Shoemoney’s Affiliate Marketing Legacy | With Jeremy Schoemaker | RBM E14


Welcome to the Robust Marketer. Today, I’m
extremely lucky to have Jeremy ShoeMoney Shoemaker. There are several stratas of affiliate marketer.
I’ve been in this industry for about 10 years, and when I first came into it, already, the
person occupying the top strata of that space was ShoeMoney. Read his blog on the regular.
I don’t know if you remember this, but it was you, me, and Samantha Brackett on my very
first ever affiliate Summit West, and we were out for some drinks. You’re intimately tied
with my marketer’s hero’s journey from back in the day, and since then, he’s gone on to
multiple other kinds of affiliate marketing success, from SEO to email. He’s built companies,
he’s sold companies, he’s built offices, he’s downsized offices, he’s come full-circle more
times than most people have even started the circle.
Welcome to the Robust Marketer, Jeremy. How you doing?
I’m doing great, thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure. Thanks for the intro, that was
super nice of you. Speaking of Samantha, I just ran into her.
Did you? Mm-hmm (affirmative).
In Canada, they give you like forever off work if you have a kid.
Of course. So she got out of Never Blue and all that
stuff, but anyways. She’s back in the industry …
Global wide. … and she works for some other company.
Yeah, she works for Revenue Wire in Victoria now, I hear.
Yeah. It’s funny, actually. Doing with ISEC training
now, we’re building up ISEC’s Victoria presence and we’re just picking off old Never Blue
alumni, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s great. We always start this podcast by talking about
the Marketer’s Hero’s Journey. What brought you to where you are today? I’m sure a lot
of people are aware of your story, as it relates to the famous check, and some of the other
things, but if you could just give me a quick synopsis of how you got where you are toy,
I think it would be a good jumping off point for people who maybe aren’t familiar, but
I bet most are. Yeah. No worries.
I always perfect this, or I should improve on this. Basically I started 2000 … It would
have been a little bit before 9/11. I created a website that was in the mobile space, and
it developed. It was basically around ringtones. You could upload whatever audio format you
had or Mp3, and then tell what kind of phone you had. It would convert it and spit you
back the right file. It was all free, whatever. It got to the point where it was getting like
100,000 plus users a day. One day, I got a call from Google AdSense,
and they said, “Hey, we’ve got this product called AdSense, and we have a lot of advertisers
in the mobile space, and not a lot of mobile focused websites.” She actually walked me
through pacing the code, and then the result you see, is the famous check.
Funny story about the check. I never showed that to anyone, until like 2007. It was because
somebody Leaped it. I would share it with people online and stuff. Some people I didn’t
know very well, and then someone posted it on … It was not even a well-known blog,
and then everyone was like, “It’s fake. It’s fake.” Then Google actually was like, “No.
That’s actually … ” Then they did this case study on me.
I was on unemployment, by the way, when I got that check. I went to the bank with a
$300 unemployment check and a $132,000 check from Google. Then from there, I basically
was using AdSense, but AdSense had restrictions on what advertisers can put in their ads.
I was like, “You know what’d be cool? Is I can see what these people are advertising
on my site, and obviously it must be working well for them” which was like ringtone offers
and mobile offer. I was like, “Let me make my own ad system, and go directly use my affiliate
link.” I created this thing called ShoeMoney Ads,
which then … I was playing Poker at, I don’t know what time it was, at Binion’s in Las
Vegas, and just happened to be the eBay affiliate team there, and they were like, “Oh, somebody’s
using your ShoeMoney ads to drive leads to eBay. You ever think about making an advertising
network around eBay?” Me, being a developer, and I had another partner, well he was like
a $20 an hour programmer, but he was always kind of integral in my company.
We basically just took the code from that, created Auction Ads, eBay gave us special
access and high-price and moved along. I still had all the NextPimp stuff, which was the
ringtone site, going and it was crushing affiliate offers. It was printing money.
Wow. Yeah, it was doing three to five thousand
a day in profit, all day. I implemented subscription revenue, obviously I had AdSense contextual
revenue, my own affiliate revenue, I had really honed it in. I sold physical products, as
well, which was totally out of my hands. I left someone in charge of it, because it was
pretty basic. I marked up the physical products, like I would get cables from five cents from
China, I would sell them for thirty dollars. It was just printing money.
I had money to invest. This is back the days before Cloud stuff, so I spent, just my Coyote
load balancers were like seventy five grand apiece, and then I had all this hardware,
anyway. So, Auction Ads created it, four months later, sold it for millions, and then from
there, I built ShoeMoney Tools, subscription platform, which would basically let you do
all this research on SEO and just a bunch of really cool tools. Not only on that scale
it just like we had a direct AdWords campaign builder that would actually upload right into
your AdWords account. Okay.
Then it would actually keep track and it would automatically withdraw ones that weren’t working,
and all this other stuff, before all this other software came out. Then I created, which
I sold. There’s a lot of stuff in between, and then somebody came to me and was lie,
“You should make an info product on how to make money online.” I did that, I made money,
but then I kinda to into the world promoting these other people’s, and I did about a million
in commissions in a year. Then I got kind of in that world, where then
it was like “Is ShoeMoney a scam Read this review.” Not my most proudest moment, but
… Yeah, it’s a space that we’re in now, too,
the info product space. I think there’s a line that we’re walking anyways, that we feel
we need to walk in that, where the making money systems versus the skills-based training,
you know what I mean? That’s an interesting thing you found yourself in that space, and
that you didn’t love it. You didn’t love what your brand was kind of becoming in that space,
is that accurate? Yeah, for sure. My girlfriend, her ex husband
for instance, is like, “Yeah, your boyfriend’s a scammer. Just read this.” People talked
shit about me before this, I don’t care, whatever. It’s gonna happen.
Yeah, when I had the blog. The blog was a good source of revenue, as well. It still
is. It’s like 10% of the readership that it had back then, because it was … I would
just talk smack about everyone. Yeah.
Then I got to know them by going to conferences and stuff, and it evolved. I started to build
real businesses. I had some bigger companies that I had like downtown … I mean, this
is fast forwarding a lot, but in downtown Nebraska, here in Lincoln, I had like … With
the PAR program, my email platform, I had like 30 employees and we were managing email
for some very, very large brands. We had less than, I wanna say about 15 clients,
and we were doing over 10 million a year in revenue.
Wow. I sold that company to our biggest client,
and then I hooked up pretty much everyone that was of value there, for good jobs. Then
got rid of my office, was like, “I’m done. I’ll never have an employee again.” So that’s
where I’m at. Now I build still, software as a service applications, and still leverage
what I learned from affiliate stuff, what I learned from other stuff, and it just gives
me a leg up. Yeah. I listed to a podcast you did, I guess
in 2015, and you were talking about this process of building this legit company with this big
downtown office, and this huge overhead where you’re burning, you say 15K a day, minimum,
on staff and rent. Or that was 15K a month for rent, basically. You’re just having this
big overhead business and you found yourself stressing out, found yourself not liking managing
people. What was that experience like for you? How long were you in that world where
you were being something that you weren’t, or were sort of forced to be into something
that you weren’t? Yeah, that’s actually perfect. I always thought
I needed to be a CEO of a big company, and …
Build an empire! Yeah. I don’t know that there’s been many
people that evolved from affiliate to CEO. Yeah.
Like Jason Akatiff, who owned … He’s one that comes to mind.
Ads4Dough, who owned his own network, was an affiliate but then really for the network,
he has become a great CEO and the stuff he’s doing now is amazing, even outside the affiliate
space. I think I’ve been the exception a little bit, in that I’ve built several SaaS-based
companies. Waking up and knowing you have to make $7,000 in a day just to break even,
sucks. Yeah.
In that company, I think part of being a lone wolf affiliate marketer for so long, you are
used to doing everything yourself. The most successful affiliates I knew, either were
developers themselves and could do everything, like could graphics, development, copy, that
was me. Then you’ve got NickyCakes, and Charles Ngo. Charles is more like he can work with
… He’s one that’s actually built a really good business, even though he kind of teaches
you how to make money with Facebook stuff, and stuff like that. It’s kind of still in
the same space. For me, it was just I tried to be something
I wasn’t, and like I said, used to being a lone wolf, is that I had four programmers,
but yet I wrote 75% of the code. I had three sales people, but I did all the sales. I don’t
know if they ever made one sale. I had an administrative team, and an in-house accountant,
that wasn’t cheap, that was just keeping up on … When you’ve to that many employees
and you’ve got all this other stuff. You’ve got your payroll.
Benefits, or whatever. The 401K program, and freaking maternity policies.
Imagine Canada. I don’t even, yeah. Like they would come to
me like, “Okay, here’s the different things we can do with maternity” and I’m like, “Just
fucking pick one.” Yeah.
It’s not like yes or no, it’s just pick one. I don’t care. You guys realize that if I don’t
make money, none of this stuff matters. It’s the number of decisions. This is something
that the CEO and founder of Go To Moby, when I was working there, talked to me about. He
was just like, “Do you realize how many decisions I have to make in a day?” It is. It’s decision
about maternity policies, and all these decisions have to be made, whether you really want to
make them or not, whether you even really care about them or not, and they end up defining
your company. As someone in that CEO position, especially with 30 reports, you’re just having
to make decisions all day, and less rolling your sleeves up and getting things done.
It sounds like you were caught in this still trying to do shit yourself, and still trying
to grow this team. It sounded like an unpleasant situation.
Yeah, it was bad. I should say not from a monetary perspective, because we had such
big clients, but I didn’t make … Even though the gross revenue was huge, I didn’t really
make that much money from it. But I didn’t lose money, so okay, cool.
Sounds like you haven’t lost money in any of your ventures, which is always a good feather
to have in your cap. It sounds like most of the things you’ve done, one way or the other,
have ended up being a success. Is that accurate? Yeah. There’s some things that I gamble with,
because I have money coming from other areas. For instance, when I started the advertising
network and I went with eBay’s suggestion, and I started Auction Ads, when I sold it,
it was probably 300 grand under, but it sold for millions, and plus they gave me all the
money back for all the hardware, and all that. Nice.
My goal for that was user growth, it wasn’t profitability, so I expected to lose a lot
of money before I made money, because I knew once we had the publisher base and everyone
was using it, then we could just flip a switch a little bit. We were paying out people more
than we were getting paid. Yeah, just tweak the breakage style.
Right. Also, if you referred someone, you got a good percentage of what they made and
stuff, and we were paying out 100% of what eBay gave us, so our goal was just to get
so many people to where … When I say tweak the dial, I mean like going to eBay, and saying,
“We need more money” and even getting like 50 cents from them, when you’re doing 3 million
in revenue the last month I sold it, it’s a big difference.
Then we would have been profitable. My whole mantra of things that have been very successful
for me, has always been, “I really want something that doesn’t exist” and then I build it, and
offer it to other people, and then the money’s just a side effect, always.
I wish I could tell people I had this grand scheme of selling companies or having them
be super profitable and all this, but it’s simple to me. If people find something of
value … It’s the same way I feel about SCO. I used to wear shirts that said “SCO’s bullshit”
to SCO conferences. I was just like, “Just build something people wanna link to” and
then it will stand the test of time. Just build something of value.
Don’t get me wrong, I gamed the crap out of it back in the day, and I made a lot of money
making the MFA’s. Some of your people might not remember what we called the “Spam ne Sham”
days, or MFA sites, Made For AdSense. Okay, yeah yeah.
Yeah. I’ve been a part of some huge arbitrage plays with working with celebrities.
Oh, really? That’s been really interesting.
Can you name drop? Yeah, for sure. I did Akon’s page. So if you
go to Akon’s fan page, you’ll see he’ll drop news stories like twice a day, that go to
a page called “Akon Connected”. That’s not his page, okay? Basically, you pay him a licensing
fee, or not him, but someone there, a licensing fee of, it was six figures a month, and then
what you do is, is basically from that site, you then run … AdSense actually paid the
best on his “news site”, and you would just arbitrage that. You would get like 600,000
to a million clicks. He’s got 52 millions fans, so between his
own people and other people, you would see a ton of clicks. Me and the people that did
it, I wanted to take it to the next … There was so many forms of monetization they were
missing out on. Long story short, I was just like, “Meh.” It’s out there. The funny thing
is, these celebrities will let you post … It’s so inexpensive to license these and there’s
so much … That’s actually one of the reasons why Facebook throttled the amount of content
that links outside of Facebook. Okay.
Because you can go to … Almost any page that has more than like, shoot, there was
like little Disney people that had like 600,000 fans that you could do for like 20 grand a
month, and just by arbitraging and making a news post, and it was like “their site”,
but wasn’t. Slammed with ads, basically.
Yeah. Just totally slammed with ads. Yeah.
The whole sliders of like “10 Things you didn’t know about X”.
10 Celebrities with Free Tits. For sure, for sure.
I wanna know. Then it was just like, “Click the next one,
click the next one.” Well, those are page reloads, and those are more RPMs. It honestly
was like the Wild West, and then Facebook caught onto it.
Yeah. It still is though, those sites are still
… Now, most of them that are big, they’re actually managed by a lot of … So, a lot
of the bigger ones, now management companies have reached out to them, to charge a CP whatever,
basically it boils down to cost per thousand clicks.
Okay. They have advertisers that will pay that,
or people that arbitrage that will pay that. But it’s still fairly early days with influencer
marketing, right? It’s good that they’re wising up to these performance metrics and actually
charging for clicks. I know you dabbled in influence market, I read the Techcrunch article
actually, about you beating Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg in the fast company influencer
contest. What’s your stance on influencer marketing generally now? Talk a little bit
about that contest that sort of showed the power of performance marketing.
Yeah, that part was easy. Honestly, they wanted Britney Spears or Shaquille O’Neal or Bill
Gates or Ashton Kutcher to win. They didn’t want affiliate marketer Jeremy Shoemaker to
win. For me, it was an easy sale. I emailed that to my list, and I said, “Hey, Fast Company’s
has this thing where if you sign up for this thing, then they will guarantee that they’ll
put you in the magazine. It could be a small pixel, but your picture will be in the magazine.”
I was like, “Do you realize this is a huge thing for you, because you could say ‘As seen
in Fast Company Magazine’?” That was it. Then when they signed up, it
was like everyone under them and then everyone under them, and so I won. Actually, like the
top 10, I think, were pretty much all affiliate marketers. The funny thing is, a lot of them
were under me. It was an interesting thing, and there’s that one guy Pace Lattin, who’s
a total dirt bag, who wrote the reporter and said that I was a big scammer, and all this
stuff. Then they reached out to me, and I answered and I said, “Look. Look at this guy’s
thing. He hasn’t paid child support forever, he’s got, someone can look it up, assault
and battery to where he beat his wife” and I’m not 100% sure on that, so I know he’s
got some stuff. I was just like, “Are you seriously, seriously
gonna take … ” He’s just one of those affiliate marketers, and you used to it a lot, but you
don’t anymore, to where you would have affiliate marketers that had fallen from grace, per
se. Then they would just hate on anyone that was successful.
Yeah. Unfortunately, that happens, and I would meet
these people, and they would actually kinda open up about it, and just be like, “I just
got so frustrated, and I’m really sorry about what I said” and I was like, “Dude. I get
it.” When you reach enough people, it’s just the law of averages, that you’re gonna reach
people … The only one time, and I made a video about this, one time somebody threatened
my children … Ooh.
… and I had that person tracked down and then I made a video about him. It was just
some guy who owned a tile shop, and just tried to do stuff and lost like two grand, because
he was an idiot, and then blamed me for it. Just was one of those guys who let stuff fly.
Wow. I don’t know. Yeah, I had a private investigator
pay him a visit, and I just tracked him down. That sounds like a good precedent to set in
a way, right? There’s internet jawing, and there’s shit talking and stuff like that,
but you get into the realm where you’re talking about children. A, knowing you have children,
B, threatening them. That seems like a good precedent to set that you get a visit from
a Private Investigator. Yeah.
If you talk about my fucking kids. Yeah, and I normally don’t talk about my kids,
but one of my kids was born with meningitis. Ooh, scary.
It was one of those where they gave her her last rights, and was like, “You got pretty
much 8 hours before she’ll die” and so I posted about that, and I was just like … I’m not
a religious person, but I was like, “Those that are, and you think it’ll help, I could
use it.” It was that post that the person said, “I
hope your kids die of cancer.” Oh, God.
Now, two days later, they came in, pulled all her tubes, and said, “We read the chart
wrong” and that was it. She’s totally fine, and it took me like years honestly, to believe
that she was totally fine. I believe in punching people square in the nose if they come to
you. You have to defend yourself, so if you just Google “ShoeMoney sues”, there’s been
people that have used my check picture to sell their shitty products.
Okay. I don’t care if somebody wants to use it,
and talk shit about me. Okay. But if you use it, and you say it’s my product, and you do
that … I can’t talk about a couple of them, because the settlements, but there’s a Google
thing where if you search for it, you’ll find. I really wanted to take that one to the house,
all the way legally, because it would have been an epic, epic precedent. I think it would
have been the Roe v. Wade of digital advertising. Crazy.
Yeah. The claims out there, it’s public. There was like five Techcrunch stories about it,
it was in the Wall Street Journal. I could not believe it, when we came to a settlement
with the parties involved, and … And they said something libelous, essentially,
or they … No, this was a Google employee …
Oh, I did read about this! I did read about this.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, and she … Yeah. They used your brand.
It’s weird that someone from Google was using your brand.
Yeah, I can’t talk too much or confirm or deny.
Okay. The things are out there.
Yeah. No, we made a settlement that I’m very happy
with, to the point of where I’m very happy with the amount. Well, the way things came
out, but I wish I would have found an attorney that would have worked with me on that, because
it would have cost me millions to take that against Google.
Yeah. I don’t even know if that would have been
enough. Really interesting.
Yeah, I’ve even gone after someone on eBay that was using my image and saying it was
me. I went after that guy, and I think I got like 2500 bucks out of him. If you’re gonna
sell shit, and use my picture and say it’s you, I’m coming for you. I have every time,
and I’ve had 14 cases. Wow.
That’s bullshit. I’ve worked very hard to get where I’m at, and if you’re gonna lie
and say it’s that, and sell shitty products, then I’m coming for you.
Let it be known, Internet world. Don’t fuck with ShoeMoney.
Well, it’s like when people say I’m a bully, like, “Oh, this guy didn’t have any money”
whatever. No, he made a choice. If he broke the law, he’s going to jail. I just took it
in a civil matter. It doesn’t matter if you do sketchy shit like that, then I’m not a
bully. I’m coming for you. You started this shit.
Yeah. I get it. Whatever. I’m not a bully. I’m not whatever.
Just don’t use my image or picture and say that it’s my product.
Yeah. No, I get it. If you wanna reach out, if you wanna send
me a copy of it and have me do a testimonial, I’ve done that for so many people, so much
stuff. That’s fine. To jump topics a little bit here. It feels
like you’ve undergone a massive transformation over the past year, basically. You’ve had
a massive physical transformation. How much weight did you lose?
About 40 pounds. 40 pounds.
In a very short amount of time, I lost most of it. Part of that was initially filing for
divorce, and the way you kind of lose your appetite. There was that, and then there was
like three days I didn’t eat a thing. Jesus.
There’s two ways you can go, right? With that, you can either get fat and feel sorry for
yourself, or you can just get like, I don’t know, F it.
Yeah. I don’t know how much you can swear on here
… Full swear.
I was just like, “Fuck it. Get your fucking ass together, and get after it.” I need to
put on muscle, because I’ve just gone way too much into cardio training, and stuff like
that, where I’ve lost so much weight. I do 100 pushups every day.
Nice! I do 100 sit ups every day. I haven’t gone
to a gym gym, and lifted. I did that like 10 years ago, and I got pretty big, but I
didn’t eat right and I wasn’t in shape. I will go on things where I don’t eat right,
but I burn enough calories doing other stuff. One of the things that I was really curious
about, was specifically around your divorce. You’ve been pretty public about it. You’ve
talked about, you talk about it on Facebook a little bit. I was listening to this last
podcast, you were talking about the forbidden list.
I’m married, I have this sort of forbidden list, as well. I’m wondering what it’s like
with someone with your resources at this point, when you don’t have a forbidden list at this
point. If you’re sort of out of the marriage. Do you have an immense sense of freedom? Is
the grass greener like you may thought it was? What’s your mindset about that right
now? It’s two things, really. Me and my ex wife
had always had this thing where I was the cowboy and she was the rock. The cowboy would
have successes that would build over time, and the rock would … I paid for her medical
school, all of her other stuff, I paid for our house with cash, like everything. I doubled
the size of our house when I sold one company. I’m actually kind of frugal in a bit, with
cash, which when you give up a lot of that in a divorce, kind of blows ass.
As far as the freedom goes … I was super devastated at first.
Okay. And you have kids, which is a huge deal. I have to say, our kids were better than we
were. Amazing.
I did a lot of research on how not to fuck up your kids through a divorce, and especially
at the ages they are, they’re kind of like a sponge.
Which age? Approximately. They’re nine and 11.
Nine and 11, okay. I did all this research on how not to fuck
up your kids, and one of the biggest things was to get them their own therapist. One that
specializes in this. The problem is, is there’s very few of them and they’re booked up a lot,
but I got into one of them. She’s the best, and it was all the difference in the world.
She said to me, “I don’t care if it’s the shittiest divorce ever, I don’t care if it’s
the best divorce ever. I’ve worked with kids, it’ll be fine. I’m not gonna ever tell you
anything that they disclose to me, because I have to earn their trust.” She’s like, “But
from a high level, I’ll give you guys advice on stuff.” She was amazing at that, but as
far as the initial part of the divorce, I didn’t use a computer.
I deleted Facebook, I deleted Gmail for like two months. I was completely devastated.
Oh, that’s terrible. Oh, it was bad! The night that we decided
to separate and do all this stuff, I got into her iCloud and I saw messages that … I mean,
this was all posted on Facebook, this is all public stuff. I posted the entire story, because
she started telling stories to people, and I was like, “Okay. Let’s tell the whole story.”
I saw some stuff that basically drove me to a dark place, and I don’t even remember what
happened, but I know I fractured my right leg. I had a hairline fracture. My knuckles
were completely fucked, and I ended up in the nuthouse for two days, which was very
interesting. Yeah.
Really, that kind of mentally stripped me down, and was I have to say, one of the best
things that ever happened to me, was being in the nuthouse with people who are actually
trying to commit suicide, and talking with these. At first I got there, and I’m like,
“Oh, my God, these people are gonna drive me crazy.” Because they give you like five
minutes … You get to write down three contacts, which you get 15 minutes a day to talk on
the phone, and then they give you a plastic spoon and a bible, and that’s it.
They take all your clothes. It was a good time.
Talk about being stripped to your core elements. That’s gotta be a crazy experience to rebound
from and rebuild from. Yeah, so i got out. I was still really dedicated
to saving the marriage, and so I sold every computer in the house. Everything. I was just
like, “What do you want me to do?” Then I was just like, I started to realize, “Fuck
this.” I filed for divorce, and for a while, I was like, “Man. Did I do the right thing?
Blah blah blah” and I was a freaking … It’s a mind fuck, for me. It was just like, “I
got two kids. Who’s gonna want me?” Well I found out, I did okay.
Yeah. What’s life like now? Do you feel more fulfilled at this point? Do you feel like
it’s been for the better, or is it still in the phase?
Yeah! You have to remember, when I met my ex-wife, I was 450 pounds, she was the first
girlfriend I had in my entire life. I was a virgin when I met her at 27, okay? She was
the only person I had known, and looking back on that, I’ll forever be grateful for I’d
be dead if it wasn’t for her, because she had just, I don’t know where she was at in
medical school at that time, but knew a bariatric surgeon that did a procedure that they don’t
even do anymore, because the mortality rate is very high, but it works.
It’s like a Lap Band type thing. Is that what you’re talking about?
No. Well, now they do gastric bypasses and Lap Bands, but if you look at the statistics,
people regain their weight in no time. Do they?
I had a duodenal switch, which has a much higher rate of success, but a decent amount
of people die during it. I was on oxygen and a C-PAP machine every night to sleep.
Wow. I had bad Diabetes to where it was spilling
into my urine. I had protein spilling into my urine. I know that’s just gross, but that’s
how bad it was. I go through this, get married, go through all this stuff. Actually, in our
divorce settlement, there’s a clause where I can’t talk negatively about her, so it’s
only me that would get that. There’s actually a complete section in my divorce decree that
deals with social media and how I can’t say anything on social media.
Oh, God. Maybe for the best. You have to have a relationship with this person forever still,
right? They’re the mother of your kid. You talk to her once a week, still, or more?
Right, but she knows how transparent I am about things, and all you have to do is look
at my book. My book is extremely transparent about a lot of things, people are like, “I
cannot believe that, dude. I can’t believe you said that.” Like I said, rebuild. I was
abused as a child. I never dealt with that. It had given me a lot of negative self beliefs.
Just a lot of stuff. I saw a trauma therapist that dealt with that,
and it was like, over time, just helped me realize stuff, and she kind of put a lot of,
not thoughts, but questions, of more like, “Were you ever actually in love, like, love
love, with your ex? Or was it just because she was the first girl and she showed you
this, and then you … ” her words, not mine! ” … Let you walk all over you, and blah
blah blah” Like I said, I didn’t have a computer, nothing.
I had to figure out me. I have a ShoeMoney ring that it’s gold and it’s got my logo and
all this cool stuff. I haven’t worn it since the divorce, okay? Actually, I haven’t worn
it since the nuthouse, okay? Okay.
I probably shouldn’t call it the nuthouse, but it’s because I realized in there, I kind
of had this epiphany of, “What have I become?” I’ve become ShoeMoney, and not Jeremy Shoemaker.
I’ve lost myself a little it in the process of all this. So I was like, I didn’t need
a constant reminder of how awesome I was. I used to have around me, in my office, all
these articles and things that were … Actually, I do still have the Fast Company thing.
Oh, okay. I do still have that on my wall.
Nice. I used to have like this shrine to me, and
it was just like, I don’t know if it was bad or whatever, but I just was like, “Okay. You
need to get back where you started, and made the most money.” Just like I don’t need a
constant reminder of what I’ve done. I need a constant reminder of where I’m at, and right
now, I’m building a company. It’s doing good, it’s cash flowing, and it’s not making a ton
of money, but I’m a long term player in it. It’s just a lot to it.
So, the freedom aspect of it is amazing, because I dated for a while. Had a lot of fun. Then
I met a girl who was actually everything that I wanted. Who I could be completely open and
honest with about everything. You can find the one that you want and I have no interest
in getting married, and she’s well aware of that, but I love her, she’s great. It’s really
good, because you can actually take your time. After I’d gone on dates and realized they
would be girls interested, I went on a bit of a spree, you could say.
I imagine. Yeah. I still didn’t own a computer.
Okay. No computers.
So this was not Tinder. No email.
A little Tinder. Some on my phone.
Okay, okay. Tinder didn’t work for me. I don’t think it
works for people in their … I mean, I was 42, 43 now. Especially in Lincoln, Nebraska.
If I lived in LA, maybe. Yeah.
To find some chick to go hook up with. I went on a bit of a spree, safely.
Did you get your nipples pierced? I saw that post. Inquiring minds from STM wanna know
if you got your nipples pierced. I didn’t. I had them pierced when I was like
24. Oh really?
It was actually, I loved it. I was talking to my girlfriend, and she’s amazing and open-minded,
and just smart as shit. Yeah.
She’s an executive assistant to a Fortune 500 company CEO.
Cool. She’s so fucking organized, and really compliments
me so well. She already helps me before, to where with my ex, she’s an anesthesiologist,
so her work schedule’s insane. For anyone to let go of that and come home and not be
like, “Hey, stat” because that’s what she does all day. It’s just so much different
to have someone so laid back and you can talk about your company with, and they have input.
I gave her a PowerPoint and she made it look amazing. I was like, “What?”
Which, I’d always have to contract out, because I was horrible at PowerPoints. It was just
like, I don’t know, we just compliment each other so well.
That’s awesome. Yeah. I would say it’s tough because I see
… Me and my ex are very amicable. There was a time when you go through the first four
or five months, when you start to divide up financials, lawyers, and all this, to where
it was not good, but for our kids, even during the worst times, we were always amicable about
the kids. Now, would we wanna see each other? No.
Now, it’s totally fine. My kid had a volleyball game the other day. Me and my girlfriend show
up, her and her boyfriend are there, we’re totally fine, I shake his hand, she greets
my girlfriend. She really has always told me she really likes my girlfriend. My kids
love her. Oh, that’s good.
Yeah. I’m not gonna lie, it’s extremely difficult to see another guy around your little girls.
Let’s just say it’s … Yes. I don’t know I’ll ever be comfortable with that, but I’ll
never be comfortable with that. As far as the freedom goes, and the change of life,
and just somebody who knows nothing about this industry. I took her to Affiliate Summit
East, and the people that wanna take pictures with me and all this other stuff, it was an
experience for her. We got to meet Ludacris and do all that cool
stuff. I told her, I’m like, “Watch. I can leave my wallet in my room, because everyone
buys me drinks. Everyone pays for this. Everyone just wants to take me to dinner, all this
stuff. It was kind of funny, but it’s true. I don’t think I spent a dollar there. I actually
did buy a bottle, which was a mistake because it was at a really crappy event, so I blew
like 600 bucks on a bottle of something. I think we drank like a quarter of it, and then
gave it to the table next to us and bailed. Whatever. That was an experience.
As far as your question, the freedom and the not being tied down and like I said, I love
this chick. She lives a bit away, she lives like about an hour away, but like tonight
… She’s got two kids, too, so it’s tough sometimes. I struggled a bit with the long
term aspect of it, of like, “Okay, you can’t move here. I can’t move there. Fuck! What
are we doing?” Almost broke up, and it was totally me, and I was like, “Wait. What am
I doing?” I really realized, I love this chick, and I actually felt feelings more than I actually
ever felt for my ex wife. It’s just been really enlightening, I should say. The freedom part
of it is awesome. I can drink a beer at night if i want, and that’s something that was not
allowed before. Oh, okay.
There’s a lot of things, and physicians have, and I’m not talking about her right, and I’m
not breaking any things, but they have God complexes, especially when they’re the ones
that are actually playing God and pulling the plug when people say, “Yeah, pull the
plug time.” They’re the ones that administer the drugs that do kill people. You’re a little
bit different, right? Yeah.
You can be a little bit cold as to some things. Like I said, once you’re comfortable with
yourself and your own independence of like, “I could be alone first time in my life, and
that’s okay”, where at first for the first four months or so, I was terrified of that.
I really was like, “Oh my god, I don’t wanna be alone for the rest of my life, blah blah
blah blah.” Stuck in my own head kind of thing. Yeah,
I know what you mean. Yeah, for sure. It was just once you kind
of validate that there’s, like I said, there are women. It was tough to say, “Hey, I’m
not really looking for anything long term.” When you see all that available, and that
sounds like a total dick, but it is what it is. I think it’s for women, too, and guys,
whatever. I think everyone knows what I’m talking about that’s been through that, I
think. Then it’s like, “Okay, you know what? I’m okay. I can be independent and I’m totally
fine.” Also, we had nannies at our … I hadn’t done
dishes or laundry in 15 years, or paid a bill. Yeah.
Actually, this is gonna sound so silly, but just learning how to live on my own, with
just dry cleaning and fucking stamps. It sounds so silly, but I’m like, “What the fuck? Stamps
are so expensive.” Like not really expensive, but I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” This is
hilarious, but just paying my electric bill. I was like, “Oh, fuck.” Now I’m off her insurance,
and now it’s like it’s a bitch to get insurance. Like a bitch to get insurance!
Especially as you get older, right? I’m sure as you get older, it just gets harder and
harder. Well, because I had coverage and I’m in great
physical condition. I have no nothing. I don’t know smoke, I’m addicted to nicotine gum,
but other than that. I went to the healthcare.gov, and there was like one available that nobody
takes, so I was like, “Okay. Thanks, Obama.” It’s like I don’t even know what to do now,
because Blue Cross Blue Shield doesn’t offer individual plans, Aetna doesn’t offer individual
plans, and they’re the two that are accepted everywhere. I don’t know. I almost feel like
I’m gonna self-insure, and get a catastrophic plan, which is like anything over 100,000.
But just having to think about all of this again. You’re starting to get so interesting,
because everyone in the affiliate game that I’ve met, they’re a lot about personal growth,
and personal growth being a really important thing. I think that’s the new paradigm, I
think, for people in general. Our parents and our grandparents, they had their kids,
they had their grandkids, and they shuffled … The paradigm wasn’t as much about personal
growth, and for you to have had this big trajectory in your career where you tried on being a
CEO because you thought for a while, “Okay, that’s what I should do. That’s what I should
want.” The marriage, even though, I don’t know this
for sure, but maybe it didn’t feel right for a while, maybe you knew deep down that it
didn’t feel right for a long time, but you kind of went through the motions. Then to
have yourself stripped down to literally the nuthouse and then now to be piecing things
back piece by piece, in probably a more conscious way at this point in your life, you’re probably
a lot more careful and conscious about what you add to your life at this point. It’s interesting
and inspiring. Yeah, it’s crazy. It’s funny because I’m the
poorest rich person you’ll ever meet. I’ve got obviously millions between brokerage and
401K, and actually in my checking, I’ve got over half a million dollars. In my checking
account, and my banker’s like, “You realize we only protect so much” and I’m like, “Yeah,
but if you go under, then we’ve got worse problems.”
Yes! I mean, I actually set a budget. Like I said,
I’m the poorest rich person you’ve ever met. Most rich people are. Most rich people are
very conscious of how they spend their money, right? It’s not about the money you make,
it’s about the money you keep, as some wise people have told me.
Right. It’s like the problem is, is not losing it. I wanna pull completely out of the market.
Because you’re pessimistic, because you think this is the calm before the storm as a man
once said in the new recently? You think we’re headed to some crazy times?
I don’t understand it. I don’t like to put my money into other people’s hands and say,
“Hey.” I don’t like it. I feel as weird as it sounds, like I would rather buy bullets
and gold. Me and one of my friends who’s male, he’s made a lot more money than me on the
Internet, we always joke because he’s like, “Bullets and gold, bullets and gold.” Those
are things that will always have value, and it’s not really an investment to make money
with, it’s more that you’ll have something of value, no matter what happens.
Yeah. Do I feel a market’s gonna crash? I don’t
know. No one knows.
I would feel the same way if it was wherever it was at. I feel insecure about having all
this cash in … Now, there was some things I realized, like there was one account that
I put like $8,000 in, that now has over 90. There’s some things I’m like, “Oh.” I think
if I really were to study it and understand it, I would feel good about it, but I don’t
know anything. All I know, is I’m putting money into a guy’s hands …
And paying him to know in a way, right? Yeah. The one thing is, I found a guy who’s
really good, and I’m probably actually one of the lower net worth people in his thing,
but he loves me because I’m … Well, he likes my story and shit like that, too. I’ve made
him show me his portfolio. What are you doing, and what are you gonna do when it crashes?
I wanna do exactly what you do. Like I said, I just don’t feel safe in the market. I honestly
would rather, in Lincoln they’ve got municipal bonds that pay 4%, I almost feel like kicked
back by the government. And you’re investing in your neighborhood,
your community as well, in that sense, too, so it’s probably pretty good. Do you fuck
with Crypto at all? Never.
That’s another one that in order to invest in it, you’d wanna fully understand it, and
who fully understands Crypto at this point? Right. The interesting this is, I mined big
coins for fun back in the day, and I don’t think people understand big coins and how
there’s a limit to them. I think we hit the hard limit.
No, not yet. Or not.
No, we haven’t hit the limit yet, but they hit 5,000 today. They hit $5,000.
Okay. Wow. Yeah.
Yeah, I sold them for 90 bucks. Yeah.
I thought that was doing very well. It’s one of those things, that it’s good to
go until it doesn’t. Until the banks decide, “Okay, here’s the new Crypto currency with
all the back doors that it needs or whatever.” Right.
Then it could be zero. It’s such an interesting market. I’m dabbling a little bit in it, with
a few people that I really trust. I’m doing the same thing. I can’t keep up with it enough
to be confident in what I’m investing in, necessarily, but there are some people that
are so immersed in it, I’m taking some advice from them. That’s pretty interesting.
See, I would much rather invest in startups. Yeah.
I would be, I don’t wanna say a big reason, but I do, to have really amazing products.
There’s so many really amazing products that never see the light of day, because the founders
are bagging groceries, and they’re good programmers and stuff. I’m going to lunch with a kid tomorrow,
and some you see, like there’s one right now that I love, but the kid wants like 250 grand,
and he wants to get an office, and he’s already outlined he needs these chairs, and this and
this. I’m like, “You’re fucking insane. I’ll give you 10 grand, and you get to this point,
and then I’ll give you more money. There’s no way I’m giving you a bunch of cash. I mean,
I’ll put it in a trust or something like that, that shows I’m in, but you need to hit benchmarks.”
I don’t know. Yeah, in Lincoln, Nebraska, there’s a lot
of tax advantages to angel investing. If you just Google like Nebraska Angel Tax Credit,
you’ll see you get 40% back on your money from the state.
Wow. If you invest a million bucks, you get 400,000
back, and that 400,000 is tax free, so really, what do you have a risk at the end of the
day? It’s 40% off to make an investment. I think the minimum is like 60 grand or something
like that, so you invest 60, you get 40% of that back, and how much do you really have
at risk? Especially when it’s a company that you see, if I mailed my list this product,
I would get that back in two months. If I had sizeable equity, which I would have to.
I’d almost have to be like the prophet. Actually, I don’t know if you know, we did that Below
Deck show with … Yeah!
… me and John Chow and stuff. Yeah, that’s interest.
I’ve actually had a couple conversations with 51 Minds, which is a company that you deal
with. I’ve talked to them about a reality show where I take my team and we go into a
company and it’s called “Double or Nothing”, and it’s basically like we double their revenue
within 90 days, or it costs them nothing to do it. But if we do, then we get 20% equity
in their company. That was just the original pitch to them, and they loved it.
That’s a cool idea! They really like it a lot. I don’t know if
I would actually do it. You would do Big Brother though, right?
I already put in my application for next year. Like four times, this is your fifth or sixth
time you’ve applied. Why aren’t you on it? Oh, I’ve put in since Big Brother 11, so this’ll
be my ninth year trying. Yeah, I don’t know. I got to know some casting people after the
Bravo thing, and they’ve asked me and John Chow to come back several times, because we
doubled their ratings when we were on it. That’s huge!
The episodes we were on, we doubled. The original one, we pulled almost 2 million viewers, which
was way more than the Vice Presidential debate that night, which was on NBC. It was like
third of all of television that night. The Bravo people are like, “Yeah, people are loving
the storyline” and I’m just like, “Mm. Uh-huh.” We emailed 5,000,000 people, of course we’re
gonna get more. They love the idea of the show. When I was
in New York City for Affiliate Summit East, I met with some of the executives and they
wanted to know more details, and how I saw, and I said, “I don’t really. That was just
my initial” and they were like, ” the prophet, and all this stuff.” A lot of people don’t
understand how reality TV works, but basically a company like 51 Minds or others, like Survivor
or anything, they actually will do the show, and then they’ll sell it to a network.
Okay. Okay, so that’s why you see Mark Burnett things
like all over the place, right? Because he’ll do a show and film a season of it, and then
they’ll shop it to networks and that’s how it works. So, 51 Minds is the company that
did like Below Deck, and then somebody did the Kardashians, and somebody did this, and
then they sold it to the buyer. That’s how that works.
Very interesting. For instance, just because they’re tied to
Bravo on this show, does not mean that if we did this Double or Nothing thing, they
would probably go to like CNBC or something like that, who’ve had success with shows similar.
Anyway, it’s just that world, but then it also introduced me to like casting, and because
51 Minds is Canadian, they introed me to one of the high-level casting people for Big Brother
Canada, and they kinda told me about how it works and they were like, “Here’s how it is.
CBS gives us the roles they want filled. They want this many black people, this many this
thing, this thing, this thing, hot chicks, this kind of role. They want a transgender
person, they can get one. They want this, and they want this, and they’re like, ‘We
only have about three positions to be filled.’ Unless they’re looking for like a 40 some
year old Internet marketer, self-made millionaire, they’re probably … ” And I’m like, “But
… ” That’s a good character! I’d watch that.
I told them, I’m like, “Look. Here’s the deal, is that I’ve got like what I do for a living
is convince people to buy stuff that they wouldn’t normally. That’s the definition of
marketing.” And I’m like, “For me in the house, I would get all these people to do … How
not is that an egotistical pitch to get on the show?”
You’d be like the Lex Luther mastermind, and I …
I know. We’re running out of time here. I did wanna
ask you what your general strategy would be for Big Brother, because I know you’ve been
plotting it out for many years now. I guess it would be dependent on the exact cast that
you’d pull at that given time. Yeah, you just have to come off like really
honestly, like this is gonna be no thing. I do this for a living, these people are in
for it, blah blah blah. Then kind of you’re a divorced father of two, blah blah blah.
You’ve got the green light to have showman. You just have to really kind of play it up
a lot. Nice. Well, I wish you the best in that. I
would like to see you on Big Brother one day. Jordan Rosenberg asked me to say, “When are
you gonna come to Affiliate World? When are you gonna come to Affiliate World Asia? Is
Bangkok too far to fly?” I’ve never been overseas.
Oh, okay. There’s little things, like Mexico and other
things. Obviously, the British Virgin Islands, so I can say I’ve been to Europe, maybe now?
No, I just never have. It’s not too far to go. I totally would, it’s just a matter of
logistics and especially with my kids and figuring that out.
Totally. It’s just a matter of that kind of stuff.
Especially now with my new company, we’re in such of a stage of my developers, like
right before this I asked you, is this video because I’ll put a shirt on? That’s because
I just woke up about two hours ago, and that’s because my developers are in Romania and Latvia,
so for them, I work from like 4am my time, until 10am, and then most days, when I don’t
have my kids, then I’ll sleep. Well, even when I have my kids, I run them to school
or around and stuff, but then during the school day, sometimes I’ll get in a nap. There’s
not always days that I work with my developers, but yeah.
My days, they’re interesting and with this new application, it’s all about testing and
growth and people sign up, and they’re like …
Spamchecka, right, for the audience to check it out? Spamchecka.
Yeah. So, no R, just Spamchecka. Right now, it’s a lot of small things. We haven’t been
doing it for that long, so it’s a matter of things like, “Oh, yeah, I should … ” People
will bitch about stuff, and I’ll just give them a free account, and I’m like, “Hey, that’s
a good point. Here’s a free account.” Then I’ll be like, “God, I didn’t think of that.”
There’s just a lot with interface and tools, and you find out what people care about, what
they don’t care about, how to position it, and then you take your old strategies of funnels
and this kind of stuff. Doing an application like this, I don’t need
to raise money. Even though I’ve thought about raising money from strategic people who would
be like let’s say, I don’t wanna throw out any of the people that want to do it, but
let’s say like Frank Kern. Yeah. [crosstalk 01:07:08]. Frank Kern.
Actually, Neil’s one of the … I kind of assumed that.
Frank Kern. The people who would be strategic, in that I would give them a much better evaluation
because of their following and what they can do, and what they can help with. There’s other
people. There would be strategic people, who I wouldn’t ask for much money, because I’m
talking like not a very large amount. I’m in this for the long game, so it’s cash flowing,
which is great, but I would rather it grow than … I don’t care about making money as
long as the growth is there. Okay.
Because the more the growth is there, then the more you know it’s gonna work.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). And you can tweak the dials when you get the momentum, right? When
you have the full momentum, it’s the profitability can come.
Yeah, and I have so many people that wanna promote it, and I’m just like, “You know what?
Lemme get my conversion better, lemme get this stuff better.” Then I buy traffic to
it from Facebook. It’s kind of a loss leader right now, but you have to have traffic. You
need to have the same source of traffic. I don’t spend a lot, like 500 bucks a day. I
guess that probably is a lot to a lot of people. It’s a fair amount, yeah.
Sometimes clicks cost you two bucks, so it’s 250 people that didn’t really help a lot,
but over time, you get your conversion down, you figure out how much of your funnels is
making a difference, versus just like, right now, you give me your name and email when
you go there, and then you see the price. There’s price nowhere else on the thing, it’s
like “Start My Trial”. It’s important to capture an email, so then you can funnel them in,
and get them to sign up. But, what I’m finding now and testing, is just sending people to
the checkout page is working better. That’s really interesting.
We’ll probably throw an exit intent, so that we can do semi the same thing.
Nice. I’m probably gonna rebrand, so people that
watch this later, it’s gonna be I’m thinking email-wise, because I bought the dotcom and
I like it, because it’s like smart email stuff. The thing is, we’ve grown so much more than
spam. Originally, it was just like, “Did your email go to spam? Okay, yes it did. Now why
did it?” And then we dissect it until we can tell you exactly what’s causing it to go to
email, and we also do it from your provider. If you’re using AWeber, we use our AWeber
account to keep sending until it goes through. There’s no false positives, and that’s something
that, I mean there’s very few people that do anything, but the ones that do, they send
it from their server, whatever, that’s whatever. Then we got way more into the insides of,
let’s say you’re sending out an email to make sales, and it’s going into updates or social
or whatever, but you want it to go to this tab. Well, we do the same thing we do with
testing for spam. You wanna do it for promotions, or we’ll keep doing it until it’s like, “Okay,
this is what’s causing it to go to Social, which is the graveyard.”
That’s super interesting. We should talk about this at some other point, but what does a
blast to the ShoeMoney list look like? How is your list these days, and are you still
doing active JV promotion to it? It depends on the JV person. Unless I’ve met
the person in person, I’m hesitant to do stuff. I have to be careful with what I promote,
because I always tell people, “Look, if you have problems giving a refund, I will refund
you.” There’s been like one or two that I’ve had to do that with, but if it’s a Kern or
something with a really good quality product and that I’ve never had anyone have a problem
with refunds with, no problem. I would suggest people go to John Chow, because he’ll promote
the opening of a Dairy Queen. Nice. Okay. Well, we should talk because we
have met in person, as you may recall, in Las Vegas, and we have a Facebook master class.
On that note, we’ve gone a little bit over here, but thank you so much of this chat today.
No problem. It was super candid, super interesting. People
wanna check you out. First off, check out Spamchecka.com soon to be maybe Emailwise.
Yep. If they wanna follow your blog, which is Shoemoney.com.
Yep. Anything else? If you can, just follow him
on Facebook you’re a laugh riot. Facebook is the best!
You’re pretty loose with your commentary there, I enjoy it.
It’s Facebook.com/anesthesiologist, sorry. Just one last dig. Did you keep the car? I
need to know, also, what happened to the Vette? I sold it. I sold it.
You had to sell the Vette Sold it on eBay?
Yeah, and the guy that bought it is actually he’s like nitpicking shit. He’s like, “It
shakes when you go over 60” and I’m like, “Dude, I haven’t driven over 60 for three
months. Can you go have the alignment checked?” It’s not my problem anymore.
Yeah. I wanna make sure things are right with him, but at the same time it’s like, “Dude.
Don’t nitpick.” Whatever. Okay.
Alright, man. Well thanks! Thanks, Jeremy. Talk to you later!
Alright. Later. Bye.

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