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Interview with Mike Koenigs

Timeka Drew with LA’s The Place Media recently sat down with Mike Koenigs. Mike is one of the top internet marketers out there today. He has consulted with clients like Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Harvey MacKay, Paula Abdul, and many more.

Mike has served as a producer, marketer and consultant for Sony Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, 3M, General Mills, Dominos Pizza, Ralston, Mazda Motors and New York Times bestselling authors including Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford and Tony Robbins. He’s created over 300 web sites and more than 30 products.

We had a great interview Mike in his “Digital Cafe” studio in San Diego.

The transcript to the full interview is below:

LATP: Hi, my name is Temeka Drew with LA is the Place Media and I’m lucky enough to be sitting here today with and I’m going to call him the online marketing king – Mike Koenigs from trafficgeyser.com and we have a couple of questions for him and. Thank you so much for being here today.

Mike: It’s nice to be here. It’s nice to be here in my studio.

LATP: In the Digital Café, I’m lucky enough to be here. It’s my first chance to come up here to San Diego, so are you ready to answer my questions?

Mike: I’m all set, just let them roll!

LATP: Alright, well we both know the internet started years ago as the information super highway and it has kind of moved towards Yellow Pages mixed with the lifeline of human interaction that we have with social media – how do you see the future of the world wide web and how does Traffic Geyser play a part in that?

Mike: Okay, well, I think – really when the iPad came out, there was something kind of magical about that because I thought, here you have this little piece of glass that you can interact with, you can rent, you can watch movies, music, television, you’ve got the web, you’ve got email, you’ve got all of these cool apps. It’s like the best of an iPhone, the best of a computer – Google, Wikipedia – literally, you can look at every element of human experience all in one place. That’s pretty cool and I found – okay, now think about what’s going to happen next, the concept of a magazine, a newspaper, television is now – you can combine everything, so you cannot only watch the videos, but very soon, you’re going to be able to make the video, submit it, participate in the community, exchange ideas with the creator, the editors, the viewers themselves.

So the whole idea of the experience and all of this is going to radically change and I think that we’re going to see another mental revolution because it doesn’t have to do with the technology anymore, it has to do with how rapidly we can get it, how rapidly we can mash it up and how rapidly we connect as human beings.

And again, we’re now growing way beyond what anyone could have ever imagined media could be. So it’s in the – the way I define Traffic Geyser – because right now, we’re a combination of a tool, utility to broadcast your message out to all the video sites, the social media, the social networking sites and blogs and podcasts and all of that stuff. It’s just like a one step broadcasting platform.

I’d like to think of it as a new way, a way of revolutionizing and redefining how broadcasting works, so we were just together with our entire company. We took everyone to Las Vegas just last weekend, it turned out as a gift from a great lunch we had and our CFO said, what kind of big, hairy audacious goal could we have? And I’d say, Rupert Murdoch, look out! That’s really – we have a chance because television is irrelevant, movie distributions are irrelevant, music distribution is irrelevant and networks – Facebook has been important, but in a lot of ways, there is a lot about it that’s broken. All the privacy concerns and all the sort of stuff – so I think the community and the network and the speed and the relationship with technology and interactivity and how we create content is all hitting this cool gel-point where I think we’re going to see another rebirth, a change of how humans interact with technology and Ray Curswell talks about a lot of – I’m trying to think of the word he has for him spacing on it when it’s the singularity.

Okay that’s when humans and machines actually become one and when a machine is actually going to achieve consciousness and how we are already modifying our bodies with technology and it won’t be long in our bloodstreams, we’ll just put little devices that will essentially get rid of the fat cells and get rid of all the poisons in our body or increase our ability to hold oxygen.

I think the combination of all these things are going to join forces rapidly and much more quickly than people realize. So, I know that again, I probably went way too big out there. That was the fire -

It’s about what matters, what do people buy, how do they interact and how do they connect with one another and hopefully, our society will evolve beyond these senseless drones where everyone is texting each other, not paying attention to one another and it is like – try to walk through an airport today. It’s like this massive stupidity of people driving and dying because they’re texting at the same time. That kind of thing will be as crazy as throwing out your McDonalds trash while you’re driving or smoking and blowing the smoke in your children or drinking and driving from the 50s, right?

It’s just – society evolves and realizes oh my God! We’re killing ourselves here. I think in a way, technology is killing us because of the stupidity in how we interact and how we’re using it and I think it’s time for mankind to evolve and determine what’s right and what works and how we can use it to increase the quality of life, increase the quality of our interactions and get rid of the real poison that exist in our world, which is bad government, corruption, poverty and ignorance and what are you going to do about it.

So again, probably too much of the fire hose because that’s my way of – I think about this stuff a lot.

LATP: Yes, it’s definitely – I’ve never thought of the user guided experience quite so adept, but yeah, you definitely painted a very compelling picture.

Mike: Maybe, we’re going to think about what’s going to happen in movies. I mean, movies will be made by masses. It’s crowd sourced film creation and there is so much opportunity now.

LATP: The open stores are getting so popular, so yeah.

Mike: It’s inexcusable to be poor in a civilized society that has internet access, completely inexcusable. Everything is free! There is no excuse. There never has been an excuse because there has been a public library for a long time, now it’s always available. That’s just my opinion.

LATP: Hopefully, it will stay that way.

Mike: I don’t think it’s going to go away. People always figure out a solution. We need big problems to solve right now and great people will rise above because there are great problems to solve. That’s my opinion.

LATP: Well, I’m sitting with one of them. You’ve got some of the answers it sounds like. It kind of reaches out to our next question actually, well with the collapse of the Silicon Valley in the 90s, after the dot com bus, everyone was so worried, now we’re seeing some hot spots in the world of internet technology here in San Diego with you on the forefront of that. Do you think you’ve started the next level of online technology and what other marketing gurus do you work with?

Mike: Okay, well it’s kind of interesting because I know what you’re referring to. So, here is what it comes down to – there are always reasons why. So you said the Silicon Valley thing. The reason why Silicon Valley – the thing collapsed is because Wall Street, these big institutional things got involved. Anytime big bureaucratic stupid machines get involved that are driven entirely and totally by greed, it will self implode and that’s when stupidity reigns.

Now, it’s going on right here – going to happy stuff. Inside this little realm of La Jolla, you’ve got some of the most experienced, smartest internet marketers alive. You’ve got folks like Frank Kern, John Reese, you’ve got Andy Jenkins here, maybe some other people you’ve never heard of before like Bob Serling who is a licensing expert. He’s a marketing guru as well.

And you have – I’m probably leaving out some other people right now, so I’m going to be punished for this. I can’t believe – but they are some of the big players and for example, John Reese was the first guy to generate a million dollars from a launch online and Andy has been involved in some of the biggest launches. Frank Kern did a $5.4 million launch selling information products. Believe it or not, we’ve actually surpassed that recently ourselves with the launch -

And so the question is the how and the why and we’ve – here’s the reason why it’s working. In the old days, the big companies, the big minds would hold their knowledge and not share it and the reason why these internet marketers are flourishing and are building these empires so rapidly with integrity, I might add as well, these people – if someone wants their money back, they give them their money back right away. There’s no question, they’re sharing an enormous amount of information in what they give away.

Some you couldn’t probably learn inside of three years of college or four years of college. So, the reason why it works is like of all of us talk to each other, we share all of our secrets. So when a certain color button converts better than another color button or a certain kind of copy or the way we edit a video or the way we capture information and how frequently we communicate, we share that instantly with each other. But we’re instant texting in real time as we’re selling hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars worth of product.

So the free flow of information, the willingness to share and understanding that wealth and abundance minded thinking is what creates more wealth. When you come from a point of scarcity, universal law takes over and the universe destroys things that don’t give. They’re not allowed to live. It’s just the way it works.

So when you come from a source of giving and sharing information and educating and there is a whole bunch of people educating, you even create more demand. You create more desire, you create more opportunity and when you create opportunity, more innovators and more entrepreneurs pop up. You’re able to educate and hopefully, the people that you help build some sort of wealth with will realize and recognize that they have a gift and they have a responsibility to go with that and they need to provide more of who they are and what they are to the people who deserve it most.

So I would hope that with that new power comes a sense of philanthropy as well – it’s such a great line, but it’s absolutely true.

So one of the reasons why you see this next generation of great internet millionaires coming around as they also understand that they have a responsibility, they have power and they come from a place of abundance, the reason they’re successful is they came from that place and as we evolved as people, you know a lot of these guys are just 30-something. They’re just kids, really. A lot of them haven’t even run real businesses before. We’re all basically high school dropouts and failures, we’re nerds and losers, but we fell in love with the weirdest thing – direct response marketing. We’ve adapted infomercials to work on the web, we’ve adapted long form copyrighting from John Caples and some of these early pioneers and figured out how to collapse the sales process from months or years into days and hours and minutes in some cases.

So I think it’s a great time, so what I see happening right now is, we’re going to be combining entertainment and shows, the studio you’re in right now is – I believe that the next evolution in marketing is creating product shows, creating branded entertainment and content. We have the ability to distribute this thing to the entire connected planet instantly, pretty much for free. We’ve been able to build audiences. My reach right now directly is in the hundreds of thousands and when I’m working with my partners, I can go out and reach millions of people inside of making a few calls and sending out some emails. They’re my partners, right?

LATP: And if people are interested, they can search and find whatever it is–

Mike: So the game has changed. It’s all about reputation, relationship, trust. It’s old school, but one slip up and one hater online can hurt everyone and again, it goes with responsibility, so determining who you can listen to and who you can trust is another big challenge that we all have to overcome right now. It’s a very democratic place and it’s also a very dangerous place online.

LATP: Everybody’s already selling you something, I bet.

Mike: You know, it’s always been that way. Don’t kid – these days, it’s just faster and more reliable, I guess you could say. Did I answer that question?

LATP: I believe you did! So, let’s talk a little bit about Google. Google has dominated the online search engines and they’re going to continue to do so and–

Mike: I don’t think so.

LATP: Oh you don’t think so.

Mike: They’re getting cocky and sloppy – if they’ve got something different that’s more important and more relevant will come along, but go ahead with your original assumption.

LATP: So my question is, Google is popular and now they’re starting to sell off the top and the side of page one with the pay per click advertising and soon – now they’re testing their Google maps program in Texas and soon, they’re going to be selling off the entire first page.

Mike: That’s why politicians are never to be trusted. They’re all for sale.

LATP: …and politicians, same bank!

Mike: I’ll say that there’s a parallel arising and that it will be their end doing, that’s my prediction.

LATP: So that’s what you’re saying, so what point do they start selling below the fold and go on to page two and just monetize the whole thing?

Mike: Here’s the thing. Here’s what I love about Google. First of all, they’re in the business of news and as I say, frequent relevant content and the word news didn’t mean anything to me until just a few months ago when I was thinking about new – if it isn’t new, it isn’t news! Google rewards you for news and when you think about creating content as though it is news and as though it is relationship driven, it changes the way you create content.

Now, it wasn’t long ago, you could build a website, put up a page and you’d show up and you’d be there and all of those blogs came along and then Twitter and Facebook and all of these things and the more frequent things update and the more visits it gets because Google pays attention to what people click on, so why is this video so popular, why is YouTube technically the second largest search engine in the world, it’s because people love video.

People are consuming an enormous quantity and amount and because bandwidth is essentially free and cheap and available to virtually every gadget, device and doodad on the populated planet, that’s how we’re going to consume, right?

Music is a universal language, so is video, so are movies. And pay attention to how the rest of the world evolves. Now, American influence influences the world! Kids want to be like us and there are a few things that were great at and it’s entertainment, selling and negotiating and manufacturing – that’s for sure and when it comes to doing tasks for example, it’s not our bag anymore either.

Okay, but service we’re also really good at. At least, we’re modelable. Now, you can argue that on multiple levels, but look, go to Italy and try and get some good service. Go to France, try to get good service. I ain’t picking on them, it’s just that it is ingrained in the culture and the reason being is that it’s not driven by tips.

So one thing I have to do with Google is to question. The question is – Google isn’t taking care of its herd like it used to. They are a publicly traded company. They’re focused on wealth creation and the innovators that made Google great have already started leaving and disappearing. It’s run by MBAs, pencil pushers – it’s like a lot of crap. They’re just soaking in the dough. Why Craigslist is so great? Why does it continue to be so great? Because the dude still approves ads. Craig’s still doing it!

It’s still got heart, it’s still got a soul and it will be like, you want to go to a soul-less place, go to Dubai! In my opinion, soul-less! Las Vegas actually generating a soul is driven by customer experience now. Now, you can argue that one too, but as soon as an entity becomes soul-less, it loses its strength and its power.

Now, they do have mass and I wouldn’t underestimate them and whether they start losing their foothold a day from now, a week from now or a year from now, ten years from now isn’t what’s relevant, it’s paying attention to the patterns.

So what I believe is – they’re not the most relevant thing out there. Facebook is unbelievably powerful. They’re also becoming soul-less. So someone who serves the customer better, serves the needs of the users, builds greater community, bonding, trust, relationships and maintains that actually has a code of ethics and values that when it comes to acquisition time, it says, ain’t going to sell, ain’t going to be a politician, I won’t be a whore. I’m going to do what’s right and those who do what’s right are the foundations, the institutions that last for generations and generations.

And I don’t think we’re there yet. I mean, innovation needs to occur. We need to have a toilet flushing here for a little while. It’s necessary in the evolution of what this is going to become and again, with that comes a lot of responsibility. Privacy – there is none, anyone who tricks themselves and fools themselves into thinking of it, there is such a thing. If you are in a city, there are cameras. Google is riding around with – you’ve got anyone can look at the satellite imagery with Google maps and all of that too.

So anyway, again, that was – but I won’t apologize.

LATP: I am intrigued by these answers. I am learning so much right now. This is just kind of adding on to that question, since Google has set the play stage and we have Bing and Yahoo merging, and they’re going to be doing the same sell off plan. Does online advertising evolve back into worrying about good copy, worrying about having compelling ads, is this what we’re going to have to do to be able to compete?

Mike: So here is what it comes down to. It all comes back to great content and with great content starts with great education and to build a bond of trust, first of all, they have to be able to find you. You’ve got to be out there, you’ve got to be liked. Once you communicate on a regular basis and you establish what your ethics and your rules and your values are, in other words, your behavior dictates the speed and the level of trust that someone will reward you with.

Once you cultivate that, you will have an opportunity to ask for a sale! Copyrighting is copyrighting. Okay and it always works. It always has. It’s basic psychology. The human brain responds to story’s proof and what we call social proof, in other words, other people saying this is good stuff. So, when you get down to it. It’s never going away. It’s just that some of the sleek junk has gotten away with tricking people for a little while, like bouncing banner ads and flickering bouncy dotted lines and look, gimmicks work for a little while, and eventually they wear off!

Good copyrighting never wears off. Good storytelling, good brands, great trusted characters. When you look at how long did Johnny Carson last? Okay, bar his personal life. Okay, look at Oprah. Oprah is a representative icon for trust and whether you love her or you hate her, she has changed a generation. She has changed media. She has changed perception. She has changed race. She has changed everything in a lot of ways. She’s had a massive worldwide effect and she’s a broadcaster. She’s realized if she steps away, but who’d she create? She created Oz, Dr. Phil. She’s starting shows, which is – she gets it! That’s a community and again, when you say Oprah, I don’t necessarily mean the woman, I mean, the institution.

LATP: Yeah.

Mike: There’s a culture there. Those are the things to pay close attention to. So again, looking back at what’s going to happen. Here’s what I believe. I believe education, marketing, entertainment and network, community, culture are all blending and when we kind of started with this whole idea of what the iPad represents, look, I don’t care about the device, it’s irrelevant, just like Google ultimately is irrelevant – it’s what need does it serve and what will serve it better?

The gateway, the entry or the barrier to entry. Now, you could argue – oh look at all what Google has. Look, a couple of smart people can go – because the hardware is irrelevant. Computers are cloud – it’s a commodity. Engineers turn it into a commodity. Crowd sourcing, there are the rules, the values – again, it’s the trust that has values. It’s the brand! The brand is – I think what a brand is, is changing because a brand is just as much an experience, so again it’s how does it participate, how does it serve and how is it making a massive difference in the lives of hopefully billions of people. That’s a bigger, bigger question to ask. Where’s the innovation coming from?

LATP: It’s really about the whole way we look at businesses in general.

Mike: Yes.

LATP: So tell us about your new mobile – your new voice and text technology and is this the direction Traffic Geyser is going to be taking in the future?

Mike: Yeah, in a lot of ways. Like Traffic Geyser represents the ability to broadcast to the entire connected planet with a click of a button. You and I are shows. We are an experience and we have the opportunity to share our experience with the connected planet. Again, roughly five and some billion people right now. That’s pretty exciting.

LATP: That’s just a click of a button.

Mike: So if you can build a relationship with them and they like you, know you, trust you and you have something to share, give or sell them, you can become immeasurably wealthy very, very rapidly. The science of marketing is cultivating that.

So having said that, the big opportunity like we said in the beginning, about 1.8 billion internet connected users, you’ve got roughly 5 billion mobile users and that’s growing a lot faster than the desktop. Now, Yellow Pages basically rapidly becoming obsolete. You just can’t get away with what they’ve gotten away with so long and who needs another booster chair. That’s all that use is for. It gets delivered in my house and I’ll just put it in the recycling bin. I don’t need to bring it in the house. Who cares? Google replaced it for us a long time ago and people in the 50s and 60s, they’re like, I don’t need it. Now you can Google and get all of these resources or you download an app on your iPhone. That’s a lot better.

Okay, you’ve got radio, you’ve got newspapers – so, getting back to the question, it’s all about mobile and what our technology does is that it extends beyond just sending a message, but being able to gather and build a relationship and automate it, but still make it feel real! So what our technology allows you to do is first of all, capture a lead with voice. In other words, you can call a phone number, you can allocate a phone number in any area code in the United States in five seconds.

So you can have like a throw away phone number and that phone number not only becomes a place people can call, leave a message and you get it converted from voice into text, you can subscribe and receive information, so an auto responder as what we call it in the marketing world. People can text their name and email. Now, we’ll go out and find out about you, we’ll learn about you by visiting all of your social networking sites.

LATP: Of course, that’s the first thing that comes out when you type in somebody’s name and it’s Facebook, MySpace, Twitter.

Mike: So I’m going to find out how influential you are. I find out how many people follow you, how many people you follow and I know like I said earlier, no one respects a whore. So if your Twitter followers are the same, I know you’ve got a machine doing that stuff for you. If you’re following 50 people and you’ve got 50,000 people following you. You’re a player.

Now, if I can do that very rapidly, I can find out who the most influential people are, who are interested in my stuff. Now, the other thing that we do is we give away a personality profile. Normally, that costs about a hundred dollars, it’s called a disk.

So if you’ve heard of Meyers Briggs or Colby Index or any of those, you can take it for free and what does it allow me to do – first of all, it’s a great gift. It’s a great way to build a relationship and now, I can market, I can talk to you in a way that you will understand, so I communicate with you.

LATP: Based on your personality type.

Mike: Next, we can send email, voicemail, I can send you voicemails right to your voicemail box. I can have a mobile text conversation with you that asks you questions. Learning more about you, so I can serve you better and then finally, I can do simulated teleseminars and simulated webinars so they feel like a real event, I still allow you to interact with me in real time or the machine, but you can’t really tell the difference.

To serve you better, cultivate that relationship and provide products and services that will match who you are and what you need with integrity. So what really lets an ordinary, a small business person do, let’s take it – break it down into like the lowest kind of denominator here. You have a restaurant. Let’s say a little wine bar. So, on here, you’ll see a little message that says text your name and email to this phone number right now and you’ll receive a free – your next glass of wine on us.

So you text your name and your email and it responds right away and says, it’s your birthday! Are you married? What’s your anniversary? And then, it might ask you, do you like reds, do you like whites? What kind of wines do you like and now, I can send you personalized communications plus, I can visit your Facebook. I’m going to learn what your interests are so that I can cultivate a relationship based on who you are, what you like, what matters to you.

So, anyone can leverage this and I would argue that every business in the world needs to cultivate a relationship because a lot of people, let’s say the chiropractors will be like well, I do services and I’ll say no you’re not! You have specialized knowledge. You could be teaching the entire connected planet how to live better, how to live better, how to have a healthier lifestyle, you could convert your knowledge into a product that you can sell this information to anywhere in the planet. You could educate folks, you can increase and improve the quality of their lives, but first, you have to get to know them, they need to know you. They need to like you, they need to trust you and the only way you’re going to get there is by understanding who they are and to build that kind of relationship and build that kind of business, it’s pretty hard if you’re just picking up the phone and you’re calling every person. It’s just not practical. So we need to automate it. So that’s really where this technology is and where it’s going and we’re integrating that into the Traffic Geyser experience.

So Traffic Geyser gets your stuff out there and gets you traffic, but then you’ve got to capture that lead, build a relationship and eventually ask them to buy because commerce is good. I really believe it is. It enables giving people the opportunity to generate and create wealth. Remember, there is plenty to go around and there is an infinite supply of it.

There is no end to wealth. It’s not about what you’ve got and what I’ve got that there isn’t enough to go between. We can multiply it and become force multipliers in our lives together, in our community, in our city, in our town, in our state, in our country, and in the world.

LATP: That’s the best way to look at wealth that I’ve heard. Most people are trying to get – they think there’s a small amount of it and we’re all trying to -

Mike: It’s the way billionaires think. Billionaire thinking and it ain’t about the money. It’s about the opportunity, it’s about increasing and improving the quality of lives. How do you live if you can earn more and give more, what’s your legacy? Has the world been better because you were here? Did you create positive progression?

LATP: If you can figure out more ways to serve, you’re going to get more back.

Mike: Absolutely, it’s the way the universe works. It’s a universal law. Those who are rigid are dead. It’s more lively and dancing and giving and sharing their energy and making it available and cultivating are the deliverers and the givers. Very organic!

LATP: I like that. Your recent FirePower Summit in San Diego. You had public speaking legends such as Bill Glazer, Brian Tracy, yourself, modern internet masters and Paul Cooligan as well, do you see the future of internet marketing? Basically what we’ve been talking about being a combination of salesmanship with the technology lead floor, I guess you’ve kind of answered this question.

Mike: Entertainment. I really see the future in entertaining because if you think of marketing as the tip of the spear. What you need to do is you need to get attention first, that’s rule number one of marketing. Get their attention because once you have their attention, then you have an opportunity to share what you’re going to share and there is a science to all of this.

Now, doing these events has been really great and probably some of the high points of my life like this past weekend, I got to spend time with one of the greatest marketers alive, his name is Dan Kennedy. He has written eleven books, I believe that’s the number now. A lot of books! Maybe even more! He’s got a new book coming out and in a lot of ways, he has been one of the most prolific marketers in the world. He is Bill Glazer’s business partner and it was an honor to be with him and I hope I have permission to say it this way, but it wasn’t a meeting of mentor-protégé, it was a meeting of peers and the great gift that I’ve been given over the past few years is I’ve been able to teach, which is the best gift of all. It’s what I love to do more than anything is teach and educate and to innovate and market and sell and be with a community of likeminded people and growing up, I didn’t have that because I didn’t know what I was yet.

Some of my friends like Andy says, “Mike, you’re a pitch man.” And I’ll be like, I don’t think of myself as a pitch man, I think of myself as an educator. I love to teach and train and make cool stuff. So having the opportunity to meet my mentors, but as equals has been the best of all. So like Tony Robbins, he’s been here. He was a guy who had a tremendous influence in my life and we’ve become friends. We’re just exchanging emails yesterday and the day before about a couple of things that we’re talking about right now. Dan Kennedy is one, the great Joe Sugarman who was one of the biggest infomercial guys, he did blue blocker sunglasses, he sold 20 million pairs of sunglasses on TV. He did the blue blocker rap with – I’ve got to think of the guy’s name, but it’ll pop into my head in a moment.

And the list goes on, Brian Tracy and I had Harvey McKay here not long ago, who wrote swim with the sharks without being eaten alive. Some of the old timers and some of these young guys too. Folks like Frank Kern – he’s like the Bono in our industry and he’s actually leaving it to be a proper businessman right now. He’s tired of the guru business and he’s got a huge personality and he’s incredibly charismatic and very, very creative and interesting and again, he’s one of these guys who – he struggled growing up.

So get back to your question – I think now that some of us have sort of figured out some of these things – we’re certainly starting to combine our skills, our talents, work together more and maybe build proper businesses. My prediction for a long time has been, who is going to be the one that breaks out of this little internet marketing community that basically sells stuff to a group of maybe a million or so people worldwide. Maybe it’s bigger, maybe it’s a little smaller. It’s not a lot and it generates a decent amount of revenue every year, but we’re going to be adapting our knowhow and our knowledge, our techniques and strategies to work with some big brands.

And in fact, I’m negotiating right now with a giant brand and they’re going to be coming here either next week or the week after to talk about doing exactly that and so, again, I think what we’ve figured out, learned and worked out in our little microcosm here, we’re going to start expanding and there’s going to be a few of us are going to say, we’re ready to break out. We’re ready to mainstream as the old – you’ve seen True Blood before? They talk about mainstreaming the vampires. I don’t know if that’s a terrible thing to say -

Again, it’s my opinion after knowing the culture and the personalities in here. I’ve just never met such a big group of huge givers, highly, highly conscious people who are very integrity driven. Very, very brand and relationship driven because – and there’s certainly a lot of nasty ones too. I mean like every business, there’s always going to be someone out there who are pushing the limits and you’ve got the FTCs chasing around or whatever it is and it’s just a matter of time before they do the wrong thing and take advantage of some folks but there’s also a very, very good group of highly conscious people who are making a big difference. I don’t know if I answered that question or not. I was all over the place.

LATP: I think you pretty much answered it. I think you pretty much answered it. You’re saying that you know, salesmen need to be more than just salesmen now. They need to be actors, they need to be activists a little bit, they need to be getting out there being educators and–

Mike: Cause oriented, yeah. I think again, you can get by. You could become enormously wealthy and successful by not doing those things, but the question is, was the world better because you’re on it. When you get down to it and you’re ten minutes away from passing on, you know, as my friend, this is what Brendon Burchard says, “Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?” Those are big ideas.

LATP: You’ve got to be able to answer those questions correctly or what are you doing?

Mike: Exactly!

LATP: So tell us about your new main street marketing program and where else can small businesses get internet sales leads other than just the main search engines like Google and Yahoo and Bing?

Mike: Sure, well, there’s a million ways to skin a cat and that’s for sure as the old saying goes, but maybe a hundred ways, a thousand ways, but I’d say a million ways. What main street marketing machines is – we developed a program that uses Traffic Geyser to get attention, in other words, capture and create visibility and we focused on local businesses. It’s my assertion that – and my belief that – it’s the truth, 72% of the US economy is driven by mom and pop shops and small businesses. Corporations, no!

Now, remember Wall Street is a leach. The government -

LATP: A kind of propaganda to make us think that corporations are in charge of everything.

Mike: Start paying attention to where the taxes go, come from – it ain’t the corporations, okay and it’s my opinion that you give the government a dollar, you’re lucky if you get a nickel’s worth of value off of it. That’s just me! I believe that it’s the cause of the problem, not the source of the solution and history seems to prove that time and time again.

Now, I’m all about protecting the little guy, but the best way the little guy can protect themselves is by creating commerce, creating a business, providing value, providing service. The problem is right now, small businesses are struggling because the old way of doing things isn’t working like it used to and so, it’s like how do I take advantage of the web and there’s a huge percentage right now according to the numbers that we had, I think it was like 17 million of the approximately 40 million plus small businesses that are registered in the United States that includes work at home businesses. There is about 17 million that don’t have any web presence at all.

Huge opportunity! So what we did is we created a course and a whole bunch of tools that allow people, in many cases without any prior marketing experience, any prior internet experience, no prior video experience to actually start their own small business providing small business marketing services, leveraging video, social media, social marketing blogs and all of these other stuff and it’s literally a copy paste cookie cutter business.

So you can start it up, we’ve got people who made their first $500 like within the first hour, a couple of hours of getting the program, I kid you not. One of our case studies we had is a guy. We call him – his name is Mike Lemoin, fireman Mike Lemoin, he made $5000 in four hours with very, very little prior experience. It was really cool and what we do is, it’s a combination of training, kind of like being in the café like we are right now, providing marketing materials, pre-made scripts, pre-made graphics, music – all of the little components to make this work in step by step instructions.

So, the Fire Power thing you mentioned earlier was our earlier version of this and then we supersized it, we analyzed it, we had a lot of successful clients in the program and we modeled all of the stuff that work best. We stacked it with additional tools. We created a tool called an opportunity finder, so let’s say you typed in San Diego plumber for example, it’ll find out how much competition there is for them, how many people are buying advertisements? Basically, it finds opportunities, gives you leads and tells you even what questions people are asking about plumbing.

So using your tool, you can essentially go out and dominate search engine phrases very, very rapidly using this thing. So I’m probably off, way too big of a tangent here, but the bottom line is, we’re in the business of helping people start businesses and supporting businesses and again, if you look at what happens worldwide, it’s not just the United States, but small business owners are also the most likely to give to charitable causes as well. That makes the difference and that’s again where true wealth comes from because as – the enemy of mankind is ignorance. The enemy of mankind is people who can’t provide for their families. This is my opinion. I get a little political here.

If you look at all the money we’ve wasted on stupid wars and if we would’ve built schools and created jobs, do you think the people would be turning against us? I’m just saying!

LATP: Who would agree about that plan?

Mike: Men revolt when they can’t provide for their families. That’s when they drink and they conduct and they get involved in self-destructive patterns and behavior, as well as when families are damaged or destroyed and orphans are created by unnecessary war and unnecessary violence and I think if the focus were on building, creating education and small business worldwide, I think the world would be a better place. It would be a different place. So long handed wing of answering that question, but it’s all connected.

LATP: It is all connected, I agree with you.

So since Traffic Geyser has worked so well with Google, do you see the Google slap coming in the future? Are they going to undo some of what you have been doing and therefore Traffic Geyser might need to expand beyond search engine optimized video, is that true?

Mike: Well, we already have and we already do – do a lot more. We do blog marketing, we do article marketing, we do podcast marketing. We pay attention to everything that’s ever going on and I can answer that question in two ways. First of all, believe it or not, we can out think Google and we can be a step ahead of them. I think of it like this. If you imagine -

LATP: Like we are smarter than Google.

Mike: And it’s not that we’re smarter, it’s just that it’s always easier from the inside to reverse engineer, so here’s the way I look at it. If you study the Art of War by Sun Sue, you know that having the higher ground is always where you will succeed, so in other words, if your enemy is down here and I’m not saying Google is an enemy, but let’s say you have mountains. If you’re on top with bows and arrows pointing down, these guys are screwed! Simple as that!

Now, what that means is, if you have a foundation, a corporation, a company and it operates a certain way and let’s just say your assailants are invisible attackers.

So let’s say you had just a whole bunch of invisible ghosts up here, armed with rocks and just could lob them on you from every direction, there’s nothing you can do.

The problem Google has is there’s always someone who’s working on a gimmick and a work around for whatever rules they have in place. A huge percentage of the resources are on that. Now, here’s the good news. We don’t do anything wrong. All we do is we take someone’s video and we share it with a whole bunch of places.

Google rewards frequent, relevant content and news. Now, what we do at Traffic Geyser is we send out your content to a lot of places that Google values. So you’re going to get results.

So here is the deal – it is, I teach my customers how to make good content, how to educate, how to entertain, how to provide value so they can build relationships that matter. Now, my tool could be used to create junk and flood the system with junk, however, we monitor it closely and I have a ban for life policy, which is, if someone abuses our tool once, I ban them for life. They can’t get to our websites, they’ll never ever be able to buy any of my products for life. Period, end of story, no questions asked and I make it very clear.

LATP: You don’t mess around.

Mike: No, it’s in – and so abusers, haters, anyone whoever abuses one of my support people for example – cut out for life, banned for life! We don’t know – we have a no a-hole policy and the support people have the right to make that call. So getting back to this, the bottom-line is we have to enforce quality and we have to educate quality and some people don’t know the difference.

And there have been times when gimmicks can work and do work, but eventually, Google does slap you, but they’ll never slap you if you create good quality content that helps build trust and relationships. So I think as long as our core values are communicated effectively and we provide resources and tools to do it the right way in a way that Google will never take away because again, if you make great content, no one is going to take it away, you’re going to get rewarded by frequent visitors for life basically.

Videos don’t just disappear. They stay there. That can be either to your advantage or disadvantage. If for example, you’re able to get married and you want a job and you are out and some – the wrong kind of clothing for example at a party and you were vomiting at the same time, that can work against you and who’s the dude with the bong or fine young swimmer friend from the Olympics. A little bit of a challenge! Don’t be doing it!

LATP: Quality content only.

Mike: Yeah, exactly! I would not regard that as quality content, but it’s something that happened. Moving right along–

LATP: So tell us about Mike Koenigs – the guy outside of the internet bubble? What do you like to do? What kind of hobbies do you have?

Mike: Well, I have a son and he loves his daddy. So I spend as much time as I can with him. I have a wife who has a foundation and we do a lot of charitable work and philanthropy. Right now, it’s been focused on Uganda and grown outside that. I have not been regularly surfing. I love to surf, but I’ve been traveling a lot and building a business for the past half a year or so, so I haven’t been in the water much.

LATP: It’s gotten into your surf time?

Mike: It has. I like to boat. I’ve got a boat, so I’ve been spending more time on that and it’s – I used to live on a boat in Minnesota and in the Mississippi river for five years. I was one of the nut jobs who lived full time and I find the water very calming. I’m a voracious reader. I probably read three to four books a week and I buy and read tons of things and believe it or not, I just love to invent stuff. So you’ll never find me without a moss skin book. I fill one up probably every two weeks with ideas and concepts and building a team.

I love innovating and being an entrepreneur, but the thing that I’m most proud of those is the philanthropy and the work we’re doing.

LATP: Yeah, that was the next question I was going to ask. My last question is about your wife and your foundation, just like my child, which is very inspiring. How can other charitable organizations be served like by Traffic Geyser, how can Traffic Geyser and other online marketing help charitable organizations just like my child.

Mike: We do it every year. One of the things that we do every year is we put on an event called Paid for Life and this year, we have Paula Abdul speaking at it and she by the way – I don’t know if you’ve seen this, she just got a huge deal with a major network. It was just announced and we have Dean Graziosi who is an amazing, amazing presenter speaker. He’s on TV a lot. He does a lot of infomercials. My friend Brendon Burchard and basically, we have eleven superstars including a woman, Pam Hendrix who is responsible for introducing me to Tony Robbins who has done content with Tony and many other big superstars for years.

What we do is we put on an event, all the money gets donated to the foundation and people get to come and learn how to get paid for life by paying for life. So the basic theme is – we teach internet marketing, how to create products, turn your knowhow and knowledge into products, how to use video marketing to get the word out and we teach really the process of what we call continuity, which is getting paid for life. In other words, getting a consistent flow of subscription based income.

Now, what’s cool about it is, A) we are able to attract some superstars, getting Paula there was really fantastic. There’s always some good rumblings about other possibilities people will show up. But, to answer your question, if you go to paidforlifesystem.com, we’ve created a launch using all of our technology, using Traffic Geyser technology and video marketing and voice follow up and all of these other tools to support this and we’re using our shopping cart system as well. We’re actually creating a continuity based model.

So what we’re doing is, we’re using the technology to sell the system to promote the event and what we do is we opened up our first video. It was all about how to get $3.75 back for every dollar you invest. That’s the way I open it up and people are like, what the hell is that, right? Well, what it is – there is a study. I can’t quote the name of the study, but it was a well known think tank that conducted a study that’s been about 30,000 people and they found that for every dollar someone gives, they get $3.75 back their next year and increased income.

Pretty interesting, okay? So givers get, that’s the bottom-line. That’s pretty interesting and then we went down into telling a story, so it starts out with the opportunity, and then I brought in another good friend of mine. His name is Jorge Cruz. He wrote the Belly Fat Cure. He’s on TV all the time. He’s another big superstar who is speaking at the event too. He comes in – oh and by the way, the theme of the event is Earn More, Live More, Give More. So the earn more – we teach product creation and we do a free video on how to do that, so there’s no catch or anything like that. The live more is Jorge Cruz comes in and we talk about how to lose weight rapidly, how to have a healthier lifestyle by essentially eliminating one giant major toxin from your body, which is sugar! It’s refined sugar and what the alternatives are.

But it’s a fun, educational thing and at the event, Jorge is going to reveal something else that people aren’t even aware of. Big new study – it will be a worldwide announcement of some new research he’s been doing. Another huge substance to a major cause and we’ll be studying health problems. I’m not going to give it away though.

You’ve got to come! The third one is give more, so the whole idea of how philanthropy really is. The gateway of the power and when you associate or affiliate yourselves with a cause and I saw this from personal knowledge. When Vivian started the foundation, she just had a drive to make a big difference and she just was done with the corporate thing. She’s like, “I want to matter. So what do I need to do to matter?” And she kind of took me kicking and screaming as she would say. Along with her, I went to Uganda a couple of times and I saw the work that was being done. There are three schools that have built there and two hospitals, multiple doctors, sending hundreds of kids to school right now, 50,000 bed nets. I mean, a community of 600,000 has been transformed by what she’s done and the charter is expanding to a worldwide reach right now.

So getting back to the point, it’s like as soon as we’ve started doing that and the children started screaming as they ran outside, but as soon as I started incorporating the foundation and talking about it, which I didn’t want to do, I was like, “I don’t want to be preachy. I don’t want to mix business with what we’re doing outside.” She says, “Why don’t you just tell the story.” It happened where I was doing a presentation and I had people who walked up to me who bought my stuff and said, the reason I bought from you is I can tell it’s not about the money. I would have just given you the money for the foundation and I was like, you’ve got to be kidding me and that started happening like crazy.

So now, I go on and I’m not preachy about it, but I’m like, “Look, you want to grow your business. You want to become immeasurably wealthy. Do you want to make a massive difference and matter? Pick something! Do something that matters. Give off yourself. You want the cure for depression?” Depression is caused by self indulgence. When you give, give freely with expecting nothing in return and you serve your fellowmen from a place of heart and from a place of abundance. The universe will reward you in ways you can’t imagine. I know, I sounded a little Jesus-y here perhaps, but I mean the foundations of great faiths follow that. I mean, this is just again, it’s a universal law and it seems to mean some ways that the spirit of why and how that matters most has been lost to some degree.

So at least in our present day, secular culture and look, I’m not a religious anything. I’m kind of a – I was raised as a nice Catholic boy and I married a nice Jewish girl and I got – but I think that we’re all spirits in the material world and we have a responsibility to act and do the right thing. So there you go.

LATP: That’s beautiful. That’s amazing!

Mike: Thanks.

LATP: I wish more business owners and–

Mike: We’re making them.

LATP: People would focus more on giving.

Mike: That’s what Paid for Life is all about. It’s about increasing the awareness, the consciousness, accelerating their ability to generate massive wealth. We’re giving them the tools and the resources, the knowhow and what we’re going to be doing in the near future is we’re going to give this away to kids. We’re going to teach them these systems because we can accelerate. I’ve got no education, I barely graduated from high school. I never went to college. I’ve learned everything I know from a book because basically, I was functionally, you can’t say retarded anymore, but that’s what we used to say. Mentally challenged – I mean, I would have been drugged for ADHD grown up. No question about it. It’s just that we – no one knew.

LATP: So many brilliant minds though are and that’s part of -

Mike: Yeah, we flunk out, but I’m the living proof that an ordinary or less than ordinary person can do something that matters a little bit and support and help some people and my work is just beginning. I want to do more and I’m doing fine. I don’t need – it isn’t a money game anymore. It’s about mattering more!

LATP: Well, that’s all the questions I have. Thank you so much for having me in your studio.

Mike: It’s my pleasure to give pleasure.

LATP: So thank you very much. That’s all that we have for LA Supplies Media Today with Mike Koenigs.

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