By Yaro Starak
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Several years ago, shortly after moving to Melbourne Australia, I received a message from a local named Nathan Chan. He wanted to take me out to dinner.
Normally I’m a bit wary of dinner invites from people I don’t know well, but Nathan came across as a genuine guy with a shared passion for online entrepreneurship, and we had some friends in common online, so I said yes.
As Nathan and I chatted over our meal it became clear to me that I was talking to one of those special people — an action taker.
Nathan talked like a guy with a fire under him. He had a strong desire to succeed at business, and was working hard to build something online.
Back then it was early days for Nathan, still working a full time job and just the start of his online magazine, Foundr. Today Foundr is a leading digital publication, a magazine you can find on the Apple newsstand.
Nathan made a few dollars from the very first edition of his magazine, which since then has grown to a six figure business in single edition and subscription sales. He has conducted interviews with Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Arianna Huffington, Marie Forleo, Michelle Phan, Deepak Chopra, Barbara Corcoran, Tim Ferriss and many other high profile entrepreneurs.
Looking for ways to grow Foundr, Nathan started an Instagram channel for his magazine. Initially he wasn’t focused on it, however he still managed to accrue 500 followers.
It came as a surprise when one day after promoting the magazine via his small Instagram channel he noticed an uptake in magazine subscriptions. He took it as a sign and turned his attention to an aggressive Instagram marketing campaign.
Things went even better than expected, topping 100,000 followers within six months, and just one and half years later over 500,000 followers.
Thanks to his now significant Instagram following Nathan adds over 1,000 subscribers a week to his email list. He also runs a content strategy on the Foundr blog, and releases the interviews he does for the magazine as a Foundr Podcast.
After the drastic success with Instagram it made sense that Nathan’s first step into the world of selling information products would be an Instagram course.
I had several conversations with Nathan as he prepared his first teaching product and I could tell he was once again going to do very well. He had access to a large audience, the results to back up his teaching and was targeting a hot market – everyone wants to know how to grow a massive Instagram following.
Today Nathan makes six figures from his online course, and is planning to do even bigger things with it in the future. He’s also got plans to branch out into a range of teaching products under the Foundr brand.
As you will hear during this interview, the fire I originally saw in Nathan hasn’t abated. If anything it is even stronger than before.
Nathan has started to use his business profits to hire staff for expansion, and is setting up a Foundr office in Melbourne. He has big goals for the years ahead and knows he needs a team to help him get there.
I recommend you listen to this interview if you have plans to do anything with Instagram or an online magazine. Nathan breaks down many of the steps that took him to success with each project.
Hopefully some of Nathan’s action taking mentality will transfer to you too, because as you can see in this case, your life can change dramatically in a relatively short amount of time if you have focus, drive and you tap into new technologies on the internet.
If you want to know more about how to rapidly build your Instagram following, check out foundr’s free Instagram guide on how to get your first 10k followers.
Enjoy the interview,
Welcome to another EJ podcast episode. In a moment we’ll hear from Nathan Chan. If you haven’t done so already though please make sure you subscribe for email notification of the EJ podcast. You can go to www.interviewsclub.com which will redirect you to a blog post on my blog where you can enter your email address to sign up for email notifications when I release brand new podcast episodes. You also get a series of my very best EJ podcast from the archives. Now here is the interview with Nathan Chan.
Hello, this is Yaro Starak and welcome to an Entrepreneurs Journey interview. This episode featuring a rather close friend of mine from down in Melbourne, Australia. This story is interesting because when I first met our guest today he was literally working a full time job, but man did he have a fire under him regarding starting his own business. He loved entrepreneurship and he was just getting involved in the world of online magazines through the Apple Newsstand, a very very new feature at the time, still a fairly new feature. He’s taken that channel and grown to something really successful, and then he’s tapped into Instagram and exploded on that platform to the tune at the moment of over 400,000 followers.
He’s now making over six figures a year from this business. Every time I speak to him he’s got new stories to tell about incredible growth. His email list is topping 100,000 and he’s got over a million entrepreneurs paying attention to the work he does on his magazine, which I should mention is called Foundr. That’s found and then R at the end. I can’t wait to dive into this story because I’m pretty close to it, so we’re going to really dive deep into the nitty-gritty personal stuff with my guest today, Nathan Chan. Thank you Nathan for joining me.
Nathan Chan: Well thank you so much for the kind introduction Yaro. I was going to say it’s funny because I remember when I met you, probably about two years ago I was interviewing you and it was a midnight for me.
Yaro Starak: Right. We flipped the switch.
Nathan Chan: Yeah, no, we’ve flipped the switch. You’re one of the first person, one of the first people to ever do interviews. I used to watch when I was in my day job some of your interviews and some talks that you did on YouTube and stuff.
Yaro Starak: Old school stuff. All right.
Nathan Chan: Yeah.
Yaro Starak: It’s not about me today Nathan, it’s about you. This is nice. Let’s just quickly break down some numbers so people know why it’s worth listening to you. The first big success was Foundr the magazine and the App Store, right?
Nathan Chan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Yaro Starak: Which currently what can you tell us about that? How many subscribers or how does that even work?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, so Foundr Magazine is a digital magazine on the App Store and Google Play Store. It’s targeted at mobile and tablet devices. It’s an app that allows you to read various magazine issues. We’ve got about 40, 45 magazine issues in the app right now. We’ve got 25,000 monthly readers. That’s a combination between paid and unpaid. We’ve been lucky enough to build I guess an entrepreneurial brand from scratch.
I started, I launched Foundr March 5th 2013. Since we’ve launched, you’ve mentioned some numbers out mentioned some numbers but we’ve also been quite privileged to feature mini super successful entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, Seth Godin, and Tony Robbins, Daymond John, the list goes on. That’s really been a massive way to I guess get some cut through in the noise that’s out there. There’s a lot of people doing stuff around entrepreneurship. There’s a lot of people doing interviews. There’s a lot of brands out there.
Yaro Starak: Yeah, that’s actually a really good point, the fact that you have and I think this is because you went with a format that wasn’t dominated by any other independent entrepreneurial publication. However, you went up against mainstream entrepreneurial publications like Entrepreneur magazine, like Success, all the different ones out there, Forbes. Of course they’re all becoming digital now so it’s kind of blurring the lines. You kind of went up against those. I really want to know your thinking during the early days.
Even before we get to that part of the story I have to stick to the Entrepreneurs Journey formula here for podcasts. I want to know the Nathan Chan back story. Let’s say right now you’ve obviously got a great business, we’re going to dive into how you do magazines and we’re going to dive into how you’ve grown your Instagram. Before all this happened, and I feel like I might have met you just at the start of this entrepreneurial journey, but before that you born and raised in Melbourne, lived a normal life, got a job, right?
Nathan Chan: Yep, 100% man, like big work, was working in corporate at a travel company, had been working yeah full time in IT for about four years.
Yaro Starak: Did you go to university?
Nathan Chan: Yes. I actually had two university degrees. My first was in business/IT and then part of my first degree I had to do an internship of placement, work placement. It was really funny man because the round went out for all the jobs that were available to all the students in my course, my university course, and I just applied for five that were of interest to me. One of them was Boost Juice and then another was an accounting firm. There was also another one at a pharmaceutical called GlaxoSmithKline.
That accounting firm, they were the first people to get back to me. They interviewed me straight away and they asked me, “Do you want the job,” within the first week. Boost Juice got back to me, but by that stage I’d already made a decision, and Glaxo, they still hadn’t gotten back to me. I remember speaking to the career’s person saying, “What should I do, because I don’t know if I should take this job,” and he said, “Look, Nathan, you know, where I’m coming from so many people are struggling to get jobs. I think you should just take it.”
I think that was one of the worst decisions I ever made, because I took this job at a really crappy accounting firm that was superstruction, they had no idea how to run a business, they treated me like cattle, they treated their staff like cattle, and I just absolutely hated it Yaro. It was so bad man. I was getting paid, I think it was like 28k a year, which is just embarrassing when you want to talk about the amount of money Foundr generates in a week it’s …
Yaro Starak: Yeah and living in Melbourne 28,000 doesn’t get you much either. It’s an expensive city. How old were you Nathan when you took that job?
Nathan Chan: 23.
Yaro Starak: 23. So you’re fresh out of your first degree and that was …
Nathan Chan: No, so I would’ve been around 22, 22 I think.
Yaro Starak: I’m assuming at any point in time, whether in your university studies or even before that as a teenager or even before that, was there any entrepreneurial drive in you at all?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, I was always like a bit of … You could say maybe I had the gift of the gab my mum likes to call it, or I was a bit of a wheeler and dealer, I used to sell things and stuff like that and I always was super resourceful when it comes to problem solving. Funnily enough that job that I hated, that place and that boss that I had, who was a terrible boss, he taught me a lot of good lessons around problem solving and being super resourceful and actually how to lead and treat people.
Yaro Starak: That was sort of the I guess the real world training, how to operate with other human beings professionally. Now I’ve got to piece together because how old were you when I met you?
Nathan Chan: I think around 25.
Yaro Starak: So it was only a few years later. So you finished your degree, you enter your I guess this placement with this low salary. Is this when you start to discover the online entrepreneurship including my YouTube videos with everything else going on online?
Nathan Chan: No. What happened was I think I would’ve been around 22. I did the one year internship and then I went away to Europe. Part of me taking on that job, they promised me that I could take two months off and go to Europe because I’d never been overseas before. I did a bit of soul searching. I realized while I was in Europe I never wanted to go back to that job, I always wanted to work in marketing, so what can I do?
I actually start working in marketing. During when I was doing my IT degree I actually tried to transfer to a marketing degree, but because I bombed so many subjects, I think I failed like seven subjects in that university degree I couldn’t even transfer. I was in a bit of a tight spot as you can imagine. I was like, “Okay, well what am I going to do? Do I go back to uni or do I just apply for a marketing job? What do I do?” When I was in Europe I decided when I came back that I was going to do instead of going back and doing an undergraduate degree to try to get into marketing I’d do a postgraduate and I went to Vic uni and I spoke to the career’s person there. They said, “Yeah, you’d be perfect. We’ll take you on,” so I applied as soon as I got back from Europe and I got accepted. During that-
Yaro Starak: This is your second degree.
Nathan Chan: This is my second degree, so it was a masters of business majoring in marketing. That took me two years to complete and-
Yaro Starak: Were you working a job at that time as well?
Nathan Chan: Yep, working a job, working a job. When I came back from Europe I applied and got this new job because I had to leave that place and I got a job at Intrepid Travel. I worked at Intrepid for about three years, three, three and a half years. During that period I moved to the new job at Intrepid. I wanted to work in marketing. I was doing my degree and then I came up with the idea somehow to fuse my love of technology, because I still loved technology, I just hated IT work, and fuse that with marketing. Then I started looking into online marketing stuff. I read “The 4-Hour Workweek.” That put me on this path to think maybe, “You know, well, maybe I can create my own job, maybe I can do my own thing.” Then I found the “30 Day Challenge.” That’s-
Yaro Starak: Ed Dale.
Nathan Chan: Ed Dale. Then I funnily enough went to one of his seminars that he did in Melbourne. The first seminar I’d ever been to in my life. I was absolutely blown away. I thought it was the best thing ever. He talked about Mag Cast. He talked about magazines.
At that stage I was probably I think around, would’ve been around 25. I was just about to leave to go to Europe again to finish off the rest of my marketing degree. I was doing I guess an exchange in France for a month to finish off the rest of my degree. That was an amazing experience. I learned from some very, very smart people around business entrepreneurship and stuff like that. Before I left to go to France Ed was selling his course Mag Cast which I remember you wrote a blog post about.
Yaro Starak: I did and an email I think.
Nathan Chan: Yeah, yeah, you emailed, maybe I was on your list too man, I can’t remember, but I ended up purchasing Mag Cast before I left because I thought it was such a blowing idea. The seed was planted in my mind when I went to Ed seminar and yeah, it was just … Then when I came back from France, like I said I went to France. I said, “When I come back we’re going to start working on this magazine.”
Yaro Starak: Literally your first venture into online business is actually the one that became successful. You didn’t have any other sort of false start projects before that?
Nathan Chan: I did. When I was stuffing around with the 30 Day Challenge I tried to create a website called bestsmellingcologne.net which I’m sure some of your audience that those kind of stories would resonate with them. That was an epic fail bro, didn’t last long.
Yaro Starak: Well it’s pretty standard 30 day challenge in each marketing style so it makes a lot of sense. You invested in Mag Cast. Mag Cast is not a cheap entry level product. It’s in the thousand dollar range, right?
Nathan Chan: It was 2k.
Yaro Starak: 2k.
Nathan Chan: 2k USD on my credit card. I didn’t have much money because I was just about to go to Europe and I was like always lived by my bank balance for travelling. I love travelling. Just like you.
Yaro Starak: So what happened next?
Nathan Chan: I came back from France and I started working on this magazine. At first Yaro I was actually going to do a magazine on horse racing and I was going to do it with my house mate, because house mate, he’s a really, really successful horse racing journalist now. He’s on TV every day now and he’s crushing it. Funnily enough I was just best man at his wedding this weekend and spoke. But let’s not digress. I was going to do a horse racing magazine with him, but then he just took on a job at Racing Victoria and he couldn’t do any other side gigs.
Because it’s funny Yaro, I’ve always done things with other people, like even if I go out somewhere like to the shops or go anywhere like always I have Emily with me, I’m always doing something with someone, or I get Isaac, my brother, like whatever, see what my brother is doing. I’m always doing something with someone. I’m always around company. I ended up just launching the magazine by myself, and it was a big independence thing, like even with the traveling thing, I’ve always traveled with someone else, never really traveled alone.
What happened was my friend didn’t want to do the magazine on horse racing and I was interested in personal development, entrepreneurship, that kind of stuff. I was listening to podcasts a lot by that stage. I remember Ed was recommending podcasts. I used to listen to and still to this day I listen to every single word that Ed Dale says. He’s like a mentor to me and he’s taught me a lot. He was saying how good podcasts are and how they’re coming and like interviews.
I’d listen to your interviews. I just knew this interview thing was really hot and I thought to myself, “You know what, maybe I should create a magazine around entrepreneurship,” and that’s kind of like what happened. It took a long time to actually launch that magazine because I got back from France, I think it was in, would’ve been September and I didn’t launch the magazine … So that was September 2012, and I didn’t launch the magazine until March 2013 man.
Yaro Starak: Which makes sense as a learning curve you would have had to have hired people. Let’s go through this. What did you do in that period to publish your first edition of Foundr Magazine which I believe it wasn’t called Foundr Magazine to begin with.
Nathan Chan: Yeah, no. We can talk about when I was sued for trademark infringement within the first four months of Foundr, but let’s talk about first …
Yaro Starak: Set up.
Nathan Chan: Yeah, let’s talk about set up. What was really cool about Mag Cast is they have training videos that not only give you the software like off-the-shelf software to produce your own magazine, but actually have step-by-step videos on how to create it, and also strategies around how to get content and how to put your magazine together. They even gave you templates like design templates and they even sometimes, and this is ridiculous even thinking about it now, they even gave, and they probably still do it, they even give templates to design your own magazine in Keynote which is like that is way beyond us if you know the kind of level design and what we try to do with Foundr, but pretty funny you know.
Yaro Starak: Ed is a big fan of Apple products. I’m not surprised. He does love Keynote. We should clarify. Ed Dale is the founder of the company that produces Mag Cast and also the founder of the 30 Day Challenge which is what you first initially got introduced to Ed. You’ve very much been in Ed’s world. Using his software, so that’s basically what you had to taught yourself how to do, right? So you followed his videos but then you hired someone. Is that what happened?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, so I followed his videos and then I had to hire a designer because there was no way I was going to design the magazine myself. One, I couldn’t be bothered with that and I can sometimes be a little lazy when it comes to doing certain things I don’t like doing. I worked out very quickly that if there’s stuff that needs to be done but you don’t like doing it it’s probably always best to outsource it or delegate it. This is what I did. I went through like a couple of different magazine designers before we got the level of design that we were looking for. That’s what took us a while. In fact, you’ve even met our magazine designer that we ended up with, Karan, in San Francisco when we were in San Fran and we’ve become great friends since. But-
Yaro Starak: How did you find him?
Nathan Chan: I found him through a recommendation, but also when I found his profile on behance.net. There was a guy called, oh geez, I forget his name but he created this magazine called Digital Nomad. I saw his magazine and I thought it was absolutely brilliant, and then I somehow stumbled across Karan on a combination of Elance and then also behance.net because looking for magazine designers.
Yeah, I spoke to Karan and we even had like an MVP of what we were going to launch. Karan made me realize the power of design. It’s funny, we talk about these lessons that I’ve learned along the way. A lot of it was just from speaking to people. That was one thing that Karan taught me and I’ll be forever grateful that he taught me that, because the power of design is so extremely important in this day and age if you want to be able to stand out with your content or your product or your service or whatever.
Yaro Starak: Yeah, I have to admit when I first saw your work, you and Karan, that was what stood out the most. Even you as a person, Nathan, it’s really come through every time I’ve talked to you. You just really spent a lot of time on design. You personally enjoy it and love looking at a nice design, and it comes through with your work and I think that’s really helped you.
Let’s move forward. You hired a designer. That solved the design problem. How do you solve the content problem?
Nathan Chan: The best way to solve the content problem for us, and I don’t do this anymore but I did a lot of the writing, I got friends to do the writing. Also we find bloggers that write brilliant content and ask them if we can repurpose their content by giving them full attribution and a link back to their site.
Yaro Starak: I believe I was one of those bloggers. I know how it works.
Nathan Chan: Yeah, that’s a really smart way. That’s something that Ed Dale taught around content strategy. We still, we don’t it that much but we still do that every now and then. A lot of magazines do it.
Yaro Starak: That makes sense.
Nathan Chan: That’s how Times started. It was curated.
Yaro Starak: Right, and it’s fantastic because I publish an article in my blog, I wouldn’t want to see it on other websites, but I’m happy to see it in a magazine because the magazine is a different platform, so there’s not really competition there. Although I don’t really mind personally so much if my content appears on other blogs, but I know a lot of people do worry about that. But since it’s a different format it doesn’t get that duplicate issue with potential search optimization problems and so on.
Let’s move forward because I’m kind of curious post launching the first edition, then the making money part, I was still want to cover Instagram too, so we’ve got to get through all of this. In summary the first edition was a combination of you getting these bloggers, taking their articles, asking for their permission. You, maybe you’re writing a bit yourself, and also then Karan doing the design work and then publish …
Nathan Chan: Getting some friends to write some stuff too and then also getting my mom to help me proof it and copy edit it.
Yaro Starak: Nice, got to have the mom involved.
Nathan Chan: Yeah super ghetto man.
Yaro Starak: Then what? Then you go through the Mag Cast software to get it all marked up and then submit it to iTunes? Is that how it works?
Nathan Chan: Yep, yep. Use Mag Cast software to build the app. The software actually builds the app and puts it together for you. You can download that app which is just like a little Zip file and you put the build and you upload it and you submit it to iTunes to be reviewed. Of course you need other things. You need an icon for your app. You need screenshots for your app. You need your pricing model for your app. You need copy for the landing page. You need screenshots for your app when you come to the landing page. You need to set up the push notifications. You need to host it with Amazon S3. There’s a few other technical elements but Mag Cast take you through that whole process, which they make it really easy.
Yaro Starak: So all said and done how much money did you put in to get to the point of releasing your first edition of your magazine?
Nathan Chan: It cost me 3k.
Yaro Starak: That includes Mag Cast software?
Nathan Chan: It includes Mag Cast software.
Yaro Starak: So 2k for the software, 1k for all the design-
Nathan Chan: And we’re talking in USD.
Yaro Starak: USD. So you haven’t made any money yet but you put in $3,000 and a whole bunch of your own time. You click the publish button. What happens next?
Nathan Chan: The first day we launched we made $5.
Yaro Starak: How?
Nathan Chan: Well we had 70 downloads, I think 70 or 78 downloads and we made $5 because we opted for a subscription based business model. You could also do, you also have one offer issue purchases. When we launched two people paid for the magazine. 78 people downloaded it and two people paid for the magazine. Not a bad conversion rate for your first ever product on your first day of launching. Please keep in mind, I had no social media, did no big launch, just had to launch the magazine but did no press around it.
Yaro Starak: Right, so it was just coming from iTunes traffic that was already looking for magazines. Can you explain what the difference is between a 78 downloads versus the buyers, what was the two different things that were getting, like a free version or something?
Nathan Chan: The app is always free to download. It’s like a container, and inside that container that’s where the issues are. Right now we have 45 issues. You can’t read anything. You can preview but you can preview like my first 10 pages but to read the whole issue you’d have to buy it. We had two people buy the whole issue.
Yaro Starak: Got you, so one issue gets published with the app as the container. You had 78 downloads of the containing app that could some of those people preview 10 pages but two people actually purchased. It was how much an issue, $2.5 was it per issue back then?
Nathan Chan: 3.99. Oh, so if we made $5 we must’ve had one person subscribe and then one person purchase one off, because it’s 2.99 plus …
Yaro Starak: Don’t worry about the math. We get the picture.
Nathan Chan: Sorry, yeah, yeah, I forget now. But it’s a while ago.
Yaro Starak: No, but that’s fine. I mean two sales from just putting something out into the world is pretty encouraging. So what are you thinking? Let’s just pump out more editions and hopefully we’ll get more sales?
Nathan Chan: Well I said to myself, “Yaro,” when it launched like first of all that $5 was the best $5 I ever made man. Like that … You know how you talked about like I’ve got this fire underneath me?
Yaro Starak: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Nathan Chan: I was never like this dude. I was just like a regular guy. I just was content with my 9 to 5. I wanted to work in marketing but somewhere along the way something happened bro where I’ve just got this ridiculous amount of hussle and drive in me. I think it was when that when we launched. It was just so exciting. It was so exciting to make your first $5 online. I’d created something with my own two hands that people were prepared to exchange their cold hard cash that they’ve earned for it.
I knew nothing about apps, I knew nothing about business, I knew nothing about entrepreneurship, I knew nothing about design, editorial, but yet still I could create something that was at least perceived value there. I wasn’t there to trick anyone, but you know what I mean, that was quite a changing point for me Yaro. I said to myself when we launched, “I’m going to give this a good hard crack for a year.” Even when we launched I still was trying to get a job in marketing. It was funny. I even went to like do you know the company Asos?
Yaro Starak: That’s a make-up isn’t it or … ?
Nathan Chan: Skin care.
Yaro Starak: Skin care, right.
Nathan Chan: Yeah, skin care and they do like hand soaps and stuff. I went for a marketing job at Asos and I actually took my iPad to show them the magazine. They’re like, “Wow, this is impressive.” So I was still going, like I still didn’t know that I was going to work on Foundr full time. I thought it might just be a side project and that’s what I treated it like.
Yaro Starak: So when did this side project become the full project?
Nathan Chan: I guess as time went on once I launched the first issue it was like it was less about I’m going to make money, the more and more people I started talking to was more about like it’s less about can I make enough to leave my day job. Then it became I became friends with people like you. It became like it’s only a matter of time that I could build this thing up. That’s what I did man. I just kept. No one had heard of Foundr. No one had heard of what we’re doing. Still to this day not many people know what we’re doing. We’re not in the mainstream. We’re just kind of just scratching the surface with the indies and the hipsters and stuff like that.
I think back then I was eating a lot of crap Yaro. There was a lot of people that started magazines that gave up. The first month we finished we made $80. The second month we closed off we did $130. Then it just kept going up. I could see there was some form of predictability in a subscription based business model and I just had to keep going. Because another big thing to take away here is Yaro I don’t like to let people down. We were getting subscribers all the time. If people were paying for a subscription you bet they’re going to get a magazine issue every month, so I was just forced to make it happen, and be super super consistent because that’s I think the key to success, is just consistency dude.
Yaro Starak: Yeah, it’s a good form of accountability you had there. People were paying in advance or at least subscribe into something they expected to get. You had a fairly big hiccup around the fourth month. I remember you. I knew you by then. I think I had moved or was about to move to Melbourne. You invited me to dinner. We had chats about your magazine. It wasn’t called Foundr at that dinner. Can you talk about what used to be called or are you not allowed to legally?
Nathan Chan: I can’t say what it used to be called but let’s just say it was a three worded name and it was a blessing in disguise that I got sued.
Yaro Starak: It is. But I remember [crosstalk 00:30:16] Yeah, because it forced you to come with Foundr, which is a brilliant name. I remember speaking to you pretty nervous about this, because you were just getting started. So what happened? You get a letter in the mail saying stop using this name?
Nathan Chan: Bro, let’s be honest, I was absolutely packing it. I was so scared. I thought I was going to go bankrupt. I didn’t know what was going to happen. The whole story around this, because I know we’ve got to keep it moving, I’ll speed it up a little, long story short four months in I woke up, go to my day job and I got an email. I check my emails every morning like my Foundr emails or work emails like magazine emails. I got an email from somebody saying, “Hey, I’m some hot shot lawyer. If you didn’t know you’re being sued in Dallas State Texas. I know the judge. You should totally get me to represent you. And yeah, like we need to move fast.”
The first thing I did I called one of my mentors who’s been sued many times before for his businesses, especially in America. Pretty much what happened in the end was I got served. I got a FedEx package in the mail. I signed it off. I got 50 pages of this is what you’ve done, this is what you’re doing, you’re infringing on our marks. I went to the company. Funnily enough I went to the company that I worked for, Intrepid Travel, and they were really supportive. The CEO was another one of my mentors. He was super supportive and one of the lawyers there helped me work through it all. I just changed the name and we moved on.
Yaro Starak: It’s funny, when I remember talking to you it sounded such a big deal, but then it’s just like change the name, you’ve got a better name in Foundr now, and keep going. Did you have to go back and change your previous editions, change the covers and the branding and the naming and all that?
Nathan Chan: Yeah dude.
Yaro Starak: That must’ve been a job.
Nathan Chan: Yeah that was a big job, but we pulled it all together, me, Karan, a couple of other people, contractors, random contractors, we pulled it all together and we rolled it out in like three, four days. It was awesome man.
Yaro Starak: Awesome. Let’s close the loop on this Foundr Magazine story. Today you’re making, I know you don’t like to talk specifics too much but it’s basically a full time salary just from Foundr, let’s forget about everything else you do, just from I’m assuming subscriptions and one off payments of buying a magazine. What does Foundr look like today? How does it work? How do all these buyers, where do they come from? How did you grow that part of the business?
Nathan Chan: So Foundr, profitable six figure business just the magazine alone. What happened was with Foundr I identified low hanging fruit. This is something that you taught me Yaro which is really cool. I remember I was talking to you and I was like, “How I get more subscribers? What should I do?” You always talked about how you worked with the low hanging fruit.
I worked out my low hanging fruit was App Store optimization. We just got really, really good at doing SEO in the App Store. Apple have made some changes so we’re not milking in as much as we used to, but back in the glory days, dude, still to this day like if you searched for entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company Forbes, Foundr first thing you see. A big leverage point for us was in issue eight where we got Richard Branson and we’ve just used that to really have a lot of social proof.
Yaro Starak: How did you get Richard Branson?
Nathan Chan: Richard Branson, I made a lot of phone calls, pitched, found his head of PR, pitched her and pitched for a Skype interview. She said, “Please know that we get at least 10 requests a day. Wow you guys are really new, but I’ll promise I will get back to you.” I thought I bombed it, was never going to get him. She’d come back to me a few weeks later and said, “He’s happy to do an email interview.” Then we took that and ran with that, put him on the front cover, and we’ve been riding that for a long time man.
Yaro Starak: It is pretty impressive that you were eight editions in, brand new, “Why not, let’s just ask Richard Branson, see if he’ll do an interview.” Hey, he says yes and then that is such a massive credibility stepping stone, because you can now say we featured Richard Branson to get other people to come on.
But keep telling me. You said so it was app optimization that got the initial traction to really grow your audience base. But what else worked and what works today?
Nathan Chan: I’ll be really clear. We pitched Richard Branson just before I was sued, so four months in and we used him for issue eight. The things that work the best still to this day was having Richard Branson in the screenshots and using him in the icon. That doubled our downloads. Then also we did like piggybacking off big brands. We piggybacked off heavy keywords that worked really well. Then also another thing that we did was we reworked the funnel within Mag Cast. I just worked it backwards like what does it look like to want to get you to download the magazine, what does it look like to get you to want to find the magazine, what does it look like once you first open the magazine, how can we incentivize people to do all sorts of things.
One thing that we did was when you first open up the app, and these statistics are still relevant to this day, is when you first open up the app 30% of people will subscribe when you first open up the app, which is pretty cool. Because we have this really big banner that’s like learn from proven entrepreneurs or proven super successful entrepreneurs and founders. We have a big cover of Richard Branson. Then we have logos of Huffington Post and founders of these companies and many more. Start your free trial in a big red button. That seems to have worked really well.
Then when someone does subscribe we hit them with a one click up sell. That works really, really well too. It’s like, “Okay, you’ve just subscribed for,” whatever. “You’re going to get magazine issues going forward, but we’ve got a special one-time only offer right now. You can get all of the back issues for,” I think $40 or $30. “You can get them now. It usually costs about $120 if you’d purchase them all outright,” or $200, or whatever, and then boom off to the races. Those two little things SEO, reworking the funnel have worked really, really well man.
Yaro Starak: How much is the subscription now today?
Nathan Chan: 2.99 a month, 3.99 … 2.99 direct debit monthly order renewal. 3.99 one-off issue- No, 4.99 one-off issue purchase. 21.99 for yearly.
Yaro Starak: It sounds pretty simple. Download the app. You see a free trial. If you say yes you get a free month and you go on to one of those either yearly or monthly subscriptions I assume. Then immediately after they click yes to the free trial they’re shown get all the back issues for a one-time fee, and that’s where the majority of this six figure magazine business income comes from. There’s no paid advertising in the magazine or anything like that, is there?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, no paid ads, all six figure yep subscription only.
Yaro Starak: Awesome. That kind of puts a bow around Foundr. You can see you’ve got a team in terms of your designer. I know you probably expanded now to you’ve got some writers writing for Foundr as well. Is that right, those writers?
Nathan Chan: Yeah. The writers, writers, you name it, copy editors, contributors, yeah.
Yaro Starak: All contractors though. You’ve got no employees yet, right?
Nathan Chan: I do have some employees now, but they actually funnily enough don’t work on the magazine.
Yaro Starak: Well let’s reach that point when you reach it. The next thing that obviously you’re known for now is Instagram because you started the Foundr Instagram channel which as we talk has over 400,000 followers. Now I find that really impressive because you’ve done that not talking about makeup or fashion, you’re not a model or a famous movie star. You’re a business magazine. It’s not what I would call the traditional visual format. Even though you’ve got pretty covers and all that it doesn’t … It’s not what I think when I think of Instagram. The fact that you tapped into that, and I know it’s a huge part of your business today, can you explain how that opportunity first crossed your mind? Was it just one of many channels you were considering as a growth strategy for Foundr?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, this is great. What happened Yaro is I forgot to mention. I don’t know how, but Instagram was a big way for us to grow the magazine too. By that stage I’d left my day job. I left my day job-
Yaro Starak: Let’s timestamp this. When did you quit your job? I remember that was a big moment.
Nathan Chan: Yeah I quit my job oh it would be over a year and a half ago now.
Yaro Starak: Okay. How much money were you making at that point? Do you remember, just so you felt safe?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, look, I’ll say that I replaced my income and operating cost for the business, my paycheck and income.
Yaro Starak: So you felt comfortable then?
Nathan Chan: Yep, felt comfortable. But not like confident like you how you talked about off air like things are going well now for us when we last spoke. I wasn’t comfortable as we are now. What happened was, so this is about, yeah, I left my day job about a year a half ago. Exactly a year ago, so exactly in November this time last year. I was still, I still had to work my way around things. I remember even asking you for advice because I wasn’t very effective when I first left my day job. I didn’t really know what to do. It was so weird. I was like, “Dude, how do you get stuff done? What’s your routine like?” I remember asking you man and it was funny because I just needed to work my way around it.
Pretty much I was trying all these different channels. We were trying to purchase Facebook likes. We were doing some advertising on Facebook to grow the magazine, app advertising. We just launched a new website. I was trying to do some guest blogging. I was doing all sorts of things, doing the stuff you’re told to do, and I wasn’t really, I didn’t really feel like … The magazine was going okay. I was pleasant with my income, but we were still kind of scraping by to be honest with you. We were just going by, I wasn’t paying myself … was paying myself okay but not the kind of revenue we’re doing now.
What happened was I had a couple of friends that were doing some really cool stuff on Instagram. They were in the health niche. One of those friend you actually know. Do you know Jake McKeon? Do you remember Jake McKeon?
Yaro Starak: Yeah, I remember Jake.
Nathan Chan: So Jake and then there was a mutual friend and a guy that I never spoke to in a long time but he apparently was crushing it on Instagram. I was just about to bring an intern on. I was going down these intern path. It was literally this time last year. I was like, “I need more help with Foundr. I’m a solopreneur. I’ve got my contractors, but I want someone here on the ground to help me with some stuff.”
I remember that just before I left my day job, about two, three months before I left my day job I had like this dude that was a reader of the magazine contacted me and said, “Hey, would you like to advertise on my Instagram page? I’ve got 20,000 followers.” It ended up Yaro, he was actually from Frankston in Melbourne. He was from Melbourne. He’s like, “I read your magazine. I love it. I think I can get you more readers. Would you like to advertise on my Instagram page?” He’s like, “We can post a cover of the Richard Branson, and we’d say go to foundrmag.com/itunes or android in the description, get more downloads.”
We tested it. I paid him like $20, $30 to do a promotion and it didn’t work. He mentioned in the caption that to get the magazine go to this place. I watched my Google Analytics and no spike in sales, nothing, no spike in downloads, nothing, didn’t bother, so I was like, “Yeah, whatever, didn’t work.” Then I was bringing this intern on. I’m sure you’re familiar with this process Yaro, where you’ve got some things on your mind that you should be doing but you don’t want to have the mental capacity to work on it, so maybe you should get someone else to do it, or maybe an intern to do, or someone in your team, right?
Yaro Starak: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Nathan Chan: I remember I opened up our Instagram account. Hadn’t opened it up in about a year. It was there but it wasn’t doing anything. We had like 20, 30 photos. I had another friend that was helping me with some social media stuff, so he I guess seeded some content in there. I just thought I’d open it up just to find out like what’s happening on it because we’re about to bring this intern to come on and pretty much I did a couple of posts from my Instagram page. We had those like 500 followers. I saw not only our downloads spike but our sale spike on Google Analytics. I just posted about the magazine. I did like three posts in the space of three hours. I was like-
Yaro Starak: And you had like 500 or so followers on Instagram at the point?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, I think maybe even you were following us back then.
Yaro Starak: Probably.
Nathan Chan: It was just my friends following me and just a few random people. I was like, “Whoa, what are we onto here?” Then I looked at that guy that I paid for promotion and he had 80,000 followers. I was like, “Okay.” Then I spoke to Jake. Jake was like, “Okay, if you want to crush it on Instagram here are some things you should do.” I took all of like some of the things … that Jake shared with me, some of the things that that guy from Frankston shared with me, and some of my own research and own battle testing and we just turned our Instagram account into just an absolute beast lead generation machine. And we’ve built that from zero to 450,000 followers. We’ve been on Instagram for close to 13 months, generated I think at least 70,000 email subscribers, generated hundreds of thousands of dollars that we can track back to Instagram. It would be millions if we were on Instagram earlier.
Yaro Starak: Well you just rock it to the end of the story. Now everyone listening in would be going, “Wait a sec, you asked your friends, you did your own research, you did some tweaks, and boom, you’ve got 400,000 followers.” Can you tell us some of the things you did that jacked up your follower account?
Nathan Chan: One thing that I found worked really well and I just stole this from Success Magazine and some of these big other publications is they post a lot of quotes. A lot of people post a lot of quotes. I never really understood the whole quote game. Even our friend Joe, Joe from Addicted to Success, he kind of pioneered this thing where he’d post quotes and it worked really, really well for him. That’s just what we started doing on Instagram. I saw that the more posted the faster we grew. I saw that these quotes got a lot of likes and a lot of people tagging in their friends, like mentioning them in the caption. That seemed to work really, really effectively for us.
Then another thing I identified and worked out was if you can get other accounts to shout you out which is called s4s, share for share, if you can get others accounts to shout you out it can be very, very poss- It can be very, very powerful to build your account really fast.
On a micro level here are some of the things that we’re doing. We have brilliantly designed content. We have a theme for our account that is very consistent where we only post quotes, start up tips, facts, we post magazine covers, stuff about the podcast, stuff about our lead magnet, tell the people to click on the link and our buyers actually get our lead magnet. Some people do a landing page and that seems to work really, really well.
We post on a consistent basis. In the past 13 months I’ve only ever missed one day of posting. Otherwise I’ve posted every single day. The reason I missed one day of posting was we had Karan’s wedding in India and I was over in the air for a long time and didn’t have any internet access. But I post every single, try and post four to eight times a day. Is it a little aggressive? Yes. Is it a little spammy? Maybe. Does it work? 100%. The more you post the faster you grow.
Then another thing we do is we try and get as many accounts as we can to shout us out and do as many s4s as we can. We’ve joined Shoutout. We’ve part of shutout groups. We have regular rotations going on. I have relationships with all the top Instagram accounts in the business entrepreneurship motivational niche. I’m buddies with them all. I can get them to help me with so many things. It’s massive, and in around about way because I’m trying to speed things up for you Yaro, that’s how we’re doing it.
Yaro Starak: Awesome. A couple of questions regarding all of that. I can see now that you’re big. It’s easy to get the attention of other big players, but when you first started when you’re trying to do these, get these mutual shutout exchanges going, do you just sort of target people who are the same size as you, or did you do paid, like you give them money to do it, like how does that work at the beginning?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, so to get to our first 100,000 followers that we got there in four months we spend about $1,000 in paid shutouts.
Yaro Starak: Did that work?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, that brought us I’d say at the time at least 5,000 to 10,000 followers. Then also another thing that we did, and please keep in mind you don’t have to pay, you can build an account using these strategies without. It’s all consistency, right, like it’s long term game. I started from zero just like everyone else. Another thing you can do when it comes to if you don’t want to go down the paid share route and you don’t have to to grow really fast is you can find an account that has like 500 followers. Oh no, sorry. If you have 500 followers and there’s an account that has 2,000 followers you can tell them I’ll do a 4-for-1, so I’ll post your content four times and you post mine once.
Then another thing you can do is you can try and find leverage. I can give you an example. There’s people that shout me out all the time that might have a million followers or 700,000 followers or 500,000 followers. They have a significantly larger following than us, but I’ve helped them out in many other ways, whether that’s feature them on our Huffington Post column, whether that’s interview them for our podcast, whether that’s try and help them with their business, you name it. Yeah, you can always try and find leverage because all this shoutout for shoutout stuff really is Yaro is just partnerships, it’s just partnerships man. All these businesses are doing it.
We were talking about Michele Phan off air. I don’t know if she does it but all these Youtubers, they all gain on everyone else’s YouTube channel. Everybody wants to collaborate with Drake, and Drake collaborates with everyone else. He’s been on Nicky Minaj’s album and does some music songs with her. Then he’s done songs with JZ. Then he’s done songs with Lil Wayne. Then he’s done songs with whoever’s the next hottest rapper. It’s just sharing the audience.
Yaro Starak: Yeah, very true. Even I grew up with the whole idea of sending an email out from someone doing a podcast interview like we’re doing now, so it’s what you have to do, get involved with the community and start promoting other people and then you’ll get promoted as well and build relationships.
I can sort of see how this comes together. You’re obviously a fantastic relationship builder, you’re obviously a great content producer, you’re obviously good at managing contractors because you’re producing way more content now than you ever were before, magazine content, Instagram content. I’d love to dive into even how do you produce eight new Instagram images a day, the tools you use, there’s so many things we can talk about. But I know you actually have training in this area so I don’t want to dive in too much because we can direct people to your Instagram course, which happens to be the thing I actually want to talk about next because you didn’t have a product of your own.
You were 100% Foundr income. Instagram was growing your Foundr subscriber base and your customers. But then you were also growing your email list, because as you said before, you have a lead magnet which is a free download on how to get more Instagram followers, How to Get 10,000 Instagram Followers. You should give the URL for that in a moment. That leads to your email list which now today leads to a course. Can you just take us through that period of time when you released your first course and how that came about and what tools you used to deliver and promote it?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, so what happened was Yero I never thought that we’d go down these courses path. You’ve been with me every step of the journey man. It’s funny, because I remember we had a call and I said, “What should I do,” looking at this course. How that all came about was we were doing some cool stuff on Instagram. I wrote this blog post. It was how to get your … We literally wrote it over a year ago. We’re going to do an updated version because that blog post has been still to this day the most successful blog post on our site and we want to do an updated version, because we need to do an update. The blog post was How We Got 10,000 Followers in Two Weeks on Instagram.
Yaro Starak: I want to know. I haven’t gotten 10,000 followers yet. I want to know.
Nathan Chan: Yeah, yeah. Look, check out that blog post, but also-
Yaro Starak: That’s on foundr.com, right?
Nathan Chan: Foundrmag.
Yaro Starak: Foundrmag.com. Where do we get the guide you give away for free for Instagram?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, so that’s if you go to foundrmag, F-O-U-N-D-R mag.com/free.
Yaro Starak: So you wrote this article?
Nathan Chan: Yep, wrote this article, and it just crushed it man. It was being shared on growthhackers.com, it was being shared around Reddit, and we’re getting a lot of comments and was doing really well. A lot of people in our community started to ask me, “Nathan, how are you doing this stuff with Instagram?” At the time our email list was about 3,000, 4,000 people. I just put a call out to our email list and I said, “Hey guys, you know, we wrote this blog post. We’re doing some cool stuff on Instagram. Some of you guys are asking me do you want to learn how to do this. I’m not really sure. I’ve never done a course before, but would you be interested?”
I had over like 150 people. I said, “Hit reply, just let me know,” and I had over 150 people write back to me and say, “Nathan, that sounds amazing. I want to know how you’re doing it.” I took exactly what you told me to do. I credit you to this Yaro, you Yaro and also my friend Meron Bareket, our mutual friend Meron. I just put up a sales page. One of my biggest takeaways that I had from you that you told me was whatever you do just make sure you have an end date that you’re going to close it up. That’s all that matters and just drive towards that scarcity based end date. That’s all I did. We ended up, we sold the course like $97. I think we ended up selling around 100 and it went really well.
Then that was like the beta version of this Instagram course. It went so successfully well. We had some amazing case studies and studies and all these people doing some amazing things that it just so happened that it was like, “Okay, well, our audience, this is something they want. They enjoy courses. They want more handheld stuff. The podcast, the magazine isn’t enough. Let’s get into some more advanced training stuff,” and it’s taken us down this path to build this absolutely amazing comprehensive course, so the ultimate, I believe it’s the best in the world. We asked some of the best in the world at how to crush it on Instagram.
Yaro Starak: Can you just break down a couple of the technical tools you used to deliver the course, and also in fact, your entire business, just in summary, email responder your use. I’m assuming you’re using WordPress for your blog. Can you give us all the tech data quickly?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, sure. We use WordPress for our blog. To deliver the first version of the course, we did it super ghetto, we just delivered it over live training webinars. It was five weeks of five webinars.
Yaro Starak: GoToWebinar?
Nathan Chan: And it was live. Yep, GoToWebinar. Then I just used lead pages for the sale page and then I accepted funds with PayPal. That was the super ghetto way and that’s all we did. That’s how we launched it. Really, really easy. We used MailChimp at that time when we had not as many people as we do now in our community on our newsletter.
Today it’s quite comprehensive. Yaro, I must warn you, I don’t want to overwhelm people, but we use InfusionSoft for our email marketing. We use ClickFunnels to do our landing pages. We use SamCart for our checkout cart. SamCart links in with PayPal and Stripe. They are merchants of how we accept payment. We use a WordPress theme to design the layout of the course, but then we use [inaudible 00:57:34] to protect the content to create a log in and protect the content. Then we use GoToWebinar to sell the course. What else do we use? We use PlusThis to segment webinar attendees. We use Wistia to host the videos. We use LearnDash to create the course like the course I guess the course structure within WordPress. Yeah, that’s about it.
Yaro Starak: Still using, yeah, Stripe and PayPal. Okay. Wow.
Nathan Chan: Yeah a lot of tools. But these tools will allow us to scale out to have at least, I plan and I hope that we have at least five courses by this time next year, on five digital products, not including the magazine by this time next year covering various topics. But we will use all of those same tools and it won’t cost us really much more, except on Wistia, probably on Wistia’s front, but I might use Vimeo going forward, because Wistia is quite expensive.
Yaro Starak: Summary, today’s picture of Foundr Inc, Foundr, the magazine, Nathan Channing. We’ve got Foundr Magazine. We’ve got an Instagram course. We’ve got a fairly robust Instagram following. You’re doing a lot of content production. I’ve seen you produce articles for all kinds of other publications online. You’re doing interviews. I’ve seen you’re becoming a speaker. You’re speaking at Chris Ducker’s Tropical entrepreneur event. I’ve seen you on the list for Social Media Examiners summit. I think they do once a year, social media summit.
Nathan Chan: Marketing World I think it is.
Yaro Starak: Right, and that’s coming up and you are speaking at that. Your own personal brand is growing as an expert on these subjects. It’s pretty clear your direction in the future is more digital products, basically more of the same, but just getting better at it and producing more value for people. Is the summary correct?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, pretty much, because our biggest problem right now Yaro is we’ve built this massive community but we’re not servicing with enough product. People are coming to us with questions and we’re sending them other places, like you should check out this blog post, or you should do this, you should do that. There’s so much more that we can do here. We’re building this massive community. Ever since I first launched Foundr it has always been to help and equip entrepreneurs so we just need more products and more stuff to help and equip entrepreneurs. Yeah, just much like what you did is we need to build out our product suite, just keep doing what we’re doing, producing epic content from interviews and podcasts and blog posts, and yeah, just keep doing what we’re doing but need more product big time.
I think we’re going to maybe play in the event space in the next two to three years which really excites me. Also I have a dream now to have like an incubator here in Melbourne, like a six month, once every six months, like AngelCube incubator. That can be so much fun man.
Yaro Starak: Totally agree. I’m excited about all those future plans. Two more questions Nathan before we wrap this up. One, what is a day in the life of Nathan Chan look like right now?
Nathan Chan: Pretty much the first thing I do when I wake up is I check my email, and then I check my calendar. I usually check my calendar the night before I go to bed as well, just because a lot of what I do now is networking and relationships, partnerships, speaking to people, trying to find the answers Yaro. That’s something I think I do really well, is I’m always meeting new people, serving first, asking later, helping however I can, don’t expect them to return the favor, and from there just finding out what they know.
There’s so many things that we’re trying to focus on that I can’t do it alone, I can’t work it out, and I need direction. I think I just get direction from other people, they tell me what to do. Much like how you helped me launch the first version of Instagram domination, and then we just keep hammering it, hammering it, hammering it, hammering it, keep tweaking, tweaking, tweaking.
A lot of what I do is interviews, speaking to people, and networking. I try and get to the coworking space as well because we’re just setting up an office down there, because we’ve now got two people full time on the ground here in Melbourne. That’s another thing I’m working on as well, is just trying to work out how to build an effective team, catching up with people in the team, jumping on Slack, I’ve got slack messages that I’m writing to people and talking to people about and then dealing with my emails. Yeah, that’s a day in the life of Nathan Chan, just a lot of emails, a lot of speaking to people, a lot of networking, a lot of time on Slack now, a lot of time on Skype.
Yaro Starak: Given the audience listening to this are at the starting point, they haven’t had a breakthrough with the magazine, or Instagram channel, or a podcast, or a blog, or a YouTube channel, all the different possible options we’ve got today, they’re back where you are, where you were when you had this full time job and you first launched Foundr. But we’re in the current environment. The environment changes everything is constantly evolving. If you were starting today or in particular since they are starting today what would you recommend they focus on to begin with? Do you still think you should just pick a platform and just try and build an audience there? Is that the path you would recommend?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, that’s a really hard question Yaro, because I think I got lucky, maybe it smart, maybe wasn’t in the sense of I just got really good at one thing with the magazine, and that really allowed us to differentiate ourselves and then I just worked it out along the way that having a magazine can build authority and then we just piggybacked off that and having good design. I’ve just worked all the answers out along the way. I think the biggest thing I’d want people to take away is it’s so important to just focus on one thing and just get very, very good at it.
When I started the magazine I’d only focus on the magazine for a good year before I left my day job. It took me more than a year to leave my day job and I just focused on the magazine. Then I was looking for a customer acquisition channel and then it was Instagram. Now we just focus on Instagram. We do content marketing of course because our business is content marketing, but we just focus on key certain things. You need to find that one thing that you can use that may differentiate yourself, may not, but you’re very, very good at, that you’re an expert in. From there you just work it out, you’ve just got to keep searching for the I guess improving your business model.
Yaro Starak: To make that a practical step what would you, like just register, like pick whatever you think should be your focus and just go all in on that?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, give it a good hard crack. I think that’s all you can really do. Because there’s so much noise out there, it’s so competitive that all you can do is just try something, like whatever it is, focus on it, give it a good year of focusing on it, get really, really good at it, speak to as many people as you can that are experts at it, try and learn from as many people as you can, and then evaluate from there.
But it is really tough and it is a hard question to answer Yaro because I don’t know like what I would do right now, because I think for me it’s all been a natural progression and I’ve just used everything that I’m learning as a stepping stone. Yeah, just focus on one thing and do it really, really well, and don’t get distracted because so often it is easy to get distracted and it’s easy to give up.
I want to be really clear. Even within the first year of doing Foundr no one ever asked me to go on a podcast, no one ever emailed me. People did but not like they do now, l hardly ever got many emails, hardly ever got much, and I just kept showing up dude, just kept doing it, all the time, just every single day, just super consistent, super focused, not worried about anything else. Just master one thing at a time.
Yaro Starak: Awesome Nathan. Let’s reiterate all your website addresses starting with Foundr Magazine.
Nathan Chan: Foundrmag.com, F-O-U-N-D-R mag. You can go to foundrmag.com/itunes if you want to download the magazine on iTunes or foundrmag.com/android or you can just go to our website and you’ll find it there too, where you can be taking on the right path. Another address also is foundrmag.com/free where you can download that Instagram ebook if you’d like to know more around our strategies on how to crush it. Then what else is there? Foundrmag.com/podcast will take you to our podcast. That’s about it for now I think Yaro.
Yaro Starak: Sounds good. Foundrmag.com sounds like a gateway to everything.
Nathan Chan: Yeah pretty much.
Yaro Starak: Awesome. Nathan anything else you want to throw in before we wrap it up?
Nathan Chan: Oh no dude, you were very thorough like true Yaro style, man, we didn’t miss a beat.
Yaro Starak: No, we’ve got to get everything in Nathan. You’ve got so much inside your head and I wish I had another hour with you. There’s so many little pieces of the puzzle I’d like to break down. But I think we’ve got a great overview, and as always we can see the progress from guy in a job to side project magazine to full time magazine to breakthrough channels on Instagram and content marketing. It’s great to see you progress. I know 12 months’ time it’s going to be so much bigger and already is huge. I think every time I speak to you, which seems to be every six months or so, it’s doubled or tripled in size so it’s pretty incredible. So congratulations.
Nathan Chan: Oh, well thank you so much Yaro. It’s an absolute honor to be here and to speak to you as a equal man, because it felt like not that long ago I was watching your videos thinking, “Well, this guy is so cool,” you know-
Yaro Starak: With my long hair wasn’t I?
Nathan Chan: Yeah, with the long hair, everything bro.
Yaro Starak: Awesome Nathan. Thanks for coming on the show. Everyone else thank you for listening in. If you want to get the show notes or the transcript to read what Nathan has said during this interview you can go to my blog entreprenurs-journey.com or just google my name Yaro, Y-A-R-O and then click the podcast tab and you’ll find Nathan there. Thank you again Nathan, thanks for listening in to our listeners and I’ll talk to you again on a future episode.
All right, there you go, what a journey from Nathan, really diving deep into two of the big successes, his Foundr Magazine and his Instagram channel and everything he’s doing to make money from his online business. I hope you enjoyed that. If you want to make sure you get notification when I release my next latest interview go to interviewsclub.com. That will send you to my blog where you can opt in with your email address to join my email list which means you’ll get a new email every time a new podcast is released as well as a series of my very best podcasts from the archives.
Also if you haven’t done so already I’d appreciate it if you could go to iTunes right now and take a minute to leave a review for this podcast. You can open up your iTunes software and just search for my name, Yaro, Y-A-R-O. You’ll find the EJ podcast listed there, and just click the button to leave a review for it. That will help this podcast to grow, reach new people, and of course that will mean I continue to release more free interviews like this one with Nathan. All right, thanks again for listening. I’ll talk to you again on the next EJ podcast. This is Yaro. Bye-bye.
About Yaro Starak
Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.