In this episode:
01:09 – Making sure you get paid
02:25 – The farmer’s mindset
03:05 – Narrowing your focus
03:53 – Valuing the customers you have
04:22 – How to be paid over and over
04:40 – Selling the results
05:17 – Looking after your team
05:40 – Leveraging your list
06:17 – Can it be shared?
06:52 – Getting more out of your material
07:49 – Content that connects
08:09 – Sharing success stories
08:34 – The real route to freedom
09:10 – Less input, less stress
09:35 – No business past this point
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James Schramko here, welcome to SuperFastBusiness.com. In this special podcast, it’s just me today talking about 15 best practices for a flourishing online business.
After years of running and building my own successful online business, I’ve learned a few things about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to online marketing. And here are some of the principles and best practices that I live by to make my business profitable. And also, this works for my customers.
Number 1: The racecourse owner gets paid no matter which horse wins. So you really want to own your assets, in particular, a business website built on your own domain. I like self-hosted WordPress for the website platform. That’s what we have at SuperFastBusiness.com.
By the way, if you like the theme at SuperFastBusiness, we actually sell them in our pre-done theme section for just $299, installed. And my team will actually help you get it onto a live Web host and help you integrate your opt-in and make sure that it’s customized for you.
Now when you get your own website, you want to put all your best content there, and that’s where people should be able to come and access your products and services. And make no mistake, SuperFastBusiness.com sells over two million dollars each year from this website. So it’s actually a really good thing to do to put your stuff on your own website.
And don’t make the mistake of the easy option, which is putting your assets on other people’s sites, in particular, Facebook or YouTube. Should your account be suddenly closed, your whole business is at risk. So if you want to play on their platform, just be prepared to lose the race.
Number 2: Liken your business to a farm or an orchard, where you grow such amazing produce that people flock to it for miles around. And when you occasionally box up some fruit and send it to someone else’s market, it has people coming back to you for more of the good stuff. That would be like doing a guest post on someone else’s podcast.
Other people’s websites and your email list should serve to bring visitors back to your site. And if you’re focused on having a business like a farmer and orchard, then you have this farming mindset, where you look after people who are coming back over and over again, instead of having to hunt all the time for the next sale.
Number 3: 80-20 the 80-20. Now that sounds a bit weird. We’ve heard about the Pareto principle and how you can do an 80-20, 20% of the things you do get 80% of your results. Well, how about this? If you do an 80-20 on the 80-20, what it works out is that 4% of the stuff you do in your business will bring in 64% of your results.
I mean, that’s mind-blowing when you think about it. Four percent of the things you’re doing are getting you 64%, more than half, of the results you’re getting. An example of this is focusing on the customer relationship. Putting the customer at the center of your business will pay huge dividends in repeat sales and customer loyalty.
Number 4: Value your customers. Don’t be so busy trying to get new clients that you forget the ones you already have. Have interaction programs with your existing customers that will make them happy to stick around and to spend more with you, and to refer other people to your business because they’re happy. Not only will you profit, but you’ll spend less on advertising and trying to attract new customers. My boss used to have a saying: “The best customer is the one who just walked out the door.”
Number 5: Recurring income is key to a profitable business. Figure out how you can have recurring subscriptions and get paid over and over to solve a problem on a sustained basis. Remember, if you can modify the frequency that you get paid, your income is going to skyrocket.
Number 6: Stop trading time for money and start selling results. Strive not to work on a fee per hour basis, but to create packages that will deliver the most results for the least time investment. Consider subcontracting suppliers or experts who can be paid to do the work while leaving you a good profit. This is effectively buying other people’s time.
Think about that. You can hire other people’s time and then resell that as a package service for a profit. Focus your customers on the result and not the time. And don’t sell one-to-one coaching, it’s very unleveraged.
Number 7: Have a good team culture. If you build a team with a good culture, solid routines and great communication will be the key to achieving your business goals on a consistent basis. And I like this saying: “If you look after your team, then they’ll look after the customer. The customer will look after the business, and the business will look after you.”
Number 8: Build and convert your database. Capture the details of people who show interest in your business, and come up with ways to move them into customer status, generally by making an offer so compelling that they can’t refuse. Now you might want to think about some of the obvious ones, such as shopping cart abandonment sequences. When someone visits your site and they don’t buy, it’d be really nice to follow them up and see if they really were interested. Also, it’s good to give away something for free from your website, so that people can opt in for that, get some great value, and you can start that relationship.
Number 9: Use shareable content. Entice your audience with images specific to your industry, or offer lists that pique curiosity, i.e., Seven Foods You Should Never, Ever Eat. Make it worth giving you their email address so that you can continually update them with new information or your latest product. And I call this Own The Racecourse. This is this idea of constant news.
Because people are addicted to news. If you think about it, people get the newspaper, they watch the news on television. So why not have news on your blogs, so that people can keep re-engaging with your website?
Number 10: Make the most of your material. Repurpose audio by adding pictures to it, and putting the resulting video on Slideshare, where it will engage the right audience. Transcribe your side of a podcast interview and have an infographic made from it.
In fact, this episode came from that source. It started its life as me preparing an IP sheet on this specific topic. I then appeared as a guest on someone else’s show, and recorded my side of the conversation. I gave that to my team, who illustrated a wonderful infographic, and now I’m making this podcast based on that infographic.
You can also make content private, and impart higher value to it with the right headline, making it available to people only when they join your newsletter or membership, for example. This is called putting it behind a paid firewall, or a paywall.
Number 11: Use content that will resonate with your target audience. A physical training program, for example, is very visual and can use images of ripped bodies for promotion while a techier business may focus on app screenshots or graphs of trends and results. So think about the context of your audience.
Number 12: Sharing clients’ success stories builds credibility. It’s one thing to talk about your own success, but showing that your products work for other people will really inspire the confidence of prospects. When sharing testimonials, represent a customer base that your target market can relate to. This will attract the right type of people to your business. And of course, they should be true.
Number 13: Having a routine sets you free. And I was the first one to resist this when I became an entrepreneur. I thought having no routine meant that I was truly free, but it was actually a reality that when I set times, then you’ll be available for clients but it also frees you up for the rest of the time when you haven’t set times.
A tool to do this is ScheduleOnce. It’s a helpful tool that allows people to book your available time and adds appointments to your calendar, eliminating the back and forth of negotiating a time and date via email. Once you have your times, then automatically all the rest of the time is your time.
Number 14: Reduce stress and save time by filtering the amounts of input you receive. Eliminate subscriptions you don’t need and limit the people who have direct access to you. This gives you more time for thinking and doing and only dealing with the most important people in your zone. And that’s probably going to be your team, at the highest level, and your best customers and potential customers.
Number 15: Get a good start in the morning by having a cutoff time at night. No matter what you’re doing, at a certain time, all business activity should stop. Pulling all nighters and missing sleep just ruins productivity for the next day. It can take a long time to catch up, so if you think you’re cutting extra activity by staying up really late at night, you’re probably in some kind of deception.
What you’ll find is that you’ll be much more productive if you have a stop time and then start again in the morning. Start when you’ve got the most energy and you’re ready to go after a good breakfast.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips. If you really like this information and you’d like me to help you grow your business, I’m available to help you. I actually coach people every single day at SuperFastBusiness.com/membership. Come along and join, I’d love to help you grow your business. I’m James Schramko, if you enjoyed this podcast please leave a comment and refer the podcast to a friend of yours. Thank you.
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Share your thoughts: What are the top 3 practices you can implement immediately from this list?