Monthly Archives: April 2016

Membership Sites: 5 Ways To Attract New Members

membership-sitesMembership Sites – Are They For You?

So, here’s the question on a lot of people’s minds. Membership sites are a great way to build residual income, but how the heck do you attract new members?

There are plenty of ways to market your membership site and Ron Douglas and Alice Seba have some pretty unique easy-to-implement techniques to share in the Member Site Live training (registration starts on Thursday, April 28), but here are some ideas that you can use right now to make your membership offer enticing.

If you haven’t downloaded Ron and Alice’s free membership site report, grab that now by clicking here.

#1: What are the Benefits?

Clearly illustrate the benefits of the continuity program. Yes, the features of your product, membership, or service are important, but when asking them to sign up for ongoing payments, you really need to let them know the benefits. For example: save time, save money, excel at a skill, ease stress, have more stamina, etc.

#2: Give Low-Cost Trials to Get More People to Buy

Even if your subscription offer can be cancelled at anytime, people are often weary of getting hooked into a subscription of something they’re unsure of. You can offer a free or a very low-cost trial to try it out. For example, Ron and Alice offer a $1 10-day trial to our Elite Writer’s Lab program.

#3: Offer a Satisfaction Guarantee

A guarantee can go a long way into instilling more confidence to buy from your prospects. In the case of membership sites where you are delivering digital content, there are minimal costs per member that offering a 30-day money back guarantee, for example, is easy
enough to do.

#4: Let Them Cancel Anytime

In addition to giving them a guarantee, make sure they know they can cancel anytime. If you feel your offer requires a time commitment (ex. 6 mo. contract on services or coaching), it’s up to you, but in most cases there is no reason to make people feel tied to a subscription. They will more likely give it a try if they know they can get out easily. Then you just wow them with your content, so they’ll stay.

#5: Get Your Customers to Promote

Set up an affiliate program that your customers are aware of. Yes, you’ll be recruiting website owners to your affiliate program, but make sure it’s also accessible by every day people who enjoy your products and not just affiliate marketers.

Make the concept of the affiliate program easy for your non-internet marketing members to understand – it’s simply a referral program where they can refer family and friends. Make it attractive by telling them they can earn enough cash to pay for their monthly membership, or even more.

Just a few ideas to get you going. And hey, if you haven’t grabbed our free guide with 24 ideas and examples of winning membership ideas, here is where to get it.

It’s going to be available for a few more days only, so don’t miss it. Membership sites will help you to build your online business.

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Podcast: Internet Marketer Brian G. Johnson

Brian G JohnsonIt was one of my goals to interview internet marketer and marketing strategist Brian G. Johnson during 2015, and it finally happened last week. He and I first met online several years ago through mutual relationships and finally in person in Atlanta at the NAMS conference. At the beginning of this podcast I told Brian I believe he and I are having more fun as online marketers, authors, and entrepreneurs than anyone else I can think of in this business.

Brian is the author of the bestselling book Trust Funnel: Leverage Today’s Online Currency to Grab Attention, Drive and Convert Traffic, and Live a Fabulous Wealthy Life, and I highly recommend you read it and implement what he is teaching there. We get into a deep discussion on this idea and concept of building trust in life and in business which I believe you will find fascinating as an entrepreneur. His thoughts on this topic are true bits of wisdom.

What I didn’t find out until later was that Brian and myself share something in common – we are both dyslexic and have both turned that into an asset in our lives. Perhaps we see things differently from most other people. Perhaps we empathize with others more than the average person and want to be helpful. Or perhaps it is simply a coincidence, along with the fact that we both love dogs. At any rate, Brian has been able to create a life and a lifestyle few can claim, and that’s why I reached out to him in the first place.

I resonate with Brian’s primary goals and mission, which is to:

  1. Help others achieve their individual goals and personal dreams online
  2. Have fun!
  3. Make money

I’m sure you can relate to this line of thinking as you build your own online business. Listen to this podcast, read Brian G. Johnson’s book, and then take massive action to achieve your own goals and dreams. Learning from and emulating the success of others makes everything possible.

Subscribe To All Interviews In My Podcast Series

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Grow Your List

Grow Your ListYou’ve heard the benefits of why you need to grow your list, but sometimes it seems like too much darned work.

Maybe. Maybe not.

Because have you ever considered how hard you have to work when you DON’T have a list?

It’s one of the biggest mistakes of a freelancer. You get bogged down in client work and then suddenly, a few clients drop off. You have to scramble to fill that space in your client calendar, but wouldn’t it be much easier if you already had a mailing list of potential clients?

Or what if you’re an information product creator or eBook author? You get really excited about you next release, but nothing happens…because you don’t have a captive audience to sell it to. Imagine if each time you released a new product or book, your readers were just waiting to buy.

As a writer, there is no reason why you can’t have a ready source of clients and customers. You’ve already got the writing talent that makes it easy to grow your list. Put those skills to work with these proven list building ideas.

* Offer a useful free gift. This is one of the most common and popular tactics for building a list. Give your visitors something for free if they sign up. It could be a report, checklist, worksheet, video or anything you can think of. Remember, if you want your clients to hire you to write for them, don’t teach them how to write…but teach them how to use the writing you do to effectively grow their businesses.

* Include a graphical representation of your freebie. Whether it’s an ebook cover, CD or DVD (to reflect an audio or video recording), these visual elements can draw the eye into your offer and give your freebie a higher perceived value. Both those things will increase your opt-in rates.

* Create a focused opt-in or lead magnet page. It’s only purpose is to entice your visitors with the benefits of signing up for your list. Drive most of your traffic here, so you can grow your list more quickly.

* Share testimonials. If you’ve received feedback about your freebie or being on your mailing list, publish it. This kind of feedback is an important element of social proof that makes people want to sign up.

* Clearly tell the benefits and have a clear promise. Tell them in no uncertain terms what the benefit is of being on your list. This goes beyond the free document you’re offering them, but tell them the benefits of continuing to get email from you.

* Set expectations for how often they receive mail. People hate spam, but if you tell them exactly how often you’ll mail them, (E.g. “We’ll email you a few times per week with easy to digest gardening tips”) they’ll often be much more willing to sign up.

* Use a lightbox. A lightbox is a popover that greys out the rest of the screen when it pops over. It’s one of the most attention catching ways to build a list. You can also use pop-ups, page footers and other tools that let you display an opt-in offer to your visitors.

* Link to a sample issue. Link to an issue of your newsletter that people can look through. Make sure to put your best foot forward.

* Use Facebook, Google Adwords and YouTube Ads. Free content and offers are perfect for creating successful ad campaigns.

* Write a guest post around your freebie. For example, write a guest post about “17 Mistakes AdSense marketers make” if you have a free report about how to succeed with AdSense.

* Promote your list on social media. Especially try posting relevant responses to popular hashtags in your industry. Get your friends to share your content too.

* Create a viral video. Have a link to your signup page on the video (you can do this easily with YouTube’s editing tools) and also include it in the video’s description.

* Launch a podcast. Promote your list in your podcast or have them opt-in to receive instant notifications of new episodes.

* Offer a “Secret Blog Post”. Tell your blog audience that you’re going to release a blog post only to your email list. Give them hints on what it will be about. What problem will you solve? What secret will they learn?

* Give list members discounts. If you sell products or arrange for special offers, give the best deal to your subscribers. Use this as leverage to get new people on your list.

* Add a signup box on every page. Add it on the right, on the bottom or both. Make sure it’s visible throughout your website.

* Do a solo ad mailing. Buy solo ads from other people with mailing lists to promote your list.

* Do an ad swap. Mail a promotion to your list, then have someone else do the same with their list.

* Tell people who email you their question will be answered in the email list. Answer questions on your list rather than privately. Answering questions privately takes up too much of your time and benefits only one person, but when you can turn that answer into email content, everyone wins.

* Build your customer list. A customer list is even more valuable than a subscriber list because once a satisfied customer buy once, they’re more likely to buy again. Make sure you’re including your customers in your mailing list.

* Wall off long content. For example, on a 5 page article, make people sign in to their mailing list address after 2 pages to continue reading.

* Get them to share. Encourage your website visitors to refer a friend, share articles, etc. Install a “refer a friend” or “email this article” plugin. Add a note to the end of your emails to encourage sharing as well.

* Run a pay-per-lead affiliate campaign. Pay affiliates for every email signup they generate, rather than for sales. If you know what your short term or lifetime customer value is, you can come up with a cost-effective amount to pay your affiliates.

* Make it mandatory for free online tools. Give away free web tools, but make sure they sign up before using it.

* Add a signup form to your Facebook page. Facebook makes it easy to create a “sign up” button on your page and most autoresponder have a tool to make it easy to integrate with Facebook.

* Use press releases. Distribute press releases to online and offline media. Encourage press release readers to get your free offer.

* Have a sweepstakes or giveaway on your site. Encourage entrants to claim their free gift and subscribe to your mailing list. TIP: Don’t automatically add sweepstakes entrants to your main list as it’s not likely they’ll remember you or be particularly responsive. Have them opt-in directly to hear more from you.

* Host a free webinar to collect names and addresses at registration. Or you can charge for the webinar and grow your list of customers instead.

* Be a sponsor. Sponsor sweepstakes or giveaways on other sites by offering a prize. Have the website link back to your free opt-in offer on their sponsor page.

* Get interviewed. Media is all around us and you don’t have to be on a big TV show to get exposure. Get interviews on targeted podcasts, webinars and have them share your free offer.

Growing your list is all about sharing great content and each day you want to grow your business (that’s every day, right?), should include list building in your schedule. Do this consistently and your list will continue to grow, giving you a steady steam of new potential clients and customers.

Do This Next and Turn Your Writing Skills into a Living…

Writer Help Wanted co-founders, Ron Douglas and Alice Seba, recently got together to discuss the 5 obstacles that keep most writer from earning a good living from their writing. Click here to access this eye-opening recording..


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Kindle Publishing to Build Your List

Kindle PublishingKindle Publishing to Build Your List

There are many ways to build an email list such as offering a lead magnet, running Facebook ads, and building up your expertise status so that people want to follow you so they can know what you’re saying. However, there is one way that is very effective that you cannot only use to build your list fast, but you can earn money while you’re building your list. That method is list building via Kindle Publishing.

If you don’t know, anyone can publish a book via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program. You simply write a book (or outsource it and have a ghostwriter write it) with a few extra pieces inside to help you build your list. We’ll talk about that later, but for now let’s talk about why having an email list is so important for the success of your business.

Why Having an Email List is Important – Kindle Publishing Is A Part Of It

Getting people on your list gives you an opportunity to get people to buy higher priced products. The way you do that is, you send them planned messages that they’ll receive while they’re on your email list. These planned messages are designed to help you move the list members through your product funnel.

It’s easy to get confused about what’s important when building your business. You use social media, blogs, webinars, and more. However, did you know that the point of everything you do online should be to build an email list full of targeted members, who want what you have to offer? Business owners who aren’t building an email list are missing out on important opportunities to boost business. Email is the most consistent way to drive repeat traffic to your website and to sell ever more products and services to your audience.

Let’s break this down by how email can benefit your business.

  • Build Community – You may think the only way to build community is through your social media connections but that is not true. When people are on your email list you can actually get them more active in your social media communities by sending them a message to “check out the great discussion in our Facebook group” happening right now. Since most people keep their mobile devices close, you can encourage more interaction with that simple of a message.
  • Make it Simple to Communicate – When you send a message on social media not everyone receives it. While it’s true that sometimes people do not open emails, every done receive it and therefore has more of an opportunity to see your messages. Practice crafting better subject lines to improve open rates.
  • Help You Build Your Reputation – The better you are at sending just the right messages about just the right thing to your list the better they’ll view you. They’ll share thoughtful messages with their friends and family too. Plus, you can easily let your list know more about you via email messages than you can any other way.
  • Assist with Brand Building – More than likely, people who sign up for your email list already see you as an expert that they want to learn from. Plus they like your content already. You can actually use your list to try different types of content and see how they tend to share the new content giving you clues on whether it will work with a larger unknown audience before you put it on your website.
  • Enable You to Reach Audience Sub-groups – Did you know that with a targeted list you could make more money anytime you want? All you have to do is send out a message with an exclusive members only sale, or promotion and see what happens.
  • Email Lists Are Inexpensive – The technology that enables you to set up auto series is inexpensive, you can start in some cases free and work your way up to a larger account. It’s going to cost you about 20 to 30 dollars a month until your list is larger, then it will cost more but your return on investment will be more than enough to make up for it.
  • Build Relationships – Email is a great way to build a relationship with your subscribers. They get to know and trust you through the information and offers you share. List members also get a feel for your business ethics. In short, emails are a great way to prove that you really care about your subscribers and have their best interests at heart.

If you skip build an email list, you’re making a huge mistake. Email marketing is the most effective form of marketing. Whether you build a big list or a small list, when you get interested people on your list your business will be forever changed for the better. So, now we can go on and learn how Kindle can help you build a powerful email list

How Kindle Publishing Can Help Your List-building Efforts

Since Amazon doesn’t share email addresses of the people who buy your book, you have to be creative and know what to include in your book but first let’s go over how big and powerful Amazon is.

Amazon has built trust with much of the public. People give their credit card number and address information to Amazon to save for future buys so they don’t have to think about money. They just click one button and the purchase is made. Because Amazon tracks purchases and suggests related items, you have a good chance to sell your book even if you never promote it.

However, Amazon gives you plenty of ways to promote your book. Many of the promotion methods are inexpensive and some are even free of charge. In fact, you pay nothing to publish your book and can earn up to 70 percent royalties. In the traditional publishing world, you’re lucky to make 50 cents a book, but on Amazon, you can make much more per book by cutting out the middleman.

Each person who buys your book and reads it will be exposed to your free offer or lead magnet. All you have to do is mention your lead magnet in several spots within the book to make it easy for your reader to get to the lead magnet.

You’ll need to insert the lead magnet differently than you would in an information product that someone will read on their computer. Therefore, choose a link that is very simple to type in for your lead magnet opt-in page. However, the lead magnet you promote in your Kindle book isn’t much different from the other types of lead magnets that you create to build your email list. The exception is that a self-published Kindle Book makes you a published author with the ability to reach millions of customers who are ready to buy on Amazon.

Take a look at my books on Amazon to see why I am an advocate of Kindle publishing to build your list. What other questions do you have about this proven strategy?


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How To Borrow Traffic

How To Borrow TrafficAre you familiar with the concept of learning how to borrow traffic to your websites? Ask nearly anyone who runs an online business what their biggest struggle is, and chances are they will say “more traffic”.

You need traffic to build an email list.

You need traffic to make sales.

You need traffic to fill your coaching programs.

So the big question is, where do you get all that traffic?

Sure, you could used paid advertising, but if you aren’t careful, you might just fill your list with less than ideal prospects, and that will do nothing for your sales. This can also be expensive when you are just getting started. You could also focus your time and energy on search engine optimization, but unless you have years to build your business (and who does?) then SEO should not be your top choice.

Good thing you have other options.

Be a Guest

Everyone needs content. It’s the one thing that remains consistent among all content creators—there is never enough. That’s where you can help.

By guest posting on other coaches’ blogs, you can “borrow” some of their traffic.

You can’t simply regurgitate old content and send it out in a dozen directions though. To get the best results, you’ll want to:

  • Create custom content designed with your host’s unique audience in mind
  • Provide stellar value with actionable ideas and strategies not found everywhere else
  • Inject your personality so those new to you will instantly connect with you
  • Offer a compelling reason to click through to your website or blog for more information

Partner Up

No list? Here’s a quick way to “borrow” someone else’s list to kickstart your own: Schedule a free event with a partner.

Here’s how it works.

  1. You (as the one with the small list) create a compelling, free training which leads naturally to a low-cost, no-brainer product.
  2. Install an affiliate tracking system such as aMember, Infusionsoft or Nanacast.
  3. Offer your best affiliates a higher percentage of profits in exchange for co-hosting your webinar and bringing their traffic along for the ride.

This is a win/win for both of you, as you gain the traffic, while your affiliate gets a bigger payday. Just be sure you have a good funnel in place, so that your new list members can benefit from all that you have to offer.

Get Interviewed

Want to really show off your expert status and bring traffic back to your site, too? The easiest way is to get on the interview circuit. Just like authors with new books and actors with new movies, coaches and service providers can get in front of new audiences simply by answering questions about what they know. This is an excellent exercise in how to borrow traffic for your blog and other websites.

Of course, you’re probably not going to appear on the Today Show or Oprah’s new cable shows (although that’s not impossible), but there are still plenty of opportunities out there for coaches and consultants in every niche.

Look for interview and speaking opportunities on:

  • Podcasts
  • Other People’s Blogs
  • YouTube
  • Periscope and Blab
  • Local events
  • Industry conferences (Think outside the box here – I still attend educational and real estate conferences, even though I haven’t worked in those fields for over ten years now)
  • Telesummits

Start by reaching out to your colleagues and to podcast and blog hosts you most admire. Get the word out with your friends and your list that you’re looking for opportunities.

Even if you don’t yet have a list of your own, it’s easy (and fun) to kickstart your audience growth simply by making yourself available for these and other opportunities. Each guest blog post, podcast interview and webinar is another chance to get in front of a whole new market, so take advantage of it!

How are you “borrowing” traffic to build your online business quickly?

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