BBB13: Interview with Ryan Reger
Welcome to the Books, Brands, and Business podcast with your host, Chris O’Byrne, from JETLAUNCH.net.
My guest today is Ryan Reger, the author of Streams of Income and several other books.
In addition to being an author, Ryan is an ecommerce expert and the founder of several businesses. He is also a course creator and has a podcast called Streams of Income Radio.
Chris: Hi, Ryan. Thank you for agreeing to be on the podcast with me. I think that our listeners are going to get a lot of value out of this, no matter what we end up talking about, what direction we go. There’s just so much to unpack, even just having to do with your books.
Chris: Do you want to just give maybe a brief introduction to what you do?
Ryan: Sure. Yeah, Chris, thanks for having me on, I appreciate it. Congratulations on starting up your podcast and just like we talked before we started, I’m kind of new to the podcasting thing too, so this is fun. I love seeing people start up podcasts, because it’s a great way to get your message out. Thanks again for inviting me to be on.
Ryan: So what I do, it seems like it changes all the time. I started out selling furniture on Craigslist and moved to other physical products like on eBay and Amazon, and then just really found my passion with teaching people how to use the internet creatively to create multiple streams of income. I’ve written several books, we can dig into whichever ones you want to. But most recently, wrote one called Streams of Income and the subtitle’s Living the Multiple Income Streams Dream.
Ryan: I am passionate about helping people create multiple streams of income so that they can live their dreams. I feel like there’s just so many people out there that are struggling that need help, that want to start businesses, don’t know where to start. This book is meant to be kind of just a way to get their start to reignite their dreams and to help them figure out what might be the best direction for them to move into.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. In fact, I’ve got that book right here in my hand as we’re talking, the Streams of Income book. You know what? I would actually like to ask you about your book, Finding Your Grace Place.
Ryan: Yeah, sure.
Chris: Because that seems to be out of the usual kind of books that you’ve been doing.
Ryan: Yeah. Sure. Yeah, I actually just had that one reworked, as far as the inside. Since your podcast is about books, I just launched it on KDP at first and then looked at some of the other things that people were doing to their books, and I thought, “Man, I could do so much better if I had somebody reformat it and make it look prettier, chapter headings and an image in the chapter heading.” So I just, actually is holding that now. It just came back from Amazon just a couple of days ago. So yeah, happy to chat about that book, that’s something I’m passionate about too. It’s not a business book at all, it’s just something I felt the Lord lead me to write.
Chris: Yeah. Yeah, and that’s what I love. My faith is very important to me as well, and I don’t try to hide my faith and how that plays a role in my business. So even though it’s not specifically a business-related book, I know that so much of that applies. Was this your first book that you wrote?
Ryan: No, the first book I wrote was Real Wholesale Sources back in 2013. It was just a list of wholesale inventory. Yeah, and then I wrote Beyond Arbitrage and then a book called Private Label the Easy Way, then Finding your Grace Place and then Streams of Income.
Chris: Okay. Then on your page, you also have one called Living the Multiple Income Streams.
Ryan: That’s the precursor to Streams of Income. It’s basically the same content, but then it became Streams of Income.
Chris: Got you. Amazon never takes a book down.
Ryan: Yeah, they don’t take it off. Yeah.
Chris: Yeah, got you. So the impetus for writing Finding your Grace Place.
Chris: What led you to go through all that work of writing a book?
Ryan: Sure. I just felt led to tell people how, for me, it’s all about the Lord, that I can literally not do anything without him. I see people try to accomplish things in their own effort and it’s like, “It’s all about me. I got to do this, I have to make this happen.” It doesn’t mean we don’t work. I think I talk about, I think there’s a quote in here from maybe St. Francis about pray like it all depends on God and work like it all depends on you.
Ryan: So it’s when you’re working and doing business, you’re doing it from the perspective of you’re still leaning completely on him to make it happen. I believe that God gives me wisdom, shows me which direction to go, but it’s never like I’m trying to make this happen. I’m just working really hard, hustling, hustling, hustling, without regard to my faith. It’s like my faith leads me and guides me and I’m just completely 100% just relying on him to show me the way, to open the doors.
Ryan: Because there’s just no way, Chris, I could ever do what I’m doing without him. Some of the things that have happened in my business, some of the favorite I’ve had, it’s all him. The more I realize that, the more of those things happen, the more doors open up that I could not have done and opened on my own. So Finding Grace Place, you don’t have to be a business person. In fact, it’s not even written to a business person, it’s written to folks that want to discover what God’s purpose is for their life and to help them just to realize it’s all about him. It’s his grace in and through us that’ll produce those results, how to overcome mistakes in the past and not let those stop you from moving forward with what God’s called you to do, and just completely rely on him and let him produce those results in and through you.
Ryan: So that’s kind of a synopsis of what it is. But I felt led to do it, so I did. Yeah, you’re right. It’s totally different than any of the other books. But I’m speaking in a live event, actually, this Saturday in Indiana and I’m going to be talking about some of the content in that book. So I think it’s going to come up more in what I do, because it’s a message I believe God wants me to get out there.
Chris: Yeah. I mean, I totally agree with you. That’s how I live my life and my business life as well. I mean, one, it helps me not to feel so under the gun, like you said, it’s all up to me. It’s not all up to me.
Chris: Once I gave over completely, then things really started happening in the business as well. Plus it puts everything into perspective, because you get into this, “Wow, I’ve got to do this, this and this and make this much money.” Then you’re like, “What’s the bigger picture here?” There is a much bigger picture than just having this specific business succeed. So it helps with perspective a lot as well.
Chris: Your Streams of Income book. Now this is part of, I really especially want to talk about, because you are doing what I often recommend to people that they do, which is they take something like this, they use it as a lead magnet or trip wire, set up a free plus shipping funnel, use it as a marketing tool. So many people are just like, “Well, I need to get a book out there and then I can sell a bunch of books and make a bunch of money from my books.”
Chris: They think that that’s putting the book out there and publishing it, that’s the end of the road and they’re done and they move on to the next thing. But you’ve got the right idea, which is this is a living, breathing marketing tool that’s helping you connect with way more people than you possibly could otherwise.
Chris: So why don’t we jump into your latest book, which is called Streams of Income.
Chris: What was your writing process like for that?
Ryan: The actual process, Chris, is pretty easy. I mean, this is stuff I’ve been talking about for a while. So it was a matter of just getting it down into Word. I might not be the best person to talk about how to write a book. I feel like, I don’t know, there may be better ways to do it. But what I typically do is I write down what I think the chapters are going to be and then for me it’s never like, “Hey, I’m going to sit down and write this book in just one sitting it’s done.” Or even in multiple sittings, it’s usually quite a … definitely multiple sittings, but it’s not usually in order.
Ryan: For example, I don’t like, “I’m going to write this section and then going to go to chapter two then chapter three.” For me, it’s like whenever I’m just feel the urge or feel like, “Hey, I’m inspired, let’s start writing.” I do it and then later I figure out where it goes in what chapter. It could be that I’m putting something down that’s going to be at the chapter nine towards the end or it could be at the beginning.
Ryan: I just kind of sit down and whatever I feel inspired to write, I write. But it’s just stuff that’s been on my heart for a while. So this one was pretty easy, and as you know, it’s pretty short. So it didn’t take long to write this one since it’s really small.
Chris: Did you create an outline or a table of contents first?
Ryan: I did, yeah. I kind of had the kind of a general outline, which ended up being most of the main chapters. Then from there, I just started filling in the details. Like, “Hey, I feel inspired today to write this section, so let’s write it. Oh and that happens to go in chapter seven, so let’s stick that there.” Then like, “Oh, wait, I’m feeling like I’m close to being done, let’s see what’s left. I need to talk about chapter two, why I wrote this, let’s put some details in there and then we’re finished with it.”
Chris: Yeah, and that’s kind of how I approach the variety that I do as well. I like to have that outline, but you never know exactly where you’re going to put something once you get going.
Chris: Now which of your many businesses, and you have a lot going on, which of those are you using the Streams of Income book for?
Ryan: Yeah, so the Streams of Income book is kind of like my main funnel. Just to be really upfront and honest with you, I’m trying to figure out where exactly it goes. I mean, as far as I know, it’s at the front, I don’t have anything currently that is right after that. As far as, for example, it’s the main entrance to all of my whole business is what I’m trying to make it as. It’s been working pretty well with the podcast and my Facebook Ads.
Ryan: So once I have people there, then I then sent them a string of emails trying to figure out where they are in their business building process and then steer them in the right direction. So then from there, they either go to the proven Amazon course, Amazon 101, my legends group, which is Amazon focused or they go into the … I focus towards the group that Jenny and I kind of recently started, the Influence the Easy Way Program, which is helping you build streams of income from some things you’re passionate about. Then the third stream of income, which is coaching and consulting, I point folks over to the proven business consulting course and or Dan Miller’s 48 days coaching mastery program.
Ryan: So to answer your question and it. It’s at the very beginning of my funnel. It’s at the very, very top trying to get people introduced to what’s possible and then start that relationship there. Then from there, figure out, okay, what do you like to do? What do you want to do? Let’s point you this direction.
Chris: Okay, I like that. So in your follow up email marketing, they kind of decide or self-identify where-
Ryan: Right. Yeah, I have a resource page at the back of the book or a link to the resource page on that page. There are three different videos that I’ve created. They explain in more detail the three different business models, hoping that people will then watch those and be like, “Oh, that’s the one for me.” Most people, Chris, go to the selling physical products, because that’s the easiest place to start if you’re not sure.
Ryan: I think in my mind that’s the easiest place for anybody to start with zero income and zero experience. So I point most people that way if they have no idea what the other ones mean or aren’t sure what their topic would be. So yes, but I think I need to do a better job of building that roadmap for folks. I’m trying to figure out is there a next layer from the book? Could there be a Streams of Income type of course that helps them just figure out some type of assessment or something that helps them find that clarity?
Chris: Okay. So, well, have you ever thought about using a poll or a survey?
Ryan: I have. I’ve not done that for this, but I totally could. Then just come up with some types of questions that helps them think through it. I did a Streams of Income live event just this last weekend and I came out with a kickstart program, is what I’m calling it. I only had only 30 people there, so I thought I’d just try it on this group and see if I can get some folks interested in something like that where it’s going to be more like a smaller Facebook group where we start asking some questions, giving them more content, showing them what wholesale, private label all that is, and then help steer them in the right direction.
Ryan: But yeah, a poll would be good. I came up with a good survey that had really good questions, thoughtful, thought out questions. Then I think that would be an option too and would not necessarily need something beyond the book.
Chris: Right, right. Yeah, then they could be tagged in your email system according to the answers they give.
Ryan: Right, exactly.
Chris: That’s pretty cool.
Ryan: Yeah, there’s a lot of people doing that.
Chris: So, I mean, I know that you’re using a free plus shipping funnel. Just in general, what kind of marketing are you doing with the book? How are you leveraging it?
Chris: Who you’re leveraging it for your, like we just talked about. But maybe just talk a little bit about your marketing of the book.
Ryan: Yeah, so right now I have a buddy who’s a, I mean, you might even know him, Greg Tosi, who’s in Dan Miller’s group. He is a Facebook Ads expert. He’s running Facebook Ads for me to get the word out to a cold audience. So that’s working out really, really well. I’m getting 30 to 40 new emails a week with not a very large budget at all. So I’m very pleased with that.
Ryan: Then other than that, I just have it on Amazon, I mention it on all my social media channels. It’s the name of my podcast and my radio program on the podcast and radio show. I mention Streams of Income, that’s the place I send them to. I have a commercial on my radio show for it, and then just constantly talking about it, “Hey, get this book, get this book.” That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing so far, but open to ways to do better.
Chris: Right. Well, and it’s effective, because, I mean, it certainly grabbed my attention. Yeah, Greg Tosi, I do know him. You met him as part of Dan Miller’s Eagles group, right?
Ryan: Yes, yes. It’s a great group and that’s how I know him. That’s correct.
Chris: Yeah, yeah. Dan Miller’s awesome. I’ve talked with him and he’s spoken at some conferences I’ve been to and so on. Yeah, amazing guy. So, oh, man, this is, okay, very interesting and very good use of a book in one that really, like you said, it isn’t a large book, but it still is powerful. Not in only what it does, but the message that it carries through as well.
Ryan: Yeah, thank you.
Chris: What have you done with where you combine books and ecom?
Ryan: Combining books and eCommerce?
Chris: Yeah, or have you done anything? I mean, to me you’re an ecom expert.
Chris: You know what you’re doing very well. But have you done anything like combining books with products in bundles, for example, or anything else that’s more creative like that?
Ryan: Gosh, you know what? Honestly, I haven’t. I mean, I wrote a book called Real Wholesale Sources, Private Label the Easy Way, Beyond Arbitrage, which is about eCommerce. But I’ve seen people all the time that bundle books with … my business partner, Jenni Hunt, who I know you’re going to have on soon too, has talked about the strategy of creating a book and putting it into a bundle or a private label product, because then you separate yourself completely from the competition.
Ryan: So yes, we’ve talked about it in my private label group with her. But honestly, and just be real candid with you, I’ve not personally done it in my business, I have not had to. But it’s a powerful way to separate yourself from the competition, because then in order to duplicate that, they’d have to buy your book. Then you’re charging 20 bucks maybe on Amazon and only costs you three, so you have an advantage there. So it’s a great powerful resource and way to do that, but I’ve personally never done it.
Chris: Yeah, my main business is JETLAUNCH and we do book design and publishing. One thing we’ve started doing, and it is as a result of you and Jenni specifically, is I thought instead of bundling … I just kind of turned it around. So I have all these authors with all these great books and many of them are very well-suited to bundling with products. Some even have a list of where to buy the resources in the back.
Chris: So I have approached a few of them and they’re very excited and we’ve started testing-
Ryan: Oh, nice.
Chris: Choosing a bundle, sending it in, using their book at cost, because like you said, they can do it at cost, increase their ROI hugely. So yeah, it’s something I’ll be talking about more in some future episodes, but that was inspired talking to you and Jenni Hunt.
Ryan: Yeah, I know Jenni’s done that. I personally just have not, but I’ve witnessed her talking about it many times. Taking a cooking, let’s say you have a spatula or something and we’ll mix it with a recipe book that you created. Then I’m not going to be able to duplicate that unless I buy your book and that exact same spatula you have.
Chris: Yeah, and most people just aren’t going to go through any kind of effort like that anyway.
Ryan: No, for sure.
Chris: It’s too much work. They’re going to do low hanging fruit.
Ryan: Right. Yep.
Chris: So as we get around to wrapping this up, what else would you like to say about people who are looking at or thinking about writing a book? Would you recommend they go through the exact process that you have gone through? Or looking back on this and the several books you’ve done, would you suggest they start at a different point?
Ryan: I think I would tell them, pretty much I feel like I did a good job. There’s a lot of things I don’t do well that I need to improve on, but what I do do well is I just launch stuff. I don’t think it has to be perfect, and so I always talk about the, and Dan Miller talks about this too, minimum viable product. Guys, if we were talking about book publishing 30 or 40 years ago, yeah, you’re going to have to come up with a manuscript and if you get, and that’s a big if, if you get a deal from a publisher, then they’re going to have a deadline for the absolute final final manuscript and it’s got to be right.
Ryan: But with this, with self-publishing, we’re going through a source, like a company like JETLAUNCH, you can make, especially if you’re launching on Amazon, if you see something later, a week later that you want to change or you want to add a chapter a year later, you won’t have to go through the whole process again, guys. This is something that you can just get it out there now and then revise it as you want, almost as many times as you want.
Ryan: So, I would say don’t sit on that idea. Don’t sit on that book idea that the Lord has given you, because somebody needs that, somebody is waiting on the other side of your obedience, so get it done. Don’t think it has to be perfect. It’s probably never going to be absolutely perfect. So just get it done, get it out there. Self-publishing makes it so easy to do this and just do it.
Chris: That’s awesome advice. Thank you so much Ryan, for coming on the show and sharing your knowledge with people. I really appreciate it. Where is the best place for people to find more about you?
Ryan: Yeah, probably just my website. It’s Ryanreger.com. R-Y-A-N R-E-G-E-R.com. There’s a link there. You can get my book Streams of Income for free, and learn more about me and what I do.
Chris: Excellent. I also highly recommend everybody listen to your podcast, because there’s gold in that.
Ryan: Thank you. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
Chris: You bet. Thank you.
Thanks for coming along for the ride. If you want to be part of a tight-knit community of people learning how to make money with their books, join my FB group at jetlaunch.link/group. That’s the best place to ask me questions and get fast answers.
More about Ryan Reger
To learn more about Ryan Reger, head over to ryanreger.com. From there, you can get his book, Streams of Income, for free, plus learn more about his podcast and many other endeavors.