Frager Factor

Friday, December 30, 2011

Domaining's Most Fascinating 2011: The Top 4- Schilling, Ruddell, Lawley and a BIG GEO Surprise

Be inspired by the success of people who did the work to transform their dreams into reality: Domaining’s Most Fascinating People of 2011.

These diverse entrepreneurs are generating real wealth through a disciplined process that can be followed by everyone who dreams of striking it rich online.

It’s old-fashioned marketing, reengineered for the digital world. Every one of these Most Fascinating People knew that the true path to revenues and riches is to build a brand with an actual business model based on differentiation, relevance and value.

Due to a very bad week for my hands, and inability of 3 of the remaining 4 subjets to be interviewed for the last of our 2011 most fascinating series articles during the holidays, we are not going to make it it in time with full articles as planned. So I will do my best to cut and paste from what I had in the can.

One big story, about a top GEO name owner you've never heard about, will be one of our first stories for next year. How he held this portfolio under the radar for so long is mind boggling. Yet now working with our friends at Turkel, the top C&V end-user agency in "putting heads in beds worldwide, he's got access to highest marketing budgets ever (in the most depressed tourism economy ever, as GEOs vie for tourists to visit their empty streets), sales precedents and real-world results from 2011 sales of others like VisitStockholm.com, VisitCuba.com and VistBerlin.com to get attention and help close even larger dollar sales. And Rick Schwartz always said, "reward waits for for he who has time and patience." (Plus a domainer having someone like Bruce who understands the "Lesbian" appeal of a domain like VisitStockholm.com that a domainer could never imagine or do the math on, on their side will make a big difference in final tally).

I guess you've heard about .XXX now until you are blue in the face, but .XXX has to be atop domaining's most fascinating stories for 2011. We have eye-opening research on the online pronography market that will show, when the dust settles over the current noise, Stuart Lawley has invested a lot but there is no bigger prize to be had on the Internet. Watching porn doesn't make you a bad person. If you believe that you are capable of becoming addicted to porn, you're not alone. It's been estimated that over 60 million men, women and children are struggling with these same issues. 2 million people are watching porn as I write this 70% whom pay $19 a month for one subscription usually more. The online revenue from porn exceeds the combined revenues of CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox!

The next most fascinating story is ScienceFiction.com. Patrick Ruddell (aka. Chef Patrick) did a 180-degree turn since challenged by a mean-spirited PR smear campaign albeit well deserved after leaking confidential information under his trust from former employer Moniker.

Instead of disappearing into the hall of shame as many lot us would do, he left the industry taking with him its key lesson: invest $175,000 for two words that describe a highly targeted community of interest, and you got to respect the guy for doing what most of his critics haven't-- built a GREAT generic domain name ScienceFiction.com into a powerhouse of a business. Lead generation rock star Braden Pollock took notice, and joined in.

But our #1 most fascinating story for 2011 is that of Frank Schilling. Again.

Frank Schilling's release and one-on-one tutorials of the Domain Name Sales platform was among the biggest highlights of T.R.A.F.F.I.C @The Ritz in October. Certainly more business will result from those conversations than most other takeaways from the show for the select group of invited participants.

Frank built a head-to-toe domain name sales system to manage inquiries on his own names which ran in the hundreds per day. Recruiting a team of the best talent in sales, marketing and engineering, the platform was cloned and improved to address the unmet needs of other domineers.

It's a system designed to market to end users without the clutter of wholesale trading platforms. The results we studied in depth from November confirm what I've been saying all along, that all the metrics domainers use to value domains around search, or LL domains around sales precedent, don't apply and are fundamentally flawed.

The bulk of DNS' November sales are made to companies looking to improve or augment their current name, especially now gearing up for a future where typing becomes talking and a brand's name will only be as good as those which say exactly what they mean.

Like MeetMe.com acquiring Meet.ME. It's not a matter of price, it's a matter of branding. There are 5000 guys named Owen with blogs and only one OwensBlog.com. Hundred of thousands of results for Solo, but for Olympic Star Hope Solo owning her own name Solo.com for $133K was priceless.

Examining DNS November sales this is where the demand lies. For example East Rest is a luxury bedding product sold by expensive TV ads. The call-to-action had been MyEasyRest.com. They spent mid figures to upgrade to EastRest.com. Smart.

Others got a real bargain. Travel insurer Avanti shortened their domain from AvantiTravelInsurance.co.uk to Avanti.co.uk for approximately $1500. There are so many different businesses in the UK named Avanti, but they took home the prize. Had the seller Googled the domain he'd have seem the ultimate buyer hiding right there in plain sight.

NYPlumbing picked up New York Plumbing.com also for mid-five figures, but organically capturing leads that PPC ads had been costing so much more.

As did Georgia Pacific shelling out as much to acquire Quilted.com an exact match to their Quilted Northern Toilet paper. Domainers would have assumed that domain was going to be bought to sell quilts and looked at the search stats for quilt and cpc. Instead they should go to Google and find what brand is using a poorer variation of the name.

It took me less than 30 minutes to click back and forth between Google and Domain Tools and assign owners to Frank's 89 reported sales.

Sale after sale confirms that domainers may be sitting on $50k and up value names as brands, and be misled looking at Estibot/Valuate appraisals which would have blind sighted owner's perception of value at just $4500 for New York Plumbers, $14K for Quilted.com, $2600 for EasyRest.com or appraisal of just $2600 for BigBasket.com which DNS sold for almost 10x more and is now Bangalore's first comprehensive online grocery store. Look at the local Safeway and think someone's going to put all this online and the domain bots only value its worth at a couple thousand bucks?

The DNS system, which includes a large inquiry link on all customer parked pages, also provides a single line of code (see example Domain of The Day top right of this page) making it easy for owners to promote their domains on their own media, in social media and Google results.

Domainers don't need to create forms, write letters, figure out who the prospect is or what the market bares, the DNS system, and live sales people, handle it all. For me, it was a perfect value add to the sales system I built for myself and have opened to a select group of others.

APP names are hot too. Futures trading leader CME Group bought OpenMarkets.com for mid-five figures as the moniker for one of their trading apps. One may have pegged OpenMarkets as a directory to look up the nearest market that's open. Few may have ever heard of CME. But Google CME iPhone APP and Open Markets and you see value as a software brand.

Think Quiken, PhotoShop, Word, iPhoto and see OpenMarkets becoming as meaningful to its audience as those other brands are to theirs.

Could you be the one holding the name for the next Windows, or Xbox? The cloud is driving the biggest sea change in software since the introduction of the PC. The play is a savings to companies not a cost. The largest amount of money in the history of software will change hands in the next 12 months. Every company wants a piece of the action. And every company has products that no longer apply. The need for names has never been greater.

Another DNS November sale, InkCloud.com is a case in point. I will be home to a fashion designing app backed by a famous rapper. Think how many people out there have this talent but no way to showcase it, competing with big names and runway shows. Imagine InkCloud.com as the 21st Century version of a runway show. A steal at $1500.

With a Valuate appraisal of just $160 based on CPC potential selling ink online, could its owner ever imagined naming a business that can offer all the capabilities of the entire New York garment district! I can. Do you think about all the rappers getting into fashion and having a direct pipeline to prospects via Twitter fans? What would they need to market a product made and distributed by someone else? An online storefront. Think of the rapper dragging himself all over NY with a realtor in search of the perfect store to launch his dream. What DNS results are telling you is that perfect store might be right under your thumb.

One of the larger DNS sales in November was a .com made to an attorney on behalf of a client operating under the same name with a .org extension. The client is in the farming insurance business closing a record year of big payouts for crop insurance companies, with more than $7.1 billion dollars paid out so far. What is the bot appraisal for a dot org holder to acquire the matching dot com to run a $7 billion a year business- $3K!!!

With some sales, you need to give the sellers a lot of credit for identifying highly specialized niches few would ever consider. As in the $10k plus DNS sale of VaricoeveinSurgery.co to the College of Phlebology.

The next months report will be even more eye-opening. And that will make Domaining;s most fascinating people and stories of 2012, even more fascinating than any of these others reported so far:


Catch up on more of Domaining's Most fascinating People for 2011:
Adam Dicker
Merlin Kauffman
Andrew Rosener
John Ferber
Scott Cleland
Mike Mann
Michael Cyger

And revisit 2010 Awards:

Barbara Dillman Neu
Teen Domainer
Ryan Colby
Patrick Ruddell
Mike Sullivan & Fusible
Jeff Gabriel
Rob Grant
Rob Monster
Warren Royal
Bill Kara
Jeff Tinsley
Lori Anne Wardi
Mike Fiol
Monte Cahn
Jeff Bennett
Adam Matuzich
Colin Pape
Francois Carrillo / Ron Josephs






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About The Author: Owen Frager is an Internet marketing expert ready to help take your company to the next level.

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