Mark Ford has been in involved in dozens of multimillion-dollar businesses. He and Bill Bonner built the Agora Companies, which has dominated the financial publishing industry for over a decade, and broke over a $1 billion in top-line revenue.
I met him the first time back in 2016 or 17 when my business partner, Jami Stout, was managing the affiliate program for his Palm Beach Letter. Today we talk about the state of the digital publishing business focused on retail and self-directed investors. Plus, what ideas engage investors online and more.
Mark’s knowledge of the business is what you would expect from someone who helped build a billion-dollar company in the industry – extraordinary.
In this conversation he and I discuss what it takes to engage a self-directed retail investor audience – ideas, worldview, and more.
When we turn to the future of the industry he then says some remarkable things.
This conversation is one you don’t want to miss if you’re building or work in a financial publishing business or, are hoping to build an engaged retail investor audience online today.
John Newtson: All right. Well, thanks mark. For joining me today. I’m really excited to have you on to talk with the financial marketing summit community about the industry trends right now. So thanks for being.
Mark Ford: Great to be with you gun.
John Newtson: So for the last, I mean, obviously if I, if I remember the story, right, I think you joined a Gora when maybe it was somewhere around $6 million in revenue or something like that.
And obviously it’s grown into a behemoth of a business, right? And you’ve had a huge impact on the industry. You guys have been the dominant player in the industry, and then now in 2022 we were kind of in a period of time where I feel like there’s just a lot of things changing in the industry.
And so first and foremost, we have the increased regulation, kind of it’s a regulatory attention, I should say, from the FTC and kind of the impact that’s having on the business. We have the mainstreaming of the industry becoming a much bigger industry as our customer base grows. And as more and more individual investors become do it yourself investors and come online looking for information.
And then we have all these intersections intersections with FinTech intersections with other like digital platforms, like broker dealers, capital markets. And I did an interview with a gentleman named Ian Rosen who was the GM of MarketWatch at one point. And. CEO StockTwits. And they’re part of a piece, part of a FinTech called Tiffin, and they just raised a hundred million dollars and they’re buying up a bunch of small publishers and he had a really interesting point.
And he’s like, you know, from the tech perspective it used to be that developing technology and FinTech that was the hard thing. But that’s not really the hard thing for those guys anymore. The hard thing is what you guys have done, which is build audience, particularly at scale within the financial sector.
And that is the most valuable thing right now. And I think that, you know, first and foremost, I I’d love to get your take on what it is that engages investors, right? Because traditionally the newsletter space, I would say. You know, focused on alternatives had personalities, but you guys become the masters of this model of using content and promotion to engage investors.
So when you think about what ideas sell or engage investors, like how do you even think about that from a framework?
Mark Ford: Well, there’s a very traditional way of looking at it, which is to imagine that investors or rather people that are willing to pay money to get investment information are motivated by either fear or greed. And fear certainly plays a role with many, many of our customers, but a bad term to use because it in short circuits, all the other emotions that are at play when people are looking to improve their, their stock market portfolio performance or their wealth. And in fact, if greed is probably very rare motivation, it’s mostly about things like self-esteem and then righting wrongs and and also curiosity and also worldview, a big part of it has to do with people’s individual views of how the world should be.
We have some of our most successful. Advertising campaigns, where though is that, that didn’t actually offer any solutions in terms of the investment gains by just the prospect of getting investment advice from somebody who had a like-minded view of the world.
John Newtson: I was just going to hone in on that.
The worldview aspect, I feel like is one of those things that has been easily lost, especially in people who come from business from kind of learning an copywriting perspective or they’re coming at it from a very active trading perspective. And they’re thinking about like the technical analysis or thinking about maybe individual stock picks, but they’re not stepping back and saying no, like when you build a franchise or you’re building a publication, you, you have to take a view on the world and be able to communicate that.
So, I mean, that’s a pretty, do you think that’s pretty foundational then to building your messaging?
Mark Ford: Yeah, absolutely.
Yeah. And I can understand how now with them, if somebody coming into the business now as a younger person, you might think it’s all about trading and profits, but you’re not going to really build a big file that way, where, you know, Agora’s, I dunno how big are our unpaid file is it’s three or 4 million, maybe 5 million, but the paid file is a million and a half. And that side counting a major part of our business that we just sold. And you can’t get those kinds of numbers, you know, traders represent, you know, maybe at best 5% of our, our files and people. Yeah, and certainly professional traders are, are really not the target.
We’re, we’re looking for individual amateur investors that want help and that the traders among them, are a small percentage of your file. So if you want to, if you want to develop the file of a thousand people willing to pay your $10,000, you’re going to need. At least 50,000 subscribers paid subscribers to listen to your general investment advice..
So, yes. It would be a mistake to think that it’s all about profits and making quick bucks and so on. And, and often the younger copywriters, that’s something that the situation I have to deal with because they have, it’s hard for them to believe that if they go for a longer game in terms of developing relationship with the customer that in the end everybody will be better off including them because their their royalties will be longer and stronger.
John Newtson: Yeah. And that’s like, I remember the. These old great magalog packages, right? I mean, you go back to the bookalog Plague of the Black Debt and I remember there was a promo, I think it was “Ignore China, lose money.” And it’s these big macro kind of theses and it seemed like the copy was selling kind of a macro view on the world.
And then the back ends were much more active, but the front end product and ideas where these big kind of macro trends often and then I feel like probably like the last five, six years that this kind of uptake in active trading, everyone gets so excited about, I would say some of the Trader educators that use a lot of social who have maybe a younger demographic.
And they’re thinking that, well, this is the future, but like demographically, that’s still, you know, the, the younger, younger, I mean the first millennial just hit 40 last year. Our market is still very much an older investor because that’s when you get really serious about the markets is my view.
And so the I feel like there’s this boom in trading promos that maybe because it, part of it was, we had the crypto boom and we had the cannabis boom. And so I feel like a lot of the copywriters that came up and I say this as somebody who was a copywriter for years, I was used to write for Clayton Makepeace, and I worked in the trading is when I started, it seemed like the, the trading promos were so much focused on gains, big winners and systems that you have a generation of copywriters that don’t understand how to write a big idea promo.
Mark Ford: Yeah, I agree. I agree with you. And, and they and they also, they find it difficult to write those type of promos under strict regulatory controls ’cause you know, when the you know, we talked about it before the FTC is has been pretty active. We’ve had a dealing with them ourselves and and their, their rules are, you know, they’re tough. They’re reasonable rules. What they’re trying to eliminate, I think correctly is you know, people that are giving misleading impressions about track record, for example, for a analyst’s track record by cherry picking winners and so on.
And and if that’s your only game, you know, if that’s as a copywriter, If the only thing, you know, how to do is just, you know, look at the track record and extrapolate extract cherry picked examples and, and put them repeating on the page then what, what are you going to do when that you’re not allowed to do that anymore.
John Newtson: Right.
Mark Ford: And there’s plenty, there’s plenty to do plenty of successful packages that can be written. But you need any more hours in your equivalent? And that’s not the same however that a big idea packages always work, you know, as I’ve explain to my partners many times that we big idea packages only work about 20% of the time, 30% of the time.
Most of the time, it’s very conventional packages. I’m not talking about trading greed, you know, hyper there’s a big difference between front end. But there are two or three and and Clayton knew this better than anybody. There are two or three general, I would say approaches to or aspects of the investor.
Just say investor for the moment. Not although we know that many of our subscribers don’t actually invest. I just like reading about investors. That’s your psychology. So you have the, let’s take a quick look. You have these macro economic people, the people that have a view of how the world works from a macroeconomic point of view, the perma-bears and so on, and they want to buy your newsletter to prove that they’re right about their economic theories.
Then you have, there’s a version of them. That’s different. The there’s a version of kind of a fire and brimstone gold guys that feel that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. These two overlap approach.
Then there were the investors who believed that the way to get wealthy is through little tricks and gimmicks.
You know, there’s little things you can do. You know, you save a little money in tax, should try this over there. You invest on Monday mornings instead of Monday afternoon, and that’s a whole different mentality.
And then there’s people who have their primary interest, and these are mostly people that are retired or just about three return, his income and what they want to know is how they can boost their income.
So there were those in there probably two or three others, I haven’t mentioned, but what you’ll see in the market. If you, if you have a perch, like I’ve been lucky to have over the past 20 years of having, you know, I don’t know, 60 or 80 promotions that are going out every month that I can look at inside and out and see the results on.
You’ll see that there are waves, there were always waves. Then you go through all these different aspects aspects of psychology, you know, the things that appeal sometimes, you know, huge gains appeal, but sometimes like small dollar amounts, you know how to put an extra $300 is more powerful or more believable than how to make 360% on your next trade.
So So these things go back and forth and of course that’s that’s one issue. And then the other issue for the copywriters, you’ve got your, the product that you’re selling, which is an actual thing with a real track record, and you can’t make it turn into just anything. And so that’s a, you know, That’s another issue too.
There’s some, you know, again, from our perspective, it’s one we can manage because we could put we could take a third of our promotions, keep them going keep the backends going, but not do any front end promotions because we know that whole approach is just not going to work for another six months or a year.
So there’s no certain way of knowing, you know, when these things are coming and going so
John Newtson: Well so when you build a franchise, I mean, like, it seems to me like the you have these different market segments and the worldview that you present like that I remember when you launched Palm beach letter, you had a very kind of clear worldview.
You had a very clear kind of even the tone to it that is very different than say some of the Agora financial franchises that were much more aggressive. So, or do you think, are you how much overlap is there between these kinds of like, you know, you have the guys, like you said, who were, who were looking for little tricks, it’s a different mentality.
So you have these different mentalities of investors in a general franchise. Like, I can’t imagine you’re tapping more than two or three of those really consistently then, because they can be pretty, pretty like varied, right? Like the super active options trader is very different than the income investor.
Mark Ford: Okay.
I’m not quite sure I understand the question, but let me answer a question that I thought you might’ve asked, which is that you can have a franchise in generally what we’ve done is you create a franchise that has a certain that’s that’s based in not, it must be based on the key idea person in that franchise.
Let’s just say it’s an analyst and then from that franchise, you developed backends that are appropriate to it. Now, if you’re, if you’re a guru, your analyst has any integrity, he’s only going to allow you to do certain kinds of back ends. So when I was writing the front end for Palm beach letter, you know, I was not interested in promoting any backends that I didn’t feel were useful.
So. As far as you know, I was willing to sell an option service that that sold puts, but not, you know not many other things, but it turned out that that was fine because I was able to, you know, engage with the, the trade or that was going to be recommending. And we came up with a system that reflected my.
Point of view and even a few new bells or whistles that I thought was clever that I took credit for. And and we it’s sold very well and that it was really kind of a bread and butter version of you know, selling puts with a couple of little twists, but it was wrapped in it was wrapped in me and my very conservative approach to investing.
And so people felt in fact, we sold hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe over, over a million dollars worth of that product before we ever launched the product, just by me talking about what I was doing editorially and asking them if you wanted to sign up for a a hotlist, you know so when we bring it out and we, those people just, they didn’t even read the promotion and just signed up.
John Newtson: Well, that’s. I mean, there’s a couple of things that come to mind to that. One is first and foremost is I’ve read your editorial quite a bit and your, your promotions and your editorial it so smoothly transitions, it feels like into a promotion without even trying that you can’t even tell the difference when, when it was, especially in the, in the early days of Palm beach letter, when you were really writing a lot there, I don’t think you could tell the difference easily between your promotion and your editorial.
Which is I think a remarkable thing for, for people to notice.
Mark Ford: Well, I always said to copywriters that the only difference between good copy and good editorial writing is if one is selling an idea and one is selling a manifestation of an idea, that’s the only difference. It’s very little difference.
So, and when I was selling, when I was, in other words, for me, there was no difference. I was writing about you know, my skepticism of options. And now I learned this and I read this and this is all true. And, but I knew that people would be interested because I knew that I had, you know, one of the advantages I’ve had in our business since the very beginning is I’ve never been interested in investing.
And so I’ve learned very little and I’ve, I’ve maintained to a level of ignorance that represents beginning enthusiasts. You know, I kind of know all the terms, but I don’t really know, and I don’t really want to know it feels painful to me. So when I decided that we had to have, you know, I had to have a backend service to make the thing viable, I just let people come along with me, showed them my, my doubts and concerns. And then, and then show them how this Tom Dyson, who was my younger partner, who was showing me how to do it. Right. Getting you excited about the discoveries. And so it was all genuine. And and then it was seamless because there wasn’t any, I was literally selling the idea of You know, as this type of option strategy, as I was discovering it, you know, one of my best, one of my most productive emails…
I don’t know when I attached it to, but was an email. I was, I was 60 something when I was writing it and I had just read my I’ve been in the business now for over 30 years at this time. And I read, I just read my first book on Warren Buffet and I wrote an essay about how amazing Warren Buffet is and what worked.
And this thing sold like gangbusters. I forget what it was. We what we attached to it might’ve been even a free, premium, whatever, but it got a huge response. And I just, you know, it just shows you that where you often underestimate the the level of sophistication of most of our readers over basic reader and also that our readers feel a little bit intimidated.
They, they, so that’s why readers don’t realize… the front end, which is the most important, what readers are looking for, somebody that they can trust, because they know they’ll never really understand all these terms, like talking to an insurance agent, you know, you know, you’re never going to know what the hell you are buying, but at least if the guy seems honest, you’re willing to go ahead.
And so I think that’s why so there. So some people are looking for a person that has the same geopolitical views that some people are looking for somebody that has the same, like moral, ethical views. Some people are looking for somebody that has the kind of approach to living life, like little bits and pieces making, you know, that that makes them feel comfortable.
And so that’s what all that other stuff is really about. It’s about that, that what you’re doing is you’re introducing yourself to people that, you know, what. Be in the investment business, you know, individual investment business, but but they’re amateurs on. They know they’ll always be amateurs, so they need guidance and they don’t want to be taken, but they’re not idiots.
You know, they know that they’re vulnerable to be taking attention, be taken advantage of. And so they do what, the only thing they can do, he used their emotional intelligence to try to figure out whether the person. That they’re thinking about subscribing to is trustworthy and knowledgeable.
John Newtson: Oh, I love that.
That’s, that’s an interesting, like way to frame it, that they’re using your emotional intelligence on that, which makes total sense. Cause there’s this big element of identity then in what they buy, like I will buy from the person who’s this, but I wouldn’t buy from.
Mark Ford: Right. But I’m glad you said that because now there’s a corollary contrary corollary to that, which is.
In in every, and this is more for publishers then for copywriters, but within every group 10,000, or hundred thousand or a million subscribers, financial newsletter subscribers, there’s a portion. There’s always a portion of them that are like crazy traders and want to make crazy money. And they exist in and every and, and every segment, I mean, you know, I, I remember, you know, when my partner Bill Bonner, he writes just, you know, everything is doom and gloom. And I remember seeing, he wrote one, particularly, you know, gloomy piece about how you should just never get near stocks and they’re all terrible. And then right after that, they like right in the middle of, it was like a little ad for another service. And the answer is like how to make a thousand times your money or whatever. And I looked at the numbers and that thing was exploding as people are, you know, they, they took a pause from hearing why they should never invest in stocks now. Not all of them, obviously a tiny percentage of, so you do need to remember that as a, as a business person, publisher. There are always going to be some people that that just are in it to, for the biggest promises. And yeah. So they’ll be there for you. But my, my general point is I don’t, I think you shouldn’t be looking for them on the front end, you know, look for the people that are going to stay with you because they appreciate your perspective, your approach, your view of the world.
John Newtson: I think that’s, it’s such an interesting thing because because of where I’m at in the, in the publishing, but I don’t have your view of as many businesses out of the seat but I, with the conference, we see lots of small publishers. We see lots of small trader educators. I, you know, I know a lot of, a lot of your publishers.
And then when I, when I see the businesses that, that are stable in revenue versus the ones that might kind of have like a, a big run-up and then they disappear that front end piece is very much different. It’s the more aggressive that copy is on the front it seems the more volatile customer is
Mark Ford: Absolutely yeah. A hundred percent. And not just in the piece itself, but the franchise itself, the first successful package I wrote was for an investment club. This was back. I don’t know what the early eighties, it was first promotion I ever wrote and it turned into what’s now the Oxford club, which is one of the the publishing franchises and that that has never really changed from that first for the first promotion I read was the change in the sense that when I wrote it, I was making stuff up. Now it’s actually real. They really do have this, these mansions all over the place and these great people behind them. And I was writing about what I would like it to be.
And and it’s so solid their… Their franchise that it’s very hard to write a promotion for them that isn’t doesn’t have some solidity and of all the franchises, the group publishing groups on investment side in Agoura that has had it hasn’t had the greatest growth, but it’s, it’s had the most steady growth continued growth.
And there’s a lot to be said for that because it’s, it’s, you know, it’s great fun to go from, you know, a hundred million dollars to $300 million. But when you drop back down to $80 million, boy, that’s not fun at all.
John Newtson: Yeah. And it is that it is the Oxford club is one of the ones that I feel like. Cause I remember the Oxford club, they were a big they’re one of the more successful ones back when you did At it way back with early to rise.
When you did you did the, you did a marketing conference, like a one-time marketing conference, you sold out to the space. And I remember the Oxford club was one of the ones, I think at the time they might’ve been 60 million, I think they said, or something like that. And they’re still here and a lot of the publishers came up after them and have disappeared, but they’re still stable.
Mark Ford: That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s, again, You know, if you’re a copywriter that this stuff may not be as important to you, but if you, you know, if you decide to get into the business of selling information, then it’s, it is important to know. I mean, if what you’re always looking for is lifetime value and that, you know, your lifetime value means it comes from from years of relationship and you know, your customers won’t stay with you unless you’re giving them value.
Eventually they’ll… You can fool on once you confirm twice, but after that they’re pretty much gone,
John Newtson: Right. Yeah. So let me, let me just switch a little bit, cause I know we don’t have too much time, but the, the kind of direction of the space kind of going mainstream. And that’s, that has to, I think with the fact that, you know, we’ve been in a bull market of the self-directed investor for probably close to 10 years and that’s going to continue.
I think it’s a generational kind of transformation of how people, you know, choose to invest. Like where do you, what do you think the direction of the industry is?
Mark Ford: Well, yeah, it’s a good question. I don’t know the answer. There are times when I think the, that we’re at the end of our industry. Honestly, I think that there are, there are between well, between, well, I just said because of the general the way the media has developed the.
Access to alternative information, the ability of regulators to squash things. You know, I’ve seen I’ve seen other sectors of our general industry disappear. And sometimes I think this may be true for us, however, So far, it hasn’t so far, it hasn’t happened. Generally. What happens is you go into sumps and things change and and so, you know, I’m certainly not going to give up on it.
But it is different very different. The fundamental way that it’s different from back in the direct mail day days is was apparent to me 20 years ago, which is that. And this is something we introduced to Agora a couple of years ago for it to be, to be a good business today you’re going to have to be authenticity and transparency are key.
You, you can’t pretend to be a business that, that you’re not because everything is transparent today. People will find out who you really are and what you’ve done and so on. And all these things are on the permanent record. So So on the one hand, it makes for a lot more competition because everybody can see what everybody else is doing and, and you know, constantly and, and make adjustments and knock each other off.
And so there are many, many more players in there have a world were our business and also the barrier of entry is smaller, but also because of all of that competition the, the cost of the media costs is high. You know, it’s like an optimal, it’s kind of a peaking levels all the time. Cause you got a bunch of, it’s like being on worth avenue R on a fifth avenue, New York, you know, having, you can make money there, but the rent is so high.
You’ve got to have really good game. And so I think that’s kind of where we are. Right. So it’s a it’s a lot of pressure and it, you know, I do think people of businesses will survive, but they’re the guy you’re going to, since you need transparency and authenticity, you have to have something solid to sell something that does distinguish you in some way.
And it’s, I think it’s going to be very hard for the the wannabes and you know, to people that are knocking each other off to just they’ll have it at the moment and then it’ll be, you’ll be gone. I don’t know if I answered your question.
John Newtson: No, you did. Absolutely. I think that, that, there’s two things that, that first I have a comment, which is the media cost issue I feel like is something that too many people are ignoring right now because I see. So I see a lot. This, this is the first time we’ve been running the financial marketing summit for almost 10 years now. This is a first time in the history of the industry, as far as I know where we have media agencies that primarily were serving our space.
I have more media agencies in the $25 to $70 million range. Then I have publishers.
Mark Ford: Wow.
John Newtson: That means that obviously media agencies are fundamentally a parasitic revenue model, right? They, they’re only as big as a percentage of their customer base and their customer base now includes a different mix of, of people where we have actual issuers like the Reg A and crowdfunding space that, that is reliant on either a newsletter covering the, the, the issue or a marketing campaign. And I’ve seen guys doing a Reg A campaign and they’re spending $10,000 a day on Facebook to fill it. And so the media, just from that one segment competition is coming and then we see some of these other platforms that are, that are coming in and trying to go after the investor. There’s a lot more money coming into this space which is going to increase click competition. So I think you’re right. Like the, the, you have to have a higher level of game just to stay alive and be able to scale.
Mark Ford: Yes. Yeah. And there’s some good and some bad about that.
The good is that in other words, in other words, what’s happening is we’re starting to compete with with actual like money management firms, hedge funds, and so on. We’re actually gonna start the difference. The problem there is that for, for us in the newsletter industry, a high lifetime value for a customer might be $600 or $700.
For them, a modest is $5,000. So that’s a lot more money to spend to acquire a customer. And the bad news is for us is because you know, obviously we, we, we would need to figure out how to get our lifetime up a lot higher, but the good news is that when you have all that money to spend. You don’t have to have such crazy copy.
You know Fisher investments is all over the place with very modest, like initial entry. So you can, you can have a much longer customer onboarding I think that’s generally good for the business, but again, like it’s, to me, it’s authenticity and transparency.
If you don’t have a something at, you know, an actual business product that is, is really good and solid has value, then you’re, it’s like, you’re, you’re trying to build a business on swamp water it’s just more than ever, and you need that. And that’s why I feel kind of you know, generally optimistic, I guess I’d put it this way.
Our business, as we know, it probably will disappear, but people that are smart in our business and understand the fundamentals will continue and reshape their business into whatever it needs to be. And whether that means offering alternative services or offering. at a Agora we’re, we’re offering a lot more technical solutions for like generally stop-losses and all kinds of things like that, that people enjoy.
So we’ll see how that goes. But I generally feel optimistic about it.
John Newtson: Yeah, I think, I think that the, the there’s definitely like opportunity with the tools kind of side of the business. But I also see, because if I look at other areas of financial and how they’re kind of moving, reaching towards us in the sense of you have platforms, you have, you have VCs out there who are trying to do a media and content.
And, and really like, I did a big the presentation for FMS last year on all these different trends. And one of them is how all the business development functions and capital raise functions in traditional finance are actually merging with a content media model. And so as we see that happen more, I think that one of the, one of the things that I’ve definitely learned from you guys about the newsletter industry is that, you know, it’s a focus a lot of times on alternative ideas, fringe ideas, early ideas, things that you can’t get in the mainstream or else, why would you pay for it?
As the power of having an audience. And you’re the power of your audience is unrivaled in the retail space. I mean, I know, I know people out there who are, who are trying to like, they’re so eager to find a way to get a company into your ecosystem because it’s, for a recommendation on an earned media basis that, cause it could drive two, three, $400 million in volume for their public company.
And I think that with that kind of power. I think that we’re moving into an area like the business is going to change, but it’s going to be like a revenue strategy change that we’re gonna start to see where I’m taking the worldview and the ability to engage us in the investor in merging it with some of these VC models.
And or partnering with, with accelerators in groups where you can create something where they can attract more unique deal flow, right companies. And now the franchise has unique early opportunities because I’ve talked to a lot of capital markets players, guys who are pretty sophisticated.
A couple of guys who have multiple billions in income themselves from taking companies public. And what they’re telling me is that the capital market process has kind of changed so much because so many of these brokers have, they used to rely on, have moved to asset management models that they want publishers to come in, work with them to earlier be and get customers into deals way earlier than they ever would have allowed them before, because there isn’t anybody in that spot that could fill that piece of the capital life cycle. And so it just, we have one guy he was a this guy Dr. Ghosh he was the head of macroeconomics from Mubadala, which is the UAE sovereign wealth fund.
He. He worked at Bridgewater raised a billion or something like that for, for, for them. And he’s all about impact investing and alternative energy and things like that. And he gets chunks of, of deal flow from companies that are raising with Bill Gates’s family office or his breakthrough energy, his VC fund.
And he’s saying. Maybe I could find relationships in the publishing world to slice off pieces of these deals that are getting in at the same time as those guys were talking about some of the most sophisticated investors in like alternative energy. And if he, if he could find a publishing partner, he would love to be able to take that and say, Hey, now we have customers who can co-invest at the same time as these traditionally like, you know, A-level investors because that capital power, all of a sudden is there. And so I, I, I believe fundamentally that that is one of those areas that we’re going to see.
Mark Ford: I, I think you’re right. One of our superstars is very much working towards that as the business. I mean, for Bill and for me, it’s it brings us away from what we were interested in doing, staying on the idea side and staying on the behind the first amendment, so on, but yeah, but I think you’re probably right. It’s just, it’s the, the logic of moving that direction is so strong and the rewards are so evident that I, I don’t see how people do resist to tell you the truth.
John Newtson: more of, it’s more of a question of like, how do you, how do you do it when you have such an established revenue .
Model and, you know, business that’s, you don’t want to put at risk because you have relied on first amendment businesses.
So it is a more complicated environment, I think.
Mark Ford: Well, if you figure it out let me know.
John Newtson: Have a lot. We’ve spent a lot of time in a lot of, we spend a lot of time talking about it internally with our, with our small group. And there are some models that we’ve developed actually that I think we’re going to work really well.
Mark Ford: I’m curious just let me know.
John Newtson: Oh yeah, no, I’d love to run them by you. Probably not on a, not a recorded call for everybody, but.
But no, hey mark. I know you have to go here in a minute, so thank you so much for taking the time. I really enjoyed talking to you. I just to reiterate something I said in an email, like you’ve had a huge influence on me going back to you know, AWAI, early to rise, like all your books. When we started our accelerator group, the first thing that we did was we bought copies of Ready, Fire, Aim for everybody.
Right? If you’re going to build a publishing business, like this is, this is like, Direct response publishing 101 like, you have to know this stuff.
Mark Ford: So that’s good too. I’m glad to hear that. Thank you. And if any of you, your readers want to follow my insightful advice on how to persuade your wife not to watch the movie that she wants to watch with you and how to deal with your bad eating habits.
I’m I, they can follow me at mark ford.net.
John Newtson: Wonderful. I’ll post that link with this.
Mark Ford: All right, John. Pleasure. Thanks. Take care. Bye.