In the episode:
From Dreamweaver to WordPress, our co-hosts go over the history of small business website builders and how it affected online business choices. [02:25]
The advent of the page/funnel builders changed the playing field for online marketers – and then John came along….[05:20]
At this point, James wants to go for simple, streamlined, updated and modern. This is the vision…[06:57]
With a lot riding on one platform, how can someone make the switch and still own the racecourse? [11:58]
James will be wiping the slate (almost) clean, with less content and more personal presence. [14:27]
There’s not much you can achieve without other people, and luckily this project has a lot of supporters. [17:26]
James takes time with big decisions. As his grandparents used to say, “Sleep on it.”
He and his students have been going through a decision-making process lately which he’d like to talk about, along with the options that are out there and why he’s doing what he plans on doing.
A big part of it is platforms, and for that reason he’s invited an expert on the topic, John Lint, to offer a knowledgeable perspective and some validation.
John has to be the most frequent guest on the show. He has strong opinions, which people love, and which James loves, because he believes you’ve got to surround yourself with people who have strong opinions, who may not always agree with you. John is someone he can rely on to say what he thinks.
From Dreamweaver to WordPress
The back story starts about when James still had a job and was struggling to build a website from scratch. He wanted to be online, but selling what, was the question. He was not techy, couldn’t code.
He bought Dreamweaver back when it and FrontPage were the two main platforms, and quickly gave up on it. Then he came across XSitePro. It was still a bit of a struggle, but he managed to make a demo site and sell a lot of the software as an affiliate.
Then along came WordPress, and became the dominant platform. At time of recording, SuperFastBusiness is a WordPress website.
Most people online are faced with choices. James went through a number of membership tools to achieve what he has now, from Clickbank and DLGuard and Easy Member Pro, eMember, BBBulletin and Nanacast, to what he currently uses, ThriveCart and Xenforo.
His forum now has been very effective, and it still works. But James knows things have moved on.
The advent of the page/funnel builders
These days, there are a lot of programs that either do well at the front end of a business, or are really good at the back. There are page builders that do funnels but don’t support a membership. Then there are membership site builders that do community but fall short on the front end or the billing.
That’s where John entered James’s world. On a Maldives trip, he looked at James’s business. John had at that time a tool he’d built to make campaign funnels and split test and do evergreen webinars and viral shares and any number of cool things, and work on a mobile phone. He took much of what James was doing with his membership and built it into the tool.
“The platform you use will depend on what you’re trying to do.”
And now James and many of his clients have decided they want to build new websites. What platform should they use? It depends on what you’re trying to do, says James. And you have to consider, too, with James’s WordPress website, he has a team to keep it running. And there’s hosting, website security, plugins, updates, backups…you need either full-time team members or a service if you’re looking to manage your own site.
This is the vision…
James now wants simplicity, something streamlined and updated and modern. So he wants John’s platform, 10XPRO, for the new website he’s building.
Through the front end funnel, they’ll go to the back end where they can buy and have products delivered.
James envisions a group of clients who he’ll get on a call every week, who’ll pay a monthly rate and get private forum coaching. It will be exactly like SuperFastBusiness Intensive, but on the new platform. And he’ll have a social wall, similar to a Facebook group.
James will also cherry pick the best of his best material to have playbooks, PDFs or videos, a searchable register of things he can share.
And John will install the site for him. All James needs to do is choose his domain and point it to the coordinates John provides. When that’s done he’ll choose his campaigns, create his products, and plug in his CRM, Ontraport.
Everything is customizable. And for one monthly fee, John’s team manages all the updates and upgrades – keep the site up, check for viruses, back it up – all the things James’s team currently does.
John’s team manages DNS records as well for no extra charge. They’re a kind of concierge desk, he says. Just tell them what you need.
Make the switch and still own the racecourse?
Now, with so much riding on 10XPRO, what happens to owning the racecourse? At present, James and his team have a lot of perceived control with their own WordPress site and forum.
Yes, says James, they’ll have their content on Apple, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. But the raw videos will be sitting in their Dropbox or Google Drive folder. They’d still have a copy of the CSV file of his Ontraport leads that they back up separately, and James can even put that on a local hard drive. He still has control of his domain name, which he can point wherever he wants.
That’s important, says John. Some people don’t understand that. You are always in control of your domain, so if you decide you don’t like 10XPRO, you can point elsewhere, change your record, and be done.
James will have his raw files, so worst case, he’ll lose some text. But then, he once turned off a four-year-old forum with 250,000 posts, and started a new one.
Less content, more personal presence
The problem James has now, that many newcomers don’t consider, is too much content. He has this desire to clean up, bring things up to date. He’s ready to start something new.
He’s thinking of taking a more personal approach with his branding, banking on a good online reputation. He thinks he can run his brands, but in concert with a personal presence.
James’s focus has evolved over the years, from technical and tactical to internet marketing niche, and then to online business. But some of the most popular episodes on SuperFastBusiness have delved, like the one with Marisa Peer, into personal development, mindset, parenting, health.
James wants to teach more people how to work less and make more, and certainly online business is key to that – memberships, agency. He’s still going to talk about that. But he really wants to go one level up more general.
A ground-up build on 10XPRO is exciting to him. He’s done it twice, once in a non-internet marketing niche, which he and John worked on, and which went great. When it became toxic, though, he had to leave.
We have to, says James. And he’s ready to make changes, to disrupt himself. It’s bold and somewhat risky, but he needs to do it, and will feel better when he does.
You can’t do it without people
James thanks John for supporting him, and for providing the tool that makes his decision an obvious choice.
He thanks the customers as well who have backed him and John, like Nils Vinje. His episode, Zero to 100,000 Case Study, was quite popular, and James wants to bring more 10XPRO users to the market, to share and celebrate people who go with them.
His and John’s is a great partnership. John has the tool and the developers and the vision. And James has suggestions that make the tool better.
James looks forward to bringing his best customers on board the program, letting them put it through its paces and tell him where it can go. And he wants to be a model for people in a similar early phase of something new. He thinks it will be a fun ride.
His team are excited at the chance to focus on something other than the technical, which John’s team will be handling.
John is as excited to be part of James’s journey.
“There’s always a team.”
One thing James has learned from Undercover Billionaire is, there’s always a team. He’s surrounded by talented people, his partners are talented partners, and he wants to showcase them from the best possible platform.
We’ll know in time if it’s a brave call that turned out awesome, or a deviation that didn’t pan out great. Either way, says James, he’ll wear it.
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