AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, Amy Porterfield here. Welcome to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Thanks, so much, for tuning in. It means the world to me.
Today’s episode is all about the five marketing lessons that have shaped my online business. At the time this episode goes live it will be Thanksgiving here in the U.S. Because of that I thought I would put a little bit of a focus on being thankful in this episode so I wanted to talk about those five marketing lessons I’m most thankful for as they have shaped my business.
I’m always very sensitive about being too indulgent. I don’t want to tell you too much about my own personal business experience or what my business looks like without making it really valuable for your business. So, with each of these five lessons I’m going to give you some action items you can run with to make them work inside your business.
I’m going to share the five lessons. They are kind of deep. They are big lessons, they’re not just little tasks or strategies. Because they’re big, I want you to choose just one, if you’re so inclined, for your own business. Don’t try to tackle all five of these marketing lessons. But I want you to challenge one that really resonates with you and you feel could make a huge difference in your business.
A quick list (and then I’ll get into them more specifically), we’re going to be talking about:
- Masterminding and finding a business coach. I know I’ve already talked about this inside a different episode and I’ll link to that as well. But I’m going to share some more insights that I’ve never shared before about masterminding and finding a mentor.
- Finding your marketing vehicle sweet spot. This one is about platform. I’m going to show you what it looks like in my business and how it made such a huge impact. Then I will give you some actions to start investigating this in your business.
- My partnership. You may or may not know that I actually have a business partner. I’ve never really talked about him much and I want to share with you how that happened, when it came about, why it came about, and what it looks like in my business (if you’ve ever thought about maybe adding a partner to the mix). This one will be really transparent. I’m going to share things I’ve never shared before but I think it’s time for me to talk about my partnership.
- Affiliate partnerships and my philosophy around affiliates. Again, I’ve talked about this in past episodes but I’m going to put a little slant to it and give you some tips to build you own affiliate partnership strategy.
- Consistency. If there is any marketing lesson I need to be even better at and really focus on more and really take seriously, it’s consistency. We’re going to talk about that, what it looks like, and how we can add more of that to our business.
Before we get into the five marketing lessons that have shaped my business and will hopefully shape yours as well, a quick word from our sponsor. Before we dive in I want to thank our sponsor today, 99Designs. I am such a huge fan of this company because they can take care of all of your graphic needs. We are talking logos, social media cover images, website graphics, and so much more. So visit www.99Designs.com/ amy and get a $99 upgrade for free.
Moving on into our lesson, I want to start with a quick story. Last night I was watching Oprah’s Master Class. Have you ever seen any of her master classes? They are outstanding. Oprah’s master classes aren’t just for the ladies, so you gentlemen, I highly recommend it. Hobie was sitting right next to me watching this last night.
Basically Oprah finds really prominent people to share their stories. They share their journey to success in these master classes but they do so by pulling back the curtain and talking about all of the obstacles and challenges and the mindset they actually have in order to get to where they are today.
They are actors like Jeff Bridges and Jane Fonda. They are people like Maya Angelou, who did one before she passed; Ellen DeGeneres recently did one that was outstanding; and it’s so cool to see how they think and the choices they made to get them to where they are today.
As an entrepreneur, I think these lessons are so invaluable for us. Last night she had Robert Duvall on. Robert is an actor and is an older gentleman, so he has been doing this for a long time. His very first roll was Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird, the movie, and he is probably best known for Lonesome Dove.
For you all that don’t watch Westerns, maybe you don’t know him as much but he has been in some amazing movies. Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is he told a story that every entrepreneur listening today will find valuable. I would be amazed if you didn’t.
In his early career, when he was trying to become an actor, he was in New York and was taking on a lot of odd jobs. They were silly jobs. He was packaging women’s garments for a company and he hated the role. He was working as a waiter and doing different odd things he really didn’t like.
He wasn’t getting paid well and wasn’t really treated well in any of the jobs he was taking and then he landed a job at a post office. It was a good job. He got paid more than he had ever gotten paid before. He knew if he kept his nose down and got the work done he would move up the ladder. They treated him well. It was a really good job.
Remember, he took this job to make money while he was trying to become an actor but he had a realization, “That job was really good and they were good to me. I had a moment where I realized if I don’t leave now I’m going to be here for the next 20 years.”
That’s good stuff, right? Just think about it. The job was good. He could get really comfortable there and make a great living. Other people thought he had a great job too. Other people would have wanted that job. But he thought he either needed to leave “now” or stay for the next 20 years.
As an entrepreneur, I thought, “Wow, that’s a great lesson for me” and hopefully those listening to my podcast. Where are we getting so comfortable and disguising it as a great opportunity that we aren’t actually moving forward to follow our bigger passion?
I think we’ve all been there in small ways and big ways. I just wanted to challenge you to look at all of the opportunities before you and all of the activities you are doing. Are there any that could be holding you back?
In Episode #83 I did an entire episode about the mindset of building an email list. I shared my own personal story of working with Mike Stelzner and Social Media Examiner in a support role. It was a support role that paid me well and really boosted my ego because I got to work with a lot of amazing people. It was also security.
Nothing went wrong with that role but I had to leave it because I knew I would never go on to the next thing that would get me to where I am in my business today. That was a really hard decision and a lot of times we might have opportunities that we’re involved in that our family, friends, and peers think are amazing.
I had friends saying this was a great opportunity. I got to hob-knob with top-level social media marketers that I would never have access to. They wanted to know why I wouldn’t want to stay in that role. Then I had a mentor that said the role was holding me back.
That’s why I want to get into Business Lesson #1: What a mentor or mastermind or business coach can do for you. Before I get there, I just want to reiterate that I want you to look at all of the things you are doing in your business and all of the opportunities before you.
Are any of these things disguised as great opportunities but are really chokeholds to where you want to get in your business? Is it really difficult to leave but do you need to leave or move on or end a relationship in order to really push yourself to the place you want to go? Robert’s Duvall’s story is just a perfect example of where we might be in our business as well.
Moving on to Lesson #1, I wanted to talk about how a mastermind or mentor/ business coach have truly shaped my business. You’ve heard me talk about this if you follow any of my podcasts. Actually, Episode #71 is an episode I did with Jaime Tardy. We talked about masterminding and having a mentor and how important that is. You could go back there and hear some of the things we said there and why it’s so valuable. So, if you’re looking for a mastermind, we’re coming up on the New Year, if you want to get a mentor it is definitely worth checking out Episode #71.
For the sake of my five marketing lessons that have shaped my online business, one thing I wanted to point out is why I chose Marie Forleo as my mentor to hopefully help you decide who you want to choose as your mentor.
One thing I thought was really cool was that Marie had a business like the business I thought I wanted. Today her business looks very different than it did in 2010 when I started to work with her. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted my business to look like but I knew she had a really big, valuable, engaged list. I knew she was prominent in social media. People were finding her everywhere. I knew she was making really good money and she was selling online and she was doing so in a way that I thought she had a lot of integrity and a lot of personality and character behind it.
Those are things I really gravitated toward when I didn’t really know exactly what my business was going to look like. I also knew I needed somebody that was going to give me some tough love. I am a sensitive kind of girl. So sometimes I shy away from criticism because it’s going to hurt. That’s the truth.
But I also know I need to be a big girl in this matter and I needed someone to say I was playing small or that I was trying to hide and I needed to come from behind the curtains and make a name for myself. I also wanted to find a group of women that were better than me.
This is something I learned from Tony Robbins: Surround yourself with people who are doing bigger and better things than you so that you have something to aspire to. This mastermind in 2010 that Marie had created had women that were doing amazing things.
Laura Roeder was one of them. She had already had a really solid business and, again, her business today looks dramatically different than it did back then; and she was doing really well back then. As a side note, to take a commercial break, the business you have today might look dramatically different in two years. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be profitable now.
Two years ago Laura’s business was really focused on building online training programs. She had some amazing ones that she actually still has today. But that was her focus. She would do automated and live launches around these programs and she had built a multi-million dollar business. But then somewhere along the way, and I am sure she tells this story in different podcast interviews she’s done, she transitioned into software.
She has since developed Edgar. We’re going to talk about Edgar in more detail in the coming episodes, but she has a dramatically different business. It looks different, it acts differently, and again, it’s ultra successful. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful now and still try to figure out what it might look like down the road.
You may think this is what it’s going to look like. I’m just here to tell you that you might be wrong. It might look dramatically different down the road. And always be open to those possibilities.
Coming back to masterminding and all that good stuff…I share all of that with you about what I was looking for in those early years because I want you to get clear what you are looking for. I honestly believe that anybody building their business online should either be part of a mastermind or get a business coach.
If you’re so lucky and you’ve got someone really close to you that you respect and they do amazing things and they will be your mentor for free, great. But you usually have to pay for these situations. I’m actually a big fan of paying for it because I think you’ve got skin in the game and you show up a little bit differently.
What I haven’t shared before in other episodes where I’ve talked about masterminding is that I had a mastermind with Marie Forleo and she was my mentor for two full years and then I went on to do one with my peers for a year. It wasn’t really a good fit and I’ve talked about that before.
I felt the people in that group weren’t a good fit for where I wanted to go with my business. And probably, even more honestly, their personalities weren’t a good fit for mine. I couldn’t be myself. I didn’t feel comfortable and at peace with who I am so it just wasn’t a good fit. So I jumped out of that one a little bit early.
After that I was in a mastermind for two years with my peers. Some of those people were David Siteman Garland, James Wedmore, Melanie and Devin Duncan, Stu McLaren (gosh, I hope I’m not missing anyone, I don’t think I am). That was my group up until six or seven months ago. We met for about two years.
We disbanded the group because we were all kind of going in different directions and our businesses had grown in a way that wasn’t supporting everyone anymore. I actually don’t know all of the answers to why it didn’t work, we just decided it had run its course. Maybe some things were unsaid of why some people decided it wasn’t for them, but for a good two years multi-million dollar businesses were built. I know many of us in that group went from having a six-figure business to having a seven- figure business based on the support for each other.
I did that and then I decided to get a business coach. This is the part I haven’t shared before. I decided to get a business coach to really focus specifically on my mindset as well as my daily habits and where I was spending my time. I hired Todd Herman, who I’ve interviewed on the show before (I’ll link to Todd’s show as well).
He became my business coach throughout most of this year. What I love about that is that he knows me well. He knows the areas where I’m sensitive or where I might have blinders on and he knows where I want to go in my business.
We did a whole day of business assessment and we would then talk once a week. I talk to him once a week and if I don’t need to talk to him this week I will just skip it until next time. It might be a ten-minute chat or it might be an hour chat, just depending on what’s going on.
To help some of you understand what it looks like working with a business coach, here are some things I might talk to him about: If I’m having some hiring issues or if I need some ideas in terms of where I’m going to find somebody that I want to hire. Some of the things that came out of working with Todd this year, he found me the most amazing copywriter that I use all the time now. He actually had the idea of going live with the webinar course which turned out to be my most successful course all year. That came from Todd’s encouragement.
We might talk about some communication issues I’m having with my team or some areas I’m feeling really anxious about. Many times we’ve talked about how I’m spending my time and where that’s getting in the way of actually meeting some big deadlines.
Every time we talk it’s different. If you’ve ever gone to therapy and you look at your therapist and think you have nothing to talk about and the therapist pulls it out of you instantly, that’s what a good business coach does as well. If I come to the table and say that I don’t feel I have anything to talk about today Todd will say, “Well, let’s talk about ‘this’,” and he knows exactly where to go with the conversation. That’s always a good sign of a good business coach.
Thinking about finding a good business coach (this is different than a mastermind) I always like to hire someone I have had some interaction with. That’s when it becomes really valuable to get yourself out of your comfort zone and go to some events. Meet some people and start connecting with people that you might never have had opportunities to connect with before.
You tend to be led to the right people that can help your business. For me, Todd was actually a guest at one of our masterminds. He came to Kiawah in the Carolinas where we were. He spent a few days with us and I instantly liked him and knew he could really “get” me.
What I don’t love is hearing that someone is good, you call them and have one session on the phone, and then hire them. To me, I feel that is a little more dangerous because you’re not exactly sure if they are a good fit. Having the opportunity to be with Todd in person for a few days proved to be really valuable.
That’s where I could make a good argument for getting out of your comfort zone, traveling a little bit, going to network events, and meeting some people that could really become valuable in your life in terms of being a business coach.
You don’t always have the opportunity to meet with them in person. I get it. So, if that’s not the case then go with your gut in terms of what feels right. I do believe everybody should at last consider joining a mastermind, whether it be paid or free (the paid ones usually happen to be more valuable when you are newer in your business), or getting a business coach. I think everybody can find immense value from those situations.
But to make this more actionable for you, I want to give you some suggestions. Over on my show notes I will list a group of masterminds or personal business coaches I would suggest. For the record, the list I’m thinking of, I haven’t had direct contact with all of them, but I’ve heard great things about some of them if I haven’t been directly involved. So just know they come highly recommended from some of my peers.
If you go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/85 you can get the list of mastermind groups and business coaches that I highly recommend. Then, what I want you to do, if you haven’t listened to Episode #71 with me and Jaime Tardy talking about mastermind sessions and how to create your own (if that’s something you want to do) then definitely check it out.
To wrap up business Lesson #1, find yourself a mastermind or business coach. Before you do so, sit down and write down some qualities you are looking for, results you are looking for, and write down some of the characteristics or specific strategies you would love to see your business coach or mastermind leader actually doing in their business.
Look for characteristics they have in terms of their work ethic, balancing time and family and work, and all of that good stuff. Then look at strategies. What do you want them to be really good at? For Marie Forleo, she was really good at list building. It’s no coincidence that list building happens to be one of my specialties.
You really want to spend some time, a good 20 minutes, brainstorming what you are looking for. Plus, I believe in manifesting what you want. If you spend some time really putting down on paper what you are looking for in a mastermind or business coach then you are one step further to actually finding it. That’s my challenge to you.
Moving on to Business Lesson #2: Your marketing vehicle sweet spot. I will talk about this a little bit and will then make it actionable for you.
I believe we should all have a platform. By platform, I’m personally talking about one area in our business that happens to be the megaphone for our message. Michael Hyatt talks a lot about platform and building your platform. He does it in a bigger way. If you want to learn more about platform and blogging and social media marketing and really building a presence online and an impact, I think Michael Hyatt is your guy and I’ll link to some of my favorite articles about platforms from Michael in my show notes at http://www.amyporterfield.com/85.
What I’m talking about specifically here is finding your megaphone to enhance your message all over the web. It could be your blog. It could be a podcast. It could be webinars. And it could be something totally different like video, Periscope, or YouTube.
This was important for me to share today because I am definitely not good at consistent blogging. However, you might be and that might be a perfect platform or marketing vehicle for you. I knew I had some skill set in terms of creating this podcast and having this conversation with you weekly so I decided to try the podcasting vehicle.
In the beginning it was always going well. It’s always been kind of my thing. However, then I decided to enhance it even more and with most of my episodes I offer a freebie. Then, let’s enhance it even more and make this more consistent (a marketing lesson we’ll talk about in #5) with a weekly podcast.
You’ve heard me say this in shows before but I wanted to make it very personal to you in that when I went weekly and when I added a list-building vehicle to my podcast, my business dramatically changed. By dramatically changed, what I mean is that I started seeing more consistent sales. I started seeing bigger opportunities during my launches. I started seeing people buy that had just had a little glimpse of me on a podcast.
I also started to get more reach with people I never would have reached before. Do I think podcasts are a great idea for many entrepreneurs? I do. And I think if you don’t know anything about podcasting, there are some really, really good courses out there all about getting started with a podcast and I think you should look into them.
John Lee Dumas and Paul Colligan both have podcasting courses and I’ll link to them in my show notes (wow, there are going to be a lot of links in that show note). But I do believe having a podcast could open up amazing doors for you.
But let’s say you don’t feel comfortable with that. Then you need to find one area where you do feel comfortable. Maybe you won’t feel comfortable in the very beginning with anything. And that’s okay. But it’s a combination of what you love to do (what you are actually enjoying), what you will do consistently, and what your audience wants as well.
I think you are safe to choose either blogging or podcasting or some kind of video. I think all three of those translate well over so many niches. My challenge to you is to finally choose yours. Decide what you are going to stay committed to and don’t get off course with that.
Podcasting has not been easy for me at all, to tell you the truth. Getting a weekly podcast up every week has been torturous sometimes because I want them all to be mini trainings. I don’t like to do a lot of interviews. The mini trainings are 5,000 times more work. I want them to be a certain way so I’m pushing myself to make it happen. But, I still haven’t found my groove like I was hoping to. And that’s okay, I’m still going to keep doing it because I’ve seen it dramatically change my impact in my business.
I want you to find yours. It might mean that you need to dabble in some of those things before you feel really confident. Or you might already know what it is and need to really focus right there. I love episodes that are right before the New Year.
Don’t worry, if you’re listening to this and we are already in the New Year, you can apply this at any time. But I really love looking at what you want your next year to look like and how you are going to get there.
Look at it this way, you could dabble with blogging. Maybe think about podcasting. Maybe make some videos and maybe post on your blog every few weeks and hope that something starts to click. Or, you can commit to one marketing vehicle that will be your sweet spot and you get really good there.
When you are marketing online you do not need to be a Jack of all trades. I promise you, you do not need to be everywhere all the time. But if you really hone in on your skill set and what makes you happy and where you can have your megaphone the loudest, you will start making a bigger impact. It may be with a smaller group, but who cares.
If it’s a small but mighty group, not only is the impact big but the profits can be big. So I just want to encourage you, if you are floundering a little bit or dabbling a lot, let’s zero in on the one thing.
Another thing you can add to that mix, I believe podcasting is my marketing vehicle sweet spot. But I also believe webinars are the secondary marketing vehicle sweet spot. Webinars are great for selling. You’ve heard me talk about webinars for the last month or so. Obviously I believe in the power of webinars.
Where I see it as my marketing vehicle sweet spot, no matter if people buy from my webinars or not, they have just set through an hour of free content; and it’s my best content because I spend weeks perfecting those webinars. One lesson you might want to take away from today is that I don’t reinvent the wheel. I keep doing what’s working.
With my webinar on webinars that I recently launched, I continue to do that live every week. We’ve opened the course again and now every week I deliver a free webinar about webinars. I do that consistently and it has become a really great megaphone for me. And even if people don’t buy, and if you think about it, the majority of people on my webinar are not going to buy right away, but I got to knock their socks off with some amazing content.
That’s just as powerful as a podcast, if not even more, because they get to see the examples I’m talking about. You can have secondary megaphones in your business, for sure. I think it’s important to choose the one that you are doing weekly. I do. I believe it should be weekly original content.
Is it going to happen every week? Probably not. But at least strive for it. From there, having a secondary platform, like a webinar or pure email marketing (whatever you choose), give a way to communicate with the audience you’ve already attracted. I think podcasts and webinars are a great way to attract a new audience but build a solid relationship with those that you’ve already captured their interest and attention. It’s twofold in that respect.
I also wanted to tell you now that we’re doing these live weekly webinars for my webinar course, it’s now open so that you can get on the webinar if you weren’t on before. You can go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/freetraining and you can get on a live webinar with me this week. Or, if you’ve missed it this week, next week. We are only doing this for a month or so to see how it goes. But you can get on a webinar with me and learn how I use webinars in my business and how you can too. If you missed that when we launched live in September, here’s your opportunity.
Moving on to the next one, Business Lesson #3: Partnerships. This is the one where I’m going to be really transparent and share some things I’ve never shared. I actually did share this story recently on Casey Graham’s podcast. Casey has an awesome podcast called The 7-Figure CEO Podcast. He brings people on that have built seven- figure businesses and he really dissects those businesses. It is a great podcast and I recommend it to everybody looking to build their business.
He started asking me about my partnership and I realized, holy cow, this is something I’ve never really publically talked about and I felt really vulnerable on that episode. Then I thought it was what I needed to talk about. Usually when I feel really vulnerable it’s something I need to do more of.
Let’s talk about this. You may or may not know that I have a business partner inside AmyPorterfield.com. His name is Devin Duncan. He is the husband of Melanie Duncan, who I talk about a lot in terms of her Pintrest and overall online marketing trainings that I absolutely love. We’ve been affiliates for each other for years now.
Devin Duncan was actually in the mastermind that I did for two years, the last mastermind I was in. I want to tell you how it all came about, if you’re curious, as to how I got into a partnership. I had been building my business since 2009/2010. It was the end of 2013 and I was doing really well. I had hit $950,000 in revenue in my business by the end of 2013. It was almost a million-dollar business and I was feeling really good.
I was also asking how I would expand and was feeling really overwhelmed with the tech side of things and the bigger tech strategy of how I wanted my business to look. At that time, inside our mastermind, Devin was running ads for Melanie’s business. He was literally generating $1,000 a day in net revenue with his Facebook ads. They were selling a $97 program.
I was running ads and was doing well but I wasn’t generating $1,000 a day net. There is a lesson to be learned here. I went to a basketball game with Devin for his birthday. He invited a bunch of people to a Clippers game (he’s a huge basketball fan).
We were talking on the bus ride back from L.A. and he was telling me about what he was doing. Then he made a weird comment. He said, “Imagine if I do that with Pintrest (they were selling a Pintrest product), what could I do with a Facebook product?”
In my head I went “Ding-ding-ding!” I had a $97 Facebook product. So the next day I called Devin and asked what he thought about helping me with my ads to get them to $1,000 a day and giving him a cut of that. If I was getting $1,000 a day then I would be more than happy to give someone a cut of that if they could get me there.
He thought about it and came back and said, “What about doing something a little bit more in depth? I’m in it for the long haul.” I told him I was intrigued and that we should talk.
Later we met at a hotel and Melanie sat down with us too because she’s a huge mastermind in terms of the big picture of what a business could look like. The three of us sat down and started to talk about what a partnership could look like. We specifically looked at what Devin’s role would be and what my role would be.
Over a few hours I started to think this could be really cool. Here’s the lesson for you: I chose Devin to be a partner in my business because he’s extremely strategic. This guy is strategic to the core and he knows the tech side of things. We both use Infusionsoft. He’s a campaign mastermind. He understands how those campaigns work inside Infusionsoft. He knows how to automate them, how to make them better. That’s how his brain works.
He thinks in numbers and I do not. That’s just the truth. I feel he is way more mathematical than I am and he’s much more technology savvy than I am. Right there, that’s huge for me. At the same time, he’s not extremely skilled in creating content. I’m sure he could but that’s not any area he wants to spend time in.
The content creation and entire branding with content is not something he wants to spend his time on. So we instantly realized we have two very different skill sets. Another thing I joke about with Devin is that I’m extremely sensitive (which I’ve mentioned three times on this podcast today) and he is not at all. However, he has a soft side to him that, when I get extremely emotional or sensitive or worried (that’s usually how it shows up), he’s able to at least respect that and talk to me about it. He knows if we have a conversation about it I’m good.
It’s like with my husband. If we get in a fight and just talk it out I’m totally golden. But if words are left unsaid I am a mess inside. It eats me up. With my business relationship that still comes out and Devin is aware of it. I’m very aware that he’s logical.
I’m very aware I can’t come to him with a million problems without being ready to solve them with him. He’s a problem solver through and through. So the lesson here for you is if you’ve ever thought of creating a partnership, I want you to think about where your strengths are and where you want to be spending time.
The coolest thing I love most about our partnership is that Devin does not even try to direct me in terms of what kind of content I create. He is not in my ear telling me what to do on my podcast. He is in my ear talking about opportunities for sponsorships. He’s in my ear talking about list building with podcasts, this was his idea to build our list through our podcast episodes. He is a genius with that kind of thing.
But he’s not trying to steer my content a certain way because this is my thing. I love creating mini trainings for you all. I love creating content that I think will resonate in your own businesses. If I had someone telling me what to do with my content I would feel very, very stifled and I would feel I had a boss. But it never feels like Devin is my boss and I’m sure he would say it never feels like I’m his boss.
That part works really well. We have very clear lines of separation. Another thing, some of you may be wondering how the money works. Without getting into some really personal things because this is Devin’s business as much as mine and I want to respect that, I had already created almost a million-dollar business. So he respected that and knew that. So when it comes down to paying ourselves every quarter, I definitely reap the benefits of already building the business.
In plain talk, I get some off the top just because this was already a really successful business before he came in. It is a much more successful business since he has become a partner of mine. I have no doubt a huge portion of my success has been directly attributed to the relationship that Devin and I have as partners. I will say, looking back, he has dramatically changed my life in terms of the success I can have in my business.
Devin is also always pushing the envelope a little bit more than I am. I am more sensitive about emailing my list too much so that I burn out my list. I’m more sensitive about really being careful not to promote too much or too close to another promotion and all that good stuff. He respects that and it’s important to him. But he will also push it a little bit further. And pushing it a little bit further took me out of my comfort zone.
That’s something we’ve been talking a lot about in this episode. He is the one that said we would do three emails on a cart-close day. Just in case Stu McLaren is listening, Stu’s idea was to do two. That got me past one. So, in the mastermind I told the guys I did one email on cart close day and Stu said, “no you’re not. You’re doing two.”
Then, months down the road, Devin said we were doing three: one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one at night. We’re only emailing people that are literally clicking and not buying yet. We are segmenting the list but we do three emails on a cart-close day, which is kind of aggressive if you ask me. I would have never done that without some pushing. But it’s turned out to be amazingly successful for all my little procrastinators that want to wait until the last minute. I can relate to that.
I tell you about this partnership 1) to tell you that I haven’t built the business that I have alone and I feel I need to give credit to Devin because he’s been a huge part of it (if Devin’s listening, thank you so much for all you’ve done inside this business as a partner with me and thank you for caring so much about this business like you had created it on your own. And that’s truly what he does for me). So, in getting back to the focus of our Thanksgiving episode, I’m thankful for that.
But, for any of you that are thinking about maybe bringing on a partner or maybe doing something with a partner (maybe it’s not to have them take a portion of your business but having them get involved at a certain level), be really careful that the two of you are very different. I think that’s important. You each have to have your own skill sets.
You also have to constantly have conversations about roles. I will tell you it’s been the most amazing experience ever partnering with Devin. I can’t wait to see what we do in the future. However, we have had our moments. We’ve had arguments.
Devin would laugh at that. Devin does not argue. I’m Italian and I’ll get heated up for sure. But we’ve had issues where I thought he was handling something or he thought I was handling something. We question who is the player right now in the project and what is the team supposed to be doing.
We had a really big situation recently where we hired a project manager and we weren’t meeting with her weekly. She actually came to me and said she felt Mom was telling her to do one thing and Dad was telling her to do another. She felt very awkward and torn between the two. And that’s what was happening.
Devin is a problem solver and said we should get on the phone twice a week with the project manager. Twice a week at 8 a.m. (Mondays and Thursdays) we get on the phone with Chloe, our project manager, and we first let her update us where we are with the project she is working on because she usually works on the big ones. Then we let her ask any questions she might have about team, technology, a process, a system, or a breakdown in communication.
She gets to address it and it’s done. I haven’t had one concern from Chloe since then. It was painful for a good 30 days. I didn’t realize why it wasn’t working with the new project manager. It was Devin and I that were totally getting in the way of her success. So just a small shift of these weekly meetings has been huge.
We do have our challenges and that is normal between any partners. But you also have to have constant communication. I probably talk to Devin five times a day via Skype. We’re always in communication. That is just a little bit of insight into my business and the fact that I do that this partner.
I call him a silent partner even though he’s not so silent anymore because it’s still my brand and it’s still my name. He is the machine behind so much of this going forward so I just wanted to share that with you because I have never done that before.
The first lesson is all about masterminding and a business coach. It is something I would love to see you do in 2016. The second lesson is about finding your marketing vehicle sweet spot whether it be podcasting, blogging, videos, or maybe it is solely webinars. Whatever it might be, I think we all need to have one megaphone that we call our own and are really confident in that one area. The third lesson is partnerships, just in case you have ever thought about partnering with anyone or if you just wanted some detail about how I have been running my business lately.
Business Lesson #4: Affiliate partnerships. I talked about this in another episode. Again, a lot of what I am talking about today has been mentioned here and there on different episodes. But I wanted to bring it together into one because affiliate partnerships have truly shaped my business in terms of impact and revenue. They are not the only thing, of course, but they have been a big piece of it.
Here are some secrets I have or some tips I have for you to get really clear on how to use affiliates. I’m not actually talking about affiliates for my own programs. I talked about that in one of my former episodes (I’ll link to it in the show notes). So, if you’re thinking about bringing affiliates on I did an Ask Amy episode and I showed you behind the scenes of a really simple affiliate membership site that we set up.
It’s super simple. I showed a video of what it looks like and how you can do it. So, if you’re thinking about bring affiliates on to sell your own stuff, I’m going to direct you in the show notes to that Ask Amy episode.
But right now I want to talk to you about being an affiliate for somebody else. I’ve made millions from affiliate partnerships I’ve done and the secret sauce is to find just a few and believe in them wholeheartedly. One way to know if you believe in it or not, or if you are doing it just for the money, is to ask yourself if you would talk about the product, program, or service if you weren’t getting paid to do so.
Have you talked about the product, program, or service in the past without using an affiliate link? There are two things I talk about all the time. If you can guess you get a virtual fake prize – that’s no fun! But you get a virtual hug if you can get these right. There are two I talk about all the time even when I’m not getting paid to talk about them. Can you guess?
The first one, if you listen to my podcast I know you got it right. That is Lead Pages. I talk about Lead Pages all the time because I believe it is the easiest tool to use to build your list. I also do webinars. I just did a promo webinar with Lead Pages last week and we did that through my affiliate link. So I definitely generate revenue from affiliate sales with Lead Pages.
There are many times I don’t get a cent for it but I still talk about Lead Pages…like right now. I believe Lead Pages is a huge, huge valuable tool to add to your business and I believe in it so much because I use it.
That’s another thing, when you’re thinking about who you want to promote, do you use their tools and how do you use them? We’ll get into how to use them and what to do to take advantage of that in a moment.
The other one, can you guess? It is Marie Forleo’s B-School. I’ll be talking about this again in January and February when she launches B-School again. I go all out for that promotion because I believe in it so much. It’s the next best thing to the live mastermind she used to do years ago. I know what it can do for your business because I am a child of B-School. I graduated from B-School and I’ve seen it change and transform my business many times over.
Those are the two I talk about and promote a lot. There have been some others, for sure. But those are the two most prominent ones. My challenge to you is that if you’ve been thinking about affiliate marketing the first thing is to grow your own list before you can really make an impact with somebody else’s program, product, or service. Sure, you can run ads to their program, product, or service. But you’re spending money to make money.
But that’s the way we do marketing. You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money in affiliate marketing to make money if you have a list. I think list building is most important. So, if you haven’t really focused on your list you want Episode #83 and Episode #84 that I have just done all about list building.
If you do have a list, finding those few affiliate partners that you really want to go all out for could make a huge difference in your revenue. Here are two things I want you to take away from this training in terms of affiliate marketing: I want you to build a bonus for each of them. Let’s say you choose two. For Lead Pages, when I did a webinar, I built a bonus of ten ways I’ve used Lead Pages. I showed pictures and put a little commentary below each of the examples so my audience could see I love this tool, I use it, here’s proof, here’s how you can model my strategies as well. I did a bonus for my affiliate promo.
I go all out for B-School. It is a more expensive program. It is a $2,000 program. I do bonuses like how to run an entire Facebook ad campaign to grow your email list or I do live events so that people can come to San Diego and meet with me. I do a private Facebook group where I am extremely active for a certain period of time and answer any question they have about B-School that they may not get support for in the bigger B-School group.
I do other bonuses that are very detailed and I only make them for my B-School students. That’s another thing, when you’re doing an affiliate promo a lot of people will tell you to repurpose old stuff you have and make it into bonuses. I don’t think that’s the way to go. I think if you’re going to really give your all to an affiliate partnership you make the bonuses specifically to those people that buy that affiliate program.
You will hear me mention B-School throughout all of my B-School bonuses because I made those videos and trainings just for them. Then when they come to my live event it’s only B-School students because it’s just for them. It’s a bonus I spent a lot of money on, a live event, and they get to come because they signed up through my affiliate link.
Bonuses definitely change the game in terms of affiliate partnership success. The other thing is to be consistent. With Lead Pages, I have launched it twice this year through a webinar. Tim Page, one of the big shots at Lead Pages, hosted webinars for my own audience. You might have been on one.
Tim did an amazing webinar just last week. It was so good. I partner with him and we did it two times this year. I already had it on the calendar in January and I told him we would do one in the summer and one in the fall and to be ready for that. We then solidified the dates as they got closer. But I let them know I was serious about it. I told him I was going to do it and then they were more willing to work with me.
They helped me create some awesome bonuses on their end as well. When affiliates know you’re organized and are serious and get it on the calendar, they want to work with you. That is kind of cool.
I also incorporate Lead Pages into my paid programs and have a 60-day free trial. I only offer that free trial inside my paid programs. That was something Lead Pages also helped me with. I use it in my paid programs and use it in live promos. I promote Lead Pages in many different places.
With B-School, I do it every single year. I talk about it, just like I’m talking about it now, throughout the year to start helping people understand they might be a good fit for a program like B-School. If you’re just starting out in your business or if you’ve been at it for a while and you’re not seeing the results you want and you really want a foundation and develop content regularly, grow your email regularly, you want to develop a message, and want to really understand who your ideal audience is and want to use free traffic in order to build your platform, that’s what B-School is all about.
I talk about it even before I promote it just to help people start realizing this is something they want to pay attention to when I actually start to promote it. Consistency in your messaging around your affiliate partnerships is so very valuable. Again, if you’ll talk about it even when you don’t get paid it’s something you definitely want to look into in terms of becoming an affiliate partner for that product, service, or program.
Okay, we are moving on. The last lesson that I want to talk to you about is Business Lesson #5: Consistency.
I have brought this word up in many of my podcast episodes but I want to be really clear that I’m most thankful for this marketing lesson because it has allowed me to build confidence in myself. You’ve probably heard me mention that I have been doing a weekly podcast all year. I’ve missed one week. Other than that we have been able to get out a show once a week.
That is such a big deal to me because I never knew I could be consistent. I really struggle with it. Even though I’ve gotten an episode out once a week that’s not saying it was recorded two days before it went live. That’s how messy it can be sometimes. Sometimes I’m totally in front of this whole thing and I’ve got five or six in the can. But that’s rare.
With consistency, one tip I want to give you, and I’m really thankful to have somebody on my team that will make me be consistent. Trivinia is my assistant. She has been for years now. She is the one who will say, “Alright Amy, I need #85 two weeks in advance.” When we are one week in advance she will say, “Amy, you’re going to miss your week. How about” this topic or that topic.
She also suggests freebies and really pushes me to be consistent. She is that voice in my head that I want to ignore most of the time. But she is right. If it weren’t for Trivinia to push me along, because this is my area of weakness and where I struggle, I would not have gotten this podcast to be a weekly podcast. Who could you ask for support in your world in terms of being more consistent?
Let’s scale this back a little bit and let’s just choose one area in your business where you know if you’re more consistent you will make a bigger impact and more money. Those two things are really important to me. Of course I want to make a bigger impact. I want to impact your business and help you and support you. And, I’m running a business. I would love to also bring in revenue when I do that.
Impact and revenue are, to me, really important to consider when you’re thinking of consistency. Where could you be more consistent in your business in order to generate more impact and more revenue? Just pick one area. One area.
When we get into the habit of making that one area a priority, and do it for long enough, it will become easier. I promise you that. This has definitely become easier than earlier in the year but it is still sometimes a battle. I have to be honest with you guys because I hate when people are acting like everything is so easy and smooth… and that’s a lie.
This podcast has not been easy or smooth but I also know it is making a huge impact. Just recently, this is really cool, the other night I was home on a Saturday night. Trivinia doesn’t typically text me on the weekends. I got a text and she said, “Amy, did you know you were on MSNBC?”
I asked her what she was talking about. She linked me to a video that was actually on TV on Sunday Mornings, a business channel on MSNBC in the mornings. It was a woman talking about five podcasts to help you keep learning. She mentioned John Lee Dumas’, Entrepreneur On Fire; Andrew Warner’s, Mixergy; Tim Ferriss’ podcast; Darrin Rowse’ podcast, ProBlogger; and mine.
I have to tell you guys a little secret. When I was watching the video I thought, there had to be some mistake. There was no way they were going to lump me into that list. Those are amazing guys I have always followed and loved. I was watching it thinking, I must be mentioned in the notes below the five she mentioned. This was seriously going through my mind.
Any of you that doubt yourself or have that negative talk and you think it will probably go away and you’ll be a better marketer when it does, I don’t think it ever goes away. You just have to manage it a little bit better. I had that moment though. I thought there was no way she was going to mention me, and then she did. I thought, “Holy cow!”
Let’s not tell anybody, but secretly that was such a big deal to me because I have a really big crush on Matt Lauer. That is weird, right? I totally get it. I’ve been watching the Today Show with my mom when I lived at home and then when I moved out, every morning I probably watch the Today Show. The first ten minutes is the best.
I love Matt Lauer. I think he’s the coolest guy. Don’t worry, my husband, Hobie, is well aware of this. He knows I’ve got this inappropriate crush with Matt Lauer and so be it. But, Matt Lauer is on NBC so I told Trivinia, “There’s no coincidence, and our seven degrees of separation just got a whole lot closer with that little mention on MSNBC.”
I was very proud of myself because of that. So as a side note just to put it out there, when I see that my podcast gets mentioned on MSNBC I think I must be doing something right. It may be messy on the other end and my not feel totally comfortable, even today, but I can get there and I’m going to keep doing it.
I want you to take those little wins. When you see little wins along the way while you are trying to be more consistent, grab those and take them and remember them and be really, really proud of them. Those little wins get you to that big result of truly being consistent where it all starts to lock in.
I’ll keep you all updated when this podcasting once a week becomes more smooth and streamlined and more batched in my business. But I’m just going to keep being honest with you and tell you it’s not there yet. We will get there and when I crack the code in my own business I’ll be more than happy to share it with you and sing it from the rooftops because I want that more than anything.
There you have it. I know I covered a lot. We got a little bit personal here and I really did try to make it more actionable for you as well. Remember, the challenge at the top of the hour was to just find one. For you it might be mastermind, business coach, mentorship.
Or, the second one was really getting clear on your marketing vehicle sweet spot with blogging, podcasting, video, or webinars. What is it going to be for you? Let’s not worry about the other stuff until you get that locked in.
The third one was about partnerships and why I’m in a partnership, what it looks like, some of the challenges I’ve had, and what you want to think about when you’re looking for a partner for your business (which is kind of a big deal) or when you’re looking for a partner for just a small project.
One thing I forgot to tell you that I wanted to really hit home with, I was really scared to go into a partnership with Devin because I was afraid I would lose control of my business. I left a 9-5 knowing I wanted to be my own boss and do my own thing and not have anybody tell me what to do. Starting a partnership, I got really scared.
What if the partnership doesn’t work and everything I created goes away? Then I ventured into “my business is his business” now. What if all of this explodes and I lose everything? Well, one thing we did is put in some safeguards through contracts and agreements. But the other thing is that I just had to follow my gut and know I was getting in business with a really good person that I can trust and who will take care of my business as if it were his own.
Quite honestly, I had to kind of have faith. I was very, very concerned. You know me, I’m a worrier. I had every scenario in my head already worked out as to how this could be doom and gloom. Just know that I went there, for sure, and was very concerned and worried and scared. I still did it because I knew in my gut it was probably going to be an amazing experience and I had to follow that.
I forgot to mention the scary part. It was definitely there. Even now it still sometimes pops up but I can quiet that voice a whole lot faster when I look at the results and this awesome relationship we have.
The fourth marketing lesson I am most thankful for are my affiliate partnerships with B-School and Lead Pages. My challenge to you is to find those that you talk about even when you aren’t getting paid to promote them and look into them further to see if you might become part of that program, product, or service.
I feel I am a part of B-School and I feel like I am part of Lead Pages in terms of understanding it and knowing it and using it and spreading the word. No, those aren’t my businesses; but, I feel a very big connection with both.
Lastly, consistency. It is something I struggle with every single day but I still do it and I still focus on the importance of it. I love what Michael Hyatt said. I was listening to one of his podcasts and he said, “If you’re not consistent you’re nonexistent.”
That one hit me in the heart. He’s right in this very busy, crazy social media online marketing world. If you’re not consistent you’re nonexistent. Choose one thing to become more consistent with in your business and put that as your focus.
There you have it. I hope you found all of this so extremely valuable for your own business and you will choose one as your challenge. If you’re wondering what the freebie is for this episode, because I’m now doing my webinar about webinars live again, I want to invite you to come join me. If you go to http:// www.amyporterfield.com/freetraining you can jump on a live webinar with me and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.
I’m going to share with you exactly how I do webinars and how you can do them in your business. The webinar title is How To Create A Five-Figure Webinar Even If You Do Not Have An Email List. There are so many examples in that webinar that you can actually take and use in your own business that you definitely do not want to miss this. I’m so proud of this free training. Go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/ freetraining to grab your spot and meet me there live.
Thank you so vey much for being here. Before we jump off, a quick final word about our sponsor, 99Designs. You know when you market online it is really difficult to stand out from all of that online noise clutter. How do you do it? I think you do it through impeccable branding. That includes your logo, your social media cover images, your website, and everything in between. At 99Designs you can get anything designed in just a week for a startup-friendly price.
To give you a little something extra, when you go to www.99designs.com/amy you will get a $99 upgrade for free. That upgrade makes your design contest stand out from all of the others and bumps you to the top of the list so more designers can see your contest. So make sure to check out www.99designs.com/amy.
Okay, again thank you so much for being here. I hope you found some valuable lessons in the five marketing lessons that have shaped my business. If you want, tell me which one you’re going to take on as your challenge and where you’re going to focus. I’d love to hear from you. I cannot wait to connect with you again next week. Bye for now.