Internet Marketer Expo 2017 Wrap-up

Internet Marketer Expo 2017 Wrap-up

What a weekend!  We just wrapped up our first ever Internet Marketer Expo event here in downtown Austin and my mind is blown…

I had major takeaways from each and every presentation but I know it will be almost impossible to implement everything I learned… there are just not enough hours in the day.

I’d like to start by thanking all of amazing speakers.  The reason this event was so successful was because you were all so open and helpful to our entire community.

Seriously, thanks to everyone who helped with this marketing expo. From our amazing speakers, our team, our volunteers, and of course to our attendees, we couldn’t have done it without you!

I can’t wait to meet up again in Costa Rica for the 2017 Drop Ship Lifestyle Retreat.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the event:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

drop ship lifestyle

Getting the swag bags ready for our guests and speakers!

anton kraly austin

Getting commercial ready for a promo that ran on the local news here in Austin

 

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The whole crew joining in on a selfie at the closing party at Speakeasy on Sunday evening

So watch the video or read the transcript below and comment if you’ve seen any of these great speakers at other marketing conferences!

 

imx marketing speakers

Links from the video:

– Presentation Recordings: https://vault.performancemarketer.com/
– Grytics: https://grytics.com/
– Pooping Unicorn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbYWhdLO43Q

Transcription of Internet Marketer Expo 2017 Wrap-Up Video

Hey, what’s up guys. Anton here from Performance Marketer and welcome to another episode of Marketer Monday. Now, this episode is coming to you the Monday after we just wrapped up with IMX, the Internet Marketer Expo. And as you might know that’s our big event that we did out here in Austin. It was awesome. We had a lot of really good speakers, like literally, people sharing mind-blowing stuff. It was a lot higher level than I even expected and that lead to some really big take-aways. So, what I want to do for this video and in this episode of Marketer Monday is just go through some of the speakers that we had there and then share kind of like what I learned from them and what we’re going to try to implement in our business. And first off if you were out here, I just want to thank you for coming. Like, I do appreciate everyone taking the chance on this event. It was our first Performance Marketer event so really cool if everyone who showed up and had fun.

[0:48]

But, I’m just going to go through the list, guys, and I’m going to start at the top. So, the first speaker that I want to call attention to is Josh and Josh came on behalf of Privy. And what’s funny is I asked everyone in the room, like “Who already uses Privy?” and almost everyone put their hands up. Now, Privy is an email collection software. That’s how I would define it. They integrate with all the great guys like InfusionSoft like Clavo, like everyone, you know? But what’s cool about it is he basically shared how people are using it most effectively. So what use cases are people getting the best results from when using Privy. And number one, as maybe you know if you already use their tool, is when people are going to exit the page, you can do exit intent and give them a pop-up with a coupon code, which of course, they have to enter their email to redeem. So Privy, the number one thing that they know from over 100,000 stores using it, is that if you use the exit intent overlay feature with the coupon code, that is what’s getting the best results. So go ahead, do that if you haven’t already.

[1:50]

Next, guys, we had Ben Hebert, from Natural Stacks. He’s a buddy of mine. We met out in Vietnam a couple years ago. He lives out here in Austin as well. He’s built Natural Stacks into a massive company. They do supplements, all natural, no like hidden chemicals or anything tricky. It’s just straight forward. What you see is what you get. And in his talk, he spoke about how they use influencers. He gave the numbers that they use to get a deal with Dave Aspry, the Bulletproof Executive. He gave the numbers for how they got a deal with Martin Jacobson who won the world series of poker. They sponsored him for that. So really cool look into behind basically how you can grow a business through using influencers. So if you want to see that, by the way, we have all of these talks uploaded in the Performance Marketer vault. So if you already have an account just log in and you can watch all these presentations, get all the slides, go through everything. If you don’t have access yet, just go to vault.performancemarketer.com and you can log in there and check it out.

[2:46]

But, guys, after that, we had Michael Ericson from Search Scientists. Everyone knows Michael if you’re part of Drop Ship Lifestyle. But he spoke on something a little bit different. He spoke on Amazon PPC and basically what you could do to get better results than almost anyone in your competition. More specifically, he spoke about Ad Badger, which is a new company he started. It’s a software that helps Amazon sellers optimize their products and they’re really, they’re product listing ads within Amazon to automate the bids, to make sure you’re not overpaying, making sure you’re getting a good ROI. Really amazing talk from Michael.

[3:20]

Then we had Dimitri from Just Reach Out. Such a cool talk. With the online world that we all live in, it’s very easy for people to not be really connected. Like, you feel like you’re connected because you follow someone on Twitter or you like their Facebook page but you don’t have that real two-way connection. So what Dimitri, again, from Just Reach Out, shared was how you can really use the internet to make personal connections with people of influence. He’s done this with Tim Ferris, he’s done this with Gary V., he’s done this with Ashton Kutcher, like literally tons of people. Really cool. And he shared exactly how he does that. Again, log into The Vault to watch Dimitri’s talk.

[4:00]

We also had Sujan Patel of Web Profits. They’re a company based here in Austin. They are an agency but Sujan also builds up software and he does it all through growth marketing through content. They produce amazing content. They get it distributed, again, using influencers. That was the huge theme of this talk, not just his talk but this weekend. All these people using influencers to grow their businesses and he like broke it down step by step how they do it. Again, check in the Vault. You will get that presentation.

[4:31]

We also had, guys, so many more people. I’m not going to go through all of them. Give you a few highlights from me personally. We had Darrell Eves from Darraleves.com. If you’ve seen the squatty potty commercial on Youtube with the unicorn that poops rainbows, he was the executive producer on that. If you’ve seen, I don’t even know the name of it, the commercial where the guy just keeps getting hit with the volleyball and basically being a shield with his face, that hundreds of millions of views. He’s responsible for that. His companies are just doing huge things. He helps them all with video marketing and he broke down the scientific formula that they use for direct response video marketing. So, stuff we’re definitely going to implement and you’re going to start seeing a lot of different types of videos coming out from Performance Marketer, from Drop Ship Lifestyle and from all my other businesses.

[5:19]

A few other highlights, guys, we had a bunch of people from the digital marketing team come in. If you don’t follow digitalmarketer.com, check them out because they put out amazing content. And they definitely deliver the same in person. We had Christine Hoss who does their video marketing, again, breaking down how you can actually make better videos and the example she gave, I’ll link to it below. But she basically was sharing how you should pitch your company, not as a hero but as a guide. So you’re guiding people to solutions but the face of the company shouldn’t be there as like, “Oh, I’m here. I’m the best. Here’s how I’m going to help you.” But turn your videos into your customer’s stories. Real useful information again. I’m going to combine what she taught us with what Darral taught us and I think our videos are going to really, they’re going to go up a few levels to say the least.

[6:04]

Next, from […] we had Suzi Nelson and she is their Community Manager. And wow, I had no idea how much that a Community Manager can do but she listed out everything she does in her job to make sure that digital marketer has the best Facebook community in the world and she is absolutely just crushing it. All these techniques she has and she uses, we’re implementing all of them in our business. She gave some amazing tips. A quick one, if you manage a community, use a software called Grytics and I’ll link to that below as well. But that basically just pulls in all the information from your Facebook group so you can see who the top posters are, you can see how quick questions are being answered, you can see which didn’t get answered. Really awesome tool. Again, it’s called Grytics and I’ll link to it below.

[6:47]

We also had Lyndsay Marder  from Digital Marketer. She came in. She taught us all about content marketing and how they actually, Digital Marketer, how they actually produced less content this year than last year and got better results. A few different techniques, the main one that stood out to me is instead of writing all new blog posts, they’re going back to their old ones, they’re refreshing them, they’re updating them, they’re making them better and Google is rewarding them big time. Her talk again is in the Vault. A few other honorable mentions, we had InfusionSoft Darin Adams from there and if you guys don’t know, we send out like 3 million emails a month and they all come from InfusionSoft. I love that company and Darin gave us some really examples of how to use automation marketing in your business, whether that be, Ecommerce, SAS, info, coaching; doesn’t matter. Automation solves a lot of problems and that’s what he spoke on. We also had Davin Michaels there and he’s from 123employee. They have a huge, huge, huge outsourcing company in the Philippines. Over four hundred employees. They help people with things like email marketing, Facebook, just customer service and he shared a lot of information on how you can use outsourcing to grow your business.

[7:58]

So, all in all, guys, I’m probably missing a few because we had so many amazing talks but I just wanted to give you guys some heads up of what took place, how amazing it was, where you could find the videos. Again, vault.performancemarketer.com and I really just want to say thank you again to all the amazing speakers that came out, made this event what it was, and thank you to all the attendees who came and asked the best questions. So much of this event was just amazing questions with even better answers back. So, thank you all. Happy you were here. Our next event is in Costa Rica. It’s going to be October, second or third weekend. That’s the Dropship Lifestyle retreat. So if you’re not a part of that community yet, check it out. Hope to see you in Costa Rica and again, thank you to everyone who came to IMX. I had a great weekend. I hope you did too and I will see you guys next week for another episode of Marketer Monday. Thank you.

12 Ways to Scale Your Business

12 Ways to Scale Your Business

Ready to scale your business? Here are some high-level ideas to get you started NOW.

Owning a business is like running a fantasy football team, you always look forward to Mondays.

Once you taste a little success, you want growth. And when you’re chasing after that growth, you often fall in love with the journey. They say the chase is the fun part anyways, right?

Reading business websites like Forbes is not enough to take your business to the next level. You need to take action.

If you plan on achieving some hockey stick growth in the near future, then you’re in the right place. I’ve spent the last decade building and selling businesses, but I’m not here to talk about myself. I’m here to help you grow your business as much as possible…

“If you don’t take the time to focus on growth, it won’t happen.”

Business growth only happens in three different ways:

  1. Getting more customers. The more people that buy, the more money you make.
  2. Raising your prices. You’ll make more money off of each transaction.
  3. Improving your conversions. Increasing the frequency that your average customer buys from you and getting each customer to buy more often.

This post will cover all three. And even if you aren’t as far along with your business, this post will give you the ingredients to scale quickly and efficiently whenever you are ready.

Are you ready to scale your business? Let’s dive in.

1. Repair Your Sales Funnel

The first and arguably the most important factor when it comes to scaling your business is your sales funnel. If you haven’t thought long and hard about your sales funnel, then yesterday is the perfect time to start.

Also referred to as a customer acquisition funnel, your sales funnel is the ideal process that takes customers from being a prospect to being a paying customer. It’s what takes you from seeing a random ad on Facebook to reading a blog post to receiving a free Ebook and then to finally making a purchase.

Think of your sales funnel like a real funnel (I know this is hard because I’ve never owned a funnel, but let’s pretend). The more leaks your funnel has, the more customers spill out along the way. The stronger your funnel, the less spills you have, and the more money you earn.

If you haven’t examined your funnel, chances are there are MANY leaks that you don’t know about. Most funnels work something like this:

Traffic → Free Content (lead magnet) → Helpful Free Content → Email Follow Up → Sale

To be honest, all of my businesses used to look like that as well. Then I realized I was leaving a ton of money on the table.

Here are some mistakes that I’ve made over the last few years that I see a lot of other businesses making as well.

Too many steps in the funnel: You can only ask people for something so many times until they say no. If you have many steps in your funnel and looks something like the following, then you’re losing sales:

Paid traffic → FB page → free content → email opt-in → $10 product → $25 product → Webinar →  $100 product → $700 product

Each step is going to yield a dropout rate. The more steps, the more people will drop out. It’s as simple as that. The more steps, offers and products in the funnel, the more people are going to say “no” and  once they’re gone, it’s difficult to get them back. It’s better to have a tighter funnel that consists of 2-4 steps and to retarget people who have dropped out.

While too many steps can be a bad thing you also need to make sure you are careful of having…

Not enough steps: Have you ever walked into a random store for the first time and bought a product you had never heard of for $3,000? I’m not sure about you, but I’ve never done that.

The internet works the same way. If your product is $1,000 or more, do you expect your customer to make a purchase after reading two blog posts? I hope not.

You need to have a tripwire, or a low dollar product that gives people the option to make a low-risk choice and test your company out. Once they buy from you, if they like what they’ve bought, they’ll be more likely to use that credit card again and buy your more expensive products.

I’ve played around with tripwires in all of my companies, pricing things at as low as $7 and as high as $97. It really depends on your product and how familiar people are with your brand, but I definitely recommend testing this out for yourself.

not asking = not getting

Too many funnels: At one point, Drop Ship Lifestyle had four different funnels with four different lead magnets and four different tripwires. In practice, this sounded great, but I quickly realized that it was extremely confusing to people that were opting in.

Sometimes people would want to buy cheaper products that weren’t offered in the original funnel that they opted in to. Other times, people were confused by the different courses and it was unclear which courses were free and which ones were paid.

The more funnels you have, the more products you need, the more email autoresponders you need, the more segmenting you need to do within your CRM software (more on that in a minute). Basically, it means that your headache potential is high.

It’s better to have one strong funnel that works than four funnels that are subpar. It also takes time to figure out how well a funnel is performing. It can take an extremely long time, especially with…

Not enough leads: Trivia time: What do you call a broken escalator?

(If you’ve watched Mitch Hedberg, you’ll know the answer…)

Answer: Stairs!

Okay, I’m sorry if you didn’t laugh….

Try to think of your funnel as an escalator, taking your leads from nothing all the way to the top floor (that’s where you make the sale). If it breaks, it becomes stairs, and nobody will move, and they’ll leave entirely and look for the elevator (which is your competitor!). If you want proof that your escalator is working efficiently, you need to get a lot of people on board.

In order to know if your funnel is working, you need to send a lot of traffic through it. Without testing it, you’ll never know, and it’s difficult to tell whether or not a funnel is converting without enough data.

“What’s enough data?”  This depends on your price point (which should reflect your budget), but I aim for at least 1,000 new leads to send through a funnel (for a product that’s around $1,000) before I analyze it and see if it’s working or not.

If you’re only getting a few dozen leads per day, you’re not able to make strong observations on what’s working and what’s not. It also slows down your entire business if it takes a full month to realize that the funnel isn’t breaking even.

The solution? Use paid traffic (I prefer FB ads but there are plenty of ways) to get more leads so you can test your funnels within days instead of weeks.

Another big mistake many businesses make is that they…

Don’t ask for the sale: I see a lot of businesses shy away from asking for more. They’ll have a great lead magnet with a great opt-in offer, but once I opt-in, they stop asking. If they don’t ask me to check out their products or visit their latest blog post, I won’t, and then the interaction stops there.

Instead, you want each step in your funnel to always include an upsell. If they buy an inexpensive product, offer them an upsell on a more expensive product on your thank you page.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 2.45.17 PM

Here’s one of our thank you pages. Right after they bought a $47 product, they are given the option to buy a $97 product.

If they read a blog post or watch a video, ask them to sign up for your lead magnet. If they give their email address, ask them to buy your product.

If someone stumbles on your website for the first time, you want to give them the opportunity to slide down your funnel as far as they’re willing to go. If you don’t offer them an upsell after each step, then they’re not going to make it as far. It’s that simple.

On another note, I see a lot of companies that don’t go after the sale hard enough. I’m not saying you need to be extremely aggressive, but if you aren’t pushy and never get rejected, then someone else will get the sale and not you.

At a business conference I attended last year, I learned that there’s a positive correlation between how much a business makes and how long their email autoresponder is. One business claimed their email autoresponder lasted for over a year! It makes sense that they are a multi-million dollar company, because when you stop sending emails, your chances of making the sale drops to 0%.

But don’t get too busy trying to make the sale, as some point, you’ll need to take a step back in order to…

Review your funnels. Automated funnels are great, right? Once you set up everything, you can just plug and play and then never have to think about it again, right? WRONG.

If you’re not reviewing your funnels, you won’t know which ones are performing well and which ones are actually making you money. Assuming you are paying for traffic, you need to review your analytics and make sure that your funnels are profitable.

For example, back when our company had four funnels, when I looked at the numbers, I realized that one of the funnels simply was not converting.

Meanwhile, one of our funnels was converting FAR better than the rest, so I shut down the weakest funnel completely and started sending more traffic to the lead magnet that had the highest conversion rate.

success

This opt-in page had a 40% conversion rate, which is pretty good.

failure

This one had a 1% conversion rate. I no longer send traffic to this page. 🙂

If you have more than one funnel (and you should), then make sure to mark your calendars and schedule time to review them and make sure they’re all running profitably and efficiently. You will probably find that you’ll need to cut and increase spending according to performance

Alright, now that I have gotten our funnels behind us, time to move on to the most overlooked aspect in funnels today…

2. Live Webinars

performance_marketer

As you can see, live webinars have been a very profitable tool.

If you haven’t hopped on the webinar train yet, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. It took us two years to start doing them regularly, but now that we’ve found a system that works, we’re not slowing down anytime soon.

Webinars work well for many reasons. They’re personable, focused, engaging, scalable, and fun. I still think it’s so cool that I can hop on a call from Vietnam and talk to people in all corners of the world all at once. Oh, and it’s FREE (for attendees).

Anyone who signs up is clearly interested in the topic, so none of your leads are completely cold. I made sure that our webinars are filled with more information than any of our lead magnets, and by doing the presentation in real time, it gives us a lot of credibility and trust. Sure, sometimes people don’t show up or you experience technical difficulties, but we’ve found ways around these issues through sending follow up emails, replays, and an email with the subject line “For those of you who hate webinars…” to address this.

I’m not talking about the same webinar strategy that you’ll read in books about recording one, replaying it, and letting it act as an automated sales funnel. Ours are different.  I do them live, and I do more than one. I already wrote more about funnels than I originally intended, so in order to keep this post from being 5,000+ words, I’ll save the webinar details for a future post.

3. Private Facebook Group

Having a Facebook group where people can connect and chat is valuable. I’m not sold on pushing your leads to Facebook (it’s distracting as we all know!), but the important part here is that you have somewhere to push your leads to.

Sure, perhaps they can comment on your blog post, but how often does that turn into a conversation weeks down the line? How often will your question get answered by someone else? If you have a huge blog with a loyal fan base, then sure. But if not, it’s better to direct people to one casual group that you control.

DSL labs screenshot

Public accountability works well and FB groups are a great way to do that. I also have current customers answering questions by saying, “Buy the full course,” which is incredible.

Our Facebook group is getting more active by the day, and people are starting to help each other out as well as promote our most expensive products for us! It’s a great way to maintain a community without much maintenance.

Plus, since it’s on Facebook, nobody expects it to be extremely formal, so you can treat it however you like. If people ask questions, you’re able to provide value publicly, which not only helps others with the same questions but helps you gain trust. Everyone spends hours on Facebook everyday mine as well give them the chance to be productive.

Obviously, there are better ways out there to communicate than Facebook, which takes us to our next point…

4. Don’t Just Build An Email List, Engage

scale your business

This should be obvious, but if you’re not building your email list, you better get going. If you’re not sure why then you should probably revisit this blog when you are further along in your business.  

The bad news is that you should have already started building our email list, the good news? If you’ve built a business without one, then your potential for growth is enormous.

If you’ve just started to collect email addresses, it’s time to double down on your lead magnet and get more. Having an email list is incredibly valuable. As of March 2016, my biggest email list is 84,914. We’re currently getting a few hundred leads a day, so this number is only growing.

It took over three years (and a lot of money on paid traffic) to get it to that number, so don’t be discouraged if you’re just starting out.

Once you get an email address, it’s a waste of time and money if you don’t engage. You need to be sending frequent emails to your list, and your emails need to be engaging and valuable. If you send email blasts every other day selling your products without providing value, then people will stop opening your emails.

In your emails, make sure you’re solving a problem or at the very least entertaining people. 

Here are a few of the types of emails I send out to my email list:

Indoctrination Sequence: Once people opt-in, I send them through an indoctrination (or welcome) series. In these four emails, I ask them several captivating questions helping people open up. This gives us AMAZING data (the more I know about our customer’s problems, the easier it is to solve them) and also makes it clear that I want to build a relationship. It’s WIN-WIN.

Lead Magnet Autoresponder: These emails provide people with the FREE lead magnet they signed up for, but also adds a little spice to it. I provide advice on how to use our products better, try to answer their questions, and hit on the challenges that I know they are going through at this given time. These continue the relationship and keep my business fresh in their minds.

Webinar Sequence: Webinars are like icebergs. The majority of the work goes unseen, and when done right, they help you make A TON OF MONEY (Titanic, anyone?).

For every 60-minute webinar, I send 2-3 emails promoting the webinar, two more reminder emails to those who signed up, and then 5-10 follow-up emails to those who attended and 5-10 for people who missed the webinar. It’s a lot of emails (luckily I have someone on board who helps me write them), but it’s definitely worth it.

Newsletter: Once people join my community and buy my product, I continue to provide value to them by sending them monthly newsletters. This varies depending on your business model, but it’s not a bad idea to continue the relationship after people have bought your product. If your business has a recurring billing model, then you need to be sending newsletters/updates.

My newsletters’ sole purpose is to help our current customers even more. We want to remind them they made the right decision (buying our course) and motivate them. The ROI on this isn’t immediate, but our customers love hearing from us.

Broadcasts: This is usually for people who haven’t bought. You would expect these broadcasts to be filled sales pitches, right? That’s the OPPOSITE of what I do. Broadcast emails are for big announcements and FREE content. I send out blog posts (like this one), podcast interviews, videos, and other helpful content that is completely free.

(In future posts, I’ll be going into more detail on how to craft great emails, when to send them, and more.)

You might be thinking, “Wow, this is a lot to keep track of. How do I organize this?”

5. A is for Apple, C is for CRM

For those of you who forgot, CRM stands for customer relationship management. Why is CRM important? Because if you want to scale your business, you need to care about your customers. That means tracking who bought what and studying the metrics.

“What gets tracked gets managed. “

Since I’ve upgraded our CRM software and have paid more attention to it, I’ve been able to pinpoint which funnels perform well (see #1), which emails have the highest open rate, and which steps people are dropping out on. It enables my company to maintain an overview of how everything takes place, which helps us stay organized and keep tabs on every lead and customer that comes my way.

I used to use Ontraport and now we use InfusionSoft. Both have worked well for the most part. Having either will help you segment your email list so you can track who you’re talking to and tag them appropriately. One of my goals in the upcoming year is to start optimizing our CRM tracking, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, if all of this sounds overwhelming, no need to worry, it’s time to…

6. Delegate Like It’s Your Job (it is)

A lot of business owners suffer from what I call “superman syndrome”. They think they can do everything themselves. They write their emails, run their ads, do podcast interviews, and more. They’ve thought about hiring help, but they’re either too cheap or too scared that if they delegate it, it won’t get done properly.

These fears as a business owner are rational, but they are still holding you back from scaling. If you want to grow your business, you need to work on your business, not just in it. Even though you think you’re the best at writing your sales copy or running your Facebook campaigns, it’s not the best way to spend your time. Plus, there are experts out there that can do it better than you. Sorry, superman.

Hiring can be a scary thing, so it’s important to be careful when bringing on new team members. While hiring someone to replace you right now may seem like a step backward, in the long run, it’ll definitely be a forward LEAP if you do it right.

Hire people that will do their job better than you can do it. For example, our tech guy knows way more about landing pages and analytics than I do. My company’s paid traffic girl knows WAY more about Facebook ads than I do, and our content writer is far more creative than I am (he wrote that line but I let him keep it in because it’s true!)

Instead of writing the content myself, running the ads, and then checking the data, I leave it to my team, allowing myself to focus on growing the company while they maintain it.

Some people feel like they need to touch every single aspect of the business in order to be confident that it’s running well. Here’s a good rule: if you can hire somebody who can your job 90% as well as you can, then do it.

You’re not going to find someone who can do it as good as you right now. But if you hire them now and it is their full-time job to get better at that skill, sooner or later they’ll be able to do that task better than you.

7. Pay For Traffic The Right Way

In order to get paid traffic right the first time (which is what you want because it means not wasting tons of money), you’ve got to mull over the following core questions:

The first question you should ask yourself is, “Who is my target audience?”

If you’re selling arch-support heels for old ladies with calluses, you’re probably not going to want to target Male’s age 18-24.

Brainstorm and figure out who actually WANTS or NEEDS your products. Then, write it all down. You need to make your very own avatar. No, not the blue kind from Pandora, a customer avatar of your ideal customer.

What’s his/her age? What do they do in their free time? How much money do they make? What is their job? You should even give him/her a name. This is your ideal customer, and this is who you should target.

The next question you should ask yourself is, “Where does my target audience hang out?”

Are they Facebookers, Redditors, Tweeters, Youtubers? Just about every social online hangout space has the ability to advertise.

Or maybe they are some serious old school folks that aren’t on social media? If that’s the case, they probably browse news outlet websites or check what disease they just obtained with WebMD, so you can still target these folks with platforms such as Google Ads.

Or, perhaps your ideal audience is stuck in the early 2000’s with their Yahoo! Browser… well, guess what? You can advertise with the Yahoo! Ad Platform called Yahoo Gemini!

You definitely need to be thinking about where your audience actually IS on the internet, and then digging further to see how you can speak to them in the places they ALREADY visit. (Don’t worry we will cover more on each Ad Platform, and how to use each, in the future)

The third and final question we’ll cover here is, “How do I speak to my target audience?”

When you are asking your target audience for their email address in exchange for a free download or another lead generator, you need to be able to adequately speak to this person in his/her language.

You need to be able to persuade them to give you their email address through text alone. This isn’t always easy.

There a few ways in which we prefer to do this.

  • Tell your audience what they are going to get/gain out of giving you their email address.
  • Use emotions, tell your audience how this lead generator will inspire them, or make them better at their life or job, etc.
  • Ask yourself, “How will this download make your target audience’s life easier? Or how it make their life more efficient?” Then spell it out in words that they use.
  • Finally, show your target audience proof. What have others accomplished by using this Lead Generator? What have others said about your program or business?

Ask yourself these three core questions before you jump on to any Ad Platform, and if you answer each one truthfully and tailored to your business, you should see a high ROI.

On top of paid traffic, it’s also a good idea to…

8. Content Market Like a Queen

One area you should definitely be delegating is content marketing. Why? Because it’s extremely time-consuming. Sure, every now and then you can write a new email or blog post, but if you are going to produce content on a regular basis (which you should), you should bring someone on board or hire an agency to help out.

“What kind of content should I make?”

If your content is not helping the reader, it’s not going to help your business. Your content needs to be valuable and easy to follow.

As far as what platform to use, here are some options with some pros and cons, but remember, engagement is what matters most:

Blog: Blogging is not dead. Not even close. If it were, do you think we’d be publishing this post right now? Blogging is great because it’s easy to set up and get going, but writing is hard and takes time to put out an in-depth post. That’s why we have a content creator on board.

It took Jeremy several hours to write and edit this post, while it took me less than twenty minutes to read through it and add my two cents. We’ll be going over our exact blogging process and how we get the most out each article down the line.

Social Media: I’ll admit, we don’t do a very good job at this. But that’s okay, because I’m proud to say that we are not spread too thin. We don’t use Twitter, SnapChat, or Instagram. We have a Facebook page, but we don’t have a posting schedule, we just wing it. Social media is a great way to engage with your customers and to do so FAST.

One issue with this is people’s’ attention span keeps getting less and less. The problem here is that you can’t half-ass social media. If you’re on Twitter, people are going to expect you to respond within minutes rather than days. We plan to experiment with this in the future as we grow.

YouTube: This is another area that we haven’t focused on recently, but I’ve seen a lot of companies have success with it. We are able to get leads for extremely cheap by advertising on other YouTube channels and sending them back to our channel. Then, once they watched one of our videos, they are able to opt-in to our lead magnet (shown below).

DSL youtube GIF

I don’t put out new YouTube videos anymore, but having a backlog of videos definitely gives my businesses credibility. The great thing about content is the more you have, the easier it becomes to backlink and cross promote. I link to YouTube videos in the blog posts all the time, letting people consume as much context as possible until they are ready to buy.

The blog has been my main focus since late 2015, but that may change if I decide to start a video blog. Those are becoming more and more popular, but I’m not sure if I want to be on camera that much. Plus, vlogs require a lot of work, and the main reason I haven’t started one yet is because in order to grow a business, you need to…

9. Focus. Focus. Focus (Your Products)

“As your business grows, it can be easy to think that more is better.”

Don’t fall into this trap. The main reason Drop Ship Lifestyle continues to grow and succeed is because the main product has not changed over the years. Sure, I’ve updated the courses, improved the videos, and added information, but the coaching program I sell today is the same 7-module video course that it was in 2013 when it launched.

Similar to your funnel, if you complicate your business by adding too many products, it can lead to a lot of confusion. Adding products and levels can sound appealing, but it can do more harm if it’s not done correctly.

Over the years, I’ve been able to raise our prices because I’ve improved our course and made it better by trimming a ton of fat and making it easy to consume. I didn’t try to add on an upsell of products that were semi-related. I’ve grown because I’ve made sure our product is the best eCommerce course on drop shipping out there and then I focused a ton of energy marketing it.

Notice I didn’t just raise the price randomly, I increased the price while adding more value and improving the product. If you want to charge more, you’ve got to bring more value to the table. The best way to do this is to provide additional products or services that helps people get their desired result faster. Que the segway…

10. Go Premium or Go Home

If you’re familiar with the 80/20 principle, then you can assume that 20% of your customers will generate 80% of your sales. It sounds impossible, but it’s pretty accurate. Especially when you offer a premium product.

As we mentioned earlier, when you offer premium, you need to add value along with the price tag. Here are some examples on how to make your product premium:

  • Offer done-for-you services (For example, my company, Drop Ship Lifestyle, builds you a website if you go premium)
  • Offer 1-on-1 coaching/training
  • VIP treatment (people love to think they are “special”)
  • Adding additional products (guides, conference tickets, etc.)
  • Expedite (if you offer a service, deliver the results faster)
  • Warranties
  • And more…

People with a lot of money are used to paying for convenience. So, if you offer a high priced product as it is, chances are there are few customers out there that would pay double, triple, or even quadruple that. It’s up to you to figure out how to provide more value.

11. Build a Public Profile (because people care)

In the age of the internet, it’s never been easier to establish a relationship with your customers. It baffles me how so many business owners still hide behind their laptops and never make an attempt at getting personal.

“We don’t live in a B2B or B2C world. It’s P2P, people to people.”

Since you’re the leader of your company, other people want to know you. The same way we want to know Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. It’s not always easy to be the figurehead, but you just have to do it.

I still don’t like getting in front of the camera, but I do it because I know people like it and I know it works. I’m sorry if you are shy and don’t like the attention. It’s your business so it’s your problem.

I laugh at all of the business websites I come across where you cannot find even the basic information on the founder/leader of the business. If your approach is to stay behind the scenes, hire a CEO who can fill your shoes or rest well at night knowing you are selling yourself short.

Get in front of the camera and record some videos every once in awhile, sign your name in the emails, and don’t be afraid to be personal. People like buying from people more than businesses. Remember that.

If you can remind your customers that behind every product and every pitch there are real people, they’ll be more likely buy. Share your experiences and tell your story. People appreciate authenticity.

12. Think Big. Then Bigger

how to scale your business

This seems cliché, but the main reason your business isn’t growing could easily be your mindset. Are you comfortable where you currently are, making a few hundred thousand per year?

It’s easy to slip and plateau if you’re not surrounded by the right type of people and the right team members. If that’s you, make sure you set some ambitious goals and surround yourself with people who are going to hold you accountable or help you achieve them.

“If your goals don’t scare you, you need to dream bigger.”

You’d be surprised how many people don’t actually aim high because they assume there is too much competition. It’s actually the opposite. There’s less competition the further up you go, because most people don’t want to fight to get there. If you’re going to dream, you mine as well dream big

Become a High-Performance Marketer

Alright, I know this wasn’t exactly a short post, so if you made it until the end I hope you got a lot of value out of this.

If you know a friend who would benefit from this post, make sure to send it their way!

11 Ways to Make Money Online

11 Ways to Make Money Online

“It’s never been easier to make money online, and it’s only going to get easier.” Anton Kraly

“I’m gonna be an astronaut!”

That was my response at age seven when my mother told me I could do whatever I wanted when I grew up (thanks, mom!). She didn’t like my response and told me being an astronaut was risky. She said going into outer space was too dangerous.

This broke my heart.

By age ten, my plans had shifted. I wanted to be a professional football player, but my mom’s response was pretty much the same.

“Playing in the NFL is too dangerous! You’re gonna get injured out there and lose your brain cells!”

This made me shrug. I felt like all the occupations I wanted were the risky ones. By fourteen, I realized that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and run my own business. When I told my mom, finally I got a positive response.

“Now that sounds like a better plan.”

So that was it. Being an astronaut or a professional football player were too risky, but being an entrepreneur was okay. I had made up my mind at fourteen.

I get a ton of emails from people telling me that they’re not sure making money online is a viable option. They think it’s too risky, and they’re not sure it’s legitimate and they’re not sure it can be a legitimate source of income.

It’s going to get more competitive, but whether you’re looking to work from home or from a coffee shop on the other side of the world, there have never been as many opportunities to do so than the second you are reading this post. Yes, you!

If you’re looking for ways to make money online, then this post will give you plenty of ideas to get started. In each section, we’ve also added some resources/courses that will help you get started. These resources were chosen because they are the best ones out there, not because we make money off of them. There are no affiliate links included in this post.

We didn’t include every option, but we laid out eleven to get your thoughts churning, so get ready.

1. Freelance a Skill

This could be an entire article in itself, but if you learn a skill that people are willing to pay for, you’ll find it’s possible to make a nice living online. With sites ranging from Fiverr to Upwork, there are thousands of ways to get people to pay you for your skillset. Here are just a few ideas get you thinking:

Podcast editor: With the podcast industry booming, show hosts are happy to outsource the editing to someone else so they can focus on the content. Don’t believe me? Just ask Ben Krueger who built a business off editing podcasts.

Writer: Blogging, social media writing, copywriting, email marketing, there are so many ways you can get paid for your words these days. Danny Margolis is a classic example, who made over $110,000 in one year as a freelance copywriter. Our own content manager got started this way!

Designer: Whether it’s websites, graphics, or logos, it has never been easier to make money as a designer. Jake Jorgovan managed to make over $1,000 a week doing website design and his background at the time had nothing to do with building websites.

I hire design freelancers all the time on UpWork. There’s plenty of jobs to get you started there.

Here are some other ideas that may not get you rich, but still can help you make money online: transcriber, video editor, translator, voice over artist, actor, and many more.

Pros: Low barrier to entry, you can get paid to do something you enjoy, flexible hours,

Cons: Trading your time for money isn’t scalable, some clients are troublesome, finding consistent work is time-consuming

Ready to jump into freelancing? Check out Seth Godin’s course on freelancing here.

If none of these skills jump out at you, then that may mean you need to start building some skills yourself. If that’s the case, no worries, everything is learnable. One great way to learn a lot of skills is to…

2. Create a Blog

I use WordPress for the blog at Drop Ship Lifestyle, but there are other options out there as well.

Blogging is not dead, ladies and gentlemen, and it’s not dying anytime soon. Starting a blog forces you to learn the basics of building a website and writing. Once you build up an audience and start getting traffic, you’ll find that there are many ways to monetize your blog.

Of course, I am very proud of the blog I built at Drop Ship LIfestyle, but to show you some other success stories, Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income made $115,47.00 in profit March 2015. His blog started back in 2009 and he also has a stellar podcast as well, but it just goes to show that there is plenty of possibilities a blog can bring.

Having a blog alone won’t make you a ton of money, but pair it up with a few other tactics on this list and you can build yourself a nice business.

Pros: Easy to start, high upside for outreach, gives people a reason to visit your website

Cons: Must update regularly or it will become outdated, blogging and site maintenance takes time/money, can take a lot of time and work before you monetize it (click here to read Derek Halpern’s take on more about why most bloggers fail)

For a detailed guide on how to start a blog, check out Neil Patel’s article here.

3. Teach An Online Course

Every wonder why college is so expensive? I surely don’t know the answer, but I know for a fact that I’ve learned more from a few months digging online than I did in my entire four years at college. That’s the reason I have no problem paying for courses and investing in my education.

Teaching is an industry that will not die anytime soon. Heck, these days you can even teach English online through Skype for money! Online courses are becoming more and more popular, and if you can create something of value, then people will pay you for it.

Here’s a sneak peek of what my Drop Ship Lifestyle training courses look like.

Some ideas to teach for those of you who can’t think of any:

How to build a website, how to start a podcast, how to speak English fluently, how to become a better writer, how to travel the world cheaply, how to play guitar, how to lose weight, etc.

The topics are endless! If you can teach others, there’s plenty of money to be made through online courses and classes.

One of my courses, Drop Ship Lifestyle is all about teaching! I sell a 7-module video course that teaches people how to build an online store and make money through eCommerce.

Learning online is a market worth over $107 billion dollars as of 2015, and it’s growing at around 9%. There’s plenty of opportunities to make money teaching something online.

I don’t want to share too many specific numbers, but in 2015, we grossed over $1,000,000 in revenue. The Drop Ship Lifestyle course I created is not cheap, but there are plenty of other ways to make money while teaching online.

Pros: Get paid to help others, you can make money off your passion, online courses are scalable

Cons: Marketing your courses is harder than creating the content, low barrier to entry means high competition, some students will cause a headache, must update the course regularly

Similar to teaching, another way to earn some bucks online is…

real ways to make money online

4. Coaching & Consulting

Rather than simply teaching and providing information, you can take it a step further and offer coaching and consulting services. I don’t want to get into semantics and what each word means (to be honest, I’m not sure what the difference is), but I know many successful coaches and consultants out there.

My friend Christopher Browning makes a great living doing business and confidence coaching

I also know a few SEO consultants that make a great living as well, and you could even run a law coaching practice online if you wanted to! With Skype, FaceTime, and the hundreds of other applications that make calls across the world easy, there’s never been a better time to run your consulting practice online.

Some other ideas: business consulting, confidence coaching, PPC consulting, personal development coaching, confidence coaching, presentation coaching, relationship coaching, career consulting, etc.

Pros: You’ll get to do rewarding work, this profession has been around for a while

Cons: Your time is limited so it’s hard to scale, can be stressful dealing with certain clients, usually require extensive background in the given field

Looking for more tips on becoming a consultant? Click here to learn more.

5. Write (e)Books

“But, I thought writers were broke?”

Truthfully, most are. But the ones who realize that self-publishing on Amazon is a booming industry aren’t penny-pinching at all.

Don’t think there’s opportunity here? Just ask Mike Fishbein, who used to be your average blogger. In under three years, he published over fourteen books on Amazon, including four best sellers.

Writing a book takes a lot of time and effort, but once your book is done, if you market it correctly, it can make money for the years to come. Even if you don’t want to self-publish on Amazon, you can still make money off of your book assuming you know how to market it and include some upsells as well.

Pros: Anyone can do it, provides passive income, writing a book is cheap and only takes your time

Cons: Low profit margins per sale, writing a book is HARD, marketing your book takes time and/or money

Interested in writing ebooks? Check out Tim Ferriss’ post: “How to make $1,000,000 selling ebooks.”

6. Affiliate Marketing

So, you don’t want to teach people and you also don’t want to sell your own products. That’s fine, enter affiliate marketing: a simple way to make money online by selling other people’s products.

Affiliate marketing is simple: If you bring a business a sale, you get rewarded. It’s that simple. I suppose it could also be called, “referral marketing” but that makes it seems like it’s only through word of mouth.

Here’s a clear example, I offer an affiliate program with my Drop Ship Lifestyle coaching program. If you are able to sell this course for me and refer someone my way, I will reward you by giving you $300! A lot of businesses also have an affiliate program (even Amazon), so if you are able to find customers for their products, you’ll get a piece of the profit.

Tung Tran of CloudLiving.com started a niche website in July 2015 and as of February 2016, he was making roughly $100 per day from affiliate sales.

According to Tung, it takes about “at least six months to a year” to start making consistent money through affiliate marketing.

The most common way to succeed in affiliate marketing is by creating a niche site focusing on one topic. Once you do that, it’ll be easier to sell products that relate to the content on your site. If you run a site about deep water fishing, you can sell fishing equipment to your visitors.

Some niche site ideas: pet care, fitness, gluten free living, health & beauty, boats, makeup, 3D printing, martial arts, travel, and WAY MORE.

Pros: Income can be passive, low startup cost

Cons: Takes time to build websites and credible traffic, low barrier to entry means it’s getting more competitive over time, highly dependent on google and SEO

To learn more about affiliate marketing and how it works, check out this epic post by Authority Hacker.

7. Create a Community/Membership Site

If you enjoy bringing people together but don’t enjoy being in the spotlight, then a membership site may be for you. Membership sites have existed long before the internet in the form of fitness centers, newspaper subscriptions, religious organizations, and more. People are more than happy to pay for exclusive access, especially if you can provide value in return.

Some membership sites charge monthly, quarterly, or annually, which can be a nice recurring business model to enjoy. In this day in age, who you know matters more than what you know, and paid communities are a great way to surround yourself with rock stars from all over the globe. Most communities include a forum or some sort of group where the members can interact and answer each other’s questions.

The community is a vital component of my business, Drop Ship Lifestyle. Myself and others have created a group of like-minded entrepreneurs from all over the world and brought them together. The value in the community is infinite: connections are made, lifelong friendships are established, and business partnerships start.

Plus, once you build a community, you can get creative and come up with new ways to make more revenue such as launching new products, making money through affiliate sales, throwing events, or offering premium VIP membership status for additional benefits.

Besides my Drop Ship Lifestyle community, I’m a part of a few other online communities, of them includes the Dynamite Circle, a home to many internet entrepreneurs making money all sorts of different ways.

Pros: Revenue can be recurring, passive income, scaleable business model

Cons: Requires a lot of upkeep to keep members, the value of a community depends on its members, requires a decent amount of members to be successful

Looking to get your own membership site started? Check out this free mini course on starting your own Membership site.

8. Selling Sponsored Content or Ads

If you have a website that gets a ton of traffic, you’ll be able to make money with advertisements. How much depends on you 🙂

If you’re not sure how ad revenue online works, think of the internet like a giant highway system. If your road (website) gets a lot of cars driving by, you’ll be able to put up a billboard and charge a nice amount for it.

This doesn’t only count for your website, though. As long as you have an audience, you can get paid to advertise on many platforms these days: Instagram, your podcast, YouTube channel, and more. In 2015, John Dumas made over $50,000 a month selling sponsorships on his podcast. He even explains how he does it here.

Pros: You can get paid to create, revenue is scaleable

Cons: Requires a big audience (which usually takes a long time), not everyone appreciates advertisements

Looking to sell ads? Check out this guide to ad sales here.

9. Brokerage: Buying and Selling

Buying and selling websites is becoming more and more common these days. As investors are looking for ways to diversify their portfolio, some are looking to invest in websites instead of pouring all of their money into the stock market.

Empire Flippers is a prime example of how this works. They act as a marketplace, buying and selling websites while keeping a percentage of every sale. Essentially, they’re a middleman, connecting buyers and sellers across the world.

If you’ve got some capital saved up, you could buy existing sites in hopes of reselling them for a profit. This is more of an investor’s play, but it’s possible to make a nice living while only connecting to wifi. Or, if you’ve got the connections, being a middleman can also bring in some big checks as long as you can connect the right people.

Pros: High ceiling for profitability, one sale results in a nice payout

Cons: You need a list of buyers and sellers or lots of capital, the sales process can take a long time, investing has its risks

10. Online Poker

I DO NOT recommend this one, but it’s definitely a way to make money online these days.

I highly advise NOT to get into online poker or blackjack or anything of that matter, but it just goes to show that there are plenty of ways to make a living online.

Please promise me you’ll consider other options and not pursue this. Your mother will appreciate it!

Pros: You can get paid to play games

Cons: You can lose all of your money very quickly, the odds are (and always will be) against you, it’s highly addictive, it’s illegal in some countries

11. eCommerce Drop Shipping

Last, but certainly not least, we have my personal favorite: eCommerce Drop Shipping (and of course I am a little biased here!). When done correctly, eCommerce is the perfect lifestyle business and a great way to make a living online. You can sell products online, make a healthy profit, and never have to carry inventory…and the ceiling is higher than you’ve ever imagined.

In 2014, Amazon alone netted over $107 billion dollars in sales. And that number is only going up each year. There are plenty of ways to make money with eCommerce: drop shipping, eBay, and Amazon. Here’s a brief rundown on each option:

eBay Arbitrage

Buying good for cheap and reselling them at a higher rate. This method may work in the short-term but it’s nearly impossible to scale and is extremely time intensive. This is a dying method that I do not recommend.

Amazon FBA:

FBA stands for fulfillment by Amazon, so “Amazon FBA” is a redundant title. For those of you who aren’t upset by that, here’s how FBA works:

You send your product to Amazon and they do all the dirty work. They market your products, handle customer service, ship your products, and process refunds if need be.

Your job is simple to make sure you send in your inventory before you run out of stock! You can ship things directly to Amazon yourself from China or any country outside the US. For more info on getting started on Amazon FBA, sign up for this mini course from my friends at FBA Empire.

Importing:

This method involves finding suppliers and creating your own products/and or brands. You’ll need a nice chunk of capital to get started, but there’s plenty of opportunity to here. If you can build a nice brand and sell products with nice margins, this business model has the biggest upside of them all.

Drop Shipping:

Drop shipping is the most automated of these options and works like this:

  1. A customer makes a purchase from your eCommerce store
  2. You purchase that product from the supplier
  3. The supplier ships that product directly to the customer.

Sounds pretty sweet, right? This means you don’t need to invest in inventory, you simply act as the middle-man and make profits off of each sale.

You still have to build a website and drive customers to it, but the rest is completely hands off. You can automate almost everything and be making sales while you’re traveling the world or hanging out with your kids.

Pros: Scaleable, don’t need to trade time for money, easy to delegate, lots of opportunity as eCommerce continues to grow

Cons: May require initial capital to get traffic, may change your life forever as you earn more money than your entire family

So…Are You Ready To Make Money Online?

This list is just a small glimpse of the opportunity as of 2016, and it’s only growing. We didn’t even cover Etsy, Teespring, SaaS products, WordPess themes, and many other business models.

But now that you’re all excited, let me admit that starting a business and making online is not easy. It’s not. No matter what people tell you, it’s still difficult.True, starting your own venture comes with pain, uncertainty, a learning curve, time investment, and of course, the risk. That’s right, risk. Not the board game, but the noun.

For some odd reason, most people today are convinced that starting a business or trying to make money online includes so much more risk than any other job opportunity. What they fail to realize is that starting your own business actually minimizes risk.

How? Because you’re in control. “Jobs” as our parents knew it to be are dead. Entrepreneurship and making money online is what’s alive. And it has never been easier.

I don’t know about you, but the thought of having one boss that controlled my financial destiny scares the living crap out of me. Given today’s economy, nothing is guaranteed.

Being an entrepreneur or freelancer is not about taking risks, it’s about eliminating and controlling risk.

The good news is it’s in your control. The bad news? You have to take action.