Joint ventures, picking a niche and a good problem to have with your customer service
Joint ventures, picking a niche and a good problem to have with your customer service
Fred Gleeck has been around and involved with internet marketing since the very beginning.
Fred was actually the one who gave Yanik Silver his first big break speaking at a seminar in front of a large group of people in 2001. In fact, Fred was doing offline information marketing since 1983.
He suggests that if you can create a tool that appeals to a certain niche of people and that they buy into to become an indispensable part of their business then you have them hooked in. He quotes an example of one tool that he uses that has made him over 1 million dollars! Lance relates how he feels that a big error people make is that they think that software is the only way to create these tools when it can in fact also be a website that performs a task that automates something.
Fred tells us of a real estate seminar where somebody gave him an idea. He went home, spoke to his developer, made the simple website and the very next day walked back into the seminar and related the URL to the gathered crowd and got instant signups - a simple website, the equivalent of software.
Rather then try to make a million dollars in 90 days, Fred suggests why not find enough money to pay a utility bill and automate it every month, then find a way to pay a car payment… etc… So then if you have quite a number of sources of revenue if one goes bust, it doesn’t matter so much as you have many other sources.
Fred shares that his next book is called ‘Don’t Focus’ - which basically explores how we can only focus on one thing at a time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to focus on one thing for our entire time!
Fred’s business model is based on the fact that he’s an extrovert - he loves being around people. He needed a way to work with people, so he adjusted this business model to concentrating on people in fields who nothing about marketing or information marketing. He also only wants to work with people that he would like to have dinner with on a regular basis!
Lance points out that Fred bases his business model on finding people who are already successful, and the pros of that particular setup. Fred points out the negative side to his methodology is that a lot of people that he works with don’t actually make it.
Fred quotes the example of Travel SCROOGE - a site for budget traveling. The guy who owned the site came to him with no success, but it was really down to the fact that he wasn’t doing anything to help himself. Fred cajoled him into setting up a YouTube channel and getting a daily video up to assist people find a great deal - a one minute tip video, and Lance makes the point that this one minute tip is an ideal length for people to consume short quick information on a daily basis - its not too long , and people always have a minute to spare!
Lance discusses how to micro-niche a niche. He tells how his training doesn’t show a client how to set up a website, it trains a client to use his product to set up a website. 95% of your market is newbies - people forget this.
Fred brings up a great story about a person who was an expert in napkin folding - and how he made the mistake of assuming that nobody would be interested in this - the statistics shocked him. This taught him never to presume he knows everything about what people are actually interested in.
A great tip from Lance about how to increase sales on Fiverr - specifically in the voice over field - is to tell people that you are actually ‘the best’ voice over artist on Fiverr. People search for this, and will find you from this. From this the point that naturally follows is that if you want to be the expert - tell people you are the expert.
If you have a question, comment, show or guest idea or just want to get in touch with Lance, you can contact him here. He loves to hear from his listeners!
Episode Sponsored By: Dropship CEO
Today we have an amazing guest that I think is going to help you out a lot with moving forward and making sure you're fulfilled personally while you're building this online business. I'm happy to introduce you to Bailey Richert. The thing about her is that like a lot of us, she was caught up in the rat race and always trying to do the "right thing and following the right path". The stuff we were all taught in school.
She took a job doing the normal 9-to-5 type of stuff out in California. Like a lot of us, she had this persona and when everybody was looking in on her life they all thought that she had everything, but the real problem was with all of the stuff that she had and all of her success she wasn't anywhere near being fulfilled personally. Like a lot of us she figured out that the cubicle life and working in corporate America wasn't going to allow her to achieve her dreams, goals and especially the ambitions that she had.
She went back to school and studied entrepreneurship at MIT, which I was pretty shocked about. I didn't even realize that MIT had an entrepreneurship program. She launched her own online business with the goal of earning her own income from anywhere in the world. Now today she helps other people realize that it's possible to achieve the life that you want and have the financial means to do what it is that you want to do in your life.
What's really cool about Bailey is that her model of choice for online business, just like me and a lot of you, is infopreneurship. I got her to share some of her tips, tricks and strategies on how you can launch your own profitable online enterprise and how you can actually profit by sharing the things that you're passionate about and helping other people while profiting at the same time.
I know when I went from working in corporate America and climbing that corporate ladder to deciding to do something for myself I went through this whole series of mindset shifts. This whole transformation in the way that I viewed the world that was probably the most scary thing that I've ever done in my life. What was that like for you and how did you finally decide that you'd had enough and you were going to go off in another direction?
Yeah, definitely wasn't an easy thing. I love what you said there about mindset shifts, because that's exactly what you have to undergo. I really do believe that when you have that epiphany moment there's really no going back. That's the beginning of your personal journey and your personal transformation. We all handle it in different ways.
I don't necessarily think that everybody needs to immediately quit their job and go back to school. That's what I decided to do, because academia, for me, has always been one of those really safe haven places where I've excelled and I knew that it was going to give me the time and the freedom that I needed in order to learn about business and to build my business. You could easily do that while you're working as well, but I didn't have an MBA. I really didn't know anything about business so I just knew that I wanted to succeed at this so badly that I needed to do it the right way.
I decided that I needed to pursue a formal education that was going to supplement my actual business activities.
I think that you're one of the exceptions, at least, of the people that I come into contact with, in that you've got the formal education in business. I think that you can bring a completely unique perspective and that's probably why you've been so successful and why you're able to help so many other people become successful. Through the formal education, what's the big thing that you see people that are coming to you for help or taking your courses that they are doing wrong right off the bat that's setting themselves up for failure? Versus what they could be doing right to make sure that they increase their chances to succeed.
I know exactly how to answer that question because I see it in every single one of my clients. It's that people ... The first thing they do is they start a blog. That's not necessarily the very first thing that you should do. Yes, having a website and having a blog and using your blog as a content marketing tool in order to establish your expertise online and gain the trust of your audience members is critical, but that's not the first thing that you should be doing.
The first thing that you need to do is back it up and start thinking about your business and make some decisions about how you're going to establish and run your business for. For example, choosing your niche. Deciding who is it that's going to be your target audience. Who's your ideal customer and who are you going to be serving? Everything about your business stems from that. I think one of the biggest problems that infopreneurs have is that they think that because the business is based around themselves and their own life experience that all the blog posts that they're writing, all the products and stuff are all supposed to be about me, me, me.
It's a business. You're supposed to be using your life experience to solve other people's problems and to help them undergo a transformation in an easier way than what you've previously had to experience.
I think that's the most frustrating thing is that people will come to me and they'll say, "Well, I really like what you do and I really want to start making money as an infopreneur, but I just started my blog and I really just need to get my readership up first and then I'll figure out how to monetize."
I'm like, "No, no, no. Your blog is supposed to be promoting your products and helping you get people enrolled in your courses and your e-books and things like that."
Almost literally 100% backwards. I'm like, "That is not the first thing that you do at all."
When people are picking a niche, one of the things that I see a lot of people struggle with and I know I struggled with this because my background is not in marketing. I probably did what a lot of people do and I actually did start with a blog. What I did was I went out and I just started searching. How can I make money at home? How can I do this? Everybody would tell me this thing like, "Pick a niche! Pick a niche!" My problem was that all the examples of the people that I saw were making money were making money by telling me how to make money
How would you guide people in picking a real niche that is profitable?
Right. This is something that I actually cover in my flagship course, Infopreneur Institute. We spend a lot of time talking about this because choosing a profitable niche is absolutely critical if you want to have a successful business and if you don't want to get burned out, if you really want to see results.
Here's what I tell people: infopreneurship itself isn't about the innovation. You're not sitting in your garage tinkering and developing the next iPad and you're really not being disruptive to an industry. The things that you are teaching people and the transformations that you are helping them go through are things that are already out there in the market.
The reason that people fail in infopreneurship when they're choosing their niche is that they're trying to be incredibly unique and they look out into the market and they say, "Oh, I don't see anyone doing this. I should get into this."
I know it seems counter intuitive, but what you need to do is pick a niche where there's already competition. If you go to the supermarket and you look at the magazines, what are you going to see? You're going to see magazines about health and fitness, relationships, celebrities, beauty, music, makeup, fitness and cars.
Why? Because that's what the market demands. That's what people are interested in. They want to be a better version of themselves and as an infopreneur, that's what you're helping them become. Whether it's helping them learn better relationships techniques so that they can have better relationships with their spouses or find someone in the dating world or whether it's helping them start a business the right way or lose that 50 pounds or whatever.
If you go onto Amazon and you're looking at e-books and there are no e-books in the category or the niche that you are thinking about joining, don't pick that niche. It's not profitable. Don't do that.
We want to be the next Steve Jobs, right? When we're starting our business, let's disrupt industry. Let's do all of this. The truth is is that at the end of the day you're not a giant corporation. You don't have millions of dollars to advertise. You're you mostly likely at your house behind a computer trying to share your story and I love how you put that, helping other people make transformations through things that you know and things that you've done.
Yeah, it's totally different kind of business. That's something that a lot of people don't realize. If you've never been in business before, there are different kinds of business. There are giant corporations versus local bakeries versus online infopreneurs.
We're all in it for different reasons and we all develop different products. There's different rules. When you're choosing your niche, don't pick something where there's not already a market demand for it.
When people find something that they thing that they want to do is there an advantage to learning something new and then doing that or is it something that they should already be doing? How should they balance that decision?
I think that there's really two key components in order to be able to make it as an infopreneur regarding your experience.
The first thing is is that you have to have some experience or knowledge above what the average Joe knows. That doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be the world's foremost expert in the particular subject, but you have to actually be able to teach people something that they didn't know. If for you, you want to go out and learn something, I guess that's fine? But at the same time you're just adding a whole bunch of extra work. I'm sure there's something that you know that somebody doesn't know that you could be making an infopreneurship business off of today.
The second thing is though, your back story.
Your life experience. That's what infopreneurship is really all about. People don't buy your products just because of the things that's they're going to learn but it's also because they like you, they trust you, they've seen how you've transformed in your own life and they've seen the results that you've had and they want to achieve those exact same results.
We're basically teachers, but we're not university professors. You know, people aren't paying to come and sit down in a lecture and take notes, but rather they want a fast track to the way that we've been able to accomplish the results that we have.
If you are a fitness coach you're not going to write a 1,000 page book on the subject. Instead, you're going to advertise your life story and you're going to say, "Hey, I used to weigh this much, then I went through this technique which is my patented whatever and now I lost 50 pounds and if you hire me as your fitness coach then I'm going to teach you what my strategy is. I'm going to fast track you on your way to success."
With your original question, should you go out and learn something - if it doesn't really play into your back story and if you don't have life experience in it it's going to be really hard for you to make a compelling narrative about the fact that, well, I really wanted to start a business in fitness. I've never in my life had any experience with this but I researched it and now I'm going to teach you. Who's going to buy that? That doesn't really sell well.
I love the way that you put that because you've wrapped the whole business up into a simple three-step process of how you're going to position your products and more importantly how you're going to position you.
I have actually distilled the process for launching an infopreneur business from scratch into six steps:
Infopreneuership is an amalgamation of information and entrepreneurship. Basically, starting a business selling informational products. Those can be digital so things like e-books and online courses, webinars and such. They don't have to be. I also do some public speaking and live workshops. There's a lot of benefits to those active revenue streams as well.
There isn't necessarily one that's better than another or more profitable than another. It completely depends on what it is that you're teaching and who your target audience as far as how they like to learn, where you find your clients, and where they like to hang, and the kinds of things that you want to be doing.
That's one of the things that I love about infopreneuership is that it's a really customization type of business. If you really love teaching workshops, then that's great, but maybe you're just not that kind of extroverted person and you'd rather stick completely with online courses and live behind a camera. Also fine.
What I find interesting about the way you laid out your system is that the product isn't even created until the last two steps in the process.
It seems like a lot of people, myself included, get pounded with this mantra of take action. Take massive action. Don't just do this. Take a lot of action. I think there is some validity to doing stuff and not getting caught up in the details, but it really struck me that ... Even how you started with this training ... The biggest mistake is starting with the blog. You've got this laid out in such a distinct way that if you go through those steps and implement it your way, it almost seems like the product, from the way that you doing it, having your niche, defining what you're going to do, having that platform, and then go into the product, the product almost writes itself if you've got those other things in place.
Exactly. You're so right. That's one of the frustrations that they have is they say, "Well, I want to make money, but I don't know what product I should make and sell."
I will ask them, "Oh, well, okay, what's your niche? Or what do you do best? Or what's your message?" They have no idea. Then we sit down and we talk about those things and after we figure them out, then they're like, "Oh, well, it's so obvious, I need to do an online course about this and that could lead to a three-day workshop about the same topic." I said, "Well, there you go."
Here's the thing: even if you do have a product idea, if you don't do those initial steps before you create your product, you're not going to have any audience. I speak from experience on this one. That was the very first thing that I did wrong when I was starting my first infopreneuership business.
My first step in infopreneuership was doing travel stuff because I'm just a huge world traveler and I love it. I wrote a travel book. I didn't have a website. I didn't have an audience. I didn't have an email list. I didn't have a marketing budget. I was just like, "I'm just going to write the most amazing book and people will see how awesome it is and when I put it out on the market, it'll sell and that'll give me the money to get started." I did that. That was such a huge mistake. It's out of these mistakes that I learned about what the process should be. I put it on the market and what do they always say? Crickets.
People should recognize how awesome my book is. It's not necessarily about how amazing your product is. It's about getting together an audience of people that love your work and trust you and THEN they be willing to buy your book after you put it out into market.
It's incredibly crucial to do those couple of steps before you even build your product so you have an audience that you can sell to.
When I started I did exactly what you did. I had the same expectations. I wrote a short report. It was amazing. I was going to sell it for $7. Nobody knew who was I was but the report was going to be so good that it wouldn't matter anyway. I honestly thought that I would probably sell a million copies in the first week or so because that's what I had been told. I wrote it. I posted it. I got it for sale and exactly what you said. Crickets. Nothing happened. I don't know why I thought it would sell in hindsight, but at the time I really thought if I put it on a website and I advertised it a couple places that people were just going to love it. My real thought behind it was, "Who wouldn't buy this for $7?"
It turned out that the real question was...
What I love about the way that you laid this out is, I think you're 100% right in that, yes, people are buying your product. Yes, they're looking for a transformation. But more than anything else they're buying your story and if they can't connect with your story it doesn't matter, because you're being compared to ten other people that are selling the exact same thing. At the end of the day they're trying to identify with you because your story is like theirs.
Exactly. You are the version of themselves that they ultimately want to become because you've already gone through that transformation.
I love that. One of the things that you mentioned sort of offhandedly as you were talking about picking a niche and positioning yourself, was "know, like, and trust". When people bring that up I always want to ask them about that because a lot of times when people have a following it's a real easy thing to throw out there.
Build, know, like, and trust. That's what people buy from. That conversation gets stuck in theory land. I'd really like if you could share something some tangible things that people can do to actually increase that or to actually start building that audience up if they're just getting started and have no platform or audience to speak of?
Going back to the idea of a blog. The purpose of the blog is, yes, to generate that trust with your audience and to prove to people that you really are the expert in this subject. It's a really powerful tool, but only if you do it the right way.
What I see a lot of infopreneurs doing is misusing their blog because they're very focused on themselves and they're very self-indulgent. They think, "Oh, people should really care what I had for dinner. I'm going to write about that and take a picture of it and put it on Instagram." I just recently saw somebody, a friend of mine post this on Twitter and I just love it so I'm going to repeat it here, which is:
If you offer them something amazing for free on your blog and fantastic content they are not only going to share and save it, but that's going to help you grow your audience. They're going to say, "Wow, this chick really knows what she's talking about." It's only by developing amazing content. It's no longer acceptable just to slap together 500-word blog posts that you didn't even thoroughly research. You need to be writing exhaustive, authoritative content on your subject so that when people Google that article they're going to find it and it's going to be better than anybody else's.
For example, I just recently wrote a blog post about over 60 ways that you can grow your email lists. Do those posts take hours and hours to write? Yeah, they do! They're not easy to write. You can't just slap up a hundred easy articles.
The next thing that you want to do after you get some really fantastic content on your blog is start pursuing guest blogging opportunities. If you want to start growing your audience and growing your email list you need to drive traffic to your blog which can be a really difficult thing to do organically, meaning people just find it out of the blue.
If you go to other people within your niche ... Another reason that you don't want to be the only person operating within your niche is that you need to have some other people to utilize in this entire business-building model ... is that you will then contact people who have blogs that are already pretty successful in your niche.
You'll say, "Hey, I've been a follower of your blog for a year. I have these three different blog post ideas. If you'd give me the opportunity I'd love an opportunity to share one of these blog post ideas with your audience by doing a guest blog post on your blog." Ideally, hopefully, you'll get some people to say yes. When that happens, you'll post on their blog and their audience will then get to know you, go back to your website and then sign up for your email list. That's one of the most powerful tools that I use to grow my list.
You mentioned that having other people in your space to help you out will help you grow your business, help you gain authority and basically leveraging what other people have already done to increase your following and leadership. I love that idea, but I also think that so many people do it the wrong way. Meaning ... and you probably get stuff like this with your business where somebody will, out of the blue send you an email that says, "Hey, Bailey, I love your Infopreneur Institute. I've got this free video that I want you to give away to your customers inside of your institute. Are you going to do that for me?" Do you get those things too?
I'm always torn between that because on one hand, my initial response is like, "I don't know you from anybody else. I don't know anything about you."
How do you go about ... I think your idea of approaching somebody and saying, "I want to do a guest blog post," but how does that look for somebody to start building these relationships because what I see is everybody gets so gung-ho. They're like, "I heard Bailey say I need to go out and do some guest blog posts so I'm going to go write some great content for her or I'm going to do this or I'm going to do a joint venture," and they go about it and I think they actually end up hurting themselves more than they actually help themselves.
There's definitely a wrong way to do it. If you go to a stranger on the street it's really no different than that whenever you're cold emailing people. What you need to basically do is prime the relationship.
Number one, get on Twitter and go find those influencers and those people you want to interact with and start being social with them. Response to the questions on Twitter. Send them shoutouts and say, "@whoever, I really loved your newsletter today," and then they'll tweet you back and say, "Thanks so much. I'm glad you read it." Over time, they can get to know your name. Having a little bit of that name familiarity really helps.
One of the techniques that I use to get in touch with Noah Kagan, actually, was when I very first signed up for his email list, his confirmation for his newsletter it went to my spam box so I emailed him and I was like, "Hey, your confirmation email went to my spam box. Just wanted you to know," and he responded to me, "Oh, which email client are you using?" And we had a conversation. Sending those kinds of emails that aren't asking for things, but just ways to get in touch I think is a really good way to do it.
Also leaving comments on other people's blog posts is another way, again just so that people can start getting familiar with your name. Just being really active in your niche by doing things like going to conferences and hosting webinars. People will start to take notice of you.
Another thing that I will say is that giving people incentive to share your content, meaning make them an affiliate of your of your products.
Don't just just say, "Hey, I have this free video and I want you to share it," but say, "I'm launching this course and I'm giving away 30% of all sales to affiliates. Would you be interested in sharing the lead magnet for the sales funnel for this course?" Using that as an incentive. People love to make money so hey, why not?
What I love about how you put this as it goes right back to your whole thing about becoming known in the industry because I know a lot of times when we get hit up in our business for people that go, "Oh, I want to do this with you. I want to put my stuff in here. I want to do a joint venture." The first thing that we always say to them, "Let's do something else," because my experience has been that 90% of the people that hit me up to do stuff if I go check on them three months later, they're gone.
I don't want to do stuff with people that are flash in the pan. I'm looking for people that are around. If I go search them I want to find products. I want to find webinars. I want to find stuff that they're doing.
I think what a lot of people don't realize is, no matter how big your business as an infopreneur, you tend to read a lot of the emails. I'll go look at our help desk. I know that ... Like you were saying, there's some people ... When we launch a product, I can go and look and go, "Yup, I know that person. I knew they were going to buy." There really are people that you get to know just from them being interactive and you're more likely to work with that type when you know them.
I think that people really do underestimate the amount of time that it takes. I think that one of the things that people see is the outcome and the transformation and the results and sometimes they don't necessarily understand the time and the effort. That's one of the things that I try to be as clear as possible with with my audience is that if you look at my website, you're not going to see any ridiculous claims like, "Make $100,000 in your first year as an infopreneur!" Or "Quit your job in six months!" I would never promise somebody like that because it's based on so many different factors including the niche that you choose, the effort that you put into it, the products you develop, what kind of approach you take as far as bringing your own personality and your brand into things. It's one of those things where it's a business. It's not going to happen overnight. It takes some effort and it takes some time. People need to recognize that.
We have the same philosophy in our info business. It's that everybody sees the overnight success and do people launch products and make a million dollars in a day? They do! But they didn't the day before decide that that's what was going to happen. What they don't see is the years that led up to that one launch.
Whether it's building their relationships, getting the affiliates in place or making the product. All anybody sees is the overnight success. Yes, they made a million dollars in a day. Yes, they made a 100 grand a year, but the overnight success is the by-product of all of the stuff, the groundwork that they'd laid.
Lance meets Tracy Childers of WishList Products. Tracy has made multiple successful businesses using one tried and tested model.
Tracy has being working on line for the last 12-15 years in his ‘small software development company’. He’s always had an interest in technology, and in 2003 - 2004 he dipped his toes in the water with his first product the FLV producer. (Flash Video Producer). He analysed the gap in the market - whereby people were seeking an easy solution to put flash video onto the internet, and came up with an easy software solution that appealed to the masses.
He found a problem and created an easy to use solution.
Shortly after he graduated from college he got into some database design using Filemaker Pro and was getting involved in some pretty technical stuff there, until he realized that if you wanted to get anything online you had to program code line by line - and so he applied his skills to coding for the web. He realised quickly though that he wasn’t in the same league as many other coders, but he was a better communicator. He found that there are tons of really good people out there who are fantastic coders, but don’t have a clue what to code - so yet again he applied his formula.
Tracy feels that there are millions of problems out there just waiting to be solved that you can create a solution for at a relatively low cost, you don’t have to be a millionaire to solve it or start it.
In starting Wishlist Member, Tracy recognized that there were a lot of people who wanted to set up membership sites, but there were no economic solutions - one did exist but it was priced at over $4,000 - way beyond most peoples means. There was another one that was about $200, but it was complicated and did not integrate easily with this revolutionary new web creation system called ‘Wordpress’.
The solution people were looking for was ‘how can I make this membership site thing simple and integrate it into WordPress’, and this is what Tracy and his team focussed on. They built the first version relatively quickly, and it was rolled out via a special offer to a small targeted group of people. It was at least a year before any money was spent on advertising - promotion was being done through affiliates and word of mouth.
Lance makes the point that the buzz for a new product comes naturally from peoples discussion about what is wrong with an existing product, and what is right with this new product.
The biggest mistakes that Tracy sees new sites making is that people don’t really have a good method for rolling out their membership site. People think ‘If you build it, they will come’ - that worked in ‘Field of Dreams’, but it doesn’t always work in reality. Research is vital. The successful ones might already have a Podcast, they might already have a blog - in other words they’ve done the groundwork giving away free valuable content which builds trust in an audience and only then do they reveal that they have a membership site once the trust has been built.
Tracy Outlines How He rolled out his own site - ‘Wishlist Insider’.
* He had a list of people who knew about the quality he provided as he had been
* He launched a training course for these people and they all got a free months access to the site.
* Built up some content in the membership site
* Launched it to the public.
Sometimes people do not think through the longterm plan for the site and over the years both Lance and Tracy saw so many people fail. If you are asking people to pay a subscription each month, you have to provide value content to these people.
Some subscribers also go into a subscription thinking that they are going to get as much as they can as quickly as possible because they don’t think the membership site will be around for too long - this is another classic example of short term thinking versus long term strategy. Tracy believes when you are coming up with the price for membership, all you need to think about is
and if you can understand that you will nail how much to charge for your sites membership.
Wishlist Member: WordPress Membership Plugin
Wishlist Insider: The official community for Wishlist Member and Wishlist Products
He loves to hear from his listeners!
If you have a question, comment, show idea or just want to get in touch with Lance, you can contact him here.
He loves to hear from his listeners!
Episode Sponsored By: Profit Dashboard
Today’s episode is sponsored Profit Dashboard. You’re in the right place if you are tired, fed up, frustrated or burned our from the dream of Internet Marketing. If you struggling with traffic, products, tech stuff or even just starting from scratch I’ll show you EXACTLY how I built the side business we’re going to discuss today… Step by step with NOTHING left out.