In today’s episode, we help Kenny and Nancy determine priorities to help grow their business.
Jocelyn Sams: Hey, y’all. On today’s podcast, we’re going to show you how to make a living raising chickens.
Shane Sams: Welcome to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast where life always comes before work. We’re your hosts, Shane and Jocelyn Sams. We’re a real family that figured out how to make our entire living online. And now we help other families do the same. Are you ready to flip your life? All right. Let’s get started.
Shane Sams: What’s going on, everybody? Welcome back to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast. It is great to be back with you again today. I am super excited for this episode. I know I’m super excited every week. I’m always excited. That’s what I do. I just live excited. But I am really, really excited about this one because we have an awesome guest for the show today that we met at a live event. They’re out there in the Flipped Lifestyle universe, listen to the podcast all the time, and we got to talk to them at a live event and they have one of the best niche markets I’ve ever heard in my entire life and I cannot wait to share this episode with you today. Please help us welcome our guests, Kenny and Nancy Troiano. Guys, welcome to the program.
Kenny Troiano: Well, thank you for having us. It’s a pleasure. It’s an honor, actually, because we’ve been listening to you for so long. It’s amazing that we’re actually able to do this.
Nancy Troiano: Yeah, really glad to be with you.
Jocelyn Sams: I love it. Yes. It is great to talk to you guys. We actually just met you not too long ago in California, so it’s great to talk to you again and I can’t wait to dive in to what it is you’re doing.
Shane Sams: Yeah, we were speaking at an event out in San Diego and we said, “Hey, let’s have a meetup.” So we put the all points bulletin out to all the Flipped Lifestyle email list. We said, “Hey, is anybody in San Diego. I know this is last minute, but we’re going to be-”
Jocelyn Sams: “Come meet us tonight.”
Shane Sams: “Come meet us on this patio at this random hotel in San Diego.” And you guys showed up and I’m so glad you did, because you have an amazing story.
Kenny Troiano: I saw the email. I said, “Hey, what the heck, let’s throw that out there, see if they’ll want to talk.” And you guys invited us. And then I told Nancy right away, I called her on the phone. She was at work and I said, “You won’t believe this, but we’ve been invited to talk to Shane and Jocelyn. You want to go?” And she’s like, “Yeah.”
Nancy Troiano: Heck yeah.
Shane Sams: “Heck yeah we do.” And we were sitting around a fire and I remember everybody was sitting around it like, we had a lot of people show up. There was like 25 or 30 people ended up around those two fires that we had. And I remember sitting in front of that fire at first and the wind was blowing out on that patio and I thought I was going to get set on fire. And then the people that were hosting the live event, it was Pat Flynn’s Flynn-Con event and his business partner comes up to me and goes, “Shane, Shane, Shane.” And is said, “What’s up, man?” And he goes, “They told us that you had the whole patio reserved and we’ve got all our sponsors and we want to come out here and sit on the patio.” And I’m like, “We don’t have the whole patio reserved.” He’s like asking us at his event if they could come out on the patio and I was like, “That’s right. Flipped Lifestyle is taking over the world, baby.”
Nancy Troiano: Yes, they are.
Kenny Troiano: I was actually standing next to you when he said that to you.
Shane Sams: Oh, yeah. Right. That was amazing.
Jocelyn Sams: That was a little weird. All right. Let’s tell everybody else what you guys do out there. And they might be a little bit surprised at what you do because you guys are living in California and I think a lot of people don’t really associate California with farm life.
Shane Sams: And livestock and stuff like that.
Kenny Troiano: California’s actually a pretty big agricultural community.
Shane Sams: We were just talking about this with our assistant. She was like … First of all, you tell everybody what you do and tell us a little bit about your background and your online business, and then we’ll talk more about what’s happening out in California.
Kenny Troiano: First of all, I teach people how to breed chickens. And I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. Actually teaching for almost 30 years now. But I’ve been raising chickens for a long time and everything, and maybe 20 some odd years ago, I can’t remember exactly, 22 years ago, I’m trying to get the timelines right. The feed stores in my county, we have like a small town, but we have like five feed stores. We had six at one time. And they all do really well. That’s how many people raise livestock, it’s in every backyard around here. So, the feed stores knew that I raise chickens, so they would send people over to me to answer questions and help them out and get them started, the beginners. And at the time, it wasn’t that they thought I was an authority. They just knew I raised chickens.
Kenny Troiano: And I would also get the chicken magazines, too, and my daughters would read them and would overhear me talking to people on the phone or they would come to my house and we would talk chickens.
Shane Sams: I love how you just flippantly threw in there, “Yeah, I get all the chicken magazines,” and I’m like, “There’s chicken magazines? I didn’t know there were chicken magazines.”
Kenny Troiano: There’s a lot of chicken magazines, you know. So my daughter came up to me, she goes, “Dad, you could do better than these guys,” because she would read the magazines and “Why don’t you start writing for the magazines?” I told my daughter Sam, I go, “If you think it’s that easy, you do it.” Because I wasn’t exactly the greatest student. I didn’t flunk English, but I didn’t excel in English, okay? So I told her, “If you think it’s easy, you do it.” So she did. She started writing these little articles. She was only 13 years old at the time. And I would send them into the magazines and they would publish everything she wrote.
Shane Sams: That’s amazing.
Kenny Troiano: Yeah. This went on for like two years. And then finally she was going into high school and she said, “Dad, I need a little time off and I was wondering if I could take break.” I go, “Sam, you can do whatever you want. Let me, I’ll go ahead and write a few articles and give you like a four or five month break and if you want to come back, you can.” Because I didn’t want them to forget about her. So I went ahead and wrote a four part series on selection, how to select your birds. And it really took off. I didn’t even have a computer at the time. This was before computers for me.
Shane Sams: What did you type the articles on? Did you hand write them or were you using like an old typewriter-
Kenny Troiano: Typewriter.
Shane Sams: … like a word processor with the tape that erased and stuffed?
Kenny Troiano: No, typewriter. Hunt and peck.
Shane Sams: Nice. That’s amazing.
Kenny Troiano: So, I sent those in and they got a lot of attention and I got a lot of mail. I was like, “Wow, this is kind of cool.” I’ve been writing for the magazines ever since. After that four part series, I never stopped and then other magazines asked me to write for them. Now I’m writing for magazines, I’m sending articles all over the world in different magazines in different countries. So I ended up taking, after four years of that, I took the information, all those articles I wrote and I put them into a collection, in a book, and I published a book. It did okay. Not enough to make a living on, but I made pretty good money.
Kenny Troiano: And then four years later I wrote a second book, which was more formatted. It was more on breeding and everything. And that did really good, but I wasn’t really making the kind of money that I could make a living on. I really thought for a while there that I was going to make a living writing a whole bunch of books, that I was going to just keep writing books and making a living, and I realized that wasn’t going to happen. I was going to make, I still make money on my books. The orders still come in and it’s nice extra money. But I needed something more. So I ran into Jeff Walker’s product launch formula, and I thought, “What if I create a program with a series of courses that I could market digitally?”
Kenny Troiano: So I started on that. And then one day I was driving down the road with my wife and my daughter, I have three daughters. Two of them are in their 30s, 35 and 33, and then I’ve got my young one which is 16. So I’ve got pretty good span there, by the way. So I was talking to my oldest daughter about an idea I had of putting together an online magazine where I could put it on the computer, I could put my material on there with multiple formats and color instead of black and white, and I could do all these different things and they could subscribe to it. And I looked forever to find something that would do that, like a program. And this was kind of, I think before membership sites were, I don’t know about popular, but easier to do where they had plugins and things like that.
Kenny Troiano: So, I kind of just put it on the back burner and just knew some day I wanted to do that. And then I don’t remember exactly where it was where I heard the term membership site. Could’ve been Michael Hyatt. Could’ve been the four hour work week. I read a lot of books at that time. And then I was searching the Internet, Googling membership sites. You had a free webinar and it came up, and I basically took a bunch of notes, listened to everything you said, and you gave a series of steps like, “You get this platform, you do this and that.” And I just kind of followed them and got the ball rolling. And then shortly after that, I found your podcast and I just started listening to that podcast. I’m a road biker, too. So I would listen in my mp3 player, your podcast up and down the road. And I would stop and I had a Note 4 at the time, and I would write all this stuff in my phone that you would do and I’d go home and implement it in my thing, my website.
Kenny Troiano: And it just kind of went from there. One thing I just always tried to do was not to introduce a lot of bells and whistles, but to keep everything as simple as possible.
Shane Sams: Yes.
Kenny Troiano: It just kept getting really complicated the more … SO I started one website, it’s called The Chicken Breeder’s Gazette. The first launch was like what? 30 some odd people, Nancy?
Nancy Troiano: Right. It was pretty small.
Kenny Troiano: At the time-
Shane Sams: 30 something members? You got 30 something members on the first launch?
Kenny Troiano: Yeah. To me, that was terrible. Because I’m so well known all over the country. I told Nancy that I would like to try to start, launch this and get like 1000 people, and I figured if I didn’t at least get 300 people, that was a travesty, you know?
Shane Sams: Right.
Jocelyn Sams: I like the way you think, actually.
Kenny Troiano: So I almost quit when I got like 34 people, I think it was. I was like, “Oh, no. I can’t, this is not going to work.” And I know you guys would probably think that’s great, because Nancy was saying that to me all the time.
Nancy Troiano: Well, that and I’d always have to remind him it’s a marathon, it’s not a race.
Shane Sams: I wonder where you’ve heard that before.
Nancy Troiano: Exactly.
Shane Sams: Who says that?
Kenny Troiano: Yeah, really. She kept telling me, “Shane and Jocelyn would think you’re doing great. You got these members, you’re doing this, and this, and that. They would think you’re a success.” I just didn’t feel like a success. So it started kind of slowing down. The members weren’t really coming in and I just couldn’t figure it out. So I actually started a new membership called The Breeders Academy and that has done better. I still have the Gazette. I still have about 20 some odd members over there, but the Academy has almost 100.
Shane Sams: Wow.
Kenny Troiano: It’s doing a lot better. It’s still not doing as well as I would like it to do.
Shane Sams: And how much do you charge for The Breeder’s Academy?
Kenny Troiano: I have a few membership levels. I have $29.95 is the master breeders. And then I have a little cheaper one which we call the apprenticeship program, which is $9.95. It’s just to get them in the door. And I’ve had a lot of people upgrade since they got in there. And then I had an annual one for $295 that, it did okay. A lot of people would join that, but the problem I had with that is some times they would get surprised at the end of the year with this all of a sudden coming out of their account. And I had a few instances where they got a little upset and stuff, and some of them just kind of keep it going no problem. And just recently I changed it to, it’s still like an annual $295, but what I did was I made it so that it expires at the end of 380 days. I give them a few extra days.
Shane Sams: I gotcha.
Kenny Troiano: They can, if they want to rejoin and they want to keep it going, then they can just rejoin or they can maybe go to the monthly plan which is $29.95.
Shane Sams: What we’ve done for that is we’ve noticed that same thing, too, now. Mathematically it works out where you have, usually annual plans we’re seeing somewhere between 15 to 30% depending on the niche will actually renew, right? You’re doing a lot of refunds. And you do make a lot of people mad, and we don’t really want to make people mad even if the math works out that it’s worth it, you know what I’m saying? So we actually, what we did was we changed all of our annual plans and our terms and conditions. They now renew at the monthly plan. That’s the equivalent. So what happens is we send out, how far in advance do they get that message, Jocelyn?
Jocelyn Sams: I think it’s like a couple of months or maybe like a month.
Shane Sams: Like a month out we say, “You are about to renew on your annual plan and you will convert to the monthly plan.” We let them know that. And then once they roll back over, it’s a lot lower charge, so they’re not like … It eliminates the anger because it’s like, “Hey, I got this charge. What is this?” And we’re like, “Oh, you had an annual plan and it rolled over.” And a lot more of those people are staying now at that monthly rate and then we just give them a nice, the email when they renew gives them an option to upgrade back to the annual plan at a discount. You see what I’m saying? So that way we keep our retention, we increase lifetime value, but it’s like you didn’t get charged $300, right? And you lose all the anger that way. You still have people cancel, but it’s like you lose all the anger. And the anger is what you want to eliminate.
Kenny Troiano: Yeah. I have to figure out how to do something like that, because I’m using paid membership pro right now and I don’t know how to make it so that it automatically goes to a monthly after the annual.
Shane Sams: Sure. There’s probably something in there you can set it up that way. But let’s back up a little bit. First of all, yeah you’re successful. Do you know how many people right now would come to your house and steal all your chickens because you got 100 people around $29 a month? That’s crazy when you think about it. Some people in America don’t make that much money a month. And if you found 100 people, with probably a few tweaks, you could double or triple that within a year. You’ve got the momentum, you’ve got the members, you’ve got the community, you’ve got the authority, and you’ve got this niche. Who would think an online business could be built out of raising chickens, right? But you’ve done that. You’ve built the foundation.
Shane Sams: It’s kind of like when people build a house. You ever drive by a house and you see, “Oh, they’re building a house there in that lot. I didn’t think anybody was ever going to build a house there”? And then about two weeks, three weeks later, they’ve poured the foundation. And it just looks like, “Man, it’s taking forever for them to build that house.” Then you drive back by the next week and you’re like, “Oh look, they’ve got the frame up.” Then you come back by a week later and they’ve got the roof. Then you come back and there’s something else. And then it sits there for a month because it rains, right? You know what I mean? And then all of a sudden, without even paying attention, you drive by and you see somebody moving in. That’s when the house … and that’s kind of like what you’re doing with this membership now. You’ve got the foundation and the frame up. The hard part’s done. Now it’s just marketing at this point to take it to the next level, to get that next 100 members.
Shane Sams: We always tell people if you can find one, you can find 101, right? But if you found 100, there’s 1000 of them chicken raising people out there, I know there are. There’s 1000 people out there breeding chickens and their chickens aren’t breeding. And they need some help from The Breeders Academy!
Kenny Troiano: I’m trying to scoop them up, man.
Jocelyn Sams: what I want to know is can you tell people how to keep them out of the road, like our neighbors.
Shane Sams: We live in rural Kentucky. There’s chickens everywhere.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah, maybe we could like send them to you, I don’t know. Because I’m about to run over chickens all the time. We talked about a lot of people don’t really think about California as somewhere agricultural, and I know that we do see the commercials about California cows and cheese and stuff like that. And it’s a really large state. But when most people think about California, they think about LA or-
Shane Sams: The whole place is LA and San Francisco. That’s all you think about when you’re not from California.
Kenny Troiano: And we’re actually embarrassed about that, to tell you the truth. We don’t like to be associated with LA.
Shane Sams: You’re the country folks. You’re the country folks, right?
Kenny Troiano: San Diego’s a lot different than Los Angeles, that’s all I can say.
Jocelyn Sams: For sure. But you know, we know about this kind of stuff, we’ll get along just fine. You’ve opened up your membership. You kind of changed direction a little bit. You’ve got people in right now. So I guess my question is what is next or what’s holding you back from going to another level?
Kenny Troiano: I’ll tell you what we’ve done that’s helped out. I’ll tell you what I think I need to do, but I’ll tell you what I’ve done that’s helped out a lot, which is starting the podcast, the Bred to Perfection podcast. That made a lot of difference. I’ve heard it from you and other people that, I get it right, get to know, like, and trust you factor, and that’s made a lot of difference. And almost everybody who joins nowadays, it’s because they were listening to our podcast.
Shane Sams: Awesome. Is it a weekly podcast? Or how often do you do it?
Kenny Troiano: We try to make it weekly. We don’t always succeed, but yeah, it’s basically a weekly show.
Shane Sams: I just picture someone that has a backyard chicken coop and they’ve got like, what’s a normal person own? 10 chickens? Let’s just say 10 chickens.
Nancy Troiano: Maybe that, yeah.
Shane Sams: I’m going to say 10 chickens. And they’re out there throwing seeds from a bucket or whatever you feed chickens. I don’t know what you feed chickens. You’re the chicken expert, not me.
Jocelyn Sams: I know. It’s like we live in Kentucky. You would think we know all about chickens.
Shane Sams: I have no idea how to raise chickens.
Jocelyn Sams: Aside from-
Shane Sams: We might need to learn. We’ve got plenty of-
Kenny Troiano: I can help you with that.
Shane Sams: I just picture a guy out there, or a girl out there throwing seeds from a bucket, feeding their chickens while they’re listening to your chicken podcast. And that to me-
Kenny Troiano: And that’s exactly what happens.
Shane Sams: It feels gloriously wholesome and it’s just American. Someone out there listening to a podcast raising chickens. It’s amazing. Why is it not consistent? We have three pillars in our business that we think everyone has to do to build an audience online. You’ve got to be consistent, prolific, and relentless. So the consistent part is a consistently, you have a consistent core piece of content. For us, it’s our podcast, right? We have two podcasts a week now. We have one podcast on Tuesday and then we bring back a best of episode or maybe we release one of the trainings from our community or we do something on Saturdays now. So we have consistently, every week, no matter what, we’ve been going … I think we’ve been on almost a five year run now of not missing a week of our podcast.
Kenny Troiano: Wow.
Shane Sams: What’s keeping you, because that is really critical. That know, like, and trust comes from your audience being able to rely on you, and if they … like on Tuesdays if there’s anything late, I know we would hear about it immediately. Some times iTunes will mess up and the feed won’t go in iTunes, but it’ll be out on our website and we’ll get like 10 emails like, “Hey, where’s the podcast? It’s not on iTunes. I download it and listen to it on work on Tuesdays.” Because I run the website, some times iTunes doesn’t update. Go check it out. But like what’s keeping you guys from being consistent on that podcast? Why do you miss them? Is it just time? Is it effort? Are you doing it in real time weekly? How are you getting behind some times?
Kenny Troiano: Well, we’ve got 32 episodes out and I have 30 some odd episodes in the bank that just need to be-
Nancy Troiano: Edited.
Kenny Troiano: Edited and formatted and put out. It’s always time for me. I get these great ideas. I get these questions from members. And the best I can do some times is put them on a list and try to order that list in the order that they need to be produced, I guess you could say.
Shane Sams: Right, right.
Kenny Troiano: So I just keep adding to that list and I’m not ticking off that list as fast as I need to some times, so it always comes to time and we’re doing, since we started interviewing our members and getting some experts on here and there, we’ve got a lot of episodes in the bank, so we’re not hurting for episodes, actually. Thank God for 20 some odd years of working and doing this for that long and creating all kinds of content and material and programs and articles. I’ve got so much in the bank that I’m good for five, six more years without ever having to produce anything new.
Shane Sams: Yeah. If you would get them edited now. Are you editing your own podcast?
Kenny Troiano: But I’m talking about articles. I’m talking about articles-
Shane Sams: On your blog.
Kenny Troiano: Yeah. Like the material that I drip into my website, if it wasn’t for the fact I had so much already produced, if I had to create new content, I’d be in trouble.
Shane Sams: Right. So you’ve got, did you say you’ve got all this content scripted or you actually have 20 or 30 things recorded, it’s just a matter of finding time to get them edited and uploaded and all that stuff?
Kenny Troiano: Yeah.
Shane Sams: Okay.
Kenny Troiano: They’re recorded and ready to go, they just need to be edited and formatted.
Shane Sams: Okay. Do you edit your own podcast?
Kenny Troiano: Yeah.
Shane Sams: Okay. I think you know what’s coming next, right? You need to go take about $200 out of that 100 people paying $29 a month and you need to say like, “Hey, we’re going to outsource this. It’s time.” It’s time to go hire someone on Fiverr, hire someone on Upwork, and just find someone, all they have to do is edit it, upload it, and go. And you could even just get a transcript for any copy that you’re going to put on the stuff.
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah. And it would be awesome if you just had all of those scheduled out and then you know you don’t have to worry about that piece for a really long time, right?
Shane Sams: Yeah. Because you could drop all those in a folder today, hire someone tomorrow, and like we do this with YouTube videos. One thing that we do is we cut up our Q&As in our community and then we can roll those out like as single Q&As. Because we usually answer 15 to 20 questions, every Q&A that we do live in the community. So we take those and we cut them up and we’re like, “Hey, we can roll these out on YouTube later.” Okay? So we hire someone and we tell him, “We don’t want to get $1000 a head, so you’re allowed to do one of these a week that creates 15 videos,” and that just keeps us pushing forward, right?
Shane Sams: So you don’t have to go hire someone to say, “I need to pay you $3000 to do 30 episodes.” No. Just say, “HEre’s what we want to do. I want you to do five of these a month.” And that way we’re constantly getting one week ahead. And that way it’s affordable, you’ve got it kind of on a payment plan where you’re like, “All right, this is a fixed cost, but I know I never have to worry about this podcast again for the next 30 weeks.” That lets you step back and say, “How do we get more members in? That’s all we’re going to focus on now. We need to stop creating content for the next six months, because we’ve already got it and we need to go out and we need to do the things that we need to do to prolifically promote all of your stuff. You’ve got the consistent content. Scratch it off the list. Now you can go out and actually promote The Chicken Breeders Academy, because you have time to do it and you’re not thinking about, “Oh my gosh, I got to sit down for two hours and edit all this show, and edit all this podcast and do all these things.”
Kenny Troiano: Right.
Nancy Troiano: Here’s two things. We do know that we want to create enough podcasts to last throughout the end of the year, because Christmas is crazy busy for a mail carrier. So we know we need to do that and we’re only like five podcast shows away from getting that completed. The other thing is we’re a little bit apprehensive about having somebody else edit our shows, because what if they edit out something that was important to be said in the show?
Kenny Troiano: Or they leave something they shouldn’t have left in.
Shane Sams: Okay.
Kenny Troiano: Like I said, if you heard our raw stuff, it’s pretty bad.
Shane Sams: That’s an amazing question that I don’t think anyone has ever asked before and I totally get that fear. We get that fear 100%, okay? What you have to do first of all is realize this principle. Where were we at? New York when we were talking? Yeah, we were in New York one time, we were kind of in a group of entrepreneurs and we were all talking, and this was back when we were thinking about selling ElementaryLibrarian.com. And I remember in the conversation, Jocelyn was saying, “Well, this is my community. I’ve done this. What if somebody doesn’t get it who buys it?” And one of the people in the Mastermind looked up and said, “Everyone is replaceable, even the founder of the company.” And what’s important to you and like what we say on our podcast, will probably shine through as the editor is listening to it and anything they cut out is going to be prob not important. Like you can tell.
Shane Sams: And anything that gets through the editor and makes it to the ears of the people that you talk to is going to be something they didn’t even have before no matter what, right? So, they’re always going to learn, they’re always going to get content. Something’s always going to go through. And yes, the editor is going to put things on the editing room floor that you wish had made the podcast. But it doesn’t matter, because the person listening didn’t even know that was there in the first place.
Jocelyn Sams: As of right now, they’re not even getting the information, because you have everything recorded and it’s not even out there. There are definitely weeks when I’ve listened back to the podcast. I don’t always listen back, but some times I do. And there are weeks that I’ll listen back to it and I’m like, “Oh, we’re talking over each other. Why was that included in the podcast?”
Shane Sams: Or I say something like, “Oh, he left a part out of that thing that I was talking about or whatever.”
Jocelyn Sams: Yeah. And it’s okay. It’s better for some information to get out than no information to get out. And it’s much better than you trying to do it yourself.
Shane Sams: 80% of what you would do done by somebody else is 1000% better than you doing it by yourself. Because it actually happens. Let’s say you’re missing every third or fourth podcast and there’s just not one that week because one didn’t get out, right? Well, releasing a podcast that’s slightly edited that may, let’s be honest, just tell them not to cut out anything, just be like, “Cut out the mess ups. Cut out the screw ups. Cut out the ooms and the ahs and all that stuff. Just leave the rest of it in.” You don’t have to edit it perfect. And if you can let that go, you will become a prolific content creator. You won’t be able to maintain the flow of content. It’ll just pour out of you, because you can just let it out.
Shane Sams: For years, we even, we read through the transcript, but we don’t check our transcript perfect like at all. It’s probably 95% what it really should be because, you know what, 25% of our audience reads the transcript. Another 50% listen to the whole podcast. Somebody else consumes it in a different way. You can’t match up everything to everyone listening anyway, so don’t try. Just get the stuff out, get it batch. Yeah, you got to just kind of let it go. It’s not your baby anymore when you let somebody edit it. But you’re the one who actually makes all the content, right?
Kenny Troiano: You are talking to a control freak here, you know that.
Shane Sams: I live with a control freak, bro. So I have this conversation all the time with almost everything that we create.
Kenny Troiano: But I’m always telling Nancy that I need to do something because I’m wearing too many hats and I can’t make this all … and we were just talking about it this morning that I’m wearing too many hats and I can’t make it all happen just with my effort. And it’s like pretty soon I’m going to be doing video, and edit those, too.
Nancy Troiano: Here’s the thing, once we have all the podcasts done for the rest of the year, then he’s going to switch over to video and start working on that.
Kenny Troiano: Right.
Shane Sams: What are the three hats, Kenny, that you need to wear? What are the three hats-
Jocelyn Sams: That only you can wear.
Shane Sams: That only you can do in your business right now. One we know is chicken guru extraordinaire.
Kenny Troiano: Yeah, content creation, big time. Dealing with my customers, because only I can answer their questions, really. And that’s the biggest thing. And then the marketing, which I’m always struggling with. I think I have a brilliant idea and it flops.
Nancy Troiano: I think that’s one that you would like to push out to somebody else.
Kenny Troiano: Yeah, I wish I could find someone I could hire to do that for me. When it comes to marketing, to me I come up with these great ideas, “Oh, we’re going to get all kinds of members,” and it just doesn’t produce like I think it’s going to. What I was thinking, like the podcast really made a lot of difference and we have a lot of hope in that. So, we’re going to continue to do that. And I do know that I need to start doing webinars, but every time I want to do it, it’s that time issue that gets in the way to create the webinars. And we just started doing Facebook live and I was afraid to do that because I’m putting myself out there and I get nervous. So I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do that. We started doing the Facebook live, we’ve done three or four of them now, and we’re like, “Wow, we can do this. This ain’t so bad.”
Shane Sams: And live’s better, you don’t have to edit it. It’s amazing. I love live video.
Kenny Troiano: I’m just calm. We’re just chatting with the screen, with our people listening. It ended up turning out to be okay. So I told Nancy, I go, “If I can do this live, then I can do a live webinar.” So I’m getting more confidence about that. Now it’s just, again, we’re back to the time issue.
Jocelyn Sams: Right. And one thing that I would challenge you on would be the questions like customer service, because this is something that I was reluctant to let go of for a really long time because I was like, “Oh, well nobody can answer the questions like I can.” Here’s the thing, once you’ve answered them a lot of times, most people are asking the same types of questions. So I started using a customer service ticketing system. It is called Zen Desk. And the cool thing about Zen Desk is that it keeps all of your responses and it keeps them in like a database. So what I would do is for the first few months, I would respond to all of the customer service tickets and then I turned it over to someone else and if they needed some help, they would look back and see, “Okay, well what did Jocelyn respond? Oh, okay. She said this, so I’m going to copy and paste it and type a couple other things in it.”
Jocelyn Sams: And if there was something they didn’t know how to answer, then they would ask me and I would tell them, and from then on it would be inside that ticketing system.
Shane Sams: Even in our community, our community has grown so big that we can’t keep up with everybody, right? So like what we did was we have a community manager that we hire and we pay him … How much? It’s a part time college student kind of role.
Jocelyn Sams: Oh, yeah. We pay him just like, I think it’s like $12 an hour, I think.
Shane Sams: $12 an hour or something like that, and what he does is he scours our forums, because you would think Shane and Jocelyn have seen literally thousands of businesses, talked to hundreds of people on our podcasts, answered thousands of questions on all of their Q&As, only they could answer the marketing questions, right? Well, no. Not really because we took all of our wisdom and knowledge and made a course called The Flip Your Life Blueprint and we have 50 courses that basically answer 80% of all questions could be asked. So now what he does is he makes sure every single person in our forums, if they ask a question, like say it’s about sales funnels. Or webinars. His job is to know where the answers are and get people to them. He doesn’t answer-
Jocelyn Sams: His job is not to answer. He doesn’t give a personal opinion. He doesn’t say, “In my experience.” He says, “Hey, have you checked out the webinar course? Here’s a link to it.”
Shane Sams: “Here’s Shane and Jocelyn’s webinar course. Shane and Jocelyn actually answered this same question on a Q&A last week and it’s on YouTube. Here’s the link.” So it’s getting people to their answers the fastest. It’s still you answering the question. It’s like Dave Ramsey. Dave Ramsey ain’t sitting down and helping nobody write a budget by himself. But they’re going to point to his course that helps you write the budget. And that’s what you have to do. You’ve got to let go of this stuff. You have so much content that you’ve created and I’m pretty sure from egg to dinner plate, that’s probably a terrible analogy, but raising a chicken is about the same. From egg to the fryer, it’s about the same system. When you hatch the egg, you raise the chicken, they make more eggs. I bet you answer the same questions a lot of the time. And if you can answer the most frequently asked questions and then have a system in place where someone points to the answer, it doesn’t have to be just you, right? And then you’re free to say, “Wait a minute, why didn’t this launch work? Why didn’t this webinar work? Let’s actually me and Nancy sit down and figure this out and we can focus on the important thing, getting more members and creating new content,” okay?
Shane Sams: Challenges, when you look at … We’ve really figured out that the only thing that really we have to do is talk on this podcast. Like next week at Flip Your Life live, we have to be onstage. That’s something that only we can do, because the event itself is billed as headlined by Shane and Jocelyn, right?
Nancy Troiano: Right.
Shane Sams: But all we’re focused on is the content. We have a live event coordinator who’s handling everything else. We have an AV team that is handling everything else. We have an MC who is going to go out and take care of the crowd and keep us organized. Our assistants will be there. Our assistants will help us with all the other stuff, like checking people in, registration. We have one job. Be Shane and Jocelyn and answer questions. That’s our job during the thing. If we were constantly just involved in everything, we couldn’t have the live event. It wouldn’t even work, right? But it’s the same thing with your chicken stuff. You’ve got to let go of … You need to question yourself as anything but podcasting, circle the podcast, circle Q&As in your membership, and now say, “Those are the only things I do. I want to go get more members, so how do I get rid of everything else?”
Shane Sams: And some times it doesn’t take hiring 20 people to do it. It could just be some automation. It could be not doing some things, saying no to some things, right? Like I would question why you’re doing maybe even Facebook lives and YouTube videos and stuff now. Why aren’t you just focusing on getting the podcast out consistently and then promoting that podcast every single minute of every single day of your life to triple your chicken audience, and then let your podcast send them to opt ins to get them on your list so you can market them to your webinars or to your membership itself. I really question going tactically wide when you could go deep on one thing right now and not add more things to your plate. Let go of some of these things and see if you can work out a better system where you’re not so overwhelmed, right?
Shane Sams: I’m rambling a little bit here, but I just had a Mastermind discussion and one of my buddies said the other day, he came on and he said, “Hey guys, I got an idea.” We just planned a fourth quarter and we realized that we were maxing out our capacity every quarter and all these fires kept coming up that we had to put out. All these things, these new opportunities would show up that we had to act on, so we did something pretty unique. We only filled our calendar to 70% capacity. We went through every person’s calendar, every project, and we said, “Drop it down 30%. Say no to 30% of the plan right now,” and now when opportunities come or when we have ideas, we’re going to have capacity to act on them. And I would challenge you a little bit like you don’t have to do more, you might have to do less better to double you membership.
Nancy Troiano: You know, that speaks volumes to me because a lot of times what we talk about in our podcast is we’ll have breeders that will have 10 varieties of chickens on their yard and we say, “You need to focus down to one or two of them so that you can give them all of your attention.” That speaks volumes to me about what you just said.
Kenny Troiano: Yeah. I do need to release some of it. I know I’m doing too much. And I like the idea of automating some of it, too.
Shane Sams: Even without the automation, people go to automation instead of saying no some times and that causes more problems, because then you got to learn how to automate it, right? What if your whole, like we know for sure that your content is king, because you are the chicken guy, right? So what if your entire business was just take, is one podcast a week, every day is promote the podcast, and then you’re emailing out other content to get them to join your membership, right? And then you go and you do a webinar, right? You say one webinar that you do every other week forever. And now all you have to do is podcast and all you have to do is email your list and all you have to do is a webinar twice a month. And you start adding 10 members every two weeks.
Shane Sams: And then all of a sudden, six months form now, you’ve done 12 webinars and you’ve added 100 more members. And nothing else matters. Nothing else matters. You don’t have to go Facebook live. You don’t have to go YouTube live. Just take your podcast when you record it, turn the video on, and then put that on YouTube. There’s your YouTube channel. Upload that to your Facebook page. You don’t have to go live. You could just do that. And you just hire an editor out to go do that thing and now you can focus on the marketing.
Jocelyn Sams: Do you see how by getting someone to help you get this content out, that is then going to release you to be able to work on other things to grow your membership?
Kenny Troiano: Oh, yeah.
Nancy Troiano: Most definitely.
Kenny Troiano: We’ve been talking about this for a while. It’s just a matter of making it happen. We just keep putting it off or we keep coming up with reasons why we shouldn’t do that. But I do know we need to do that.
Shane Sams: I would challenge you both after this call, and anybody listening to the podcast right now, to sit down, because I know everyone listening is overwhelmed. Everybody gets overwhelmed because we all want to fill our bucket. We get capacity, and humans just want to fill their capacity. It’s like getting a bigger garage. You’re like, “Man, all my stuff fits on one wall.” And then four years and two kids later, there’s 97 things on every wall.
Nancy Troiano: Exactly.
Shane Sams: We fill things up. It’s what we do. So we have to guard against this. Write down the five things that actually produce members in your business, period. For us, it’s definitely the podcast. It’s email marketing. I email the lists every day. It’s more and more becoming Facebook ads. It’s doing webinars and some kind of live component. That’s been our life for the last year and a half. Those five things matter. Nothing else matters. I wanted to do a YouTube channel and a daily YouTube video live every day. It didn’t matter. So I just said, “We’ll just cut up the questions and we’ll upload those. We can outsource that.”
Shane Sams: Just think about the five things that actually matter that lead to you being able to promote your membership to your list every day. And your followers every day. That’s it. And then get rid of everything else. Say no to everything else. Now automate those five things only. Don’t add anything new for a year. Go out and just hammer the nail that’s working every two weeks and make more members happen over time. And then a year from now when you’ve got 200 or 300 members, maybe now you add something new because you’ve got capacity and you’ve got funds to actually go hire more people and do it. Does that make sense?
Kenny Troiano: Oh, yeah. Definitely.
Jocelyn Sams: Okay, guys. It has been a fun chat with you today. Tell everyone where they can find you and then also tell us your action step, what you plan to do. I think it’s pretty clear after our conversation. But just let everyone know where to find you and what you’re planning to work on based on today’s conversation.
Kenny Troiano: Well, first of all when I do the five steps that you talked about, write those down and implement those. And then we’re going to work on trying to find someone to do our editing, which is going to be a little tough. We’re going to have to struggle with that one a little bit, but definitely those five steps right away. And they can find us on Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast, and our show is Bred to Perfection. And they can find my website at, it’s called The Breeders Academy at www.BreedersAcademy.com.
Jocelyn Sams: Awesome. Thank you so much for being here today. We have loved talking chickens with you guys.
Kenny Troiano: You got it. Thank you for having us on your show and the opportunity to meet you guys in person in San Diego, that was great. We talked about it all the way home.
Nancy Troiano: It was great seeing you guys down there.
Kenny Troiano: Hopefully we can do this again some time.
Shane Sams: What a great conversation with Kenny and Nancy Troiano. I love hearing amazing stories about amazing niche memberships like raising chickens. I mean, there’s so many cliché things out there in the world, guys. Everybody’s trying to do the live coach thing. Everybody’s trying to be the motivational speaker, but man, people are making real money with real world niches in online business and you can too. We would love to help you start build and grow your own online business over at FlippedLifestyle.com. That’s F-L-I-P-P-E-D Lifestyle dot com. You could head over there right now, check out the side bar, grab your online business quick start guide. It’s a free series of courses to help you come up with your idea, research to make sure that it’s making money online, and get started creating products that you can sell on the Internet.
Shane Sams: That’s FlippedLifestyle.com. We would love to help you in our community today. Before we close the show, we’re going to read you a bible verse. Jocelyn and I get a lot of our motivation and inspiration from the bible and we love to close our show with a piece of wisdom from the bible. And today’s bible verse is Psalm 138:3. The bible says, “When I called, you answered me. You made me bold and stout hearted.” So be bold and stout hearted. Go out there and chase your dreams. Whatever your idea is, it is worthy. You can go out, you can start an online business. You can share your experience, share your wisdom. You can change the lives of the customers that you find and you can change your family’s future forever. That’s all the time we have for this week. Until next time, get out there. Take action. And do whatever it takes to flip your life. We’ll see you then.
Jocelyn Sams: Bye.
Nancy Troiano: One thing that, our ultimate goal here is to at some point be able to have conferences like what you guys are going to do real soon. And we’re thinking that would be so much fun to do. But like you were telling us a little while ago about you’ve got somebody to do all these different functions and all you’ve got to do is be the content for the conference. That’s kind of scary that you have all these different people doing all these things for you and you have to learn that, “Okay, we’re going to need this for this and that for that kind of thing.” But like we said, that’s our ultimate goal is some day to be able to have those conferences in person.
Shane Sams: Sure. Sure, yeah. Well, we’ve learned in the last couple of years, conferences have a different place in your business. It’s to build retention and they’re usually not profitable, okay? Small things are profitable. Classroom setting sizes are profitable if you can sell an expensive ticket like 30 or more. But once you start getting into hotels and stuff, it’s really, really like a lot of money. I would probably say make your goal at least 500 to 1000 members, and go get it and make that happen. And then maybe start doing work. When you get to 500 members, which you can get to 500 members, you just got to put your mind to it and say, “That’s our goal, we’re going to get there.” You probably have enough money now to start thinking about doing workshops. And then push as high as you can get to start selling those conferences.
Shane Sams: We sell a conference ticket at almost $1000 and it’s still usually just a break even event. You know what I’m saying? But if you’ve got the capacity to do it, it can be an amazing thing for retention. You may have 500 members and you say, “Hey, here’s a conference ticket to come to this conference.” All those people pay you every month until the conference, right? So it creates an anchor. It creates a place to get together. It creates things like that. Conferences are a big deal and they are fun. Workshops are easy. Workshops you can usually get away with. It’s a little bit cheaper, you can make them profitable. But going out and making a big conference of 100 plus is really overwhelming and I probably actually wouldn’t recommend anybody doing it until they get to 1000 members. Because then you’ve got a community big enough to support it, okay?
Kenny Troiano: I’ll tell you what I do like to do and want to get back into as well, which would impede on my time I’m sure, was … and I left it out, I forgot about it, was we used to do seminars. We used to travel the country doing seminars. I worked for an organization called The Sustainable Poultry Network and it was really funny when they first hired me, they said, “I know you wrote books, books are great. But do you know how to speak in front of people or are you just a writer?” And I said, “Well, I’ve spoke in front of a small group, so you can let me try it and see if I work out. And if I do, then you can keep going.” “Oh yeah, okay. So we’ll bring you to Wellmont, Ohio.” They actually put me in the basement thinking that maybe my subject matter wasn’t going to be popular or maybe most people wouldn’t, I wouldn’t get a very big following. And it filled the room. Standing room only. It was crazy.
Shane Sams: Love it.
Kenny Troiano: And then the next seminars after that, I got the biggest rooms.
Shane Sams: Yes.
Kenny Troiano: And I really loved that interaction.
Shane Sams: Maybe the best thing to do then in this regard would be probably like go speak at other people’s events to continue building your membership and your authority. And then you have side events like meetups and stuff like we did at Flynn Con. And that’s a great way to start that live event process, and then keep your mind focused on that one goal of getting to your income goal for your membership. And then all doors open and there’s more possibilities. Okay?
Kenny Troiano: Sounds good. Sure. Before we get offline here, I got to say this and I wish I would’ve said it in the actual podcast, because I’m now regretting it. But I got to thank you guys, because if it wasn’t for you, we would not be where we’re at today. We would’ve never found what we needed to find to make this all work. I wouldn’t probably have even known about it. It probably would’ve took me a lot longer. I really appreciate what you guys do and I want to thank you, because you guys made all the difference in our lives, I’ll tell you.
Shane Sams: Oh, man.
Jocelyn Sams: Thank you so much. That’s awesome.
Shane Sams: That’s why we do what we do, bro. That’s why we do what we do. We appreciate tha.t
Kenny Troiano: Really, you guys are doing a great job. I can’t thank you enough.
Nancy Troiano: Your steps that we followed, you made it so easy for us and it was simple and it was great.
Kenny Troiano: You know how some people say they found you through Pat Flynn?
Shane Sams: Yeah.
Kenny Troiano: I found Pat Flynn through you.
Shane Sams: Yeah, baby.
Kenny Troiano: And I listen to mostly all your shows. I’ve missed a few here and there. But I’ve only listened to maybe 50 of his.
Shane Sams: That’s amazing. I’ve got to cut this out and I’m sending it to Pat.
Jocelyn Sams: We love it when people tell us that. It’s really funny.
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