018: Anmol Singh on Growing a Marketing Blog
Anmol Singh is a hard core technical trader, trading stocks and futures with a focus on the morning sessions or swing trading. His simple setups and exit strategies leave us with plenty to ponder about how we may be approaching the markets. Anmol currently runs LiveTraders.com where he reveals everything in his live trading room along with several other professional traders with specialties in everything from Forex to Options.
Anmol Singh on Growing a Marketing Blog
I have an amazing individual who has done some incredible work different than anyone else I’ve interviewed yet. His name is Anmol, and he started trading during his early college years like most of us without much luck. When I mean trading, I mean stock market trading. After a year or so, he discovered a pattern that allowed him to go from zero to a profitable trader relatively quickly. To date, Anmol has generated a lot of profits for him and his investors and trading wins and continues to remain a stock and Forex trader. He’s also an avid real estate investor with a large portfolio and has funded two other tech-based companies. Anmol spends most of his day managing funds and working with students of Live Traders which he co-founded in 2014. Welcome, Anmol. So happy to have you on the show.
Thanks for having me.
This is pretty exciting because I am a trader myself and I do a little bit of trading here and there. What we want to talk about and the goal of all of my shows is to help entrepreneurs. Clearly, you’re a successful entrepreneur. You did something very original and very unique, and I’d like for you to tell us a little bit about those early days when you weren’t having much luck and how you seem to find your way through to get to where you are now.
One of the things with trading and when I started was my mindset was always a mindset of never giving up. I come with a thinking of if you never give up, you’re never going to fail. There’s always things you can improve upon or do better to be able to be successful. The first year was a rollercoaster. However, I was still in college so I didn’t have the burden of paying my bills or supporting a family. That did make it a little bit easier for me to continue to fail because I did not need to pay my bills or anything from trading. That kept me going and eventually, I figured out that it all comes down to your mindset and that’s when things transition for me.
Your mindset was that you didn’t need a lot to get going because you didn’t have a lot of expenses. What happened? How did you discover this pattern that you talk about?
Funny enough, when people ask me what pattern was it that you discovered, they think that I discovered a trading pattern. In the bio, what I meant was I discovered a pattern in my own emotions. I discovered a pattern that was causing me to lose money and that pattern had to do a lot with my psychology, with not being able to trust my trading and with not being able to hold on for those gains. When I’m in a losing trade, you kept on holding onto the losing trade. I discovered a pattern that if I resolve those issues of getting out early in a winning trade and getting out late in a losing trade, if I got out on time, I would have been profitable right then and there. That was a pattern that I discovered that I made some changes with my own psychology, and that’s what enabled me to become profitable.
I’m glad you explained that because I wasn’t sure. I thought it was a trading pattern. Here’s the interesting parallel I see. A lot of entrepreneurs have started something and they stuck with it for a little while, and when they felt like it wasn’t going to work and then something newer came along, as they call it a shiny object, we jumped on it. Then we get all interested and excited about that and we do that for a little while, and we hit a little bit of resistance and we see another shiny object that maybe heading that direction. I bet our audience has experienced that. Further, some of us, if not most of us, have found something that has already started to work for us and that’s our quest to get to our first 1,000clients. What can you say about how you were able to separate yourself from your emotions and observe what was going on inside of you?
It will come down to before a person even starts his own business or starts his consulting practice, you have to have a vision for long term. A lot of people just get into it with the hopes of, “Maybe I can make $5,000 extra a month, that will be great,” or “If I can get $10,000 extra a month, that’ll be great.” Their vision is all dependent on the monetary outcome. When that monetary outcome is not hit within a few months, they start to panic, they start to question themselves, they start to doubt themselves. That’s where the special snowflake syndrome comes in where they find something else. They see a new advert or a new email blast that came up for another course and then they keep jumping from course to course or program to program without actually seeing something through. What a person needs to do is come up with a vision which is minimum a year out, and have a long-term vision. Where do you want to see your company or your consulting practice or whatever you’re doing five years from now? Then setting key performance indicators that tell you how you’re doing every six months or every one year. That’s the way to judge themselves. A lot of people have a shorter time frame in mind where they’re looking at their business on a month-to-month basis or a week-to-week basis rather than looking at it on an annual basis or quarterly basis, just like all the other big companies do.
There is some amazing wisdom in what you just said, and I want to highlight it for everybody on the show. What you’re basically saying is detach yourself emotionally, set some statistics that you want to hit, some goals, and whatever your emotions do, continue to work towards those goals and only judge at the end of a preset timeframe as to how far or how close you are to the goals you set. Is that what you said?
Exactly. That’s what people need to focus on, and making sure that their targets are not monetary-based. It should be more about client based, “I need to get twenty clients this month or maybe I need to hit a client average pay out of X, Y and Z.” They need to set performance indicators that are indirectly related to money, but they’re not just monetary goals, such as, “I want to make $20,000 this month.” That’s not a goal. You could have that goal but then chunk it down. How are you going to get to $20,000 a month? How many clients do you need? What do you need to charge them? That’s how you need to program and chunk it down, and then focus on hitting one goal at a time.
I would bet that you’re pretty passionate about the stock market and about trading. Would that be right?
100%. That’s my first ever job and I’ve been doing that since forever.
How important is it to have passion about what you want to do? Is it required or is it nice to have?
Passion is totally critical to have. It doesn’t mean that you’re passionate about the industry, but at least be passionate about your own business and what you do. Without passion, what it tends to happen is when the going gets tough, when things are tough and you’re not getting clients, passion is the only fuel that will help you persevere through those tough times. If you’re not passionate, when you see a tough time and you see a roadblock, you’re going to quit. You’re going to give up. You’re going to feel down on yourself because you never had the passion in the first place. Only passion can keep you going through those tough times.
I also want to broaden the definition, with your permission, because passion about a topic is one thing, but passion about satisfying the needs of a client or helping another person is another thing. Does that make sense to you?
100%. You definitely need to be passionate about your clients, because if you’re not passionate about your client, sooner or later it’ll show through.
It doesn’t require that you are passionate about your topic. For example, I have a friend who sells on Amazon and he generates $100,000 a month selling on Amazon. He doesn’t particularly care about what products he sells. He’s passionate about delivering a great experience to every single person who buys something from him. Isn’t that better? If you said to yourself, “What I’m truly passionate about is playing videogames and going to concerts. I love going to concerts.” Not much of a business to that. It’s finding the place that truly turns you on about how you deliver and what you deliver to your clients. Would you agree?
Right. In regards to the person you were talking about, he might not be passionate about the products he’s selling, but I can bet you he is passionate about the process. He’s passionate about the business side of things. He’s passionate about growing his Amazon. The products necessarily don’t matter, but the whole process of managing the business, sourcing out new products and seeing what is working well. That’s something that if you ask him, I’m pretty sure he’s going to be passionate about that part of business. It doesn’t matter even for trading. I have a big passion for trading and the industry, but I don’t have a passion for the stock that I’m trading. A lot of times I don’t even know the names of the stocks that I’m trading. I don’t have a passion for that but I have a passion for the process.
Let’s dive a little bit deeper into those first 1,000 clients. You started your company and I assume the company we’re talking about now is the company that trains students called Live Traders. What gave you the idea to even have a training company for the stock market?
Initially, Live Traders was used to be a blog that I used to write where I used to publish my market thoughts or stuff that I’m trading. It was just a free blog and me publishing my thoughts. What happened was a lot of people started reading the blog and I gain a following on social media. What that led to was me getting emails and messages from people saying, “We love your post. We love your analysis. How can I learn to do similar types of analysis?” At that time, I was mainly coaching people one-on-one, but then soon I realize it’s not time-efficient for me coaching everybody one-by-one. That’s what led to creating programs and systems that people can come in, that they can take the course and not necessarily have to be one-on-one. That’s what led to the industry. The sheer amount of emails and messages on social media is what gave me the idea that, “Maybe this could also be another business, but at the same time I’m able to get my message out without getting on call with everybody one-on-one.
First, you perfected or got involved in something that you loved and then you blogged about it and started to share your ideas and content. Then a lot of people started to follow you in the sharing activity and asked for help until finally you almost were forced to create a course, because after all you couldn’t keep up with the individual requests. When you did that and you decided to go off and sell that course, how did you go about marketing it?
We mainly did social media marketing. One of the strengths of our company is we don’t focus on a lot of traditional marketing methods, it’s mainly social media. As I was talking about when I was writing a blog, I used to post them on Twitter, I used to post them on Facebook groups, I used to post them on Facebook page, other forums, trading forums and things of that nature. What happened was that people started following me on Twitter, and that led to gaining a lot of followers on Twitter. When we started the trading company, it was as easy as tweeting it out and posting it on our Facebook page, which already had the fans from my blog. That just made the whole process much easier, planning ahead.
I would venture to say that when you first started posting information on your blog, you probably had no idea where this was going to take you.
At that time, I had no idea at all. I did have a little in the back of my mind that, “Maybe if people tend to like it, maybe in the future I’ll think about it as long as it doesn’t interfere with my own trading.” Eventually what happened was it went on quickly that what I had expected to perhaps happen in a year or two from now started happening in a few months. That led me to start this as soon as possible.
You sold a couple of dozens of these courses, maybe even 40 or 50, maybe even as you start to approach even the first 100 sales. What changed? What did you learn in the process of making the offer and getting those first 100people through your program?
One of the things that I learned is people genuinely enjoy good content. A lot of people have this misconception where in their free content, they give a basic overview. They might tell you how good the industry is or how great some business is or how great that they’re doing, and then they try and sell the course, which is not a great approach in my opinion. What we do is we lead with the content, we give them such great value upfront that makes them perhaps think, “If the free material is so good, how good the paid material is going to be?” That’s the mindset that we approach it with. You give them enough value upfront and not use gimmicky marketing, but rather give them content. That’s what led us to getting the sales.
One of the things that you start to see if you hang out in these marketing forums is that people are evolving the way they think about marketing. One of the things I’ve heard is that it’s getting to the point now where information is free and people pay for the experience of the information. How do you feel about that?
That is correct because people tend to gravitate towards an expert. This is the same, everybody including me, everybody in life needs people to look up to. They need people as mentors, they need people for information. Even though where I’m at right now, I still spend 10% of my income on mentors, on courses, on coaching, attending seminars, attending webinars and not necessarily trading related. It could be a Tony Robbins’ webinar. I still invest my capital in those, and everybody needs a mentor or a model to look up to and that is why the course sells. If you are providing great content, if you are being perceived as an expert that you are, it’s much easier because then the sales are warm sales rather than you do in a cold sale.
I’m the same way. I spend I would say 10% of my income, maybe a little more sometimes, on learning and growing and on being a better everything; a better CEO, a better coach and better mentor. I’m totally aligned with what you’re saying. As you started getting past that first 100 or so people, what changed? What did you learn that was different that you then applied to the second or third 100 sales?
What I learned was the similar point that I made about content. I was seeing what’s working and what’s not working. During our sales process, we tried different types of marketing. We tried webinars where we’re promoting the industry as a whole, as trading being a good business. Then we tried promoting lifestyle-based stuff that you see online. We tried promoting that, but what we felt connected towards, the post that we’re getting the most likes and the most engagements and the most shares, were informative posts that people want to share with their friends. That’s what increases the virality of your content, increasing your followers. You have to think about it in a way that every content that you share, is it good enough that people are going to share it with their friends? That’s what the type of content you need to put out there, that people say, “Send it to other traders. Look at this post it’s a great trading psychology post,” or “Look at this post. It has some good tips about your mindset.” Those are the post people will share. People are not going to share stuff about, “Look at my Ferrari.”
What I’m hearing is you perfected your marketing style and your sales methodology, which is fantastic. What I’m also wondering is did you change the operation of your internal systems? Did you add systems or did you feel as if you had what you needed during that early time?
Systems and updating is a constant process. We still to date update it. One of the things we realized is some of the things that might look obvious to us might not be obvious to a lot of other people. When someone signed up to our courses, we didn’t have a great backend system where they could download the courses and they can watch everything.We had to have our physical staff email people the courses. We realized that what happens is people tend to panic, they have purchased it but they didn’t get the links or they are not able to view the content. We realized a lot of stuff that’s obvious to us such as double-clicking something or running it as admin is not obvious to other people. We had to perfect those backend systems to ensure that once somebody signs up, they are redirected to a page which has step by step instructions or even a video walking them through what this means and how to set it up and how to use it. I think one of the things a lot of businesses miss is the on-boarding process. When somebody becomes your client, you have to keep following up, making sure that they are understanding the content that you’ve given them, making sure they understand what you’re doing for them. Constantly reinforcing what you’ve done for them will keep them with you as a client rather than one-off client.
I get the feeling that there’s a lot of brilliance in what you just explained, and it’s going to be valuable for others to hear that as well. Could you name some names? Tell us a little bit about your software and your technology on the backend. Do you use a learning management system to deliver your courses?
What we do is we use a different technology, which is a protection encryption technology. The reason we do that is because a lot of our premium courses are expensive, and we don’t want them to be available on a lot of the download websites. Our process is systematic. When somebody signs up,it generates an EXE file that they can download on their computer, and then they also get a serial number that they get along with the EXE file. When they want to view the course, they have to download the EXE file, double-click it, put in the license key number. In that way, what happens is they can only watch it on that computer and they’re not able to screen record and screen capture or any of that. Our customer service staff will also email them how to set it up along with them receiving the instructions on the thank you page.
If anybody else wanted to use something like that, who’s the vendor that supplies that?
There’s a vendor called Mirage Systems. They have different types of technology that they provide for you to be able to present your video content as well as protect your PDFs or spreadsheets, everything including even applications can be protected with the license key on there. It’s a good tool for people who are selling premium products that they don’t want out there.
The next real and important information to ask and the thing that people are interested in is what were some of the mistakes that you’ve made? They could be as big as possibly crashing the company mistakes. What happened? I know that no business goes from zero to thousand clients with no mistakes. Tell us a little bit about those.
Our biggest mistake was being naive on the tech side of things where we created a brand new website once we spend money on a website and then we never took a backup. One day, our website was hacked into and we just lost everything. Our website was down for the whole two weeks because we never backed up any of the content. A lot of the tech side of things is something we had to learn because me and my partner, both of us are traders. We don’t have any tech background. Stuff like backing up the website, making sure the regular backups are being taken, making sure you have all your usernames and passwords and different things in a centralized location as well as making sure you’re paying your taxes. A lot of small business owners forget that. They start up an LLC, they keep doing business, and then they forget about taxes. You have to focus on those things along with your tech issues.
This is experience speaking because we all seem to have made many of the same mistakes. I can’t tell you how many times these same types of errors have practically killed companies. This is a great reminder that if you don’t do regular backups and if you don’t pay your taxes and all the stuff you think of as basics, why let those things get in the way of your success? Thank you for sharing those as well. We got to the point now where you’ve started to scale the company, you’ve changed your marketing, changed your sales, put your systems in place to make sure that you can deliver a great product. What’s the next phase of your company? Where do you want to take this next?
For me, my whole goal is to improve our onboarding process. We have a lot of new trials, a lot of new clients that we generate. What we’ve noticed is we could do much better with our retention rate for those clients, and that’s what we’re going to be working on, is to improve our onboarding process. Making sure that they get an email asking if everything’s okay. Making sure there are regular touch-ups, maybe three weeks, after seven days of sign up, after two weeks of signing up, after two months of signing up and getting regular follow ups that make them know that, “You are valued. We do care about where your results are going to be.” That enables you to retain those clients which are a big thing because once somebody signed up already, they’re already sold on you. They’re and already sold on the business. Those are the people we need to focus on to keep because they’re the cheapest options. To acquire a new customer, you’re going to have a customer acquisition cost but there’s no cost to retaining a customer. Businesses can significantly increase their revenue by 30% to 40% just by working on retaining those customers longer.
Anmol, do you wish you knew that when you first started?
100%. That’s one of the mistakes that I make. We had so many clients that are no longer our clients because we had no process. We were trading, sharing our stuff, but nobody emails them, nobody asked them how they’re doing. A lot of those clients now, it’ll cost us money to acquire them or some clients you might even lose forever because they have that image of when you first started when we had a horrible website, when we had no backend systems and where we had no follow-up. Those are the things that I wish I would have worked on earlier, and those are the things that I’m going to work on for now.
You’ve given us a fantastic bird’s-eye view, a CEO’s view, of your business and of your business experience. If you think about the entire process, is there one thought, one concept, one idea you would like to transmit to your earlier self or to our audience?
One of the things which is paramount is you first have to believe in your own product or in your own service. A lot of people have issue with sales, a lot of new business owners that start, they have issues selling themselves or selling their product. That is paramount to success in any industry. You have to be good at sales.If you are not good at sales and not hiring a salesperson could cut the damage, but you as a business owner, the forefront and the face of the company, you need to be good at sales. The reason why most people are not good at sales is they perhaps don’t fully believe their own product. They don’t fully believe in their own service. I believe in my product. I believe in our courses, so I will literally hard sell it to people because I know it’s good for them. I know it works and I’m showing them every single day. That increases your sales. If you don’t believe in own product, it’s going to be really hard to sell.
If you can’t sell your own product, you certainly can’t expect someone else to sell it for you. If you don’t believe in it, you can’t sell it anyway. What I’m hearing is that if you don’t have that passion, if you don’t feel and know the value of what you’re selling to your clients, how can you have that feeling, that moral obligation to place your products and your courses in this case in the hands of your clients. It’s hard to have, right?
Exactly. A lot of people miss the sales process. They might just ask somebody for the sale and they get a no and they’re like, “Thanks for your time.” That’s not a good sale process. You have to follow up with them, make sure they actually do sign up and if not, ask them why not. What can you do better?
You talked about the idea of a mentor. You said that you have a mentor. If you name the person, we’d probably not know him but help us understand how you selected your mentor.
My mentor is my business partner in Live Traders, Jared Wesley. He’s the person that I learned trading from and learned how to trade. The reason I selected him because I liked his honesty. He was working for another trading education firm in the past, and he was offering courses. I attended one of his webinars. I didn’t buy the first time but I kept attending four or five, six of his webinars before I made the decision to purchase his course. The reason I did that is because I really liked the honesty and the transparency, unlike other firms that were just selling you the dream. He was telling me, “It’s going to be tough. It’s going to take time. I didn’t make any money my first two years.” Sharing those things that gave me comfort and realistic expectations, and that’s how I chose my trading mentor. Now, he is a business partner with me in Live Traders.
I would call it essential. If you do not feel that the person you’re about to trust your life to in a sense is someone who can be brutally honest with you and tell you the truth all the time, then they probably don’t qualify and shouldn’t be your mentor. If we were to give you the opportunity to do something absolutely crazy, like if you are able to pick a single human being in all of space and time, who would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park or a quick lunch or even an intense conversation with?
I would say Elon Musk. I would love to sit down with Elon Musk because just the sheer innovation and the sheer persistence. One person starts a company and competes with NASA and says, “I’m going to launch my own rocket ships.” That takes confidence and that level of confidence and belief in yourself is pretty rare in this earth. Elon Musk is the one person that I would definitely love to sit down with, just the sheer innovation and sheer belief in himself is something that is rare to find these days.
Well we both have the same person in mind as well, so I agree with you. It would be amazing. Maybe I could set that up for us. Would you like that? Last question and my favorite of all. This is what I call the change the world question. What is it that you’re doing now or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?
This comes down to a vision that I’ve had since I’m a kid. My goal since a kid was always to be as wealthy, as rich as I can be, and not for material gains, although I do enjoy that. My real goal in mind was always to become as rich as I can be. Instead of donating money to charities, I can start organizations that are doing stuff, looking for cures rather than remedies or looking for cures rather than suppressing something. In 2017, the fact that we still don’t have a cure for cancer and HIV is really close to my heart. It bothers me and that’s what I want to do. Rather than donating to find treatments for those diseases, I want to be able to put all the money that I can make into an organization, hire doctors to just sit down and figure this out. Find a cure rather than focus on finding treatments.
That’s an amazing goal to have, and I bet a lot of people share that goal with you. I want to be able to help introduce people to you. Is there a website that we can go to that I could send people to where they could find out more about what you do, maybe even work with you to trade the stock market themselves?
The best where people can stay in touch with what I’m doing is to visit the website, LiveTraders.com. Then anyone on social media you could find me. My username is @DeltaNinety on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Those are the best ways to keep in touch.
If somebody wanted to reach out to you personally either to share their change the world vision or help you with yours, could they reach you also on social media?
It’s been so much fun chatting with you, and I really appreciate you giving back to the community the way you have. Thank you for appearing on the show.
Thanks for having me. I enjoyed the chat.
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