John Lagoudakis was looking for an alternative way to make a living.
It was 2006 and his IT support business made enough money to support him and his family. But what it didn’t do was provide him with the flexibility he was craving for so he can spend time with his young and growing kids.
Then, he stumbled upon a book that would change his perspective on time and money. It started him off a path that eventually led to an online business in a growing field: affiliate marketing.
Today, John is one of Australia’s leading internet marketers and has been featured in the NY Times bestseller, Get Rich Click. His company helps businesses create lead generation campaigns that get results fast.
In this episode:
- How John started his side hustle and his initial foray into Clickbank
- The difference between network marketing, multi-level marketing, affiliate marketing, and online marketing
- The major change Google implemented that closed his account and shut down his revenue source
- How John recovered from Google’s changes and how he manages the risk of similar occurrences in the future
- Why affiliate marketing is a good place to start for newcomers to the online marketing space
Mentioned in this episode
A few highlights from this conversation
I was in my early 30s with a young family. I had a four-year-old, a two-year-old and a newborn in 2006 and I had my computer support business. It was fine. The money was good. I enjoyed the work, though a bit stressful. We were living in Brisbane and we didn’t have family there. It was just us, my wife, my kids and I basically. And I wanted to be more available for my family. So that was what’s going through my head. It was good having my own business, but it wasn’t as flexible as I would have wanted. I knew my wife was struggling too and that’s why I thought maybe there was a different way I could earn money.
Someone lent me a copy of Rich, Dad Poor Dad. Wow. That was a big eye-opener for me. The way that I was taught to earn money by the education system, by my family and other people, it was extremely limiting. There are lots of different ways – and better ways – to earn. That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to create income streams that didn’t require me to be exchanging my time for money. And in the book, he recommended that if you didn’t have anything, a good place to start is network marketing. So, I thought, I’d look into that.
I did not have any affiliate marketing or online marketing experience. I didn’t know anyone that was making money online at all. But I just kept working on it pretty much any spare moment I had. I’m the type of person who stays up late anyway, so I thought why not use my time wisely.
Yes, it’s good to find what you’re passionate about. But at the same time, you need to find products and services that the market really wants. It’s not about you or what you like. If you want to be successful in affiliate marketing, you have to give the market what it wants.
I learned from previous experience. I would get comments from my family like, “Why don’t you just stay with what you’re doing”. So, when I started this thing, I didn’t tell anybody. I just did it and didn’t tell people until I began making money. I think it’s best. Especially if you’ve got family that’s not business-minded, or they’ve never really taken that kind of risk. It’s best just to go do it yourself.
I spent so much time creating hundreds of campaigns for hundreds of ClickBank products. One morning, I looked at my ClickBank account — I loved getting up in the morning and seeing how many sales I made while I was sleeping. You know, everyone’s dream. But that morning, I looked at my ClickBank account and there were no sales. That was very unusual. Then when I checked my inbox, I saw an email from Google saying that my account had been indefinitely suspended. That’s when it really hit me. It was devastating and I went through all the emotions. The denial, the devastation, grief, anger, all the stuff. I called and emailed them, but they wouldn’t budge. It was really devastating.
I’ve been hearing horror stories from other friends of mine who have businesses. They were hiring SEO companies, paying thousands of dollars per month and getting very little or no results. Not all SEO companies are bad but there were quite a few that were doing the wrong thing by business owners. I thought to myself well, here’s an opportunity. I’ve got a lot of skills. Small businesses need an ethical digital marketing agency. So I started one up and that’s what I’ve been doing building that up the last few years.
I do what I do because of my family. It’s funny because even recently, they asked, “Hey Dad. What do you actually do?” And it makes me laugh. I joke and tell them I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
What I’m hoping that my kids understand is that what I do is a means to an end. It’s not my identity. I’m not an online or digital marketer. That’s just what I do. My main identity is a husband and father. And I do what I do to provide for my family.