How to Be a Content Machine, Get Recognised as an Expert, Storm Your Industry, and Make a Million Dollars
Yep … this is gonna be one of THOSE posts … in which money is discussed. In which the desire to make money is discussed. In which (!!!) getting RICH is discussed. I’m just giving you the heads up, so that if you’re in the ‘see no evil hear no evil’ camp when it comes to money, and feel that it really should not be talked about at all, you can click away at ONCE!
So. You’re still here! Cool 🙂
Full disclosure? Whilst I have made well over a million in my business, I’m not yet making a million a year. But with my business revenue more than doubling each year for the past 3 years, and bearing in mind the fact that I came in just under half a mil in the last financial year, I guess I’m on my way.
And today I’d like to share with you what I consider to be one of the ‘key’ keys, if you will, to my modestly rapid success. Hey … for sure there are others out there that are making multi-millions within their first year, so I know I’m not truly one of the big players online at all! But my 30-50+ k a month sure makes ME feel good. And a few years ago? I was making just peanuts online, maybe a few k a year. So it’s been pretty transformational, especially now that I get to live my dream life with my young family, currently on the beach and about to take off for 2 years of endless travel. If I can share some of what worked with you and impact your dream biz and dream life creation, then awesome! And if you hate open talks about money, well – you know what to do 😉
I’ve broken this post into two parts (both included below), which are the ‘rules’ on content and then my secrets to mega-productivity and sh*t-getting-done!
The Rules on Content
I’d say it’s generally pretty well known that you should have a free ‘optin’ gift on your website to attract new email subscribers, and to reward them for giving you their email address. Most people manage to get this up within (ahem) the first 6 months of business. (Seriously … this should be whacked up within the first 6 MINUTES of business, or at least the first 6 days … just record a 20-minute podcast for God’s sakes, and put it up! Every day your ‘site is live without a way to gather people’s emails you are losing business and money!) …
Anyway … so once people get that sorted, the next logical thing to do seems to be an ebook.
People assume that creating an ebook is going to be a good starting point because it will be easier than doing a whole ecourse (for example), and because of course you can test a cheap product on your audience. Now personally I have loads of ebooks, and I do love them, but the truth is that unless you’re a prolific and disciplined writer, writing an ebook is NOT usually easier – or quicker – than creating an entire ecourse. It’s still a great thing to do, but the only way to do it without effectively pressing pause on any possible income for 6 months is to do as I suggest re launching, and give yourself a 2 day to 2-week timeframe to launch it! Possibly you are going to make an ebook for the idea that we are working on together, so you’ll get to try that out for real.
After people eventually get the whole ebook thing happening, the next thing they usually look to do is some kind of course or home-study program, usually anywhere from 3 weeks to 12 weeks long. It almost seems to be like an unspoken rule –
- Free optin first
- Then ebook
- Then ecourse
But what if we were to throw all these rules out the window, especially the one that says that creating the above 3 things should somehow span a full 18 months or more? What if you decided to do in 6 months what most people do in 18? Or in 1 month what most people do in 6? Or in 1 week what most people do in a month? Or in a day what most people do in a week?
Or what if you really just got serious with this whole create and make money doing what you love thing, and just thought ‘to hell with it’, and did in 1 WEEK what most people do in 18 months.
You honestly can.
Just change the rules in your head – create a new kind of normal and start paying attention to people who work at the sort of speed you’d love to, not those who overthink and hesitate till the cows come home. Surround yourself with people who you aspire to be like, and make up your mind that being a creation machine does NOT have to mean burning out or creating inferior work. In fact, it’s usually the opposite, as we’ve touched on already.
The reason I’m talking about all of this is simple –
One free optin is not enough
One ebook is not enough
One ecourse is not enough
You need multiples of all these things, unless you’re quite happy to take the tortoise approach to growing your business. In which case you definitely are reading the wrong blog post! I’m not saying slow and steady is a bad approach, I’m just saying it’s not MY approach and it’s not what I teach or recommend. I’m always saying that it WILL result in (at least initially, and likely for the long term) less people on your email list and less profit. We all have this dream of our great idea taking off and millions of people buying it, of leveraging that great idea so that we don’t ‘have’ to keep doing new stuff. But you know how a great idea takes off and becomes a runaway success? It’s pretty much always because its creator tried a ton of other ideas first – and/or at the same time – and that idea is the one that worked.
The more you create, the greater the likelihood of hitting on that ‘one fabulous idea’.
So here is what I think you need to be doing/creating:
- One free gift/optin a MONTH
- One small/low end product a MONTH (I’ll give you ideas for this in the chapter on Fast Funnel Creation)
- One ecourse/bootcamp/membership or ‘program’ every 2-3 months
- One really big something (i.e. event/retreat/high-end mastermind) every 6 months
To me this would actually be quite slow creation, mainly as I do all of these things across my 3 different businesses as it is, but on top of that I write up to 20,000 words a week for my Amazon books, and try to publish one book every 7-10 days. That’s a particular goal for 2014, I’m not sure if I’ll maintain the pace or move to something else in 2015.
I’m not saying that to try and be arrogant, or to make you feel overwhelmed or bad.
The truth is that I rarely work more than 4-5 hours (usually in 2-3 blocks) each day, and I very rarely work at all on weekends. It’s just that when I do logon to work I don’t allow myself to check emails, my list, or any sort of so-called ‘must dos’ until I have first spent 1 hour on my book writing, and then another hour on program/product creation. Being a content machine actually takes way less time than you think, it’s just a matter of prioritising it and not even letting yourself ‘check in’ until you’ve created for the day. Just imagine what you could put together in the next 6 or 12 months if you consistently spent 2 hours each day, or even 1, 100% in creation mode?
And my point here is simple – [pq] she who creates more wins. [/pq]
The next question of course is how to decide between spending your time and energy on creating free content/gifts for your audience, or creating paid stuff. And the answer is, which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Meaning, it doesn’t matter. Both matter. You have to do both.
So don’t wait until your first paid optin is up on your site to start creating that ebook you have in your head.
Don’t wait until the book is done to start planning out (and telling people about) your online bootcamp/ecourse or program.
Don’t wait until you’ve done the program to plan the live event.
Don’t wait until anything is finished before you begin the next thing.
It sounds counter-intuitive.
Shouldn’t you finish one thing before you start on the next?
I get the reasoning behind this, particularly if you’re the sort of person who tends to leave things unfinished and get distracted by ‘bright shiny idea’ syndrome. But based on my personal experience at what it takes to grow a business fast, keep growing it, and keep the money rolling in, I don’t think the benefits of creating one thing at a time outweigh the negatives, namely the fact that you likely end up being one of those women who manages to cough out nothing more than a new ebook and half an ecourse every year.
Besides, you can have the best of both worlds –
If you’re worried about not finishing things off because your attention is diverted into the next idea, the solution is very simple – just tell people when your stuff is coming. Give yourself a due date, basically, but one that you’ve published and would therefore be embarrassed to default on.
If you really want to push yourself and GUARANTEE you get it done on time, pre-sell it. This means, you actually create the sales page and sell the product before you’ve finished (or in some cases even started) creating the product. And you let people know they will have it on ‘x’ date. Usually you would offer a discount for those who pre-purchase. This might surprise you, but a very high majority of successful 6 and 7-figure entrepreneurs use this method for their books, products and services. It’s incredibly popular because it not only forces action but also because it allows you to test if anyone actually wants to buy what you’re offering!
The basic message here is never press pause on acting on a great idea. Act now, always. If you can combine this approach with smart marketing methods (which we will discuss later) you will truly be unstoppable and nobody will be able to touch you in your industry.
A quick summary of The Rules on Creation, before we move on to PRODUCTIVITY and getting sh*t done!
- She who creates more wins
- You don’t have to follow any rules or ‘order’ as to how you should create – work according to the order that the ideas appear in your mind
- Your long (and even short) term plan should be to have multiple free options, multiple low-end items such as ebooks, multiple higher-end items such as ecourses, and so on (remember – she who creates more wins)
- If you hit on something you just love so much or that gets such a great response (or both) then you could consider focusing all of your time on leveraging that one thing, but that’s more of a lifestyle choice. Regardless, she who creates more wins.
- Enforce deadlines and project completion by publishing when it will be ready – consider a ‘pre-sale’ if you’re truly worried you won’t follow through (and also because pre-selling is a very effective sales technique)
- Stop worrying about what to do first and start focusing only on doing something. Set yourself an hour a day – 2 if you can – and start CREATING!
Being a content and creation machine takes discipline, focus, and a refusal to ‘say die’. You must know your motivation for building your business and you must be committed to doing so in a way that will catapult you above the rest.
This means that you will miss social occasions, sometimes family time, definitely ‘you’ time. It means that while others are sitting back watching TV or flicking through a magazine or perhaps even just keeping up with the house and errands, you’ll be ignoring all of that stuff in order to follow your dreams.
YES, you must sacrifice.
YES, you must push on even when tired, exhausted, even when it feels as though it’s not working and it’s all to much and it’s NEVER going to work!
YES, you must constantly remind yourself of the end goal, keep the eye on the prize, actively cultivate an attitude of great faith and determination.
YES, you must be willing to do DAILY what most will not even consider, so that you can live a life they CAN never consider.
Nobody said it would be easy.
Building the business of your dreams so that you can live the life of your dreams is bloody hard work. It’s like going into battle day after day after day, even when you are tired, teary, fraught with emotion, or worse still even when you are battered and bruised and don’t know if you can continue on.
You continue on because you must.
You continue on because you refuse to live the ordinary life.
You continue on because you believe in what’s possible, and once you have that belief it is IMpossible for you to not chase down those dreams.
And you continue on, most of all, because despite all of it, you wouldn’t change a thing. You wouldn’t live any other life. And you know, no matter how much it at times hurts and makes you want to SCREAM, that it is all worth it.
As we come to the end of this post, I want to encourage you with some words on how you can do all of this – and more – without falling to pieces and without living with regret about how you are as a wife, mother, friends, a woman.
I do believe you can very nearly have it all, if you are very very good at prioritisation and fast-action.
Those traits outweigh discipline, they outweigh ability to work hard, they outweigh the general idea of ‘getting things done’.
One of the most common questions I am asked again and again is how I balance being such a content machine with being a Mum to two young kids. I want to share with you the answer which I recently posted on my Rich Chick Mastermind forum –
“This is probably the most common thing I’m asked, and I think it’s the most important. I’ve learned to be ruthless with dismissing anything that is not what I’d call a business or life changing task.
My average work day is 4.5 hours, and I do 5 days a week; occasionally 6. Usually 2 hours first thing round 6am, and the rest arvo/night. It’s not always pretty – probably half the time I’m alone and Enzo has the kids; the other half they are with me. Which means of course constant interruption, breastfeeding a 6 mo and/or feeding him while at the same time answering the exact same question to Alyssa (4.5) every 30 seconds lol.
Another reason why I’m ruthless about doing what counts.
I think that if we have a rule of our first task each day ALWAYS being creating – and ideally the first 2 – everything else will fall into place. Which means – often not get done, but who cares right, bc the thing that will most grow your biz is creating new stuff.
Some of the things that work for me
No matter how stressed or busy I feel I always take the first 10-20 minutes before working to prime my brain. This is- read something inspiring. Journal. Re write my goals. Write some ideas: a gratitude list, etc. this sets the focus for my work and brings me back to what is important on a deep level for me, and why I am doing what I do. Also helps with clarity.
Next: NO email or list checking. First hour is creating, ideally the second also.
Next: I’ve written out the night before what my money making tasks are. Ie create new optin/campaign/write promos etc/set promos/ send emails. I do that next, followed by anything else that is MUST do. By this time usually I’m out of time. About 3-4 days a week that’s it; a massive list of little and medium stuff has not been done; tbh pretty much everything that runs the biz, but meanwhile bc of that schedule I’m writing just under 30k words a week for books/new programs/launches.
On the other days I have a ‘just do an hour’ rule after kids go down, which usually means 2. Get emails, little things done.
And one night a week I do massive catch up night till 1 or 2am.
So that is my get shit done schedule in a nutshell, aka run a multi 6-fig biz in 20ish hours a wk lol. Probably the #1 thing is always create first, no matter what.
Oh, also, I give myself minimum a week from idea to launch. I came up with the Rich Chick Mastermind idea on a Saturday, wrote it up on the Monday morning, launched it Monday afternoon. Better than the angst of having it hang over me for months.
The truth is that I always pushed myself hard, but I have learned to work like a machine since having kids! I refuse to compromise my dreams but I refuse to do more hours than I do as well. Before kids I spent 40+ hours a week on my online biz and loved it. Things change though … I also have a belief that we are all capable of so much more than we allow ourself to be. I reckon if I pushed myself harder I could double my output. One thing I didn’t mention is I am 100% tech free on Sundays and prob half the Saturdays
To be totally honest- this approach DOES have it’s downsides. I frequently have a mini meltdown but I wouldn’t change a thing!”
You are capable of so much more than what you realise.
The truth is that just when you think you’ve reached your limits, and can go no further, you’re at less than 10% capacity, probably less than 1%.
But if you truly want to create your dream business and LIFE, you have to know how to prioritise across all areas of that life. You must be RUTHLESS about doing first things first and about letting other things just fall off the list.
You can’t do everything.
But you can do what counts.
The above schedule might sound insane – or exciting! – but either way I can tell you it is precisely what has allowed me to be such a content machine, become recognised as an expert in my industry and basically ‘come out of nowhere’ as many people have told me, and definitely what has me on my way to making a cool million a year … stay tuned there!
My challenge to you now, before you continue on with your busy day, your busy life, is to stop and think about what this means for you right now.
Do you truly know what counts? Do you know what your priorities are in your life, in your business, and for yourself?
And are you following them, are you actually PRIORITISING your priorities?
If you can go to bed each night saying YES to that, then it doesn’t matter how much you DON’T get done. The moments ahead of you are not limitless. Time does pass, the days continue to roll by. I’m not telling you to follow my schedule. I’m just telling you what works for me, and how it is that I do get so much done, that daily I have people marvel to me and wonder how I’m so prolific and yet still manage to be sitting around on the beach or playing with my kids so often. I don’t have more time than you. I’m just really really good at knowing what matters, getting straight onto it, pushing myself to do things fast not perfectly.
Prioritisation. And fast action taking. That’s what it’s all about. Or, as the title of one of my other books in this series says, ‘Act First, Think Later!’
So stop saying yes to what you ‘should’ be doing, what you THINK you must do and start getting crystal freaking clear on what actually matters to YOU.
And then go out and do it. Every damn day.
Don’t forget –
Life is Now. Press Play.
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