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A Brief History of Internet Marketing

A Brief History of Internet Marketing

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Published by alexbwurth
In this astonishing interview with infamous Black Hat Internet Guru Howie Schwartz; David Ledoux spills the beans on some BIG name Internet Marketers
In this astonishing interview with infamous Black Hat Internet Guru Howie Schwartz; David Ledoux spills the beans on some BIG name Internet Marketers

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Published by: alexbwurth on Mar 15, 2008
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11/05/2012

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Howie Schwartz PodcastInterview with David Ledoux
Howie:Hi everyone, this is Howie Schwartz and I wanted to introduce you to David Ledoux,who is a very good friend of mine and also an amazing marketer who you may nothave heard of before today, but you will be very comfortable with his work and willwant to follow very closely his lead and what he’s going to be talking about.If you haven’t listened to a call with me in the past, my background originally is inthe video game industry and I’ve spent half a decade or so developing video gameswhich was a lot of fun, but way too much work. Then I moved into the venture capitalindustry and was working also with entrepreneurs and small business owners. For the past nine years I’ve been working full-time in internet marketing and I’ve had theopportunity to coach thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners on howthey’re managing their marketing online and how they’re growing six and sevenfigure businesses with a focus on Web 2.0 and traffic strategies.So I wanted to introduce again David Ledoux; he’s from Toronto, Canada. Wewanted to talk about really his view in the marketing industry. So last October Davidactually travelled to my home in Connecticut and we had a lot of fun comparing notesand brainstorming where the marketing industry has been going. For us it was a greatopportunity to get to know each other. We’ve been involved in some other programstogether online and had a chance to exchange emails, but really it was in October wasthe first time we got to spend some one on one time together. So David, I wanted tothank you again for joining me on the call and I look forward to learning from youtoday.David:Yeah Howie, I’m thrilled to be here.Howie:Excellent. So what I wanted to also do was see if we could talk a little bit about the beginning. What I mean by that is we all start as entrepreneurs and we sometimesdon’t think of people in the marketing industry as an entrepreneur. We think maybethey’re a little lazy, maybe they’re just hanging around and working from home. Butto be able to be in internet marketing or to really market any concept online, youreally do need to have the mindset of an entrepreneur and I wanted to learn a little bitabout your start and also what your opinion is of the entrepreneur mindset withinmarketing.David:Oh, wonderful. Well if we’re going to start at the beginning, Howie, let’s go back to1987. At the time I was attending the University of Toronto and I was attempting toget into medical school. My aspirations were to be a dental surgeon and unfortunatelythat year I had spent a lot of time in athletics. I was the University of Toronto newcollege male athlete of the year in 1987 with letters in hockey, soccer, water polo, andfootball. That year I got a fifth letter that I wasn’t so proud of and that was a “D” inCalculus, and because of that “D” in Calculus I couldn’t get into medical school thePage
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Howie Schwartz PodcastInterview with David Ledoux
following year and I was looking at another four years of university before I couldeven get into medical school.I was kind of dejected and I was in downtown Toronto in an elevator of a tall building. You’ve got to picture, I mean this is the eighties, I had long hair down to myshoulders, I had an earring, and I had a leather jacket on, beat-up shoes with holes inthem and blue jeans. I had a Metallica T-shirt. I mean I was good looking. This was1987 and a lady, she got on the elevator and she was in her early forties, she was very professional looking in a business suit and we’re going down in this huge elevator, along ride down and she glances at me and she says, “You look like a sharp youngman, do you ever look for ways to make extra money?” I stammered, and Iswallowed, and I was just lost for words… I looked to make sure she was actuallytalking to me, and she handed me her business card, and she got off the elevator.I clutched that business card all the way back to my dorm room at university, and ittook me a few days to actually work up the courage to call her, and she introduced meto the world of direct marketing. She was a businesswoman and she had a verysuccessful seven figure business, and she opened my eyes. I was nineteen years oldand I had no idea about things like running a business, time management, peoplemanagement, copywriting, and lead generation. She gave me my start in 1987. It took me years to get good at it, but a decade letter, I had built my own seven figure business in the direct marketing world, and that was the beginning and twenty yearsago it was my start in business.Howie:That’s where I first heard your name was related to direct marketing and I mentionedto some friends, “This guy named David from Toronto is coming to my house andwe’re going to spend some time together at this workshop,” and someone said,“David Ledoux from direct marketing?” I said, “You know, I don't know. I’ve got toask him.” Because it’s not a world that I know a lot about, but what’s interesting iseveryone from that world knows your name really well, so it’s funny how there’s acrossover from direct sales into the world of internet marketing. I wanted to ask howyou made that transition, because other people, such as Tom Bells, have kind of donesimilar transitions. So I’d love to hear your story on how you transitioned into theworld of internet marketing.David:I was very fortunate to have gotten a computer in 1984 and in 1984 I was on my oldCommodore 64 and I had a bulletin board that I ran while I was going to school. So Iwas on the internet in the mid-eighties before there even really was an internet and Igot onto CompuServe in 1993 I believe and started to use email. We called themwebsites, but they really were an early version of websites in 1993. What happened tome was in 1996 I went to Tahiti with my wife for a seminar with a very famousfinancial author named Robert Allen. Robert Allen is the #1 all time financial author Page
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Howie Schwartz PodcastInterview with David Ledoux
on the New York Times Bestseller list. Bob and I were close friends. I had been onsome training seminars with him and shared the stage.There’s a scene in the graduate with Dustin Hoffman where this guy says to Dustin,“I’ve got two words for you: Plastics.” Back then in the sixties the future was plastics.This was 1996 and Bob said, “The future is the Internet.” I left Tahiti and I came back and it was February 1996, freezing cold in Ontario, middle of winter, snow on theground, and I said I’m going to build an internet business – and this is 1996!Browsers didn’t work. You couldn’t take credit cards on the internet. It was chaos andanarchy, but there was so much opportunity.I started my first project which was a thirty-page training manual for the direct sellingindustry. It was called
The Road to Gold.
I put up my first little webpage, and then in1996 I sold 12,000 copies of this little book. It was a tangible what they called asmart-bind book. We built them ourselves in the basement. We had our own little printing factory going. My wife ran the binding and the shipping factory. We sold12,000 copies at about $9 bucks a piece. That was my first internet business and thatled me to getting into things that in those days nobody was doing. AB testing, testingheadlines, traffic generation… I mean back then there was no Google so we could getat the top of the search engines by keyword stuffing. We called Google AltaVista back then. I remember talking to the owner of Yahoo! on the phone. Today he’s like amultibillionaire but I got him on the phone back in 1996.In 1997 we transitioned into selling picks and shovels. In 1997 we made a fortuneselling auto responders, which were the first automated email clients, selling links,selling software that ran websites in a language called ColdFusion. Back in 1998 wewere pioneering using audio and video on websites. Here we are ten years later andaudio and video have hit a golden age but we were using them way back in 1998, andthat’s kind of how I stumbled into internet marketing.Howie:Yeah, that’s a lot of history. For me, I always considered myself being online for along time and I’ve been focused on this since 1999 full-time and a few years before itdabbling. But you predate all of us by like a decade, which is amazing and it’s a greatstory on Commodore 64. I remember having mine, and writing games when I was akid and hitting all the BBS scenes. I was running around New York City the past fewdays and basically just playing around with the new iPod Touch which is sort of likean iPhone without the phone. It’s got Wi-Fi built in, and I’m browsing, I’m sitting inthe hotel browsing the web on this little thing, and now we’re talking about BBS’sand Commodore 64. So, yeah, that’s a great, great story.One of the fun things now that we’ve spent a lot of time together and I’ve asked awhole bunch of people about your background, a lot of people refer to you as thePage
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