Chris “Doctor” Daigle’s company, Agora Financial is widely considered the largest newsletter publisher in the world, and one of the most brilliant marketing companies as well. It was true marketing history when Agora Financial sparked the first direct response digital boom in 2002. Now having been Director of Business Development over at MOBI along with a few stops on the way: does Chris Daigle think Blockchain technology will become the industry’s future?
Listen to the podcast here:
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Blockchain Technology With Agora Financial’s Chris Daigle
I am joined, as always by our cohost, the inventor of the infomercial, the original shark on Shark Tank, the amazing, original, Kevin Harrington. Kevin, thanks so much for joining us.
Fantastic to be in here. Thank you, Seth. Let’s have some fun.
Let’s have some fun with our very special guest, Chris “Doctor” Daigle. Chris has got an incredible background. He is a Director of Business Development at Agora Financial, which is the largest newsletter publisher in the world and one of the most brilliant marketing companies as well. Before that, he’s got an incredible background. He was also Director of Business Development for our good friends over at MOBE, My Own Business Education, along with quite a few other stops along the journey. Chris, thank you so much for joining us.
I’m really happy about the invitation. Thank you.
Chris, you’ve worked with some amazing, in our world, household name companies. How did you get started?
I launched my first website in 2002. The industry, the direct response digital environment, was a lot smaller back then. My first website was a moderate success and that allowed me the ability to travel to a lot of the events to support people that were doing their first events and their second events. I got a chance to meet people who now have graduated to very big business that back in the day were having their first go at a live event or just having their first successes online. That was how I got started.
Chris, at Agora Financial, what other kinds of information are you guys publishing?
We had a very successful launch with someone who, I guess you could call it biz-op but it’s very legitimate. Timothy Sykes is his name. When he was in college his first year, I got started investing in penny stocks. He’s somewhere on the spectrum as far as when it comes to being a data-driven person and has gone on make tens of millions of dollars. We launched his product and we’re doing about a million dollars per hour in revenue from that launch. We published James Altucher who is a thought leader.
The Bitcoin guy right now, right?
According to Mashable, Yahoo, Newsweek, everything, yes. We’ve been the catalyst for taking James from the awareness level that he had to being the face of Bitcoin, whether that’s good or bad thing for him. We’re directly responsible for making that big splash with him. We publish health as well. We publish a preparedness, self-reliance. When you talk about finance, there’s all these equity classes that we cover from angel investing all the way through to very stable stuff, income investing, we work with world-class celebrities as far as finance goes when it comes to the analysis of macroeconomics. I’m not a finance guy. I’m a business development guy but we have the best.
Do you have sales training or sales courses anywhere in your network?
We don’t. We primarily teach tactical investing, the analytical side of how to evaluate an investment; usually an equity that most people are familiar with, which would be a stock, an option, a bond. We don’t have a whole lot of information about real estate specifically. We don’t do sales. Our typical avatar is going to be. We’ve done a lot of avatar definition on this, which is if the people haven’t done it, it makes it a lot easier to write your copy, to craft your message and everything. Typically a 55-year old plus dentist living in Florida has about $250,000 in liquidity in which they want to protect, grow, invest, that sort of thing. That’s our typical reader. With the introduction of James and the Blockchain and cryptocurrency and Tim who certainly appeals to a younger crowd, and when I say younger, I mean 20 to 40, our avatar is starting to shift from what it’s traditionally been to a more diverse audience, which is awesome for us.
I’ve seen some of these investing apps like Acorn and Stash. What’s your opinion to those? Have you ever been like a lead generation funnel for those kinds of guys? Or just trying to understand how you do business, too?
With Agora, we might have some sensational copy. For instance, with our division, we have roughly 25 full-time copywriters, so there’s a lot of direct response, copy getting generated on a daily basis. Agora, it’s privately held, but we’re way beyond ten figures in annual revenue at this point. We’ve got a lot to lose if we were to promote things that we hadn’t vetted thoroughly, we hadn’t sent through a compliance process from our legal team in house and out of house. Most of the stuff that you see coming from us is going to be internal things. Very rarely, if anybody gets in or has attempted to work with Agora, maybe they’ve got a great fit of a product or message to market, the challenge is it’s hard to do business with us because A.) We’ve got so much internal offers, copy, talent that we’re ready to push out, we don’t have the bandwidth for, and B.) Unless you are operating at a level of extremely vetted ethics, it’s going to be hard for you to get in the door with us because it’s not even like we’re better than you think. It’s covering our ass kind of thing, more than anything.
When I look at the industry, you think, “What’s the next big thing?” Seems like Crypto and ICOs fit that category, but changes open up the internet without seeing it on the ads. Where do you think that world is going? It’s been up and down and around as you know. Do you think there’s going to be a little shake out here eventually?
I don’t qualify myself as an investment expert or an investment adviser. I’m very good at what my core skill is and that is identifying opportunities between businesses and creating that report in synergy, but I do have an opinion on cryptocurrency. I don’t hold any. I wouldn’t have my mom hold any right now. I’d let things cool down. Where we do have investments, me personally and as an organization, is with the application, the underlying technology of Blockchain. There’s a difference there. I had lunch with somebody that is now a decamillionaire from his bitcoin investments that he bought in 2013 and just passively sat on. It doesn’t mean he’s a smart investor. He didn’t have to do a lot of work to make that happen. He’s been able to ride the enthusiasm for a smoking hot asset of cryptocurrency. I wouldn’t tell people that it was too high to invest. I’m not an analyst or an expert on it but I have seen enough business cycles. For instance, I was heavily invested in real estate from 2002 to 2008. When the taxi drivers in Miami were telling me how many real estate investments they had, when I would go to any city and would see a dozen sky cranes, I don’t have a finance background, know MBA, but I could recognize that something didn’t add up. My personal position on cryptocurrencies is that I would be surprised if we continue to see a meteoric rise as we’ve seen over the past twelve months.
[Tweet “If you want to catch whales, put out whale bait.”]
You’ve done some amazing deals while at Agora and MOBI. Talk a little bit about how you developed such an acumen for seeing where the pieces fit together?
I’m in New York because we’re hosting a debate between James Altucher and a gentleman named Jim Rickards, who’s a world-known macroeconomist, to discuss the merits of Bitcoin versus gold. A friend of mine joined me. He’s a lead developer for Blockchain architecture for Deloitte Touche, working on projects for the Department of Defense, a huge natural gas and energy companies that I’m not going to name. His main interest was the same question you asked me. His background is in the dating space. I’m not going to say he was a nerd but he didn’t have the best luck with women and relationships in general and studied that craft of rapport building. It was very easy for me to translate to him because it’s not even about do I have a secret sauce, it’s about how can I deliver value to individuals, how can I build rapport with those individuals.
Jay Abraham‘s got this concept of a strategy of preeminence and how do you position yourself as somebody who genuinely comes across as, “I’m a trusted adviser and I’m not in this for me.” What I’ve found is that on a metaphysical or vibrational level, if it’s more about you, there’s going to be micro actions or something that happens that people become aware of that this is not necessarily in my best interest. My secret is somebody told me, “If you want to catch whales, put out whale bait.” For me, I ran him through a deal. There’s a relationship that I had with one of the largest bullion dealers in the country. I’m personal friends with the founder. It wasn’t because I wanted something from him. There was a relationship that was established.
I also had a relationship with one of the founders of one of the largest self-directed IRA companies in the country with about $40 billion in assets under management. For me, it was a situation to where more bullion sales would come from IRA rollovers, “I need to introduce my friend here to this friend here because this friend needs the relationship with a credible custodian that has a good relationship.” That deal took me about, not counting the relationships putting together, but from initial introduction of idea to either party to telephone call where it was, “Please send over the paperwork for the transfer of $150 million,” that took four weeks. The skill to be able to build the relationship where both parties knew and trusted me, that was something that took a lot of reading, a lot of paying my dues but it doesn’t have to be like that for everybody.
If you understand even the basics of direct response marketing, that’s a value that you can contribute to huge multinational enterprises that don’t get the value of measurement of results. A lot of the tactical things that you might see on some of the wackiest message boards out there that are marketing-related, those tactics don’t just apply for selling how to get rich overnight. The same thing would apply for how to sell an equity instrument to a nation to moving more vehicles in a developing country.
You don’t have to spend your 10,000 hours learning how to. I’m not going to say manipulate a conversation but be strategic in your communication with folks. All you have to do is get yourself in a room with somebody who, where what you’ve learned you can say, “I’ve got a couple of ideas on how you could grow your business. Would you be interested in hearing them?” If they say yes, they’ve given you permission to share your ideas. If it’s something as simple as if you’re not capturing names of people that are interested in more product online, here’s what could happen: You could capture their names, if they don’t buy it today or they haven’t requested more information. You’ve been follow up with them via email that covers fear, gain logic, us against them, whatever the messaging is and some of those people will actually call in to your sales team or come visit your sales floor.
Don’t underestimate the value or take for granted what you’ve learned even in the most basic sales training or internet marketing or digital marketing course. That stuff is not being discussed at the highest levels of industry, the tactical things like that. If you were to sit down and find yourself in a seat on an airplane with a CEO or something and share even basic things, you’d blow their mind and that opens up the door for you to say, “I’d love to be able to show you some of these ideas in practice.” What I do that works for me very effectively is saying, “I’m not looking for anything from this,” because I know that once I provide the value, it’s a very simple jump for them to say, “Can you do some more of that for me?”
That is great advice and we appreciate your time. We know how valuable it is. For folks who want to learn more about you and everything that you’re doing, where’s the best place to send them?
Honestly, look for me on LinkedIn. You’ll find me on LinkedIn, Chris Daigle. My brand is Doctor Daigle because I tend to come in and fix a lot of businesses. Also on Facebook; I’m not on Facebook a lot but it’s an opportunity for you to see I’ve got a family, I’m a real person, I’m not posting pictures of Lamborghinis and private jets, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m a very accessible individual and would love to be able to answer any questions that your audience might have.
Where are you based, Chris?
I’m based in DC.
Look forward to seeing you. Hope to run into you in a conference soon.
It will absolutely happen. Thanks again for the invitation.
- Chris “Doctor” Daigle
- Agora Financial
- Kevin Harrington
- Timothy Sykes
- James Altucher
- Jay Abraham
- Chris Daigle on LinkedIn
- Chris’ Facebook
About Chris Daigle
I have dedicated my career to helping executives make valuable connections and facilitate high-value strategic partnerships. With my diverse background as a serial entrepreneur, business development ninja, direct response marketing expert, and strategic advisor, my passion for building relationships that lead to explosive business growth has always been the focus.
My business philosophy is summed up by a quote from Zig Ziglar – “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” Trust me, that strategy works!
My marketing and business acumen coupled with strong interpersonal relations skills aid in my collaboration with the top high-achievers, thought-leaders, researchers, publishers, and media professionals. Building key partnerships at the highest-levels allow me to execute strategic planning, establish new territories, and maximize revenue sources for the organizations I have been fortunate enough to serve.
Specialties: Business Development, Digital Marketing, Offline Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Organizational Efficiency, Behavioral Engineering within Organizations, Change Acceleration within Organizations
My areas of expertise include:
Business Development | Digital Marketing | Direct Response Marketing | Marketing Strategy| Entrepreneurship | Change Acceleration | Behavioral Engineering within Organizations | Organizational Efficiency | Behavioral Engineering | Relationship Building | Business Ethics | Strategy Advisor | Executive Coach & Mentor | Strategic Planning | Recruitment | Acquisitions & Mergers | Global Business | Joint Venture Partnerships