Category Archives: house of rave

HoR Promo Giveaway 1

By the way, if you copy this idea, let me know how it worked for you!  I’m curious.

As part of my June 2011 Goals I wanted to do TWO HouseOfRave.com promotional giveaways.

This is the first one in June..and since yesterday it’s got 400+ entries to try to win this stuff:

It’s so easy how I got people to enter the “contest” to win this stuff.  I explain it in the video below:

Cool huh?

Customers love it + someone wins free stuff + they give great testimonials + I feel all loved + I get rid of samples I otherwise throw away = GREAT PROMOTION!

An exclusive Behind-The-Scenes personal tour of House Of Rave

Well well well it’s about damn time.  I finally finished this “How HouseOfRave Works” product I’ve been talking about (actually I finished it two weeks ago but didn’t launch it till now due to the absolute-insanity known as SXSW).

Anyhow, I’ve finally completed this product, and I must say I’m pretty damn proud of it.

These 6 little posts I made about House of Rave back in 2007 have inspired SO many people.  It wasn’t the most commented on series of posts ever, but it had the absolute greatest effect on people of any posts.  It did several things:

  1. Inspired people who though building a business was “too hard”.
  2. Gave people a starting point to go from.
  3. Showed them that getting a little side project going (while still working or in school) is actually easier than they think.
  4. Made several people quit their jobs because the side business they started because of those posts was doing so well.

In fact over the years I’ve had people say their “highly successful” businesses were spawned from those simple posts!

Makes me feel all warm inside :-)

————————————————————————-

Now if you look at those posts you will notice most of them are actually VERY SHORT.  Most of them are a page or less in text, and the rest is images.  With that said, those posts left a lot of questions unanswered.

Over the years this has given me great pleasure and great pain.

Great Pleasure = Because people email and call me all the time about their interest in what I did, and fervently want to try something similar.  A lot of people actually succeed big time from this their initial attempt, or try something else soon after because of it that succeeds. This is very flattering and I literally feel I have some impact on the world!

Great Pain = Because people keep asking me questions and I have to take lots of time to answer them.  Then they ask MORE questions!  Then….I have to do the same thing over and over again when another person asks.  Also people have blatantly copied HouseOfRave many times which irks me (more on that in a sec).

Needless to say I only have so much time, and lately when people have been asking questions I’ve already answered 101 times, I haven’t been giving them the BEST information possible.  It will take me several hours in front of a computer to show them everything they want to know….but that possibility doesn’t exist with everyone because:

  1. I’m not going to spend 2 hours explaining everything and answering questions for EVERYONE who’s interested
  2. What if the person will never in their life meet me (different countries etc)?

So in order to SCALE THIS OUT I decided to one day make a whole video series on this…complete with a behind the scenes look at what I do for HouseOfRave.

I did make this video course, and initially it started out as a one-page series with 7 videos.  I thought it was fantastic!

I wanted to…..actually hold on….I’ll just quote the actual page on what I wanted to do:

…I’m talking about when I sit down with friends or family in front of the computer and show them how money comes in, how I bill the customers, where the orders are sent, and how each order screams “DING DING I JUST MADE MONEY!!”

This is exactly what I wanted to show people.  I remember TWO SPECIFIC CASES where I showed my brother and cousin (on separate occasions) how it works.  We both pulled up chairs to the computer and I started explaining exactly what happens from the time someone places an order, to the time I’m done with that person and I have money in the bank to buy Kit Kat bars with.

They could even ask me specific questions, and generally they were the same questions my blog readers would ask!

To both of them, THIS WAS FASCINATING!

I remember thinking, “Man, they got the best damn explanation of HouseOfRave ever….but only because they were family.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t have taken the time to show them so much (including real orders and dollar numbers).”

I’d love to show everyone such a close-up view like my family members got, but that’s been impossible.

UNTIL NOW!

I’ve become good enough at video capture and video editing to show a closeup, personal tour behind the scenes at HouseOfRave.  Therefore I embarked on making this product.

I made most of the product, then a while ago put up this post which asked for additional questions people may have:

IT WAS GOOD AND BAD.

GOOD because I got TONS of great feedback on the post and over email (plus a surprisingly large amount of interested people who wanted to buy it RIGHT then).

BAD because I realized I had created A LOT more work for myself!

So with the persistence of a military trooper (except…umm…just sitting at a computer :-)  I embarked on making the rest of the videos.

The total number by the end was 14 videos.

Quantity-wise that honestly doesn’t sound like much….but QUALITY wise the videos are immensely helpful, and contain all sorts of wisdom I’ve learned by mistake.  Not only that, but some of the videos show you EXACTLY HOW you can start selling stuff yourself online (either one tiny product or a whole store-full).

For sure all these videos (mixed with some text) go through everything I did to start HouseOfRave from the beginning….including:

  • How it started from the VERY beginning
  • How I came up with the idea (and how you can come up with an idea)
  • Finding a drop-shipper (and it’s not by Googling “Dropshipper)
  • How to convince a company to drop ship for you

Then they move on to how HouseOfRave actually WORKS.  I’m talking all the nitty-gritty stuff that people asks me questions about ALL THE TIME.  They think it’s so difficult they can never do it themselves, but after watching this I bet it’ll change some minds.  This part includes:

  • How customers place orders and where they come from
  • Sending 5 REAL orders to the supplier in real time (no fake test-orders here)
  • How the orders are tracked
  • How customer service is handled (aka what happens when someone starts complaining)
  • The numbers explained: I’ve failed several math classes, but can EASILY make sense of my analytics to make more money, I show exactly how.
  • Why doesn’t the supplier just sell this stuff himself?  I explain exactly why…and why it doesn’t always matter.
  • How you distinguish yourself from everyone else (aka “build a moat” or be unique)

This part alone I truly believe is worth the price of the entire course.  But with all the additional questions, I made yet another section that shows:

  • How you can build something similar
  • Four dead-simple ways to sell something online in the next 5 minutes (I use the example of a friend who spent all this money trying to sell these bracelets she makes online….when in reality she could’ve done it for FREE and in 5 minutes).
  • Why so many of those We’ll-Do-It-For-You drop shipping services suck, and why I strooongly advise against wasting your money on them.

————————————————————————-

SO finally I got this course done, and here’s a major reason I initially wanted to scrap it:

STUPID COMPETITION.

I’ve openly and lovingly handed out information about HouseOfRave over the years, and most people respect and really like that.  Adam McFarland told me:

Your “How HouseOfRave Works” posts were by far the most revealing inside look at a business I’ve ever seen online.

That makes me feel GREAT!  And lots of people have taken the CONCEPTS learned there and ran with them to make successful businesses of their own.  That’s even better!

However there’s always some joker out there who thinks, “Let me copy HouseOfRave exactly and I’ll make money without being creative.” Some of those people damn near ruined blogging for me.  I love giving out great information….but it was coming at a steep cost.

While my business was better than theirs, it still bugged the hell out of me to see so many copies of HouseOfRave spring up…all from former readers of my blog.  Not cool.

This my friends…is why this course will absolutely NOT be free (also because it took a crapload of work to complete).

This course is also not free because I KNOW it will inspire and help everyone who buys it.  It will also fully educate them on how my business works, satisfying either a curiosity or genuine thirst for knowledge.   It will also provide people who otherwise don’t have any business-owner friends a behind-the-scenes look at my business.

…and come to think of it, that’s how I got started in business!  I asked family friends in my community who ran businesses, “Ummm…can I ummm….see what you do?”

When they gladly showed me how their business ran, it opened up a whole new world to me! Suddenly what seemed so unbelievably complicated (and therefore unattainable to me) turned out to be easier than I expected….and made me think, “Wow, I can do something big like that too!”

This will give me great pleasure knowing that more people might become entrepreneurs and build a better life for themselves…because of some “silly little videos” I made.

————————————————————————-

With all that said, when it came down to pricing this product I was a bit confused.  On one hand I want it to be free, but for many reasons discussed above, it’s not going to be.

On another hand, I want it to be very expensive to deter most people (and petty copycats) from seeing it.

Since this is one of my first times releasing a product like this, I naturally asked my friends who make extraordinarily large incomes online doing the same thing to help me with the pricing.  I gave them access to view the products, and their conclusions were (and I quote):

“This is good shit!!”

How’s THAT for a testimonial!

As experience internet marketer people they told me the price point for this product be over $100 for sure (two guys both told me at LEAST $129 with some upsells added at the end).

However I’m kind of defying them as I first launch this because I want this to be available to everyone. The people I think it will benefit the most often don’t have $129 to burn right away.  However I DO AGREE that this should be priced at $129 for the course, and I will very likely raise the price to that soon.

With that said, I’m going to meet them about halfway and sell the course for $37.00 even.

If it starts selling really well, I will immediately jack up the price.

Right now I don’t even have a sales page for this or fancy “Buy Now” buttons or customer testimonials (because I JUST STARTED SELLING THIS NOW!)….so I’m willing to kick this off for a lower price….just for this one time.

If you’re interested in investing the price of two large pizzas to see behind the scenes at a successful “Lifestyle business” such as mine, I’d encourage you to buy this right now.

I usually spend more than $37 at dinner…so this is a great deal.

P.S. Once you click “Buy Now” and pay with PayPal, you will instantly be taken to a page that gives you a personal username and password to access the course!

P.P.S. Isn’t this exciting?? My first product launch :-)

What I’ve been doing with this HoR Product

A goal from this February was to “Complete HoR Product” (that’s House Of Rave) for those of you with dirty minds….

I did complete it, and I must say it was more work than I expected.  I asked for questions people had and got some great feedback via comments and emails.

I’ve never built a digital product before, so learning the new technical things was time consuming yet fun.  Fortunately I DO have some experience making videos, so this part was easy…but editing them was a new beast.  Turns out that part is fun also :-)

My goal was to create a digital “course” that people could go through step-by-step that would show three very frequently asked questions I get from friends, family and strangers:

  1. What is HouseOfRave and how did it start?
  2. How does it actually work?  How do you send orders?  How do you make profit? Who sends the products out?  etc etc etc…(lots of questions answered in this segment).
  3. How can I do it too?

Those are the three main BROAD CATEGORIES I’ve identified.  I used those categories to break the product into three parts since each part has MANY sub-questions.

I wanted to give anyone the chance to get a “private tour” from me of House Of Rave…the kind I’d give a curious friend or family member….but that usually takes a long time and involves us both being at a computer for an extended period of time.  Unfortunately I can’t give THAT many people a tour…till now.

People are always FASCINATED to see behind the scenes of the business….as most people have never seen behind the scenes at ANY business, especially one like mine.

There’s usually too many questions people have to get answered in a single email (or 10)…so this course seemed like the coolest way to do it.

I’ve been pretty transparent with House of Rave in the past, but it’s definitely created some problems being so open.  That’s why for this product I will be charging a small fee.  Not only do I feel justified in doing this, but I also think it’s WORTH IT.  I pretty much open the kimono to House Of Rave and show all the numbers, analytics etc and how everything works.

Will anyone buy it?  Who knows….

…but I do feel proud of the work done.

I made a members-only webpage with all the content on it.  This is actually a departure from my traditional blog-only format, as it has too much content for just screenshots and text.  I wanted to literally SHOW people what I’m doing, so there’s a lot of personal video and screen capture.  I was actually astounded at how much more information can be conveyed over a single video than a full blog post.

Here’s some screenshots of the members only area I made:

Here’s the first page called “How HoR Started” which goes over how and why I started this little “experiment” when I was 17.  I’m hoping this part will inspire a lot of people to realize that “even they can do it” …as I had very little experience when I started this biz.  It also shows the process of HOW I started it, came up with the idea, researched it etc….

The next section is called “How It Works” and is what I consider the real “meat” of the product.  This section took the absolute longest to make, and shows ALL the behind-the-scenes stuff people don’t get to see unless I personally show them.

I know this will shed some insight into this type of business to people who are curious.  It also shows you how easy it is to currently run!

Each of those videos is anywhere between 5 minutes and 20 minutes.  The videos take BY FAR THE LONGEST to film edit and upload.  So while that page is only 5 or 6 pages long, it has A LOT of great content.

I found myself re-watching some of my own videos because they were so interesting!

The next part is entitled “How You Do It” and it goes over two main points.  The first is how you can sell one item online almost immediately…I even show a real life example of setting up a very simple site and allowing people to buy from it with a credit card…with ZERO DOLLARS investment and the whole process takes less than 5 minutes and involves no webpage building or programming.

I think that part is very important to show people, because they often make it WAY TOO HARD IN THEIR HEADS.  They think to sell ONE item they need all sorts of programs, subscriptions, merchant accounts blah blah blaaahhh… not true.

The second thing I show is how to build an ecommerce store in less than an hour with zero programming skills.  I show the free way of doing this (slightly harder), and the paid way of doing it (super-duper-cooper-easy).  This part smashed the myth that all this ecommerce or “selling stuff online” business is complicated.  I want people to take action in this part, because simply doing some small project like this will teach them more than reading about it all day long.

The product is 95% done…all the content is completed, I’m just working out the password protection part and payment then I’ll release it soon!

Need a quick answer

Problem:
Nearly every day I get emails or questions from people I know about how House Of Rave .com works.  To some, it’s unfathomable that I run a rave company, yet never have been to a rave.  I can show only so many people how it actually works (literally show them on a computer).

Solution:
I’m currently doing a whole guide (like a “course”) on how my drop-ship business works.  It’ll show all the stuff I generally don’t just “put out there” because of privacy and competition issues.

Question to those interested:
Look at the below list and let me know if you have further questions than what’s covered here.  Or let me know what you’d be MOST interested in hearing about.

You can simply comment on this post or email me:
nevmed ( a t ) g m a i l . c o m

Course Outline:

All of these will be a combination of text and detailed video tours (I really like doing these videos)!
Part 1.) What it is now:
  1. Makes a couple hundred thousand revenue, bare minimum of 30 minutes of work per day.  About 1-2 hours per day spend on.  Great lifestyle business.
  2. How it started:  When I started it (17), why I started it (experiment),
  3. Part 1.) The beginning, learning the technical side and being curious.
  4. Part 2.) Finding something to sell.  Narrowing down my options.
  5. Part 3.) Finding a drop shipping.  How to find a drop shipper.
  6. Part 4.) Getting a site setup quickly.  Go over all ecommerce options.
  7. Part 5.) Pro’s/Con’s of drop shipping.

Part 2: How it actually works:

  1. How it works: a private behind-the-scenes tour of how HoR works.  I wanna show you how it works so you can understand it’s achievable, I started HoR cause I saw another kid did something similar.  Understand you don’t need to be a programmer (I can’t even write HTML).
  2. How someone goes from browsing the site to purchasing.
  3. Sending the order to the supplier.
  4. Entering the tracking information.
  5. Handling customer service.  Emails, inquiries, phone number.
  6. Show the analytics, Show the past numbers, reports.
  7. Accounting system.
  8. Show around Shopsite back end.
Part 3.) How you can do it to:
  1. Bonus: How to sell just one item.  People think they need to setup big ecommerce site.  Using PayPal .  Other simple ecommerce solutions.
  2. Bonus: The 1 hour business.  How to get an ecommerce business up and running in 1 hour.

Question to those interested:
Once again, let me know if you have further questions than what’s covered here.  Or let me know what you’d be MOST interested in hearing about.

I’ve already got a lot of this already completed, but I really want to make this a TRULY informative “course” I can refer people to whenever they start asking me a million questions about HoR.

You can simply comment on this post or email me:
nevmed ( a t ) g m a i l . c o m

Thanks for your time!  :-)
-Nev

HoR 2010 Revenue n’ Numbers Recap

Well, it’s that time of the year again where I foolishly share all my confidential analytics about one of my Ecommerce businesses HouseOfRave.com!

All numbers are for the full year of 2010 (That’s Jan. 1st till Dec. 31st 2010 for all your dummies out there).

Let’s get started with a general overview:

For the most part it looks like I have moderately predictable traffic.

————————————————————————————————–

Something noteworthy here is sometime in late July 2010 I installed the Asynchronous Google Analytics which can keep track of all ecommerce activity on the site.  Naturally this pushed down my average conversion rate (since stats weren’t collecting for half the year).

It also accounts only the revenue generated after that period.  I think the numbers are pretty close to accurate (I haven’t verified to the cent, but I know they’re not way out of whack either).

SO I technically don’t have all the correct information on this graph until after July 2010.

————————————————————————————————–

Looks like Internet Explorer is still the dominant browser, FireFox really close, and Chrome gaining lots of traction (I pretty much exclusively use the Google Chrome browser because it is…well…awesome).

What was surprising is that pretty much 98+ percent of visitors have a high speed connection.  Dialup is only 1.34%!!!

Hahahah….I remember those funny Dial-Up screeches :-)

————————————————————————————————–

Here’s revenue screenshot from my back end Shopsite panel:

Some of the tracking info such as hits & pages is linked with the Plesk Stats, so they get deleted after 12 months or so (hence the zero’s for Jan – Apr).

————————————————————————————————–

For what it’s worth, here are the Plesk statistics for HoR (almost all of 2010 is shown, I only get last 12 months of reports):

The Unique visits show on average about 80% more visitors than the Google Analytics show.  I attest this to people looking at (or linking) images (from Google Image Search or similar + blogs etc) and leaving.  So technically these ARE “unique visits” but they don’t TRULY count since the person doesn’t stick around long enough to browse the site (or ever even get to the site).

————————————————————————————————–

Well, that’s a nice little recap in numbers of 2010.

Time to close out 2010 and bring in 2011 (damn, this post is like 2 months late)!

The House of Rave Confessions

I own a business called House Of Rave.com.

It’s a drop shipping business, which means I don’t physically handle the products myself.

PRO’S:

  • If I stay on top of things, I only have to do a minimum of an hour or less of work per day (except maybe busy seasons).
  • The business makes money when I sleep.
  • I’ve slowly built a “moat” around the business which makes it (just a little) harder for newer competitors to compete with me.
  • I can say “I own a rave company
  • It’s helped me pay for college, supported me even after college.
  • By itself, it pays me enough money to live a pretty cool life, travel whenever I want and still save money.
  • This business allows me to abide by the rules I heard from Joe Sugarman, “Anything you can do to eliminate people or paper, do.”
  • It provides me a FANTASTIC “testing grounds” for trying out marketing techniques.  Like when I read something great in a book, I can easily implement it to HoR with ease since it’s 100% my business.
  • It’s always on top of cash flow, meaning I never have much debt (other than about $10,000 – $15,000 revolving debt on an American Express card).
  • Because of the above, I get crazy amounts of airline points (in fact I just checked I have half a million airline miles I’ve never used until TODAY when I booked a flight to Vancouver….fo FREE).

CON’S:

  • I must do at least SOME work everyday.
  • If I get hit by a bus, the business will cease to exist.
  • It’s unlikely it will ever get HUUUUGGEEE (without a change in the way things are currently run).

House Of Rave is what Tim Ferriss refers to as a “Muse”…a small business that you can run from anywhere which pays for your lifestyle.

However I’m no fool (well, at least not completely).

I am a middle man.  And as technology improves, manufacturers get more sophisticated, and consumers get more educated….I will be phased out with my current model.

I don’t foresee this happening anytime soon, and I do have time, but it will eventually happen.  Fortunately I’ve found ways to overcome that for now, but looking at a 5 or 10 year forecast, it will move in that direction.  If someone else took over, they could make the business BIG and sustainable in the long run, but it’s never really been a passion of mine.  It was one of many side-projects that made enough money not to pull the plug.

I’m really grateful I’ve had House Of Rave all these years.  I’ve started a lot of small businesses here and there, but HoR has been around the longest (first live order was placed in 2001).

But there’s a yearning to branch out even further.

I’m getting hungry.

HoR Updates 2-7-2011

Every week I said I’d document at least two updates to HouseOfRave.

Here’s two of them (damn these stupid goals….keeping me all accountable and stuff)…..

1.) Updated this High Output Light Base for wedding planners.  I actually use this thing during parties for “mood” lighting by simply placing it in the corner of the room.  You can actually see an example of that on the page.  I snapped some pics, made a quick video and wrote some fun copy for the page.

————————————————

2.) More prominent email address capture placed on the top-right of the page.  For some reason I’ve always had the email capture hidden under the left-column navigation.  I’m already seeing a higher number of signups per day.  I’ve kept the old one there, because I use that valuable top-right corner during promotions and holiday seasons.

Facebook made me hundreds of extra dollars for free

Something like one month ago I put up the now-famous “Facebook Like Button” on a business I run called HouseOfRave.com.

House Of Rave is an eEommerce company that sells light up and glow stuff.  Simple enough (see how it works).

The Facebook Like Button is a simple button people can press, and it will automatically “Like” a particular web address on their Facebook Feed.  It puts a small sentence saying, “Neville Medhora likes WhateverTheLinkIs” on your Facebook.

I did a little poking around and found the Like Button was really easy to install on the Shopsite shopping cart software I use.  To install it on your site, simply Google the term:

“How to install the Facebook Like Button on (insert your platform here)”

…and you’ll surely find a solution.  It took me about 3 minutes to install, and 2 minutes to test if everything was working correctly.  It turned out looking like this on every product of HoR:

Obviously the number of “Likes” varies from page to page.

Now this was just a simple test to see what would happen….and I was surprised to see that some of my product pages already had several “Likes” on Facebook.  Off to a good start!

Now a month later, some of the more prominent products on HoR have been gaining traction.  The Finger Lights above currently have 100+ Likes!…meaning somewhere on Facebook exist 100+ links to this product (most likely buried in the archives of people’s news feeds).

So the results of the inflow of traffic were as follows (there was already a small amount of traffic coming from Facebook, so the numbers aren’t that skewed:

WHAT I FOUND INTERESTING was that Facebook users clicking on their friends links to House Of Rave were pretty decent traffic.

The traffic had slightly higher bounce rates than the average visitor, fewer pages per visit and spent less time on the site than average, but….

It’s FREE traffic I didn’t do a DAMN thing to acquire!

Sweet :-)

The cool thing is, even if the conversion rate is much lower than the site average…SOME of the visits do convert, and in the first few weeks I noticed hundreds of extra dollars in revenue due to that completely free traffic.

That was revenue that didn’t exist before, but does now.

Those were customers who didn’t exist before, but do now.
This is a new channel of free traffic that didn’t exist before, but does now.
…all for 5 minutes of work!

As people start using Like buttons more and more, it could even become more profitable.

So Facebook Like Button…for making me free money while I do NOTHING….I LIKE you!

P.S.  An unexpected benefit I noticed is that products with lots of “Likes” are getting slightly better conversion rates now.  It seems people trust the Like button because the website owner cannot manipulate the numbers themselves.