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Interview With Multi-Millionaire Internet Marketer Tom Antion
Interviewer: Tom, it’s great to get to interview you. You’ve been selling on the Internet for a long time. How did you get started?
Tom Antion: I had already been a comic entertainer since 1986. I started my pro speaking career around 1991 because there was more money in it. Almost all speakers start creating information products based on what they talk about. In those days the only way to sell them was at the back of the room or by direct mail or by cold calling. It was tough enough to sell your stuff across the street let alone around the world. When I heard about the commercial Internet and the World Wide Web late in 1993 I thought to myself, “You mean to tell me I can sit in front of my computer and sell my stuff in every state and every country on the planet?” I told myself, “I’m there.” I did everything I possibly could to learn how to sell on line.
Interviewer: You told me it wasn’t that easy going in those days.
Tom Antion: Boy, that’s an understatement. It was totally Wild West. It was a new frontier. I was like a pioneer in a Conestoga wagon. As I think back it really was like that. I was headed in a direction and really didn’t know what the destination was like. All along the way I was getting shot at too . . . not by Indians and bandit cowboys, but by technical geeks who couldn’t stand the thought of losing control. They hated commercialism and losing control of their precious Internet.
Interviewer: All the tools we have today didn’t even exist back then right?
Tom Antion: Oh My God! That’s another major understatement! There was no WordPress, there were no blogs at all till I think about 2004. I remember it cost me a $2000.00 license fee to get a bare bones shopping cart and it was literally months and months to get it hooked up to take credit cards. I also remember trying to get an affiliate program to work. That was another $1100.00 and just like today when it didn’t work the two different companies blamed each other. .. there was another six months down the drain. My email address was some ridiculous numbers at compuserve.com
I really lost my shirt from 1994 – 1996 and spent a lot of money and didn’t sell a thing. Then I got a break. I met Corey Rudl, then the youngest “grandfather” of Internet marketing. He really was a genius. I got training from Corey and the rest they say is history. I’ve been making a fortune ever since.
Interviewer: Wow! I don’t know anyone who would lose money for two years and not quit.
Tom Antion: Yes, I agree with you. People don’t seem to have the persistence that past generations had. I actually tell my students that the hardest thing about learning Internet marketing is just hanging in there long enough to figure things out. Really all I do for people is cut their learning curve. The Internet is kinda like a jigsaw puzzle, but you don’t have the box showing you the picture of how everything fits together. I guess I’m the box for my students hahaha.
Interviewer: You’re well known for claiming two exact skills you gained that were the main things that caused your phenomenal success. What are they?
Tom Antion: The first is being able to make a webpage yourself. Yes, I know some of the younger people reading this are laughing and thinking, “Who can’t make a web page?” hahaha Well listen to this. Up until 1997 when Microsoft Front page came out you totally had to write HTML and depend on a web designer AKA “out of work graphic designer” to do the work for you. It actually took over a year to get one of my books up on a webpage for sale hahaha. Those really weren’t the “good ole days”. I own the domain name “KillYourWebDesigner.com” hahaha I’m surprised there weren’t more web designer homicides back then hahaha
So, as soon as Microsoft Front Page came out I jumped all over it. Imagine going from one year to get something done to one minute hahaha. This is common today to be able to put up a WordPress site with your eyes closed, but back then it wasn’t. Being able to put up a webpage/site gave me the competitive edge and catapulted me to the front of my industry. I was able to gain a massive web presence in a hurry for virtually zero money and beat the heck out of my competitors.
Interviewer: OK. What’s the second thing . . . and I’m pretty sure I know what you’re going to say. Hahaha
Tom Antion: This is the one skill I actually have used WAY longer than the Internet has been around. Since I first started my formal business and way before that when I was a kid putting up flyers to promote my childhood entrepreneurial endeavors hahaha copywriting is the absolute number one skill that’s make me a multi-millionaire.
Interviewer: How so?
Tom Antion: Well, it’s pretty simple. Everything you want to sell has to have sales copy attached or no one will give you money. Every video you shoot has you saying ad copy. PPC ads are what we call “Super Short Copy”. Website welcome videos are full of copywriting techniques. Email is copy. Squeeze Pages are copy. Web pages are copy. Banner ads are copy. Infographics are a new way to deliver copy, etc. etc. All your offline promotion like postcards, brochures and business cards are copy. Without the skill to create this copy, you are going to spend a tremendous amount of cash and waste a tremendous amount of time.
Interviewer: Tom, I can see how you could save money learning copywriting, but I don’t see how it would save you any time.
Tom Antion: A good copywriter is going to interview you extensively about your product or service. Right there is probably 1-4 hours depending on the price and complexity of the product. Then you are going to wait . . . maybe a week or more for a first draft. . . .There’s a week shot. Then you are going to have to carefully review the first draft to see if it’s anything like you had in mind and to check it for accuracy….You certainly don’t want to claim things in the salesletter that you can’t actually deliver. You’ll get immediate bad reviews which will kill your entire promotion. So there’s another hour shot. For each revision. Then you send it back to the copywriter for revisions and go back and forth with that as many times as necessary to get the letter polished and perfect . . . it will take at least weeks and maybe even more than a month plus many hours of your own time explaining things to the copywriter . . . So I ask you. Where is the time savings?
Interviewer: Gee, Tom I see what you mean. And I guess you have to multiply this by the many pieces of copy you have to write including email sales letters, web page copy, squeeze pages, brochures, etc. Besides the money I can now see the enormous amount of time you’ve saved over many years. . . .And I guess time equals even more money.
Tom Antion: Yes, and I’ve made a lot of extra money because I’m able to do things faster than my competitors. It’s similar to the web page building we talked about earlier. By refusing to learn how to put a web page up, my competitors took WAY longer than me to get a product to market. I’m probably able to bring things out 3-5 times faster than my competitors because they’re too lazy or think they’re too good to get their fingers dirty making web pages. I just laugh as I take all the money.
When it comes to copywriting, I can’t tell you how much EXTRA money I’ve made because I don’t have to wait for copywriters. Sometimes I get a complete promotion done in one day that brings in many thousands of dollars by that night. It actually takes longer to get the emails distributed than to put together the promotion.
Interviewer: So, Tom I know you’re time is valuable. Tell us about your Copywriting course.
Tom Antion: First let me say that any copywriting study your readers do is great. I still study copywriting after being in business for 37 years. What I feel my advantage is . . . and this has been told to me thousands of times by my audiences and students over the years . . . is that I’m really understandable. I have a knack for breaking down complex psychological principles and making them so anyone can use them to their advantage. I also break down the copywriting process into small chunks so you can put together a great salesletter in tiny pieces in your spare time instead of being faced with creating a monster salesletter from scratch all at once.
Interviewer: That means I don’t have to sit and agonize on what to write and how to write it. I can just take each training module of your course and create each element for my product one-by-one.
Tom Antion: That’s right and it’s not just big product launch copy. I have structures and formulas for email sales copy and video sales copy too. I’ve even included a primer for super short copy and infographics along with over a hundred samples of mine . . . all of which made money.
Interviewer: Well, thanks Tom. It’s great to be able to talk to someone who has really been there and done that. I’m going to provide a link to your course on this page and I hope you sell a ton of them.
Tom Antion: Thanks for having me.