Henry Ford says, "Whether you THINK you can or you can't, you're right!"
I turn 30 years old in less than 24 hours (be sure to leave me a quick "happy birthday" below) and I'm sure when you yourself turned 30, 40, 50 you probably got a little too nostalgic and made yourself feel bad about all the progress you didn't make while ignoring the progress you DID make...
I don't have all the answers, but I know that when I was 20 years old I was barely scraping by (trading time for dollars), when I was 25 I made some of the easiest money I'd ever made in my entire life (products and membership sites) and after age 25 I saw the cashflow cliff approaching... our niche getting too crowded and "tired" and I adjusted by making our courses high ticket and software low ticket to build the list...
I was introducing Lance Tamashiro (my business partner) on one of our webinars and I literally had no idea what to say to introduce him. Suddenly it hit me...
We all go through four stages in our online business: (1) bright shiny object mode, (2) learning mode, (3) fed-up mode and (4) making money from a "real" business
It's okay to build your test sites and goof around with WordPress or PHP plugins for the first few weeks... or maybe 1 day a week... but if you aren't making money from your online efforts, it's going to get boring FAST...
Most business owners also don't realize that they can BACKSLIDE from Level 4 (a real business that makes money) and fall way back into Level 2 (learning mode) -- for example, deleting old sites that no longer get traffic or spending 6 months moving everything to a new shopping cart system, eek!
I go through growing pains in my business all the time and I want to help you with those CHOICES you'll make (that no one else can make for you):
Decision #1: Fastest Way to Make Money?
The cop-out (but truthful) answer is: solve real problems that are hard for others, in demand by others (meaning lots of people already pay money for it) easy for you, and fun for you!
That means if you can show someone how to improve their golf game, you need to be firing on all cylinders. Setup a worker account on Fiverr.com and offer to critique peoples' golf swing (they send in a video). Record and post a quick 5 minute video every day about something golf related. Publish a quick article every day with something golf related. Buy other golf instructors' $97 courses and find what they're missing, or what unique twist you could bring to your own future "how to" golf membership course...
Decision #2: What Niche Do You Choose?
(a marketable skill like real estate, stock trading, playing guitar, dating, losing weight). This needs to be a "desperate" but not a "poor" niche. For example, coupon collecting and debt reduction seem like poor niches to me (unless you can find someone making good money with it).
A better alternative would be a course on people who want to build $500,000 of wealth into a million dollars or the 1 million dollars they saved for retirement into 5 million, don't you think?
Decision #3: What Price to Charge for Your Course?
Make it $97 with a 90 minute 4-step video plus a bonus report just to reduce the number of decisions you have to make at this point. The cliche is to have 10X the value and I agree with it. So sell a $97 course with $970 of value in your video and report
Decision #4: How Often and What Time of Day to Mail?
Controversy time. There's a Chinese proverb that says, "The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago." The way it applies to you with internet marketing is that you should have made that information product (membership site, course, whatever you want to call it) 3 months ago, you should have started building a list 3 months ago... but!
Today is close enough so get to it now and clear everything out of your schedule THIS WEEK other than making that product so you can start to make money from it. A piece of advice you're not going to like, but you're going to follow if you want money: send an email to these subscribers (even if it's only a list of 100) at LEAST 3 times a week, preferably 5 times per week or every day.
I won't go off on a tangent here, but you will lose 1% of your subscriber list every day, that's just how internet marketing works, and if it's up to you to generate enough traffic to MORE than replace that 1% of your list. People unsubscribe, that's just what happens.
Be CAREFUL of this: when people say... you email too much. Or I'm unsubscribing from you because you're trying to sell me something. In my case, didn't these people join my list because they wanted to be better marketers and site builders? And yet they don't like it when I'm marketing to them? Or showing them how to solve this problem they signed up to my list to solve?
I hear all the time, "I like such-and-such marketer because he didn't have anything for sale and he didn't try to sell me anything." Is that really the person you want as a mentor? Just something for you to think about.
Decision #5: Best Way to Build a List and Get Traffic?
The toughest question of all, right? Once you create that site, how do you get people to see it? I'm always reluctant to answer this question because 80% of the time, people don't even have something for sale so they're trying to put the cart before the horse: looking at a problem they're going to have in 30 days to avoid doing anything TODAY.
The easy "traffic" answer is to use a site like Fiverr to get 10 articles written, submit them to article sites, setup a free blog where you post these articles with links back to your sites. Setup AdWords ads, Facebook ads, retargeting, find a marketplace like a forum where people can trickle in every day. Setup an affiliate program, recruit your buyers into affiliates and also contact at least 5 people per day for either you to interview them about their product or you to be interviewed about your product (I use TimeTrade for this).
Decision #6: How to Tie it All Together?
I'm probably getting ahead of myself AND revealing too much at the same time, but inside our Income Machine course, we show you how to get it all setup and we basically say...
- Use NameCheap to register a .com domain name (don't register this before joining our course because there are a few things to keep in mind that we don't have time to show here)
- Use HostGator to host your website itself and WordPress to make it point and click easy
- Inside Income Machine, we have a 1-click clone that will setup Paper Template on your "front-end" site (.com) to hold your opt-in page at Example.com/free (build a list) and sales letter at Example.com (sell a product)
- Next, you setup another WordPress blog at Example.com/blog to hold your free articles and videos, and link back to that optin page
- You 1-click clone our "back-end" site at Example.com/members to deliver your products, upsell and manage your members
- You can now do the fun "traffic" stuff like article marketing, joint ventures, an affiliate program, podcasting, paid traffic, and more...
These Are the Pieces of Your Income Machine Once It's Setup
- Niche & hook (domain name)
- Web hosting (online presence)
- Optin page (lead capture: Example.com/free)
- Autoresponder sequence (automatic email followups in case they don't buy)
- Blog (search engine traffic: Example.com/blog)
- Sales letter (something to buy: Example.com)
- Membership site (deliver what they bought: Example.com/members)
- Traffic (articles, joint ventures, affiliate program, podcasting, paid traffic)
Do you see what I mean that you have to crawl before you run? Once again, thinking back to my "not making money" days vs. making money now (I have been full-time since 2009) -- when I wasn't making money, I wasn't "really" trying and my focus was split 1000 different ways. Compared to now, when I do just ONE thing at a time.
Productivity Milestone #1: Four Daily Tasks
It frustrates me when people use productivity software or crazy mindmaps, grids, and schedules to complicate their lives. What ALSO frustrates me is when people say they took 3 weeks off of their business to "rest" or "clear their head." Here's an idea... take that vacation when your business is cranking out money for you!
Just complete three 45-minute tasks and one 15-minute task that moves you closer to you making more money. Multitasking is a MYTH. Checking Facebook and LinkedIn doesn't actually move your business forward, does it?
Productivity Milestone #2: Webinars & Membership Sites
Our Platinum coaching students tell us that these two things are what revolutionized and boosted their income. If you're selling a high ticket course (over $197) then you need to deliver it as one live session per week for 4 or 8 weeks...
If you want to sell several copies of that course, run a free webinar where you teach for 45 minutes and sell for 15 minutes at the end. You're also going to need a membership site to manage all those members. After paying you, they create an account and can login forever.
Productivity Milestone #3: The Right Mindset
Zig Ziglar says, "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Neither does showing, so that's why we recommend it daily." You are going to be your own worst enemy, but if you can nip your problems in the bud you can be one of those "entrepreneur" people with a good attitude who can also think themselves out of a problem even if the deck is stacked against you (i.e. small list).
Make Some Dang Money!
Beware of comparing yourself too much to others (you don't know what goes on with that "happy family" behind closed doors), keeping up with the Joneses (i.e. too big of a house with 3 cars), or living the nomad lifestyle (visiting a new foreign country every week) -- pay off your mortgage instead.
If someone's criticizing you, it's probably because they're deeply insecure about that subject.
Be careful of the "good" and "bad" language you use. I'm not saying you need to be in denial about a problem, but minimize complaining and only complain about something if you have a way to solve that problem, because we all have problems and it's up to YOU as a PROBLEM SOLVER to decide either how the problem doesn't matter or how to break that problem down and solve it!
80% of your activities are a waste so do a bunch of different things: coaching program, membership site, low ticket product, service... and figure out which 20% makes you the most money so you can increase that. HINT: you need to actually COMPLETE these projects and websites and get TRAFFIC and BUYERS to find out what makes money and what doesn't.
Separate the forest from the trees. If you've found a way to make $1000 dollars per week, that's great. But if you're working 50 hour weeks and you're scrambling to "launch" the next money making biz-opp that doesn't really help anyone and only makes money because people can't figure out how to cancel or refund... that's not sustainable.
What IS sustainable is solving a real problem someone has, AND you can do that most effectively by figuring out what makes you the most money. What makes the most money for our business... emailing the list and running pitch webinars. Things like podcasting and blogging, or even speaking at events... makes SOME money and it's fun to do on occasion but it's not the MAIN 20 percent, you see?
Model what you see the money makers doing in your niche. That means you need to "rise above being a geek." Instead of teaching some obscure traffic loophole or even a course about how to get better grades in school (who is really going to buy something like that?), how about you sell something that people are going to use every day?
Why do you think I stopped selling "how to learn PHP programming" courses and instead focused on how to add these things to your sales letter, or a popup plugin like Action PopUp? Or plugins like Backup Creator, Paper Template, and Member Genius? (Those three all available inside Income Machine, by the way.)
Because I experimented with services, coaching, products, and software and after seeing how each one sold, I was able to figure out what the BUYERS (and not just what the complainers) wanted, and moved our business into selling items that people use in their business every day...
If you too want to discover how to create a REAL online business that lasts through age 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 for you, so you don't have to "scramble" or "reinvent yourself" every 3 months, you'll want to check out our Income Machine course right away and setup the system and funnel that all successful online businesses have:
Be sure to click over to that Income Machine training and while that's loading, can you leave me a quick "happy birthday" message below?