What You will Hear in Jonny Andrews' Story:
- Change Business Direction to Have More Time for Family
- When the Money Stopped Being Fun…
- Defining Yourself by the Wrong Yardstick?
- Who Do You Want to be Known As?
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More about our featured guest Jonny Andrews
Since discovering how to “hack” the publishing industry, Jonny Andrews has been known as the go-to guy for author entrepreneurs when it comes to launching a successful business or books by leveraging the power of audience & Amazon. His techniques for using leveraged publishing systems has propelled clients works to massive bestseller status in their first week. Now Jonny shares his tips, tactics, tricks along with expert advice on his show “Audience Hacker.”
- How To Self-Publish A USA Today Bestseller: The Quinn Loftis Interview (Audience Hacker Success Interviews Book 1)
[00:02] Joel: Welcome to ReLaunch, your daily dose of inspiring stories, fresh ideas and practical steps and solutions. Oh and hey, before I forget, I wanna thank Ryan Baker. Now, Ryan lives in Missouri. He's a long time listener and if I remember correctly, he is a musical composer and an artist, and he has done some phenomenal work. Anyways, he snapped a quick selfie of himself at his desk. He was kind of gearing up for the day, getting his daily ReLaunch on before he was to step into his work day. And it is just so exciting when I see the smiles of some of our listeners and the possibilities welling up in their eyes. Go ahead, Pei.
[00:51] Pei: Yeah, just a #ReLaunchShow on Twitter and there are two words, no space in between and we'll find you.
[00:59] Joel: Indeed. You know, when I see those pictures, it just reminds me that this show is making a difference for our listeners and that is a powerful, powerful thing for me. And joining us on today's show, he has discovered how to turn ideas into books, and books into bestsellers. He is the go-to guy when it comes to hacking into the publishing industry and leveraging the power of Amazon and those other amazing publishing platforms on the web. Johnny Andrews is on ReLaunch for the first time ever. Welcome, Johnny.
[01:37] Jonny Andrews: Well, what's going on y'all?
[01:39] Joel: Well, you know, it's… We been…
[01:41] Pei: Wow, he did “y'all,” did you hear that?
[01:43] Joel: Well, he…
[01:43] Jonny Andrews: Y'all. Exactly.[laughter]
[01:45] Joel: We've been planning the show forever since we met at Podcast Movement 2014 and that's…
[01:50] Jonny Andrews: That was like 16 years ago. I think we've been waiting a long time to have this.
[01:54] Joel: I know, right, right. Finally the schedules worked out, the stars were in alignment and here you are. You know how we roll here, Johnny. This show is all about the ReLaunch and while we've all experienced numerous launches and relaunches throughout our life, I generally ask people to zero in on the relaunch that has been the most transformational for them in their life, and then we just unfold the story from there. So, where do we need to zero in starting today's conversation? Talk about Johnny's relaunch. There's been many.
[02:29] Jonny Andrews: Oh, there have. Yes, yes, yes. I mean, like relaunch, reinvention, you wanna call it. I mean, everything from going… From selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door to jumping into the mortgage business, from the mortgage business into investing, from investing into auto repair quotes online, and from that eventually into some sort of lunatic. I like to call it almost like a drunken howler monkey on a broken tilt-a-whirl kind of thing into internet marketing, which my version of that back in the day was more like what you would expect in the after party of an '80s Hair Metal Band. And so, that was a good time, don't get me wrong. The business model, let's get into the logistics of it, was very much… This was 2006 through probably 2009.
[03:16] Joel: Okay.
[03:17] Jonny Andrews: And the business model back in that day, in the internet marketing make money online kind of thing… ‘Cause I got started teaching people search engine optimization. Because back in the days of yore, that was what I learned how to do in order to get another business to get free traffic and rank in Google and things like that. I got very good at doing that, so I started teaching people. And one thing sort of led to another, and so I created these products. You know, obviously, information products about like how to do that, how I did that, and how people could apply it to their business. And then learned how to do the launch if you will, the launch process, and went and got a whole bunch of partners and blasted stuff off. And so my career very much took off.
[04:00] Jonny Andrews: But the one caveat to that was that in order to stay on top of the market and be able to do seven figures in a year doing this kind of stuff, I had to be traveling constantly. It was this never-ending from event to event to event in different parts of the world, different parts of the country. I think there was one year I might have been in Vegas like five times in two months, which is just too much for any carbon-based life form. And not just humans, I think, any spiders, monkeys, or emu should not do that either, 'cause it's just too much Las Vegas. And so, long story short, I ended up meeting my wife shockingly enough on an airplane coming back from Las Vegas. Of course, we had not married at the time, that was just when I met her. And we ended up being the only two people with a seat between us. Long story short, I proposed to her and we ended up getting married and ended up having a kid.
[04:55] Jonny Andrews: And there was this moment in time where I suddenly realized, “Holy sweet mother of all that's holy, this crazy rockstar lifestyle of mine is not going to be able to continue if I have to do this whole husband-father thing.” It was just a very bad kind of situation. So, I had to look at everything that I was doing and completely reinvent myself, and completely relaunch all that kind of stuff and go from… I had to ask the questions instead of, like, “Okay, where's the next party where all of my friends with big lists who can promote my stuff are hanging out?” I had to ask, “How can I remove myself in that situation, yet continue to be doing something that's lucrative and fun and cool and yay?” That making sense?
[05:39] Joel: Absolutely.
[05:40] Jonny Andrews: Yes.
[05:41] Joel: Absolutely. So…
[05:42] Jonny Andrews: A complete 180.
[05:44] Joel: Yeah. So, how do you start on that process?
[05:47] Jonny Andrews: Uh, well it involved a lot of soul searching, questing in the darkness. Just picture any moment from the movies “Twilight” where they're having some existential crisis and possibly raining a lot on them. They're like, “Ah.” It was something like that. It did not go well at first. It was an extremely difficult withdraw process, withdrawal almost to say the least because all of a sudden, I went from three months at a time on the road to now being at home with the two same people that I saw everyday. I was like, “Ah.” But it very quickly became, “Oh, I can morph this into what I really, really loved as a kid,” which was books.
[06:28] Jonny Andrews: And I'd realized that, especially at the time because that was starting in 2010 into the present, was that this whole publishing thing, this whole self-publishing thing. I had this epiphany that everything I had been doing up that was really training myself how to launch books, how to create platforms. You know the current manifestation of my show is called, “Audience Hacker,” how to hack audiences because that's really the key behind everything.
[06:57] Joel: No question.
[06:58] Jonny Andrews: Exactly. And so what I did was I had started to build audiences and it started really just a, “Hmm, I wonder,” kind of situation. I was sitting at the kitchen table looking at some Facebook stuff, just some training that I had purchased, and I was like “Oh, this is cool. I wonder what would happen if I did this is the paranormal romance genre.” And so I ended up creating this ecosystem, grew to about 10,000 fans in about four days and it was called, “I Love Vampire Novels.” And that was… That has since become a place that has over 150,000 fans just on Facebook. With all the stuff that I'm doing in, we can reach anywhere from a quarter million to almost four million people a week, give away about 18,000 books, and introduce tons of new authors into that space constantly. Its become literally one of the biggest book launch platforms specifically for the paranormal entertainment, paranormal romance. Not the ghost hunter kinda stuff, but for people who like reading books on vampires and all that lunacy. That's… They kinda come to that site to see that. And ended up doing a test launch with that and out sold Stephen King for a whole five hours. It was crazy.[laughter]
[08:10] Joel: For five hours?
[08:11] Jonny Andrews: Yeah, it was awesome. Well, I mean dude, it's Stephen freaking King. That guy is like…
[08:15] Joel: Stephen King.
[08:15] Jonny Andrews: Stephen King, exactly. I don't even know. He's almost becoming his own verb, it's crazy. But yeah, that was really the beginning of it. Then I've since gone through and launched tons and tons of books.
[08:26] Joel: Right, right.
[08:27] Jonny Andrews: Nonfiction and fiction, and found the process to be very similar across the board.
[08:31] Joel: Well, you're the go to guy for aspiring authors, first timers, and then people who are even returning back into the world of writing books. Let me back up though a little bit. Talk about, if you would, some of the things that you either learned or that you re-learned about yourself as you were looking inward, doing the soul searching of thinking, “Okay, how do I do this now that things have changed?” And you're obviously in your living situation and with your family.
[09:08] Jonny Andrews: Well, I learned that I had hinged my concept of success on something very vacuous and empty, which was money. I had looked at… I kind of built myself from… I mean, 'cause back in the day I lived in an office. I was basically homeless for a while, and so I had no money. And so to go from having none to having lots, don't get me wrong is awesome, but with that comes a very specific trap where you can suddenly see, “Oh, the rise and fall of my own personal empire hinges around the dollar signs that are coming in every minute.” And yes, that is absolutely vital with your running a business, but it cannot be the only indicator, especially really as a solo entrepreneur. That can't be the only factor involved. And it was interesting because looking back, I see that a lot of this was a long time coming.
[10:00] Jonny Andrews: And a lot of this was happening already anyway. Even if I had not gotten married and had a kid, I think I probably would have made this transition because I wasn't enjoying what I was doing as much. The first couple of years of it I was like, “Woohoo, awesome.” But then it's like, “Wow, this is kinda getting old, I'm kinda getting tired of it.” The drama, it was like almost this high school drama because the industry was getting flooded with people that were demanding. I had a huge list, I actually deleted 84,000 subscribers a couple of months ago from my list. I had over 214, 216 something thousand at one point. And so obviously, people were kinda blowing up my door constantly to back their launches. And it was just getting kind of boring and exhausting and crappy all at the same time, and that was because the money wasn't fun anymore. ‘Cause you can make money, once you've made it you can make it again. That's like a skill. It's like, “Okay, you wanna get buff? Go to the gym and do the right things, and eat right. You wanna make money? Okay, go out start a business, do the right things and over.”
[11:09] Joel: Okay, so let me stop you right there and ask you. When the money stopped being fun, did that surprise you? Or what were some of the things that you tried to put in place to make it fun again?
[11:23] Jonny Andrews: You know what? I think it might have surprised me at such a fundamental level that I didn't even know that I was… Like, what was happening first.
[11:30] Joel: Okay, what do you mean?
[11:31] Jonny Andrews: I was like, “Why am I not excited about launching a new product?” That was I could create something, I could launch it, I could make some phone calls and all of a sudden, myself and my friends are making six figures in a couple of days or a day or a week or whatever. It was cool. But then I was like, “This is just kind of a drag.” It got to be… I don't want to… I know that has the potential to sound fairly heavily douche-y when I say that, because I know a lot of people have not done that kind of thing. But I can just tell you, it's not about the money. It has to be about something else. And I found out what it was. It took a long time. It's that I was defining myself by the wrong yardstick.
[12:08] Joel: Okay, explain.
[12:09] Jonny Andrews: I did not want to be a guy… And it really happened when I was looking at my kid, and I realized that I had been selling products that were like, “Hey, this is how I make a bunch of money. Let me show you how I make a bunch money.” And I didn't like how that was coming off. It just wasn't… It was very… I was almost lampooning myself. All this stuff was based off my own experience. I helped tons of people…
[12:33] Joel: What do you mean you were lampooning yourself? I think that's an important point to bring out.
[12:36] Jonny Andrews: If you look at the business opportunity market, they're really a caricature of people. It's like, you hear these stories about the rich garbage man, and these people that invent these rags to riches stories. And the problem was I legitimately had one, but it was like everybody else was either creating something like that. And so, I just looked just as scammy as everybody else. And so it was getting to the point where I'm like, “This is just not who I want to be. I don't wanna be the the make money online guy.” It just wasn't… It felt awkward, let's say. The cool, new… Sort of like the new car smell, if you were like, “Okay. Hey, I can do these info products and make a bunch of money with it, then I'll teach people how to do this, that, and the other thing.” That had worn off, and now it was more like… And I didn't have an identity outside of just launching new products. And so that was really a huge factor. It's like, I wanted… If you look at… You know, Frank Kern? Jeff Walker?
[13:37] Jonny Andrews: Yeah, if you look at what they've done, they really created an identity around a certain thing. Like, what it is it that you could be? And Frank Kern, who was very much around this mass control, like the psychology behind how markets work, and how marketing works. And Jeff Walker was the product launch guy. And they've made very successful businesses and platforms around that. And I didn't really know who I wanted to be known as. And I think that would be…
[14:02] Joel: Okay, so talk about that a little bit. How did you investigate within yourself how you wanted to be known, and how did you start to create that identity?
[14:13] Pei: Right, 'cause earlier you did mention that you find out helping authors, and that seemed to be a theme. So, how did you figure that out?
[14:22] Jonny Andrews: Well, I've always had a soft spot for the artistic folk out there. Not to say that non-fiction people aren't artistic, but I was a professional musician for 21 years. It was super fun. All I did as a kid was write stories and stuff like that. I went to school to learn how to speak a language that I already spoke, so let's… You wanna talk a low-hanging fruit, there you go. But, it was kinda getting back to my roots because I remembered something… It was like almost waking up from some sort of fever dream. It's like, “Why did I get into business in the first place?” And the answer was, “To fund my art.” Because when I was in this band, I kept noticing that the people who did well in anything, were the ones who had some level of business smarts, and some level of financial backing, or the ability to generate money on their own, and they could then fund the advertising that would bring fans to their shows. And so, I got sick of hearing everybody that I was in this band with lamenting about how they never had any money.
[15:22] Jonny Andrews: I'm like, “Well, I suppose I'm the one who go and learn how to do it.” And so, that began this long almost 10 year journey into this business thing. And so, after that, when I kinda decided that I was really no longer this dude who was gonna publish business opportunity things, I kinda had to take a moment and say, “Hold up a second. Why did I even start down this road in the first place?” And I had forgotten where I came from. I forgot who I was at my core. And it was really asking the question… I can't remember who did this originally but, “If money wasn't an option, what would you want to do with yourself?” And I'm like, “I really like to write. I really enjoy doing that.” And everything I had been doing up to this moment was just a different version of self-publishing.
[16:08] Pei: Awesome.
[16:08] Jonny Andrews: And so was it was kind of this “aha” moment, and I went, “Oh. Well, there we go.” So I went and wrote this book called. “How to Finally Live Debt Free and Wealthy,” and talking about how I was homeless and got hit with this identity theft, and it completely wiped me out financially. And then how, without a bank account, job, or credit card, I was able to grow this seven figure business, like cashing checks at a local currency exchange.
[16:31] Jonny Andrews: And I'm like, “Don't try this at home kids, but here's the lessons I learned from this.” Almost like… So I wrote this book, and I published this book on my own, and it ended up… Using what I had learned in internet marketing, I ended up outselling Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, Robert Kiyosaki, became a number one best seller in personal finance, launched it again and it hit… I think it hit number… I can't remember, like number one or something in non-fiction. It was actually the featured book on Business and Investing, on the landing page of the Amazon Kindle Store. And that was really cool, and so that was… I was just doing this stuff, literally, from my basement. And I was like, “Well, what if… ” And so then I kinda created a program that talked about how to ethically do this. Because at the time, the only Amazon publishing tactics that were out there were these horrifically scammy things, that were teaching people to just regurgitate this private label right garbage into the ecosystem. I mean, it was literally like… If you want a good graphically disgusting visual, it would be like hooking up a human… Literally like a sewer line to your living room, and just turning it on and letting it hose down the walls.[chuckle]
[17:42] Jonny Andrews: That's what they… They were, they were doing it! And it's like, you would probably never wanna go back in that room again. And so Amazon was literally gearing up to crush these people that were doing this, and they had already created algorithms that were trying to clean it up. And so I was the first guy… It's kinda cool I can actually say this. I was the first person to publish a course on how to legitimately create awesome stuff and totally change it. And when I put that, I actually launched it through the Warrior Forum. I'm sure you guys are familiar with this. I did it as a WSO and it got WSO of the day. And when it finally hit, it was almost like hearing the needle scratch. Like, “Ahh.” Everyone just went, “Whoa, oh, this guy has a point”. And then all of a sudden almost overnight, everybody started cloning what I was doing, which was creating decent books at least, publishing to an audience, and not just constantly regurgitating this hammered garbage into that ecosystem. And so, then that grew… Wound up speaking outside of Brendon Burchard's, one of his events and things like that. It kinda… That's how I kinda became known as this dude, ended up… Pat Flynn had me on and it was… Yeah, it kinda just went from there. It was really cool.
[18:55] Joel: That is so… Such a good story.
[18:57] Pei: Yeah, I know.
[18:58] Joel: I didn't know the back story.
[19:00] Pei: Yeah, I guess…
[19:01] Jonny Andrews: Well, you never asked!
[19:03] Pei: Well…
[19:04] Joel: Go ahead, Pei.
[19:05] Pei: You mentioned something that's pretty powerful. You went back to find out why you started to reign your business in the first place. Being a musician, you wanna help the creative people and that's such a great point, because I think we, no matter what vehicle we use as far as work goes, we knew all along what we really wanted to do. And going back and do some reflection, that was very helpful for you at that point.
[19:41] Jonny Andrews: Oh, totally. Yeah, it made all the difference really to go back and be like, look at… And it wasn't like I was trying. I think what it really came down to, I wasn't trying to be anybody else. I think I finally realized, “Oh, this is who I am, this is what I always wanted to be.” And I've kinda got this flash of memories from my past of I always enjoyed sitting and writing, that's where I got my joy. Now, I just know how to do it now and make money, so I can support a family kind of thing. So, that was the big difference. I don't like… And it's funny 'cause money is a factor. Don't let anybody ever say anything differently. Because smiles, handshakes, and good feelings don't pay the mortgage. You need to put some loot in the bank. And so, I don't like to do things unless I know that it's going to end up like that. And so, I always look for the angle, like, “How can I do this and enjoy it and finance myself?”
[20:34] Joel: Nice, very good equation there. Audiencehacker.com is where you can go to connect with Johnny. Of course, we'll include all the social media hot spots in our broadcast show notes. And this has been… This has been fun. We've finally made this happen. Thank you for your time.
[20:50] Jonny Andrews: Absolutely, thanks. Well, thanks for having me on. Its been wonderful to chat with you guys.
[20:53] Joel: This has been great. You're welcome back here on ReLaunch any time, Johnny. Have a wonderful day.
[20:58] Jonny Andrews: You too.
[20:59] Joel: Thanks so much for tuning in. You can also access our show from many mobile apps and by visiting our website. Just go to joelboggess.com/273. You can also find show transcripts and additional resources to support your relaunch into the life and business that you love.
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