3 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring Contractors

Have you ever asked yourself, “Is it finally the right time to hire someone to help me in my business?”

 

In 2006, I joined a high-end mastermind coaching program. It was an investment of almost $10,000 a year and I was a member for almost three years! One of the first things I learned in this program was that if I can pay someone $5 an hour to do something, and I choose to do that task instead, I’m literally making $5 an hour.

When I first heard that, it blew my mind. It’s true what they say, “You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time.” And time was what I really needed more of in my business. At the time, I had five kids ages five and under, a thriving business selling camping gear, and I was doing full time missionary work with my husband in Puebla, Mexico. I really needed more hours in a day if I was going to continue managing it all.

 

So, I immediately took action and hired someone. That person actually ended up being with the company for over a decade. I began to outsource and delegate some of the tasks that I had on my plate that were taking up a lot of my time. But I also had a list of things that I wanted to get to someday…if only I had the time! So by delegating the more mundane, everyday operational tasks, I was able to grow my business even more with the help of my contractor.

 

I want to share with you three things I see people do wrong when they try to hire someone.

The number one mistake is hiring somebody for strategy. You should be delegating tasks, not strategy! What I mean by that is when you first hire someone, for example for social media for your business, you look for someone to completely take over your social media. You’d want them to plan the content calendar, create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and to grow your list.

 

In other words, you’re trying to hire an A-player, someone who is going to help you on a very high level, but your budget only allows you to pay them $10 to $15 an hour. And, let me tell you something, you’re not going to find an A-player willing to work for that. The problem, however, isn’t that you don’t have enough money. The problem is that you’re trying to outsource strategy rather than the tasks.

 

Strategy is saying, “I’d like you to grow my social media presence from 1,000 to 10,000 in the next 90 days.” That’s a strategic goal, but you’re not setting up a plan or a system to reach that goal.

 

Outsourcing a task, however, is when you say, “I’d like you to post four times a day, on certain hours, with these specific types of content.” Now you’ve created the strategy and you are giving that strategy to someone else to actually implement it for you.

 

That is how you do it. You’re hiring someone so that you can delegate your tasks.

 

You might be wondering, “How do you decide which tasks to delegate?”

 

It’s your job as the business owner to evaluate what tasks are taking up too much of your valuable time. Time that you should be spending strategizing ways to grow your business. Or, if you don’t have time, you can hire someone who can look at your business on a strategic level and help you decide which direction to move in. You could hire someone who is more at a level of a Director of Marketing, a high level consultant with years of experience, someone who can help you figure out what that strategic plan is. After you have that strategy in place, you can then delegate that to the people you’ve hired.

 

The second thing that people do wrong when they hire a contractor is paying too little and still expecting to get amazing results.

 

I was guilty of this in the beginning. It’s funny to look back and see how we’ve transitioned from an e-commerce business to a consulting business. When we first got started hiring people to do the SEO for our e-commerce business, I had all of the tasks down to a science. We had templates and checklists.

 

When we built these systems and strategies, I initially tried to hire people locally in Mexico, as well as in the

Philippines. I paid them a very low amount compared to the US but on par with the economy where they lived. The problem was that even though I was paying the rates that everyone said were “fair wages” for the respective countries, I was actually only paying what would be considered “entry level” wages.

 

That meant that the only people who would apply to work with me were beginners. People I had to train from zero to be at the skill level where I needed them to be. Yes, I could pull someone off the street and teach them my systems and procedures and they eventually would be an asset to the company. That’s the ideal situation. That was the goal.

 

However, most of the time that didn’t happen. Most of the time, the people who were willing to come in at the very bottom as beginners with very little or no experience took a very long time to perform at the level I needed them to. Remember, training inexperienced workers takes a long time, and in all that time you’d have spent hand holding your entry level employees, your business has not been moving forward.

 

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have entry level people on your team as you’re growing, but that shouldn’t be the only type of person you’re hiring. After you have a team of 8 to 10 people, maybe you can have an intern come in, maybe a fresh graduate, or your son or daughter. You can bring them up from zero to 10. That would be okay.

 

The third mistake I see a lot of business owners make is that they expect their team to perform at their level. And, yes, I’ve made this same mistake

 

In the membership program I was a part of back in 2006, they taught me that no one will be able to do the job at your level. But, regardless of that knowledge, I was still under the impression that if I gave someone enough time, at some point they would be able to perform at my level.

 

The reality is that it’s a huge jump for a person who you hired to complete tasks to become a strategic player in your business. When you’re expecting people to perform at your level, that’s something you have to take very seriously, which means you need to mentor and train people so that they can develop real leadership skills. It’s a process. It doesn’t happen quickly, and you shouldn’t expect that it will. It could take 10 or 20 years, or it could never happen.

 

So what does this really look like in your business? For example, if I give a task to someone to build a marketing funnel and, once they finish it, I ask them to go test it and they come back and say they tested it, I ask them to test it again. Then if they come back a third time and say they tested it again, I ask them to check it again. I’ll ask them to make sure they send themselves all emails, click on all of the links, check the grammar and spelling. I give them a list and ask them to check all these things. I can even show them how I do it through my complicated, detailed excel file, documenting the whole process… and they follow it.

 

I guarantee you that even if you have someone doing that for you, you’re going to come in as a business owner and say, “Oh you missed this. And you forgot about this, too. The headline’s wrong.”

 

And it’s not that they didn’t try or that they didn’t give 100%. It’s not that they didn’t follow your procedures. They absolutely did and they are doing their very best. But, as a business owner, you see things that no one else sees because you know your business like no one else.

 

You have to take a step back and, instead of coming in and criticizing, you need to focus on the 99% of things that they did get right. Praise those things and say, “We missed this. Here’s an area of opportunity. Maybe we can tweak this.” Then take ownership that maybe you were the one that didn’t explain it correctly or that you didn’t provide the correct documentation and don’t blame them that they didn’t catch it.

 

That’s actually what leadership is—helping people to grow and taking responsibility for their growth.

 

A true leader would praise the team when they do something right. But if their team messes up, they’re going to take responsibility. That’s what true leadership looks like

.

As you develop as a business owner and as someone who hires other people, investing in your own leadership skills is what’s going to help you to be more successful in your company — and to take your company to the next level.

 

7 Traffic Strategies To Bring Visitors To Your Site, Fill Your Funnels, And Get More Sales!

“I have a website that does not generate enough visitors yet. What strategy would you recommend for getting new visitors to the site?” 

We often get this question from coaches, consultants, speakers, authors, and more who are in the process of transitioning from employee to independent business owner. Some are just getting started and want to build an online brand. Others have been running their business for a while but are either just getting serious or just starting to move their business online.

Either way, we’ve compiled this extensive yet to-the-point guide for growing online traffic for your business. We cover the basics of absolutely everything you need to know to get started – and we’ve got a downloadable checklist so you can keep track of all these steps for your own business.

Ready to get started? Then grab your copy of our “7 Traffic Strategies” checklist:

Click here to get your Checklist!

Then start applying these strategies for your own business.

There are 7 main sources of online traffic that we’ll be covering:

  1. Organic Traffic

  2. Social Traffic

  3. Paid Traffic

  4. Direct Traffic

  5. Referral Traffic

  6. Email Traffic

  7. Other Traffic


Let’s dive deeper into each one and gather essential as well as practical information on how to keep your website more visitor-friendly and multiply your possibilities for converting new customers.

1. Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is seen as “free” traffic. Marketers are obsessed with getting the most out of it. And so, businesses will often employ professional help in the pursuit of gaining more and more organic traffic. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) managers are generally the ones who are held accountable for the metrics and performance regarding organic traffic for a website. 


Most of these professionals use the most basic & essential tool for SEO- Google Analytics. It helps you keep a track of all the website activity with major monitoring metrics. You can keep an eye on the trends within the data provided by Google. It’s a huge deal to rank high on the organic results of the SERPs.


Many online studies have observed a rising tendency of people to ‘skip’ ads on the search results. Most of your audience might click instantly on a well-written and informative blog from a website rather than trusting a paid promotion that seems less valuable and more like clickbait. The important insight here is that people come to Google to find answers to their questions, and are more likely to buy from you if you educate them rather than try to sell them straight away.


We work on this through
generating informative & helpful content that breaks through the clutter. This slowly ranks up your website higher on the Google SERPs and leads to more and more organic traffic over a period of time.


A few actionable measures you can take to ensure high-quality organic traffic on your website-

  • Website Interface & Design: First things first, your website is your online store per se. Make it look like one where people will stay, browse items with joy and have a great experience to have continuous footfalls (visitors). This is the most basic trait that separates those websites that receive maximum traffic from others.
  • Relevant & relatable content: You can’t bore your audiences with redundant details that don’t help them. Publish and display precise and relatable content for your target audience so that they feel they are at the right place. Make it a point to stay relevant to what your consumers are actually looking for from your services online.
  • Demographics & Insights: To understand your TG better, conduct audits and have consumer interactions through multiple touchpoints both online & offline. This will help you to tap into exactly what the market is moving towards.
  • Keywords & SEO targeting: Be more efficient in terms of keywords. Use the ones that aren’t much used by your competition yet have a high frequency of usage by your target audience. Use tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, Google Search Console and others to find out such gems. Long-tail keywords are the talk of the town, but remember that targeting and user intent must be adhered to for the best results. This will empower your organic efforts and also improve targeting for your website.

According to Search Engine Journal, 70% of the links users click on the search results that come up are organic. And a recent study found that the first organic result in Google Search has an average click-through rate of 28.5% (highest amongst all the results). Organic traffic is paramount to your digital marketing success in the long run. Keep a constant track of your organic strategy through timely SEO audits that expose any leaks you can fix. The problems can range from minor technical issues like incorrect redirecting & indexing or slow load times to overarching blindspots like repetitive content, insufficient call-to-actions, redundant flows/processes that impede sales directly.

The current best practices include providing free yet valuable resources to your visitors. This leads to consistent resharing of your content and hence more organic visitors. Give an inside view of your brand and service, a demo if you will. People are more inclined to invest time & money in something that they have already had a taste of. High-quality content & differentiated web experiences are an absolute must when it comes to building your organic traffic strategy bit by bit.

2. Social Traffic

If your brand is present on major social media platforms (which is a must now), any traffic or visitors that reach your website through those mediums make up Social Traffic. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Quora are the mainstream sites that get the most clicks, reach, and engagement today followed by some active forums like Reddit. 

After organic traffic on Google and other search engines, what matters the most is the traffic coming from your social handles. Because lots of direct and insightful engagement occurs on these sites that generate lots of data about your audience. You can use this data to target better through paid campaigns and engagements. 

Social traffic also lends a glance at how well your marketing strategy is aligning with your current marketing goals. And here are some tips to make your best efforts at social media marketing to achieve higher social traffic for your website:

  • Make it visually attractive- People visit social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook & YouTube to watch pleasing and eye-candy content. So don’t forget to post high-quality & relevant visual content that sticks with your audience. A picture definitely speaks much louder and clearer than just words. It also represents the overall experience your brand can cater to your audiences.

  • Interactive content is more important than ever- Start asking questions and prompting discussions with your audience. This makes your online presence feel more real to them instead of just some taps, clicks and swipes. Replies and engagement immediately lead to an increased reach – meaning your content appears in front of more people more often. Plus, it lets your audience develop a relationship with your brand. When engagement is high on your social platforms, online word-of-mouth spreads like fire and sales increase as a result.

  • Social listening is the new cool- A study by Sprout Social informed that only 11% of people receive replies from the companies and brands they interact with on social media. Also, the 2020 Sprout Social Index states that 79% of consumers expect a response in the first 24 hours. Read the comments regularly, respond well & quickly, and analyse the data you gather on a continuous basis to keep an eye on the ongoing consumer trends in your industry.

  • Be aware of your competition- Check how your competitors treat your audiences, their content buckets, brand tone etc, and then try to differentiate yourself on social media to stay relevant. Research and look for an element where your brand can have leverage on competitive brands. This can be your online USP or a highlight for your social presence.

Social traffic plays an essential role in driving your digital and social strategies to the planned goals. So, take care of the elements like content vibe, audience interaction, data analysis and insights that help you better your reach and acquisition. Also, keep experimenting and improvising on the ongoing trends like podcasts, voice search and others. Determine what works and what doesn’t for your brand and audience.

3. Paid Traffic

Paid Traffic is a result of a paid promotion/campaign either on a search engine like Google or on popular websites/blogs or on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. PPC ads, Facebook or YouTube ads and Google ads are the usual suspects when it comes to paid traffic management. 

Leads you get from paid traffic may not be as warm as the ones you get from organic traffic since there might not be any necessary intent for your product or service. But such traffic is useful when you are launching a new product or introducing a new variant or a campaign.

Paid traffic can lead to better ranking through increased traffic and reach. Yet on the other hand, if the bounce rate is high- it might cost your website’s ranking because of crawlers. Still, if you approach paid traffic strategy with a solid plan coupled with a robust SEO, your website and brand can experience multi-fold benefits. Remarketing and proper targeting are essential to make the most out of PPC ads on Facebook and Google.

Here are a few crucial terms to remember before you delve into increasing your paid traffic:

  • Search & Display advertising- Paid search traffic comes from the SERPs (Search engine result pages) that come up when you put a word and press Enter on a search bar. Display advertising consists of the adverts that you come across on sites with the label ‘sponsored’ or ‘promoted’ and on third-party websites and blogs in the unused spaces of the site. Every paid campaign that you implement on social media or search must have a strong objective.
  • PPC (Pay-per-click) platforms- The most popular one is Google Adwords. It’s followed by the social media giant Facebook with its Facebook Ads & Instagram Ads. These are followed by Twitter Ads, Linkedin Ads, Quora Ads, etc. As a basic rule of thumb, when you conduct campaigns on these platforms, try to connect and foster a relationship through your ad creative to make them take the next step in the buyer journey.
  • Campaigns, ad groups and types of targeting- Google Adwords specifically provides multiple options like lead generation, brand awareness, shopping & ecommerce, and video campaigns. Along with this, it also has device targeting which lets you push your ad on mobile, desktop or tablet; and location-based targeting which you can use to tap into specific territories your target audience is most available at. In addition, there are ad groups to help you organise your campaign objectives and content buckets well enough.

Paid traffic planning can be cumbersome with all the constant changes that Google and Facebook introduce almost every month. But with the help of clarity and being aware of your current objective and campaign goals, you can achieve great results in lead generation.

LinkedIn & Twitter are fast becoming the online advertising hub for B2B marketers looking to target the professional & niche audiences. Yet the power of mass reach available on Google & Facebook is the first choice for many as it helps in building brand awareness through effective methods.

There are many types of paid traffic tools from PPC to PPA and others. Use them with a crystal clear marketing plan in mind to gain maximum benefits out of paid advertising efforts and hence get better visitors and overall traffic. But stay on top of all the major algorithm updates & features released by Google & Facebook to make the most out of paid advertising. Like the recent location extensions, dynamic search ads introduced by Google are revolutionary in the targeting accuracy for your audience-based remarketing strategies.

4. Direct Traffic

When your website receives visitors on its own or through some unknown referral, it’s generally considered as direct traffic. Sometimes, direct traffic is a subset of organic traffic as it’s a go-to category for Google Analytics when it’s unable to find the source.

It can happen if the referring site is HTTPS, but has linked the HTTP version of your website. Sometimes bot traffic such as crawling, non-human artificial links can cause this too. This leads to the transfer of no referral information on the receiving site. In addition, incomplete UTM parameters on your website might be a cause. Rectify and put the right values if you make changes in it during any campaign. Also, shortened URLs and redirecting can cause loss of referral data, so use the right URLs and redirects to ensure correct traffic data.

True “Direct Traffic” is when someone types your website link in the address bar. These can be your customers, employees, any other internal staff, vendors, social media profile links and others. It generally comes from high brand awareness due to other forms of marketing.

5. Referral Traffic

Referral Traffic is exactly what it sounds like. Visitors coming from another site that refers you through your website’s link on its own page. It can be through backlinks or any social link that has your website embedded like a swipe up a link on an Instagram story.

Referral traffic is very useful for building up your brand online. It helps you build a strong network of backlinks which leads to better rankings on Google. Here are some of the best ways to increase referral traffic:

  • Blog on other websites- Blogging and writing articles for other websites create opportunities to put multiple backlinks for your website. And also the website owner promotes your brand as you helped their cause. Crosslinking creates more bot crawling and more instances for traffic on both websites. Guest blogging is one of the best ways to get quality referral traffic and online PR.
  • Go social- Share your website content on your personal social media and encourage others to do it as well. This creates more referral traffic organically, which also creates better leads that are most likely to convert as they reach your website. Word-of-mouth created through it can also benefit your long term brand value.
  • Interact with other blogs- Similar to guest blogging, this technique can be used for further brand building of your website. Comment with your brand account on other blogs and social handles. This will also reinforce relevance and candor for your brand; which in turn, makes the brand more human, warm, and personable in the eyes of the viewers.

A strong promotion strategy will help increase your referral traffic.

6. Email Traffic

Email is still a go-to marketing tool when it comes to lead generation and converting hot leads into customers. It generates a potential return on investment of up to 4400% according to a few email marketing experts. Traffic that comes from the emails to your website is very warm. They’re most likely to buy from you. Hence, there exists an opportunity to build further brand loyalty with them.

Tracking email traffic is essential for your email marketing success. Use UTM codes to track major metrics like open rate and CTR (click-through rate). Open rate shows the impact of the headline and the initial body copy that led the reader to open the mail. Note the following points to get the most optimum results out of your email marketing efforts:

  • Continuously build your email lists: With the ever-decreasing attention span of people, your readers might lose interest even when your content is top-notch. Also, they might change their address or their lifestyle hence leading to opting out of your subscription. This is why it’s so important to always keep building your email list and acquire new leads all the time.
  • Write attention-catching headlines: Most users swipe and clear email notifications without checking them and ignore most of their inbox. Only a headline that talks directly to your customer and creates mystery in the reader’s mind stays to see the light of the day. Try using attention-grabbing headlines and subjects that speak to a pain-point of your target audience.
  • Create and share relevant content: You are trying to interact and stay present with your audience through an email update. You shouldn’t share unnecessary or downright useless content. Create newsletters that are informative and which click with your audiences. They must take away something substantial like information, guidelines, or even just a pleasant feeling that stays with them.
  • Send offers at the right time: Send the right emails, in the right way, and at the right time. Introduce exciting offers at the start of a festive season to gather maximum leads. Give away gifts and vouchers as an end of season sale or a limited-time bonus to generate urgency for an enhanced CTR (Click-through rate).
  • Put out visual messages: Just like social media, a well-drafted, visually appealing email newsletter is received much better than a bland one that feels like a work email. Don’t forget to customize every message that triggers interaction and demands action from the audience. Having flashy CTAs (Call-to-actions) is not a criminal offense!

Email marketing might be one of the oldest digital marketing methods. But it still works wonders when done right. Make sure that you stay aware of the above points while designing a newsletter, sales proposal, seasonal campaign, or even just a welcome email.

7. Other Traffic

Google Analytics has this category tugged in for those traffic that it can’t clearly identify with any of the above. It can be due to multiple UTM parameters set up by different developers or link builders on your website. Or a misread on Google’s part.

Most of the time, the source is available and so you categorize them manually. For example, it could be the result of an influencer collaboration. You can create a new category and set up the parameters and rules for identifying it on Google Analytics.

Hopefully, we’ve given you a lot to work on. Need a hand keeping track of all of this?

Click here to get your Checklist!
  1. Now that we’ve covered all 7 sources of traffic, how should YOU decide where to start?

Not all traffic is created equal. 

Now that we’ve figured out that there are 7 types of traffic, the question is – which one should I focus on first? 

The answer is… that depends! 

I’ve ranked traffic in the order of how well it converts!

Email traffic is traffic that is already on your email list so this traffic will convert higher than any other traffic. This does not mean that if you have a large email list that you will have a lot of sales. You need to have an engaged email list that is actively opening and clicking on your emails. The way to do this is to always be sending awesome content to your list that will make them want to open the emails. 

Next is direct traffic. Since people are coming to your site by typing in the exact URL of your site, they are looking not just for what you have to offer but specifically looking for YOU. They might have heard about you on a podcast, read a book, or just remembered that they found your site a long time ago and are now ready to do business with you. 

Next is organic traffic. Even though this is 3rd on the list, organic traffic is usually the best source of traffic because it does not depend on if you have an email list or not and it is something that you can control. You can’t really control direct traffic because you can’t control when or how a person will type your web address into the search engine to find you! So organic traffic will convert the most, but it is also the hardest to get when first starting out. That’s why many people choose the next traffic source.

Paid traffic. Paid traffic is one of the easiest to acquire traffic sources – but potentially the hardest to get a return on investment on. It requires a lot of trial and error and testing to find a winning funnel – but once you do, you will be gold! In my ACTion Method training, I teach about the 3 funnels that you need to be able to get an ROI on your paid advertising campaigns. 

Referral Traffic. Referral traffic is awesome because people are already pre-sold on your offer as they are coming from a source that they know, like or trust. Referral traffic can convert higher than paid traffic but it is also harder to come by which is why it is ranked after paid traffic.

Social Traffic works well if you have the right strategy. The challenge is that the best strategies involve a lot of time to have real conversations and develop real relationships. The days of mass publishing the same content to multiple platforms so people would see your awesome content, click on it, and go to your site – are numbered. 

So what traffic strategy are you going to focus on first? Let me know by posting a comment below! 

Checklist

1. Organic Traffic- The Bread and Butter of your Website

  • Develop content that breaks through the clutter 
  • Your website is your online store-front. Keep it user friendly and easy to use. 
  • Be clear about your value proposition and your target audience so your content is relevant and useful.
  • Start using long-tail keywords but avoid keyword stuffing at the same time.
  • Create a content calendar or planner so you have content planned in advance and can post regularly.

2. Social Traffic- The new and faster word-of-mouth

  • Start developing your social media presence by creating personal and business profiles on at least Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
  • Be wary of being identical to your competitors. Look for a real or visual USP to help your audiences separate you from the competition.
  • Visuals are really important on social media – make sure your graphic design is on point and use visuals in every post.
  • Start interacting with your audience more often. Ask a meaningful question. Run polls. Maybe even share some jokes or memes once in a while.
  • Create a social media calendar so you have posts ready to go well in advance.

3. Paid Traffic- Scale up your lead acquisition profitably

  • Start with advertising on Google and Facebook but don’t underestimate other platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, Reddit etc. Create a well-rounded paid traffic strategy.
  • Narrow down on the best platform, your ideal audience demographics, and the best campaign objectives for your business.
  • Try and make creative use of search and display ads. Experiment with multiple formats and budgets to find the right balance for your brand.
  • Always stay updated on the ever-changing algorithms of the paid search and social platforms to stay on top of your traffic game.

4. Referral Traffic- Leverage sources of traffic built by other businesses

  • Start looking for high DR (Domain Rating) blogs that have guest posting opportunities.
  • Make guest posting part of your content strategy. Pitch some of the blogs you identified and start working on guest posts.
  • Start sharing content and achievements on social media as well.
  • Interact as a brand with other websites and popular blogs to gain credibility and authenticity. Simply comment or share a POV that aligns with your brand voice on other places on the internet.
  • Network on the internet as well as you do in real life to create continuous referral traffic for your website.

5. Email Marketing- Classic and Reliable

  • Always keep collecting emails and refine your list once every month to determine if you need to improve your strategy.
  • A good headline brings major traffic even with average body copy. Try humorous clickbait, wordplay, and anything your audience will directly relate to. 
  • Timing is key here. Know the best times your audience checks and clicks on emails. 
  • Share your offers, vouchers and gift cards at the right time with the right intensity to get them onboard. 
  • Great visual representation coupled with informative and helpful content can make the difference. Make sure you use visuals consistently just as you would with social media.

How to Create an Offer

The simple 3 step process to creating Your Perfect Offer

What in the world should I sell? 

That is probably the number one question new entrepreneurs ask themselves as they get started.

Quickly followed by – how much should I charge? Will anyone really pay me for this? Can I really make an extra $1K per month online? 10K per month? 

Let’s map this out step by step!

One of the most challenging but important steps to launching a successful online business is to figure out exactly who you WANT to work with – and even more – who you don’t! 

If I asked you – who do you serve? And the answer is “everyone” or “anyone can benefit from my product” then this is for you. 

Even Wal-Mart does not serve “everyone”. So your first step is to figure out who you want to help. Who do you WANT to work with? Who do you enjoy spending your time with? Who would you be hanging out with even if they were not giving you money? 

For example, let’s take a restaurant. 

Restaurants know who they serve and who they don’t serve. 

Let’s imagine a young couple celebrating their 5th year anniversary that walks into any fast food restaurant out there. (McDonalds, Taco Bell, etc). Let’s imagine for a moment that they walk in with a tuxedo and beautiful ball gown dress. Let’s say they stand at the door and wait for one of the employees to walk over and ask them where they’d like to be seated! Let’s imagine that they ask for menus and for a tablecloth to be placed on the table. 

If you were the manager of that restaurant you’d most likely walk over to the couple and suggest that this is probably not the place for them. That there is a restaurant down the street that is more able to better suit them. 

It is just as important to know who you DO serve as to know who you DON’T. 

I find it is easier to get started making a list of who you don’t serve. 

So do that now. 

For example, if you are selling tickets to a 5K VIP day to help restaurant owners pivot in the new economy and start to get business online, the list of who you don’t serve could be anyone 25 and under that can’t afford your services.  You’d also immediately disqualify anyone that does not own a restaurant! You most likely don’t work with franchises as their franchise probably already has a platform for ordering online for their franchise owners. You also might not work with new or small businesses.

So who do you work with? 

  • Restaurant owners
  • Over 25
  • Not a franchise
  • Doing or have done at least 20K a month in revenue

This does not mean that you could not allow someone that did not meet your criteria into your program. It does mean that when you see someone that meets your criteria, you immediately know that they are someone you can help. 

 

 

Next, define what your message is going to be. Your message is a concise sentence that you can say in 30 seconds or less that can immediately explain the transformation you provide to your audience.  Some refer to this as your “elevator pitch”. 

There is a simple formula you can use to create your message.

Some examples are:

I help locally owned and operated restaurants to get customers online in less than 48 hours with my 2 day live virtual training program. 

I help churches create amazing visitor experiences through my half day virtual workshop. 

I help college students pass their next exam through my 90 minute tutoring intensives. 

So your turn. What is your perfect message?

And finally… your perfect offer! An offer consists of three parts:

  • Core Offer
  • Pre-Training
  • Bonuses

The first step to create your core offer is to map out the 5-6 things your audience needs to know to get the results they want. If your list is 20+ steps long, you need to break it down more. You don’t want to have a course with 20+ steps that covers everything and the kitchen sink! If you have more than 9 steps, you need to break your course out into two or maybe even three courses! 

So do that now! What six things does your audience need to know to get the results they want? 

Next, your pre-training.

Your pre-training is the 1-3 things that your audience needs to know in order to be ready to implement your core offer. 

What foundational things do they need to know to be able to be successful out the gate? 

Finally, your bonuses. 

Once your audience has mastered your core offer, what else could they do or implement that would help them to be super successful? These are your bonuses. 

And last but not least, pricing. 

How should you price your offer? 

The general rule of thumb is that they should get back at least 10x in value from what you charged. 

So let’s say that by implementing what you are teaching, your student will easily make back $1000 in the next 30 days based on what you know as their average order value and normal conversion rates. 

If that is the case, you can price your offer at $97 because you know that they can make 10x back their investment in the next 30 days if they just follow your simple steps. 

Let’s say your offer is going to save them time. How much is their time worth? 

If your course will easily save them 10 hours a week, and their time is worth $50/hr, then you know that in the next 30 days you are going to save them $2000. You can easily charge $197 for your course as you know they will get 10x the value. 

What if your product or service is something intangible. Maybe you are helping them lose weight or save their marriage.  

In that case, you can position yourself as to what they are already spending for other programs or systems that are not working.

Or you could get away from the dollar value comparison all together and position your pricing as what it would be worth to them to have their problem solved. 

For example, for the person trying to lose weight, how much is it worth it to them to have that painful problem solved, if they knew 100% that you would be able to help them.  $50? $500? $2000? 

So let’s summarize! 

STEP 1: WHO aka Your Perfect Audience

STEP 2: WHAT aka Your Perfect Message

STEP 3: HOW aka Your Perfect Offer

Was this helpful? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Your Tech Stack Questions Answered!

One of the questions I get asked the most – is what tech platform should I build my site on! Since more and more businesses are going online there are more options for your website. Keeping up with the latest and greatest tool can be a bit overwhelming. After spending all day with yours eyes glued to your screen, scouring and reading multiple list of reviews, your bound to be fed up and end up picking the most basic and cheapest option.

I understand exactly where you’re right at, that’s why I’ve done this part for you! After more than 10 years in web automation here is a run down of the basics of what you need and our recommended platforms! 

Your domain is the name of your website. For example, www.yoursite.com is the name of your domain. A domain costs about $12-15 per year depending on where you register it. 

Your hosting is where you will store your files. It is like a virtual file cabinet for your website, images, videos. There are different plans based on how many sites you have. 

A few platforms to register your domain are:

GoDaddy

Ionis by 1&1

A few platforms we like for hosting are:

Ionis by 1&1

Liquid Web

WordPress is our platform of choice to build a website. It has the most flexibility and there are a lot of plugins available to make it do anything you want. 

Go to wordpress.org to grab the open source files that you can download and use to build your site.

WordPress is like the file cabinet. But you still need to organize the layout and design. You do this with a theme.

The theme we like and use right now is called “Elementor”. You can check it out here.

Your email platform is sometimes included with your hosting plan. This is the ability to send emails from your domain name ie yourname@yoursite.com

We like and use GSuite Apps to handle our email. This has a little higher cost (about $6/user/mo), but since it also includes the ability to create and share documents on the cloud, we find it’s worth it. 

What this means is that you can use your own domain with gmail to send and receive emails as opposed to having to login to your hosting account or having your hosting account forward your emails to a personal gmail for example so you can access them. 

Having all documents on the cloud is also a huge advantage. Our team doesn’t have to worry about having 5 different versions of the same doc as we can collaborate on one doc and always see the most updated version in the cloud. 

Email marketing is a tool that you can use to create different lists of emails and send a series of automated emails to your different lists. The prices for these tools range from $15-$199 per month

The one we use and recommend is Infusionsoft as it has Email Marketing, a CRM, and a Shopping Cart in one. 

Other tools that work well are:

Active Campaign

MailChimp

Aweber

All three work very well. Active Campaign is a little more similar to Infusionsoft in that it has built in functionality to build campaigns in a visual layout. Mailchimp and Aweber are great if you are just getting started.

To take payments online you need 3 things. 

  • Merchant Account
  • Gateway
  • Shopping Cart

You can either set up all 3 things separately or you can use tools that combine two or three of them together. Some examples of 3 in 1 are: Paypal and Stripe. Both paypal and stripe allow you to sign up with just their service and they provide you with buttons that you can put on your site so you can sell your products or services. They do charge a commission of around 3% per transaction as well as a transaction fee. 

The most common method is to get all 3 services individually, like the following. 

Merchant Account ($15/mo + 3%)

A merchant account is the ability to process credit card transactions. You can sign up for a merchant account directly with your bank. Be sure to request a “Cart Not Present” account! This is usually the cheapest way to process credit card transactions online. 

Gateway ($20/mo)

A gateway is how you connect your merchant account to your shopping cart. The most common one is Authorize.net and when you set up your merchant account with your bank you can request an authorize.net account as well. 

Shopping Cart (Varies)

A shopping cart is how you collect payments online. It is the tool you use to create order forms so that your customers can put in their credit card information online in a secure place.  We use Infusionsoft as our shopping cart. Other shopping carts are also available. Some examples are SamCart, ClickFunnels, Kajabi. Before jumping out and getting a shopping cart, you will want to make sure it is compatible with your landing page builder (and many times it is included with your landing page builder.) 

Landing pages are pages that are built to either capture leads, or sell your products or services. Since the look and feel of landing pages usually varies from the main site, these landing pages are sometimes built with landing page builders. 

Some of the one’s we use are:

LeadPages

ClickFunnels

ThriveThemes

We usually install these on a subdomain of the main site. For example:

  • Go.yoursite.com
  • Start.yoursite.com
  • Launch.yoursite.com

The words “go”, “start”, “launch” are examples of subdomains. 

If you are selling a course then you will need a members area to deliver your course content. An LMS stands for a Learning Management Software. 

If you use Infusionsoft like we do, then Memberium is an easy to use membership software that you can set up on a subdomain of your site. For example: courses.yoursite.com or members.yoursite.com. 

Another popular one that we recommend is LearnDashLearndash can be used in conjunction with Memberium as well. 

Learndash allows you to organize the content in your members area and also to roll out access to the content on a weekly or monthly basis. Another membership tool is Kajabi.

Live Webinars

For live webinars, we use Zoom. Most of us today have an account with Zoom for meetings. If you are going to hold a webinar, you can upgrade to have the functionality of a webinar. I love how they allow you to just upgrade to get webinars for one month and automatically cancel it for you after 30 days. 

There is also a built-in functionality with Zoom that allows you to live stream directly to Facebook. This allows your audience to choose how they want to attend a live webinar.  It can also allow you to have more people participate in a live webinar if you are at your capacity with your Zoom account. One of our clients recently used a combo of Zoom and FB Live to have a webinar with 16,000 attendees!

Automated Webinars

Once you have a few live webinars you are going to want to create what is called an “evergreen” campaign where people can watch your webinars at will. Our software of choice is EverWebinar. We’ve tried many and despite the limitations, still find that it meets most of our expectations. One of the cool things that you can do is to tag contacts based on which stage of the webinar they got to. For example, you can tag them based on registering, attended, stayed till the sales pitch, and so on. You can then customize your automated follow up email campaigns based on how far they got into the webinar!

Video Storage

For video storage the big three are Wistia, Vimeo, and Youtube. Most online tools out there will allow you to embed videos from one of these three locations.

We prefer Vimeo as it has advanced data and tracking capabilities and after the video stops playing, you don’t see ads to other videos – sometimes of your competitors!

If you are just getting started, you can use Youtube and set the videos to private so they are only seen on the pages you have them embedded.

Another option is also self-hosting your videos on Amazon S3. We do this for our church videos and then embed them on our site since we have so many! This is actually the cheapest option but requires a little bit of technical support to set up. 

Have you ever seen how some people have it where after 3 days, the sales page automatically changes to a closed page? There are a couple of ways to do this.

If you have Infusionsoft, what you can do is instead of linking directly to the sales page from your email campaigns, you can use a custom field to insert the link to the sales page. Then after a certain number of days, change the link in the custom field to point to the closed waitlist page. Once this is done, even if the contact goes to a previous email, they will still see the closed sales page. 

Another way to do this is using a tool called: Deadline Funnel. I don’t prefer this method because it breaks if the contact does not have a “cookie” on their device which can happen if they sign up for the information with one device, but later choose to click from an email to the sales page from a different device. Since no “cookie” is present, it shows the sales page as closed even though the email they just received says they have 2 days left to purchase for example! 

The way it works is to set it up to automatically display a different url (usually the waitlist page) after a certain amount of time. There is a timer that displays at the top of the page letting people know how much time they have left to purchase.  Once set up, anyone that visits the site for the first time, will have a certain amount of time to purchase before the sales page closes down.

Note: Most of the time when launches are done, the pages are closed manually by someone staying up till midnight on the night of the launch (or doing it first thing in the morning!)

Over the years, we’ve used a lot of appointment scheduling tools. The one I like best and we use now is Acuity Scheduler. Accuity works really well if you have a team of coaches that you need to set up with personal calendar links for your students as well!

Some Appointment Tools are:

Sometimes you will need to connect two tools together that do not have a direct integration. To do this we usually use Zapier or PlusThis (for Infusionsoft). 

Zapier is a connector. It basically saves you the cost of hiring an API developer to build and maintain custom code to connect two online tools. 

Recommended Tech Stack…

As you can see, the cost of running an online business can quickly add up and there are a lot of choices to make. 

Here is my recommended tech stack for getting started that still allows you to have enough flexibility for growth:

Domain Registration

GoDaddy

Hosting

LiquidWeb

Website

WordPress with Elementor

Email

GSuite

CRM/Shopping Cart/Marketing Automation

Infusionsoft

Membership Site

Memberium + LearnDash

Landing Page Builder

LeadPages

Merchant Account

Bank + Authorize.Net (Cart Not Present)

Appointment Scheduler

Acuity Scheduler

Video Storage

Amazon S3

There you have it! So what does your tech stack look like?