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The Three Phases of Online Business

The Three Phases of Online Business

So…for those of you who don’t have a business idea yet, I see this pattern over and over and over. People get STUCK in what they can sell, where they should focus, etc.

I notice there are THREE stages in many online business journeys. And in all three stages, you can make money.

Stage One – Skill + Service

Skill growth is the easiest place to start for 2 reasons. One, you don’t need a following, and two, you learn skills and then turn around and sell those skills. Digital Marketing, VA, FB AD Agencies, Copywriting, etc.

Stage Two – Community + Brand

The second stage I call Community Growth, and this is what happens after you’ve really mastered a skill. Usually you start to build more than a network of clients, you start to build a following around your expertise and passions. You can make money here with coaching, consulting, affiliate marketing, blogging, etc.

Stage Three – Movement + Scale

The third stage is movement growth. This is the stage with products, courses, SaaS and things like this start to develop, and where scaling REALLY happens.

So many people want to skip the first two phases but almost every successful person in Internet Marketing you see today, followed this path in some shape or form.

Now…you can skip Stage One and go RIGHT to Stage Two when you begin, but it means you need CAPITAL. Because if you don’t know the skills, you’ll have to pay someone to do the things you need done. This is very common if you show up on the Internet scene and decide you want to be a coach, consultant, course creator, etc.

By the way, Stages One and Two do blur together at some point once you’re established.

So knowing this, if you identify what stage you’re starting (1 or 2) then you can start to see what sort of business you should focus on depending on your stage.

Trying to jump into phase 3 before either 1 or 2 is really really really really hard.

How You Get The Money

In Stage One, it’s a lot of “door to door” marketing. This means referral, networking, events, Facebook groups, LinkedIn, etc. Joining the Create Your Laptop Life Program is a MUST for anyone in either Stage One or Stage Two.

If you are in Stage Two + Three, your primary method of selling happens through list building and funnels.

In The Digital Gangsta, I teach you how to do Stage Two + Three for your clients, and in the bonus materials, I teach you how find clients as a business owner in Stage One.

I find that if you decide to start with Stage One, it’s best to not worry so much about niche, and instead – just look for anyone with a problem you can solve. Then, start to hone in on who those people are.

Here are a few posts that discuss online business and niches more in depth…

When you become a Digital Marketer, you need to understand this general pattern, as well as the different ways that online business grow, so you can charge a LOT of money to build other businesses!

You also need to recognize that the way to get business as a Digital Marketer in Stage One is often more referral and network based than the methods you’re using to build non-marketing businesses.

Hope that helps!

Is the Guru Trustworthy?

Is the Guru Trustworthy?

How to decide if a guru is worth following…or…more importantly…if they are worth giving MONEY to.

Does the guru help you without charging you money?

In other words, is their free content like breadcrumbs and stale leftovers or a hot loaf of steamy delicious french bread from the oven? Look at their posts, free content, videos, and low-cost offers. If they are fluffy, steer clear.

Does the guru practice bait ‘n switch marketing?

For example, when I promote Create Your Laptop Life, bait ‘n switch would be using my coaching revenue as an example for what a freelancer can do (which is misleading – I need to show FREELANCE revenue).

Another example is a guru who says, “I only spent $100 a day on ads and made $1,000,000” when really it was referral and affiliate marketing that were driving sales after the first several ad campaigns. Numbers DO lie and context is everything…yes, even with screenshots.

Does the guru give you helpful resources — even if it isn’t them?

Do they promote other experts, do collaborations with other people, and give away resource lists and helpful documents?

Are they constantly promoting something new, or do they consistently have a similar and streamlined marketing message?

Meaning one day do they tell you that you need to Periscope and the next day they are all up in your face about Snapchat? Experimenters have their place, but if your guru is talking about social media and then funnels and then Amazon and then real estate and then investing and then crypto and always bounces from one opportunity to the other, that’s a warning sign.

Is everything they push out “perfectly coiffed”?

Perfect clothes, perfect message, perfect life, perfect perfect perfect? Warning, warning. Over compensation happening. The only thing that’s really perfect in their world is the desire to look perfect.

Does the guru use sleazy marketing tactics that pressure you into the sale?

Do they seem desperate for your money? What do their followers say? Look for referrals and recommendations. How many people are buying from them — a second time? That’s the clincher. Repeat customers are one of the surest signs that the guru is legit.

Some gurus I recommend you follow…

  1. Russell Brunson (for Sales Funnels + Marketing)
  2. Jon Loomer (for Facebook Ads)
  3. Hubspot (for Social Media Marketing)
  4. The SOFTWARE itself (Instagram, Facebook, etc. for updates on their policies and systems)
  5. Neil Patel (SEO and Google)
  6. By Regina (Content Marketing and Publishing)
  7. Me (for Digital Marketing and Online Business)

There’s a difference between inspiration and investment

Some people I follow just to see what they’re doing. I would NOT however, give them my money.

Someone may inspire you but may not be up on the latest and greatest or out there working in the field.

For example, you may love someone like Marie Forleo, but you don’t want to model yourself and your business after hers because her business exploded in …oh I don’t know… 2013. When the INTERNET was a VASTLY different place.

This is what makes online marketing so hard. If someone isn’t in the field and the trenches, then you can derive inspiration from them, but what to do right now in this moment? Might not be the greatest option.

Even if they have massive success, it could be because of factors that aren’t real right now, in this landscape.

Whatever you do, whoever you follow, look at your own self before and after. If you’re finding that comparisonitis is constantly creeping in, you’re stalling, have shiny object syndrome…it might be time to stop following!

The Death of Happily Ever After

The Death of Happily Ever After

There is NO happily ever after.

That realization – though it sounds very negative and cynical – will actually be GREAT news if you stick with me for a few minutes here.

We’re taught that there is a happily ever after our whole lives. Directly, indirectly…society, media, religion, etc.

No matter what age or stage, there’s always a future “happily”…

  • When you’re a middle schoolers, high school is supposedly the best years of your life
  • Then college is supposed to be the best years of your life
  • Then your 20’s are the best years of your life
  • Then the newlywed stage is the best stage
  • Having a baby is the best thing ever
  • Having kids during the golden years (6-10) is the best thing ever
  • Having your kids grow up and give you grandchildren is the best thing ever

You get my point. A future moment in time is the arrival of the “happily ever after” and we’re striving all the time, to reach this destination.

The problem is…

After you get through like 6 of those things…you start to wonder if maybe this story about happily ever after is really true. Because each of those stages come, and yes, they are happy. And they are also REALLY REALLY hard.

I’m 36 years old and have arrived and surpassed 6 of the 7 stages.

This happily ever after destination has plagued me especially because of the moral attachments to it. Growing up in a conservative Christian environment, there was an additional pressure of “blessings and favor” to those who did things right. The happily ever after got REALLY mixed up with God’s favor and my goodness as a human.

At each stage, yes I had times of feeling gloriously happy. I also felt depressed, anxious, worried, stressed, tired, overwhelmed, teary, and lost.

So when I look back on my life to date, have I arrived at happily ever after? Is it what I expected? Is this what I’ve been waiting for this whole time?

How do I measure this nebulous vague destination that has driven my ENTIRE life?

And furthermore, even though I’ve done 6 of the 7 happily ever afters, I still have one to go. Maybe more. Are all six still supposed to be supplying me with un-ending happiness?

Do you see the problem here?

Thus I now get to my massive AHA! moment that makes the death of happily ever after so glorious.

In order to know happiness (contentment, wellbeing, pleasure), you must ALSO know the flip side.

There can be NO happiness in this life without understanding what the opposite feels like.

I know, you’re like…how is that good news?

Try for a moment to imagine what life would be like…if you ONLY felt happiness every single day – for the rest of your life.

You would feel no anger. No indignation. No sadness. No tears. No anticipation. No exhaustion. No stress. No hate.

  • You wouldn’t cry at sad movies.
  • You wouldn’t be scared on roller coasters.
  • You wouldn’t feel angry at crime and poverty and social injustice.
  • You wouldn’t HATE things like rape and assault and racism.

You’d just be happy. Happily ever after.

I realized…we all want this happily ever after…EXCEPT WE DON’T.

None of us want to ACTUALLY live happily ever after.

That’s why all the movies end when the character arrives at the destination of happily ever after.

Because it’s bullshit, and movie producers know that we don’t ACTUALLY want to see what it looks like after…because living out a lifetime of happiness is not possible nor real….and truthfully, it’d be horribly boring.

It’d be like eating cake…everyday.

Without any savory or salty flavors, we would go tired…no…SICK of cake.

You don’t want a happily ever after, and neither do I.

This is glorious. When you finally let go of this weird proverbial wind at your back pushing you to some ideal you can hardly articulate, you can ask yourself, if I don’t want that…what do I want?

Most of us want the same things…

  • Safety
  • Love
  • Adventure
  • Freedom
  • Meaning
  • Legacy

We don’t want to fight every minute for survival. We want people to love us, and for us to love. We want new adventures and challenges that excite our brains and bodies. We want to not ask permission to explore the world and all its beauty. We want to things that have meaning and soul. And we want to leave a legacy so that our contributions live on and so our life isn’t just…well…mortal.

THOSE THINGS…in big and little portions…can happen to us at all times, at any time, barring no particular prelude.

This life is not a journey with a destination somewhere out in the future.

Think of those things we want as buckets. Some of us have our buckets full. Others of us have some near empty.

Depending on the day, we might fill one bucket more than another.

  • Every day you get the chance to either fill your buckets or take some of the reserve if the day isn’t being generous.
  • Some days will have more parts of love or meaning or safety than others.
  • Some days we’ll have to fight really big battles just to hang onto one of those things.
  • Other days they’ll all appear in abundance.

The happily ever after is dead to me. It doesn’t denote some sort of moral goodness or mean that I have to stop trying at life once I’ve made money, gotten married, had kids, etc.

I now see that every single day is my opportunity to invest in and enjoy and fight for more safety, love, adventure, freedom, meaning, and legacy.

I fully expect that journey to be REALLY messy.

Gardens when they grow….they need water and soil…which makes mud.

They need bugs and bees…creatures that bite.

They need the baking hot sun…

Why is life any different?

All good things are not without fight. Without some heartache or sweat or frustration.

That just means we’re ALIVE.

I hope you can fully embrace and enjoy and fight for what you want, this day…without putting your future happiness in some ideal that isn’t even real. And if this day is really hard for you, tap into the reserves of the good days, and know that every morning, you get a fresh chance to start again.

21 Details to Check Before You Launch Your Funnel

21 Details to Check Before You Launch Your Funnel

So you’ve mapped out your funnel, built the pages and are ready to launch. How do you know if it’s ready to go? There are several things to check, 21 to be exact, before launching.

In my latest post on the ClickFunnels blog, I go into detail about each step and have outlined the important categories below.

 

There are 4 key areas that you need to focus on:

  • Funnel-Wide: Checking details on the entire site to make sure pixels are in place, favicons are set, domains are correct, and your stats are reset.
  • Funnel Steps: Checking details on each individual page to make sure that the SEO is  showing up correctly, there aren’t any redirect overrides, the action on any buttons is directing correctly, making sure the pop-up is functioning properly, etc.
  • Product Area: This area is for those who are selling any products. Things to check are order forms. OTOs, and downsell forms. If you are selling affiliate products, make sure to check off whether a commission can be earned or not. Also be sure that the payment method is working, and the product descriptions are showing up correctly.
  • Members Area: If you have a members area, make sure you have restricted access to the page, and have linked up a support button so people can get in touch with you.

 

I go into full step-by-step instruction on the ClickFunnels blog, so be sure to head on over there to see exactly how to check each of the 21 details.

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