Business Strategy

Ep. 100 Behind the Scenes of The Disney Mastermind

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Today I want to debrief with you on the latest Digital Insiders Mastermind. This was probably the most ambitious thing I have ever attempted in my business, and it was a basically week long Disneyworld meets Digital Insiders Mastermind Extravaganza. So I’m gonna kind of go into the event and give you sort of behind the scenes.



So we decided to do something different for the 2021 masterminds because we had all been virtual for Covid. So back in 2020 I had the idea, you know we all been sort of sitting on the sidelines here, doing everything virtual, let’s go someplace amazing. Let’s go to Disneyworld.

So I contacted the event team, and I just have to give a major shout out to Disneyworld Event Team, they did a fantastic job, but also my team. Really, Jessica Foster was the machine behind all of this helping put all these logistics together. So we went ahead, picked the dates, got the room block, and basically I said to people, “You have got to book this now, come hell or high water.” Because you know, when you’re planning an event, it’s always a little tricky with the room block because they make you pay for whatever you don’t use on your room block, so that can be kind of financially scary. But the Digital Insiders were super, they were down. And we booked up the room block in just a couple of weeks.

So we stayed at the Grand Floridian, which is the flagship resort in Disneyworld. Amazing location, amazing views, just absolutely fantastic. We got a really good deal, normally it’s like $700 a night at that resort, but we ended up getting about $329 a night for a room and people wanted to share. So we booked that out pretty fast. Then what I did is I put together a Disneyworld Committee through the Digital Insiders just to get some feedback and some ideas on how to do it, because you’re combining play with work, it was completely different than any other mastermind.

So we met once a month for a couple of months. We talked about food, we talked about ideas, we talked about the blend of play versus work. So that was sort of a recurring theme as I was planning this event. How much play is enough? And how much work is enough? And with entrepreneurs who are very, very work focused, I was a little nervous that this would be a hard transition. And it turns out that it was a little bit, but it was also really, really good.

So a couple of things, number one, the way we ran the schedule is we did two full masterminding days from 9 to 4 on Monday and Thursday. And on both of those days we had hosted dinners. So basically the way the schedule worked is we Mastermind from 9 to 12, we had a 2 hour lunch break, and everybody went to various restaurants around Disneyworld. And that was quite a logistical feat that I had a Digital Insider help me with to get reservations, since Disney is kind of complicated. And then we had a nice long break from 4 to 7, and this was great because it allowed people to either go to the pool, or talk, or network, and then we had hosted dinners on Monday and Thursday night.

So those were the big mastermind days. Tuesday and Friday were half day mastermind days. So on Tuesday it was a 2 to 6, and on Friday it was 11 to 3. So on those days we had other things going on. So Tuesday morning we had people going into Magic Kingdom. And on Friday night we had people going into Epcot. So those days were really, really long. I thought they were going to be fine, but they were actually more tiring than the Monday/Thursday because of the switch from play to work, play to work.And then Wednesday, smack dab in the middle, was just a day of play.

So a couple of cool things that we did at the mastermind that I will never forget as long as I live. The first thing is that I rented out Animal Kingdom, after dark, after closing. So we got on coach buses, we got to animal kingdom, and all 80 of us walking into the park while everyone was walking out, was just something I will never forget as long as I live.

We went over into the Africa area, and we went to Harambe market where there was a West African band playing, a huge buffet, Raffiki showed up and we basically spent an hour and half or two hours just having a meal together. And then we picked up and walked over to the land of Pandora, which is all lit up at night. It’s bio-luminescent waterfalls, sounds. We went over there and we had 90 minutes access to the most popular ride on Disney property, which is Flight of Passage, although, I would say it’s probably the second most popular ride now that Star Wars is around. And we got 90 minutes to ride it, just us. And it was so unbelievably cool.

And then we had a dessert party with all kinds of desserts. I honestly can’t quite remember. So that night was just absolutely unforgettable. The next morning, Tuesday morning, about 40 of us got up to go do Magic Kingdom. So we were up late, and we were up early, and by Tuesday night we were just absolutely exhausted.
But it was interesting to see what happened, because some of the people who were a little bit less excited about the play part of the mastermind, noticed that once they were kind of pulled out of their regular environment, they were waiting in lines, they were eating meals, they were dancing, they were swimming, they were doing all these things, and ideas started to kind of bubble up to the surface. And that that need for play is so built into our DNA, and it’s the thing that really drives creativity.

So on Wednesday we all did a VIP tour. So I had got 6 VIP tour guides and each team, they were based on teams and they were named after different pirate ships, got to choose what they wanted to do for 7 hours. So some teams did one or two parks, other teams hit all four parks in 7 hours, it was nuts. But of course, with the VIP tour guides, you can get to the front of the lines, they drive you through the back entrances, they get your coffee for you, your ponchos, whatever you need. So it’s just such a luxury experience. And I cannot tell you, I will treasure for the rest of my life, all the pictures that came flooding in during that VIP day.

So Thursday we went back to work, but there was like a new energy in the room because we had had all this play time, and Thursday night we had a party at the Grand Floridian. We watched the fireworks, we danced, we stayed up until 2 in the morning in the hot tub, and it was just an absolutely amazing, amazing day.

Friday was, Friday was a little hard. It was hard because it was sad because people were leaving. It was hard because we were exhausted. We did mastermind again, we had some great presentations, and then we went into Epcot and we did the food and wine festival and the fireworks. It was a full day. And we were all exhausted. But the takeaway from it was that play is as important as work, especially if you need creative energy for your business. It also is very obvious that people need connection, they need face to face human connection. And I saw that play out, and you know we know that the pandemic has caused a lot of hardship and social isolation. But watching the sort of sadness and crash after, just reminds me how much we need to belong in a community.

So if you’re thinking about putting on an event like this, number one I would make sure you have someone like my team. Jess and also Emily and Helen and Nuno, they were all really, really critical to pulling this off. I had Helen who was overseeing the virtual, because there were virtual about 20 people who couldn’t come, so we wanted to stream them in. Nuno who was sort of working the room and making sure everybody felt good and could belong. And Emily was sort of the liaison between the virtual and the in-person, she was also my gate keeper. And then Jess who was managing almost every logistic from you know, oh my gosh, the time and what to do if it rained. And we had a little bit of a snafu with our park tickets not being hoppers, and we had to upgrade them all, just little things like that.

It is definitely an expensive event, both for your clients and for you. This was triple the cost of what I normally spend on a mastermind event, and 100% worth it. I had a few people ask, “What’s the ROI on an event like this?” I didn’t sell anything, so I didn’t “make back the money”. However, I had spoken to Emily, who is my CFO about this when some of the quotes were coming in for these ridiculous experiences, like renting Animal Kingdom, or renting a ride, or VIP tours, all that kind of stuff. You know, I wanted it to make business sense, but at some point it didn’t. You know, when I’m normally spending, you $40 to $50,000 on an event where I’m not selling anything, it’s a fulfillment event, what is the reason for spending 3, 4 times more than that for an event?

So I knew in my head that experiences matter, not just for the sense of community, but for retention, but also because I knew that giving people an experience would help re-invigorate their business, and does that have an ROI? Yes, 100%. Does it have an ROI on my PNL? It will, you know what, because I don’t necessarily at this point in my business, worry so, so, so much about my PNL. My PNL is pretty steady and yes it will take a dip, but I know that the memories, that the relationships, the connections, the creativity, it is going to last far beyond the 2021 budget.

So again, I would say to you as a business owner, if you are planning an event, or thinking of attending an event, and you’re struggling to find the ROI in it, you’re not quite sure how it’s all going to work, take my story to heart and know that, it was funny, Emily got off Flight of Passage on Monday night, and you know she’s always the one watching my books, and she came over to me and said, ‘You know, half way through the ride I thought to myself, there’s really no better way to spend money than what we’re doing right here.” And it’s really true, like from a personal values standpoint, I don’t think I can think of a time in my life where I was happier than watching so many people I love have the time of their life. And you really can’t put a number on that.

So I would encourage you to think about experiences in your business, yes there are a lot of logistics and they cost a lot of money, but they are 1000% worth all the headache and time that they take to plan. And shout out to Disneyworld. If you have never done anything at Disneyworld, their customer service team is just unparalleled. It’s a business lesson in and of itself. Watching the way they run their company, the way they run events, the standard at which they hold themselves to, it’s something that Cathy and I at Funnel Gorgeous, and myself at Digital Insiders aspire to.

So I am still not recovered. There was a pretty bad dopamine crash after this. Of course I’m already thinking about when’s the next time we can do something like this again. And the takeaways just keep coming. It’s funny, I met with the Digital Insiders yesterday and we did takeaways at the event, but it takes some time to really let things percolate. And the stuff that’s starting to bubble up is really, really good.

So go find a way to play today, get some experiences, get outside of your comfort zone, and I’ll talk to you soon.

Ep. 99 How To Decide On A Business Partner

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Hey everyone, this is Julie and today I want to talk about business partnerships. I have a lot of people that ask about my relationship with Cathy Olsen who is the co-CEO and partner with me in Funnel Gorgeous. So I thought I would do an episode today about some of the things I’ve learned and some of the advice that I would give.



A little bit of background on our story. We started working together in 2017, she had hired me. I was the coach and she was the client and we had developed a friendship and worked really well together, so in early 2018 she and I came up with this idea to launch a course called Funnel Gorgeous, and it was blending my funnel and marketing knowledge with her design. So we did that first. We did not have intentions of building a company together, we just thought this would be cool. So we went in 50/50.

A lot of people ask how that, how we arranged that. We put it in writing and we both agreed to $15,000 of either cash or sweat equity. So that meant for me using my email list, using my copy skills. For Cathy that was designs. So we actually, you know, we didn’t put in a lot of cash, we both pooled our skills. But if you were going to do this with somebody and you guys didn’t have the skills, you’d have to put equal amounts of money in and then equal amounts out.

So we did that and launched it, and we had made $55,000 in that first launch, so it was really successful, and we continued to add to that course with templates. So that went all the way into 2019. It was really clear at that point that we were building something that was bigger than just a course, so we formalized our relationship on paper, but not officially with a lawyer yet. But we were working together, we had this one course and these templates. And then it wasn’t until June 2019 that we launched a second course, and this one was called Webinar Gorgeous. And that one did $175,000 in sales. And this is when it was really obvious that we had something. Something was really working.

So over the next six months, we hired a lawyer and got an operating agreement, and January 1st I believe, of 2020 is when we officially went into that operating agreement as 50/50 partners. We hired a lawyer, we put all of that official stuff in place. And you know, it’s really important when you’re doing this that you consider the costs, like the unseen costs of your partnership.

So for example, if you’re using your FG funnels account for the business, that’s $97 a month, and you’re paying for that, but you know this new venture is using it as well, you have to account for all of that, so sometimes the easier thing is to just get all brand new accounts, brand new business accounts, brand new cards, just to keep it really clean and really simple.

So that’s sort of the origin story of how Cathy and I work together, but I think what people really want to know is how do you know? How do you know if someone is a good partner for you? And I really don’t have a lot of magic to offer here, but I have a couple of things that I know to be true, because Cathy is not my first partnership. I had a partnership with someone back in 2016 for Create Your Laptop Life, and I briefly tried a partnership outside of Funnel Gorgeous in my other business, Digital Insiders, that did not go well.

So what have I learned? Number one, you have to know that you cannot do the business without the other person. A lot of partnerships start because people like each other, and they like working together, and they like the camaraderie. But the truth is that if the partnership ends, one person could probably carry the business better than another person. So it’s not until you really know that the business doesn’t survive if the partnership doesn’t, that you have something really, really good.

So you see this in partnerships that last a long time, and for us, Cathy is so much the foundation of the Funnel Gorgeous brand that without her the brand wouldn’t, and you know, maybe that means that we wouldn’t have a good sellable business, but what it does mean is we have a partnership that’s really solid. And the business, the brand does not work without her, just like the brand does not work without me. We need each other. There’s no one person that can carry this brand.

So when you look at someone when you’re evaluating if that makes a good partner, you have to ask yourself, “Could I do this business without them?” because if the answer is yes, that’s going to be a bug in your ear for a long time.

So that’s the first thing, know that you can’t do the business without the other person. Number two, you need to have a mutual respect for their zone of genius. If there’s any doubt in your head about that person’s zone of genius, or you can’t respect and also kind of give in and not have the final say, you’re going to constantly be butting heads.

So when it comes to design, Cathy is always going to be the winner. What she says goes. In fact, in most cases I’m not even going to question her zone of genius or try to step on it, because there’s no way that I could ever produce something that’s more high quality than what she already does. So I have such a great respect, not only for her design, but for her branding mind, her sales mind, and her marketing mind and how that design pays out in the marketing process. So when she speaks up about that, it’s time for me to take a seat and let her speak.

So she will do the same for me when it comes to copywriting, and curriculum, and content, and things like that. So that’s the second thing. You need to have mutual respect for the zone of genius.

The third thing, and I don’t know if this is actually good business advice, so take it with a grain of salt. But I believe that the partnership has to be more important than the business. And what I mean by that, is that your commitment to being a good partner for the other person, has to be more important than the bottom line of the business. And the reason why I say that is because if that holds true and you work on the partnership, then the business will be fine. It’s similar to the way people talk about marriage, and they say that your marriage is more important than the relationship with your kids. And it’s not that you love your spouse more than your kids, it’s that people understand that if your marriage is number one priority, and you focus on that, that ultimately that will trickle down and help the children.

So the idea is that if your partnership, your relationship with your partner and the lines of communication, and the fact that you guys are in this together, has to be more important than the business, and the business will be okay, because the partnership will be strong.

So those are sort of my three tips as you’re evaluating a partner and deciding this is something you want to do. Number one, you have to know that you cannot do the business without them. Number two, you have to have a mutual respect for their zone of genius. And number three, the partnership has to be more important than the business, because the partnership is what makes the business run.

So hopefully that helps. If you like this, please share it, leave a review, and I’ll talk to you soon.

Digital Insiders Take Disney: Part I {What Actually Happened}

On Sunday November 7th, 80 Digital Insiders descended on Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for a week of play, fun, and masterminding. We all rolled in at various times of the day, and collected together at the outdoor patio at 6pm to connect and say hello.

It’s hard to explain how much excitement was in the air. I wish I could bottle it up and open it whenever someone needs it. Something about the combination of fun, business, sun, and people made this mastermind the most anticipated ever.

Some brought their children (six kids was the the record!), some brought spouses, partners, and friends.

Jessica and I handled registration that afternoon as every member got a notebook, hoodie, and a 20 page individualized itinerary to keep track of schedules and reservations! In addition, we handed out directions and rules for the pirate game intended for bonding and photos (more on that later). Everything was going smoothly until I sent an email to Club 33 asking about the VIP tours I’d secured.

Turns out the policy had changed about the tours. You could only park hop if you had a park hopper ticket, and I’d told everyone they only needed a base ticket. After 90 minutes on the phone with the club, we’d run out of options on how to do that. I was crushed. I knew I’d have to deliver the bad news Monday morning to prep for the fact that we’d only get through one park on Wednesday.

On the off chance that the event team could help us, I had Jessica round up every single person’s email address and reservation confirmation # in case they could upgrade everyone’s ticket in the backend.

Monday morning – the entire group was downstairs and at the conference room by 8:30am. The room was abuzz with hugs and excitement and some pirate loot negotiating happening as the game started to heat up.

We spent the first hour going over the logistics of the day and week (there is a LOT to know about Disney if you’ve never done it) and then we masterminded until 4pm.

I did a presentation on organic marketing, and how to plan a marketing initiative for the quarter. After that we had two presentations by DIers – Julia Taylor on her Geekapoolza Summit + Greg Bottaro on a new way to deal with difficult inner emotions we have.

In between – the group of 80 split up to go to various lunch places. Logistically this was one of the more complicated parts of planning. Since Disney has virtually no walk up service, we made tons of reservations on various accounts and then had people sign up to the lunches. We also had to make sure the restaurants were close enough to the convention center that they could get back. In hindsight, I think it was an excellent way for people to have a meal together who might otherwise clump together in the same group the whole week. Also in hindsight, I would have probably only done one RSVP per day instead of two, since some of the night reservations were tiring and people wanted to change plans.

Monday night we boarded two coach buses and went to Animal Kingdom just as it was closing! The feeling of all of us walking into the park as everyone was walking out was one I will NEVER forget. We went into Africa’s Harambe Market and feasted on turkey and prime rib and a million other things I can’t remember any more. a West African band played music the whole time, and after a visit from Rafiki, it was time for Pandora.

The Disney team walked us into the bioluminescent Pandora land where we had a massive dessert party and rode Flight of Passage as many times as we could in 90 minutes. Coming back on the bus that night, I couldn’t believe that one – it had only been one day, and two – that I had the honor of that experience. I’ll never forget it.

My sister Nicole and I stumbled into bed around midnight and I fell asleep thinking that the 45 people who’d planned to do Magic Kingdom on Tuesday morning at 8am would probably be a no show.

I was wrong. We all gathered by the Gingerbread house at 8am to get into the park early enough to do a few rides before the crowds got too big. This was the ONLY time we didn’t have any special privileges. So it was a strategic outing into Magic Kingdom to hit all three mountains – Space, Thunder, and Splash. And yes, we did it!

By 11am, we’d done a bunch of fun rides, and then broke off for lunch.

The remaining 40 or so people stayed back at the resort to mastermind by the pool, and we all reconvened as a group at 2pm. That day – I spoke on sticky content (and how to be memorable on social), and then we had two talks: Cathy spoke on branding and Sharon did a talk on how to communicate with difficult people. We had a breakout session for smaller masterminding, and then we ended around 6pm.

Looking back, Tuesday was a long day. To go from Magic Kingdom to masterminding to another dinner at night…this is where I thought, “Gosh are we all gonna make it til Friday?”

That night we all split up all over the World and went to various restaurants. I was at the California Grill where the music pipes in the for the fireworks at night. Afterwards we came back to the Floridian for what would become “hot tub masterminding”. Drinks, hot tub, and late late hours… it was this way from Tuesday on forward.

As it turns out, the issue with the park tickets and VIP day ended up getting solved. The event team said if I could get everyone’s number, they would upgrade their ticket package to a park hopper and then bill me for them all. So that’s what I did. And this meant that all the VIP tours could hit as many parks as they wanted in seven hours.

Wednesday morning was bright and sunny.  The pirate game was getting pretty intense at this point. There were deals being struck, and people were taking photos like crazy.

Since certain photos equaled money, by the end of the VIP day, we had over 1000 photos. It was crazy. The VIP tour guides were totally up for the game, and helped several groups get the harder to find shots.

The VIP tour I was on didn’t hit all four parks in one day, but still we were exhausted by the end of our seven hours. We’d managed two parks and I watched on Instagram as other teams made it to all four!

That night was another dinner, and it was a rainy night. But it didn’t stop us from fireworks or the hot tub. Shenanigans continued to go down with the pirate game, and most of us were limping from sore feet.

Thursday we came back for a full day of masterminding. On this day, I spoke on benchmarks and underperforming offers, and we had four DIers do a give. Sarah Masci spoke on VIP days, Portia spoke on money, Renee on sales, and Christina on Black Friday sales.

That night was the second hosted dinner. Due to the rain we had it indoors, but it didn’t change a thing. We drank, we ate, we watched fireworks, the kids (and adults) got pictures with Mickey, and we danced… HARD.

I also announced the end of the pirate game. Five boats banded together against one (long story LOL), we uncovered some serious plot twists, and saw people in a new light! The winning pirate ship – The Barnacle – earned pirate pins and a $2500 cash prize.

When that party ended at 10pm, we made our way to the hot tub and pool and closed it out at 2am. It felt like graduation night. No one wanted it to be over. Even though there was another day, a bunch of people left on Friday so it had that sad ending feeling to it.

Friday we started at 11am (thank God)! There were a bunch of breakfasts in the morning and then we got together from 11-4. Cathy + I spoke on design, Abby spoke on brand photography, and Jess Santise taught us how to make branded gifs.

I tried to end the day with a poetic speech, but I didn’t really have one. I just tried hard not to cry. To finish the mastermind, we went into Epcot (it was so busy), ate and drank through the world, and ended the night with an epic view of the new Harmonious show.

  • We walked 42 miles in a week.
  • Saw 10 fireworks shows between Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
  • Took thousands of photos.
  • Saw some major bonding + competition both.
  • Did what we do best – masterminded.
  • Came away with a renewed sense of possibility and excitement for the future.

It was a feat of logistics and planning I could not have pulled off without my team. The goal I had for this trip was simple…Give people a magical experience that would bring hope, fun, joy, creativity, and possibility while also creating a space for new friendships to form, and old ones to connect.

Knowing how hard business is, and how much we need other people, I knew this would help us all after a very long and stressful 18 months trying to run a business in a pandemic.

Goal met.

As the fatigue starts to wear off and my energy returns, I had a renewed excitement for 2022 and what’s to come! Want to try Disney with me? Next opportunity is the Marketer’s Heart event in February!

 

How To Create A Marketing Plan That Doesn’t Rely On Facebook Ads

It’s like the quintessential question of the hour. Of the year.

Business owners who’ve relied so heavily on Facebook Ads now are staring down high costs, fewer conversions, and more headache. We have to pivot. We can’t just “wish” for better days, or say, “Oh well my business worked when I had 4x ROAS.” The time for grieving is over. We’ve got work to do, and the longer you stare at the past, the further behind you will get.

First, let’s simply break down the FOUR big buckets of traffic when you’re looking for new audiences.

  1. Social
  2. Search
  3. Relationship
  4. Paid

Social Traffic

It’s helpful to sit down and give yourself a grade on how well you use each of the following platforms. Bonus points if you can grade how well you promote EACH product on said platform. Social traffic is interesting because you’re interrupting people who are on the platform, and trying to create sticky content that gets them excited to actually follow you and see what more you have for them. This traffic is fleeting. The whole goal of this traffic is to get them on your email list or somewhere where you can continue to market to them.

  • Facebook Profile (we’re not including a FB page since that’s primarily for paid traffic)
  • Facebook Group
  • Instagram Posts
  • Instagram Stories
  • Instagram Reels
  • IGTV
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Search Traffic

Search is fundamentally different from social since this is targeting people who are actively looking for you! This is all about being clear. Showing up at the right time when they are like “Hey I need help with xyz.” This type of traffic grows over time.

  • YouTube
  • Google
  • Pinterest
  • Amazon
  • Podcast
  • Apps

Relationship Traffic

This is a high value type of traffic, but comes with its own set of SOP’s and work. However, you’ll find this traffic over time works even when you’re not.

  • Dream 100
  • Affiliates
  • Public Relations/Media
  • Licensing
  • Referrals

Paid Traffic

Here’s where most of it gravitate because it seems the easiest.

  • FB/IG
  • YT/Google
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • TikTok

Then there are four big buckets of marketing you can do internally to your existing audience.

  1. Launches
  2. Email
  3. Product Spotlights
  4. Upgrades

Launches

Launches are simply a way to concentrate your marketing efforts around some scarcity or urgency to drive sales. Here are just a few types of launches:

  • Email
  • Webinar
  • Workshop
  • Events
  • Challenges

Email Campaigns

This is where you use email to market to your audience to help them make purchases (either new ones or get them back on track when they abandon the cart)

  • Abandon Cart
  • Fulfillment
  • Nurture

Product Spotlights

How can you spotlight a product to your audience without going through a whole big launch? Sometimes just being top of mind is enough to remind people to buy.

  • Newsletter
  • Text
  • FB Group

Upgrades

After someone becomes a customer, where and how can you strategically place upgrades so you can up your average cart value?

  • In Course
  • Order Confirm
  • 2nd Chance OTO

Okay so you have the four big buckets of cold traffic marketing channels and the four big buckets of warm traffic marketing channels, and now it’s time to put a marketing plan together.

Step One: Figure out what products you want to feature internally to your WARM audience

You can do this on a quarterly basis or a yearly. I think quarterly is easier because so much changes. Look at your product suite and decide what offers you want to feature with your audience. This will drive your WARM traffic marketing plan for the quarter. Maybe you want do a launch, or perhaps you want to focus on adding upgrades in a course with an email sequence that leads them to the next product. Choose ONE big marketing initiative per month to focus on (unless you have a giant launch, then it may spill to two or three months). If you have a team, you can obviously focus on more. Overall, you should be able to do one to three things with your product suite that help drives more sales to your internal audience.

Some of these things are operational that you put in place and then just run.

For example, maybe you decide to do a weekly product spotlight in your Facebook group on a product. Take a month to get the tools, people, and SOP in place and then let it run in your weekly routine in your business.

Step Two: Create your content topics for the quarter for your COLD audience

So let’s say you’re doing this for Quarter four. There are 12 weeks in this quarter, plus some holidays. Use the calendar and pick out content that you can focus on each week. One piece of big content per week is probably a good way to start. If you know that you’re doing an internal launch for Black Friday for example, you can skip that week. Either way, make sure you have one good piece of content ready to rock for each week where you’re not doing a big launch.

How do you pick topics?

A lot of people struggle to come up with ideas, and I understand that can be tricky. You should have five or six big topics you cover in your business, and for me it’s business, leadership, money, marketing, ethics, productivity. Pick your five big buckets and then start hunting for inspiration.

I use Twitter and Instagram, but you can use Facebook groups, sites that help you find keywords, Google search, even Amazon reviews! There are a million ways! Don’t try to drum up topics with a blank piece of paper. The best way to pick out topics is to be problem focused. Think about all the issues and complaints you hear/see everywhere. Then take to social and search on that problem and see if it sparks an idea.

So I found this tweet that seemed to have good engagement.

From this I thought, well what are the problems around sales? People don’t know how to create desire for their products. They don’t know the line between manipulating and good sales. They don’t know how to be an authority in their niche. They don’t know how to craft a logical argument. So here I could write four blog posts (or podcast episodes)….

  1. How To Create Desire For Your Product (even when it’s a boring product)
  2. 6 Tips For Crushing Sales Calls Without Using Manipulation Or Slimy Sales Tactics
  3. How To Be The Go To Authority In Your Market (even if you feel like an imposter)
  4. Crafting Your Impenetrable Sales Argument That No One Can Say No To

I now have four ideas.

Step Three: Figure out which content works best for the buckets you have (Social, Search, & Relationship)

Some topics are better as blog posts. Or YouTube videos. Or content for your affiliates. As much as we want ALL content to be leveraged everywhere, it’s just not always the case. Especially when you’re thinking about search traffic vs. social traffic. Search traffic is actively looking for a solution. Social traffic is looking for something that gives them a dopamine hit and makes them feel smart for sharing.

Once you have your 12 or so topics, assign them a bucket. See if you’re too top heavy in one or the other. Maybe that’s intentional while you grow that channel, but over time you want to spread out!

Of my four ideas, I think number two has the most “search” potential. So I’m going to take that headline and throw it in Google. You can get more intense with this and fancy search tools, but if you’re just beginning, just try what I’m doing.

As you can see, there’s a bunch of stuff! You might want to try to compete by doing something better than what you see here, or you can look at related searches at the bottom of the page. Those are sometimes easier.

Whatever I decide, this content will be great for my search bucket – YouTube, Amazon, Pinterest, Google, etc. You don’t have to get that content on every search channel. Just the one you’re focused on. For me, this would become a blog post and podcast episode.

I’ve decided that my number 3 headline would work great on Instagram since Imposter Syndrome is something that people struggle with and that’ll probably stop the scroll.

As for my number 4 headline, I think I’m going to create a simple little workshop and send it out to 10 influencers who I know have audiences that would love this content. See if I can provide value to their audiences with this content.

That leaves headline 1. I will do that in my Facebook Group (and then probably leverage it in other places).

Four headlines and I’ve spanned the three major buckets of Search, Social, and Relationship (we’re not focused on paid in this article because it’s an over-exercised muscle).

Step Four: Create the big pieces of content

It might be writing, recording, etc. It depends on what you decided. Here’s the most important part: You design the content for the channel you thought it would do BEST in, and that’s what matters.

For my example, I have a blog post for search traffic, an IGTV topic (that I will do a story, Reel & post about), a Facebook Group long form post, and a video training for my Dream 100 people. The original form of the content is created in the channel you’ve designed it for.

Step Five: Repurpose the content

Just because you created it for one channel, doesn’t mean it can’t be repurposed. This is the main rub I have with the repurposing stuff I see online. They give you ONE system and tell you to repeat it. But if you choose IG as your primary content creative, that content doesn’t always work on YouTube or other places. SO in this way, you’ve already created the content for the channel, and now you can see how it might be chopped up for other things.

Step Six: Add growth activities to your marketing plan

It’s not enough to just post content. For most social channels you’re trying to grow, what you do on other accounts is as important as what you put out. This means engaging with other peoples’ tweets, following folks on Instagram, sharing their content, etc. For relationship based channels, this is all about conversations, leaving reviews, investing in that relationship over time. Really the only channel that doesn’t require active engagement is the search bucket.


Takeaways

  1. Stop crying about Facebook Ads not working for you anymore. The ship has sailed. Time for a better plan.
  2. Actively work on growing marketing channels in the three big buckets besides paid (Social, Search, & Relationship).
  3. Break your marketing plan into two buckets – what you’re doing internally to your warm audience and what you’re doing for your cold audience.
  4. Choose 1-3 internal marketing objectives per quarter based on the internal channels of launches, email, product spotlights, and upgrades.
  5. Come up with 1 big piece of content per week for the quarter (based on the calendar and around your internal plans).
  6. Use inspiration to come up with topics. Don’t start with a blank slate. Think about the problems.
  7. Categorize that content into the bucket it works best for – social, search, or relationship.
  8. Create that content FOR that bucket first.
  9. Then figure out how to repurpose it.
  10. Build growth activities into your marketing (which includes engagement, leaving reviews, commenting, and sharing the love).

How To Price Your Products & Services Online

In the online & digital space, pricing is bizarre. Given that Cryptopunk pixelated NFTs are going for $250k per pop at the time of this writing, it’s no wonder we’re all confused about how to price things that are digital.

$50,000 masterminds to $27 offers to $5/m newsletters to $10k websites to $250k NFT’s, how do you price your courses, digital assets, and services fairly & profitability?

#1 Calculate the cost for you.

For services, this is simple. If you’re building a website that takes 30 hours, and you have 160 hours a month available in your freelance gig and know you have to make $10,000 a month to pay the bills, you need to be earning $62/hr. Let’s bump that up a bit for taxes and $70/hr is your baseline. That means you cannot charge less than $2100 for that website and still be in business.

If you’re using contractors, that cost is going to go up. And remember, most businesses don’t sell their goods at cost. Just because it costs you $2100 in time to build the website, doesn’t mean you should charge that. Double it. That way if you have to hire someone to do what you do, you as the owner can still get your $2100 per site, and still pay the team doing the work.

If you’re course creator or digital asset owner, calculating cost is a bit more nuanced. The cost to create is heavy the FIRST time around (the funnel, the content, etc.), but then there’s virtually no limit to how many copies you can sell of that thing. The return on investment is much higher.

What are some ongoing costs for course creators? Things like a customer support person, the cost for updating the content, the software tools, managing a Facebook group, etc. are just a few examples.

For both service based and digital businesses, most people do not factor in the MARKETING as an expense to consider. But if you’ve run a Facebook Ad in the last 12 months, you know that marketing is expensive.

Does your price factor in that it’s going to cost you a certain amount of money to get a customer in the door?

If you want to make $10,000 with your product, bump your revenue goal up by 30% so you can account for the cost of marketing. So to earn $10,000 – plan to hit $13,000 with $3000 of that going straight to marketing.

Then adjust that bump percentage after a few months of data to see what it’s actually costing you.

#2 Calculate the value to them.

This is another number that’s gotten skewed in recent years by Marketers who drink their own koolaid. The question to ask yourself is, “How much value will they see, feel, experience in the next 6-12 months?”

If you determine that reading your book will result in starting a business that makes $50,000 in their first year of business, then that’s the value. However, if what they learn helps them start a business that makes $10,000 in its first year and goes on to help them make $100,000 the next year, you’d say the value was still that $10,000.

What if the value is not monetary? It might be a time value. A pleasure value. These things are hard to calculate but try this…

Let’s say you wrote a book on knitting. Does the book help them buy the right materials? Make Christmas gifts? Do they have knitting night instead of movie night? How might that look money wise if you added those things up? Maybe it would amount to $500-$1500 over the year.

No one sane is going to charge these prices for a book, which is why value is not a great number to use to calculate price.

However, it does help with the next principle.

#3 How big of a price/value gap can you create?

The bigger the gap, the more irresistible it becomes. If you only pay $15/m for a service that saves you thousands a year, that’s a large price/value gap which makes it a no brainer to purchase.

Think about something like Netflix. The cost is millions and millions for them, though at scale it works. And the value to the subscriber is quite high. Unlimited entertainment 24/7. This enormous price/value gap is what makes it so lucrative. It’s a no brainer for most people to spend $15/m for that level of valuable entertainment.

The greater the value the more room you have to create that gap and make your offer irresistible.

#4 Play the price expectation game.

This is an actual game you can play with someone using your product page. Take all mention of the price off the page. Have them read it, and then guess the price.

If they guess the price right, you’ve lost.

The idea is you want them to guess a price HIGHER than what it actually is, to create the dopamine drop.

As I read a sales page, I might be thinking “Okay this is going to be $500”. I’ve made that assumption based on the value I’m perceiving on the page. Then when I get to the bottom, I’m excited and surprised to see that it’s only $297. You want people to guess and assume higher than the actual to create a hit of dopamine when they realize the price is lower than they guessed.

One caveat to this….

#5 Don’t go too low – people will be suspicious.

The extreme of #4 is you end up charging so little, people think there’s something wrong with the product. If you promise to teach someone how to fix and flip houses for the low price of $19, they are not going to believe you. It’s a fine line of irresistibility and suspicion, so checking out the price range of competitors can help you figure out if you’re too low.

#6 Use price to command the type of customer you want.

Sometimes it makes sense to price higher than any of the numbers you come up with in the first 5 principles because…you’re commanding a certain type of customer. We see this all the time in the regular product space.

  • You can buy a pair of sneakers for $30 at Walmart.
  • You can buy a similar pair of sneakers at the mall for $100.
  • You can buy a similar pair of sneakers at a high end brand store in NYC for $700.

Yes there are differences in quality, but not at that range. This is about attracting the type of customer you want. The brand savvy customer is going to buy the $700 pair, whereas the Walmart shoe brand is aiming to be the cheapest. Are you trying to be the rock bottom price, the solid stable value, or the luxury brand?

#7 Anchor your price to something higher.

There are a lot of ways you can do this. If you’re taking payment over the phone or with an invoice/proposal, you can do this on the fly.

Find a reason to give them a better deal. “Hey I see that you’re a referral from Joe Schmoe. He’s a great friend. So I’m going to send you a proposal for $5k but I want to knock off a $1000 since you’re a friend of a great client.”

There’s always a reason, you just need to find one!

When it comes to courses/coaching/digital assets, you can’t customize it as easily so anchor your price to a higher “rack” rate on your website.

  • Sell a $47 offer with a $10 off coupon.
  • Can you give alumni or member discounts to incentivize existing customers?
  • Run a special the first time something comes out, or during a holiday promo

#8 Watch those “hump” prices and be careful!.

There are natural price humps that people see differently. For example, from $11 to $14 is a difference of $3.00, but $14 to $17 feels like a lot more than $3.00 because it went over the hump of 15.

Natural hump prices are…

  • $5
  • $10
  • $15
  • $20
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $1000
  • $1500
  • $2000
  • $5000
  • $10,000
  • $25,000

Try to keep your price as high as it can be without going over the next hump price. So if you have something at $17, just set it to $19. You’ll likely not see a huge change in conversion unless you go over $20.

#9 What would it cost to buy all the pieces separately?

If you’re selling a bundle of services or assets, go out and price them all separately. Actually get quotes and then add it all up. Not only does this make a great marketing argument on a sales page, call, or webinar, it also justifies your price as well.

Let’s say you sell software and it’s $97/m. If you add up all the software they can cancel and it totals $450, then you’ve got a massive savings there. If it’s only $200 and you’re selling for $97, ask yourself if that’s enough of a savings to get them to do the painful migration over to you.

#10 Does the way you frame it matter?

Yes.

There are a lot of studies on whether to use the comma in $1,000. It depends on if you want to make it FEEL like a bigger number or a smaller one. If you’re using $1,000 to show how much something is worth, add the comma. If you want to sell it for $1000, keep the comma off.

Whether or not to use 7’s or 9’s is another big one. General rule of thumb is that 7’s and 9’s convert better on order forms. The exception is if you’re on a sales call trying to sell something high ticket. It sounds weird and salesy to say out loud you’re charging $4997 for your coaching, so just say $5000.

If you are having a sale and taking $10 off a $30 product, is it more juicy to say $10 dollars off or 35% off? In this case 35% is a bigger number than $10 so go with the percentage rather than the dollar amount.


When all is said and done, the most important thing you can do when pricing your stuff is to make the delivery of what you offer EXCEED the pain of letting go of the money it cost.

Ask your customers if it was worth it. Watch how people respond. Expect 25% of people to say no because of price and 75% to say yes. Use these principles as your guide, and happy pricing!

xx J

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