Someone in thefastlaneforum.com wrote about building his online coaching and courses business.
Step 1 in his plan is to “build a personal brand”.
Here’s what I replied with:
Lots of ways to do this of course.
I’m just wondering if you can start closer to the end?
Folks know me inside the forum but not outside. Outside the forum I’m not trying to build a personal brand.
Instead, I will run ads straight to simple squeeze pages where folks sign up to a free email list. Once on the list I’ll figure out how to add value, and then get paid.
My current thinking is that I can send those free signups a weekly email with a link to a video on YouTube. That video will have a tip for them. I’ll ask those free subscribers to comment on the video and I’ll maybe also get likes and shares. So this adds value to those free subscribers, *and* I get initial views and engagement on new videos. Seems a nice value exchange to me.
At some point I can then offer a paid email newsletter, at a no-brainier price. Say $3/mth, $5/mth, $7/mth, or $9/mth. I would email paid subscribers with additional content so they’re getting value and stay subscribed. They’d still get emailed links to the free YouTube videos, and maybe I occasionally send them links to unlisted videos as a bonus.
Maybe some folks want more than what’s on this low cost email newsletter? In which case I’ve already setup my courses platform that’s currently $150 every 3 months.
Will I end up building a personal brand out of this? Probably, because folks will keep hearing me on the videos and maybe even seeing me. But building a personal brand will be a by-product of building a business where I’m creating most of the content.
Maybe I can get thousands onto the free email list? That would be an amazing way to get initial views of new videos as I release them on YouTube. If I can bake virality into the process then all the better.
Maybe I can get thousands onto my paid email newsletter? That would be nice, and the overhead headache doesn’t grow exponentially like I imagine it would for a paid community. Another benefit is that I can get someone onto the paid email newsletter very soon and create a great feedback loop to keep me going.
Maybe I can get hundreds or thousands into my courses platform? That would be amazing too.
My free and paid newsletter will be branded as a business not a personal brand. Same as my courses platform, which will be branded separately because I envision putting courses in other subject areas onto it, and maybe even by other instructors.
Just my 2c.
Here’s what I didn’t reply with. This is my WHY.
A book that had a big impact on me years ago was “Built to Sell”. My biggest takeaway was that, as the business owner, the product I should be focused on selling is the actual business itself.
We all have personal brands, whether we choose to build them or not. And I recommend using your personal brand and network to get started in business.
Me personally, I’d prefer to then build businesses that don’t rely on a personal brand. They’re easier to sell.
Another great book is “The Automatic Customer”. Automated recurring revenue subscription businesses are the holy grail for me.
My speciality is building automated lead or sales generation systems.
Imagine I created newsletter and course businesses in many different niches using the methods described above.
Not only would I have built nice monthly recurring revenue subscription businesses, and automated systems so they grow each month, but I would have also built “routes to market“. If someone wanted to sell products to BUYERS in that niche then they’ve already got a direct line to people already paying monthly.
If I build these businesses *without* relying on anyone’s personal brand then I’m building businesses that other people could buy and take over. (I may prefer to rent those subscription businesses and routes to market out rather than sell them, but that would be a first world decision further down the line.)
Do you think someone in a particular niche may want to buy a monthly recurring revenue subscription business, that also has a self-sustaining route to market already built in that grows that monthly recurring revenue subscription business each and every month?
What about you?
Have a think about the above.
What type of business are you building?
Is it business built to sell?
Is it a business with automated revenue?