Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield

Raise your hand if you could use a little extra cash in your business right now!

In the first few years of building my business I certainly could have used some extra money, and had I known what I know today, I would have done something entirely different that would have brought in a nice flow of revenue during those tight times: affiliate marketing.  

If you don’t have affiliate marketing as a revenue generator in your business, I want that to change for you today.

My guest today, Pat Flynn, is going to share his proven system for earning money through affiliate marketing. Why did I choose Pat to be our guide today? Because he has earned three million dollars through affiliate marketing commissions since he started this business! He knows his stuff!    

AFFILIATE MARKETING IS A GAME-CHANGER!

If you’re new to the idea of affiliate marketing, Pat simply defines it as the process of earning a commission by promoting another person or another company’s product.

The great thing about affiliate marketing is that if you love a product or service and have a platform that you’re able to share why you love it with your audience, you can earn a commission from that recommendation at no cost to your audience.

Pat shared how he promoted one of his favorite products through a banner ad on his website and was being paid $1,000 per month, but he contacted them and asked about trying out an affiliate relationship instead. They did and he went from earning $1,000/month to $8,000 the next month!

PAT’S TOP TWO TIPS ON HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN AFFILIATE MARKETING:
  • Be authentic. Don’t be an affiliate for a product you don’t believe in. Think about the things you would recommend to a friend, this is how you should think when you’re deciding what products to be an affiliate for.  
  • Treat the product you are promoting as if it were your own. Tell your audience why you love it, how it has helped you, and how it can help them. It’s extra helpful if you can take them behind-the-scenes and show how you use it.
TWO TYPES OF AFFILIATE MARKETING TO CONSIDER: PASSIVE & ACTIVE

An example of a PASSIVE way of affiliate marketing is when you include links to products on your website, like my Tools of the Trade page here. This is considered PASSIVE because once you set it up, it’s there and as people come to your website or are linked to it in an email, they can click on the links to make a purchase. Another example is by including a link just like this link right here in the show notes in which I’m sharing my affiliate link to Pat’s 123 Affiliate Marketing program.

An example of an ACTIVE format of affiliate marketing would be it Pat and I decided to do a special webinar with a launch sequence where we were actively promoting and selling the product to our audiences and we even offer a special deal that’s only available during a specified time period.

A prime example of this is when I promote B-School each year in February. I go all out in promoting Marie’s program because I 1000% stand behind her program, and because of this I promote the program as if it were my own. Being an affiliate for this program has been a game-changer for my business and I definitely use the strategies that Pat teaches in his program.

Either way, always be upfront with your audience that you are an affiliate. This is being transparent with your audience, but also protects you legally.

JUST GETTING STARTED IN AFFILIATE MARKETING?

Pat is clear that you do need to have an audience to be successful in affiliate marketing, otherwise who would use your links or join your webinars? However, I love that he talks about planting seeds now for people that may come across your content down the road. You may not make much money when your audience is small, but everything will be in place for you to earn affiliate commissions as you grow.

This is also a great way to begin monetizing because that trust you gain by recommending other people’s products can then lead to you selling your own products down the road.  

HOW TO AUDIT YOUR EXISTING AFFILIATE MARKETING STRATEGY

Maybe you’re already an affiliate, but you want to do an audit to see what’s working and what’s not, Pat suggests looking at your Google Analytics and see what’s doing well and optimize for those. Here are a few of the optimizing ideas he shared:

  • Include more links in your blog archive
  • Interview the founder on your show or on your blog
  • Create a demo video for the product you are recommending
  • After you’ve generated lots of leads for an affiliate you are then in a good position to contact the company to discuss other ways to promote your affiliate link beyond the traditional methods (Pat gives some good personal examples in the episode)
  • Create offers or bonuses as an incentive to go through your affiliate link
  • Add links to your resource page
  • Do a review of the product
PAT’S #1 NINJA AFFILIATE MARKETING TRICK!

Create a demo video!

Pat says creating a demo video is one of the most underused but HIGHLY effective techniques to take your affiliate marketing to a whole new level.

Pat includes the in-depth how-to create a killer demo video that converts as a bonus to my audience if you purchase his 123 Affiliate Marketing program through my affiliate link, but he also shares a few tips right here!

  • You don’t need to share every little feature or process for the product you’re recommending. Your demo video should show just enough to excite someone, but not bore them. It’s not a tutorial, it should be a overview that shows the viewer what the product is and how it can help them.
  • Pick three features to share in your demo video, but make sure to understand how to share why these features exist and why this product is unique.
  • Show your viewer how easy it is to use the product. If you do, they will want to get started using the product right away!  
TOP MISTAKES TO AVOID IN AFFILIATE MARKETING
  1. Promoting the wrong product. Make sure your are promoting relevant products that you have experience with and that WILL help your audience.
  2. Not pushing hard enough. Of course you don’t want to be annoying or too pushy, but when you know you’ve got a product that will solve that person’s problem or help them to achieve a certain goal they have, then you can and should push harder.

Alright, you’ve got ninja tricks, some mistakes to avoid, and hopefully a plan to either begin earning money through affiliate marketing, or a plan to give your existing affiliate strategy a boost

Take a listen to this short one-minute video where Pat tells you a little bit more about how you can earn money through affiliate marketing.  

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_223.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am PDT

I just got back from a total immersion weekend retreat in Palm Springs with my Integrator Chloe and in today’s episode I share all the details of what went down! Unlike a typical team retreat we weren’t brainstorming ideas, we were actually cleaning up the messy stuff in our business.

Yep, I’ve got messes to clean up just like anyone else. I must say, I do believe my team and I are a gold standard when it comes to setting up systems and processes, but I think no matter how well the backend of your online business looks every single one of us has room to do a little cleaning, don’t you think?

Let me share a little bit about the weekend...

WHAT IS A TOTAL IMMERSION RETREAT WEEKEND?

First things first, this is NOT a team retreat and it is NOT a big brain-storming weekend where you come up with new ideas for the future. This is dedicated time to spend looking at the messy parts in your business and cleaning them up. The types of things you’ll be looking at cleaning up, fixing, or eliminating are areas that will ultimately impact the financial bottom line in your business.

WHO SHOULD GO ON A TOTAL IMMERSION RETREAT?

This is time best spent either on your own, or in the company of the right-hand person in your business. I took Chloe, my Integrator, because she is such an integral part of my business. . (Side note: Don’t miss upcoming episode #224 where I bring Chloe on the show and we talk about her role as an Integrator (aka Project Manager). We get into what she does, how she does it, who she manages, how we work together, her fave tools and lots more!)

FIVE QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOUR TOTAL IMMERSION WEEKEND RETREAT

Answering the following five key questions will help you to set a focus and make sure you’re on the same page (if you will be with someone from your team):

  1. What’s your #1 pain point in your business right now?
  2. What feels messy, broken, or painfully slow?
  3. What needs to be fixed before you can grow?
  4. Where are you losing money? Do you have any current leaks in your funnels, or in any system that you’re using to make money right now?
  5. What have you been putting off for way too long? What are the important things you’ve been wanting to get to but you know there are just not enough hours in the day?

I want you to answer these questions when you take your total immersion retreat weekend, too. Yes, I want you to take time away to clean up the messes in your own business. You will not regret it, I promise you!

TIP for answering the five questions: When answering these questions for yourself, think about team, systems, processes, and funnels (for my beginners, don’t let the word funnel throw you off...this just means the different systems and strategies that you have in place to get people to buy or join your email list).

I go into much more detail in today’s episode, but I’ve included a snapshot here for you to see how our weekend progressed. Now remember, this is going to look different for everyone, but I thought the examples from my business might be helpful to get you thinking about areas in your own business that might need some cleaning up.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON/EVENING

  • Agenda
    We worked on our agenda during the 2-hour drive to Palm Springs. It’s important to have a clear game-plan before you arrive at your destination, so you can get right to work. While we laid our agenda out in detail, we allowed ourselves the flexibility to change and pivot as necessary throughout the weekend.
  • Calendars
    We cleaned up my calendar bigtime! I’m a big fan of the “no train” but for some reason I lost my way over the last few months and had said “yes” to too much. Because of this, I was missing important deadlines in my business because my calendar was too full. This also meant that I was working nights and weekends and that is something I am trying not to do.

SATURDAY MORNING

Fresh and ready for a new day, we cleaned up our elaborate evergreen funnel system inside InfusionSoft. Because we’ve been at this for awhile, parts of our funnels were broken. Let me just tell you that this part was NOT fun!! But, you know what, I’m glad we knocked it out early in the weekend. : )

SATURDAY AFTERNOON - THIS WAS THE FUN PART FOR ME!!

  • We talked about the projects we were going to work on moving forward and who was going to work on what.
  • We also talked about what projects we needed to put on the back burner or eliminate completely. In this episode I talk about a big decision we made in switching up something that one of my team members was working on.

SUNDAY MORNING

  • Wrapped up any loose ends and headed back home. (I didn’t do it this time, but next time I’m definitely scheduling massages for me and Chloe to enjoy before we leave.)

MY TOP TOTAL IMMERSION WEEKEND TIPS

I believe a total immersion weekend retreat like this is critical to the success of your business. Step away from your everyday distractions and you won’t regret it! Here are some tips for you to consider when you go on your retreat:

  • Choose a destination you enjoy and that inspires you. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but if you’re at a place in your business where you can splurge a little, go for it!
  • Just know that your days are going to be long. We worked hard, but it was so worth it!
  • Change up your environment so you don’t go stir crazy. We found fun little places around the hotel property to work throughout the weekend: the beautiful lobby, our hotel room, and we even knocked out a couple of hours of work from the bar while sipping on a refreshing margarita!
  • Take time to eat, drink lots of water, get some fresh air, take walks, and get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Let your family know that this time away will be focused on work and that you will not be available much throughout the weekend. It’s very important to limit distractions in order to make the most of your time away, and by stating this up front you will make sure no one at home is feeling neglected!
  • Keep a Google Doc noting the big decisions that you’ve made over the weekend and any team communication you want to relay when you return.
  • Get all those action items moved into your project management tool. Chloe always says, “If it’s not in Asana, it’s not happening!”
  • Don’t forget to have a little fun, too! You’re going to be working really hard, so I suggest you treat yourself to a massage or some sort of simple pleasure at the end of your weekend.
  • Upon your return, have a meeting with your team or individual team members to fill them in on some of the decisions you made or changes that may be coming down the pipeline.
  • Repeat your total immersion retreat weekend on a quarterly basis!

So what do you think? Are you ready to book a total immersion weekend retreat to clean up the messy parts in your business? I hope you said “yes!” because this is an investment that you won’t regret! If you’ve decided to go for it, pick where you’ll go and book it in the next 48 hours, and when you do, head over to Instagram and DM me to let me know when and where you’re going!

This episode is brought to you by Audible where you too can listen to the book I mentioned that I’m loving right now: High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard, for FREE! Members of my audience get a FREE audiobook download and 30-day free trial at www.audibletrial.com/OMME

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_222.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am PDT

HOW WEBINARS, CREATING A COURSE, AND A MEMBERSHIP SITE CHANGED THIS TEACHER’S LIFE IN A HUGE WAY!

I'm always in awe when one of my students shares with me how they’ve built their million dollar businesses. Anna’s story is one of my favorites and I wanted her to share it with you as well!

Anna spent 23 years as a second grade teacher but decided she wanted to make an impact on the education community in a bigger way. This decision to shift her focus led her to my programs and she dove right in, taking action after action until things clicked! She made $10k on her very FIRST webinar and she's NEVER TURNED BACK.

You won’t want to miss Anna’s incredible story as she shares her journey to success. She shares the specific steps (and consistent action) she took from making that first $10k selling 2nd grade course curriculum, to creating a membership site for teachers that brings in almost $60k per month, to her latest venture, a course that teaches teachers how to teach guided-math, which at the time of this recording had only been live three weeks and she’d already made $35,000! That’s an entire year’s earnings for some teachers!

TWO MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN GROWING YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS

And to wrap it up, Anna shares the two things she would do differently had she known back then what she knows now. I 100% agree with both, so do yourself a favor and take what she says and don’t let those mistakes slow you down from the impact you are destined to make!

Alright, if you’ve gotten this far and haven’t listened in to the podcast yet, what are you waiting for? : ) I promise you, you’ll be inspired by Anna’s story and fall in love with her just like I did!

If you’d prefer to watch the interview, enjoy that right here...

This episode is sponsored by my free master class, “How to Confidently Create Your First Profitable Course in 60 Days” If you’ve been thinking about creating an online course, or if you’ve had a course idea for awhile but you are just not sure how to get started, this free master class is for you.

Direct download: OMME_Anna_Bonus_Episode.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am PDT

Neil Patel, master marketer and SEO genius, joined me on my show today to dive into the the nuts-and-bolts of some simple SEO strategies that will bring you more traffic, conversions, and revenue! He walks us through a 3-month plan that I’ve broken down for you in a free guide that you can grab right here.

I have to admit, I haven’t spent as much time or attention as I should on SEO strategies, but that’s all changed this year...my team and I are being intentional about learning more about SEO and we’re going to implement the plan that Neil shared with us today, too!

IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE

One thing that Neil dispelled immediately is the fear that so many of us have around the idea of SEO strategy, and that is, that SEO is too complicated and we’ll never understand what exactly to do!

Here’s what he had to say about that:

“SEO is not rocket science...it’s not hard, and as long as you follow this plan, which is broken down into three main steps, you should get results.”

And let me tell you the plan is not complicated...it’s very doable and this guide is going to help!

WHAT IS SEO AND WHY SHOULD I HAVE AN SEO STRATEGY?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and Neil explained that it’s really all about making your site compatible for search engines. Now of course we create our content for our audience to enjoy and find useful, but we need to understand the importance of making our content compatible for BOTH users AND search engines.

HOW SEO WILL INCREASE TRAFFIC, CONVERSIONS AND REVENUE

As an entrepreneur, you likely have a strong “why” behind what you’re doing online, but the bottom-line is that you want more people to see or listen to your content, you want to turn followers into customers, and you want to earn a living doing what you love to do. One way to accomplish this is to develop an SEO plan that has the ability to give you these tangible results.

And that’s exactly what Neil shared in today’s show! He broke down exactly what you need to do in order to get a really good, simple SEO strategy running on your website.

THE 3-MONTH SEO PLAN

I’ve outlined some of the key points Neil made in the interview here, but for the step-by-step plan download your free 3-Month SEO Guide here.

MONTH 1 - Research & Competitor Analysis

With SEO you may not see results for several months so you want to make sure you are going after the right keywords. Neil explained that if you’re not figuring out what keywords you should be using in your content, you might be getting traffic, but it’s NOT traffic that will turn into customers.

I’ve linked up to the keyword research tools that Neil recommends (below), but you’re going to want to listen in to today’s show for the JUICY hack he shared about using SEMrush to look up your competitor’s keywords as a guide in your research...it’s like he handed us a little piece of gold!!

MONTH 2 - Optimize Your On Page Code and Building Content

So, you’re probably wondering what “on page” means! I was too. : )

In simple terms, Google reads source codes (not the language you and I speak or read!) so it’s our job to make sure Google can read our websites so that we can rank in its searches.

The good news is that if you have a Wordpress website with the free Yoast SEO plugin installed it will handle most of the on-page SEO stuff for you. It basically walks you through the steps (in a very user friendly way) to make sure Google can read your pages.

Neil also discussed the importance of building quality content on a consistent basis on your blog. You’ve gotta have a place to use that keyword research from month-one research, right? Here are a few pointers Neil suggests you implement when you write your blog posts/articles:

  • Write in a conversational tone
  • Create thorough content (NOT short)
  • Use sub-headings
  • Keep paragraphs short
  • Use images
  • Wrap up your blog posts with a summary conclusion
  • End your conclusion with a question

MONTH 3 - Building Links and Getting Social Shares

Links from other people’s sites to yours (backlinks) can be a big SEO boost. Google loves seeing links, but not just any links! Google is so smart that it knows the authority and relevance of where those links are coming from. I know! It’s scary how smart Google is!

Anyway, obviously if you are linked to from a very well-known authority in your field, versus someone who themselves doesn’t have much authority or who doesn’t have much to do with your field, then who is Google going to give more credibility to? The well-known authority who is sharing relevant content with their audience via a link to your content, of course!

Part of Neil’s three-month plan also includes a great strategy for gaining social shares to your content. While social sharing will not directly affect your SEO, it sure will indirectly. Social sharing builds social proof, which ultimately builds awareness and your authority.

Make sure to grab your free 3-Month SEO Guide right here, to learn all about Neil’s technique for getting social shares through Buzzsumo.

I hope you listened to the episode because Neil broke all of this down in such an easy to understand and doable fashion. But let’s not leave it at that...I want you to put this plan in action. Here what I’d love for you to do right now:

  • Print out the 3-Month SEO Guide
  • Schedule time in your calendar to implement the steps in the plan. Remember to be non-negotiable with the time you block out.
  • Join my OMME Podcast Facebook group so that we can share our SEO successes in a few months. See you there!

This episode is brought to you by:

Gravy—my very own 24/7 engagement team who contacts my customers within hours of their failed payment, captures updated billing information and saves the customers I worked so hard to acquire. If you have a subscription model business or offer payment plans, you’ve got to check out Gravy!

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_221_v2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am PDT

One thing I love about summer is having a little bit more downtime. This allows me to do some things that I might not always have time for at other times of the year like binge listening to my favorite podcasts.

That usually only happens while on vacation. As a matter of fact, I’m just back from a family vacation in Hawaii and I totally binge listened to a couple of my fave podcasts, The Life Coach School with Brooke Castillo and Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations. They are both soooo good!  

So if you too find the opportunity for a little binge listening, I thought it would be fun to compile a Summer Listening Playlist for you as it relates to my favorite past Online Marketing Made Easy episodes.

What made this episode extra special for me was to have some of my listeners submit their favorite episodes as well. (I’ve included audio messages from them directly in today’s show!) Let’s dive in!

YOUR ONLINE MARKETING MADE EASY SUMMER LISTENING PLAYLIST
TOP FIVE LISTENER FAVORITES
  1. Both Michelle from Canada and Sarah from Denmark are fellow megabatching lovers and they recommend episode #182: How To Mega-Batch Your Content. My productivity has skyrocketed since I began mega-batching in my business.  
  2. Lyndsey from Asheville, NC (hello Blue Ridge Mountains!) recommends you listen to an episode that helped her to grow her email subscriber list to 50,000 in just one year: Episode #99: How to Build a List-Building Blitz Campaign. Make sure to listen to her audio message in today’s show, she has some great insight on the one thing in episode #99 that made all the difference in her list growth!  
  3. Molly from Oregon actually has three favorites to share:
    Episode #149: Your 90-Day Pre-Launch Blueprint (she really loved the freebie in this episode and if you like a detailed blueprint, so will you!)
    Episode #150: [Case Study] How to Turn a Pre-Launch Strategy Into a Wildly Profitable Online Launch (This episode is a follow up to episode 149 and will show you what the pre-launch strategy looks like in the real world.)
    Episode #209: The Surprising Journey of Launching a Physical Product with Lara Casey - I love hearing that Molly learned about a resource in this episode that saved her TONS of money in the production of her own physical product!
  4. Gregory from Nashville, TN (you’ve got to tune in to hear his awesome southern accent!) is a fan of the DIY approach and recommends you listen to episode #171: DIYing Your Business: 5 Areas to Focus On When You’re Just Starting Out - I was so happy to hear that Gregory said that this episode really gave him clarity to begin to build his brand and his online business. I’m definitely specific in this episode about what you should and should not be delegating in your business when you’re first starting out.
  5. For the 5th spot of my listener favorites list, I had to include a double-whammy because both of the recommendations are so good! Also, I just love how so many parts of the world are represented in the show today!
  • All the way from Perth in Western Australia, Neda shares her favorite episode #201: 5 Ways to Make Money (Without Using Webinars). - I love how Neda said this helped her combine her previous experience with what she’s doing now to make more money in her business.
  • And finally, from May in Oslo, Norway! May loves how episode #206: Post-it Note Content Creation Mini-Training contains a content creation process that’s easy to take action on! May, you are not alone...I had so much great feedback (and pictures of people’s Post-it Note creations) from this episode!  

I absolutely LOVED hearing from so many of my listeners and how their favorite episodes of Online Marketing Made Easy have helped move their businesses forward!  

Moving on to my own personal recommendations for your Summer Listening Playlist...

AMY’S TOP FIVE FAVORITES
  1. I absolutely loved episode #147 with Marie Forleo: How to Ask Better Questions and Get Better Business Results. Limiting beliefs and negative self-talk are a HUGE problem in the entrepreneurial field, and may be holding you back from achieving the success you want and deserve. This episode will help you to move forward with confidence!   
  2. Next up is episode #203: How to Get Noticed When You’re Just Starting Out. Are you seeing a theme here? My next recommendation is another on mindset! The online world can be a noisy place, but it’s the way you think that will really set you apart. I’m all about helping you reset your mindset around business and being an entrepreneur, and this episode will do just that!
  3. My next pick is a super strategic one: Episode #164: Free Content vs. Paid Content (What’s the Difference?) In this episode I talk about the #1 question I get ALL the time. I actually created this episode so I could have a place to direct people when I get asked this question and it’s one of my most downloaded episodes to date!
  4. Did you think I wouldn’t mention the first time my sweet husband Hobie joined me on the mic? In #161: Love & Business: How to Make it Work. Being an entrepreneur can be tough, but how about being married to one? This is an excellent listen for all those couples out there. P.S. Since then I recorded another episode with Hobie (#207: 20 Questions (Rapid Fire Style!) with Special Guest Interviewer, Hobie Porterfield which was super fun, too!
  5. The last episode that I’m going to recommend for you is one that is actually airing a couple weeks after this episode, so you’ll have to wait for it if you’re reading this before August 2, 2018. In episode #222: How to Create A "Total Immersion Weekend Retreat" to Clean Up Your Messy Business I talk about a weekend retreat I took recently with my Integrator, Chloe, in which we focused on cleaning up the messy stuff in our business. I want you to listen to this episode so you can get a behind-the-scenes peek at something that can be a complete game-changer for your business.   

So there you have it - you’ve got a nice summer playlist to tune into! I’m guessing there may have been one or two recommendations that really resonated with you and I want you to commit to listening to those in the next 24 hours.

If your favorite episode wasn’t mentioned here today, I’d love to hear from you! Head over to Instagram and DM me what your favorite is and why.  

This episode is brought to you by my free masterclass, “The Ultimate List Building Catch-Up Plan” -- My Proven 3-Stack System For Leveraging The Most Powerful, “What’s Working Now” List Building Strategies (without the stress, tech confusion, or crazy overwhelm). If you are struggling to get started with building your list OR if you are not attracting new subscribers to your list every single day, this is the free master class for you.

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_220.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am PDT

Today you’re going to learn how to use one of the fastest growing social platforms, Instagram Stories, to build your email list, without using the Swipe Up feature.  

I don't know about you, but Instagram is by far my favorite social media platform. Mostly because I love Instagram Stories but also because I think the connections on Instagram feel more real than any other social platform.

If you are on Instagram then you've probably either recorded an Instagram story yourself, viewed one--or several (they are completely addictive), or you've heard someone else talk about Instagram Stories and you weren't really sure what the heck they were talking about.

Wherever you fall in this equation, there's one thing that is certain...you as a business owner, should be using Instagram Stories to create more solid, real connections that will, if you do it right, go far beyond just chatting on social media.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Tyler J. McCall, an Instagram Marketing Strategist, who has found great success in growing his email list through Instagram Stories. He shared tons of valuable insight, tips and strategies that you will be able to implement starting today!  And, don’t worry, as I mentioned earlier this strategy has nothing to do with the Swipe Up feature, which requires you have 10,000 followers to use.

So whether you’re familiar with Instagram Stories or not, we’ve got you covered here! Let’s first dive into the basics around Instagram Stories and then we’ll go ALL in on strategies to grow your email list via this platform!  

WHAT IS AN INSTAGRAM STORY?

An Instagram Story is content that is shared in Instagram itself, typically photos and videos, but you can also share text-based images. Your photos or graphics last six seconds while your videos can be up to 15 seconds long. You create the Story content using Instagram (the creation and editing tools are built right in), or you can create them externally and upload them to your Instagram account.  

How Stories are different than a post in your regular Instagram feed is that the content goes away after 24 hours unless you add it as an Instagram Story highlight in your profile, which is a whole different episode!

WHY YOU SHOULD BE USING INSTAGRAM STORIES IN YOUR BUSINESS:

Instagram now has over 800 million users. Of those, 500 million are on the app every day. And of those 500 million, 300 million are on Instagram Stories every day. Need I say more?!?

Tyler tells us that Instagram Stories are taking over as the content of choice, and Instagram likes this, because it gives them another place to run ads.  And as business owners, Instagram ads are a very powerful tool, as well. And let me tell you, Instagram Story ads are converting really well for my business right now!

“There are now millions of people every single day waiting for the right content to show up for them on Instagram Stories” - Tyler J. McCall

How to Create High Quality Instagram Stories

In order to grow your email list through Instagram Stories (we’ll get to that strategy in a minute), you first need to know how to create high quality Instagram Stories that people want to watch. Here’s a quick rundown, but make sure to tune in to the episode for all the details!

  1. Create your Stories with purpose and intention
  2. Use a good mix of personal and business (Tyler shares information about his business in his Stories, but he also shares his shopping trips to Target! Yes, he loves to walk the aisles and point out some of his favorite products!)
  3. Utilize a beginning, middle, and an end to your Story. Just like your elementary school teacher taught you! Download this great 2-page worksheet “The Story Arc Method” to work through an exercise Tyler put together for you to up your Instagram Story game!
  4. “Never let the dashes turn into dots!” I love how Tyler put this, regarding being careful to not create painfully long Stories.  
  5. I asked Tyler how he always has AMAZING light for his Stories and he shared two tips that money can’t buy!!
  6. Use captioning in your Stories for people who want to consume your content but don’t use audio. Tyler said that this technique will help keep retention high, too.
  7. Drive interaction with Instagram features like polls and DM conversations. Engage with your followers!
How to Grow Your Email List Using Instagram Stories Without Using the Swipe Up Feature

Ok, now that you have a plan to create high quality Instagram Stories, Tyler shared some really great insight as to how to grow your email list through a Direct Messaging strategy. Since Tyler has over 10,000 followers he is able to utilize the Swipe Up feature available in Stories, but he admits he doesn’t use it much because he thinks it’s a bit lazy and too passive!

Growing your email list through Instagram is all about Instagram Story Direct Messaging!

It’s through this DMing that he’s able to directly communicate with his followers, build relationships, hear pain points directly from his potential customers mouth, and engage in an authentic way.

Here are a few of the important habits Tyler suggests you build around Instagram Story DM engagement in order to be in a position where you can actually grow your email list:

  • Show up consistently
  • Make sure your content is high quality
  • Use calls to action in your Stories (from asking your followers to answer simple questions, respond to polls, and finally to respond to your invitation for them to learn more about what you’re doing or to gain access to an opt-in offering.)
  • Once you’ve engaged them, keep the conversation going,...see how you can help them
  • Post in the regular feed less often, so you can spend more time in Stories (you saw the stats, this is where the people are!)

Do these things and the opt-in opportunities that you offer your followers (the ones that keep coming back to watch your Stories) will put you in a prime position to grow your email list. Tyler’s DM conversions are huge!  

Listen in as Tyler shares a system which he calls -- An Instagram Story Opt-In Sandwich -- in which you guide your Story viewers through a journey that ultimately leads them to your lead magnet, content upgrade, or webinar via DM conversations.

I, too, have recently using my DMs to engage with my followers, and it is powerful! The only problem is that it can be time-consuming --- time well spent, but time-consuming, nonetheless.

Since Tyler gets A LOT of DMs, I asked him how he manages it all and one of the top tips he shared is to get in there a few times throughout the day so you are responding pretty quickly, and also so the DMs don’t pile up and become too overwhelming for you to respond to.

I’ve found that it’s helpful for me to actually create a task in Asana (my project management tool), to check my DMs daily, and that’s working well at this point.

So here’s what I want you to do, download and work through this 2-page worksheet that Tyler created for you and don’t spend another minute on Instagram without intention and purpose.

A great big thank you to Tyler for providing such great step-by-step teaching in this interview!

Tyler and I would both love to hear from you in our DMs! I’m @amyporterfield and he’s @tylerjmccall.

All my best,

Amy

This episode is brought to you by: LBL

Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in these show notes and on the podcast episode:

 

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_219.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am PDT

As an entrepreneur, your business is constantly changing—that’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur.  

And here’s the thing: YOU change too. You change your mind about things you used to be adamant about.

I’ve experienced this myself. For example, when it came to creating courses, five years ago I would have said: Concentrate on building your course, don’t worry about the selling.

But since then I have had a change of heart.

I’ve watched my students inside of my training program Courses That Convert, and I’ve seen a need that I did not see years ago. That need is around launching their course before they have 100% completed it.

Now I talk about the benefits of pre-selling your course, or selling it in advance of the course being done, then delivering your content each week via a LIVE workshop to a group of founding members who have already paid.

So this episode is going to walk you through the exact steps that go into pre-selling a course. I am going to walk you through the pieces you’ll need to make your offer, get your first students through the door, and deliver your content.

There are a few reasons I like this strategy:

 

  • #1: Pre-selling is a big validator of your course idea.

 

  • #2: Pre-selling helps you build confidence about your training. Nothing builds confidence more than getting a few PAYING students through the door.
  • #3: Pre-selling helps with cash flow! I know that building a course and getting your online course up and running can sometimes be a bit of a pinch on your finances. That’s why pre-selling is great—to bring in a bit of money to help you pay for some of those expenses.
  • #4: Pre-selling helps you build momentum and accountability. By selling before your content has been created, you have no choice but to deliver! This helps you avoid the “it’s been a year and my course is still languishing” syndrome!
  • #5: Lastly, you get immediate feedback from actual students when you pre-sell. Since it’s more of a live interaction, you can tweak your content based on the feedback before you launch again.

By the way, this episode was brought to you by Courses that Convert…I teach a much more robust version of this process in that course, with step-by-step plans and templates. Learn more by attending my free masterclass “How to Confidently Create Your First Profitable Course in 60 Days.

So if you’re as excited as I am about pre-selling your course, here are seven steps to get you started.

The 7 Steps to Pre-Selling Your Course

Step 1: Determine Your Course Offer

First, you will determine your pricing and what kind of “course package” you’ll be offering.

Step 2: Set Up Your Early Interest Page

Once you figure out your offer, it’s time to set a page where you can capture interest about your course. You’ll need to create an opt-in to collect first names and email addresses, and include a teaser about what they can expect. You’ll also want to create a follow-up email for everyone who opted in.

Step 3: Create Your 30-Day Content Blitz

Come up with content ideas for your blog, podcast, Facebook Lives, etc., and then schedule your content so you’re releasing something new every week for 30 days. Remember to include a call to action at the end of your content, asking your audience to sign up for the course if they want to learn more. (All traffic from this content will go to your Early Interest Page.)

Step 4: Set Up Your Checkout Page

This page should include information about your course such as the benefits and the features.

Step 5: Set Up Your Live Workshop Components

In this step you will want to create the shell of your member’s site so when you start delivering your content you have a place to load it.

You’ll also need to determine the details of your training and decide on the platform you’ll be delivering it.

Set up all the components you’ll need to ultimately deliver your live content—links, welcome emails, a VA, etc.—so that you’re ready to go. As you deliver your live content, you will load up your recordings into your course platform for your paying members to access.

Step 6: Promote a 48-Hour Flash Sale Offer

Your 48-hour flash sale offer will include two emails:

  1. The first is sent to your Early Interest list and informs them of your limited time offer, what’s included in the program, the number of spots available, and a link to your checkout page.
  2. Your second email gives them one more chance to sign up.

In this step, you also have the option to include a webinar training as part of your pre-sell strategy.

Step 7: Deliver Your Content

You’re now done with the selling portion of your pre-sell offer. All that’s left is delivering your content!

Remember to create your slide decks, prepare any cheat sheets or other bonuses, remind your students before each new training, and then upload your content to your member’s site once you’re done delivering it.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Course Creation Resources:

Episode #49: How to Know if Your Idea is Profitable
Episode #107: How Do I Price My Online Course?
Episode #133: How to Get Unstuck in Your Course Creation Process
Episode #206: The Post-It Content Creation Mini Training

Webinar Resources:

Episode #130: How to Sell on a Webinar (Without Being Overly Salesy)
Episode #145: 13 Questions to Nail Down Your Winning Webinar Topic and Title
Episode #211: 5 Things I Said Yes to In The Early Years (But Say No to Now)


Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_218.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am PDT

Today we’re going to discover something that has the power to majorly change the trajectory of your business! We’re going to uncover the three main roadblocks that sideline many entrepreneurs (and people in general) and cause them to get stuck in inaction. You will learn specific ways to take massive action, get more done, and get those big results you desire.

“Taking action...” seems easy enough, right?  “Just do something!” As you and I both know, it’s not as easy as it sounds!

If right now what you’re doing in your business is not leading you to the results you desire, then this episode is for you!

To shed some light on WHY we’re not taking action and to help us understand how to turn that around and become massive action takers, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brooke Castillo. Brooke is a Life Coach—I actually call her a Life Coach Extraordinaire— who has worked with thousands of people (including yours truly) who have been stuck, are not reaching the goals they’ve envisioned for themselves, or ultimately just need a coach to shine some light on a path that can lead them to the promised land of getting a lot done and achieving big results.

Quick note before we move on: I mention that I’ve worked with Brooke personally; I get more into it on the podcast, but in case you were wondering, I’m part of her Self-Coaching Scholars program. You know I’m on a mission to up-level my life, including my health and my weight, but I’m also on a mission to up-level my mind, and Brooke really gets into this in her program. I know that focusing on how I think about things will change both my personal and business life, and I believe it could do the same for you. Because I stand behind what Brooke does, I have become an affiliate for the program, so if you are interested in joining her program, too, click here, and let Brooke know I sent you!

MANAGING YOUR MIND

Brooke began with the idea that so much of starting and building a business is about managing your mind.  She said, “There's no way around it, because you can understand how to do everything, you can study all the material, but until you understand that what you think about is going to create the emotion that either drives the action or the inaction, you're never gonna take the action.”

Did you get that? This is important: What you think about creates the emotion that drives the action or inaction.  If stress, fear and panic are fueling the action, you’re not going to be able to produce results at the level you want to produce.

Brooke shared three entrepreneurial roadblocks—things that are keeping you from taking massive action.   

Reason #1: YOU’RE STUCK IN THE BUSY HUSTLE

I can remember times, back when I was first starting out, when I was hustling my butt off. I was all over the place, connecting with different people, working with all kinds of clients, seemingly very successful—but the problem was, I wasn’t taking action on the things that could actually take me to a place where I could grow and scale my business. I was hustling. I was tired. But, to some degree, I was really just chasing my tail.

This is what Brooke refers to as “The Busy Hustle”—a tiring hustle that’s produced by negative emotion: stress, fear, panic…[Insert your own word here!].  

You want to avoid getting into a state of busy hustle, where you may be working hard yet aren’t producing anything. Instead your goal should be to get to a place of a productive hustle, where results are consistently produced.

Brooke suggested if you want to produce something, don’t just sit down to “work on something.” Sit down to produce something!

It’s important to change our language around this. Let’s stop saying, “I’m working on so and so,” and instead say, “I’m producing xyz,” or “I’m recording a podcast.” See the difference?!  

Reason #2: YOU’RE GIVING YOURSELF TOO MUCH TIME TO GET SOMETHING DONE

Brooke believes that many people, especially those who are newer to business, give themselves too much time to produce a result. In the beginning you have more time than customers or clients, so you just expand the time you are “working” in your business. Yet while you may  have the time, what you actually produce doesn’t line up with the many hours you’re working.

Brooke suggests we take a look at the projects we need to get done, and assign a time frame in which we will get it done. For example: instead of my saying, “I’ll get the podcast recorded and uploaded to Dropbox by Wednesday”, Brooke would say, “I will have the podcast recorded and uploaded to Dropbox in one hour. I’ll sit down and get it done in that hour.”  

Of course you need to be realistic about time frames….some things are going to naturally take longer than others.    

And what sort of results will be produced if we go this route? Brooke says, “When you decide how long something will take and you stick to that, that’s when your production gets huge momentum.”  

Now for my fellow perfectionists out there: this can be tough, because you’re going to have to embrace the fact that you might produce some B-minus work. I know that’s hard to stomach! Brooke had to give me a little life-coaching during the episode, because I am not someone who got Bs in school!

Brooke’s argument for producing B-minus work is this: “B-minus work can change people’s lives. Work that you don’t produce at all, does nothing in the world.”  

Brooke told a great story about producing B-minus work on a book she wrote, about how she got some negative feedback which caused her some real shame and embarrassment; but a letter she received from someone whose life was changed because of that B-minus book made her realize that had she declined to put out that work in favor of striving for an A-plus, that woman’s life would never have been affected. That was when Brooke decided that she was ok with B-minus work—because she knew it would still produce results.

You’ll have to decide for yourself as to what level work you are ok with; but for Brooke, making this decision made a HUGE difference in her business, and because of that decision, she has reached epic levels of success.

Reason #3: YOU’RE AVOIDING FAILURE AND DISCOMFORT

Of course, no one loves failure and discomfort; but the truth is, if we’re going to learn and grow, there are going to be moments of failure and times where we will need to step outside of our comfort zone.

Brooke explained that our brains are literally wired to avoid any kind of failure, and the only way to produce a successful business is to fail repeatedly. So what do we do?!

We have to show our brains that we are not going to die because of discomfort and failure. We need to learn the process to move into discomfort, and then get comfortable with that discomfort.

“Discomfort is the currency to your dreams.” - Brooke Castillo

But discomfort is only part of the road to success for business owners. I love that Brooke shared that she schedules “Comfort-Time” in her week! This time is non-negotiable, and she schedules it in her calendar before anything else. Her comfort-time is comprised of walking her dogs, enjoying coffee and reading in the morning, and spending time with family.  

What would be the activities or non-activities that you’d have in your comfort-time? Schedule it in!  And remember: this time is non-negotiable. Agreed? Work hard, play hard! : )

If you’re reading this and have not listened to the episode yet, I highly recommend you do. Brooke gives some great examples, insights, and encouragement that you’ll only hear by tuning in. Plus, Brooke is so fun! I guarantee you’ll not only learn a ton, but will enjoy a few laughs while listening to this episode, too!

Thanks for spending time with me today!

All my best,

Amy

Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in these show notes and on the podcast episode:

 

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_217.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am PDT

 

I’m the first person to admit when I’ve made a mistake.

But I can promise you this, when it happens: I learn something new every time.

Inside my private Facebook group for all of my students, my students often ask me to troubleshoot their challenges with launching their courses. Our FB Live chats and their questions inspired me to create this specific podcast episode for all of you. Based on my experiences with thousands of students, I’ve uncovered five core reasons why most online courses fail. My goal is to help make sure you don’t make these mistakes, and if you do, I want you to be able to learn from them and turn them into opportunities.

In this episode I also talk about the importance of a validation blitz, and knowing all about your potential student’s hopes and fears, and what may be holding them back. I go into step-by-step detail about how to conduct a validation blitz in my Courses That Convert Program. You can learn more about that program and how to get started with an online course with my free Masterclass—“How to Confidently Create Your First Profitable Course in 60 Days.” It’s a fun and comprehensive training that will help you get well on your way to creating your first training!

Also: if you've experienced any of these mistakes or if you've made a big mistake that I haven't mentioned here, I want you to come over to Instagram and DM me.

Check out these highlights:

  • Why your ideal customer avatar needs to be top of mind at all times. [3:48]
  • I changed my mind on pre-selling, and you need to also. [8:25]
  • The four things to do to make sure you get to the finish line with your course. [12:43]
  • What to consider instead of signature courses. [14:42]
  • How I had to enlist a colleague to keep me in check and keep out the fluff. [17:34]
  • The best online courses are taught by the best teachers. What you need to do to become an engaging teacher. [20:40]

Links mentioned in this episode:

Episode #206: “The Post-It Content Creation Mini Training”

 

 

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_216.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am PDT

As entrepreneurs, creating multiple streams of revenue should be our goal. After being laid off from a software development company in the year 2000, today’s guest, Jennifer Allwood,  discovered firsthand how using her creativity and passion could create not one, but six different revenue streams in her business.

One of the things I love most about being an entrepreneur is how we are able to use our passions and creativity to build a business that has many layers to it—and Jennifer has done just that!

So whether you are just starting out building your online business or are already doing amazing things but looking to up-level, you’re going to find lots of inspiration and actionable tips in this interview!

Never Say Never

Jennifer’s first foray into an online business revenue stream was through creating and selling a handful of short videos teaching people how to do fun DIY painting techniques on cabinets and furniture. After just a year, she had earned six figures...from simple painting videos!  

Jennifer was at first confounded to discover she could sell stuff that could be easily found online for free via YouTube videos; yet she also came to understand that people will pay for shortcuts, and they prefer to pay for something from someone they know, like and trust, rather than go searching for something on their own.

That was the beginning of her online business journey. In the years since, she has launched a couple membership sites, teaches others how to run their online businesses, is writing a book, and is enjoying engaging with her nearly half-million online social media followers.

Jennifer admits that even just five years ago she would never have dreamed she would be where she is today! Let this be a lesson to all of us!   

It’s Not About Working Harder: It’s Working Smarter That Makes The Difference

Jennifer works mostly with creatives: painters, artists, makers, DIYers, and repurposers. She says these type of entrepreneurs have a hard time getting past the idea that they don’t always have to trade time for dollars; yet Jennifer teaches them they can share their gifts in a new way by adding revenue streams to their business. The opportunities she identified (which can work for anyone with an online business) are:

  • Info products – ebooks, ecourses, webinars, etc.
  • Affiliate income
  • Sponsored content
  • Membership site
  • Ad revenue
  • Brand ambassadorship
  • Consulting
  • Speaking

Where to Start?

If you are just beginning your online journey, Jennifer suggests you begin with something on the simpler side. Test the waters first, to see what you enjoy doing and what works. She highlighted some great examples from the list above that I hope will inspire you with some new ideas!

What I loved about talking to Jennifer was seeing how strategic she was—even from the beginning, when she didn’t even realize she was being strategic!

If you tuned in and listened to today’s episode, I hope you were as inspired by Jennifer’s story as I was. She was following her passion. She was hustling. She was doing what she needed to do to make things work, and look how it came together for her! I hope the same for you!

This episode is brought to you by:

Gravy—my very own 24/7 engagement team who contacts my customers within hours of their failed payment, captures updated billing information and saves the customers I worked so hard to acquire. If you have a subscription model business or offer payment plans, you’ve got to check out Gravy!

Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_215.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am PDT