Wed, 21 October 2015
I first met Lewis Howes back in my days of working with Social Media Examiner. I liked his technique with video interviews, and wrangled up a lot of interviewees for him; he liked my Facebook trainings, and asked me to put together a book. That was not only the beginning of my career in online training courses; it was, as they say in the movies, the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
This week, Lewis and I got the chance to reconnect over the topic of "greatness." Sound a little abstract? Let Lewis persuade you otherwise.
Lewis is a true expert in lifestyle entrepreneurship--a business coach with a top-rated podcast, a huge online educational program, earnings in seven figures, and a recognition from President Obama as one of the Top 100 Entrepreneurs in the country under age 30. Truly a great example to all of us working on our online businesses!
And you'd better believe Lewis didn't get to this level by aiming for "good enough."
His recent book School of Greatness is all about the importance of striving for greatness--in our personal lives, our health, our relationships and, of course, in our businesses.
What Does "Greatness" Really Mean?
As entrepreneurs, we're a little obsessed with the idea of "success." The symbols are always changing--this year it might be making a decent profit, next year maybe it's hitting six figures, and the year after that, it could be landing a book deal or paying off your house or...who knows?
This is the danger of becoming too obsessed with success--the target is always moving. Which means we run the risk of never being satisfied, no matter how much we accomplish.
But by focusing our sights on greatness, Lewis says, we're able to experience satisfaction with where we are in our business, and so much more besides.
8 Principles of Greatness
Lewis' book breaks greatness into eight simple steps:
1. Clarifying Your Vision
Before you set out on your personal quest, you have to clearly see the action steps to make it happen.
2. Embracing Adversity
Challenge and struggle are a natural part of growth.
3. Cultivating a Champion's Mindset
You can't guarantee that you'll win every time, but you can always set yourself up for the opportunity to win.
4. Committing to Hustle
A willingness to do whatever it takes will take you where mere talent can't.
5. Mastering Your Health
Your health (emotional, mental and physical) can either hold you back or drive you forward--which way do you choose?
6. Practicing Positive Habits
Without intentional habits, life turns into a nothing but a series of reactions.
7. Realizing You Can't Achieve Greatness Alone
A powerful, reliable team is the key to building something that’s bigger than yourself.
8. Being of Service to Others
The crowning moment of greatness is giving your gift to the world.
This is just a summary of Lewis' eight principles--you need to hear these in detail! So click here now to listen to the full podcast episode.
My chat with Lewis did more than just outline what it means to be great. It illuminated some of the finer points that past experience had "muddied up" for me.
There's so much in this interview, I hope you'll take the time to listen to it today. But for now, I want to leave you with one final quote from Lewis that I thought was particularly...well, great:
Direct download: Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode__81_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:43pm PST
Wed, 14 October 2015
It's time for another edition of Ask Amy!
Every now and then, no matter how good your business system is, you reach a moment where everything kind of splinters. I'm having one of those moments this week, trying to reassemble my podcasting setup after moving it into a bigger home studio.
While I'm glad to have this bigger space devoted to my podcast, I don't have the acoustics worked out yet--which means I'm a little bit stalled in terms of production. Little issues like this can really bother me, if I let them!
I'm sure you've experienced this, too. Think with me about an area in your business where you feel stuck because something else has to happen before you move forward. Maybe something’s not working properly and you have to figure it out first. Or maybe you’re just not comfortable moving forward and you’re not sure why.
All of today's questions deal with different things, but they all center around this core issue of obstacles holding back the progress of our business.
Let's take a look!
Question #1: How early do you contact affiliates if you want them to work with you to promote your course?
While I'm no expert in affiliate partnerships, I have worked with a small, carefully selected affiliate base over the last few years.
And one of the ways I select them is whether they're prepared enough with their annual business strategy to join me in planning at least three months ahead.
As my free download for this week, I'm doing a mini-training video of my new WordPress affiliate membership site. It's a great solution if you're pulling together all the materials for your affiliates. Not only does it help you get organized, but you can just show it to a programmer and tell them you want “this."
Get a Behind the Scenes Tour of Amy's Affiliate Area
Question #2: Remembering back to the first product you created, what would you tell us now that you wish you would have done differently back then?
I definitely wish I would have spent a little bit more time on developing a concept around my product suite. When you have a really solid product suite, you're able to help people in your niche that are at different phases in it.
Without this, you end up pushing away potential clients to other people. They ask you "What should I do in this phase?" and because you don't have a product around it, you point them elsewhere.
That's fine if it happens just occasionally, but when you get asked this a LOT (like I do with, say, creating online courses), your opportunity bells will start ringing like crazy and it starts to make you think "Why don't I offer a product for that?"
Question #3: What do you do when you see another site steal your content and sell it?
Um...throw something at the monitor? Just kidding. This has happened to me a lot, though. In fact, it happens with every new program I release.
One of the first things I do is remind myself that the "client" who would find my program on a shady site that is clearly not mine and go ahead and buy it is NOT a client I would want to work with. At the end of the day, it’s not about the money, it’s about the quality of people we’re attracting to our businesses.
There is, of course, a lot more I could say about this...and do! Click here to listen to the full podcast to hear all my thoughts on this issue.
Question #4: As an entrepreneur, how do you stay focused on what is at hand and not get distracted with wanting to start new projects, create new things, try a new form of social media? How do you stay focused?
First and foremost, I use Scrum. If you haven't heard of it, it's a system of project management that I explain in detail in Episode #75.
Of course, the success of this system depends on the things you can't get away from. Consistency. Deadlines. Accountability. All things I have varying degrees of success with!
But the biggest lesson I've learned with this is that I don't need to reinvent the wheel. I should model systems or approaches that I see working well for others. I don’t need to try every new tool that comes out. Bottom line, I just need to continue to do what works right for my business.
Like, for instance, my Wordpress membership affiliate site! Click the link below to get the training video now.
Get a Behind the Scenes Tour of Amy's Affiliate Area
A lot of times, those feelings of being held back or stuck are rooted in bigger fears or a lack of confidence we have in our business or message.
The truth is that a lot of the time, if I go ahead and move forward anyway, I'll mess it up once, figure out what went wrong, and now know what to do. I'll also have overcome the fear of failure because guess what? I failed and it didn't ruin my life!
I would rather be making those little mistakes along the way but still be moving forward. When you get the confidence to not really care about those little mistakes, you will usually fix them, keep moving forward and BOOM--you are way ahead of yourself, way more than you thought you would be!
Tue, 13 October 2015
It's a fact. Sometimes people are reluctant to buy from you.
Even when they want your product, even when they’re smitten with your brand, there will be some prospective buyers that seem to have a built-in pause command that holds a their finger poised above the “purchase” button on your website. It's just par for the course when we are doing business online.
There’s nothing wrong with this, until it stands in the way of you making a sale to someone who truly needs what you’re offering.
There is one thing that can overcome this buyers’ reluctance.
The most successful marketers know what it is, and I’m going to share it with you today.
It’s all about adding urgency.
This is something I had to learn for myself, through plenty of trial and error, so I’m thrilled to be able to pass it on to you. It’s going to put you way ahead of your competition.
It starts with recognizing that it’s simply human nature to take our time and stay on the fence as long as we can, until we are pushed one way or the other. That push comes from learning that we must act.
That’s what urgency is: making sure that your audience knows they need to act now.
You want to build urgency into every promotion you create. There are lots of ways to do this, but the best way I’ve found to build it in is with a one-two punch: a combination of bonuses and deadlines.
I'm going to share several of my favorite strategies in this blog post, but this week's free PDF has even more urgency tactics from some of the biggest names in online marketing. Click here to download it now!
Get Amy's Bonus "How It's Done: Genius Bonus Ideas from 11 of My Favorite Online Marketers
Believe it or not, I’ve actually had people buy my programs just for the bonuses! While you definitely want to spend the bulk of your time crafting a great core offer, bonuses can sometimes make or break the offer by pushing people just a little bit further to finally say, “Yes, I want this.”
Now, it’s important to note that not all bonus offers have urgency attached. Sometimes you’ll create a bonus add-on to your core offer just to sweeten the deal.
Urgency bonuses are the ones that show up later in the promotion. They come in different “flavors. You do not need to do them all. You can mix and match them, based on what feels best for your offer.
1. Timely bonus
During your promotion, you pick a time where for a certain period—say 48 hours—you offer a specific add-on to your program. You email your promo list explaining quickly and thoroughly what the bonus is, why it’s valuable, and what’s in it for them. You paint the picture and tell them on what date and what time the bonus will go away.
When I do a timely bonus, I always email my list at least one more time, usually 24 hours before the bonus is going to end, to let them know that time is running out.
Let me tell you, it works really, really well. When you’ve got a really good, juicy bonus, especially one that addresses a pain point. The main thing here, is to be very clear when it expires.
2. Fast action bonus
This is a bonus that you give away during a live situation. For me, it’s when I’m live on a webinar that I’m using as part of my promotion. If you attend the webinar and respond to the offer at the end, right then and there, you get the special bonus I’m offering.
I’ve been doing these fast-action bonuses for a long time. But that didn’t stop me from making a big, fat flub during my recent “Webinars That Convert” promo! Click here to listen to the episode where I explain all about it…and how you can make sure to avoid it!
3. The sweeten-the-pot bonus
This kind of bonus doesn’t have a timeline. Everybody who buys your product gets it. But this style of bonus allows you to add something during your promotion…which means you get another reason to email.
Finding really good reasons to email is an essential part of the puzzle in a successful promotion. The more opportunities you have to communicate to your audience, the better shot you have at winning them over…but you have to have a good reason to email! And what better reason is there than offering them something amazing for free?
I usually introduce this bonus four or five days into my promotion. I send out an email saying that I’ve created this special new bonus, explain why it’s great, give them the link and tell them to sign up.
Yes, they could still wait until the very end of your promotion, but having something new on the table immediately creates a sense of urgency.
It also creates some very valuable buzz for your offer, especially if you sprinkle a lot of hints about this new bonus of yours all over social media.
There are a lot more kinds of bonuses that you can create to add urgency to your promotion. Click here to listen to the full episode to learn about more ways to add urgent action opportunities to your offer.
Other Ways to Create Urgency
Early-bird pricing is a favorite of mine. Again, it creates lots of opportunities to email my audience, as I warn them of the approaching change in price.
The main thing with this is to make sure the price increase is compelling enough to create urgency. My programs go up by $100 when my early-bird window closes. I know that sounds like a lot, but that’s the point! If people are on the fence, a $100 price increase is definitely going to push them over.
Cart closing is a natural urgency creator. This is when the time frame ends for all buying opportunities, the last day when people can buy your product/sign up for your program/etc.
The key with this is to be true to your word. It’s really bad form, not to mention bad for your business long-term, to announce cart closing but then make all kinds of exceptions, or keep the cart open longer than you said you would.
As I mentioned earlier, one of the main places to showcase urgency is in your emails. Once I attract people to a webinar, I follow up that webinar with some really strategic email marketing. I work really hard on those emails to craft not just a compelling sales message, but to help my new audience to understand why this program is so valuable and why they need it.
But sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s why I love using the countdown timer.
As you are reading my email, the timer at the very top of the email is actively ticking away. When it comes to human instincts, the only thing strong enough to beat the buyer's resistance is being able to see time running out, second by second!
Finally, there is the “limited spots available” tactic. If you have a more exclusive version of your product (a special edition, a higher tier, etc.), it creates the perfect opportunity to email your list about the short supply of opportunities. Even if they weren't planning to buy in at this level, hearing the words "limited availability" again creates the urgency that you're looking for.
These are my favorite tools to create urgency. You'll learn about so many more when you download my free PDF for this week! Click here to get it now.
Get Amy's Bonus "How It's Done: Genius Bonus Ideas from 11 of My Favorite Online Marketers
Mon, 5 October 2015
In the process of building my business, I’ve made more than my share of mistakes. The silver lining is that I get to pass the wisdom I’ve learned on to you. It’s always easier to do something right when you’ve got someone guiding you past the ways it can go wrong.
However, today’s post is all about something that recently worked really well in my business. It’s something you can apply quickly to your next promotion.
Ready? Let’s talk about upsells!
What Is an Upsell?
First, let’s get our definitions straight.
Say someone buys a program or product from you online. They fill in all the credit card details and finish the transaction completely. They are officially now a member of your program.
Before you take them to the purchase thank-you page that’s when you can offer an upsell. You are giving your new purchaser one more opportunity to buy from you within the same interaction.
Pretty cool, right?
Putting Together Your Upsell Offer
Three vital things to consider when doing upsells:
I’m no expert in upsells. I’ve been in business a while, and just recently started using them.
But the success I’ve experienced has shown me that there’s a certain flow that’s really important to the overall strategy of your upsell.
An Example from My Promotion
In my most recent promotion, Webinars That Convert, I welcomed over 1,000 new members into the program in just under two weeks! That alone was awesome…but even more awesome was the fact that 58% of those new members purchased the upsell I offered! That generated an extra $170k in revenue!
Here’s how I designed that upsell—both the product and the process.
I put together a product that perfectly complemented the program I was selling. In this case, it was a pack of 5 slide deck templates. You need a slide deck for your webinar, and these templates gave purchasers five unique, polished looks for their presentation. They also made the setup process a lot simpler.
I had the template pack price fixed, BUT I offered buyers three different options. They could purchase the pack in one fell swoop, they could split up the purchase into two payments, or they could purchase a “lite” pack of just two templates.
I structured the upsell offer with a great deal of strategy. Here’s how it worked: if someone saw the offer and bought the five decks at full price, they would never see the two-pay offer or the lite version. You wouldn’t see the lite version unless you declined the first two offers. See how it works based on the potential buyer’s behavior? It also allowed me to learn more about the segments of my audience.
I go through a lot more the details of how to create your upsell (with ideas you’re welcome to steal!) and structure your offer in the podcast. Also, there is ONE THING you do NOT want to do when creating an upsell. I share the "don't do this" details in my podcast as well. Click here to listen to it now!
For this week’s free download, I’ve included the actual upsell page I used in this promotion, so you can see exactly what I did and make it your own.
Get Amy's Upsell Offer for Webinars That Convert
Direct download: The_Online_Marketing_Made_Easy_Podcast_Episode_78.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:21pm PST