Interview With Gaurav Madaan: $130,000 From His First Launch With JVZoo

Sam Bakker: Hey, it’s Sam Bakker here. Welcome to this interview. Now, I’m here today with Gaurav Madaan and we are here today to talk about how he started on JVZoo and where he started from before he found JVZoo, how he got into JVZoo, how he became successful over JVZoo and then revealing the strategy and looking into how he was able to do that. So, Gaurav thanks for coming on and sharing your knowledge with us.

Gaurav Madaan: Hey! Thank you for welcoming me to the audience and I’m really happy to be here to be able to share my knowledge. So, to begin with, you know, when I got started in the online marketing mesh, so I was more like, you know, having a mentor who was a professor in our college. So, that’s how I really got started and, you know, got introduced to the world. So, he got me want to do consulting projects locally, that’s what I was really doing. And post that I joined a training institute where we used to train people across India. It’s a pretty big name in India, but then that’s what I was really doing. So, you know, me along with my partner Saurabh, so we thought, ‘Let’s go ahead and start selling our own products online because there’s a lot of market to be explored.’ So, when we started exploring the places, we got to know about, to begin with like, you know, we got to know about GuardianPlus. That’s how we really got to, you know, got a glimpse of the channel, that this is also a channel to be marketed to. And then post, you know, first really it was a very small basic launch-up, GuardianPlus we got to know about JVZoo. And then, when we got to know about JVZoo we saw that some of our fellow Indians in the space were also doing the launches and they had a meetup. So Neal was there, a couple of more people were also there in the meetup in India. So, we went there, we talked with them, interacted, and that’s how we got to know about the marketplace and then we did our first launch in collaboration with Jai, and that’s how I discovered it. So, before that it was a little bit more drilling on the local side of it, doing consulting, hard work every single day, going offline and doing that part of the business. And after discovering JVZoo we were able to really capture the masses online and other parts of the world which we were unfamiliar with. It’s a great marketplace and gives us a great opportunity as well.

Sam Bakker: Very cool. And how long ago is that that you were just working out what you were doing with everything, you know, offline? How long ago was that?

Gaurav Madaan: It was till the last quarter of 2015. So, probably that’s when, till when we were working offline and then we got introduced with affiliate marketing in JVZoo. So, we started in early 2016 was the period when we got started with affiliate marketing. And the first launch we ever did was December 2016.

Sam Bakker: And what were you doing before you found out about consulting? You were studying at university, were you?

Gaurav Madaan: Yeah. So, I was still very old, I mean young. So, I was just 24 doing my MBA in marketing.

Sam Bakker: Ah, very cool. So, 2015 is pretty recent, which is really cool. So, what happened after you found out about, or how did you find out about JVZoo? How did you come to the stage where you were on JVZoo launching?

Gaurav Madaan: So, you know, just like seeing the marketplace and other people doing it, so we saw some numbers and we said, ‘Let’s dig up on it what exactly is the industry about and how we can also get inside the industry in terms of what we can really do.’ So, that was the basic part when we actually started. But then slowly and steadily when we got introduced and met a couple of people in the industry from our country itself, so we got to know that it’s more doing towards, you know, how you could build a problem solution. I mean, if it’s a problem it’s a solution, how you could build a solution for something that people are having trouble with and then, you know, probably launch it in the marketplace and get it for the longer run. So, that’s how I really got introduced. And you know what, once we got introduced towards it, since then it has been a blessing because before that we never had such a big number of affiliates, or even affiliates in our country because in our country it’s still a little bit of immature, at an immature stage. But. You know. Having an army of affiliates helping you to spread the word to the market is really a great thing with JVZoo.

Sam Bakker: Very cool, so tell me about the first launch that you did on JVZoo. What was it and how did you come up with the idea? Also, what did it feel like when you were going into that launch? And yeah, tell us something about that.

Gaurav Madaan: It’s really actually a very brilliant story that really happened. So, the first launch which we did was Live Suite Pro, and it was basically an application which lets you have filters on top of your live video, just like now Facebook also have got inbuilt filters. Earlier there were no filters, so we came up with the idea of having filters and making it more like marketing filters. So, earlier to that idea, our actual idea was not this. Our actual idea was to do a polling app inside the live videos. So, that was the idea really. And I was struck, like, scrolling through the feed, so I saw that these kind of videos were getting really good engagement and I wanted to do it for my own page. We have a page which has almost 300,000 likes in the entertainment niche. So, it’s a really active page and it’s really awesome. So, we tried that thing manually, you know, with a format and saw that the engagement was great. So, we thought that it would be great because live videos at that time were really, really getting higher engagement in the feed. So, that’s how it started, but the story turned out a little bit more fascinating because we saw that, you know, at the time of development the DV signed the development doc with the developer, the same idea was actually being prepared by somebody else in the marketplace and launched prior to us. And we didn’t have…

Sam Bakker: Yeah, okay. I remember that product that, your product and the one that came before it.

Gaurav Madaan: So, it kind of, you know, we were like doing this for the first time, so we had little experience. So, we started scrolling through the API’s entries. It may be a little bit technical for others, but that’s what we did and we thought up some really cool features which were new at that time and really, really beneficial for any Facebook fan page. So, we did the research and we did the development and then we started the launch. So now, the funny part which happened was that just prior to the launch somebody came to us and said that he’s going to do a DDoS attack on our launch if we don’t pay some amount of money to them. And at that time of stage, if you remember, you know, probably some DDoS attacks were happening on some of the launches. So, we were the ones as well who were targeted. And so, we had to frame a brilliant story to, you know, get us, get that part aside. And that was the first trouble that happened in the launch. And the DDoS attack did happen on our server prior to the launch, but then we were able to revive it, we were able to ship the servers and had no DDoS protection on the servers. So, it’s really a fascinating story. And now going into the launch, to be honest, we didn’t have much expectations because we never had the experience of how, exactly the whole thing’s process. So we saw, like, after the first day we did like a really decent, not a great amount of heat on the launch because of the entire DDoS attack happening and everything. But then slowly and steadily we started pulling the plug again and really, you know, taking forward the last six days of the launch. Like, the first day, it wasn’t a great show. So, you know, when on the first day it’s not a great show, people would not turn up on the second day. But then that didn’t happen. We actually tried to tell people and tried out different angles, and we got more people on board. And the really, the pace started picking up on the third day, which is abnormal for any launch to be honest. So, from third to seventh day it was like really great and we had a couple of people like, who were really blasting the leaderboards at the last stage. So, that launch, I guess, amounted to be around 130k launch. And it was like our first launch and our first six figure launch. It was a great experience, but a lot of hiccups as well.

Sam Bakker: Yeah, of course. How did you, how was the end results? What did you, what were you able to generate numbers-wise?

Gaurav Madaan: Yeah, it was a $130,000 launch.

Sam Bakker: Oh, wow, first launch!

Gaurav Madaan: Yeah.

Sam Bakker: That’s very impressive. Very cool. So, you’ve just done this 130k launch on your first launch. What were you feeling like after that? And yeah…

Gaurav Madaan: So, the feeling was great because, you know, we’ve been doing a certain numbers in India, but then the currency difference is huge with you as well as in Indian currency. So, we were really surprised and really happy honestly to be, you know, we were like literally surprised that it could happen to us. So, that is why I said JVZoo as a marketplace gives everybody such a huge opportunity, and if people work hard and really try to solve a problem, it could really do wonders for the likes.

Sam Bakker: Yeah. So, the time that you started and you found out about online marketing to that stage where you were doing a $130,000 launch, how long was that time period?

Gaurav Madaan: So, it was around, I would say three months time period filled, you know, with… I mean from idea formulation to execution took a little while for us because we started and since we had the privilege of having very big Facebook fan pages ourselves, so, we had the privilege of, you know, really testing it really hard on our systems and on our platforms only, so we did not go, you know, from… Now when we actually launch, it takes like almost six to nine months to actually prepare something really good because there is bigger launching and then, you know, getting people onboard to test it heavily before we actually go into the marketplace. But at that time we were lucky enough, you know, we had pages so we tested it and it took three months.

Sam Bakker: Very cool. So, what advice would you have for other people that might be looking at this? And, you know, what you did, is it something that anyone could do or was there some things that you did which were unusual or…? You know, what would you put your success down to when others find it difficult to, you know, obviously launch even their first product?

Gaurav Madaan: So, you know, for all the big nerds or anybody who is into the marketplace, one thing I would say is, when you launch a lot of people actually put a lot of pressure on their day one. And if their day one does not go well, they are normally disappointed and they stop really, you know, trying different strategies which could actually go forward and, you know, pick up the launch. For example, I’ve seen a number of launches doing great on day one. And then they could not even do half of the revenue of the day one revenue in the entire remaining time of the launch. So, there are a couple of strategies that I would really suggest people to do, for example, we do heavy remarketing. So, remarketing is something which is great. If you do that, it’s going to do wonders for you because ultimately it brings more revenue in the pockets of affiliates. And the better, the more revenue or the more commissions you bring into their pocket, the more motivation they will get to hit, you know, basically to go ahead and mail more for you. So, another thing which we also did is we actually, you know, some of the other parts is like, internal mailing is another thing which people don’t do much, like, inside when you are doing a launch. So, inside the launch let’s say on the third or fourth day you have a set of customers who have already come in, but have opted for the front-end product but they’ve not opted for the audios, which is the upsells. So, what we do is since the launch is going on and the discounted pricing is on, so we try to e-mail them with naked links of course saying that, you know, ‘This is also available as an upgrade to your regular account. If you would like to power your account more, we have so or so upgrades.’ So, that really helps, again, to put more money into the affiliate pockets. And then the third thing is you have to continuously talk to your affiliates, you know, take suggestions and also give them something new every day to make sure that your launch is lifted up. So, for example, the way we call it is you need to find a winner for every day. So, every day needs one winner. If you could pull out one winner, that’s great, you know, that would be amazing. For example, day one numbers could bring a lot more affiliates. Right? So, you talk to more affiliates and you try to find one more person who could lift up that leaderboard, lift up that sales, and that one person would be able to actually, you know, every single day that one strategy which would actually lift up your sales, would ultimately lift up your entire launch. So, that is the difference, you know, which I would see between the way we do launches and between the way others do launches.

Sam Bakker: So, the product as well, when you were first creating the product itself, how did you come up with the idea and how did you know how to execute that idea?

Gaurav Madaan: So, the first thing is like, you know… In the social media space specifically, since we have done a lot of products in the social media space, you have to understand like, one thing is likes, comments and second thing is turning those likes, comments into subscribers and sales and those things. So, you know, while talking about the idea generation we came to study the API’s, that’s one way. One place where if you study the API’s are the platforms. If there is a change happening in the platform itself, then there could be a possible opportunity. And then, you know, a second type of opportunity could be available in terms of, you know, if people, if you see a trend originating, you know, if there is a trend originating, for example, that polling videos trend happened that time. So, there was one video of, if I remember, of President Trump, you know, against voting, in a voting video basically, President Trump vs. Hillary Clinton. That went really viral. And that is where we saw that, you know, other people also started copying similar ideas and they started generating, you know, one page actually generated 100,000 likes during, just in the interval of 24 hours. So, when we saw that that was a trend and there was a validation in terms of engagement, that is where we knew that this is an idea which could help a lot of people in actually taking their Facebook fan pages forward and growing their audience. So, that was the part which we used to do earlier with regard to API’s. But then, you know, slowly and steadily we started realizing that the API’s are unstable because something happens to the Facebook platform. So, what is going to happen is they are going to change their rules because they own it and our product may not survive because of the changes they are making. So, we are dependant on that. So, that is where we, you know, after a certain while we started that now is not the time to actually go with, heavily with Facebook or social media platforms because they’re becoming unstable or a [inaudible 15:33]. So, we started doing more ideas in terms of opt lead generation because something which is prevalent in everything is actually generating leads. That’s like the first touch point of any online marketing event. Right? You know, when you want to sell something, you want to generate leads first and then really nurture them into your customers. So, that is when we started working with innovative ideas which could help generate more leads and turn more of them into more sales. So, that’s like the whole journey of it.

Sam Bakker: So, what would you recommend for someone who is starting off now? What are the types of products that are working well that you’ve seen?

Gaurav Madaan: So really, video has been the boom part of media and graphics which we see everyday, but there are only a number of video products which you can do. So, something which I would say, now repurposing content is something in the trend. So, if somebody is looking to, you know, do something in that particular segment, how can you basically take one piece of content and repurpose into multiple formats. That’s something which could be really good. You know, this particular trend and another trend which is originating slowly and steadily is in the area of gamification. I see membership platforms, I see a lot of other platforms gamifying things, you know, that’s the Web 3.0 which we can imagine going forward. So, that’s where, that’s the place, I mean, you need to really look forward to for the ideas.

Sam Bakker: So, after you had done your first launch, how many launches have you done since then and how have those gone after that initial success?

Gaurav Madaan: So, post our first launch we’ve been able to do close to five more launches. And we’ve seen like similar kind of result we did like GramPost on Instagram, so which, combined two launches revenue was around $300,000. It was a product on Instagram. Now, other than that, we’ve done some opt-in products on gamification and they’ve done in combined $250,000. So, in combined we have been able to generate more than half a million dollars in revenue, probably $650,000 that’s the figure which we have been able to generate so far.

Sam Bakker: And how long has it been since that first launch, these other five? How quickly have you been able to launch those?

Gaurav Madaan: So, we’ve been doing launches like, at an interval of three to four months, probably a quarter. That’s the interval we’ve been planning because it takes time to actually make an idea and then take that idea into execution with the testing and everything. So, from December 2016 till today which is August 2018, I think so, close to two years, so we’ve been able to do six launches.

Sam Bakker: And during that time, what difficulties have you faced that you didn’t expect to happen, that people might be able to learn from as they go through the process of creating products that they can release on JVZoo?

Gaurav Madaan: So, the biggest thing, the biggest learning which I have got personally is that you need to keep your support even. I’ve seen a lot of people doing products, they tend to do so many products that they lose track of, you know, support and they lose… You know, for example, somebody doing 15 or 20 products in a year possibly or in a span of two years, it’s hard to maintain those 15-20 products and give updates to customers about those products, you know, bring more and more updates and also support these customers because you are doing it at a one time price. So, what I would suggest is as you go forward, make sure you turn your every product into [inaudible 19:30] product and try to generate recurring sales from it, and also at the same time support the customers who have actually showcased or have entrusted you in the first phase of the product. You know, give them more updates, give them support and make them successful. So, doing this would actually eventually lead to more successful stories.

Sam Bakker: And when you say support, how much support did you get from the launches that you do? How many people usually get in touch with you? And can people… You know, the launches that you did were reasonably large. It must have been surprising when you saw maybe support coming through. And how much was it that you were dealing with and how did you learn how to support your customers?

Gaurav Madaan: So, to start to get… I mean, when we got started with Live Suite Pro we did not have really an expectation of such a huge launch and so many tickets. So, when we started like I could remember that there were like 1,500 tickets to 2,000 tickets which we answered within a span of 30 days. You know, every day we were… So, it was like two founders only doing the ticketing part because we did not expect that it would be so huge. So, that is a part of where we really got the flow of like 2,000 tickets over a period of 30 days. And since, you know, over the period of time whatever products we’ve launched, specifically what we have seen is that users’ rate of those products particularly are very high because, you know, that those products are the products which would actually generate leads or automate some part of your work. So, people are using it day in and day out. So, people reach out to us for support day in and day out, so we have to take care of it. And that’s the journey, that’s how we’ve been able to learn that. And now, even it is a strategy when people request a lot of features and customizations, amongst your own customers what we assure too, you will be able to find customers who will be willing to pay a recurring price if you are willing to give them a good support or service. For example, somebody paying $47 for your product, can we convert it into a $97 per month customer if, you know… I mean, there are opportunities a lot of the times because they want more from your software. So, if you could commit that one part and convert it into recurring, so that’s where your customer support can also help you turn your products into evergreen. So, it’s an opportunity to be honest, that’s something which we’ve never realized earlier, in the earlier phase, but then slowly and steadily we’ve been seeing this as an opportunity than actually as an overhead of the launch part.

Sam Bakker: Now, for the people that are starting off, one of the difficulties, one of the questions that come in quite often is, ‘How am I meant to get my products out there if I am unknown? It’s my first product launch,’ or ‘Hey, I don’t know where to get traffic from.’ It sounds like you obviously found a way to generate some traffic for your launch initially. How did you do that on that first launch and how did you become known and continue to have success getting traffic to your launch?

Gaurav Madaan: So, the way we really did it is that we thought like, you know, there could be two ways really to do it. Either one way is, you know, you first go and do your affiliate marketing stuff and give more sales to a lot of vendors who are there in the market and, you know, establish a relationship with them. That’s one way. Second way to do the same thing is that you ride on the shoulders of a giant. Okay, so if somebody was not into the industry, you reach out to them and you showcase your product idea and hire them as a JV manager for your product launch. So, since they already have a relationship inside the JV industry, you’ll be able to actually go ahead and through them you will be able to get more JV’s and traffic. But of course, there would be a percentage share they will take for that particular part, but then you’ll be able to introduce yourself as a vendor into the market. And slowly and steadily as you go forward, you can establish yourself as a good marketer, good vendor, good affiliate, because once you’ve got the initial touch it’s still easier to penetrate the market.

Sam Bakker: Cool. And what kind of… For that first launch did you find someone to team up with that did have influence in the market?

Gaurav Madaan: Yeah. So, we partnered with Jai Sharma. That’s how we actually got inside, you know, as I said, riding on the shoulders of a giant. So, that’s one of the strategies which you can use and find a JV partner.

Sam Bakker: And how did you find and connect with him?

Gaurav Madaan: So, we… So, it’s an interesting story. So, a couple of times, you know, these people will have meetups in your country maybe or maybe outside the country. If you see certain events happening, marketing events happening, you can always reach out to those events and network. So, that’s one way. We did it like in an offline meeting. So, we met Jai personally in India, like in our city, he lives nearby. So, we went ahead and we met him and that’s how we got to really, you know, started a relationship with him and then we pitched him the idea. He liked it and he said it’s a doable idea and it can actually help people. So, that’s where we got into the space.

Sam Bakker: And from meeting Jai, what did you learn from him? Was he able to educate you very quickly and kind of act like a mentor or… What did that process like? Or was it more that you went and did the work but he just helped introduce you to people?

Gaurav Madaan: So, to be honest Jai was the one who actually did the initial work because he knew how the marketplace functions. So,we were the ones who were the observation people and trying to understand how the entire stuff works. And we were asking him, you know, ‘Whatever has to be done, let us know, we will get it done or we will do it ourselves. You just guide us.’ Because what we were looking to, we were looking to learn the process in the part. In the part of the launch we learned that how exactly, you know, you need to first make a proper JV page, then have a JV invitations going out personally reaching out to all the affiliates and trying to give them a demonstration of how your products can solve a problem and help people, inviting them, and then all the strategies which can be carried on inside the launch. So, this is all what we’ve learned from Jai to begin with, and then slowly and steadily we improvised our evergreen strategies into the launch and took it to the biggest step.

Sam Bakker: Cool, that makes sense. So, what other advice would you have for someone who is starting out that might help them, that you would have liked to have known maybe before you got into the space? You’ve had some success very quickly in the space. But what are some things that maybe you’d like to pass on to people who are at the stage where you were when you were interested in JVZoo? You wanted to launch a product, but you didn’t yet have have anything in place. What advice would you have for someone in that position and yeah, any advice that you could pass on?

Gaurav Madaan: So, there are two or three advice which I would really like to give. Part one of the advice is that always make sure that your product is well tested, your sales pages are well tested before you ever consider launching. Because we actually launched, you know, when we first launched, our sales page was posted on a shared hosting because we did not know somebody would do a DDoS attack. We come from a background where like, there is a traffic but the traffic is like maybe 50 people are sitting on the page right now. But we didn’t know that immediately like 500 people would knock the door and say, ‘Your hosting will go down.’ So, that’s the number one advice which I would do or give rather. Second thing, second advice which I would do is when you make a product, you know, try to make a product in a manner that it is structured to be evergreen. So, I know the JVZoo industry and the numbers can be like, when you look at the numbers they can be so shiny and so attractive, and you fall into kind of a situation where you feel like it’s a money making machine. It’s not. It’s not, to be honest. You have to understand that if it’s a problem, there is a solution. So, if you could do a problem solution thing and make the products evergreen, you know, your products will continue to keep fetching you more profit and profit and profit, even after many years of your launch. So, another thing, the third thing I would like to really tell people is the one which is about support. So, support is actually an opportunity to actually go ahead and convert these customers into loyal people, people who would be ready to actually go ahead and in future support you for other products as well. And not just that, but also propagate your brand value to other parts of the world where even, you know, this marketplace may not have the penetration yet. So, these are the three really solid advice which I would like to give to people, which can help them [inaudible 28:58].

Sam Bakker: Very cool. Well, thank you for coming on this interview and sharing this information. It’s been really impressive seeing how quickly you’ve been able to get onto JVZoo, make an impact and find a good amount of success. So, we really appreciate your generosity in sharing this information and yeah… So, where can people find more information about you and what you are doing?

Gaurav Madaan: So, I run a professional website by my own name, which is gauravmadaan.com. So, if you go there, you can contact me. And I have also written my story over there. So, I do podcasting, I do blogging, so a lot of valuable stuff which you can learn from.

Sam Bakker: Perfect. Thanks for coming on and we’ll talk again soon.

Gaurav Madaan: Thank you so much, Sam.

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