Meet Lynn and Brian. I have a little story to share about Lynn before we dive into this. I met Lynn years ago, literally before TimTech even existed. She sent me one of the most memorable emails I ever received. At that time, I was questioning a lot. My business, my life, my future…Everything ‘made sense‘ to me when Lynn sent me an amazing email that literally told me…What I was doing was helping her. It changed my outlook on so much. It’s been such an honor and privilege to get to know her over the years and her partner in crime Brian…
Let’s get to meet these awesome players from Lucky 13….
1. Lynn, you have been with TimTech literally since before there was even a TimTech….How did you stumble upon online marketing?
LYNN: Well, like many people that same year I suddenly & unexpectedly found myself unemployed in 2007 when the economy tanked, and started looking around online for ways to make money. I started out where a whole lot of other people in our community did – in “Get Paid To” sites, PTR (Paid to Read) sites, & PTC (Paid to Click) sites like ClixSense, etc. At the time there was a pretty active community within those sites & I started my own blog review of many of those sites.
Around the same time I got involved in another community that was based around a large downline builder which included some of the above plus some MLM opportunities, as well as a few advertising platforms – including a few, yes, traffic exchanges. The person I considered a mentor at the time was heavily involved in Traffic Wave and several MLM biz ops, so I started out in some of those too.
That was when I first joined some TEs like EasyHits4U, StartXchange, Dragon Surf & a few others. In discussions among that community about where to promote all that stuff, there was a lot of trashing of traffic exchanges as “worthless” & no good, yet I kept finding myself going back to TEs again and again. Soon after that I landed in my first Affiliate Funnel seminar (back when you were still an AF owner) & started learning what I was doing wrong & how I could do better – and voila, nearly a decade later here I am still firmly entrenched in traffic exchanges & related stuff!
2. You also made the transformation from surfer to owner, how has the industry changed since you started your newest TE compared to your first endeavour?
LYNN: I guess I can answer that in two ways. In the grand scheme of things, I think there’s even less of an understanding that you really do have to spend at least *some* money to expect any substantial return at all. Granted, people have always tried to look for the easy button and free and spend as little money as possible – that’s never changed – but I think it’s maybe more so than ever these days. You really do have to be willing to spend at least a little to see anything at all substantial in return.
The free/easy mentality has always been there but it seems much more so now compared to 7 or 8 years ago. It boggles my mind sometimes how many free members I see spending tons of effort promoting stuff, when they’d be making two, three, even in some cases five or six times as much in commissions if they weren’t trying to do it all for free. (Or even better, be willing to spend a little money & launch your own product or program.)
Another change for me (and more directly comparative to my first endeavor) is that as an owner this time around I was much more prepared and had more experience behind me to help me be a lot more effective, I think. My first foray into running a traffic exchange years ago kinda got thrown in my lap and with next to no instructions, and I wound up being mostly self-taught. It’s been a little easier for me this time now that I actually kinda know what I’m doing and how stuff works and what my goals should be, LOL!
Having Robert Arnold as a business partner has been a huge bonus too ‘cos even though there were things I knew how to do, Brian & I have both learned a ton from Robert in the time we’ve all been working together, both about business itself as well as technical stuff – Arnie’s just a genius when it comes to the technical end, I don’t think there’s anything he can’t do. And with TERL such a tremendous success as a TE, Robert’s knowledge gained from TERL has definitely benefited our learning curve with Sound Surf Live.
3. Brian has been an awesome addition to the community and industry, what’s it like working together and being life partners as well? Is the dinner conversation about surf ratios and badges ? 😉
LYNN: Well, since Brian was laid off his last job for a pretty good while & was around here at home for some time before we opened Sound Surf Live with Robert, things didn’t change for us all that much other than the conversation occasionally throughout the day will be about this or that having to do with the business & business-related plans. And even before that, as he got more and more involved in the community in general, sure, we talk here and there about various things going on or issues.
He certainly learned a great deal in a pretty short amount of time after we opened SSL and I was pretty impressed with how quickly he caught on to various things. Most of our conversations are pretty boring, though – a “Hey, I did this” or “We need to do this” here and there throughout the day and that’s about it unless there’s some industry-related news/gossip/scandal item that pops up of interest, LOL. I guess we kind of talk about TE stuff kind of like folks do what they had for lunch or the weather, but it’s probably only about 10-20% of the daily conversation here at home!
BRIAN: I definitely had a lot to learn, and still do. That being said, I was lucky enough to be with Lynn who has an extensive background and knowledge of what seems to work and what doesn’t. Without that I’d truly be lost. We do bounce ideas off of each other to try to keep things fresh. I can honestly say though, I’ve never heard her talk in her sleep about surf ratios. LOL
4. What is the most important lesson both have you have learned from your time within CTP Teams and the industry?
LYNN: Much like I talked about above, that you can’t expect to do it all for free or cheap and have any success. I tried to do it at low and no cost in the distant past & wasn’t getting much of anywhere. I hate to harp on the need for spending money to make any money thing, but it’s absolutely necessary. Maybe a better way to put it and much more important: Do everything for free and you’ll probably get back about exactly what you put in… on the other hand, if you take some steps to invest in yourself, you’ll be much more likely to see some real success and gains.
As for CTP Teams – network, network, network. The things you get out CTP Teams by networking and getting to know those on your team are way, way more valuable than winning any competition or medals. There are so many terrific things my teammates and I have been involved in that probably never would have happened if not for our team.
My program Commission Scoop would probably still be just a thought and idea bouncing around in my head, and might have never launched, had I not gotten to know and network with folks like Sunny Suggs and Rhonda Pizor, who were both instrumental in the creation of it and getting it off the ground & running. Sunny & I were acquaintances and knew each other way back when, but working closely together on Lucky 13 resulted in not only a close friendship I treasure but took our relationship as colleagues to a whole other and way stronger level. The value in that kind of networking you get with the Teams is just priceless and so valuable.
BRIAN: The best thing I’ve learned is not worrying about what Joe Surfer/Owner is doing and to focus more on what works for us. That little bit of wasted time adds up to so much more in the grand scheme of things and pays off better in more ways than just money in our pocket. Also, like Lynn said, sticking with it. Even in the short time I’ve been around I’ve seen how important that is. Also, like Lynn said, investing in yourself. You are your best commodity. If you won’t invest in yourself why do you think others will?
5. And finally, where do you both see the industry going within the next few years? What is needed to take this to another level?
LYNN: I wish I really had a good answer here. One thing that’s struck me in the last couple of years is that our little subset of online marketing seems to be gaining more footing as a “hobby” rather than business lately – I think it’s always been and always will be a little bit of both, but there’s definitely more traffic exchange “hobbyists” around than ever lately and that’s concerning to me. At the end of the day, this is a business and many of us in the industry work hard on our businesses as our job and to put food on the table, so to speak. I think we all collectively need to work a little harder to bring in new members that are truly interested in making money and business-related stuff to keep the industry healthy.
I think there also needs to somehow be a little change in mindset among the business-minded people that are already here. The folks that are hanging on for dear life griping about video advertising might as well be living in the last century – look around the Internet, EVERYTHING is video-based these days, whether it’s recorded or live streamed, and not just in advertising – EVERYWHERE online. It’s not just the wave of the future, it’s already here and been here for ages now and the people that do video and audio advertising and online interaction are by far way more successful than those who don’t.
It kills me when I see someone who considers themselves an advertiser complain about ANY advertising. All advertising is good & beneficial, and everyone should be doing whatever they are able to and everything necessary to get themselves out there!
By far the number one thing needed in this industry and for people to be successful, though, is consistency. People have always been here, gone away, come back – heck, I did it myself – but I’ve proven to myself that sticking around and sticking it all out has made me more successful than in the past – and it makes me cringe to think of how much more successful I would probably be if I hadn’t taken my break away.
Then I see folks that come and go, and come back and go away again and come back again, all the time… and have even seen some that went away totally trashing the traffic exchange industry elsewhere online and saying it’s worthless and of no use… then come back again, which just boggles my mind. I see stuff like that and I’m thinking like, well, okay, welcome back & I wish you well… hope you stick it out and stick around this time.
So that’s another needed change in mindset for the industry to be taken seriously as a whole & be healthy, I think. Consistency and sticking it out, and not giving up, is really the ultimate, #1 key to getting anywhere at all in this industry… not only does it benefit the industry on the whole and not make TE users look like quitters and dabblers and hobbyists, but staying consistent and sticking things out will likely benefit the person individually (and almost certainly their pocketbook!).
BRIAN: Tough question. There are so many talented folks out there already doing some fantastic things. With the added video/audio capabilities available, the sky is the limit. Like I’ve heard you preach over and over, getting people out of their shell/comfort zone, is key. I’m glad that I got involved and am thankful for the friendships I have made.
Lynn and Brian are co-owners of one of the most unique and vibrant traffic exchanges online SoundSurfLive. As regular participants in the community of CTP Teams, this partner team has helped it grow and continue to add so much value to the industry.