For those of you who know me, you know I’ve been through the ringer in terms of experiencing everything the business world has to offer.
I’ve done the 16-hour days as a low-level personal trainer, and now I work either from home or in my own office building whenever I decide to show up.
I’ve worked 1-on-1 with the Average Joe down the street, I’ve also worked 1-on-1 with A-list celebrities and world champion athletes.
I’ve had some major flops in product releases online, and now I’ve built a multiple six-figure (net profit) per year business from home online launching and selling different products and courses.
I’ve been completely ignored by some authorities when I reached out to them, and yet I’ve also been written about in some of the biggest media outlets in the entire planet.
I have websites that have a terrible SEO ranking in Google, and I also have multiple websites that rank on the very first page even for some very basic terminology.
Having exposure to these ends of the spectrum has allowed me to grow my business experience and knowledge in “dog years” – Meaning, dogs age an estimated 7 years (in human life expectancy) for every one year that passes.
When you go through the highs and lows of creating and building businesses the correct way (and not through trying to game the system in a way that leaves your legacy looking like you had no integrity), you gain experience at a rapid rate and are able to use this experience to help those whom you care about avoiding the landmines of the business world.
I care about you – and I really mean that. In modern times where most people have no attention span because there is just so much content out there, I consider it a huge honor that you’re giving me your time and attention today. And since you’re giving me your time and attention, I want to give you a 10-X return on investment every time you visit us here at Create Freedom.
So, with that said, these are the Top 5 things I would do if I was in your position right now trying to optimize their time, business efficiency, and profits.
5 Things I’d Do If I Were You:
#1: Identify the Audience You Want to Speak To
It can be tempting at times to want to tackle very large categories because there is just “so much money in it”
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those gigantic markets are pretty much locked up by some corporate titans that you don’t have a chance against right now.
Want to create a search engine business?
Good luck taking out Google.
Want to create an image-based social media platform?
I bet Instagram is really scared.
Interested in creating an online buy and sell platform?
Amazon must be horrified.
Some of you may be thinking that these examples are daunting – but I want you to see the category more than I want you to see the size of the business.
For example, calling yourself a “realtor” in Los Angeles is the best way possible to look like every other realtor in LA – instead, become “the condo guy” – or – “the go-to for commercial offices”
When you can niche yourself, you are going to have an audience that finds you as much as your going to find them. A specialist will always be sought out, where someone who looks like everyone else never will be.
All the way back in 2011 I started calling myself a “nutrition specialist” – this allowed me to stand out immensely among the other personal trainers at my gym, and because of that, I gained way more business than they did. One simple trick made me appear more like an expert as opposed to a personal trainer – even though my job title was still ‘personal trainer’.
In another example, it doesn’t get much more specific than the company Kevin and I started:
Here’s the first sentence you’ll read on our homepage:
“Are you looking to become a better hockey player? Here at HockeyTraining.com our goal is to help you improve your speed, power, explosiveness, agility, and conditioning on the ice with advanced hockey training methods to make you a better hockey player.”
We know who our target is, and we cater exactly to that niche. We aren’t the “sports performance guys” because then we would be talking to so many people that no one would notice us. We would get lost in the noise.
But since we know who our target audience is we became the #1 Hockey Training website in the entire world (Google’s stats, not ours).
Find your market, and only speak to them.
#2: Start Creating Content for Your Unique Audience
Now it’s time to get to work.
“Fast tracks” for success are also fast tracks to becoming broke.
Yes, there are smart ways to do things that help you accelerate your growth in an intelligent way, but you’re still going to need to get to work on creating excellent content.
This means start writing blogs, start doing guest blogs, make lots of YouTube videos, record podcast episodes – be everywhere.
And just as importantly, write ONLY to your target audience. Nobody cares what you have to say if you’re not speaking directly to them, and this hurts you because that means they might not come back.
Think about yourself – would you go back to a website that wasted your time?
Neither would I.
So – now that you’ve got your niche audience, start creating content for them like a productive monster, and don’t be afraid to get creative here.
If you’re in real estate, you could make content on:
- Activities to do at local beaches
- How to get an idea on what the neighborhood is like
- How the market changes and what you need to know about that
- What to expect when buying your first home
- What to expect when moving from a home to a condo
- Where to walk your dog
- What to look for when looking at an old furnace or new AC
- What websites to look at so you can determine if there’s going to be future construction in your area
- The best places to get coffee
- The best restaurant for dinner
- The best cocktail lounges
…the list can literally go on forever – and I don’t even know anything about real estate!
To start, pick the six most important topics (think about the questions you get asked about the most, and NOT what you want to write about the most) and write minimum 1000-word articles on those topics in your niche.
Once you have done that, continue posting more content on a weekly basis to cement yourself as the expert (or, specialist) in your area for this specific niche.
When you keep this up, it will be of no surprise to anybody when people start saying: “Hey, you have to go speak with *insert your name* because all they ever do is talk about this stuff!”
If writing a blog took you an hour, and it got you a very high number of referrals…would you do it?
Yeah, I would too. Well, I guess I already have – over a thousand times now.
#3: Create A Very High-Quality Free Report
For this, it’s smart to create an amazing free video or free report (or, both) on the NUMBER ONE most important thing your audience needs to know.
This can be labeled the “#1 Secret”
Or the “#1 Missing Tool They NEED”
Or the “#1 FACT All *insert your niche* NEED to Know In Order To…”
This doesn’t have to be some gigantic eBook or anything, 5-10 pages of quality content is more than enough.
Make a promise at the beginning of the report, and then keep that promise by the end. For example, a report I have done in the past was a free pre-workout nutrition guide. I told them they were going to get exact formulas on how to create their pre-workout meal, and then I delivered on that promise by giving them everything they needed to start dominating their workouts.
This creates the “Wow, this guy Dan Garner is really looking out for me! I also can’t believe this 10-page report was free, I want to learn more from him.”
Then in the future, he/she is a perfect prospect to be converted into a student, client, or product purchaser from me. This is the perfect exchange, I provide lots of value upfront – and then they can decide if they want to stick with me or not.
This is so much more respected by your audience than slamming them with high-pressure sales conversations or blowing up their e-mail and newsfeed with advertisements.
Your action steps here are to create a report, or a video, about the number one thing your niche prospects need to know.
Don’t hold anything back either, give them a ton of value – and make sure you collect their e-mail address when they opt-in to get this free report from you so you have a way to provide them more value in the future (notice how I said to provide them more value in the future, and not send them messages only when you want to sell stuff).
#4: Make Your Content Better Than Everyone Else
If you haven’t noticed yet, your content matters a lot. It’s the difference between attention and interruption.
Attention vs Interruption is the biggest difference I see with legitimate online business creators and “the rest”
Here’s what you should be thinking…
“What I respect most about my viewers, readers, and prospects is their… TIME”
Knowing I respect their time and knowing that when they give me their attention, they are also giving me their time. So, how can I make the experience of them giving me their time the most positive I possibly can?
How can I have a successful transaction between what I know they value most, their time.
What can I deliver, offer, share that will have them leaving my website/social media/video and thinking “Wow, that was actually really awesome/useful!”
That’s where your head should be at when building your posts, videos, blog posts, podcasts, etc.
When you start creating content that actually provides value (and doesn’t just sell yourself, or show pictures of your pets), you are going to have people begging to work with you or purchase your products.
When I started up my Facebook page, I started posting every single day free tips and information that the people of London, Ontario (my hometown) could use to start becoming healthier versions of themselves.
It didn’t take long at all until people started direct messaging me or the sales team at the Gold’s Gym I was working at wanting to sign up with me immediately or ask for more information – which just leads into a 1-on-1 consult with the inquiring person where I could close the deal from there.
Creating excellent and free content will place you into a position of strength because people know, like, and trust you before they even hire you. Doing this enables you to eliminate almost all negotiating in your life because your target audience is bought into you before they have even spent any money yet.
People buy people, they don’t buy programs. Give them a reason to like you and trust you through a free platform, and they will respond.
#5: Create the Best Product
Now it’s time to deliver!
Create the best product for your target audience that you can and deliver it to them when you’re ready to rock. One of the best parts about delivering free content for a long time is that it enables you to identify EXACTLY what your prospects want.
So, when it’s time to sell a new product, you can knock it out of the park.
A lot of business owners or future online entrepreneurs struggle when trying to identify what their prospects want. Unfortunately, this can result in some really bad ideas that convert no sales that the product creator spent a lot of money on.
Don’t make this mistake!
Know what your prospects want first by engaging with them through your free content – this is your perfect market research that’s totally untapped by so many businesses today. Don’t tell your audience what they want, listen to them.
If I could go back in time to the very beginning of my entrepreneur days, I would hammer these points home in my mind and not allow myself to overlook all of the details here. Way too many people are trying to optimize some of the most high-tech software and minute details of copywriting before they even know the principles yet.
If you don’t follow these business principles, the methods that you use to try and connect with your audience will be useless.
Don’t run before you know how to walk – your homework for this article should be to create a document for each one of these five tips and break it all down for your next project so that you can avoid the landmines that I stepped on earlier in my career and start walking the path of success and freedom.