You’ve been marketing with no plan? Trying to make sales with no follow-up plan? Trying to build a business & every six months, you seem to be back at square one?
Let’s change that! This resource – guide – blog post is designed to help you create the right path for building your online business. Let this be your road map.
I originally created this “blueprint” back in 2004-2005 after publishing just half of it on my SuperAffiliate blog. The other half evolved after managing three “super” teams & getting paid on the efforts of others AKA Leveraged Affiliate Marketing.
If you’re like me, then, you’re looking to MASTER every part of this equation as your profits & income increase. The purple arrow labeled “The Fast Track” is meant to serve as the fastest route to building an online business. The steps to building an online business are:
- Step 1: Solving the Right Problems
- Step 2: Pick a Traffic Source (or Multiple Traffic Sources)
- Step 3: Lead Capture Page System
- Step 4: Team Training & Duplication
- Step 5: Assist with Additional Offers
Each step is an additional process that can be optimized for higher conversions & better retention rates.
Step 1: Solving the Right Problems
The big three markets online are: [sociallocker id=1131]Make Money, Lose Weight, and Find Romance! I could also throw in Pets & Coupons for the ultimate country song:
Make Money, Lose Weight, Find Romance, Get a Dog & Save Money
Within these major markets are subniches that serve a huge market of thriving customers.
Our subniche has already been identified under the “Make Money” category.
Our target audience wants to build a “work from home” online business. Keywords: Work from Home, Online Business, Make Money. It’s important/imperative that we begin with analyzing their problems & what we need to do to SOLVE those problems.
When you solve the RIGHT problems, you get people to move from their “problem” to paying you for their “solution”. AND part of that solution is also working with someone they can trust: YOU!
These people include: Stay at Home Moms, Work from Home Dads, Overworked Teachers, Supplement Income People, Hobbyists, Retirees, Soloprenuers, Laptop Lifestyle, Affiliates, Network Marketers, Online Marketers.
The “So What?” Formula for Solving Problems
Now that we know our target market, what problems are you trying to solve? What solutions are you offering them that will move them from their problem to their solution.
You have a high converting sales system! So what?
You have a team-building backoffice! So what?
You have the best traffic training on the planet! So what?
You have the built-in autoresponder! So what?
Our sales system will help you generate income that will pay you residual income & top-tier commissions even while you work two jobs!
Our team-building backoffice will save you time & energy by becoming YOUR personal customer service team virtually replacing your customer support team.
Our marketing tools will save you time & money by showing you exactly WHERE to place your advertising so you’re never lost or alone in this process. It’s like having YOUR own personal marketing team working for you.
Now, you move from listing features and bullet points of your system & team & opportunity to listing the benefit and solution that your market gets when they buy from you.
The So What? Formula will help you move from benefit to solution with two simple words.
Step 2: Pick a Traffic Source or Two!
Many new marketers think it’s difficult to get traffic. It’s not.
Traffic is not the problem: Information Overload is the problem!
Just take a look at the dozens of different traffic sources, and it can get overwhelming quickly – as people WANT the best traffic source to send the RIGHT traffic through their “SYSTEM”.
Let’s put an end to information overload with one simple rule: ON DEMAND LEARNING!
The Information Overload Trap
A decade ago, I fell into a “product launch” trap where the guru’s would sell me on every training method or software.
I convinced myself that if I bought this exciting new “shiny object” that it would be THE final solution.
Unfortunately, two things would happen:
First – I didn’t have a spot where I could actually use their training. I didn’t have anywhere to implement their training because my blueprint/roadmap had not been setup yet.
Second – another “GOTTA HAVE IT” training product or software would come out & I quickly jumped to the next deal that I had nowhere to implement.
That’s the product launch formula trap. As a student of marketing, I love eating up content & masterminding with other marketers.
I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was buying “the product launch formula” – and when I realized I couldn’t implement this great training either, I realized I’d had enough. Irony!
Move from Product Launch to On Demand
It was then that I moved from a “buyer of everything” to an “on demand buyer”.
Here’s what that means:
You must have your roadmap setup first with ways for you to earn commissions BEFORE you can direct any traffic through your process.
When you have your roadmap setup, and you are ready for a traffic method (“Facebook Training”, for example) then, that’s when you dive in the ON DEMAND LEARNING!
Each traffic strategy is a “process” that you can master to get targeted traffic & the right buyers for your market.
But it’s important to learn one method at a time – and only “as needed”.
Trying to learn everything, all at once, without a system to drive traffic into – is a formula for frustration.
Now, if you are in “traffic generation” mode, I’ve got something valuable for you.
LeadPages has a 100% Free “One of the Best Training Courses on Facebook Advertising“ that I have ever seen. Just scroll past the fold for the actual training & content. It’s very step by step – newbie & advanced friendly.
“On Demand Learning” is one of the best ways I’ve found to beat information overload.
Now, when you’re just starting out (especially if you’re testing a new offer), my favorite type of traffic is free traffic.
If you’re testing or starting out on a shoestring budget, you should setup the processes that will bring in 100% Free Traffic that allows visitors to grab your content, click on your links, and buy from you.
To understand how to setup your business to attract FREE TRAFFIC, Episode 1 of my Unfair Advantage podcast is the perfect episode to show you how to do this effectively.
Click here to listen to Episode 1: The Unfair Advantage. Setup Your Free Traffic System!
Step 3: Lead Capture Page System
More than 95% of people won’t buy anything on their first visit. They’re testing the waters – researching if this is right for them – and not yet sure your offer is what they need.
Right now – right now – is the time to build trust, instill confidence and move your relationship with your visitors forward. If they don’t buy on their first visit, why push it?
Instead, let’s convert them from a cold lead to a warm lead. You should capture their email address and start forming a relationship.
Build Value with a Lead Magnet
One of the best ways to build this relationship is to start off the exchange of value with a lead magnet.
A “Lead Magnet” is a item of value that you’re giving away – in exchange for the visitor’s email address. It’s a value-for-value exchange.
Having a lead magnet will accelerate building your email list from day #1.
I recently had a “comparison” realization about quantity & quality.
I noticed one of my lead magnets was getting 10 opt-ins per day without any advertising. I did some quick tweaks to the lead magnet & it went from generating 10 leads a day to 19 leads a day.
Not bad, but I was still pretty disappointed in the results.
That’s when it hit me:
Originally, this lead magnet was only getting 300 new leads a month.
But with a few tiny tweaks, I doubled the number of leads.
That’s almost 600 new leads every single month coming in from one single value exchange.
That also meant that my sales jumped, too!
Here’s what the tracking showed me:
After my lead magnet tweaks, 3,000 visitors landed on my “lead magnet” giveaway…
20% of those visitors opted in – giving me…
600 new leads.
2% of these leads bought a $25 offer.
Whoa! That’s 12 new buyers per month from a single lead magnet.
If you’re not building your list with lead magnets, the time to start is now.
Let’s start here…
What are Lead Magnets?
If you listened to Episode 04 of The Unfair Advantage, we discuss how to turn one idea or one topic into 10 types of Lead Magnets.
Download theHighest Converting Types of Lead Magnets
Your market wants checklists, email templates, swipe files, and easy to consume and use formulas, and you can easily deliver this through a lead capture mechanism.
I personally like and recommend two “lead capture” page creators:
LeadPages: LeadPages is an easy click-and-edit service that lets you create unlimited lead capture pages – hosted by LeadPages. It comes with a nice tracking interface that shows you what capture pages & lead magnets are getting the most opt-ins & highest conversion rate.
OptimizePress: The biggest return of investment that I have ever purchased – hands-down – goes to OptimizePress. There are no monthly fees, and the templates are high-quality design meets easy-to-use templates.
I have used OptimizePress for:
- Viral Webinars
- Replicated Sales Pages
- Team Backoffices
- Membership Sites
- e-Books Sales
- Front End Offers
- Trip Wires
- Training Sites
I am currently testing Click Funnels right now. It has some incredible features built-in like SMS text messaging & intuitive automation. For the hefty monthly price, it should come with a CRM. (hint: Russell)
Now that you have leads coming into your….. wait, YOUR autoresponder.
The Right Way & Wrong Way to Follow-Up with Your Leads
Autoresponders matter! As your business grows, you’ll want to have a CRM that tracks your visitors every move & segments your list, but if you are just starting out – email deliverability & open rates are key:
Ontraport and Active Campaign are two popular marketing automation & email marketing platforms. They can get pricey as your business starts to grow so it’s important to have your “roadmap” setup & income flowing in before investing in a higher priced CRM & Sales Automation Platform.
Aweber: The highest deliverability on the planet is still Aweber. They started out strong & unfortunately are still the best when it comes to email deliverability & staying out of the spam folders. I say unfortunately because they have been known to be jerks in the industry. If they don’t like your content, they will shut you down.
TIP: If you are using Aweber, make sure you give your list plenty of unsubscribe & opt-out notices to avoid your subscribers hitting spam too many times.
How to Follow-Up with Your Leads
The name of the game is ENGAGEMENT! You want to engage your list by sending them to content & Facebook posts that get them asking questions & engaging in the content. Almost every email that you send to your list should direct people to content and encourage engagement.
When a lead clicks on your content – they can find your lead magnet, drop into your sales funnel, and eventually buy. That pattern repeats the more content you give them & the more engaging the post is…
If you’re just starting out, then, ask your visitor to connect with you on Facebook, to text you at your Google Voice number, to reply with any questions… Direct YOUR visitors to engage with you in every single email.
The worst thing you can do is to collect leads with no follow-up communication & zero engagement. What’s the point?
Lead generation without consistent follow-up is a huge waste of time and money.
Two Simple Powerful Rules for Following Up
Rule #1: Fulfill all content requests through email. When a visitor opts-in to your lead magnet, direct them to a thank you page with detailed instructions for whitelisting your email & verifying the opt-in (verifying the opt-in is known as DOUBLE OPT-IN)!
TIP: Eventually, we (the industry as a whole) need to move to a double opt-in system to protect our lists from spambots, from complainers, and improve open-rates.
Rule #2: Create automation rules that move your buyers OFF your prospect lists & on to your buyer list. Create automation rules that send emails to your prospects if THEY haven’t opened an email or if they haven’t clicked on your download link. Create automation rules that create engagement when someone does open an email or clicks on a download link.
Automation & Follow-Up emails can create engagement on top of setting the expectation for your buyers! If you’re looking for no-cost training on “How to Follow-Up with Email & Build a Loyal Tribe” then, click the link for the free training.
Step 4: Team Training & Duplication
One of the biggest differences with traditional online marketing & affiliate marketing is the “leverage” part where you earn commissions from the efforts of others.
There are two ways to accomplish this:
One: You can join leaders who have team training, systems & marketing tools in place for you to instantly tap into & grow your business.
Two: You can easily deliver the training inside your own team backoffice.
Now – let me show you how easy it is to deliver this to your team & grow your commissions.
Step 1: Create a Team Identity & Establish a Homebase
One of my favorite “reality” shows is Big Brother because I think it presents a ton of marketing lessons hidden throughout the game. Every couple of weeks, a group gets together & names their team & creates their alliance complete with mission statements & a vision to carry each other to the final four of the show.
The same applies here.
You give your alliance a team name like: The Freedom League or Big Traffic Mastermind or The Marketing Warriors. Create a logo & establish a homebase for your new alliance.
Step 2: The Homebase
Now – the homebase is easier to create than most people think. It’s a simple MEMBERSHIP SITE that holds training videos, marketing tools, and important updates for your team.
I personally have used OptimizePress 2.0 as the membership design for all my team backoffices. OptimizePress is just a plugin or WordPress theme, and for a one-time license fee – it delivers the most value right now of any of the Membership Themes.
Step 3: The Member Portal
Now – you’ll need a way to contact your members, and “lock” the content so only your team members can get access to it. This way it’s exclusive to your team & your alliance.
There are a few membership contact managers that I have used and all of them require a week’s worth of “learning curve”. After a week, they are all very easy to use.
Digital Access Pass: This is my go-to membership contact manager even though it’s NOT the best – it’s incredibly easy to lock the content & create member areas through their DAP Dashboard.
TIP: Hire a Fiverr assistant for setup & installation. Then, pay them extra for a quick walkthrough & how-to. After a second, you’ll see how easy it is to use & then, your imagination will start running wild because you can create & sell your own products through their dashboard.
If you need a free method for setting up a member portal, simply create a private Facebook group & deliver the same training & support through the free Facebook group.
Step 4: Deliver Training & Marketing Tools
Your team’s success is dependent on how well you or your team leaders manage the member’s area. In the past year, I have team backoffices that have grown from my original 5 members to over 8,067 members within 12 months.
Follow these three simple rules when delivering the training and tools.
Rule #1: Everyone needs a quickstart guide & instructions on how to get setup the right way. Make sure you have created a PDF Quickstart Guide and set the autoresponder message to automatically go out to your new prospects. You can even convert that PDF into a video, audio, or a blog post.
Rule #2: Make sure your new members have a system in place for delivering content, getting traffic, and closing sales. (the system).
Rule #3: Test new traffic sources & create a path for new members to follow in your footsteps. You can do this by sharing with them the new traffic source or traffic method. You can do it for them. You can even create advertising pools where everyone chips in & splits up the leads if it’s a paid traffic method.
Step 5: Assist with Additional Offers
Now that you have a legion of loyal followers & a growing team, you can grow your business through what I call “Assist” offers.
An assist offer is a product or service or plugin or theme or training or event that will assist YOUR visitors in building their business.
There’s a fine line here between becoming a pitch-a-thon and delivering actual value. (remember, content & engagement first).
How to Earn Additional Income
Coaching – After you start seeing results, there are people who desperately need someone to hand-hold & walk them through everything. This is AFTER the free training, AFTER the member’s area, AFTER the team updates. If someone needs additional hand-holding, it’s only fair to charge them a small fee for your time & effort.
Products – Occasionally, traffic leaders will release traffic courses & marketing training. You can become an affiliate or partner to promote that to your personal list. This is the perfect 1-2 punch since your people want traffic training to send more traffic into the “system”.
Software & Plugins – You can also follow-up with software and plugins that will help grow your market’s online business.
Remember, these additional offers do not compete, distract or annoy your list. They simply fit into their business blueprint. I once bought a Facebook training course for $37 and recommended it to my list (and even put it in my team’s backoffice). After getting a few complaints, I realized that there was a “grey-area” 2-up compensation plan attached within the member’s area of that particular course. Double check to make sure it doesn’t compete, distract or annoy your list!
Return Paths: How to Get Your Visitors Back to Your Offers
Now, you have visitors and traffic and you’re building a list – congrats! Let’s keep them coming back through a few easy methods. Let’s create that return path.
✔ Email Marketing: As you post new content & have new lead magnets, broadcast to your list so they can keep coming back to your content AND engage with your stuff.
✔ Blogging: As you post new content, new reviews, new training and tools to your blog – you’ll get picked up by the search engines & your subscribers will be notified.
✔ Social Media: Direct your list & visitors to your social media to increase engagement. Remember, Google rewards posts with the mosts.
✔ Retargeting: When you create offers, webinars, or additional blog posts – you can retarget your email list or your visitors with low-cost ads that follow your visitors around. I personally use retargeting to send my visitors or buyers back to my content & offers.
✔ Podcasting: I believe podcasting is popular because people are now glued to their phones. They listen to podcasts on their drive to work or while they exercise. Podcasting presents a direct connection directly to your visitor’s phone, and iTunes publishes YOUR content in a highly searched, highly trafficked directory.
I’d like to invite you to subscribe to my podcast: The Unfair Advantage where we talk 100% about this roadmap, and each episode is designed to give you the unfair advantage when building your online business. Click Here to Check Out The Unfair Advantage!
✔ YouTube: I believe YouTube and Video are more shared and more popular than ever before. There are so many channels to distribute videos & since you’re in the content distribution business, it’s important to get your videos on many different platforms!
Closing: The Mastery Lesson
As you read and re-read this blueprint – guide- blogpost, I want you to view each step of the roadmap as a process. Each process can be tested, tweaked, and improved over time. When you’re ready to improve the process, that’s when ON DEMAND LEARNING comes into the picture. Learn & implement that specific process at that specific time. Very easy & you’ll beat information overload in 2.2 seconds when you keep this in mind.
Then, use the principle of Kaizen to help you achieve milestones. Kaizen: Taking small steps to continuously improve the processes that are wrapped around a specific blueprint.
Share and Conquer!