Do's & Don'ts
done right by
a marketer can make
In 2021 The Mundane Becomes Magical
Dear Valued Subscriber,
Welcome to the Last Edition of the year!
As a species we humans are always at our best when we are striving to become better than ourselves. We shine when we have the motivation to learn, to expand, to be greater than what we may think we are intended to be.
In a lot of ways, we need ideals in our lives and businesses. For example, what gets you out of bed in the morning, what makes your heart beat excitedly?
Maybe you’re an entrepreneur already, does the thought of what you’re going to do with this next day, fill you with a quivering excitement? Or is it just another day of daily tasks to achieve before you can come back home prior to hitting the repeat button for the next day?
In Ulysses, Tennyson wrote this:
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Arguably this quote is the greatest interpretation of the human drive and will, within each of us beats an unyielding heart, able to face challenges each day and never lose faith.
Tomorrow is a new day, a new start, a new challenge. When you wake up, find that thing that excites you the most, be it a goal, life in general, love, that hobby you never get a chance to do anymore, whatever!
If you can focus on that one thing that makes it worth it and make it the center of your world- make it your moon- then the mundane becomes magical.
Anything that doesn’t feel good, simply cut it away or if it is a necessary task – keep your mind on the bigger picture – the ideal.
Make the stars what you want them to be in the coming year.
I am sure that you will find immense value in this edition of "Skills For Freedom" Newsletter.
If you think that others can benefit from "Skills For Freedom" Newsletter, please send them to skillsforfreedom.com. It's free for anyone to join.
Happy New Year!
News & Trends
21 Day Challenge: Racial Equity Habit
World's Worst Logos
For 21 days, do one action to further your understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity. Plan includes suggestions for readings, podcasts, videos, observations, and ways to form and deepen community connections.
You’ve spent some time, money and thought creating the perfect logo for your business or organization – yeah!
But… you might want to run your new logo by a couple of dozen people first, before you use it, just in case they see something you didn’t.
On this page are 9 logos that have been fixed by a graphic artist. Why did they need fixing? Since I don’t want to go into explicit details, I’ll let you figure it out.
Facebook Takes Legal Action Against Fake Engagement & Automation
New Competition To Gmail? You Decide.
Fake engagement is a key issue on social media platforms, with 'influencers' able to artificially inflate their stats and then make money from unwitting businesses by touting their perceived reach.
That’s why Facebook's latest legal action is welcome news - Facebook has launched legal proceedings against a Spanish-based company called MGP25 Cyberint Services, over the provision of automation software to distribute fake likes and comments on Instagram.
Basecamp has a new email service called HEY — and it could be a game-changer
If someone emails your @HEY address for the first time, you decide if it gets through. Their email will land in The Screener, which is kind of like screening phone calls.
This is where it's up to you. Thumbs up or thumbs down. Yes and it's in, No and you’ll never see it again.
It sort of makes even the best email marketer cringe, doesn't it? But then again, Hey isn't exactly free.
Facebook Testing Email Marketing For Business Pages
While businesses already have the option to run chatbots, offer check-in promotions, live stream, and host watch parties, among other things, Facebook has confirmed it may soon enable business pages to send marketing emails as well, taking one step closer to being an all-in-one marketing platform.
You can now Tweet A Voice On Twitter
Twitter announced in a tweet that select iOS users can now tweet 140-second audio clips. And creating an audio tweet is pretty simple - just tap on the new tweet icon, tap on the wavelength icon and record.
TIPS & HACKS
How To Make Money By Paying Out 100% Commission
There’s a marketer I know who launches a new funnel with a new product every 3 months or so. He pays 100% commission on the front end as well as 100% commission on all of the upsells, too.
AND he runs an affiliate contest that pays thousands of dollars.
This brings in a LOT of affiliates who promote the new product hard and it builds him a brand new list of buyers.
How does he make his money?
First, he promotes the funnel to his own list. I suspect the commission he earns from this is probably enough to cover the contest prizes.
But his real income happens after the launch is over. The day after the one-week promotion ends, he starts a brand new promotion to his brand new list of buyers.
This new promotion also runs for a week, and it promotes a much more expensive affiliate product that is an awesome match for the product that buyers purchased the previous week. For example, if last week’s product was how to make money on YouTube, the much more expensive product might be an entire course on how to create awesome videos that get millions of views.
This much more expensive product pays out exquisitely large commissions, earning him a substantial profit. I don’t know his exact numbers, but when the second week ends I’m guessing he’s cleared a bare minimum of $20,000 in profit and much more likely 2 to 5 times this much.
He reverse engineers his process, choosing his high ticket affiliate product FIRST, and then creating his own product that is an excellent compliment to the high ticket item. Then he fills in the rest of his funnel with products that do not compete with the high ticket item he’ll be promoting the following week.
This might be too much work and investment for you right now, but if you have a list then I highly encourage you to find at least one high ticket item to promote to your list as soon as possible. Create an email series that you send out every day for 7 days promoting this high ticket item and see what happens.
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A Questionable Lead Generation Practice
I’m not sure if I recommend this or not, but it is interesting and certainly something to consider.
There’s a marketer who offers to build you an email list of 1,000 brand new subscribers for $1,000.
He takes on 3 or 4 clients at a time, charging each of them $1,000. Each client supplies a quality lead magnet, and all of the lead magnets are displayed on one squeeze page.
So let’s say the lead magnets are a video on driving traffic, a PDF on list building, a course about making money on Amazon and a book about affiliate marketing. All of these are displayed on the squeeze page, and when someone enters their email address on that page, their email address is then added to all 4 autoresponders.
Thus, each person who paid $1,000 gets a list of 1,000 new subscribers, but all four of them get the same list.
The guy who is doing this also adds the new subscribers to his own list as well. He is in effect getting paid to build his own list. He buys solo ads to drive the traffic to build the lists, but this could also be done with any other traffic method. That’s why I said the profit is $2500 a month, which assumes $1500 to build the lists, which should be plenty more than enough.
Of course, then each marketer needs to start emailing their own list and warming them up.
I think this would work best if all marketers involved offered free items in the same niche. For example, if all of them were about making money in Facebook Groups, or driving traffic, or creating awesome videos. It would be more targeted that way, and thus the lists would be much more focused.
A more general niche that could work is simply online marketing for newbies.
If you try this, there’s no reason you couldn’t ramp it up to doing it several times a month, always with 3 to 5 freebies offered as a package on one page.
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Important Lesson From A Hollywood Has-Been
For awhile he was the hottest thing in Hollywood. Every movie he did turned to gold. He was fawned over by Hollywood producers and everyone either wanted to be him, to sleep with him or cast him as the star in their next movie.
But all of this fame went straight to his head. He drank too much and did too many drugs.
And worst of all, he thought he was the greatest thing on the planet. He treated anyone ‘beneath him’ like crap. It didn’t matter if that person was a cameraman, a makeup person or the caterer. He made ridiculous demands, acted like a spoiled, petulant child, and made all the ‘little people’ around him feel 2 inches tall.
If I told you his name, you would probably recognize it. You might even wonder whatever happened to him.
Sure, he was still nice to the directors and producers because they were closer to ‘his level’ and besides, they could hire him or fire him. But everyone else felt the wrath of his self-delusional superiority.
One of the people he yelled at, screamed at and humiliated at every turn was a lowly intern working as an assistant’s assistant to the director on one of his films.
That lowly intern rose through the ranks surprisingly fast. In just a few short years she become a director and a producer before becoming the right hand person to the studio head.
And she never forgot how he treated her. In fact, she told everyone what this person was like to work with. And as her power grew, more and more people listened to her warning not to hire this individual. They could see how disruptive he was on set and how impossibly he difficult he had become. All it took was a word from her and suddenly the parts were drying up.
Once she got the number two position at the studio, she blackballed him. He would never work at that studio again. She even took steps to ensure he wouldn’t get work elsewhere, either.
Fast forward to today, and no one will hire this prima donna of an actor. I’ll bet he couldn’t even get a gig working for free on a public service announcement.
I’ve seen something similar happen in online marketing. A newbie asks a ‘guru’ for 2 minutes of their time. It might be at an event where she’s just heard him speak and tries to ask him a question afterwards. But the ‘guru’ doesn’t have time to be nice and brushes her off like so much street dirt.
But the newbie learns. She gathers an audience. She builds a following. And pretty soon she is setting affiliate records.
She also remembers who was nice to her and who wasn’t. She won’t promote this ‘guru’s’ products, no matter how much he pleads and begs. He doesn’t know why she keeps saying no because he doesn’t even remember her.
But boy oh boy does she remember him. The day he was a total jerk to her was the day she decided to make it big and then tell him to take a flying leap. And it costs him plenty in lost sales and lost JV opportunities.
You never know if the person asking you for help today will be the one in a position to help you tomorrow.
“Yeah, but what are the odds that the person I brush off is the person who will one day be in a position to send me hundreds of affiliate sales, or an introduction to someone in a position of power in my niche, or do a lucrative joint venture with me?
If you’re ignoring every new person who asks for a few minutes of your time, I’d say the odds are nearly 100%. It’s inevitable that you will indeed be shooting yourself in the foot, both financially and reputationally.
What’s the answer? I don’t really have one. It’s true that we don’t have time for every newbie’s question. But it’s also true that we should bend down and help others up as much and as often as we reasonably can.
Here’s what one marketer did: He set up a system to handle questions from newbies. He made a Q and A of the top 50 questions he routinely received, and anytime a newbie had a question, he first referred them to that page. That took care of about 80% of his requests for help.
Then at the bottom of that page he gave an option for more help. People had to have done a certain amount of research and reading, as well as buying one of his products in order to get a few minutes of his time.
If they did the research and the reading, and if they had purchased on of his products, he gave them a 10 minute free consultation with the understanding that any further coaching would cost dearly.
Believe it or not, he accidently doubled his coaching income within 2 weeks of implementing this system.
And he made true proteges and fans who went on to become successful and promote the heck out of his products, further adding to his bottom line.
All because he found a way to help people rather than giving them the brush off.
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Marketing Done Right By President Elect Joe Biden
It’s safe to say that since Joe Biden is elected President of the United States, he has recruited some of the best marketing brains on the planet to help him win this office.
Which is why I took a look at his website. The first thing I found is what you and I know of as a landing page or squeeze page.
On the right side of the page is a photo of Joe – no surprise there. And on the left side of the page they asked for my email address, without ever actually asking for my email address.
Here’s what was on the page:
Sign Now: Join our campaign!
Joe Biden is running for President. Sign your name to stand with him:
Followed by three fields to fill in.
Notice his marketing people are not saying, “Give us your email address.” They’re asking me to sign my name, which serves as a small token of commitment on my part, making it easier to ask for something bigger later.
(For the uninitiated: The Cialdini “commitment concept” is something like the old-school “foot-in-the-door” idea, where accepting a small idea or buying a small item changes a “prospect” into a “customer.” What's more, reaffirming the earlier choice begins to build trust. The marketer can now begin asking for bigger and bigger commitments or sales.)
But… the three fields they ask you to fill in are email, zip code and phone, with email being the only required field.
Notice there is no field for name.
And yet the headline is asking me to sign my name.
So simple. So slight of hand. And so effective.
The visitor isn’t even thinking about the fact they are handing over their email address.
And it gets better.
On the next page are 5 top issues - each with a check box - and they want to know which ones are most important to you. “Check all that apply.”
Why? The inference is they are taking a poll to see what matters most to the American people. They want the reader’s help in shaping policy.
The reality is they’re figuring out which buttons to push when they ask the reader (aka new subscriber) to donate.
Is climate your big issue? They’ll talk about climate when they email you. Is it health care? The Supreme Court? Whatever you choose is what they’ll use in their fundraising emails to you.
Testing their system, I used the sixth option which was fill-in-the-blank and I wrote in a popular issue that wasn’t even listed.
Guess what the very first email I received talked about?
The issue I’d written into the blank space. Oh yes, and would I donate to help Joe with that exact cause?
These guys are good.
They capture email addresses under the guise of asking you to ‘sign your name to stand with him.’
And they segment their list to optimize contributions.
Are you segmenting your lists?
Imagine if you knew the hot button of everyone who joins your list – how much more effective would your marketing be?
(Curious what happens when you go to Donald J Trump’s website? I was. On the day I visited the site, the first thing I encountered was some sort of loading error. There was a barely perceivable phantom pop up that severely dimmed the rest of page.
Once I finally located it and clicked it away, I was offered the opportunity to sign a waiver that said I would not hold Donald J Trump liable for contracting Covid-19 when I attended at his Tulsa, Oklahoma rally. Ummm… no thanks.)
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The 6 Figure Report Blueprint
Can you imagine making six figures from writing just ONE report?
Believe it or not, that’s essentially how many marketers do earn 6 figures, or even 7 figures.
No doubt you’ve seen marketers launch a really good $10 product that sells like crazy.
And then they do it again. And again. And again.
They come up with a topic, write a report or create a product, do everything necessary to launch it, and then start all over again.
But let’s say you write that report and it sells like gangbusters. Your next step shouldn’t be to start all over.
Instead, make that topic your ‘thing.’
Jeff Walker realized “How to Launch a Product” was a hot topic. And that’s what he teaches. In fact, that’s all he needs to teach to earn his living.
Choose ONE topic that sells fantastically well. Just one. Become an expert in that one topic. And then make everything you do from that point on about that one topic.
Write the report. Record videos. Offer coaching. Record the coaching and turn it into a course. Refine it, improve it and so forth.
Charge more for the course than you do for the initial product. Charge even more for group coaching. Charge more than that for one-on-one coaching. Offer personal consulting or speaking for an even higher price.
But don’t stray from your key concept. Become THE go-to expert in your niche, whatever that might be.
Here’s what will happen:
You’ll become known as THE EXPERT. Everyone else will look like imitators.
Sales will become easier. If someone wants to learn that ONE thing that you teach, who will they turn to? You of course.
Your life and your business will be so much simpler. You’ll no longer have to bounce from one topic to another to another. You can laser focus on your ONE thing. You’ll have more time, less stress and more income.
Start with one report teaching your core concept, and then go deep, not wide.
The Biggest Mistake A Marketer Can Make
The biggest mistake a marketer can make is not identifying their Avatar correctly and not knowing their Statement Of Value (SOV). Most marketers take a guess on what their avatar is and start making promises that doesn't resonate with them.
Your Avatar and Statement Of Value (SOV) Can quadruple your profits in 30 Days…Or they can ruin you in 6 months.
The three biggest problems online marketers face are:
Not getting new people to join your email list, read your blog or join your social media platforms.
Not getting readers to open emails, engage, talk, hang out on social media or share content.
Not getting readers and subscribers to buy stuff.
All three of these problems can be solved when you get clear on your avatar and your Statement Of Value (SOV).
Your avatar is your character profile of the exact person you want on your list, visiting your blog and engaging on social media.
In any niche, there can be dozens or hundreds of different prospects.
The mistake online marketers make is not knowing the best prospect to reach who will purchase their offers.
And the solution is to get clear on your ideal avatar. Find the exact person who wants what you are selling, and selling becomes a breeze.
What’s more, your statement of value is also essential to your success, which we’ll cover in a moment.
Ideally your goal is to target the exact buyer you seek, talk to them about exactly what they want to talk about and then offer them the exact solution that will fix their problem.
I see marketers all the time who are trying to target everyone who wants to be happy, or everyone who wants to lose weight, or everyone with an interest in golf. That’s a recipe for disaster.
If your avatar is too vague – or worse yet, if you don’t have an avatar – then marketing becomes like trying to swim upstream while wearing your collection of bowling balls. It’s way too much work, you’re going to have to be a very strong, expert swimmer and still you’re just not going to make much progress, if any.
People buy to experience pleasure or to avoid pain. That’s why you should look for a person’s wants, needs, desires, fears, frustrations and problems.
Creating this avatar is going to get you clear on who to target and what to say to them through your content.
In fact, when you’re clear on your avatar, your marketing becomes far easier, you make more sales with less effort and your entire business becomes more of a joy than of work.
Here is an avatar template to use every time you enter a new market or even promote a new product.
Do your research on the appropriate forums, social media groups and Facebook Groups in particular, wining advertising, Amazon reviews and anyplace your prospects hang out to find this information. Facebook insights can be a great place to start.
If you must initially take a few guesses, that’s alright. You can refine your avatar as you go. Guessing incorrectly and refining is much better than not having any avatar at all.
• Relationship status
• Education level
• Job title
• Annual Income
Digging Deeper – The following 7 items will all have multiple answers inside the realm of your particular niche.
Wants: What does she want most of all? What is her goal?
Needs: What does she have to have to make her goal happen?
Desires: What are her desires on a very personal and emotional level?
Fears: What is keeping her awake at night?
Frustrations: What is stopping her from achieving her goal?
Problems: What are the problems she faces is trying to achieve her goal?
Desired Outcome: If all goes well, what does her outcome look like?
Example Avatar for a Paleo Weight Loss Product:
Paleo Pam; woman; age 50; married with 2 grown, unmarried children; 4 years of college; office manager at a large dental clinic; lives in Cincinnati, Ohio; loves crafts, television and sewing; $65K income.
To know what to eat and what foods to avoid on Paleo.
A plan to lose 50 pounds and keep it off.
Recipes that don’t take a lot of time to prepare, are easy and delicious.
Her paleo questions answered.
Encouragement and motivation for the times she feels like giving up.
To feel like she is not alone on her Paleo weight loss journey.
To be slim and healthy with lots of energy.
To feel confident, to love how she looks in the mirror.
To be proud of herself and to have her husband be proud of her, too.
That this is just another diet failure in the making.
That she is losing her health and her quality of life.
That this is her last chance to finally lose the weight and keep it off.
If she has grandchildren, she might not live to see them grow up.
She doesn’t understand paleo, what to eat, when to eat.
She doesn’t know where to begin.
There is conflicting information and she doesn’t know what’s right.
She’s unhealthy. She’s had a recent health scare and her doctor says to lose the weight now or face dire consequences.
Her weight seems to affect everything about her life negatively.
She’s on prescription meds for her medical condition and the side effects are unpleasant.
Her husband has lost all interest in being intimate with her and she thinks it’s her fault.
Her clothes don’t fit (again) and she can’t bear the thought of once again buying bigger clothes.
Pam has lost the weight.
She looks great, feels great, and her confidence is sky high.
She loves how she looks in the mirror and in photos.
She lost the weight without starving and now she finds it’s easy to keep the weight off, too.
Her husband is proud of her and pays more attention to her. Her clothes fit and she has more energy.
Her health problems have diminished greatly and she’s no longer on medication.
Please note, this example avatar is just that – an example. Please do your own research for your own niche or products.
Do you see how much easier it will be for you to now speak directly to Paleo Pam in all of your content? And can you imagine how much easier it will be for you to sell her the solution she needs now that you understand her better?
And you can even custom tailor your offers to her to make sure she is getting everything she needs from you. For example, if you look at her needs, you’ll see that all three of them could be taken care of with a bonus private Facebook Group where she can connect with others who are just like her, as well as getting questions answered by you or someone who understands Paleo.
The biggest mistake I see marketers making on their avatar is not focusing on URGENT problems. You’ll notice that Paleo Pam needed to lose 50 pounds, not 5 pounds. And she’s having health challenges that are serious.
This is someone who is MOTIVATED to do something about her problem right away.
When you show her that you understand her and you have the solution she seeks, she’s not going to balk on price or need time to think about it. She’s going to jump on your offer like her life depends on it, because in this case it probably does.
When you research your prospect, you’re going to see they have MANY problems - so much so that it can become overwhelming to you. Your best bet is to figure out which problems are urgent, identify the exact prospects who have this urgent problem and then find them the solution.
People whose backs are to the wall are ready to buy and buy now. They need a solution right away because without it their problem will only get worse.
But there’s one more step to take:
Your Statement of Value
This is a simple statement that gets you clear on the value you must provide to your ideal avatar. This ensures your avatar feels like their needs are being met by you, which in turn ensures they continue to open your emails, read your blogposts and buy your stuff.
Without an SOV your prospects may become bored or leave because you are not serving their needs and interests.
When you couple your SOV with your Avatar, you’ll know how to attract all the right people onto your lists and social media accounts.
Here’s the SOV formula: Your content (website, emails, videos, social media, etc.) gives your ideal Avatar the ability to enjoy their ultimate desired outcome.
You can only complete this statement of value after you’ve completed your Avatar.
For the example Avatar we created earlier, your SOV might be:
FastPaleoSuccess.com gives Pam an easy plan for losing 50 pounds in 120 days and keeping it off so she can have more energy, be healthier, feel more confident and attractive and make her husband notice her again.
This is just an example. If I were really putting together a Paleo website I would put a great deal more time and research into this, but you get the idea.
Your SOV encapsulates and clarifies the mission you are embarking upon with your site, your campaign or whatever it is that you are doing.
And with your SOV and your Avatar in hand, you’ll know exactly what kind of content to create, what to put in your emails and social media posts and how to sell your products.
Making the effort to create an Avatar and SOV will save you a ton of time. No longer will you create content that isn’t suited for your audience or build your list with people who aren’t responsive to your offers. You’ll know exactly who your customers are, how to reach them and what to offer them.
Bottom line: You’ll be able to earn more while doing less because you’ll do a better job of making your customers happy – perhaps more so than anyone else in your niche.
The #1 Problem Stopping You from Launching Your Own Product
If you were to guess the #1 problem marketers face when launching a new product – what would you say?
Not having enough information?
There are products, courses and programs galore that teach how to create and launch a new product.
Lack of technical know-how?
Anyone can hire the technical help they need online.
The #1 reason why marketers – and especially new marketers – fail to launch new products is fear.
Not fear that they will screw up, or fear that the launch will be a disaster. Those problems are easy to fix. Just figure out what you did wrong and don’t do it next time.
The #1 thing holding them back from launching is fear of what others will think.
This includes fear of what customers think: “What if they don’t like my product? What if they think it’s rubbish?” And also fear of what more established marketers will think.
“What if a big marketer doesn’t like my product? What if they tell the world I’m a failure and a fake? What if they don’t like my sales funnel or my sales copy or worse yet, they don’t like ME?
I can tell you from experience that not everyone will like you or your product. There will always be someone who says your product is rubbish and that customers should by their product instead.
And do you know what? That’s okay.
Take any movie or show that’s a smashing success, and you will find people who don’t like it. In fact, there will be people who HATED it. Yes, even Star Wars.
But those movies and shows still made a lot of people happy and they made the producers a ton of money.
Criticism is part of any business. When you put yourself, your opinions and your products out there for the world to see, someone will respond negatively.
Here’s how to get past the fear of what others will say or think:
First, forget about other marketers and your peers when creating content and products. It doesn’t matter what they say because they don’t ultimately pay your bills.
Second, everything you produce, whether it’s content, products or whatever, should be produced for YOUR customers and not for anyone else.
Know your audience and produce thing things your audience loves.
And when I say ‘customers’, I mean YOUR customers. If your target market is women over 50 who need to lose weight, then don’t give a second thought to what a 30 year old woman or a 50 year old man will think of your sales letter. Who cares? They’re not your customers.
When you do this, you’ll find it’s incredibly easy to create awesome content in your own voice that speaks to your audience, as well as products your customers will love to buy.
How To Create A Website That You Can Sell For $500K
Imagine you build a website, drive traffic, monetize the heck out of it, list build, drive more traffic, and then sell the whole thing off.
How much can you get?
That’s going to depend on a lot of factors, including the niche you’ve chosen, how big and responsive your email list is and how much money your website earns. Usually ordinary money-making websites are valued at 2x or 3x annual income. But if you’ve built a large responsive list to go with the website, you can easily double that figure or more.
As an example, you build a site on how to plan financially for retirement. You monetize it 5 different ways, meaning you have 5 separate streams of income from this one website. You also aggressively build your email list.
You might earn more from the email list than the website, or vice versa. But let’s say that the list and the site together are earning you $100,000 a year.
3 times $100,000 is $300,000 to sell the site. But you’ve chosen retirement financial planning, an extremely lucrative topic. Financial companies and advisors would kill to have your list and your site. In that case, you might be able to sell it for $500,000 or more.
How do you build one of these sites?
Your first step is to choose your niche. At the end of this article I’m going to list out some popular and lucrative niches to get you started.
Once you have your niche, you build an information site with plenty of relevant articles and content and update it on a regular basis.
You also create one or more lead magnets to build your email list.
Next you’ll be monetizing the site.
Depending on your niche, you might consider any combination of the following methods:
Pay-per-click advertising – you get paid every time someone clicks an ad. Adsense is a good example
Native advertising – things like sponsored blogposts or discovery platforms. This sort of advertising fits seamlessly into the content that surrounds it. US advertisers spent $44 billion on native advertising in 2019, which is $8 billion more than they did in 2018.
Video ads – these are sponsored and recommended videos placed on the website. Publishers sell video ads by cost-per-completed view or cost-per-thousand. As an example, Taboola video ads generate over 3 billion views per month among US audiences.
Selling Ad Space – publishers can make money by selling ad space to advertisers directly or through an ad network. If your site’s topic is your local community, you might want to sell ad space directly to local advertisers.
Affiliate marketing – advertising products in exchange for a commission on sales.
Your own product sales – create products or even paid memberships of your own to sell to your readers.
Generate leads – as the publisher you’re acting as a matchmaker by introducing two parties who can benefit each other. Back to the financial planning for retirement site – there are plenty of investment firms that will pay you handsomely for each lead you send them. And you can use a third party service such as MaxBounty, NeverBlue or PeerFly to find those advertisers.
Donations – if you have a loyal fan base who loves you, let them ‘buy you a cup of coffee’ for your efforts. Better yet, sustaining patrons sign up for a recurring monthly donation to your site.
Sponsored content – a form of native advertising, this content looks exactly like regular content except it’s written by the sponsor and includes a ‘sponsored’ disclaimer.
Paywall – we mentioned creating a membership site under ‘your own product sales,’ but another option is to place your primary site behind a paywall. Visitors can read, for example, 3-5 pieces of content before they’re required to subscribe to read more.
Build an email list – this one is generally the most important monetization method of all, since you can continue to market to your list and repeatedly bring them back to your website as well.
Then in 1 to 5 years when it’s growing strong and you’re bored stiff with the site, you’ll sell it for 5 or 6 figures. Or possibly even 7 figures, but only if you’re very, very good at building traffic and value.
Your first task – your VERY first task – is to choose a NICHE.
You might choose a larger niche with several smaller niches inside of it and make one big authority type of website.
Or you might really niche it down and focus in on your target market.
Here is my own niche list to get you started. Some of these niches are HUGE and others are much smaller. All, in my estimation, are profitable. But it is up to you to research the niches you’re interested in to find out how popular they are, how they can be monetized and if they are right for you.
This time we're chatting with a true game changer, someone who has become a legend in internet marketing circles. These days. He's known as a digital marketer, an author, a speaker, a software developer, an online marketing educator, and marketing consultant. It's a real honor for me to welcome to this interview, Mike Filsaime.
“Content Marketing is a commitment, not a campaign.”
– Jon Buscall
“Take a risk and keep testing, because what works today won’t work tomorrow, but what worked yesterday may work again.”
– Amrita Sahasrabudhe
“Ignoring online marketing is like opening a business but not telling anyone.”
“Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content marketing is showing the world you are one.”
– Robert Rose
“Google will know that you are hungry for sushi before you do.”
– Ben Kunz
“Clients don’t care about the labor pains; they want to see the baby.”
– Tim Williams
THE MILLION DOLLAR SKILL
Do's And Don'ts In Partnership
Once upon a time…
…two cat lovers, Chris and Jessica, started filming their cats Marmalade, a male ginger tabby, and his black long-haired adopted brother Cole and putting the videos on YouTube and other social media sites.
People loved Cole and Marmalade and their audience grew, earning them enough money to fund their efforts to rescue and rehome cats all over their city.
Then one day Chris entered into a contract with two online marketers who promised to take the Cole and Marmalade social media channels to new heights and make even more money for Chris and Jessica and their rescue work. The new partnership was called the Cole and Marmalade Network.
All seemed well for awhile, until it wasn't well at all.
Now Chris has accused the two marketers of trying to steal the business out from under him by 'firing' both Chris and Jessica from the business.
The marketers have physically seized control of all media channels as well as Chris and Jessica's cell phones, computers, cameras and video footage, and filed suit against Chris and Jessica, who have filed a countersuit.
The Fans Take Action
When fans learned that Chris and Jessica's content were allegedly stolen from them, they did two things:
First they unsubscribed in droves from Cole and Marmalade's social media accounts in protest.
Second, they started threatening the 2 online marketers with harm. Since the lawsuits were a matter of public record, it wasn't difficult for fans to find the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the two marketers. (I'm simply reporting what happened and absolutely NOT condoning the actions of these passionate but somewhat misguided fans.)
This second bit should give any marketer pause. If you do something that appears to go against popular icons (in this case, Cole, Marmalade and their humans) you might keep in mind that you could be making yourself a target of wrath.
And it just gets messier from there.
I'm not here to say who is right or wrong, but rather to point out a couple things you want to be aware of should you ever partner with someone else in any capacity, whether you're the online marketer partnering with a content creator, or the content creator partnering with an online marketer, or any partnership you might enter into.
Chris and Jessica indisputably started this business themselves. It was 100% theirs. But there came a time when they thought partnering with two people who were savvier about online promotion and marketing could help propel their business and their cause to a higher level. That's totally understandable and can sometimes be a smart move.
A HUGE Mistake?
However, in my opinion they made a foolish mistake in giving each of the two marketers a 33.3% share of the business, while retaining only 33% for themselves. This made them minority partners in their own business. They could be outvoted or forced out, and indeed this seems to be what happened.
I'm no lawyer, but if you start a business and then take on a partner, you might want to consider retaining 50% or higher stake in your own business.
A Better Move
And upon further consideration, you have to wonder why Chris and Jessica felt the need for partners at all. Why not hire experts to help them? It would have cost far less than 66.6% of their business, and they could have fired the experts any time they liked.
I suspect the marketers talked a very good game and convinced Chris and Jessica this partnership would allow them to focus all of their efforts on creating content and helping the stray cats, the two things Chris and Jessica were passionate about, while leaving all the marketing to the marketers.
I understand the desire to hand over 100% control of the things you don't like doing in your business, but it's never a good idea to hand over 100% of anything in your own business, ever.
Why is This Important to You and Me?
This story captured my attention for two reasons - one, I love the two cats, Cole and Marmalade, and I remember watching their videos in the past (I somehow lost touch with their YouTube channel in the last couple of years.)
Second, it sent chills down my spine realizing that one bad partnering mistake could result in losing my business and ending up in endless court battles to try to get it back.
And the entire debacle could then be aired out in public on the internet.
Thus, I've turned to the experts to find 7.5 things to think about BEFORE you ever partner with anyone on anything (that sounds extreme, but so is losing everything you've worked for.)
The entire concept of partnering is to add skills to your business that you alone cannot provide. In this example, a content creator partnering with an online marketer could make sense, if for some reason the content creator can't simply outsource the marketing portion of the work and oversee it himself.
7.5 Things to Consider BEFORE Business Partnering
Make sure partnering is worth it.
Does partnering bring more benefits than not partnering? That is, will you, your brand, your product or cause be in a better position because you partner than it would be if you didn't partner, and instead outsourced?
Don't rush in.
Are you sure you want to do this? Is someone pressuring you to make this partnership? Enthusiasm has its place, but a thoughtful business plan with each partner's commitment clearly outlined is needed here. Review the positives and negatives before signing anything.
Choose the right partner.
If their goals, values or morals don't match yours, or if they have a different vision of what's going to happen, then this isn't going to work.
Have a signed agreement.
Every detail should be spelled out and signed by all parties. It really is best to have a lawyer for this. Make sure you have a clearly defined exit strategy in your agreement that allows either partner to buy out the other without destroying the business.
Include a non-compete agreement.
Done correctly, this will prevent one partner from taking clients, assets or confidential information from the business to use in another business.
Each partner should bring their complimentary strengths.
It might not make sense for two course creators to create a partnership (they could simply joint venture together) because they both bring the same strengths to the table. But if one partner creates courses and the other does all of the marketing, then they are using their complimentary strengths to build something bigger than either of them could build alone.
Consider a limited partnership.
If you're backing a business financially but not making a hands-on commitment, then a limited partnership could allow you to reap the financial rewards without being liable for actions of the general partner.
Egos should be left at the door.
If one of the partners feels more important than the other, the business is likely to suffer. And if there is a lack of trust in each other, there will be second-guessing, suspicion and serious problems with communication and direction.
I don't want to make partnerships seem like a scary thing to always be avoided. There are times when a partnership can be your best avenue to growing your business exponentially while taking some of the responsibility and time commitments off your shoulders.
Here are 7.5 Reasons to Consider a Partnership:
Two heads can indeed be better than one.
Having a great partner can multiply ideas and business experience. Together the two of you can find better ideas and solutions as you build on each other's strengths. In a great partnership, one plus one does indeed equal three.
Double your resources.
One partner has the products, the other has the contacts and customers. One partner has the experience, the other partner has the fledgling business. One partner could be in the shop making the product while the other partner is out pounding the streets and making the sales. If you only have half of the puzzle pieces, it can be easier to find someone with the other half rather than trying to build those pieces yourself.
Double your strengths.
You have an eye for detail, your partner can see the big picture. No one is great at everything, but everyone is great at something. Finding someone who fills in your own gaps can be a real blessing for your business.
Together you can take great risks and reap greater rewards.
Alone you might not have the assets or the mindset to take a leap of faith. But working together, you can figure out how to get it done and rely on each other to leave your personal comfort zones and expand your business.
Partners can tell you when you're being an idiot.
Sometimes we get a 'great' idea that is about to spell disaster. A partner can reign you in at these moments and let you know you're not seeing the entire picture.
Having a partner is more fun.
Assuming you enjoy each other's company, business is a lot more fun when you can share it with someone else. You're facing challenges together, which makes everything less scary and more exhilarating.
You can take a break.
There are times in business when you need a break from the customers or even from the business. If you're going solo, there is no one to pick up the slack. But with a partner, you can take a day off or let your partner deal with the customers while you work on other things.
Your partner is a source of emotional support.
You won't hear many people talk about this one but having the right partner can make all the difference when you hit milestones, both good and bad. When a customer goes full on crazy and trolls your social media accounts looking for blood, you've got someone right there to help you through it. And when you land that big account you've been working on for weeks, or you see your latest launch go to a large six figures, you've got someone to jump and scream with happiness with you.
A Few Quick Partnership Q and A's:
What is the difference between a joint venture and partnership?
The members of a joint venture have teamed together for a particular purpose or project. Once that purpose or project ends, so does the joint venture.
The members of a partnership have joined together to run a business together, usually intending to be together for as long as they own the business.
What are examples of possible IM partnerships?
• One person is great at making content and another is great at driving traffic to that content. The content creator focuses on content, the partner drives traffic, sets up sales funnels and does the general marketing.
• One person is an expert in a niche (any marketable niche) and the other person is great at marketing. The expert creates a product or course and the marketer sets us the sales funnel and drives traffic. (You can do this repeatedly with experts who know nothing about online marketing.)
• Two people with very similar businesses and audiences, who enjoy working together, decide to combine forces, lists, brands and so forth. Two heads working together can often come up with more and better ideas than two people on their own. And they can take turns taking time off while the other one minds the business.
• A software engineer and a marketer. The engineer makes something new, like a social network, and the marketer grows the user base.
Can you give examples of great partnerships?
A few of the more famous partnerships are:
• Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple
• Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom of Instagram
• Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice of Soul Cycle
• Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google
• Richard and Maurice McDonald of McDonald's
If I'm going to partner with someone, should I have a lawyer?
While you can take a standard partnership agreement and modify it to suit your needs, ideally you want legal representation. Imagine if your company grows to become worth millions… you'll be glad you set things up correctly in the beginning.
If money is an issue, try doing a Google search for 'affordable legal services' and you'll likely find several options.
What typically goes into a partnership agreement?
• The name of the partnership
• Each partner's contributions
• Allocation of profits, losses, and draws
• Definition of each partner's authority and decision-making ability
• Management guidelines
• Procedures for admitting new partners
• What happens if a partner withdraws or dies
• Dispute resolution
What should I ask my potential business partner?
• Ask anything and everything you want to know. This is no time to be shy.
• Here are seven questions to get you started:
• What is your vision for our company? (And is it the same as yours)
• What are your strengths and weaknesses? (And do they compliment yours)
• How much money will we each contribute to the business?
• How much time can you dedicate to the business?
• How will you handle conflict or trying circumstances?
• Will you agree to put everything in writing?
• What's your exit strategy? (If they have to leave, will they want you to buy them out?
Or would they prefer to sell their interest to a third party?)
To App Or Not To App
In the old days of eCommerce, a well-built website was all you needed. Now however, you need to have not only a website, but it has to be properly optimized. This applies not only for traditional browsers, but also for mobile (i.e. tablet and smartphone) browsers as well, you also need to be present on the prevalent social media sites as well.
In addition to all of the above, you reach a point in your business where you have to consider whether you should invest in having a bespoke mobile application or “App” built to support your practices.
You might be thinking why on earth would you need that?
Research has shown that mobile device usage for businesses is increasing every day and the way people access information is changing. More and more people are getting important information via WhatsApp and Facebook messenger, Instagram and Snapchat to name but a few.
As eCommerce vendors, our traditional methods of selling don’t really lend themselves very well to these platforms, and additionally our traditional access method of mailshots and subscription lists is changing in its landscape. People are reading emails less and less, and instead rely on targeted social media messages and app notifications, these are the new high streets.
So, we get to a point where we have to consider putting together an app-based storefront that not only showcases our available products and services, but also allows us to keep our clients updated and informed on our offers and enhancements. New product launches provide newsletters and subscriptions capabilities directly within the app, all in one place.
When looking for new vendors, businesses have started looking not only the traditional web presence, but also at the social media capabilities and mobile applications presence as well because they want access to your products, services and support as quickly and conveniently as possible.
Here we are at the start of 2021, maybe now is the time to look app…
Thank you for taking the time to read this episode. I would love to hear what you think about this issue, may email.
Happy New Year!
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