This interview is with Derek Doepker, the guy behind “Kindle Bestseller Secrets“. Derek cracked the code to publishing an Kindle bestseller without a huge marketing budget or a huge list behind him.
You’re going to learn a lot…
Q: What got you interested in starting an online business and how did you get started?
I volunteered at a seminar that taught people how to start their own online business. When I realized the knowledge I had gained researching health and fitness over the years could be used as an asset to make me money, it got me excited about the prospect of creating passive income streams. While having an online business started as a way to make money, it eventually became more about the ability to help change people’s lives.
Q: Did you have any failures early on and what did you learn from them?
My very first attempt at affiliate marketing through facebook ads didn’t work out well at all. I lost quite a bit of money and didn’t get back into online marketing for about another year or so. Once I got into blogging, it was a big struggle to drive traffic to my posts. The was a bit frustrating because I knew I had great content. I’m pretty grateful those things didn’t work out though because it forced me to learn other methods to grow my business and to become an innovator rather than just copying all the other “push button” systems out there.
Q: What’s the main thing that made the difference for you to cross the line from “struggling” to becoming successful?
Looking back, I realize the vast majority of my success came from developing relationships and friendships with other successful people. These relationships also came about when I placed my focus on serving others. The more I focus on serving others and providing value, the more comes back to me in return. I also believe one must blend imitation with creation. That is, model what works, but also find your own path so you stand out from the crowd.
Q: What’s the best piece of “big picture” advice you would give to someone just starting their online business?
Don’t ask yourself “how can I GET xyz…” That could be “how can I get money?” “how can I get traffic?” “how can I get fans?” etc.
All my success came when I switched the focus to what I could provide others.
“How can I provide so much value people will WANT to pay me?” “How can I help someone in my niche spread their message?” “How can I serve people and make their lives better?”
When I asked myself those types of questions, not only did I more creative business ideas, but I made a lot more money too.
Q: What is your system for sitting down and getting work done on a daily or weekly basis?
Usually I just force myself to get started, and then I’ll get into a state of flow naturally. Many times the biggest obstacle is to just get the ball rolling. One way I do that is to just say I’m not going to do anything else until I knock out whatever is on my priority list for the day.
Q: What could you have done that would have made you successful sooner?
Network and make connections in my niche. My biggest success is thanks to the people that have helped me and guided me. Also, not trying to do a bunch of different stuff, but focus on doing one thing and mastering it.
Q: What would you tell people just starting out that they should focus on?
Find a way to make people’s lives better. Business is all about solving problems for pay. Figure out a way to help others and improve their lives, and there’s a way to make money from it.
Q: Why do some people succeed online and others never do?
There could be many reasons for this.
One thing is that people are looking for “step-by-step” systems that they think will do the work for them. Instead of asking themselves why certain things work on a bigger picture level. The more I’ve studied business principles in a general sense, the more successful I’ve been.
That’s because I have a greater context of why things work vs simply what things work. Then if the landscape of online marketing changes, such as google updates or new social networks, I can rapidly adapt. Don’t rely on a guru to hand you the system. Instead, look at why their systems work and innovate to create your own tactics.
A side note is that I see a lot of people going through stuff and they just want to skim through different products taking bits and pieces. If you’re going to be successful, you need to really sit with information for a while. Ask yourself a lot of questions. Do a lot of market research. Get to know your target audience. This isn’t an overnight thing, but a process. Some people are too impatient to learn the details and go through the process. It’s not particularly hard, but they have a short term “make money now” mentality instead of treating their online business as a real long-term legitimate business. The funny thing is, their desire to cut corners and save time just keeps them struggling longer and ultimately wasting their time.
Q: How has running your own online business changed your life?
I’ve been able to quit my job and pursue what I love. Most importantly, I get feedback from people telling me how much my training or information has helped them. It feels amazing to know I’m living a life of purpose where my contributions make a difference in the world.
Q: What motivates you to keep going and become even more successful?
Realizing that if I hold myself back, then I’m robbing others of my insights and information that could change their lives. The more I place my focus on service to others, the more inspired I am.
Q: What is your favorite software tool that you use in your business and why?
My brain is the most reliable tool. There’s a lot of cool software, but somehow I never end up really falling in love with anything because it’s usually my intuition that has led me to my best insights.
Q: How much of your time do you dedicate to: 1) self-education and learning new skills 2) generating new traffic, leads and customers for your business and 3) generating revenue?
This isn’t set in stone. These things constantly fluctuate depending on what I’m doing with my business. With kindle however, I spend very little time actively pursuing leads and customers since I let Amazon do that for me.
Q: What are some of you best Kindle tips for people that are building a Kindle business, and what are some tips for people who want to but havent’ started yet?
Create quality content that people will rave about. This makes the whole promotion and selling process easy.
Also, I love running 5 day promotions and hitting each promo with everything I’ve got. Treat launching a kindle book like a grand opening of a brick and mortar business. Invest all your resources into doing a couple of days of really heavy promotion to drive it up the bestsellers list, and then let Amazon do the rest. Amazon will bring you more traffic than anything you can do on your own.
For people who haven’t started, I would say just get your first book done. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Even if it totally sucks, you can go back and change the title, description, cover, keywords, or even the book itself. Amazon is a very low-risk way to test things out. And if it doesn’t work out, then you can still probably sell at least a few copies and make back your initial investment. It’s not like driving paid traffic to a report that has to convert or else you lose all your money.
Q: What Kindle strategy is working the best for you right now?
KDP select free promotions, 5 days in a row, every 90 days. I hit those hard with free and paid traffic. Get my book a ton of free downloads, and then sit back and do nothing once it goes on sale because Amazon will drive thousands of buyers on autopilot.
Q: If someone only has an hour a day to build their Kindle business, what is the best use of their time?
Kindle works in phases. So when you’re in the writing (or getting someone else to write) phase, that whole hour is dedicating to getting the book together. Then the next phase is the pre-launch phase, then the launch phase. Basically, you’re totally focused one whatever it is you need to do during each phase. It’s not like a person needs to do a bunch of different things each day. There’s usually only one or a couple main things on my to-do list on any given day for my kindle business.
I want to thank Derek again for taking the time to answer these questions- he gave away a ton of solid info. If you haven’t picked up his course ‘Kindle Bestseller Secrets’, click here to get it…
You’ll be glad you did.