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9 Ways to Find Killer Ideas for Your Next eCourse

Here’s the number one question I hear—not only from new product creators, but even from seasoned business owners: “How do I find a good idea?” 

What they really mean, of course, is “How do I find an idea that will sell?” No one wants to spend days or weeks or more planning, developing and launching a course only to hear crickets on the big day. You want to know you’ll have at least some measure of success. 

But don’t overthink it. The answer is simple. Just give your audience what they are asking for. 

  1. Check out the competition. What are they creating? If you serve a similar audience, then what sells for them will very likely sell for you. Now, before you break out the “But it’s already been done!” line, keep this in mind: No two coaches are alike. You may create a similar course, but your voice, your experience, your teaching style, and your personality are all very different. No one else is you, and for some customers, YOU are the only one who will resonate with them. 
  2. Pay attention to your ideal client. What questions does she ask in private groups, in your help desk, and elsewhere? What posts are she reading on your blog (check your Google Analytic stats)? These are all valuable sources of intel about exactly what she needs and wants from you. 
  3. Ask. Still not sure what your dream client is looking for? Ask her. Create a survey and ask her to tell you what she struggles with, what keeps her from realizing her success, and even what she’s tried before in an effort to solve her issues. 
  4. Check the bestsellers list. Which books in your niche are outperforming others? These are the ones that offer answers your clients are seeking. Flip through the table of contents and read the online reviews to dig deep into the topics that really resonate with your audience. 
  5. Read the FAQs. Check the frequently asked questions section on competitor blogs and in forums and Facebook groups. Also check blogs for “Start Here,” and “Quickstart” pages. Many times the most common questions and concerns are addressed here. 
  6. Review the available resources. Which are the most common resources your colleagues and competitors are recommending? There are often questions surrounding the use of software and other tools, and these can be great ideas for eCourses. 
  7. Check your email. If you’ve been in business for more than a few months, chances are you receive questions from friends, clients and even strangers on a daily basis. What are they asking about? Look for common themes and trends. 
  8. Revisit your keyword research. Review the terms and phrases that your community most frequently searches on, and use them as a basis for your own research. 
  9. Check your search terms. Google Webmaster Tools allows you to check which terms are sending visitors to your website. Since people often search on questions (“how to design a logo” or “how to start a business”) this can be a rich source of ideas.  

Ideas are everywhere. Your potential buyers are sharing them with you each and every day, if you just know where to look. So don’t let your insecurities hold you back. Develop the course they are asking you for!

5 Money-Making Action Tasks to Grow Your Business

5 Money-Making Action Tasks to Grow Your Business

Inaction is the death of any business. Without taking regular action every single day to grow your business, inaction will cause your business to become stagnant. Clients will disappear, your sales funnel will be empty, and your revenue will dip to zero in a heartbeat.

Let’s avoid this scenario!  Here are five action tasks that will lead to increased income and business growth.

  1. Email Your Customers Regularly. 

Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is NOT dead. Email is the easiest way to stay in touch with customers and prospects to let them know about your new offerings or to recommend an affiliate product which pays you a commission.

  1. Focus on Customer Service.

You will never please everyone but you may as well try your best. Inevitably customers will contact you with questions or refund requests so be prepared to answer these requests in a timely manner. Stick to your rules about refunds but never disregard or disrespect a customer. Negative online reviews are easier to find than positive ones.

  1. Raise Your Rates.

When was your last rate increase? Are your prices competitive with the current market of coaches of your caliber? Can your ideal client still afford your new rates? Be confident that your expertise is worth that new rate and break the new carefully to your current clientele so they don’t jump ship.

  1. Repackage Your Offerings.

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Simply take your older content – books, programs, blog posts, etc. – and create new bundles or create an entirely new product. The information or products should obviously be related in topic to appeal to the most people and be sure to price it accordingly.

  1. Create a New Offering for Old Clients.

People buy from those they know, like, and trust, so open up that old client list and create an exclusive offer just for them. Make the offer sexy, exclusive, and time-sensitive to get quick action results.

How Do I Know What to Offer?

This is an age-old question of many coaches and business owners and it boils down to knowing your target audience. How do they want their information presented? What are the hot topics in their industry? What struggles do they have every day? The simplest way to know what they want is to simply ask them.

Another reason coaches don’t know what to offer is because they don’t have a plan, either for their business or who they want to help. Writing a business plan with action steps is imperative for business growth and I’m presenting a very in-depth workshop on this very topic.

“Your 12 Month Marketing Calendar: Plan Your Programs, Content, and Promotions for the Entire Year!” contains four modules filled with actionable steps anyone can implement. At the end of the modules you will have a completed 12-month calendar with all your programs, content, and promotions listed along with the action steps necessary to produce it all. If you want to leverage your business to the next level, click here

Implement These 3 Productivity Hacks Today

Implement These 3 Productivity Hacks Today

Productivity and efficiency are the popular buzzwords lately as more and more business owners try to make the most of their time during a busy day. No matter how hard you try, you simply cannot do everything yourself when it comes to running your business. Investing in your business not only decreases stress but it makes your business run more smoothly, therefore increasing profits.

If you need to improve your productivity, try these three tips:

Outsource It

Rather than being saddled with monotonous tasks and expensive software they may have to learn, many smart business owners are accepting their limitations and finding expert service providers to take over these tasks. What takes one expert an hour to do can easily take a non-savvy business owner 5 hours to complete. Is that really a good use of your time?

Start off by asking your business associates for referrals and conduct regular interviews, as though you were hiring an employee. Just because they are a virtual service provider doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the same high standards you would expect from an employee.

Kick the Bad Habits

Are you stuck in the dark ages, doing things just because you’ve always done it that way? Analyze your business during the last year. Did you launch any programs? Were the results better or worse than you expected? Are there any new software programs or apps that will make your work more efficient? Are you still keeping your books in a handwritten ledger or are you ready to convert to a computer software program? Delegate tasks; find a new software; plan out new programs or updates; these are all things you can start doing today, not to spend money unnecessarily but to breathe some excitement into your business.

Create an Actual Plan

Use a project management program or an old-fashioned paper planner but put your projects onto a calendar and work towards achieving those goals. Without a plan, your actions are meaningless. You might decide to work on something unrelated to your goals or you might delay your own deadlines in order to put client business ahead of your own work. A business plan is your blueprint to reaching your goals, no matter how lofty they may seem. Seeing this plan daily will give you something to focus on, therefore increasing your daily productivity.

Overwhelmed at the Idea of Planning? Have No Fear!

While everyone’s goals will be different, we all have to create a roadmap and learn how to take real action. There’s no excuse not to grow your business this year!   After all, if you set out on a road trip with no destination in mind, how will you know when you’ve arrived?

Sure, the journey might be fun, but when you’re growing a business, that’s not your first concern…

Let me share a proven way to plan your best year yet!  This mini-course will give you all the things you need to create a strategy for long-term profit and growth!

Who knows – it might help you reach that 6-figure goal you have been trying to reach!

 

3 Reasons Why Coaches Need to Hire a Support Team

3 Reasons Why Coaches Need to Hire a Support Team

A common piece of advice from business coaches to those who want to grow their business is to hire team members who can do the support work so you can focus your efforts on money-making tasks. In other words, don’t waste your time doing bookkeeping or answering emails because you’ll make more money selling your signature program or coaching clients.

So how’s a business supposed to run smoothly when you’re not doing those necessary support tasks? Simple…you hire people to do those tasks for you. There are expert Virtual Assistants who can create an organized inbox with filters, folders and labels in mere minutes. There are expert Bookkeepers who find joy in numbers and live for balancing your books each month. And there are still others who adore creating online content and helping customers with their questions and problems. This is the team you need to create.

There’s Not Enough Time in Your Day

If this is your excuse for not getting tasks done, then it’s time to hire at least one team member. Make a list of your most pressing tasks that need doing and hire the appropriate person for the job. Start small if necessary, paying a Virtual Assistant for 5 hours a month, for instance, and then work up from there as you become more comfortable delegating tasks to her. You’ve just gained 5 hours in your month so use it wisely.

You Can’t Clone Yourself

How on earth can you coach your clients while also getting prospects into your sales funnel and creating books or other signature programs? You can’t, plain and simple, because there is only ONE of you! This leads back to you doing the money-making tasks. Hire a ghostwriter to write your book or programs; hire a Virtual Assistant to help with administrative tasks; hire a Customer Service Specialist to answer your phones and client questions.  While they work, you work on building relationships with your clients and prospects.

You Don’t Have Time to Learn the Latest Technology

Technology is wonderful and keeps improving every day but who has the time to learn all these programs and apps? Canva is certainly a cool tool for designing graphics but instead of fooling around for hours to design your book covers or social media graphics, hire a graphic designer who already knows about design and color principles and likely has the latest and greatest design program. There’s no learning curve here. You only have to explain your vision to the designer and let her take over. Again, focus on your money-making activities.

I Don’t Know What Tasks to Give Up

Giving up control can be intimidating but if you have a business plan and know exactly what tasks YOU want to handle, the art of delegation becomes much easier. If you need help planning these next steps in your business, check out my newest workshop, Your 12 Month Marketing Calendar: Plan Your Programs, Content, and Promotions for the Entire Year!

In this 4-module downloadable self-paced course we start off with making a business plan and creating action steps, then we work through productivity tips and tools as well as how to plan your offerings and your promotional offers. After you get a plan in place, it will become more obvious what type of service providers you’ll need and for which tasks. 

 

3 Pages Every Funnel Must Have—And What To Include On Them!

Confused about how exactly sales funnels work? You’re not alone. In fact, that’s the number one reason small business owners say they can’t get their funnels set up—they simply don’t know what to include where. 

Here’s the easy answer: At the very least, your sales funnel needs three pages. 

 

Sales Page

This one obviously comes first. You might call it a landing page, or in the case of a free opt-in, a squeeze page. It serves one purpose—to get the reader to take action. Whether that’s to buy a product or offer up their email address in exchange for a free gift, this is the gateway into your funnel. Everything that follows depends on this page, so you want to be sure you:

Include a clear call to action—“Buy Now” or “Click here to download this report for free”

Eliminate distractions—that means no links to other websites or even a navigation bar

Address the readers’ pain points and how your offer provides the solution

 

Confirmation Page

Here’s where we ask the reader to confirm their intent. For a sales funnel, this confirmation page might actually be your checkout page. It’s where they enter their payment details. For a free offer, it’s simply the page your email management system directs them to next. It’s a  holding page, if you will, while you wait for them to confirm their email address. 

If you’re setting up a free funnel, this page has great power—and you don’t want to waste it! 

Here is where you can offer an upset, remind people to follow you on social media, and give them a peak at your other products and services. 

Remember, though, that they will only see this page once, so don’t put anything here that they will need to refer back to. That’s what the thank you page is for. 

 

Thank You Page

This is where they actually collect their downloadable item, or get information about how your product will be delivered. 

Like the confirmation page, this is valuable real estate, so you want to be sure you use it wisely. In addition to the downloadable item your customer just purchased (or opted in for) you also want to showcase your other offers—especially those at a slightly higher price point. Here’s why: the person looking at this page is a hot prospect. He or she is in a buying mood. You want to be sure to take advantage of that by putting your most relevant offers on this page. To encourage buying, consider including:

A limited time offer—scarcity sells, so if you can legitimately limit sales to a few hours/days or number of units, then this is the place to do so. 

A “no brainer” coupon offer—an insider’s only deal can be a powerful motivator, especially if it’s a fantastic price. 

 

Extra bonuses—give them access to additional products/services if they buy through your link on that page. These should be bonuses that aren’t advertised on the public sales page for that product. Again—insider’s deals are motivating!

Putting together a sales funnel isn’t complicated—or at least it doesn’t have to be. As your business grows and you have more products to offer, you can expand your funnel to include more upsells and downsells, but for now, this simple setup is really all you need.