If you had to start all over from scratch, what would you do?
Well, now I’ve got a really good answer. I actually did it, with a lot of people watching, over the course of the last few years. After I left StomperNet, I basically WAS starting over.
And now, after a really successful and gratifying “Video Boss” launch, I think it’s safe to say that I’m back in the game. I’ve got paying customers, I’ve got a list, and I’m good to go!
I’m sure you want to know what I did to get from there to here and WHY I did it. So, I made a short list of things I knew I needed to get started with right away. I’ll share those with you now:
1. Blog - The first site I built once I was settled in on the west coast was AndyJenkinsBlog.com. I needed a place for people who knew me before to find me again. And, I needed a place for people to discover me.
Having been on the web since before blogs existed, I have to say it’s my preferred “personality platform”. I can post my content, get comments, branch off into social sites, like Twitter, and build my list all right from the same site.
And, you DON’T have to get fancy, either. Sure, I’m using a “premium” theme, but it’s hardly personalized at all. It’s about making it WORK, not making it PRETTY.
2. List - As I mentioned above, if you want true leverage in an online business, you can’t depend on traffic sources you don’t control directly. They always say “the money is in the list” and dang it if “they” aren’t right in this case.
The 2nd thing I did on my blog was to add a list opt-in and start getting subscribers. I didn’t have my product ideas for Video Boss finished, or even fleshed out, but I knew I would need a list when I did, so I started early.
Since my product wasn’t ready, I needed something to engage my visitors and viewers with in the meantime. That’s why I needed:
3. Content – Obviously, a blog is no good without content. So, I did a couple of rock-solid freebies that proved VERY popular out there on the web. I posted them to the blog and emailed my list to come and get it… and share it.
It worked. Bigtime! I’m talking about a list of 10K subscribers built BEFORE I ever got ready to launch Video Boss. Built entirely on the strength of the content of the blog.
If you want to see the kind of content I mean (and if you’re new here) I recommend this Post.
It was important that I demonstrate 2 things to my audience: First, that I know what I’m talking about. Second, establishing my core values so that people know what I’m all about.
These two things are important because they build up reciprocity and responsiveness, which is where the “money making” part comes in.
4. Offers - Now, as I pointed out earlier, Video Boss was far from ready all those months ago. I knew I couldn’t just build up an audience based on freebies because, without offers being made periodically, people would resent being marketed to later.
Of course, selling stuff and getting paid is a good reason to make offers, too.
Without anything ready in my own product line, I promoted some great stuff that was in line with the values I’d already established in my free content.
There are things that I know are important in online business and I promote products that will help my students reach those ends. I promote the BEST ones I can find.
But, there’s an ulterior motive there, too. The people who offer the best products ALSO have high quality lists filled with customers who care about excellence… and are willing to pay a premium for it.
In other words, the folks who I was an affiliate for were all ideal affiliates for Video Boss when it was ready. So again, you can look at this as a reciprocity “pay it forward” strategy, rather than a typical anonymous affiliate relationship.
I got in touch with those partners and STAYED in touch. I even helped with some of their launches, supplying some BOSS-style video. So, OF COURSE those guys were going to promote my product.
They knew Video Boss was going to work because they’d worked with me and saw what I could do when I helped them out. So, once I was ready, I knew THEY would be ready to help ME.
5. Product – If you’ve been paying attention this month, you’ve seen me launch my Video Boss coaching program. I developed this in the background the entire time I worked on other things.
But, you’ll notice I didn’t start with the product first. I began building an audience, and a JV promotional channel, and a list building platform SIMULTANEOUSLY.
The interactions I had with my partners during their launches, and with my blog and list subscribers, HEAVILY influenced the development of Video Boss. So much so that, if I look at it now and compare it to my first notes, you wouldn’t even recognize it.
This is VERY IMPORTANT… I listened to my market and my affiliates and created my course to conform exactly to what people NEEDED, packaged in a way that gave them what they WANTED.
That worked on the affiliate side, too, because the product was built to appeal to them as well as my market. Big payouts, solid reputation for quality, happy customers, and they already knew I’d been a good affiliate for them, so they knew they weren’t just going to LOSE subscribers to me.
6. Repeat – That’s really all there is to it. I’m going to take care of this class of Video Boss members and, while I do that, I’ll keep posting great content (like this) to the blog and email list.
I’ll keep engaging you in conversation, collecting comments, and thinking about what my next product will be. I’ll keep looking for tools and offers that you can use to grow your business.
I plan to keep helping you and, in exchange, a lot of the people I help will support me through checking out my offers. It’s not rocket science and I deliberately tried to keep it simple here because it IS simple.
Don’t get bogged down in the technical side of things, choosing the best blog software or the best list software, at first. You can always improve down the line – it’s about getting started and getting some momentum.
Once you have that, keeping that momentum going gets easier and easier. Especially if you’re treating your audience as well as you should. I’ve got a secret formula for that too!
7. Be a good guy – This one isn’t required, sadly. There are lots and lots of fortunes built on slimeball tactics and leaving others worse off than you found them.
I just can’t knowingly operate that way. There’s WAY too many bad guys out there. Be a good guy. Strive for it. Bend over backwards for your customers. Be good to your partners.
Are you going to make mistakes? YES. Work hard to make them right, because that’s what a good guy does. The harder you work to make things better for everyone around you, the more and more rewards life will send your way.
I don’t mean to get all “deep” on you with “The Secret” style stuff. But, I’ve found the truest of some of the sayings I’ve heard is that in order to get what you want out of life, help others get what they want.
Steps 1 though 7 above are how I try to work every day and I think I’ve been pretty successful at it so far. Most of the people whose success I admire the most also subscribe to them. Though maybe with different tools, the underlying frame work is the same for all of us. There’s enough room in this model for you to put yourself into it completely. And, if you do, I have no doubt you’ll succeed.
Until next time,
P.S. How would YOU start over from scratch? Did I forget anything in my list? Let me know in the comments.