Here’s the #1 question I get when it comes on being a digital entrepreneur…
“How can I make six figures or more online without working hard?”
You can’t. Have you lost your mind? Are you reading those 1,128 page sales letters with the picts of the guy sitting on the beach drinking from a coconut?
“How can I make six figures online by serving a market?”
Ahhhhhhhh. I can show you how to do that!
Usually, I’m reluctant to talk about actual amounts when it comes to online business. The main reason is that people think it’s a promise…
“Paul said I would make a kagillion dollars!!”
No I didn’t you silly bird.
In this outrageously long article I am going to show you how to create a $100,000+ year business using nothing but your laptop and stuff in your head and heart.
However, if your goal is to get your site or blog up and running so you can share your message with the world, you can focus on Steps 1-5 and skip step six.
The steps on this page have a 100% success rate in helping people get their online business up and running. 100%.
Most people who make the “attempt” to make money online will never make much if anything at all. By faaaaaaar the vast majority never make a dime.
(And it IS important you know why. Otherwise you will look at these instructions and think, “I can do that!” Only you won’t. So don’t skip what’s next.)
Like I was saying, most folks will never make a dime. Why? Same reasons folks won’t stick with a diet. Same reasons folks sit in a chair with a bag of chips instead of running. Same reasons folks set those New Year’s good intentions and fail to attain them.
I say reasons because there are 2
Nothing works out the way we plan. We purchase a system and think if we follow the instructions then we will come out the other side perfectly.
Liiiiiiiiisten. Most of us cannot successful follow a recipe the first time and get our food to taste right much less get all the online business steps right.
I tried to fry some clams last night. Disaster. Not good. I’ve never fried anything. It seems I am a master of eating fried things not actually frying them.
You’ve probably gone to Pinterest and retrieved a recipe. (Not me of course because I’m a dude and we don’t go to Pinterest. I don’t even know what Pinterest is!)
Anyway, YOU’VE probably been there. You saw a picture of a blackberry tart with cream cheese icing. It looked amazing. You drooled right onto your keyboard. You could actually smell the delicious in the air.
You ran to the store. Bought the ingredients. Painstakingly you followed the recipe. Even the part that said you would get better results by whipping the icing with an eggbeater while your wrist is bent 35.8 degrees.
After 14 minutes at 375 you pull the tarts out of the oven. Hmmmmmm. They don’t look like the photo. But that’s ok, you know with the icing they will taste just the way your brain imagined a scant hour ago.
You drizzle the tarts with icing and let it cool a bit.
You take a bite. Strange. The icing hardened. It became crunchy. Your teeth break the crust and the blackberry juice enters your mouth.
Uuuugh. It’s sour. Then it’s bitter.
“What happened??? I followed the recipe!!!!!!”
Online business follows that same pattern. There are mechanical aspects that EVERYONE can get right. (Getting a website up. Facebook page. Etc ANYONE can do those.)
If you follow the steps in this post you WILL have your online business up and running. GUARANTEED. Not playing. Not joking. You WILL.
Then there are the missional aspects. Traffic, sales copy, social media, conversion strategies that ebb and flow. These are more science than definite. This is also where most people get discouraged.
There has always been fear in releasing “US” to the world. There always will be.
Writing a book. Selling an information product. Hosting a workshop. It’s scary because someone might not LOVE it. Someone might, gasp, ask for a refund!
And because we fear critique we always find something to tinker with. We find a way to remain hidden. We take extended breaks. And we don’t finish.
The longer you stay silent, the less people receive help.
Make me a promise, will ya? Please complete the steps below and finish getting your online business setup.
HOWEVER… it will NOT be FREE
It will cost you 3 things…
This just won’t happen automatically. BUT the good news is… it doesn’t take long to get going. You can have your site set up and a product selected in less than one hour. You heard me! One hour.
Next to “Can you show me how to get rich online?” the most asked question is “Can you show me how to get rich for free?”
Here’s the way I hear that question, “Hey. Can you show me how to get rich online. I don’t want you to make a penny while you show me how to make a bunch!!!!!”
That’s just crazy talk.
Having said that, this plan is free, but some of the things will take money to operate. I will get paid a commission on some of the things I recommend below. Nothing will be outrageous or expensive. If you cannot afford to invest $50-$100 a month to build your business, then I suggest you start a free blog and progress from there.
#3 Heartache and Aggravation
You are going to get frustrated and sad at times while trying to get things up and running. That’s just part of it. You’re not dumb or slow, these things happen to everyone. You are not alone.
Heck, if we can’t make a blackberry tart perfectly the first time, then we should give ourselves a little grace with a website and a shopping cart.
You might have inadvertently skipped a step when setting up your blog. Might have clicked the wrong button. No big deal. You’re not going to break the internet. You’re not. I promise.
6 Steps to Six Figures
This plan will help you design and deploy an online business that fits you. That’s suuuuuper important. You want to operate in your strengths. You want to make the process as natural for you as possible.
Step #1: Market
Your market consists of people interested in a subject that they are willing to spend money on.
If you want to spend your days blogging about albino mice, you can, I’m just not sure you’re gonna make your living from that.
Here’s how to determine your market…
“I love to help people ______________.”
Do you like to help people plan trips, get fit, get debt free, raise their children, learn to fly, speak Spanish, blog, set up Facebook, find deals on Ebay, create a brand, coach, garden, potty train puppies, write, get published, play golf, etc???
If you could spend your life helping people do something, what would it be?
What makes you happy to help other people learn or do?
Ex: When people email me and say, “I got my first website up!!” That makes me happy.
Here at PBE I help people in 3 ways…
ACHIEVE: I love to help people set and REACH their goals and to become a better person. That’s why I created 5 Stones.
ENGAGE: I love to help people connect with their audience and even get paid for it if they choose.
BUILD: I love to help people design and deploy their online platforms for profit. Like I’m doing right now in this article.
Before moving on complete this first step…
“I love to help people ______________.”
If you come up with a dozen or more then just choose one. If you would like me to help you then we can schedule a session to work through your list and discover the best one for you. More on that at the end of the article.
Step #2 Message
Your message is a closely held belief that you want to share with your market.
ACHIEVE: Success is NOT an Accident
ENGAGE: Avoid Becoming a Human Tranquilizer.
BUILD: Architect Your Economy
Message is important for 2 reasons…
First, it anchors you. It helps you remain focused and on fire for your market. Without it you will drift and get attracted to all sorts of unrelated nonsense to helping your market.
“Ooooo. Bright shiny! I want”
Then a year from now you’ll be back at this page thinking… “Why didn’t I just do this a year ago?!”
Remember the goal – “I love to help people ___________”
Second, your message becomes portable. People carry it in their hearts. When your topic is mentioned, they think of you because your message is clear.
You may not come up with the perfectly crafted message right out of the gate. “Success is NOT an Accident” isn’t where I started. That came over time. At the very beginning of helping people achieve, all I really thought about was people being committed and taking personal responsibility. I was sick of seeing myself and others blame circumstances and make excuses for not reaching a goal.
That’s the easiest place to begin. What makes you sick in your market? What breaks your heart? What cause can you rally behind, then take the lead?
Are you sick about the high rate of obesity in children? Are you fed up with the lack of free breakfasts at high priced hotels and want to help people eat breakfast for free wherever they travel? Are you sick that everyone on the planet is not absolutely in love with bacon?
(I’m writing this in the morning and haven’t eaten yet, can you tell?????)
Complete this phrase…
I love to help people ___________ because I am tired of seeing _____________.
Here’s my version…
I love helping people architect their perfect online business because I am tired of seeing people spend a fortune on products that won’t work for them.
Your message does not have to be long or complex. The simpler the better.
Step #3 Model
Your model is how you will monetize your message.
There are dozens of possibilities, but I’d like to give you the easiest. The most natural.
1) Share your message to you market through a your personal website.
2) Grow your audience. (Steps 4-5)
3) Recommend resources or provide them yourself. (Step 6)
To share your message to you market through a your personal website follow these steps. You can literally have your site setup in minutes!!
Here’s how to share your message in your description, update your settings and make your first post.
If your goal is to start a blog and share your message with the world, guess what? You’re all set! Start writing. Start sharing.
Although, I still think its best to follow the next two steps to Enlist and Engage. But if you decide not to make money, that not problem. Getting your site online is soooooo much more than what most ever do.
Step #4 Enlist
Enlist means you get your audience to say, “I’m in!”
You give them a way to show they are interested in your topic and raise their hand to get resources and recommendations from YOU.
The best way to do this is…
1. Offer a report, video, checklist that matches your message and helps your audience.
2. Ask your guests for their email address in exchange.
3. Give them what you promise.
4. Follow up automatically with more that will help them reach their goal.
You might be thinking something along the lines of, “I’ve heard that before.”
Or did you hear something like…
1. Set up a squeeze page
2. Give people a “bribe” to capture the opt-in
3. Fill your autoresponder with offers
4. Make money
Those two systems are NOT the same. Reread both of those lists. Now write down the KEY differences.
Here are a few ways that I do this here at PBE…
1. Drop down using Optin-Bar
2. Slider using Slide Deck
3. Sidebar using graphic images leading to LeadPage design
4. Homepage post with standard Aweber opt-in
Those are just examples you DON’T start there.
Here’s how you need to get started…
#1 Set up an account with Aweber.
#2 Create your first email contact list.
#3 Add your first autoresponder message
#4 Create an Optin form
#5 Add it to you website
Here’s exactly how to do that. There are several steps here, but if you follow this video just like I show you, you can do this!!!!
Yes there are other email contact providers, but I don’t use them personally. I’m telling you the easiest way. If you want to go and research all the different options you are more than welcome to. I’m trying to get your business up and running as fast as possible.
I use Leadpages to create great looking landing pages, squeeze pages, webinar registration pages and more! You still need a service like Aweber, but LeadPage makes it simple to design great looking pages with high conversions as you enlist your audience.
Here’s an overview…
Step #5 Engage
Engaging your audience builds connection and commitment. You’ll get a lot of difference advice on this one.
Some will tell you to post daily. Some will say post multiple times a day. Some will say email once a day. Some will say once a week.
You’re probably thinking…
“I don’t want folks to get tired of me. What’s the perfect ratio between content and offers?”
There’s no such thing.
Your audience will accept whatever you do as long as it is in their benefit and your relationship is real.
I don’t get tired of my best friend calling be everyday, do you? I wouldn’t mind someone emailing me everyday if they had something helpful, would you?
That’s the secret, stay true to your “I love to help people _______________.”
However, if you get all desperate sounding and all you try to do is to “use” people and not help people, then no one will want to hear from you.
Just a few minutes ago I was checking my email and got this “critical” message…
You will hate me if I don’t make sure you understand how important this is!
For just a minute, I want to read this
carefully, and pay attention.
This last week, I know I’ve been hammering
you with videos for ‘The Magic Internet
Truthfully, the reason why is because
I know Rick Strophers.
I know his results and the money he is making daily.
Which to be honest – are more than
His income in 2013 with us alone
was close to three million dollars.
And tomorrow (Monday) at exactly
12 EST – the cart is opening up for
the Magic Internet Formula.
Click here at exactly 12 EST tomorrow.
Let me tell you why it’s important to
get in ‘early’ and why you need to click
that link NOW to catch up – and why
it’s URGENT for you to schedule this,
and click at exactly noon EST tomorrow.
Does that sound like I’m being helped or being set up? Right, set up. Look at the language of the email, I wouldn’t sent that to my granmother would you?
“Hey Grandma! You will hate me if I don’t make sure you understand how important this is! For just a minute, I want to read this carefully, and pay attention.”
If we did that, Grandma would tell us to go get a strong switch and then she would blister us! You don’t treat Grandma that way or your friends or people trusting you to guide them in a particular direction.
There are 3 ways to ENGAGE your audience and build rock solid relationships.
You publish content relevant to your market and those enlisted. What do you enjoy the most?
If you like to write the most then focus on blogging, and continue to grow as a writer.
If you like video the most then create your channel on YouTube, and continue to grow as a video geek.
If you like audio the most then podcast, and continue to grow your voice.
“But Paul, I want to reach everyone don’t I need to do all 3???”
You can if you want, BUT don’t let that keep you from moving forward. EVERYONE has the skill right now to write and make a post.
Reminder: you are not engaging just to make money. You are engaging to help your audience, your subscribers, your readers. When money becomes the sole focus its easy to compromise on the goal of serving.
When serving is THE goal then your publishing, personal contact, and promotions will be pure.
Decrease the distance between you and your audience. Be available and within reach. Fortunately it’s easier than ever before.
All make it super easy to connect with your audience. One of the best ways is a private Facebook group designation ONLY for those who opt-in for your free giveaway. In fact, your private Facebook group could be your free gift for optin.
Don’t quake in fear. Some of you true artist types are like, “Bbbbbbut I don’t want to promote. I want to write a beautiful, warm article and then at the end I’ll place an appropriate suggestions such as: If you liked this article and want to learn more about this here is a link, which if you click and buy I will make $12.32, but you are under no obligation to click that link unless you want to. Please don’t think I am trying to talk you into anything. This is totally up to you. Please do not let this mere suggestion shatter your view of me. Please do not think I am a greedy internet marketer. Please still love me in the morning.”
You can promote without being sleazy or selling your soul.
Would you be offended by something like…
Everyone says content is king. The better you write the more engagement you’ll get and the more people will pass along your work.
I’ve never been much of a writer, but that changed after I met Jeff Goins. I saw how fast he grew his influence and impact through writing.
So you know what I did? I signed up for his Tribe Writer’s Course. Now I proudly call myself a writer (even if I continue to ignore all rules of grammar!)
Since you write too – blog posts, Facebook, and, yes, even tweets – don’t your readers deserve your absolute best?
p.s. Jeff has a forum where writer’s interact and learn together. I hope to see you in there. I’ll be hanging out at 3 pm CDT today for a couple of hours. If you go give Tribe Writer’s a shot, please say hello in the forum. I’d love to talk to you.
Now then. Was that offensive? Was that snake oily? Did you at least think about checking Tribe Writer’s out?
I’d even send that to my Grandma.
We’ll talk about WHAT to promote in Step 6!
Step #6 Economy
Your website should create an economy. It should allow you to…
- Pay bills
- Give to charity
- Take trips
- Fill in your blank. I want my website to allow me to _________.
Let’s get something out of the way for the “artist.”
It is NOT wrong to charge for your art. You do not need to die before becoming famous for what you provide.
There’s been severe course correction when it comes to making money online. There’s a mass of blogger types and writers who feel that it’s wrong to charge money for their value.
They are so scared of getting lumped in with the online scammers that they avoid any direct selling. But behind close doors they cry about their site ads not getting more clicks and how their monetization results are weak.
Of course they are. Whatever is in your heart seeps through. If you think it’s bad to make money and charge for your value then you will communicate that through your writing and even the way you set your site up. You will talk and talk and talk and talk about how you give and give and give and give. You’ll post about how some people are just doing things to make money, money, money. You will paint yourself as good and others as evil. And readers will accept that from you and they will never buy from you because you’ve made it clear that making money is wrong. (However, they will buy from others.)
Yes, give your work away through your content publishing. But don’t broadcast that you are somehow better than everyone else because you don’t chase filthy lucre.
Just become anchored in WHY you want to make money. It’s ok not to want the yacht or mansion or sports car. Maybe you want to give thousands to build an orphanage.
It’s still going to take money.
In the past few years I’ve traveled to 12 countries doing mission work. Guess what? You won’t believe this. But the airline did NOT give me a free ticket because I was flying to do good. Guess what? The hotel did not let me stay for free. I know, insane. Doing good costs money.
The more money you make the more good you can do. So get over the thought of money being bad. It’s neither. It’s inanimate. It has no feelings. Only the person with the money controls the good or bad.
With that in mind… let’s make money!
Products are one-time sales such as a book or a report or a video series or a microphone or any other thing.
The absolute easiest way to get start is by being an affiliate for an existing product.
This means you make a recommendation and if someone buys you get paid.
You do not deliver the product.
You do not handle customer support.
You do not need a checkout system
You provide an affiliate link to something your market would like and then they go look at it. If they buy, you get paid.
How much? It depends on the product and the provider. If you recommend something on Amazon, then you will probably make around 5%. If you recommend an information product from someone who provides courses online, then it will be around 50%. Yes, 50%.
For example: You could sell my Perfect Presentation course and make right around $45 per sale after all fees.
You could literally tell your people… Hey! You want to get rid of your public speaking fear and have your audience loving your speech? Then go get Paul’s Perfect Presentation system. I love it and you will too! (Affiliate Link inserted right here.) Signed, Your Name.
See how simple that is?
Here’s how an affiliate link works…
- You register for an affiliate program.
- You login to get your affiliate link for the product(s) you want to recommend.
- You send that link out. Although I suggest you make it look like your site.
Watch the video for a run through on signup, and grabbing your link. This will use my affiliate program as an example. In fact, I just added the article you are reading right now to the affiliate system. If you desired to become an affiliate you can send people right to this page.
Obviously you don’t want your link to look all squirrely like that. Here’s how to use the Pretty Link Plugin to make your links match your model.
Affiliate promotions are the easiest way to get started and I think you should begin here because you can do this right now.
Personal products range from $5-$100. They can be in any format:
- Physical or digital for instant download
- CD or MP3
- Book or PDF or Kindle
- DVD or Online Video
Most people start with a PDF ebook or report they sell from their site that solves one specific problem.
If you focus on fitness and want to give your people a 10 Day Body Cleanse Program then you could open up a Word document. Type it out. Then print it to a PDF. You literally have a product you can sell for $X.
Do not over complicate this. You’ll want to. You’ll want to get all up in your head and envision some grandiose plan about it dominating the world’s body cleansing market. Keep it simple.
However, you will need a way to collect payment and a way to deliver your product.
One of the most used payment processors on the planet is PayPal. Use this link to et up your payment link for your product.
Optional: If you want a more robust system then get PaulCart! 😉 Actually, here’s my affiliate link for the shopping cart I use. It will allow you to take payment, deliver your products, create customer email lists and even has an affiliate program built in for all your products. There are plenty of tutorials that show you exactly how to set everything up. If you sign up through my link I will help you personally if you get stalled by anything.
A Signature Product is one you become known for and you charge $100 to $1000 or more.
If you are brand new to getting started online it’s still NOT too soon to create a Signature Product. Sell 100 of your $1000 products a year and you’re at 6 figures.
Most likely you’re thinking, “I can’t do that?”
What? Take it back, right now!
In fact, here’s a free video series that will prove you can and should have a Signature Product!
Signature Products can be…
• Online classes
• One-day events
Here are some of my SP’s:
Even as a beginner you can and should have a product that sets you apart from the rest of the marketers in your same arena.
To learn more about creating your own Signature Product click here.
One of the most attractive aspects of a traditional job is a predicable paycheck. Your online efforts need to have this component as well.
A product sale is a one-time transaction. However, a perpetual offer will be recurring and you will get paid each and every month.
Let’s say you commit yourself to writing one report a month for your market. You could sell it for $25 or you could create a program where people say, “Yes, send me your report every month automatically. Instead of paying $25 for each report I will pay only $15 a month.”
A person will checkout once, but pay you each and every month until they decide to cancel. If you had 100 people doing that, you would have a guaranteed $1,500 a month each month. And you can grow it from there.
Through the years I’ve had various recurring payment sites.
Two sites had over 1,000 subscribers each and members paid $29.95 a month.
Another site has 3,000 members with members paying $10 a month.
I would much rather have the same 1,000 people paying me every month than trying to find 1,000 new people and attempting to sell them a $10 product to get the same revenue.
This is another area where people want to overcomplicate the process and create the best membership site in a particular market. Don’t do that. Offer your people something you LOVE to deliver.
For public speakers I have ENGAGE. Members get a new video every week. The videos are only 5-10 minutes. And they content is sent out through my auto responder. Super simple.
My favorite membership software is Wishlist Member.
To get the best training on creating your own members program, then checkout my Simple Six Figures product.
Think of premium products as proximity related. This level gives your audience personal contact.
• VIP days
• Mastermind groups
The great part about proximity products is that you do not have to create anything ahead of time. You could decide on an offer today and sell it immediately.
Let’s use coaching as an example:
Email coaching: people send you questions to a private email account. You return their answer via email.
You already know how to do this! A friend emails and asks you if you have seen any good movies. You hit reply and say, “Yes! You have got to go see ___.”
You already possess all the skill needed to carry out and email coaching program.
Phone/Skype coaching: All you have to do here is allow people to schedule time on the phone. Twenty, thirty and sixty minute packages are the most popular.
Webinar coaching: Use a service like Google hangouts, Go To Webinar, or Adobe Connect. This allows you and your client to share your screen for more interaction and more step-by-step work through sharing documents and online work. Plus, the entire time together can be recorded and your students can watch over and over and over.
If we got together in a webinar room and you watched me set up YOUR autoresponder step by step from within YOUR Aweber account, wouldn’t that be helpful? Of course it would.
If you’re in fitness and you helped someone develop the perfect diet and exercise program on a live webinar, wouldn’t they love that? You know it!
VIP day: This allows you to work one-on-one with a client for a day. You agree to meet at a location where you coach them for the day.
Pricing at the Premium level is not the easiest so here are general guidelines…
Email coaching: $200-1000 a month
Phone coaching: $100-500 an hour
Webinar coaching: $200-1000 an hour
VIP Day: $1000-$10,000
You could literally build your business solely around VIP days and just do one a month. Everything else you do could be free. You just focus on selling the VIP Day.
Here’s a course Carrie Wilkerson and I taught together on creating high-ticket products. In it I share how I set up and coaching program that fits me perfectly and how you can set yours up to fit you.
Most of us won’t do that because we don’t want limit the number of people we can help. A lot of folks can’t afford a $10K day. We want to help as many as possible, right?
So the best route is to offer several opportunities to do business with you.
Let’s put this ALL together for your Six Figure Plan…
Six Figure Online Business Plan
Get out a sheet of paper and complete the following steps. Writing down that you are going to create and how much you are going to charge will be extremely powerful. Chances are high you have thought about selling products before, but never actually wrote down the numbers.
I love to help _______________
I am sick of seeing ____________ in my market and here’s what I am going to do about it ______________________.
I will give away __________ in exchange for an email optin.
I will (circle one) post, podcast, videocast _______ times a week to connect with my audience.
I will email my audience _____ times a week with relevant, helpful content and recommendations.
Affiliate products I will recommend and how much I will earn per sale:
Products I will create and what I will charge:
A Signature Product I would like to create and the price point:
A Perpetual site I feel would be fun to start is _______________ which would help people _______________________.
I want ________ number of members at $_______ per month.
The best Premium access offer for me to begin with is (circle 1 and add your fee beside it):
Listen close. Follow the steps in this post and your business WILL be set up. You have zero excuse. I have given you a process and even step-by-step video tutorials to help you get started.
Here is a minimalist approach:
1. Set up your web address and hosting with BlueHost. $4.95
2. Set up autoresponder system with Aweber. $1 trial for 30 days.
3. Select a product to sell. Affiliate products are the easiest to begin with.
Nothing should be holding you back.
Success is NOT an Accident!
[Added note: Reader’s have asked if I would be willing to coach through each of these steps. I’d love to help you personally. Click here for BUILD coaching.]
Once you have completed the steps above and have your plan in hand I want to show you how to build your audience, your followers, your tribe… in more traditional language… how to get a bunch of folks who want to buy from you. Once you have that in hand, then Click Here.
1. Please share this article on Facebook.
2. If you have questions or comments, feel free to add them below.
People who know me don’t have a hard time gifting me…
- 5 Guys Burgers and Fries
- Coke Zero
Pretty basic. Simple. Yet specific.
But when you don’t know someone, you gift generically. You go broad. Gift cards to places like Target. Because just about everyone can find something they like at a store like that one.
To engage your audience you have to know your audience. If you don’t, you…
- Write broad.
- Speak in generalities.
- Hope to connect.
When you KNOW, then your people get the “it feels like he’s writing/speaking just to me.”
So how do we get there? How do you get to know someone?
1. You share “universal” stories.
2. You eat together (and you do not have to like the same food).
3. You hang out.
4. You tell secrets and even dark truths.
5. You speak a common language.
We’ll cover each of those in coming articles and podcasts.
For now – think about your audience. The people you write to. The people you record for. The people you present to. What are their lives like? What are they hoping you will do for them? What are their hopes, their dreams, their struggles?
The secret to building your platform? Permission to fail over and over without judgement.
Yep, you have permission to fail over and over again and it won’t even matter.
How can you do that?
A DISPOSABLE WEBSITE.
Stay with me.
What is holding most people back from DOING?
01 :: Lack of Experience
02 :: Lack of Confidence (which often comes from lack of experience).
How do you get the experience you need?
Yet, almost no one seems to be practicing.
Maybe this sounds familiar…
You want your first website to make money.
You want your first product to make money.
You want your first squeeze page to capture everyone who lands on it.
You want your first sales copy to be magnetic and hypnotizing.
You want your first blog to be SEO ideal and your first post a masterpiece.
When did anyone do it “right” the first time?
Human beings cannot ride a bicycle right the FIRST time. Why in the world would we think we could create the perfect web business or blog right the first time?
You and I need to practice.
Get a disposable website.
“You said that already. What is it?”
Get a “worthless” domain name and hosting account. This will allow you to…
(a) LEARN while PLAYING at the same time.
(b) You’re allowed to MESS UP and it doesn’t even MATTER.
(c) You’re allowed to PRACTICE while gaining confidence and having fun in a ton of different internet business areas.
Here’s what that MIGHT look like….
01 :: Get a Bluehost account if you do not have one.
Look over their different offers. But all you really need for what I am showing you is the lowest level. However, I would go at least one step up just so I could add more domains later.
02 :: When you sign up select “register a new domain” and name it anything you want. You are NOT doing anything but practicing with this account.
03 :: Login. After you’ve ordered and you get the confirmation that your site is up, login to the cpanel. (The instructions will be in the email.)
04 :: Let the Games Begin! Just practice.
a. Set up an email account.
b. Use the “site builders” in the left navigation bar.
c. Scroll to the bottom and click “Fantastico De Luxe.”
-Under blogs click WordPress.
-Install it in a folder called “blog1” or whatever you want to name it.
-Just follow the onscreen instructions.
-Under “Content Management” click Joomla 1.5
-Install it in a folder named “joomla1” or whatever.
-Just follow the instructions onscreen.
You can go through almost everything in there if you want.
Install. Login to the admin area of the installation and just play around. It does not matter.
You get the idea. Just mess around. This is not a site you will ever send anyone to.
With a disposable site you can practice all you want. You can make as many mistakes as you want. You can install and delete as many blogs as you want. You can do whatever you want without anyone seeing it.
Success is NOT an Accident!!!
Podcast of the Know Your Audience Article.
Want more folks to enter their name and email?? Do this…
Make The Signup Form Clearly Visible
Many people who are new to list building put their opt-in form on just one tiny area their webpage and wonder why no one is signing up. If your opt-in form is not clearly visible and without priority placement, you’re going to get very few sign-ups.
It is a much better idea to make it very visible and “above the fold.” That means that as soon as someone lands on your webpage they should be able to see your opt-in form without having to scroll down at all.
You should also make sure that your form is large enough to read and and uses contrasting colors from the rest of your site so that people’s eyes are drawn to it. Experiment with different priority placements to determine whether the form should be on the left side, right side, or front and center.
Consider Using A Pop-Up or Pop-In
There are a lot of differing opinions on using pop-ups or pop-ins with opt-in forms. If you have a pop-up on your webpage, a box will come onto the screen with your opt-in form when someone visits. Some of these even darken the rest of the webpage that the only thing people can really see is the opt-in form.
Keep in mind that some potential customers will find this annoying and will simply leave your page. Still, many marketers have found that it greatly increased their opt-in rates. This is something you will have to test.
Put An Opt-In Box On Every Page Of Your Site
Many people also make the mistake of only including an opt-in box on one or two pages of their website. If list building is a large part of your business plan (and after reading this, it had better be), you need to make sure your optin form is on every single page of your site.
If someone lands on a page of your website that does not contain an opt-in form, you’ve lost a potential lifetime customer.
By placing an opt-in box on every page of your site you know that everyone that lands there will have a chance to sign up. Making this simple change can dramatically increase your signups!
Put An Opt-In Box on Your Thank You Pages
If you have an information product for sale, the chances are good that some people will buy your product even if they have not already signed up to your list.
Since you don’t want to lose contact with these customers, you should make sure there is an opt-in box on your thank you (or product download) pages.
Some people force their customers to opt-in before they get their product. This is not recommended most of the time as it can really irritate people who have bought your product and just want access to it. What you might do instead is include an extra bonus for signing up – make it an offer they cannot refuse.
Success is NOT an Accident,
David likes Mugshots hamburgers. Knows the lyrics to every 80’s hit. Is down from 463 to 412 pounds.
Carrie’s favorite color is orange. Has 3 girls and a boy. Can rock a stage as a speaker like nobody’s business.
Chances are good you did not know about Mugshots or the color orange simply because you don’t hang out with David and Carrie. You’re not friends.
All sorts of words are used to describe relationships… colleagues, associates, co-workers, partner, acquaintance, etc. But those are terms of distance. Words that show you know people, but you don’t KNOW people.
Since we’re looking at KNOWING your Audience, lets take the relationship deeper. Get to know them as friends. Go beyond the shiny surface.
Hang out with your people. Spend time with them. Become their friend. Here are three of the easiest and best ways in our hyper-society…
It’s no accident that you “friend” people on Facebook. Folks love to share their lives. Often they over share.
Don’t just stalk. Interact. Use “likes” and comments to show your engagement and to further conversation if needed. Later on, as you get to know your audience, you can ask about their children, work, events, etc to show you you’ve moved from another name on the list to someone who actually cares.
While it’s easy to spend too much time in forums, people do tend to ask a lot of questions and even rant in forums.
It’s a more emotional medium than Facebook as well. People feel they are in a trusted arena. Facebook is broad and forums are narrow. The focus of a forum is usually related to a specific topic, so folks feel more comfortable saying what they really mean.
Again, interact. Answer questions. Give advice. Private message if the conversation requires more privacy.
#3 Face to Face
Whether you share a meal together or meet at an event, getting face to face is the most important connection.
You get to see expressions. Hear the tone of the words. And you certainly feel the emotion of the moment.
With each of the encounters answer the following questions…
What are the recurring conversations?
What are the recurring problems?
What are the recurring dreams?
The answers will help you know your audience at a deeper level which helps you engage far below the surface.
My boys and I love Waffle House.
Maybe it’s the golden waffles.
Maybe it’s the bacon.
Maybe it’s the risk associated with less than stellar health ratings.
Regardless, we talk, we laugh we have a blast.
That’s usually what happens when sharing a meal.
So here’s the suggestion… take your audience out to eat.
Reserve a table for five. Then tweet or post or email or podcast an invitation. The first four to reply get a seat at the table. You pick up the tab.
Begin by having everyone give a self-introduction…
Where they live.
What they do for a living.
Ask four questions during the meal…
#1 What was your favorite thing to do as a child?
#2 What event shaped your life more than any other?
#3 In five years where do you want to be?
#4 What’s your biggest challenge with _______?
The blank in #4 is your main topic or market.
Most of the time we sit around trying to figure out what’s happening in the hearts of audience. Just take them out. Ask a few questions. Stop guessing and imagining. Get to know real people.
P.S. This is the third article in the Know Your Audience Series
Podcast version of Universal Stories
Notes from Platform Conference
Ken Davis just finished his keynote called WOW!
WOW is Pretty, Practical & Personal.
Under personal, he said… “Be You.”
Yet often we look to someone else to imitate.
Why do we do that?
Here’s my guess…
Deep down we all want to be accepted as we are. We want people to love us as we are. But… we fear rejection. So in an effort to be accepted we find someone we accept and others accept and we try to duplicate him or her.
Here’s why. You have knowledge, insights, passion, experiences inside YOU that others want to duplicate.
“I’m not special.”
Doesn’t matter. You don’t have to be special, you have to be you.
In this series of articles we’ll cover… The Platinum Platform: Discover, Develop, & Deploy Your ENAGEment Business.
If you’ve been speaking and writing for a while or have taken a lot of professional speaker training some of the things in this series you will disagree with. I’ll be the first to admit that I did not go, nor will I go, the traditional speaker’s route.
My goal is to help you become an awesome speaker and to help you build a fun and profitable speaking business. Something you look forward to and enjoy. Something opposite of the average job. Something that makes folks say things like… “What?! You get paid how much just to talk?!!!!”
Don’t want to get paid to speak? That’s cool too. This series will help you get your voice to the masses. The more people hear you the more lives you impact.
One final note… use what you need from this series. Ignore what doesn’t fit you. Use the comment areas to ask questions or comment. Let’s roll…
Platinum Platform 01 : M4 Plan
You ARE a public speaker. That’s a fact. Now leverage it.
This series of articles and videos will help you pinpoint/strengthen your message and monetize it if you choose.
However, this is not a “do ALL of this” series. While there will be a few elements that I’ll hit as essential, there will be options as well. You decide. Build the type of platform YOU will enjoy.
A platform stems from your core message and the ways you deliver it.
Martin Luther King, Jr’s platform was equality.
Zig Ziglar’s platform is human achievement.
John C Maxwell’s platform is leadership.
Each have a core message they deliver to the masses. What’s yours?
If that’s not firmly in place yet…
Your Platinum Platform Plan
There are four pieces of the Platinum Platform Plan… 1) Message. 2) Market. 3) Method. 4) Monetization
M1 : Message
Before you can become a keynote speaker (which is a dream for many communicators), you must know your message.
“Oh, I can speak on anything! A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G.”
Uh-huh. OK, let’s do a challenge round…. I need a 90-minute keynote on the latest pharmaceutical breakthrough for bipolar disorder. You’ve got an hour before you step on stage.
See… you can’t speak on anything. 😉
Now then, what can/should you speak on? Should it be a passion? Should you find out what people want and design your platform around that? Should it be something you’re interested in learning more about and you take your audiences on the journey with you?
All of those could work to some degree. However, if you want to become the best speaker you can be, this P.A.S.S.I.O.N. list will help…
What excites you? What energizes you? What can you not shut up about?
You’ve probably heard, “Follow your passion and the money will follow.”
Well, maybe. But you do tend to follow through more with passions. You speak with more conviction and confidence when you feel passionate. So, what’s your list of passionate topics? If you’re not sure, ask your friends what you talk about all the time.
What are your skills? What are your abilities? What are your talents?
Make a list of what you excel in.
“Paul, I’m not really good at anything.”
Bull. I’m sick of hearing people say that. You’re good at several things, but you probably think you’re average. You might think that it’s arrogant to say you’re good at something. Not true.
When speaking based on aptitudes you’re leaning on a strength – and strengths always make work feel light. Don’t be fooled by that. Make your “I’m really good at these things” list.
Where are you currently spending money on personal growth and education? Where have you spent money in the past?
If you were to look on my bookshelf you would notice hundreds of books on communication, marketing, business and faith. You would see firsthand the money I’ve spent educating myself and growing in those areas.
That doesn’t include money spent on other products, college or seminars in those areas. Yet, I would feel comfortable speaking on any topic on my bookshelf. I’ve invested and ingested heavily in those topics.
Make a list of your investment in education. Seminars you’ve attended. Dozens if not hundreds of books you’ve read on a topic.
What problems have you faced? What challenges? What heartaches?
If you’ve watched my presentation from Boss, then you know my first wife passed away in my arms. Our son, Sam, was only five weeks old at the time.
I instantly became a single dad and suddenly faced life in a way I never imagined. However, that struggle has generated incredible income because of the way it has helped others.
Maybe you struggled with weight and lost over 100 pounds. That’s a powerful platform to deliver your message of hope to others.
Maybe you struggled at the hands of an abusive parent. That’s a solid platform to deliver your message of perseverance and inner strength.
Maybe you stuttered as a child and were teased relentlessly. That’s a strong platform to deliver your message of overcoming labels.
Write down the struggles in your life. Beside each one write down how you can use it to help others. What you can teach others.
What do you like to do? What do you enjoy?
I like golf. It used to be a passion. In fact, I used to play daily from 8-5. It was like a job. I’m not as crazy about it anymore, so it’s moved to the interest category. I could still build a platform around it. I might not do keynotes related to golf, but I could build a blog, develop a podcast, hold webinars, etc.
What are your interests? What’s fun?
What message do you HAVE to share? What message makes you feel like you would not be living your purpose if you failed to share it?
An obligation message is really a cause. It’s something you believe in so strongly that you almost feel forced to communicate it. Think about the organization MADD – Mother’s Against Drunk Driving. That’s an obligation platform.
From the MADD website…
Candy Lightner founded MADD in 1980 after her daughter, Cari, was killed by a repeat drunk driving offender. Cindy Lamb—whose daughter, Laura, became the nation’s youngest quadriplegic at the hands of a drunk driver—soon joined Candy in her crusade to save lives.
Did you notice a key word? Crusade. Is there a topic you feel that strongly about?
Where do you see a gap in the marketplace? Where do you notice silence for a particular subject?
Though I don’t recommend this approach often, it just may be for you: You may have no prior experience or education in this area. Yet you’re saying to yourself, “Why is no one talking about X?”
THEN you begin studying, researching, shaping your thoughts and launching your platform. You niche yourself with a specific message on a singular specific topic. Something that’s been overlooked or ignored.
There you go, seven ways to help you find your message. Next…
Put each word in P.A.S.S.I.O.N. at the top of a sheet of paper. Then fill in each sheet as much as possible with topics and ideas.
Go back through and eliminate every idea that does not excite you. Look over the rest of the words. Which can you write or speak about every day? Which do you feel you could launch a blog about and tweet about several times a week?
We’re building a platform, not a one-time speech. See yourself becoming known for your message. When people mention your name what subject do you want mentioned? And when you’re ready to share your message make sure you communicate with confidence and clarity. (If you’re not sure how to put together an on-point message, then be sure to get The Perfect Presentation Formula.)
M2 : Market
You direct your message to your market… your audience.
My core message at Platinum Presenter is “Speak with Passion or Just Leave Me a Note.”
The market includes authors, speakers, presenters, seminar leaders, and consultants.
Over at my personal website the message is “Live Your Mission.”
The market is businesses and human beings who want to make an impact with their lives. Yes, that’s much more broad than Platinum Presenter.
At my online business training site… Nicheology… the core message is “Find Your Niche. Build Your List. Launch Your Product.”
The market is people who want to start an online business and make money from home.
Every speaker needs an audience and your audience comes from your market. It’s the group you want to communicate and build community with.
Here are the top general markets…
- Diet & Nutrition
- Personal Development
- Food and Drink
- Real Estate
- Home and Family
Each general market above can sub-niched even further.
Take Business for example…
- Career Advice
- Change Management
- Customer Service
- Fund Raising
- Human Resources
- Lead Generation
- Risk Management
- Sales Training
- Strategic Management
- Team Building
Much more could be added to that list and each of those could be broken down even more than that.
What market will you reach out and serve?
M3 : Method
How will you deliver your message to your market? That’s your method.
Here are the most common…
- Digital Audio/Video
I’d like for you to get away from the idea of being a “keynote speaker” or a “trainer” or a “blogger.” Even if you introduce yourself that way, think bigger than that. Keynoting, webinars or whatever is simply a delivery method for your message to you market.
Person: “What do you do?”
You: “I’m a keynote speaker.”
Person: “Really, what do you speak on?”
You: “Motivation and success.”
Congratulations, you sound like 90% of the speakers on the planet. No differentiation. Nothing fresh. Nothing memorable. Super generic.
Person: “What do you do?”
You: “I help people get in phenomenal shape. Basically, when I get done with you every person you know won’t stop asking you about your secret for looking so awesome.”
Person: “I like the sound of that. How do you do that? Are you a personal trainer?”
You: “Actually, I train entire companies. Keynotes and on-site, one-day bootcamps to anchor the fundamentals. Companies see an increase of productivity by 10% after using my program.”
Again, speaking is simply the delivery system for your message.
M4 : Monetization
Do you want to monetize your message? Do you want to make money speaking?
Warning… if you want to be a speaker just to make money then prepare yourself. This is a business. It’s not all bright lights, loud sound systems and cheering crowds. It’s not always easy to fill your calendar.
That’s why I stress making sure you anchor your core message. Speaking is the easy part. It’s the passion. And if you aren’t driven enough by your message you’ll fall by the wayside.
6 Ways to Make Money as a Speaker
As a non-celebrity speaker my keynote fee is $15,000. That means I don’t have a string of books or even fame. I am usually introduced through my agent or through a referral. Most of the time someone hears me speak at an event and I get an invite to do another.
You can spend a lot of time, energy, effort and money just trying to get booked. Pick up a copy of Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid if you’re serious about doing the hard work that makes speaking easy.
There are plenty of “average” speakers making $5,000 per keynote. No “name.” No book. Nothing more than a solid presentation that others want to hear and tell others about.
These are my least favorite engagements. Other speakers love them. Basically, you speak for free and then sell a product or coaching at the end of your speech. In general the event host gets 25-50% of what you sell.
This type of speaking can be extremely lucrative if you’re good at selling. If you’re not, then use the events to build your audience and email list.
The reason this is not my favorite event is that I’ve noticed speakers giving less than their best material in hopes of making money. I don’t want to compromise my message for the sake of making a sale. I prefer to have a check written to me regardless, so I can step up and let it rip.
Training can take place at live events, companies, seminars, conferences, webinars or teleconferences. It can be much like a keynote in that you are controlling the information. However, with training, your audience usually learns and applies a skill on the spot.
A person could do a productivity keynote, but it would be more principle based. A productivity training event would be more pragmatic. The group will actually take steps toward planning and implementation during your time together.
You might think there’s not as much money in training as keynoting, but sometimes it can be more lucrative.
A friend of mine held 3 webinars for a company and charged $7,500. Each webinar was 60 minutes. I spoke at one of the events and guess how many people were on the line? Seven. That’s it. The total number of employees for the company is ten. So don’t think you have to get big events at big venues to make good money.
Each month I host a web-based training event that regularly brings in five-figures, and I never leave the house. One of my webinars brought in $83,000.
Obviously, The Perfect Presentation Formula is a product. I don’t have to be present for someone to buy, consume and apply. I created it once and can continue to sell it. But it’s still in the realm of speaking because that’s what had to be done to create the product.
Products allow people to grow from your value even if they never attend a live event where you keynote. The other big positive is that those who do hear you live will often go online and order all your products.
(Personally, I would create one or two products before booking keynotes. That way you can start selling now. You could literally have an audio product for sale online by this time tomorrow.)
You can’t know and teach on everything – even within your market. No one can. In that case you make recommendations for the products of others. Be sure to include your compliance statement. (Mine can be found here.)
If you look at the sidebar of my site, you’ll notice an “Ads” area. These are affiliate links. If you decide that you want to discover great keywords to use in your posts, then you might consider Market Samurai. You can see the image link in the sidebar. If you click the link and order, I will make a commission on that.
You should be doing the same thing at your site. You can even do this at speaking engagements. The key is to only recommend products you believe in and that your audience will be glad you recommended.
My rule is this… “Would I recommend this product even if I did not make a dime from it?” If the answer is no, then I won’t add it. The product has to be able to stand on it’s own – without incentive.
Most speakers do not think about sponsorships, but once you’re hitting large crowds – from the stage or your website – you can/should sell sponsorships.
A sponsor is a little different than a straight advertiser. A sponsor expects to be mentioned and often sends you their products to use and display. Oh… and they give you money to do that.
Advertising, on the other hand, is what you might expect. Someone pays you to put their ad on your site, newsletter, handouts, etc. If you are interested in selling ads from your site then consider using Buy Sell Ads.
Check out Michael Hyatt’s Advertising page for his site. Also, be sure to buy his book… Platform: A Step-by-Step Guide for Anyone with Something to Say or Sell.
Believe it or not, you can get paid just for showing up. This has NOT happened for me, though I do believe I was paid a couple of times not to show up. 😉
Honestly, if you’re getting paid to show up, you’re a sports star, celebrity or former President of the United States.
Whew! That concludes part 1 of Platinum Platform. Make sure you work through all 4 M’s.
In part 2 I’ll show you how to develop and design your website.