If you are in the business of transformation it will work - Talk Marketing 28 - Ant Hodges

If you are in the business of transformation it will work – Talk Marketing 28 – Ant Hodges


Martin Henley  0:15  

Hello there, my name is Martin Henley, this is The Effective Marketing YouTube channel and this is episode, I think, number 27, in my Talk Marketing series. If you’ve spent any time here at all you will know that I am on a mission to give you everything you need to be successful in your business. The only way I know for you to be successful in your business is to be more effective with your sales and marketing. So not only am I here, giving you everything I know, I’m also dragging in anyone I can find, and dragging out of them everything they know, designed to support you to be more successful in your business. Now, today’s guest has marketing experience going back to 2005. He’s been involved in creative agencies, he has a wealth of coaching experience. Currently, he’s running with two things, that run nicely together. The first of those is a done for you marketing agency called Hodgesnet and the second is for those wanting to sell their knowledge online through an initiative called Knowledgeprenuer. Today’s guest is a Kajabi geek, an agency owner and a trainee hot air balloon pilot pilot, I’ll put my teeth in and say that again, a trainee hot air balloon pilot. It’s true. It’s ant Hodges. Good afternoon Ant.

Ant Hodges  1:40  

Great to see you. Great to be here.

Martin Henley  1:42  

It’s great to have you here, thank you so much. Yes, so this is interesting. So we should probably get the most interesting thing out of the way first. How do you, why do you decide that you want to be able to fly hot air balloons.

Ant Hodges  2:01  

As a kid, I got involved with things like air scouts and all that kind of stuff and I love being in the air, did a bit of gliding with the air scouts and stuff like that and then I grew up, I got a job, a family and you know, you kind of lose some of those childhood hobbies and stuff that you used to do. One of my best friends, Alex was training with his brother in law. He started helping him to just crew balloons. Then he got his pilot’s licence, and then he needed to find a crew for himself. So he asked me whether I’d be up for helping and I just got the bug. Absolutely love it. We’ve been flying out to in Metz in France is the is Europe’s largest hot air balloon meet. So I’ve flown across France a little bit with the balloons, flown across the Cotswolds. You get a lot of hands on experiences as a trainee because the pilot will take you up and then just say we’ll crack on. So it’s good fun, and really, really love doing it. Obviously being here in the UK, were governed by the weather, it’s only decent weather in the summer really that we can fly. But we can find the winter in cold mornings, and cold evenings. But yeah, it’s just so much fun. So much fun.

Martin Henley  3:18  

I can imagine, I really, it’s really, it’s on my list of things to do. I’m just thinking now I can’t believe I haven’t done it because I’ve really wanted to do it for the longest time. You will have seen those photos in Myanmar where they have all those huge numbers of balloons in the in the sky at the same time.

Ant Hodges  3:36  

Absolutely, yeah. In Metz they have over 400 balloons that take off at the same time. 

Martin Henley  3:43  

Oh my god.

Ant Hodges  3:44  

Lines down the runway of the airfield, literally you just start seeing, if you go first you know, you start seeing them all popping off, but you’re in the air with 400 other balloons. That’s an amazing thing to do. Also just flying solo, just the quietness. When you get to eight 9000 feet, you start to see the difference if you’re flying in the evening between daylight and nighttime, the blues that when you pop above alouds and you just see clouds across. It’s just beautiful. It’s just so awesome.

Martin Henley  4:16  

God, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna do it this year. You should.

Martin Henley  4:20  

Yeah. Right. So that’s good. So you’ve motivated me to do that at least already. Okay, good. So we’re really here to talk about sales and marketing. So thank you so much for agreeing to do this, it’s because of the legend that is Warren Cass that you are here. 

Ant Hodges  4:40  

The man that is connected to the world.

Martin Henley  4:42  

He really is connected to the world, isn’t he? He’s taken this thing to a different place entirely. It’s like I’ve seen it’s been going for about 14 or 15 months and I kind of got 10 or 12 together in the first two, three months and it was very sporadic. Then I Got another 10 together, like towards the middle of last year, had huge, horrible tech issues using software other than what we’re using now. That was enough to take the wheels off and then went back to Warren and he’s just lined me up with every man and his dog. It’s insane how well connected he is, he’s like, I’m going to I’m going to recommend eight people. So you know, you can get three people quite quickly, he recommended me to 10 and everyone has agreed to do it, you know, so they’re all scheduled going into the future. So this has grown wings of its own, it really has. 

Martin Henley  5:33  

So the drill, you know the drill, there’s only five questions. First question is how are you qualified to talk to us about sales and marketing and selling online courses in this instance? The second question is, who are your clients? What is it you do for them? How do you add value to their lives? The third question is, what is your recommendation for anyone who’s looking to do better with their marketing or maybe looking to take their knowledge online? And the fourth question is, what should people be reading? And the fifth question is, who can you recommend? Who might enjoy to have a conversation like this with me? So, question number one, how on earth are you Ant qualified to talk to us about sales and marketing, and providing courses online?

How are you qualified to talk to us about marketing and providing courses online?

Ant Hodges  6:16  

I’m 40, it doesn’t look it I’m sure. From the age of about 14, I started mucking around with Photoshop and designing stuff. I think for me, you know, those very early days of those original, you know, Photoshop packages and Photoshop Elements that you could get on PCs and stuff with a freebie or before you go and send your photos off for processing and stuff like that back in those days. I really enjoy all of the graphic arts type stuff. So got into graphic design, got a job working for a charity, designing PowerPoint presentations for one of their directors, he goes off talking, and then that spiralled. I learnt web design, I learnt book cover design. I did evening classes in graphic design, and all of this kind of stuff. In 2007, set up my own agency, wife was pregnant with our second child, my best friend, his wife was pregnant with her second child. So we launched the agency, the press release was two men, have three babies in one year. It went off like a rocket. We we grew to a multi six figure agency within 18 months, team, staff, everything. We were working on branding and advertising strategies for not for profits, charities as that’s where our experience came from. Also local government organisations, we were working for the local council and other people like that around the country. Then the bubble burst in 2009, the recession hit, and we pretty much lost 12 of our retained clients overnight. So the business went into administration, we liquidated the company and I hid away in a job for a couple of years as a business development director for an E commerce agency working with some really big name brands like Reader’s Digest, so I can close Rafa that’s, you know, the clients of the agency. I learnt the balance then between the brand building, and the selling stuff online, and actually dipping into things like information marketing at the time and trying to do the whole internet marketing selling ebooks back, you know, 2007 2008. I also started reading people like Frank Kern, and started following people like him back in those very early days, and seeing what they were doing, which deepened my fascination with specifically wanting to help people online rather than all the offline. I think in that ecommerce agency job, I got a bit disillusioned with working with slightly larger companies and really wanted to work with owners of their businesses and entrepreneurs. Also, I was trying to debunk what went wrong with my first business. I thought, you know what, I’d love to find out how I could not make the same mistakes again, and ended up training as a coach instead of employing a coach. 

Ant Hodges  9:39  

So I trained as a business coach in the evenings and spare time did all of that. The marketing piece, the marketing and sales piece, dovetailed really well with the business coaching side of things because most small owner operator businesses struggle with their marketing and their sales. Then obviously, as they start to grow and scale their look at systems, and team, and processes, and all of the other parts of the business that then obviously need attention as well.

Ant Hodges  10:13  

In 2011, decided to jump ship and set up my own business again, I was still hugely in debt, six figures in debt over the liquidation of the first business, we chose not to wipe it out and go bankrupt my wife and I, because I knew I could earn my way out of it and pay my way out of it. So that’s what we decided to do. It took eight years in full to pay that lot off, as well as still earn money to live, and to be in business. I tell you what it’s taught, it taught me so much about the mistakes that we can make in our businesses, the mistakes we can make in marketing and I continued my personal development and my business training, and my coaching training through that period as well. I think for me, when I, in 2016, achieved master coach accreditation, that’s when I decided I don’t want to be a coach, necessarily. I understand the coaching world, I understand the world of the information marketers and I can see that the trend has moved away from selling information online, to selling knowledge, so that people can experience things properly and get real results. I think there’s too many out there who will teach the DIY type stuff, so they’ll provide training, so you can do it yourself and then there’s people who will sell maybe high priced consultancy, and say, oh, we’ll do it with you. Actually, what that means is they’ll tell you what to do and you still got to go and do it yourself. Then there’s the done for you stuff, because the people I was working with, as you said earlier, I’m a total geek when it comes to implementing this kind of stuff and rather than teaching or training or coaching, I’d much rather be getting my hands dirty, get my head under the hood of the car, and firing that business engine up to make it work. So I built an agency. So I have an employed team. Even through the COVID and the transition with that we’ve been growing, we’ve been adding to the team, and they’re sat in the offices here with me normally, where you specifically are geared to focus on the results aspect of it all. All the way through that process that I went through, that journey I went through to learn what went wrong in the business, I’ve learned then what to do right to avoid those mistakes. Now I’ve got a multi six figure training business, we hit seven figures in the agency and you know, we’re growing. I think for me, because I’ve proved I can do it both in my training and in my agency, we’re then helping other clients and the kind of stuff that we’re doing with clients is, is phenomenal. We’re getting them the results and they stick around. We’ve got clients who’ve been around literally since 2012 – 2013, long term clients who we want to develop long term relationships and work with them ongoing to grow their businesses. 

Ant Hodges  13:25  

I think the qualification more so, comes from experience and getting results than it does any certificates that I can show you that might be hanging on the wall or tucked away in some cupboard somewhere. That’s really where I’m coming from in terms of how I believe I’m qualified to be able to sit in this space and help others.

Martin Henley  13:45  

Brilliant. Thank you very much. It sounds like quite a journey. I mean, it sounds like the journey of anyone who was there in 2008 – 2009, that was horrifying, it was overnight. Every day on the all the breakfast news channels, there were these huge graphics with these huge downward red, downward arrows and it was just constant everyday, everyday, every day.

Ant Hodges  14:12  

All you heard on the news was the big companies. You didn’t hear the story of the entrepreneur who had to close his business or the the small business who had to shut up shop at that time. 

Martin Henley  14:25  

Yeah.Ant Hodges  14:27  

There were 1,000s of small businesses that went out of business and I was included. Even though we were doing extremely well, our clients literally had finances cut, which then stopped them from having a marketing budget, which then said you need to bin out the agency. It was really tough, and a lot of colleagues in the industry suffered through that as well. Most that I know, have bounced back and are stronger than ever now. And in particular through the pandemic those that were switched on, that were either in this online space, or that could pivot quickly, have done extremely well to one, be here still, but to grow, and to deliver the results that they needed for their customers and their clients, which, you know, is an amazing thing to see others in the industry, others that I know around the world who’ve been able to just serve, serve, serve through this time, and are reaping the rewards themselves from being able to just serve and give. So ….

Martin Henley  15:33  

That’s interesting to me, because in terms of my public speaking, I hit my nadir at that point because I was stubborn, and lairy and I did this talk, it’s on my website, but the video is appalling, you can imagine it was 2008 we had no idea what we were doing. Basically the message was, you know, this is now is the time essentially, like more millionaires are created during recessions than any other time. Need is real now, you know, no one’s messing around anymore. People have genuine needs, you need to realise them. They came out with that keep calm and carry on sign do you remember from the war, so I messed with that and said, okay, the advice from The Effective Marketing Company is to get excited and kick ass and it was a real rabble rousing, it was a really good thing. This time, I wasn’t anything like as connected or concerned or involved. But I do, I still do think that’s true. You know, it’s like in times of hardship, in more difficult times, that’s where you sort the wheat from the chaff, you know what I mean? Some businesses just weren’t COVID proof, they weren’t going to work ABS during, during the pandemic, in the way that your business wasn’t recession proof the first time around. So there is, there is just a line that exists. Either you’re gonna be able to make this fly or your not. What I was saying to people this time was this is either the best opportunity you’re going to have, or the biggest excuse you’re going to have, you know, so if you want to fail, here’s the excuse, if you want to really succeed, here’s the opportunity.

Ant Hodges  17:18  

And in marketing history, even if you look back, during World War Two, there were only a few brands that were advertising. Clearly, because there was no point in advertising during a war, everyone’s on rations and there were no supermarkets open to go and buy stuff. But Stork margarine, were one of the brands that still kept marketing during the war and what is one of the most highest selling baking margarines on the planet, today is Stork margerine still today. They supported campaigns, they still marketed during the war. It just shows, goes to show that even sometimes, in those times, where maybe people aren’t going to be buying necessarily brand building, staying visible, is so important. Even online today, no matter what brand or what business people have got. The most important thing is visibility. It’s not about just pumping stuff out for pumping stuff oust sake but it staying visible, showing up, serving an audience with valuable content that will engage them, that will help them with the frustrations they’ve got right now, with the fears of stuff that they want to avoid but fundamentally point them towards where they want to get to what they’ve got in terms of aspirations. It’s that visibility piece and just continuing to serve and being consistent in that will pay off in the long run.

Martin Henley  18:56  

Yeah, I really believe that. And there’s something about …. I came to this little exercise with an attitude. You know, I went through that, and I don’t think we ever did recover. It was like 2014 When I stopped driving that The Effective Marketing Company properly. What is the point about that? The point about that is there’s something, you know, about serving, you know, sales and marketing is about serving, like really good marketing is about understanding your market, understanding their needs and their desires, and developing solutions to those needs and desires. Maybe I was a little bit cynical when I came into this but I’ve spoken to so many brilliant people that that has just become re-embedded, that idea that we are just here to serve, and if you are serving in the most difficult times, then you will be rewarded for that when times get easier. You know, I think that.

How did you come to be selling courses online?

Ant Hodges  20:02  

In 2011, when I decided to go back to being self employed after hiding away in a job for a few years, I picked up a book called The Millionaire Messenger by a guy called Brendon Burchard. A lot of people know who Brendan is, but I think for me, the key message of that book was how you can make a difference in the world and a fortune. It came first by making the difference, go out into the world to serve people, serve people, where they’re at, with the problems with the challenges they’ve got, helping them to overcome those things and you will get rewarded. It’s what Cialdini talks about in Influence, is the law of reciprocity you give, you’re going to get back. In 2011, when I read that book, I was like, this is what I need to do. I need to take all the lessons that I’ve learnt over the past few years of what went wrong in my business, turn that around and say I believe doing these things will help you to grow your business, will help you with your marketing, and getting involved with the E commerce world and learning what we could do with that and monetise our knowledge as a product, like you would a widget or something like that, that you can sell online. It was all sparked with Brendan’s book, The Millionaire Messenger by Brendon Burchard is one of our highly recommended books for those who want to start to think about how to take their knowledge, become an expert in a marketplace and start to package it and sell it.

Martin Henley  21:30  

100%, and there was something, how did you put it, you said that when you became a business coach, or the business coaching, and the sales and marketing fit really well together. It seems to me that small business owners don’t quite get that being in business is an exercise in having customers profitably. You know, they do it because they make amazing donuts or they do whatever they do, that they really enjoy to do, and only later on does it occur to them, if it ever occurs to them, that actually they’re going to need customers, you know, and that obviously only happens through marketing and then sales.

What are the major challenges that people are facing in their small businesses?

Ant Hodges  22:19  

The first job of any, if even if you’re just starting out or you’re struggling in business, if you’re not turning over, you know, 100,000, or quarter of a million your only job is marketing and getting and keeping customers. Yeah. So it’s getting customers, serving them, and keeping them and continuing to serve them, continuing to get your customer the result that they’re looking for, or the experience, or the end result, whatever it might be. That’s the only job as a business owner until you can start to scale a team and processes. I think a lot of people get I think over the pandemic, it’s been a little bit different because of the work from home culture, but pre pandemic, the whole notion of our let’s get an office, let’s get a company car, let’s dress the business so that from the outside, it looks successful. It’s all just vanity. Look at the metrics that actually mean something, how many customers are you bringing on board? Are you getting those customers the results? That’s how you’ll grow your business and that’s got to be the focus, getting and keeping customers.

Martin Henley  23:25  

Yeah, and this seems to me, like I seem to be having the same conversation over and over, and over, and over again. I don’t care because I think people really need to hear it.  I was the same, you know, I had this huge vision of what my office, I think marketing businesses are probably the worst for this. I had a huge vision of what my office should look like and how people should feel about working for me, and me, and me and me. The thing is, when you start a business, that’s you standing up and saying to the world, here I go, you know, and you expect, everyone gives a shit about that but they don’t, you know. The pressure you put on yourself as a business owner is, this has to look amazing, this has to be amazing, because everyone’s gonna think I’m an idiot. So the only thing I’ve heard Gary Vaynerchuk say that I really respected was him saying that nobody cares. You know, nobody cares. If I’d known that nobody cared, my life would have been so much easier, my business would have been so much better. You know, I would have had the space then to get on with it and and be better maybe.

Ant Hodges  24:37  

What customers care about is getting the result they want. So if it is, as a business, you’ve got too many other distractions to actually deliver the result that the customer is looking for, you’re not necessarily in the right space to be able to serve them in the first place.

Martin Henley  24:51  

So my issue was I was too good at sales and marketing. I was just swamped immediately. Then I had people phoning me up and saying, people are starting to say that you’re too busy. Do you know I mean, it’s like, it’s, I mean, is stupidly difficult to run a business, I think. I think it’s stupidly difficult for all of the pressures and the external pressures, you know, there’s 46 laws, exclusive to business owners that you can go to prison for, you know, all that sort of stuff makes it ridiculously difficult. 

Ant Hodges  25:26  

We spend more time learning how to drive our car than our business. 

Martin Henley  25:30  


Ant Hodges  25:31  

And the reality is, we should have to sit an exam and a test, I think, before you take the reins of a business. 

Martin Henley  25:38  


Ant Hodges  25:38  

And there’s got to be, I think in some countries around the world, and particularly in some states, in America, you’ve got to have a licence to do business. I think here in the UK, in particular, you know, anyone can just start up a business like that and start selling, which is great, because it’s access to that, access to the entrepreneurial world is amazing.

Ant Hodges  25:57  


Ant Hodges  25:57  

I wouldn’t want to restrict that but if you want to take the business seriously, you’ve got to invest in some level of training, to be able to understand all of the parts of the business that needs to get moving, rather than just focus on, okay, well, I’ve got a widget, how many can I sell today? You know, I think this if you want to grow and scale a business, there’s so much more to it than then than just doing that, but when you’re starting out getting and keeping customers is key.

Martin Henley  26:26  

100% and continuously throughout. I mean, that is the whole gig, nothing else happens. If there’s not money coming in, you don’t have a business. So I think what you’re saying is, is right. I did some personal development, I always wanted to run my own business and I did some personal development. One of the things they spoke to us about was the universe will provide, you know, so look around and see what the universe is providing.  I had a couple of credit cards that I hadn’t spent a penny on for years and I’m like, okay, well, there you go, I’ve got £15,000 to start my business, or whatever it was. One of the first things I did was I went to Curry, because I needed a laptop, because I had a company laptop, blah, blah and they were saying, Okay, well, you’re a business and you qualify for credit. So not only do all you have to do essentially is stand up and say yeah, I’m a business, not even have a business bank account, just walk into any of these places, say, Yeah, I’m a business, and they will start throwing credit at you already. I think that also is a real danger. I had no idea that running a business was an investment of time, and energy, and money and I never had that money …

Ant Hodges  27:35  

Blood, sweat and tears.

Martin Henley  27:37  

Blood, sweat and tears. I had all the energy in the world. I did 14 hours a day for nine years. I was up presenting to people at seven o’clock in the morning and I was sitting with clients still at eight o’clock in the evening. I was going like a Boeing for nine years had all the energy and all the time in the world but because I never had any money, any serious money behind me. I was, it was always going to be under pressure, you know, it was always gonna be under pressure. It astounds me that I made it for nine years. I mean, it’s, it’s just it, nothing happened, I didn’t go bankrupt, none of that stuff but the amount of energy that I put in was insane. 

Ant Hodges  28:17  

So many suffer with that I was like that as well, running my business and agency like that. Learning how to how to leverage my knowledge and start to leverage technology meant that I could get some of that time back, but still be serving  more people. So there’s a way I can scale my business here but at the same time, I don’t have to be working in it full time. I don’t think anybody’s ever got to the mythical Four Hour Work Week that Tim Ferriss spoke about and I don’t think he’s ever got there himself since he wrote that book. He’s probably been busy like everybody else. But being able to get to a four hour week or a one day a week work or something like that is possible. 

Martin Henley  29:02  


Ant Hodges  29:03  

If we are focused on looking at how we can leverage our time, leverage technology, leverage our knowledge, and that’s what I’m focused on. That’s what are my agency, that’s what my training is focused around is, is helping people to do that because it releases you, and it takes those pressures off and you don’t have to be doing the 14 hours a day, seven days a week and showing up at seven o’clock in the morning to speak because, why don’t you record a video and shedule it to be broadcast online at that time. There’s so many different ways that we can do it, to continue to show up, to continue to serve but we get back our life.

Martin Henley  29:44  

Yes. What a brilliant segue that was you are a genius Ant. 

Ant Hodges  29:51  

You led me there.

Martin Henley  29:53  

Because now, I mean this is 100% Right. I went to a business mentoring, networking kind of a thing and they were lovely people, they were really lovely people. What we were invited to do on the first session was stand up and say, what our challenge was or what our interest was, this was around 2009 – 2010. I stood up and I said, Look, I need to work out how to leverage myself better, you know, I can’t, I’m at the limit of what I can do in terms of being everywhere all the time. You know, what they said to me? They said to me, what does leverage mean? Why are you using fancy words like leverage? So that’s, I mean, that’s indicative, maybe of how poorly leveraged businesses are, you know that they don’t really know what the word leverage means.

Ant Hodges  30:50  

Yeah they don’t know what the actual word leverage is in the first place? 

Ant Hodges  30:53  

Yeah, absolutely.

Martin Henley  30:54  

Yeah. Okay, good. I suppose that leads us beautifully in then to, who are your customers, how do you add value to their lives?

How do you support small business owners to overcome their challenges?

Ant Hodges  31:04  

So we work with people who have knowledge in any kind of niche, they’ve overcome challenges and they want to step out into the world and serve those people. So as an example, we work with a financial advisor in California, he’s been doing it for decades. Now he’s written a book, or a couple of books, he’s produced an online course, on how you can change your mindset around money and finances and so now what we’re working with for him is building his profile, running his advertising, to generate more book sales off the back of that, get people into webinars, then sell his online course, and then move into a community membership where he can serve them on an ongoing basis. What that does is it takes his knowledge, it leverages it online, into group programmes, so that he can literally show up once a week to serve a group of 100 people if they show ups 1000 people if they show up or more, because he’s delivering once to many. It’s that transition from the bricks and mortar business where we’ve got to get people crossing the threshold and we sell one to one and we deliver one to one, to going into a way in which we can use technology to market, grow and scale in a way that was previously only reserved for the big blue chip companies that had the budgets to be able to afford this kind of stuff. We’ve now got access with mobile phones and technology today, to be able to broadcast ourselves, get out there and show up and be visible but what we’ve got to then learn is how to generate leads, how to position no brainer offers for people, and how to create products that actually deliver for them.  That’s what we help clients with. So we have property finance guys, we work with life coaches, a life coach in New York, we are working with a Texas based lawyer with her training, we’ve got an interior design training company that we’re working with. It’s all based around, helping them to shape and package their knowledge and get it out to the world in order that they can help their customers overcome the same challenges they did. That is because my story is exactly where I came from. That was what I was passionate about back in 2011 when I went back to being self employed and now I’m sat there looking at it in 2022. going, Wow, 11 years on, I’m still following what I said I wanted to set out as my passion. I’ve been able to do that, because I’ve actually done what we’re doing for clients, leverage technology to grow an audience, deliver online, and do it in that way. That’s what we’re focused on and that’s who that’s the kind of people we work with.

Martin Henley  33:57  

Okay, so you’ve been busy with this. This isn’t a new thing, is it? I mean, it’s it’s really not a new thing. So you’ve been busy with this for 11 years? Was there a golden … what do I want to know, I want to know …. is every course that everyone could ever possibly have required is now available online?

Ant Hodges  34:26  

Yeah, people connect with people though. I think marketing is human to human. It’s not business to consumer or business to business at the end of the day. We may operate in those niches and we may think in those niches a little bit and when we say niche, when I say niche, I mean make a huge niche. People want to connect with people at the end of the day and I think even during what we’ve been experiencing through the COVID and pandemic and all of this kind of stuff, the segregation and the lockdown nature, and the way in which people have become disconnected from people, there is still, and probably even more so now, the need for people to connect with people. That’s why it’s so important to focus on building your audience, getting visibility online, serving them, so that they can see that you are the go to person to help them overcome that challenge, that problem. Then you invite them to take the next step, you invite them to take the next step on the journey to deepen their knowledge, or to get better results in the thing that you’re focused on. Yes there are literally, probably, millions of courses out there but I think if you’re in the business of selling courses, for courses sake, you’ll never succeed. If you’re in the business of helping to serve people, to transform their lives, to transform their businesses, to transform their relationships, to transform their parenting, to transform their baking, people want transformation. If you’re in the business of transformation, and you can take someone on a journey, then it will work. 

How do you ensure the success of online courses?

Ant Hodges  36:15  

Having a suite of products is key to this as well. What I mean by that is, if you’ve only got one product, one service, one course, one product, one programme, and you sell it, and you’ve got nothing else, then you’ve got to be constantly on the hunt for more customers to queue up to buy your one thing. Whereas if you have maybe some entry level products, some mastery type level products, and then maybe some other products or services that dovetail along a similar kind of vein, that help people to dig deeper or get results in similar or, you know, complementary areas, then that means that you will never run out of products, never run out of services. Actually, when you think about the knowledge, commerce space, it’s infinite. In terms of any niche, or any area of life or business or whatever, I don’t think there’s ever a point at which you will know everything that there is to know about it. If you’re out there, and you’re serving people with those products, and with those services, you’re building an audience, you’re building a tribe of your own, you’re nurturing and adding value, you’ve got to be on that journey of continuing to learn yourself, and continuing to develop and deepen your skills and master your skills so that you can synthesise that knowledge, so that you can share the results that you’re getting from implementing that yourself, to your audience, maybe in the form of another product, another programme, another event, another book, another course, whatever it might be. So you’ve got to continually be on that journey. As long as going back to the earlier questions, getting and keeping customers is key, if you can keep people in your tribe, in your following as customers, and you continually are serving them, you’re understanding what their frustrations are, and you can continue to innovate, then you’ll continue to grow. That in turn will grow your following.  I mentioned Brandon earlier, back in the day, back in 2011 when I picked up his book, he didn’t have a very big following. I now look at him now and he has millions following him. He sells his courses and 10s of thousands buy them. I think it’s about longevity, it’s about consistency, it’s about continuing to deliver and innovate and that’s the key. So, if you’re looking to step into it, I certainly wouldn’t worry too much about other people being out there as well.

Martin Henley  38:59  

Okay, good. So is this is this always about online learning? Or is this about? Is there a marketing aspect to this where, so you say that you have property guides in California they’re looking to sell properties, or they are they’re looking to have investors or how does how does that break down?

Ant Hodges  39:21  

Not just online. So you know, if, if so the property guy that we have works in the UK, he specialises in property finance, so he runs live in person events. He also has a brokerage firm as well, that’s the beauty of his product suite. He can cater for people online. He can give them a ticket to a live event by buying an online programme. If they come to the live event and buy his training then he can give them the online, so it works both ways. He’s catering for those who want to be in the room. He’s catering for those who want to be online. Then referrals can come into his brokerage firm as well, because he knows he’s an expert in what he does, and that’s exactly our business model as well. My coaching and my training helps people to package their knowledge to get it online to start selling it online but if they then need the implementation, and the direct help to be able to make it all happen, that’s what my agency is for. The fallout from a lot of people who go through my training is to then have my team serve them to be able to maybe build out their online course, build out their funnel, run their social ads, videos, whatever it might be, to be able to help implement that. I think we should all stick to what we’re good at, we should all focus and keep in mind that if we’re an expert in a field, we should stay there. Those things that we’re not experts at, we find other people to help us to serve who are experts, whether that’s outsourced, whether that’s employee team, whether it’s contractors, whatever it might be, because if we stay in our wheelhouse, and we stay, you know, in that zone of genius of what we do, the rewards will come later, which is why I haven’t deviated too much from what I set out to do in 2011. I believed wholeheartedly that that was where I was supposed to be, helping people take their knowledge and monetise it so that they serve 1,000s around the world. That was it, and yeah, that’s where we’re still at today.

Martin Henley  41:36  

Okay, good, because I am overdue to have this conversation. I have told you already have this course, it’s a course that I ran face to face 10 years so I know it works, I know people like it. I produced it, it’s all video, it was torture. It took about a year, LinkedIn for the one time in their history, it’s a LinkedIn course, for the first time in the history reskinned the whole things. I had to shoot the whole thing again, it was torture again. Then what happened is, I built a website, the websites never worked, you know, so I don’t know how many hundreds of pounds, 1000s of pounds I’ve spent on that but it’s never worked. So it’s never been marketed. So it just is there and it’s never benefited anyone. Somebody bought it now, I think three people bought it, and I’ve got no idea how or why they managed to do it the website doesn’t work, but they did you know, so that’s lovely. There are people online selling the dream, leverage your time, never Work Again, blah, blah, it’s easy do to do to do. You know, that’s the part of marketing, sales, marketing I hate the most those people who are on these pre roll ad saying everything’s going to be easy. I’ve tried to

Ant Hodges  43:04  

The hood of the Lambo sitting people. 

Martin Henley  43:07  

Yes, yes, yes, the rented Lambo, the books in the background, you know, the library.

Ant Hodges  43:12  


What are the mechanics of producing online courses?

Martin Henley  43:13  

All of that stuff, I hate that. I know, this isn’t easy. You know, it’s not that I have produced dozens, if not hundreds of websites for clients. I have marketed customers, I’ve 3x people’s businesses in in the space of a couple of years repeatedly. I’ve taught hundreds of people, when it comes to me doing this I know it’s really not easy. I really know it’s not easy.

Ant Hodges  43:45  

I’m with you. The reason I say that is because, you know, now I have an employee team, one of them, you know, sort of helps me and we look at strategy for the business together and things. It’s really good having that additional sounding board for me. Yes, now, because I’m being called on my stuff now, you know, because I think for me, there was a long time. It took a very long time for me to actually believe that I knew my stuff, and that I could make a difference. Even though I knew what was needed to be done

Martin Henley  44:26  


Ant Hodges  44:27  

And I knew how to help customers and we were getting them some amazing results in launching, and putting courses together, and building an audience, all this kind of stuff. I found it so hard to do it for myself. The one thing above all that I struggled with was the self belief that I could actually do it, the self belief that people would actually listen to me. I think that imposter syndrome thing was driven from the failure of my first business. I would often say to people, I have this fear of success, you know, because if we grow, and we grow, and we grow, it could all come crashing down again. But it wasn’t a fear of success that stopped me from actually believing it was actually a fear of failure. So if I knew I could put those, if I could work out potentially where those points of failure would be, I could mitigate the risk. There was nothing stopping me from actually going out there and starting to serve people in the way that I knew I could and the way that I knew I should. I think imposter syndrome is real but I think it’s also potentially we could just see it as an illusion that we can debunk and we can just start getting out there and start serving people.

Martin Henley  45:47  

Yes, and I don’t I mean, apart from the imposter syndrome. I think that’s real, I just know, the mechanics of this are difficult, you know, that the mechanics of that were so easy, because I have tried, you know, I wouldn’t say, you know, I haven’t, I haven’t lost sleep over it but I have tried to get this working, and I can’t. So the mechanics of it are difficult. There was something else that you were saying, you know, I, I’ve inspired people, you know, I’ve had really nice feedback. I’m still in touch with a lot of people that I’ve taught, and they’ve, you know, I’ve just taught not even been involved in their businesses. So I know that this is useful and valuable, for me, I think it’s the mechanics that are the real issue. 

Ant Hodges  46:37  

But what you’re doing here now with this is exactly what you need to be doing Martin, because you know, you’re showing up, you’re adding value, the people who are watching this listening to this, you know, they’re, they’re gonna hopefully get a lot of value from this, which is demonstrating your expertise, as well. Your next step is to then invite them to take the next step. So it’s working out what is that next step? You know, what have we what is it that you can do to help them on their next step of the journey. There’s a book I picked up from the bookshelf. Story Brand by Donald Miller. I don’t know if you’ve read it but it’s certainly a book I would recommend because this is basically helping you to really clarify what you can do to help your customers and then for you to show up as the guide. They are the hero of the story at the end of the day. You are the guide to help them to get to where they want to get to. So on that journey, there will be a number of steps that they need to go through. Those could be products, those could be services, and you take them from one step to the next because we can’t necessarily get a customer from where they are today to where they want to get to overnight. There’s no push button solution or magic silver bullet that will help people to do that but if they’ve got a path, and you display a roadmap to be able to get there and that’s your process, they are your products, their events, their coaching sessions, their training courses, their books, whatever they might be, in terms of how you’ve packaged and shaped your knowledge, the customer can see that roadmap. They can see, okay, well, I’m going to enter here and then I’m going to go through it methodically. Selling the invisible is the hardest thing in the world to do; coaching, training, consultancy, they’re invisible, they’re services, there’s no physical tangible product. Putting shape to them in some way by creating a roadmap, creating a suite of products and continuing to build a relationship and nurture people over time means that sales will just drop off. Marketing and Sales shouldn’t necessarily just be seen as a, as a very tactical, very transactional thing, I’m going to run a promotion to get some sales. If we continue to build a relationship with someone over time, and we’re demonstrating expertise and we’re positioning offers as we go, sales will just drop off. What we need to do is we need to show them that roadmap of understanding where they are, where they want to get to and if you’ve got the map that will help them climb the mountain and you can be the Sherpa that walks alongside them to be able to help them get there.

Martin Henley  49:30  

Okay, good. What do I want to say about that? So what I want to say about that is that there are, from where I’m sitting, there are steps in the process, there are components that you need. In the first instance you need, and I think you’re right, so I just want to draw a line under this egotistical small business person that I still clearly am it’s taken me all this I have to remember that I need an audience. If I’m going to sell something to somebody, you know, my situation is a little bit different. I stopped trading as The Effective Marketing Company in 2014. I had audience at that point I had mailing lists, I had Twitter followings, you know, all of that good stuff. I’ve largely been teaching since then. So I’ve remembered that this is what I need to do. So this is part of my audience building. It seems to me that there are steps or there are components. So the first thing you’re going to need, what you’re saying the first thing you need is a sense that you want to be transformative for people. Okay, that’s good, then you’re going to need the content or the course, then you’re going to need a ….

Ant Hodges  50:49  

Reverse engineer what we need to do, yeah, product first, product that’s going to give the customer the end result, we need to work out what that is. So we need to work out what our customer wants in terms of what result can we give them? 

Martin Henley  51:03  


Ant Hodges  51:04  

The second thing would be to create a no brainer offer for that product.  How can we create an absolute no brainer offer, that when we position it under the noses of a potential customer? So they’re going to turn around and say yes.

Ant Hodges  51:18  


Ant Hodges  51:19  

Then we need some kind of sales, conversion event, whether it’s a call, whether it’s a sales page, whether it’s a webinar, whether it’s an appointment setter, whatever it might be someone to actually transact the sale. Then we need to generate leads and nurture them towards the sale, but they’re only going to come if we’ve built our audience first. So we got to build audience, generate leads, have a sales conversion event, position, a no brainer offer and deliver a product that delivers the results for customers. IF we can map those five things out, in reverse order, you end up with the mechanics and work out what you need. So if I’ve got a product, I’m going to deliver a 12 week online course. Okay, it’s going to promise X, Y and Z. The no brainer offer, I need to bundle some bonuses with that, they’re gonna want access to me as the expert, because that’s one of the biggest pain points that people have with online courses, there’s no live interaction, it’s all delivered digitally. Leverage group calls, for instance, do a group call every two weeks to answer questions live, then they’ve got access to you. What other bonuses can you add? Conversion event, you’re going to do webinars to sell this thing. Do you want to get people to inquire fill out a questionnaire get on an appointment setter question so someone can sell for you. Generate leads by giving away guides and checklists that relate to your course, that help people to overcome the frustrations and pain that they’ve got now, before then seeing the full roadmap. Then all of your content that you pump out there to build your audience, create content that demolishes the self limiting beliefs that they’re never going to be able to achieve it. If we can create marketing content that’s out there, that helps to knock down the dominoes, as Russell Brunson talks about, knock down the dominoes of the self limiting belief that stops them from thinking, I can’t achieve that so I’m never even going to buy it, then they’re going to be able to take the next step. Those five things, those five parts of the process is ultimately the process that we should be thinking, if we want to package our knowledge, package it, create the offer, have a sales conversion event of some kind, generate the leads, nurture them towards the sale, but that comes from building the audience first.

Martin Henley  53:44  

Okay, so chronologically, the first thing you need to do is build an audience?

Ant Hodges  53:50  

The first thing you need to do is be clear about the product that you want to create. So you need to do it in reverse order, because if you build an audience, and you don’t have anything to generate any leads, then you’re just building an audience for audience sake. You can do them concurrently but if you’re building an audience, you want to be able to invite them to take the next step. So do it in reverse order. Start with the end in mind, build the product, work out the offer and then look at a sales conversion event. Look at how to build leads, build your audience. You can start by building your audience absolutely, but be clear in understanding why you’re building that audience. We don’t just want a big audience to become famous because nobody got famous from having just a million followers on YouTube or Twitter, necessarily.

Martin Henley  54:50  

Followers on YouTube, yes, okay, good. Okay. So the question is, then how do you know that you are developing a product that there is an audience for?

How do you know that you are developing a digital training product that there is an audience for?

Ant Hodges  55:05  

That’s the science of really understanding your audience. If you can see a problem in the world that a particular audience has, then figure out a way of fixing it and then go to that audience and say, I found the solution. Seth Godin talks about it in one of his marketing books, you can either find a solution, find a solution for a problem that people already have or you can find an audience, and then find out what problems they have, and then start to serve them. So actually, it starts internally, it starts, you know, with yourself, what challenges have you overcome in your life? Or your business? Or your relationships or with money? How have you done that? Then start to look around and start to see, are there other people doing this as well and if there are other people doing that, then it kind of gives us an inkling that there could be an audience. When you start having conversations with people, and you ask the question, okay, so what’s bugging you right now? What’s going to happen if you don’t get that sorted? Where do you want to get to? You start understanding the pain that they have now, the pain that they are avoiding in the future, and the pleasure that they want in the future. Our job is to take them from that frustration, the pain that they have now, to the pleasure in the future, their aspiration. Our job is to create that path to go from one to the next, when we understand our customer, and our audience, we can then create something that will really resonate with them.

Martin Henley  56:53  

Yeah, and I think it really does have to resonate with them now because there is so much choice, there are so many courses. Okay, so I want to come back to like, a mechanical question again, because this is where, there is a pattern emerging here. I am aware of this, it was the technology that sidetracked this exercise back in October. It’s the technology that has hijacked my, my LinkedIn Marketing Course. So technologically, why don’t we just throw this on … what’s the famous course platform? 

Ant Hodges  57:34  

Udemy or something like that?

Martin Henley  57:36  

Yes. So why don’t we just produce courses and, and put them on Udemy? Why don’t we do that?

Ant Hodges  57:44  

In my opinion, Udemy is a great platform to start potentially building a little bit of an audience and start becoming a bit of an expert but remember, every customer that comes on is a Udemy customer, they’re not your customer. They remain a Udemy customer, you can communicate to them through Udemy. There’s also a restriction on the price you can put on courses on Udemy. So for me, having a platform where you can position your own products, your own services, your own courses, you can choose to charge whatever you want, gives you one the freedom to be able to produce and market and sell whatever you want to sell in that sense. But every single customer that comes on is your customer. It’s like people who sell product on Amazon, you know, they’re an Amazon customer, when they buy your product, they’re not your customer. The very notion of getting your own list, your own customers has got to be important. I think Udemy works if you’ve got short courses, entry level beginner courses or something like that and you want to start to get to be known as an expert, sell a short, little course on Udemy, for $47, or whatever it might be but as one of those videos, invite them to take it in and get an understanding of what your next step your next level is and position your next thing which is on your website on your thing. Udemy has an audience, and they will help your courses to get in front of people as well and I know you can pay for premium membership with Udemy and they’ll help to promote it. That’s a good thing but I wouldn’t build the entire business on an external platform like that. I’d look to create the business system yourself.

Martin Henley  59:39  

Yeah and the thing is, I think, I mean, the reason, I’ve got it wrong, so I’m not telling anyone this is the way to go. I’m 100% not saying that because three people bought my course. So the thing is, maybe I’m thinking maybe five people but I don’t know. My rationalisation, the reason I went wanted to build my website is for that reason I, you know, I am a huge believer, you’re essentially buying customers, when you’re in business you need to, own is a strong word but you know, you don’t want to be buying customers for Udemy or Amazon. I had a real sense that also, it would make it inefficient to market it, it’s like putting your product on the shelf at Tescos and so at the end of every advert, you’d have to say and pop into Tescos and when they get to Tescos, they see that there’s 15 other chocolate biscuits on the shelves, you know?

Martin Henley  1:00:35  


Martin Henley  1:00:36  

So there was that? Also I think they are kind of cheapening the product. 

Martin Henley  1:00:43  


Martin Henley  1:00:44  

So if if my course, my course has generated businesses, 10s, hundreds of 1000s generated me 10s And hundreds of 1000s of pounds in sales, why would I give it to somebody for $30? Or why would they believe it was worth more than $30 if they could get it for $30? 

How do you go about pricing an online training course?

Ant Hodges  1:01:04  

Pricing a product in its own right is one of the strategies, to be able to position the value of the product. So if the value of the product is positioned with a $30 price tag, what value do they perceive the product to be? 

Martin Henley  1:01:18  


Ant Hodges  1:01:18  

Compared to maybe somebody else who’s selling it through a product launch on their own website for 2000 bucks in a similar kind of vein. 

Martin Henley  1:01:25  


Ant Hodges  1:01:26  

You know, they’re gonna price juxtapose $30 to $2,000 and then potentially say, well, that $30 course is clearly not anywhere near the $2,000 price mark.

Martin Henley  1:01:35  

Yes. And pricing, I think is really important. The thing is, if you give something to someone, they attach no value to it whatsoever. So the value people attach to things is, is intrinsically attached to the price that they paid.

Ant Hodges  1:01:50  

They have to have skin in the game. 

Ant Hodges  1:01:52  

Yes. Good. Now, I’ve led you into a little cul-de-sac, where we get to talk about how we price courses. How does it work? How does it work best? That’s what I want to know.

Ant Hodges  1:02:04  

I think that there’s there’s two, there’s two ways to do it. You’ve got to balance price with value and I think more and more people are moving towards, what is the value that I am going to bring to a customer by offering this product or service? What could they potentially get out of this? What is the end result worth to the customer? In that sense? That’s one of the questions to be asking is finding that balance. 

Ant Hodges  1:02:39  

The second thing is where do you sit in the marketplace? For instance, if you’re if you’re a dating coach or something like that, and you are in a marketplace where most dating coaches are maybe, you know, a couple of 100 bucks a session to coach you or something like that and you come in and you price yourself, and you’re like 50 bucks a session, people in the marketplace are going to look at your pricing being a lot lower in the marketplace, and potentially make a decision, well, they’re too cheap, they’re not going to give me the value that I want. Even though you could be the best dating coach in the world. If you price over the top too much if you’re $5,000, a session or something like that, then they’re going to ask the question, why are you that expensive? Why don’t I just start here with a lower price person first, and see if I’ll get the value because that risk is too much for me to take? So the value that you’ve got in a product or a programme has got to be kind of put together in some way. I’m not talking about some fake fictitious value that you see on all these webinars, Okay, well, here’s my training, and it’s worth $20,000 is a load of bonuses and you can actually buy it for 500 today, not that kind of a fake value. The real value of the transformation that you want to bring to the customer and it’s a lesson. It’s never fixed in stone, either. So as an example, my training started, I think it was about $297 for my training to start with. The next launch we’re going for is the same price we did last time and it’s $1,997 it’s $2,000. What we’ve actually done is added a whole heap of stuff into the course, the course has changed it’s morphed, there’s a lot more information, there’s a lot more knowledge, there’s more access to me, and all of the resources, templates, guides, swipe files, everything has all been built into it. So the enormous amount of value in the course is there. 

Ant Hodges  1:04:49  

I think a lot of people start when they think about pricing in terms of what they want to earn themselves though. Okay, so I want to earn 10,000 a month. I don’t know why But this 10,000 a month figure is typically the target for a lot of people. If I sell a course, and I sell it for 2000, I’ve only got to sell five, I’ll at least maybe bump it up sell one a week, maybe two and a half, and I’ve got where I want to get to. That’s all very well but you’re starting in the wrong place. I think you really do need to, and it comes back to creating the product in the first place, understand the problems that you’re solving for the customer, the value that you’re going to give them, and then start to price test those things. This is the beauty of like product launches, and running campaigns around maybe launching, and you’ve maybe got a live class that goes alongside your training, or a series of live q&a’s is as part of your training because you can do a launch and test all of those things in a predefined, calendar based timeframe. If you’ve always got your course on sale, when you then increase the price, you know, and testing the price, it’s very difficult. Of course, you’ll always be bundled in a package, when we talk about creating no brainer offers, bundle the package. So there’s all kinds of things you can test every launch, you can test the price, you can test the bonuses that you’re adding, you can test all the features of the product, are you giving them PDFs and workbooks and swipe files? Are you posting something in the post to them? Are you giving them some kind of joining box with a load of stuff in there when they join? There’s a whole heap of things that you can do. This book is another recommendation, Jeff Walker’s Launch book, which will talk through a lot of these strategies, and a lot of tactics around how you start to position those launches, and be able to price. So market positioning is key and the value that you give is key and starting with something that you also feel comfortable with. I’ve worked with clients who have produced amazing stuff and I’m like, looking at the market, looking at other people in the place, you know, you need to be positioning this at maybe a grand or 1500 or something like that. I don’t feel comfortable selling at that level can we start at maybe 600. There’s a mindset shift here as well, that needs to happen when you start thinking about pricing but it’s got to be about the value that you’re delivering for the customer and where you sit in the marketplace, as well. I know no I didn’t answer this question specifically, but they’re the things that need to be considered.

Martin Henley  1:07:48  

They are I mean, my next WTF is pricing strategy, it’s always very interesting, I suppose. Because like you say, this isn’t a real thing, you can send them a box, and they can open it and you know, that’s great, that’s starting to be more tangible. Because this is intangible, I suppose the pricing is more interesting. I mean, my attitude to pricing is, you know, you can’t deliver a Rolls Royce service on a Robin Reliant price. So you always really want to be the most expensive in your market, because you because I’ve never met a business owner who doesn’t want to be the best at what they do, so you have to charge the most if you’re going to do that, you know. So I think that’s interesting the psychology around pricing is really interesting, where the whole world believes everyone wants to buy the cheapest and in reality, everyone wants to buy the most expensive.

Ant Hodges  1:08:46  

And if I drop the price, I’m going to get a load more sales.

Martin Henley  1:08:49  

That’s so much junk. 

Ant Hodges  1:08:53  

That’s the mindset, a lot of the entrepreneurs that that I see out there, because they live in that scarcity mindset, because they themselves are struggling. There’s a perception that the people that they want to work with, they want to attract similar people, it’s a subconscious thing that happens because they are struggling, they think their customers are going to be in a similar position. Pricing becomes that negative thing that means that we end up trying to sell our course at a cheaper rate. 

Ant Hodges  1:09:23  

I remember showing up live in my Facebook group in between two launches, just to test something. I tested the live software and I basically pitched the training, it wasn’t ready for launch or anything like that. I pitched my training, and I pitched it at the price we now sell it but I’d never sold it at that price before. It was 1000 pounds more expensive and I had four people by on that impromptu live, because what happened is they continue to get the content that I was sending, I was continuing to add values, I showed up live. I just positioned what they perceived as a no brainer offer and they just bought. So I didn’t need to launch. I literally just went live in my group and had three people buy it straight away. Tthat’s why we need to do the work to understand the product and the customer really well, position the no brainer offers, and be consistent in our approach of building audience, generating leads, and having sales conversations you make more offers, you make more sales.

Martin Henley  1:10:33  

Yes. I mean that, that thing, that idea that if your price was just lower than you would sell many more, it’s such a ridiculous thing. The reason that people aren’t, the price objection doesn’t exist to me, you know, it’s literally, the easiest thing I can say to get rid of you is that this is too expensive. The excuse you want to give the salesperson is to tell them this is too expensive, the only reason I’m not buying this is because it’s too expensive so they can go back to the business and cry about how it’s overpriced. You know, it’s just this whole thing is a myth. What were you saying? The, you haven’t established the value, you know, so I’m agree with what you’re saying, if you’ve established the value, then the price isn’t really an issue and up until you’ve established the issue, they’re not buying, you know, it’s got nothing to do with the price. They’re not buying, they don’t understand the value of the thing, man.

Ant Hodges  1:11:35  

You can always make it easier for them to buy by having payment options available as well. So you know, if you if your course is priced at what you know, you want to sell your course at that price, have a three part payment, have a six part payment option as well. Allow people, you know, to step into it if they see the value, but maybe they haven’t got the full cash to pay up front or whatever. There’s options around then how you pivot that pricing structure to make it more accessible to more people as well without reducing the price.

Martin Henley  1:12:06  

Yes. I think that’s the main thing about price is that it is a positioning exercise. You know, the thing about the Robin Reliant/Rolls Royce thing is that you’re better off selling to Rolls Royce customers, because if it goes wrong, they’re gonna have something else they can drive around in for a week. You know, if you’re selling to a Robin Reliant person, it goes wrong the wheels have come off …

Ant Hodges  1:12:26  

They’re probably living in it. 

Martin Henley  1:12:29  

Potentially. Let’s not upset anyone who’s living in … I know van life is a thing, I don’t know if Robin Reliance life is a thing. What did I also want to say? So what I wanted to say is that so there’s so many I mean, maybe because I’m not on the outside, and I haven’t done enough to understand this. It seems like there are so many nuances to this. So price clearly is an important aspect. You’re talking about launches. So what is the …. but we’ve already gone for an hour, 15 minutes, and I know you have to be somewhere else. So you know. So what is what is the benefit of a launch as opposed to an evergreen product? All of these things. I can’t keep you for longer today. Can we have another conversation, maybe in two or three, we’re gonna have another conversation because I clearly desperately need help. So we’ll have that conversation.

Ant Hodges  1:13:33  

If I could give really just the crux of how how the online knowledge commerce Industry really works, that is about is about creating products that will give customers the transformation they’re looking for, we are in the business of transformation. So that’s the key. If we can position that transformation in a way, with an offer, that is a no brainer offer for them. I’m going to buy this, I’m going to get access to this course, I’m going to get access to this expert, it’s going to give me this result. If we can position it in a way that will really get people to be saying yes, all we’ve then got to do is get more eyeballs on that offer. Not to be a sleazy salesperson who’s always out there, tries trying to flog everything with every post being about trying to sell things. It’s about building that tribe and that audience and that following that know you, love you, trust you build the relationship. Give them free resources, get them on webinars, and then you are in with launches, every launch is, the success of every launch you do if you’re going to launch three times a year, for instance, every four months. The success of one launch will be directly relational to all of the activity that you’ve done in the past four months, not just the two weeks in the run up to the launch, everything you do in between your launches or between when you say, okay, well, here I am, I’m going to launch in four months time, everything that you do will have an impact on the success of that launch. This is about all the content you can put out there that draws people to you. The free products that you can give them access to the access to your time on webinars, the lives you do in a Facebook group, or a community or something like that. Then when you open cart, and you say, I’ve got this offer now but you add scarcity by saying it’s gonna close in five days, because then the live calls kick in, you use all of the weapons of influence that Robert Cialdini talks about in his book, plus, you’re doing it in such an authentic way, because you are an expert, and you want to serveb and you want to be out there. That’s how the knowledge Commerce Industry works today. It goes back to that book I read in 2011, Millionaire Messenger by Brendon Burchard, how to make a difference in the world and a fortune. That’s the mindset, show up to serve first, raise the bar, do things to the highest possible standards that you can, and stuff will happen. Put it out to the universe, it will come back to you or whatever. The law of reciprocity is a universal thing. Whether you believe it because of your faith, you know, or you believe it because of you know, the whole idea of the law of attraction, whatever it is, it’s real, because it happens you give, you will get back, it’s human nature. ***** So serve, show up, you’re, you’re basically investing in the bank of goodwill, every time you show up and add value, at some point, you’ll be able to make a withdrawal.

What should people do if they are looking to develop online training courses for themselves?

Martin Henley  1:16:46  

Okay, that’s really interesting and useful. I hadn’t been looking at it that way. But I am now. So thank you for that. I feel like we’ve answered maybe … the last day, this penultimate question is problematic, because I keep asking people, What should people want to do if they want to get into PR, public speaking, blah, blah. What people are telling me is get them to call me and, and that makes perfect sense. What I’m getting a real sense of now is the power of agency, the power of somebody else coming in and making this work for you. I think that’s even more relevant here because it’s just me, I know the value of what I’m doing, but am I managing myself well enough to actually realise it? Do I really have the spare to go and learn a platform to put this on, to be building an audience at the same time, to be running adverts, to be doing all of this stuff. I feel like you’ve answered that question in a way, because what you’re saying is you have to change your mindset. You know, you have to understand that you have to be and I think that’s probably the best place to start.

Ant Hodges  1:18:08  

You can do it all yourself. Absolutely. 

Martin Henley  1:18:11  

I can’t. 

Ant Hodges  1:18:13  

But it will take you time to learn,  it will take you time to learn.

Martin Henley  1:18:17  

Yeah, but I’ve been talking about this for 10 years already. What do you want me to do Ant?

Ant Hodges  1:18:21  

Yeah. Or you can accelerate the rate at which you’re going to get results by bringing the right people around you and finding the expertise. You know, Kajabi is the platform we build all of our clients stuff out on. I’ve been using it since 2012 nd it’s an absolute no brainer for me because it’s all the marketing, all the website, all the checkouts, all the courses, everything built into one system, which will enable customers to save money. So they’re not having to run WordPress websites, and E email marketing solutions and all kinds of stuff. Finding a system, and then a geek to do that is one thing. Then it’s someone who understands social media, someone who understands YouTube, someone who understands adverts, someone who understands launches, and that’s the power of agency. That’s the power of finding, not just a marketing consultant positioning themselves as an agency with lots of freelance support. 

Martin Henley  1:19:20  


Ant Hodges  1:19:20  

Because we have worked with a lot of clients who have had that experience and where staff turnover is there, where the quality isn’t quite there, where communication is a challenge, because they’re they’ve always got a middleman. 

Martin Henley  1:19:36  


Ant Hodges  1:19:36  

That’s the beauty of agency today. I think agencies will be on the rise again. I think agencies will start to be built, agencies are being built today. People are employing again people are looking for jobs again. There is this notion of entrepreneurialship, I get it, I’m not want to poopoo that in any way. I want to encourage as many people as possible to do that. I think when you’re starting to look at this kind of thing, you need to find the people who are on point with the trends, on point with the tactics, on point with that, because you can end up wasting so much money, as well as the time and not being able to get the results.

Martin Henley  1:20:20  

100% I agree with you 100%. Okay, so the other thing I was gonna ask is for you to recommend some books, but you’ve been doing that throughout. So I will provide people with links to those. So the only other order of business is for you to suggest people, put people under the bus for for one of these conversations, who do you think might enjoy to have this conversation with me?

Who do you recommend I speak to as part of this Talk Marketing series?

Ant Hodges  1:20:44  

Well, the straight up, I’m gonna, I’m gonna get my mate, Adrian Salisbury involved, you and Adrian need to have a conversation about what he does with Ecamm, live streaming, all of that kind of stuff and what he does there, I’m probably also gonna throw you under the bus with John McGregor. John is one of our clients, an amazing guy, he’s based in California. He’s Robert Kiyosaki, his financial advisor and he wrote a book called 10 Reasons Why Rhe Rich Go Broke, and how you can avoid that. You need to get him on to talk about money and mindset because that is going to be linked intrinsically to help people build their businesses and grow. Yeah, so they’re two people immediately that I’m going to throw under the bus for you.

Martin Henley  1:21:37  

Can I ask you to set up like, like, Warren sent that beautiful little message to you, can I ask you to do something like that?

Ant Hodges  1:21:48  

Absolutely. Yeah, yeah, I’ve got your email address. So what I’ll do is I’ll intro you on email to both of them because that’s probably the best way and then look to get something set up for you guys to have a chat. 

Martin Henley  1:22:02  

You’re an absolute legend. I love these conversations so much. You know, I think the part of the issue is that I was coming with the issue of sales and marketing. So it seems to me like when, when the penny drops for small businesses, they realise they need sales and marketing, they go out to the market far too often they get fleeced. They get fleeced, you know they and the average lifespan of a digital marketing customer, apparently in London, is three months, which gives you a sense of how poor the service is that’s been provided, how poor the people who are who are buying it, as well, in terms of what knowing what they need. I can’t find people, I’m only finding amazing, incredible people who are committed to delivering value for their customers, you know?

Ant Hodges  1:22:56  

You want to you want to speak to the digital marketers that only keep customers for three months?

Martin Henley  1:23:01  

No, but I was expecting … because the face of marketing is …. there’s some idiot on Facebook and he’s like, if you’re not generating 200 leads a day you’re going out of business. It’s like, well, I sell oil rigs how on earth am I going to generate 200 leads? It’s so obviously clearly not true but that is the face that’s out there or do this one thing, you know, Facebook advertising, or whatever it is do this one thing, and you’ll be successful. I mean, I have reached out to a couple of those people, they won’t talk to me. It’s good because the universe is just leading me to brilliant people. You know, this, asking people for referrals at the end, is proving to be really valuable, because I just go from amazing person to amazing person and I put in you in that category Ant this has been such a great conversation. Thank you so much.

Ant Hodges  1:23:53  

Thank you my friend, let’s set up another call and talk more specifics. More than happy to do that. You know, I think for me, what I what I’ve come to realise is what I do and what we do in the agency, there’s so much to it. 

Martin Henley  1:24:07  


Ant Hodges  1:24:08  

You’ve got to work out the plan and the roadmap to be able to then implement and it never happens overnight. The results are never an overnight success because you’ve got to implementb test, innovate, implement, testb innovate. That’s just that cycle, and marketing more so than anything, because everything changes so quickly and so fast. 

Martin Henley  1:24:28  


Ant Hodges  1:24:29  

So yeah, you’ve got to be on top of it and more than happy to have another conversation.

Martin Henley  1:24:34  

That would be brilliant. Well, if we could do we’ll have another conversation about what I need. I mean, I’m already thinking very differently. I’m already thinking very differently so that might be a shorter conversation. If we can in two or three months time, come back and have another conversation about the mechanics of courses and how it works and the process then I would dearly love to do that daily love to do that. Okay, so we’ll do the pretend goodbye now for the audience, so and then we’ll we’ll I’ll stop the recording and then we’ll do a proper goodbye like human beings. So cool. AnT thank you so much for your time it’s been an absolute pleasure.

Ant Hodges  1:25:13  

No problems. I’d love to be here and to serve you and those watching and listening as well. That’s what I’m here for.

Martin Henley  1:25:20  

100% Thank you so much man.


Martin Henley

Martin Henley

Martin has built a reputation for having a no nonsense approach to sales and marketing and for motivating audiences with his wit, energy, enthusiasm and his own brand of audience participation. Martin’s original content is based on his very current experience of running effective marketing initiatives for his customers and the feedback from Effective Marketing’s successful and popular marketing workshops.



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