2015 was absolutely amazing and gives me a lot of reasons to celebrate in a big way.
It’s also over 1 year since I quit my job and moved abroad, and looking back, I couldn’t have asked for a better and more fulfilling year, both when it comes to business, lifestyle and personal growth.
I had my challenges too of course, just like everyone else, and I’m looking to get better and improve in 2016, because I really want to top everything that happened in 2015.
Before I look back on the rest of 2015, it helps to look back even further, going back till 2013 when I started this blog with an interview with Pat Flynn. Because I’m far from an overnight success, and I worked (and still do) incredibly hard to get to where I am today… in case you just found out about me and wonder how I achieved this level of success online.
- In 2013, my younger brother suddenly passed away, I started documenting my journey to freedom, building my online presence at navidm.com, and I managed to turn my worst year ever into massive personal growth. I also wrote a very popular and emotional Facebook post about it.
- In 2014, I created my first successful virtual summit, The Branding Summit, finally quit my draining part-time job, moved abroad and achieved the lifestyle I’ve always dreamed of.
In 2015 I started experimenting with writing epic business and lifestyle reviews every quarter. The posts were very well received, and something I will continue doing moving forward. Here’s the 3 quarterly reviews from 2015 (quarter 3 & 4 is combined in one):
- My Epic Business & Lifestyle Review – Quarter 1 2015
- My Epic Business & Lifestyle Review – Quarter 2 2015
- My Epic Business & Lifestyle Review – Quarter 3 & 4 2015
A lot happened in 2015… and I really mean A LOT, as you can read all about in my quarterly reviews above.
Now that 2016 just kicked off, I wanted to take some time to write a proper annual review post for 2015 and I will focus on a few simple questions:
- What went well this year?
- What did not go well this year?
- What are my big plans for 2016?
So now, let’s look at 2015, the best and most fulfilling year of my entire life, although I’m looking to make 2016 much better… always room for improvement and growth in all areas of my life 😉
And just a quick note before we get into it… this is NOT your average annual review post you see around the web. This is an EPIC annual review of 10,844 words covering pretty much everything I in 2015, mixed with text, a lot of photos and some videos… and it’s probably one of the most important posts I’ve written all year (other than my epic quarterly business and lifestyle reviews of course).
What Went Well This Year?
Launch Virtual Summit Mastery
As with many things in business and life, it took me way longer than I initially had planned, but I’m glad I finally decided to just launch VSM with a big baam in September.
I worked like crazy leading up to the launch to get everything ready on time, and I learned a lot from this as well… I will share everything that went down during the launch in an epic post soon.
So what were the results from the first VSM launch
Before I go into the results, I just want to point out that Virtual Summit Mastery is a premium online implementation program, with two tiers right now. The price for VSM Pro is $997 and VSM Elite is $1997, and the price might even increase for the next launch in spring 2016 to reflect the value of everything in the program.
I got over $60,000 in sales from a small, but very targeted launch list of around 1,500 people, which I’m very pleased with. It was a 100% organic launch, and I didn’t do any ads, or have many affiliates on board that brought in a ton of sales (most of the sales came from my own audience). I could have probably generated around 6-figures if I did FB-ads/retargeting, and I’m excited to get into this more next year and for future launches.
This launch was actually my first product launch ever (other than virtual summits), and it’s also a great example of that you don’t need a big launch list to generate a lot of sales, as long as it’s very targeted leads, and you have a great relationship with them. I had been building up buzz VSM for almost a year, first with the pilot program, and then mentioning it here and there in blog posts and in my emails, so my audience already knew it was coming.
I’ll promise to go into a lot more details in a big recap post of my first VSM launch in the next few months. If you have any questions, or something specific you’d like me to cover, please post in the comments section below.
I also did a JV webinar for Chandler Bolt’s audience in December that went very well… $20,000+ in sales (a few people who purchased were already on my list before).
VSM generated over 6-figures in 2015 from the main launch in September, the promotion I did for Chandler’s audience and the sales for the pilot version before the program was officially launched to the public.
I can’t wait to get VSM out there even more this year, and help many people create epic virtual summits so they can skyrocket their business and brand online in a big way.
Helping clients & students launch their successful virtual summits
Several clients and students launched successful virtual summits in 2015, which I’m very proud of. That’s also a big reason why the VSM launch went so well.
Here’s a few Virtual Summit Mastery Case Studies:
- How Chandler Bolt Earned $370,000 (and 30,000 Subscribers) With a Virtual Summit
- How Aj Amyx Earned $16,000 (and 2,400+ Subscribers) With a Virtual Summit
- How Creating a Successful Virtual Summit Helped Jan Koch Grow His Email List by 600% & Become The Go-to Expert In His Field
- How a Virtual Summit Helped Charlyn Keating To 15x Her Email List, Become an Influencer In Her Field & #1 Amazon Bestselling Author
The students in the program are already getting some pretty impressive results (and more to come this year as many VSM students launch their own successful virtual summits)…
I earned over 6-figures from affiliate promotions alone
I couldn’t have dreamed of earning over 6-figures from affiliate promotions alone when the year started.
Let me break it down for you how I did it with a relatively small email list.
First of all, I’m very selective with who I partner with and promote to my audience. It has to be a perfect fit, and most of the time I’ve gone through the program myself, and seen results in my business and/or life from taking action on the material. There’s not a coincident that I became the #1 affiliate for not only one, but three four different launches this year… and I had a much smaller email list than the other people who promoted the same launch.
Here’s who I promoted in 2015, including the results:
Ramit Sethi’s Zero to Launch
I’ve been a proud affiliate for Ramit Sethi’s products since July 2014, and I’ve had quite some success even when my audience was smaller, generating a few $1,000.
Worth mentioning here is that I also purchased his premium online business training, Zero to Launch ($2,000 investment), and I’ve had quite some success with using Ramit’s proven system, especially for validating my Branding Summit, and pre-selling and later also launching my Virtual Summit Mastery program.
For the January launch, my list was around 3,500 people (I grew my list with close to 3,000 people from my summit, and some obviously unsubscribed as well after) and I was excited to see what would happen since I knew that my audience love Ramit’s stuff already.
All I can say is that I crushed it, and this launch exceeded my wildest dreams.
I got 34 sales (and a few additional ones later on as well, not part of the initial promo) for Zero to Launch and a 7.67% conversion rate out of my 443 optins. Each sale generate $800-1400 for me, so you can do the math yourself!
That’s just crazy to me… but it gets even better.
A week or so after the cart closed for ZTL, I receive an email from Ramit himself, and not his affiliate manager, Colleen (who I’m usually in contact with). He said that I won the grand affiliate prize of $7,500… I was blown away but very grateful of course considering that John Lee Dumas, Chris Ducker, Laura Roeder, John Corcoran and Ramit’s own brother Maneesh Sethi promoted his launch, and they have much bigger audiences than I do.
Even though, I was drawn at random to win the cash prize, I kind of deserved it too, since I actually made the most sales out of all affiliates too.
I hope to do well for Ramit’s next launch as well. But I have a lot to live up to if I want to top this January launch. We’ll see how it goes…
I promoted another round of Ramit Sethi’s Zero to Launch in April, and as expected I didn’t do as well as in January when I got 34 sales and won the grand cash prize as his #1 affiliate.
I got around 9 sales for the promo in April, and I’m quite happy with the results considering the last one wasn’t too long ago.
I promoted ZTL a few more times, and got quite a few sales. Moving forward I will promote ZTL around 2 times per year to get better results and not burn my list by sharing the same product and content too often.
Worth mentioning is that I get $800-$1400 in commission per sale, which adds up even if I only get a few of them. I also get commissions from other IWT products on an ongoing basis.
I also tend to get a sale here and there every once in a while without doing anything. They sign up via my link through a blog post, find a video interview on YouTube etc, and then within 60 days buy Zero to Launch, and I get commissions. Love when that happens… thank you Ramit!
Selena Soo’s INFLUENCE
My audience were very familiar with Selena Soo from The Branding Summit, which played a big role in how well the promotion of her online course, INFLUENCE went.
Selena is someone I’ve learned so much from when it comes to building authentic, powerful relationships with people and becoming friends with influencers in my field.
I’m happy to say that I crushed it with the promotion for her program too. YES, I became the #1 affiliate when it comes to sales, and I believe I was #2 when it comes to actual leads. Not too bad to do that well for two promotions in a row!
In order to get the most out of the promotion I did something by creating a bonus page for Selena’s INFLUENCE.
This promotion alone will brought in around $8,500 and some people purchased Selena’s high end program Get Known, Get Clients as well which I got commission for.
Natalie Sisson’s Freedom Plan
My goal was to get 5 sales for promoting Natalie Sisson’s Freedom Plan program.
Not only did I get 8 sales, but I also became her #1 affiliate for getting the most sales for the launch and earned a few $1,000 in commissions. Hope to do even better on the if we partner up and do something together in 2016… I’m a proud member of Natalie’s Freedom Plan program myself!
Selena Soo’s Get Known, Get Clients
After becoming Selena Soo’s #1 affiliate for the launch of her online course, INFLUENCE, I was very excited for promoting her high-end program, Get Known, Get Clients to my audience (GKGC).
Even though I started the promotion kind of late (mostly due to not having internet in my apartment in Cancun!), I still managed to get quite a lot of leads from sending just one initial email.
Selena offered a detailed free report of how she went from $0-157k in her first year of business, and my audience loved it… and the opt-in rates were very high. I believe I sent her a few 100 leads from this first email alone to my list.
Then I ramped up the promotion a little bit, and also offered a few bonuses for signing up via my affiliate link as I usually do for affiliate promos of this kind.
My initial goal was to be the first person that got to 10 sales because then I would also win Selena’s grand cash prize of $5,000 … and I won, super proud of this (and for being able to support Selena with her launch of course).
I got 13 sales in the end on a $3,000-$3600 high-end program which is incredible.
Chandler Bolt’s Self-Publishing Success Summit & Self-Publishing School
Since I was the summit strategist and partner behind The Self-Publishing Success Summit, and it was a pretty good fit for my audience, I promoted it to my email list quite a bit.
I also promoted Chandler’s high end program Self-Publishing School in August, and some people who signed up for the summit, purchased the course as well (which I’m a member of myself).
I earned over $2,000 in affiliate commissions from this promo… in addition to a solid 5-figure payout from being the summit strategist and partner.
Bushra Azhar’s The Email Persuasion Sequence
Bushra Azhar is a Zero to Launch graduate, one of Ramit’s most successful students. When she reached out, and asked me to be an affiliate for her new course, The Email Persuasion Sequence, I thought about it for a little bit, but decided to say yes despite a busy schedule because I wanted to support her launch, and I already knew about the high quality of Bushra’s work.
I got a few sales, and the promotion generated around $1,000… not too bad since it was the first time some people in my audience heard about Bushra, and
Bryan Harris’ Get 10,000 Subscribers
I promoted Bryan Harris’ Get 10,000 Subscribers, and my audience loved it, probably because list building and virtual summits are very related topics. Even though I didn’t get the final numbers from the launch just yet, it should bring in around $15,000-$20,000 over a year.
Todd Herman’s The 90 Day Year
I promoted Todd Herman’s incredible 90 Day Year Program, which will bring in $15,000+ over a year. Here’s a great video interview I did with Todd before the launch to create awareness for The 90 Day Year.
Worth mentioning is that not every promotion I did this year was successful. For example, I only got one sale from promoting Danny Iny’s Course Builders Laboratory (but they refunded unfortunately), and I got zero sales from promoting Marisa Murgatroyd’s service Take Flight Now.
Getting featured on bigger publications, websites and podcasts
I was featured on many bigger publications, websites and podcasts during 2015, without doing too much extra work, other than having a very inspiring story and valuable content to share.
For example, I wouldn’t have been featured on Business Insider twice in 2015, and getting over 300,000 views combined in the USA (and much more worldwide since the articles got re-posted in Serbia, Croatia, Israel, Greece etc.), if it wasn’t for my initial “success” with The Branding Summit that allowed me to finally quit my job, move abroad, and achieve the lifestyle I’ve always dreamed of.
And now I also have my own Wikipedia page, which is pretty cool and adds a lot of credibility to what I do.
Bigger Publications & Websites
- How one man dropped out of law school and built a business that earns him as much as $40,000 a month (Business Insider)
- Re-post from Business Insider on Yahoo Finance
- 11 tips to start earning money doing what you love, from people who have done it (Business Insider)
- The Fastest Way to Build a Following Online (by Alex Pirouz on The Huffington Post)
- How to Earn Six Figures From a Virtual Summit (by Dorie Clark on Entrepreneur)
- Where to Steal Ideas for Your Next Blog Post (Neil Patel’s Personal Site)
- 11 Ways to Get Authority Links for Your New Blog (Neil Patel’s Personal Site)
- Click Here: 16 Hacks That’ll Get Your Call-to-Action Buttons Clicked (Neil Patel’s Personal Site)
- How to Launch a Six-Figure Brand with an Online Summit (Internet Business Mastery with Jeremy Frandsen & Jason Van Orden)
- How To Make To $40,000 A Month Hosting Your Own Virtual Summit (Entrepreneurs-Journey with Yaro Starak)
- How To Use a Virtual Summit to Build a 6-Figure Business (The Suitcase Entrepreneur with Natalie Sisson)
- How to Create Massive Influence and Profit with Virtual Summits – Even If You Have No Audience (Side Hustle Nation with Nick Loper)
- Master Virtual Summits (The Art Of Adventure with Derek Loudermilk)
- Navid Moazzez Gives His Blueprint For Building Summits That Generate Up To $300k In Revenue (Growth Everywhere Podcast with Eric Siu)
- How to Run a Killer Virtual Summit (Content Warfare with Ryan Hanley)
- Navid Moazzez on Virtual Summit Mastery (Content Warfare with Ryan Hanley)
- Creating An Entire Business With Virtual Summits (The Authority Insider Podcast with Matt Wolfe)
- Navid Moazzez On Generating Thousands Of Leads Using Virtual Summits
- How to Turn Adversity Into Success In Life (The Grass Gets Greener with Melissa Wilson)
I was also fortunate enough to be interviewed by my friend John Lee Dumas for EoFire in December 2015. I can’t wait to share the episode with you March 14 this year!
Virtual Summit Interviews
- The Movement Marketing Summit (by Aj Amyx and Andy Zitzmann)
- The WP Summit (by Jan Koch)
- Miracle Business Breakthrough
- Business Building Rockstar Summit (by Nicole Holland)
- Traffic Generation All-stars (by Anthony Tran)
- The Sales Funnel Summit (by Lauri-Ann Ainsworth)
Other Websites/Blogs/Books/Courses etc. (that I’m aware of)
- Overcome entrepreneur mindset barriers: 16 Successful business owners share how they did it (by Sonia Thompson)
- The Side Hustle Path Volume 4: 10 Proven Ways to Make Money Outside of Your Day Job
- Blogging Boost FB Group Q&A (by Elizabeth Bradley)
- Exclusive interview for Zero to Launch Accelerator – Primoz Bozic interviewed me about my process for creating and promoting epic guides (and expert roundup posts)… and it turned out pretty epic. The interview is currently only available for ZTLA students and students in my Virtual Summit Mastery program.
Building authentic, powerful relationships with other top performers in my industry
I have done this extremely well from the very beginning, but I took things to the next level in 2014.
Here are some of the extraordinary people that impacted and helped me the most in 2015:
I met many amazing people this year in person, had conversations with even more on Skype video chat, email, Facebook, Twitter etc., so if you’re not mentioned here, you still mean a lot to me and impacted my journey in some way, THANK YOU!
Gion-Per Marxer (Beecoding)
Gion-Per (or GP as I like to call him) has been my designer since late 2013, and I love working with him. He simply gets me, and I guess I get him as well.
GP is the man behind this website, thebrandingsummit.com, virtualsummitmastery.com and everything else when it comes to design for my business and brand. He also created all the summit pages for The Self-Publishing Success Summit and much more.
He is not only my designer, but also a very good friend, and he always pushes me when I need it the most, especially at times when I was close to giving up before my business finally took off.
I’m exciting to take our partnership to the next level in 2016 and possibly release a WordPress solution that will simplify for many online entrepreneurs to create their virtual summits even if they’re not design or tech savvy. Stay tuned for more info!
If you’re interested in taking your business and brand to the next level, and want to invest in premium website design that converts, you can’t go wrong with GP of Beecoding… but I can’t promise you that he takes on new projects since he’s very busy.
Roger Graves Jr.