Small Business

[344] How to build your audience through a Facebook group

Is your Facebook group taking up all your time but not making you any sales in your business?

In this episode, I talk to Gordon Burcham, Martial Arts School Owner and Multi World Kickboxing Champion about how he is generating a six figure income from a Facebook group. He also shares the remarkable story of how he bounced back - and turned around his business - after losing his home, 12 years ago.


{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}.

 

The importance of perseverance in business

Today, as well as a hugely successful Facebook group, Gordon runs a 400 plus member martial arts school, but he and his family have overcome significant hurdles to achieve this success. Twelve years ago he lost his house while trying to build his business: “I was an instructor but I didn't understand business. I was just throwing money at advertising and didn't really know what I was doing,” he recalls.

Despite struggling to feed his family on £25 a week, he borrowed money and sold his possessions to invest £3,000 a month in a business coach. In less than 90 days, he was generating £10k a month in his business.

Turning his business around meant weeks of 16 hour days, when he and his wife walked the streets, pushing leaflets through peoples’ doors.

But Gordon believes many business owners aren’t prepared to put in this kind of  perseverance. “Most people don't want to do the hard work,” he says. “They’re lazy marketers and they're lazy in their business. They're not willing to do what it takes. I'll just do more than the other people are willing to do.”

How changing his marketing strategy helped Gordon turn his business around

When Gordon looked at why his business was failing he realised that by trying to market his martial arts classes to everyone, he wasn’t appealing to anyone. So he started to niche down the programmes he offered.

He began to target specific demographics - starting a ‘ladies only programme, for example and creating leaflets and landing pages specifically designed to appeal to women.”

And instead of relying on one or two marketing strategies to generate sales, he introduced a marketing mix. And when he started to use a combination of online and offline marketing activities e.g. leaflets, emails, networking and referral marketing, his business really started to take off.

The power of mentors/coaches

Gordon believes that investing in business coaching has helped him accelerate his business success by around 10 years. But many business owners aren’t prepared to invest in themselves, he says.

Too many people tell themselves they don’t need a coach because they’ve read all the books and done all the courses. But knowing and implementing are two completely different things. And many business owners need to hear the same information, over and over, in different ways, before it really sinks in.

“Repetition is so important,” he says. “You need to hear the same information from your coach and you need to hear it in different ways. And you have to repeat it enough for it to sink from your conscious to your subconscious mind.”

(Listen to episode 257: Do you need to pay to play for more information on why investing in yourself is vital for your business.)

How to harness the power of live video

Live video is now a huge part of Gordon’s marketing strategy. “It is so powerful because it creates a deeper connection between you and your audience,” he says.

He repurposes his Facebook Live videos by downloading them and getting transcriptions from Rev.com  (Affiliate Link) and turning them into blog posts. This content now forms the basis of a membership site,  for which he charges £47 + VAT per month - meaning he is truly leveraging the time spent recording those Facebook Live videos.

Gordon understands that many people are nervous about going live on Facebook and admits it’s taken him a long time to do it with confidence. “When people see me on stage, I'm very out there, very dramatic and I've got a lot of energy. But I've taught myself to do that. It's not natural,” he says.

How Gordon has built a profitable Facebook group

The Martial Arts Mastery is an extremely successful Facebook group turning over a quarter of a million pounds despite having only 1,400 members.

Gordon explains that the key to his Facebook group’s success is that it’s very niche (only martial arts school owners from the UK are allowed to join).

There are several things that Gordon does to encourage engagement in the group. These include:

  • Welcoming new members as soon as they join the group
  • Posting daily content in the group
  • Going live inside the group at least once a day
  • Asking for likes and comments on his Facebook Live broadcasts
  • Running regular competitions inside the group
  • Asking members to share their opinions on martial arts related topics (and not being afraid of being controversial)
  • Checking your stats and only posting within the optimum time slot

(Listen to episode 265 for tips on how to get more engagement in your Facebook group.)

He is not afraid to make paid offers to the group because he is providing free valuable content on a daily basis. If you’re adding value, you’ve “earned the right to sell.” he says.  And in the early days he offered free coaching in exchange for testimonials. In fact he still does this now - all he asks is that members share their successes in the Facebook group.

 

Podcast show notes:

  • Gordon’s business story (4:55)
  • Why you need to niche down who you’re targeting (13:05)
  • Why persistence pays off and you need to work through the fear (16:04)
  • How to grow your Facebook group and keep your audience engaged (26:25)
  • How to structure your time to create content for your Facebook group (33:38)
  • Why you need to invest in training - and then put it into practice! (39:35)
  • How to sell in your Facebook group (44:10)

Resources

Gordon’s website

Gordon on Facebook and LinkedIn

Rev.com (Affiliate Link)

Episode 327: Why I’m closing my 13.5k Facebook group

Janet Murray’s Prospecting Kit

Purchase the ‘How to create coaching packages’ masterclass here

Join the waitlist for the Build Your Audience Programme here

Janet Murray’s Audience Calculator

Join the priority wait list for Build Your Audience Live Event here

Apply for a place on the LinkedIn Content Strategy Masterclass here

Get your hands on the ‘How to write awesome sales copy’ course now

Register your interest in the Build Your Audience programme

Order the 2019 Sorted Content Planning Toolkit here

Order the 2019 Media Diary

Order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

Order the 2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

 

[338] Why you feel scared of selling (and what to do about it)

Are you scared of selling? Are you crippled by nerves when it comes to pitching for new business or asking for the sale?

In this episode, sales expert Marcus Cauchi gives practical advice on overcoming your fears using tried and tested techniques that will allow you to make sales naturally and authentically.

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}.

Why are most of us scared of selling?

Marcus believes this is down to things we were told as a child. Statements such as, “Children should be seen and not heard”, “The customer is always right” and, “You can’t trust salespeople” influence how we do business - and not always in a positive way.

“We’re conditioned from childhood to associate sales with slimy, pushy, self-interested sales people and therefore every experience we’ve had with them is largely negative. As a result, we try not to be one of them,” he explains.

And instead of seeing ourselves as being equal, we tend to put our customers on a pedestal – and in doing so we give away our power.

How to get your prospects to do the selling

One of the biggest mistakes people make in sales is to focus on themselves - rather than their prospect, says Marcus.

“When you talk about yourself you fall into a trap where, when you tell people stuff, they don't believe you. When you show them, they believe a little bit. When other people tell them, they'll believe some of it, but they always believe everything they tell themselves.”

An effective salesperson listens 70% of the time and talks 30% of the time. And when they do talk, they ask questions, rather than give information. This allows the prospect to tell their story, to talk about the pain they are experiencing and explore the possible solutions - meaning they actually end up selling to you.

This is very different to how sales is traditionally taught which typically involves the following steps: qualifying loosely for money, presenting features and benefits, then closing the prospect.

Marcus sees this as manipulative. He'd much prefer people volunteer for the sale and ask, "When can we start?"

This is a far more efficient, effective and authentic way of selling because people hate to be sold to but they love to buy.

How to plan your sales conversations

When people feel under pressure to make a sales, they tend to talk a lot and try to educate, says Marcus. But this doesn’t work because you’re telling the prospect what/how to think, rather than helping them draw their own conclusions.

To avoid this he suggests being clear on what you're trying to achieve in a conversation with a prospect: “All too often people go into a sales conversation with no plan,” he says.

It’s important to plan what your desired outcome is, and decide in advance on your best case scenario, what will be acceptable, what your worst acceptable outcome will be and what your walk away point is.

“Plan eight to ten great questions that will make your prospects prick up their ears. I believe we differentiate in the questions we ask, not the information that we give. That's where our credibility comes from,” says Marcus.

How to diagnose not sell

Marcus advises consultants and coaches to diagnose rather than sell - using the analogy of doctors who always diagnose before they prescribe.

An effective salesperson asks a series of questions, with permission, then nurtures the prospect through a discovery process where they self diagnose that they have a problem, he says.

The key is to help prospects discover for themselves why they want what you have to offer. The idea is to help them reach their own conclusion so they volunteer the sale and say: "I want you to help me. How do I pay? When can we get started?"

When you do this, you’re not pushing, says Marcus. In fact you're doing the opposite. You're not trying to convince – your prospect has to convince themselves.

How to voice your concerns/qualifying prospects

Qualifying your prospects is an essential part of the sales process, allowing you to make an informed judgement about whether you and the potential client or customer will be a good fit.

This can include voicing any concerns either party has about working together. Janet explains how in the past she has had concerns about event sponsors not having the resources to follow up the leads they gather as part of the sponsorship arrangement. She has learnt that it’s worth being honest about these concerns before agreeing to bring them on board as a sponsor.

Marcus agrees: “If you're going to have half-hour conversations with non-prospects, it's going to be a disaster. If on the other hand, you're going to have three to five-minute conversations with people so that you can qualify them in or out, that brings value and raises awareness and familiarity.”

He reminds us that too often, people focus on the wrong end of the problem and forget the question: “What's the thing we're trying to fix?”

Marcus’s Top Tips

  • Start with your intent - Your intent is not to sell, but to understand and make sure that the other person knows that you're there to help them, not yourself.
  • On sales calls and in meetings be clear, upfront about what you both want to happen, what you don't want to happen and what the boundaries are.
  • Ask quality questions, not bland, mundane questions. Then listen. Too often people are only silent long enough to look for the pause when they can jump in.
  • Slow down - allow for double or triple the time that you're currently putting in for sales calls to give you the time to ask the questions you have planned and your prospect the opportunity to answer fully.

Podcast Show Notes:

  • Marcus’s business story (8:30)
  • Why selling always has negative connotations (10:20)
  • How to change your selling behaviour so people will engage with you (and buy from you) (13:50)
  • How asking questions will help start a conversation (plus examples of how to do this) (15:52)
  • How to make your prospect feel comfortable (plus dealing with imposter syndrome) (21:50)
  • Why you shouldn’t try and please everyone (32:26)
  • How this technique can change your mindset both professionally and personally (38:25)
  • Why you shouldn’t be pushy when you’re selling (44:55)
  • Marcus’ key tips for improving your selling technique (47:15)

Resources

Marcus Cauchi: Website

Marcus on LinkedIn and Twitter

Apply for a place on the LinkedIn Content Strategy Masterclass here

Get your hands on the ‘How to write awesome sales copy’ course now

Janet Murray’s Audience Calculator

Register your interest in the Build Your Audience programme

Order the 2019 Sorted Content Planning Toolkit here

Order the 2019 Media Diary

Order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

Order the 2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

 

[337] The tools I am using to build my online audience

When you're doing business online, the more tasks you can automate, the more time you have to serve your customers/clients. Plus you'll be able to build your audience quicker. 

In this episode I share the tools I use every day in my business that save me tons of time, including everything from email marketing and content creation to handling my finances.

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}.

Tools for email marketing & automation

Keap

I use Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) for my email marketing. I love it because it allows me to automate so many tasks in my business – and not just email marketing campaigns.

When I’m working with clients, speaking at events or even sleeping, thanks to Keap, new customers can sign up for my online courses and existing customers can get notifications about upcoming masterclasses, coaching calls, or other products and services that might be of interest to them.

For example, when new customers come on board my membership community the Love Marketing membership, they are sent a series of automated welcome emails directing them to various resources to help them get the most out of their membership.

When I’m organising events, Keap really comes into its own. I can create a series of automated emails to send to everyone who’s bought a ticket, sharing the next steps, telling them what to expect from the event and what they should bring with them, plus loads of other details that really make them feel like they’re an important part of the event.

It’s useful for post-event sales too. Automated emails can encourage people to book the next event, follow up with their favourite speakers and provide useful feedback. This shows delegates that you care about the quality you’re providing them.

Another of Keap’s useful features is the tagging system, which helps me and my team understand more about my customers’ preferences, meaning we can serve them better.

For example, we can track which cheat sheets or checklists subscribers have downloaded, how many webinars they’ve attended and the links they’ve clicked on in every email.

We can also see if someone has checked out a product a couple of times but decided not to buy and follow up with them, asking (what I think) is one of the best marketing questions ever: why didn't you buy?

For example in the case of my 2019 Media Diary - an A4 desk diary that's full of key dates and awareness days you can use for content planning - we have an automated sequence of emails for people who've looked at the diary but haven't bought. We call this a 'looked not bought' sequence. Sometimes they aren't buying due to not having all the information about the product - or perhaps even misunderstanding something about it. If we know this, we can give them the information they need to make a decision. And even if they decide not to buy, this is helpful information for our future marketing.

Keap isn’t cheap, so if your list is still quite small - maybe 500 subscribers or fewer - it might not be worth it. If you have a substantial email list, though, it’s worth every penny. You’ll need to invest some time in training or even consider outsourcing the campaign building but in terms of growing your audience, increasing sales and understanding your customers’ needs, it would be hard to beat.

The cost starts around $199 but you have to factor in initial training costs of around $2,000, too.

Calendly

Trying to organise meetings with other busy people can be a huge time-suck as you email back and forth about suitable dates and times.

Calendly, an appointment scheduling tool, helps me avoid all that. You can set it up for different types of meetings, so I use it for things like podcast interviews, membership induction meetings or discovery calls. This allows people to book straight into my diary for the relevant type of meeting in just a few clicks. If you're using Calendly, you do have to be organised each week and block off the spots in your diary where you know you’re already booked up with other things but it’s definitely worth the effort.

There’s a free version but it’s heavily branded. Prices without the branding start at $8 and for $12 you can access additional features like redirection to another website and Paypal and Stripe integration.

Wufoo

I use Wufoo to create simple surveys that help me understand my customers better.

For example, new members of my membership community the Love Marketing membership, are invited to fill out a questionnaire outlining the biggest challenges they’re facing in their business right now. I also ask all applicants for my mastermind programme and in-person mastermind to complete a short Wufoo questionnaire. This helps me quickly identify if the programme or event is a good fit for them. If it’s not I can suggest something more suitable – saving time and money on both sides.

As with most of the tools I use there is a free version but this comes with fewer features. The paid product comes in at $14 a month.

Tools for content creation

Rev.com

Rev.com (affiliate link) is an absolute lifesaver for anyone creating a podcast. I use rev.com to get transcripts for my podcast episodes (which we then turn into blog posts) and closed caption files I can add to my social media videos. This is particularly important for social media clips since most people are listening with the sound down these days. If you don’t add captions you’re almost certainly missing out on viewers.

Rev costs $1 a minute so can be costly if for a longer podcast but it’s amazing value for shorter social media videos. And because the transcripts are done by humans, it’s a highly accurate service which saves you loads of time on editing. Turnaround is generally 24 hours or less but often much sooner.

Trint is another option I've heard being recommend. Transcripts are automatically generated with this one so you may have to factor in time to go through and correct any mistakes.

Kapwing

After generating a closed caption file from rev.com (.srt file), I use Kapwing to add permanent captions to my social media videos in minutes.

While you can upload an .srt file to Facebook or LinkedIn I find this isn’t always reliable. Having the captions permanently burned onto my videos means I can use them across multiple platforms without having to fiddle around getting .srt files to upload properly.

This is a big timesaver. Kapwing has tons of other cool features including tools for making, editing and resizing GIFs.

Kapwing is a start up business, constantly innovating so I’m actually really looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.

Kapwing is free if you're happy to live with their Watermark. If you'd like to remove the watermark in a single video it's $6. Otherwise it's $20 a month.

Zoom

I use Zoom video conferencing pretty much every day to host group coaching calls, meetings, consultancy calls and webinars. I love being able to share my screen on coaching calls (and that my clients can share theirs too) and even make annotations. Being able to record meetings for later use is also a bonus.

My favourite feature, though, is the waiting room function, which means you can use one link for a specific type of call but ensure they stay private. For example, when I am hosting induction calls for my membership community, I can do them back-to-back using the same link, without worrying some will 'crash' the call.

It’s incredibly handy if you’ve scheduled back-to-back meetings with different people or for those people who always show up to webinars early.

Prices start at £11.99 for small teams.

Headliner

You may have seen the short teaser videos I use for my podcast episodes – people are always asking me how I create them.

Using Headliner it’s really easy. Simply upload a .wav file, add a background canvas (we make these in Canva) and Headliner will do the rest, including generating the captions for you. The captions usually require a bit of editing but they are constantly improving the service.

Headliner is free to use for the moment.

Wistia

I use Wistia to host tutorials for my online courses, membership and also for training videos for my team (it integrates well with our team messaging app Slack).

I particularly love the analytics. You can track which videos people have been watching, where and for how long, which is invaluable as a course creator and membership site owner.

Price-wise, you can get up to three videos for free, but they will feature the Wistia branding. Paid services come in at $99 a month and include 10 free videos. Additional videos are 25c each.

Loom

I use Loom pretty much every day to make instantly shareable screen recordings including demos for clients and team members. This could be a particularly useful tool for creating demos for any products you’re trying to promote.

The best part – it’s completely free (no strings attached).

Podcast tools — Libsyn and Blubrry

Regular podcasters will know that podcast audio files are too big to store on your website so if you’re thinking of starting your own podcast, you’ll need to find an alternative storage solution.

I use Blubrry and Libsyn to host my podcast episodes.

Blubrry is great for helping me analyse my podcast statistics, telling me how many listeners I’ve had in any given time period.

Libsyn starts at $5 but cost varies depending on how much content you produce. I pay $24 a month.

Blubrry costs $5 a month.

(Just as an aside, some of you will have heard me mention my new Rode Podcaster Mic. I haven’t started using it yet but when I do, my trusty Blue Snowball, the mic I’ve used to create over 300 podcast episodes, will be facing retirement. I’d love to give it a good home so I’ve decided to give it away to someone who’s determined to start their own podcast. The only caveat is, you have to promise to see it through. Get in touch if that sounds like you.)

Leadpages

I’ve been using Leadpages (affiliate link) to create landing pages for years. These work really well for webinar sign ups, thank you pages, event waitlists and other pages that don’t require a huge amount of interaction.

They’re incredibly easy to use, even for non-techy people. You can choose from a range of pre-designed templates to suit your particular purpose and play about with colours, fonts and images to fit your brand.

The best bit though, is that all of the designs are tried and tested so you can choose the highest-converting template for the job. Knowing that the ‘buy now’ button is on the right hand side (for example) because the designer has tested numerous layouts and that’s the one that converts the best, is really reassuring.

Prices start at $25 a month.

Smarter Queue

I’ll admit that I’m not a huge fan of social media scheduling – I think it can, if overused, lead to dull content and less engagement. I far prefer organic content.

That said, I do schedule tweets. I used to use Meet Edgar because you could put your content in a library to be reposted at a later date but a change to the Twitter rules last year means you can no longer do this.

Smarter Queue (Affiliate Link) has somehow found a way around that, which is why it’s found its way into my list of frequently-used tools!

Pricing starts at $13.99 a month for up to four accounts and is paid annually.

Tailwind

Tailwind is a great scheduling tool for anyone trying to build their audience on Pinterest –particularly if your audience is scattered around different time zones.

You can sign up for a free trial and prices start at $9.99 a month.

Money tools

I use Stripe to take payments for most of my products and services. I particularly like the reporting tools, which allow you to track your income across the week, month, quarter and year as a whole.

It’s also great for making comparisons between different time periods, for example, the number of sales you made this February compared to last.

With Stripe, you pay for what you use as you’re charged a percentage of each sale.

Paypal is another tool I use to take payment for most of my products and services.

I love that most people are familiar with PayPal (so my customers generally don’t have any trouble using it) and that you don’t actually need a PayPal account to pay via PayPal.

It’s also really handy for setting up recurring payments (great for mastermind programmes or payment plans for events) and you can integrate PayPal with a number of shopping cart systems, including Woocommerce (which I use in my shop).

Xero

I use Xero’s cloud accounting software for my bookkeeping. It’s great for giving you a snapshot of your current business finances.

I particularly like the reporting tools, which allow you to generate real time reports on your income and compare between different time periods.

As I have multiple streams of income in my business, I also like being able to break my income into different ‘sources’ and track how each one is doing.

Prices start at $9 a month.

Organisation tools

Prior to using Slack I was communicating with my virtual team in many different ways (email, Facebook Messenger, etc). It worked but it was all just a bit messy.

Using a single method of communication has made us all so much more efficient and saved us loads of time. We now use Slack for our team messaging and what I find particularly useful is being able to create different channels for different products and services.

It’s free for smaller teams but if you have a larger team and want to make it your main communication hub, the price goes up to $5.25 per user, per month.

I’ve just started using Trello with my team so it’s probably too early to give it a proper review but it does have some cool project management features.

You can create different boards for different projects, break projects into individual tasks, assign the tasks to the relevant team member and set deadlines.

Trello costs $9.99 per user, per month.

Google Drive

G Suite is another tool that we’re only just getting to grips with. We’re having a few teething problems with granting access permissions to different users but I have high hopes for this one in the long run.

The price for this is $6 per month.

Podcast show notes:

  • Tools for email marketing and automation (7:35)
  • Tools for quick and efficient dairy keeping with your team and clients (22:22)
  • Tools for creating surveys and vetting clients/customers before you work together (25:04)
  • How to create transcripts that will help you write blog posts or video captions (27:35)
  • Tools for recording video calls or screen videos (34:10)
  • Tools for producing a podcast (37:38)
  • Tools for creating a landing page or sales page (39:30)
  • Tools for tracking your finances (44:55)
  • Tools for team communication and management (45:05)

Resources

Join the priority wait list for Build Your Audience Live here

Episode 335: How to create a high-converting lead magnet

Keap (Previously InfusionSoft) (Email Marketing)

Active Campaign (Email Marketing)

MailChimp (Email Marketing)

ConvertKit (Email Marketing)

Calendly (Diary organisation)

Zoom (Affiliate Link) (Video conferencing and recording)

Wufoo (Survey tool)

Rev.com (Affiliate Link) (Transcription service)

Kapwing (Video editing and captions)

Headliner (Video captions)

Wistia (Video recording)

Blubrry (Podcast hosting)

Libsyn (Podcast hosting)

LeadPages (Affiliate Link) (Landing page creation)

SmarterQueue (Affiliate Link) (Scheduling tool)

Tailwind (Pinterest scheduling tool)

Xero (Accounting tool)

Stripe (Payment and financial transactions)

Paypal (Payment and financial transactions)

Slack (Team communication tool)

Trello (Project management tool)

Everhour (Time tracking tool)

Google Drive or GSuite (Document and file sharing)

Apply for a place on the LinkedIn Content Strategy Masterclass here

Get your hands on the ‘How to write awesome sales copy’ course now

Janet Murray’s Audience Calculator

Register your interest in the Build Your Audience programme

Order the 2019 Sorted Content Planning Toolkit here

Order the 2019 Media Diary

Order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

Order the 2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

[331] What it really takes to build an audience with John Lee Dumas

Are you struggling to build your audience right now?  John Lee Dumas, host of the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast, tells all in this episode about how he built his business from the bottom up, including how niching down helped him stand out from his competition PLUS the most important thing you need to do to build your audience.

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}.

Why John Lee Dumas started a podcast 

After graduating from college, Iraq war veteran John Lee Dumas served as an officer in the US Army.

After leaving the army, he spent eight years trying different roles in corporate finance, law and real estate but found he just couldn’t settle.

“After four years as an officer, I really did struggle for six years,” says the entrepreneur and international speaker. “Some of it was Post Traumatic Stress Disorder just coming back from a war. Some of it was just me not really finding the right thing for me.”

The turning point came when he started listening to business podcasts and was struck by the intimacy and connection he felt with the hosts. “I felt like I was getting to know their personalities and their likes and their dislikes,” he says.” And I was like, ‘these people [the hosts] are like my friends even though they don't know me nor have they ever heard of me. But man, they've got me through some really tough times. And they've brought me some unbelievable and incredible information and knowledge.’”

This inspired John Lee Dumas to start his own podcast - but he was determined to do things differently. “Nobody was doing a daily podcast interviewing successful entrepreneurs and talking about their worst moments,” he says. “Like their really low, low, dark moments. And how they came out of those moments, and just building a story around that.”

So he started a daily podcast show interviewing top entrepreneurs like Tim Ferris, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk and  Barbara Corcoran about their entrepreneurial journey - including their darkest moments. For example, when Janet Murray was interviewed on John Lee Dumas's podcast on how to get press coverage in newspapers, magazines and on radio and TV, he teased out the story of how she sacked her dad.

He explains: “I want my listeners to say, 'okay, Tim Ferris, Gary Vaynerchuk, Janet [Murray], they're rocking it now. They're having a blast. They're speaking around the world. They're doing their thing, they're inspiring people. But man, it wasn't always like this. They went through some tough times...so they [the listeners] can be like, ‘okay, if Janet experienced that and she got through it, she's sharing how she got through it, maybe I can take inspiration and motivation and courage from that and apply it to my life. And really keep going forward with that.’”

How John Lee Dumas built an audience for his podcast

Seven years on, John Lee Dumas has published around 2000 episodes of the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast.  The show has had around 80 million listens.  This has enabled him to create a seven figure business, which he is keen to point out is “profit not gross.”

He built an audience for the podcast through what he refers to as his ‘power of 40’ strategy. This involved searching on conference websites for influential entrepreneurs and reaching out to 40 of them at a time to see if they would guest on his podcast.

“I thought:  if they're willing to do that, for free - because a lot of these speakers are not getting paid for sure - they're definitely going to be willing to wake up in the morning, keep their bathrobe on, grab a cup of coffee, sit down on Skype and have a conversation,” he says.

He figured that if he could create compelling interviews and high-quality digital collateral i.e. logos, banners and tweetables his guests could share easily with their followers, he could grow his own audience by leveraging theirs.

He explains: “After the interview went live I’d reach out to people and say ‘Hey, Janet, Seth, Gary, your interview went live with Entrepreneurs on Fire, I'd be honoured if you would share your story with your audience. Here's all the links to do so’...so I was having people like Seth Godin say: ‘John, I've never told the story of being arrested on the AOL campus before. It's just never come up. But wow, you brought that out because of your questions. And I can't wait to share this with my audience.’

His theory was correct. Once he’d landed his first few ‘A players’ - like Seth Godin and Tim Ferriss - it created a “snowball effect.”

Everyone wanted to be on his podcast.

And with a new show going live out 365 days a week he was able to grow fast.

How John Lee Dumas makes money from his podcast

Nowadays John Lee Dumas gets over 400 requests per month to be on his podcast which he now publishes eight to 12 times per month.

But it took around six months before he was able to monetise the podcast - first with sponsors (bringing in between $8,000 to $12,000 per month initially), and later with podcasting courses and mastermind groups. John Lee Dumas has since gone on to publish three journals (The Podcast Journal, The Freedom Journal and The Mastery Journal) and become an international speaker.

He admits he nearly didn’t start the podcast at all. About a month before it was due to go live, he got cold feet and almost went back to his day job, which he admits was a “dark, dark time.”  Hiring the business coach Jaime Tardy, host of the Eventual Millionaire podcast changed everything. She held him accountable and made sure he launched the podcast as planned.

Another dark moment, was three years into his business, when he realised he was working too hard and heading for burnout. “One day I remember just looking in the mirror and being like: ‘Yuck. I'm exhausted. I'm overweight. I'm tired more than I should be. I'm not healthy,’ he recalls.

This inspired him to hire a personal trainer and a nutritionist and focus on self-care. As a result his business hasn’t grown as much as it could have, but with a £3 million turnover 70-75% profit margins on everything he does - and a team of just three virtual assistants - business is still pretty good, he says.

Why creating a niche is crucial for building an audience

John Lee Dumas puts his success down to niching down on one specific thing. "My favourite word in the English language is 'focus', because I turn that into an acronym called Follow One Course Until Success,” he says. “So many people that are out there right now are doing all the things. They're going one mile wide in their reach and their focus, and they're just doing one inch deep kind of impressions everywhere, and they're not making any progress. But it's those people that just go one inch wide and one mile deep, and they dig down into that niche, until they just own it and they dominate. And guess what? They win on that level, and then they get momentum, and then they can start to broaden out and to build and to do other things.”

While he started out focusing on podcasting, John has broadened his niche to include journals (the Podcast Journalist, The Freedom Journal and the Mastery Journal), webinar coaching plus he has plans to launch a health-related business Fasting On Fire.

So what does John Lee Dumas think it really takes to build an audience?

“You need to be that one person who's doing that one thing better than anybody else.’”, he says. “And if you're doing that, then you have a chance to get that initial momentum. To get those first few raving fans, you kind of get the crack in that coconut you can kind of wedge open and get to that amazing coconut juice in the middle. But that's what it takes, is that initial streamlined diehard focus. Because that's where you're going to win.”

Podcast shownotes

  • John Lee Dumas’ business story (3:02)
  • How niching down helps build an audience (9:43)
  • How to approach and collaborate with ‘star players’ (14:39)
  • How to turn your podcast into a profitable business (18:00)
  • John’s lowest moments in business (20:31)
  • John’s one top tip for building your audience (and your business) (27:45)

Resources

John Lee Dumas’ Website

John Lee Dumas on Twitter and Instagram

John Lee Dumas’ Podcast: Entrepreneurs on Fire

Jaime Masters: Eventual Millionaire

Get your hands on the ‘How to write awesome sales copy’ course now

Janet Murray’s Audience Calculator

Janet Murray’s Facebook Page

Register your interest in the Build Your Audience programme

Order the 2019 Sorted Content Planning Toolkit here

Order the 2019 Media Diary

Order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

Order the 2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

[328] The three numbers you should focus on in your business in 2019

Want to make more money in your business in 2019? Then you need to start tracking key marketing metrics in your business. But which numbers should you be monitoring and how often?

In this podcast episode, I share the three numbers you must focus on to grow your business in 2019.

{Click on the player below to listen to the podcast episode or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes}

1.Your email subscribers

First off...a reality check.

While you may make the odd sale on social media, the majority of sales will happen in your inbox. Which is why building your email list is the single most important thing you can do in your business.

But here’s the thing.

The average conversion rate for online sales is 1-2%.

Which means for every 100 people on your email list, only a small number will actually buy from you.

If you’re a coach selling 1-2-1 coaching and need 20 clients a year, you may only need a thousand or so on your email list.

If you sell low-priced products or online courses/memberships you’ll almost certainly need to shoot for 10k or beyond.

When you get more experienced at email marketing, your conversion rates may improve. For example, my Media Diary converts at around 7%. This is great, but it still means the majority of people I’m marketing to are either saying ‘no’ or completely ignoring me.

So whatever it is you’re selling…you need a much bigger email list than you think.

The trouble is, most people don’t give away their email address without a good reason. Which is why you need to create a ‘lead magnet’ to encourage them to join your list.

A lead magnet is a resource/offer you create to encourage people to join your email list. A great lead magnet solves a specific problem for a specific type of ideal client/customer and gives them a quick win.

My audience calculator which tells you how many email subscribers you need to reach your sales targets - is a good example of an effective lead magnet. 

My marketing checklist - which set out the marketing activities you need to do to achieve key income goals in your business (1k, 2k, 5k and 10k a month) is another good example. At the time of writing, it’s added around 1700 new subscribers to my list - in just a few months.

Lead magnet ideas for product-based businesses

If you have a product-based business, you may think offering discount codes is the only way to add subscribers to your email list. But while this can work well initially, you may find people unsubscribe from your list as soon as they’ve used their discount code. This is why creating an information product can be a much better long-term strategy.

I created an information product as a lead magnet for my 2019 Media Diary - a downloadable media calendar you can use to plan out your content for the coming year and includes key awareness days/dates for January.  Essentially, it's a DIY version of the diary - which gives people a taste of what it might be like to use the diary for content planning.

Check out my 2019 Media Calendar. 

If you’re stuck for ideas, remember that you don’t just sell products, you’re an expert in what you sell. 

So if you sell coffee pods, you’re an expert in coffee. Which means you could create a downloadable guide on the best coffee pod machines, how to recycle coffee pods or a gift guide for coffee lovers, for example. 

If you sell handmade children’s clothing, you’re an expert in making children’s clothes. This means you could create a downloadable guide on how to source handmade children’s clothing, how to sell second-hand children’s clothing or even give away some of your sewing patterns (you may think this sounds counterintuitive, but most people will try to follow your patterns, then realise it’s easier to outsource it - and who is the first person they’ll think of?).

If you sell dog coats for whippets like Debbie Humphrey, founder of Redhound for Dogs, you’re probably an expert in All Things Whippet Related. Which means you could create a guide on how to measure your dog for a new coat, give away recipes for whippets or even a gift guide for dog lovers.

Learn how to get started with email marketing.

2. Your website traffic

The second number you need to be tracking in your business is your website traffic. But before you start monitoring the metrics, you must first understand how to drive traffic to your website.

You do this by publishing regular, high-quality content on your website that solves your ideal customers’ problems - on topics they are actually searching for in Google.

For example, my blog post on how to write an effective press release for your small business appears on the first page of Google. Despite being a few years old (I recently updated the post) it sends hundreds of visitors to my website every single week. Not only has this helped me build my email list, it’s also helped me make tons of sales.

Start with keyword research: It’s not enough to publish a weekly blog post on something that’s grabbed your interest. If you want to drive traffic to your website, you need to be strategic about it - creating content around the keywords your customers are actually searching for in Google.

There are many resources out there to help you with keyword research, but my personal favourites are:

KW Finder

Google KeyWord Planner

LSI Graph

Answer The Public

Publish high-quality content weekly: When I look at the people in my industry (marketing and business) with large audiences - for example Andrew and Pete, Chris Ducker and Jessica Lorimer - they all have one thing in common. They publish consistent, high-quality content - week in, week out - and have been doing so for years.

Over the past five years I’ve been building my own online audience, I’ve published over 300 podcasts and hundreds of blog posts and published a book (plus run dozens of free webinars and challenges) - all addressing my ideal customers/clients concerns. Which is how I’ve managed to build my audience - and crucially, my email list.

If you want to attract traffic to your website, I recommend publishing at least one high-quality piece of content on your website every week.

Grow your social media following: Publishing regular social media content will help drive traffic to your website - and your lead magnet - which will help you grow your email subscribers.

Create guest content: Giving podcast interviews and/or collaborating on guest blogs can be a great way to get in front of new audiences and drive traffic back to your website. Learn how to land guest podcast interviews. 

Use Pinterest: Pinterest is a visual search engine that will help drive more traffic to your site. Pinning your own content - and other peoples’ - could have a big impact on your web traffic. Mine has increased 500% since I started using it regularly. Learn why you should be using Pinterest in 2019. 

Be patient: It’s worth pointing out that nobody wakes up being a brilliant podcaster, YouTuber or blogger. You have to learn your craft, and you have to learn through experience.

The key thing is to solve your customers’ problems - and you don’t need to have tons of followers to start making an impact. For example, I bought the t-shirt I’m wearing in the video below after seeing Mama Love London founder Beth Campagna’s video on what to wear with a pleated skirt. I’d never have bought this t-shirt on its own – because I wouldn’t have known how to wear it. Seeing Beth demo how to wear it with different outfits not only gave me the confidence I could carry it off, it reassured me I had something to wear with it. I bought a hoodie and another t-shirt after watching some of her other videos.

I share this because when you start out with blogging/vlogging, it’s easy to get frustrated because you don’t have millions of followers/likes/views.

But if you keep showing up, creating valuable content - and focus on creating the best possible content in your industry/space  - you WILL start to build your audience.

How to track your web traffic 

It’s easy to get bogged down in tracking page views and visits, but I think it's more important to look at behaviour i.e. what pages are people visiting most/least, which pages are they arriving on/leaving from, how long are they spending on the site (and on particular pages). This will allow you to do more of the things that are working and less of the things that aren’t.

To that end, these are the key metrics you should track every week using Google Analytics.

  • Mobile usage (Google indexes this first)
  • Time on site
  • Landing page/exit pages
  • Popular pages/posts
  • Bounce rate

3. Your social media followers

First off, I want to dispel the myth that it doesn’t matter how many social media followers you have.

Actually it does matter - a lot.

While quality is always better than quantity, the more social media followers you have (providing they are your ideal customers/clients) the more traffic you’ll be able to send over to your website. This traffic can be converted into email subscribers and sales.

Don't try to build your social media following on every platform though - at least not at the same time. If you've done your research, you should know which platform(s) your ideal customers/clients are hanging out on. So if you know they’re over on Twitter and LinkedIn, it's better for you to really focus solely on those platforms. In fact, it can be a good idea to focus on one platform at a time. When you get really good at sending traffic to your website from one social media platform, you can generally replicate your best strategies on another.

I wish I could tell you there was one magic strategy that would help you grow your following on every social media platform. 

Sadly I can’t.

But what I can share is strategies that typically work on most social media platforms.

These are:

  • Creating engaging content that solves your customers' problems
  • Asking questions and starting conversations (rather than broadcasting)
  • Using closed questions e.g. ‘yes or no’, ‘agree or disagree’, ‘blue, yellow or pink’
  • Automate posts but don’t just ‘set and forget’ (you need to schedule time to respond to comments)

Learn three types of social media content that will make you sales. 

The best tip I can give you is this: focus on becoming the best content creator in your space.

If you do this, you will naturally also start to get curious about how to promote that content.

For example Andrew and Pete are brilliant on YouTube. But they didn't just wake up one morning and create amazing YouTube videos that got tons of views. They learn over time by experimenting: monitoring the ‘watch time’ of their videos and experimenting with different episode lengths, questions, graphics polls, playlists (and more) to find out what was working best for them.  

There's no getting away from it: building your audience is hard. Particularly building your email list. In the short-term it can feel painful - like you're adding one subscriber at a time. But in the long term this is the thing that will have the biggest impact on the bottom line of your business.

Podcast shownotes

  • Some of the changes I will be making in 2019 (0:45)
  • Details on an exciting product / resource I’m launching this week (3:28)
  • Why you need to keep an eye on your audience numbers (8:40)
  • Why you need to focus on your email list (15:16)
  • Why the ‘magic number’ is different for everyone (18:35)
  • The importance of having a good lead magnet (and how to create one that converts) (21:41)
  • Why you need to track the traffic to your website (and how you can increase it) (30:10)
  • How to create content that people are searching for (37:00)
  • How to increase your following on social media (38:40)
  • Why collaborating will help build your audience (40:16)
  • How to use Google Analytics to analyse your own content (and find out what you should be creating more of) (43:50)
  • Why you need to focus on one social media platform at a time (51:40)

Resources

[327] Why I’m closing my 13.5k Facebook group (and other changes I’m making in 2019)

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that my large Facebook group (with over 13.5k members) has been a huge part of growing my business in the last four years.  Want to know why I’m shutting it down?  Listen to this podcast to find out, PLUS other big changes I’ll be making to my business in 2019.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Why I’m closing my 13.5k Facebook group (3:40)
  • Why I’m reducing the amount of free content I produce in 2019 (8:22)
  • Why I’m dropping my Twitter chat in 2019 (14:20)
  • Why I’ll only be producing one podcast a week in 2019 (but making more content from each podcast episode) (16:23)
  • Why I’m focusing on helping people build their audience in 2019 (21:34)
  • Why I want to create more passive income products (23:12)
  • How I made 18k between Christmas and New Year in 2018 (whilst sat on the sofa eating Quality Street) (28:30)
  • Why I need to grow the top-end of my sales funnel (31:37)
  • A sneak peak at some of the exciting courses/content I have planned for 2019 (35:23)
  • Why I’ll think of 2018 as the ‘year of money’ for me (37:45)
  • Why I’m focusing on helping clients with the fear/embarrassment they have around selling in 2019 (38:30)
  • Why I’m going to be setting more boundaries in 2019 (44:45)
  • A note to small businesses starting out (and why I can drop certain aspects of my marketing) (47:20)

Resources

Janet Murray’s Facebook Page

Episode 315: How to create a brand statement (and why you need to) with Nichole J. Smith

Episode 314: Repurposing hacks for busy business owners

Episode 291: The truth about passive income

Episode 275: On-Air Coaching: How to write awesome sales copy with Sarah Cooke

Episode 326: The one thing you need to generate passive income in your business

Episode 288: How to get started with vlogging (and how it can help your business)

with Lisa Bean

Episode 281: How to find new customers or clients - fast!

Episode 262: Why you need to sell more than you think

Episode 227: How to make more sales (without being spammy) with Jessica Lorimer

Andrew and Pete: All I want for Christmas is Views - A Marketing Sing Song

Amy Woods: Content 10x Podcast

Register your interest in the Build Your Audience programme

Order the 2019 Sorted Content Planning Toolkit here

Order the 2019 Media Diary

Order the 2019 Media Diary and Media Diary Owners’ Club

Order the 2019 Wall Year Planner

Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Membership

Love Marketing, Make Money Income Goals Checklist

The Janet Murray Show Podcast Guide

My YouTube channel

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional

Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My FREE Janet Murray’s Love Marketing Facebook Community

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook