create back in 2006 with my $2,000 or $3,000 video cameras. A lot better, a lot easier, a lot cheaper, a lot faster, everything is just better. The software is so much easier now as well. We just use ScreenFlow on Mac to create our videos. I don’t even do much of the video editing myself much anymore. I just outsource that. On PC, something like Sony Vegas does a great job as well, or Camtasia.
Yes, the tools are a lot easier, a lot cheaper, and with broadband, that’s caught up a bit now as well. It’s much easier to get your videos up there as well. So, yes – totally different game today.
So if somebody who’s got a smartphone with a video function, then there’s no excuse for them not to be able to make videos then.
Yes, that’s right. I mean just a normal iPhone. I think I still have the iPhone5 or something because I don’t even have the iPhone6, and the videos on there are for your everyday stock standard video blogging kind of stuff is beautiful, no problem at all. Create great videos with that.
Q7. Explain to our listeners how videos can help a website.
Video is fantastic. For me, after face-to-face kind of communication, online at least, it’s the number one way to engage your audience. There really is no better medium, especially if you take it a notch further with live video, which is a bit more advanced. But if you can run a live video event, to me, that is the number one most engaging thing that you can do on the internet right now. There’s nothing that beats it, absolutely nothing.
That’s just the nature of video. People love watching visual, they love watching video. They love watching TV, and they live watching live stuff even more if you can get them on there. So, it’s just engaging.
Think about it. If you can engage an audience, if you can keep them on the edge of their seats, if you can get them to have their eyes glued to your video, to your presentation, or to whatever you’re doing, you got a much better chance to influence them and to get them to move to action whether it’s to sign up for your newsletter, or to subscribe to a channel, or to buy a product. Whatever it is, if you’ve got engagement with them and trust, if you got the basic trust and engagement with your audience, you can really do magic, and there’s no better way to do it than video.
Q8. What type of websites do you think video works best for?
Basically any kind of website I would say. Maybe there are some cases where video might not be as appropriate. I mean it’s horses for courses right? Video is not always appropriate for everything.
For example, in our Veeroll business, we’ve got a ton of video training, but sometimes, it’s easier for our users just to have a quick PDF document that they can download to quickly follow the steps for how to do a certain activity. In that case, sometimes, it’s better just to have a text, an image kind of medium. It really depends on what you’re trying to achieve.
I think for influence and for audience building, video is a must. It can make a big difference to engaging your audience and making them realize that you have these people behind your brand. It’s not just a corporate thing. There are actual, real people behind your brand. Video is fantastic for that.
Obviously, there are some other cases where it is more appropriate to have just text or just images or a combination of them.
In general, I can’t really think right now about any kind of website that wouldn’t benefit from video. I think all websites would benefit from video – at least for some things. Maybe not for everything, but certainly for some of the things for sure.
Q9. In your experience, what makes a good video?
One that’s engaging. One that keeps people’s attention. That’s what it’s about. It’s basically you’re competing for people’s attention, and people’s attention span has been going down and down and down as there are more and more distractions, especially on the internet. Also in life in general, our lives are getting busier and busier as technology advances.
And there are more and more distractions. We got our phones. We got Skype. We got email. We got Twitter. We got Facebook. We got YouTube. We got SnapChat, whatever. We got children….. Everything is a competitor when it comes to attention. So your job, online at least, is to find ways that you can grab people’s attention and hold that attention for as long as possible.
The better that you can grab people’s attention and hold their attention, and if you can do that better than any of the other competitors, you’re going to win because that gives you that opportunity to build that relationship and get them introduced into the rest of your business.
Q10. What if people feel too shy to make their own videos? What advice would you give them?
Oh, get someone else to do it. If you got a face for radio, maybe do podcasting instead. Don’t do video if you don’t feel comfortable with it.
Also, don’t feel like it’s all up to you if you’re building a team. Think about it in terms of a team. How can you build a team of people that can do this stuff for you? As an entrepreneur, you come up with the idea and then just build a team around you to implement your dream, to make your dream a reality.
There are various ways of doing this. You can hire a student. You can hire students, you can hire a talent to create the videos for you. There’s lots of actors around in any part of the world that are jobless, that don’t have a job, and they would do anything for not very much, and sometimes, even for free to just get some experience and get in front of the camera.
So, you don’t have to feel like it has to be you. Get an employee. Try someone within your team to do it, someone who’s keen to being in front of the camera or get a student or hire some good talent to create your videos for you.
In saying that though, I don’t think it’ll hurt, too much for anybody to get on video. It doesn’t matter what you look like, or feel like, or if you’re shy or not. There are plenty of cases, even on YouTube, where some pretty big introverts are building some pretty big channels.
It’s not about being all shiny, and fancy, and in-your-face, or exciting, or even interesting. It’s all about just being you, especially on a place like YouTube. It’s all about just being you and letting your natural, normal, organic personality shine through – without putting on special personality or face or whatever. The raw, organic, emotional stuff work really, really well on YouTube.
I think, often, the stuff that are too well polished can actually count against you. When you bring it back to that authenticity and being vulnerable, that’s when you really engage people, and people want to watch more of you and subscribe to your channel.
Q11. Tell us about one of your first video-related businesses, Splasheo.com.
Sure. That’s probably not even my first one, I mean there are several ones down the track, and Splasheo was actually going to be in another kind of business. The forerunner to that was actually called FlickDesk, and it was going to be kind of like oDesk, an outsourcing kind of a business but just specifically for video. But then I morphed it into Splasheo (what it is today) where we said, instead of trying to do everything for everybody, let’s just niche it down and just do something small and do that really well.
And so we started off by just doing little video intros or video animations for people’s videos – just a five-minute clip, I’m sorry, not five-minute, five-second video clip that animates your logo in a really nice way. We started doing those. We started doing them manually, and charged $500 to $1,000 per animation. And then we automated everything, and now, we charge something like $47, and you get a pretty similar results – not quite as amazing, but still pretty amazing.
That business specializes in that: the video intros, video outros, or your call-to-actions at the end. You also have little lower-thirds in there and little transitions as well. So pretty simple and fun, little business, but it seems to have hit a chord with people, and people love it. So, yes, a great way to make your videos look nice without too much trouble.
Q12. How did you market Splasheo when it first started, and how do you promote it now?
Splasheo has been a very interesting, little business. Previously, I would really get behind the marketing of a new business. With Splasheo, one thing I think I did right there was I picked an industry that was kind of hot. There’s a lot of activity, a lot of people searching for this stuff. And so whenever I start a business now, that’s one of the first things I do. I look for a hot market. I look for a market where there’s activity. You know that there’s going to be people interested in or at least it’s a rising tide – you’re getting in at the start. That’s very important.
I’ve certainly started businesses before in the past where there’s hardly any activity, and you got to really work hard to make that work, and in the longer term, it often just fails. So Splasheo, we did well there in terms of targeting the right kind of area. There’s a lot of activity, a lot of interest in it.
What happened is all we had to do was pick a nice problem within that market and then create a really good solution. So on Splasheo, we’re proud to say that we’ve got a very good solution there that people can use and that they’re really happy with. Because people are, then, happy with that solution, they go and spread the word for us. We hardly do any external marketing for Splasheo. In fact, we don’t even have a content marketing strategy for Splasheo, and it’s going gangbusters. Most of it is through word of mouth.
I did have a few videos on my own channel for it, but I think when you pick the right sort of market, you solve the right problem, and you solve it really well, you don’t actually have to do all that much marketing because the people, they do it for you. They spread the word for you.
Q13. How do you think your YouTube channel has helped Splasheo?
Well, I think initially, it probably would have helped to just launch it and to set things up. But longer term, I don’t think was it a significant portion of my traffic or growth. I mean my YouTube channel is for—within that space, it’s okay. It used to be the number one in the world for that particular topic, not anymore. Other people have caught on to it, and certainly followed in my footsteps, and had done it a lot better than what I can do. It was still a nice way to get started with.
I have a few videos on YouTube that would lead back to Splasheo, and people would click on my videos and its actions and go back to Splasheo. I would use some of my outros from Splasheo inside my Gideon Shalwick videos or on my Gideon Shalwick Channel, and then people would see how this outro was made by Splasheo, and they’d go and visit Splasheo.
Something that we did that was pretty cool for Splasheo is we created a set of free outros that people could use. At the end of it, we had a little thing that went something like “made by Splasheo” or something like that. I think that probably would have helped a bit as well.
We actually took that off about two years ago to be honest, but I think there must have been a lot of those videos that went out with the Splasheo branding on their videos, a lot of people with all over YouTube, with their own channels that used our free outros in their videos with the Splasheo logo at the end. I think that would’ve helped a lot with the traffic as well.
Q14. Apart from YouTube, how else do you attract customers to your websites, and what do you do with regards to email subscribers?
For Splasheo, it’s pretty much more organic. More recently, we’ve started building traffic with paid YouTube video ads as well. That’s my latest business, Veeroll. That’s all we do. We’ve built a platform that helps businesses to get traffic using YouTube video ads. It’s a bit of a challenge to do it without any help. But with the platform, we just make it so much easier to target the right videos, actually create your videos for you as well using an automated service, and getting your campaigns into AdWords. We use that for building campaigns for Splasheo, but we also use it for our own Veeroll as well.
We haven’t done a lot in terms of Facebook advertising. The other thing we do also is joint venture promotions. We do a lot of that with Veeroll at the moment where we team up with other people, and we run a webinar with them or we actually do – not quite webinars. We do them as YouTube live events that work really, really well. We’ll get like a few 100 people or more on a call, and teach them about YouTube advertising, and then have a quick promotion at the end of it, and then send people to our product page. That works really, really well.
The short answer is basically we use as many traffic sources as we can. We start normally with one, get really good at it, and then get that all set up and ready to rock. Once we get more time as a result of getting good results from that, we move on to the next strategy, but really, the more you can have over the long-term, the better.
It’s like building a table. Basically, the more legs you have, the less likely it is to fall over, and the legs would represent your traffic and this goes for you business.
Q15. You co-founded Veeroll.com with another business partner. Why did you decide not to go it alone, and instead, partner up with somebody else? What are the benefits of having a partner?
There are actually two other co-founders. There are three of us. There’s me, JC, and Sophie. JC and Sophie, they’re basically managing the whole development side of Veeroll. It was a very strategic move on my side. I wanted to team up with someone who could completely manage the development side of things. I didn’t want to even think about managing a technical thing because that’s just not my thing. It just drives me nuts. At the same time, I did want to have a development team that could create the software and help me make the vision a reality.
Of course, the vision that I had originally has been morphed quite a lot between me, and JC and Sophie. Our vision, we’re the masterminds. The vision that we have is very much a common one before we’ve gone together. The key thing is that they do the development.
Now, I could have (if I wanted to) just paid someone to do that for me, but it probably would have killed my bank account to be honest. It would have been very expensive to develop the software to the level that it is today. The other, probably more important reason is I wanted to get people on board with me who had buy-in, people who had skin in the game.
When you just pay someone to do the work for you, like in that sort of a scenario, within your start-up, they could just leave at any point. They don’t really have any sort of a buy-in or skin in the game, whereas if you team up with someone and you say, “Hey. Let’s do this thing together. You guys put in your effort. I put it in my effort. I put in my investment. You put in your investment,” they have skin in the game. They have a reason – a much bigger reason to make it succeed.
And you work together as a team so much better when you do it like that and you have that common goal. You’re sort of in it together. You’re in the same boat, and you’re both trying to make it—all parties involved are all trying to make it succeed. It’s been really good. I must say, I don’t think it would have been as awesome if I didn’t have co-founders.
Also, what it allows me to do is it allows me to completely focus on the strategy of the business and also the marketing of the business and building all these right relationships with the right partners, whereas I don’t think I would have been able to do it if I had to build a team myself or even pay people to do it for me. It just would have been a totally different game.
Q16. You’re based in Australia, and am I correct in saying the Veeroll partners, development staff, they’re in Singapore? Is that correct?
That’s correct, yes.
What’s it like working with business partners who are in a different country? How difficult is it working together on projects?
Well, not difficult at all today. I think the tools we have at our disposal are so amazing. We use Slack for example and sometimes Skype. We mainly use Slack for our team communications, the text-based team communications, and file sharing, and that sort of thing. It’s just an amazing piece of software. For voice communication, we just use Skype. I fly over there. Well, the plan is at least to fly over there once every quarter, so we can see each other face-to-face.
Really, it’s pretty seamless. It’s always like we’re in the same office. Perhaps even better than being in the same office because it means I can turn distractions off. I can turn Skype and Slack off to just focus on the marketing of the business and then turn it back on again when we need to communicate. We talk every day. We probably talk more over Skype and Slack than we might have if we were in the same office. It’s really not a problem with us.
In Australia and then in Singapore, there’s only like a two-hour difference, so it’s not a big deal in terms of time zones. I think ideally, it probably would be more efficient to have everyone in the same office, but that’s not always practical. Sometimes, the right people are not in your location. You got to go beyond just your own location, to find the right people to do what you want to do. In my case, those people are in Singapore.
There are other reasons as well for setting up in Singapore. Singapore has a really amazing tax policy for new businesses, new start-ups. For example, you don’t pay tax for the first three years for any income under $300,000, which is amazing for a start-up. There’s no capital gains tax for example, which is just incredible. I think the highest you ever pay for tax as a business is I think it’s about 17% or 18%.
If I were to do that in Australia, I would start paying taxes through the nose already from day one. Now, of course, any money that I bring into Australia from Singapore, I still have to pay the normal tax. It’s not like I’m doing funny stuff with the tax. The money that comes into Australia, there’s still the normal tax that applies. If I had the business in Australia, it would have just meant basically that a lot of our profits would go to tax. We wouldn’t be able to reinvest that back into the business – in the fledgling, tiny, little, growing new business that needs that capital right at the start.
It’s a little bit silly sometimes with some countries where they really heavily tax even new businesses right from the start. So, that’s another reason for setting up in Singapore, because it’s much friendlier there for new business for sure.
Q17. What’s it like managing your businesses? Describe your typical day.
Well, at the moment, most of my time goes into Veeroll. Probably about 96% of my time goes into Veeroll. The only reason I can do that is because the other businesses are pretty well set-up and automated. Splasheo is being run by someone else at the moment, and I just sort of keep an eye on it every now and then.
To be honest, my Gideon Shalwick business is probably suffering a bit to be honest. I just haven’t been able to spend time with it. It hasn’t been a priority. But it’s okay because Veeroll is doing so well, and Splasheo is taking on nicely, and you got to go with the winners. You got to go for the lowest hanging fruit, let your winners run, and catch your losses. Not that the Gideon Shalwick business is running a loss. It’s just maybe not as successful as what we’re getting with Veeroll and Splasheo right now.
Q18. Obviously, you use YouTube. What about other forms of social media: Twitter, Facebook, etc? Have you any advice on how people can use them to promote their websites?
Yes. I would recommend if you’re not into it yourself, to hire someone to do it for you.
Basically, that’s what we’re doing—I’m not a Facebook or Twitter expert at all. The full extent for us for Facebook is pretty much to hire someone that can do Facebook ads for us. They can run the campaigns for us. So we don’t have to be experts at that. We focus on the YouTube stuff. We get someone else externally to do that in the Facebook marketing or Facebook advertising, at least for us.
Twitter’s probably the same. I know there’s Twitter ads now too.
We’re certainly much more excited about paid traffic than we used to be in the past. In the past, I would just spend like six months creating content and then wait for the traffic to come. Now, I just think a lot clearer about a campaign, set it up within a day, and get traffic immediately. I don’t have to wait six month. Yes, there’s upfront cost, but if you set it up right, you can have a positive return on investment. That means you can start making money a lot sooner as well. Paid traffic for me is a very exciting prospect.
That’s three big traffic sources. There’s the paid, there’s organic, and then there’s borrowed, which is basically the traffic through venture partners.
Q19. Which entrepreneur or person has inspired you the most and why?
No one that’s alive today. I mean, sure, there are people that definitely are inspirational to me today, but it’s not like I…. some entrepreneurs have this hero worship thing where they have one or two people that they really admire, and they kind of almost worship them. I’ve never had that. I’ve never had that with anyone that’s alive today.
Perhaps the only person that can come close to that is someone like Richard Branson. He has a very similar personality profile to myself. Perhaps he’s a little bit more extroverted than me, I’m not quite sure, I’ve not done the analysis on him, but in terms of the kind of businesses that he sets up and the way that he operates, I really like it.
In terms of inspiration, probably the most inspiration that I’ve been able to get from, I guess, entrepreneurial kind of inspiration has been certainly from Napoleon Hill, who wrote the Think and Grow Rich, which is a great book. It’s not quite as good as his The Law of Success. That’s like just over 1,400 pages. It was published about nine years before Think and Grow Rich – amazing. Just an amazing book, amazing material.
I try to read that about once a year, and every single time I read it, I’m just blown away by the new information that I get from it. This year, I was reading it again. I was going—I can’t believe… It’s always like I’ve never read the book before ever. And the new information that I’m getting from it, looking at it again this year, is just incredible.
So yes, Napoleon Hill has certainly been a massive inspiration for me personally. The guy’s not alive anymore, but his legacy certainly continues, and the words that he wrote down on those books.
Q20. What advice would you give to somebody who’s thinking of starting their own business?
Good question. I’m not sure if business is for everybody, if starting your own business is for everybody. It might not be for everybody at this particular time. It might become later, I think, for you.
One thing to realize is that mindset is everything. Mindset is so important to get right for business and to be an entrepreneur. It’s a very different mindset, as I mentioned earlier too, to being an employee for example. There’s nothing wrong with the employee mindset. It’s just a very different mindset. You need different skill sets to become an entrepreneur.
Certainly, if you’re interested in starting a business, first of all, ask yourself the key question – do you think you got what it takes? Have you found an area of passion that you think you can go after and stick to it for the long run? When hardships come, can you keep going? That area that you’re focusing on, are you passionate enough about it for you to keep going even though you might lose all your money?
The only way to have that sort of tenacity is if you’re following something that you’re really passionate about, and sometimes, you got to develop that over time. It’s not something that you sort of just dream of overnight. Sometimes, it takes time to develop that passion, to develop that interest area.
For me, I’ve had various different businesses. Some I’ve been more passionate about than others. At the moment, Veeroll is my little baby. I love it. It’s like I’m completely passionate about it. I could talk to people about it all day long.
In fact, on one of our previous promotions that I did, a live presentation, when it got to selling the platform to the audience, we had so many sales come in, that it just hit me. I was overtaken by this massive response. I couldn’t hold it. I actually started crying on the live presentation in front of all these people. Afterwards, I realized that it’s something that I’m really passionate about.
We’ve had a lot of setbacks. We’ve had a lot of glitches and things that normal folks would go, “Oh. Surely, this is a sign that this is not meant to be,” and I’ve learnt over the time that I’ve been an entrepreneur, you just push through it. You don’t care. No matter what it is, you persist. You just keep going. Keep going until you get to success. The only difference between those people who succeed in the end and the people who don’t, is persistence, is keep on pushing through. To have persistence, you need to be really excited and passionate about what you’re doing. Otherwise, that persistence just won’t come.
I think that’s really important as an entrepreneur. Get your mindset right. Get excited and passionate about it or find that natural area of passion, and then just figure out the problems in that marketplace and solve them really well. Just keep on pushing it, keep on driving it, keep on pushing through the obstacles no matter. You must succeed – you must succeed if you do that. There’s no other way.
Q21. What are your future plans, Gideon?
Amazing future plans. I don’t actually reveal my future plans anymore, Jonathan, and I’ll share the reason with you. It might be useful for our listeners too. Napoleon Hill talks about this in his book as well.
Much of the mindset now is that I’d much rather show people what I’m going to do, as opposed to telling people what I’m going to do. It’s much more powerful to take action and to get results and show people through your results and through your work what you’re doing and what your plans are rather than saying, “Hey. I’m going to do all this awesome stuff,” and never actually do it.
There’s a psychological principle that applies here, and it applies to goal setting as well. That’s why I never reveal my goals to anybody other than my very close, internal mastermind group.
As soon as you make your goals known to other people, that gives you a sense of fulfilment. Psychologically, subconsciously, your mind then goes, “Hey. That’s great. I already have achieved these goals in a way.” There’s been a sort of a sense of satisfaction when you tell other people about your amazing goals, and they go, “Wow. That’s an amazing goal.” In a way, it almost feels to your subconscious mind that you’ve already achieved it, and then it becomes a lot harder for you to actually go and achieve that goal.
So I don’t share my future plans with anybody anymore, unless they’re really inside our closed mastermind group, and it’s for that reason. I found that that works a lot better to help us achieve our goals and actually get the results.
Q22. Before we end the interview, Gideon, if people listening want to find out more about you and your businesses, where’s the best place for them to go to?
Well, probably at the moment, it’s Veeroll.com. I mean if you want to see what I’m busy with right now. We’ve been at it for about a year now. A wonderful business. It’s probably—no, not probably. It definitely is the biggest thing I’ve worked on. If you’re interested in video ads at the same time as well, obviously, sign up. There’s some free stuff that you can get there.
If you’re more interested in what I’m doing behind the scenes, you can also go to my blog at GideonShalwick.com. I don’t really update it as much anymore, but every now and then, I still do something on there, and you can check that out.
Also, my YouTube channel, you can just, on YouTube, go search for Gideon Shalwick. You’ll find my channel, and you can watch some cool videos there about video marketing.
Well, Gideon Shalwick, thank you very much for joining us at the Easyspace.com blog interview. Thanks.